Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Theft and bare-faced cheek - this week’s most dramatic lingerie stories

Top shoplifts of 2014 - undies!

The Global Retail Theft Barometer has produced a shocking report about shoplifters in the UK. It turns out that shoplifting increased by 3% last year, and the total value of stolen goods over the year is reckoned to be around £800 million. That’s a lot of pilfering! The thing that makes it all so interesting is that petty theft from retailers has become a middle class hobby with the top ‘theftables’ including lingerie, wine, sunglasses and prosciutto ham.

You’ve probably noticed supermarkets security tagging large pieces of meat such as sides of beef and salmon but they are struggling to keep pace with the disappearance of such items as Manuka honey, stockings and video games - items that are much more the preserve of the middle classes than the starving poor who supposedly steal to feed their families.

Much of what is going on is the result of stealing to obtain Christmas presents that maintain the living standards that a family has previously had and means that the the ‘shopping list’ for shoplifters trying to please the women in their lives includes underwear and shoes, perfumes and purses.

How to wear your underwear as outerwear

So if you do receive lingerie for Christmas, how do you get the most out of this luxurious gift?  Well if you emulate Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Ellie Goulding and even Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss, you can wear your gorgeous underwear out in public.

Slips and teddies as day wear

Rihanna has one way of doing this - she wears a chemise with Converse trainers and a denim jacket and it looks just right. If that seems too exposed to you, there’s another way to parade your silk slip during the day - slide it over a long-sleeved T-shirt and pop a pair of thick tights underneath then finish the look with ankle boots and a blazer. The overall effect is cute without being too sexy.

Lace bra to evening wear

If you’ve got the blazer that worked so well to cover up a teddy, you can create another stylish lingerie as outerwear look with its help. Lacy bras, particularly those with contrast lace, can make a gorgeous evening top if you wear them under a blazer that you’ve buttoned up until just a small amount of the bra shows, then loop a chiffon scarf around your neck and pin it to one of the lapels with a pretty brooch. This approach gives a range of focal points: brooch, scarf, bra that are all feminine and the combination ensures that you don’t look slutty, just mysteriously womanly! This is definitely not office-wear but it’s perfect for drinks with your partner or a romantic dinner.

Corsets and bustiers

Traditionally a gown has an inset corset to give the figure shape, but it’s very easy to make a corset into a beautiful evening dress. Choose a satin corset with a vibrant colour such as red, purple or blue and then find a long skirt to wear with it - our favourite options include wearing a wrap-around piece of sari fabric in similarly rich shades or opting for a black circular skirt with a net petticoat in the same hue as the corset. Our emerald green pleated bust corset is ideal for this approach as it works with all skin tones and is elegant enough to act as a cocktail dress. High heels and a bolero or cropped jacket will complete the look, as will a high up-do if you have long hair. It’s a dramatic and ultra-womanly look that particularly suits mature women who are confident about their sexuality.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Halloween tricks, bra secrets and David Cameron’s underwear - a week of surprises in lingerie

Dressing for Halloween

If you’re planning a Halloween costume but feeling self-conscious about the amount of flesh on display - don’t despair. It’s certainly true that many Halloween outfits have become skimpier and skimpier and more and more revealing as the years go on, but you can still rock the Halloween lingerie look with our tips and tricks:

   Focus on the face - there are some astonishing looks that you can create with Halloween makeup. Brit+ Co have pulled together a wonderful set of ideas that you can play with and by ensuring you have a dramatic face, people will focus on your makeup artistry and not your costume. Not good with makeup, no matter … the next tip is for you

   Cover up with class - opt for some long gloves, patterned tights or stockings, a vibrant mask and then you can cover up your basic look with a long cape or even a black coat, because your accessories create points of focus that make it clear you’re in costume without you having to bare too much body

   Wig your way through - a great wig will always draw attention to your face and head, not your bod. Neon wigs are fantastic but don’t stop there - embellish your wig with a few focus points such as large fake spiders, tiny vampire bats or even rubber rats weaving in and out of your tresses - you’ll look fantastic and yet you won’t be over-exposed.

