- 10% off with one purchase at Farr West w/ code YEAREND10 (ends 1/1/13)
- 20% off with two purchases at Farr West w/ code YEAREND20 (ends 1/1/13)
- 20% off sports bras, select activewear and Hue tights and sheers at HerRoom (sports bras and activewear sale ends 1/7/13, Hue sale ends 1/2/13)
- 25% off designer brands at Bare Necessities (ends 1/2/13)
- 25% off all shapewear at Corsetera
- 30% off at VienneMilano w/ code BYEBYEXMAS
- 30% off with three purchases at Farr West w/ code YEAREND30 (ends 1/1/13)
- 30% off Opal collection at Denteele etc
- Up to 40% off during End of Year sale at Cosabella w/ code ENDOFYEAR (ends 1/1/13 at 11am EST)
- Up to 50% off at Fig Leaves
- Up to 50% off at La Senza
- Up to 50% off at Pretty Polly
- Up to 50% off at ASOS
- 50% off all sale items at La Petite Coquette (ends 12/31/12)
- Up to 75% off at Butterfly Collection
- Up to 75% off at Hepburn and Lee
- Up to 80% off at MyHabit (ends 12/31/12 at 9am PT)
- Year of Color sale at Cosabella
- Sale at Fox and Rose
- Sale at Saumarez Lingerie
- Sale at Secrets in Lace
- Sale at Made by Niki
- Sale at Ayten Gasson
- Sale at Myla
- Sale at La Lilouche
- Sale at Ultimo
- Sale at StockingsHQ
- Sale at Karolina Laskowska
- Sale at Playful Promise
- Sale at Agent Provocateur
- Sale at Bare Necessities
- Sale at Between the Sheets
Best Overall: Love Claudette
Best Luxury Brand: Fleur of England
Best Budget Brand: Frederick’s of Hollywood
Best Everyday Brand: Wacoal
Best Plus Size: Goddess
Best Full Bust: Bravissimo
Best Small Bust Brand: Lula Lu Petites
Best Independent Brand: Fraulein Annie
Best Corset Brand: Sweet Carousel Corsetry
Best Vintage Inspired: Dottie’s Delights
Best New Brand: Ohhh Lulu
Best Shapewear: ResultWear
Best Loungewear/Sleepwear: Eberjey
Best Hosiery: Gerbe
Best Accessories: Fraulein Kink
Best Lingerie Wash: Eucalan Wrapture (Jasmine Scent)
Best Mass Market/Mall Brand: Soma Intimates
Best Maternity: Bella Materna
Best Lingerie Book: Lillian Bassman Lingerie
Best Boutique: Journelle
- Diversity is More Than a Bra Size: What It’s Like to Be a Woman of Color in the Lingerie Industry
- Diversity is More Than a Bra Size: What It’s Like to Be a Lesbian in the Lingerie Industry
- The Lingerie Addict is a Body Snark Free Zone
- Yes, It’s Okay to Not Wear A Bra
- How to Buy Lingerie for Your Partner
- Bra Fitting Formulas: Is the ‘War on Plus Four’ the Answer?
- The Shape Debate: Does Shapewear Contribute to Body Snark?
- How Victoria’s Secret Helps the Lingerie Industry
- Victoria’s Secret Problems: 3 Issues the Lingerie Giant Needs to Address
- National Lingerie Day: Why Lingerie Matters
- Who is The Lingerie Addict?
- Small Bust Bras: An Interview with By Baby’s Rules and 32AA Bra, part 1 and part 2
- 8 Bra Choices for Plus Size, Full Bust Women (40-50 band)
- Lingerie for Newbies: 7 Pieces I Would Buy if I Was Brand New to Lingerie
- Tightlacing 101: 4 Myths About Waist Training with a Corset
- What (You Didn’t Know) to Look for in a Corset: 5 Myths Debunked
- So You Want to Be a Lingerie Model…?
- Scars & All: My First Boudoir Photoshoot
- 3 Reasons Why I Prefer to Lingerie Shop Online…Instead of in Lingerie Boutiques
- How to Style Your Boudoir Shoot: Head to Toe Styling Tips
Congratulations, Rachael! I’ll send you an e-mail soon putting you in touch with Playful Promises so the two of you can work out the details regarding your prize.
