Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Online lingerie, replacement bodies and good clean fun - sizzling lingerie stories to beat the winter chill

Online underwear grows

It turns out that we’re not just a lingerie seller - we’re a key trend! At we watch the global market with keen eyes to discover the latest trends in sexy lingerie, to test the claims of new underwear manufacturers and to explore what is the best in lingerie to bring to our customers. But sometimes we ourselves are subject to scrutiny and it turns out that a new report suggests that the global online lingerie market will grow 18.1% over the next five years. Given that the world economy is expected to grow by less that .5%, that’s a healthy statistic!

In addition, it seems many customers prefer buying lingerie online because they are intimidated by bricks and mortar stores or because they find it difficult to sort through the vast array of ‘real’ garments to find what suits them best. Instead they browse online where they can sort their searches by exact size, style and colour - which is why our site is searchable in a range of ways, to give you the best possible online lingerie shopping experience!

The body that’s replaced ‘The Body’…

is Heidi Klum. It’s actually a great and sad day, for Bendon, the Australian underwear brand, which has had a quarter century association with Elle Macpherson, because in choosing their new ‘face of’ they’ve gone for 41-year-old Heidi, not some 19-year-old sizzler. Nothing wrong with 19-year-old sizzlers, of course, but what Bendon seem to recognise is that most lingerie is sold to, or bought for, more mature women, with a real sense of what works for them, and what they like.

Klum, who is best known for Project Runway, is absolutely stunning in the new Bendon range and reveals just how important confidence can be to a good boudoir photograph. We loved the elegance of the grey and pink bra that debuts for the line and whilst Heidi is a blonde, it’s one of those colour combinations that works for everybody from the palest-skinned red-head through to olive and deep coffee skintones. Browse the selection of similar colour ranges to find something that will rock this look for you!

Getting dirty to get clean

Saskatoon is noted for its long cold winters, but one local entrepreneur has found a new way to warm things up - Emily Kempin has established a lingerie cleaning service. No, not somebody to hand-wash your skimpies, but a cleaner who comes and removes your dirt whilst wearing underwear. Okay, it’s not a new idea, as our picture from “MadMen” shows, but it’s a fun one!

Called Dirty Business, the cleaners work for $200 per hour, which is considerably above the going charlady rate for Saskatoon, and are provided with minders who ensure that the housemaids get to tidy up without any inappropriate touching or other intrusive behaviour, although the clients are allowed to take pictures and enjoy some ‘playful banter’.

Hmm … would our Head Maid costume meet with the approval of Saskatoon’s lingerie-cleaners, I wonder?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Red hot Christmas trees, hot under the collar lingerie adverts and rising stars in the underwear world - our week in lingerie!

Christmas tree lingerie

No, not the kind of undies that you find beneath the tree but actual tree underwear. Ever since Eartha Kitt sang ‘Santa Baby’ there’s been something quite sexy about Christmas … but that underlying sensuality has been made overt by a French company which is using discarded Christmas trees to create sexy undies.

Using an enzyme solution, pine trees, including their needles, are turned into a silky fabric that is then dyed with low irritant dyes to ensure the lingerie is as skin friendly as possible. the company claims that the fabric absorbs around two and a half times more moisture than cotton, making steamy bedroom sessions more comfortable!

Allow us to be somewhat unconvinced. We heard similar claims for bamboo clothing a few years ago, and while bamboo has definitely turned out to be a new fabric that’s got some benefits, it has in no way replaced cotton. We can’t see ‘pine’ taking the place of old favourites like silk and satin any time soon, and it certainly doesn’t measure up to the incredible properties of technical fabrics like Lycra, which have revolutionised our lingerie drawers. So we’ll watch this innovation with interest, but we won’t be replacing our cotton bras or silk knickers with it any day soon!

Too much underwear for drivers

Motorists in Milan have been distracted by underwear adverts that will now be taken down. Belen Rodriguez is the model who features in the two advertisements on multi-storey billboards and her seductive poses have been criticised as creating ‘serious danger for vehicular circulation’, much to the annoyance of Belen herself. The model and TV star says she thinks the pictures are ‘sensual, but elegant’.

There’s no evidence that sexy adverts actually cause crashes, but an American study did find that roadside advertising with emotive words such as cash, fame, sex and win led to drivers speeding up whilst negatively charged words such as crash, loss, damage caused drivers to slow down.

