Posts by Kristina

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Own Lingerie Business

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Like fashion, the lingerie industry can at times be brutal. Working in the corporate lingerie world is often a competitive, stressful and exhausting experience leaving one with stories that can rival infamous scenes from The Devil Wears Prada! Though it is a smaller offshoot of the fashion industry, the intimates market has been growing and the demand for faster turn around rates and cutting-edge products are as high as ever. Big name brands are constantly stealing designs from smaller indie labels and offering them at lower prices (and usually compromised quality) to the masses. Quality and workmanship are suffering as companies rush to reach a bigger audience and gain more revenue. Time is of the essence and the race for the next perfect panty, “it” bra or innovative fit technique has become more competitive than ever, saturating the mainstream market with an overwhelming selection of mediocre lingerie. It’s enough to make a die-hard lingerie designer want to quit!

Which is exactly what I did about a year ago this winter, when I decided that my passion for lingerie still burned bright, but my dedication to big business corporations did not. It was a tough decision to make as I’d always had big dreams of sketching gorgeous undies from a corner office, shopping the world for new fabrics and leading board meetings about the importance lace and satin. While my 12 years working for big chains and department stores allowed me a taste of this fantasy world, I found, more often than not, that the payoff was not always worth the sacrifice.

Through it all, my obsession with lingerie never wavered, so I decided to stay in the industry I love while trying my hand at my own business. After months of research and preparation I founded WonderLust Lingerie, an online lingerie boutique specializing in fun designer and indie labels and accessories. I now handle all aspects of the business on my own and am proud to be a small business owner, knowing that my hard work will benefit both my customers and myself without harming anyone in the process.

Launching my own lingerie business took a lot of prep time, some money and a commitment to lingerie, but now that I’ve made the transition I couldn’t be happier doing what I love on a day-to-day basis. If you have ever thought about going into business for yourself, working in the lingerie industry, or are just curious about what it entails, I’ve put together a list of 6 vital things to know before embarking on that great journey. A well-informed owner is one of the most critical things needed to run a successful business, so keeping these tips in mind when considering a new venture may prove helpful down the line.

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1) Defining your target customer is key.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you don’t know who your target customer is, you’ll have a tough time retaining loyal consumers. I don’t mean just knowing who your customer is, but really being attuned to everything he or she does, wants and thinks. How old are they? Where do they live? How much money do they make? What colors do they prefer? Where do they buy their clothes? A middle-aged housewife with a disposable income may not be looking to buy a sequin G-string with matching garter, and failing to tailor your product to her needs can quickly result in loads of missed opportunities.

Surveys, focus groups and research can be a great way to learn about your customer’s preferences and buying habits. Another helpful tool that worked for me was to identify an actual person (celebrity, athlete, musician) as my target customer. I got to know everything about that person, and was soon able to pick up on little cues and details of what they wore and where they shopped. Now, whenever I’m unsure if a certain style will resonate with my customers, I always refer back to that person and ask myself, “would they wear this or not?” to help me decide. Having a consistent vision across the board, from your product to your marketing, is invaluable these days and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

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2) Estimate how long it will take you to launch… then double it.

Once I knew what direction I wanted to go in with my new venture, I put together a business plan and a timeline. Between securing the financial start-up, registering the business, buying products, building a website, and getting the word out there, the task seemed daunting. “Two months” is what I told myself once I had registered the name and formed my business entity. I worked day and night to make it happen! But two months turned into three, and three into four… no matter how much I had prepared, there were constantly new obstacles popping up and tasks to add to the list. Legal issues took up more time than expected, the buying process seemed to drag on for months and before I knew it, my initial launch date had come and gone!

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so it was hard for me to accept something as satisfactory when I was striving for the very best, but I soon learned what I had to prioritize and where I could make exceptions in order to keep the process moving along. If I hadn’t learned to compromise I’d still be planning everything out today!

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3) Don’t be afraid to charge more.

You know those beautiful designer lingerie sets that are so expensive you’d have to take a loan out just to afford one? There’s a reason they cost so much, and it’s not just about the fine quality and craftsmanship. Often times you are paying for the brand itself and the experience that comes with it.

When doing my initial planning, I first aimed for a pricing structure that would place me lower than my competitors with comparable product. I thought that would be a great way to attract customers, and I couldn’t understand why a bra would need to be marked up so high. But after months of number crunching and financial management courses I found that those products were marked up not just to make a profit, but to keep the business up and running on a daily basis. If I had dropped my prices as I had originally intended to do, I’d surely be out of business within a year. It is important to set each price for adequate accommodation of your business’s overhead budget, taking into account employee salaries and the cost of goods, supplies, legal fees, advertising, etc. I learned that a smart pricing structure is directly related to the cost of doing business. If you price your goods accordingly, your customers are sure to understand and learn to view you as a respectable entity.

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4) Not everyone wants to help out a start-up business.

One of the most surprising things I realized in my early months is that not many people were interested in selling their product to a new online boutique. I thought that, as a small independent business, I’d be respected and supported by the brands I wanted to do business with, but that seemed to only be the case with a select few. After numerous unanswered emails and rejections, one sympathetic vendor finally told me that many brands only want to work with larger, established companies. These brands often hire agents to manage their sales and are very strict about how much money they bring in. Big retailers pay big bucks and buy big quantities, leaving us little guys to struggle with more limited options.

It was a disappointing fact to learn, but thankfully, most of the labels that will work with start-ups (many of them indie brands themselves) know the value of partnership and have been supportive from the get go. These are the brands I look forward to forming lasting relationships with, and remind me why I continue to love this industry so much.

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5) Social media can be your best friend.

When putting together a budget, don’t neglect to allot funds for advertising and marketing to get your name out there and attract potential customers. However, smart budgeting is important and it can pay to get creative with your resources.

Social media is a great place to establish a presence and build a following for little or no money. Your target customer most likely uses social media every day – whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any of the numerous others. So what better way to reach them than to appeal directly to their preferences? In fact, social media is such a daily part of our lives that not establishing a presence on one or more of these sites could potentially have a negative effect on your credibility as a reputable business!

I began spreading the word through friends and family on platforms that made the most sense to my business, like Pinterest and Tumblr, which are great places to visibly show off fashion products. Establishing my presence before I had even launched the business also proved helpful, as I had a base of followers already secured once my website finally launched. Being active on these sites and engaging other users can go a long way, and all it takes is a little bit of your time.

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6) Listen to your customers (but know when to say no).

With the lack of personal care and service plaguing many of the big name brands, it’s no wonder so many people prefer to shop online. This makes customer service especially important in this day and age. Being able to reach a representative and be treated respectfully and in a timely manner is something all consumers can appreciate, especially when times are tough. And with multiple social media platforms available to them, an unhappy customer has more influence today than in the past.

But it can often be hard to distinguish between a concerned customer and a troublemaker. It’s important to listen to suggestions and feedback and truly take it in and learn from your mistakes. Just make sure to find a healthy balance. I’ve received countless tips and advice from well-meaning friends and colleagues that have proven helpful throughout my launch. However, when some suggestions began to conflict with the vision of my business, I knew I had to draw the line. My commitment to customer service will always remain a priority, but I’ve learned that trusting my gut is what will keep me afloat in this competitive and ever-evolving market.

What are your thoughts about big business vs. independent start-ups? Do you have any other advice you would offer?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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Tried And True: 7 Lingerie Trends That Never Go Out Of Style

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Lingerie Morning

Trends come and trends go but some things last forever. There are certain classics that transcend the confines of time. When it comes to fashion this especially holds true whether it be a specific color or shape that compliments a wide range of people or a certain fabric or treatment that stands out from the rest. Timeless trends are born to withstand the test of time and investing in them is always a safe bet.

I spent many years designing lingerie for the mass markets before I embarked on my own venture. Department stores and chain retailers made up the majority of my clients and each season we scrambled to discover the new “it” bra, the hottest color combination and the coolest fabrics. But despite my best efforts, buyers consistently rejected the trendy designs in favor of more basic classic items.

With time I learned that my buyers were wary with good reason. Most shoppers, while appreciating new and innovative design, were still hesitant to invest in those pieces that were more stylized and fashionable. Times are tough and consumers are more cautious these days about what they spend their money on. When it comes to lingerie the majority of mass-market consumers are looking for comfort, versatility and longevity in their underwear. Women want bras that will support them and not show through their clothing. They want undies that can be worn comfortably all day. And they want to splurge on sexy lingerie that will last.

Slowly I began to understand how creative designs can be a financial risk for retailers and why they are reluctant to deviate from the tried-and-true styles they’ve carried in previous seasons. I learned which colors and styles sold best and which designs could carry forward indefinitely. I worked hard at channeling my creativity into designs that would make it onto the best-seller list without looking too basic and boring. And finally I learned how to appreciate the new “classics” for what they were and understand why they are so popular.

