Posts from December, 2011

The Lingerie Addict Awards: Our Favorite Lingerie Brands of 2011

Welcome back for our second of our two annual “Best of 2011″ articles. A few days ago, we listed the Top 20 Lingerie Addict Blog Posts of 2011, and now it’s time to talk our Top 20 Lingerie Brands of 2011. I’m especially excited about this year’s awards because they include both nominations and commentary from Lingerie Addict readers and columnists. Want to see which of last year’s winners made it onto this year’s list? Take a look at our best lingerie of 2010!

Best Overall: Kiss Me Deadly (Reader’s Choice!)
When I asked my Facebook fans to tell me their fave lingerie brand of 2011,  so many of them said Kiss Me Deadly, I literally lost count. Kiss Me Deadly has been one of my personal favorites since the very beginning, and ever since they created the “little black dress of lingerie” (pictured above, phrasing courtesy of reader Amaryllis), their popularity has skyrocketed. Kiss Me Deadly is one of a handful of brands I recommend all the time, and I think 2012 is going to be their year to shine.

Best Overall (luxury): Made by Niki (Reader’s Choice!)
Nominated by both our columnists and readers alike, Made by Niki created one of the most innovative lingerie collections of 2011…the Made by Niki String Collection. Completely original and intensely sensual, Made by Niki raised for the bar for what consumers should expect from luxury lingerie. Not very much takes my breath away anymore, but this did…and it still does.

Best Vintage-Inspired: What Katie Did (Reader’s Choice!)
Pin-up and retro lingerie is a major fashion trend right now, but while there are lots of labels inspired by the past, very few actually use patterns from the past. What Katie Did is one of a handful of lingerie designers that does. Her work was featured in this year’s critically acclaimed biopic My Week with Marilyn, and she also offers one of the most extensive size ranges in the vintage-inspired lingerie niche, with her bras fitting women from 32A to 40G.

Best Everyday Brand: Huit (Reader’s Choice!)
Though I only recently discovered Huit, I’m already a tremendous fan of them. As Lingerie Addict reader Dee put it, Huit offers “classic lines that aren’t too frilly for everyday wear, yet still sexy enough for playtime.” In my opinion, Huit exemplifies wearable but still sophisticated glamour.

Best Luxury Brand: Agent Provocateur (Reader’s Choice!)
For the last 17 years, the name Agent Provocateur has been synonymous with luxury lingerie around the world. Not for the faint of heart (or thin of wallet), Agent Provocateur treats the world of intimates as just another aspect of the fashion industry, releasing on-trend prints, patterns, and colorways every season. This year, they also expanded into the world of jewelry and bed linens, transitioning from “just” a lingerie brand to a comprehensive lifestyle brand.

Best Luxury (Made to Order): Toad Lillie
Toad Lillie is the sort of lingerie designer fashion magazines like to write stories about. Every piece is made to order and hand sewn by the designer herself, Laurie Shapiro, and she works with only the finest silks using only the most couture construction techniques. I’ve always thought Toad Lillie’s pieces were pretty, but then I had the opportunity to view them in person for the first time this year, and I’ve been smitten ever since. The fashion industry feels the same way; legendary photographer Ellen von Unwerth chose to shoot with Toad Lillie’s pieces twice this year.

Best Budget Brand: Ultimo
Another new brand on the list for 2011, Ultimo first caught my attention when I was searching for reasonably priced full bust bras for my readers. I know from personal experience how hard it is to be a lingerie addict on a budget. You still want gorgeous lingerie, but the simple reality is that you can’t drop a hundred dollar bill (or three) every time you need a new bra. Ultimo manages to bridge the gap between beautiful and affordable with bras for A-D cups starting just under $50 and bras for DD-G starting just over $50.

Best New Brand: Marika Vera
One of the great privileges of writing a lingerie blog is that I often get to see new designers before anyone else does, and after the recession of the last few years, it is incredibly exciting to see new talent emerging and thriving within the lingerie industry again. Marika Vera is one such talent. Her debut collection, Venus in Furs, was picked up by the world-famous luxury lingerie boutique Faire Frou Frou, and has received nothing but rave reviews. Marika Vera’s lingerie is earthy, sensual, luxurious, and unique all at once, and I can’t wait to see what she brings in 2012.

Best Hosiery: Commando
Commando is on this year’s list because they solved a problem I didn’t even know I had before…the problem of a hosiery waistband that digs, binds, squeezes, and is otherwise thoroughly uncomfortable. Commando’s ingenious microfiber lasercut waistband gets rid of all that, and stays perfectly in place (and perfectly comfortable!) all day long. Trust me…I was skeptical too until I tried these. Now, I’m a convert.