Thank you to everyone who entered our last lingerie giveaway of 2012 and since this is one of our last few posts of 2012…Happy Holidays!!!
While some old favorites never lose their charm (Dark Garden, Electra Designs, Sparklewren), there are some intriguing newer names that I’ve discovered in the past year. The following three designers have impressed me with their distinctive, fresh aesthetics, innovative detailing, and technical craft. Here are the corsetieres I’m looking forward to watching in the coming year.
Following Alicia Rose, I get a sense of delicate femininity: girlishness, if you will (look at all the subtle sweetheart motifs in the images above). Lots of sheer fabrications, intermixed with an unusual long-strand embroidery in stark, vibrant contrast. There’s a definite sense of vintage inspiration and bridal styling, but paired with a chic sense of whimsy.
Neon Duchess, aka corsetiere Hannah Light, plays a lot with texture and textured silhouette. Fabrications are layered within panels or stacked in placements such as the hip fins, further dramatizing the already striking corseted silhouette. In particular, the use of metallic leather seems to be something of a signature.
Purdy Corsetry’s approach is a perhaps bit more classic than the above two designers, but I like the subtle twist she puts on traditional looks, and her craftmanship seems top notch, as evidenced by the clean finishing of the miniature heart shaped cutouts. Purdy’s work also demonstrates intriguing diversity: the graceful, elegant fanned bone channels contrasting with the hard-edged corset spine lacing (I wish I’d thought of it!) or Gaultier-esque anatomically inspired pieces.
What do you think of these new corsetieres? Whose work are you looking forward to following in the new year?
Disclosure: All samples were provided free of charge from Honeydew Intimates for review purposes only. All opinions written here are my own.
I have been a fan of Honeydew Intimates ever since they helped reincarnate the sassy rumba trend a few years back. Their modernized retro silhouette in mesh with cheeky prints & colors made for the cutest cover up under my flared skirts & dresses. So when I heard of a request to review some of their new styles I jumped at the opportunity.
The first set I received was the Rayon & Lace Cami Top & Hipster Boy Short. The fabric was a rayon spandex blend that was super soft and felt great against the skin. The hipster will be a great everyday basic stable in my underwear wardrobe however the cami was cut small and was a little too snug. Though it will still be comfortable to wear in warmer months it didn’t make for a very flattering look.
Next I tried the Jungle Hunny Rayon & Lace Brief, again in Honeydew’s signature rayon spandex blend. This every day hipster style was played up with leopard printed lace trim & hot pink bows that added an extra flirtiness & fashion to a reliable basic staple. With its mix of comfort & style this hipster has quickly become one of my favorites and I plan to order it in more colors soon.
The coordinating Jungle Hunny Rayon & Lace PJ Set coordinates back to the above hipster and therefore can be mixed & matched for a couple of different looks.
The cami top has an adjustable hook & eye back with elastic at the empire seam which adds a little bit of support to an otherwise non-constructed cami. However I would prefer a softer, plusher elastic for that sensitive area under the bust.
When paired with the hipster this set is very cute & perfect for lazy summer Sundays lounging around the house. In colder temperatures the pants make for a more practical sleepwear option. While it does not have any of the fashionable leopard lace trim, it does manage to coordinate back to the cami top with its leopard print drawstring. The rayon spandex jersey keeps you comfortable for a full night’s sleep while the drape of the fabric allows for easy movement & flexibility.
Then came the Enchanting Modal & Lace Bralette & Hipster. Also in super soft jersey fabric, this set fit nicely on the body and had a very pretty look.
The bralette with its delicate lace detailing on the neckline, back wings & straps looked flattering on & is offered up to a size Large. However I imagine fuller busts will not get much support from this style, as it is unlined & wire-free.
The hipster was also flattering with lace & pin tucking details at the side of the legs. I loved the cheeky cut in the back that offered just enough coverage for all day wear while still remaining cute & sexy.
