I just wanted you to know this is the last post you’ll see from me for about a week. As the title suggests, I’m taking a Memorial Day vacation to visit friends and family back in Georgia (where I’m from). Best of all, The Boyfriend’s coming with me for the very first time! I’m really excited about introducing him to some of the most important people in my life, and sharing some of my favorite spots in Atlanta with him. I hope you and yours have a very happy holiday weekend, and I look forward to catching up with everyone when I return. :)
Today, I started what may be a new lingerie addict tradition…expert chats on the Facebook page. Corsets are one of those items that people always have lots of questions about, so I invited Alexis Black of Electra Designs Corsetry to spend an hour on my page answering questions about corsets. I was a little scared because I was worried no one would show, but you all completely blew me away (in a good way!). I’ve posted just a few of the questions Alexis answered below. For the rest, please visit the The Lingerie Addict on Facebook. I’m hoping to host another chat with a different expert next month…what would you like to talk about?
Joanna:What tips would you give a first time buyer? Alexis:First, spend time online looking at corsets. Compare corset companies and read client reviews. Look for pictures of real clients wearing corsets made by each company. It’s better to buy a hand-made corset than something mass produced. Consider your budget (then double it). Read the articles and info available on corset web sites and ask the corsetiere questions. If they don’t make time to reply, they may not be the best choice. If possible, try to get to a shop that sells steel boned corsets and try them on. While you are researching, collect images of styles you like so you can show the corset maker. Don’t ask him/her to copy anything, but use the images to give her an idea what you want so he/she can design something that is perfect for you. This all seems like a lot of work, but it will be worth it to do some research before you commit.
Karen: How do you wear a corset if you are in jeans…any suggestions? Alexis: I think the best style for jeans is a long line underbust that comes just below the hip bones, with a straight bottom edge. Spiral steel is certainly more comfortable and flexible than flat steels. It’s also importan…t that your corset is made from a shapely pattern that holds you in without causing your displaced flesh to spill out over and under the edges. The only thing worse than muffin top is muffin squeezing out between the top edge of jeans and the bottom edges of a corset. I recommend low rise jeans with some stretch. You may have to switch to a style that is designed for bigbooty girls because they are engineered to come in at the waist along the top edge, over your bum. Best advice I can offer is to take your corset with you when you try on jeans. Practice sitting, reaching, etc. in the fitting room to make sure the jeans work with the corset.
Kailei:How can you tell if a corset is suitable for tightlacing? What exactly IS tightlacing anyway? Alexis:That’s a great question. It’s very difficult to really know for sure if a corset is suitable for tight-lacing because so many corset companies state that their corsets are, when they are not. Tight-lacing is when you reduce your waist quite a bit. Generally, more than a 4″ reduction is considered tight-lacing, but that’s not really accurate, because it depends on what your natural waist measurement is. For example, a 4″ reduction for someone with a natural waist of 24″ is quite tight, because she is compressing mostly muscle and organs. A 4″ reduction for a natural waist measuring something like 40″ is not such a huge reduction because she is compressing mostly soft tissue, like fat. True tight-lacing is something people do religiously, as part of their daily routine. They lace as tight as they can, often 23/7, often with a goal of gradually reducing their waist.
The bare minimum requirements for tight-lacing are: strong base layer, like coutil, steel bones (the more, the better), front steel busk closure, waist tape, reinforced seams, shapely, well-fitted corset, and for the corset to be custom mad…e to fit the wearer. I would not recommend tight-lacing in a corset that was not made to your comprehensive measurements. The excepting would be for waspies, which are short and cover only a small portion of the waist. Just because someone says their corsets are suitable for tight-lacing doesn’t mean they are, so look for client reviews and ask for pictures of real clients wearing corsets that person made.
Kiss Me Deadly was one of the very first brands I discovered once I started this blog, and I’m not ashamed to say it was love at first sight. I am a huge fan of the pin-up look, and Kiss Me Deadly manages to take vintage silhouettes and update them in a very modern way.