Here I’d like to share with you my top 7 classic lingerie trends that I believe are worth an investment if you’re looking for style that will last. In the long run only time will tell if these will withstand the test of time, but for now I can confirm that they’re here to stay!

1. Head-To-Toe Black

Cape and lingerie set by La Lilouche

How can you go wrong with black? It’s slimming, flattering on a variety of skin tones and matches with just about everything. Black lingerie is the perfect embodiment of sexy and can be found in pretty much all designer’s repertoire. It stands for sophistication and can bring an unconventional design to a more understandable level. Piling on the black lingerie is always considered chic and you can have fun playing with textures and layering pieces to make the look as unique as you are.

Cape and lingerie set by La Lilouche

2. Three-Piece Sets

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A matching trio consisting of bra, panty and garter belt make up the three-piece set that is synonymous with lingerie. There are many variations of this look but these three basic pieces are always a winner when it comes to seductive underpinnings. Often performing double duty, you can wear the bra and panty alone during the day and then later add the garter belt to transition the look into a more provocative ensemble at night. This is a look that has been favored for decades and is still going strong today with modern takes on its shape and styling.

Lingerie set by Huit

3. Animal Print

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Customers appreciate multiple color options to choose from when shopping for lingerie… after all, variety is the spice of life! However I’ve learned that besides for the usual black, white and beige, one of the top ranking “colors” is not a color at all, but an animal print – specifically a leopard or cheetah in natural tones. This print is widely popular and has the ability to transform itself into many different styles. From retro and playful to sophisticated and understated – its no wonder the animal print has reached classic status.

Lingerie set by Miss Mandalay

4. Lace

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For many, when they think about lingerie they think about lace. It has that wow factor and adds interest to everything it touches. It is the epitome of feminine as the open textures and shadows make for a sensual effect on the skin. An art form in itself, the variety of patterns and designs are limitless, making this fabric a classic trend with lasting appeal. Lace knows no boundaries and has become a staple in many collections and wardrobes as a year-round best seller.

Lingerie set by For Love And Lemons

5. Black And White

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We already know about the power of black but pairing black and white together in one look is a trend most people can get on board with. Neutral, flattering and sophisticated, the black and white combo can make any style look more formal with its tuxedo-like feel and high contrast. This grouping of non-colors has the ability to compliment many different skin colors and can always be relied on to raise the status of an otherwise ordinary design.

Lingerie set by Maison Close

6. Cheeky Bottoms

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Some people call them brazilians, some people call them tangas and some people call them cheekies. Whatever term you use there’s no denying that this cut is hot. It straddles the line between full coverage bottoms and barely there thongs. The back end is cut high on the bottom, allowing for semi-coverage while the bottom peeks out below for a bit of naughtiness. This fit may not be considered the most comfortable for everyone but the look is flattering on an array of body types making this style a bedroom staple for many.

Cheeky panties by Pour Moi?

7. Notched Collar Pajamas

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The sleepwear industry isn’t what it used to be as customers are buying less coordinating pieces in favor of comfy separates they already own (think sweatpants and a t-shirt). Pajamas are becoming a tougher sell and typically enjoy the peak of their popularity as a gift-giving item during the holidays. One of the most popular styles of pajamas sold today is the classic notched-collar set with button down shirt and wide leg pants. A long-living basic and cozy alternative to sweatpants, this style continues forward each season replenished with new prints reflective of the current trends. It’s a great way to update a tried-and-true silhouette while remaining classic and timeless.

Pajama set by River Island

Do you own any of these “classics”? What other lingerie styles do you consider timeless?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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Lingerie Fashion Week Recap: Diverse Offerings For Spring/Summer 2015

Love Cage NYC presentation

Models for the Love Cage NYC presentation

Lingerie Fashion Week (or LingerieFW) kicked off on October 24th with a bang and a bunch of exciting new talent on display. Since its launch in February 2013, the lingerie event has been growing and attracting a wide range of visitors and exhibitors. This season continued the trend with a variety of old and new designers showcasing their brands and making us eager to see what the Spring/Summer 2015 season has in store.

Alongside LingerieFW veterans were many newcomers this year that provided viewers with an intriguing glimpse of their talents. Numerous indie brands just starting out were featured from various countries including some from South America, Eastern Europe and a highlight on new UK labels, most of which succeeded in knocking it out of the park with their newness and innovation.

One of the things I was most struck by this season was the amount of diversity displayed by many of the exhibitors. Not only in their unique style and designs but also in the models they chose and countries they represented. Even the hors d’oeuvres served this season were vegan (!) catering to a more diverse range of diets than most of us are used to seeing. On the runway it was refreshing to see some diverse body types, genders and ethnicities thrown into the mix, which gave a more accurate portrayal of how the designs can and would be worn by a wider range of customers.

While the lingerie industry is a much smaller section of the fashion world and may not have the same amount of reach, I was very pleased to see the effort made at LingerieFW and hopefully this will be a continuing trend going forward as I know it has been welcomed by both buyers and customers alike. Here are a few examples of the diversity exhibited by the designers at the Spring/Summer 2015 Lingerie Fashion Week.

Gender:

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Models for the Play Out Underwear runway show

Often a sensitive subject, the topic of gender identification and presentation has become less taboo throughout the years, bringing to light the issues – and often the struggles – faced by those who don’t necessarily fit into the conventional perceptions of gender. There are many different factors that influence gender identity, and while most clothing and lingerie companies cater to people who identify as men or women, some are beginning to be more inclusive and expansive regarding their customer base.

Newcomer Play Out Underwear is one such brand featured at LingerieFW this season. Their line of “gender-neutral” underwear focuses on comfort with bright fun prints and wide logo waistbands. Androgynous models were sent down the runway together with unambiguously gendered models in matching skivvies. While the fit and cut of each pair is specific to external or internal genitalia, the styles are all the same with a focus on sporty comfort and minimal styling for ease.

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Model for the Lola Haze runway show

Also giving a nod to gender equality on the runway was Lola Haze with a diverse mix of models showing off her high-end sleepwear collection. One of the show-stopping pieces included a glittering golden teddy with mesh neckline that went down the runway on a male model complete with combat boots and a high-fashion attitude. This unexpected twist was a welcome surprise to an already impressive runway show and illustrated how all genders can look fun and fierce in lingerie.

Body Type:

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Model for the Secrets In Lace runway show

Perhaps one area where the fashion industry has really caught some flack is for their use of super slim models whose body types are often unattainable for the average consumer. While times are changing and more plus size models are being utilized than in the past, it is still a struggle to get more sizes and shapes represented in the industry. However, this LingerieFW I was pleased to see a more representation of curvy girls at the Secrets In Lace runway show with some gorgeous ladies rocking fun vintage silhouettes and bringing the pin-up girl look to life. These fuller-figured models shared the runway with slimmer models as they sauntered down the catwalk together in satin briefs, bullet bras, mini petticoats and feathered robes. Also featured was buxom burlesque dancer Angie Pontani who modeled some Secrets In Lace underpinnings while performing a burlesque-style striptease for the audience.

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Model for the You! Lingerie runway show

Another brand worth mentioning was You! Lingerie, a playful line of nursing bras and maternity lingerie for expecting and new mothers. Glowing pregnant models looked sexy and confident on the catwalk in dark wigs, glitter, and futuristic jewelry while the flirty lingerie featured their growing bodies front and center. Round bellies were played up with fun and functional bras and panties in an array of colors and prints that were so cute, many of us wished they came in non-maternity options. Seeing the big bellies celebrated and emphasized was a welcome departure from the usual lingerie fashion marketing.

Ethnicity:

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Model for The Giving Bride’s runway show

Unfortunately the fashion industry has also not always been known for accurately representing an acceptable range of ethnicities on the runway. These days you can probably count the number of well-known African, Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern models on your fingers. Seeing a more diverse assortment these days is something that many of us hope for and the little changes that we do see in the industry are welcome and gaining momentum.

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Model for Lola Haze’s runway show

In the past, LingerieFW runway shows and presentations have had their share of diverse models and this season was no exception. Almost every label exhibited had a small representation of various ethnicities at some point during the event, highlighting their designs and showing them on varying skin tones to give a bit more of an accurate representation of the real world. While the industry still has a long way to go, it’s gratifying to see that conscious and more inclusive changes are taking place each season.

Style:

Not only were the models diverse for this season of LingerieFW but the offerings were too. There were enough featured designers to satisfy almost every preference of style and taste. A fan of soft, floral lingerie? You might like Stephie Ann Lingerie  out of the UK. Prefer something more dark and edgy? Check out Love Cage NYC complete with studs and leather. Some great new brands were front and center for Spring/Summer 2015, bringing new names to light as well as some of our favorite that are tried-and-true. A few more notable brands included:

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Lingerie looks on display from Suzy Black

Suzy Black with her fun and edgy mix of color and texture.

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Lingerie look from The Giving Bride runway show

The Giving Bride with their luxurious feminine bridal pieces.

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Lingerie look from the Andree Ciccarelli runway show

Andree Ciccarelli mixing delicate lace and applique with strappy cage detailing.

