In our 5th of 7 shopping guides, we’re talking shapewear…the seductive kind, not the Spanx kind!. Ranging from lacy basques to gorgeous bustiers (and a couple of corsets!), today’s guide is all about indulging yourself with the very best.
The holiday season is a time of cheer and good tidings, but it’s also important to stay warm. Snuggle up with some of the season’s most elegant robes and luxurious pajamas.
The holiday season is the perfect time of year for festive and fancy legwear. Whether it’s glitter, laces, rhinestones, or bows, indulge your passion for fashion with some of this winter’s most gorgeous hosiery.
The one piece trend (mostly consisting of bodysuits, rompers, and teddies) has made a comeback…and in a big way. Perfect for layering underneath clothing or just for lounging casually around the house, this fashion statement shows no signs of going away anytime soon. The pieces in today’s shopping guide are priced between $40.99 and $295.00.
Today kicks off the first of this year’s Holiday Lingerie Shopping Guides. We’ve got seven brand new ones coming you way and they cover everything from bra & panty sets to robes & pajamas to stockings & tights. Today though, we’re starting with a few of our favorite stocking stuffers for $50 or less. If you’re a Lingerie Addict on a budget, these are a great gifts that won’t destroy your wallet, and you may even find a thing or two for yourself. To purchase, simply click the photo. Happy Shopping!
In honor of Small Business Saturday, today we’re republishing this 2010 guest article from Alison of Faire Frou Frou. While TLA is not a blog exclusively for indie boutiques and designers, we do make an effort to feature them as often as possible. Please take a look at our Etsy Lingerie Directory, Corset Directory, and Lingerie Boutiques Directory for more small businesses you can support during the holiday season.
I can’t tell you how happy I am to feature a guest post from the lovely, fashionable, and incredibly business savvy Alison Rubke of the world-famous lingerie boutique Faire Frou Frou (seriously…Dita von Teese shops there!). Not only is Faire Frou Frou one of the best lingerie boutiques in the nation, they also have a very popular fashion lingerie blog–Frou Frou Fashionista. As one of the inspirations for getting my own lingerie blog started, it’s an absolute honor to feature an article from them here. Today, Alison is here to talk about what makes shopping at a luxury lingerie boutique different from the typical ‘big box’ store in the mall.
There’s a reason why specialty lingerie boutiques can successfully hold their own in a world of big name department stores…and we’re here to tell you why!
The idea behind a specialty lingerie store is quite simply to provide experience, guidance and excellent customer service as relates to intimate apparel. Sounds pretty simple, right? There are certain advantages to shopping specialty stores that set them apart from your experience at the big guys. We will explore those Pros and will also provide our tips to making your experience in those lingerie shops more enjoyable.
The ADVANTAGES of shopping at a specialty lingerie boutique (such as Faire Frou Frou!):
• An intimate setting where a customer can receive one-on-one consultation and advice regarding his/her needs.
• Access to unique brands
• Ability to special-order a size/color/brand that is not in stock.
• Knowledgeable sales staff. You will work with someone who knows the products well, can tell you when new items are expected to arrive, knows what the trends are for the forthcoming season, has a working relationship with most of the designers/vendors so as to pass along any advice/suggestions you may have, and someone who can properly assess whether an item fits correctly or not.
• A small boutique wants to build long-term relationships with its customers. That being said, we (at Faire Frou Frou) would never suggest an ill-fitting item to a customer just to make a quick sale because we know that customer will never want to come back. We provide honest advice and will even suggest another store if we do not have what someone is looking for. We are very open to providing customers with addresses/websites to other stores or names of brands we do not carry. Customer service like that is forward-thinking and goes a long way.
• A specialty boutique can handle customized and specific requests.
• A smaller store will typically go out of its way to make the customer happy because their business is their passion and their livelihood.