The Spring/Summer 2011 range features a brand new bridal collection, a high waisted cincher brief, and new colorways in classic pieces like the retro teddy and high-waisted girdle.
Lingerie Addict readers have an exclusive opportunity to pre-order the pink longline girdle and waist cincher panty before anyone else. These photos haven’t even been officially released yet, so my readers are the very first people to see them.
The best part?
The pink longline girdle and the waist cincher panty are super-limited editions of only 80 pieces each. Depending on how many my readers buy them, they may not even make it to the general public.
The only way to place your preorder is through this blog post (or through last night’s newsletter if you’re a V.I.A.), and they are not listed with the rest of the items on the Kiss Me Deadly website.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’d be pretty cool to have a couple of pieces that only Lingerie Addicts own. ;)
So…what do you think of Kiss Me Deadly’s new stuff? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
P.S. There’s one more photo of the new range I haven’t included in this blog post. Visit The Lingerie Addict Tumblr to see what it is!
Today’s guest post comes from Sarah Ellis, and she had this to say about herself, “I’m a lingerie snob in every sense of the word. I’ve gotten spoiled during my stints in lingerie retailing and no packaged pair of panties from Target will cut it for me! Although I’ve cut down my lingerie hoarding as of late, as a newly engaged lady I’ve given myself the green light to outfit a new lingerie wardrobe. When I’m not shopping for lingerie you can find me styling affordable handbags for HandbagHeaven.com at work or planning my fabulous wedding!“
Problem: You love lingerie, but when it comes to variety in your “bra wardrobe,” you’re lacking. Now, most of us have a collection of bras for both practical and fun occasions. But how complete is your bra wardrobe? Do you have a bra that complements all of your ensembles?
I’ve been taught, “A bra wardrobe should be as complete as your collection of shoes. Every woman has a pair of tennis shoes, sandals and pumps. And, in the same way, a bra wardrobe should include more than one type of bra.”
If you’re like me, you have your “old faithful” bra, the one you go to for your perfect everything. But when it’s time to switch it up or dress for different things, you’ll need a bra that does the right job. That’s where my thorough knowledge of lingerie comes in.
I’ve had a four year stint at Victoria’s Secret as well as worked in a lingerie boutique that specialized in offering “speciality sizes” for well-endowed women. I’ve learned the ins and outs of proper bra fits, the importance of support, and feeling fabulous. Lingerie can literally transform you from the inside out, which is why we love it, right? Now, let’s outfit you!
Balconette: Pronounced, “bal-con-ay,” this bra is probably my favorite. It is characterized by the square neckline it creates, which is great for wearing with tops that have a low cut or square neckline. It showcases decolletage and can balance a heavy or small bust nicely. Sometimes a balconette bra has half cups or push up which both give the illusion of a bigger bust. (Shown: La Perla Villa Toscana Balconette Bra)
Convertible: You know that bra that you need help figuring out? The one that can be worn every which way and has straps that alter to fit just about everything? The convertible bra is the best invention since sliced bread and can save you some serious cash in the long run. There are versions that go from strapless to halter to low back to one shoulder and beyond! (Shown: Felina Extreme Convertible Push-up Bra)
Demi: A demi bra is the most typical bra in a woman’s wardrobe. The cups are angled to expose part of the breast tissue without being too revealing. They offer ¾ coverage and don’t have any extra padding. (Shown: Felina Harlow Full Busted Demi Bra)
Full Coverage: A full coverage bra is favored by large busted women who need extra support. The cup covers the entire breast and holds the breast tissue in against the body. Large breasted women need this extra support to keep their breast tissue from “jiggling” or moving too much. (Shown: Wacoal Retro Chic Full Figure Underwire Bra)
Push Up: For every small busted girl out there, a push up bra can be your best friend. But busty gals can enjoy the benefits of a push up bra. Push up bras use foam, gel, water, or air to lift the breast tissue. Large busted women tend to shy away from push up bras because they think it will make their breasts look a cup size larger. A push up bra doesn’t actually add any volume, but the padding lifts and pushes your breasts up higher which can make them look larger. Or, as I prefer, “more perky.” (Shown: Wacoal iBra Push-up Bra)
