Monday, 27 January 2014

Four Lingerie Themes in Current Day Lingerie: The Classic Seductress, The Fashion Forward, The Retro Siren and The Romantic

The idea of categorizing lingerie looks or personas came to me when I was giving my Pinterest boards a spring clean a couple of years ago.  I had one board called 'Lingerie' which was literally bursting at the seams with lingerie images.  To me it all seemed a bit cluttered and it was not easy for me to find my favourite images or links because there were just that darn many of them. I found when I scanned through the images there were certain images that tied together, I couldn't quite put my finger on why but I soon started to split the one 'Lingerie' board into four.  The four boards, to me, depict four strong lingerie themes relevant in lingerie today: The Classic Seductress, The Fashion Forward, The Retro Siren and The Romantic.

The Classic Seductress:

Think lace, suspenders, seamed stockings and heels.  The lingerie featured on this board is sultry but in a very demure and timeless fashion.  Black lingerie features predominately on this board for its classic status in lingerie and of course its wearability.  Like a classic LBD (Little Black Dress) there is just something so sophisticated about black lingerie.  The looks created through this lingerie theme are powerful, sultry and classic - all at the same time.

Ardientemente Collection
La Perla Ardientemente Collection A/W 2013
Image Source: http://www.laperla.com/uk/fall-winter-collection-2013/ardientemente-collection.html

The Fashion Forward: 

This is my favourite board because it encompasses by far my favourite lingerie looks and imagery.  The lingerie featured has strong connotations of catwalk looks.  Personally I love the freedom with colour, fabric, shape and overall playful nature.  Brands I feature heavily here are Mimi Holliday (expect a review of a recent purchase on the blog very soon), Claudette, Agent Provocateur, For Love and Lemons and Princesse Tam-Tam.  More often than not in this theme there are playful extras like bunny ears or lace eye masks to fashionista favourites like Olivia von Halle classic pyjama sets and Charlotte Olympia Satin Kitty Slippers and eyemask sets.  The looks created through this theme of lingerie are playful, fun and fashion forward.

for_love_and_lemons_skivvies_1
For Love and Lemons 'Skivvies' Collection A/W 2013
Image Source: http://www.thelingerieaddict.com/2013/11/love-lemons-skivvies-collection-aw-2013.html

The Retro Siren: 

Think corsets, pin-curled hair and showgirls.  The Retro Siren incorporates all vintage and vintage inspired pieces.  The silhouettes become nipped in at the waist with the help of waspies and corsets and detailing becomes extravagant in the form of feathers, ruffles and trims.  With connotations of burleseque and showgirl attire, colours are a mixture of softer hues and bright colours but all with a luxe undertone created through the vast use of satins and silks.  The looks created are daring but in a bashful, tongue in cheek sort of way that create a playful edge to them.

Von Follies by Dita Von Teese Fall 2013 Star Lift Pink
Von Follies by Dita Von Tesse
Image Source: http://froufroufashionista.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/von-follies-by-dita-von-teese-now-at.html
The Romantic: 

In this board the lingerie becomes softer and more delicate.  Think crisp whites and pastel hues on soft cottons and chiffons.  The silhouettes becomes softer and more blurred and there is a light, weightless feel to this theme, much more relaxed than any of the others.  The detailing on the pieces within this theme give it a delicate and romantic nature.  There is beading, embroidery and lace edges that add a romantic appeal.  I personally love the carefree nature of this theme, there is something so relaxing yet aesthetically pleasing about the lingerie that it just makes you want to wear it as you lay in bed drinking your morning coffee and reading your favourite book.

Sally Jones Lingerie - Pearl
Image Source: http://www.sallyjones.com.au/pearl
I have found these four boards to be inspirational to me especially when shopping, trying to create a different look or find brands that I love.  I hope the boards become an inspiration for you all too.  Come along and follow me on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/unpublishedgirl/

Speak soon,
Claire x



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Secretive Nature of Lingerie: Your-unpublished-self

