Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Culture, bling and big guitars - our week in underwear

Britney’s back!

Known throughout her career for her lingerie, Britney Spear’s has returned to the stage at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards with a medley of her greatest hits and wearing, of course, bling underwear. this time it was a circus-style outfit that she cast aside to reveal a ruby red jewel-encrusted lingerie set.

As usual, Britney rose to the occasion, specifically on this occasion rising to a gigantic guitar which she rode like a rodeo bull … never boring, is she?

And if Britney’s incredible body, in her astounding outfit, has inspired you to seek out some bling lingerie for yourself, we have the raciest jewelled g-string you’ll ever see! The Diki topaz designer G-string is not for the fainthearted, but if you're into revealing lingerie we’re certain you’ll find this an investment piece. It’s a definite summer winner for the boudoir and while it’s stunning against tanned skin, we’re delighted to tell you that it looks just as great against winter-pale bodies.

So that’s the bling and the big guitar - what about the culture?

Lady Duff Gordon’s underwear

Well there’s a wonderful exhibition on at the Guelph Civic Museum in Ontario that we would just love to see. It features the life of Lucy Sutherland, who became Lady Duff Gordon and had an astonishing life. Yes, she’s the same Lady Duff Gordon who was rumoured to have bribed her way, along with her husband, onto a lifeboat escaping the Titanic. That’s not true, but the scandal was one of the biggest stories of 1912.

Known as Lucile, she set up her own couture business in London, Paris and New York, endorsed the invention of the brassiere and started a craze for pink and purple wigs! You could almost call her the Victoria Beckham of her day - her multi-talented personality overcame being a single mother and a divorcee (she divorced her first husband) to become not only a successful fashion designer and business woman but a noted celebrity whose bon mots were ranked alongside those of Oscar Wilde. She also designed an amazing range of underwear which, for the time, was considered to be incredibly racy.

Finally, a lingerie chain which shall be nameless is opposing the opening of a Gregg’s bakers in Belfast’s Royal Avenue, because, it says, the smell of pasties banking might put their underwear customers off purchasing new undies! We’ve got an answer for that too - buy your lingerie online!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Lingerie - what’s hot and what’s not for summer 2016

Underwear fashion seems to largely depend on where you live!

In Ireland it’s all about dark colours, apparently, according to this online article which had one member of the Lingerie UK team dashing home to try out the tip about the red bra under the white T-shirt (yes it works but only ‘sort of’, you can definitely see something under the white but somehow the eye doesn’t really pick out the lines of the bra, also the quality of the T-shirt really matters, a Primark top might as well have been see-through while a Gap cap-sleeved T-shirt was completely opaque to the red brassiere). When it comes to wine coloured lingerie, we are all in favour - as an example our made-to-measure Jane Woolrichburgundy corset is absolutely stunning.

As for plunge bras, we never noticed that they had gone out of fashion - whilst the high street retailer might not have seen these as a consistent seller, for specialist online lingerie retailers like www.lingerie.co.uk this bra style has been a constant. This year our top pick is the Aria Pastel plunge bra from Lise Charmel … it’s so pretty it’s like a flower strewn picnic blanket on a summer’s day!

India has a different take on lingerie

It’s very often the case that Indian fashion news doesn't get covered much in the West, which we think is a shame. So over in New Delhi the claim is that wave prints, marine themes and yellow and orange are key colours whilst camisoles as outerwear are also ‘hot’.

We love the beach vibe discussed in this article but we often find that too much beach can cause you to blend into the background - seriously, in a marine themed bikini on a seahorse printed breach towel with a palm-print cover up you run the risk of becoming scenery!  We prefer the idea of standing out from your surroundings by blending beach friendly colours such as sand, gold, turquoise and marine green with glorious contrasts such as fuchsia pink and hot animal prints. That’s why we like leopardskin swimsuits, for example. And when it comes to cover-ups, what could be better than a feminine sarong in crisp white and at such a bargain price?

