Hurray for Lingerie

An Ode To Colorful Slips

By KIM CALDWELL

blue-short-slip-bumbrella-hurray-kimmayaRoses are red,

Violets are blue.

Flowers are pretty,

And slips are, too.

When it comes to lingerie like bras, underwear, nighties and such, I’ve always owned my arsenal of basics and a hefty collection of colorful options. But when it came to slips, I stayed pretty neutral. I own an ivory slip, a seamless beige, a mid length black, and an animal print from D&G. And while neutrals are an important investment for under most women’s clothing, I recently started thinking: what about colorful slips?

What sparked this thought was the Bumbrella by Cici Soleil , a 2-in-1 panty slip which was sent to me in both black and…blue? Hmmm, I thought, who wears a blue slip? Turns out, not only is the blue wearable, it’s down right adorable!

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And so began my hunt for slips in other beautiful blue tones. After a short search, I found a few in blue… and red… and pink, and green, and purple. I mean the options are really endless now! So in honor of Valentine’s Day and the classic poem above (modified to suit my purposes) here’s a collection of a few of my favorite colorful slips in red-like-roses and blue-like-violets hues.

I hit the jackpot on the Free People site. They have a plethora of pretty slips from stretchy, sleek styles or flowing silk, to intricate cut outs and is-that-a-slip-or-a-dress options.

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Nordstrom also has a beautiful selection of crimson and violet hued slips and chemises.

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The slips here are from Natori, Josie, In Bloom by Jonquil, Naked Princess, Only Hearts, Nordstrom Collection, and Only Hearts and are just a taste of what you can find online.

You can wear a colorful slip under a dress for a little extra coverage, or let the lace detail and the bold color peek out from the bottom or side, or wear one as a dress on its own. Wear one to bed or to seduce someone lucky, or wear it as an extra layer of secret sexiness. There are no rules except to wear what makes you say hurray!

How would you wear a colorful slip? What is your favorite color to wear? Red and blue are just the beginning. Send me a tweet @hurraykimmay and tell me what makes you say hurray!

xoxo

Kimmay

 


By KIM CALDWELL

Lingerie-and-Underwear-To-Give-or-Not-to-Give-by-Kimmay-Hurray-for-Lingerie

Christmas and Hanukkah are here. The biggest gift giving events of the year. As an underwear lover and someone who says Hurray for Lingerie, I adore giving undies to my pals. But a recent Fruit of the Loom underwear ad posed a potent question: what are the rules for giving underwear? Who can you give it to? And furthermore, what’s appropriate to give?

 

Here are a few ideas, but you decide. Underwear & Lingerie: To Give or Not to Give? That is the question.

I have a strong memory of getting underwear at a family holiday party when I was very young. At the time, I thought it was a very lazy, boring, and somewhat embarrassing gift. Now, I’m actually nostalgic for the days of Underoos and cartoon undies under the tree, but very happy to have graduated to a more sophisticated type of underwear.

This may surprise you: my husband has never given me underwear or lingerie as a gift. Not at Christmas, not for my birthday, not for Valentine’s Day or our anniversary. In our 8 years together, he has seen lots and lots of beautiful underthings – all picked out and purchased by yours truly. Why? Because I told him so. In our first years of dating, I was working for La Perla and, as a trained fitter, had already learned how important fit and quality was to feeling fabulous. Afraid that his lingerie experience may not be as fine-tuned as my own (trust me, it wasn’t) I asked him to never to buy me any lingerie. And he hasn’t.

Maybe one day this will change. Because now I believe in the art of picking out what you want, writing down the exact color, size, make – even including the URL to the exact item – and asking for what you want. Stay tuned.

It’s understandable that I’ve given underwear to many of my female family members. Working in the lingerie and bra fitting business for 10 years, my sister, Mom, sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, step-mom-in-law, and more have come to rely on me as their bra-blem solver and bra style advisor. In fact, my sister-in-law straight up asks for bras, while the others I’ve tempted with a Hanky Panky thong here or a bra wash there.

So sure, family members are OK. . . but what about strangers? Twice already this year, I’ve gifted strangers with underwear for Christmas. First, I sent a cute floral hipster brief to a member in a women’s entrepreneur online Facebook networking group as her Secret Santa. I’ve never met her, but I got a good sense of her style and size through her (stalker alert) Facebook page. I hemmed and hawed, wondering if adding in a pair of underwear to her gifts would border on creepy, and finally wrapped them up and sent them along with the rest. (It’s currently in the mail. I’ll let you know how it goes on Twitter. Also, at a BIG: Believe Inspire Grow pod meeting the other day, I gifted some Affinitas thongs (one size fits most), Elila Bust Cream, and Fashion Forms nipple covers in a gift exchange. Because, why not? They were a hit.

I know, I know, I know you’re saying “But Kimmay, you work in lingerie for a living. Of course you can give underwear!” And you’re right. I truly have a leg up on the “is it ok to give underwear to someone” conundrum. But there are a few times when it is 100% OK for you to give underwear, too.

When they ask for it. I’ve helped many-a-men buy underwear for their wives when they’ve requested it. Sometimes they request something sassy, most of the time they want replenishments of their favorite bras. If she asks for it? Get it! Do a little research, ask her what she likes, and ask for help. I recently helped a man all the way across the country pick out a bra for his wife. He was so proud of his purchase! Not sure exactly what to get? You can NOT go wrong with a gift certificate. It gives her the power to pick out exactly what she wants.

Note: if you’re giving someone something sexy that is meant for your eyes only, do not give it to them to open on Christmas morning in front of everyone else. I feel like this should go without saying. . . but I’ve heard stories.

