Posts from January, 2011

Indie Designer Spotlight: Sockbox

As I’ve mentioned in other indie spotlights, I love it when my readers tell me about a new designer I haven’t heard of before. Today’s feature, on new indie legwear designer SockBox, is exactly the sort of thing I want to do more of on The Lingerie Addict in 2011.

One of the things I like about SockBox is the playfulness and creativity behind the line. Legwear’s a hard niche to innovate in, and things can start looking the same over time. But by experimenting with colors, patterns, and textures, I think SockBox is really setting itself apart from the rest of the crowd.

I’ve posted a few of my fave looks below. Why don’t you tell me what you think of them in the comments?

Designer Interviews: Electra Designs Corsetry

I know I say this every month, but it’s always true….I’m really excited about this month’s designer interview with Alexis Black, the founder and corsetiere behind Electra Designs.  Alexis created my most recent custom corset (which you can see on The Lingerie Addict Facebook Page) and her gorgeous corsetry is literally famous worldwide.

In our interview, Alexis talks about why corsets matter, gives a few tidbits of advice for readers thinking of buying their first custom corset, and shares her favorite design.  Want to keep up with Alexis’ latest work? Follow her on LiveJournal, Twitter, or Facebook!

1) How long have you been a corsetiere? Do you have any formal training?
I have been making corsets for over 20 years and have been a professional corsetiere since 1998. I am primarily self taught, however I did learn basic pattern drafting and fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

2) What made you want to be a corsetiere?
Making corsets has always been a passion of mine. I strongly believe that if you do what you love, you can find a way to monetize it. When I worked retail, I found myself constantly day dreaming about making corsets, but by the time I had a day off, I was too exhausted to enjoy sewing. I originally became a corsetiere as a way to justify and finance my hobby of corset-making.

3) Why corsets? And why should people want one?
I love to make corsets because they are so complicated and beautiful. They are the perfect blend of form and function. I enjoy the challenge of engineering a garment that has the ability to reshape the human body, thereby accentuating all of the features we find most beautiful.

A corset, is, in a way, an extension of your body. Most clothing is worn. Corsets become part of you. A well-made, properly fitted corset makes the wearer feel so powerful, sexy, regal, graceful sensuous and confident. Modern, custom corsetry is comfortable, liberating, and extremely sexy.

4) What are your top three pieces of advice for anyone interested in buying a corset?

  • Save your money and buy a hand-made piece from someone who takes pride in their work. It’s better to have one quality garment that fits and feels good on than three disposable “corsets” that look bad and feel worse.
  • Do your research before you make a purchase. You can learn a lot on the online corset forums.
  • Buy only from reputable corsetieres who have a history of excellent communication. 

    5) In a world of mass production, discount pricing, and one-size-fits-all, what do you think is the role of a luxury item, like a handmade, custom-fitted corset?
    Thanks to sites like Etsy, there has been a huge resurgence of hand made-artists and consumers who value high quality, hand made items that are made with love, and are made to last. A well-made corset, if properly cared for, can last many generations. When the landfills are piled high with mass-produced, disposable mall fashion, I can take comfort in the knowledge that my corsets are still being worn and cherished long after I die.

    6) Any famous clients?
    Several, but I am, unfortunately, unable to disclose their names. Although making corsets for celebrities can be fun, I get a lot more satisfaction from crafting unique garments for people who are often left out, like plus size women and transgender individuals. I revel in knowing that I had a part in helping these beautiful people transform their outside selves to more closely reflect how they see themselves on he inside.

    7) Your favorite piece?
    My favorite style is the long line underbust corset (pictured above). It does the most to reshape the body while remaining very comfortable and versatile.

    8) And finally, where can we buy your stuff?
    www.electradesigns.net or www.etsy.com/shop/electradesigns
    Please don’t hesitate to email me directly at alexis@electradesigns.net

    Photo Credits (in order of appearance): Adrian Buackmaster,  666 Photography, Adrian Buackmaster, Vara Pappas, 666 Photography. Model (in all photos): Elegy Ellem

    5 Things Every Lingerie Addict Needs (That Aren’t Lingerie!)

    Photo by Rod Nunley

    From double sided tape to breast petals, this list is made up of little things that aren’t quite lingerie but that every lingerie lover needs to own. Keep reading to discover five essential accessories.