The way you put on your bra tells us everything about you

A body language expert claims that there are four personality types revealed by the way we do everyday tasks such as putting on underwear:

1.    If you wear a back fastening bra and you put it on then fasten it with your hands behind you, you’re a supporter - you like to stick to what you know and you generally get on with people pretty well
2.    If you put your back fastening bra on with the fastening at the front, then swivel it round and slide your arms through the straps, you're an influencer - you like to be appreciated and you take pleasure in making statements or experiencing new situations
3.    You opt for front fastening bras? You’re a driver - you are super efficient and make good decisions, but you don’t hang around.
4.    If you fasten your bra and then slide it over your head with the clasp or hooks and eyes already fastened you’re a corrector - a personality type that likes to do things exactly right and don’t feel the need for frills or fusses.

The Prime Ministerial underwear …

It turns out that the Camerons had a gift from Michelle Mone, CEO of Ultimo lingerie brand. In August 2014, a bunch of her merchandise arrived at Downing Street. Was it for Samantha … or Dave? Sadly we’ll never know, because gifts of over £140 in value must be declared and are then held by the Cabinet Office, so the sexy undies (whoever they were meant for) never made it to the bodies in question!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Cate Blanchett’s scanties, the lingerie sales problem in Saudi and how to pick Halloween lingerie

 Cate Blanchetts shameful underwear

According to Cate Blanchett, her underwear doesnt match up to the designer gowns she wears at film premieres. What she claims is that [people] would be horrified if they could see my underwear drawer and she goes on to say that the only reason she does photo-shoots is to get more underpants. Wow!

First, we cant remember the last time anybody called womens panties underpants - knickers, pants, undies, bottoms and scanties yes, but underpants - straight out of a 1950s boarding school novel. Second, Cate goes on to say that shes still wearing lingerie her mother made for her when she was in high school and we can certainly get behind that - theres something very special about handmade underwear that makes it both durable and comfortable but thats not the only reason it lasts so long. We also think that when weve got made-to-order lingerie like our Jane Woolrich range, we tend to treat it better by washing it more carefully and storing it with more love, which makes it last much longer.

Saudi undies at risk

Then again, theres a genuine problem with underwear in Saudi Arabia - changes in legislation that required Saudi fashion and lingerie boutiques to employ only Saudi females have led to around 40% of those shops closing, according to one report. Owners of underwear shops have called on the Ministry of Labour to change the rules because Saudi women are said to fail to turn up to work for weeks on end and to quit jobs without notice.

On the other hand, the Ministry suggests that the failure to provide staff rooms that are female only, and the lack of provision of toilets for women are contributing to the problem. We can definitely see that having no female only toilets would cause women to give up work!

Choosing lingerie for Halloween

Maybe you're aiming to dress up and go full out as a Halloween witch, vampire or some other sexy spectre - if so, good for you! On the other hand, many of us are still quite reserved about Halloween, or consider it to be a celebration for kids rather than adults - were equally comfortable with that approach. One thing we would like to urge though, is the opportunity to view Halloween as a chance to try some lingerie shades that might not normally strike you as your first choice, such as orange.

The hue of pumpkins is rarely considered to be particularly sexy in the west, although as Persimmon its a highly popular shade in South East Asia in particular. Wed like you to reconsider this particular colour as part of your lingerie palette. The harvest orange shades of the Lise Charmel Vibration Sutracamisole make it work for every skin tone and the beautiful bias cut of the design and the gold embroidery give it an autumn richness that could the Night of the Dead into an evening thats very lively indeed!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Celebrating our similarities - a week of wonderful lingerie stories

 Women with a difference

A collection of women with Crohns disease have stepped up to appear in their own lingerie calendar - their purpose is twofold; to raise funds for the charity Purple Wings, which supports those with bowel disease and to demonstrate that stoma bags can be sexy too.

Every one of the group has had surgery to remove a part of their intestines, which means they require ileostomy bags to manage the function of the missing parts. For a lot of women this can prove challenging - whether its Crohns disease, cancer or any number of other causes that have led to needing ileostomy bag or a colostomy bag - learning to redefine sexiness with a bag can be tough. But not impossible. We think the calendar is utterly beautiful, and we love the idea of celebrating the whole range of our bodies and our sexuality, however we are shaped, placed, built or altered by life.

As the women in the calendar say, very few people know whether another person has an ileostomy bag, but in an intimate relationship its impossible to conceal the fact. Lauren Henderson who appears as Miss November, said, Its so hard trying to get the message out that these women are still beautiful. I'm so proud. It's epic. I really can't put it into words.

