Posts by Cora

Perfect for Summer Layering: Crop Tops and Bralettes by Elma

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Agon Cross Back Bra Top

I’ve been eyeing Elma Lingerie for weeks now. It started with their mesh and lace longline bra (which I like to visit on a weekly basis just to say hello) then progressed to their lace crop top with adjustable straps (because wow, the lines of this thing are amazing). And now, like the irretrievable lingerie junkie that I am, I want it all. And I mean all.

I’ve been thinking a little while about androgynous lingerie and what this whole concept of androgyny might look like. And though I wrote a blog post about androgynous lingerie last year, I don’t know if I’m quite thinking about it in the right way. After all, there’s no reason a feminine aesthetic should exclude pared down or minimalist lingerie. I like to lounge around the houe in boyshorts and tank tops; that doesn’t necessarily make me ‘androgynous’ when I do so.

That said, I’m wondering if there’s such a thing as a more androgynous silhouette in lingerie. The ‘Agon’ crop top, for example, strikes me as something that could work for a variety of gender expressions, but again, I don’t know if I’m approaching this in the wrong way. Anyway, enough thinking out loud from me (now you all know what I like to contemplate while drinking cups of tea).

The other reason I like these bras is because I think they make awesome summer layering pieces. Though it’s not my personal style, you could throw the opaque bralettes on with a high-waist maxi skirt or pair of overalls and be done for the day. Even the sheer, lacey bralettes would look beautiful under a light or semi-sheer tank.

I know Elma’s aesthetic isn’t for everyone, but I love seeing new designers doing fresh and interesting things (and this is a nice departure from the bondage/strappy aesthetic that’s so popular right now). I sincerely hope she doesn’t abandon the crop top/bralette concept. I’d like to see it pushed further, and perhaps into the realm of knickers or chemises, in coming seasons.

What do you think of these pieces? Do you see anything you like?

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Odile Lace and Mesh Longline Bra

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Kitri Lace Crop Top

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Odette Jersey Crop Bra Top

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Corsaire Longline Bra

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Aurora Stretch Lace Cami

Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

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Beautiful Swimwear for Every Body: Introducing Black Cat Bikinis

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You guys, you guys…swim season is almost here! And after an entire weekend spent drooling over the photos from Viva Las Vegas 17, I am all about some pretty pinup swimwear. I mean, you all know that generally speaking, I dig the pinup aesthetic for lingerie and swim; I just really dig it right now. I’m also a fan of handmade and custom clothing. While I’ll never be able to afford a couture anything, I’m at a place in my life now where buying what’s cheapest isn’t necessarily what’s most relevant to me. And there’s something very exciting about wearing a garment that’s specifically cut to my measurements.

Black Cat Bikinis is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is known their wide range of sizes and styles. Swim bottoms are available in sizes XXS thru 7X, and swim tops are available from AA cup to H and 32 to 46 bands. I don’t know of any other swimwear company offering such an extensive standard size range, and I love what Black Cat Bikinis is doing because it means women at both ends of the size spectrum can have beautiful swimsuits for this summer. I also get the impression from their website that if you’re beyond a 7X or have special considerations, the company can accommodate you as well with made to measure options.

Of course, it’s important to remember that all Black Cat Bikinis are handmade to order (taking 4 weeks for delivery in the U.S. deliveries; up to 6 weeks for International) so you’re not looking at Target/Wal-Mart/K-Mart prices here. In addition, all sales are final (which is understandable for a very small business), though exchanges and alterations are allowed if the item is returned within 14 days. However, I honestly believe the price is comparable to – if not slightly lower than – other high end, designer swimwear. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and if you’re willing to pay a little bit extra, you can get a lot of good stuff from Black Cat Bikinis.

What do you think of Black Cat Bikinis? Any favorite styles below?

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Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

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Words and Underthings: What is “Flattering” Lingerie?

ANNA PIN UP
If you’re a longtime reader of the blog, I’m sure this statement won’t surprise you, but I think a lot about words. Not just about their dictionary definitions (which are more like agreed upon guidelines for modern-day usage) but also about their implied or understood meanings and their larger social or cultural meanings. A word isn’t just a word. There’s a universe of nuance there, particularly when you’re conveying more complex ideas. And while I’ll always love talking about fashion and trends in the lingerie world (my Chantilly lace obsession runs deep), starting conversations that get below the surface level is what really gets me excited now.

