Posts by Kristina

My Lingerie Addiction: 8 Sentimental Pieces Close To My Heart

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There’s a reason I write for a blog called The Lingerie Addict. Besides for the amazing community that TLA has introduced me to, I also happen to have a serious lingerie addiction. There is something about lingerie that is so personal and sensual while remaining a functional and a necessary part of my life. It is here that many people have an easier time expressing who they really are since lingerie continues to be a hidden part of every day fashion. Whether you prefer sporty, colorful, or down right erotic, lingerie is a great place to explore your personal preferences without the fear of judgment from others.

I started getting into fashion at 11 years old and by 15 I began experimenting with incorporating lingerie into my daily wardrobe (in an age-appropriate manner, of course). Vintage slips, petticoats and cami tops made their way into the mix and aside from the occasional hallway bullying (it’s tough being different when you’re in high school) I started my new found love affair with lingerie.

As with many inanimate objects, our clothing has the ability to tell a story. Each sentimental piece that you own has a history of how it made its way into your life and how it makes you feel. These pieces can have the ability to bring back memories and feelings at the sight, smell or feel of them. Since I’ve gotten into lingerie, I’ve amassed quite a collection of these important pieces that hold a special place in my heart. Here I’m sharing 8 of these personal pieces and why they have so much meaning to me.

  1. My First Luxury Corset

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It wasn’t until I left my tiny suburban hometown for NYC that I was exposed to luxury fashion and I first laid eyes on quintessential luxury lingerie brand La Perla. Though I longed to own my own piece of La Perla lingerie, I didn’t expect that dream to come true so quickly. But one day casually shopping a designer clearance special, I came across this quality La Perla corset for over 50% off the retail price. I had never seen such quality construction before and I was smitten. This corset was my first introduction to true luxury and it has quickly become the standard that I hold all other luxury lingerie to.

  1. My Vintage Bloomers

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Just before starting college I took a trip to LA and spent a good 2 days shopping the amazing selection of vintage boutiques around the city. I landed myself a bunch of unique finds that I plan to hold onto for years to come, but I also scored the cutest set of ruffled bloomers for under my flirty skirts! Not only do I have a thing for retro, girlish styles but also the color combo is one of my all time favorites. And they kept (and still keep) me covered on those windy days when I fear the embarrassment of an accidental flash.

  1. My First Handmade Bra

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Majoring in lingerie design in college was no easy feat. But it was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I learned so much about the history and construction of lingerie with the added benefit of a hands-on experience creating and sewing my own pieces. For our first assignment we had to make a soft cup bra so we learned all about the multiple components that go into making it. Within a week I had designed, draped, drafted and constructed a fully functional triangle bra fit specifically to my measurements. The bra still fits me today and though I don’t wear it much, I still keep it in good condition as a reminder of how far I’ve come in my career.

  1. My Marabou Slippers

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At one point as a teenager I developed a marabou obsession, adding the feathered trim to many of my existing clothes. I bought babydolls, robes and accessories covered in the stuff but I was never able to find the vintage marabou slippers that I saw in old Hollywood photos. After searching for years I found the perfect pink pair in Soho and snatched them up. I wore them to class, around the house and finally to my junior prom! To this day when I’m not feeling my best I still enjoy sliding these on and prancing around my apartment channeling my inner vintage starlet.

  1. My First Designer Bra

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When I first started working in the industry I had my eye on a gorgeous strappy Marlies Dekker bra for a good 2 years. It was the first of its kind, helping to spark the cage trend and such an edgy way to highlight the décolletage. Plus I was dying to wear it to be seen! So when I was promoted to a full-fledged designer at my first job and finally had the paycheck to match, you can guess what my first fancy lingerie purchase was! My Marlies made me feel confident, edgy and fashion-forward with its element of surprise and I’m constantly finding new ways to show it off.

  1. My Sequin Garter Belt

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I came across this sequin garter belt while I was still in high school and had visions of cabarets and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. As one who prefers flashy over sexy I often wore this garter over a pair of shorts or a miniskirt and attached them to my Clueless-inspired over the knee socks. It was funky and out there as an every day item but I couldn’t care less! The teasing comments I got from my classmates failed to break my spirit and instead, inspired me to go even further in my experimentation ultimately leading me to majoring in lingerie design in college. I credit this garter belt with guiding me towards my career path and I keep it these days for fun and reminiscing.

  1. My Favorite Strapless Bra

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One staple every girl should have in her wardrobe is a good strapless bra. But it can be difficult to find a good supportive one that stays put. I discovered this one at Victoria’s Secret a few years back and have found it to be irreplaceable. The secret is the slotted elastic sewn all around the top of the bra. The elastic has small slits in it every half inch, where a removable bra strap can hook in allowing you to attach the strap anywhere on the bra, front or back. This makes it a cinch to convert your straps to any position needed. Unfortunately, this construction hasn’t caught on and I’ve never seen a bra like this again. I happen to be small busted so it could be that the method doesn’t hold up as well with bigger cup sizes, but for me it has been a game changer and I hope the industry will come out with a similar style again soon. 