• As the owner of Faire Frou Frou, I make a point of working in the store at least 4-5 days a week to stay in touch with what the customers want. Our experiences with each customer only make us that much better for the next customer who comes in.
• We handle our own social networking, which means we access the opinions and suggestions of potential customers worldwide. We are passionate about what we do and absorb as much advice as we can.
• If anything, a lot of our customers just don’t want to deal with going to the mall!
• Different specialty boutiques have different niche markets. For instance ours is a focus on luxury lingerie, but for others their store specialty may be mastectomy bras, nursing bras, pin-up/rockabilly, plus-size, small-busts, foundations, etc.
Based on the customers we have worked with, here are our TIPS for ladies/gents before going lingerie shopping:
• Be open-minded to trying different sizes. You may be surprised that you wear a 34C in one brand a perfectly fit a 36B in another. So many people can be so rigid about their size! The average customer is unaware that a British bra is often sized differently than a French or American bra…which means you will certainly fit in different sizes in different brands.
• Gentlemen, please do your homework! Knowing her size before you go shopping will make the experience that much easier. You can either peek in her drawer for her sizes, or just ask her!
• Lingerie shopping can be so much more than just Bras and Panties; you have the option of chemises, robes, PJs, bustiers, Camisoles, Hosiery, etc. We always suggest stockings with a lingerie ensemble; it really takes the whole look up a notch.
• Keep in mind that a specialty boutique is accustomed to helping people with very specific needs.
• Don’t be sorry about your size! We tend to notice our small-busted customers apologizing for “being too small”…that’s nonsense! Keep in mind that we see a lot of breasts on a daily basis…like a doctor, we’ve seen it all so there’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s our job to find the brands that suit you best!
• Some customers feel there is something wrong with their body because they have a hard time finding the right bra…that is not true at all. These customers just have not found the right brand or style yet. There’s a reason there are so many brands to choose from; one bra style/brand does not work on everyone. The right bra for each person is out there somewhere!
• If you do not feel 100% pleased with how you look in an item, do not buy it. We always know when a customer has found the right item when they have an exclamation of excitement from the fitting room!
• We have quite a few customers who shop for Bridal gifts. Sometimes it’s hard to buy your friend a bra (it’s such a personal preference), so we suggest finding a gift that runs sizes small, medium, large, etc. because there’s more wiggle room with fit. Also, if you are completely stumped on what size to buy for a gift, be creative and put together an assortment of accessories (like a pair of stockings and accessories by Maison Close or Booty Parlor…or perhaps Delicates Wash…anything that isn’t so specific with sizing).
• Just because you were ill-fitted and bought the wrong bra at a chain store, doesn’t mean all lingerie stores are that way. Give the specialty boutique a chance! We are prepared to have customers come in and request a bra fitting.
• If a lingerie boutique has an online store, take a peek at it before heading in to shop…some of our customers come in with a shopping list from our website which makes the experience that much easier!
We hope these tips help you out…it’s just a bit of lingerie wisdom that we have gained in our experience in the industry.
