Vintage-inspired lingerie is so au courant these days that the revival of interest in bloomers shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Or should it?
While the romantic and feminine appeal of, say, a bias-cut slipdress is fairly clear, the bloomer trend is a bit more mystifying. Are bloomers sexy, or just infantilizing?
We’re not sure, but we do know that bloomers — whether long or short, ruffled or embellished with lace and ribbon — are back. Below you’ll find a few different styles and sources to choose from.
The bloomer, of course, is an undergarment that dates back to Victorian times. Traditionally the bloomer was rather baggy with a cinched cuff, usually just above the knee, and was meant to protect the modesty of the lady wearing it.
The new bloomer, however, comes in many different shapes and sizes and is all about being flirty rather than demure. These days, bloomers are not just seen as undergarments, but as a viable clothing option, and are the most recent in a long line of increasingly acceptable underwear-as-outerwear pieces. I mean, when the world’s sexiest woman™ wears them in public, trendinistas take note!
Long or short, if it’s a pair of bloomers you’re looking for there are plenty of places to find them.
For our money, the best modern bloomer styles on the market these days are coming from L.A. label Undrest. That’s the Nicolette bloomer and bra below, but it’s just one of several styles available. You can find Undrest bloomers on Anthropologie.com and many retail outlets, including their own shops.
Boho label Free People is also selling different versions of bloomers, but you need to check stock and their distribution points to see what’s available now. FP is selling the sheer mesh Only Hearts bloomer (below left) on their website, but we also like the ultra-vintage-esque Eyelet Bloomers (below right) in stretch cotton with long voile and ribbon trim.
If a short version is more your speed then check out American Apparel, which offers the Seersucker Bloomer in a variety of colors.
Pret-a-Surf makes a bright and printed bloomer (below), available at Shopbop.com with a balloon hem:
Meanwhile, Italian lingerie line Intimissimi offered both long and short white bloomers appropriate for the boudoir in their 2010 summer collection. These may be the sexiest bloomers on the market these days, but alas, as we’ve mentioned before, they’re not available in North America.
Finally, Etsy is also awash in bloomer mania with lingerie designers like Under the Root offering their own vintage-style versions called bloomettes. That’s UTR’s cute Banniki set featured in the main photo at the top of this post.
If you’re looking at bloomers as more of a style statement than an undergarment, there is always the option of wearing them solo, in lieu of pants, (a la Kate B. above) However, we would recommend going simple for the rest of your outfit. Too many other ruffles or girlie elements will just make you look like a woman playing dress up with Halloween already past.
Whether you decide to shun or embrace this trend, keep it private or bring it into the light of day, we can be sure of one thing — bloomers will remain a conversation starter for quite some time to come.