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Lingerie Guide for Older Women

By Sandra Roussy January 09, 2024 Beauty

Are you unsure about what lingerie styles suit you best? As we get older and our bodies and lifestyles change, so do our choices of clothing items. Lingerie can be the one that gets the most intimidating as we get older.

Here Are Our Top 7 Lingerie Items for Older Women:

  1. Ultra Light Bali style – This bra has adjustable, convertible straps, breathable lightweight underwire cups with sheer details, full coverage, and a double back hook-and-eye closure. Features like Comfort-U Design and 2-ply back provide stay-in-place comfort and a smooth look.
  2. ENBLISS Bralette – This exclusive bralette is exceptionally soft and supportive and allows you to customize your shape with removable cups, providing modesty or a natural look as desired.
  3. STUNNING STARLET Multi-Way Strapless Bra – This bra offers versatile wear with removable, convertible straps for five styles: traditional, strapless, halter, crisscross back, and one shoulder.
  4. VANITY FAIR Perfectly Yours Ravissant Nylon Full Brief – This brief offers reliable full coverage with comfortable elastic around the legs and a smooth covered elastic waistband for a perfect fit. 
  5. BALI Light Tummy-Control Lace Support 2pk Brief – This brief offers light shaping and control, with pretty floral lace on the tummy panel, lining at the gusset, and smooth sides and back for an overall sleek look under clothes.
  6. VANISHING EDGE Microfiber Cheeky HipsterWith a cheeky back that stays in place, it’s versatile for any outfit, from party dresses to work attire. Featuring Vanishing Edge® technology, it ensures no ride, no roll, and no show, with silicone at the leg openings. The panty has a medium rise, soft elastic waistband, and is tag-free with a breathable 100% cotton gusset lining.
  7. B.TEMPT’D BY WACOAL Lace Kiss Lingerie Chemise NightgownThis stylish and easy-to-wear chemise is perfect for layering under a dress or creating a sexy look. The stretchy all-over lace body and double lace stretch straps add a touch of sophistication and femininity. 

Read on to discover many more recommended lingerie options throughout the article.

My Professional Days

As a fashion designer, I designed collections for major retailers for many years in Canada, and I specialized in lingerie over the course of my career. I truly enjoyed choosing fabrics and trims, creating color combos, and designing collections that women loved to wear. Although I am no longer a fashion designer, I still have the guilty pleasure of enjoying lingerie (a lot)!

I always feel confident when I know I’m wearing something special under my clothes – something that is comfortable, that doesn’t dig into my skin, and that provides a nice silhouette under my clothes.

As I got older, I noticed that my personal taste in clothing changed. That included my choice of lingerie pieces as well. Was it because my body was changing? Was it because my lifestyle was also changing? I think it’s a combination of factors that make us choose different styles, fabrics, and cuts as we get older.

I can remember the days in the 80s and 90s of the past century when I swore by thong and string panties and wore practically nothing else. Today, my lingerie collection has zero thongs, zero string undies. Not a single one.

Not that there is anything wrong with wearing thongs as we mature, but personally, I look for more comfortable undies that don’t dig in or leave marks. But, by no means does this mean that my lingerie is frumpy and old school. There are plenty of lacy, sexy, and comfortable lingerie out there for us sexy and confident mature women.

NOTE: I know most of the models in the photos below don’t represent our community. These photos are taken from the retailers’ websites. Obviously, there’s still some work to be done in the fashion industry in regards to ageism.

What to Look for in Lingerie for Older Women


Natural and organic fibers are always a good idea when it comes to choosing underwear. Natural fabrics breathe better and have natural wicking features that keep skin dryer.

Microfiber is also a comfortable fabric that tends to retain less moisture and dry faster than cotton. This can be a suitable choice for you if you live in a climate with high humidity. 




A well-styled bra or panty will generally fit better. The cups will be well-formed without putting pressure on the chest area and elastics will be soft but firm. Hardware like rings and sliders are better when made of lead-free metal rather than plastic.


Did you know that you are probably wearing the wrong size bra? Studies show that up to eight women out of ten are not fitted with the proper bra size.

Keep reading to find out how to find your ideal bra size and ensure that the one you’ve got on is giving you the right kind of support.


Look at care labels and make sure that you will be able to provide the necessary washing and drying instructions. Lace typically has to be hand washed, and if you live a busy life or simply don’t want to hand wash, maybe that shouldn’t be your first choice.

Bras for Older Women

When it comes to bras, the options are diverse, and your decision will lay on factors like your lifestyle, budget, and specific needs.