Best Ethical Line: Purrfect Pineapples (Reader’s Choice!)
I love lingerie designers with a unique point of view and Purrfect Pineapples has it in spades. A little bit pin-up, a little bit alternative, and a little bit Lolita, Purrfect Pineapple’s owner Erika Shuhendler prides herself on fair wages, quality craftsmanship, and original designs. Or, as our reader Audra puts it, “gorgeous design, incredible fabric patterning, and of course cruelty-free and vegan!”

Best Full Bust Brand: Curvy Kate (Reader’s Choice!)
Curvy Kate blew onto the lingerie scene in 2009 and they haven’t slowed down since. Curvy Kate is committed to making sure D-K cup women have just as many gorgeous lingerie options as their smaller busted counterparts, and their passion for finding the perfect fit is evident in the rave reviews of their customers. Their Star in a Bra competition is one of the best and most innovative pieces of marketing ever, and I can’t wait to see them take the U.S. by storm. Expect great things from Curvy Kate in 2012.

Best Full Bust (budget): Parfait by Affinitas
Our full bust specialist Holly nominated this brand, and she calls it “the best brand in terms of quality for price, hands down.” The average woman’s bra size today is 36DD, and I get so many e-mails from readers asking me where they can find a full busted bra that 1) supportive, 2) pretty, and 3) affordable. Well Parfait by Affinitas is all three of those and then some. Congratulations…now  you’re in on one of the best kept secrets of this year.

Best Small Bust Brand: The Little Bra Company
While there’s been a lot of attention given lately to DD cup and higher bras, small busted women are being very vocal (and rightly so!) in making sure the lingerie industry doesn’t forget about them either. I love The Little Bra Company because their bras are pretty, give believable lift and cleavage, and are available down to a 28A. My personal fave is the Lucia in peony/tangerine (pictured above).

Best Lingerie Boutique (Brick and Mortar): Dollhouse Bettie
The sign of a good lingerie boutique is when it lives up to your expectations. The sign of a great lingerie boutique is when it surpasses them. With many of the same brands available online nowadays, lingerie boutiques stand out by offering a curated selection, personable staff, and expert advice…three things Dollhouse Bettie has in spades. Combining modern brands with vintage pieces and an in-house designed range, Dollhouse Bettie offers a shopping experience like no other.

Best Lingerie Boutique (Online): HerRoom (Reader’s Choice!)
Free Shipping. Easy Returns. Authentic Customer Reviews. 200 brands under one digital roof. HerRoom makes shopping online for lingerie easy. I particularly love how each product is photographed from several angles, and the super detailed product descriptions. HerRoom takes all the guesswork out of lingerie shopping online…which is probably why they were nominated for the list. (Mary Green robe pictured above.)

Best Shapewear: Cass Luxury Shapewear
As my style matures from jeans and t-shirts to pencil skirts and lacy blouses, I find myself relying on shapewear a lot more. And though I’ve tried a ton of brands, the honest truth is that most of them are unremarkable…if not downright uncomfortable. But the shapewear brand I keep coming to again and again is Cass. They’re comfortable. They’re stylish. And they really do slim and refine your curves. They also offer a ton of options, so you’re covered no matter what you’re wearing.

Best Full Bust Shapewear: Charnos
One of the complaints I’ve heard time and again from my readers is that it’s very hard to find shapewear to accomodate all their curves, especially if they’re full-busted. Our columnist Holly nominated Charnos for this year’s list, and had this to say about the line, “Their cups are really generous and the pieces are great. It’s almost impossible to find one piece shapewear for the full bust market.” As an added bonus, this is shapewear you won’t mind showing off; the lace overlay and garter straps make Charnos’ line both pretty and practical.

Best Corsetry (budget): Timeless Trends (Reader’s Choice!)
Make no mistake about it, corsetry is an investment. But a custom made corset will set you back a few hundred dollars (and rightly so!). If you’re new to the world of corsetry and just want to test the waters, or if you’re on a budget and a custom corset is out of reach, then Timeless Trends is for you. Unlike many so-called corsets, Timeless Trends uses authentic steel-boning, and every corset comes with a lifetime guarantee. Best of all, their corsets are available in plus sizes and start at $99. It may not be custom, but it’s the next best thing.

