What’s the fastest-growing market for fashion lingerie? Teen club girls? Gaga wannabes? Guess again.
According to a report published in UK’s Daily Mail, women in their 40s and 50s are turning more and more to risqué lingerie pieces that are typically associated with women half their age.
Retailers are calling it the “cougar effect”, as middle-aged women make room in their undies drawers – all those granny panties and control-tops – for a few thongs, basques and even a push-up bra or two.
And who’s to blame for this madness? You can point your finger at a couple of shapely screen stars who have defied both age and gravity over the years – Courtney Cox of TV’s Cougartown and Sex and the City maneater Kim Cattrall. At 53, Cattrall (above) still has plenty of sizzle and will no doubt have tongues wagging again when SATC returns to the big screen later this month and Samantha devours a few more boy toys, no doubt.
Meanhwile, fashion houses are busy developing product lines to reach this new and growing market, much as they’ve done over the past few years to create more stylish lingerie lines for the plus-sized consumer.
One of the first out the door is the UK’s venerable Marks and Spencer, which this year introduced the Portfolio line of sexy intimates for the plus-40 crowd. Images below show a few samples from the M&S line; though, if you ask me, it’s not an impressive collection. There’s something oddly un-sexy in a very British way about the M&S approach. Still, points for trying. (By the way, M&S can be hard to find in America – best to try their online shopping options at marksandspencer.com
Watch for more and better offerings from European and North American designers that blend sexy styling with consideration for the unique contours of older women. In the meantime, hit the treadmill. You’ll thank me later.