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Lingerie Looks on display from Bunny Blanc

Bunny Blanc and their embellished fantasy-inspired offerings.

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Lingerie looks from the Play Out Underwear runway show

Play Out as mentioned earlier with their fun and sporty aesthetic.

What do you think of these new brands from LingerieFW? How do you feel about the diversity (or lack thereof) in the fashion and/or lingerie industry?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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8 Halloween-Ready Bras

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Just 2 more weeks ‘til Halloween is upon us and here I am, elbow deep in a sea of fabric, glitter and glue, constructing my costume piece by piece in preparation for the big day. For me it’s the same every year: search through my closet, find my most favorite, over-the-top, unique piece of clothing I own, and base my entire look for Halloween night around it. While it may not be the most practical method, it certainly has been the most creative, challenging and affordable for the past few years.

For those who have less time on their hands (or an aversion to DIY) it’s much more convenient to purchase their costume – the less hassle the better. But with all the generic, mass-produced, store-bought costumes out there, it’s hard to find something unique that will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Before I decided on which costume to make, I spent weeks searching the Internet for inspiration. I found tons of innovative ideas and styles. But one place I repeatedly found myself returning to was the e-commerce sites selling rave wear. I haven’t personally attended any raves recently but I was struck by the wacky, fun, outrageous designs that these shops were offering. And while many of these embellished pieces might only be worn once, what better way to reincarnate them than as a specialty Halloween costume?

If you own some rave wear or are interested in purchasing some, may I suggest browsing through the endless offerings of bras online and finding one that speaks to you? All it takes is a casual skirt or pants and some accessories to transform it into a fully functioning (and sexy) Halloween costume this season. Ranging from sassy to ridiculous, here is a compilation of 8 crazy bra looks out there and some suggestions on how to expand them into a full costume that’ll be unforgettable.

1. Daisy And Flower Bra by Passe Designs

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If you’re a flower child or just appreciate the beauty of a good bouquet then try this rave bra covered in yellow and white flowers. You can try pairing it with a tutu and some wings for a garden fairy look.

$45 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/187338378/daisy-and-sunflower-rave-bra-rave-outfit?ref=shop_home_active_10

2. Chocolate Sprinkle Donut Bra by Sceene Shoes

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Maybe you’re feeling flirty and want to wear something a little tastier this year. How about this hand painted donut bra featuring two chocolate donuts complete with rainbow sprinkles? You can channel your inner Katy Perry and add to the look with colorful confectionary inspired bottoms or try an NBA jersey and carry around a basketball for a slam-dunk look that you can call Dunkin Donut.

$30 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/81868837/handpainted-chocolate-sprinkle-donut-bra?ref=shop_home_active_9

3. Hypnotize Animated Rave Bra by Neon Nancy

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Safety is important, especially on Halloween night when everything is spookier. Make sure your costume is not only safety compliant but also super cool with a light up spiral bra. People will see you coming a mile away in this LED brassier complete with rainbow colored swirls. Match it with some skin-tight, futuristic leggings or a bodysuit to give a nod to the movie Tron. Or add more trippy prints and patterns and call yourself a master hypnotist.

$39.95 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/129292091/rave-bra-light-up-bra-hypnotize-animated?ref=shop_home_active_8

4. Peppermint Candy Rave Bra by Eye Candy Fashions

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Keep your cool in this peppermint candy bra made with actual wrapped peppermint candies. Pair it with a nurse outfit and red and white striped accessories and you’re an instant candy striper. Or try adding a skirt and shoes and call yourself Peppermint Patty for the night. Either way, be sure to keep your sweet tooth in check to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions.

$40 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/128092576/peppermint-candy-rave-bra?ref=sr_gallery_1&ga_search_query=peppermint+candy+rave+bra&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

5. Metal Bra 40.100 by Brookesbot75

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Suit up in a bra of armor this year with a metal brassiere fit for a warrior princess. Project an image of a modern day Viking with fur, a shield and weapon of choice. Or channel your inner Princess Leia with a long flowing skirt and matching metallic belt.

$110 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/55238612/metal-bra-40100-a-dd-cups?ref=shop_home_active_4

6. Doll Head Bra by Defeat Wasicu

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What can be creepier than severed doll heads detached from their bodies? How about when they’ve been glued on to a bra and worn out in public? This handmade bra has numerous severed Barbie heads covering each cup and I can’t think of a single costume suggestion to pair with it. Maybe I’m just too weirded out and need to move on to something less disturbing….

$80 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/157192080/doll-head-bra?ref=shop_home_active_21

7. Light Up Fur Bra by Electric Styles

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How about this candy-colored faux fur bra complete with color changing lights? Transform into your favorite Muppet character by accessorizing with similarly colored fuzzy trims and accessories. Or go a little more menacing and be a monster for the night with claws, horns and a tail.

$59.97 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/195598015/light-up-fur-bra-color-changing-burning?ref=shop_home_active_2

8. Pastel Princess Rave Bra by Lipgloss Wear

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You’ll be treated like royalty in this pastel bra with everything on it but the kitchen sink. Perfect for playing princess, pair it with a voluminous floor length skirt with opulent accessories and satin gloves for a Marie Antoinette look. Or conjure up Barbie by adding a matching miniskirt and long blonde wig for a flirtier feel.

$79.99 at https://www.etsy.com/listing/172021393/pastel-princess-rave-bra?ref=shop_home_active_1

Would you wear these bras for Halloween? Have you ever DIY’d your own costume?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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Flavors Of Fall: 10 Autumn Inspired Lingerie Treats

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

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Pumpkin spiced latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, harvest pumpkin…. Yup, it’s fall all right. And while I love those pumpkin flavors just as much as the next gal, there are still many other tastes that are equally as joyful, flavorful and comforting this time of the year. ‘Tis the season for a whole new palette of sights, sounds, flavors and colors and with the holidays approaching what better time to highlight some of my favorite tastes than with a nod to some of my favorite lingerie brands and the designs that have been getting me in the spirit this fall season.

As I spent the last few weeks browsing the autumn collections of some big name labels, as well as my favorite small independent brands, I found myself drawn to the deeper and richer colors this season reflective of the temperatures outside and the garden view from my window. Crisp neutrals and saturated jewel tones are looking fresh and extravagant with cozy fibers and textures just begging to be snuggled up with. Warm fiery auburn, rich golden honey, soft creamy taupe and decadent chocolate brown are just a few of the delicious flavors whetting my appetite and I’m afraid it won’t be long until I give in to my cravings.

If you are one of the many people who love the fall season and all of the warm, cozy, fuzzy goodness that it conjures, then read on for a list of my top 10 autumn inspired flavors along with some beautiful lingerie styles that perfectly embody them. But I should warn you – you may want to keep a snack nearby as this feast for the eyes may cause extreme hunger and desire.

1. Cinnamon And Sugar

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Some things were just made for each other. Like cinnamon and sugar which when combined are capable of satisfying the most demanding sweet tooth. And this nightdress from Free People is just as sweet with just a hint of spice. Semi-sheer and low cut, this sexy number manages to keep it dainty with lace trim, criss crossing straps and raw princess seams while the deep V-neck and contrasting colors add just a bit of naughtiness. The subtle raised diamond pattern also adds texture to this chemise making it a great layering piece to keep you cozy during the declining temperatures.
Shimmy Shimmy Night Dress by Free People, $88.00 at www.freepeople.com.

2. Candied Yams

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Still dreaming of sugary sweet treats? Candied yams are a surefire way to satisfy the craving with all the comforts of home. This bra and panty set from Huit gets my tastes buds going with its rich orange hue reminiscent of the marshmallow and sweet potato dishes of the holidays. The non-padded underwire bra and brief utilize delicately paneled floral lace and mesh topped off with a shadow-striped trim and tailored satin bow making this set look good enough to eat.
Arpege Clementine Demi Bra, $74.00 & High Waisted Brief, $58.00 both by Huit at www.thelittleflirt.com.

3. Hot Cocoa

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What better way to combat that chill in the air than with a steaming mug of hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and marshmallows? How about with a steaming hot vintage-inspired lingerie set from What Katie Did. This retro femme fatale looking three-piece set is perfectly contoured to show off your curves with deep chocolate satin and creamy mesh trim. The contrast stitching and internal bra support make this set as comfortable as it is appetizing.
Coco Cathedral Bra, $81.00; Coco Panties, $51.50 & Coco Garter Belt, $65.50 all by What Katie Did at www.whatkatiedid.com.

4. Butternut Squash

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Settle in to the holiday season with this cheery set by Mimi Holliday steeped in a rich golden hue which brings to mind the vivid amber tint of my mother’s butternut squash soup. This lace full cup bra is inherently feminine and suggestively sheer. The delicate scalloped edge, smooth trims and sweet bows are only upstaged by the enticing color of this lush set.
Honeycomb Full Cup Bra, $103.00 & Honeycomb Thong, $70.00 both by Mimi Holliday at www.nancymeyer.com.