Best Corsetry (made to order): Dark Garden (Reader’s Choice!)
If you do have the money to invest in custom, handmade corsetry however, then you can’t go wrong with the corsetiere to burlesque legends like Dita von Teese and Catherine D’Lish. Founded 20 years ago and based in San Francisco, Dark Garden’s founder, Autumn Adamme uses couture stitching and historical costume techniques to craft her world famous corsets. I keep a running list of corsetieres I’d like to buy from in the future and believe me when I say Dark Garden is on it.

Best of 2012 (projected): Love Claudette
Their tagline is “Your new favorite bra has arrived,” and I believe it. Though Love Claudette is new to the lingerie world, they’re already getting rave reviews and rightly so. I tried two of their ranges, the mesh and the cotton, this last year, and they’re already in my regular rotation of everyday bras. Holly calls them the most-innovative range for full-busted women, especially since they offer a sheer mesh bra that super sexy and super supportive all at once. Love Claudette proves that there’s still room for new players in the lingerie industry, and I expect this brand to explode in 2012.

I hope you enjoyed reading this year’s round-up of the very best of what 2011 had to offer. Did we leave your favorite brand off the list? Tell us what you love in the comments!

The Lingerie Addict is One of the Top 20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012!

In a year full of mindblowing firsts, from my first major media mention to my first leap into self-employment, it makes sense to finish 2011 with just one more:

The Lingerie Addict was just selected by ProBlogger.net, the world’s #1 blog about blogging, as one of the Top 20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012.

I really can’t describe to you what an amazing honor that is. There are literally millions of blogs online, and many of them are run by awesome people who are doing some super-impressive things. Yet somehow, the editors of ProBlogger.net managed to notice what we’re doing in our little corner of the internet over here.

I say this a lot, but it’s always true. A blog doesn’t get very far without it’s readers, and I firmly believe that I have some of the most passionate readers of any blog online. So to everyone’s who’s tweeted about my blog, posted it to their Facebook, or told their friends about it over coffee…thank you. And I can’t wait to hit the ground running in 2012!

Lingerie Info: The 20 Best Lingerie Addict Articles of 2011

Photo Credit: Ellen von Unwerth

The Agent Provocateur Sale is Live!

For all my Boxing Day/ after Christmas bargain hunters, the semi-annual Agent Provocateur Lingerie sale is now online.

Not sure what to  choose from? I’ve put a few of my favorite looks below.

Better hurry though…the pieces you love always sell out first!

Lingerie News – 12/24/11

Found any lingerie news?

Send it to editor@thelingerieaddict.com for consideration in next week’s round-up!

Why You Should Wear Red Lingerie For the Holidays

By: Laura

Image via Lingerie Diva

Ah, the Holiday season. Time for singing carols, mulling wine, and donning gay apparel.

Some classic things we associate with Christmas festivity: mistletoe, lights, and most interesting to me, the color red. As a designer of lingerie, I often steer clear of red because of it can come off as one too many sexy attributes in a garment. For example, if it’s short AND lacy, I would probably keep it a less over-the-top sexy color. (I don’t want to be causing any heart attacks out there! Or for my customers to be mistaken for hookers.) I prefer to use colors that aren’t automatically associated with sin, like plum and dusty pink, so that the wearer can feel pretty AND sexy.

(You may also like: Naughty Christmas Lingerie: Ellen von Unwerth Featuring Ana Beatriz Barros)

But for Holiday 2011, I had an impulse to unveil two bright red pieces for my collection, Lola Haze. Why? I asked myself the same question and decided to do some digging into the the origins of red as a Christmas color.

My admittedly unacademic research lead me to a couple of theories, none of which seem definitive. A commonly cited explanation is that green represents the life associated with the birth of Christ, and red represents his death on the cross. As the holly leaves became associated with Christmas (one of the few practical plants to choose because it’s alive in the winter), the green of the leaves and the red of the berries became emblematic of these religious symbols.

(You may also like: The Lingerie That Got Away: 3 Pieces I Should Have Purchased)

As for our beloved Santa Claus, in his red suit with fur lining–this is a relatively modern vision. This costume’s debut is usually attributed to the 1862 drawing of the German American satirist and cartoonist Thomas Nast. It was then made famous by Coca-Cola’s Santa advertising campaign in 1931, and the shade of red used throughout the campaign was patented by the company. Before that time, Saint Nicholas had been pictured in various colors and forms, including as a gnome and a bishop.

