Lingerie sellers say business is up 10 to 25 percent from last year this holiday shopping season. This makes sense because lingerie is cheaper than clothing, right? Well no, not necessarily. Thanks to the spring 2010 runways, lingerie is clothing now. Lingerie as outerwear is already happening in London, where women wear corsets and other precarious undergarments to nightclubs. Apparently after we all open our Chrismukkah presents, we’ll be doing the same thing!
WWD says a top holiday gift in the lingerie category includes “long and short slips in rich colors that have a ready-to-wear look.” Though basics are selling well, the fashion undies are really where the money’s at this season.
Sheryl Schultz, director of trends for intimate apparel and accessories at J.C. Penney, said fashion is key. “We’re seeing real peaks in the top fashion end, and on the opposite end, basics are doing exceedingly well, which is what you would expect in this kind of economy. Where we try to give a little fashion but play it a little safe is where we’re not batting 1,000. The customer wants fashion.”
She adds she “absolutely” sees Penney’s panty division growing.
“We’re taking good notice of the runway, where many pieces considered underwear are being worn as outerwear, like corsets, teddies, garters and hosiery with lace details. So, this whole classification is something the high-end designers have taken a look at, and our customer is responding to it.”
Are visions of women running around in corsets, bras, and panties dancing in your head, and does this freak you out? No? Can’t picture it? Let’s hear from the CEO of Frederick’s of Hollywood:
“Our customer is responding to details that embellish and make an item special like feathers, fun patterns and anything accented with rhinestones. That’s why items such as our Vintage Glitz Bra, which sells for $34; Over the Top Bling Corset, priced at $64, and Embellished Feather Corset, for $89, are doing so well. Our fashion corsets also serve dual purposes and can be worn as innerwear or outerwear. That has always been an attractive feature to the Frederick’s customer.”
So the Frederick’s of Hollywood customer has perhaps always worn underwear as outerwear, and it is those styles that shall proliferate. Even dudes, who might think it would be great for women to run around in underwear, should be freaked out by this, because Frederick’s of Hollywood is probably the scariest store in the mall and there can be nothing appetizing about going to dinner with a chick who has feathers spilling out of her cleavage, catching crumbs and things. Ladies, if you want to wear things out of the house that previously weren’t fashion-approved for outdoors wear, get yourselves some sweatpants and call it a day.