Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Galentine's Day Gift Ideas

So it's that time of the year again. In the explosion of all things red, heart decorated and sexxxyyy in the lingerie community, it's easy to forget the wonderful holiday which falls on the day before Valentine's Day. That of Galentine's Day!

tv parks and recreation amy poehler happy galentines day
Digg friday the 13th galentines day

For anyone who isn't a Parks & Rec fan: 1) please watch it, it is hilarious. It will make your life better, trust me, and 2) Galentine's day is a holiday invented by Leslie Knope so that her girl friends can get together the day before Valentine's day and celebrate their supremacy over cisgendered males. Or maybe it's just about celebrating friendship... you get the gist.

I love the idea of giving back to those important women in your life who you aren't currently romantically involved with, and letting them know just how much you love them. And because this is a lingerie blog, this is of course a lingerie themed post. Because women shouldn't rely on their significant others to buy them pretty under things. Friends can do that job just as well, if not better.

tv show parks and recreation parks and rec talking i tried
Ways to tell your friends you love them... or, just by gifting underwear. It's up to you.

Let's begin...

F*** IT ALL knickers- pms panties! Pink sheer sassy cute transparent lingerie, see through panty, adorable sassy funny undies underwear
F*** IT ALL knickers by Angela Friedman Fairytales Collection

I'm going to start this off with a pair of pants I actually just bought for myself as a "well done for finishing my dissertation" present. I think I managed to hold out about a day after their release before caving and buying them. In their description they're listed as PMS panties, but even if you don't get periods/suffer from PMS we all have bad days. And wouldn't it be lovely for your friend to have something beautiful yet feisty to pull on when everything else seems to be going wrong?

Feminist Undies Pin by Me and You

If your friend and you bond over rants about the patriarchy and like to wear your ideologies on your sleeve, how about a matching pair of pins decrying your feminist intentions? Or, if the pants depicted are too cool to pass up, they're also available on Me and You's site.

love stories eyemask blue Direct leverbaar uit de webshop van
Frenchie Eye-Mask by Love Stories

Encourage your friend to follow her dreams in this cute lil' cheetah print eye mask. If your sleepovers are your thing you could invite her over to wear this atop her head while eating cake and watching Parks and Rec.

Blue cupcake bralette soft bra lingerie
Blue Cupcake Bralette by Knickerocker

Speaking of cake, this adorable bralette is perfect for your sweet-toothed friends. Or if they happen to own a uterus/really like anatomically correct portrayals of them then these pants may be another Knickerocker winner.

Buns Cheeky Knicker by Naja

However, if you're friend is more savoury than sweet, maybe these could be the perfect gift for them. By buying from Naja you also know you're supporting their company ethos of empowering women, particularly the single mothers and female head of households they employ. So if your friend is particularly socially conscious these may be a good bet.

Cotton bag with screen print / Supergirl bag / drawstring shoe bag with double cords / printed laundry bag / lingerie bag for super girls
Supergirl Bag bFrauLämmli 

Finally, all of us lingeristas know that a great set of underwear can feel like a superhero outfit. By gifting this bag you can give your friend a receptacle worthy of her favourite set, while ensuring it doesn't get as damaged in storage.

Hopefully I've inspired some of you to treat your friends this coming Galentine's Day. And if you don't have any spare cash, it's still important to let them know you love them and how much you appreciate them... even if they're an April.

day her valentine say campus

Thanks for reading. x

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Lingerify: Sandy Olsson

I will let you in on a little secret of mine which I don't think many of my friends actually know about: I am a huge musical theatre fan. Obviously Chicago is my dream aesthetic after having seen it twice on stage and innumerable times on film, but I can't deny the joy that I experienced when The Lingerie Detective tagged me on twitter suggesting that I do a cosplay as Sandy from Grease (version 2.0) because I reminded her of the character. Now, it may be leftover FOMO from being cast as Patty Simcox in our school's production of Grease, but I immediately started thinking of lingerie outfits for her. The plan was cemented when the lovely Sian of Big Cup Little Cup stated that she was already planning a review centred around the eponymous "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee" sleepover aesthetic.

