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2016 Ethical Holiday Lingerie Shopping Guide for Every Character in Your Life

Holiday Lingerie Buttress and Snatch

Buttress and Snatch

As a part-time lingerie boutique sales associate, I help all kinds of gift-givers: from the people who straight up say they don’t care if the receiver likes it to the people who want extra gift receipts just in case the color is 10% too blue.

However, I spend most of my time helping people buy things for themselves. This means I’ve gotten pretty good at looking at lingerie gift-giving from the wearer’s point-of-view. So I’m writing my 2016 ethical holiday lingerie shopping guide to help you shop for some very specific people – people that you probably know and love. Most importantly, everything here is ethically made, so you can rest easily knowing your gift-giving is contributing positive things to all parties involved. There’s something here for every lingerie addict on your list (or perhaps you’ll find yourself among the list of characters).

For the Double Agent: They might be an executive assistant who moonlights as a burlesque dancer, or a carpenter who secretly has an anonymous Instagram pin-up profile. Much like your Double Agent friend, the Peepshow Ouvert Tap Pants from Dottie’s Delights’ collection with Mosh are my favorite type of unassuming. They look like simple vintage-style sheer tap pants at first glance–until you realize the center seam is completely open from the front to the back. Scandalous in the best way, and a classic-yet-sassy gift.

For the Music Box Ballerina: Named as such because she never stops twirling around the house or prancing down the street, the Music Box Ballerina needs something with a little spin. Evgenia Lingerie’s Rebelle Short Gown is the perfect flirty piece for that person who seems to have metaphorical red shoes on. Made to be worn either at home or for a night out, the cowl neckline and low, low v back are perfectly romantic, and the full skirt of rayon-and-silk velvet would feel so luscious on the dance floor.

For the Sassy Eternal Goth: You know them. You love them. You might be one of them. If their whole wardrobe is black and they always seem like they’d rather be smoking cloves and listening to Bauhaus in bed, you probably know how they dressed in high school. Satisfy their cheeky nihilism with this NAH Suspender Tee from Wildfox. It looks innocuous at first glance, until you notice the three little letters inside the heart on the chest. Worn with a black pencil skirt and stockings, it secretly holds an entire outfit together, literally, by the attached suspender clips. Gift it with black stockings and black panties and you won’t hear any complaints.

For Team No Panties: They say they hate wearing underwear, buuuut maybe they just haven’t tried the perfect style for them yet! I definitely don’t advocate buying something for someone when they’ve already told you they don’t wear it, but I do think the right pair of knickers can change your outlook on life. This airy, 100% ethically-grown-cotton pair from Loup Charmant looks like a lot of fabric, but honestly feels like wearing nothing. They’re oh-so-soft and perfect for lounging around the house or falling asleep in…sort of like a lingerie gateway drug?

Playful Promises Portia bra, $74; suspender, $68; brief, $41.

Playful Promises Portia bra, $74; suspender, $68; brief, $41.

For the Virtually Vintage Vixen: If they love vintage style but aren’t quite ready to go full-on bullet bra just yet, Playful Promises might just be the brand to go to. Playful Promises creates ethically-made classic lingerie pieces that are vintage-inspired but decidedly modern, so you can dip a toe in vintage lingerie style without drowning in girdles. The Portia bra, panty and suspender belt are maybe the best vintage-style-starter-kit ever. The rows of stitching give a 1950s bullet bra feel, but the modern round shape of the cups won’t look goofy under modern clothing. The set also comes in Curve sizing, so it’s available in a huge range of sizes, from a 30 band to a 44 band.

For Miss Matchy-Matchy: Her shoes match her handbag. Her lipstick matches her nails. Her necklace matches her dog’s collar? She’s always put together, even in the most minute, unexpected ways. She wouldn’t dream of wearing a mismatched bra-and-panty set, so that wouldn’t be a very special gift, would it? Here’s a lingerie set that’s a little different: a silk-and-lace sleep mask and flirty tap short, crafted to match in a perfect peachy hue. Angela Friedman’s Sleep Mask and Panty Gift Set is perfect for the person who wants to coordinate, even as the sun’s rising.

Christine Lingerie Coco PJ, $430

Christine Lingerie Coco PJ, $430

For the President of the United States of “I Woke Up Like This”: I don’t like “shoulds” in the lingerie world. I don’t think you “should” wear a nude bra under a white t-shirt, or own a strapless bra, or own any bras at all, for that matter. I think you “should” do whatever you want to. However, I do think that wearing silk pajamas is one of the best feelings in the entire world, and I secretly think everyone should have a pair. Especially that person in your life who always impeccably dressed, but passes it off effortlessly. This set by Christine Lingerie is ethically made in Canada and so perfectly-tailored and sharp, you won’t disappoint even the highest of standards. Imagine wearing this on a velvet chaise lounge with a strong cocktail and (naturally) perfect hair. Yes, please.

Buttress and Snatch "Queen of the Clover" set. Bra, $185; panty, $121.

Buttress and Snatch “Queen of the Clover” set. Bra, $185; panty, $121.

For the Lingerie Princess: This person has a closet full of La Perla and Agent Provocateur, and you’ve convinced yourself you could never impress her with yet another silk lingerie set. But wait! Buttress and Snatch, a small line out of London, is here to save the day. Their pieces are unusual and show true artistry, but are sexy and romantic enough to satisfy any mainstream lingerie addict; they’ll impress her pants off, pun intended. The Queen of the Clover bra and knickers are my favorite pick. The quality is impeccable, and the designer literally lives on a boat on the River Lea in Hackney. A lingerie set covered in swathes of silk and vintage millinery flowers, made by a river-dwelling English lingerie designer? You can’t get much more princess-y than that.

What do you think? When buying gifts, does it matter to you if they’re ethically-made? Would you buy any of these items for the people in your life?


Quinne Myers

Quinne Myers is based in Brooklyn, NY where she runs the ethically-made loungewear line, she and reverie. She is also a textile designer, a watercolor illustrator, a writer, and a consultant for the lingerie industry.

2 Comments on this post

  1. Nicole says:

    I would be really interested to hear more about how each of these are ‘ethical lingerie’, do you happen to have more information about each brand and how the silk is considered ethical for the ones that use it?

    • Quinne Quinne says:

      You can find more information on each brand on their websites. I consider ‘ethical lingerie’ to be lingerie that has been made under fair labor practices; these brands have labor statements or are handmade or otherwise produced in countries with high minimum wages for workers. If you have ethical qualms with wearing silk fiber, I would avoid any silk items listed here, as I’m pretty sure they are all made from traditional silkworm silk.

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