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Sexy Plus Size Lingerie Dreams

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Forget the credit crunch, sales of expensive lingerie and sex toys are rising

Next time you are on the DART or Luas, look closely at the woman with the elusive, Mona Lisa smile. She may be wearing non-descript clothes and sensible shoes, but chances are that she is wearing expensive, luxurious lingerie next to her skin, dressing from the inside out. Nowadays, it's not uncommon for Irish women to don seriously pricey lingerie -- garter belts and all -- under their sombre black business suits. In fact, they're most likely enjoying the pleasurable, sensuous feel of silk under their sober uniform of work clothes.

The bottom may have fallen out of the property market, but one growth sector enjoying a strong rise in business is luxury underwear and adult bedroom accessories. People have no say in the rise and fall of the Nasdaq Index, but they have control over the little pleasures in life and they are certainly planning to exploit it; they may have to cut out frills elsewhere, but that doesn't go as far as saucy smalls. Next month, sales will go into overdrive in Ireland as gifts of lacy bras, basques, knickers and bedroom accessories -- such as nipple balm and crystal-tipped whips -- wing their way to wives, girlfriends and mistresses.

For as long as anyone can remember, lingerie has been regarded as not much more than window shopping for men, or a frustrating obstruction to getting a girl naked. Mark Twain once said: "Clothes maketh the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." Quite what he would have made of Tim Bret-Day's shoot for Agent Provocateur (right), featuring Helena Christensen and Alice Dellal (the model with the half-shaved head) is another story. The shoot was inspired by Hogarth's The Rake's Progress.

Designer handbag collecting is now clichéd, while treating oneself to shoes is an unimaginative folly that went out with Carrie Bradshaw's corsages. Given that underwear can insinuate, lie, persuade, suggest and seduce all at once, it was only a matter of time before we came to view it as a sort of invisible, secret status symbol.

Yet herein lies the rub -- if women feel that the art of underwear buying is the ultimate treat, why are they so often affronted when men want to buy it for them? Women often claim to bedeck themselves in La Perla, Agent Provocateur and Coco de Mer simply for themselves, but does this really ring true when faced with the prospect of pleasing an Irish man?

"Women without fail claim that they're wearing it for themselves," says magazine publisher Michael O'Doherty. "They're not fooling anyone -- we know it's for us."

The single man-about-town who recently launched Stellar, Ireland's newest glossy magazine for women, isn't slow to admit his skills at the delicate art of buying lingerie for women. "I've bought La Perla in Dublin, and Victoria's Secret in New York. It's always the same reaction -- impressed by my bravery, grateful for my taste, and relieved I bought it in the right size. Not half as relieved as I was."

A survey by Maidenform, lingerie specialists for the past 80 years, found that 54pc of men believe women consider what is attractive to men as their primary focus when buying lingerie. However, only 7pc of women said that this was the case. "I would buy a girl lingerie for herself, never really for me," claims TV presenter Baz Ashmawy from How Low Can You Go. "You could go all out and buy something sexy, but I'd rather buy her something I've a chance of seeing her in. Girls don't wear the really sexy stuff all that often, do they? I like to buy cutesy, flowery and girly stuff for girls, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not sexy."

In the past, Ashmawy has indeed splashed out on racy garb, something he now views with mixed feelings. "It was a winner at the time all right, but I never got to see her in it. We didn't last too long after that, and to be honest I was quite happy not seeing her in it by that stage!

"I love that women are a lot more conscious of their sexuality, and it shows in what they're wearing," he continues. "A guy will be happy to wear the blue Y-fronts his mum gave him, not caring about who'll see them. Girls don't seem to mind that either. But I think if guys saw a girl in her huge, flesh-coloured knickers for the first time, they'd probably think, 'Oh God... are you for real?'"

Spending as much on lingerie as clothes

Brown Thomas lingerie buyer, Mary Mullin has also observed a noted increase in male customers. "Irish men are more than happy to browse the rails and are usually quite confident buying for their partners," she says.

By contrast, most Irish women assert that lingerie shopping is a highly personal pleasure that's best left outside the battle for one's heart (and loins). Jazz singer Maria Tecce says: "I choose my underwear to feel good, so greying knickers go in the bin regardless of what's happening in my relationship. I buy special lingerie to spoil myself a little in the simplest way. Buying a piece of lovely lingerie is like an instant mood lift."