Underwear with a difference

If you, or somebody you love, is adjusting to life with a bag, of either kind, you can rest assured that the team at works hard to ensure that our lingerie collection works for everybody, not just perfect bodies. Weve got a particular suggestion for those trying to find sexy lingerie that works with a ileostomy bag, its our Roza Genesis shorty briefs! Beautifully constructed with an elegant V shaped net insert at the rear, this briefs comfortably accommodate a bag and also look stunning.

Recycling with a difference

In a fascinating story in Plastic News the link between the underwear worn by Muslim women in the staidest part of Egypt, plastics recycling and the entrepreneurial nature of Chinese business-people has been stunningly unravelled.

Upper Egypt is home to some of the most conservative Muslims in the world, and the racy lingerie worn under the womens concealing garments is sold to them by a syndicate of Chinese merchants who barely speak the local language. One Chinese couple who were creating a small lingerie business in the region became aware of the amount of plastic in the landfill around the city of Asyut and they imported a PET bottle recycling plant from their home in Jiangsu, China. The ground plastic is sold to a Chinese group in Cairo which makes them into polyester thread which is then used by garment manufacturers who make lingerie that is sold back to the Chinese entrepreneurs who sell it in Egypt. How cool is that!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Hot, curvy and pink - a week of lingerie from

Hot news this week is that curvy is missing. As singer Meghan Trainor has it, Bringing Booty Back hasn't made it to Septembers issue of American vogue! Criticism of the autumn issue of Vogue, often seen as the trend-setting issue for the whole year ahead, relates to the fact that in the 832 pages of the publication there are plus sized models on only two pages. Those two pages arent even editorial, they are a paid for advert from a mysterious organisation called which has an, as yet unpublished, website.

Vogue USA under the lingerie microscope

The advert itself shows six plus sized women in lingerie and stilettos, but they are in silhouette and theres a countdown to the date 14 September 2015 with the strapline Its time for change …’ Overall the approach seems to related to Lane Bryant, a lingerie retailer that has attacked Victorias Secret for their perfect body campaign by promoting their own versions of attractiveness under the hashtag #Imnoangel in which they showed women of many different body types posing in lingerie to show that you dont have to be perfect to be gorgeous. Were all in favour of that!

But theres a bigger question about magazines like Vogue, which have taken to using older models quite regularly, simply because the silver market is worth competing for, and that question is - are they simply sticking to featuring skinny perfect bodies because they believe many women will still strive to achieve the size 10 or thigh gap that they think will lead to fulfilment? It was all too common for magazines to only have pubescent or even pre-pubescent models at one time, because all women were encouraged to aspire to eternal youth, now are we being asked to aspire to impossible slimness instead?

Talking about eternal youth and underwear

We were charmed to see Lisa Snowdon in her latest undies! Aged 43, Lisa, who is a successful TV presenter and radio host, revealed just how good she looks in lingerie. Perhaps its no surprise that  the presenter of Britain's Next Top Model between 2006 until 2009 is in great shape, but the wonderful thing about Lisas glamour shoot for the Triumph brand is that shes no skinny wraith, she looks like an ample, beautifully proportioned mature woman, which is what she is.

We also love the bright pink - wed call it fuchsia - bra and pants set that shes debuted. While many women think that strong lingerie colours might be difficult to wear, we consider that fuchsia and cerise work for almost everyone. Other colours that just about every woman could comfortably fit into their lingerie drawers include royal blue and a proper emerald green. It is true though that bold underwear takes a little more work. So, taking our Reve de Luxe bra in pink as an example, wed recommend that any woman aiming to work this hot pink number would probably benefit from:

1.    Finding a strong lipstick to offset the rich lingerie shade
2.    Plan special hair - either a full tousled bed hair look or something sleek and sophisticated
3.    Accessorise with care - dainty necklaces and tiny earrings wont cut it with such a glowing underwear collection - instead consider chunky bangles, a risqué anklet or even a velvet choker or a fascinator something to really rock your undies!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Stars, bras and lingerie movers - August’s big stories in lingerie

Stephanie Davis and that tattoo

So after Stephanie Davis was unexpectedly and unceremoniously sacked from Hollyoaks, shes taken no time at all to launch her next career. Apparently she wants to emulate Kylie Minogue by writing and performing her own songs, but shes started in the traditional fashion, but stripping down to her undies for a lingerie shoot for Zoo magazine.

