Be your own lingerie designer: introducing Impish Lee

impish lee

I love a good Kickstarter at the best of times, but Impish Lee doesn’t sound so much like an exciting new business venture as it does something plucked out of my wildest dreams and made real.

Impish Lee want to create the world’s first completely customisable lingerie range. From size to style to fabric to colour to trim: you decide what you want and this Brooklyn-based sister dream team will ensure it’s made for you (ethically, in America). You see? I am expecting to see a unicorn any day now.

They call this impossible sounding feat “mass customisation” – the logic being that the current mass production process is expensive and generates an awful lot of waste that can be cut out with a smart but bespoke service. You can read their post about it here.

Oh, and they also plan to use resale of returns to raise money for poverty fighting charity the “Robin Hood Foundation“.

Unfortunately for me they’re launching with cup sizes only up to US DD but the lovely Noelle assured me that they “absolutely will be expanding our bra sizes (eventually to include nearly all!!) and should most likely have those cup sizes (but their US equivalent) by the end of this year, if not sooner! Depending on how well we do in our first month open, we will move right into larger sizes.” Seriously. This is like the bra equivalent of the moon on a stick made of strawberry laces.

The good news? It’s already been funded. The better news? You’ve still got a few hours to nip in and be a backer anyway – meaning you’ll be amongst the first to receive frillies from Impish Lee. They have a bold, daring and incredibly challenging task ahead of them – and I cannot wait to see what these girls do now.

Photo by Impish Lee (thank you!!).

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Modelled by Role Models

Panache Lingerie Modelled by Role Models

“I like to think there’s so much more to me than just the way I look – Marquita Pring.

There is a lot of nonsense in marketing. I should know: it’s my job. And as I’ve often written (i.e here), I am frequently infuriated by heartstring-tugging commercials espousing “empowering” “real beauty” messages whilst simultaneously hawking products (underarm beautifying deodorant anyone?) that perpetuate our feelings of inadequacy.

I’m pretty cynical about this kind of advertising, but this month Panache Lingerie have punched through my skepticism with the very amazing “Modelled by Role Models” campaign. This new campaign doesn’t just celebrate a diverse range of beauty (age, ethnicity, disability), but it showcases the women inside the pants. And what women they are:

Amy Hughes: sports therapist and world record breaking marathon runner

Martyna Kaczmarek: 19 year old campaigner for blood, marrow and organ donations

Mica Paris: soul legend and prolific charity ambassador and equality campaigner

Rachel Elliott: A&E nurse who volunteered in the Sierra Leone ebola outbreak

Hannah Cockroft MBE: world record breaking paralympian

Marquita Pring: model, body confidence mentor

The campaign is as much about celebrating these (and your personal) role models as it is the (lovely) lingerie on them. I doubt Panache has either the gimmicks or the media budget to make this the same sort of ubiquitous, award winning success other brands playing in this (*ahem*) real beauty space will – but it’s a brilliant campaign with real integrity. And that’s not something you see every day.


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Voting blue: Parfait by Affinitas’s Casey reviewed

Parfait by Affinitas Intimates - Casey

Oh it’s nice to be back in London. I loved Amsterdam, but London by the river in the sunshine is home. And it’s nice to know I’m surrounded by hundreds of lingerie shops that stock my back size. I say it’s nice to know, but haven’t actually made it inside any of them. Between working and moving and catching up with people, I haven’t made it near a changing room.

This wouldn’t be a problem were I not mid-international move and, as before in 2011, seriously limited on my usual lingerie stash. With most of my bras in Amsterdam I’m heavily rotating a few classics – meaning I’m missing variety and (let’s face it) accelerating the death of some of my favourite bras through over wear.

To the rescue came Affinitas Intimates – who sent me Parfait’s Casey plunge in a 30G. I haven’t been feeling particularly generous to the Blues this week, but Casey’s near-lilacy hues are much more my cup of tea than right wing politics *winds neck in*.

Casey is a soft moulded plunge bra, similar to Freya’s Deco, with a lace sling for detail on the cups making it a little bit more special than a basic t-shirt bra. My usual 30G fit nicely, although the narrow centre gore couldn’t quite stay fixed to my rib cage on the loosest back hook. This is consistent with how I find Freya’s Deco sizing too though, so I think fans can wear their usual size.

Unlike the Deco it has nearly a centimetre of cushioned trim underneath the cups which I quite liked, and on F+ cups it also has three hooks at the back instead of Deco’s if you prefer that extra security. So far so good.

The cup is similar with two notable exceptions. One, the straps (skinny and satin – rare in a G cup) are fractionally further apart than the Deco making this an excellent alternative for broader shoulders. And two, the cup at the center gore is cuts away fractionally lower. Aesthetically this looked great – gives a lovely rounded cleavage – but it did mean my slightly bigger right boob half wriggled free when I cleaned the floor.

Ah well. Who wears deep deep push up bras to clean the floor anyway? A lovely little option, available now from, well, all over the place – also in black, beige, fuchsia rose and a black and rose print in sizes 30-40 D-G.

[Also from Affinitas: Charlotte and Odette reviewed.]



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Busts 4 Justice is back to Blighty!

Happy to announce that Busts 4 Justice’s recent hiatus has been Major Life Decision induced. I’m relocating to London from Amsterdam this weekend for some new adventures… and B4J is BACK.

I’m going to miss Amsterdam and the wonderful people we’ve met here. But for selfish, boob related purposes I can’t wait to get back to a city with a thriving lingerie scene, 30 back bras all over the place, and the motherships of some of my favourite brands.


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The new Fauve? Fantasie’s Melissa Reviewed


So as promised, hot on the heels of the announcement that Fauve fans could now only find their fix of beautiful luxe lingerie from sister brands Fantasie and Wacoal, I have my first Fantasie set of 2015 in my paws. How does Melissa compare next to the satiny comfort of its soon to be departed sister?

Welllll… On the model, Melissa is a perfect example of classic, elegant, grown up lingerie. So far, so very Fauve. Subtle sheer fabric, ornate lacing, tasteful non-VPL-inducing knickers. It’s no Bronte, sure (what set ever will be?) but it’s beautiful and simple and right up my alley.

Fit wise she’s great too. My normal 30G worked just fine, and she gave a lovely cleavage – subtle, not pushed up or too east-west. Technically, I should be excited.

Except, however lovely she looks and fits, Melissa feels… cheap. And she’s not. At £41/$75 she’s at the upper end of the high-street lingerie scale, but the meshing felt rough – not at all what I would expect from the heir to Fauve’s throne. I can forgive that on actual economy lingerie – such as Figleaves’ own brands – but for that price point I want something soft and special.

To be fair, Fauve just vanished so perhaps this is isn’t quite a fair fight. But I know I and others will be watching Fantasie with interest over the coming months. Can it live up to the legacy of her older sister?

Fantasie’s Melissa is available in sizes 30-32 D-GG, 34-38 C-GG, and 40 D-G.


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