Posts by Cora

Swimwear of the Week: Rue 107 ‘Jess’ Mocha One-Piece Swimsuit

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I kind of don’t know where to start talking with Rue 107’s ‘Jess’ Mocha Swimsuit. As you’ve already guessed, I’m sharing it because I think it’s cool and thought you might like it too. I’m completely in love with the styling here (so in love). I adore the fact that it’s available in misses and plus sizes, and I practically fell off my chair when I saw that it retails for only $62. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen a $62 swimsuit; I thought this would at least be in the $80-$90 range (i.e. right around the price point for Gabi Fresh’s swim line or the plus size swimsuits from Monif C.)

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Though I’m not usually into brown swimsuits (like my lingerie, I prefer my swimwear to be black), there’s just something undeniably magnetic about this one-piece. The fishnet effect is definitely giving me lingerie vibes, and the neutral tone is reminiscent of Cole of California ‘Nude Look” swimsuit from 1965. The Jess feels funky and fresh, but also irresistibly cool and retro all at the same time. It’s the swimsuit version of “I woke up like this.”

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As of this writing, sizes S-L, 2X, and 3X (fitting a max of 22/24) are still in stock, but I predict this suit won’t last until the 4th of July. It’s made in NYC for folks who appreciate that sort of thing, and there’s also a two-piece version if you’d rather go the bikini route (though truly, I believe the one-piece is the standout here). TLA’s summer swimsuit roundup is coming soon, and Rue 107 is definitely a brand you’ll see more of around here. Though they’re a recent discovery (thank you, Tumblr!), I’ve already got several things added to my shopping cart to buy later.

What do you think of Rue 107’s style? Is this a swimsuit you would buy?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Lingerie of the Week: Selina Bond Lingerie Lace Plunge Basque

selina bond lingerie 1

Though I’m quite happy with my size, there’s one particular time when I wish I could alter my dimensions a little, and it’s when a stunningly beautiful lingerie sample becomes available for sale. Sharp-eyed lingerie addicts may recognize Selina Bond from last year’s De Montfort University Lingerie Graduates article. Her ‘Bella Suora’ collection was inspired by Italian widows and nuns, and the inimitable Threnody in Velvet even modeled several of her pieces last summer.

As a fan of black lace (second only to black mesh) I found myself immediately drawn to this lace plunge basque. I love the cutaway gore with the lace detailing, and the window over the chest and stomach almost reminds me of a church window; this piece feels like the lingerie version of a gothic cathedral. And if you’re a collector, how can you resist the thrill of a luxury one-off that will likely never be produced again?

If you’re into matching sets, there’s also a skirted lace garter belt (click on the Threnody in Velvet link above to see it) selling for just over $60. You’d need to find your own knickers, but I feel like a pair of plain black silk briefs would be the best thing for this sort of ensemble. After all, the focus should be on the stunning lace.

Have you ever purchased a lingerie sample before? Anything you feel TLA readers should keep in mind?

Please note: This is a sample garment, which means it’s only available in the one size shown.

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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5 Indie Catsuits and Bodysuits Perfect for Cosplay

Peak comic con season is rapidly approaching, and if you’ve not yet put together your costume, there’s still time to start. A catsuit or bodysuit is the perfect foundation piece for many comic book, video game, and fantasy characters. You can add your own accessories, such as gun holsters or a wig, and transform into almost anyone!

TLA published an extensive guide to cosplay lingerie last year, but just as a quick recap regarding the subject of catsuits and bodysuits, you definitely get what you pay for. While you can absolutely find cheap, stretchy catsuits via places like eBay, they may not have the quality to stand up to the full day (or even a full hour) of cosplaying. It’s worth spending a little more for quality materials, or even investing in a custom garment if you can afford to do so.

If you’re looking for more fantastical options, check out our previous pieces on Divamp Couture, Lena Quist, and RetroFolie. Guest columnist Alexis also wrote an amazing article on transforming a plain bodysuit into a stellar Poison Ivy costume.

If you’re a cosplayer, where are some of your favorite places to buy? And do you have any catsuit or bodysuit fit tips?