Lately, I’ve been giving some thought to the word “flattering,” especially as it relates to lingerie. There’s a dictionary meaning, of course, (“to show to advantage”) but there’s also an implied, unspoken meaning (which is frequently left unexplored as well). What is flattering lingerie? How do you define it? Do you just know when it see it? Is there a consensus on the criteria for flattering? How do you recognize it when you see it? What does it mean for a bra or pair of tights or a chemise “to show to advantage?”

Lingerie corset make you slim and help your breast up

More generally, when I read the word “flattering” in any discussion about fashion or style, it seems to invoke some elements of idealized femininity. An uplifted breast shape, for example. Or an “hourglass” figure with a defined waist. Even the illusion of weight loss and/or thinness is categorized under the catch-all word “flattering.” But what about people who don’t subscribe to (or are unable to fit into) those ideals? What does a version of flattering that doesn’t require you to change, alter, or adjust your body even look like?

Part of why I’ve been thinking so much about the word flattering is because I had a fashion epiphany of my own a few months ago (not a lingerie-related one though). For years, I’ve avoided anything cap-sleeved, puff-sleeved, strapless, or boat-necked. Why? Because I have broad shoulders – what many people would call an inverted triangle body type, I think. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that garments which make my shoulders appear smaller are more “flattering.” But why is that? Why is making myself appear smaller than I am, why is appearing to take up less space than I actually do, more attractive?

It’s thought-provoking because broad shoulders (just like many other elements of the beauty ideal) are actually considered “flattering” in some respects…but only up to a certain point. Similarly, large breasts are only considered flattering if they’re not “too big” (or augmented) and an hourglass or curvy physique is considered flattering if it’s not “too extreme.” To quote Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” The goal posts of “flattering” are constantly shifting, subject to ever-changing nuances, and no woman ever fits fully inside them. So when I see the language of “flattering” being used without explanation or context to describe something as intimate as lingerie, I feel a bit…distressed. Because that word can easily tip over into this strange, body snark-y area of “Yes, you look good now…but only because you’re following these rules that may or may not have anything to do with how you actually want to look.

Black Lace Strapless Bra Isolated on White

One of the things I like to bring up when people imply that beauty standards or concepts like “flattering” are objective, is that the guideline for what constitutes attractive have changed over time. In the 1900′s, a flattering silhouette was the projected ‘pigeon breast’ of the Gibson Girl. In the 1920′s, it was the bound and flattened breasts of the Flapper. In the 50′s, flattering lingerie required conical ‘bullet’ bras, and in the 1970′s, a soft, teardrop shape was all the rage. None of those silhouettes strike me as any more or less “flattering” than the other. They’re just trends that have happened to go out of style. Eventually, the round, mounded breast shape of today may go out of style (and I’m intensely curious about what it will be replaced with).

It’s probably appropriate to say here that I’m not calling for a boycott of the word “flattering” or anything like that. If anything, I’m encouraging more care, more attention, and more specificity when people use it. If an item of lingerie is “flattering,” people should be able to say why that is…and able to accept that others may have a completely different (yet equally important) definition of flattering for themseles. And if a garment is flattering because it makes someone look thinner or younger or smaller or taller, it’s worth examining why those particular qualities are equivalent to “show[ing] to advantage.”

For me, I’d like to see a definition of flattering that’s less about bringing people in line with social ideals and more about bringing people closer to the way they want to look – sans judgment. I’ve been trying to come up some truly objective criteria for unflattering lingerie (visible pantylines? red lines from an uncomfortably fitting garment?), but I’m not sure if I can. What is “flattering” or unflattering to me might be anathema or completely irrelevant to you. That conundrum is a big part of I’m moving away from using the word flattering on either my blog or social channels.

There’s no decisive, clear-cut resolution to this article. Mostly, I just wanted to share something I’ve been thinking about and get your thoughts on it as well. Can there ever be some useful, generalizable concept for flattering lingerie? Or will it continue to be one of those wiggle words that everyone uses, but most people don’t really think about? Is it even possible to use a word like flattering in regards to lingerie without making implicit judgments about people’s bodies? I’m not sure. But I hope we can talk about it in the comments.