Strapless: Strapless bras are a must have for every lady. Even if you rarely wear strapless tops or dresses there are some tanks and tops that just require a strapless bra. Strapless bras have gotten a major upgrade lately. They’re more comfortable and some even come with a grip that will keep it from slipping after long wear. (Shown: DKNY Autograph Strapless Bra)
Sports Bra: If you’re ever doing any type of physical activity you absolutely need a sports bra. NOT to be confused with a crop bra. Even light walking or jogging can stretch the ligaments that support the breasts as much as 78%. That ligament DOES NOT retract, so once it’s stretched, it’s permanent. That means saggy boobs, which aren’t good for anyone. You need proper support for physical activity. Ask any bra specialist and they’ll give you the low-down on what makes a good sports bra. (Shown: Champion Maximum Control High Support Spot Comfort No Wire Sports Bra)
Racerback Bra: Which is most definitely not to be confused with a “razorback” – a type of pig. We’re talking lingerie here people, not swine. Anyway, a racerback bra is noted by the straps in the back that make a y shape. They’re good for keeping your straps in place or hidden underneath tank tops. (Shown: Calvin Klein Black Racerback Underwire Bra with Lace)
Wireless Bras: A wireless bra offers the most amount of comfort a bra could ever offer, no poking wires! They’re great for post-surgery patients or anyone who needs an extra delicate bra. However, they’re typically not recommended for busty gals that need the support. (Shown: Bali Double Support ® All-Over Stretch Bra)
The list goes on an on, but you get the idea. Just like you need a well rounded selection of shoes, your bra wardrobe needs to be full of variety too. Try something new and you may be pleasantly surprised by the bra you never knew you needed.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Instagram yet, but it’s my new favorite toy. Not only does it allow me to easily share photos from my iPhone to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook…it also lets me apply different effects and filters, so my photos have a unique and interesting look.
Though I’ve mostly use Instagram to post photosfrommydailylife (you can find me under ‘thelingerieaddict’), there are quite a few people taking advantage of its more artistic purposes. Here are 4 of my favorite accounts–
A lot of news went down in the lingerie industry this week. Here are a few of the highlights –
KnickersBlog goes on hiatus [Editor's Note: As of December 2014, this site appears to be defunct]. KnickersBlog was one of the very first lingerie blogs I discovered all those years ago, and they were also one of my inspirations for starting my own blog. While I’m sad to see them leave the blogosphere, I can’t wait to see what Knickers is like when they return.
La Perla tells us how to choose the perfect slip. I love it when lingerie gets coverage in mainstream media, so I was delighted to see this article on the Wall Street Journal (online version) this week. In it, La Perla’s North American CEO gives several tips for picking a summer slip.
Fashionising writes an open letter to Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret…most people either love them or hate them. While I fall somewhere in the middle (yay for exposing women to lingerie! boo for selling such poorly made products!), I can’t deny any of the critiques Fashionising makes about the way Victoria’s Secret markets itself. Sooo worth reading.
Candice Boucher causes a scandal at Cannes Film Festival. In a sheer lace dress that was perhaps better suited to the catwalk than the red carpet, model Candice Boucher sets tongues wagging. Even though her fashion choice was universally panned by critics, I have to say…I rather like it.
BraStop disagrees with me. In the first of 2 responses to this article, BraStop Blog takes issue with my distrust of that unsubstantiated (but oft-repeated) statistic “85% of women wear the wrong bra size.” For my part, I’m glad retailers are talking; the more conversation about this sort of thing, the better.
Thin & Curvy agrees with me. In the second response to my article on bra fitting, Brittany agrees with my belief that this statistic is primarily used as a scare tactic. She also offers a point of view I support wholeheartedly, “In the end, it doesn’t really matter what percentage of women wear the wrong bra size. What matters is helping women to find bras that fit, and that they can feel comfortable and beautiful.”
