Brilliant Lingerie for Women Over 50: sexy and otherwise!

Before I get on to the subject of my specific favourite lingerie for women over 50, I’d like to say something about knickers or, as I unglamorously call them, pants.

At school huge gym knickers were de rigueur (well, they were back in the Dark Ages when I was a student). As a teenager, my pants became progressively smaller until they were no more than a couple of tiny triangles held together with some delicate ribbon. During my 30 year marriage, my lingerie very very gradually morphed into sensible knickers – roughly on a parity, come to think of it, with the decreasing number of times I was being chased around the boudoir. So nowadays I’m back right where I started in capacious full briefs.

So what lingerie should women over 50 be wearing? I bet the word ‘comfortable’ springs to mind. And I’m pretty sure we want to look as good as possible too. Well, if you are comfortable chances are you are more likely to feel confident. I always turn to M&S for my underwear – yes, there are lots of other brands out there but they seem so expensive in comparison. Here are my top picks from the huge range on offer at M&S:

I prefer the high waisted knickers because they cover your tummy and give you a smoother line.

Silk & Lace Floral Brazilian Knickers £15

Cotton Lycra® & Lace Full Briefs Great coverage but pretty too. I find these come up large, so recommend going down a size. Superb value. Pack of 5 in either Black or White £12.

Freecut Lace Full Briefs £8

Ribbed Lace High Waisted High Leg Knickers £10

The words ‘crop top’ and ‘women over 50’ don’t, in my humble opinion, go together very well. However, apparently a third of women in the UK have decided to give up wearing bras altogether and many more are opting for soft bras. Let’s be honest, the former isn’t going to happen if you have a large bust that needs support, but the latter is understandable as so many of us can’t wait to unhook our bras at the end of the day.

Luckily, my sister put me on to M&S Flexifit™ non wired crop top bras and, despite my initial reluctance, I absolutely dote on them now. They give my 38E’s support but there isn’t a hook, underwire or other bit of plastic or metal in sight. This is one you can wear happily the entire day and evening. It feels like a second-skin (if you can feel it at all). Just step into it and pull up. Not the usual way of putting on a bra but you’ll get used to it! They look great worn as a camisole under a v neck top (and one layer is better than two in this Summer heat). The removable cups are easy to re-insert after washing because the fabric is much tougher than it looks or feels. Available in 8 colours and sizes 8 – 22. Strongly advise going up a size. All kinds of matching items are also available.

Another non-wired bra that I have been enjoying wearing recently is the Total Support Wild Blooms Non-Wired Bra. It is supportive and feminine in one fell swoop. £18 in Black, White or Opaline and a wide range of sizes.

If you like a lightly padded bra, have a look at the Shape Define™ Non Wired Full Cup T-Shirt Bra which creates a streamlined look and has clever shaping that lifts and defines. £20 in Soft Pink, White or Black.

An instore sales assistant told me that this is one of the most comfortable bras M&S have ever sold. It’s called the Sumptuously Soft™ Non Wired T-Shirt Bra and has over 2000 really good customer online reviews. £20 and matching briefs are also available.

If you prefer wired bras, then check out the Rosie range such as her Camelia Wired Plunge Longline Bra £39.50. And if you are lucky enough to be small up top, then how about the Tivoli Mesh Non Wired Bralette £20 pictured above. By the way, M&S has a section online devoted to sexy lingerie… exciting!

Last, but definitely not least, I have found an all in one that is so comfortable, does not require a bra or pants and smoothes out my lumps, bumps, fat back and muffin top. I feel very confident wearing it and cool as a cucumber, even in this sweltering weather we’ve been having. The Cotton Rich Light Control Secret Support™ Bodysuit £25 in Black or White.

If you’re unsure about what bra to buy, remember you can get help from the M&S online fit service or book an appointment to be fitted instore.

Hope you have found some of these suggestions useful…. Grace x

Did you read our article on keeping cool in hot weather?


