According to global market intelligence publisher Euromonitor, the UK lingerie market is valued at £2.47bn. Market research specialist Mintel reports that shapewear accounted for 30% of the market in 2016.

If these stats are true, the UK shapewear market is worth an impressive £741 million. Mintel’s 2016 Underwear report also found that 13% of lingerie consumers purchase shapewear. Having shown the importance of this solution-based product, what are consumers looking for when purchasing shapewear in 2017?

Shapewear’s substandard reputation

I have been a part of the lingerie industry for over 25 years. In the last 12 years, I have worked closely with three of the biggest global shapewear brands from the USA and Canada. During this time, I have seen major changes within the shapewear market in the UK. Today, stylists and celebrities regularly talk about shapewear on TV and radio.

As a result, anything and everything “named” shapewear flooded the market and sold. Sadly, in those times, the majority of shapewear sold was no better than a “big pair of knickers”. Shapewear subsequently acquired a reputation for being ill fitting, uncomfortable and non-effective. Shapewear trends overshadowed a perfectly good product!

Shapewear trends – are they still relevant?

The buzz is over and we are now back to basics. Consumers are looking for effective, good quality shapewear for everyday use. Whilst it’s always refreshing to see a fashion detail in a shapewear garment, simplicity is key. Functionality is what matters most to the consumer. Shapewear trends only lasted as long as the consumer was happy!

Some brands report there is a new “trend” for everyday shapewear. They claim that the “special occasion” garment is now worn regularly. Every day shapewear has always been available from the global manufacturers and continues to evolve. Better manufacturing technology and new high-performance fabrics allow designers to create performance garments from lighter, tactile fabrics.

Every day shapewear is driven by a demand for styles to be worn under any outfit. These styles are often lighter and considered “smoothing” rather than controlling.  There has been a significant shift from firm fabrics that restrict and compress.

However, according to the Underlines Annual Shapewear Report, Miraclesuit Shapewear remains the top selling US brand. The company creates firm and extra firm control shapewear that slims and sculpts the body. In contrast, fabric innovations have allowed them to develop softer feeling garments with fewer seams.

This indicates a high demand for firm shapewear, although it is clear to see that Miraclesuit Shapewear are leaning towards a lighter feel. Shapewear trends are over! Lingerie brands should only strive to create convenient products!

If the garments do their job, they do not need to follow fashion colours, lace or print. Quality shapewear will provide women with garments that slim, enhance and flatter their figure.

Struggling with your shapewear strategy?

We can provide your company with retail and business solutions that are designed to suit your budget and needs! Whether you’re an established or a start up lingerie brand, we specialise in the following areas to help you:

  • Management – Recruitment, bra fitting courses, branding.
  • Analysis – Financial, budget or market research.
  • Planning – Advertising, shop design and range planning.
  • Buying – Pricing, products and fashion trends.
  • Merchandising – Stock turn, promotions… and much more!

Call our friendly team today on 01702 291 524 and take a step towards becoming a better lingerie business! Additionally, click here to read my previous blog about the impact of shapewear on the body.