I’m not sure what’s happening, but I have been obsessed with robes, dressing gowns, and glamorous vintage-style loungewear lately. The more over-the-top and dripping in feathers and ruffles and lace, the better. The heyday of the dressing gown is long gone, but there are some designers out there attempting to stage a comeback (and thank goodness for that!). Here are 10 of my favorite classic, vintage-inspired dressing gowns. (Editor’s Note: Just click the photo to be taken to the item!)
Pinup style, despite its classic vintage air, has a certain timelessness about it. The look has a niche following that ebbs and flows but changes slowly and dies seemingly never. I sat down to dissect what styling elements really make up the archetypal pinup look, with a little help from Gil Elvgren. Gil Elvgren is probably the best known, and most quintessential, pinup artist (more on that next week!), so I took my cues from an anthology of his paintings published by Taschen. The following is an analysis of fashion in classic pinup art.
The pinup bra is not beribboned and lacy, nor is it a bullet bra. No, what I saw the most of was simple bralettes: soft, often triangular cups; a clean, simple shape. Lucky for us, bralettes have been gaining in popularity over the past couple of years. Look for a simple black, sheer, or lace style and pair it with anything high waisted. As far as panties and bottoms go, the rise is virtually always on the natural waist. However, it’s not sleek, fitted briefs that were the stars: fitted or loose tap shorts were by far the most prolific style. For a daywear version of the same look, you could pair a bandeau or cropped blouse with sleeves with a pair of high-waist shorts or trousers with contrast detailing.
Garters and stockings, of course, are a must-have. Four garters, rather than the contemporary six, used to be the standard. Stockings were fully-fashioned in sheer brown or black.
For loungewear, you can’t go wrong with sheer, floor-length negligee. A more youthful look would be a lightweight or semi-sheer tunic-length nightie (just long enough to cover your rear), flared out from the shoulders, covering the torso to the pit of the throat, such as the one on the cover of the Elvgren book at the top of the page. (This, of course, looks particularly fetching when backlit from a cozily roaring hearth, casting a clear and curvy silhouette through the thin material.)
If you’re wanting a bustier, corset, or basque, look for one with lace panels at the center front, or front lacing detail. You probably won’t find one quite as cleavage-y as those illustrated, though.
The pinup color palette is heavy on black, white, and primary colors (with black and white, of course, being the favorite for lingerie). Springy floral and pastel tones are also popular. Prints are generally limited to floral motifs and classic stripes and gingham.
Lastly, with regard to what one would wear on top of all this lovely lingerie, the silhouettes are surprisingly modest in coverage, yet still figure conscious. Dresses or blouses might still have sleeves and modest necklines, even peter pan collars, but are well fitted to the bust and waist. Skirts are full, roughly knee-length, and, apparently, always caught on something. A sash or belt further highlights the nipped in natural waist of a vintage figure. The summery version of the look might feature a low, scooped neckline, spaghetti straps, and fit gathers under the bustline.
If you have any questions or comments, please share your thoughts in the discussion below!
When I got sent the press release for Underprotection, a Danish sustainable lingerie and loungewear brand, they caught my eye. I was immediately impressed by their chic lookbook with beautiful photography – none of the hippie granola cliche of sustainability. Upon perusing their website, I found that their commitment to sustainability seems to have a solid foundation, using not only eco-friendly materials, but also using sustainable labor practices.
A representative from Underprotection was kind enough to send me two sample sets of my own choosing for review. Their catalog images didn’t seem to do the styles justice, but between the web catalog and the lookbook photos I chose my favorites out of a lot of cute options. When Underprotection’s package arrived for me, I continued to be impressed. A hard copy of the gorgeous lookbook was included, and information about the fibers used in each style was attached to the hang tag. Silhouette-wise, the Pamela bra and brief set is very different from Sigrun body, though both happen to be composed primarily of bamboo. Now, bamboo is admittedly semi-controversial as an eco-fiber – the plant itself is wonderful, but the process of turning it into filament is chemical-heavy, but there’s no denying it does make for a wonderful fabric. Anyway, I like to test new wardrobe and put it through its paces by subjecting it to a photoshoot. Special thanks to Lauren Luck for the extra-special film photography.