  1. My College Senior Project

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In my senior year of fashion school we each had to make a lingerie garment inspired by one of the 4 elements of nature. I chose air and had a lot of fun working with light, gauzy fabrics. But my pièce de résistance was the underbust corset that I handmade to cinch in the gown underneath it. I lined and boned a shimmery silver jacquard fabric and strung hundreds of glass beads at the hem for a sparkly fringe effect. It took days of hand beading in class, on the train, in front of the TV…. I poured a lot of sweat and tears into this corset! But the finished product was a success and I got an A+ as my final grade.

Do you have lingerie that is sentimental to you? I would love to hear the stories behind your favorite pieces!

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 Hacks: 7 Quick Fixes For Your Lingerie Problems

female worker

Let’s be frank: I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all so busy these days! Who has time to waste on uncomfortable or poor fitting clothes? Our time is precious, so it’s no wonder we look for shortcuts and hacks to make life a little easier so we can focus on the more important tasks at hand.

Being an avid DIY-er I’ve tested out tons of tricks to fix my wardrobe malfunctions – some worked wonders and some… not so much. But what I’ve taken away from all the tweaking and adjusting is that you don’t have to be MacGyver to fix many of your basic lingerie problems. All you need are a few cheap supplies and a good 10 minutes to turn those struggles into solutions. Here are seven of my most helpful lingerie hacks so that you can make the most out of your lingerie wardrobe too.

1) Stop A Strapless Bra From Slipping Down

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A great way to avoid ending up with your bra around your waist at the end of a long night is by adding more structure to it using the removable straps that typically come with the bra. Take one of these straps and lengthen it to the longest it will reach, then hook it to the back of the bra on one side. Next, bring it forward under your arm and across the front of your body, under your bust. Continue wrapping under your other arm until you can hook the free end of your strap onto the other side of the bra in back. Finally, tighten the strap to make it as secure as possible across your rib cage — but don’t forget to give yourself enough room to move and breathe!

Bonus tip: When shopping for a strapless bra, choose a style with clear silicone gel or taping along the inside of the bra, which will help it grip to the skin better.

2) Fix Underwire That Pokes Out

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Having a metal underwire rip through its channeling and dig into your skin is painful! If you’re in need of a quick fix, try using a bit of moleskin – a shoe solution with a soft, fuzzy facing and sticky back side. Strong enough to keep things in their place yet soft enough to keep against the skin, just a small amount is needed to save your skin. Just cut a piece a few inches long and the same width of your underwire channeling. Push the underwire back into its place and stick the piece of moleskin on top to cover up the hole and Presto! No more underwire pinch!

Bonus tip: Add a dab of superglue before applying the moleskin for a longer lasting bond.

3) Stretch Underpants Where You Need It Most

weibliche Hüften, Hintern - isoliert

Because my legs are thicker than your average lingerie model, I often wind up with underwear that fits well at the waist but is too tight around the legs. Going up a size usually gives me a baggy waistband, so I’ve taken to stretching the legs of my undies as far as possible to purposely crack the stitching (this sounds a lot scarier than it really is). Breaking these threads allows for a bit more ease and stretch in the leg elastic, resulting in a comfier fit around my thighs. This method can also work for a tight waistband — but I suggest only practicing it with your more basic underwear rather than the high-end kind, since the broken threads may cause them to deteriorate quicker than usual.

Bonus tip: If you have a sewing machine at your disposal, removing the elastic with a seam ripper and re-sewing the hem back in place (with a stretch stitch) will make for a longer lasting pair.

4) Fake A Racerback Bra

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Racerback bras can be hard to come by. But there are probably times when you wish your favorite t-shirt bra came with a crossed back or T straps. If this sounds familiar, try gathering the straps together in back and securing a small safety pin or paperclip tightly around them. This will hold them together in an X shape and allow you to adjust the positioning by sliding it up or down the straps. You may have to remove it each time you take the bra on and off, but you also won’t have to worry about visible bra straps showing or slipping down.

Bonus tip: You can also buy strap clips for under $10 dollars here.

5) Avoid Stocking Runs

Business woman with run in stocking.

I, for one can’t wear pantyhose for five minutes without getting a snag, rip, or run in them. However, I’ve found that all it takes is a little hairspray to prevent these snags from happening in the first place. When you’re getting dressed, try spraying a light coat of hairspray over the stockings and then letting it dry before you put on the rest of your clothes. It can get a little sticky, but once it dries, it lightly binds the fibers together (and smells great) to help prevent easy and avoidable tears. Just remember that once you wash the tights the coating will dissolve in water, so you’ll have to reapply the hairspray before each wear.

