Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Underwear for photo shoots and drinking at home - May’s amazing lingerie stories!

How to do Finnish drinking in your underwear

Most of us will have tried for some hygge this Christmas - it’s that untranslatable Danish habit of enjoying the simpler pleasures of life and it was a huge meme throughout the festive season. But just recently there’s been a new Scandinavian word on the block - Kalsarikännit. What does it mean? According to the Finns, who created the term, it’s the feeling you have when you’re going to get drunk at home alone in your underwear with no intention of going out. And while we certainly don’t want to encourage solo drinking, we’ve all had the odd occasion when sitting down in our pants with a drink or two has been a very good idea!

There are even a set of emojis that can be used to describe some of the most difficult to translate Finnish emotions, words and customs including kalsarikännit. We love this idea, and thought we’d pick out our top three ‘drinking alone in your underwear’ outfits. So:

   In third place - the Ulla Lima lingerie bra set is a super-cute polka dot bra and panty outfit which is ideal for long movie marathons or cosying up with a favourite book and a couple of lagers.

   In the runner up spot - the Kitty ensemble by Insinuate is a more sultry kalsarikännit option, perhaps for the female sports fan or the woman who’s given to slamming a few shots when she’s home alone. Leopard printed and flirtily tailored, this is just right for a night in with a chilled bottle!

   But our #1 drinking in your underwear outfit is the Lise Charmel douceur fougerepyjama set. Fit for the finest cocktail and comfortable enough for a cosy night at home, this underwear set is the perfect blend of style and substance, whatever your tipple.

Winning photo competitions in somebody else’s underwear!

Then there’s the entrant who won a photo shoot and was then stripped of the prize! The sultry brunette featured in this blog post was a natural winner of the competition, organised by the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk lingerie company in Russia. But when it was revealed that the lucky winner was in fact a 20 year old male student, Andrey Nagorny, who borrowed his girlfriend’s make up and lingerie to enter the contest, they withdrew his prize and gave it to a runner up instead.

It’s a bit of a tricky situation - the organisers didn’t specifically state that women only could enter, and Andrey did enter under an assumed name (Ms Avocado, believe it or not) which could be classed as cheating. However we can’t help feeling that Andrey will be the eventual winner as we’re certain that he - or Ms Avocado - will be offered more photo shoots pretty soon, and probably for a nice fee too!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Lingerie trends, lingerie models, lingerie browsing …

You’d be amazed the things we end up looking at in our search for all things lingerie to bring to our amazing underwear customers!  This month we’ve got high finance, older models and an insight into what women in India are meant to be doing when they are actually buying lingerie online.

First, Yahoo! Finance reports that the global lingerie market has become increasingly significant to the overall apparel market. One of the biggest changes in recent underwear purchasing has been the growth of the bra - which now has the largest market share of all lingerie purchases. And online lingerie sales were the largest underwear selling market in 2015, outstripping traditional high street shops.  Does anybody remember those old lingerie catalogues that used to be sent in a ‘plain brown envelope’? Well the growth of online lingerie sales has turned those vintage publications into collector’s items with a growing market auction market. 

In the same week, the Times of India reports that toys and nappies are the gateway browse for premium lingerie being offered by Amazon India. It turns out that Amazon’s intensive data-mining process has discovered that Indian mothers who’ve gone online to search for toys or nappies end up buying posh underwear! To be honest, we’re not that surprised … while it might come as news to the Times of India, we know just how often women browse online lingerie stores …

One of our favourite stories this spring is that of Mercy Brewer, the fifty-six-year-old model who’s featured in a New Zealand company’s lingerie PR. It’s worth pointing out that Mercy is not a ‘newly discovered’ model, she was already working for the camera when she was in her twenties, but the lovely, natural photos that feature her reveal just how magnificent a woman in her fifties can look, without being airbrushed out of recognition. 