We love Belen’s sexy underwear set and we think we actually have an even nicer black and white combo to offer - the Roza Ginewrapush-up bra is similarly coloured to Belen’s cute balcony bra but even more feminine - we’re certain you’ll discover it’s a traffic stopper!

Tories reveal new strategy - sex!

Jacqueline Gold has found a new home - the front bench of the House of Commons. She joined George Osborne and other Tory grandees this week, as the Chancellor launched an attack on Labour spending plants.

Miss Gold has a substantial fortune of her own, having turned the Ann Summers business into a successful party plan operation linking 150 shops to more than 7,000 party planners.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Year’s Lingerie Resolutions - keep it safe, keep it clean and how to deal with unwanted Christmas underwear!

Lingerie needs security in China

The story of how one Chinese underwear nabber was foiled by the sheer volume of lingerie he’d pilfered might look like a surprising one-off, but we know better! This particular knicker thief, named only as Tan, lives in the Guangxi region. He used a master key to break into neighbouring flats and steal underwear which he then stashed under the acoustic tiles in corridors and stairways in the building he inhabited. Eventually there were so many items in his hoard that a ceiling tile collapsed, strewing underwear sets down a stairway, and leading to the police being involved. The cache was so huge that police officers carried it downstairs and laid it out on the pavement outside the building … more than 2,000 sets of women’s underwear were extracted from the building’s ceiling areas.

The man concerned has admitted that he may have a mental illness and says he cannot recall when his obsession with stealing underwear began. But he’s not an isolated incident. In Hubei a man has been charged with stealing women’s lingerie to wear himself and in Zhejiang province a man was arrested for stealing 17 pairs of women’s knickers in a single day!

Dirty undies taken to a whole new level

Undercover reporters in New Jersey, USA, have been investigating what major stores do with returned underwear. And it’s not nice! The team bought lingerie from Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s Marshalls, Nordstrom, The Gap, Victoria’s Secret and Wal-Mart, then removed all the tags that suggested the garment was unworn and put tiny black dots on the manufacturer’s labels so they could identify items they’d previously purchased. They then returned the garments to the stores. And …

Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, Nordstrom and The Gap made the returned goods vanish - they simply didn't reappear on the shop floor. But at Marshall’s and Victoria’s Secret underwear and swimsuits that had been purchased had new tags put on them and were put straight back on the shop floor. What’s even worse is that the swimsuit had its protective liner removed, making it completely clear that the item was not brand new. Still the Marshall’s staff put it back out for sale. And at Wal-Mart, even though one of the sales team actually questioned whether the underwear should be redisplayed, it was! The companies went on to admit their failings and said they would re-educate their staff.

How to deal with the wrong lingerie!

It’s such a disappointment when we’ve dropped all those hints and yet we get given something … unfortunate, for Christmas. Lingerie in the wrong size, the wrong colour or just inappropriate for our personalities - most women have had experience of this at one time or another. So how do you deal with it? First, don’t drop hints! We got quite explicit with our lingerie lists this year - one of us even bookmarked the Shirley of Hollywood black corset she wanted on her partner’s laptop.

Stuck with something unsuitable, our suggestion is to be honest but tactful and to ask about exchange policies. For example, “Darling, that basque is lovely but it’s just a bit too big/small/shows under my favourite dress - does the retailer have an exchange policy? I’d just love to get something that fits better/
works with the dress you bought me last year/looks right under that low cut top you love so much.”

The truth is that nobody is going to look or feel great underwear that doesn’t fit or feels uncomfortable, and your partner didn’t intend to get you something that doesn’t work for you, so a frank but loving question, followed by a swift exchange of garments, is the best possible result. We have a generous and clear returns policy for this very reason … and it’s one reason our clients come back to us time and again.

