What Lingerie Has Done For Me

Yesterday was National Lingerie Day, which I quickly took note of and then spent all day in front of a powerpoint presentation in a sports bra and sweatpants. However, I wanted to try and make up for that today, and talk a little bit about why lingerie is about more than just frilly bras and panties for me. I’m also going to include some pretty pictures of the sets that make me feel the happiest, which is really what great lingerie is all about.

My favorite sleep bra of all time.

Growing up, I was always the nerdy kid who had no sense of fashion. I still can’t claim to have a fantastic sense of fashion when it comes to my outerwear choices, but I’m hoping one day it will catch up with my underwear choices. In other words, you wouldn’t believe I was a lingerie writer or a fashion writer if you met me in person, or if you grew up with me. As a teenager and even in college, I had a tendency to equate fashionable women with women who were sillier or more frivolous than I was. It wasn’t until I got started in the lingerie industry that I really got to know fashionable women had the opportunity to get rid of my pre-conceived notions about them.

I’m incredibly privileged to work with an overwhelming number of women who are smart, take-charge, and sweet and fashionable. I know some of these women because they are my clients, but I’ve also met them at shows or on social media. The lingerie industry is overflowing with women who are talented and getting ready to change the world, and I’m so happy to call them friends and clients.

This is my favorite bra for spring, from the always wonderful Ewa Michalak line.

It sounds cheesy, but being part of the lingerie industry has also forced me to examine how I think about myself as both a business owner, a person, and a woman who struggles with body image issues like everyone else. I’m learning to accentuate the positive rather than focus on the negative, and to not compare myself to other people. I’ve always been very confident at work, and I’m trying to take some of that confidence and make it work in the rest of my life as well. Working in the lingerie industry has forced me to make these very positive changes in my life as a result of being confronted by these issues on a daily basis.

Image via Bare Necessities

Mostly importantly, I’ve learned about the transformative power of lingerie. I’ve helped women find bras that gave them their confidence back, and I’ve experienced what a boost you can get from slipping your favorite lingerie on under your work clothes on a tough day. Lingerie gives woman a way to express how they see themselves, even if no one else sees it. This is one of the many reasons I’m an advocate for designers who want to cater to women of all shapes and sizes equally. Everyone deserves to experience the feeling that great lingerie creates.

Happy Belated National Lingerie Day, everyone! What did you wear yesterday to take part in it?

“Any Piece Of Clothing Can Be Sexy, With A Quietly Passionate Woman Inside It.”

Reign Magazine put up this graphic this past Monday, and tweeted a group of bloggers (myself included) who they said were their inspiration for it. I found this incredibly flattering, but also sort of ironic considering I’ve been going through some serious body issues lately. I don’t write much about my inner thoughts on here, but as I’ve talked about it to other people they’ve encouraged me to share my experiences. I think when we talk about our bodies and how we feel about them, it’s important to understand that other people are going through the same thing.

I’m generally a pretty body positive person, but several months ago I decided I was going to get in shape and lose a bunch of weight. I lost about 15 pounds (which I have kept off), but hit a plateau when business got busy. Working out takes time, and I just haven’t had much of that recently. While I’m thrilled about all the business I’m getting, I’d like to get back into a routine.

At the same time, I also decided that my wardrobe wasn’t doing my body image or myself any favors. It mostly consisted of jeans and old college era t-shirts, which only made me look shorter and heavier. I’ve discovered that if I put on even a mildly flattering skirt and top, I look like a whole different person. All of my jeans had holes in them, and I didn’t replace any of them. I decided that if I was going to leave the house, I was going to have to really get dressed to do it. I even picked up my first real little black dress, as I felt confident enough to rock it at a size 12/14.

All that having been said, I’ve been going through some real ups and downs with my new look. I’d like to tone up more, and I have the body type where all of my weight gathers in my stomach and breasts. I’m trying to come to terms with no matter how much I tone up, I’m not going to get any taller. When you work at a job where you literally stare at pictures of other women all day, this can be a depressing life fact. It’s not even a body type thing for me, because I know lots of size 20+ bloggers who I think are absolutely gorgeous. I just can’t seem to translate that to how I feel about my body on a daily basis.

And here, I suppose, is the takeaway for me this week. While we may have lots of positive feelings about other people’s bodies, it’s incredibly hard to embrace those same things when you see it staring back at you in the mirror. So while I’m still working on the toning and weight thing, I’m going to shift my focus to feeling and looking good on a daily basis no matter what size I’m at. I’m hoping it will put me in a more positive mindset about the whole thing. I’m also going to try to post more pictures on here, since that’s something I’ve avoided due to some mixed feelings about my weight distribution and wardrobe. Surely, there must be a way to combine the changes I want to see with positive feelings about what I have now!

As a result of all of this, I’m thinking of developing a semi-regular blog series on clothing choices for curvy women, and I’d love to see multiple people contribute to it. If you’re interested, please leave a comment and we can set something up.

Spring/Summer 2012 Lingerie Trend: Bed Jackets Are Back!

Image via Brown Belly and Etsy

Everything old is always new again, which is the case with lots of vintage lingerie trends. Girdles are all the rage after being reinvented as vintage shapewear with sex appeal, and garter belts and thigh high stockings are hotter than ever. Bed jackets are the latest trend to pop up, which makes perfect sense when you slot them into the lingerie as outerwear trend which is also taking the lingerie world by storm.

I think the bed jacket trend gets a bad rap sometimes, since bed jackets tend to conjure up images of your grandmother in those big quilted housecoats. Designers are reinterpreting the bed jacket in some sexy and modern ways for a new generation. Women are now wearing them as part of special occasion lingerie sets as well as over dresses as outerwear. Either way, it’s a gorgeous trend that is perfect for the muggy summer days that are coming up.

