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 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.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

November is the month for firecracker lingerie

November is the month to up your game when it comes to undies - the summer’s definitely over and it can feel like the fun is done too, but this is the perfect opportunity to explore some lusher lingerie than would be entirely summer comfortable.

Bustiers beneath wool jumpers and richly textured stockings to give your winter boots a bit of va va voom are only the beginning. There’s no reason to keep your boudoir gloves for the bedroom - we’ve found there’s a delicious frisson to be gained from bringing satin gloves into the workplace, and if we know that those gloves are much more than a way of keeping hands warm, they are also a way of getting the bedroom HOT, then that’s all the better on an otherwise grey November day.

A laugh at day keeps the lingerie blues at bay

We also think that November is a good time to be laughing at lingerie and this month we got an alternative view of underwear from an Indian male. Even though we’re big fans of Bollywood we didn’t get all the jokes in Vamsidhar Bhogaraju’s stand-uproutine about lingerie sales in India - we got enough of them to decide this video is probably NSFW though!

Tomboy lingerie for autumn

And while we’re exploring alternative views of underwear, we were very taken with Zara Barrie’s exploration of tomboy style lingerie. We will be honest, we hadn’t thought about wearing braces (or suspenders as they say in the USA) braless … that really takes some body confidence! However a quick honesty poll of the office revealed that more than one of us has taken the alternative garter route. A couple of our favourite stories:

   “I took the laces out of my husband’s favourite trainers and tied them around my lacy hold-ups. He found that really sexy!”
   “When my OH had been away on a business trip to Hong Kong, I greeted him at the door in a sexy short kimono with fortune cookies tucked under my suspender straps. It was the best home-coming ever.”

And tomboy shorts are definitely a November must have. We stock a wide range of boy shorts from the super-naughty crotchless variety through to the super comfortable Alua by wolbar - which they describe as underwear that you won’t know you’re wearing. We can vouch for that; Alua is so lightweight and superbly well designed that it’s difficult to feel you’re wearing anything at all.

We hope you’ll have found our round-up of firework lingerie has lit a little bonfire in your heart … and remember, we’re here 24/7 to make your November less glum and more glam!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Online lingerie shopping & Halloween Lingerie

Online lingerie shopping

While Huff Post has an article on buying underwear in your 50s and 60s, where the author says, “I feel invisible when I walk into one of America’s most famous lingerie chains. I don’t exist as a customer.” we’d say that online lingerie shopping was invented for just such circumstances! That’s why we work so hard to describe our online underwear as clearly as possible, so all our shoppers can find just what they’re looking for, because nobody’s invisible to us!

Halloween lingerie

Halloween is upon us, and so is sexy, scary, lingerie! If you’ve already got your Trick or Treating costume picked out, and feel confident about what you’re going to wear to your Halloween party, we have an extra suggestion - get into Halloween underwear!

This is an entirely grown-up activity, not mean for anybody but your lover to observe and as such you can afford to push the boundaries of your relationship. Let’s look at some obvious choices:


Dressing up as a witch is easy enough, but rather than going for the old hag, or even Maleficent, strike out into true witch territory - something like a sheer gown (Black Illusion is perfect for witchery) with long gloves and high heeled boots allows you, and your partner, to explore your inner power. Allow your hidden dominatrix to emerge and give your partner commands as if you’ve got him, or her, under your spell!


The two things that everybody knows about the Devil are (a) he has all the best tunes and (b) he makes deals for souls. A rich red body stocking gives you the winning hand when it comes to making a deal with your lover - offer kisses and caresses in return for them doing something for you, and have a list of rewards they can earn. So, if they agree to perform a striptease, you do something sexy for them in return Ramp up your rockin’ tunes and start the action!

Zombie King

Oh yes, if you really want to find out who and what you are, Halloween is the perfect time to swap roles and try out other genders. Zombie King is a fantastic bedroom role play as it puts all the power in the hands of the woman who’s dressed up as the man. Buy some pale foundation and make yourself up to look half-dead, in the sexiest possible way! For an adult costume ee favour a black suit with pasties and a pair of men’s underwear underneath. Strengthening your imagination by wearing the underwear of the opposite sex can give you a whole new perspective on your love life.

The whole point of designing a costume rather than buying one is you get to explore what you think is sexy, who you want to be and who you’d like your partner to be, just for this one night when everything is possible!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Lingerie displays past and present

There’s something very special about lingerie - and we’re not the only ones to think so. One lingerie store in Abingdon is sharing its history with the whole town. A display at the County Hall Museum will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the shop which was originally opened in 1936 and has undergone four different ones and a change of location.

The exhibition will include pieces of lingerie dating back to the Victorian era, old underwear advertisements and show how the history of lingerie, nightwear and corsetry has changed over eight decades. The special show runs until September 15.

Lingerie as outer-wear … or not?

Business Insider UK has been consolidating responses to a recent Victoria’s Secret campaign in which models appeared to be wearing lingerie as daywear. In one a model wears a slip like a dress, along with a handbag over her arm. Commentary on the campaign has been quietly ironic through to outright outraged. One person wrote ‘You're off your rocker Victoria's Secret’ while another said ‘Stop it, Victoria's Secret. I love your brand, but your advertising is ridiculous!’ and a third claimed that the advertising must be the brainchild of a man. ‘This must be a man's idea in your leadership team. What's next, walking around in our panties?’ Finally, responding to a picture under the heading ‘The (un)dress code’ showing a model in a burgundy bustier under a coat, one clearly sardonic commentator labelled the look, ’How to get fired,' by Victoria’s Secret.

So what’s our view? Well women have been increasingly wearing lingerie as daywear, especially showing stylish camisoles as streetwear, and that’s likely to be a trend that remains, But for us, one of the joys of underwear is that you can NSFW something into the workplace that you’d never get away with if it wasn’t covered up by your serious workwear or standard uniform.