But suppose the item isn’t returnable or exchangeable for some reason? One of the team has the best story, although it takes quite a bit of nerve to carry it off. Given a rather scratchy and too tight thong by her then fiancee, and discovering it couldn’t be exchanged, she went out for lunch with him at a posh restaurant. “Guess what I’m wearing,” she whispered to him, and then told him. Just before their desserts arrived, she went to the ladies and when she returned, whispered again … “Guess what I’m not wearing any more…” Sure enough, her thrilled partner guessed she was not sporting the thong and when they got home and he found out for sure that she was naked under her dress, he was so delighted by her naughtiness that her apology, a couple of weeks later, that she must have dropped the thong from her bag after taking it off, more than made up for never seeing the offending garment again!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Winter Solstice lingerie news …

Partnerships to look forward to in 2015

Rita Von Teese and Christian Louboutin - a lingerie link up that we can’t wait to see. The lingerie line, designed by Dita is labelled XXXtian in homage to Christian’s signature Xtian. This is the first time the French shoe designer has entered the lingerie market so it’s going to be an interesting departure for him. Dita’s capsule connection is a seven piece, including bra, suspenders and kimono and the price starts at £68.00 per item.

Wearing your Christmas lingerie like a pro

If you’ve ever watched those lingerie models in TV adverts and wondered how they manage to look so effortlessly sexy, we’ve got some tips to help you wear Christmas present underwear as naturally, and sexily, as they do.

1.    Start with your regular daywear - of course your lover wants to see you in your scanties, but you need to feel comfortable too and that means that you need to choose outwear that you feel happy and confident in. Blouses and stretchy skirts are easy to get in and out of, whilst tight trousers/leggings and huge jumpers can look ungainly as you try to strip them off.
2.    Make a scene - if you’re modelling your Xmas presents at home, set the mood by choosing music, lighting candles (closing the curtains so nobody gets a sneak peek!) and making sure the room is warm and your partner has somewhere to recline and watch you. If you’ve been given a sexy fancy dress outfit, like our super-cute playing doctors dressup set, consider adding a few props to your display, like cocktails served in test tubes or bandages to tie your lover to the bed in a little light bondage scenario.
3.    Don’t drink too much - Dutch courage rarely works the way we want it to. Whilst a single drink can be a great mood booster, more than a couple of tipples will leave you adrift from the moment and, in the worst of scenarios, shaky, clumsy or even throwing up! So keep the rest of the booze till after your little ‘show and tell’ and reward yourself with a second glass once the excitement is over.
4.    Take your time - dress as slowly as you’ll undress, that gives you a chance to experience your new undies for yourself and to get into the right mood to give a lovely experience to your loved one. Listen to your favourite music, take a little time to pamper yourself, and relax.
5.    Have fun - if what you’ve been given doesn’t make you feel good, there’s no need to wear it. You are bound to have something sexy and confidence building in your drawer or cupboard that you can wear and look and feel great in. The point of this experience is for you both to enjoy it and if your new lingerie doesn’t contribute to the mood, dump the gift and go for the tried and trusted garment that delivers. Once New Year’s over you can decide whether to tackle your lover about an exchange of items or just let the undies slip to the back of the drawer …

Lingerie hotel

If you’re thinking of a quick and dirty break between Christmas and New Year, our new fave haunt is Hotel Vice Versa, Paris. Kitted out entirely by lingerie designer Chantal Thomass on the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins (lust, envy, sloth, gluttony, pride, greed or wrath) the rich and elegant interiors are designed to provoke at atmosphere of luxurious thrill-seeking romance… it’s absurdly easy to get sexy in this environment!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Real bodies, realistic lingerie, Lingerie Fashion Week New York … the world’s best underwear stories

Aerie wins with real women

When Aerie, a brand that’s part of the American Eagle family said that it would stop airbrushing its lingerie models’ pictures, it made a bit of a splash. Now the results are in - and they’re very interesting indeed. Whilst American Eagle’s sales decreased overall by 7%, Aerie’s sales rose by 9%. The airbrushing alone wouldn’t have delivered this jump; Aerie lingerie has been sold in the same stores as American Eagles’s other clothing, rather than separately and underwear has generally outperformed other clothing sectors as when money is tight women are happy to spend a little on a nice pair of knickers or a pretty bra but not so happy to spend a lot on an outer garment. Even so, the idea of real women in real undies has served the brand well because it has a practical purpose - the average woman can see how the lingerie will look on their own bodies much more clearly than when looking at a perfect, airbrushed, unreal body.

