Thursday, 4 August 2016

Does lingerie increase confidence? Should women wearing mastectomy bras pay tax? What shape should lingerie models be? We answer the burning questions in underwear!

Does lingerie increase confidence?


In short - yes! With a bit more detail, we’d accept that an anecdotal study containing just two people is by no means conclusive, but it’s definitely interesting. HuffPost sent two of its staffers off to try the effects of expensive underwear on their psyches and the results were what we could have predicted. Yes, lovely underwear costs a little more and yes, it makes us feel wonderful. What we wouldn’t necessarily have recognised though, is that both the women who took part in the experiment had quite fixed ideas on what they would wear and what would work for them - and those ideas were completely overturned by trying something new!

The effect of lingerie as a life-changing experience is often underrated - we know, because of the letters and emails we receive - that women find their esteem enhanced, their body confidence increased and their zest for living magnified when they invest in something that is for them, chosen by them, and ultimately - their own personal statement about who they are and who they wish to become.

Should women wearing mastectomy bras pay tax?


In short - no! A recently ruling by the Supreme Court has granted women wearing mastectomy bras the right to buy without paying European customs duty. The case was brought by a specialist bra company which said that its mastectomy bras, specifically created to help women who've had surgery to their breasts, are not normal lingerie and therefore should be exempt from tax. They lost in the Court of Appeal but won this week in the Supreme Court. The argument - that the bra which is despited to offer prosthetic breast support, should function as an artificial body part, not as lingerie. Five Supreme Court judges agreed … a victory for women!

What shape should lingerie models be?


BusinessInsider Australia comments on how Victoria’s Secret is ignoring the growing trend to offer a diverse range of body types, shapes and sizes in lingerie adverts. There is no doubt that VS models are all of a certain type, and it’s not the type that is widely represented in the real world. For example, the average height of a VS angel is 5’ 10”. The average height of British women is 5’ 4”. That six inch difference is massive, because to reach a VS angel height, you need to have a very specific body type - ectomorph, which around on 5% of the female population naturally falls into. So, is it okay to advertise underwear with bodies that 95% of women will never obtain?


We think the question is wrongly phrased - it doesn’t really matter how anybody advertises anything as long as the people seeing those adverts know how realistic (or otherwise) the models are. And we hope the age of women feeling pressured to conform to a certain body type is over. Here’s our evidence, Serena Williams, definitely not an ectomorph, posted a selfie in a white bra and it went viral … women, and men, are capable of recognising that Serena no more represents the average women than a Victoria’s Secret lingerie model does, but that doesn’t stop anybody appreciating both body types for their inherent beauty and charm. Loving Serena’s bra? Us too - why not try the Roza Carmen bra from our online lingerie store - it’s perfect for selfies and self-confidence!


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Summer lingerie - the silly season stories you couldn’t make up!

Theft of underwear


In Tennessee a man has been arrested for stealing lingerie. Nothing unusual in that, you may think, but the man, Christopher Wade, didn’t make off with a couple of thongs or slip some stockings into his back pocket - no, he was ambitious!

One night, just after midnight, he walked into a lingerie shop in Old Hickory and made off with an entire mannequin! In fact he failed to get the whole dummy into his truck, knocking her left arm off in the parking lot. When police tracked him to his home, Mr Wade was found to be in bed with the mannequin which was still wearing the lingerie he’d stolen it in. The dummy and underwear together are worth an estimated $5,000.

What boggled our minds there, amongst other things, is that lingerie stores are open until after midnight on a Sunday in Tennessee!

Bra sizes in animals


This really is a story that you couldn’t make up … a Japanese lingerie firm has decided to help its clients work out which bra cup size they require by creating a poster that reveals which animals weigh the same as breasts.



Yes, breast equivalence in animals. What’s most puzzling about the chart, to us, is that there is a clear sense in which the company believes A and B cup customers will be happy, as shown by smiling women with chipmunks and cockatiels as their breast weight equivalents while C to F cup sized women have downturned mouths … poor old F cup is also being half smothered by a giant Persian kitten, which might explain her miserable expression. It’s just bizarre.