- 10% off at Boom Boom Baby w/ code ADDICT (ends 12/15)
- 10% off Cervin products at StockingsHQ w/ code cervinxmas (ends 11/26)
- 10% off at La Perla w/ code LPCM12 (11/26 only)
- 10% off black lingerie sets at Myla (ends 11/25)
- 11% off at Brastop + half price shipping w/ code BLACK11 (Black Friday only)
- $10 gift card for every panty pack ordered, $25 gift card for every bra pack ordered, PLUS orders over $250 receive a free thong at Cosabella (ONLY 11/26)
- 15% off at Ohhh Lulu w/ code CYBER12 (ends 11/26)
- 15% off + free shipping at La Petite Coquette (11/26 only)
- 15% off at Stockingirl with code 15C (ends 11/26)
- 15% off at Sweet Carousel Corsetry with code BLKFRDY12 (11/24-26)
- 15% off all purchases $25 or more at Nylon Journal (ends 11/24)
- 15% off store wide at The Stylish Fox w/ code BLACKFRI15 (ends 11/26)
- 15% off everything and an extra 20% off clearance at Lucy B w/ code Thankyou2012
- 15% off at Dollhouse Bettie with code THANKS-2012
- 20% off at Puimond Progressive Corset Design w/ code cyber12 (11/26 only)
- 20% off at Faire Frou Frou with code BOOBIES (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at BHLDN (11/26 only)
- 20% off everything at Ayten Gasson w/ code BLACK20 (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at Lille Boutique w/ code CYBER20 (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at Angela Friedman w/ code MONDAY26 (ends 11/26)
- 20% off + free shipping at Eberjey w/ code CYBER2012 (11/26 only)
- 20% off at Babeland w/ code MYDEAL (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at The Loved One w/ code FUEGO (11/26 only)
- 20% off Spanx, Calvin Klein, Freya, Elomi, Fauve, Goddess, Huit & Fantasie at HerRoom (ends 11/29)
- 20% off non-sale items at Azeleas w/ code THANKS20 (ends 11/25)
- 20% of at Piper Ewan w/ code PDXETSY2012 (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at Forty Winks w/ code CHEER (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at Jane Doe Latex w/ code WINTERSALE
- 20% off orders of $100 or more + free shipping at FreshPair (11/26 only)
- 20% off purchase of $40 or more at Butterfly Collection w/ code BLACKFLASH (ONLY on 11/23 from 6am-6pm EST)
- 20% off purchase of $250 or more if you like Natori Inside’s Facebook page
- 20% off reduced items at In Bloom by Jonquil w/ code KISSKISS (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at Bella Bella Boutique w/code BF20 (ends 11/26)
- 20% off at Vex Clothing w/ code XMAS20 (ends 11/30)
- 20% off purchase at Dottie’s Delights w/ code EGYPTIANSHUMBA (ends 11/26)
- 20% off everything at Fig Leaves w/ code TWENTY
- 20% off at La Petite Coquette (ends 11/24/12)
- 20% off in stock corsets at Delicious Boutique with code BLACKFRIDAY
- 20% off at My Karnation with code CYBERMON (online only; Cyber Monday only)
- 20% off the Gilda set at Playful Promises w/ code RITAHAYWORTH
- $50 off a $200 purchase at Journelle w/ code CYBERMONDAY12 (11/26 only)
- 25% off at MyTights with code BLACKFRIDAY (Black Friday only)
- 25% off at Sweet Carousel Corsetry with code BLKFRDY12 (Black Friday only)
- 25% off at Versatile Corsets with code BLACKFRIDAY
- 25% off everything at Brooklyn Fox w/code BKFOX25 (ends 11/25)
- 25% off at Shop-Underwear.com w/ code Black12 (11/26 only)
- 25% off honeymoon thongs at The Giving Bride (ends 11/26)
- 25% off at Peek Brooklyn w/ code CYBER (ONLY 11/26)
- 25% off at Belabumbum w/ code CYBERMONDAY2012 (ends 11/26)
- 25% off at Kiss Me Deadly w/ code 1STCYBERMONDAY25 (11/25 thru 11/27)
- 25% off at Saumarez w/ code xmas12 (ends 12/7)
- 30% off at Between the Sheets Lingerie w/ code SLUMBER30 (11/26 only)
- 30% off at Love Baby Grand w/ code CYBER30 (ends 11/27)