New to lingerie? Here are 30 brands to get you started. Though the original title of this article is “30 Websites to Blow Your Mind,” I confess that my mind wasn’t really blown. However, I did think this article was an excellent resource showcasing a variety of lingerie brands. I’ve already bookmarked it to refer to later. (Thanks to @meCatarina for the link!)
On this day, exactly 1 year ago, I created The Lingerie Addict Facebook page…a hub for fans of the blog to interact with me (and each other!) in a more social setting.
365 days and 6100 fans later, I’m so glad I did. The page has become the place to find lots of exclusive content that never appears on the blog…such as this album of Vintage Burlesque Queens or this one of Antique Corsets.
If you haven’t yet become a fan of the page, please do. I can’t wait to see you there!
Set just before the devastation and deprivation of World War II, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is not only a entertaining romantic comedy, it’s also an intriguing look at 1930′s era fashion. Unlike the 1920′s, which emphasized a flat, boyish shilouette, the 1930′s welcomed a return to feminine curves. Corset girdles were all the rage, nylon stockings made their debut, and lingerie marketing as we know it today first appeared. Keep reading to learn how you can get the lingerie look of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day…
We first meet Delysia Lafosse, Miss Pettigrew’s eventual employer, in her luxurious apartment while she’s wearing a gorgeous silk and ostrich-feather trimmed robe. This is one of my favorite looks because it’s all about opulence, decadence, and extravagance. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to reproduce it on your own…just take a look at Secrets in Lace’s Ostrich Trimmed Chiffon Robe.
The lingerie fashion show in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is one of my most favorite scenes from any film I’ve ever watched. It’s feminine and intimate and a little (just a little) naughty. If you love the lace trimmed chemise pictured above, take a look at Between the Sheets Deco Lace Chemise. I love the vintage-inspired peach color, but it’s also available in cherry red and bridal white. Oh! And don’t forget to pick up your authentic vintage stockings from Kay Marel. I recommend their “Skyscraper” heels; click the link to see what I mean.
For the last retro lingerie look, you’ll have to peer behind Miss Pettigrew to view the model wearing the satin bra and tap panties on the runway. Tap panties are definitely making a comeback this season, and I’m glad to see it because it’s a shilouette that flatters almost every body type. Get your authentic, vintage-style bra and tap panties from What Katie Did. And of course they come in the perfect shade of peach.
Have you ever seen Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
I first heard that statistic 5 years ago, shortly after Oprah Winfrey dedicated an entire hour-long show to lingerie. One would think that number might have changed since then, but according to Debenham’s latest press release, 85% of the women they surveyed are still wearing the wrong size bra.
Call me cynical, but I have a hard time believing that.
In the 3 years since I’ve started blogging, I’ve seen that figure several times, and I’ve repeatedly asked retailers, manufacturers, and designers where exactly this 85% statistic comes from. Yet I’ve not once received a clear answer (other than, “It’s common knowledge.”)…much less a link to a dataset or an independent research firm. As a matter of fact, I have never read a single “study” on bra fitting that was conducted by someone other than a bra seller. I don’t have an MBA, but that sounds like a conflict of interest to me.
Now, I’m not denying the importance of a good bra fitting. And I’m certain there are lots of women wearing the wrong size bra even as I type this. But can we please stop it with the scare tactics?
There are lots of good reasons to wear properly fitting lingerie, and you don’t have to use overblown statistics to make a case. Instead, why not talk about how a good bra not only lifts your boobs, but also your spirits? Or how the right bra can make you more comfortable, and therefore more confident? There are so many amazing things to say about lingerie, and you can say them all without telling women they’re “doing it wrong.”
But I want to hear your thoughts, dear readers. Do you believe there’s any truth to the 85% statistic? Are you among the well-fitted 15%? Does a study like this motivate you to go bra shopping? Let me know what you think in the comments.
