Thursday, January 26, 2017

Building a chic wardrobe - lingerie





Shall we talk about lingerie?  I’ve had some requests from chic readers on this topic, so let’s go.  Over the past years I have upgraded my lingerie drawer, and continue to do so once or twice a year.  I did it again recently and enjoyed buying a few new pieces.

My desire with lingerie is to have it be ‘sexy and sophisticated’.  Those are the two essence words I have in mind when I am shopping, or deciding what to keep when I am going through my lingerie drawer.  I elaborate on this concept in ‘Day 12. Curate your wardrobe like it is your own bijou boutique’ of my book ‘Thirty Chic Days’.

Even though I might like some pieces when I am out browsing, I sometimes pass them by.  This might be if they are pretty but a bit mumsy (I am drawn to that look!) or practical and comfortable but with not enough elegance (I want everything in the one package).

I don’t buy expensive underwear and I usually shop in a sale.  My most recent shopping trip I went to the ‘nothing over $20’ sale at the Bendon Outlet store.  I still spent $150 but for that I found three nice bras and several pairs of knickers.  Also, a pair of satin drawstring pants for home loungewear.

I am more adventurous with my lingerie these days, and like to buy pretty colours and always in lace.  I buy matching and semi-matching knickers to the bras and pair them up when I am dressing.

For example, if I have a black bra and black knickers, that’s fine with me.  They don’t have to be from the same range.  I have a charcoal grey lace bra with hot pink satin straps.  I do have the matching knickers, but I also like to wear that bra with my hot pink lace knickers.

It has taken me some time to put the comfortable and utilitarian underwear mindset behind me.  I still do have comfy knickers that I have for when I change into my exercise gear and go for a walk, plus my sports bra of course; but when I get dressed after my shower, I wear my pretty, lacy lingerie which hasn’t always been the case in the past.

What I have taken from the French lady, is that underwear doesn’t have to be entirely invisible.  I don’t mean have all your lingerie hanging out and tacky-looking, but if you can see a little bit of lace pattern through a top, or a peek of a coloured satin bra strap in my boat-neck top, that’s okay.

For me, I’d far rather have the bright-coloured strap showing than a beige knit strap.  Do you know what men think of smooth beige underwear?  Not a lot.  It’s the biggest passion killer!  My husband will actually shudder if I ask him what he thinks of it.  When he first mentioned this ages ago, I got rid of my beige smooth tee-shirt bra.  It was near the end anyway so it was a good time to upgrade to something prettier.

And it makes me so happy to open my lingerie drawers these days!  I have two KonMari-folded rows of lacy, pretty knickers and one row of older/comfy knickers for exercise, plus a drawer of pretty bras (my drawers are tiny, I don’t really have that much of anything).

When I find that my underwear selection feels a bit stale and things are looking shabby, it’s time to have a go-through.  Sometimes I don’t need to go shopping if I get rid of some knickers and a bra, perhaps.  I never find myself too low because I’ll come across a good sale before that happens.

There’s nothing wrong with spending a lot of money of fancy lingerie if that’s what you like, but for me, I am happy with mid-priced underwear.  I wash it in the washing machine (with the bras in lingerie bags) and it comes out fine.

Let’s get pretty.  We are feminine beings!  Even if you don’t buy anything new, why not reorganise your lingerie drawer today.  Tip everything out on your bed and put it all back in neat folded rows, checking as you go if anything really does need to be thrown out.  Even this mini-refresh will feel good and it will be so nice when you come to get dressed tomorrow morning.

Have you upgraded your mindset around lingerie lately?  Would you like to?  What is your favourite type/colour/styles etc?  I don’t like g’s any more and prefer the boy-leg, Brazilian, low-rise kind of brief.  I like my bras lacy with underwire and no padding.


fiona

PS. Join my weekly email list to receive new blog posts, plus excerpts from my books Thirty Chic Days and Financially Chic as well as other chic goodies.  You can join here.

46 comments:

  1. That is a great idea to check the sale bins for lingerie. Sometimes I think I have split personality because what I own doesn't always look congruent in lingerie. It's either really pretty or very utilitarian and "comfy". I'm due for an edit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always find lovely things in the sales - and I'm quite a common size too. Plus, I am introduced to new and pretty colours which is a bonus; because when I buy full-price, I tend to go for black, white or blush pink only - the classics :)

      You can definitely get lovely lingerie that is comfortable, maybe not *quite* as comfortable as the plain and ugly stuff, but if it's nicer looking and almost as comfortable, I'm up for that!