- 30% off at ASOS w/ code CYBERMONDAYSPECIAL (ends 11/30/12)
- 30% off select Cosabella items at HerRoom (ends 11/29/12)
- 30% off at Julianna Rae (11/26 only)
- 30% off at Cinched Tights Corsets (ends 11/26)
- 30% off at Fox & Rose w/ code hohoho (ends 11/26)
- 30% off pink lingerie at Miss Mandalay (ends 11/26)
- 30% off at Hepburn and Leigh w/ code CYBERSALE30FR (11/25 thru 11/27)
- 30% off at Frederick’s of Hollywood
- 30% off all products at Farr West (ends 11/27)
- 30% off at Cosabella w/ code CYBER30 (ONLY on 11/26)
- 30% off purchase site wide at OnGossamer w/ code OGBestDeal (ends 11/26)
- 30% off at Yummie Tummie w/ code HOLIDAY30 (ends 11/26)
- 30% off at Bordello w/ code BLACKFRIDAY (ends 11/26)
- 30% off at She and Reverie w/ code MYWEEKEND (ends 11/26)
- 30% off $30 or more at Bristol6 w/ code BLKFDAY (ends 11/26)
- 35% off Black Friday ONLY at Vex Clothing w/ code BLACK35 (ends 11/26)
- 40% off at Slimpressions Shapewear (11/26 only)
- 40% off Vedette Shapewear (11/26 only)
- 40% off purchase at Brulee w/ code IHEARTBRULEE (ends 11/25)
- 40% off purchase at Aerie w/ code 35787891 (ends 11/25)
- Up to 40% off at Bare Necessities (ends 11/27)
- 50% off at Dirty Dolls Lingerie w/ code DOLLIDAYS (ends 11/26)
- 50% off at True & Co. w/ code FIRST50 + free gift (11/26 only)
- 50% off select items at Zinke Intimates w/ code THANKS&GIVING (ends 11/26)
- 50% off at Undrest (ends 11/26)
- 50% off highest priced item w/ purchase of 2 or more at Soma Intimates (11/26 only)
- 50% off bras at My Karnation (ends 11/24/12)
- 50-90% off all swim styles at Linda the Bra Lady (ends 11/25)
- Up to 80% off at Lingerie Diva
- Sale at Made by Niki
- Sale on select items at Love & Dream
- Sale on select items at Magnifique Lingerie
- Select markdowns at Hanky Panky
- Buy 2, get 1 free at Lille Boutique
- Free shipping at Fleur of England (ends 12/1/12)
- Free shipping at What Katie Did (ends 11/26/12)
- Free shipping on b.tempt’d by Wacoal (ends 11/28)
- Free shipping at Soakwash.com (ends 12/11)
- Free shipping + free gift at Linda the Bra Lady (11/26 only)
- Free shipping on orders of $25 or more at Lingerie Diva
- Orders between $100 and $1500 will receive a gift card valued at $500 at Cosabella (ONLY 11/23)
- Sale at MyTights
Caterina Lewis would write under her birth name if only it were a touch more glam. She lives in the Frozen Northeast with three cats, myriad fickle muses, and the most darling mother a girl could want. She prefers the look of 18th century stays but would be more comfortable in an hourglass underbust corset, as overbusts do her no favours. Find her at Refuge in Audacity (postraphstunner.wordpress.com).
I know I want them the day I open a pair of holdups that won’t.
My aunt has been sending me lingerie from Germany since I was finally old enough to appreciate it. From vintage bras (which never quite fit in the cups) to an entire trousseau’s worth of thongs, I must have a small fortune in smallclothes. I’ve been saving the delicate, lace-topped nude thigh-highs in their packages for special occasions, only since this latest CFIDS flare, I’ve had to wear them more often. Tights are no longer comfortable enough for daily wear, and in a Western New York winter, the wearing of skirts requires hosiery. Now that the weather has turned firmly to autumn, I rummage through my sock drawer for a new pair of sheer stockings, given my last pair is hopelessly laddered.
I suppose if I let my stockings sit in the package for too long, the sticky stuff inside the welt will stop sticking. Or else my poor legs are too dry and flaky. Either way, as soon as I’ve got one stocking up, the other falls down! Maybe my foremothers had it right: suspenders are the way to go.