Bonus tip: If you do get a hole or snag, adding a dab of clear nail polish to avoid a full-on run usually does the trick.

6) Loosen A Tight Bra

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Sometimes you may have a bra that’s a bit too snug in the waistband – hey, it happens. If that loosest clasp is pinching you too tightly, then you can take matters into your own hands with an old bra and some light sewing. Just cut the back closure off of a bra you no longer use and save the tab that has the loops or “eyes” on it. Then, take the same eye-side of your bra closure and line it up with this tab to create one long, extended closure. With the bra slightly overlapping the tab, sew in place by hand or with a machine. The sewing doesn’t have to be perfect, since it will be hidden under your clothing, and as the bra stretches out with time you can easily remove the extra sewn-on eyes as needed.

Bonus tip: If you don’t want to sew, you can also purchase a bra extender for under $10 dollars here.

7) Hide Discolored Bra Straps

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Light-colored bras have a tendency to grey and show dirt quicker than darker shades, which can be frustrating if the bra still fits well and is in good shape. This is especially noticeable on the straps since it’s the most exposed part of the bra. In times like these, I like to take a strip of lace trim in a similar width and sew it on top of my straps, starting in the front and ending above the adjusters in the back (so I’m still free to tighten and loosen my straps). It only takes a hand stitch every inch or two to secure the lace and then tuck in the edges for a clean finish. I’d also take a gamble and say that you can probably glue the lace onto your straps with fabric glue as well, but I’ve never tested it out myself so experiment at your own risk!

Bonus tip: Another solution is to dye the bra a darker color. Many at-home dye kits are user-friendly and can give a new lease on your bra’s life.

Have you ever tried any of these lingerie hacks? What other tricks have worked for you?

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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Insider Secrets: 5 Things Lingerie Retailers Don’t Want You To Know

Hot model in black lingerie gesturing silenceYou could say I’ve been around the block. The lingerie block, that is. I’ve spent a lot of time designing, researching trends, meeting with buyers, and learning about the market. But it wasn’t until this past year when I launched my own online boutique and became a lingerie buyer myself that I got a glimpse into the world of retail and why buyers make some of the decisions they do.

As an avid shopper, I’ve always wondered why things were priced the way they were or why I couldn’t find specific styles in the market. Well, it turns out I wasn’t alone! After months of studying how to be an effective buyer, I’m finally beginning to understand the flip side of the coin and it’s given me a whole new perspective on shopping. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned this year that may change your perspective during your next shopping trip.

     1. Pricing structure and deals

Have you ever noticed how some stores will offer a pair of underwear at a certain price, but the price drops dramatically if you buy three or five of them? This technique is meant to get customers buying more — and it works most of the time, since it sounds like you’re getting an amazing deal.
In reality, the reduced price you’re paying per style after the discount is the actual retail price that the buyer has decided to charge. However, since the store wants you to buy more, they are giving you an incentive by marking that product up an additional 50% if you choose to just buy just the one. It’s almost like being punished for shopping small! While this is a win-win situation for the retailer, it can be frustrating for the consumer and has often left me feeling like I’ve overpaid no matter which route I take.

From the customer’s perspective there is no way around this pricing technique. However, I do recommend doing your research and making sure you’re satisfied with the fabric and fit before committing to the deal. It’ll save you time and eventually money in the long run.

     2. Extended sizes and colors

Recently I’ve learned how, because of limited budgets, smaller retailers are not always able to carry a wide range of sizes and colors to offer their customers. A bootstrap company is working with tight funds, and trying to accommodate all body types can be costly if that’s not their specialization. And while I’ve been made more aware of this over the last few years, I still had a hard time understanding why larger retailers didn’t cater to these underserved markets either. After all, they’re the ones with the big bucks, right?

Now that I’ve crossed over to the other side, I am seeing first hand how costly catering to all sizes, shapes, and colors really can be. Considering how many bra sizes exist out there, you’re talking upwards of 20 for standard sizing alone —not including extended size bands and cups. Any retailer who is stocking multiple pieces of each size would not have the means or manpower to buy, say, 40 or more of just one style/color to fit all potential customer needs. Not only would that blow their budget on just a few styles, but also be a nightmare to manage.

The good news is that more indie brands are popping up that specialize in those hard-to-find pieces. These labels tend to be smaller and you may have to order them online, but they are often experts in their field and supporting them could help make them more readily available to customers in the future.

     3. Variations and lack of consistency

lingerie in the shop

Inconsistency is one of my biggest pet peeves when shopping for lingerie. I hate falling in love with a style, buying it in a bunch of colors… and then finding out once I get home that the fit or fabric is different than my beloved original. The lack of consistency leaves me feeling, well… kind of ripped off.