    1) Lingerie Wash Bag–I know, I know, handwashing in the sink is best.  But I know and you know that we don’t always have that kind of time.  So on the days that you need to toss your skivvies into the washing machine, make sure they’re protected with a mesh lingerie bag.  A lingerie wash bag keeps your delicates from being ruined by the agitating motion of the machine, and they’re inexpensive to boot.  I own this large lingerie wash bag from Bare Necessities.  It fits several days worth of underthings at a time, and only costs $9.

    2) Lingerie Dryer Rack–Even though I understand the occasional necessity of washing your frillies in the machine, there is never, ever, ever an excuse for tossing them in the tumble dryer.  A dryer absolutely wrecks your lingerie…just damages it beyond all repair.  Use the washing machine if you must, but promise me you’ll never tumble dry.  Instead, use a lingerie drying rack like this $5.99 one from the Container Store.  Prefer not to by a specialized rack?  Plastic hangers with plastic clothespins should work just as well.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    3) Lingerie Carry Bag–Now that your delicates are clean and dry, it’s important to keep them that way.  Enter the lingerie bag.  Whether it’s to keep your knickers organized while traveling or just to keep them safe in your drawer from young and sticky fingers, a lingerie bag is an addict essential.  Use a hard lingerie bag for items that need to maintain their shape (like underwire bras), and a soft lingerie bag for things you can fold easily like panties and hosiery.  Lingerie bags are also perfect if you’re a frequent traveler who doesn’t want strange hands on your underthings while going through the security line.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    4) Nipple Concealers–Also known as “breast petals,” nipple concealers keep your breasts from drawing unwanted attention.  Nipple concealers are also great for my petite readers who don’t want always wear a bra but may not want to advertise that fact with nipple show-through.  Though nipple concealers usually come in various shades of beige, I’m a big fan of Nippies, with their assorted colors, fabrics, and patterns. They’re also very affordable, at around $10/pr. for plain concealers and $15/pr. for Nippies’ decorated ones.

    5) Double sided tape.  For the days you’re wearing something low cut, strappy, or slinky and need to be absolutely, positively, 100% sure that your lingerie is staying where it’s supposed to.  Double stick tape is also great for adding another layer of protection to strapless bras, thigh highs, or garters.  When I’m going out for a night on the town, this is the one thing I make sure I have in my itty, bitty evening purse.  Hollywood Fashion Tape is the gold standard when it comes to double stick tape and is only $8.99 for a pack of 36 pieces.  Accept no substitutes.

    What did you think of this list? Have something you want to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

    Review: The Stylish Fox Fiore Opaque Tights

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Summary: The Stylish Fox’s Giana and Malena opaque tights are one of the season’s best buys.  Made of super soft microfiber, these tights are warm, comfy, and incredibly affordable. 4 out of 4 stars.

    Review: I know I’m stating the obvious here, but it’s cold. Just last week, Huffington Post reported that 49 out of 50 states had snow on the ground, and I’m sure you caught all the news reports of near total shutdowns in New York City, Atlanta, and Seattle (among other places).

    If there’s anything us lingerie addicts need more of in our wardrobes right now, it’s tights.  Thick, warm, soft tights at reasonable prices so we can buy a half dozen pairs at a time (I’m not the only person who buys tights by the half dozen, am I?).  That’s why I’m so excited about introducing you to the new online boutique, The Stylish Fox…because in this kind of weather, there’s no such thing as too many tights.

    The Stylish Fox was kind enough to send me a couple of pairs to test drive and it’s time to report back with my results. Just as a quick reminder if you want to take a look, I wore the Giana tights and the Malena tights, both by Fiore. 

    The first thing I want to say is that these tights are super durable.  I’ve worn and washed each pair three times (even machine washing once…bad, I know) and they still look and feel good as new.  And if you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been ripping my nylons a lot lately so durability is very important to me right now.