Style-wise, while the halter-strap is very cute, it is a little impractical for daily wear, but I just can’t resist a good bralette. The fit was comfortable, with about as much support as you’d expect from a soft cup bra. The matching panties were also comfy – they had a more relaxed fit than I usually go for, yet it seemed appropriate for the style. The waistline was a smidge low for my tastes, but the fabric stretchy enough that I could pull it up to my natural waist. The keyhole at the back is a cute little touch. Overall, I thought this was a great set to make me feel both comfortable and sexy.
I was pretty curious about the Sigrun body – while I’m addicted to rompers, the minute you call it a “bodysuit” or “teddy,” somehow I get these weird 80s-high-legline-cheap-lace pictures in my head and lose all interest. The menswear reference and stark black and white fabrication of the Sigrun body was just too good to deny, though. I did find the super-duper-extra-sheer crotch, with no liner, a slightly odd choice: for the photos, I had to wear a lightweight pair of nude high-waist panties. I think it would make me self-conscious enough to not make it a loungewear go-to, much as I’d like it to be, but I’ll be definitely wearing it as a daywear piece. Again, I love the combination of the comfortable fit with a stylish design.
Four stars. For the most part, the stitching was very clean, although I did notice that the halter strap seemed a bit strained in its set-in on one side. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll have to tack it back in place at some point in the future. I love the drape and feel of both the lightweight bamboo satin and the soft bamboo mesh (!!). The colors/color blocking are utterly charming. I think Underprotection is a brand to keep your eye on, even if you don’t have a particular interest in sustainable design. Who doesn’t love clothes that both look and feel good when you wear them?
What do you think about the sets shown above and the other styles on Underprotection’s website? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Disclosure: All samples were provided free of charge from Honeydew Intimates for review purposes only. All opinions written here are my own.
I have been a fan of Honeydew Intimates ever since they helped reincarnate the sassy rumba trend a few years back. Their modernized retro silhouette in mesh with cheeky prints & colors made for the cutest cover up under my flared skirts & dresses. So when I heard of a request to review some of their new styles I jumped at the opportunity.
The first set I received was the Rayon & Lace Cami Top & Hipster Boy Short. The fabric was a rayon spandex blend that was super soft and felt great against the skin. The hipster will be a great everyday basic stable in my underwear wardrobe however the cami was cut small and was a little too snug. Though it will still be comfortable to wear in warmer months it didn’t make for a very flattering look.
Next I tried the Jungle Hunny Rayon & Lace Brief, again in Honeydew’s signature rayon spandex blend. This every day hipster style was played up with leopard printed lace trim & hot pink bows that added an extra flirtiness & fashion to a reliable basic staple. With its mix of comfort & style this hipster has quickly become one of my favorites and I plan to order it in more colors soon.
The coordinating Jungle Hunny Rayon & Lace PJ Set coordinates back to the above hipster and therefore can be mixed & matched for a couple of different looks.
The cami top has an adjustable hook & eye back with elastic at the empire seam which adds a little bit of support to an otherwise non-constructed cami. However I would prefer a softer, plusher elastic for that sensitive area under the bust.
When paired with the hipster this set is very cute & perfect for lazy summer Sundays lounging around the house. In colder temperatures the pants make for a more practical sleepwear option. While it does not have any of the fashionable leopard lace trim, it does manage to coordinate back to the cami top with its leopard print drawstring. The rayon spandex jersey keeps you comfortable for a full night’s sleep while the drape of the fabric allows for easy movement & flexibility.
Then came the Enchanting Modal & Lace Bralette & Hipster. Also in super soft jersey fabric, this set fit nicely on the body and had a very pretty look.
The bralette with its delicate lace detailing on the neckline, back wings & straps looked flattering on & is offered up to a size Large. However I imagine fuller busts will not get much support from this style, as it is unlined & wire-free.