As this has been a month that featured a lot of social media heat about the ‘unreality’ of the images that emerge from lingerie photo-shoots, we thought it would be worth looking in detail at what we can all take away from Mercy’s images:

Less is more - camisoles and bodies worn under jeans, sexy stockings with ordinary skirts or dresses and beautiful bras revealed beneath an off-the-shoulder T-shirt are all fantastic ways to display your underwear to its best advantage. We’d choose the Ulla Carla body to replicate this picture of Mercy, as its subtle colour ways and rich fabric guarantee a stunning photo.
Natural is best - at least when it comes to light. Working with natural light gives photographs an unforced, simple air which often rewards the older model.
Don’t fear colour - but don’t shy away from black and white either! Bold underwear colours can be particularly splendid when worn by an older model, but at the same time, black and white photography is highly flattering and even in monochrome, those bright colours we were talking about will still stand out beautifully against your skin tone. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Lingerie exhibitions, myths and colours of the year

In Shelburne County, Nova Scotia lingerie and other underwear will be taking centre stage at a local exhibition called Underneath It All which will uncover a century of women’s North American underwear from 1860 to 1960. Exhibition curator Allison Burnett is seeking vintage undies for loan or donation that would fill out the collection.

The museum wants bustles, corsets, brassieres, girdles, camisoles, chemises and slips - which sounds exactly like our own wish-list! The deadline for contacting the museum to make a donation is March 15th.

Mythbuster - wearing a bra to bed can help keep breasts perky

Dr Seth Rankin is debunking the claim that keeping your brassiere on when you sleep will stop them sagging, even though it’s claimed that Marilyn Monroe wore one every night and both Mariella Frostrup and Halle Berry swear by it. Actually, we’re puzzled … because didn't Marilyn once famously claim that the only thing she wore in bed was ‘Chanel No 5’?

Anyway Dr Rankin claims that sleeping in a bra will do little to prevent our breasts sagging because when we lie down gravity pushes breast tissue back towards our chests, not down towards our toes. As bras are designed to support the breast from below, it’s pointless once we’re lying down because the breasts will already have moved back towards the chest area. He goes on to say that bra wearing at night might restrict the lymph glands that help to flush toxins from the breasts.

So what’s the alternative? We’d recommend the Seduce Charmeuse babydoll set with adjustable straps which is comfortable in bed and won’t do any of that lymph gland restriction that sounds just horrible.

Colour of the year and whether it’s fit for underwear

One of the best ideas we were given as a New Year’s Resolution was to use the ‘colour of the year’ announcements that several companies make every year to update our wardrobes. So we took a look and we’ve decided we’ve got a hit, and a miss.

Let’s start with the miss: Greenery - lovely shade, great for walls, but really not a great underwear colour. We think it would work for certain redheads and it probably looks great against ebony skin, but for most of us this shade would be tough to pull off.

So what’s the hit? Denim Drift, which Dulux says ‘is a perfect fit to reflect the times we live in, that real desire for simplicity’ and we agree - it’s a gorgeous shade which works for all skin-tones but will be particularly gorgeous for warm honey shades which can often seem washed out by more pastel underwear shades. And it’s easy to get some Denim Drift into your underwear drawer - a great place to start is the Reve Andalou bra slip which has a flattering shape and a semi-sheer effect which is subtle and charming. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Brag it like Beyoncé and what to expect from your new lingerie

When Queen B announced she was expecting twins, the world went a little insane. The photograph of her in powder blue panties and a burgundy bra (and veil) is now the most popular Instagram picture ever with more than 8.5 million likes. The iconography of the photographs relates to Oshun, the Nigerian Goddess who is particularly associated with fertility and twins.

Pregnancy shoots are becoming a really big business - so how do you look your best when pregnant in lingerie? Beyoncé gave us many clues:

Work with colour - deep, rich or vibrant colours are perfect for the blooming nature of a pregnancy photo shoot so pick underwear that will flatter your skin tones and bring a touch of drama to the pictures. We love the sophisticated blues in the Lise Charmel ‘Sonate en Bleu’ bra which is also a pregnancy winner, being beautifully constructed to offer good support.

Don’t be scared of frills - as Beyoncé demonstrated, this is the time to demonstrate your ultra femininity. Ruffled panties enhance your curves and look romantic rather than overtly sexy, so they are a great accessory to the celebration of your womanly fertility.

Flowers everywhere - the flower wall has become ubiquitous since the Kim and Kanye wedding shoot, but there’s no doubt that a mass of flowers provides a stunning effect and in terms of a pregnancy photo also creates the visual association with ‘blooming’ and ‘flowering’ which is so evident in Beyoncé’s picture. If you can’t afford an entire flower wall, or even a floral halo, consider one big vase of bright exotic flowers like Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) or passionflowers, where both the flower and its name create the right association in the viewer’s mind.