Laura Mulcahy (31), a single, secondary school teacher working in Newbridge, Co Kildare, admits to being a "complete underwear snob" and will invest hundreds of euro on her lingerie, while buying her clothes on the high street. "I'd rather go without than buy lingerie of average quality that won't last," she admits. "I don't see it as that extravagant a spend. It's more about functionality, although I do like to buy it in lovely colours that aren't very practical. I always feel a bit smarter when everything is matching underneath my clothes, but it's also about knowing that my body shape is the best it can be. I'd be very judgmental on people who would scrimp on buying underwear."

As a fellow singleton, music publicist Bernie Divilly (27) thinks little of dropping €200 a pop on covetable lingerie: "When you work hard, it's a real luxury necessity, and you know you deserve it; it's like treating yourself to a dinner in Shanahan's on the Green when you could just as easily eat at Burger King."

A former employee of La Perla in Paris, Irish lingerie designer Caoimhe O'Dwyer says that continental women and high-end underwear have long made for rather comfortable bedfellows. "French and Italian women spend as much on their outerwear as their lingerie; almost €200 a go," she reveals. "It's a long-held part of their culture, but it's a concept Irish women are only getting their heads around now."

Let's face it, women may make all sorts of 'I'm worth it' noises when it comes to buying sexy underwear sets, but the trajectory of any modern Irish relationship can often be symbolised by women's underwear.

Observe how the ornate La Perla or What Katie Did sets are proudly sported during a couple's honeymoon stage; further down the line, when relations have cooled, greying cotton knickers hang shamelessly on the radiator.

Further muddying the unholy trinity between men, women and underwear is the advent of designer lingerie as a lifestyle accessory. Look no further than Agent Provocateur, a line roundly considered to be the zenith of classy erotica.

Their new Pirates Provocateur line -- featuring a scantily clad Helena Christensen in a Hogarth-inspired mass grope, will no doubt incite many a Jolly Roger (and Peter, and Mike, and John). On top of that, Christensen's shapely curves deliciously hint that God might not have wanted us humans to be naked after all (in all, it's not bad going for a girl who turns 40 on Christmas Day).

Agent Provocateur's pink-coated staff at Brown Thomas in Dublin report brisk business in the Titillation Lip and Nipple Balm, costing €31, and Christmas stocking fillers for literary types include a €26 strip-poker set disguised as a book. However, the jewel-encrusted whips may be a bridge too far for some Irish women of a certain age.

In 1970s/1980s Ireland, underwear -- largely white, gusseted and chaste, save for the odd bow or frill -- was functional to a fault. "I certainly haven't noticed as many ads for 'cross your heart' bras or '24-hour girdles' on TV any more," observes O'Doherty. "Just like personal stereos, underwear seems to have got smaller, sleeker and more of a fashion thing than a practical device."

And yet, oh irony of ironies, the cosseting, structured undergarments of the 1940s and 1950s have suddenly become en vogue with Ireland's upwardly mobile set. Thanks, in part, to the proliferation of burlesque clubs and nights across the land, the humble stockings and suspender belts -- once a worn-out cliché -- have been granted a new lease of life.

Sara Colohan, founder of Tassels burlesque club, reports "a huge return to the idea of underwear as outerwear. They're always beautifully finished, so there's a cheeky fun element and the basic 'sex' sentiment is softened. I honestly think men find that even sexier than seeing women topless," she adds. "Any time I wear them I certainly feel incredible -- even when I'm wearing a plain black wrap dress, I feel more confident."

It is precisely this newly fashionable demure sexuality that has finally brought both man and woman onto the same page.

"Agent Provocateur and Coco de Mer have opened up the possibility in Ireland that you can buy something sexy but 'acceptable' for your significant other," explains Colohan. "There's an element of fun and cheekiness there that has made it more tasteful. Oddly enough, I think if, a few years ago, a guy saw a woman in the whole 'retro-girdle' thing, he'd die of shock and think he was getting frisky with his grandmother. I think the past few years have changed the definition of what's sexy."

Of course, one development that neither man nor woman bargained on was the rise in popularity of shapewear. Spanx and 'magic knickers' have been hailed for their muffin-top- busting properties, but invite these unsightly numbers into the bedroom at your peril. A degree in acrobatics is needed to get these curve-enhancing numbers on, so you can imagine the choreography needed to remove them with any modicum of dignity.

"I'd be uncomfortable wearing Spanx, but I see the beauty of them," says Colohan. "I think if a guy got as far as to be in the position of getting the Spanx off, they wouldn't be running very far regardless!"

With Ireland facing the grim prospect of a recession, it would seem that underwear is one luxury women won't give up. Recently, Stella McCartney ventured down the lingerie route, and where the designers lead, the masses are sure to follow.