So consider this my first collaboration! And make sure to head on over to Sian's post and enjoy the sugary sweet, retro goodness, after my biker chick guide to rock'n'rollin' your lingerie look.

For starters I went for the obvious look with an all black, biker jacket ensemble. I don't have any retro shaped bras so it was my ever trusty Panache Porcelain Elan that acted as a stand in. Here, I paired it with my Kiss Me Deadly Eliza Cincher Brief which is technically discontinued, but you can often find some older KMD online if you know where to look. My first thought was shapewear because: 1) Grease is based in 1959 and 2) Have you seen Olivia Newton John's figure in that last outfit?! I'm sure she worked really hard on getting that but there must've been a little bit of help going on.

Now, the obvious biker inspired lingerie has got to be Chantal Thomass' current Boyish line which I'll forever love The Lamb for showing me because it is pure badass gorgeousness, but also kind of hate her because it doesn't come in my size. However! For those of us in a larger cup, and even those in smaller sizes if this is more your thing, we have the stunning Wynter collection from Blue Reign. Just all the leather lingerie please.

I thought I'd do a second look with a slightly alternative styling because I feel like there should have been some leopard print underwear going on to give Sandy that extra confidence boost and Grrrl power. So for me, it's my beloved Lucky Sew and Sew Savannah knickers paired with a Kiss Me Deadly Van Doren Bralet in what I think was a Large (the tag says 36 B/C). If you have a small back/large cup and have ever wondered about fitting into this, I'm currently around a 28G/30FF and was even comfortable wearing it when my bust measurement was an inch or so bigger.

Now if you did want to go down the route of authentic 50/60s lingerie styles for a similar look, What Katie Did is obviously going to be perfect designer. Sticking to the rock'n'roll theme, their Eartha Cathedral bra has the most perfect use of leopard print I have ever seen in the lingerie world, in my humble opinion. For a softer silhouette, the Raven top by Hopeless Lingerie has that gorgeous off the shoulder/sweet heart neckline that Sandy styles for the Grease finale. Pair that with some of Hopeless' high waist knickers and you've got the perfect, contemporary Sandy Olsson lingerie.

I hope you've enjoyed this post, I certainly had fun putting it all together! And again, make sure to go and check out Sian's review. Other than that, leave a comment if there are any other musical stars you'd like to see lingerified, I've already got a few in mind but would love to hear who everyone else's favourites are. So go on... Tell me about it stud.

Thanks for reading. x

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Lingerie Resolutions 2016

I'm quite a fan of setting (realistic) resolutions so I had it in mind to do this post as 2015 was coming to an end. However I had a very busy start to the year and thought I'd missed my chance. That was until I read that the new moon today was going to be joining Pluto in Capricorn; making it a good day to write down any ambitions for the year. My thoughts were, "hey, I'll take that!" So here we are...

'Bettie' Babydoll by My Retro Closet


I've been enjoying reading my fellow lingerie bloggers' resolution posts as we've entered January, especially as some common themes have been mentioned in a couple. I loved the emphasis on buying ethically and independently in both The Lingerie Detective's post for Esty Lingerie, as well as Technicolor Lover's beautifully written Regrets. This is something I've been really aiming towards, as I mentioned in a previous post. As a feminist I feel really strongly about supporting independent designers in their practise, therefore reducing my contribution to big name corporations who can be a bit shady when it comes to standards of work and production. Which means that this year I am aiming to buy my lingerie from majority independant designers.


In a similar vein, I'm in the middle of reducing my clothing selection down to a capsule wardrobe along the terms of the Unfancy blog technique. I've been having a lot of anxiety around getting dressed lately, relating to body image issues, and I'm hoping to reduce the stress by only allowing for a few fail safe outfits. This, combined with wanting to buy more independently (which restricts wardrobe size because of the prices involved) has led me to a place I never thought I'd be in with my clothing because I love shopping. In case you're wondering, Caroline of unfancy doesn't include underwear in her list of items to limit *phew*, so this instead means that I want to buy more items that I can incorporate into outerwear. Thus creating a few more potential outfits for myself.


