The Hierarchy of Lingerie

The Lingerie Hierarchy I

It’s been a busy week.

The #DiversityinLingerie campaign was launched into the bragosphere, and I wrote a guest post over at The Full Figured Chest.

The post on TFFC centers around lingerie for “older women”, and in it I say that greater lingerie availability in sizes 14-18 would help us aging old decrepit women stay out of fuzzy blue flannel.   I touched on extended sizes again, in my #DiversityinLingerie post, announcing my hope that by featuring size 14-16 “straight size” lingerie on models and in ad campaigns, manufacturers would design and produce more in those sizes, which retailers would stock (and I could buy).

And somewhere around 11:30 on Tuesday night, I realized I had a Maslow’s Hierarchy problem with lingerie. Because any sane and maturing lingerie lover would have certainly focused on that damnable, hated age thing. Right?

My midnight epiphany was that I am in extreme danger of never realizing my “self-actualized lingerie self”, since I can’t get past the second level of The Lingerie Hierarchy.

The Lingerie Hierarchy I
The Lingerie Hierarchy I

Yes, I’ve made significant progress: I’ve figured out my bra fit, and have found a way to purchase them (mostly online). I’ve learned how to spot a promising loungewear piece (have I ever mentioned I’m a loungewear fanatic?). I’m great at cruising department stores and shopping sales to sate my growing lingerie lust, and I’ve even purged my panty drawer of those horrid things called underwear and am replacing them with those pretty pieces that can be called “panties”.

But I’ve hit a wall. I want more. I want design and innovation and cutting edge lingerie. I want what big girls like me aren’t supposed to have…and I’m angry I can’t have it. And since I’m stuck in this you-can’t-have-it lingerie vacuum, I can’t progress to the next stage of the Lingerie Hierarchy – curating my lingerie collection.

I’m stuck somewhere between Safe Frumpy Mama and  Sexpot of Your Dreams. And while I am sometimes a Play-it-Safe Mama, I never want to be frumpy. And I really enjoy being a sexpot, but I want to be the Sexy Sophisticated Sexpot in the retro-modern bra and panty set, wearing glasses and holding a hand-shaken margarita (served up, please).

How can I progress to talking about lingerie for the long-toothed when I’m so limited by size? It’s like I’m in an ice cream parlor and drinking water, people!

I want THIS.


And this.


So, if you wondered why the old broad didn’t talk about age in #DiversityinLingerie…now you know why. I’m still stuck on size, and I will be stuck here until design meets demand.

Lingerie designers, give me some lingerie in sizes 14-18. Some modern style, something cutting edge…something we haven’t seen before.

So, what do you think? Should designers fill the size gap? Are you in the 14-18 size range and searching for lingerie?


As always, I welcome (and hope for) input from my readers and fellow boob bloggers! Please comment on this post or drop me a line at info[at]

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9 Comment

  1. A hierarchy of lingerie is BRILLIANT! I think I’m still stuck in experimentation too on account of my size. I do know what I like, and I will always be trying new things. But, as far as consciously creating a style? I’m a ways off from that!

    1. I understand. I wonder if I’ll ever get there.

  2. Karen says: Reply

    OH GIRL I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. While most of my lingerie is pretty, embroidered, lacy, and basically non-frumpy, it could still be considered “basic”. I want more things like those strappy bras from Marlies Dekkers, or something that I could even wear under an unbuttoned blouse out at night. More cutting edge, more SENSUAL pieces for a fuller figure!

  3. I agree 100%!

  4. Tori says: Reply

    First, as a high school teacher in a low SES district, I am 100% enamored of your adaptation of Maslow’s Hierarchy to lingerie.

    Even if the results of it sort of depress me. I’m probably somewhere between Basics and Expansion right now, as I have a decent number of bras that almost fit but none that actually fit.

    This makes my secret dream of one day OWNING THE MATCHING PANTIES seem frivolous by comparison. But still… I continue to be irked in principle by the fact that I’m not sure I’ve found a single manufacturer from whom I could purchase both bra and panties if I wanted to.

    1. I know what you mean. So many of the matching panties are designed so they cut into my Mommy Roll. No way I’m buying those! I do think the Idina has high-cut matching panties, so I may try those! Currently, I cruise the sale racks at department stores looking for panties I like that match the few bras I have.

      And when I made that pyramid, I did have the thought…”Gee, I did learn something in high school!”.

      1. Tori says: Reply

        I’m at the pear torso (excusing the shoulders and the bosoms) facet of the body shape spectrum (how’s that for a complicated and mixed metaphor?). So I end up straddling both “straight” and “plus” full-bust sizes. That is, I need a bra with a 32 band and panties that will slide over, let alone accommodate, my US 20/22/(24?) sized bottom.

        So. Um. I buy a lot of plain beige and plain black underwear. 😉

  5. […] Wide curves got all theoretical with her hierarchy of lingerie. […]

  6. […] And it isn’t hard to see why. It comes down to what Wide Curves has brilliantly formulated as the hierarchy of lingerie, riffing off Maslow’s hierarchy of […]

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