The hipster was also flattering with lace & pin tucking details at the side of the legs. I loved the cheeky cut in the back that offered just enough coverage for all day wear while still remaining cute & sexy.
The Buttoned Up Nylon Gel Padded Extreme Push Up bra was one of the few constructed bras offered by Honeydew and it definitely lived up to its name. Extreme push up is what you get with a heavily padded cup to give the illusion of an extra cup size. Available up to a size 36DD, the back band made for a smooth silhouette (no bulges here) and the touch of lace added a little bit of girlish charm. I especially loved the custom designed metal slides on the back straps donning the logo “dew”. I would have liked to see a softer quality pad with a bit more flexibility as well as longer straps for adjustment. But overall the bra is constructed well and has that va-va-va-voom factor.
And lastly the Crest with Buttons Over the Knee Sock was an extra treat that I received as I wasn’t previously aware that Honeydew even made hosiery. These socks were the perfect length, long enough to not slip down to below your knee, which is a common problem I have with other similar styles. The fabric has a good amount of stretch to it – not too tight or too loose. But the most unexpected detail on these socks was the honeydew logo print on the toes, which I thought added a cute & quirky touch.
Readers: What is your experience with Honeydew Intimates? Do you wear their styles as basics or fashion?
What a trying couple of weeks it has been for the great city of New York and its fellow east coast neighbors! The stress that we’ve endured due to Hurricane Sandy has really set us back as we have suffered darkness, flooding & isolation due to her wrath. But we are resilient and will continue to keep moving forward, supporting one another, until we are fully recovered from this disaster.
The outpouring of support that I have witnessed since Sandy hit has been both inspiring and humbling. I am truly touched by those who have selflessly opened their hearts & homes to all of those affected by the storm. My loses were minor in comparison to others whose lives have been forever changed by this catastrophe and while I remain thankful for everyone & everything in my life, my heart goes out to those who were not quite as fortunate.
In the midst of this ordeal and with the upcoming American holiday of Thanksgiving approaching, I could not think of a more appropriate time to sit back and reflect on all the favorable blessings in my life. Aside from the love & fortune that surround me, I am also very grateful for so many of my tangible possessions. My addiction to lingerie is a luxury that I am fortunate enough to be able to indulge in from time to time and many of my pieces play an integral role in my comfort & happiness.
While they may not all be considered necessities, I am still thankful that I own those key pieces that make life that more pleasant. That is why I would like to dedicate this article, not only to the people that I am most thankful for, but also to my undergarments for which I have developed a great appreciation.
Below is an ode the 8 lingerie pieces that I am most grateful for.
1) To My Supportive Sports Bra
Lily of France In Action Cotton Blend Underwire bra, you are my most worn bra ever! I rely on your support during every workout and wouldn’t be able to succeed without you. Your underwire cups make me feel secure and help minimize bounce through the most rigorous of cardio. I also love your padded straps & comfy fabric that doesn’t leave me as sticky & sweaty as some other sport bras of the past. Thank you for living up to your reputation & I look forward to many more workouts together!
Available at www.lilyoffrance.com
2) To My Slimming Shapewear
Spanx Slim Cogneto Shape Slip, I can always count on you to support me in my time of need! A night out on the town is never complete without your slimming coverage that streamlines my shape & gives me that extra boost of confidence. Knowing that you are layered under my clothes makes me forget my insecurities allowing me to dance the night away free of concern. And as the bountiful holidays begin I take comfort in the fact that you will be there waiting for me to offer your support once more if I should need.
Available at www.spanx.com
3) To My Long Underwear:
Winter Silks mid-weight silk long underwear top & pant, you have stuck by me winter after winter, offering your full-bodied warmth with just a fraction of the bulk. I layer you under clothes in the harshest of weather with the comforting knowledge that you will sustain my body temperature and keep me cozy for the entirety of the day. Your lightweight filaments make you thin enough to be undetectable under my tightest, most form fitting fashions and therefore I am happy to pledge my loyalty to you for all future winters!