The truth is, big retailers don’t always make all of their own products. Many hire manufacturers to design, produce, and oversee the goods under their store’s name. These suppliers work hard to stay true to the retailer’s vision and go through a rigorous approval process before the goods are made available. However, suppliers and factories are also put under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines. When they start running behind or their quality starts to suffer, they may be dropped in favor of someone else. These new manufacturers take over where the previous ones left off and, while they try to match the product seamlessly, there will always be some deviations. Fabrics may have a little more stretch, the fit may be a little looser, etc.

Unfortunately, this is the nature of the industry and I can’t blame the buyers for pushing to receive the very best (or at least as close to it as they can get in their time frame). But for your own sake, I’d recommend checking each garment out before you buy, to ensure that everything you are looking for is there.

     4. Customer Service (or lack thereof)

Retro blond beauty on vintage telephone  - isolated on white

Years of experience have taught me that the bigger the company, the worse the customer service is. They tend to take a less personal approach and have customer service representatives who don’t work closely with the product. These established companies also have loads of returning customers and therefore can, at times, view them as expendable.

Smaller designers tend to value the customer interaction more since they know that happy customers make for returning customers. For companies like these, maximizing their reach as well as their dollar goes a long way and a negative review has the ability to make or break them. It’s in their best interest to offer outstanding customer service at all times. And since they are so small, chances are they are also working closely with the product and have a passion for what they are doing. Brands like these can be a pleasure to work with on both the consumer and buying end.

Of course, there are plenty of big brands with great customer service and plenty of smaller labels with terrible customer service! But if a personalized experience and expert know-how is something you are seeking, then an indie brands is often the way to go.

     5. International and foreign brands

As a world traveler and follower of all things lingerie, I love scoping out the newest labels from different countries and discovering new talents. But one source of frustration is how these brands never seem to make it stateside, no matter how popular they become in their own countries. Why don’t more lingerie boutiques carry these awesome labels in their stores? Yes, they can be purchased online, but I want to feel them and try them on before I commit.

Not much of a surprise here — shipping overseas is costly! But when you’re dealing with larger quantities for resale, the charges really start to add up. High taxes and duties in addition to the fact that it’s impossible to guarantee their sales, makes buying these brands a risky endeavor. While I’d love to carry more of my favorite international brands on my site, it’s a safer bet for a small store like me to stick with domestic vendors until I have a more encompassing budget and loyal customers.

What do you think about how lingerie retailers operate? Have you had any memorable experiences, good or bad?

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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What I’d Tell My 22-Year-Old Self About Working In The Lingerie Industry

Fashion! Style! Lingerie! Sure, it sounds all glamorous and exciting — but, like anything else, working in the lingerie industry comes with a barrage of drawbacks and disadvantages which, at times, push many a die hard lingerista to the edge of reason. And I have to admit – I’ve been there myself. Many times! This industry can be stressful, lonely and frustrating. However, it can also be rewarding, satisfying, and fulfilling to those who are able to navigate its complexities.

I blame my stubborn nature and unwavering love of lingerie for my ability to remain true to my vision for all these years. This has been my dream job since I was 11 years old and discovered my first vintage slip dress! For as determined as I am to stay true to my dreams, it would have been nice to have had a realistic idea of what the industry would be like once I graduated from fashion school and joined the workforce.

As I sit here sketching ideas for a new collection, I found myself thinking: if I could go back to that 22-year-old girl, what would I say to her? What words of advice would I give her? It’s virtually impossible for any newcomer to be completely prepared for the real world and no matter how much you study, having a base to start with and an arsenal of tips and tools at your disposal is a great way to prepare for future trip-ups. So here are a few pointers I’d give to that 22-year-old girl or anyone else looking to join the fashion industry.

 

Passion Makes Perfect

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The fashion industry is infamous for demanding hard work and long hours. While I can’t guarantee the experience will be the same for everyone, if you don’t feel completely passionate about lingerie, then maybe it’s time to rethink your options.

The truth is that all of the lingerie companies I’ve experienced expect you to put in long hours each day, skip lunch breaks and sacrifice some of your weekends. This can all be pretty taxing when you’re trying to have a life outside of your career, which is why I’d advise any aspiring lingerista to have a true passion for what they’re doing and a belief in their product. After all, the average person spends about 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime… better make it something you love!

Begin With Thick Skin

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A look from Michi’s Spring 2013 campaign

 

Sugar coating is not practiced very often in the fashion world. Much of the learning process is sink-or-swim, and you are guaranteed to encounter negativity and harsh critiques on multiple levels. Some can actually be beneficial to your career if you are able to keep an open mind. But others can be downright hurtful and unnecessary, as the industry tends to attract a great deal of superficiality.