    The second thing I want to say is that these tights are really warm, really soft, and really cute.  Warm, soft, and cute is pretty much the holy trinity of legwear, especially when it comes to opaque tights because they can sometimes be a bit ugly and uncomfortable.  I live in Seattle (which has crap weather nine months out of the year) and these tights kept my legs feeling good all day long.  Oh…and they fit true to size!  I tested a size 4 (which was my size on the size chart), and they fit perfectly.

    The third thing I want to say is that these tights are a great deal. They feel like they should cost $20-24, but they actually cost $11 and $12.65, respectively.  I know that everyone has a different price comfort zone so that may seem expensive compared to some department store brands but trust me when I say it’s an excellent value for the money.  The quality of these tights is better than anything else at this price point.

    I know that a good review is supposed to have one or two negatives because, after all, nothing is perfect.  But I’ve literally spent a couple of days now trying to think of something negative to say about these tights and I really can’t come up with anything.  They surpass all of my expectations.

    The Stylish Fox is currently running a special where you get free shipping on orders of $50 or more.  If you have questions about any of the other products, you find them on Twitter @TheStylishFox.  Got some feedback about Fiore tights or this review? Tell me in the comments!

    Disclosure: I received the item discussed above free of charge for review purposes only.  The retailer/manufacturer/designer did not influence this review in any way, shape, or form.  All opinions presented here are the authors own.

    The Look for Less: La Perla vs. Frederick’s of Hollywood

    In the left corner we’ve got La Perla’s feathered, g-string bodysuit from a few seasons back.  Sold through their online boutique and Net-a-Porter.com, this bodysuit originally retailed for $470.

    In the right corner, we have Frederick’s of Hollywood’s newer, more budget friendly version.  Selling for less than a tenth of the price of the original, you can afford to pick up a couple at only $42 each.

    What do you think, fellow addicts, is this feathered teddy a purchase…or pass?

    "Real Women, Real Bodies": Why the Lingerie Industry Has a Real Problem

    Much like last year’s post on “Why Doesn’t the Lingerie Industry Like Women of Color?”, today’s article is on a subject very close to my heart, and I’ve reached a place where I can’t be quiet about it anymore. As I said in the women of color piece linked above, “The Lingerie Addict is about all aspects of the lingerie community, even the parts I don’t really like.”

    I’m sure you’ve noticed the media’s obsession with “real women” lately.  From Dove and Nike’s ads in 2005 to Glamour magazine’s incredibly popular “normal woman” of 2009 to the respective campaigns of lingerie companies like Cake, Bravissimo, and Ultimo (all in 2010), the public can’t seem to get enough of real women.  But here’s the question no one’s asking:

    What in the world is a “real woman?”
    I love the idea of celebrating curves, and I am all for more diversity in the lingerie industry, but why does it have to come at the expense of implying some women (usually, thinner women) are “fake?”  Women come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re all real.  And there is nothing positive about saying otherwise.
    Futhermore, these “real woman” campaigns don’t expand our notions of what is beautiful. Take a look at the images in this post, taken directly from the lingerie brands mentioned above.  There are almost no women of color.  There’s not a scar, tattoo, or piercing to be seen.  And everyone has perfectly straight hair and utterly flawless skin.
    Now, I understand that a big part of advertising is selling an ideal, and I’m okay with that. But what I’m not okay with is, as Jezebel so eloquently put it, “the somewhat creepy trend of casting real women to represent ‘the rest of us’ while still adhering to strict representations of what is traditionally considered beautiful.”  To be perfectly honest, I find that even more disingenuous than traditional advertising because at least then no one is pretending that the model represents me.
    If lingerie companies really want to empower women, if they really want to broaden the definition of beautiful, then they should do that…not by promoting false and arbitrary distinctions like “real women,” but by recognizing all women–of every shape, size, and color–are beautiful.
    What do you think?  Is there a problem with this “real women, real bodies” trend?  Is it a non-issue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.Image Credits: Crystal Renn for V Magazine, Bravissimo, Cake Lingerie

    The Lingerie Addict Interviews Bernie Dexter, Pin-Up Queen Extraordinaire

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to bring you this exclusive interview with the reigning queen of pin-up, Bernie Dexter.  I’ve been a fan of Bernie for even longer than I’ve been blogging, so it was an absolute honor to ask her a few questions for The Lingerie Addict.