Lingerie 2018

The Interfiliere exhibition in Paris just showed us what we can expect to see in lingerie trends next year and its pretty exciting. While athleisure is continuing to influence the way that underwear is constructed, there’s a new tendency to focus on colour and decoration, with contrasting bold embroidery with more ‘urban’ themes than we’ve seen to date. Many wonderful designs featured a contrast of subtle colours with bright ones, particularly to emphasise ‘zoning’ in the design of each garment.

There’s also a lot of development in new fabrics such as Naia which is constructed from wood pulp made from certified sustainably managed forests and bamboo, which is being blended with elastic fabrics to create a stretch fabric that is environmentally friendly. Look out for bamboo and wood pulp knickers which are touted as being more body friendly (less risk of thrush) than artificial fabrics.

Finally, there’s a strong tendency to move towards more sophisticated colour blends such as grey with yellow, navy and grey and green with watermelon pink. These colour-ways are linked to the new shapes, such as asymmetric lace panelling and hems made in technical fabrics to create the illusion movement in underwear that is also supportive - a welcome trend after a period in which garment architecture has been largely static.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Lingerie research and resolutions

January is all about research and resolutions when it comes to lingerie - first up, which students are most likely to be wearing sexy underwear?

As a result of a poll, it turns out that Cambridge University students have the greatest tendency to wear sensual lingerie - with 90% of them having special underwear to wear on a hot date. Interestingly, half of those women always wear this special occasion lingerie when heading out for a first or blind date … so it’s not true that women rush out to buy new undies for a first date, most women hang onto the underwear and change the partner!

The top five universities for lingerie lovers are:


East Anglia

As for sexy lingerie colours - 63% of female Cambridge students say black is best, which red in second place 21% and then black.

In Japan they wear underwear differently

Japanese women have a special phrase for the underwear that you wear to give you a confidence boost on a big day - it’s shoubu shitagi - which means ‘challenge underwear’. In another poll (women seem to have nothing else to do at Christmas than respond to underwear researchers) 32% of Japanese women have shoubu shitagi for dates, and 51% of them have it for days they want extra mental clarity in the workplace. Now this is definitely the opposite way round to the UK where most women choose underwear for dates, not for the office! There’s also a real difference between the two cultures in terms of colour: pink is the most popular colour for hot date underwear in Japan, followed by black and then white, while workplace shoubu shitagi is most popular in black, then pink, then white.

Underwear resolutions for 2017

We've made our own lingerie resolutions and we’d like to share some great underwear ideas with you for the year ahead.

We resolve to:

1.    Wear our best underwear more - whether we’re tucking our corsets under a big slouchy jumper to go for a walk in the country or slipping into our sweetest little panties under a work skirt (shoubu shitagi here we come!) we’re determined to get more use out of our favourite lingerie.
2.    Aim for equality - by buying our menfolk some fab man pants in 2017

3.    Learn our colours - we all have the habit of sticking with what works for us, so we’re going to get brave and try shocking pink, lime green or violet underwear this year. The Dulux colour of the year is Denim Drift, so we’ll be hunting that down for your lingerie drawers too.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Celebs in lingerie - when it’s okay and when it’s not

It is not okay to use Marilyn Monroe to promote your panties

So, who do you think would be the perfect face of a lingerie brand? Did you say Marilyn Monroe? Of course, she’d be in most people’s top three … the sexiest woman in the world in poll after poll after poll. And it turns out that somebody else thinks so to, only we don’t quite know who. The estate of Marilyn Monroe is suing a company called Marilyn Monroe Intimates who’ve been using pictures of the star, plus comments that she made, to endorse their underwear brand which sells lacy panties and control underwear. The brand’s website contains a quotation lifted from Marilyn, “Beauty and femininity are ageless and cannot be contrived, and glamour cannot be manufactured.” We’d definitely agree with that, although the underwear manufacturer clearly thinks that glamour can be manufactured and is doing so without a licence!

It is okay to use Cristiano Ronaldo to talk about the #mannequinchallenge

Why? Because the video was officially posted online is why. So while you admire the washboard abs, let’s talk about why this is a fun way to get your best underwear out of the drawer for Christmas.

 What is the Mannequin Challenge?

