Evolution of Nude Lingerie

PhotoGrid_1413244539372Crayola retired “flesh” in 1962. This year, the lingerie industry says good-bye to “nude” bras, panties and shape wear.

In Top Drawer Lingerie’s Trend Presentation for Houston Bloggers, buyers Mary Bates and Heather Skonberg named “Skin Tones” as a break-out trend for Spring/Summer 2016. Consumers will see a buffet of skin-tone shades available with names like cream, chai, biscuit, mocha, cappuccino, caramel, and espresso.

We’ve known for a long time that women have different skin tones. When fashion experts refer to “nude” hosiery, lingerie, or shoes, they mean items that matched a person’s particular skin tone.

Confusion came when fashion designers and manufacturers named a particular color “nude.” Consumers  bought “nude” shoes thinking they would make their legs look longer even though the color of the shoes didn’t match the natural color of their legs. Women bought “nude” lingerie” thinking that it would be invisible under sheer clothing even though the color of the bras and panties didn’t match the actual tone of their skin. Madness ensued.

Naming an actual color “nude” created chaos… and controversy about the social implications and judgements the color “nude” symbolized.

Over the last decade, lingerie manufacturers have broadened the color spectrum by adding a rainbow of beiges and browns so consumers have choices that actually match their skin tones. Momentum has been building as more companies retire the color “nude” and rename the skin tone color range. Now there’s a rainbow of colors to match everyone…from cafe au lait to full strength turkish coffee.


Leave a reply