This month’s Designer Interview is with Israeli-based Liya Amar of La Lilouche (who was also the sponsor of my most recent Facebook giveaway!). Liya’s graceful, sophisticated aesthetic is generating a lot of buzz in the lingerie world and I’m super excited to share some of her behind the scenes insights with Lingerie Addict readers. In our interview, Liya talks about the meaning behind her lingerie label’s name, the hardest part of being a designer, and her most favorite piece from her recent collection.
1) How long have you been designing lingerie and what made you want to be a lingerie designer?
I’ve been designing Lingerie & nightwear for about 7 years. I started right after graduating from college. I left my home and moved to the UK to work as a lingerie designer for commercial High Street brands in London such as La Senza, Top Shop, Evans and House of Fraser. That’s mostly where I learned about lingerie and gained my experience in the industry.
I always wanted to be a fashion designer, but never knew what I was good at. To be honest, I never planned to be a Lingerie designer…I just happened to realize how much I LOVED it! There is something about lingerie that is quite different from designing other clothing. It’s fashion, but also reveals your deepest desires. And that’s why I love it so much.
2) What does La Lilouche mean and why did you choose that name?
La Lilouche is actually my nickname ‘ Lilouche!’ My given name is Liya, but all my loved ones call me Lilouche. When I was searching for a name for the label, I wanted a name that reflected my design style & concept. I felt using a name really close to my heart that I identify with would be the right choice.
3) Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
For inspiration, I love this quote by John Keats, “You are always new..and your last kiss was ever sweetest.” To me, that sentences means that you always find a way to look new in your lover’s eyes and that your last kiss is as sweet as it was the first time you met.
That’s what’s really inspire me…poetry that moves your heart, music that brings emotion & fashion together like Florence & the machine, Bob Dylan, and Pantha du Price. I also adore great fashion designers like Lanvin, Stella McCartney, and Alexander Mcqueen and just anything that has a whimsical, retro touch and that “boudoir” feeling.
Lastly, my everyday life inspires me as well. I travel quite a lot between Europe, China, and India and I try to soak in everything I see along the way.
4) What’s the hardest part of being a lingerie designer? The best part of being a lingerie designer?
I think the hardest part of being a lingerie designer is Keeping It Simple! Sometimes as a designer your creative juices are overflowing and you can’t wait another minute to put every single detail that has been stored in your brain into your brand new collection…and you always want it to be amazing, the best thing ever designed! But the thing is that you always need to keep a balance in the design…otherwise you can’t sell those lingerie pieces. More importantly, you can’t produce those them! As Leonardo DaVinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
The best part of being a lingerie designer is that I have so much gorgeous lingerie to wear for my hubby!
5) Many of your pieces are bespoke or made-to-order. What should someone who’s never ordered bespoke know about the process?
Most of my lingerie is handmade to order so that I can offer more innovation in design. I don’t want to make mass production a part of what I do.
I think it’s very important for a customer to know that when you are buying handmade lingerie, you are not only supporting the artist, you’re receiving personalized service. Because the lingerie is made to order, it can take a week or so to be ready to ship, and sometimes fabric availability can change…so certain styles become limited edition.
Another important thing to know is your correct bra size. Sometimes women are not sure about their size because our bodies change with time, so if you are not sure it’s always better just to measure yourself and let me know your measurements.
6) What’s your favorite piece from the current collection?
My favorite piece from the collection is our Lotti Boudoir Bra set! Everything is in darling pink French lace & dazzling Swarovski. It makes my heart flutter…
7) What kind of woman wears La Lilouche?
A La Lilouche woman loves ‘Fashion With Sprinkles On Top.’ She has a soft spot for vintage style, boudoir, pretty pastels with glitter, and a touch of edginess. She is very confident and fashion conscious, or a fashionista who loves the latest trend.
8) And last (but certainly not least) where can we buy your stuff?
You can find my lingerie online on La Lilouche website: www.lalilouche.com or on the Etsy handmade community www.etsy.com/shop/lalilouche, and also in a few boutiques around Europe.
Thank you so much for making the time to talk with my readers, Liya. I can’t wait to see your next collection!
Thank you so much for having me here. ~ Liya xx