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22 September 14

Lingerie Insights From Elisabeth Dale, The Breast Life


Elisabeth Dale from The Breast Life is a well respected and extremely passionate breast expert and author. We wanted to delve into her thoughts about the lingerie industry, where it is and where it's going.


elisabeth-dale the breast life


1. What has been the biggest change in lingerie business over the last ten years?

Obviously the extension of band and cup sizes has been fabulous, with brands now specializing in full cup, plus size, or even smaller cup sizes. Most of all I've seen more niche marketing for specific body and breast types (as in more small band, deep cup brands). Additionally there are now more brands catering to feminine nursing bras, while others are focused on providing stylish lingerie answers to post-mastectomy patients. Lingerie brands are expanding to provide lifestyle solutions, whether that is incorporating shapewear into panty designs or designing convertible bras that have more functionality. There's also been more science and style applied to sports bras, so that some can be worn on their own, not just under gym and other yoga wear.

2. Where do you see it in another ten years?

I think we will continue to see a trend of more pretty bra straps, and other strappy styles that cross the line from underwear to outerwear. Fabric blends will continue to blur the line between shapewear/swimwear/loungewear/and be incorporated into more casual wear (from yoga to now more casual pants).

I'm excited to see innovations in science that would allow women to get a more affordable custom made lingerie product. For instance, if 3D body scanning technology becomes readily available on phones. That would be a game changer.

3. What would you like to see happen within the industry?

I'd like to see more diversity in lingerie models and blogging perspectives, not just in size and ethnicity but also in physique and age. It would be great if more women could see themselves in advertisements, as well. Too often women critique their own bodies when comparing themselves to fashion models. And the focus on youthful lingerie models is limiting. We buy these undergarments from the time we develop until we die, so where's all the feminine and beautiful lingerie for 40+ women? Consumers also need to be made aware that there are more choices in lingerie styles than just the popular t-shirt or contour bra. Most women I speak with and talk to about the bra industry aren't even aware that bras are made beyond the A to D range!! Some customers are underserved simply because they aren't aware of all the possibilities.

4. What is something the people within the industry should be doing but aren’t?

I think everyone needs to quit talking about how women are in the wrong size bra. Instead, we should be respecting their intelligence and help women find bras that fit their lifestyle and body type. Let's be honest and tell customers that not all bras fit the same and that they might wear more than one size--so maybe they'll quit blaming their bodies when they're bra shopping. I'd also like to see women encouraged to approach lingerie shopping the way they do their other fashions, recognizing seasonal changes. (We're always quick to buy new stylish shoes but not so much a bra.) And although everyone seems to agree that social media is very powerful, I don't think every business takes full advantage of it to connect with consumers and get feedback on products. Retailers often ignore their websites or brands don't have much of a presence on social media platforms. There could be more back and forth and education going on from both sides, even though I realize this takes more time and effort. But it would increase brand loyalty, especially if women were offered simple ways to understand the practicalities of different bra sizes and styles. It is really about celebrating and embracing a diversity of women's tastes, ages, and body types.

5. What is your favourite piece of advice you give to other businesses?

Be clear about your business brand and mission. If you don't have what your customer needs, help them find it -- even if you have to send them to a competitor. It's all about providing customers with solutions to intimate problems.





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