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 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!