I’ve often had personal attributes such as my weight, hair, and clothing style critiqued, in addition to my designs and ideas. Although it was (and still is) painful to hear, I can say that each piece of negative criticism helped me grow a thicker skin and become more determined to succeed. Like anywhere else, it’s up to you to decide which feedback is worth taking in and which is worth shaking off.

Try Serving The Underserved

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Lace Embrace bustier from Hips and Curves

Big box stores today are taking over the retail world, pushing out smaller indie brands and designers. These stores cater to the masses with the main intent of gaining heavy profits, which determine their every move. But we know not all people are built alike, and it’s impossible to categorize them all in the same box. Everyone needs underwear, and just because you don’t fit the fashion “norm” doesn’t mean you deserve any less.

It wasn’t until my fifth year working in the industry that I tapped into the underserved plus size market. Within a couple of months, our business had doubled, and plus size retailers began seeking us out to produce sexy underwear for them! We soon realized there was (and still is) a need for lingerie for the growing population of women over a size 12, and the payoff was well worth it. The same holds true for other underserved communities such as pregnant/nursing mothers, smaller busted gals, mastectomy patients and the LGBT community. Catering to these overlooked groups can come with great rewards and really help to carve a name for yourself in such a competitive market.

Tweak Your “Pretty” Perspective

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Like many young girls, I grew up with a case of Body Dysmorphic Syndrome. I was made to feel unattractive and undesirable by my peers because I didn’t fit the norm of what was considered beautiful at that time. Now looking back at it all, I realize how ridiculous and harmful this way of thinking was and it breaks my heart to see other girls today basing their self worth on how they compare to society’s “perfect” standard of beauty.

Contrary to what you may think, working in the lingerie industry has actually helped to improve my overall self-image instead of continuing to perpetuate the stereotype. It has opened my eyes to the many varying body types out there and has ultimately helped me to feel more confident in my own skin. Yes, I spend a lot of my time looking at gorgeous half-naked models, but working so closely with them also allows me to see their realness and how they look before the Photoshopping… with stretch marks, cellulite and acne just like the rest of us.

Working directly with customers has also been an eye opening experience as I’ve gotten much more familiar with the variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that exist out there. Seeing the real world for what it is, rather than just the perfection advertised by the fashion industry, has really helped me to put things into perspective. There are a million definitions of “pretty” in this world and the great thing is we’re all free to define our own.

It’s The Little Things

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Throughout my thirteen years in this challenging industry, I’ve learned so much about myself and about human nature as a whole. I’ve come so far from that sweet naïve 22-year-old and discovered so much more strength in myself than ever before. This career has helped me to view life from a new vantage point, and while I know fashion is not going to help make the world a better place, there are little feats I experience everyday. Sure, I’m not curing cancer or anything, but sometimes all it takes is a smile from a customer who’s just discovered their perfect fitting bra, or a design that makes them feel more confident, that makes it all worth while… knowing that in a small way I’m making a difference in someone’s life.

Would you consider working in the fashion industry? How do other industries compare?

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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New And Noteworthy: Discovering 4 Young Brands At Curve

Velvette's Fall 2015 collection

Velvette’s Fall 2015 collection

One of my favorite things about the Curve Expo show, which happens twice a year in Las Vegas and New York, is discovering young brands from around the world that offer a fresh new take on design and inspire viewers to expand the notion of what lingerie is and can potentially be. Of course there are the established brands that we all know and love headlining these shows and drawing in the majority of visitors, but what I really enjoy seeing is the still-newish breakout designers who have turned some heads for the last few seasons, as well as the brand new start-up labels exhibiting for the very first time. These are the brands I get most excited to see, looking forward for something innovative and unique to shake the industry up a bit. And these are the labels I root for, hoping they’ll acquire the staying power needed to survive in this ever-changing industry.

This season it was great to see so many talented designers return to the show. Knowing that these indie brands have amassed a following and are continuing to release new, fresh styles warms my heart. No one-hit-wonders here! Especially during a time when most new businesses fail within the first 18 months of inception, it’s comforting to see these forward thinking brands return for another round. It’s those true innovative thinkers that keep me loving the work I do and keeps the lingerie industry thriving.

Although I didn’t notice as many interesting newly-launched labels this trip, I did get introduced to a few brands that I was previously unfamiliar with. Some I had heard of before but had never seen in person or had the opportunity to review their designs up close and personal. So this was a great chance for me to familiarize myself with their names and find out what makes them tick. Here are four of them that really stood out to me this season though still relatively young in the industry. Each one is unique in its own right and has a fighting chance of making it big in the lingerie industry. I hope to hear their names again for seasons to come!