Our current fave ‘undercover lingerie’ picks for autumn are

1.    The rich red Antinea camisole by Lise Charmel - under a dark top, this lush lingerie gives you a sense of utter abandoned luxury
2.    Gothic elegance as provided by our black mesh and scroll corset - this is such a joy because you can wear it under almost anything and know that your nipped in waist and alluring curves give no hint of the romantic corsetry beneath
3.    Stunningly sexy (and surprisingly comfy) Roza Genizes shorty briefs - even under jeans, these lovely lacy briefs  bring a sense of grown-up joy in the most laid-back situation.

So if you’re in the autumn slump and wondering how to get over the end-of-summer blues, we’d recommend investing in something lovely in lingerie that can give you endless pleasure in the working day. It makes it almost worth putting away your bikini, exfoliating away your tan, and accepting the lure of winter clothing. 

Glamour, power and outrageous panties - October opens with lingerie sizzlers

Underwear that’s not safe to hang out?

It may depend on how old you are. An anonymous (and poorly educated) neighbour has taken a pair of Rosamund Perrin's knickers of her rotary dryer and posted them back through the letterbox with a note reading, It is total inapropiate (sic) for this type of garment to be displayed opposite the village primary school. There are member of this community that would welcome a halting of this.

Ros is 65 and a grandmother, but her chic scanties (black frills with a small white bow, very much like our Coquette retro ruffle shorts) might be expected to belong to a much younger woman which might be one reason that the prude took action. Whatever the motivation, when Ros’s daughter posted the ill-spelt note online, with a picture of the knickers, she received overwhelming support for the idea that women should wear, and hang out, whatever underwear they fancy. As one neighbour put it, Such scandalous behaviour: wearing knickers, washing knickers and then drying knickers on the line! Tut tut. Best go knickerless maybe?” Whilst another resident of the Devon village has been inspired to verse:

Roz hung out a line of her frillies,
But a neighbour had a touch of the sillies,
To complain about knickers,
Quite clearly not the vicar’s,
Twas enough to give a lady the willies.

Of course we’re totally in favour of women wearing whatever they fancy, and hanging it out in public too!

Making a business out of underwear

Elle Macpherson has always been a fan of underwear and she had a 25 year association with Bendon, for whom she designed lingerie under licence. This year she’s launched a new bra and briefs business called Elle Macpherson Body with a friend and business partner Simon De Winter. Elle’s comments on setting up an underwear business are true for all women, which is why we thought they were worth sharing. “I find it incredibly fulfilling to be a co-partner and co-owner in a joint ventures …” she said. "You have to find your co-dreamers. People that understand your vision, share your vision and help bring it to life. I believe in co-operation, I believe in collaboration and I believe in commitment. In any partnership those values are really important. Having great advisers is important but more than anything, having people that are equally inspired by what you're doing is key.”

That’s as true when hanging our your washing as when setting up a business empire - being able to rely upon people who share your point of view and believe is you is crucial, which is one reason that we believe our online lingerie shop is more than just a place to buy underwear, we aim to be a resource for empowered women of every age and size, for men who like to wear underwear with a little pizazz, and for every couple, of every configuration, to have a place to browse lingerie without pressure.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

September in lingerie

We’re thrilled to see Naomi Campbell back in lingerie for her new photo-shoot, and even more thrilled that she’s 46 years old and looking fantastic! It’s her 30th year working as a model which makes her career one of the longest in an extremely competitive and unforgiving industry. The shoot, with famous cameraman Mario Testino, reveals Naomi’s intense body confidence and perhaps a sunnier side to the notoriously short-tempered beauty that we often see. 

Her bra and pants set picks up on the athleisure theme that has become all-embracing in the past year. The combination of comfort, performance and style is every modern lingerie brand’s current grail, and we have our own curated selection of underwear that meets those criteria. Closest to Naomi’s white two piece underwear is the Ulla Dessous Kate Lingerie Bra - beautifully constructed lingerie in jet black or gleaming white, with a wired or non-wired bra to suit your needs, and superbly well-fitting pants that are a delight to wear.

Lingerie thief sentenced

Do you remember the Singaporean man who was caught having stolen over a hundred items of underwear? We wrote about him many months ago. It turns out that he has been sentenced to a year of psychiatric treatment.His obsession with women’s underwear had begun about a year ago and when the police raided his home they found 55 bras and 51 pairs of knickers. It’s an interesting questions whether the theft or the lingerie he stole provided him with the thrill he sought, perhaps it was both. Stealing women’s underwear has long been a fetish for both men and women, although women are almost never prosecuted for it.

This month’s storm in a bra cup

DIM, a French underwear brand, got the Twitter treatment when a mum discovered they were marketing a bra for 12 year olds (70a - the smallest size possible in France) that wanted to ‘erase imperfections’ and ‘smooth out the shape’. Women from all over France and the wider world took to social media to suggest that body shaming a twelve-year-old was a pretty poor performance for a brand that claimed it wanted to ‘support’ women. DIM has clarified that they meant the padded bra would smooth out clothing and remove wrinkles and folds … sounds pretty weak to us! 

It’s a good point, because the one thing we notice is all over the media is bust size. From the lingerie manufacturer who made men wear size E cup bras filled with the same weight as an E cup breast, through to Naomi Campbell’s lissom form, the size, shape, colour and conformation of women’s breasts seems to be a constant preoccupation.  We’re not entirely sure which makes us most uncomfortable, the idea of men being strapped into bras as though it’s some kind of punishment or the suggestion that a twelve year old’s breasts are already not good enough for the wider world. Women and their breasts should be allowed to find their own path - braless, underwired, athleisure or however else suits them.