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Problem Solved ~ Smart Panties™ by Knock Out®

May 21, 2015

KP-703-419-547cToday is my 65th birthday. I know that for some women, it is heresy to admit this milestone, but for me, I only see it as finally getting my dues: health insurance and movie tickets at a discount. Actually, to be honest, I don’t feel “old” even though my daughter’s birthday wish included the phrase, “you are finally an old lady”. To me the passage of time has only brought me more wisdom, less vacillation and a greater respect for myself. Between, riding, yoga and chasing a 2 year old around, I recognize that there are certain infringements on the female body that peek into my daily life, but I refuse to acquiesce to these minor challenges. Instead I intend hop over them.

One of those challenges is something I call “leakage”. I know it’s not a pretty word, but it’s a feminine fact from the day we enter puberty and it just changes its profile as we age. Probably, the place I most notice it is during exercise, toddler duty or a good laugh over a glass of wine. I usually ignore it, making due with whatever I must.  But I will say that within the past few years I have become more aware of product technology on the market that claims to solve the problem. Brands have approached me with “Innovative” and “Patented” underwear engineered to wick away moisture. And I have researched several of them. But in a field of product expansion, when newcomers believe they are leading the race, usually one man (or should I say woman) wins. Five years in the making, I am betting on Knock Out®

I have been watching this brand give birth, evolve, and expand  as others entered and left the ring. A successful collection of 9 panty styles has now created a demand for nightwear, enabling company growth. Continuity and credibility are touchstones of business longevity.  Owner Angela Newnam has taken an idea, infused it with intensive R&D, designed a wholly feminine product and brought it to market with savvy. Lauded by some of the most respected voices in the pursuit of feminine self-esteem (Oprah & Weightwatchers to cite a couple), Knock Out® has earned their tagline “Our Product Protects Your Software”. Using Patented No Trace® technology in 100% cotton and made wholly in the USA, these panties prepare a woman for anything.

“There Is No Greater Joy Than The Burst Of Solution To A Problem” ~Daniel Keyes

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Hoist the Sails ~ Fantasie & Freya Lingerie

May 19, 2015

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When I first moved to Cabo San Lucas, I was a little put off by the activity in the Harbor, particularly when I was on the beach where Cruise ships (sometimes three at a time), jet-skis, enormous yachts, fishing craft  and other assorted seafaring vessels commandeered so much of the vista. I wondered sometimes what had happened to the Mexican tranquility I envisioned in my plans. Funny, I love the water, but have never been particularly drawn to its lure. I don’t like all the “noise” literal and metaphoric that boats enjoin. But there is an exception: sailing sloops. Somehow the profile of silent movement curving in the breeze conjures an entirely different image. It takes me to a more poetic place. These elegant schooners hoist their sails to steady the wind, beautiful winged vessels leaning into the horizon. Watching them has a stabilizing effect. I am in awe of the technology that supports this engine-less motion.

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In the Eveden showrooms a few months ago, scouring the plenitude of design concepts housed there, I honed in on the prevalence of vertical seam construction so apparent in the company’s spring 2015 launch plans. In both the Fantasie Allegra and the Freya Starlett collections, flat vertical seams enable an unlined under-wire cup that is both sexy and supportive. Both Allegra, available from 30-38, C-G cups and Starlet fitting 28-38, B-F cups (UK sizing), are intricately embroidered bras engineered to raise and round the breasts without compromising the illusion of delicate sensuality. The ability for a large busted woman to feel comfortable lift while experiencing such graceful design has made these bras important enough in the Eveden stable to enter the realm of everyday basics.

“I Can’t Control The Wind But I Can Adjust The Sail” ~Ricky Skaggs

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Back In the Saddle ~ Maison Lejaby

May 15, 2015

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Several weeks ago while riding, I fell off my horse. Doing this from a cantor results in quite an impact. Time stops for just a second as I recover my equilibrium. Everyone stands still until I rise up and ask to get back in the saddle. Every time I have taken a spill, I insist that I remount, because I know that getting right back on the horse is the best way to insure continuity. I know that this little glitch is a challenge to my confidence and not worthy of submission. The sport is too important to me. It is a trifecta of elegance, vitality, and conviction and I will not let this setback interfere with my goals.

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This latest fall, not necessarily my hardest, made me think of the Maison Lejaby Company and its recent efforts to recharge the brand legacy. It is true that they have met with some obstacles in the past few years as they cycled through some management upheaval. But here’s the thing, Maison Lejaby, born in 1884, has a deep heritage in French design and fit. The product is a delicate interplay of grace, strength and Independence. Known for its exquisite needle and creative application of lingerie details, Lejaby is mounting a three pronged approach: Couture; handcrafted French luxury, Premium; collections of everyday wearable beauty and Elixer; curvy seductive support. I admire their new efforts to regroup and resurrect their historical position in the Lingerie market. They did not give up but have found the vision to entice customers back into the ring. It’s not easy returning to the fold, but 130 years of experience should insure success.

“If You Can Find A Path With No Obstacles, It Probably Doesn’t Lead Anywhere”
~Frank A. Clark

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Higher Style ~ Samantha Chang

May 12, 2015

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Last week, I finally found a yoga group here in Cabo that I could attend regularly.  It’s been 3 years since I attended a class, distracted as I was from my own needs in my overwhelming quest to control events in my life that were, let’s say, not in my control. I missed the refuge it once provided and the side benefits of just feeling more right with myself. It appeals to my need for spiritual evolution as I age. Yoga practice and the clothing worn has become a wardrobe choice, particularly in the USA. Once the sole domain of retailers whose entire vision concentrated on the concept, it is now such an integral part of the American lifestyle, that Lingerie brands have recognized how perfectly it defines the essence of Intimate Apparel: comfortable and practical layers that function around the clock.

