lingerie capsule wardrobe

Wardrobe Essentials | Lingerie

[This post is sponsored by DORINA]

Last week I packed up four huge bags of clothes to go to the charity shop.

Honestly, it’s amazing that I even HAVE that amount of clothing to get rid of, given how often I seem to have clear-outs, but here’s the thing: almost two years into motherhood, I’m still knee-deep in a closet crisis. I have tons of clothes – but absolutely NOTHING that feels good on me (Or not anything that would be even remotely practical for me to wear, anyway…), and, that being the case, I’ve decided to go back to basics, and start again from… well, not quite from scratch, obviously, because, as much as I’d like to, I just don’t have the cash to replace absolutely everything, but as close to it as I can get.

So, I’ve kept only those items I wear constantly (Plus a few extras, which I might write about at some point in the future), and my aim for next year is to only buy new clothes if I know they’ll also fall into that ‘Worn Constantly’ category. I started out with a huge clear-out of my lingerie drawer – which is a pretty good place to start rebuilding a wardrobe, really. I know no one needs me to point this out to them, but lingerie used to be known as “foundation garments” for a very good reason: it really is the foundation of your wardrobe, and can be the difference between an outfit that looks just OK – or worse.

If you’re anything like me, though, chances are you’ve been doing lingerie all wrong: I know I have.

When I looked through my lingerie drawer, you see, I found a large collection of gorgeous, lacy items, in a rainbow of different colours – none of which I actually wear – and then a much smaller collection of black and nude basics… which are pretty much ALL I ever wear. Now, you don’t have to be some kind of style guru to know that this is totally the wrong way round: I should be investing most in those ‘everyday’ essentials, which form the basis of the vast majority of my outfits, but, instead, I just kept on having my head turned by the gorgeous – but impractical – items that didn’t actually get worn: not because I didn’t like them, but simply because they weren’t the right choice for me.

I wear mostly black or nude (or variations on nude, like pale pink or coral, say…) underwear simply because those colours don’t show through my clothes the way brighter ones tend to. I stick to simple outlines, unfussy styles and higher waists, because they create the smoothest silhouette, and don’t leave me with VPL, or any other ‘visible underwear’ situation – which is obviously fine if that’s the look you’re going for, it’s just that… I’m not. Why, then, do I keep on buying the kind of lingerie that’s the exact opposite of the stuff I actually wear? Probably for the same reason I used to own dozens of cocktail dresses, when I rarely go to cocktail parties: because, like many people, I have a tendency to shop for my imaginary life, rather than my real one: and that has to stop.

Here, then, is what I was left with at the end of my clear-out…

(I do, of course, have more than one of each of these items – I’m not THAT into minimalism!)


I started wearing bralettes to sleep in when I was pregnant, and never looked back. These days, they form a large part of my lingerie collection: I love the fact that they can be pretty, while still being super-comfortable, and, as I wasn’t exactly blessed in the boob department, and therefore don’t need a huge amount of support, they’re as close as it gets to not wearing a bra, basically. The ones pictured here are part of a two-pack sent to me by DORINA, and they’re in my two favourite lingerie shades – black and coral/pink:

wardrobe essentials: lingerie

I do have some lingerie in other colours, but, these are the two I wear most often, for the simple reason that they’re the ones that require the least mental effort from me when I’m getting dressed in the morning. The blacks go under darker clothes, the nude/pinks work under lighter shades, and they all mix and match effortlessly: because, yes, OF COURSE I’m the kind of person who insists on matching underwear at all times. Would you seriously expect anything else from me?

These particular bralettes are everything I love about this style of lingerie: soft lace that’s comfortable enough to wear all day long (And even sleep in, if you so desire), plus a longline shape which is my very favourite style for bras: I love the way it gives the bralette a bit of a retro-inspired look, and although these are my ‘everyday’ bralettes, the combination of the luxe fabric and longline style gives them a very glamorous feel, which is always a good thing to be able to say about lingerie. The brand launched in Germany in the 60s, and aim to create beautiful – but still practical – pieces of lingerie which help women feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, regardless of their body shape. It’s so refreshing to find a brand which aims to cater to ALL women, rather than just to one particular shape, and when you find one that’s eco-conscious too, I think that’s definitely cause for celebration, don’t you?

lingerie used to be known as “foundation garments” for a very good reason: it really is the foundation of your wardrobe, and can be the difference between an outfit that looks just OK – or worse.

As for the brand, Dorina have been making lingerie since 1968, so they really know their stuff, and, as well as having a strong commitment to sustainable fashion (All of the packaging and hangers are recyclable or biodegradable, and they aim to increase their use of eco fibres to 40% by next autumn), they also refuse to airbrush their models, which is refreshing, no?

As well as bralettes, I also have a small selection of:

  • t-shirt bras

  • push-up bras

  • sports bras

  • “Just for fun” bras

The first three on this list are generally chosen for their ability to disappear under clothes, and not create any awkward lumps and bumps. The final category, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of all of that, and is basically an excuse to keep some of those gorgeous-but-totally-impractical numbers (Not that the two have to be mutually exclusive, of course: there’s plenty of ‘practical’ lingerie out there that’s still really pretty – you just have to find it!), because I’m not some kind of martyr, people, we have to be allowed to have SOME fun, right? (And, actually, I think it’s a good idea to have a “Just for Fun” section in ANY capsule wardrobe – it helps keep things a bit more interesting, which can only be a good thing…)

lingerie capsule wardrobe


What can I say, folks: I like big knickers, and I cannot lie. They may not be sexy (Although, I actually think they can be, in that ‘retro-bombshell’ kind of way…), but damn, are they comfortable – and, if your knickers aren’t comfortable, that’s going to just totally ruin your day, isn’t it? In terms of comfort, I’ve long since discovered that I favour high-waisted, high-coverage styles, which are perfect under dresses, or anything skin-tight, really, because they help smooth everything out, without adding any VPL. I also have a selection of seamfree boy-shorts, though, which are almost as comfortable, but even less likely to show through your clothes, so perfect for wearing under bodycon dresses (Not that I have the opportunity to wear many of those, these days, mind you…), and the like.

As always, the guiding principle here is investing in/keeping the kind of things I know I’ll wear, than having drawers (No pun intended) stuffed with scratchy, lacy items that are just too uncomfortable to wear: and it’s a principle I’ve been busy applying to the rest of my wardrobe too, so click the image below for some more posts on capsule wardrobes, minimalism and more…

see more capsule wardrobes

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books by Amber Eve
  • Myra


    Having a baby makes you evaluate your wardrobe. You find comfort and practicality takes precedence from the moment they’re born. You don’t want cocktail dresses covered in baby body fluids, and you want to be closer to the ground, than high heels allow, when you’re chasing a toddler.?

    December 18, 2019
  • Pregnancy and postpartum life really do make it easy to fall in love with bralettes, for exactly the reason you say here: they’re so comfy, but it’s nice to know they’re also a little fun and sexy! Knowing I have pretty lingerie on underneath it all makes being in the trenches of parenting a lot more bearable some days!

    December 23, 2019
  • Mary Katherine


    Brilliant statement about buying clothes for our “imaginary lives” – right?!?!?! And I would love to be able to wear a bralette outside the house. Or anything less than industrial-grade. Oh well – imaginary body as well! Great post.

    December 26, 2019
  • Selina


    M&S do packs of VPL seamless high waisted knickers I’ve been living in for a few years. So comfortable. Expensive but worth it

    January 11, 2020