5. Apple Cider

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Mulled, spiked or straight up, apple cider is a favorite flavor among Autumn-lovers this time of the year. The sweet acidity and tartness explode on the tongue but that’s nothing compared to this chemise from Honey Cooler Handmade. This silk jacquard number is flirty yet mysterious with charming vintage lace designs and angular seaming. The understated jacquard pattern of frolicking foxes only serves to add to the magic of this alluring swingy nighty.
Chemise Lingerie Silk Lace Nightie, $350.00 by Honey Cooler Handmade at www.etsy.com/shop/honeycoolerhandmade.

6. Baked Zucchini

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Better eat your greens! High in vitamin A and potassium and low in calories, zucchini is part of a healthy diet and when you slice it, spice it and bake it in the oven the result is a tasty treat. Kind of like this balconette bra from B.Tempt’d by Wacoal. This low cut underwire bra has padded molded cups for coverage and two-toned corded lace that gives it an almost iridescent effect. The sheer bow and double straps add a delicate touch to this leafy colored piece.
Ciao Bella Balconette Bra, $38.00 at www.btempted.wacoal-america.com.

7. Cranberry Compote

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Love them or hate them, cranberries add that extra zing to any meal. Sweet and tangy with an extra oomph there is no denying their extreme flavor. This set by Silence + Noise also manages to be sweet while packing a punch. The soft and stretchy fabric is lightweight and smooth with soft triangle cups and paper-thin elastic bands. The colorblocking adds to its allure mixing sweet berry colors in a cool and edgy way.
Cameron Colorblock Bralette, $34.00 & Hipster, $12.00 both by Silence + Noise at www.urbanoutfitters.com.

8. Pumpkin Spice

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The people have spoken and they want their pumpkin spice. From coffee to chips to bubblegum, everyone’s jumped on the bandwagon so why should lingerie be any different? It doesn’t have to be with this vibrant orange satin robe from Myla. This expertly tailored cover-up drapes luxuriously on the body with sheer lace trim down the front and on the cuffs. Cinch it with a tie at the waist and this bold yet playful robe will have you declaring yourself the Pumpkin Queen.
Isabella short robe, $575.00 by Myla at www.myla.com.

9. Salted Caramel

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Whoever decided to top creamy decadent caramel with white crystal grains of savory salt is a genius. This is one flavor pairing that I personally can’t get enough of and just the taste of it makes me feel like royalty. I would also feel like royalty in this decadently sculpted bra by Parah. The unique lotus-shaped cups are crafted from macramé and compliment the décolletage while also enhancing the cleavage. Decorative straps add to the opulent look with soft netting on the wings to ensure comfort and flexibility.
Fior Di Loto padded demi bra, $215.00 by Parah at www.aricielingerie.com.

10. Maple Butter

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I imagine people back in the day churned butter just about as well as Agent Provocateur churns out show stopping lingerie pieces season after season. This gown and matching thong has the sweet feel of the maple tree’s golden syrup with the light and airy feel of tulle. Varying shades of tan and beige embroidered flowers line the neck, opening and waistline of this feminine set with sweet surprises such as puff sleeves, keyholes and strappy elastic.
Yoshi Gown, $790.00 & thong, $190.00 both by Agent Provocateur at www.agentprovocateur.com.

Have I made you hungry yet? Which flavors are your favorites? Which brands do you prefer for autumn looks?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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Intimate Affairs: A Recap Of Lingerie Inspired Events At NY Fashion Week

Josie Natori RTW Spring 2015

Josie Natori RTW Spring 2015 (Photo by Josh Wong)

Ahh, September in New York. There are such bitter sweet feelings this time of the year as the lazy days of summer are behind us and we gear up for a changing of the seasons including cooler temperatures, fall foliage and for the fashion obsessed – New York Fashion Week. With the fanfare of spectators and general hoopla surrounding the weeklong event, we lingerie professionals can often go overlooked as the spotlight shines on notable designers primarily in the ready to wear and couture markets. But that doesn’t mean that we miss out on all the fun when the fashion brigade comes into town. There are plenty of lingerie inspired events and exhibitions around town that serve to remind me each season how impactful and important the roll of intimate apparel plays in the fashion world. And the best part is that you don’t always have to be a professional in the industry in order to enjoy them.

These past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of attending some of these events and found myself inspired, wanting to share my findings with fellow lingeristas alike. Aside from the exclusive runway shows and private events, there were also performances, exhibitions, pop-up shops and trunk shows that the general public was welcome to take part in. It helps to be an avid follower of your favorite brands and labels if you want to get the inside scoop on what’s happening and where. And if you’re a sucker for a spectacle as I (embarrassingly) am, then there’s no reason you can’t take part and join in on the fun.

If you’re wondering what some of these events are like then read below to catch a glimpse at my fashion week roundup, including the more noteworthy events which served to remind me of the significance of lingerie in our lives and how it has influenced the whole of the fashion community decade after decade.

Triumph Magic Wire Bra Launch

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Triumph’s history display

Triumph has been one of the most notable lingerie brands across the globe for 125 years, first launching in Europe and slowly expanding across Asia before setting it’s sights on the US. While they don’t yet have retail stores in metropolitan New York, that hasn’t stopped them from garnering the buzz that this brand so well deserves.

The Magic Wire bra event was recently held at their temporary pop-up store in the East Village and was chock full of entertainment and excitement. Guests got a first hand view of the new revolutionary bra which does away with rigid and uncomfortable metal underwires in favor of a new silicone support piece encased within the bra fabric to support the smooth molded cups. This stabilizing piece serves to offer comparable hold and shape as traditional underwires but without the poking and prodding of a metal wire. An additional mesh stabilizer serves to compliment the pliable silicone feature and helps to add additional support while providing flexible comfort to rival a completely wireless bra.

Triumph's new Magic Wire bra

Triumph’s new Magic Wire bra

Lucky patrons were treated to a personalized bra fitting from Triumph’s knowledgeable staff and they had the opportunity to try on the new bra and take it home for a more in depth review. Available up to a G cup, these bras are also offered with fashionable details such as lace and jacquard and in an array of top selling colors. I personally went with the basic black. Boring, yes, but once I had it on in that dressing room I knew I’d get good use out of it indeed. The stretchy fabric and cups were able to move with me and I felt unrestricted yet still secure. All in all I have become a big fan.

Contortionist at the Triumph Magic Wire bra launch

Contortionist at the Triumph Magic Wire bra launch

In addition to the complimentary bra fittings, guests also were treated to an array of dazzling spectacles including a live contortionist, an impressive magician and a host of themed cocktails complete with smoke and mirrors (seriously, the cocktails had smoke radiating off of them). We also got a great review of the history of the Triumph brand along with live music and a glimpse of a few celebrities to further kindle my fan-girl tendencies – a mark of a great event that’s sure to have a successful following.

Exposed: A History of Lingerie – Exhibit at the Museum at FIT

Corset, circa 1905, England (Photograph courtesy The Museum at FIT)

Corset, circa 1905, England (Photograph courtesy The Museum at FIT)

Next up I just had to stop by and take a peek at the Exposed: A History of Lingerie exhibit at my alma mater the Fashion Institute of Technology. FIT is known for having an extensive collection of historical costumes and dress, most of which is archived at any given time and has never been seen by the public before. I can remember as a fledgling lingerie designer we had the great privilege of viewing a few pieces of their vintage lingerie collection up close and personal. It was a memorable experience as we marveled at the delicate fabrics and watched as they were carefully handled under the protection of white cotton gloves for preservation. So when I heard that some of these lingerie pieces were on display for the first time ever, I of course, had to go and check it out first hand.

The great thing about the museum at FIT is that it is free of charge and open to the general public. If you happen to be in NYC between now and November 15th and you have some free time to spare, it’s a great place to gain some inspiration and get your creative juices flowing.

Mid to late 19th century dressing gowns, bustles, and corsets (Photograph courtesy The Museum at FIT)

Mid to late 19th century dressing gowns, bustles, and corsets (Photograph courtesy The Museum at FIT)

Upon entering the exhibit you will quickly find that it is curated for the viewer to progress chronologically down the line taking in the 50+ garments one by one beginning from the late 1700’s and concluding with today’s modern wares. The opening 18th century looks are full of detail and in great condition, paired next to similar outerwear garments that have been influenced by the lingerie look during the same time period. It’s this connection that shows the viewer how lingerie has always helped to shape modern day dress and that the concept of innerwear worn as outerwear was a viewpoint utilized for centuries and not necessarily an innovative practice during the Madonna styling’s of the 80’s.

