Lingerie Friday: Bodysuits

Annnd she’s back with Lingerie Fridays, my little weekly dose of lingerie design, inspiration and sewing. As if the dosage hasn’t been full-strength around here! And clearly it’s going all around: y’all have seen Maddie’s adorable new free pattern, the Amerson Undies, right? I can see some very cheeky bloomers popping up around the sewing webs. (Yes, a terrible pun…)

This week I’ve been thinking lots about bodysuits. More and more lingerie designers are catching on to their revival and the modern interpretations are in very lightweight yet surprisingly sleeking materials. But I’m a bit curious how I’d fit one into my wardrobe. Mostly they conjure up my occasional fantasy that I’m a svelte and angular dancer in a Merce Cunningham production.


My interest in this style piqued last summer when I first spotted this Zimmermann “Corsetierre” swimsuit at Anthropologie. It’s a swimsuit, but clearly taking its queue from underthings.


{Mimi Holliday Bisou Bisou, Mimi Holliday Pizazz, Huit Icone bodysuits}

What inspires me are the details–the waist definition, lace panels, keyhole backs and the effortless-looking fit designed to wrap the body. Sometimes I want a extra little shaping and smoothing. Am I just infected by the romanticism of their design? Your honest two cents: Do you own one? Would you wear them? With what?


  1. Helene says:

    Amy, they’re beautiful! Especially the one from Anthropologie. Yes, I’d wear them, in fact I used to wear similar bodysuits a little while ago… when I was a little younger, and… um, à little thinner 😉

  2. Lene says:

    I agree with Helen. I would wear them, if only I could make one (or many) myself, I would wear them all the time. I love the pretty floral one the most ….. Sigh!

  3. sarah says:

    I would not wear them. I hated bodysuits with a passion and would never wear one again. I would love to see more longline bras though — a waist-length version of that anthropologie suit as a longline bra would be gorgeous!

  4. Kazz says:

    I’d like to have a go at making a fancy one. I do have a horror story to tell, I did once see a lady who didn’t realize the clips at the crotch had come undone and the back of her body suit was hanging out over her jeans. The poor thing, I think I’d rather have loo roll stuck to my feet.

    I can just see you sewing up a stunning version of that Zimmerman, fancy pants you!

  5. Sallie says:

    my underwear drawer is far too devoid of anything this beautiful! i’m not sure i’d totally know how to wear one – like under clothing? or just for “show”…? of course the zimmerman corset inspired swimsuit i would totally wear. and i’d know what to do with it! haha!! still these are all lovely…

  6. K-Line says:

    I do own one, and I love it! I’d own more if I could find affordable options and try them on first (buying them on spec is dangerous from a sizing perspective cuz they have to fit perfectly in so many places – and to lift – otherwise they’re not worth it). I can’t say mine gets a ton of wear, it’s not as comfy as, say, not wearing a body suit, but it really does look gorgeous.

    • Amy says:

      For that reason I rarely buy lingerie online anymore unless I know the brand fit really well. One thing I think it could solve is that problem I have with some of my low-backed summer dresses.

  7. I’m not sure I would wear a bodysuit as lingerie, although it is tempting because these are gorgeous! But it seems like it would be awkward to take off (I can just imagine the man’s response once that time comes, haha!).

    I would totally LOVE to have a swimsuit like the one above though and it’s giving me all kinds of ideas for this summer. For one, I’m thinking about Ralph Pink’s longline bra pattern as a swimsuit done up similarly to the one above. Ooooooh!

    • Amy says:

      You could totally frankenpattern a bra with an underwear pattern to come up with something like the Zimmerman swimsuit. Just fiddle with that length in the middle to get the right stretch!

  8. poppykettle says:

    I’d love to own one. Unfortunately… buying RTW means you have just that many more standardised measurements to fit into before you can actually get a good fit. And with a long body like mine, that’s nigh on impossible. Unless of course… we can make our own!! It’s on the sewing bucket list, for sure. Just as soon as I get around to finishing my bra muslin…

    • Amy says:

      And I’m so short waisted! Most one pieces fit me but are often way too low cut (again, short waisted). It’s on my very near bucket list!

  9. Amber H says:

    I’d have to sew one too! I always wondered why one piece swimsuits never fit me, and it’s because of how ‘endowed’ I am for someone my height… either the top part wants to slide down and flash people, or the bottom wants to travel north! Very awkward I tell ya.

    Very pretty to look at of course, I love them all, especially the swimsuit from Anthropologie.

    • Amy says:

      Well, if they were the right length and coverage, you definitely wouldn’t have a quad! I’ll experiment for sure.

  10. Maddie says:

    No freaking way. I just finished creating all the posts for next week (since I’ll be out of town this week) and one was “What I Heart Now: Bodysuits.” Our minds are in the same place so it seems. I’m with you – I like bodysuits but have no idea how to incorporate it into my wardrobe. Looks like a “How I Wore It” post is on the horizon.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I have a vintage DKNY silk blouse body suit. I don’t know if that’s really what you had in mind, since it has only a partial lingere element, but, I love that it keeps the button down shirt sleek looking and you don’t have to worry about constantly tucking it in (I’m long waisted)! Plus, it’s super feminine and fits great, and Donna Karan was awesome at making this kind of stuff in the 80s/90s.

  12. Stephanie says:

    If you are wondering how to wear one, especially the very sheer or lacy suits shown here, I think they are wonderful layering pieces under the jersey knit dresses and shirts that have the exaggerated arm holes, or t-backs, wrap fronts, or very deep v necks. The idea being that you only see them partially, but they also provide coverage. I think they look great with jersey knits because of the contrast of pretty frilly with comfort.

  13. Kait says:

    Loooove them. My posture automatically improves whenever I slip one on, probably because I used to dance. =P And so of course, I feel elegant wearing them.

    I think stretchy cotton ones are the nicest, and make excellent sleepwear. Usual nightgowns and pants, always bunch up with movement, which is why I’m hooked on night rompers. =)

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