I won’t lie… I sort of wrote this article just so I could have an excuse for sharing this bodysuit. I went on a hardcore Mortal Kombat X binge a few weeks ago, and while idly browsing Etsy one night (the one you do), I ran across this laceup bodysuit reminiscent of the old school Mileena and Kitana costumes. And yes, those costumes were obviously ridiculous, impractical, and overly sexualized. However, there’s a lot of throwback cosplay walking the comic con floor nowadays. This could be the foundation for a Dark Kitana old school-style costume (or whoever else happens to wear laceup bodysuits).

A plain black mesh catsuit offers so many possibilities. You can wear things under it. You can wear things on top of it. If it’s after hours and you’re at a party, you can even get away with wearing almost nothing at all with it. I might use something like this for the foundation of another take on Punk Storm, because every comic con can use more Punk Storm. P.S. Teale Coco’s Levitation Leggings and Medusa Leg Harnesses also seem perfect for costuming.

Moving into slightly more opaque (but still somewhat risque territory), this partially sheer bodysuit seems like it would be perfect for someone’s costume. One of the reasons I liked this is that it appears to be cut for curvier figures. I know from personal experience that many catsuits don’t accomodate wider hips or a larger bottom (you wind up with a lot of strain on the seams that you really want to stay together), so it’s nice to be aware of at least one option out there that seems to be made with a thicker figure in mind. I don’t know what character I’d use this for, but I do like it.

I’ve had Alicia Zenobia’s Etsy store favorited for a minute, and this matte black catsuit is undoubtedly one of her more conservative offerings (I thought about including the sparkly mermaid catsuit instead, but decided to go more “Catwoman” instead of “Creature of the Black Lagoon”). I also like this catsuit because it’s perfect for the sorta lazy, can’t sew, wait-till-the-last-minute cosplayer (i.e. me). If hoods aren’t your thing (perfectly understandable), check out the non-hooded variations here, here, and here.

Real talk here for a second: I don’t know where you might wear this catsuit or which character you would be, but I feel very strongly you should know about it anyway. Maybe you’re an intergalatic space princess time. Maybe you’re the personification of a galaxy. Maybe you’re cosplaying Britney Spears in Toxic. I don’t know. But I do know this is sheer and sparkly and I like it a lot. dbleudazzled is famous for crystallizing lingerie, hosiery, and performance wear, and they do accept custom orders. If skintone mesh isn’t your thing, there’s also a black version of this catsuit avaialble. Honestly, I had to flip a coin to decide which to include here.

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Lingerie Market A/W 2015: Maternity, Mastectomy, and Miscellaneous Things I Like

While yesterday’s article was the big lingerie trend report, I wanted to focus today’s piece on a couple of specialty brands that exist outside of traditional trend forecasting, namely maternity and mastectomy ranges. Though the “mainstream” lingerie industry is stagnating a little in terms of creativity, mastectomy lingerie has blossomed. Perhaps it’s because mastectomy lingerie has been plain and functional for so long that even the slightest nudge in a more fashionable direction seems like a breath of fresh air, but I like to think it’s because there’s a lot of innovation happening in this sector at the moment… which has the net effect of pulling everyone upwards (at least if they want to stay competitive).

We’ve covered mastectomy ranges like AnaOno Intimates, Lorna Drew, and Monokini 2.0 on TLA before, so I won’t focus on them here. Instead, I’d like to talk about Amoena, a brand that’s been a leader in the mastectomy space for decades. The aesthetics of Amoena’s upcoming collection are wonderful, and, perhaps even more importantly, on trend. These bras don’t read as medical devices; they’re genuinely attractive and fashion forward while still maintaining Amoena’s commitment to providing appropriate options for their customer base.

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Amoena

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Amoena

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Amoena

Moving on to standouts in the world of maternity bras (another specialty market), the French label Cache Coeur captured my attention and wouldn’t let it go. As with mastectomy, there are very few players in the maternity lingerie space, and the major labels in this sector have remained unchanged for as long as I’ve been blogging. Cache Coeur’s elegant nursing bras and swimwear would be right at home in any upscale department store.

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Cache Coeur

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Cache Coeur

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Cache Coeur

Meanwhile, for luxury lingerie addicts, Mimi Holliday offers gorgeous silk satin nursing bras.

