Poetic Sanctuary ~ Skin Lingerie

August 28, 2015

2015-03-16-15.19When I sold my family house 3 years ago, I purged the majority of my belongings, the most difficult of which was a library, filled with books (yes real hard and soft cover books) that I had collected over many years. Since the head to toe bookshelves that engulfed that room was a major influence on why I purchased that house, the elimination of its contents was a knotty task for me. Given the nomadic life on which I was unknowingly about to embark, the dissolution of that weighty collection was probably a good thing. I kept less than 10, each a particular tome of sustenance for my psyche. The most important for me: Honey and Salt by Carl Sandburg.  In its namesake verse, Sandburg uses the visual similarity and actual dichotomy of these two elements to expound on the intellect and emotion existing in a truly meaningful relationship.

Here is why these extraordinary lyrics surfaced when I saw this Tea Cozy sleepshirt layered under the Cocoon wrap robe at the Skin showroom in NYC. The juxtaposition of the 100% light Pima cotton gauze nightshirt with the plush poly Pima lined bathrobe, although completely different in substance, seemed perfectly matched. Available in XS – XL, these styles, when nested together, are a cozy sanctuary for any woman craving rest. A highly articulate assemblage of eloquent fabrics and sophisticated form, the Skin brand continues its signature creation of poetic loungewear.

“There Are Sanctuaries Holding Honey And Salt” . . .Carl Sandburg


Girly With a Dollup of Sass ~ Skarlett Blue

August 25, 2015


I drove down to Maryland this past weekend to visit my sister. With my 2 ½ year old grandson in tow, one of my objectives was to see my nephew’s family, including his 2 year old daughter. When you are living with a live-wire, ball of energy, obsessed with trucks and anything in motion, it is somewhat of a culture shock to experience a quiet, doll carrying, tutu wearing babe in arms. This little girl is a real girly, girl. Emma… that’s her name, was dressed up like a princess from her underwear to the bows in her hair. Feminine fortitude starts young. I had just forgotten. It’s been a long time since I could park my daughters at Victoria Secret for an hour, just for their shopping entertainment.


It got me thinking about the Skarlett Blue brand, which is in its second season and clearly on a mission to bring everyday charm to the intimates market. Under the Dana-Co umbrella, these styles stand out as a carefully curated collection of bras and panties merchandised to address a young working woman who wants quality fashion designed for her comfort and her pocketbook.  Already claiming best-selling success with several key items, it is the Minx collection that stirred my interest. Both the front closure push up with brushed cups and the full cup unlined bra fill often denied expectations in size and styling. Fitting 32-36, A-DDD, Minx expands its reach into spring 2016, as colors multiply.  But most of all, it is the combination of sweet and sexy in these basic shapes that can help complete a store’s inventory profile. Think girly girl with sass. Maybe a new generation of young women will seek Skarlett Blue as an alternative for their shopping entertainment.

“My Style Is Simple, Kinda Girly, But With A Bit Of An Edge” ~Erin Heatherton




The Stars Will Always Shine ~ Empreinte Lingerie

August 21, 2015

Every August of my childhood, my family would pack up the station wagon and drive north for a 2 week vacation camping on the islands of Lake George. My memories of these trips center on my dad.  His approach to the entire process taught me important lessons on preparation and attention to detail. Even though we were isolated outdoors, without plumbing or electricity, he was able to transform an ordinary campsite into a stunning wooded retreat. We were often envied by others for our unique and innovative set up.  But it was sitting with him on our dock at night while he schooled me in the mysteries of the constellations that I learned the importance of exploring new frontiers. I have forgotten most of my lessons, but every time I witness the majesty of a starry night, the best of my dad comes to mind.

Imagine my nostalgia when I first saw Empreinte’s Cassiopee bra and panty set, an exquisitely executed development in fabric technology that looks remarkably like the threaded web of a brilliant Northern sky. Once again, Empreinte has pioneered a new technique in lace construction. Delicately embroidered tulle is molded into cup sizes fitting 30-42, C-G. This precious application is a combination of extraordinary assiduity and magnificent craftsmanship. Seamfree, the fit is reminiscent of the ground breaking Melody style that originally brought rigid molded lace to a large busted woman. Launching now, Cassiopee is positioned to become another Empreinte  bestseller. I, for one, cannot wait to have this beautiful universe so close to my breast.