What do you think about the whole flattering lingerie question?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

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Breaking the Lingerie Rules: Why I Went Braless On My Wedding Day

Photos copyright of Cheri Pearl Photography and used with permission.

Let me start this article off with a disclaimer: this post is not a command to go braless. We don’t write those kinds of articles on TLA. Our stance on all lingerie, bras and wedding stuff included, is that you should wear what you love and what wear what makes you feel good. While we’re all about offering suggestions and connecting our readers with amazing pieces, rules about how you’re “supposed” to look aren’t really our deal. Because you’re supposed to look however you want to look.

That said, if there’s one day in a woman’s life where there are a ton of rules, it’s her wedding day. And I’m not referring to the white dress/no white dress stuff. I’m talking about lingerie rules.

When I first announced that I’d found my wedding dress, I was inundated with lingerie suggestions. Everyone was well-meaning, of course, but what was most interesting to me was how…typical the advice was. Most every recommendation was completely divorced from my personal preferences (or even any inquiries about the dress I’d chosen) and instead seemed to follow a rather narrow set of prescribed rules and restrictions.

I was told shapewear was a must. That a strapless longline bra or bustier was a given. Hosiery of some kind an absolute a requirement. Oh! And the only appropriate panty was a thong.

Except I don’t really wear shapewear on a daily basis. And I’ve never owned a strapless bra.  I think of hosiery as an indulgence (not a requirement). And I abhor thongs.

It’s easy when you’re planning a wedding, I think, to get a bit stuck on what you’re supposed to do. Some of that’s just a shortcut. It’s a busy time, there’s a lot on your mind, and taking advice from experts, of any kind, is one way to lighten that cognitive burden. And, of course, if you love shapewear and strapless bras and thongs, that’s fine. But as I get deeper and deeper into the world of lingerie, I find myself discarding more and more lingerie rules. Who cares about the “shoulds?”

More than anything else, I think it’s important to feel like the best version of yourself on your wedding day. A version of yourself with a little extra special attention, perhaps, but still you. Comfortable, confident, already amazing you. If you wear bralettes everyday, it’s completely acceptable to wear one for your wedding day. If you’ve been waist training or tightlacing, it’s totally okay to incorporate a corset into your gown. Do you have a favorite style from a particular brand? Wear that style for your wedding, even if it’s not a “bridal” bra. And if you go braless on a regular basis and dig your silhouette without a bra, then go braless at your wedding too. Not that you need The Official Lingerie Addict Seal of Approval, but it’s all good. You’re not a “slob” or unkempt or uncaring (about your appearance, that is) if you break with lingerie tradition. You’re just doing what feels best to you and what feels right to you on one of the most important days of your life.

The actual wedding day tends to be a bit of whirlwind. There’s so much happening, so much on your mind, that it’s not the day for unfamiliar undergarments. An underwire that digs, lace that itches, elastic that binds, panties that wedge…no one has time for that under even the most casual of circumstances. They’re a complete no-go at your nuptials. And if you’re concerned that your wedding day underpinnings aren’t fancy enough? Well, that may true. But it’s also true that the wedding only lasts a short while…less than a day for most people. You’ll have weeks, months, even years, to break out the amazing stuff.

Like I said, this isn’t a TLA commandment to go braless. But it is a suggestion to wear (or not wear) what makes you feel good. Even if what makes you feel good is the boring, normal, regular, everyday stuff. Even if what makes you feel good is no lingerie at all. Just don’t get caught up in the rules of what you’re “supposed” to do. Not even if those rules come from well-meaning people. The most wonderful thing about my wedding day lingerie is that I didn’t think about it all (I opted for these Hanky Panky boyshorts, in case you’re wondering). Instead, I got to focus on the important stuff…because that’s really what that day is all about.

What do you think about wedding day lingerie rules…or lingerie rules in general for that matter? If you’ve been married or are about to get married, did you have to deal with a lot of suggestions about what you were supposed to wear to? I’d love to read your opinion in the comments.

Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

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Fashion + Lingerie: Introducing Murmur

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If there’s a single trend that I hope never goes away, it’s the lingerie as outerwear look. I adore incorporating lingerie into my everyday wardrobe, whether it’s as simple as a bright neon bra strap I’ve chosen to make visible (Flashdance-style) or letting the lace of my favorite balconette bra peeking just above a low-cut top…almost like I’m wearing an undershirt of chantilly lace. Lingerie is underwear, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean it always has to be worn underneath. There’s something very appealing about incorporating the seams, lines, fabrics and textures of intimate apparel into outerwear, and I don’t know if it will ever get old.