Since I’m running out of the house to buy a slip, I devise an emergency system comprised of elastic strips, safety pins, and a very solid pair of knickers. (Since I don’t have a slip, I’m making do with a pair of short pantalettes. Why must dresses and skirts be made of lining material these days?) I am careful not to pin where I’ll be sitting; all the same, the whole time I’m out, I’m peeking in mirrors, because none of my pinning feels secure.
I want a better elastic than the hacked-off top of that laddered stocking. I want better fasteners than safety pins. I want a suspender belt.
I mention this to my mother in the car. She laughs. “Straps?” she asks, and it sounds like “stropps” because after eighteen straight years here, she retains her gorgeous, curious Bavarian-German accent, the voice all the South Asians who call her think belongs to the Punjab. “Oh, we hated those growing up. Always a hassle!”
Well, hose are a hassle for me. The firm grip of a belt beats the pinch of a waistband any day. Besides, I’m a little under five feet tall. That waistband, if I don’t roll it, hits me up around my ribs. I could let it sit on my hips, but I haven’t enough behind to fill the spare material. Saggy, baggy, or rolled, it’s all hideous as well as painful. She may not care — she has a lot more padding than I do. Perhaps she prefers her queen-size control tops. I don’t want them, and I certainly don’t need what they do to my body.
I am grateful for my aunt for so many reasons. One of those reasons includes a knack for sewing which has come down from my great-aunt to my aunt to me. Because I sew, I have a measuring tape to hand. I can take my own measurements with a minimum of fuss. (Also, the family knack has let me alter one of my aunt’s old bras down to fit my A-cups. I am nothing if not resourceful.) Once I decide on a model, I discover that it comes in my very waist size, with room for bloating — er, wearing on my hips if I so desire. Cough.
I order a pair of sheer stockings which I have to confirm will indeed be my particular shade of nude; the swatch on the site would lead any consumer to believe the color tends toward mauve, which it absolutely does not. Thank goodness for the enterprising enthusiast who has photographed all sixteen-odd shades of this manufacturer’s sheers. Even “nude” has a tendency to look funny on my sallow-white legs, but nobody makes “fishbelly”. At least the opaques are simple: I want black and black I can have, for $1.99, no less. Shipping’s more expensive, but I don’t dare get more than one of each kind; what if they don’t work out? What if this isn’t my solution after all?
I haven’t got long to worry. My belt and my sheer stockings arrive on the third day after I order. I handle these packages with care. I don’t want my clumsy little hands making mincemeat of my delicates. Ever mindful of where my nails are, I slide one stocking over my leg, unwilling even to risk the other in case I should have to return them. I get the hang of the suspenders quickly enough, though I’ll need time to figure out where to fasten them on the welt and how much to tighten them once they’re fastened. The little tightening doohickey has teeth! Literally! They snag on the elastic. But this is good. It means I won’t suddenly find my stockings down around my knees or some such mischief.
Instead, and for the first time in forever, I feel secure in a pair of nylons. My hosiery fits like it was made for me. I begin to understand the confidence of women doing high kicks in burlesque acts and posing in ruffly bra and panty sets for pinup shots. I begin to believe I belong among them, finally past a long and awkward adolescence where lingerie is concerned. Even in this utilitarian white suspender belt and plain beige sheer stockings, I look polished, so unlike my usual borrowed-her-mother’s-hose chic. I’m comfortable, not frumpy. I could interview in a skirt without wondering if anyone’s staring at my legs.
Well, for the wrong reasons.
That my partner enjoys the look is only a postscript, because I truly believe in buying lingerie for my own enjoyment. I have needed this feeling. I have needed this view of myself in the mirror. So I now spend a little longer getting dressed than before? I’m prepared to take it. I have friends with similar disabilities who turn to makeup and nail polish when they want to indulge. This is how I do it. This is my pampering, my luxury.
Now, if I really want to turn indulgence up a notch, I hear corsets are wonderful for back support . . .