So whether it’s Ireland or India, we believe that we’ve got your fashion bases covered!

Underwear as art, lingerie as work-wear, how do you work your underwear?

There’s a theme to this week’s blog - the story of how underwear emerges into outerwear.

Pokemon panties

First, the 20th anniversary of the annoyingly cute Pikachu is being celebrated in Japan with a licensed underwear range including shorts, underpants, a cap (?) and a sleep mask … more than anything else this leaves us asking questions about the habits of the Japanese - we sort of get the sleep mask but underwear lines don’t usually include caps. The mind boggles as it so often does when exploring the peculiar world of the Japanese psyche.

Underwear of the stars

Although to be fair, most of us have some habits that we’d rather not talk about. You know what we mean, the things you do in your scanties that you’d never reveal to the world. Then again, others of us spend a lot of our time making sure the world knows about our lingerie. Instagram appears to have been just about invented for women to appear in their undies. As an example ….while people are still talking about Kim Kardashian’s lingerie dress which totally overshadowed whoever’s wedding she actually wore it too, here at lingerie.co.uk we’ve been quietly fascinated by a different news story - Mariah Carey’s pizza-making outfit. Oh yes, lingerie and pizza making (not eating) is a thing now.

Should you feel the need to cook in your robe, we’ve picked out two that we think fit the bill being as tasty as the food you’ll be producing. First up, Diki’sMimi nightdress and robe, made to order out of gorgeous lace, this is an outfit that you won’t want to splash tomato sauce on - just gorgeous for those red hot days when you don’t want to get dressed too early though. Second, for cooler weather and those gothic midnight feasts, Liliana Casanova offers the stunning Fontainebleaudressing gown, also made to order but featuring a waterfall of mousseline silk and toning lace, this is a flattering garment for all.

Underwear as art

And the final thing we’re talking about this week is a new Zoe Buckman show (in LA sadly so we won’t get to see it in the flesh) in which she has embroidered the lyrics of two rap stars - Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur - on vintage underwear to explore the dichotomy between attitudes to women in the media. The show, as usual, is staggeringly beautiful with lacy panties, flowery robes and even stockings displayed bearing lines like I swear I’ll never call you bitch again” and Ain’t that a slut, hell yeah, she even take it in the butt” to reveal the tension between empowerment and disenfranchisement, often in the same song. You can find details of the show online and it’s a fascinating tour through the kinds of language and objectification that many women experience every day, and the range of messages received by women about their places in the world, male expectation, the power of labelling and even the nature of garments to enhance, constrain and carry information about the wearer and what is expected of them. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

British models in the limelight - a eventful end to April with www.lingerie.co.uk

Classroom lingerie controversy

Until very recently, Gemma Laird worked as a teaching assistant in County Durham. But when parents from the school discovered she was a model for Lexi Fashions, they reported her to the school, after which the 21 year old says she was fired. The photographs of Gemma included pictures of her in cocktail dresses and lingerie which seems to have been the problem.

The school’s head teacher said that it was a failure of social media use that couldn’t be ignored as it broke the schools guidelines on appropriate images. It’s a tricky scenario, isn’t it? We all want the right to do as we please but we also want young people to be protected from images or experiences that might threaten or disturb them.

Wedding lingerie tips 

April is the biggest selling month for wedding underwear apparently. We have a few tips on how to get the perfect wedding lingerie for your big day:

1.    Choose your dress and lingerie together - it’s important to have your dress fittings with your wedding lingerie on, as underwear can really affect the fit of your dress
2.    Don’t feel compelled to pick white, or even ivory or cream - for many brides a shell pink, nude or even a primrose lingerie set may be a better idea than a stark white or off white.
3.    Get your bra fitted by an expert and be prepared to go down a size before the big day! Many brides who lose weight will find that it goes from their cleavage quicker than anywhere else, so if you’re somebody who becomes skinny through nerves, it’s a brilliant idea to be sure your favourite bra comes in a small cup size, just in case …
4.    A body or corset can define your shape and help you look more curvy. It’s a real investment garment and choosing a new body or corset for your wedding is one way of being certain that you’ll wow as much with your wedding dress off as you did with it on!

