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.

Thursday 25 August 2016

Lingerie hijacks, hi-jinks and hello boys!

It’s what we British call the ‘silly season’ for news media and to our quiet delight the political world has been a little shaken up. No not Theresa May becoming PM (although we’d love to know what’s in her underwear drawer), nor the Labour party leadership contest. It’s actually Toby Perkins, a Labour MP who had his twitter profile hacked.

For a brief and delightful period, his usually bearded face was superseded by the curvy ‘Anna Nelson’ who described herself as a ‘sexy model’ and offered to give people following the twitter account a private show. Mr Perkins rapidly regained control of the situation but endured several days of online banter about having looked rather different for a while. One tongue-in-cheek tweeter commented that something had changed about Mr Perkins and suggested perhaps he’d shaved his beard. As our photo shows, there was a bit more of a change than that!

By the way, we note that Anna chose a classic pose for her photo. Kneeling up on a sofa or chair and facing away from the camera delivers a very flattering pic, so she clearly knows her business!

Loving Mr Perkins/Anna Nelson’s stunning bra set? Try the Gracya Lucy set in brilliant white to unleash your inner ‘sexy model’ … or perhaps your inner bearded Labour MP?

‘Men’s Fitness’ on women’s lingerie

The men’s magazine has been asking its experts to help a chap who wants to buy his girlfriend some sexy underwear … comments included the suggestion that the couple go shopping together (always a good idea in our view) and that the girlfriend might think her partner doesn’t like the look of her body and is trying to get her to hide it! None of the commentators suggested what we see as the obvious solution - improving his own underwear standards so she can find out why sexy lingerie is worth investing in!

And women on men’s lingerie

Which leads us to Menagerie - a new underwear line that is making ‘Victor’s Secret’ underwear for guys. Excuse us while we yawn … we’ve been selling large numbers of lovely lingerie items for him for a lot longer than Menagerie has been around!

Top sellers in male underwear include Caraca by Sensualle - a incredibly comfortable backless mens brief (or so we’re told) with an utterly storable fake fur front panel that has stretch sides for a snug and sexy fit. And if that’s a bit too hot for summer, we’re also sending out quite a few of the ‘Robin’ version in ‘real men wear pink’ summer shades and with a jewelled back that makes this a decadent addition to your man’s wardrobe.

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

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 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 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. 

Wednesday 4 May 2016

British models in the limelight - a eventful end to April with

Classroom lingerie controversy

Until very recently, Gemma Laird worked as a teaching assistant in County Durham. But when parents from the school discovered she was a model for Lexi Fashions, they reported her to the school, after which the 21 year old says she was fired. The photographs of Gemma included pictures of her in cocktail dresses and lingerie which seems to have been the problem.

The school’s head teacher said that it was a failure of social media use that couldn’t be ignored as it broke the schools guidelines on appropriate images. It’s a tricky scenario, isn’t it? We all want the right to do as we please but we also want young people to be protected from images or experiences that might threaten or disturb them.

Wedding lingerie tips 

April is the biggest selling month for wedding underwear apparently. We have a few tips on how to get the perfect wedding lingerie for your big day:

1.    Choose your dress and lingerie together - it’s important to have your dress fittings with your wedding lingerie on, as underwear can really affect the fit of your dress
2.    Don’t feel compelled to pick white, or even ivory or cream - for many brides a shell pink, nude or even a primrose lingerie set may be a better idea than a stark white or off white.
3.    Get your bra fitted by an expert and be prepared to go down a size before the big day! Many brides who lose weight will find that it goes from their cleavage quicker than anywhere else, so if you’re somebody who becomes skinny through nerves, it’s a brilliant idea to be sure your favourite bra comes in a small cup size, just in case …
4.    A body or corset can define your shape and help you look more curvy. It’s a real investment garment and choosing a new body or corset for your wedding is one way of being certain that you’ll wow as much with your wedding dress off as you did with it on!

Lingerie limelight

This week we’re celebrating Nicola Griffin, the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue model - at the age of 56. The British model says that she had no idea she was being photographed for Sports Illustrated and equally had no idea how big the magazine was in the USA. As she puts it herself, she’s still in shock! But she’s also excited about the effect her image might have, ‘Young girls open magazines and it influences them so much about body image. I particularly think it's very good for them to see different sized women, because otherwise they can feel bad about themselves if they don't look like the models they are constantly viewing.’

We loved her photo shoot, her confidence and her beautiful relaxed face. And if you’re half in love with that gold swimwear, we’d like to introduce you to our shiny copper flower bikini - there’s no doubt that metallics are going to be big on the beach this summer and we’re willing to bet that you’ll wow the world in our beautiful, very feminine, micro-bikini.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Lingerie for the classroom and for Holi - some specialist lingerie buying stories from!

We love lingerie, but we know it has a time and a place - unlike the subject of our first story this week - and no, it’s not a late April Fool’s Day joke.

 How NOT to browse for lingerie online

A mathematics teacher in San Diego set his class a test and then went online shopping for women’s underwear - but his computer was still linked to the room’s projector so his students were able to capture his browsing history online on the big screen!

Many of them posted the cell phone videos online which is when the Mira Mesa High School became involved and informed parents that the teacher had been placed on administrative leave.
Parents were incensed for several reasons: first classroom neglect - the teacher never lifted his eyes from his laptop to see how the class were doing; second duty of care - a child who walked up to ask a question might easily have seen the teacher’s interest in scanty underwear and third; should a teacher who is supposed to set an example of hard work before fun be indulging in a private passion during class time?

Well, we know all about the third issue - once you start online lingerie shopping it’s very hard to stop!