      Delete
  2. Thank you, Fiona for another post. I love life simple and need my lingerie to be both pretty & functional. Hence, I am pretty selective with my choices. Black lacy lingerie are my go to. The other classic colours that I am drawn to are: red, dark pink & leopard print.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your colour choices, Princess, especially leopard print, what fun!

      Delete
  3. Lingerie is so much fun, it's definitely one of my favorite aspects of being female. I once visited a La Perla store in Las Vegas and I was amazed at the beauty and quality of the designs. It was like being in a very chic and sexy museum :)

    I have a collection of simple bras with some lace detail that look pretty and also fit smoothly underneath blouses. I pair them with seamless undies so they don't cause any VPL. Anything super frilly isn't worn underneath clothing but saved for special occasions. I'm quite busty so I need that smooth and supported lift.

    Like you, I always like to have coordinating colors. I only wear nude bras when I'm wearing a white top. I don't know what it is about them but they make me feel frumpy. Maybe it's the color? Black is always my go to for feeling chic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very chic and sexy museum - I love it!

      I know, nude underwear does feel so unsexy. There are some better colours that are okay under white - blush pink is one of them. Of course it depends on your skin tone. I have seen some lovely coffee-coloured pieces around which are good on more olive skins.

      Delete
  4. I tend to wear soft pinks and lavenders for lingerie. I have a few black pieces, but mostly I like pretty shades. No white lingerie other than sports bras and one set of my workout panties I like lace trims, and bras need to be underwires. No pushups for me! I like coordinating rather than matching. I wear pink cotton panties with a lacy bra, or vice versa. I don't really buy sets because nylon panties feel creepy to me. Cotton is more comfortable.

    I prefer highwaisted panties to lowrise. They are more comfortable to me. Also, I think they're prettier. I'm just getting into tap pants and will start learning to make my own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinks and lavenders sound very pretty for underwear, Aurora.

      I think tap pants are french knickers? I have not seen them around so much but they are very elegant and make me think of the 1920s and 1930s. Divine.

      Delete
  5. Like you, I've recently started to pay more attention to my lingerie too. We have a mid-range shop called Marks and Spencers and they do a lovely range of silk vintage inspired called Rosie for Autograph. I usually get those in the sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen Rosie's stuff in magazine ads, it's lovely!

      Delete
    2. Hi Fiona M&S now ship to NZ for free with a minimum $50 purchase - see marksandspencer.co.nz - not the full range unfortunately (they used to until about a year ago). I love the 100% cotton non-iron shirts for my husband - something you can't seem to get NZ.

      Delete
  6. When I was in a U.S. shop (something about a secret and Victoria), the clerk informed me that the lacy things were for special occasions, and directed me to the plain items for every day. I informed her I live in France, where women wear pretty things every day, not just on occasions. But maybe she just wanted to dissuade me from picking through the sale bin.
    It's really important to get fitted when you buy a bra. Our bodies change with weight fluctuations, age and amount of exercise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How interesting that the shop assistant wanted to tell you want to wear!!! I love a good sale bin, you never know what you'll find :)

      I agree, I get fitted maybe every five years. Probably not often enough, but I do have a good idea of how the sizes should fit, and I take in more than one size of a bra to try on.

      Delete
  7. What a delightful post. I definitely need to update my lingerie now and I really like your ideas as well as those that I see in the comments.

    I love the difference in our terms here in the US vs. NZ. Knickers sound so much cuter than panties.

    Thank you, Fiona!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Pammie. Enjoy your edit!

      Delete
  8. Hi Fiona! You have motivated me to do some shopping and editing! I love pretty lacy things too. I also hate g strings they are horrible and look horrible unless your back side is perfection lol! I really love boy shorts, they are so comfy and stay put and are really sexy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree about purchasing mid price range lingerie. For your readers in the US, Steinmart has a semi annual lingerie sale. I have found expensive bras and panties at great prices..........like $10 for bras that are normally 5+ times the price and upscale labels as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for lingerie sales :) It's not as if they go out of fashion or you have to have a summer or a winter bra!