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It was only a matter of time before the yoga category would rise to another level of feminine design as is eminently clear in Samantha Chang’s newly launched High Street Collection. This multi-use innerwear is made in 2×2, 40 singles cotton rib available in S-M-L. What makes it special is the quintessential Samantha Chang artistry manifest in the carefully executed fit integrated into simple contemporary shapes. But in my opinion, the story is in the back treatments, delicate, perfectly positioned lace inserts that transform these simple layers from active to intimate wear. They are sentient focal points that balance a woman’s wardrobe and elevate her sense of style to a higher place.

“Most People Have No Idea How Good Their Body Was Designed To Feel” ~Kevin Trudeau
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Beautiful Dreamer ~ Oscalito

May 8, 2015

Untitled-1Some years ago, I had a dream one night that left me in a strange state upon awakening. I decided to record this reverie before all recollection faded into the day’s reality. But, all I could remember was that I was searching for someone or something that eluded me. I was traveling in Italy on a winding stone road towards an exotic hamlet that was embraced by a floral paradise. I specifically remembered that the name of the town was Oscalito. I wrote this down on paper.  It seemed that I was almost in reach of something precious and very beautiful. But I woke up before I arrived.

So imagine my surprise when I first came upon the Oscalito brand, which I assumed was named for a town, but in fact, is an acronym for the 76 year old Casalini family business. Their product designed, developed and produced 100% in Italy is a perfect incarnation of the Italian artisanal aesthetic: exquisite details rendered with the finest needles in luxurious natural fibers rich in colors and textures. The quality would be difficult to capture anywhere else. Perfection is always in sight and forever sought. Oscalito may not be a “town”, but now I wonder if my somnolent fantasy spoke to my ongoing pursuit of creativity.

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The dream took me away from you
Packed suitcase I trudged up the hill
Forging through boutiques looking for a prize
Some relief from the weight I bore
I searched but needing to go
I followed the road, climbed up the hill to meet you
But halfway there an avalanche of flowers and fragrant scents blocked my view
In a valley below, a garden so splendid
I have seen heaven from the precipice.
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On The Horizon ~ Nikol Djumon Lingerie

May 5, 2015

Untitled-1When I decided to move to Mexico 5 years ago, I had a lot of push back from family and friends. Mexico was so far away and dangerous (read the papers).  But here is the reality: the flight from NY to Cabo is the same as NY to LA and Cabo is 1000 miles from the US border. I live closer to “dangerous” locales in my apartment in Connecticut. And in Mexico, the cost of living is, well let’s say, more amenable. Why not try something new? New experiences nourish knowledge. I decided to take the plunge. I still have my base in the states but now there is ample opportunity to take advantage of a lifestyle that meets my personal expectations. Cabo has been an eye opening discovery, worth every minute despite the naysayers back home

In a similar vein, prospecting the market can be a delicate balancing act. Credible product information requires accurate analysis of both the current brand power houses and emerging labels scoping the North American borders. This is how I discovered the Nikol Djumon lingerie brand, originally at Curve in 2013. Established in 2004, Nikol Djumon pays design homage to its Parisian influenced ancestry. The entire product line is developed and produced in Latvia from fine European fabrics and laces. These styles are meticulously engineered to fit 32-48, A-H cups and up to XXXXL panties; on the horizon, 28-30 bands.  Attached as I am to the card carrying members of my bra wardrobe because I am difficult to fit, I finally, after some persuasion tried the Italian embroidered Evelen bra featured here. I was surprised and thrilled with the outcome: elegant, supportive and truly comfortable. I will not abandon my current intimate coterie, but this bra is worthy of joining my lingerie drawer. Glad I tried something new.
Inquiries: Valen’s Lingerie (877)223-1796

“You Will Enrich Your Life Immeasurably If You Approach It With a Sense Of Wonder And Discovery, and Challenge Yourself To Try New Things” ~Nate Berkus

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Wacoal Blooms ~ 30 Years And Counting

May 1, 2015

Untitled-1My father was not a man of many words, and usually refrained from espousing advice unless asked. As a result, the opinions he shared were valuable moments of intelligent interface that impacted my perspective as I grew up. One such affirmation that is fixed in my mind occurred when I sought his counsel about a relationship with a particular friend. He told me that in general, one can tell a man’s character by the age of 30.  It did not mean that an individual was set in his or her ways or that life’s unexpected exigencies would not impact their plans, it was simply that the way a person would handle these experiences and the solutions sought were already embedded their personalities. 30 years is a long time to form substance.

This guidance has informed my judgment throughout my career and I must say, it has stood the test of time. It is interesting to note that companies that survive for 30 plus years probably have the “stuff” to endure. Such is the case with Wacoal-America who is celebrating their 30th birthday in the USA. From the first time I tried a Wacoal bra as a hard to fit consumer in the late 1980’s until they came on board as a Spotlight Partner when I initiated Lingerie Briefs 5 years ago, their consistency, design, quality, fit, charity and people skills have placed them as a key player in the lingerie market. 75% of Wacoal customers wear Wacoal EVERYDAY. Satisfying bra sizes to an H cup, sustaining key items and always introducing new ideas have made them a merchant’s dream. They can claim rapport with 2500 retailers nationwide.

To commemorate this critical milestone, Wacoal has launched In Bloom, a silver touched embroidered underwire  bra available from 32-40, C-G cups. A yearlong campaign focused on the brands desire to educate, donate and support women’s intimate needs everywhere will keep the party going.

Yes it’s true that Wacoal has been a loyal partner to Lingerie Briefs, but loyalty is an underpinning of an enduring relationship. I am proud to have them as a friend. Happy Birthday Wacoal!

“You Don’t Get Older, You Get Better ” Shirley Bassey

 

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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