Its an absolutely classic approach, a front clasp black bra and suspender set, super high black stilettos and sexy big hair. Whats quite novel is her new tattoo - a chest mandala that spans the whole of her upper abdomen, just below the bra line. 22 year old Stephanie, whos been a Hollyoaks stalwart since she was sixteen years old, speaks in the article about how tired she became working on the soap six days a week, and how she eventually just walked the producers told me if I didn't come back they'd have no option but to terminate my contract, but that it was my choice.

The rumours swirling around her are that she got so drunk she couldnt stand up, and after telling the production company she was too sick to film an episode, went back out and drank some more. Stephanies version is a bit different, The drunken thing was there for people to believe if they wanted to but I know people in the industry know me for what I really am.

Top selling bra at a bargain price!

And my, oh my, do we have a deal for you! If youve fallen in love with that black satin balconette bra that Stephanie is wearing then you wont believe your luck because we have a virtually identical sexy little number for a complete steal of a price! The Vikki black satin bra by Insinuate is so cheap you can probably afford a bottle of wine too although you might not want to invite Stephanie round to share it, if those rumours are true!

Marks & Spencer and that shake up

Since the beginning of this month, beleaguered high street underwear retailer M&S has taken another pounding. At one point the share price dropped 2% overnight, because of yet another reorganisation of personnel. Womenswear head, Frances Russell, has departed, and Jo Jenkins has stepped up. Jo Jenkins was previously the lingerie director but now has a portfolio covering womenswear, lingerie and beauty. Hard on the heels of the departure of John Dixon, this little shake up is rattling the investors badly. Why? Well Steve Rowe, who took over general merchandise when Dixon left, appears to have decided to pull all the female product areas under one director. Previously this has been separated to ensure that the perennial M&S woman who buys not only her scanties but her husbands pants in the store, is not in any way subject to the vagaries of the fashion market. Well well see!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Lusciously large, Life Peer and Losing Out … a week of lingerie surprises

Large women model for empowering photographs

Brazilian photographer (that is, shes from Brazil, not a photographer of Brazilian trims!) Mariana Godoy has a new project thats been winning attention in the international media. Her portfolio entitled Empoderarte Me, which roughly translates as empowering myself features five self-proclaimed fat women. The aim of the project is to remove any stigma associated with the word fat and the photographs are a loving and lively series of portraits of semi-clad and topless women who are clearly very much at home with their bodies. Some of the women have chosen to write slogans on their bodies in Portuguese such as My Body My Rules and Fat and Healthy.

Interestingly, Godoy sheds a sidelight on the project that might not be instantly recognisable to us. She commented that whilst curvy brunettes are the dominant body type in Brazil, its slim blondes who are seen as the epitome of attractiveness. Now, while many larger women have experienced the negative response to their size that comes from a narrow view of physical perfection, the surprisingly strong blonde standard that operates through much of Central and South America often passes under the radar. In linking the two attributes of slim and blonde to reveal the unrealistic demands made on many women in the name of beauty, Godoy explicitly shows us that such standards are based on media representations of women rather than on a realistic view of womens bodies.

When she began to post photographs on social media of the project, Godoy was impressed by the amount of interest and support she received for the work which has inspired her to continue.

Michelle Mone, Ultimo Founder, will be a Tory Peer

Lingerie boss, Michelle Mone is going to become a Tory peer! Apparently she received the news of her potential life peerage from David Cameron himself in a phone call. The elevation is thought to be in part due to her strongly declared support for maintaining the England/Scotland Union in the Referendum debate. Michelle left school at 15, was pregnant at 19, and founded her international lingerie empire from scratch, essentially at her kitchen table.

Business predictions say that Victorias Secret may lose market share

A couple of business gurus have suggested that Victorias Secret, which has a massive 35% of US market share, might be going to lose a considerable proportion of that share simply because of the way it refuses to carry plus-sized lingerie in its lines.

The claim is based on market research that suggests that in the next half-decade plus size womens underwear will be a $9 billion income generator - and Victorias Secret will not have any of that share.  Several top lingerie brands offer up to size 28, and a couple of high profile campaigns have attempted to get Victorias Secret to carry larger sizes, including online petitions requesting bigger clothing and feedback on marketing campaigns such as The Perfect Body which has been criticised as denying women with less than perfect bodies the right to legitimacy.

Given that the USA has more than 100 million plus sized female consumers, its going to be interesting to see how Victorias Secret deals with this increasing public awareness. While were on the subject, if you want to see what stunning plus-size lingerie looks like, our ribboned babydoll comes in the gorgeously named queen size and is utterly, utterly sexy - empowering myself indeed!