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Mimi Holliday

Finally, for nursing mothers who exercise, Belabumbum is debuting a line of maternity athletic wear, including maternity sports bras.

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Belabumbum

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Belabumbum

I’d like to finish this article with an assortment of items and sets that didn’t really fit into any the key trend categories from my last post. These are just things I liked or thought TLA readers might like.

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Fantasy Lingerie

Elila

Elila

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Jane Woolrich

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Edge o’ Beyond

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Edge o’ Beyond

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Fantasie

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Fantasie

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Elomi

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Freya

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Freya

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Huit

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Lahco Swim

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Lou Paris

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Mimi Holliday

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Mimi Holliday

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Tutti Rouge

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Nikol Djumon

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Salua

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Paloma Casile

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Skarlett Blue

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Panache

 

Now that you’ve seen everything I’ve seen, what are your overall impressions of A/W Lingerie Market? Do any of your thoughts about the industry line up with mine? Are you happy with what you’re seeing? Are you wanting something more? Let’s chat in the comments!

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Lingerie Market A/W 2015: 4 Major Design Trends

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Angela Friedman

Now that it’s almost June, it’s time to start thinking about Autumn/Winter lingerie. We’ll start seeing more and more sales in the next few weeks as retailers clear out current Spring/Summer merchandise for their new autumnal stock.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the lingerie industry since this year’s CurveNY. Despite decades of resistance to change, the world of intimate apparel is in a state of rapid transition. Online retail has completely upended the way consumers buy lingerie, while lingerie bloggers and bra fit forums have permanently dismantled the information oligarchy brands and boutiques once controlled. An ever-increasing number of lingerie startups are actively seeking to disrupt the industry, and even brands that once swore off the internet and direct-to-consumer sales have “seen the light,” so to speak, and are now scrambling to amplify their web presence. Many lingerie brands have even dropped their wholesale accounts altogether, preferring to take their chances interacting directly with customers as opposed to going through the middleman of boutiques.

Among all this, consumers have become both more discerning and more critical. People want more sizes in more colors (with more variations in fabric, style, underwire width, band tightness, and so on), yet sales figures show that many are unwilling to pay for these options. Mass retailers like H&M, Forever21, Wal-mart, Target, and Aerie have created an artificial price ceiling (one that hovers right around the $20 mark) that is simply unattainable for most designers. Meanwhile, the bestselling items for many lingerie brands are basic, uninspired staples like beige t-shirt bras and beige shapewear. This contentious environment has resulted in a self-perpetuating cycle where boutiques (and, as a result, brands) are unwilling to take risks. New, exciting lines are passed over in favor of sure things. Extended sizing is declined in favor of what stores know will sell. And concerns that are viewed as non-essential (such as diversity) are relegated to the wayside.

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Mimi Holliday

This conservatism, this avoidance of risk, has never been more obvious than it was in this season’s lingerie market. While I saw things I personally liked (because I’m an addict, and I always see things I personally like), my professional impression of Autumn/Winter market was that I’d seen much of this before. Brands are aggressively moving towards what they know will work, and edging away from anything that could be perceived as an unsafe bet. In terms of what you’ll see in stores this season, that means a lot of blue and black (as in, a LOT), and way more neutrals (beige, brown, blush, etc.).

However, there is a bright spot to all this (at least for me), and it appears that the industry’s obsession with all things harness/strappy/bondage-inspired is coming to an end. Much like the pinup/boudoir/burlesque phase of several seasons ago, I think the world at large has reached a saturation point on all things with the word “cage” in the title. Of course, that doesn’t mean this design element will disappear entirely (in the same way you still have brands making girdles and garter belts and what have you), but I do believe we’re on the other side of peak fetish-inspired lingerie.

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Lou Paris

What’s going to replace it? Well, I think we’ll see more of a move towards textural and three-dimensional elements in lingerie starting with this season. I’m seeing increasing amounts of embroidery, applique, embellishment, flocking, contrasting textures (such as mesh with lace), and other design details. It’s a very exciting time for me as a neophyte trend spotter, and I’m very interested to see if I’m right. Another, smaller, trend I’m seeing is painterly or whimsical prints, especially on loungewear.

