Wednesday 25 February 2015

Twitter storms, cultural underwear and Easter lingerie

Not cool with Cindy

So … that picture of Cindy Crawford. Let’s start with the facts: she didn’t release it herself, it was leaked; it wasn’t taken this year, but two years ago; it doesn’t mean she’s cool about having it circulated and she hasn’t taken any part in the debate. What debate? Well, when the photo appeared on Twitter it was seen as a shining example of ‘real’ women and a clarion call for the older woman to accept her body as it is. All kinds of celebs weighed in to support and celebrate Crawford’s honesty and beauty.

Then, when it became clear that the photo had been used without her permission, the discussion moved rapidly and uncomfortably to other questions - how should we respond to leaked photos, what is the balance between reducing the unrealistic standards that many women feel compelled to live up to and maintaining everybody’s right to control their own image in public? Cindy Crawford’s picture might have been gorgeous, realistic and appealing, but the fact that she hadn’t chosen to publish it led to an unpleasant sensation that we’ve peeked into somebody else’s private life without their permission. And for us, that means not recirculating the photo - so instead we’ve chosen to feature a picture that we know is untouched and was released by the gorgeous and very body-confident Jamie Lee Curtis herself. We think it’s a stunning shot of a woman who loves her body.

Culturally appropriate underwear - lady in red and the Year of the Geep!

Is it a goat or a sheep? The Chinese don’t distinguish between the two, just as they don’t differentiate rats and mice, so it’s a goat-sheep year. It’s the eighth animal in the Chinese zodiac. which are, in order: Rat/Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog Pig.  The lucky colours for year of the Geep are reds, browns and purples, and because red is a lucky colour in many Asian cultures, red undies are seeing a buying bonanza this February!

In fact, across Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, red lingerie sales are ten times higher at the lunar new year than through the rest of the year and with red being a double-lucky in the year of the Geep, and Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day falling in the same month in 2015, lingerie manufacturers were flat out from November, getting stockpiles of undies ready for this month!

Easter winners

But if you’ve had enough of red, we’re on it! Our couldn’t-be-cuter Shirley of Hollywood bunny outfit is smart in black and white, and tempting with its totally touchable fur trim. Or if you’re hankering after something spring-like and pastel, the Jane Woolrich satin robe is floaty, feminine and very pretty - we love the peach shade, which is flattering to all skin tones. 

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Ten dos and dont’s for Valentines Day!

There’s always a buzz around Valentine’s Day - and here at we spend a lot of time looking at what helps make Valentine’s Day very special. Here are our top ten tips for making your Valentine’s Day tip-top!

1 Do make it last all day - Yes, people have to work and look after kids, meet deadlines and finish essays, but it’s still possible to start the day with love and keep it going - why not get up early and make breakfast special, and either slide a little note (not to soppy, not to graphic) into their lunch box or send them a lunchtime text to remind they that they’re on your mind and that you’re looking forward to the evening when you can spend time together.

2 Dont get in contact with your ex - whilst romance can be seductive, ex-romance is always toxic. Opening the awful history of your past will never help and least of all on a day when it seems that everybody else is making romance work. Instead spend time with somebody who loves you for who you are: your dog, granny or best mate will be better for your self-esteem than going back in for another round of failure.

3 Do invest in yourself - Love begins at home! If you want a special bit of underwear, a relaxing massage, or an investment handbag, this is the time to show yourself some love. And if you don’t have the budget to get exactly what you want, treat yourself to a special meal or a glass of wine in a really posh venue and decide to put away a little money every month so that next Valentine’s Day you’re ready to splash the cash! And if you ask us, an ideal lingerie treat from you to you would be the Luxxa Camargue Open Body - so sexy, so flattering and so very feminine!

4 Dont judge your gift - women in particular will judge the quality of their relationship by what their other half gives them for Valentine’s Day. This is a terrible mistake because many men (and quite a few women) find buying romantic gifts quite difficult and find it difficult to express their feelings on a single day just because the greeting card industry tells them to (see #10). A better idea is to accept the gift as what it was originally meant to be ‘a token of esteem’ and as a token, neither its value nor its suitability should be considered, it’s just a way of saying I love you - even if it’s tacky or cheap!

5 Do come clean with your man - buying a really special bar of soap and putting it on his pillow in the morning is a very sexy way to start the day. Have some fluffy towels on hand, and jump in the shower together … there is nothing sexier than a squeaky clean body especially if you’ve helped him soap himself!

6 Don’t buy her sexy underwear from Lidl - well, you can’t this year, because Lidl’s lingerie line doesn’t launch until 26 February but let’s make it clear, right now, that Lidl undies are not Valentine’s Day material! It’s like supermarket chocolate boxes - fine to buy for yourself but not to give to others … don’t make this mistake next year, underwear should be an investment, not a bargain!

7 Do take it easy on your first Valentine’s together - whether you’ve been together 10 days or 10 months, don’t pile on the pressure. Arrange a shared experience like a cookery class (from Jamie Oliver’s Recipease through to your local college of Higher Education, you’ll find some fab classes) or a session at an ice rink. Doing something as part of a group allows you both to relax and even if the relationship doesn’t work out, you’ll have a great memory to look back on.

8 Don't overdo it on your first Valentine’s Day together - don’t over-invest financially or in the future. Buying gig tickets for six months down the road is a dubious investment as you may have to ask for the tickets back or attend the gig and risk bumping into somebody who’s now become your ex. Extreme financial investment (chocs and flowers and undies and jewellery) can be just as much of a turn off because it implies you’re buying love.

9 Do keep the details of your love life to yourself. On Valentine’s Day, above all others, it’s easy to over-share. If you burst into tears in the office, or alternatively hand out too many details of your smoochy morning session, you run the risk of damaging your own reputation, especially in the workplace. A good rule is not to talk about your Valentine’s Day experience until 21 February - by then you’ll have a sense of perspective, time will have moved on, and you’ll be happier to keep things to yourself that should never have been public knowledge in the first place.

Photo credit - Daniel Pagel/

10 Don’t try to get out of celebrating Valentines Day by claiming that its a conspiracy by the chocolate and greeting card industry. You may think this is true, but it’s not helpful. Just suck it up and buy a gift. Or even better, do without the commercial aspect and plan a wonderful picnic or romantic evening at home for your loved one, or even go for a run. Valentine’s Day is what you make it, but if you refuse to participate you’ll probably make it a very miserable day!