The Capsule Underwear Collection You’ll Find in Every Grown-Up Lingerie Drawer


For many of us, underwear mainly serves as an afterthought when it comes to compiling an outfit. However, as any person who takes fashion as seriously as we do will likely tell you, every great ensemble should start with equally impressive lingerie. Now, that’s not to say that every bra and briefs you wear should be of the fancy variety. Of course, lacy styles have a time and a place (as do practical pieces), but the key is having items at your disposal that you can employ at a moment’s notice to enhance your outfit. We like to call this a lingerie capsule wardrobe. 

A well-rounded lingerie capsule will serve you well and make your outfits work harder. 

However, with so many options out there, it’s difficult to know the underwear you’ll get the most use out of as opposed to the styles that can sit for years on end without a single outing. To help, we’ve rounded up the items everyone needs in their lingerie capsule wardrobe that not only look good but will also make you feel even more confident in your clothes. And who doesn’t deserve a little ego boost once in a while?

A lingerie staple if there ever was one, a T-shirt bra is unrivalled in comfort and will provide your basic jersey tops with a flawless finish. This particular style has tonnes of five-star reviews. 

Much like silk lingerie, lace underwear is soft on the skin and will make you feel sexy regardless of what you’re wearing on top. Our favourite lace bra accompaniment? A cashmere cardigan.

A must under white shirting and dresses, find a nude bra that perfectly matches your skin tone and you’ll never have to worry about unsightly shine-through again. This pretty style from Calvin Klein comes in an array of hues. 

For dresses and tops with a low-cut front, a plunge bra is a must. Skin-coloured, sculpted cup, strapless… The plunge bra comes in many guises, including this luxe mesh number, which will look chic peeking out from underneath a V-neck knit. I have a bigger bust, and this is easily the best plunge bra I’ve tried. 

Find a good strapless bra, and it opens up a world of sartorial possibilities. This Wacoal bra comes with so many impressive reviews. 

After a working week of wearing structured undergarments, there’s nothing we love more than slipping on a soft-cup unwire bra on the weekends. Wear under a loosely buttoned shirt tucked into cigarette trousers for a gorgeous after-dark look.

If your thong-wearing days are behind you, we suggest reinstating at least one into your lingerie drawer. In our experience, they’re the only pair of under that actually offer the no-seam look, making them the perfect pants to wear under slip skirts or dresses that are cut close to the body.

Unlike Bridget Jones, we wear our high-waisted knickers like a badge of honour. Look for luxe textures or cool prints to banish any frumpy connotations. 

Akin to a hoodie or joggers, short underwear is ideal for days when comfort is required above all else.

For day-to-day wear, hipster or Brazilian briefs are our go-to—mainly because the VPL effect is minimal and you’re still provided ample coverage.

No stylish woman’s lingerie drawer is complete without a silk camisole. Olivia Palermo has said time and time again that she wears one underneath every outfit for extra warmth. It’s also ideal for layering underneath woolly jumpers, which are notorious for being itchy on bare skin.

Slip skirts might be a major trend, but we’re also fans of the lingerie iteration. We always have one on standby for dresses that come up slightly sheer upon wear whilst lace-trimmed styles look chic peeking out from underneath short hemlines.

Much like its skirt counterpart, the slip dress is essential for layering under sheer fabrics. If you dare, wear it as a garment in its own right—perhaps with a silk blouse or a chic blazer.

Bodies are more popular than ever, with many brands creating tops versions, too. As far as lingerie goes, we love nothing more than wearing them in tandem with unassuming garments, like jeans and and unbuttoned shirting. 

If desired, a pair of supportive pants will enhance your natural shape while giving you additional support than traditional undergarments. Personally, I swear by these. 

Give your silhouette a smooth-over with this firm slip. Unlike slinky styles, this dress fits neatly on your frame, making it more suitable for wearing underneath tighter clothing. 

Tights trends come and go but black opaques are for life. This pair from Heist offers ample coverage without looking too blocky on your legs whilst boasting a chic, matte finish.

Much like tights, we could discuss socks at length. Be it trainer, ankle or knee-high socks, we recommend investing in cotton, wool, or cashmere pairs. More breathable than synthetics, you’ll find they last significantly longer, too.

Okay, so we know it’s not technically lingerie, but we believe every woman needs a luxe robe in her life. Sling it on over your underwear to enjoy your morning coffee, and then wear it once again in the evening as you start your nighttime skincare regimen.

Next Up: These 19 Strapless Bras Have the Best Reviews

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