Lingerie limelight

This week we’re celebrating Nicola Griffin, the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue model - at the age of 56. The British model says that she had no idea she was being photographed for Sports Illustrated and equally had no idea how big the magazine was in the USA. As she puts it herself, she’s still in shock! But she’s also excited about the effect her image might have, ‘Young girls open magazines and it influences them so much about body image. I particularly think it's very good for them to see different sized women, because otherwise they can feel bad about themselves if they don't look like the models they are constantly viewing.’

We loved her photo shoot, her confidence and her beautiful relaxed face. And if you’re half in love with that gold swimwear, we’d like to introduce you to our shiny copper flower bikini - there’s no doubt that metallics are going to be big on the beach this summer and we’re willing to bet that you’ll wow the world in our beautiful, very feminine, micro-bikini.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Lingerie for the classroom and for Holi - some specialist lingerie buying stories from lingerie.co.uk!

We love lingerie, but we know it has a time and a place - unlike the subject of our first story this week - and no, it’s not a late April Fool’s Day joke.

 How NOT to browse for lingerie online

A mathematics teacher in San Diego set his class a test and then went online shopping for women’s underwear - but his computer was still linked to the room’s projector so his students were able to capture his browsing history online on the big screen!

Many of them posted the cell phone videos online which is when the Mira Mesa High School became involved and informed parents that the teacher had been placed on administrative leave.
Parents were incensed for several reasons: first classroom neglect - the teacher never lifted his eyes from his laptop to see how the class were doing; second duty of care - a child who walked up to ask a question might easily have seen the teacher’s interest in scanty underwear and third; should a teacher who is supposed to set an example of hard work before fun be indulging in a private passion during class time?

Well, we know all about the third issue - once you start online lingerie shopping it’s very hard to stop!

 Lingerie for Holi

It’s fair to say that Holi is not a huge festival in the UK, which we think is a shame, but we know that quite a few of our lingerie shoppers will be looking for the right outfit to wear for Holi 2016 which falls on 24 March. So we went looking for a few tips on how to approach wearing the right lingerie for Holi.

First and foremost, be prepared to sacrifice what you’re wearing, from top to bottom and from outside to in. It just isn’t possible to be sure that all the Holi paints and dyes will wash out of your clothing, and some naughty revellers deliberately use staining dye to ensure you carry a semi-permanent memory of Holi for quite a while to come. Of course you want to look and feel your best too, on such a happy and fun-filled holiday, so why not try the Wolbar Maracato briefs which are stunning cute, comfortable to wear and won’t break the bank if they end up multicoloured!

For a bra you really need something with a comfort straps that won’t expose too much of your body once you get soaked in water and paint. Our Andora bra has full cups to protect your modesty, gorgeous straps so that you can fight back and fling your paint with gusto and is just so delicious to wear that we bet after you’ve tried it, you’ll want to never wear anything else.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

McCartney 2016 fashion collection, breast shape analysis and would you model lingerie?

Amateur underwear models

A Chinese lingerie firm has found an interesting way to outsource its advertising - it invites its customers to become something that best translates as ‘lingerie masters’ by sending in photographs of themselves in the brand’s underwear. For every three lingerie sets they photograph, they get sent a free set as a reward.

The company claims to have 500 models sending in portfolios in a polyvore style exercise that requires the customers to create a small photoset around a specific theme or location. To our eyes some of the photographs may be a little dubious - one set features a young woman wearing only underwear under her coat, apparently in a bar drinking beer where the final picture seems to show her asleep or passed out with a beer bottle in her hand - not the kind of advertising that’s allowed here, that’s for sure. Others though are quirky, personality-filled snapshots of a life where lingerie matters and we can all celebrate that!