Warner Bros. corset, circa 1889, USA (Photograph courtesy The Museum at FIT)

Warner Bros. corset, circa 1889, USA (Photograph courtesy The Museum at FIT)

Gradually the exhibit leads us on a chronological journey throughout the decades and centuries highlighting some of the most popular silhouettes and fabrics from those times. I found myself marveling at the whalebone corsets and metal bustles of the late 1700’s, giggling at the modest dressing gowns of the mid 1800’s and lusting after the girdles, petticoats & brassieres of the mid 1900’s. It was fascinating to see first hand how lingerie has evolved throughout time and how our attitudes and perspective have come so far with the finale of the exhibit showcasing modern day innovators we all know and love such as Agent Provocateur and Hanky Panky. If you are a lover of lingerie or just interested in history in general, then I highly recommend taking a spin around the exhibit and possibly gaining a new perspective and appreciation of the wonderful world of lingerie.

Josie Natori Spring 2015 Runway Show

Program for the Josie Natori Spring 2015 RTW runway show

Program from the Josie Natori Spring 2015 RTW runway show

When I think of luxury designer Josie Natori I think bold prints, billowing fabrics and saturated colors. Though the Natori brand has become much more than that, it continues to stay true to its roots and delivers to us optimism and elegance collection after collection.

Each season the Natori runway show captivates us with a fresh and innovative spin on the prints and silhouettes that she is most known for. The ready to wear Spring 2015 collection debuted last week and sure enough, it stayed true to this concept once again. With a strong loungewear presence and many pieces worthy of a good night’s sleep, the pieces floating down the runway evoked a vision of a tropical paradise, complete with island-inspired colors and textures.

Key looks from the Josie Natori Spring 2015 collection (All photos courtesy of Josie Natori)

Key looks from the Josie Natori Spring 2015 collection (Photos by Josh Wong)

Some more notable themes of the show included three-dimensional embroidery effects adorning soft linen robes, while obi belts cinched in fluid, shiny pantsuits. Tropical leaf prints and tie dyes complimented bold hibiscus accessories while citrus colors comingled with indigos and beiges making us long for an Island getaway before winter has even begun.

Josie Natori Spring 2015 runway finale

Josie Natori Spring 2015 runway finale

All together the show was uplifting and lively while remaining classic and true to it’s signature Asian influences. The finale featured all the models in basic white tops paired with an array of colorful sarong-like pants in bold organic patterns as they converged on the runway to Pharell’s hit “Happy”, ending the show in a cheerful and airy climax of color.

Chromat Spring/Summer 2015 Runway Show

Chromat Primary Top, Spring/Summer 2015

Chromat Primary Top, Spring/Summer 2015

Following up the Natori show with the Chromat garments show is a lesson in the study of contrasts. Part lingerie, part swimwear and part ready to wear, Chromat’s pieces are considered “structural experiments for the human body”. Since 2010 they have been creating cage-like pieces out of elastic, plastics and metal to achieve unique designs coveted by avant-garde, fashion-forward personalities.

Chromat Mesh Underbust Top & Mesh Band bottom Spring/Summer 2015

Chromat Mesh Underbust Top, Mesh Band bottom & Topknot Cage Spring/Summer 2015

Along with Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Beyoncé and Madonna, I have been a fan of Chromat’s work for a while now and jumped at the opportunity to see them in action. One may think that there is not much more you can improve or expand upon when dealing with a specific technique like body caging (especially when the look has been copied by so many other brands) but the reaches of the mind of a designer are limitless and Chromat has once again come up with edgy newness worthy of excitement in addition to fresh updates on some of the old favorites.

Chromat Shine Collar, Extended Bustier & Android Pant,  Spring/Summer 2015

Chromat Shine Collar, Extended Bustier & Android Pant, Spring/Summer 2015

In addition to architectural neoprene, flashes of neon trim and asymmetrically slashed bodices, they have now expanded to include plus sized looks up to a size 20 and presented on curvy beauty Denise Bidot for the runway. These new size offerings have garnered a lot of praise on social media with hopes of seeing other labels and fashion models follow their lead catering to all sizes of fashionistas.

I’d love to hear about any other fashion events you’ve attended lately! Are there any other events you would like to see us cover?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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Ones To Watch: 5 Lingerie Brands To Keep An Eye On

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Edge O’Beyond

Designing lingerie can be a hard, grueling job but someone’s got to do it! Not that it’s without its perks, of course. However the industry is by no means a cushy one and often the job is not nearly as luxurious as it seems. There are certain times when the workload can get downright unbearable with 18 hour work days, non-stop travel and back-to-back meetings monopolizing your entire schedule, let alone your precious personal life. Working as a designer can quickly take its toll on your health and personal relationships if you’re not careful. But with the headaches come the rewards (world travel, celebrity networking and free samples, just to name a few), which at the end of the day outweigh the negatives making it all worthwhile. However after years of sleepless nights and brutal schedules I’ve decided it was time to make the leap into a different sector of the lingerie world and try my hand at a new trade: retail.

This was not a decision that I made lightly especially considering the fact that I love designing lingerie. The passion has been pumping through my veins since I discovered my first garter belt at age 13! However after 12 years I’m finally ready for a change. With a deepening curiosity for merchandising and marketing I’ve decided that curating a shop is going to be the next step in my lingerie career. Launching virtually to start, I’m now looking forward to building an online selection that will highlight unique brands, support new labels, cater to stylish young women and allow me to further explore this whole other spectrum of consumerism and business.

While I am only in the initial stages of this new venture I realized that the best way to cut my teeth would be to attend the Curve Lingerie Expo this week in NYC where I could review a diverse array of lingerie brands and get more information on who they are and how we can work together. So here I am fresh off of 20 hours spent in lingerie nirvana, pounding the pavement (or in this case plush carpeting) and scouring each and every booth for gorgeous lingerie and sleepwear to offer to my soon-to-be prospective customers. During my lingerie frenzy I have encountered many amazing brands that have impressed me with their ingenuity and new ideas. I am now so inspired and excited to begin my journey into the world of ecommerce and share what I’ve found with like-minded women who appreciate the value of detail, comfort and affordability.

So as I slowly descend from my shopping high and begin the carefully crafted buying process I want to share with you some of the brands that particularly struck a chord with me this season. Many are still new to the industry and I hope to see them stick around for a while as I find their perspective refreshing and I hope to soon stock their lovely offerings on my up and coming web shop. Take a look below and let me know what you think!

Naja

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You may have already heard of Naja as they’ve been recently garnishing a lot of press for their Underwear For Hope campaign. This San Francisco based company commits itself to educating and empowering single mothers in Columbia to work in their factories and produce their products. In addition a percentage of each sale goes toward supporting these mothers who have helped to make this socially conscious brand a Kickstarter success story. The affordably priced bras and panties utilize comfort first with pima cotton fibers, memory foam and nylon. They boast fun, whimsical prints ranging from photo-real naturescapes to boho floral mixing or tattoo-inspired decals. Each piece also has some surprising details such as printed inside cups or hidden inspirational sayings to add a little twist and brighten your day. Visit www.naja.co for more information.

Erica M

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In the market for some sexy new legwear? Take a cue from the iconic Beyoncé and check out the hosiery and bodysuits from NY based designer Erica M. Utilizing high quality hosiery from Italy, Erica M’s Bey-approved looks are sexy, sassy and a bit rebellious with leopard patterns, faux stirrup looks and evocatively placed heart designs. With her use of suggestive trompe l’oeil and a combination of luxurious and durable knits these items feel fresh, elegant and empowering. See for yourself at www.ericam.com.

Monette Paris

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New French label Monette Paris is expert at utilizing silk to create luxurious and sophisticated lingerie true to classic French form. Scrolling through their collection is like window-shopping on the Champs Élysées with their paper-thin lace, sumptuous drapes and crisp eyelets. All of their pieces feel light and airy with clean lines and elegant colors lending the silhouettes a nonchalant refined glamour. In addition to their soft selection of bras and briefs you’ll also find bodysuits, slips and skirts that can easily transition into tasteful outerwear. Take a look at www.monette-paris.com.

Tutti Rouge

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If you’re not already familiar with Tutti Rouge, they are a lingerie company out of the UK specializing in feminine bra sets with a flirty attitude. Still relatively new to the US this fun and girly brand caters to the full-busted women with their mostly padded bras available from a size 28-38 band and D-HH cup. Utilizing primarily satin, mesh and lace, these coordinating bra and panty sets have playful and feminine details such as beaded lace, cheeky prints and cute bows often finished with a tiny signature little heart embroidery. It’s the details that make this brand worth looking in to as well as their wide sizing range and affordable price point. Check them out at www.tuttirouge.com.

Edge O’Beyond

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Another UK brand that I’m excited about is Edge O’Beyond, scheduled to launch later this month. The Edge O’Beyond range caters to a more sexy and sophisticated customer with its luxurious sheer lace and metallic accents. 14K gold chains and filigree detail add a bit of sparkle to these seriously sexy pieces with suggestive detailing that’s both innovative and distinct. Though their price points are on the higher side, the quality of these unique designs and the wide size offerings (30B-36DD) make it a quality investment for any sultry fashionista. Find them at www.edgeobeyond.com.