The Buttoned Up Nylon Gel Padded Extreme Push Up bra was one of the few constructed bras offered by Honeydew and it definitely lived up to its name. Extreme push up is what you get with a heavily padded cup to give the illusion of an extra cup size. Available up to a size 36DD, the back band made for a smooth silhouette (no bulges here) and the touch of lace added a little bit of girlish charm. I especially loved the custom designed metal slides on the back straps donning the logo “dew”. I would have liked to see a softer quality pad with a bit more flexibility as well as longer straps for adjustment. But overall the bra is constructed well and has that va-va-va-voom factor.
And lastly the Crest with Buttons Over the Knee Sock was an extra treat that I received as I wasn’t previously aware that Honeydew even made hosiery. These socks were the perfect length, long enough to not slip down to below your knee, which is a common problem I have with other similar styles. The fabric has a good amount of stretch to it – not too tight or too loose. But the most unexpected detail on these socks was the honeydew logo print on the toes, which I thought added a cute & quirky touch.
Readers: What is your experience with Honeydew Intimates? Do you wear their styles as basics or fashion?
The holidays are upon us! I’m celebrating having finished my Christmas shopping early by putting together this list of all the pretty bras that are out there for us full busted beauties this holiday season. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or a loved one, any of these bras will be a great way to embrace the holiday spirit.
I love the color purple, especially around the holidays. It’s festive but not as literal as red, green, or gold and looks great on a wide range of skin tones. Pleasure State is an amazing brand that we don’t see nearly enough of in the US, and this bra gets all of the luxe details right. From the sparkly strap decorations to the plunge shape, it’s the perfect bra to ring in the New Year with.
This bra is available in band sizes 30 through 38 and cup sizes DD through I (US sizing).
Freya is particularly famous for their Deco bra, but lately they have been putting out some adorable patterned sets that I adore. This ivy pattern is basic enough to work for everyday, but is also fun and colorful enough to feel special. Even better, this comes in a wider cup size range than some of their offerings so everyone can indulge themselves.
This bra is available in band sizes 28 through 38 and cup sizes D through J.
I used to think of Elomi as a brand that only made boring satin bras, but they’ve really branched out recently in a stunning way. I love every little detail of this Paloma bra. The detailing on the cups is subtle but festive, while the bra still retains the support and comfort that Elomi is known for. The darker colors make it a fun replacement for your basic black bra.
This bra is available in band sizes 36 through 46 and cup sizes D through G.
The most stunning parts of Pleasure State bras are in the small details. Here, it’s the subtle red stripes running up the cup and the perfect placement of the white bows. If you want something seasonal and gorgeous, this is it. The plunge shape means it can be worn underneath all of your favorite holiday dresses as well!
This bra is available in band sizes 30 through 38 and cup sizes DD through I (US sizing).
It’s hard to go wrong with a little black bra, and this Louise Ferdinand piece is a prime example of this type of lingerie. Each bra is handmade from Nottingham lace and combines vintage and modern silhouettes to create pieces that work for everyone. The yellow bows are a great unexpected detail.
This bra is available in band sizes 28 though 38 and cup sizes D through KK.
Green is a great seasonal color, and this Goddess bra is a perfect example of how the basics can really shine when done right. This bra is comfortable, supportive, and great under all kinds of clothing.
This bra comes in band sizes 36 through 46, and cup sizes DD through N (US sizing).
Hot pink is a great alternative to red, and this Claudette bra is a great take on it. It’s sexy without being trashy, and is an updated take on the traditional lacy special occasion bra. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, they also have it in green.
This bra is available in band sizes 30 through 38 and in cup sizes D through G.
Bravissimo bras are some of my favorites, and this Boudoir Beau is a treat that works for everyone. It looks like a bedroom bra, but is also comfortable enough to be worn for lounging or for every day wear.
This bra comes in band sizes 28 through 38 and cup sizes DD through K.
The Curvy Kate Showgirl series of bras is wildly popular for well, very obvious reasons. They are supportive and super sexy, and I know lots of women who secretly wear them even though they don’t really fit the size range. I love their newest blue version for the holiday season! A quick note: these bras have very small cups, so order a size or two up from your regular cup size. Sadly this means that the size range isn’t truly as expansive as it looks on paper, but I’m hoping that they will work on it in the future.