I think one of the reasons I fell in love with lingerie in the first place is its secretive nature.  I love the idea that what we put on under our everyday attire is our own personal secret.  This secret has the power to ignite an uplifted self-esteem, turn your walk into a strut and lets you give yourself a cheeky little smile in the mirror as you see what everyone else sees however you know what is really going down underneath (cheeky grin to self).  The knowledge that beneath your attire you are wearing a beautiful set of lingerie or a pair of hold-ups as opposed to your usual choice of boring old black tights can really change your attitude for the day.  Now ladies I do not want this post to be misinterpreted.  I am not at all saying that we need to dress seductively under our everyday 'uniform' to feel the secretive pleasure of wearing lingerie.  What I am saying is that making a conscious effort to wear a matching set one day, be it that unbelievably playful Mimi Holliday set you lusted over for months, finally caved and purchased or the most delicate and comfortable soft bra set from Eberjey, can make you feel more put together than usual.  To me, nice underwear and underwear that I love to wear completes an outfit even if you are the only one that knows and is going to see it.  Now if you do not have a clue what I am talking about, there is only one way to find out.  Next time you need a confidence boost or just feel like a bit of a pick-me-up and you are at a loss as what to do - slip on your favourite underwear set, your new underwear, your favourite pair of pants - something that just makes you feel extra special and then just go about your day as normal.  I hope you enjoy the pleasure of the secrets of your-unpublished-self.


Hope you have enjoyed reading,
Speak soon Claire x




Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Review: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Autograph Silk Padded Plunge Bra

Well hello there lingerie lovers and welcome to my blog - The Unpublished Girl! I hope to create a blog full of lingerie loveliness - reviews, photos, fashion-forward lingerie trends, brand insights and everything else in between!  So a little bit about me - my name is Claire and since the age of 16 (I am now 22) I have worked in the lingerie industry.  I stumbled into the lingerie industry somewhat accidentally - I applied for a job in a large department store for my first job and was chosen by the management for a position in their lingerie department.  Much to my surprise lingerie became not only something I would work with at the weekends but a passion of mine, I quickly found myself enjoying the art of bra fitting, following lingerie trends and falling head over heels for all things lingerie.  So enough about me, let's get on to the exciting stuff - a new Rosie Huntington-Whiteley lingerie launch for Marks and Spencer's you say?  Yes please!

Now, I am going to put it out there now - I am not the biggest fan of Marks and Spencer's, I do not believe that their bra fitting methods are consistent after spending years of correcting bad bra fittings from their stores however putting that aside I think if you go into Marks and Spencer's with a keen eye for lingerie design and the knowledge of your own bra size you can indeed pick up some gorgeous lingerie.  The launch of the Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Marks and Spencer's lingerie line Autograph in August 2012 (MailOnline, 2014) caused a storm in the lingerie industry and I have to say was a very smart move for the company.  It allowed the company to bring in a customer set that possibly they would not have not normally driven in - the fashionistas! It certainly made me look twice at the brand that I once before had dismissed.  Now a couple of years down the line Rosie has just launched her Spring Collection for her lingerie collaboration with Marks and Spencer's and isn't it a beauty?!  The range is full of sumptuous silks, French inspired lace and flowing floral's with underlying tones of soft pinks and delicate taupe's - hitting shelf's just in time for a busy date in the lingerie industry - Valentine's Day!  From this collection in my local Marks and Spencer's I quickly had my heart set on the Rosie for Autograph Silk Padded Plunge Bra in Antique Rose (£25.00) with the matching Brazilian knickers (£12.50) (there is also a midi version of these pants available which are slightly higher at the waist for the same price).

First Impressions:  On first sight of the bra, I really did like the bra a lot.  It was vintage inspired but had a subtle sexiness which drew it away from being 'retro' and turned it into a sophisticated twist on a classic design.  The colours compliment each other, the antique pink colour in reality is a light dusky pink which adds to its sophisticated glamour with delicate ivory French designed lace subtly placed around the outer edges of the cups, straps and underband.  Pink is a colour that does typically spring to mind when thinking about lingerie along with the other usual suspects - black and red, but in my honest opinion pink is also quite a hard colour to get right.  A lot of the time, this high-street lingerie colour favourite comes in either a bright fuchsia or a sickly sweet candy pink which on both counts (unless very tastefully done) can create a tacky, predictable piece which lacks the uniqueness and sophistication I so very much crave in lingerie design.  This shade of light dusky pink along with the modern yet classic design of the bra really does make it aesthetically pleasing and very much up my street for that everyday romantic lingerie set which is a pleasure to slip on in the morning.



Another subtle design detail which I appreciate is the addition of rose gold features as opposed to typical silver or gold accents on bras these days.  Rose gold quickly became a trend through the surge in its use through the jewellery industry predominately led by the Michael Kors Rose Gold watches which have been high on everyone's Christmas lists for a number of years now.  So it nice to see it now filtering into the lingerie industry too as it is such a unique shade that can bring a piece from 'wow' to 'yes please, I need you now' status.  Despite the details being so subtle (it features as the bra strap adjusters and the hook and eye on the underband) to me - a girl who is all about the details - it makes this bra extra luxurious and I like to think that it is not a feature that was stumbled upon but one that was well thought out and it is now reaping the benefits of thinking about the finer details.