What do you think about these 5 brands? I’d love to hear your opinions as well as any suggestions on what you might like to see from a new online lingerie retailer.

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

More Posts - Website

Essential Undies: 8 Panties That Every Woman Should Own (And the 2 That They Shouldn’t!)

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Bikinis, briefs, boyshorts, thongs, tangas, G-strings, V-strings, cheekys… The sky is the limit when it comes to the world of undies and the multitude of options we lucky ladies have to choose from these days. We no longer have to settle for drab drawers that merely keep us covered. Panties are getting more technical, more functional and are upping the ante, playing double duty as both a necessary and a utilitarian item. And when dealing with the most intimate of garments that we keep closest to our most private assets, it’s only fitting that we should garner them the amount of attention that they deserve.

The majority of women wear underpants for close to 24 hours daily, sometimes undergoing 1 or 2 quick changes throughout the day as needed. I often find myself on pair number 4 before the day is done, starting my morning off with a practical panty in order to avoid lines and bumps under tight pants, next changing to an athletic moisture-wicking pair for my evening work out, then moving on to a sexy lacy pair for date night and finally finishing off the evening with a breathable cotton pair for bedtime. It’s no wonder that I own over 100 pairs!

However, as the lingerie industry grows and demand for more functional underthings increases, designers are finding more and more ways to combine problem solving features into one garment. If you are in need of some of these undies that perform double duty then read on as to which styles offer the best solutions to some of our daily dilemmas. Depending on your lifestyle and preference you may want to stock up to keep yourself covered in any situation. Don’t settle for bottoms that don’t work for you – you deserve more from your undies. And who knows? Maybe in a couple of years all of our panty needs will be met by one magical super panty that women everywhere will covet for years to come. But until then here are my picks for the 8 most essential styles of panties out there and the 2 that I suggest avoiding at all costs.

1) The No-Show Knicker

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Ahh the dreaded vpl! The chronic conundrum of visible panty lines under your pants, shorts, skirts and dresses is a headache for many especially for those with a preference for full coverage panty bottoms. Chunky waistbands and leg elastics are infamous for causing those slight bulges under clothes that unnecessarily give the world a peek at our panty preference. Going commando or wearing a thong is one way to avoid vpl but your best bet is to pick a style with thin fabric and equally flat finished edges. Look for seamless styles with a folded over waistband or a man-made material panty with raw or bonded edges, which will eliminate the need for any elastic at all. If you prefer to keep the elastic on the legs in order to keep them from riding up, look for elastics that are lightweight, small or flat like a narrow band or taping. This will help you to wear your whites and tight fitting bottoms with confidence.

1. Vanishing Edge Microfiber Hipster by Soma Intimates, $16 at www.soma.com; 2. Invisibles Thong by Calvin Klein Underwear, $12 at www.calvinklein.com; 3. Light Hipster by Sloggi, $17 at www.figleaves.com.

2) The Skin-Tone Panty

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Like the no-show knicker, this panty should be a staple in any fashionista’s wardrobe. This panty will become virtually invisible when closely matched to your unique skin tone, making light colored pants and skirts safer to wear. Since everyone’s skin tone is different it can be hard to find the right match for you but spending time on a website like myskins.com can help find you the best possible match. These flesh-colored panties also come in handy when trying on bathing suits or new underwear as they allow you to hygienically and safely try on other bottoms while still remaining invisible so you can get a better feel for the style. Try combining the features of this panty with the no-show knickers for optimal usage with flat or no elastic for the ultimate go-to invisible panty.

4. New Soire Hot Pants by Cosabella, $35 at www.herroom.com; 5. Thong by MySkins, $12 at www.myskins.com; 6. Diamond Lace Hipster Tanga by GapBody, $12.50 at www.gap.com.

3) The Active Undie

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It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered my first pair of activewear panties specifically designed for high impact aerobics when I realized I had been unnecessarily suffering for years. These specially designed athletic undies not only offer comfort and stability throughout some rigorous exercise but are also made with wicking fibers that are soft on the skin and draw the moisture and sweat away from the body keeping you cool and dry throughout your routine. The final effect during a long or intense workout is refreshing as these skivvies allow you to focus your full attention on the task at hand and not on your underthings.

7. Workout Bikini by Moving Comfort, $16 at www.movingcomfort.com; 8. All Sport Shorts by Sweaty Betty, $25 at www.sweatybetty.com; 9. Woman’s Barely Hipster by Patagonia, $20 at www.patagonia.com.

4) The Sexy Skivvy

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The sexy skivvy is why I got into fashion in the first place. It could be different for each person: a satin and mesh bikini for some, a cute cotton boyshort for another or maybe a lace thong for someone else. It is the panty in which you feel you are most attractive. It is something that elicits confidence, whether others will be seeing them or not. Either way when you put on a pair, these undies should make you feel your sexiest, your most assured and your overall best when you wear them. Try wearing them on dates, for a big meeting at the office or anytime your confidence may need a little pick-me-up.

10. Palais Royal Tanga by Chantelle, $38 at www.thelittleflirt.com; 11. Dessous Ruched Back Bikini by Claudette, $28.56 at www.asos.com; 12. Dazzled Cheeky Brief by Jezebel, $14 at www.designerintimates.com.

5) The On-The-Go Undie

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Time is of the essence and in today’s busy society we don’t always have the time or resources needed to take care of the most basic of human chores. This can include laundry, particularly when traveling or spending time away from home. One could be left with limited packing space as well as time and energy to include all necessary items on their list. Under these circumstances I recommend investing in a couple pairs of lightweight, hand-washable panties. Paper-thin & soft, you can stock up on a handful of these multi-taskers and carry about with your business. In fact even one pair can do the job on it’s own if needed. These microfiber styles are easy to transport, comfortable to wear and dry very quickly, allowing them to be hand or machine-washed before turning down for the night. Hang them to dry and you will awake to find a fresh and dry pair just a few hours later – no dryer needed. These are especially helpful on long treks, camping trips or spontaneous holidays.

13. Light & Airy Bikini by Jockey, $11 at www.jockey.com; 14. Siren Hipkini by Icebreaker Merino, $29.99 at www.icebreaker.com15. Give-N-Go Lacy Bikini by ExOfficio, $22 at www.exofficio.com.

6) The Comfort Panty

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We all have those days where we just don’t feel so great. Cramps, bloating or a general feeling of being under the weather can make your skivvies the last thing on your mind. You want to feel comfortable and secure without having to worry about aesthetics or functionality. On days like these it’s best to have your most comfortable undies at hand. Natural fibers are often the best solution here with cotton and bamboo leading the pack. But don’t confuse these with your typical granny panty. The silhouette, coverage and color can be as unique as you are as long as the fit and comfort works for you.

16. Old School Old English Cheeky Hipster by L.A.M.B. x Hanky Panky, $34 at www.hankypanky.com; 17. Cotton Lingerie High-Leg Brief by Victoria’s Secret, $8.50 at www.victoriassecret.com; 18. Ruched Bikini by Tommy Hilfiger, $9 at www.tommy.com.

7) The Cover-Up Knicker

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I love playing around with different kinds of underwear according to my mood & outfit each day, but for the most part I want to be sure that I’m the only one enjoying my choices without fear of an accidental slip up or sneak peek. Particularly when out and about in a short skirt or dress (and especially during those windier months), there are times when accidentally flashing strangers is not on my to-do list and I’m looking to cover my behind – literally. In times like these I look to a more full coverage short or bloomer to keep my undies under wraps. Some days I keep it basic in solid bike shorties. Others I’ll opt for a flashier version with prints or ruffles. Either way it’s a relief to know that no gust of wind is going to stop me and I no longer have to stress over a possible wardrobe malfunction.

19. Lolita Lace Shorts by Free People, $68 at www.freepeople.com; 20. Lace-Trim Bike Short by Pins And Needles, $24 at www.urbanoutfitters.com; 21. Rita French Knickers by Hanro Of Switzerland, $111 at www.hanro.com.

8) The Long Undie

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I know what you’re thinking: How can you even think about long underwear when we just started summer? But I have to admit that a great pair of lightweight long underwear is a necessity that I can’t live without during the colder months. Perfect to double as pajamas, these undies often made out of silk or polyester give that extra barrier between you and the frigid winter air. And after the harsh winter many of us experienced this year I’ve never been more appreciative to own 2 sets of this valuable layering piece.

22. Low Rise Long Underwear Pant by WinterSilks, $39.99 at www.wintersilks.blair.com; 23. X-Temp Thermal Printed Pant by Hanes, $14 at www.hanes.com; 24. Silk Underwear Pants by L.L.Bean, $47.95 at www.llbean.com.

Now of course not all of these 8 panty styles will appeal to everyone and there are many other solution-based undies out there for your unique situations. However there are a few kinds of skivvies that I do suggest you avoid for health and comfort reasons:

The Ill-Fitting Knicker

A no-brainer here yet we’ve all been guilty of it: wearing underwear that does not fit us properly. They may be too tight or may be too loose but either way they are sure to cause discomfort. Who needs to be shifting and pulling all day causing irritating skin or visible bulges? Toss those inappropriate panties away and invest in something more suitable for you, your shape and size that will allow you a day hassle-free from unworthy undies.