This bra comes in band sizes 28 through 38 and cup sizes D through J.
This Bravissimo bra is the queen of all plunge bras. They are soft, satiny, but still smooth enough to wear under tons of outfits. They work especially well under fancier dresses with tricky necklines. This hot pink and purple version is great for the holiday season and beyond.
This bra comes in band sizes 28 through 38 and cup sizes DD through J.
Way back in 2009, I wrote my first article on this topic – Nude Hosiery for Women of Color. It’s one of the first pieces where I discussed both my ethnic identity and how it related to my experience of lingerie (i.e. most ‘nude’ hosiery…isn’t). It’s also one of the most well-received articles we’ve ever published on the blog.
I was writing under the name ‘Stockings Addict’ at the time and though I don’t focus exclusively on hosiery anymore, I’m still pretty passionate about my legwear. Lately, as the weather’s grown colder, I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about nude tights for darker complexions. So I think it’s time to update the info on the blog with a few brands I’ve personally tried lately. Hosiery is one of those things that should complement your outfit…helping you feel more confident, not less confident. And if you’re in a job which requires you to wear hosiery everyday, I don’t think you should have to worry and stress and fret about them at all.
I like keep these three things in mind when I’m shopping for hosiery: durability, price, quality. A good rule of thumb is to pick of 2 of those 3 to guide your purchasing decisions. Durability is how long and how often you can wear a pair of tights before they run, snag or tear. Sometimes that’s once. Sometimes that’s dozens of times. Lower priced legwear tends to get destroyed faster than higher priced legwear. The price category is pretty self-explanatory. If spending $10 or less on hosiery is important to you, you’ll have a very different range of selection than someone who’s okay with spend $40 or $50 on hosiery.
Quality is somewhat more vague category. A lot of people equate quality to durability, but those two things aren’t the same in my mind. Quality, to me, has more to do with how the hosiery feels on the leg. How soft is it? How comfortable is it? Does it bind, constrict, or hinder you in anyway you in any way? Are your tights falling down by the end of the workday? Are they completely stretched out of shape? Did they make you itch? That sort of thing. So…a bit more vague than the other two, but still super important.
When it comes to nude legwear, one of the hardest things about shopping for it if you have darker skin (aside from finding a place that sells it, of course) is figuring out which shade matches your complexion. There tend to be a lot more tones available for women with lighter complexions, but often there’s only kind of muddy dark brown if you have a dark complexion…which is pretty annoying (Also annoying? When a sales clerk insists that beige matches all skin tones). With the exception of Frangi Pangi, none of the tights below are sold in the United States…and that’s unfortunate.
While the primary focus of this piece is on tights and pantyhose, I also want to share a few stockings (quick note: stockings require a garter belt) I’ve found that are a good fit for darker skintones. I’ve personally owned, worn, and loved What Katie Did’s fully fashioned stockings in coffee, Cervin’s Havana stockings in Chocolate (though the Lyon color works well too if you’re light to medium brown), and Stockingirl’s Marissa Sandalfoot in South Pacific. If you’re into pinup or burlesque, these are all great choices.
Finally, there are also a few tights and pantyhose brands I didn’t try in this review like Debenhams, Nude Barre, Levante, and Oroblu. I do hope to revisit this topic in the future though and cover a few more of those brands. Now, with all that said, on to the reviews:
I ordered the Pendeza Tone 20 tights, size Large, from StockingsHQ, which I’d describe as brown with reddish undertones. This is a new brand and, like several other names on this list, only available overseas. Pendeza is an inexpensive brand at only $8.10/pair but you’ll have to be comfortable with ordering online (and probably in bulk) to take advantage of the price. One last note, I love that this brand has 5 tones darker complexions.
I found these tights to be extremely comfortable, and the 15 denier knit made it look like I was wearing nothing at all on my legs. The durability is great; they’re stretchy and snappy and I had no snags or tears at the end of the day. They’re also not a all constricting. There is no control top, which I like, but some of you may not and they have a reinforced toe. Point blank, I loved these. They’re a great price, a great fit, and a great color.