A few other notes from this last market: there’s far less talk about size expansion than in previous markets. There are still some brands doing expansions (check out Sweet’s awesome lingerie market roundup), but many brands that expanded into smaller back sizes (in particular, 28 bands) did not get the sales results they were hoping for, and so several of them are quietly shrinking their range. I also saw very few interesting things for small busts and plus sizes. Larger brands are doubling down on core options (including the full bust version of core sizes), while brands focused on either end of the sizing spectrum appear to be more or less divorced from overall industry trends (which I imagine makes it harder to merchandise them). On the luxury side of things, I’m seeing brands both dig deeper into the high-end category with features like in-house designed embroideries and rare laces or offering lower-priced diffusion lines. Finally, there are some fun things happening in the worlds of mastectomy and maternity, but I’ll cover those in a follow-up post, along with a few lingerie sets that didn’t quite fit into this trend feature.

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Neiwei

What are your impressions of the lingerie industry right now? Are you seeing similar trends and patterns? And do you have any thoughts about the state of intimate apparel in general?

Lingerie Trend Photos:

Blue/Black:

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KissKill

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KissKill

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Simone Perele

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Simone Perele

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Cleo by Panache

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Mimi Holliday

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Jane Woolrich

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Huit

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Fantasie

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Fantasie

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Claudette

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Angela Friedman

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Angela Friedman

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Amoena

Embellishment/Embroidery/Flocking/Texture:

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Paloma Casile

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Triumph Lingerie

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Triumph Lingerie

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Triumph Lingerie

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Simone Perele

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Simone Perele

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Simone Perele

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Lou Paris

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Mimi Holliday

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Fogal Hosiery

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Ivette Bridal

else lingerie 3

Else Lingerie

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Va Bien

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Va Bien

 

Painterly-Whimsical Prints:

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Underprotection

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Underprotection

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Samantha Chang

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Samantha Chang

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Else Lingerie

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Naked Princess

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Meng

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Christine Lingerie

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Lou Paris

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Tutti Rouge

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Wendy Glez

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Cheek Frills

cheek frills 2

Cheek Frills

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Marigot

 

 Neutrals & Basics: Beige/Brown/Black:

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Nubian Skin

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Panache

panache lingerie 1

Panache

panache lingerie 2

Panache

panache lingerie 4

Cleo by Panache

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Cleo by Panache

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Mimi Holliday

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Tutti Rouge

else lingerie 4

Else Lingerie

claudette 2

Claudette

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Claudette

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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An Introduction to Silk Lingerie: My Day at Christine Lingerie

christine lingerie 2

You’re probably going to think I’m a little late to the party, but it really hit me a few months ago that some people (in fact: many people) prefer watching a video to reading a blog post. Doing more videos is one of my goals for TLA for this, and while I’ve gotten off to an admittedly late start (is it really almost June?), I want to kick things off with what I hope is the start of a new direction for video content here on The Lingerie Addict — educational, informative, and inspiring short films that are completely unlike what you can find anywhere else. It may sound a bit ambitious, but there’s still so much to talk about in the world of lingerie… and it’s an undeniable truth that some of these stories are better seen than read.

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The amazing team at Christine Lingerie was kind enough to be my first test subject for this new venture, and Paul of POC Photo and I spent a day in Vancouver, BC at their headquarters filming Christine Morton and her team. I learned so much about lingerie and silk that day — more than I ever imagined. In the weeks since these videos were filmed, I’ve watched them countless times (seriously, I had no idea video editing was so labor-intensive), and I’ve yet to get tired of them. There’s just something incredibly special about watching an expert discuss their craft. You can feel Christine’s passion through the screen, and I feel privileged to have been allowed to observe her and her team at work. I also feel more than a little apprehensive about sharing something that’s still quite new to me here on the blog. With all that said though, I hope you enjoy these videos, and if there’s a certain kind of content you’d like to see in the future on the TLA YouTube channel, please take the time to let me know in the comments. I’d like to hear about it.