      Delete
  10. Hi Fiona, I have to wear matching panties and bras or else I feel a bit off. I prefer cotton panties, because when summer comes around and we are living in over 100 *F heat, my comfort comes first. It's a challenge sometimes to find attractive cotton panties though. I currently have bikini styles in black and nude with lacy scalloping as trim. Lately, I've been thinking about purchasing a white set after seeing the 1999 french film, "Venus Beauty Institute," with Audrey Tautou and Natalie Baye. Loved it. There is a scene where the salon owner talks about how lovely white lingerie is because of it's fresh and clean look.

    D.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D, I must see that movie! I have seen many Audrey Tautou titles but that one does not ring a bell. Thank you!

      I love the white lingerie quote too :)

      Delete
  11. My problem is I don't have a young-woman's figure any longer. I'm not huge, but my shape has changed. I'm sure I could get something wonderful if I went to Rigby & Peller (or is it Peller & Rigby, the Queen's corsetiere, who don't even measure you but take a good look and find something to fit the most unusual of shapes.
    Anyway, when it comes to my larger size, bras are usually not pretty! Far from it, most look like what one comedian described as an "over the shoulder boulder holder!" They are often in a horrible colour called 'Flesh' - nothing like any flesh I have ever seen - and have wide straps to support the tonnage!
    However, I have found one style in lace that is quite pretty and even helps prevent everything falling it contains from falling even further south than it already has fallen, but the colours are limited and the only acceptable ones are cream or black. I'd have loved a deep navy blue, but Marks & Spencer don't seem to care for this colour for underwear. I ordered one style in a bright turquoise, just to see what it would be like! More fool me. Big mistake, it was just so revolting, so vulgar. Had I been a working girl in a saloon in the wild west it might've looked OK but it wasn't what you could call chic by any stretch of the imagination! Maybe it was their best seller, who knows?
    Anyway, the cream and the black (underwired - rather uncomfortable, but nothing else is strong enough to hold them up!) lace are acceptable and not too expensive and they have knickers to match. Until recently I only wore white cotton Sloggi knickers, thinking that silky knickers would be attractive but not practical - tights would slip off them, and the undercarriage wouldn't be nice, but I was wrong. Tights do not slip off them, and the undercarriage is cotton.
    I must now look and see if I can find other colours in some pretty styles that will fit me but I'm not holding my breath (well, I have to do that when I get into these things!) I don't think I'd like two-tone bra, but I'm not ruling anything out!
    PS Pammie - here in the UK we sometimes use "Oh! Knickers!" as a mild expletive, too!
    Margaret P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I never thought of that!
      Margaret P

      Delete
    2. Margaret, you are so funny, and I love your turn of phrase. The English sense of humour is the best :)

      I agree that bright turquoise is not a good colour for lace underwear, but then I don't really wear much turquoise. A soft seaglass green maybe would be nice.

      Delete
  12. Hi Fiona, I am curious to what color you wear under white tops or even Tee Shirts since you said you got rid of your natural or flesh colored bras. One definitely needs something smooth so we don't have lumps or bumps under our tighter fitting tops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cindy, blush pink is my nude these days. I don't wear a ton of white because it's quite stark against my colouring but I have a white lace bra with blush pink accents that I would choose. I don't mind lace under fabrics, even tee-shirts.

      Delete
  13. Bonjour Fiona,

    Thongs are my everyday wear as showing visible pantie lines is a major no-no for me. Quelle horreur! And cotton bikini style for "that time" of the month when thongs are less than practical. I wash all of my lingerie with an organic bar soap and air dry them to prolong their loveliness. Thongs have the least amount of fabric than other styles so they weigh less, take up less space and dry much faster - a major plus when traveling!

    Not strict about matching my bra with my panties but when it does happen coincidentally, it makes me smile. One thing I won't tolerate is to continue to wear a pantie way pass its prime. When it looks a bit dingy and loses its elasticity, out they go. Life is too short to wear ugly underwear! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ages ago I read the advice to wear black lace knickers at that time of the month, which I though was an excellent idea. You feel a bit prettier and black is a practical colour :)

      Delete
  14. I absolutely needed this kick in the - knickers :) I jst joined a lingerie subscription service to get my act in gear. Thanks, Fiona!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, kick in the knickers, I love it!

