"A seam in your crotch is like a cheesewire covered in sandpaper. Thongs are instruments of torture. Don’t even talk to me about knicker with tight elastic on the legs, or god help us, a non-breathable fabric gusset." - found in The Lingerie Addict
I have made some serious rants in the past about the sizing and fit of lingerie and now at last I can finally tell you what I have been doing about it! Since I stated the business back in March of 2011 with just an idea that I could possibly make my own lingerie I have been exploring vintage patterns and modern techniques in a journey to create a simple pair of pants that was fit to purpose. The quote from The Lingerie Addict article pretty much sums up how I feel about fit. But having comfy panties does not mean they cant be dead sexy too. to emphasize my meaning below is a picture of two women in your typical bikini knicker. As you can plainly see the same design of pant does not suit both sizes. Plus it was incredibly difficult to find an image a mid-range plus size woman wearing underwear as most places sell knickers modeled by a UK12 or UK14.
The next set of pictures show a prototype I developed for a new way of cutting and fitting plus size panties in comparison with regular low rise panties on my long suffering intern (LSI) (who is also a size UK14). BTW: I have made all the images in greyscale because we are talking about bodies, not sex.)
The image on the left shows LSI with her normal low rise pants underneath the prototype. You can see the regular panties cut in at the waistline and start to create a "muffin top" effect. Also the legs are cut very low on the hip so every time she sits down, the pants begin to slide sown and off. The image on the right shows just the prototype. Instead of a muffin top, she has smoother more elegant curves and as the legs are cut to sit at the top f her leg, no drag AND her legs look much longer!
The industry has not changed in 30+ years. The same patterns, styles and methods are used. They take the one style that was designed for a size UK6 and then scale... Again here we see why that narrow thinking isn't appropriate. In the high street traditional low rise LSI looks like she has a very unflattering spare tire, a lumpy bum and a possibly deformed back, but in the prototype she has a smooth curvacious and cheeky shape.
The last photo shows how the prototype sits higher on the hips. The one thing I find many women, myself very much included, is the loss of my knickers in what I call the "rear creep". They slide down and then fall off while somehow managing to create one heck of a self wedgie.
But so far the prototype looks like basic high leg knickers - the innovations lie in the gusset! But I will cover that tomorrow in glorious Technicolor!