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christine lingerie 4

The three videos from our day together are roughly ordered by length below. The first video is the longest, and is an interview with Christine Morton in which she discusses the history of silk, what goes into making silk lingerie, and why Christine Lingerie is special in a world where everyone claims to be “luxury.” The second video is a short film of the current Spring/Summer 2015 Collection, and is required viewing for anyone who adores gorgeous lingerie (which I’m guessing is most everyone here). There’s simply nothing like watching silk in motion; a flat photo simply doesn’t compare.  The third video is a mini-featurette on how to care for silk lingerie. I tend to feel a bit intimidated by silk (what if I ruin it???), but Christine makes taking care of it sound easy and accessible. If you’ve been wondering how to wash silk lingerie, then this is the video for you.

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It goes without saying that I’d love to hear what you think. Have you tried Christine Lingerie before? And whether you have or haven’t, what do you think of the pieces in the videos?

 

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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Finding the One: Why I Love Triumph’s Amourette Bra


Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Triumph Lingerie.

triumph amourette 1

I’m not quite sure when exactly it happened, but somewhere between the ages of 25 and 30, comfort began to matter a lot more to me. Almost overnight, it seems, I couldn’t stand cheap shoes or sticky lipglosses or itchy tags in my shirts. If what I wore wasn’t comfortable, then, in my opinion, it wasn’t worth wearing at all. And since so much of women’s fashion seems to be predicated on the idea that you should be uncomfortable, I found myself getting rid of quite a lot of what I owned. Because truly, what is the point of clothing if you’re so miserable you can barely think straight?

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Interestingly enough, within this same period of time, I also discovered the Triumph Amourette. As far as industry names go, Triumph wasn’t a new label to me. I knew they had German roots, and were founded in 1886. I also knew they had more than 1,000 stores in 120 countries. However, as a relative newcomer to the world of US intimate apparel, I just hadn’t had the opportunity to try one yet. Eventually, a conveniently timed sale and my overwhelming curiosity combined to get an Amourette in my hands, and well, let’s just say I became an instant fan.

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As the disclosure says at the top, this a sponsored post, so I can understand if you approach my endorsement with a bit of skepticism. After all, you wouldn’t exactly expect me to say I dislike the bra. However, I can say I purchased my first Amourette months before I was ever approached for this campaign, and I can also say that part of the reason I was so excited to do this promotion with Triumph is because I relished the opportunity to talk about a product I’d bought before, with my own money, that I genuinely fell in love with.

triumph amourette 4

The Amourette isn’t Triumph’s flashiest bra (that distinction would likely go to something from their Helena Christensen collection), but it is the perfect example of a flagship bra that delivers on its promises. With an incredibly wide range of sizes (32-44 bands and A-K cups), a beautiful selection of on-trend colors, and sturdy, easy to wash Galloon lace, the Amourette is meant to be a wardrobe staple, that ever-elusive (but necessary for so many) daily wear bra. Available in wirefree, unlined, and padded styles, there’s a version for all preferences. Yet what every Triumph Amourette has in common is that world-famous soft stretch lace to help keep everything in place comfortably, combined with expertly tailored cups that seem to shape and mold the bust almost effortlessly (or at least, that’s how it feels, which is a sign of good construction). With an ideal fusion of fit and design, the Amourette has definitely earned its place as Triumph’s iconic and most recognized design.

triumph amourette 5

If you’re new to Triumph and the Amourette, take a look at their site dedicated to Finding the One. You can also visit my personal Triumph “Find the One”page to read an interview with me or take a look at my video discussing the Amourette, embedded below.

Have you tried Triumph’s Amourette before? If so, what did you think?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Swimwear of the Week: Nakimuli Berry Convertible Swimsuit

nakimuli berry convertible swimsuit 3

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve last talked about Nakimuli here on TLA, and in that time, this Brooklyn-based label has only further refined its aesthetic. Designed by Tennille Nakimuli Shanae McMillan, Nakimuli (which is a Ugandan word for flower) is fashion designed by and for “America’s Funky Sweetheart.”

nakimuli berry convertible swimsuit

There’s a lot to love about Nakimuli’s Berry Convertible Swimsuit, a vibrant reworking of their classic Bright Delight Convertible Swimsuit. Of course, the color is phenomenal, with vibrant purple tones “popping” against the model’s skin. The swimsuit can also be worn with a bra (or bra sized swim top) or braless, an important consideration for those who may prefer more support in their swimwear but dislike the usual offerings from more traditional swim lines. The best part, though, is that this swimsuit is available in sizes S-3X. Nakimuli is clearly a brand that believes her fashion should be accessible to all sizes.

nakimuli blueberry convertible swimsuit

If purple isn’t your thing, there’s a beautiful blueberry variation of this swimsuit, with the added bonus of seeing how this style looks on a fuller-figured model. Both swimsuits are $95 for all sizes. The original rainbow colorway is $125.