If I do manage to create some interesting underwear as outerwear outfits then I would love to write about them on this blog which leads me onto to my third resolution. I really want to diversify the kind of posts I'm writing on here. Reviews are great and all, but I want to incorporate my personality into this a bit more. I want you lovely readers to get to know me better! So if anyone has any requests for different types of posts comment underneath or reach out to me on social media. I'd love to hear from you.


My final resolution is a smaller one but who knows, it may prove to be harder than it appears: I really want to stop buying quite so much black lingerie. It's just such an easy colour to fall back on, but I'd really love to incorporate some pretty pastels or whites into my collection.

So there you have it, my ambitions for the coming year. I also have a potential project in the making which relates to lingerie and also my university work but it's still very early days so I'm not quite sure how it's going to pan out. Just watch this space. Other than that I'm excited to see where 2016 takes me and this little blog, hopefully you'll all stick along for the ride.

Thanks for reading. x

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Adina Raey's 'Fran' in Scarlet

Some may recognise this gorgeous set from my contribution to The Lingerista's October Wishlist. Well, it also made it onto my birthday wishlist over on pinterest. From there my ever so charming husband (who is also my talented photographer for this post) picked up on the hint and gifted me it for my birthday at the start of December. It arrived beautifully packaged in a dusky grey box with the Adina Raey name glinting in gold on top, and from that moment on I've been in love.

This is my first ever full set of red underwear since diving into the deep end of lingerie life. And this isn't just red, this is scarlet. It's a kind of scary colour for someone who's very attached to classic black but I have now been indoctrinated. My dear friend over at Of Lambs and Lace is a self confessed red lingerie addict and I fear I may now be following in her footsteps.

And it's not just the colour that I adore, but also that super soft tulle which feels feather light against my skin. It hugs all my curves without digging in in the slightest. For reference, I have the bra in a 30FF and the suspender briefs in a size Small. I was actually surprised at how supple the set is because it has such a structured look to it.

But here is where a couple of my problems with Fran lie. Now, they're only tiny problems but it does mean my expectations weren't quite met. Obviously the tulle is what gives the set that delicate, luxury look and it's spectacular that Adina Raey have managed to use it in this way for DD+ designs. However, it isn't really the most supportive of fabrics and I don't get much shaping from the bra. As my breasts aren't the perkiest these days I was hoping for a bit more lift and rounding. But alas, it's not to be.

Alongside this, you may be able to tell in a couple of my pictures that the upper band on the briefs is having a bit of a fight with my midsection. Because the fabric isn't quite stiff enough to hold it's own there's a lot of distortion that happens throughout the day as I wear the set. But I think that may be worth it to not have the band cutting in to my stomach constantly.

In terms of fit, both items seem pretty spot on. I would have preferred the bra in a 28G as I prefer a really snug band these days but I completely understand that Adina Raey have already started out with an impressive size range for such a high end brand (30DD-36G), and perhaps they'll expand in later years. Also, because this is such a luxury set it's most likely going to be saved for special occasions rather than day-to-day wear, so I doubt I'll have to worry too much about the band stretching out.

According to the size guide a small is a UK 8-10 which is my ideal high waisted pant size as it accommodates for my proportionately bigger waist compared to my hips. These are definitely well sized in that regard, and the tulle would comfortably accommodate any increase in stomach size from bloating or the like.

My only qualm with the briefs is the length of the removable suspenders. While I knew that suspender briefs are often a risky choice, I went with fashion over practicality when putting them on my wishlist. I don't mind that they pull the fabric of the briefs down a little bit, but I do think they're too long for me. Even if I adjust them to the shortest option.

The same could be said of the bra straps which are only partially adjustable because of some tulle encasing around the front of them. However, I am only 5'3" and what little height I have is in my legs, so I'm sort of used to things like this. I'd imagine a taller person wouldn't have any issues at all.

Even with the few issues I have with the set, I can't emphasise enough how beautiful I feel in it. It's rare that you find such innovative design, combined with luxury fabrics for a fuller bust and I feel so lucky to own these beautiful pieces. I'm very excited to see where Adina Raey take their brand and also if they will eventually expand the size range. If you do fall into their current range and are dissapointed by the lack of high end options for larger busts, then definitely consider Adina Raey's designs. If anyone's feeling generous then I have my eye on the Ava bodysuit in vintage pink....

Thanks for reading. x

Monday, 30 November 2015

Playful Promises Juliet Review

***Disclaimer: This lingerie set was sent to me free of charge. This in no way affects my opinions and/or views expressed in this blogpost.

A moment of silent reverence please, to the lingerie goddesses for bestowing this beauty among us. Or at least, to the team over at Playful Promises. Yes, it's here: from the second I heard whispers about their 28-36" DD-G collection I was on the edge of my seat. So I was jumping up and down shouting excited when Anna emailed and offered me a set to review. A quick perusal over what was on offer left me with only one real choice. I mean, they're all gorgeous but Juliet is just on another level in my opinion. This bra is the kind of design I would never have believed I could find in a fuller bust range. It is pure architectural, minimalist, sexy goodness.

That's right I said sexy. An important message I will happily argue with others over is that lingerie is not implicitly sexual. Society has needlessly fetishised it leading some to see it as having no function other than to turn men on *cough* patriarchy *cough*. But whatever, f*ck men! This makes me feel sexy. I feel powerful and confident while I'm wearing this set, and those are not emotions easy to come by for me nowadays.

I'm currently hovering between bra sizes but decided to risk it and go down to a 28G for this bra, while sticking to a size small (which is a UK 10) for the pants and girdle rather than my usual 8 because of their high waist. I'm really happy with the fit of the bra, although I could most likely comfortably have gone up a cup size (which would have involved going for a 30G because of the size range). Instead I get a nice level of compression and support. I would compare the shape it gives me to the Pour Moi 'Addicted' bra, if anyone happens to own that as well. My low density, bottom heavy breasts experience a little bit of cutting in which I suspect is unavoidable for my particular breast type in such shallow cups, but it's minimal and doesn't bother me.

In terms of the brief, it's made from such a soft, pliant mesh which means that I could probably have gone for it in an XS. I went up a size to avoid them being overly tight around my midsection but they're stretchy enough to be quite generous with the sizing. The roll on girdle, on the other hand, is made from a sturdier mesh like the bra. I assume this is to provide adequate support and a little bit of shaping in the case of the girdle. Because of its stronger material I'm definitely happy with my choice of a size S.

I actually wasn't expecting to be sent the girdle as well as the bra (with included harness) and the briefs, so I feel very grateful and spoilt by the lovely Playful Promises team. I really love how the girdle and briefs have been elevated from just basic black mesh pieces by that cut out design on the back. At the same time, I adore how easy it is to mix and match this set with other black pieces. I feel like this bra was made to be matched with Hopeless Lingerie pieces and I've really been enjoying experimenting with different combinations so far.

Although I feel the set can look a bit busy on me with the harness included (because of my short stature), I think it's so brilliant that Playful have included the harness with the bra while not attaching it. This allows it to be used with other sets or even as outerwear. The harness is fully adjustable around the waist and neck and has an almost plush underside so it is comfortable against the skin.

While the girdle suspender straps are not adjustable, they're not overly long so I didn't have much issue with them. The sturdy clips keep my stockings in place all day long, and the high waist ensures it doesn't slip down at all. I'm going to take this moment to comment on the fact that I have never owned a roll on girdle before and therefore hadn't discovered how much easier they are to go to the bathroom while wearing than regular girdles. It's so nice to just be able to yank it down without thinking twice! Then it's just a quick stocking readjust before heading back out into the big bad world.

This set is definitely worth the money for it's versatility and gorgeous design but if you're a bit more budget conscious then I think the bra is an excellent investment piece in itself. It'll match with any black lingerie while bringing an extra edge to any outfit. It may not be the most practical piece of lingerie in the world, but it sure is gorgeous. So if you're looking to treat yourself along with your friends and family this festive season, Juliet gets my vote.

Thanks for reading. x

Friday, 13 November 2015

Lollypop Nursing Bra Review

My 13th blog post going up on Friday 13th... oooooh! Sorry it's been a while, I underestimated how hard it would be to get pictures taken once British winter rolled in and the skies turned to a permanent grey. However it was getting to the point where I really needed to get something out there because I have a lot of reviews that I want to share with you lovely readers. So kicking it off I have my final nursing bra review. I weaned my son a few weeks ago (a story for another post, perhaps) so I am officially bidding adieu to nursing bras for now. And honestly, this bra was one of the only reasons I stuck it out for the last few weeks.

Because look at it, look at it. Is this not the most beautiful nursing bra you've ever seen?! I actually bought this many months ago from Cache Coeur, a French lingerie brand specialising in maternity and nursing styles. When I made it past the year mark with breastfeeding, something I had never previously expected to do, I decided to treat myself to a new bra. It was a hard decision to choose between the Lollypop design in bright pink, or the Magic bra in that gorgeous soft cloud colour. Lollypop ended up winning out because pink and also, its shape reminds me of some Chantal Thomass designs. Must be something about the French.

I struggled with deciding on a size to order because just before ordering I had a bad experience trying to figure out my European size for a Kris Line nursing bra. Also, for the life of me I could not find a size guide on the Cache Couer site. Eventually I ended up googling it which took me to this page on their site which includes a calculator. I inputed my size and it put me in a US 32D. Which 1) is not my size and 2) is completely useless when ordering from a site which uses EU bra sizes. I decided to risk it and order a 70H which should be the same as a UK 32G. I was then wearing my 30GG panache nursing bras and couldn't get a smaller back size than 70.

When it arrived it was far too big and the label actually stated that their 70H was equivalent to a UK 32H. So I emailed customer service and they told me to exchange it for a 70G. Long story short: I got the bra but not before weeks went by. I had to email them reminding them about the exchange after which they promptly sent the new bra out. Even then I could probably have sized down another cup size, and I definitely could now that I'm wearing between a 28G/30FF. But that is one of the wonders of wireless nursing bras! They are really flexible on sizing. Cache Coeur's in particular are made of material with a minimal of 15% elastin in the cups to allow it to stretch as you grow throughout pregnancy and nursing. There are also 4 rows of hooks in the back for extra adjusting. I wear mine on the tightest but would ideally have it a bit snugger as I prefer a super tight bra band.

One of the things which attracted me to Cache Coeur as a nursing lingerie brand was their incorporation of magnetic clips. Although these take a bit of getting used to, I found them much more secure compared to my other nursing bras which had a habit of occasionally un-hooking themselves throughout the day. Another innovation of this brand is a microfiber lining of the cup allowing the fabric to dry faster than normal if any leakages occur. This is something which I unexpectedly got to test out as I didn't realise you can start leaking again during weaning.

Which brings me to the main perk of this bra. Let's face it, it doesn't matter how pretty or scientifically enhanced a nursing bra is if it's not going to be comfortable. And this bra is so comfortable. I spent a good week being tender and engorged while weaning and this bra was so lovely to wear throughout that period. It's got just the right amount of stretch and the fabric is super breathable. Also, for a wireless bra it really does give excellent support which I think is in large part due to it's lightly molded cups incorporated with boning on either side.

And it's just. so. cute. The lace, the adorable little matching shorts (which I bought in a size S, by the way), the little bow on the gore which resembles a tiny frilly pom pom... I really just love it so much. So I'll be sad to put this away in my maternity stash, but I know that Cache Coeur will be my first stop for nursing bras if I ever get pregnant again.

Thanks for reading. x 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Transitioning Out of Nursing Bras: Part II

Hello again, and welcome to the second half of of my journey back to "normal" bras. If you remember correctly (and I know that's quite hard as it was written a few weeks ago, sorry! Life got the better of me for a bit there...) I left off Part I at the realisation that I would have to book myself in for a professional fitting in order to discover my current bra size. Now I'm a procrastinator so I put it off for a while longer until one weekend I had the most immense back pain by the end of the day. Changing out of my clothes I spotted my reflection in the mirror and realised that the band of my ever faithful Anita nursing bra was stretched up around my shoulder blades. Definitely not where it is supposed to be, and most likely the cause of my back ache.

The next morning I immediately booked myself in for a fitting at none other than Bravissimo. I love that they don't use measuring tapes, something that I've already shown to be useless in deciphering my bra size, instead just going off of how the bra you're wearing fits or doesn't fit in my case. I walked in wearing my Lorna Drew Alexa with tightened cup adjusters which allow the wearer to decrease the cup volume a small amount.

I think this may have thrown the fitter off a bit as I tried to explain that the adjustment meant I was much smaller than the 30HH the bra was labelled as, but she decided to just try a 30H to begin with. So below you can see me in the Alana Bra by Bravissimo. As I'd imagined there would be, there was a lot of gaping and puckering along the top of the bra so it was immediately obvious that I would need to go down a couple more sizes. I would also like to take a minute to explain why I didn't manage to get pictures of all the bras I tried on. My fitter often brought in 3 or 4 bras at a time and I obviously didn't want to take pictures with her in the room! So you, my dear reader, will just have to cope with the pictures I managed to snap while she dipped out to the stockroom. 

It's a no go I'm afraid!

The next few bras were trialled and we gradually moved down cup sizes and back sizes before settling on 28GG/30G as the one which would work the most for me, depending on how tight the bra band is. My hero buy was the Panache Porcelain Bra which I'm wearing in the first picture of this blog post. I love this bra. Can you believe I've never owned a t-shirt bra before? No, I can't either. It's so wonderfully smooth, supportive and minimalistic. It's padded enough that I don't have to worry about nipples showing when I'm cold; but it doesn't feel bulky under clothes. Seriously,  I can't get enough of how wonderful it is to wear a bra which actually fits. And yeah, it also doesn't have a bow on it's centre gore. #winning

Looking like a munchkin in a robe clearly designed for the more average height and size bravissimo customers.

So at this point I'm kind of on a high and decide that maaaaybe I can treat myself. I spotted the Cleo Breeze as I was first walking into the store and may have let out an audible sigh. So now that I have my basic bra I timidly ask if I could try the longline on. My fitter smiles knowingly and ventures off to retrieve it for me.

 After she returned and we resumed the process of cinching and scooping me into the bra. At one point I felt like Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Carribean, being laced into her too tight corset. I said, laughing but in all seriousness, that I may need the 32 back because I've got some upper belly pudge left over from my baby bump. And it is at this point that she informs me that she actually went for the 28 back, not the 30, but insists that it is doing up! Sure enough, she squeezes me into it but I can barely breathe and ask if I can maybe try the 30.

That is my slightly panicked expression FYI.

The 30 ends up working great, but is actually a FF cup because according to my fitter this bra runs large in the cup. In actual fact I have initial gaping along the top of the cups whenever I put this bra on but, going back to adjusting to my new incredibly soft breasts, as I wear it throughout the day my breast tissue migrates into the gap and even over spills slightly near the gore. This is kind of frustrating but worth it because I feel so damn gorgeous whenever I wear this bra.

...And that is a genuine smile because PRETTY.

This trip was definitely a lesson in figuring out which shapes work for me as the Cleo longline was not the only splurge I went for. While walking to the checkout I spotted the Freya Eden Bra, which I have been lusting over for so long, and immediately snatched it up. Unfortunately I may have been a bit too hasty as it's actually a demi cup and my breats just will not stay put in it if I wear it for any length of time. When it first goes on, all is well. Two hour later, my nipples are poking out the top. Not really day time appropriate.

I've accepted at this point that I'm on a learning curve when it comes to figuring out what's going to work for my new body. I'm glad that I now have a basic bra size to work from thanks to the lovely ladies at the Liverpool branch of Bravissimo, but I've also been taught that different brands, shapes, and designs will all result in sizing discrepancies. Also, it's going to be a bit of trial and error over the next little while figuring out exactly which bra shapes are going to reign in my breast tissue. For now, I'm happy rotating round my little selection which still includes a couple of nursing bras. I'm not ready to give up that wireless comfort quite yet!

Thanks for reading. x