I think that’s why I like Murmur so much. The brand is ostensibly a fashion label, but they’re obviously very inspired by the world of lingerie. Their garments play with the language of intimate apparel, fusing stylistic elements like sheer details, bullet bra cups, and fan-lacing into dresses, skirts, and tops. This is fashion for the bold – lingerie as streetwear. And there’s something very flashback of a flashback about it. The bra tops and faux lace-up skirts don’t just remind me of bullet bras and girdles from the 1950′s, they’re also remiscent of the daring, Madonna-inspired aesthetic of the 80′s. And speaking for this lingerie addict in particular, it’s very much the stuff of my fashionable fantasies.

What do you think of Murmur? Have you heard of this label before? And would you wear any of their pieces?

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Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

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Lingerie Lust: Amoralle Cream Full Sleeve Lace Bodysuit

amoralle-lingerie

Sometimes, I like a bit of drama in my lingerie. Amoralle (formerly known as SockBox) is a newish lingerie brand out of Latvia, but they’re doing interesting things. Their latest collection was released a few days ago, and I’d call this full sleeve lace bodysuit the standout piece.

I tend to go for more simple lines in my lingerie (*ahem* black mesh forever), but I love the idea pairing these opulent and over-the-top lace sleeves with something a bit more pared down and rugged like a leather pencil skirt. And for women with more widely spaced breasts like (cleavage is an impossibility), the deep V-neck is perfect.

Other standouts from the new collection include this lace bodysuit, this polkadot bodysuit, and this long maxi skirt, but I still think the lace full sleeve body (which retails for $339) wins out. Unfortunately, the brand’s size range tops out at a US Size 8…which I have to admit is really bizarre to me. I don’t know the reasoning behind why a company would only offer three sizes – 4, 6, and 8.

What do you think of Amoralle’s new pieces? How would you style them? And do you think this is a brand to watch?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

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Sale Lingerie of the Week: Gerbe ‘Skintone’ Stockings & Thigh Highs

 

gerbe stockings The lingerie world moves really fast. The intimate apparel industry has seasons and trends just like “regular” fashion, and sometimes an item is only on shelves for a minute or two before it’s pushed to the clearance racks and heavily discounted. Though we post a lot here on TLA, I don’t always get around to sharing the lingerie I like before it goes on sale. And I’d rather not choose a sale item for Lingerie of the Week since there’s usually so little left, it may be sold out before the post even goes live for the day.

At the same time, I buy a ton of my personal items on sale. I keep notes and tabs on pieces I like and watch them obsessively until they go on clearance. Sometimes, I “win” and grab the deal. Sometimes, I miss out and that perfect piece of lingerie is completely gone by the time I get around to checking it again. While you can always stalk the sample sale sites like Gilt, Rue La La, and My Habit, that’s still a bit hit or miss…and they don’t always carry your favorite brands. So starting today, I’m going to feature one of my favorite sale picks each week. It’s something new…call it an experiment. If there’s an item you’re lusting after that isn’t on sale yet, let me know so I can keep an eye on it. Ideally, this will be a pretty interactive sort of feature. After all, everyone loves a sale.

gerbe stay ups

My first pick? These Gerbe ‘Skintone’ stockings, thigh highs, and tights via Cazar. I reviewed the pantyhose version of these (tights if you’re in the UK) about a year ago, and I thought they were great. Of all the items I tried, they gave me the most “lifelike” finish, which is especially important for professional women. And they also offer a lighter, “ivory” tone which is great because I’ve heard the traditional shade of “nude” (i.e. beige) is also too dark for many women. At around $20 for the stockings and around $30 for the thigh highs and pantyhose (all USD), I wouldn’t call any of these items “cheap,” but I have found Gerbe hosiery, like many other high end legwear brands, to be of exceptional quality. So think of it as saving money over the long-term (i.e. not having to replace your stockings all the time) particularly if finding a skintone match has been hard for you.

gerbe skintone pantyhose

All three are at Cazar (which generally has a pretty good sale section worth checking out). Both the thighs and the pantyhose seem to have all sizes in all colors still available.

 

Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

More Posts - Website

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