Zhoulii

www.zhoulii.com

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Zhoulii is a recently launched loungerie brand out of the UK – so recent, in fact, that their website is not yet up and running. But they’ve created a lot of buzz at Curve this season with their eye catching Hands Up bra and panty set, which made the rounds and ended up at every trend booth and seminar during the show. Aside from this cheeky set, Zhoulii has a more sophisticated and artful look to it, taking influences from Chinese heritage and adding new and modern takes on traditional Asian fashion. Rich, hand-painted silks are expertly draped and evoke feelings of royalty, making this a true luxury brand, while the bold colors and dramatic details such as fringe and tassels give these pieces an edgy, modern spin and leave us wanting to see more.

Love Stories

www.lovestoriesintimates.com

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You may have already heard of Love Stories as they’ve been producing pretty underthings for a couple of years now. This Dutch company also recently opened a boutique in Amsterdam and has thousands of loyal followers around the globe. Their cool-girl bohemian style with a touch of French sophistication attracts lots of like-minded fans, and with reasonable prices and a focus on comfy silhouettes, this is a brand with a potential cult following. Cute details include understated ruffles, tomboy elastics and a dusky, romantic color palette featuring novelty prints and textured fabrics. Though Love Stories primarily caters to the smaller-busted crowd (sizes top out at 3, which is similar to a size 38B bra), their soft cup bralettes and skimpy panties are sweet to look at, and their emphasis on mixing and matching sets has us hoping they’ll expand into larger sizes as they grow to eventually reach an international market.

Velvette

www.velvette.fr

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It’s possible that you may have also heard of Parisian lingerie label Velvette before, as they too have a couple of years of activity under their belt. Some big-name boutiques such as Urban Outfitters have recently picked them up, presenting their non-padded bras and slinky briefs to the masses. Along with their soft sets and filmy babydolls, Velvette offers quality fabrics and details with all pieces made locally in France. The French sensibility is evident in their understated ruffles, laser-cut pointelles and sparkling accents complimenting natural tones and textures. This season Velvette has also expanded into matching nail polish colors that coordinate with their collection, with harmonious shades of peach, navy and gold glitter for a bit of glamour.

Paloma Casile

www.palomacasile.com

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Paloma Casile is also no newcomer to the lingerie scene, as we here at TLA have highlighted some of her edgy designs in the past. This French brand has been going strong for a few seasons already and offers eloquently made, yet contemporary pieces in a primarily black color palette. Luxurious lace paired with strappy detailing, zippers, cut-outs and chains make for a distinguished look often worthy of a double take. Her unique use of delicate fabrics and embroidery in fashion-forward silhouettes offers a fresh update to some of the long-running, over-saturated trends we have been seeing in lingerie recently. Like other fans of this young talent, I’m curious to see what the future holds for this brand, and I hope to see more of their innovative pieces going forward.

Are you already familiar with these four brands? Which do you think will withstand the test of time?

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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The 2015 Femmy Awards: 6 New Faces in Lingerie Design

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Vivica A. Fox at the 2015 Femmy Awards

 

Every year the Underfashion Club in New York City hosts its annual Femmy Gala, honoring notable members of the intimate apparel industry and the significant contributions they’ve achieved throughout the years. These members include designers, manufacturers, and corporations, all sharing the same passion and dedication to the industry. And just like the Emmys allow the titans of TV to celebrate for a night, the Femmys also give many of the big players in the lingerie industry the chance to eat, drink, and mingle the night away with fellow intimates enthusiasts and devotees.

The ceremony’s host for this year was actress and reality TV star Vivica A. Fox. Rather than focus on Ms. Fox’s wardrobe malfunction, which has repeatedly been reported on this past week, my attention was set on the provocative student work displayed during the gala. Each year, six intimate apparel students from the Fashion Institute of Technology are selected to participate in a design contest for the Femmys. The winner is presented at the ceremony with a scholorship and a sponsored trip to Paris. Scholarships are also awarded to the second- and third-place designers. I personally hold this contest dear to my heart, as I too am a graduate from the intimate apparel department at FIT, and have a deep-founded respect for all the hard work and dedication that goes into each and every garment.

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Vivica A. Fox and the six student lingerie designers from the Fashion Institute of Technology

For 2015, the design students translated popular Broadway musicals into cutting-edge lingerie. While all six students had impressive designs on display, the top honor went to senior design student Samantha Burns, whose three-piece lingerie set wowed onlookers with intricate details like hand laser-cut leather and delicate lace. The craftsmanship in her submission was exceptional, and the details were both elaborate and intricate.

After reveling over these fresh new lingerie looks, I had a chance to speak individually to each of the designers behind the garments and learn about their inspiration and design process. Each was passionate about her work and eager to join the industry following graduation. Here, I have highlighted each of the six final designs to honor the amount of detail, love, and talent that went into each and every piece on display. In my opinion each student did a phenomenal job, and I believe all will have bright futures in the lingerie industry.