Summer underwear trends - the not so silly season 

TickerTags is a clever monitoring system that follows tag trends such as treats and social media captions. And it’s produced some interesting data about how our lingerie trends are changing. So, for example, push-up bra mentions are down 35% while bralette tags in the social media have risen 14% in the first six months of the year. The claim is that this is a result of the Athleisure phenomenon which is the process of turning sportswear into daywear and the tendencies to seek comfortable clothing that permits athletic activity at all times.  Bralettes are also ‘peek’ clothing, which looks great when emerging from outerwear.



We’re pretty interested in this statistic … and we wonder whether it’s less to do with changes in lingerie purchasing or interests (we haven’t noticed any decline in push-up bra sales) but something to do with the age of people who use social media and are willing to talk about/selfie themselves in their undies. Perhaps it’s younger women (who are more used to bralettes) who use the tag more on social media? Anyway, we think the rise of the bralette is a wonderful thing and we’d like to bring the Coquette lace bralette to your attention … it’s a gorgeous little lingerie item at pocket money prices and one sizes fits pretty well everyone from chipmunk to Persian kitten sizes!


Friday, 8 July 2016

Soft, strong and very very long … underwear, not toilet roll!

Let’s start with the strong - three British female athletes have taken part in a lingerie shoot to ‘empower young women’. The three, Bryony Shaw (windsurfer), Amber Hill (skeet shooter) and Paralympic long jumper Stefanie Reid, are involved in a campaign to keep girls doing sport after the age of 13. Research has shown that this is the key age at which girls often give up sports and that they do so because of issues around their bodies.



The aim of the photographs is to reveal how strong and powerful bodies are also beautiful and to encourage long women not to feel ashamed of being physically strong. Bryony Shaw, a bronze medallist in Beijing an the current European champion says act she hid her body at school because she was worried other children would say she looked like a boy.

While we think that the intention is good, we can’t help feeling that photographs of three strong and superbly fit young women are unlikely to achieve the stated aim. While fearing getting too muscular might demotivate some teenage girls from sporting exercise, we think that many more young women feel they are too fat and too ‘flabby’ to reveal their figures - and being shown how toned and slim female athletes can be won’t do much for their self image. If one of the three had been from a different sport, perhaps shot-putting or the hammer, it might have given a wider range of body types with which more of us could have identified.

We’re very taken with Amber Hill’s outfit in this shoot though … we went hunting through our own stock to see what would look just as good on somebody who wasn’t a sporting superstar and we came up with the Charlotte set with its lovely half bra which is flattering in all sizes.

So, soft and long … how to conserve your underwear


Underwear is always soft when we get it - utterly wonderful against the skin, but all too often we find that after a while it’s no longer so soft and doesn’t always last as long as we’d like. So what can we do to preserve the quality and length of our new lingerie?

Rotate your undies


Both bras and knickers need a regular rest - this is because the elastic in underwear needs a day or so to get back to its designed shape - if you wear something and then give it a couple of days off duty, it will hold its shape better for longer.

 Wash with care


Use gentle detergent, preferably a liquid wash. Some powders can contain agents that are too aggressive for the fragile fabrics from which lingerie is made and biological washes can contain strong chemicals that dry out elastic and flatten the gentle weave of silks and satins. Hand washing is also highly recommended - but if you do need to machine wash, close clasps on suspenders and hook up bras before putting them in a lingerie bag or even a cotton pillowcase before putting them in the washing machine. This ensures that your underwear isn’t beaten about by other garments and that hooks and clasps don’t catch on other fabrics and get stretched.

Dry outdoors


Wherever possible line dry your lingerie - tumble drying destroys the careful construction of underwear, especially where underwires are concerned and can degrade elasticated areas of the garment causing sags that make it less nice to wear.


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The ultimate bespoke, the cost of lingerie and empowering underwear - end of the month round up from www.lingerie.co.uk

So you want a perfectly fitted bra? Our first two stories might help …

Technology and underwear


Jess Haughton, a fashion student from Nottingham Trent Uni, has used the latest technological developments to get that perfect fit - 3D printed lingerie!