The Unbreathable Panty

There are some cute undies out there but not all are created equal. Many tightly-knit, inexpensive, man made fibers don’t allow the skin to breath and can easily cause you to become sweaty, hot and irritated in your most sensitive area. You don’t have to put yourself through the discomfort and risk of infection or irritation solely for aesthetic purposes. If your synthetic underwear is tight on the body then you may be doing more harm than good. Swap those fake fibers for a more breathable blend or natural fabric. Your skin will thank you. But if you must wear a synthetic style at least look for ones with a cotton fabric crotch liner to help protect your most intimate areas from the harsh abrasions you may end up experiencing.

Do you own all 8 types of the above panties? Which other styles can’t you live without?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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Summer Swimwear: 10 Beachwear Trends To Try Out This Season

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Is it summer yet? Over here on the east coast it’s been slow going and I’ve been seriously craving the warm temperatures these past few weeks and the carefree qualities that come with it: a light breeze, trips to the ice cream shop, the scent of tanning oil, lazy Sunday barbeques and pitchers of crisp sangria. But most of all I’ve been jonesing for some new summer clothes including breezy skirts, strappy tank tops and of course a super cute swimsuit to compliment my soon-to-be-tan complexion.

This past week while surfing the web for some practical (and some not-so-practical) swimwear options I found myself overwhelmed with a bounty of outstanding choices. I can remember way back when I only had a paltry selection to choose from. As a stylish young fashionista I often found myself sadly forced to choose between boring solid color basics or oversized fluorescent florals; teeny-weeny string bikinis or dowdy one-piece coveralls. But with the countless options available today for all shapes, sizes, colors and budgets I’ve found the limitless options fresh and inspiring. Not to mention a bit overwhelming!

After combing through the massive selection of bikinis, one-pieces and cover-ups, I noticed many interesting trends popping up throughout the assortments. Some cute ones that I imagine will stay strong for a few seasons going forward and some unique ones which, while new and innovative, tend to remain unpractical and may be doomed to the fate of a passing fad. But regardless of personal taste any woman is sure to find what she is looking for in the infinite array of options available.

Below are 10 of what I felt were the most intriguing trends I’ve seen out there for this swimwear season. Whether lounging poolside or soaking up the sun at the beach you can be sure these pieces will turn up the style and turn some heads at the same time. Happy swimming!

1) Surf N’ Turf

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One hot trend for summer is the surfer girl look. Inspired by the neoprene wetsuits donned by true athletes of this aquatic sport, these suits have got the look but without all the bulk and insulation of the real thing. Think bright colors, high necklines, zigzag stitching and zippers galore – you can now effortlessly look the part without even having to set foot in the water.

1. Color Block bikini by Beach Bunny Swimwear top $110, bottom $90 at www.beachbunnyswimwear.com; 2. Mesh Tec bikini by Becca By Rebecca Virtue top $74, bottom $58 at www.everythingbutwater.com; 3. Electric Youth bikini by NLP top $138, bottom $62 at www.nastygal.com; 4. Cooha suit by Unif $138 at www.unifclothing.com.

2) Let’s Get Ready To Ruffle

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Ruffles and flounces have been making waves for a few seasons now as a flirty accent on some old favorites. While this is a trend that’s sure to withstand more summers to come, designers are finding cute new ways to incorporate the frills by ramping up sexy necklines and cheeky bottoms with some girlish charm.

5. Minty Ombré bikini by Maaji $116 at www.kayokokoswimwear.com; 6. Deep Plunge Ruffle swimsuit by Asos $66.69 at www.us.asos.com; 7. Penny bikini top and Raigan bikini bottom by Zinke top $99, bottom $82 at www.shopzinke.com; 8. Boho Stripe Bandeau Swimdress by Juicy Couture $160 at www.bloomingdales.com.

3) Sheer Madness

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Mesh is always a reliable choice when looking to make coverage more sexy. And sexy is the name of the game with these new fabric-blocking suits. Playing off of a mix of opaque vs. sheer, the fabric mix on these styles play up the fashion component in a bold and provocative way while still allowing you to be covered in all the right places

9. Descent bathing suit by Michi $295 at www.michiny.com; 10. The Amalfi tankini by Lee And Lani $130 at www.leeandlani.com; 11. Head Trip maillot by Kore $264 at www.korewear.com; 12. Firebird swimsuit by Minimale Animale $290 at www.minimale-animale.com.

4) Catch Midriff?

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Though the original monokini dates back to the 1960’s, today’s monokinis are in full swing with design details rendering it a sexy alternative to the one-piece swimsuit. This suit has most recently made a splash by targeting the bare midriff as its newest focal point. While for some it takes a large dose of confidence to accent this most sensitive of body parts, for others it’s just another way of highlighting the sexiness of a woman’s body and of course her knack for edgy style.

13. Santa Cruz one-piece by 6 Shore Road $138 at www.6shoreroad.com; 14. Shiny Splash one-piece by American Apparel $54 at www.americanapparel.net; 15. Tada one-piece swimsuit by Lolli $110 at www.urbanoutfitters.com; 16. Flora Maillot by Kore $246 at www.korewear.com.

5) Hello Sailor!

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Good news for retro pin-up enthusiasts: nautical swimwear style is still going strong with a bevy of beautiful options to strike your fancy. Perfect for the beach, this flirty trend does double time in both revealing and conservative silhouettes. The red white and blue color scheme is perfect for showing your off your patriotism while gold details, sailor stripes and bow ties give a nod to some famous pinups of the past.

17. Bettie “Hello Sailor” swimsuit by Pin Up Couture $78 at www.pinupgirlclothing.com; 18. All Day Aquatics swimsuit by ModCloth top $49.99, bottom $39.99 at www.modcloth.com; 19. Sammie swimsuit by Fables By Barrie $124 at www.fablesbybarrie.com; 20. Anchor bikini by Hello Kitty top $24.50, bottom $22.50 at www.hottopic.com.

6) Strap Happy

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Though it’s been around for some time now I am not a fan of the strappy caged look when it comes to swimwear. While I love the look in the lingerie world, it conjures up bad images of twisted fabric and ridiculous tan lines out in the beach world. But I do agree that these design details are cool and innovative and I can relate with those who may succumb to their lure as these edgy styles continue to be updated on a seasonal basis utilizing new shapes and patterns guaranteed for a unique look.

21. Seychelles String Back one-piece by Mikoh $202 at www.revolveclothing.com; 22. String Back one-piece swimsuit by Kovey $113 at www.urbanoutfitters.com; 23. Spiderweb Inset one-piece swimsuit by Vintage Suits By Mary $92 at www.pinupgirlclothing.com; 24. Sunstreak swimsuit by Nasty Gal $98 at www.nastygal.com.

7) Fit To A Tee

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Are you someone who burns easily in the sun? If so then a rash-guard or oversized tee may be a staple in your beach wardrobe. If for whatever reason you prefer to cover up a bit under the sun then a sleeved bikini may be an option for you. These stylish swimsuits not only offer some more coverage than it’s string bikini counterparts but it will also garner a little extra attention with its distinctive shape and more modest coverage.

25. Glow Tide swimsuit by Amore And Sorvete $180.99 at www.modcloth.com; 26. Ay Papi bikini by Beach Riot top $86, bottom $71 at www.swell.com; 27. Underbust Uniform bikini by Chromat top $218, bottom $108 at www.chromatgarments.com; 28. Sinaloa Stripe bikini by Nanette Lepore top $64, bottom $76 at www.nanettelepore.com.

8) Twist And Shout

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The ruching, gathering and twisting of fabric has always been a flattery technique that can help to draw attention away from certain problem areas on the body or to highlight others. It’s also reminiscent of Grecian goddesses and Hollywood starlets, two alluring historical figures many girls would be happy to emulate. Today’s ruched and gathered swimsuits modernize sexy in bold shapes and daring silhouettes not for the faint of heart.

29. Cut Out Crossed one-piece by Vix Swimwear $184 at www.vixpaulahermanny.com; 30. Sunning Sweetie one-piece swimsuit by Contour By Christina $118.99 at www.modcloth.com; 31. Striped Natural Support one-piece swimsuit by Torrid $88.50 at www.torrid.com; 32. Cross Front Wrap Halter swimsuit by Asos $53.35 at www.us.asos.com.

9) Take The Edge Off

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Scalloped edges on a garment can be hard to achieve in fashion, often requiring pricey labor-intensive details which in the past rendered the look expensive and luxurious. While this connotation still holds true, the effect continues to evolve and has become more accessible for a wider range of fashion-conscious consumers. These swimsuits with their delicate scallops embellishing the skin look high-end and fanciful without additional prints or trims to detract from the simplistic, clean look.

