Three years ago, before the pandemic, lingerie in India was looked at as a necessity with either complete focus on how comfortable it was or how in sync it was with the current fashion trends.
Now, the shopper is looking for a balance. Just like with outerwear, today's consumer doesn't want to compromise when it comes to innerwear as well. They want comfort, functionality and style, all in one, in what they wear, outside and inside. The good news is brands in the market are thinking outside the box and finding ways to meet the changing consumer demands. The offerings are becoming more inclusive, fashion-forward, and digitally driven. The focus is on providing a diverse range of sizes, styles and designs.
Small wonder then the Indian lingerie market is expected to exhibit a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10.9% during 2023-2028, reaching $8.2 billion within the next five years, according to an analysis by the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group. The segment's growth is driven by a combination of domestic brands, e-commerce platforms, personalized options, and a shift towards body positivity and self-expression.
Here are some of the reasons consumers are becoming more experimental with innerwear, perhaps even considering it as a way to make a fashion statement.
Lingerie is increasingly becoming a means of self-expression, resulting in a more open conversation around investing in quality products. Influencer marketing is also playing a role in shaping consumer preferences and purchasing decisions in the lingerie segment. Brands collaborate with social media creators to showcase their products, provide styling tips, and create awareness about body positivity and self-confidence.
What's more, the Indian lingerie shopper today has a higher purchasing power. Women's per capita spending has doubled over the past seven years.
Indian consumers are increasingly seeking lingerie that not only provides comfort and support but also reflects their personal style. To cater to the changing demands, the lingerie segment is evolving to offer a fusion of fashion and functionality, incorporating trendy Y2K designs, intricate detailing, vibrant colours and prints.
The lingerie segment is becoming more inclusive, recognizing and embracing diverse body types and sizes of Indian women. Brands are expanding their size ranges to cater to a broader customer base, including plus-size and petite options. There is a greater emphasis on body positivity, challenging traditional beauty standards and celebrating individuality.
Surprisingly, despite the awareness and change in taste, only 20% women in India wear the right fitted bra. Majority of the consumers still don’t know how to find their correct bra size. That's why there's an urgent need for more brand-led personalised fit sessions to help women better understand their body and make the correct shopping choice.
Shweta Verma is head (product development, buying & assortment), India and Sri Lanka, at Triumph International.