While Jess’s undies are currently only part of her design course, there’s every likelihood that such garments will be readily available online in the near future. The limiting factor is getting the right measurements, usually done with a scanner, but once our home computers or phones can be equipped with an app that serves as an adequate scanner, it should be easy to get 3D printed underwear delivered to us at home.  The Haughton garments use stretch silicone, which offers a smoother outward profile than almost any other fabric and is considered to be very durable, so the investment could be a long term one. Attractive to those women who stay the same size, but perhaps not so thrilling for those whose bust size fluctuates.

When pennies count - and why to spend them on lingerie!


On the other hand, Cora Haddington, founder of Lingerie Addict, has been pointing out that we may under-invest in our choices, failing to recognise that we’re unsatisfied in our purchases because we’ve neglected to understand the business process being lingerie construction. Business Insider India chose to run her tweets as an editorial story - not the first time that underwear has made headlines, but more often on the scandal pages than the business ones!

 Loving your underwear



Once again that online stalwart, Bustle, has been a talking point in our office. This month it’s a story about how underwear empowers and explores how to choose underwear, who it should be worn for and the value of finding a brand that fits with your chosen identity and lifestyle.

As a result, we’ve all been talking about our favourite mood-improving underwear. For one of us it was their first ‘training bra’, for another it was investing in proper silk stockings for work and for a third, opting to buy a made-to-orderJane Woolwich basque for her second wedding, as a secret treat to herself and her husband-to-be, completely hidden under her ‘sensible’ second time around register office wedding dress!


If you have an empowering underwear story we’d love to hear it …

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Culture, bling and big guitars - our week in underwear

Britney’s back!


Known throughout her career for her lingerie, Britney Spear’s has returned to the stage at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards with a medley of her greatest hits and wearing, of course, bling underwear. this time it was a circus-style outfit that she cast aside to reveal a ruby red jewel-encrusted lingerie set.



As usual, Britney rose to the occasion, specifically on this occasion rising to a gigantic guitar which she rode like a rodeo bull … never boring, is she?

And if Britney’s incredible body, in her astounding outfit, has inspired you to seek out some bling lingerie for yourself, we have the raciest jewelled g-string you’ll ever see! The Diki topaz designer G-string is not for the fainthearted, but if you're into revealing lingerie we’re certain you’ll find this an investment piece. It’s a definite summer winner for the boudoir and while it’s stunning against tanned skin, we’re delighted to tell you that it looks just as great against winter-pale bodies.

So that’s the bling and the big guitar - what about the culture?

Lady Duff Gordon’s underwear


Well there’s a wonderful exhibition on at the Guelph Civic Museum in Ontario that we would just love to see. It features the life of Lucy Sutherland, who became Lady Duff Gordon and had an astonishing life. Yes, she’s the same Lady Duff Gordon who was rumoured to have bribed her way, along with her husband, onto a lifeboat escaping the Titanic. That’s not true, but the scandal was one of the biggest stories of 1912.

Known as Lucile, she set up her own couture business in London, Paris and New York, endorsed the invention of the brassiere and started a craze for pink and purple wigs! You could almost call her the Victoria Beckham of her day - her multi-talented personality overcame being a single mother and a divorcee (she divorced her first husband) to become not only a successful fashion designer and business woman but a noted celebrity whose bon mots were ranked alongside those of Oscar Wilde. She also designed an amazing range of underwear which, for the time, was considered to be incredibly racy.


Finally, a lingerie chain which shall be nameless is opposing the opening of a Gregg’s bakers in Belfast’s Royal Avenue, because, it says, the smell of pasties banking might put their underwear customers off purchasing new undies! We’ve got an answer for that too - buy your lingerie online!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Lingerie - what’s hot and what’s not for summer 2016

Underwear fashion seems to largely depend on where you live!