So ladies, why red? It’s a color with such wide and powerful associations throughout the world’s traditions: sin, lust, courage, blood, life, death, and passion. There’s The Scarlet Letter, stop lights, the goddess Lakshmi, the Soviet flag…

This time of year, red is also the color of festivity. So here are some picks to gussy up your Holiday season. What are your favorite pieces of red lingerie?

Lola Haze Holiday Chemise – $139.

(TLA readers: get an exclusive 20% discount off your purchase by using code LolaFriends20 at checkout until December 31, 2011.)

Faire Frou Frou Standard Ostrich Robe – $780

Yandy Christmas Lingerie – various prices

Fun Factory G4 Tiger – $109.90

La Perla Romantica Balconette Bra – $178

Introducing Bare Necessities’ New Curvy Lingerie Boutique! (sponsored)

As you can probably imagine, I get a lot of lingerie questions in my inbox everyday. But one of the questions I’m asked most often by far is “Where can I, as a curvy/full bust/plus size woman find gorgeous lingerie–that won’t break the bank–in my size?

Well, Bare Necessities, the world’s premier online lingerie boutique (and InStyle Magazine’s favorite place to shop for lingerie online), has heard you and put their all curvy girl selections in one easy to navigate section on their website.

Whether you’re looking for bras, panties, sleepwear, camisoles, or sexy lingerie, there’s something here for every occasion…from the everyday to the extra special. Best of all, they actually use a full busted woman (Ashley Graham, in case you’re wondering) in many of the product shots…something that doesn’t happen nearly enough in the lingerie world.

Here are a few of my fave selections from the 81 brands and 1000+ styles in the curvy boutique:

Hanky Panky Leopard Print Thong (fits up to 20W) – $24

Lunaire ‘Sevilla Scroll’ Bra & Panty (up to 42DDD & XXL) – $52

Felina ‘Emily’ Bra, Thong & Garter Belt (up to 40DD & XL) – $81

Elomi ‘Lara’ Bra & Brief (up to 44F & 4x) – $100

Wacoal Retro Bra & Brief (up to 42DDD & 2XL) – $90

Va Bien Lace Bustier (up to 48D) – $60

Chantelle ‘Rive Gauche’ Bra & Tanga (up to 44H & XL) – $118

Parfait by Affinitas ‘Honey’ Underwire Babydoll (up to 40G) – $65

Escante Babydoll & Coat Set w/ Matching Panty (up to 3X) – $32

DreamGirl Stretch Lace Babydoll w/ Matching G-String (up to 4X) – $34

Linda Hartmann Open Back Stretch Satin Chemise (up to 3X) – $46

Linda Hartmann Stretch Satin Nightshirt (up to 2X) – $54

Linda Hartmann Stretch Satin Pajamas (up to 3X) – $72

8 New Year’s Lingerie Resolutions for 2012

By: Kristina

Dita von Teese for Frederick’s of Hollywod

Now that 2011 is nearing an end, many of us begin to reflect upon the past years’ more notable events and vow to improve our actions and ourselves for the New Year. 2012 will be no different for myself or for millions of other hopefuls. However being immersed in the lingerie industry and also recently embarking on a journey of personal self growth and reflection, I have realized that I am embarrassingly guilty of breaking a number of lingerie crimes in 2011. Therefore this upcoming year I am taking a pledge to better my personal lingerie situation 1 step at a time in order to improve my standing for a 2012! Here are my top 8 lingerie resolutions for the New Year:

1. Invest in a supportive strapless bra.
Now that the holiday season is almost over I can no longer ignore the fact that my arsenal of bras is lacking a functional strapless version for party occasions. The 2 that I currently own will find themselves in the trash come January as I reassess my strapless needs. What I will be looking for is a strong brassier with molded cups for coverage, underwire for support, and most importantly – clear taping for a no-slip grip. Since this is not a task to take lightly I have already started researching and have found 2 options that may be a good match – the Uprising Strapless Bra by Wacoal and the Biofit Strapless Bra by Victoria’s Secret. Hopefully one or both of these bras will be up to the task(s) at hand!

(You may also like: 3 Lingerie Rules for New Year’s Eve)

 

2. De-clutter my lingerie drawers.
You know you’re an addict when you can’t properly shut any of the lingerie drawers in your bureau! Since only about half of my collection actually gets any use, my first step will be discarding the old, ratty & unflattering bras & undies that I reserve for desperate times (ie: laundry day, that time of the month, etc.). The second step will be to get rid of all the uncomfortable pieces that I insisted on keeping because they are just so pretty! This includes a few pairs of lace Brazilian cut undies (no one likes a perma-wedgie) and the embellished bra that is 2 band sizes too small. Goodbye frivolous purchases and hello extra drawer space!