It’s yet another viral Internet video trend - although nowhere near as dangerous as ‘planking’ became, nor as chilly as the ice bucket challenge. Basically, people remain frozen in action as if they were shop window dummies, while the video clip is recorded. While many feature the song "Black Beatles" by Rae Sremmurd as background music, others choose a different tune. For example the Russian Army Cadets chose the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

How to enter the mannequin challenge - in your underwear!

Loads of celebs have got in on the act, from Michelle Obama to Victoria Beckham, and we think it’s a fun thing for our www.lingerie.co.uk customers to get involved with to. We have a few tips on how to make a great video:

1.    Wear something that does’t flap or flutter - we favour a corset, as that generally conceals even the breathing, and as you need to stay still for more than a few seconds, anything that is too lightweight or hangs away from the body, like a chemise, might move in the air and damage the effect. For a Christmas lingerie vibe, we think you can’t do better than our gold satin corset top, which has the added bonus of being a perfect party ‘underwear as outerwear’ garment when paired with a sexy black skirt or even black trousers.

2.    Be provocative - introduce your partner to the concept of the challenge and then send them a little video clip of yourself each day … maybe just your toe being slipped into fishnet stockings one day, your hand dangling some play cufflinks on another and so on. Such sizzling clips will make an Advent Calendar that heated the coldest December!

3.    Challenge yourself - browse some online mannequin challenge videos and see what you can come up with for yourself. They don’t have to be in your underwear (although it might be awesome if they were!) but it’s an opportunity to explore your inner waxwork and play around with ideas about yourself, your appearance and your environment that develop a new sense of style or humour in your life.

4.    Practice makes perfect - and it makes fun too. If you have an evening in on your own, why not get sexy with your lover by videoing each other in raunchy postures - but remember to delete the videos when the fun is over as you don’t want those images going viral!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Lingerie experiments, underwear fails and reader query

You can conduct experiments in your underwear!

We loved Ceilidhe Wynn’s blog post about wearing lingerie to bed for a week … it was an amazing and realistic account of what it’s like to be a mum, to be in a long-term relationship, to be not entirely confident about our own bodies - and what happens if we trust ourselves and give our wants, needs and desires a little more space in our lives. What we particularly enjoyed was section, “I was feeling so tired after a full day of momming that I almost said eff this and put  on my favorite old t-shirt on Night Two. But instead, I choose a grey nightie that's silky on the bottom and lacy on the boob area. I used to wear this to bed as a regular pajama for a very short time when I believed that "real adult women" wore sophisticated and classy negliges to bed. But it turns out that sophisticated and classy negliges aren't actually comfortable. As I got into bed, I was feeling so exhausted and I really just wanted to roll over and go to sleep, but because I was wearing lingerie I thought I should put in a bit of an effort and at least talk to the guy. We ended up talking and kissing and cuddling and it led to me feeling less tired and more sexy and suddenly sex didn't seem like such a bad idea anymore; in fact, it seemed like the best idea ever. So, we had ourselves some.”

What a great story!

Don’t trust everything you read about lingerie online 

On the other hand - the story of an online hack who spent three months trying to write fake reviews for an online lingerie retailer is just ghastly. The poor guy had to write about women’s underwear, with which his experience was clearly limited and ended up being constantly told his work was not good enough. While you might ask questions about what caused him to take on work that he must have known was fraudulent and designed to deceive the buying public, it tells us a lot about how ‘stack it high and sell it cheap’ online retailers work. That’s why our team consists of real life people who actually do their jobs for a decent wage and build relationships with each other and with our customers. So if you see underwear described as ‘coruscating’ or having ‘plenitude of room’, remember that it probably means some more student has being writing fake reviews for a few pennies a day.

Reader question - what lingerie is best for tattoos?

This is a great question, which doesn’t have just one answer but we have a few ideas:

1 - mesh underwear like our black ruffle babydoll is always a winner because it allows tattoos to be seen through an elegant sheer fabric, like a veil over a beautiful face.

2 - colour coordination is also cool - so if your tattoo is glowing yellow, pick up that colour in your underwear, as seen in our yellow Charmeuse chemise with sweet side lacing

3 - don’t buy new lingerie until your tattoo is totally healed. It’s best to stick to wearing your old undies while your tat is healing, as there’s always the risk of staining your gorgeous new scanties if you wear them before your tattoo is completely scab free.