Padma Lakshmi Designed a Lingerie Collection With a Nod to Her Heritage

Bare Necessities
Bare Necessities
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Throughout the years, we've seen Padma Lakshmi dominate the food industry from her host gigs at a wide range of culinary TV shows like "Top Chef" and "Taste of the Nation" to her various cookbooks. She also landed her first SI Swimsuit cover in 2023 at the age of 52, and it nearly broke the internet. Now, she's adding designer to her long list of accomplishments by creating a collection of lingerie, swimwear, and loungewear with Bare Necessities.

Lakshmi often shops at Bare Necessities so working with them was a no-brainer. She loves that they carry a wide variety of brands, noting that you can get an Adidas sports bra and a frilly lingerie set all in one place. "[The Bare Necessities team] told me that over 95% of their consumer base is female, and I liked that," she tells PS. "It means women are buying for themselves, and that's what I want. I wanted to speak directly to women, and I want the collection to be something women reach for consistently and that they love because it's useful to them. They just feel good in it, and every time they wear it, they feel comfortable. They feel at home wherever they are and really good in their own bodies."

When designing the collection, Lakshmi paid special attention to the color palette. A color she features throughout the line is bold magenta, a shade that reminds her of her heritage. "Magenta is probably my favorite color. You see pops of hot pink, but you don't see those blue-magenta hues, the color that's very prevalent in Indian raw silk. It's almost called the double shade (referencing Kanjeevaram silk)," she says. Along with core neutrals like black and beige, she also incorporates baby blue. "Baby blue is also a color that's really flattering and goes well with the magenta, but also is something wearable for everybody."

Functionality was also top of mind. "Every item has this peekaboo element at the base of the bra. You need this because you need that support when you have bigger boobs. And that's something I had to learn, too. I was like, 'Why are these bras so matronly?' Now I know, so we tried to find creative solutions to that," she says.

With this collection and partnership, Lakshmi aims to empower women at every stage of their lives. She has a graceful approach to aging, one she learned while cooking with her grandmother. "When she taught me how to make sambar, or a lentil stew, she would hold my hand back and she would say, 'Don't put that in yet.' Every ingredient in that stew has an appropriate time it should go into the pot, and if you put it too early, it's going to lose its flavor, and you're not going to be able to enjoy the pleasure of what that cilantro or spice can bring. She said, 'You have to know when is the right time for certain things', and I think that's true of life," says Lakshmi.

No matter your age, Lakshmi stresses that self love is key. "I always say, give yourself grace, prioritize, and be kind to yourself like you would to a friend you love. We are often more supportive to our girlfriends or our colleagues than we are to ourselves. I'm asking you to talk to yourself like someone you love."

Ahead, discover Lakshmi's favorite pieces from her Bare Necessities collection.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Loungewear
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Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Loungewear

Padma X Bare Necessities Ribbed Knit Tie-Back Lounge Dress ($98)

"It's so comfortable. It looks great on a variety of shapes and it's flattering on everyone. I love this peekaboo in the back. I cook in it, I fall asleep in it, and I lie on the couch reading in it. This magenta color is great on everybody, and it's just like wearing velvet. It really feels nice," she says.

She also loves the Padma X Bare Necessities Woven Lounge Pants ($88) for traveling.

Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Lingerie
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Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Lingerie

Padma X Bare Necessities Snakeskin Bustier ($88)

"This bustier is so comfortable and so easy to wear. I would wear that with a black suit and nothing else, just leave the blazer open. I would also wear chiffon or some diaphanous fabric, even if it's not black. It could be a taupe, a cream, or a bone shade, and it would still be beautiful see-through chiffon," she says. "I also like the mesh panels. There are so many times you put a corset on, and you're like 'I'm so hot and sweaty' but this makes it more breathable."

Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Bra
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Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Bra

Padma X Bare Necessities Calais Lace Front-Close Plunge Bra ($68)

Lakshmi sees this bra as the workhorse of your lingerie collection. "It's your T-shirt bra. It also has a lacey racerback, so you can wear it with different tank tops. It's your everyday bra, but it's still got a little magic, especially in the back."

Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Underwear
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Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Underwear

Padma X Bare Necessities Snakeskin Brief ($18)

"This is a great high-waisted undie that also has a little peekaboo in the back. This comes in the black snakeskin and also this hazel color, and you can barely see the snakeskin unless you get in the light," she says, noting that the soft mesh paneling really holds you in.

She also loves this Padma X Bare Necessities Calais Lace Cheeky ($20). "I think it's a great everyday panty that still feels really femme and special," she says.

Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Swimwear
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Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Swimwear

Padma X Bare Necessities Femme Zip-Front Rashguard One-Piece ($128)

Lakshmi often reaches for a rash guard one-piece when it's time to go swimming. "They're great because they give you a feeling of modesty. Not all of us are comfortable wearing bikinis. I get it," she says. "I hate sunblock so I just zip it up and then I don't have to worry about sunblock on my arms or chest or shoulders. And then when I get out of the sun, I zip it down."

She designed this one-piece so that people who prefer to be more covered up can still look stylish. "It's got these mesh panels so it's more breathable. The black looks amazing, the black just sucks you in. The fabric still is a great techie fabric that will give you a little lift that will feel good and still be breathable and swimmable."

Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Swimwear
barenecessities.com

Padma Lakshmi's Favorite Swimwear

Padma X Bare Necessities Kashmir Paisley Cover-Up ($138)

"This one looks great as a robe at home, or on the beach as a dress. I will button the middle section and wear it as a dress. It's really nice to wear, and it's got this little cinched-in waist. I love this beautiful Kashmiri paisley print," she says.

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Anvita Reddy is an assistant editor for PS Shopping. She has a passion for products and is an avid reviewer of everything including furniture, mattresses, home gadgets, cookware, tech, and more. Having dealt with acne as a teenager and into adulthood, her expertise lies in beauty. She has tried and tested plenty of skin care, makeup, hair care, and countless other beauty products.