(You may also like: 9 Things I’ve Learned About Lingerie in the Last Year)

Fleur of England

3. Wear attractive sleepwear.
Now that I am newly single, I am ready to move on to the next chapter of my life in 2012. It is time to focus more on my own faith and confidence, which includes feeling sexy and empowered in my own clothing regardless of who sees it. I’ve found that on the days that I wear attractive undergarments I often feel more bold and confident, so why wouldn’t the same be true of my sleepwear? Its time to ditch the cartoon flannel pj’s and oversize t-shirts in favor of some more luxury fabrics & elegant details. Perhaps some silky rompers or lace trim microfiber will be just the thing to inspire sweet dreams this year.

(You may also like: 5 Easy Steps for Organizing Your Lingerie)

Pretty Polly Tights

4. Purchase a pair of patterned tights.
Fashion tights are all the rage right now and after viewing some current lines from Pretty Polly and House of Holland, I am ready to jump on the bandwagon! So many styles in the new collection are super cool without being too outlandish or wacky. The Pretty Vintage tights perform double duty with a faux lacy sock knit right in, while the Pretty Squiggly tights will look awesome with a pencil skirt for the office. And my personal favorite, the Pretty Sparkly tights, are just perfect for partying the winter blues away.

(You may also like: How to Buy Lingerie You’ll Actually Wear)

5. Take better care of my lingerie.
Ok, I have to admit – I am not always cognizant of my lingerie’s needs. While I do hand wash with a gentle detergent I do not always take the time to ensure my delicates are being laundered effectively. From now on I am vowing to always use lukewarm water and gently swish & pump to really remove the excess dirt and grime, taking special care to “massage” the areas most prone to nasty buildup (underwire casings, gussets & under arms). Next I will rinse them thoroughly and gently wring or blot out any extra water before laying them down flat to dry on a towel instead of hanging them on a clothesline in my bathtub like a Neanderthal! I’m hoping this will give my lingerie the longer, healthier & more fulfilled life that it deserves.

(You may also like: 10 Pieces of Lingerie Every Woman Must Own)

Yummie Tummie

6. Buy a comfortable piece of shapewear.
Let’s be honest – the holiday season is all about friends, family and over indulging in our favorite, sugary treats. And by the time this season is over I will definitely be feeling the repercussions of the latter. While I plan to start up my workout regime again in January, I could benefit from a little artificial help until I reach my goal. That means a comfy, easy to wear shapewear piece that can streamline my shape while still allowing me to breathe and go about my day uninterrupted. Yummie Tummie has a long list of satisfied customers with their slimming camis in fashion colors & prints. While the Spanx Haute Contour collection offers beautiful styles that double as shaping pieces. Whichever I end up choosing I hope to only need it for the first month or two of the new year until my fitness goal has been reached.

(You may also like: Leggings, High Heels, and Pearls: My 2010 NYE Outfit)

Triumph Triaction Bra

7. Find a sports bra that actually works.
With all the jumping, running & sweating I plan on doing come this January, I am going to need a good sports bra that really minimizes bounce. Even us smaller sized girls experience the chest pains associated with high impact physical activity and need a supportive bra that will both suppress and contain. My list of demands includes enclosed underwire, racer back and wickability for maximum comfort. I may try out some styles from Enell or Nike, which have both gotten great reviews or I may go for a fitting with professionals to explain my criteria and really ensure I find a good match. Either way I’d like a high tech design with a lot of thought and research behind it.

(You may also like: Ask the Addict: Comfortable Lingerie for Everyday)

Dove Ad Campaign

8. Love my body.
2012 is going to be a great year – I can feel it. A year of enlightenment, happiness & wisdom! I think we should all vow to dispel the judgment we put on our bodies and really focus on what makes us beautiful and sets us apart from others. I recommend reading the interviews on The Lingerie Project Tumblr (http://thelingerieproject.tumblr.com/) to help inspire us to be proud of what we have. The brave girls come in many different sizes & shapes but all manage to exude their own unique beauty and sensuality in their photos. Let’s stop obsessing about diets, celebrities and our own social standing and focus more on improving ourselves for years to come. Happy New Year!

(You may also like: Body Image: It Doesn’t Matter What Size You Are…Stop the Body Snark)

What are your lingerie resolutions for 2012?