Lingerie Fashion Week - New York style

And Aerie is also right on trend. The catwalks of the New York City Lingerie Fashion Week (LFWNYC) were thronged with gorgeous underwear worn by gorgeous bodies, both male and female. Some of these bodies were utterly unreal, the bodies of those genetic lottery winners who were somehow born with six packs, perky buns and stunning shoulders.

Others though, were more like the average … and while they might be considered ‘normal’ they looked anything but average in their designer underwear. Lingerie brands run the full range of underwear from wedding lingerie to maternity wear, from men’s sportswear to bespoke corsetry and each of those styles and specialist areas was represented on the catwalk.

Choosing the best underwear for your body

Whilst there are hundreds of guides to choosing the best wedding gown, the perfect little black dress, the ideal winter coat, guides to choosing lingerie are rarer and often less inclusive. We know that, just like LFWNYC, underwear is worn by everybody, male and female, young and old, and of every shape, size and colour.  So here are our tips for choosing underwear if you’re not one of those who ‘won’ the genetic lottery.

   Work for fit, not look. While the way a garment looks is important, the way it feels on your body is more so. If the lingerie is too tight, digs in or feels uncomfortable as you move, then it won’t make you feel good about yourself, no matter how glamorous or sophisticated it looks.
   Use your body type. While willowy women can wear most things, curvier bodied females can benefit from choosing one long-line and one short item; so a plunge bra with a long girdle or suspender belt, or a longline bustier with a pair of side-tie panties or a G-string. This prevents any bunching up of the flesh between two long-line garments and flatters the more voluptuous figure.
   Look your age. Rather than trying to hide your age, use it to your advantage. Sheer fabrics flatter older skins and have a sophistication that younger fabrics like animal prints can’t deliver. For older women, elegant robes in rich colours make a cosmopolitan statement, whilst for the mature gentleman, a thong can be a stunning undergarment, flattering the male torso without creating unattractive crease lines.

   Adapt your underwear. For those with mobility issues or with other physical needs, great lingerie need not be a no-no. Side fastening underwear can be easy to get on and off as well as looking stunning, and both men and women’s underwear comes in side-fastening options - we’d recommend the Pistola by Sensualle as a very raunchy garment for a man, with a straightforward velcro fastening that anybody can utilise. Women with mobility issues often find that babydolls are simple to wear and very sensual in appearance. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Counterfeit knickers, bra revivals, spare underwear and caffeinated pants - our week in lingerie


Halle Berry is reviving a lingerie line that was launched in the 1930s in Paris. The line, called Scandale, is redolent of the history of Parisian women and their intimate apparel. According to Ms Berry, the new line will keep intact all the qualities of Parisian style but ensure that femininity, sexiness and self-empowerment are to the fore because, the actor says, ‘… I have a pulse on what American women want what you put under your clothes is the first step in making yourself feel good about yourself.’

There’s no doubt about that! So what do we think of Halle’s ambitions? Well the first thing is that we’re delighted she’s going to be selling her undies through Target, a very mainstream shop that will ensure the products are within the price range of the average woman, not reserved for the super-rich and ultra skinny.

Second it’s great to know that she understands that women mainly buy underwear mainly for themselves, not to please men, although, ‘when they find something they feel good in, and that makes them feel sexy and feminine and empowered, their partners also reap the benefits.’

If you can’t get to a Target but want to enjoy a feminine, sexy and self-empowering bra set just like the ones Halle has designed, we’d opt for the Gracya Szahira bra set, with its grey on black dentelle lace design and elegant white bow details it has all the style of Paris without the French couture price.

Counterfeit underwear

The owners of Birdies Panties in Kansas were shocked when their stock was confiscated by Homeland Security! The Missouri based underwear retailer had printed a line of women knickers bearing the KC of the Kansas City Royals, a baseball team that had just beaten the mighty San Francisco Giants. However, the Major League Baseball organisation found out about the undies and reported them as counterfeit as Birdies Panties didn’t have a licence to print them.

Coffee in your pants?

Also in the USA, two companies have fallen foul of the law. Norm Thompson Outfitters and Wacol America, marketed some caffeinated underwear, rather like leggings or long johns, that were impregnated with caffeine that should, they claimed, assist ‘fat destruction. The Federal Trade Commission said that the claims were based on inaccurate science and could not deliver on the promise that wears could lose two inches off their hips and an inch of their thighs in a month.

Knickers in a twist?