    But before we get started, I just want to say that Bernie Dexter’s famous “nice act” isn’t an act at all.  From the start of our interview to the finish, she was one of the nicest, kindest and most gracious people I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. And when you remember that she’s a celebrity with literally thousands of people demanding her time, her demeanor becomes all the more impressive.

    I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed giving it, and when you’re done, remember to like Bernie Dexter’s fanpage on Facebook!

    First of all, I just want to say thank you so much for letting me interview you. I know you’re a very busy professional, and I appreciate you sparing a few moments of your time.  So let’s hop right to it!  As an icon in the world of pin-up modeling and retro fashion, how do you feel about the recent surge of interest in all things vintage?
    Thank you sooo MUCH!,  I think the recent surge and interest  in vintage is amazing. Honestly, I do not think it ever left, but the internet has shown what a HUGE interest there really always has been.  It is wonderful to see women embrace their femininity!

    Not only are you a model, you’re a designer as well (and a darned good one, if I say so myself). What makes your designs different from other brands in the world of vintage reproduction fashion?
    Thank you very much again!  Well, a big thing is that my collection is 100% made in the U.S.A.!!! A lot of companies are importing from China & India.

    I design from my heart…things I want to wear  that I think are flattering on women and girls. I am not JUST in it to make money (though it would be nice) like a lot of the other companies. My designs are a reflection of my own personal style & a celebration of the female form. I choose fabrics based on their comfort and beauty, not just what I see everyone else using, because sometimes women may not know what they really want until it is presented to them.

    I prefer to design using 100% cotton and cotton/spandex blends because it just feels better on. I LOVE to dance, so I keep this in mind with choosing fabrics and fit!  One of my rules is if I can’t dance in it…forget it! After all, I do wear my own collection nearly every day & even when on the road doing appearances & Rockabilly shows.

    I also LOVE to use colorful prints.  It is so nice to give a new point of view rather then regurgitate what there is already a gluttony of.

    What are the best parts of your job? 
    The best parts of my job are knowing I helped other females feel better about themselves & inspired them to follow their dreams.

    The worst parts?
    Being compared to pin ups of the past. I really had an uphill battle for a few years trying to show people that I am not an impersonator.  Finally, people can see the difference and that there is more to me than just a haircut!  

    Many people think of you as a sex symbol…
    Ohhh I love it! Heheheee

    How would you define sexy?
    Sexy is being comfy in your own skin & exuding confidence. Nothing is more of a turn off than someone who comes off as self-entitled or full of themselves. 

    Do you have any lingerie tips for my readers who want to get that perfect pin-up shilouette?
    YES! Foundations! foundations! foundations! I highly recommend my BernieDexter for Lucy B. Merry Widow! It holds everything in without being as extreme as wearing a corset.  When you get comfy with the merry widow, then you can add the Bernie Dexter for Lucy B. steel-boned corset waist cintcher that will be coming soon!

    If a woman is just discovering pin-up lingerie, but isn’t sure how to start buying it, what’s the one piece you think she needs in her lingerie drawer?
    A garter belt and stockings…that was how I started!  Or you can kill 3 birds with one stone with the Bernie Dexter for Lucy B. Merry Widow! 

    Can you give us one of your personal “lingerie rules?
    Save the ruffles & frillies for at home and in the bedroom. Nothing worse then lumps under your clothing!  Keep it sleek and smooth under your clothing.  ;)

    Just a couple of “quickie” questions…
    –what’s your favorite color?
    red

    –your favorite animal?
    Cats i love alley cats!

    –your favorite type of lingerie?
    merrywidows!

    And finally, the most important question of all, where can we buy your stuff?

    http://berniedexter.com/

    http://www.lucyb.com/bernie-dexter.html

    Thanks so much for your time, Bernie. See you next month at MAGIC!