Breast dictionary?

Another underwear line has produced a breast dictionary - describing what it calls the seven different types of breast by shape. It’s an interesting idea, especially given the many women simply don’t know how to measure themselves for a  bra, but we’re not sure that it’s a particularly helpful approach to choosing sexy underwear. A large part of finding what works for each individual woman comes from trying things on and see both how they look and how they feel - the journey of exploring what works for each body and lifestyle simply can’t be reduced to shortcuts like pointing to a picture of boobs and saying ‘those look most like mine’ not least because many women have been trained by exposure to the media to have an unrealistic idea of how their own bodies look. We think there’s no alternative to ordering something that looks lovely and trying it on in the privacy of your own home - after all, any decent online lingerie shop will have a great returns service to ensure that experiments are just as much fun when they fail as when they succeed!

Stella McCartney Autumn/Winter 2016 Paris collection

While we’re huge fans of catwalk fashion, we don’t always find a direct link between catwalk and www.lingerie.co.uk products but Stella’s Paris runway was definitely in part a lingerie-inspired show. Whilst puffa jackets were much in evidence (we’re not sure we’re going to give into that trend again) she also had some beautiful silk panel dresses that sit squarely on the boundary line between lingerie and evening wear.

We really fell in love with this silk and lace panel dress but  suspect it may be out of our price range - however, we decided that our Blue Bachelorette dress would be a perfect alternative at a totally affordable price. Also, we think we might go for something other than the white surgical ward shoes … in fact we sort of think almost anything else would look sexier!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Size, stealing lingerie and do you have Easter undies?

Good old Edwina Currie is back in the news with another controversy - not eggs this time but size. Her target, Ashley Graham, is one of the world’s top lingerie models and according to Currie, ‘It seems to me that plus-size models and extolling them and making it seem normal to be obese is just as dangerous and unhealthy as the zero models, the very thin ones.’ She went on to claim that larger models could be ‘heading for diabetes, knee and hip problems’.

We’ve got no opinion one way or the other about the health risks of anybody’s size or shape - that’s none of our business, but we do believe that every woman has the right to delicious underwear. That’s why we have a carefully collated ‘plus size lingerie’ section that offers a wonderful range of gorgeous undies, including the hand-made  Ulla Dessous Alice bra and pantyset with a dainty lace overlay.

 Stolen Victoria’s Secret lingerie

A 47-year-old store cleaner has been convicted of stealing more than a thousand lingerie items from the Victoria’s Secret shop in New Bond Street, London.  It turns out that for around three years he had been taking items from the basket where store staff put items to be returned to the shop floor after customers had tried them on. He was able to get away with it by filling his trouser pockets with some items but others he had actually put on over his own underpants …. ew! The man in question was given a suspended sentence as the judge accepted that he hadn’t really understood how things worked in the shop and might have believed that the basket contained items to be destroyed rather than re-shelved.

And why was he doing this? To sell the garments online. That’s why we recommend buying your online lingerie from a dedicated online shop, not somebody on eBay - because you never know where they may have got that lingerie, nor who’s been wearing it before you!

Easter underwear

We’ve got a bit of a pash for Easter lingerie - which for us combines the joy of a underwear drawer spring clean with the guiltless pleasure of a chocolate-free celebration weekend.

So what counts as Easter lingerie for us?  Well pastels for a start, such as mint, peach and lavender shades. These are the most flattering to skins still pale after winter’s rigours and mint, in particular is incredibly flattering to darker skin-tones which means that it’s a colour that works for all.

Then we like dots - there’s something very springlike about polka dots and a pretty dotty bikini might prompt the invitation to get some early sun on a quick weekend break! And finally, we think cotton undies are very springlike, so we use this holiday to drop a few hints that we’d like some new cotton panties … that’s a hint that tends to be very well received!

Do you have special Easter underwear - if so, what makes it spring-like to your mind?