Make no mistake: there are still plenty of euro left in double-D cups.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Leather Lingerie Video

Friday, July 11, 2008

Women don't know how to wear bras

As if picking out something to wear isn't difficult enough for women, finding the right undergarments for a summer ensemble can be a daunting task.

If you're on the Victoria's Secret direct mailing list, chances are you can't get away from an image of the Very Sexy 100-way strapless convertible bra. This brassiere, which ranges from $50 to $56, depending on size, comes with various straps and bands, and features a clear plastic piece that holds the cups together. Does it really fit under any article of clothing? Maybe, for some.

But for those who want to find the perfect bra for a particular dress or top, start with a fitting, boutique owners say.

"Women don't know how to wear bras," says Valerie Lammon, owner of La Boutique de Lingerie and Gifts in Melbourne, Fla., guessing that about 95 percent of her customers who get fitted find out they've been wearing the wrong size. "They go into a store and find what they think fits."

Spending some time with a specialist and getting measured correctly can make a difference in comfort and appearance, Lammon says.

Go strapless

Rebecca Apsan, owner of La Petite Coquette in New York City and author of "The Lingerie Handbook" (Workman Publishing Company, 2006, $13.95), says there are tons of new inventions in the world of lingerie, but one classic piece is paramount.

"Everyone should have a strapless bra in their wardrobe," Apsan says.

While strapless bras carry a stigma of being uncomfortable, nowadays, it seems, there's one to fit each individual. Lammon recommends Body Wrap bandeau bras for wearing underneath skimpy tops with clingy material.

"It's really thin and doesn't have an underwire," she says. "They're great for camis."

Another option is to buy the cami with the bra built-in, says Sherry Spicciati, owner of Sherrylee Bras and Lingerie in Cocoa Beach, Fla. The No. 1 seller in Spicciati's store, however, is a bra Oprah Winfrey has raved about, and celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston have been known to wear -- the Le Mystere brand.

"They do carry a strapless, and it's a very uplifting bra," Spicciati says about Le Mystere.

Another popular brand for strapless bras is Goddess, Lammon says.

Even Wacoal boasts two strapless options. The "Custom Contours" strapless bra is padded and seamless for a smooth fit. The "Halo Lace" convertible strapless bra can be worn with straps or without. Both are a part of the lingerie maker's "Bras of Summer" collection.

Convertible bras can be versatile, but sometimes aren't the most effective when worn strapless.

"They're good, but for strapless, they're no good," Spicciati says. "They don't stay up. They're generally designed to wear as a halter or crisscross back, so you're pulling them up all the time."

And for chestier women, it's a good idea to go with a strapless corset, rather than a bra, Lammon says. For wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, strapless corsets are helpful for all sizes, she adds. Also, many corsets hook lower in the back than regular bras, which is good for semi-backless dresses and tops.
Block the view

It's hard to find a slip in a department store, but women need them, as clothing manufacturers still make sheer garments.

Alternatives to traditional slips include fitted slips such as the Body Wrap Strapless Bra Slip, Lammon says. This is a one-piece undergarment that clings to the body down to the thighs.

Girdle slips are also available, and can temporarily disguise problem areas around the tummy. Other forms of shapewear, such as the Spanx Power Panties with tummy control, are also effective.

'Nude' for white

It's not news that exposed bra straps went out of style quickly. Some ladies might not realize, however, that their bras are showing through their blouses until someone tells them, or until it shows up in pictures.

"Nude is the No. 1 color, because you can't see the nude under white, but you can see white under white," Spicciati says.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Plus size hosiery for a perfect styling!

One of my co-workers is a very large woman. She wears plus size clothing. She always looks very nice and she has a great eye for color. Her clothes always looked very nice and professional and she has a great skill in accessorizing. She is a person that is confident in her strengths and is not concerned or held back due to her size. She is well liked for her pleasant personality and is pursued for her knowledge.

A few days ago she had on a very nice outfit. She looked especially nice because her stockings were such an unusual shade that complimented the color of her skirt.

I asked her where she had found such an unusual color. She told me that she found a great catalog that carried plus size hosiery as well as other undergarments. She originally saw an ad for in another catalog.

There was a promotion to try a pair of the plus size hosiery. She filled out the form in the ad and received her complimentary plus size hosiery and also a full catalog from the company. She liked the sample pair so well that she has been ordering from the company ever since. She offered to bring in the catalog so that I could see the products. She stated that the company was not limited to plus size hosiery. They carried every possible size. for women with curves!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Large Size Lingerie

Women come in all different shapes and sizes and every woman can enjoy wearing pretty lingerie. Lingerie can make a woman feel wonderful, it can boost her self-esteem and it can also please the man in her life as well.