The design of the cups has to be my favourite feature, it gives the bra its modern yet vintage feel with its contour stitches along each cup.  It is so simple but adds glamour to the bra without bringing in any extra fabrics or colours which would play away from its simplistic nature.  This coupled with the ivory lace detailing starting on the side of the cups (a lace placement that is quickly becoming a common feature in high-street lingerie lines), slipping up on to the straps and my favourite placement is the lace not just trimming but covering the entire underband which I have not seen on the high-street in a long time.  The lace placement I feel adds to the bras appeal as be it a little predictable at the side of the cups, the way it sweeps up the straps and caresses the entire underband makes it stand out from the competition.



Now I cannot possibly talk about the design of the bra without speaking about the matching bottoms!  The matching Brazilian cut knickers I bought with the bra are made up of the same materials.  I personally like the cut of the briefs, it covers enough to be a comfortable everyday pant but the thick lace placement along the edges at the back add some extra sophistication and with it not covering everything it adds to the sexiness of the cut too.  The stitch of the gusset is along the edges and not down the middle (a very simple stitch which can become very uncomfortable throughout the day - you know what I mean ladies!) which makes them comfortable 'down-there' and something I can slip on and not have to 'adjust' later on!  Overall I like the briefs but I would say that they are less wow than the bra, there is something predictable about them that their purchase only really happened in the first instance because they matched the bra.  That being said I do love the look of the set together on and the briefs are very comfortable which makes it a great everyday with a subtle romantic and sophisticated twist that appeals to me.

Fit:  This being my first post, I can see why people may not trust my view on how a bra should fit or if this bra is big/small made etc.  However, I can assure you that I have had plenty of years experience of bra fitting customers for very reputable companies and have received floods of positive feedback throughout the years.  That being said I am willing to let you sit on the fence for now while I share my experience and expertise and earn your trust on this subject (do not worry a bra fitting post is inevitable and will appear on the blog in the near future).  I have always had quite a small frame but over the years my bra size has fluctuated (28DD/30D being my smallest up to 30G/32FF) which is a common occurrence in my age group but now I feel that my size really has settled and I sit quite firmly as 28DD/30D depending on the brand.  I typically 9/10 times will pick up a 30D unless the brand runs a little larger then I will opt for a 28DD.

The size range of the Rosie lingerie line has variety in the back sizes ranging from 30-40 which is great for a model/high-street store collaboration however the cup sizes are a little more restricted ranging from A-E. With 30D really being my only option here, that is the size I tried on.  On first feel the bra was a good fit, the wires sat away from the breast tissue, the cups were smooth over the breasts at the front keeping everything in place without overspill or gaping, the straps (once tightened) sat comfortably over my shoulders with the silk providing more comfort than a typical strap and leaving a little bit of room for further adjustment too however the one issue I have with the fit is the back size. Without a second thought I had to put the bra on the tightest hook to provide a tight enough support around my rib cage (those new to a good fit, in an ideal world a brand new bra should sit on the loosest hook or at a push the middle hook to provide the wearer with as much potential wear as possible as with all bras stretch is inevitable due to the positioning of a bra around the rib cage which is moving constantly throughout the day with breathing and body movement).  This led me to the conclusion that this range is quite big made in the back, especially considering that the bra is made of a woven fabric (silk) which provides very little stretch to the wearer.  Despite my positioning on the tightest hook I still made the purchase as I had fallen for it aesthetically and it was a really good fit when popped on to the tightest hook providing me with an everyday underwear alternative in a smooth fabric and gorgeous colour - and of course so I could review it for my readers too!

Overall I am pleased with my purchase and look forward to wearing it some more.  I really like the design and feel of bra when I wear it.  The set is a great addition to my underwear collection and it is always great to sample a new brand, it has made me look again at the collection online which for Marks and Spencer's in a commercial sense is a great thing.  I really do like the collection, for a high-street collaboration it really has been well thought out, designed and marketed - Rosie's collection deserves to be their best selling lingerie line of all time and it could be the start of a rejuvenation of their own collection.  A big well done to Rosie and her design team!

I hope you have all enjoyed this post,
Speak soon - Claire x