Frangi Pangi -
Frangi Pangi sent me two pairs of tights free of charge for review purposes. I’m reviewing the Carmella color for this blog post, size Large. As the name suggest, I’d describe Carmella as a deep caramel shade with yellow/golden undertones. These pantyhose retail for $17.50, and there are 11 skintones available. They’re also made in the USA.
Perhaps I’m a bit spoiled, but I was expecting a better fit and feel for mid-range price point here. Instead, they more or less fit like tights I’d get from a Target or Walgreens (and I’m not knocking Target or Walgreens; I just have different expectations when I shop there). The quality of the nylon wasn’t very high and they didn’t feel very comfortable on the leg. They also come with a control top, which isn’t my most favorite thing. Don’t get me wrong…they fit just fine, and they weren’t bad. But they weren’t very memorable either. On the other hand, you don’t have to pay international shipping to get these, so there’s that.
When it comes to hosiery brands, Pretty Polly is an an old favorite of mine. They were featured in my first article on this subject,and I buy their fashion tights pretty regularly. And while Pretty Polly is more popular stateside, I haven’t run across any department stores carrying their tights in shades darker than sunblush. I purchased the Nutmeg color in size Large from StockingsHQ for $7.15. Quick note: If you like Pretty Polly or want to try them, you’re going to want to order them from a UK retailer like StockingsHQ. They cost at least twice as much if you order stateside, and it’s the exact same product.
At 10 denier, these tights were the sheerest I tried. They’re also very shiny (I’d even call the finish glossy or oily) and very stretchy. Unfortunately, they’re not very durable; these were the easiest tights to tear of all the ones I’ve tried. You can go easily destroy a pair after just one wear. The nylon is very soft and comfortable, and these come with an opaque panty top (not a control top) and a reinforced toe. Based on my experience with the nutmeg, which was lighter than I thought it would be, you may want to order one shade darker than what you think you need. I’d probably try the Sensation or Tivoili next time.
Gerbe Ethnic Colors Tights
Gerbe Ethnic Colours made the news when they come out with their skintone tights in a range of shades. Sadly, I haven’t heard much about them since. I purchased the Cappuccino pantyhose in size 4 (Large) while visiting Paris this past January (not to confused with Opera, which is a darker brown tone). They appear to only be available online from the store linked above, but I’ve never purchased from that store, so buy at your own risk. While Gerbe Ethnic Colours is stocked stateside by a few retailers, they all appear to only carry the lightest colors…like ecru (ivory). In addition, most stores only carry the stockings instead of the tights.
At between $25-$30/pair, these were the most expensive of the bunch. However, they are also the most luxurious…by far. The 15 denier leg appears even more sheer when it’s one (my fiance thought I wasn’t wearing pantyhose at all, which is the ultimate compliment) and they have a matte appearance. It’s a very subtle effect (your legs glow instead of shine), but one well-suited to the professional world, I think. The nylon is very fine and very soft (almost like what you’d find on a fully-fashioned stocking), and I completely forgot I was wearing them as I went on about my day. There is no control top but the waistband is somewhat uncomfortable. These were my favorite and a great skintone match, but the price point and difficulty in finding a retailer are definite negatives for this brand.
Fellow addicts, what are your go-brands for nude tights? Any suggestions for women who have trouble finding a skintone match where they live? Let’s share our resources in the comments!
Unless you’ve been on a media diet for the last month or so, you probably know that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (VSFS) happened last week. Billed as the “Sexiest Night on Television,” this year was the 10th televised broadcast of VSFS (even though there’s been a version of the show since the mid-90′s) and it’s turned into a bit of a tradition. Between its millions of viewers (and subsequent millions of sales), the VSFS is one of the effective marketing campaigns in the world.
Usually, I do a quick write-up after the show talking about my favorite looks and maybe what I did or didn’t like about the broadcast. But as I was reviewing my notes for this post (Rihanna was great, the lingerie was plain, and the interviews in between segments were forced), I felt like I would be missing some bigger issues if I just spoke about the show and nothing else. Because the truth is, Victoria’s Secret, despite its position as the #1 lingerie retailer in America, has a few issues it needs to deal with right now. Issues that make the fashion show seem a bit silly in comparison.