  1. I really wish M&S would sell nicer more comfortable bras for women after surgery
    As I shop there and always have for my underwear
    But since having surgery I can’t buy a decent bra from the store
    Was told this by a few friends but I didn’t believe they are so bad

  2. Hi Both 🙂 I do enjoy the mag very much and am a very young ‘older woman’ still working in the professional field so very into my clothes for work days and social days/nights and do check out what you recommend but…. have to say the latest article about the underwear only shows women of 20ish modelling it……how are we supposed to get an idea of how it fits older bodies…..and even though I am in good shape I am not inspired to purchase products only modelled by young women but being sold as ‘Lingerie for over 50’s’ …….I have never ‘ranted’ online before so this is a first ….hopefully not going to be a regular thing 🙂

    • Hi Bernadette – your comment comes as no surprise to me and you make a fair point. I did think about taking photographs of me wearing my suggested lingerie but I couldn’t bring myself to do it! My 70 year old bod which I am trying to love, isn’t really going to show the underwear off to its best advantage. There isn’t much I won’t do for the good of A&G but that proved to be my limit! So I concentrated on the products that I have and wear because I feel confident that any older woman like me will find them equally good. Best wishes, Grace

  3. I really like the M&S cotton lycra and lace briefs – so comfortable – but sadly they no longer come in a nude shade. I dislike black and white undies.
    The M&S crops tops are great post breast surgery and hopefully for Pilates, when I return.

    • Hi Sandra, I do agree with your comment. M&S used to do a cross your heart bra multi pack which I found superbly comfortable and was, apparently, very popular with customers. Wish the lingerie buyers would reinstate it as there is nothing else quite like it on the M&S shelves. It is the only bra my 92 old mother likes and so she continues to wear her old ones – presumably until they fall apart! M&S have quite a good range of post surgery bras but, like you, I really find the crop tops very easy to wear. Wishing you all the best, Grace

  4. Hello Grace ..I find Playtex Secret Comfort bras are amazing . I have always worn underwired and latterly found them really uncomfortable . Tried lots of non wired but didn’t like any of them . These Playtex bras have wiring which is covered in thick fabric . Extremely comfy .
    Thank you for all your brilliant info …it’s a huge pleasure reading the articles
    Tessa x

  5. Sadly M&S are not keeping up with modern bra measuring. They still use the under bust measurement plus 4 to determine size. For years I resigned myself to a bolster with an under bust sweat rash in the summer – and that was with having a fitter help me. I was then shown how to measure properly in keeping with today’s modern stretchy fabrics and now wear bras two sizes smaller in the band but instead of an E cup I wear a GG. No sweat rash, two individual boobs and a smoother line. Love my M&S knickers though!

  6. Great article, thank you. It’s all about comfort for me on the bra front these days. I’m probably v late to the party, but I have been really enjoying going bra-less this summer courtesy of little stick on fabric nipple covers from John Lewis. (Available in three colour tones.) They are so discreet, and 100% reliable. I sleep in them and bathe/shower still ‘wearing them’ I simply pat them dry afterwards and find they’re good for up to three days. I’ll have a break from them once a week for a day or so, reverting back to crop top style bras, which I sometimes find aren’t ‘nipple discreet’ enough. So, I will double up in future using these fabric pads for extra confidence underneath the crop top bra. JL also do a silicone version, which are equally as effective, but they do need removing each night/before bathing. Both types come with full instructions, and are really affordable. PS they are not painful to remove!

  7. Hi, I really like your posts but sometimes the photos overlap the text so that I can’t read the article properly, as in your 16th August post on lingerie. I’m interested in the M &a S Flexifit bra but am missing some of the text. Could you please send me it? Thanks, Francesca

    • Hi Francesca, here is the link for the Flexifit bra: Regarding not being able to read the article correctly, you may like to try using another browser ie Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox. As I’m sure you already know, they are all free to download. I would be interested in knowing which browser you are using so we can ask our tekkie expert to have a look. Best wishes, Grace

  8. Great article! I was minded of how dear Sandi Toksvig wrote a number of years ago about how, on turning 50, she no longer felt obliged to wear teensy-weensy pants and had become perfectly comfortable in one’s that more or less went up under her armpits (an exaggeration, I’m sure)! The only drawback she envisaged was attending a Tom Jones concert, musing “I can see the headlines: Singing legend suffocated on stage by old hag’s pants” (her self-deprecating words).

    In all seriousness, there comes a time in life when we veer towards physical comfort in our ‘smalls’, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept the mental discomfort of wearing something we would be ashamed or embarrassed to be seen in! There are lots of pretty options out there for the more mature woman, and at this time, I commend to you my friend Elisabeth Dale’s site Elisabeth is a lady of maturity and has some great suggestions undies-wise!

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