Available at www.wintersilks.com
4) To My No-Lines Underwear
Bali One Smooth U No Lines Bikini, knowing that you have me covered under a white pencil skirt or linen palazzos helps me to go about my day feeling care-free & confident. Your elastic-free leg openings eliminate VPL and your clear silicone grips ensure that you stay put. Not to mention your pretty lace waistband & fun color assortment that keeps me feeling feminine & fashionable day after day. Thank you for keeping me stylish, smooth & wedgie-free!
Available at www.macys.com
5) To My Granny Panties
Fruit of the Loom 6 Pack Heather Briefs, I may not always express my appreciation but I want you to know that I am thankful that you are in my life. Your simple, full coverage styling offers me comfort during times of bloating, fatigue & irritability. I know that you will secure me in comfortable cotton & a no-fuss waistband leaving me free to focus on the more pressing matters of the day. Though I may not say it often enough, you are still an integral part of my wardrobe and I am grateful to have you in my life.
Available at www.fruit.com
6) To My Cozy Bathrobe
Gap Body Fleece Sherpa Lined Robe, we have spent a lot of time together this season already. With the plunging temperatures and lack of power last week you’ve really got my back. Your super soft fibers feel amazing on my skin and the warmth that you radiate has been much appreciated. I anticipate many more seasons together as you have proven yourself an asset against the cold northeastern winters and I am thankful for your comfort.
Available at www.gap.com
7) To My Fuzzy Socks
Little Miss Matched Zany Stripe Fuzzy Anklet Socks, My feet are so thankful for your warmth. Each winter they long for your cozy embrace and you always come to the rescue with your fun patterns & bright colors. Your quirky miss matched-ness is a playful reminder of childhood innocence while your fuzzy fibers are so soft & toasty that I can hardly bear to take you off. Here is to another warm winter together!
Available at www.littlemissmatched.com
8) To My Sheer Pantyhose
Pretty Polly Nylon Backseam Tights, how can I repay you for consistently camouflaging my stubbliy legs in my time of need? When I’m in a crunch and need to look silky & smooth you always deliver. Not only do I feel more polished with your presence but your retro back seam detail gives the illusion of longer, leaner legs. You are their best friend and we are both are so grateful for all your hard work.
Available at www.prettypolly.co.uk
While these undergarments serve multiple purposes both from a functional and a fashionable standpoint, I realize how fortunate I am to own them. Some people have lost everything in Hurricane Sandy and relief efforts are still underway today. If you would like to help with donations that includes food, money, clean clothing & undergarments, please visit the following websites to see where & how you can help:
Note: This article is about how to buy lingerie for your mother. If you’re looking for tips on how to buy lingerie for your romantic partner (who also happens to be a mom), check out this post I wrote for Fashion Network Seattle titled “The Quick and Easy Guide to Buying Her Lingerie .”
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8th. With less than a week left to shop, you might be racking your brain trying to think of the perfect for Mom (especially if you’re a procrastinator like me). Flowers, chocolate, and greeting cards are all great, but they’re also a little, uh…typical. So what about giving one of the most important women in your life one of the most intimate gifts of all–lingerie?
If your first reaction is to go “No way!” I totally understand. Lingerie is all about sex, right? And sex is one of those things we don’t really like to imagine our parents doing. So maybe the best question is “How can I buy lingerie for Mom without coming across as inappropriate?”
The first thing to remember is that the world of lingerie is humongous. I talk a lot about bras, panties, stockings, corsets and other “naughty” items here on the blog because that’s what turns my crank, but lingerie also includes robes, slips, camisoles, pajamas, gowns, kimonos and even articles like lingerie bags or lingerie washes. When it comes to gifts for Mom, that second group is one you want to pull from. Think classy, tasteful, and luxurious not sexual, erotic, or boudoir.
Need a little more advice? Check out my top 15 lingerie-related gifts for Mother’s Day (updated May 2011!). And don’t forget about the present that fits everyone…a gift certificate from her favorite lingerie store!
Do you plan on buying lingerie for Mom? Or is that a little too weird? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.
Lady Godiva Pebble Robe
Pure Cashmere Hooded Robe