Types of Bras

Underwire Bras

Underwire bras like this Ultra Light Bali style provide the most support. The wires should comfortably sit under the arm area behind the breast. The wires should not poke nor hurt.

Bali - One Smooth U Ultra Light Shaping Underwire Bra 3439

Wireless Bras

Wireless bras such as Playtex Secrets are more comfortable than wired bras. Because they are not as supportive as wired bras, they should be well constructed to provide adequate support.

Playtex Secrets Perfectly Smooth Wirefree Bra

T-shirt Bras

T-shirt bras are made with molded cups and don’t have any seams. They are often made of cotton and provide a sleek look under clothing. Personally, these have been my everyday bras for years. They can be designed with or without underwires.

Vanity Fair Beauty Back Smoothing Full-Figure Contour Bra 76380

Demi Bras

As the name suggests, demi bras don’t cover the entire breast. They are not recommended for the fuller ladies as they don’t provide enough support and may cause the breasts to spill out. However, they are perfect for smaller chested women.

Demi Bras


Bralettes such as the ENBLISS have become popular in the past years and are not solely for the younger women to wear. They are pulled over the head and generally don’t have wires or hard parts like metal closures. They are considered minimal support bras and are great to sleep in (but a little difficult to get in and out of.)

ENBLISS Bralette

Specialty Bras

Some bras are designed for specific purposes.

Sports Bras

As the name suggests, sports bras are made to keep you supported while doing physical activities. They provide the maximum support to keep the girls from moving too much while you are being active.

WACOAL Sport Contour Underwire Bra

Push-Up/Padded Bras

On other fashion articles I have written for Sixty and Me some of you have shared that you have lost a significant amount of breast size. Push-up bras and padded bras can provide the little extra oomph you need.

Front-Fastening Bras

Front-fastening bras like this Playtex model are a godsend for women with arthritis or problems with their wrists or shoulders.

front-fastening bra Playtex

Minimizing Bras

For those with large bosoms, minimizing bras can help create a nice silhouette.

minimizing bra

Racer Back Bras

Racer bras are bras that are crossed at the back and very handy when wearing sleeveless tops that have a racer back. Many of these bras often have transformable straps for more versatility.

Women's Zip Front Sports Bra

Strapless Bras

Strapless bras like this one from Soma are great for the times when your top or dress reveals the shoulder area.

strapless bra from Soma

For a few more examples of bras for older women read this article 10 BEST BRA OPTIONS FOR OLDER WOMEN.

Bra Tips and Tricks

Support in the Band

The part of the bra that provides the most support is the band and not the straps. It’s important that you get the proper size so the band is well fitted.

Right Size

Bras usually come with 3 sizes of closure options. Your new bra should fit at the middle hook. You may have to move one size over as your bra gets older.

Annual Fitting

Our bodies are constantly changing which means we may need to change our bra size several times throughout our lives. It’s better to embrace change than to wear a wrong-fitting bra.

Here are a few suggestions for finding the right bra size for your body:

  • You can go to stores specializing in lingerie to get a professional fitting. They will take the necessary measurements and suggest the best size and styles for you.
  • You can also measure yourself with a measuring tape at home. First measure around under your bust for your band size. Then measure around and across your nipples for your cup size.  Subtract the difference between these two measurements to find your bra size. Here’s an example: if your bust measures 37” and your under-bust measures 34” you’ll need a 34C (37 minus 34 equals 3 and that number corresponds to a C cup).
  • Some online retailers have technicians standing by to help you find the right bra. Open a chat box and get the advice you need.


It’s time to change your bra when it doesn’t support you as much as before. All bras lose their elasticity and support features as they get older and go through the many, many washes. You will notice that a well-styled bra that is made of quality fabric (and more expensive) will last longer than a cheaper bra made with lesser quality fabric and construction materials.

How do you know if your bra is still supporting you properly? Simple – test the fit of your bra by dropping down the straps from your shoulders to see how much support the band and the cups are still providing your breasts.

If everything gets exposed and goes south, it’s time to get a new bra that has better support. If everything stays mostly in place it means that the shoulder straps are not the support system for your bra – which is a good thing!

Health Issues

Look for front-fastening bras if your mobility is compromised by arthritis or other issues with your hands or shoulders.


Panties for Mature Women

All panty styles can be made of cotton, lace, nylon, spandex mixes, polyester, bamboo, lyocell etc. and come in solid colors or in various prints.

Types of Panties

The names we call the types of panties (undies or knickers in the UK) vary from country to country. This is a basic list of types that you will find (with North American lingo.)