Je Ne Peux Effacer L’Empreinte Du Passé” ~ French Song
(“I Can’t Erase the Imprint of The Past”) 


I Do It My Way ~ Hooked Up Shapewear

August 17, 2015

From the time I was a very young girl, I disliked the feeling of anything body confining. Born in the early 50’s my mother thought girdles were a rite of passage. I cleared that notion up quickly. As a young woman, pantyhose were an annoyance, the waistbands biting into my much smaller middle at the time. Thus, my proclivity for pants. I have never been a fan of shapewear; the thought of feeling constricted far outweighing vanity.  As you might imagine, I have received many samples of shaping products over time and have tried one or two. But in general, I depend on the wisdom of others to keep me informed on this category.


However, there comes a time in one’s life where a little control is probably in order. And so, recently, for a sundress requiring a modicum of smoothing support, I acquiesced to the one shaping garment that I do own: Hooked Up Shapewear’s Hi-Waisted Shaping Mid-thigh Panty. I already knew it worked having worn it on those rare special occasions (like my son’s wedding) where duty called. But I never knew it was good to go for a 12 hour day until I challenged its virtues during the 3 days I was at Curve.


I discovered this brand several years ago at its inception and was enthralled by this patent pending product for its unique method of hooking the top of the shapewear to the back of a woman’s bra straps. Certainly feedback from size S-3X has given it very high marks. So, I am sure that the fact that I never use the hooks will ruffle a few brand feathers. But I believe this only adds to its design merits. This style stays up under my bra without the hooks, never rolls down, is easy to take on and off, is flexible but containing and actually feels good to wear. As far as I am concerned, I am Hooked Up. I have found my personal favorite shaping solution.

“Everybody Has A Different Way Of Telling A Story and Different Stories To Tell”
~Keith Richards


Today, I Have Something To Say

August 14, 2015


I have something I want to say today and so, I digress from our regular story flow. Yesterday, I read a very upsetting blog posted by my colleague, Cora Harrington, founder and publisher of The Lingerie Addict. Apparently the integrity of this very popular and very well curated website has been compromised by a very “sick” individual. A man who goes by the name of Tom Slew has invaded the blogosphere in an effort to perpetuate his lecherous addiction. His salacious solicitation of young women to model for The Lingerie Addict, is not only disgusting, it is a criminal act. He has claimed to be her husband and voyeur that he is, asking these women to “display” their “assets” for review.

Unfortunately, women have been prey to unstable males forever. And that is why I feel compelled to voice my dismay at this incredibly lascivious affront to femininity. As the mother of two girls, I remember the naivety of my children’s youth. There was a particular incident when one of my daughters was drawn into a “photographers” lair by promises of fortune and fame. Luckily she extracted herself before it was too late. But our culture of worshiping on the altar of air brushed beauty has left many young women exposed.

Cora has built her website to mega proportions through hard work and a desire to build an equal podium in the lingerie world for all women. She is a huge advocate for diversity and personal choice. Although our websites serve different purposes in the Intimate Apparel universe, The Lingerie Addict, like Lingerie Briefs works hard to obliterate exploitation and elevate intimates to an instrument for female self-esteem. Our fan base might diverge, but our mission is still the love of lingerie and how it can positively serve the feminine mystique. Blogging has become an important media engine. The potential reach is unlimited. Unfortunately, this very public podium is also fluid and by definition, accessible to creeps as well as fans. To insure the honor of this platform, when abuse occurs, strong women (and men) must speak out.

“The Greater The Power, The More Dangerous The Abuse” ~Edmund Burke




Simple Grace ~ Dear Bowie

August 12, 2015

Sheba_Hashtag-501_CahI moved this past weekend for the 5th time in 3 years. They say moving is one of the most stressful events in life, but I’ve become such a connoisseur of the process that I can safely say, this move was a breeze. Life has a way of inducing change and I have been forced to embrace it. As a result, I just don’t own much.  The constant transitions have eliminated material interference in my life. It has reinforced my belief that it is better to invest in quality than to be a collector of “things”. For me, purchase value is determined by fit, aesthetics and potential longevity. I am living on the altar of simplicity, but I am not sacrificing beauty.