Some of you may be surprised I’m saying this. After all, a few months ago I wrote a post about how Victoria’s Secret actually benefits the lingerie industry (short version: it exposes a lot of women to lingerie who might otherwise never get a chance to try the stuff), and I upset quite a few people who interpreted that post as a blanket acceptance of everything Victoria’s Secret has ever done and ever will do. So it feels appropriate now to spend some time talking about the ways Victoria’s Secret is really messing up.
Victoria’s Secret Has a Race(ist) Problem
Less than 2 months after Victoria’s Secret shocked anyone with a conscience over their blatantly racist ‘geisha’ costume (modeled by the ultra blonde and very-definitely-not-Asian, Candice Swaenpoel), they upped the ante by putting the very Midwest and most-certainly-not-Native-American, Karlie Kloss, in an Indian costume. As the saying goes, once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, but 3 times is pattern. And the third time, if you remember, is last year’s fashion show which crammed all the black models into one ‘tribal’ sequence).
Now, I don’t think the people in charge of Victoria’s Secret are idiots. At the very least, the company has more than enough money to spend on diversity consultants or customer focus groups or even a book or three on racial stereotyping. Yet it appears they do none of those things prior to spending thousands (if not millions) of dollars on making and manufacturing these explicitly racist costumes. So that makes me wonder if they either don’t care (which is bad) or if they’re deliberately trading on racist controversy to bring some attention to the brand (which is worse).
Inevitably, when the R-word (by which I mean racism) comes up, someone responds with, “Well, they probably don’t intend to be racist!” Which may be true. After all, I don’t live with any of their designers. But I think we can at least agree that Victoria’s Secret doesn’t intend to avoid being racist either. And one can only be ‘accidentally’ racist so many times before other people begin to wonder what exactly is going on.
Victoria’s Secret Has a Gender Problem (and It’s Not the One You’re Thinking Of)
The current roster of Victoria’s Secret Angels (i.e. their headliners) includes the following nine models: Adriana Lima, Lily Aldridge, Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, Doutzen Kroes, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Lindsay Ellingson, and Erin Heatherton. When it comes to the Angels, many people focus on the physical homogeneity of the women and that is a problem.
Unfortunately, it’s not a unique issue to Victoria’s Secret, and that discussion often leads to incredible amount of body snark, body shame, and body hate…three things I have no interest in or tolerance for. Instead, I want to spend some talking about the whole Virgin/Whore complex Victoria’s Secret actively trades in.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but in the past few years, there’s been an increasing emphasis on the models’ (always heterosexual) relationships. The first 5 Angels listed above are married (they also happen to be the most popular Angels), and I’ve often noticed their relationship is invoked by the brand during promotional events. It’s as if to imply, “Yes, these women are famous for being underwear models, but they’re ladies. They’re good girls, so everything’s okay.”
Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, women are having to deal with police officers who say things like “Dressing like a slut makes you rapeable.” That contrast…that juxtaposition is very unsettling to me. I know the company is attempting to capitalize on the “They’re wives and moms just like you” angle, but it’s very distressing when the legitimacy of their most popular models is so heavily linked to their relationship status. Because it reinforces the notion that expressing your sexuality or being a sexual being, is only okay if you’re doing it the right way.
Victoria’s Secret Has an Image Problem
The last year has been full of scandals for Victoria’s Secret. From the use of child labor in Burkina Faso to photoshopping away model’s limbs to ever-decreasing product quality and a reputation for egregious fitting techniques, the bright and shiny image Victoria’s Secret has built up over the last decade is slowly being chipped away.
While they are still the name in lingerie, at least in America, every new scandal reminds the public that Victoria’s Secret isn’t about women’s empowerment or being sexy or even lingerie…they’re just a regular, run-of-the-mill clothing company out to make a buck. And once that “secret” gets all the way out, the brand may never recover.child
What are you thoughts on Victoria’s Secret? Did you watch the fashion show? Have you kept up with the scandals this year. Let’s chat in the comments.