What do you think of Nakimuli’s swimwear? Is this a style you would try?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

More Posts - Website

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Lingerie of the Week: Aubade L’Ensorceleuse Demi Cup Bra Set

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

PAAAIAONKMAPFNNN-BLACK-SET

Very often, my pick for lingerie of the week is a set or item I can’t just stop thinking about, and today’s choice is no exception. Aubade is a French luxury brand that’s perhaps most famous stateside for their annual lingerie calendars, but the label is seen by many as emblematic of French-style lingerie (right up there with names like Chantal Thomass, Fifi Chachnil, and Simone Perele). Aubade’s L’Ensorceleuse bra set has all the whimsy of Spring without being dependent upon florals, pastels, or bright colors. It’s springtime lingerie for people who still prefer black (like me).

Aubade-LEnsorceleuse-Demi-Cup-Bra-4

According to Aubade, this bra inspired by Frida Kahlo and Mexican art, which I thought was an interesting detail. I’m no artist (I’ll need to page my friend Lingerie Lesbian for her viewpoint on this), but what intrigues me most about this statement is that a brand has been inspired by Hispanic art without being derivative of it or making a mockery of it. It’s a bit like Lou Paris’ Folie Douce bra set in that way. When I met with the brand, they said it was inspired by the designer’s trip to India, and that experience was translated into a French aesthetic, but in a way that didn’t come across as cartoonish or cliched. In light of the fact that many brands still rely on ethnic stereotypes for “inspiration,” I think there’s a valuable object lesson to be learned here.

PAAAIAPCBPALFNNN-BLACK-DETAIL

At any rate, as I said, I’m no artist, but I do appreciate when traditional silhouettes and materials are touched with a little something different. And Aubade’s L’Ensorceleuse absolutely fits that criteria for me.

What do you think of this set? And have you had the opportunity to try Aubade before?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Bra Fitting and the Body Positivity Movement

Today’s guest article is by Sam Conover, a bra fitter, blogger and instagrammer from Secrets from Your Sister, a bra fitting boutique in Toronto, Canada.

Caution

Image of Steff Ivory Conover by Maxwell Lander

I have worked as a fitter at Secrets for Your Sister for over ten years and consider myself a bra fitting advocate. I strongly believe that a well-fitted bra can be beneficial to comfort, physical health, and even emotional health. I also consider myself an advocate for body positivity. In my opinion, all bodies are good bodies, and it’s important to celebrate and recognize the diversity of bodies that exist in the world.

Holly’s recent post coupled with my own ongoing thoughts has prompted me to write about how the body positivity and bra fitting movements interact. In many ways, the bra fitting movement promotes body positivity. Education and promotion of sizes beyond the standard rubric has allowed many to comfortably wear bras, to explore fashion, and to feel better in their bodies. However, there can be a negative side to bra fit evangelism that I’d like to explore here. The major problem within bra fitting advocacy is one of prescriptivism. By this I mean some fitters act as if there is one right way to wear a bra, one right body which is right for bra fitting and one right shape to have in a bra.

Bra Fitting “Rules”
Ideally, a fitting should be a collaboration between the fitter and the customer. My job is to use my knowledge and expertise to educate and guide the client towards a bra that is best for her needs. Unfortunately, from my reading and the stories I have heard, it seems like many fitters can be very prescriptive, ignoring the client’s specific personal wants and needs.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with bra fitting can probably rattle off the fit points of a good bra. But these points are an idealized guide which don’t account for the huge amount of variation in human bodies and personal preference. Sometimes we need to deviate from these fit points, and that’s okay! I think for most this strict adherence to perfect fit comes from a benign place of enthusiasm (I wrote a bit about the zealousness of the newly converted in the online fitting community, and got some pushback for it), but it also comes from thinking that you know someone’s body better than they do.