In Ireland it’s all about dark colours, apparently, according to this online article which had one member of the Lingerie UK team dashing home to try out the tip about the red bra under the white T-shirt (yes it works but only ‘sort of’, you can definitely see something under the white but somehow the eye doesn’t really pick out the lines of the bra, also the quality of the T-shirt really matters, a Primark top might as well have been see-through while a Gap cap-sleeved T-shirt was completely opaque to the red brassiere). When it comes to wine coloured lingerie, we are all in favour - as an example our made-to-measure Jane Woolrichburgundy corset is absolutely stunning.

As for plunge bras, we never noticed that they had gone out of fashion - whilst the high street retailer might not have seen these as a consistent seller, for specialist online lingerie retailers like www.lingerie.co.uk this bra style has been a constant. This year our top pick is the Aria Pastel plunge bra from Lise Charmel … it’s so pretty it’s like a flower strewn picnic blanket on a summer’s day!

India has a different take on lingerie


It’s very often the case that Indian fashion news doesn't get covered much in the West, which we think is a shame. So over in New Delhi the claim is that wave prints, marine themes and yellow and orange are key colours whilst camisoles as outerwear are also ‘hot’.

We love the beach vibe discussed in this article but we often find that too much beach can cause you to blend into the background - seriously, in a marine themed bikini on a seahorse printed breach towel with a palm-print cover up you run the risk of becoming scenery!  We prefer the idea of standing out from your surroundings by blending beach friendly colours such as sand, gold, turquoise and marine green with glorious contrasts such as fuchsia pink and hot animal prints. That’s why we like leopardskin swimsuits, for example. And when it comes to cover-ups, what could be better than a feminine sarong in crisp white and at such a bargain price?


So whether it’s Ireland or India, we believe that we’ve got your fashion bases covered!

Underwear as art, lingerie as work-wear, how do you work your underwear?

There’s a theme to this week’s blog - the story of how underwear emerges into outerwear.

Pokemon panties


First, the 20th anniversary of the annoyingly cute Pikachu is being celebrated in Japan with a licensed underwear range including shorts, underpants, a cap (?) and a sleep mask … more than anything else this leaves us asking questions about the habits of the Japanese - we sort of get the sleep mask but underwear lines don’t usually include caps. The mind boggles as it so often does when exploring the peculiar world of the Japanese psyche.

Underwear of the stars


Although to be fair, most of us have some habits that we’d rather not talk about. You know what we mean, the things you do in your scanties that you’d never reveal to the world. Then again, others of us spend a lot of our time making sure the world knows about our lingerie. Instagram appears to have been just about invented for women to appear in their undies. As an example ….while people are still talking about Kim Kardashian’s lingerie dress which totally overshadowed whoever’s wedding she actually wore it too, here at lingerie.co.uk we’ve been quietly fascinated by a different news story - Mariah Carey’s pizza-making outfit. Oh yes, lingerie and pizza making (not eating) is a thing now.



Should you feel the need to cook in your robe, we’ve picked out two that we think fit the bill being as tasty as the food you’ll be producing. First up, Diki’sMimi nightdress and robe, made to order out of gorgeous lace, this is an outfit that you won’t want to splash tomato sauce on - just gorgeous for those red hot days when you don’t want to get dressed too early though. Second, for cooler weather and those gothic midnight feasts, Liliana Casanova offers the stunning Fontainebleaudressing gown, also made to order but featuring a waterfall of mousseline silk and toning lace, this is a flattering garment for all.

Underwear as art



And the final thing we’re talking about this week is a new Zoe Buckman show (in LA sadly so we won’t get to see it in the flesh) in which she has embroidered the lyrics of two rap stars - Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur - on vintage underwear to explore the dichotomy between attitudes to women in the media. The show, as usual, is staggeringly beautiful with lacy panties, flowery robes and even stockings displayed bearing lines like I swear I’ll never call you bitch again” and Ain’t that a slut, hell yeah, she even take it in the butt” to reveal the tension between empowerment and disenfranchisement, often in the same song. You can find details of the show online and it’s a fascinating tour through the kinds of language and objectification that many women experience every day, and the range of messages received by women about their places in the world, male expectation, the power of labelling and even the nature of garments to enhance, constrain and carry information about the wearer and what is expected of them.