Editorials

Savage X Fenty Is Mainstreaming Inclusive Lingerie

It’s been a little over a week since Savage X Fenty launched, and there has been no shortage of discussion on the internet about the new lingerie line’s hits and misses in terms of style, quality, and inclusivity. Now that my Savage X Fenty order has arrived in the mail, I’m ready to share some of my thoughts on the collection—from the perspective of someone who isn’t necessarily a lingerie connoisseur but simply a Rihanna fan who appreciates comfortable underwear and beautiful design.

I’d been looking forward to Savage X Fenty ever since Rihanna began posting little teasers about her new lingerie line on Instagram. Seeing that Fenty Beauty practically broke the makeup industry with its 40 shades of foundation, I felt optimistic that Savage X Fenty would make a similar effort to be inclusive in terms of sizing and in nude tones. The original night of the launch, I shared the slight disappointment felt by many others who expected more ambitious styles along with a more inclusive size range. I now realize that these expectations are almost never met by new lingerie brands, and that in fact Savage X Fenty hits the mark better than most.

As of its launch, Savage X Fenty has a size range of XS-3X for underwear and lingerie and 32A-44DD for bras.

For a new lingerie line, this size range is pretty exciting. As an avid online shopper, I browse through so many indie and startup brands and am always disappointed when I can’t try out their products because their bra sizes stop at a 36/38 band and their underwear only goes up to a size large. What’s more, Savage X Fenty at its launch already has a size range competitive to established lingerie brands that have been in the business for years. By comparison, Victoria’s Secret’s bra sizes run from 32AA-40DDD, and Aerie’s bra sizes run from 30A-40DD. Savage X Fenty already surpasses so many brands with its size range, and while it’s not perfect, the brand has reached out to assure folks that additional sizes are coming.

I have noticed, though, that the Savage X Fenty website can be tricky to navigate in terms of finding your size. Straight-size items and plus-size items are listed as different items even when they are the same. For example, there are two separate listings for the unlined lace bra—one for straight sizes and another for plus sizes. Yet, the catalog pages include straight sizes alongside plus sizes, with no distinct plus size filter or label to make it easier for folks to see exactly what Savage X Fenty offers in straight versus plus sizes. With that said, these seem to be minor website issues with easy fixes, and I trust that the brand will continue to tweak its website in response to user suggestions and complaints.

True to its branding, Savage X Fenty was generally inclusive of plus size models and models of color in its catalog and promotion.

The truth is when it comes to inclusion, no brand has ever fully succeeded, and there is always room for improvement. But if you have ever browsed the websites of lingerie retailers, it doesn’t take much to notice that Savage X Fenty clearly made some effort to be different. There are plus size models alongside straight size models. There are seven shades of nude, modeled by people with various skintones and body types. And there are plus size models wearing sheer rompers and babydolls as part of the brand’s more risqué “Black Widow” collection.

This isn’t to say size inclusive lingerie doesn’t already exist, because it does—though mostly in independent brands with a smaller reach. What excites me about Savage X Fenty is its potential to influence the industry on a broader scale, the same way that Fenty Beauty’s 40-shade foundation range acted as a wake-up call to the makeup industry about its diversity problem.

For the most part, Savage X Fenty has a reasonable price point.

The unlined lace bra that I ordered is $44, which is about what I expect to pay for a bra from comparable retailers. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the bra since lace tends to be an uncomfortable texture for me, but this one was surprisingly soft, beautiful, and will likely be a staple in my wardrobe. By comparison, the brand’s bralettes start out at a $24 price point, and the most expensive bras of the line—with more lace and embroidery detail—top off at $54.

The price point for underwear begins at $14.50 for their microfiber basics and ends at $29 for more fashionable pieces, with some selections qualifying for the 2 for $30 or 3 for $33 deals. These prices are higher than mass underwear retailers like Victoria’s Secret, but having received the high-waist lace brief and lace back hipster I ordered, the quality seems well worth it.

The most expensive items in the overall collection are the more intricate lingerie pieces, like the lace corset ($89), the sheer marabou short robe ($79), and the floral lace catsuit ($109) to name a few. I can’t speak for the quality or fit of these items, having not seen them in person, but I will say that I’m impressed that everything in the Savage X collection so far—aside from the catsuit—is under $100.

It’s also worth mentioning that Savage X Fenty has a membership program (“Xtra Savage”) that offers additional perks to those willing to pay an annual, nonrefundable $50 membership fee. The perks include access to “Xclusive” items (such as the Marabou items in the “Black Widow” collection), early access to new releases, and free shipping and returns.

Though Savage X Fenty doesn’t feel particularly unique in terms of style, I appreciate that it demystifies much of the lingerie world to the casual intimates consumer such as myself.

The collection is divided into four different categories of style to appeal to varying interests in lingerie, ranging from comfortable everyday wear to sexier, more daring nightwear. As someone whose top drawer is filled with t-shirt bras and cotton briefs, I’m most drawn to the brand’s basics collection (“On the Reg”). But I also love the lace details of the “Damn” collection and can definitely see myself indulging on the beautiful candy apple red unlined lace bra and its matching high-waist cheeky.

Since the brand’s launch, there’s been some criticism about how Savage X Fenty didn’t meet people’s stylistic expectations, with many noting that a lot of the items don’t seem like something Rihanna herself would wear. But Cora Harrington of The Lingerie Addict tweeted a great response to this, noting the line’s clear emphasis on affordability:

 

One criticism I do have of the Savage X Fenty designs, though, is the style difference in terms of what is offered in straight versus plus sizes. I love the lace teddy and corset, but they only go up to a size XL. Especially in the brand’s lingerie selection (where items such as bodysuits, robes, and teddies are listed), very few items are offered in sizes 1X-3X. Still, this is simply a launch and the brand has been explicit about its intention to include more styles and sizes, so I’ll be looking forward to future releases.

While not perfect by any means, Savage X Fenty’s launch shows a lot of promise for the brand’s future endeavors.

I see the brand’s effort to be inclusive, I appreciate the emphasis on affordability, and I love the diversity of styles that can appeal to anyone from the new-to-lingerie folks to the more adventurous lingerie wearers. With so many mass lingerie retailers falling short in terms of size inclusion and nude shades, I’m excited to see Savage X Fenty’s growth and whether the brand will influence the lingerie industry the way Fenty Beauty did with makeup.

Purchase Savage X Fenty through the company’s website.

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