You may want to sit down because I have a confession to make. Are you ready?
I love lingerie. And not just any lingerie, mind you, luxury lingerie.
What you may not know, however, is that it takes a bit more than a three figure price tag to impress me. So, what is it about luxury that I love so much? Put simply, it’s the attention to detail. Luxury lingerie is more likely to use silk instead of polyester, jersey instead of cotton, and 100% nylon instead nylon blends. The lace is finer, the fabric softer, and the garments hold their shape for multiple wearings.
Kiki de Montparnasse’s Garter Tank was a luxury garment I lusted after for a long time. In fact, it was one of my very first blog posts. In my opinion, the garter tank was the perfect blend of tomboy toughness and shameless sexy. Getting to wear a tank top and stockings at the same time? What a treat! Unfortunately, since it was absolutely impossible for me to justify the $195.00 price tag, I had to settle for admiration from afar.
Therefore, when the garter tank went on sale for 50% off during the holidays, I had to pounce on it. I’m a sucker for a great bargain, and when that bargain is something I already wanted…well, I’m helpless to resist. I awaited my purchase with bated breath, and, when it finally arrived, nearly tore the packaging apart in anticipation. Delicately, gingerly, I tried the tank on and turned to face a full length mirror…only to be shockingly disappointed.
Call me crazy, but I expected to be wowed. The material of the shirt itself was of no better quality than a $5.00 Hanes tank. The cotton was coarse instead of soft, the fabric thin instead of plush. And I don’t mean thin in that sheer, delicate way, but rather in a cheap, half-finished way. More importantly, the garters, the “feature” of the entire garment, were short, flimsy, and not adjustable. The tank was also a poor fit, clinging to my shoulders but not my curves. I looked, to perfectly honest, like a child playing dress up.
I sent the shirt back, and, to Kiki’s credit, they refunded my money no questions asked. That kind of customer service was enough to convince to shop with them again later (in fact, I bought a t-shirt and a pair of panties on clearance from them last year that I rather like).
The lesson here, of course, is that the most expensive thing isn’t always the best thing. And that lesson is big reason why I’ve shifted the focus of my blog to quality and value instead of quantity and expense
The experience wasn’t a total loss, though. I’ve got an idea about how I might replicate this garment for the budget-minded. Once I give it a try, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.
So if your honey didn’t buy you what you wanted for V-Day, here’s a chance to get it yourself. ;-)
Photo to the left is of the Mimi Holliday Stardust bra set, on sale for $88.47 instead of of the regular price of $110.59.
If Wolford’s 2009 Spring/Summer collection is any indication, floral patterned backseams are a big trend this year. However, with the current state of the economy, spending upwards of $35.00 on a single pair of tights just seems like a bit much. So what’s a trendy Stockings Addict to do? Find a budget “knockoff,” of course!
I’ve written reviews about Jonathon Aston before, and while this particular post won’t be a review, it should illustrate why I like the brand so much. First, let’s take a look at the Wolford Fleur tights. Retailing for £26.00 (approximately $37.44), these tights are a gorgeous representation of Wolford quality and style. A fishnet background with a vine and leaf motif as the “seam” and flowers on the instep, they’re a little bit daring and a lot sexy. Alas, they’re out of my price range.
However, the Jonathan Aston Garden Net tights are not. Jonathon Aston takes the same design elements (fishnet background with a floral backseam in this case) and makes it affordable at only £9.00. When you consider that both pairs of tights have a nearly identical composition (81% nylon, 19% elastane for Wolford and 80% nylon, 20% elastane for Jonathan Aston), it gets a bit harder to justify the more expensive brand. Add in the fact that Figleaves UK is running a 20% off sale all weekend, which makes these tights only about $10.00 USD and I think you see where I’m going with this. ;-)
Like I’ve said time and time again, a recession is not a good reason to sacrifice fashion. Be on the lookout for more posts like this in the upcoming weeks.
Bebaroque is a luxury hosiery brand founded by Scottish designers Mhairi McNicol and Chloe Patience in 2007. The Bebaroque trademark is intricacy–ranging from hand applied metals and fabrics to hand drawn designs. During my European adventure, I purchased a pair of feather tights in turquoise from the Winter 2008 collection and, though I haven’t worn them yet, they’re on the “shortlist.”
Let’s start with a few general notes about this season’s collection. While I believe Bebaroque makes a good showing design-wise, I really miss the bold, punchy colors of previous seasons. This year, they’re using a lot of whites, creams, and pastels which makes the collection feel a bit too one-note to me. Think Easter egg, not summertime.
When it comes to the actual designs, I think Bebaroque really shines in their embroidery and painting. A few of the Spring/Summer pieces continue last season’s experimentation with fringed and ruched backseams, and I find those designs to be bulky and distracting…not usually the effect I’m looking for from my hosiery.
Bebaroque also introduced a new design concept this season, namely the reversible pattern. While the stockings themselves aren’t reversible due to the decoration, they allow for the option of wearing the design on front or back giving you at least two different looks.
All this handworking doesn’t come cheap, and Bebaroque tights are outrageously expensive. Whether they’re worth the price or not though, is up to you. On the one hand, you’re paying for limited edition, hand-constructed, couture-quality work. On the other, even I find it hard to justify a $60.00 pair of hose.
When I (finally) wear my feather tights, I promise to give you, my readers, a full report and let you know if they’re really worth it.