I’ve seen this recently in our Instagram comments, when a customer submitted a photo of herself in an beloved Ewa Michalak bra. A commenter kept critiquing the fit of the bra, despite the customer’s insistence that this bra was a comfortable favourite of hers. At the end of the day, isn’t the bra wearer’s personal comfort/aesthetics more important than blindly following Fit Rules?

Instagram sfys

This Image on our Instagram received critique because the bra fit was not 100% perfect

Bra Fittings Can Help Women of All Sizes
The most prominent media image of those helped by bra fittings is of fuller busted women. We often encounter smaller busted customers who are nervous to ask for a fitting because they assume this service is only for the well-endowed. Sometimes, there is even the perception that smaller busted women don’t need to wear bras, and therefore cannot benefit from bra fitting, or should restrain themselves to shopping at standard stores. The thing is no one needs to wear a bra. Bras are worn for many reasons: to provide comfort, to give a more “professional”** look, or as another way to explore fashion. Small busted women may want to wear a bra for many different reasons, and more importantly, they’re certainly not accountable to me! Bra fitters exist to help all people, no matter their size.

Just as the people who can benefit from bra fittings can be bigger, smaller, or somewhere in the middle, so can bra fitters. In the past, some fuller busted customers have been apprehensive when working with smaller busted fitters. The thing is, while it’s nice to trade in shared experiences, knowing what it’s like to be busty does not make a person more or less able to fit a person with big breasts. What’s necessary is training, product knowledge, and an ability to listen.

Little Bra Company 28A & Ulla 44N

Figure 1: 28A in The Little Bra Company & 44N from Ulla are the smallest & largest bras in the store: we’re happy to fit all sizes!

Flattering is Subjective!
The last issue I’d like to discuss is the question of aesthetics and how it pertains to what shapes we consider flattering, natural,** or “good”. In fittings I try to keep my own personal aesthetics out of the equation. I’m really into a high, perky shape (usually via a cut and sew bra). Online, I notice many bra bloggers prefer a rounder, smoother shape. While it’s totally fine to have a preference when it comes to how your own body looks, no one should force this preference on others.

One part of bra fit training at SFYS involves trying on a bunch of bras to see how they fit and feel on your body. While training a newer fitter, I was surprised when she kept complaining many of the bras lifted her too high – it turns out she preferred a lower slung, rounder 1970s style breast shape. While I’m usually not keen on that shape for myself, it was important to take myself out of the equation, so when that fitter wanted a bra, I could help her find something that was right for her.

Sam's preferred shape

Figure 2: This is my preferred shape to have in a bra

Bra Fitters Can Support the Body Positivity Movement
I think bra fitting is important to the body positivity movement for several reasons. For many, wearing a poorly fitting bra can cause discomfort and pain. Wearing a better bra can help customers feel more at ease in their bodies. Bra fittings can also expand the definition of what is “flattering” to different body types when a fitter brings in shapes and styles a little outside of the customer’s usual comfort zone. Often a client will be happily surprised when introduced to something new. For example, many small busted women who only wore lined or padded bras in the past end up loving the look and feel of unlined bras and bralettes. Lastly, far too many people think their bodies are abnormal or wrong because they are unable to find bras in their size. Bra fitting helps to spread body positivity by representing and normalizing a wide range of sizes.

Fit guidelines should be just that –a guide to help people find the right bra, rather than a rigid prescription. While fuller busted people may be the most recognizable face of bra fitting, all sizes can benefit –there is no correct size for a body to be in order to be welcome. And while everyone will always have their own personal preferences, those preferences shouldn’t colour how we help someone choose a bra. The thread that runs through all of this is how important it is for bra fit supporters to recognize the diversity of bodies that exist, to recognize that no body is better than another, and to trust the lived experience of the people who inhabit those bodies. In doing this, I believe the bra fitting movement can support the body positivity movement.

*A lifted and shaped bust, often with concealed nipples is seen by many as more professional. I think if you feel better braless, go for it, but I understand for many it’s more comfortable to follow convention.
**I hate the term “natural” in general, and especially when talking about breast shape. There is so much variation out there!

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusFlickrStumbleUponYouTube