Trying on lingerie is a deeply sensuous process. What other type of purchase involves you being so aware of your physicality and forces you to be grounded in your body? I love buying lingerie in independent stores, where I am surrounded by beautiful things that awaken my sensuality and womanliness. Imagine: being surrounded by soft materials, touching the fabrics that will soon be against your skin, being advised by a lingerie expert who will help you find a style and fit it to you. No two women are the same shape, and finding the right lingerie is therefore a bespoke experience, even if the product is not tailor-made for you. To me, buying lingerie online is a vastly inferior experience. There is great excitement in opening a package but for a truly satisfying shopping experience, I want to feel like a queen, to be pampered, to have people making a fuss over me. This type of customer service is only available in a shop, studio or atelier.
Another reason to be in a shop is that sometimes you just don’t notice a brand’s uniqueness until you see it up close. I was aware of Beija London and I love their quirky campaigns on Instagram, but I wasn’t immediately struck by the lingerie styles as being “me”. However, Julie, the manager of the new Beija store in funky new shopping destination, Coal Drops Yard, invited me to come in for a visit and I am so glad that I did. I now have more lingerie to recommend to women of the world: the women who are not lingerie bloggers or exhibitionists – the 99% of women who want to wear comfortable, stylish, high-quality underwear every day.
I’ve been roadtesting the Ava bra by Lara Intimates for 2 long days and I can honestly say this is the only bra I’ve not wanted to shed at the end of a day. In fact, I truly forgot I was wearing a bra at all. Soft, double-layered mesh, no under-wiring, but yet you definitely wouldn’t call this a bralet because it is far too supportive and well-constructed.
I spent 2018 reading lots of books about feminism, intersectionality and race. A big shout-out to my top read of the year – The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-Wright.
I also spent a bit of time wondering why the lingerie community is so white. Lots of shapes and sizes, but yeah, mainly white bodies. There are some notable high profile lingerie bloggers of colour (looking at Cora Harrington and @comicgirlsneedbras), and whilst I do not put myself in the same exalted category as them, together we form a small group who are putting ourselves out there in our underwear and saying, “look at me celebrating my minimally-clad body for myself.”
I know I have earned my stripes as a sex AND lingerie blogger when women ask for advice on lingerie to wear during sex. I’ve already written about lingerie to get laid in a previous post. Recently however, a follower specifically wanted to get the best type of undies to wear whilst being penetrated from behind, aka, doggy-style. Her husband particularly wanted a good view of her butt and she wanted something special to wear whilst she was on all fours.
Like most lingerie bloggers on Instagram I get some weird direct messages. The other day a lady contacted me and asked me whether the set I was wearing was good for sex. I was a little taken aback and wondered if I was being cat-fished by a sleazy guy trying to start a creepy conversation. But it was actually a genuine and very frank enquiry from a woman who said she was going to have a M/M/M/M/F – that’s 4 guys and a girl, in case you’re wondering – and wanted to wear some lingerie that would be sizzling hot and … ‘functional’ for the occasion.
I just love everything about those words. It conjures up images of unparalleled luxury, of couture gowns, Savile Row tailors, tape measures, fabric swatches. Until relatively recently in history, all clothes were pretty much made-to-measure and tailored for the wearer. Then came mass production and then fast fashion. Now you buy something from a shop where the thing comes in different standard sizes so it fits you around the hips, but less so around the bust. You have no idea who designed it or made it but it was probably a person in a developing country who gets paid $5 a day and may or may not be a child. I prefer to take things slow – to know exactly who makes my clothes and to be sure that they are people being paid a decent wage. Also, to bring it back to hard practicalities, I have such small boobs that most lingerie brands don’t do the styles I like in small enough sizes!
For my upcoming 45th birthday, I decided that I had no need to celebrate it in grand style with an alcoholic bash and where I don’t get to have proper conversations with my friends. Instead, I wanted to experience the bespoke luxury lingerie treatment. I canvassed a few people who would be in the know – my lovely lingerie friends on Instagram – and decided to take my business to Nichole de Carle. Continue reading “Bespoke Lingerie: my early birthday treat”