We all have our year end rituals. For some of you it may go along the lines of not quite fitting into the dress, freezing your strappy sandaled toes off and getting your cocktail jostled all over the vintage clutch you saved for the big night out.
Happy New Year!
Me? I nail the door shut from the inside. Chilled Champagne, nuked popcorn and cozy PJ’s. Petra, dear friends, has been through the party wars. The comforts of home are all I desire when ringing in the New Year. It is a brief moment of reflection, a deep breath between times, hopefully good times on both sides of midnight for you and I both.
Other rituals … empty the drawers! Unsnag straps. Sort and launder and fold. Peel out the things that I really don’t, didn’t, won’t wear and find a home for them. Plastic bins for under the bed and high up in the closet. Unused samples pulled out for women whose needs are greater than mine. Figure out a new organization scheme and stow all the pretties, fresh as flowers back away, ready to be totally upturned and out of order in mere days. Come Valentines, I’ll be in a lather trying to find a garter belt. But try we must.
Before that moment though, the bed is covered in knickers deep enough to ski through, and I am newly inspired to pick a few faves from 2012 and share them with you here today. Some of the designers and vendors I will mention here were kind enough to send us pretty parcels in exchange for a word or two. Some are shops and brands I buy on my own dime. This in no way constitutes a “Best of” list. If you have a tick, I’ll tell you why (just 2 reasons).
I believe that all well made garments have a perfect setting, fit a budget perfectly, fit the woman perfectly, and really touch off all the nice feelings that lingerie should instill. So what is best for me might be dreck for you. And vice versa, yes?
As deep in knickers as I am, I could never in a zillion happy years cover all the vendors, all the brands, all the beautiful dreamers who cause our lingerie drawers to get stuffed as they are. I have faves, loads of them, but I am always expecting to find things I love more. Best is hopefully just around the corner always.
Here then, are some of the things that made 2012 all special underneath for me.
Boutique: I must get out to LA more often if for nothing else, another visit to Faire Frou Frou. Alison and Gail Rubke have built a pretty temple of temptation, the very picture and model of the upmarket Salon de Swoon. From Andres Sarda to Zinke and practically everything in between worth having in your jammed drawers.
Bra: I usually break up with bras before I wear them out. The Soire Molded bra from Cosabella will be next bra I wear to bare thread from love. Feather light, down soft, sexy, comfy and free. Big cup girls may not find the support they need here, but if you are happy to be a B or a C, and love to feel free this is your bra.
Panty – Full Coverage: TC IntimatesLace Trim Boy-short is sleek, comfy, secure and durable. I liked them the minute I slid them on. I loved them after a 6 hour red-eye flight. No bunching, slipping, nothing, and still cool as a cucumber.
Panty – Thong: There is a perfect thong for all of us. Getting the size and rise right is a very hit or miss thing, and nothing will make a day longer quicker than a thong gone wrong. The OnGossamer Veiled Lace Thong is just made for me and gets more wear than her matching Bump-it-Up bra. Flocked velvet and sheer mesh are just super sexy.
Shapewear: I had a lot of choices this year, and really having put on 10lbs this year I had no choice but to spend a little time finding pieces that helped me keep the shape I want to have forever. Much of what I love about Columbian brand Vedette was mentioned in a review here. Old-fashioned and new-fangled. Works for me. Really works. I have a few pieces, but always go back to the Melanie when the look is clingy.
Sheer Tights. Smallish Spanish label Platino unseated my usual Italian, French and Austrian brands this year. The feel, fit and finish of the Clean Cut 15 is simply not to be believed. Good color assortment and a crazy price of $15.00. Exclusive in North America as far as I can tell from Shapings.
Fashion Hosiery: Hard to pick a single fave in this category, but the pretty floral lace tights from Phillipe Matignon seem to get pulled out of the package more often than the many other choices I am spoiled by. Reviewed here, they have become a signature for me. Peek Brooklyn still has them and ships quick like a bunny.
Stay up / Stocking: I am convinced I had prior life in a time when there was no Lycra, no pantyhose, more time and more romance. The StockinGirl 415 is a perfect contemporary tribute to the vintage Hanes stocking that became extinct in the 1960’s. If you have not worn a fully fashioned all-nylon stocking in your life, well, we simply don’t know each other as well as I thought. You can read my thoughts on the matter here, or better yet, just go shop here.
New(ish) Label: Lilipiache knocked me out earlier this year. Two sisters and a school mate from Japan breath completely feminine, delicate and luxurious life into their inaugural collection. There is a real gift here, and I wish them the very best with their beautiful business. When I wear Lilipiache, I am absolutely certain that I have the finest underthings in the room.
Lingerie Accessory: Life is too short to rinse the suds out of the stockings. Hosiery Mate gets them clean without all the suds and sink draining. Dynamite in a small package. If you see a bottle at the check out counter, just buy it.
Discount Shopping Venue: Ideeli is an online fashion aggregator with daily deals from names you know from head to toe. At least a couple of days a week you will see a lingerie line that is just a little out of your reach all of a sudden deeply discounted. I have scored Wolford, Aubade and Cosabella this year from Ideeli at dimes on the dollar. Sign up and get tempted.
Mass Market Retail: I am late to the Aerie party, and pleasantly surprised at the goodies I found there. Reviewed here, rivers of pretty over here. It is tough for a retail brand with a youth focus to grow up with their core audience. Aerie is maturing beautifully.
There are a couple of hundred more happy notes I could write here, but will leave off with just a couple of thank yous as we finish up the year.
Thanks to all the vendors who trusted Ally and I with your brand and your work. We are truly proud to earn your confidence, and delighted to wear your pretty things every day.
And thanks especially to all Guilty Pleasures readers. This would not be so much fun if you did not join us here. We love the gift of your company.