This is, in my opinion, why I have been drawn to the Dear Bowie loungewear line. A Canadian brand I initially saw several seasons ago at Curve, their focus on luxury silk robes and kimonos with  very modern, clean lines is an anchor to their defining style. Available in sizes XS – XL, they have taken a classic intimate silhouette and refreshed the look. This is an investment in contemporary elegance.


“Simplicity Is The Ultimate Sophistication.”
~ Claire Boothe Luce









Lingerie Trend Highlights for Spring 2016 ~ CurveNY Wrap-up

August 9, 2015


Spring 2016 Lingerie Market wrapped up last week following a very successful Curvexpo New York show held at the Javits Center. I spent three full days there focused on mining the products that will matter to a retailer’s inventory, particularly specialty stores. Because there is so much to see and I live in New York, I wait to review the brands I can visit until after the expositions. That said, I use this stage to target trends. I might not showcase all that I see here, either because I haven’t met with some key resource as yet, or because my photography skills do not do them justice. Even so, I believe the message is still quite clear.

The usual suspects still stand strong. Sports Bras and Cross over Loungewear continue to develop.

Untitled-1yLove + Grace & Urban MuuMuu

Untitled-1xPluto & Pluto On The Moon

bl-pj-h-and-amoePJ Harlow & Amoena

Maternity is growing in importance in the Lingerie departments and the Curvy and Plus markets are on a path to grandeur. Their influence is evident in every category.

bl-cahe-cCache Coeur

bl-el-tiaElila & Tia Lyn

Sexy still sells but bondage is toned down. And Bridal is on many vendors menu.

curvy-kate-scantillyScantilly by Curvy Kate

blUntitled-1Maison Close

bl-jw-mdJane Woolrich & Marlies Dekkers

bl-AmourADORN les dessous

bl-emp-amourEmpreinte & ADORN les dessous

bl-jw-&-chrisJane Woolrich & Christine

However, for me, the big story was fabric innovation. This show revealed a powerful blue palette, many hues playing an important role, and Navy standing strong alongside black as a basic. The infusion of pinks and purples with a touch of yellow foretells the seasons to come.

bl-add-lejabAddiction & Maison Lejaby

dear-bowieDear Bowie



bl-ck-tlovCurvy Kate & Tullulah Love



New techniques in molding, lighter spacers, raw edges, emerge. Leather, Eyelets, Jacquards transform Intimate fabrics.

bl-commandCommando Swimwear

bl-marliesMarlies Dekkers

bl-hsHelen Sanchez

Gorgeous watercolor prints, fusing animal and floral motifs as well as the tried and true dot story are dominant. Print, transparent materials and lace fuse together to up the visual impact.


bl-an-c-rfAnita Care & Rosa Faia Swimwear

bl bl raBlackspade & Rago

bl-tr-gosTutti Rouge & Gossard

Whisper light laces and sheer fabrics overlaid with embroidery and guipure transfer traditional intimate garments into a fairy-tale experience. Open weaves create sexy bodywear.

bl av jupMarie Jo L’Aventure & Jupons de Tess

sonata-rapalateSonata Rapalyte

bl-ids-emID Sarrieri & Erica M

bl-vb-elseVa Bien & Else


Without exception, the amazing attention to details adds great value to products, justifying costs and setting the luxury market apart.

bl-hs-skHelen Sanchez & Skarlett Blue

bl-emp-spEmpreinte & Simone Perele

addictionAddiction Lingerie

bl-pl-tul-lovPluto & Tullulah Love

And tongue and cheek with a modern twist is always fun

bl-wrap-and-commWrap Up & Commando 


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Mission Statement

Lingerie Briefs is multi-faceted Lingerie and Fashion Blog for consumers and industry insiders written by Ellen Lewis and other experts from the Intimate Apparel world. Ellen created Lingerie Briefs as her virtual Lingerie boutique.”The merchandise that I feature are all products I have personally reviewed and which I would be proud to carry in my own shop. It’s an artistic and literary destination providing insight to both the Lingerie Industry and Lingerie Consumer.” …Ellen Lewis