French lingerie has long had a reputation for being exquisite, glamorous, and high quality. It's also known for its use of luxurious materials and just a dash of sensuality (but not overt sexiness). French fashion and the women who wear it have that certain "je ne sais quoi." There is just something about French lingerie, bras, and underwear that make them appealing, and they make whoever's wearing them feel attractive and confident.
French women take a special interest in their lingerie. Their trademark trick is always wearing matching bras and panties. They're also known for mixing up masculine and feminine vibes by letting a little bit of lace on a bra or bodysuit peek out from behind a tailored button-down shirt or blazer. C'est magnifique.
France has a long history of innovation and fashion design, and France has been a leader in the intimate apparel world. The first French patent for a bra was in 1889, the same year the Eiffel Tower was built. This new design began to replace the corset as a more freeing, comfortable, and fashionable way to support the bust. Since then, undergarments like bras, garter belts, and stockings have undergone massive changes. And the French seem to be at the front of the pack in lingerie.
There are many French imitators, brands with a French name that are not actually connected to France. Stay away from the imitation and try out the real deal. Check out these top French lingerie brands and do a little something special for yourself.
Based in Paris, this family-owned French business got its start in 1948 by Madame Simone Perele. Her "vision to liberate women and design lingerie that embraced a woman’s natural shape" is still alive in the company today. Now it's known for combining smooth, comfortable, and flexible materials like 3D Spacer molding, rich and exquisite color each fashion season, and stunning lace for everyday elegance.
The demi cut bra seen here is from the Delice collection. "Demi" is French for "half." This kind of popular bra style is a half cup bra, with about half the coverage of a full cup bra, and some say 10 times as much sex appeal.
Translated into English the name Aubade means "a morning song or poem." So it's no surprise that this company is known for light, dainty, and sweet fabrics.
This gorgeous French lingerie is all about seduction. The brand is also famous for exquisite detail and rich designs.
The style above, Passion Nocturne, is a great indication of the brand's layers of detail and marriage of fashion and technical design.
Though this brand specifically came to be in 1949, the company actually had its roots in a previous company that dated to 1876. Chantelle is known for carrying a wide range of sizes with stellar support and gorgeous French style. Chantelle is possibly the most dominant of the French brands on the international level, and its bras and lingerie are sold in upscale boutiques and department stores nationwide in the United States.
The Aeria Collection, seen here, is light, airy, and seductive.
Get ready for some flirty, French fun! This brand is newer to the scene than some of the older design houses. However, its seductive range of bras and underwear, slips and dresses, open front or quarter cup cuts, and playful accessories are made from the same French mindset as the others. What sets it apart from the rest is the slightly more dark and kinky offerings with a more modern look and feel.
Though it was born in France and run by a French staff, this brand has opened its first retail shop in New York City, so you can see it for yourself on this side of the pond.
If you want glamour and elegance, this French lingerie brand is for you. This company was founded near Lyon, France, known for its silk, in the 1950s. Since then, it has grown a reputation for creating decorative, sometimes over-the-top lingerie creations. This brand does not shy away from details, color, and lace and exudes a sophisticated vibe.
This chic Parisian brand got its start in 1946 when a young gymnast and an entrepreneur met on The Orient Express train. The gymnast, Lucienne, was nicknamed Lou. And the entrepreneur, Andres Faller, let his muse inspire him to create the lingerie brand. It's best known for modern touches, chic designs, and pops of color.
This French company specifically caters to lingerie lovers who are well-endowed. Empreinte bras go from size C to H cups. Since 1946, it's been perfecting a silhouette that gives the bust a more "projected" look. The more forward the bust, the less full it is on the side, a silhouette that the brand claims is not just attractive, but more even and balanced, too.
The Melody Bra, seen here, is an example of Empreinte's smooth cup styling with gorgeous details.
This fashionable French lingerie company was founded in 1930 near Lyon, France, and in recent years, this lingerie powerhouse design company created new options with its Elixir line for fuller busts and sophisticated swimwear like bikinis, one-pieces, and beachwear. It's best known for attention to detail, high-quality materials, and sophisticated designs.
This brand was founded by Herminie Cadolle in 1889 in Paris, and she is widely credited with inventing the modern bra that year as a result of her invention of a corset cut into two parts, with the lower part shaping the waist and the upper supporting the bust.
Throughout the years, this design house has continued to make innovative new designs in all types of lingerie. The Underpinnings Museum has several vintage Cadolle items on display in its online exhibitions, including a 1950s strapless black lace structured bra that is a design and fashion masterpiece.
Today, Cadolle is known for its dedication to luxury and creates sensual styles of bodysuits, bras and underwear, corsets, and other fine undergarments. It also provides made-to-measure custom bras and lingerie garments in its gorgeous Paris studio and shop.
Chantal Thomass, a sister brand to Chantelle, is the epitome of elegant feminine style, with oodles of satin, lace, and bows on its bras and panties, and embellished and seamed pantyhose and garter stockings. It's known for its cheeky, fashion-forward style of sensuality.
Princesse Tam Tam evokes a young vibe, with bright colors and creative designs. If you are not seriously well-endowed, you'll find a large selection of bras. Those who need larger cup sizes can still find something to like with this brand, but the selection is more limited. You'll also find a wide selection of nighties, pj's, robes, bodysuits, and leggings for lounging and sleeping. And if you're looking for swimwear, this is a brand to check out.