3,000 women were recently surveyed to fid out what they carried in their handbags. The facts are staggering. First, the average handbag weighs 5.5lbs - more than a cat, and about the same as a small dog! Second, 36% of women carry spare underwear in their bags. Now at that point we’d have had to ask some supplementary questions like:

1.    Are the spare knickers sexy upgrades in case a woman gets lucky or comfy big pants to jump into when the evenings over and they’re heading home?
2.    Do women transport their alternative underwear loud and proud or tuck it away in a little pouch or make up bag?
3.    How many women actually use their spare knickers on a regular basis?

But amazingly, the surveyors didn’t enquire, so we’re left to wonder …? Perhaps we should launch a survey of our own!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Lingerie pillage, word power and pin-up style - a roundup of the best in lingerie …

Underwear transgressions

A New Zealand estate agent has appealed a misconduct case which cost him his job and his licence. What’s this got to do with sexy underwear? Well, he was caught going through the lingerie drawer of a client during an open house called to try and sell their property … not once, but twice.

On the first occasion the man had apparently taken knickers and a brassiere from the drawer and was holding them in his hands - he was asked to leave the room to talk to potential buyers and then, later in the day, returned to the drawer and again took items from it and handled them.

His defence was ‘I looked in the drawer more out of curiosity and intrigue than out of malicious intent’ but the tribunal found his behaviour to be ‘a gross invasion of privacy and a severe breach of trust.’  Now he’s appealing the suspension of his licence for six months saying that he feels his human rights have been abused and his privacy breached … which is quite a claim, from a chap who had his mitts on somebody else’s lingerie!  But there’s an interesting point here - if, like us, you’re building a nice collection of special underwear, and you’ve got people regularly visiting your home, think about just how enticing your lovely undies are and perhaps keep them somewhere a little secluded, to remove the temptation for others to rifle through your lingerie!

Lingerie Exhibition

Zoe Buckman is a feminist artist, and she’s also a fan of hip-hop who’s used her love of the genre to create a groundbreaking exhibition called EVERY CURVE, which links vintage underwear and hip-hop lyrics to highlight the contrasting roles of women as sexual objects, love objects and creative beings.
Her work, which has lyrics from The Notorious B.I.G and Tupak Shakur machine embroidered onto vintage lingerie, makes a fascinating and thought-provoking exhibition, currently on show at the Allen Koppel Gallery in Chicago until 31 October.

Whilst Buckman’s approach is deliberately to challenge preconceptions, the idea of personalising lingerie is one that we’re totally in tune with. Much of the beautiful underwear we sell is already personalised, like the Gilda and Pearl Goddess babydoll* which is made to order, but any item of underwear could be further personalised, for example by adding ribbons, trims, and even personalised items of jewellery to create a completely unique and personal look. If you’re handy with your needle you could even monogram your lingerie or embroider a special message on it, for your loved one’s eyes only!

Lingerie tips for the Pin-Up Look

If vintage underwear and the Pin-Up era are your passion, we’ve got a couple of tips to help you achieve the Pin-Up look.

   Work on your hair. While it’s traditional to have long hair, it’s not essential and a bandana or fascinator can be a great way to ‘vintage up’ a short modern hairstyle. Alternatively there are fantastic vintage wigs that are comfortable to wear. If your hair is long enough, pincurls and Victory rolls are the classic hairstyles.
   Classic make up. The Pin-Up face has flawless pale skin, structured brows, strong lips and natural cheeks. Choose a foundation with medium to high coverage, and as pale a colour as you can wear. A simple natural blush in soft pink (cool toned skin) or soft peach (warm toned skin) should be gently brushed just over the cheekbones. Brows are well shaped and relatively dark … the Scouse brow is too far one way, the Cher tattooed line too far the other! Use an eyebrow pencil to maintain definition, and a really good eyeliner to get a smoky, sultry look. Lips should be soft bubblegum pink or strong red and well defined - use a lip liner and blot the first coat before adding another to get long-lasting colour.

   Underwear. You knew we we’re coming to it, didn’t you! Great glamour comes from the best underpinnings and that means perfect undies for you. Not for anybody else, or for the public gaze, but so that you feel like a star whenever you wear them. From silk stockings to hand-made corsetry, your lingerie should give you the boost that allows you to walk into every room like the star you are.