1st place: Samantha Burns

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Samantha Burns’ winning design submission

Samantha Burns’s three-piece set garnered the most accolades with her winning combination of leather, mesh, lace, elastic, and beading. The delicate lace bra was accented by a hand laser-cut leather shrug with attached open chiffon gown. The dramatic gown was trimmed in appliqued lace and beadwork, which highlighted the high-waist brief underneath. That itself was a feat, with an elaborate medley of mesh, elastic, ribbon, and metal. It was an exciting mix of components that still managed to look cohesive, and showed off the hard work that went into the garment’s construction.

2nd place: Jezebel Torres Ortiz

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Jezebel Torres Ortiz’s 2nd place design submission

Jezebel Torres Ortiz’s second-place design was equally exciting, offering a whole new take on the cage trend. Taking her inspiration from the musical Chicago, the long line bra featured multiple layers of mesh and lace, while the high-waist brief contrasted strappy elastic and hardware with rhinestone-trimmed lace applique. The chiffon robe draped over the set was also adorned with rhinestones, and was a glamorous addition to the edgy yet feminine design.

3rd place: Consuelo Garcia

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Consuelo Garcia’s 3rd place design submission

Unfortunately my photo of Consuelo Garcia’s final submission doesn’t do it nearly enough justice. The dusty rose-colored set consisted of a long line bra with petal-shaped lace and graduated pink rhinestones. The gown-length skirt repeated the floral lace on top, flaring into a full, voluminous hem adorned with scattered handmade flowers. The rhinestones on the brief underneath sparkled through the skirt, evoking the femininity and elegance of Billie Holiday, who inspired this look.

Stephanie Schwarz

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Stephanie Schwarz’s design submission

Stephanie Schwarz’s designs for the evening were influenced by the musical Cabaret, with a decorative fringe skirt skimming the ankles and showing a glimpse of the thigh-high stockings underneath. The metallic jacquard corset added an ornamental sheen, while the show-stopping harness pulled the look together. This piece featured a stand-alone yolk at the top in hand laser-cut leather, which joined to a belt at the waist and extended down into garter straps at the sides for a bondage-inspired addition to the cinematic look.

Kate Tobin

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Kate Tobin’s design submission

Kate Tobin also looked to Chicago the musical for her inspiration and came up with this set, utilizing beaded ruby-red lace and sheer, luxurious chiffon. The long line bra played with sheer and opaque with a scattering of ruby jewels down the front. The high-waist briefs featured strappy detailing at the sides and sheer panels while the delicate, sparkly lace framed the mid-length chiffon robe. The deep red accent helped this set stand out among a sea of black, and leant the design a more dramatic and seductive charm.

Hilary Baxter

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Hilary Baxter’s design submission

The three-piece set from Hilary Baxter was unique with its deep mauve color and, and its high contrast of sumptuous velvet and delicate chiffon. Elaborate beadwork and a satin trim also adorned the long line bra and the top of the skirt. Yards of sheer fabric then flowed to the floor, where it met an ostrich-feather trim – a sophisticated, glamorous feature.

What do you think of the FIT students’ designs? Do you find their work as impressive as I did?

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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Sin In Style: 7 Pieces Of Lingerie Representing The 7 Deadly Sins

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links 

1 garter belt closeup
We’re all familiar with the seven deadly sins, whether it be through our religious upbringing, friends and family, or hunky Brad Pitt in the move Se7en. Many of us battle with one or more of those seven vices on a daily basis in attempts to live a healthy, moral life. But when it comes to beautiful fashion, I say it’s a sin not to indulge at times! If lingerie is your passion (which I assume it is since you’re reading this) then chances are you have an appreciation for a little bit of disobedience here and there, an affection for objects once considered taboo and confined to the privacy of one’s own dressing room.

But today things are a bit different, and we no longer have to hide our love of lingerie. It has become an art form in its own right as well as a popular outlet to explore and express oneself. It is much less scandalous and more respectable, no longer being considered a risqué topic worthy of sin. In fact the whole notion of sin in general has shifted within the last few decades, and many of these seven sins no longer hold the same stigma as they had in previous generations.

While I’m not advocating over-indulging in one’s own vices, a little dip here and there never hurt anybody. And now, with the many diverse designs available to us, we don’t necessarily have to commit the sins in order to look the part. Here I have chosen my favorite “sin-spired” lingerie pieces that only look sinful but are in fact harmless. Although you may break a few hearts in them…

Lust

2 lascivious william wilde kitty

If lusting after this three-piece set is a sin, then consider me corrupt! Obsessively pining over sleek, tactile latex is my crime, and I just can’t get over this William Wilde Kitty set from Lascivious. Provocative in its skin-like material, dark color, and peek-a-boo design, the slightly transparent rubber ruffles and oversized bows add a playfulness that makes this set a bit more good-girl-gone-bad than full on dominatrix.