33. Scallop bikini by Free People top $68, bottom $68 at www.freepeople.com; 34. Honolulu bikini by Marysia Swim top $130, bottom $130 at www.shopbop.com; 35. Martine swimsuit by Nasty Gal $68 at www.nastygal.com; 36. Milou Tipped bikini by Herve Leger $840 at www.herveleger.com.

10) Prints Charming

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All-over prints have become more fun and conversational lately with some wacky repeats showing up on everything from t-shirts to purses. Swimwear is jumping on the bandwagon now too with designs ranging from cute to kooky. Why not strut your stuff with a theme that’s personal to you and exemplifies your style? Whether you’re into cats, fast food or zombies there’s sure to be an option out there for you.

37. The Bahamas Scoop one-piece by We Are Handsome $297 at www.wearehandsome.com; 38. Astronomy Oh My bikini by ModCloth top $44.99, bottom $39.99 at www.modcloth.com; 39. Fruit Punch one-piece swimsuit by Wildfox Couture $148 at www.bloomingdales.com; 40. Soul Stealer bikini by Iron Fist $39.95 at www.ironfistclothing.com.

Would you wear any of these trends? Which one is your favorite?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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Addicted To Lingerie: 8 Steps To Curb The Obsession

Bra hanging on old furniture

It’s fitting that I write this article for a blog named The Lingerie Addict as I have just come to grips with the fact that I truly am a lingerie addict myself. This is not something I admit lightly. I have spent years of my life lusting and fawning over hand worked corsets, vintage slip dresses and showy bras. I have spent loads of hard-earned cash on lacy camis, cheeky panties and matching boudoir sets. But a lingerie “addict”? Nah, that word can’t possible apply to me!

However earlier this month I began my annual task of spring cleaning. With the long, hard winter behind us I was eager to open the windows and let the fresh air inspire me to tackle my overstuffed dresser drawers and closets. It wasn’t until I sat down amidst my contents of 5 lingerie drawers when I realized how exceptional my collection really was.

It got me thinking: how many bras does the average woman own? Why do we hold on to things that no longer fit or flatter us? Why can’t I stop buying more and more lingerie? I certainly can’t be the only woman in the world with a dresser full of lingerie and an admitted spending problem. So I decided to research the statistics. The average woman today owns about 9 bras and about 20 panties contributing to the estimated $30 billion dollar global market. Lingerie spending has risen steadily since the economic crash of 2008 and shows no signs of slowing down with 50% of lingerie purchases spent on bras and 33% on panties. This is a far cry from my personal collection of 85+ bras and 100+ panties and I have a feeling I’m not alone here.

While my situation is not indicative of these statistics, I do believe that being a lingerie addict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As with any shopping addiction, all it takes is a little discipline to keep yourself in control and your obsession in check. I will state here and now that my new goal for this year will be to curb my addiction and redirect it in a way that will save me more closet space and money by 2015. To help reach this goal I have constructed an “8 step program” for myself in order to reach full lingerie nirvana. These are steps that I have already begun taking to help keep my lingerie spending in control. If you feel you are in the same boat with your lingerie obsession (or have some additional advice for me) then feel free to take a cue from my new personal rulebook below.

1) Get rid of lingerie that does not fit

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We’ve all heard by now that 8 out of every 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra. Whether you believe the hype or not, the fact remains that many of us could benefit from a wardrobe purging of wrong or miss-sized items that we’ve been holding on to for one reason or another. I personally have a bevy of bras from a couple years back when I thought I was a size 34B. It turns out that I, too, was misinformed and have benefitted from switching sizes ever since. However I noticed that my substantial collection of brassieres included a significant amount of size 34B’s that I acquired throughout the years. 34B’s that I loved and wore despite the loose waistbands & gaping cups. Now that I know what a good fitting bra feels like I’ve tossed my 34B’s to the wayside and they’ve been gathering dust ever since. It is time for me to say goodbye these bras and make room for more practical pieces. The same holds true for anything that pokes, slips, squeezes, itches or shifts which is why I’m tossing my wedgie-inducing briefs, oversized nightgowns and impossibly suffocating pantyhose.

2) Nix lingerie that doesn’t suit your style

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It can be fun to play around with your lingerie and try out new pieces or styles that would normally stray from your comfort zone outside of the bedroom. After all, intimate apparel is one of the safest places to experiment and find out what you or your partner like. But experimentation can sometimes leave you with a “one hit wonder” on your hand that may never see the light of day again. I have an abundance of “one hit wonders” in my closet not only from experimental buys but also from emergency purchases (who forgets to pack underwear their on their vacation??) and free giveaways at work. None of them suit my personal style and I avoid wearing them at all costs so why keep them around? And just like that I’ve reduced my overflowing collection by about 30%!

3) Take better care of my most important pieces

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Whenever I make a new purchase I always start off giving it the love and care that it deserves but as time goes on, and my collection grows, I find myself skimping on some of the most basic rules of thumb for lingerie care. Most of my white and nude pieces begin to grey before their time and I’ve unwittingly contributed to the disintegration of many a lace panty. This year I’m making a more conscious effort to store my cupped bras neatly with backs clasped and stacked horizontally to avoid crushing or creasing the cups. I’m limiting my bras and tights down to two wears before laundering (socks and undies are always just once). I’ll continue to hand wash my bras and delicates while the more basic styles will go into the washing machine and always in a mesh lingerie bag. I also recommend using cold water for everything and separating your lights from darks. Try to avoid using bleach (I learned the hard way) as it can cause discoloration and contribute to the breakdown of lace fibers. Gently rinse and pat dry all delicates before leaving them to air dry flat or in their natural shape. Hopefully this will add a little more longevity to some of my more fragile pieces and keep me from taking the lazy way out.

4) Stop the impulse buying

5 Sales Clerk Presenting Lingerie

It’s hard to control yourself when you work in a sea of gorgeous intimate apparel but I will succumb to the addiction no more! My new motto is “Ask why before you buy”. Most of my lingerie purchases are based on desire rather than need and this is what’s landed me in a virtual mass of lingerie. Far be it for me to deny myself the most basic of essentials: a supportive sports bra, comfortable panties, convertible bra or pantyhose, but the pretty, sexy, flirty fashion pieces that I love so much will have to be limited from now on. This is by far the biggest task for me to take on so I’ve decided that every time I pine for a new purchase I will attempt to channel my obsession in other ways. Such as….

5) Keep a lingerie inventory

Drawers full of sexy lingerie

Knowing and reminding yourself of what you have on hand is a great way to avoid those impulse buys. I believe that if I can keep my drawers and closets organized and then skim through them every couple of weeks to remind myself of my stock then it will help to alleviate my shopping impulses. I plan to work with what I’ve got and remind myself how much I already have. No, I don’t need that new rhinestone encrusted corset when I have 7 perfectly beautiful corsets sitting in my drawer begging to be worn. I can get my rhinestone fix with my sparkly bra from last season or my lurex tights. I hope that shopping my own closet will allow me to become more creative in the long run and to appreciate the lingerie that I already have.

6) Rid yourself of “benched” pieces

7 unhook pink longline bra

One of my biggest lingerie hoarding problems is my over-ambitious notion that I can fix any wear, tear or irregularity in my clothes. This includes runs in my hosiery (I can just add a dab of clear nail polish to stop it in its tracks!), bra waistbands that are too loose (I’ll just re-sew the back clasps!) or even panties with too tight leg elastic (I’ll lose a few pounds!). But the truth is that these pieces end up sitting in my drawers month after month “benched” from the game. Sure it would be great if I could make good on these promises but the fact is that I, like many of us modern day women, do not have the time, resources or energy to indulge in our inner Martha Stuart and make the needed repairs in a timely manner. Rather than taking up space I vote to rid yourself of the burden altogether. When it comes to lingerie fit and quality are key and if something isn’t perfect then it just isn’t worth it.

7) Just say no

8 multicolored bras

In my line of work we are fortunate enough to enjoy some perks from time to time including free samples and giveaways. As exciting as this is it can sometimes be overwhelming as styles pile up and you find yourself accepting things that you don’t even plan on wearing. It can be hard to say no when someone is giving you something (especially when that something is complimentary) but I am going to have to start practicing my no game. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s a good idea and in an effort to become less wasteful I’d prefer to save that sample for someone who really appreciates it and will get more use out of it.

8) Avoid sales, bargains and clearances

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This goes hand in hand with step #4 about impulse buying. Sales are dangerous places for shopping addicts like myself and can turn a simple browse into an all out spree. It’s a slippery slope as turning down a designer bra at 50% off is more painful than turning down the same designer bra at full retail price. However from now on I will be making a more conscious effort to avoid sales all together. Those big red letters will no longer have an effect on me as I will be impervious to their charm! Just because something is reduced in price does not make it more necessary and from here on out I plan on using sales solely for lingerie necessities.

Do you consider yourself a lingerie addict too? How do you curb your obsessions?

Kristina

Kristina

Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.

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