The majority of women in the world can't slip into a size six or a size eight. For them there is large size lingerie which fits their curves beautifully.

Large size lingerie can be purchased in one of several places. Many specialty lingerie stores have items that range in size from very petite to larger. The designs and styles cover a whole host of tastes as well.

You can find demure outfits and also much more risqué pieces too.
Many women just don't feel comfortable going into a store to buy lingerie. They may feel self-conscious about what they are purchasing or they might already know exactly what they want because they spotted it in a catalogue.

With the introduction of the internet there's a new breed of retailers whose merchandise is available to women all over the world. These are the online lingerie stores. In fact there are online retailers who cater to the plus size women selling many products that appeal just to them including large size lingerie.

As long as a woman knows her size she can purchase lingerie online. This type of shopping isn't just for women though, any man who wants to get the woman in his life a special gift should consider large size lingerie as well.

Virtually any type of large size lingerie you need or want can be found online. This includes a very special lingerie set made just for brides. Many brides want to wear something unique and delicate under their wedding dress. They also plan on packing a few lingerie items for their honeymoon. All of these things can be found online and with a click of the mouse they'll be delivered discreetly anywhere.

Large size lingerie comes in many different fabrics including silk and satin. There are lovely silk chemises made just for plus size women that fit their curves perfectly. Another popular choice in lingerie is the teddy. Teddies are versatile enough that they can be worn under a business suit or on their own in a more private setting. It’s really up to the woman’s imagination.

Large size lingerie is lovely and sexy. Women of all sizes should enjoy and embrace their shapes and feel good about wearing lingerie.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

New Plus Size Swim Wear Items

NEW - Miraclesuit Plus Size Swimwear

In Living Colour Oceanus is from the Miraclesuit Collection. Miraclesuit is a unique swimsuit that contours,
shapes, slims and firms the body. It is comfortable and it is fashion forward.


The Miraclesuit is just that -- a Miracle. The construction is fabulous. It is like having two suits in one. There is the swimsuit itself and then a full bodysuit/lining
attached inside. This suit has a slight drape that is softly pulled over under the bust area. The top is an underwire bra and it REALLY "holds things up". Miraclesuit
claims all their suits make you look 10 pounds slimer. "I personally have this suit and it is MY FAVORITE!!" - Susan Barone

Saturday, January 28, 2006

New, Sexy Options In Lingerie For Plus Size Women

Full-figured, curvaceous women are no longer forced to wear standard issue cotton briefs and boring, flannel nightgowns. There are many new choices in lingerie for plus size women. Whether you are a size 14 or a 3X, you can find lace, satin, even leather intimate wear. If looking voluptuous and romantic is important to you, a few special pieces of lingerie in plus size might be just how to do it.

A sexy bra and panty set is a wonderful way to flaunt your luscious curves. Some of the most seductive styles push up your bust and coyly cover your other assets. Look for lace detailing, embellishments, and vibrant colors.

A flowing and sheer nightgown or baby doll set is another option for lingerie in plus size that you may want to consider. You can certainly play up your sensuality in pink chiffon or black lace night wear that will keep your loved one's eyes focused on you.

If you lean toward the exotic and adventurous, leather corsets, mesh bodysuits, or see-through teddies might be just your thing. Go ahead and experiment with all of the different varieties of fun lingerie.

Many retail stores carry large selections of lingerie for full-figured women. And if shopping from the privacy of your home is your preference, there are many online stores that specialize in plus size lingerie. Before you purchase lingerie from any retailer, make sure that you fully understand their return policy, in case something doesn't fit properly. Some stores happily return unworn merchandise, while others have stricter policies.

What is wonderful about lingerie is that it's such a personal and creative way to express your beauty, femininity, and sensuality. Regardless if you have a drawer full of perfectly good underwear and bras, you can still have those special pieces that you want to share with your loved one during those special moments. Or, perhaps you simply want to wear a sexy bra under your every day clothes. Why not?

Lingerie might not be as essential as a winter coat or pair of jeans, but it is worth the splurge. A few sexy items can add that little bit of spice to your life that might be in short supply. So, the next time you're in the mood for a little romance, slip into something a little sexy and show off those wonderful curves.

About the Author
Chrisy Diaz is a fashion advisor for plus size women. She has been helping women of all sizes look their absolute best while helping them find fantastic deals on plus size clothing.For the hottest tips, secrets and additonal articles, not to mention some great, plus size deals visit Plus Size Fashion Secrets


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