      A lingerie subscription service!!! I have never heard of such a thing. That would be fun receiving undies in the post; it would certainly brighten up a normal weekday :)

      Delete
    2. Apparently one a month you go to their website and choose what you want in your style and size. I'm going to try it for a few months!

      Delete
  15. Great post as usual Fiona. Lingerie was kne of my first upgrades when I started on my french chic journey many years ago. I looked in my lingerie drawer and was horrified to realise everything was grey and stretched and horrible - I even had some old underwired bras that had the wires sticking into me for years! In my defence I am very busty and larger sizes used to be very functional but not pretty. I now insist on matching pairs and have them neatly stacked in my drawer - I must admit I was quite pleased a few years ago when a friend who was visiting accidently opened the drawer and was very impressed by the pretty, neat and organised sets. I too buy a couple of sets a year from Bendon - sometimes the outlet shop too - and they do have a nice selection. I usually buy fayreform (some are a bit dowdy but I pick with care :))
    Margaret - I must admit I was a bit disappointed with m&s a couple of years ago when I visited the UK - you are right that they don't have much range for larger busts - and some of the newer lingerie type shops in the UK also seemed to stop at a C cup in many cases! I would strongly recommend looking for Fayreform if they sell it anywhere in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aisling, I bet your friend went straight home that day and reorganised her drawers!

      Whenever I have seen Fayreform they have lovely styles and colours. I tried to find Fayreform in my size but then realised they only started one size bigger than I am :) I was quite miffed!

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Aisling (Minnow x) - I don't know if there is a Fayreform here in the UK but I will check that out.
      Margaret P

      Delete
  16. I love lingerie...one of my favourite sets is by Chantelle and is lacy detailed chocolate brown with blush pink.
    Several sets of brighter colours round out my collection.
    The basic nude Tee shirt bra is in my drawer and my question is what colour bra would you wear under a nude or white tee shirt if you disposed of all your nude bras?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leslie, I love the combo of chocolate brown and blush pink :)

      Please feel free to disregard my opinions on nude smooth bras if you wear them a lot and find them useful. For me, I would replace it with a lacy bra in blush pink or white. Sometimes you can get pretty bras that are smoother without being a homogenised expanse of padded knit.

      Delete
  17. I definitely need to re-boot (booty?!) my lingerie drawer!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Fayreform and Chantelle are available on Amazon if you have access to that. Thanks, Fiona for this reminder to do wonderful things for ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Fiona,

    I just listened to your Podcast and was so pleased to hear how much you are enjoying your new freedom. I think the biggest luxury in life is time! For me, time wealth is my favorite thing about being retired; it's wonderful. To do things, or not to do things, as I choose. It's also wonderful to be with your partner all day, although for you that won't be as big a change, since you've worked side by side for so long! Still, isn't it just bliss to putter around home as much as you please? I'm sure you're both making your house shine, and am so interested in hearing of the next steps in your new adventure.

    I admit, I didn't often listen to the Podcasts, because I thought they were just an audio version of your text, but now that I know you chat too, I'm reformed ;-)

    Afraid I have nothing to add on the subject of lingerie, although I greatly enjoyed hearing your chic suggestions. I might actually be the most hopeless woman ever; I just don't do that stuff. All white cotton for me.

    Erina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Erina, time is the biggest luxury. That, and privacy.

      I don't always talk extra on my podcasts, but I might do from now on. I love it when I get little glimpses into the lives of people I follow online. I'll try to keep it interesting :)

      Delete
  20. I love this article. I too have a hard time finding bras that are pretty in larger sizes. To get the lift you have to forgot pretty it seems. :( I have heard many people mention that there is no reason for showing straps. Years ago that was a no no. Seeing straps of any color makes you think of what the strap is part of. So a man's thoughts go to that women's breasts. A natural progression of thought. Just a thought. Anna

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anna, I remember when straps were the biggest no-no as well. I still don't let any of my bra show usually, but in a boat-neck top sometimes the straps stray up and I have to sit them as wide on my shoulders as possible.

    ReplyDelete

Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...