I’m normally the queen of all things frilly and flowery, but I’ve found myself being drawn recently to pieces that have a harder edge. All of these pieces have one thing in common: they’re modern wearable lingerie and outerwear pieces that are subverting looks traditionally associated with armor, battle emblems and coats of arms. There’s lots of menswear influenced lingerie out there, but I would argue that these sorts of pieces have an entirely different feel to them than pinstripes. Whether you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, King Arthur or just a medieval history nerd, there’s lots of love on this list.
1. Courage Shorts by With Love Lingerie
These black stretch silk shorts are basically elegant boxers, but the gold embroidery channels ancient emblems. It’s two different inversions of traditions that are inhabited by mostly men, which makes this a fascinating and fashionable piece.
2. Brass Lion and Gold Chain Black Elastic Leg Garter by With Love Lingerie
If you’re feeling really medieval, match the Courage Shorts with this amazing garter that features gold chains and a lion’s head. I think garter would be amazing as part of a full set, but equally at home under your favorite little black dress to give it an unexpected twist.
3. Sheer Grace Tank by Felice Art Couture
I’ve been following Felice Art Couture for awhile now, despite the fact that their line didn’t immediately grab me when it was released. Since then, I’ve realized that they’re trying to do some really subtle stuff that is genuinely different and innovative – I’m grateful that they’ve done well and stuck around. I’ve also grown to love their pieces where soft floral and patterned laces mimic harder textures. In this case, this tank top is the most elegant version of chainmail that I’ve ever seen.
4. Black Lolita Bra by Sunday Intimates
There aren’t lots of full bust bra designers working with leather-like materials yet, so this bra by Sunday Intimates represents a big step forward. Full bust ladies have been demanding “harder” looks for years to ago along with the red hot bondage inspired lingerie trend, so it’s nice to see a brand moving in that direction.
5. Karissa Harness Top by Rebecca Ansah
Rebecca Ansah’s first collection was functionally medieval mesh armor meets fabulous 80’s shoulderpads, so it’s not really a surprise to see her playing with similar ideas in her newest collection. This piece shows a definite historical influence being combined with modern bondage trends to create a piece that is equally at home layered as outerwear or worn as lingerie. Rebecca has been quietly showing a strong vision for several years now and I really hope she continues to put out pieces that have this kind of feeling to them.
5. Lola Skirt by Ava Corsetry
I’ve had a crush on this mesh skirt for ages now. It’s another piece that plays with the idea of hard and soft as well as male and female fashion traditions. It’s also the perfect layer for any lady knight’s lingerie ensemble. Like the harness top, you can wear it by itself or layered as outerwear. I can see it really shining with a brightly colored opaque layer underneath it.