Classic Brief

Briefs are panties that provide the most coverage of all the panty types. Classic briefs, which are sometimes called granny panties, sit very high on the waist and provide full coverage at the back.

Vanity Fair Perfectly Yours Ravissant Nylon Full Brief Underwear

High Cut Brief

The high cut brief is designed with a larger leg opening. These can be more comfortable to wear for some women while still providing adequate coverage at the back. High cut briefs offer a more revealing look, showing more leg.

Control Brief

As the name suggests, control briefs offer a front or back control panel to offer a trimming look to the tummy and buttocks.


The hipster panty style like the VANISHING EDGE Microfiber Cheeky Hipster offers a good amount of coverage but sits lower on the waist.

hipster underwear


Bikini panties resemble the hipsters but are designed with less side coverage. They still offer coverage at the back but reveal more leg.

Hanes Cool Comfort® Women's Cotton Bikini Panties 6-Pack

Boy Shorts

Boy shorts resemble men’s boxer briefs and sit low on the waist while covering most of the back area.

Maidenform Dream Boyshort


These panties offer no buttock coverage and are good to wear under garments that are form fitting. Thongs are the go-to panties if you don’t want any revealing panty lines. But they can be uncomfortable for many women.

TellTale The Dreamer Thong

Seamless Panties

Seamless panties are usually made of a specialty fabric that is laser-cut and molded with the least seams. Typically, these styles offer a cotton crotch. They are great for minimizing the look of panty lines and are often used when doing sports.

Panty Tips


Your panties should first and foremost be comfortable. The style is completely up to you and will probably change as you get older. What was comfortable when we were 22 is probably not comfortable when we are 65. Heck what was comfortable at 55 may not be comfortable at 65. You should not “feel” your panties as you go about your day.


The fabric should breathe, absorb, and wick moisture. Cotton and natural fibers like bamboo, for example, are good choices. If you do opt for lace panties or man-made fabrics make sure that the crotch area is made of cotton and that it is big enough.


Your panties should fit properly and not dig into your waist or thighs. This can cause them to reveal panty lines under your clothes. Not very elegant! Remember to change your panty size as your body changes over the years.


Panties with fewer seams look better under clothes. Look for laser cut or seamless panties for the best look.

HINT: White panties or bras are not the best underwear to wear under white clothing. Many women make this mistake. Choose nude (or flesh) colored underwear. Some brands offer them in a variety of shades to match various skin tones.

Special Occasions Lingerie for Older Women

Now for the sexy lingerie! Do you wear sexy lingerie because it boosts your confidence? Do you enjoy wearing it to feel sexy with your partner? Either way, it’s always good to have a few pieces of lingerie that are made for those special occasions – lacey, frilly, transparent, and OO-LA-LA!


Babydolls typically have a bra-like top part with a flowy bottom part that covers the hip area.

Avidlove Women's Chemise Nightgown Babydoll


Teddies (or bodysuits) like this one are a one-piece lingerie item that is often made with lace or sheer fabrics. These styles can be flattering and make you look taller.


Silk, satin, or lace slips are very comfortable and are easy to wear.

b.tempt'd by Wacoal Lace Kiss Chemise Nightgown

Best Lingerie for Older Women

Choosing lingerie as older women is a very personal experience. The fabric, the color, and the style will all depend on your personal taste, lifestyle, and preference. Of course, we expect sexy lingerie to be less comfortable than our cotton briefs, but we should still feel comfy without anything poking into our skin.

Sexy has no age!



Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are your favorite lingerie items? Has your style changed as you have gotten older? Tell us what you like to wear now. How is it different from before? Leave your comments below.

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kelly c.

I can remember during the ’90s when VS made the notion of wearing a thong as underwear, was considered a very “shocking” thing lol! There was an element to marketing them as (somehow?) being as “liberating” as when bikini underwear had replaced girdles in the ’60s. I’d thought that, too — BACK WHEN MY WAIST WAS A 26(!).

Loving one’s body “naked” is, actually, a very difficult and depressing thing to do. I don’t want to be 56 instead of, say, 36….I don’t want to be fifteen pounds heavier than what I feel is the “ideal weight” I’d like to (try to!) slim down to. Soooo: at this stage, “sexy” (for me) IS ALL ABOUT *ATTITUDE*; as well as being confident in realizing that my husband and best friend of 27 years loves/cherishes/honors THAT in our relationship (without materially comparing me to younger women or some photoshopped aberration — which, if ever either of those two things DID happen: I’d promptly throw him out ha!).

Sandra Roussy

I love your attitude, Kelly!! :)

The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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