This Ambient Bed Jacket shown above is from the Etsy seller Brown Belly. I love the beachy look that it has, but could also see it being worn out for dinner just as easily.

Image via Toad Lillie

If you want to wow someone for a special occasion, Toad Lillie is the designer to go to. This Tease Ruffled Bed Jacket is handmade using couture techniques, and is just sheer enough to be supremely elegant without sacrificing sex appeal.

Image via Ayten Gasson

I was lucky enough to review this piece from Ayten’s upcoming line, and it’s still one of my absolute favorite things to wear out. You can’t buy it in this fabric yet, but it’s a standard silhouette in her collections so make sure to check her website for what is currently available.

Image via Proper Vintage Clothing

If you want to pick up an authentic vintage option, there are lots of beautiful and affordable ones on vintage sites, Etsy, and Ebay. This peach bed jacket is the best of both worlds for me. It’s authentic, but also wearable as outerwear or even at the pool.

Are you a bed jacket fan? Can you think of more fun ways to wear them?

Spring/Summer 2012 Lingerie Trend: High Waist Briefs and Knickers

As the weather heats up, I’ve begun absolutely living in skirts and dresses. It’s a great way to beat the heat, and it’s also a way to try and build a new wardrobe now that I’ve vowed to give up jeans. One of the benefits is that I’ve gotten more opportunities to wear my rapidly expanding collection of high waisted knickers and panties. I love the coverage they give me under dresses without sacrificing sex appeal, as well as how they highlight my natural waist instead of cinching in awkwardly at my hips.

This trend isn’t exactly new, and it appears to be sticking around for Fall/Winter this year as well. I’m not the first to write about it, and I love all the innovative interpretations of this trend that various designers are putting out.

These high waisted panties are from the newest Knickerocker line, and are both adorable and unexpected. Her smart use of sheer panels makes them sexy, and the geometric design makes them sophisticated rather than silly. I see these in my very near future.

I own these Rebecca Ansah Boyana briefs and wear them at least twice a week. I think they’re the most comfortable pair of underwear that I own. Rebecca is a newer designer, and her first collection has been really spectacular. It reminds me of the Arms and Armor wing of the Metropolitan Museum if it was translated into comfortable jersey lingerie. She’s been promising these in colors soon, and I intend to keep nagging her until it happens so I can buy more.

I’ve been in love with these high waisted briefs since I first laid eyes on the current Marika Vera collection, and strangely enough haven’t seen any boutiques pick them up! The rest of her stuff seems to have done very well, but I still feel like everyone missed my favorite piece. These also use sheer panels in clever ways, and I find Marika Vera’s elegant yet minimalist style endlessly fascinating.

What sold me on these panties from Zinke was the hook and eye detail at the back, proving that sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. I also love the bright orange color, which is so summery and fresh. These are also a perfect way to embrace the neon trend that is huge right now, as you should be able to find lots of orange bras to match.

Alegro Lingerie is making J cup bras this season, which will be one of the highlights of the Autumn/Winter season for me. They’re also making some fantastic sets, as this Isabella set promotional image demonstrates. I love these colors and this pattern, and I suspect that these panties will be very flattering on a whole range of figures.

These knickers from the new Hopeless Lingerie line are exquisite. I love the pink lace, sheer panels, and darling button details down the front. I want to lounge around in these while I drink tea out of tiny cups.

Are you pro high-waisted knickers or anti granny panties? Did I miss any of your favorites?

Spring/Summer 2012 Lingerie Trend: Tattoo Prints

As the proud owner of two tattoos, I’m always a little amused by the envious way that some women look at them. Usually, people ask how much it hurt to get them, and then tell me all the reasons why they wouldn’t have one. I’m currently loving the new Spring/Summer trend that uses tattoo prints and illusion printing to let people explore their own fascination with body art, if just for a few hours.

These amazing stockings from Tattoo Socks show that it’s easy to slip on a tattoo for a day, at least this lingerie season. I’m a huge fan (and customer) of Tattoo Socks, and as soon as these come out in a thigh high version they will be in my shopping cart. Their stockings aren’t sheer or even very traditional. They come in a variety of colors to match various skin tones, along with white and grey as more neutral basics. The stockings are thick and durable instead of sheer and delicate, all to further the tattoo illusion. I own several pairs, and get comments every time that I wear them out. They’re also incredibly affordable, and you can get an even better deal if you buy four pairs at once.

This set from Yes Master is a whole different take on the tattoo print trend, and definitely moves in it a more rockabilly direction. I love the digitally printed hot pink silk, and the silhouette of the bra and panties. If you fit into their size range (and this set goes up to a DD), this would make a great special occasion set for the summer. It’s stocked at the wonderful boutique Rosebud and Slave, which always seems to pick up the best independent designer lingerie.

You know something is officially a trend when the big guys start showing it, and this Ada Set is a nice practical way to incorporate your love of body art into your lingerie. I love how this is a plunge bra, which gives it even more sex appeal. It comes in B through H cups, which means that a wide variety of women can take advantage of this trendy set that works for everyday wear. The only downside is that it doesn’t come out until July, so be prepared to wait awhile to get your hands on it.

I got to try a pair of these recently, and was floored by how much I loved them. Not only is Tatu Couture trendy, but she incorporates shapewear fabics to make the most of your curves without that uncomfortable stuffed sausage feeling that you can get from shapewear. Her pieces also go up to XL, which fit my size 12/14 body perfectly. If you’ve ever wanted a large tattoo but aren’t sure how you feel about showing one off to the world, check out these cool and comfortable high waisted briefs.

Have I missed any great tattoo print pieces? Do you see this trend becoming a part of your warm weather lingerie wardrobe?