Bra £135, Suspender £125 & Panty £120 all available at http://www.lascivious.co.uk/ss15/william-wilde-kitty-latex.html

Gluttony

3 naja the happiest meal

Over indulgence and over consumption is never a good thing. We live in a culture with abundance readily available to us, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Junk food happens to be a particular weakness of many (myself included) and giving into this vice can garner you some harsh judgment from others. While it’s healthiest to lay off the calories and saturated fats, you can still have your burger and eat it too with Naja’s new The Happiest Meal panties. These cotton spandex hipsters come in a three-pack carton and feature photo-realistic depictions of some of our favorite treats.

$50 available at http://www.naja.co/collections/cheeky-knickers/products/the-happiest-meal

Greed

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Too much of a good thing is… too much of a good thing. Unless you’re talking about lingerie, in which case I say bring it on! Sure, adding more details, embellishments, and trims can be seen as unnecessary and a bit tacky – but that’s what indulgence is all about. Take this Little Gold Necklace Rave Bra and Bottom from Lipgloss Clubwear, for instance. Beads, bows, rhinestones, embroidery, rope, and ruffles are just some of the ornamentation on this elaborate, meant-to-be-seen set. The gold details and sparkling crystals help push this look over the top, making it a fabulous example of excess and perfectly suited for any material girl.

$123.99 available at http://www.lipglossclubwear.net/Little-Gold-Necklace-Rave-Bra-Bottoms-314801.htm

Sloth

5 foreverlazy footed trifflin tie dye

Laziness is a tough trap not to fall into, especially when riding out the winter months submerged in the cold temperatures outside. Falling into a sluggish and lethargic state of mind is easy to do at times, especially when you have pajamas as cozy as this Tie Dye onesie from Forever Lazy. As the name suggests, you’ll be tempted to hibernate all winter long in these fleece pajamas complete with hood and attached footie slippers. So why fight it? I say just sit back, snuggle up, and embrace the laziness.

$49.99 available at http://www.foreverlazy.com/unilazy-tiedye-footed-pajama.html/

Wrath

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We all get a little angry from time to time, but exercising control is what keeps us out of trouble. Rage is an unbecoming look and can lead to some serious health problems down the road. Avoid fanning the flames of any anger you may feel with the fiery Phoenix corset by Royal Black. This elaborate bustier features gold synthetic leather “flames,” delicate embroidery, and Swarovski crystals adorning the bodice and straps. Metal boning and a gold busk make this a truly couture piece of fashion where you can safely express your feelings and look sizzling hot at the same time.

€969 available at http://royalblack.at/phoenix-corset-top.html

Envy

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The grass is always greener on the other side, right? Maybe not, but it can sometimes feel that way. Envy is a dangerous trait, characterized not only by intense desire, but also with discontent towards others and a need to covet possessions. Becoming green with envy is nothing to, well, envy. But this Molly set from Agent Provocateur sure is. The emerald green satin with scalloped beige lace looks opulent, sumptuous, and the epitome of luxury. And, as an added bonus, this rich green color will be perfect next month for St Patrick’s Day.

Bra $250, Suspender $250 & Panty $220 all available at http://www.agentprovocateur.com/us-main-nav/lingerie/autumn-winter-2014/info/molly-suspender~green

Pride

8 wearehandsome mighty zipsuit

Pride is defined by excessive admiration of the personal self, and has often been considered the deadliest of the seven sins. Which is why the courageous lion is the poster child for the proud and the noble, with its ferocious attitude and royal status in the animal kingdom. The Mighty Zipsuit by We Are Handsome looks like a fitting choice for this sin for obvious reasons. Okay, so technically it is a bathing suit, but I think the zip-up spandex piece would look fierce with a pair of thigh highs, garter belt and robe. All it takes to pull it off is some confidence and, of course, pride.

$332 available at http://wearehandsome.com/shop/products/the-mighty-zipsuit/the_mighty

Which style would you sin for? Do you have any other wicked pieces to add to the list?

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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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.

Crying blonde

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. This holds true even in today’s “fast fashion” culture — whether it’s 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 seven classic lingerie trends that I believe are worth an investment if you’re looking for style that will last. Only time will tell if these trends are strong enough to turn into classics, 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 goes with just about everything. Black lingerie is the perfect embodiment of sexy and can be found in pretty much all designers’ repertoires. 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 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 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

4 miss mandalay

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 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

5 for love and lemons

For many, lingerie means lace. It has that “wow” factor and adds interest to everything it touches. It is the epitome of femininity 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 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 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 compliments 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 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 fewer 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 during the holiday gift-giving season. 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 returns each season in 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; 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 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 is something many of us hope for, and the little changes that we do see in the industry are welcome and gaining momentum.

7-lola haze

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 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 tried-and-true favorites. 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.

10-andree ciccarelli

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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