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!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Paying it forward, underwear throwing and full spectrum lingerie - a campaigning few weeks in the world of underwear

Bra love

From Australia, heart-warming campaigns by Mummies Paying It Forward. This month they have asked for bras to be donated to the Uplift Project which supplies brassieres to women in disadvantaged communities. The power of social media is fuelling the organisation which has now provided donations and volunteers to no fewer than 16 separate charitable aims. Women use spare time in their day or spare rooms in their homes to store and sort donations. The Sydney based campaign is seeking the following bra sizes:

                       Size 8 to 16 (A-D) in good condition
                       Size 18+ in any condition 
                       Size E+ in any condition 
                       Maternity and mastectomy bras in any condition 
                       Swimwear in good, clean condition.

As one of the volunteers said, Its the little things you dont think about that makes a difference. Of course wed agree, and being able to donate a bra to a woman who isnt in a position to buy her own strikes us as not such a little thing at all.

Underwear protests

The female students at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath found a novel way to protest against a campus dress code - the statues and sculptures in the college grounds were draped in lingerie. The protest was in response to a notice posted around the college asking girls to dress with levels of respectability in mind students are not permitted to wear provocative clothing. One student says girls were asked not to wear sleeveless tops and shorts as they were distracting and could make male students feel uncomfortable.

As a result, the girls protested that the restrictions would limit their own comfort and male students have backed the girls in their call to be allowed to choose their own clothing. Describing it as creative and non-violent methods of protest, they helped dress the statues in bright lingerie. The latest news is that new posters have been put up, stating that the previous dress code has been rescinded. 

Really nude lingerie

In a thought-provoking article, Theresa Avila has rounded up some of the difficult questions being asked of the fashion industry, including lingerie manufacturers. Were really aware that our customers come in every shape, size, colour and of all ages, and try to cater to their needs, but if you cant find it, you cant sell it! So in going the extra distance wed like to highlight our stunning Milk Chocolate Ujena bikini - nude for darker skin tones, beautifully constructed to work for all sizes, and with an elegant coordinating cover-up, the whole ensemble is just perfect for summer.

Friday, 3 July 2015

A lingerie challenge, a lingerie hotlist and how to have the coolest lingerie in the hottest weather!

Jodie Layne (@jodielayne) has a challenge for you! In an article entitled I Wore Sexy Lingerie For A Whole Week And I Think It Changed My Self Image for Bustle, she talks about how wearing her best underwear changed her view of herself on a tough old week. The points she makes are valid ones:

1 - she did it as a challenge, because she wouldnt have opted to wear sexy lingerie except for a reason
2 - she let somebody else have a say in what she wore - not that they picked her outfit for the day, but by being sent a box of lingerie she was presented with new ideas about underwear
3 - the best moments came when she least expected them; through wearing lingerie every day she was surprised by how often she felt more accepting of her body or more happy with her appearance.

So what can we take from this experiment of one? 

   Maybe that we could wear our best underwear more often and more naturally - instead of using it as a strategic statement today is the day Ill feel good about myself we can use beautiful underwear on any day, without forethought, because we should feel better about ourselves.
   Perhaps that getting some input on our underwear choices is a good idea - for example, if you love a particular bra in one colour, why not order it in another too? That way youll be able to explore something that you know already works and you may learn something about your choices. Or maybe find out what this seasons hot colours are and order lingerie in those shades, even if youd never normally wear them.
   Finally, if lovely undergarments make us happier with ourselves, we should probably wear them a lot more!

Best of British lingerie

And then Forbes says that the British are coming! To their list of amazing British lingerie designers wed add our own Jane Woolwich who is quite simply the quintessential British underwear designer. Her work is ultra feminine and flattering but what makes the Jane Woolwich brand so special is the innately intuitive use of colour and fabric which gives her lingerie real wow factor.

Cool underwear for hot babes

Baby its hot outside! If, like us, you're trying to stay cool in the hottest days of the year, here are a few tips that might surprise you:

   If you own cotton undies, put them in the fridge! Yes, that old T-shirt trick really works but only for cotton or cotton and other natural fibre mixes - you can chill down your bra and panties overnight and pull them on the following morning to have a really cool, calm and collected start to the day.
   Cologne sticks are your secret weapon! Granny knew what she was doing and a stick of solid cologne run around three areas of your body will keep you cool and beautifully fragrant. Slide it behind your knees, over your inner wrist and along your hairline at the neck to give yourself an instant temperature drop.
   Baby powder prevents chafing, so if you're going to be wearing an underwire bra, for example, you can apply a small amount of baby powder around your bra line with a blusher brush before putting on your lingerie. It will stop the constriction and rubbing that tight underwear creates in hot weather.
   If you need to wash and dry a special bra in a hurry, use a salad spinner! Its just as quick as a tumble dryer but it wont ruin your special lingerie, nor will it add heat to you, your undies or your environment!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wedding dresses, feathers and having fun in relationships … our week in lingerie

Gown to nightie

Would you cut up your wedding dress? A Mexican lingerie company invited women to do just that. In a commercial aired on Mexican TV, five women discussed how the fun had gone out of their marriages, and the passion had slipped away from their bedroom lives. Then they were asked to bring out their wedding gowns which designers cut up in front of them!

The idea was to turn their once-in-a-lifetime gowns into sexy underwear in one case a shortie nightie but in the other four, a bra and knickers set. Then the women disappeared to put on their new lingerie and the camera recorded their responses, and the responses of their husbands, when they emerged in their new undies.

Well we think thats a bit extreme, personally. A wedding dress is not just about intimacy - its a garment worn on a public occasion, its a record of a very special day and, for many women, its an heirloom that they set aside in the hope that a daughter or granddaughter might one day want to wear it, or at least, adapt it for their own special day.

Goose feathers to lingerie

La Perlas evolution from mid-range underwear to haute couture continues. Their latest show in Paris included a goose-feather bra and sleeveless hoodie - and the bra alone retails at just over £1,500!

To be fair, each single feather is hand-coloured and hand sewn into place on a brassiere that is constructed to the buyers exact measurements. The work is done at La Perlas Bologna factory by trained seamstresses who specialise in lingerie construction. Oh, and if you want to hoodie too, thats a further £8,000 thank you very much!

So we decided we’d combine this week’s top lingerie stories with a suggestion of our own. If the life has gone out of your relationship, there’s no need to cut up your wedding dress. If you fancy some feathers in your lingerie drawer, there’s no need to fork out £1,500. Let bring these two concerns together in the BijouxIndiscrets sexy set: leather nipple pasties, a pearl waistband, a sensual candle and a feather boa … just the thing to re-ignite your bedroom life, and at a considerably cheaper price! And we aim to send out your order the following day, no hanging around for seamstresses to hand sew each feather …