 Lingerie for Holi

It’s fair to say that Holi is not a huge festival in the UK, which we think is a shame, but we know that quite a few of our lingerie shoppers will be looking for the right outfit to wear for Holi 2016 which falls on 24 March. So we went looking for a few tips on how to approach wearing the right lingerie for Holi.

First and foremost, be prepared to sacrifice what you’re wearing, from top to bottom and from outside to in. It just isn’t possible to be sure that all the Holi paints and dyes will wash out of your clothing, and some naughty revellers deliberately use staining dye to ensure you carry a semi-permanent memory of Holi for quite a while to come. Of course you want to look and feel your best too, on such a happy and fun-filled holiday, so why not try the Wolbar Maracato briefs which are stunning cute, comfortable to wear and won’t break the bank if they end up multicoloured!

For a bra you really need something with a comfort straps that won’t expose too much of your body once you get soaked in water and paint. Our Andora bra has full cups to protect your modesty, gorgeous straps so that you can fight back and fling your paint with gusto and is just so delicious to wear that we bet after you’ve tried it, you’ll want to never wear anything else.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

McCartney 2016 fashion collection, breast shape analysis and would you model lingerie?

Amateur underwear models

A Chinese lingerie firm has found an interesting way to outsource its advertising - it invites its customers to become something that best translates as ‘lingerie masters’ by sending in photographs of themselves in the brand’s underwear. For every three lingerie sets they photograph, they get sent a free set as a reward.

The company claims to have 500 models sending in portfolios in a polyvore style exercise that requires the customers to create a small photoset around a specific theme or location. To our eyes some of the photographs may be a little dubious - one set features a young woman wearing only underwear under her coat, apparently in a bar drinking beer where the final picture seems to show her asleep or passed out with a beer bottle in her hand - not the kind of advertising that’s allowed here, that’s for sure. Others though are quirky, personality-filled snapshots of a life where lingerie matters and we can all celebrate that!

Breast dictionary?

Another underwear line has produced a breast dictionary - describing what it calls the seven different types of breast by shape. It’s an interesting idea, especially given the many women simply don’t know how to measure themselves for a  bra, but we’re not sure that it’s a particularly helpful approach to choosing sexy underwear. A large part of finding what works for each individual woman comes from trying things on and see both how they look and how they feel - the journey of exploring what works for each body and lifestyle simply can’t be reduced to shortcuts like pointing to a picture of boobs and saying ‘those look most like mine’ not least because many women have been trained by exposure to the media to have an unrealistic idea of how their own bodies look. We think there’s no alternative to ordering something that looks lovely and trying it on in the privacy of your own home - after all, any decent online lingerie shop will have a great returns service to ensure that experiments are just as much fun when they fail as when they succeed!

Stella McCartney Autumn/Winter 2016 Paris collection

While we’re huge fans of catwalk fashion, we don’t always find a direct link between catwalk and products but Stella’s Paris runway was definitely in part a lingerie-inspired show. Whilst puffa jackets were much in evidence (we’re not sure we’re going to give into that trend again) she also had some beautiful silk panel dresses that sit squarely on the boundary line between lingerie and evening wear.

We really fell in love with this silk and lace panel dress but  suspect it may be out of our price range - however, we decided that our Blue Bachelorette dress would be a perfect alternative at a totally affordable price. Also, we think we might go for something other than the white surgical ward shoes … in fact we sort of think almost anything else would look sexier!

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Size, stealing lingerie and do you have Easter undies?

Good old Edwina Currie is back in the news with another controversy - not eggs this time but size. Her target, Ashley Graham, is one of the world’s top lingerie models and according to Currie, ‘It seems to me that plus-size models and extolling them and making it seem normal to be obese is just as dangerous and unhealthy as the zero models, the very thin ones.’ She went on to claim that larger models could be ‘heading for diabetes, knee and hip problems’.

We’ve got no opinion one way or the other about the health risks of anybody’s size or shape - that’s none of our business, but we do believe that every woman has the right to delicious underwear. That’s why we have a carefully collated ‘plus size lingerie’ section that offers a wonderful range of gorgeous undies, including the hand-made  Ulla Dessous Alice bra and pantyset with a dainty lace overlay.

 Stolen Victoria’s Secret lingerie

A 47-year-old store cleaner has been convicted of stealing more than a thousand lingerie items from the Victoria’s Secret shop in New Bond Street, London.  It turns out that for around three years he had been taking items from the basket where store staff put items to be returned to the shop floor after customers had tried them on. He was able to get away with it by filling his trouser pockets with some items but others he had actually put on over his own underpants …. ew! The man in question was given a suspended sentence as the judge accepted that he hadn’t really understood how things worked in the shop and might have believed that the basket contained items to be destroyed rather than re-shelved.

And why was he doing this? To sell the garments online. That’s why we recommend buying your online lingerie from a dedicated online shop, not somebody on eBay - because you never know where they may have got that lingerie, nor who’s been wearing it before you!

Easter underwear

We’ve got a bit of a pash for Easter lingerie - which for us combines the joy of a underwear drawer spring clean with the guiltless pleasure of a chocolate-free celebration weekend.

So what counts as Easter lingerie for us?  Well pastels for a start, such as mint, peach and lavender shades. These are the most flattering to skins still pale after winter’s rigours and mint, in particular is incredibly flattering to darker skin-tones which means that it’s a colour that works for all.

Then we like dots - there’s something very springlike about polka dots and a pretty dotty bikini might prompt the invitation to get some early sun on a quick weekend break! And finally, we think cotton undies are very springlike, so we use this holiday to drop a few hints that we’d like some new cotton panties … that’s a hint that tends to be very well received!

Do you have special Easter underwear - if so, what makes it spring-like to your mind?