Men ask for underwear, too. My husband asks for underwear and socks pretty much every year at Christmas. It’s the last thing he thinks about buying and the one thing he wears every day. Now that’s a great gift.

When-you-stop-believing-in-santa-you-get-underwear-Hurray-for-Lingerie-by-Kimmay-Caldwell

When you know they deserve it. One of my favorite gifts is a bra fitting. Even if you get someone a gorgeous or well-made bra, if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t matter. In my years in the retail shops, I loved helping women who received a gift certificate from a loved one, a boss, or a friend. So many times women put themselves last on the list. They never make the time or allot the funds toward a fitting. Helping a woman find her confidence, her comfort and her joy through undergarments is a true honor. Don’t you think she deserves it?

There are several reputable shops and fitters in the NYC area like Linda’s, Bra-Tenders, Intimacy, Journelle – and that’s just to name a few. And for those who want the all-star treatment, for a limited amount time, I’m offering in-home Bra Drawer Audits and Bra Lessons, as well as Personal Bra Shopping  Now that’s truly saying Hurray for Lingerie.

Have you ever given or received underwear or lingerie for the holidays? What are the rules to you? Tell me in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @hurraykimmay. Hurray for the holidays and Hurray for Lingerie!

xoxo Kimmay

 


Black Is The New Black

By Kim “Kimmay” Caldwell

vintage-halloween-pinup2

Maybe it’s because I live in NYC. Maybe it’s because I’m practical. Or maybe it’s because it’s downright sexy. I love black lingerie. In my 10+ years in the industry, I’ve seen a few colors trending here or there, but black was always a popular option – either for those who want something extra special or for those looking to create a foundations bra wardrobe.

In celebration of Halloween and this sexy color option, here are a few of my favorite reasons to Say Hurray for Black Lingerie.

1) Black undergarments are practical

I know that skin tone bras seem like the best neutral, and for under light colored clothing they are, but if you wear darker or saturated color clothing (like me) black undergarments, no matter your skin tone, are more practical. I cannot tell you how many women I’ve helped in the bra fitting room whose light colored bra is now gray because they’re worn it under dark clothing so many times. Clothing dyes tend to bleed, and perspiration makes it worse. Same goes for undies. That white cotton bikini or thong you keep wearing under those black jeans is going to be a whole new color soon. Black bras typically look best under darker clothing, too. So spare your light colored bras and invest in a few black bras and underwear.

black-bras-are-practical- Le Mystere

2) Black lingerie is sexy

C’mon. There’s something about black that is downright sexy. The Bra Doctor has a great article on the connection of black undergarments during Victorian mourning and fetishes, femme fatales and naughty pin ups. I think the dark connotations are absolutely part of the allure, and so is the way classic black plays with our senses. Sheer black looks mysterious in the light (can I really see through it?) and opaque black attracts light, giving the illusion of several black shades in one glorious viewing.

Simone-Perele-Black-lingerie-HURRAY-for-Lingerie-Simone Perele

3) Black is universally flattering

I personally love the contrast of black lace against my light skin and coupled with my dark hair. Though, let’s be honest, black lingerie looks great on just about every woman. It’s a crowd favorite no matter her skin tone, hair color, or figure. Below is a great example of two very different women wearing the same black Crème Bralee set – and they both look amazing!

Black-is-universally-flattering-

3) Black underwear as outerwear

We’ve seen it all over the carpet. Stylish stars let their sleek black undies peek through a sheer lace skirt, a bodysuit act as the main attraction, or a sophisticated black bra shine through a sheer top. Lace and subtle details are welcome, but keeping black keeps it uniformed and easy to pair with just about any outfit.

black-underwear-as-outerwear-hurray-for-lingerie-Photo Sources: 1-5 ~ Fashion Fame, NY Daily News, Daily Mail, Daily Mail, Zimbio

If you just want to dip a toe, try wearing a tank style dress or top with a black bra that has pretty, decorative bra straps (I like the Simone Perele Caressence or Marie Jo Avero) for a beginner’s version of the “I meant for my underwear to show” look. Or I love this black Cosabella Betsy Bra (you read the right) which is a mixture of lace sleeves, a push up bra and a crop top. I’d wear it under a strapless dress, or pair it with a high-waisted skirt!

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4) Black never goes out of style

No matter how many “_____________ is the new black” statements are made, black is still the reigning color in fashion. It’s timeless, flattering, chic, and fashionable all at the same time. So, sorry, Orange is the New Black (though I love that show), black is THE black.

black-lingerie-through-the-decades
Hollyhocks and Tulips, Nano Press, Silver Rose, Global Intimate Wear, Creme Bralee, Samantha Chang

What do you think? Do you, your clients or your honey wear black lingerie? What’s your favorite reason to wear it? Tweet at me @hurraykimmay and tell me what makes you Say Hurray for Lingerie!

Happy Halloween!

Xoxo

Kimmay

PS: Join me this October 26th for the first ever Say Hurray event in NYC. 1 day, 5 teachers, limitless possibilities. See you there!s

 


By Kim “Kimmay” Caldwellhurray-for-lingerie2

Rachel Rector models her own creation for RR Lingerie Photo by Dan Busta

Working in the lingerie field for almost a decade, I’ve grown to love some of the most sophisticated brands in the business. I’ve also seen these companies grow as consumers become more “braducated” on the importance of investing in quality undergarments that fit well and do their job.

In the flurry of the lingerie business boom, I’ve also seen a few start up brands pop up. . . and disappear. The lingerie world is in no way as saturated as the ready-to-wear or shoe market, but some young brands make the mistake of missing the mark with their ideal customer. In reality: it’s a tough business to break into.

That’s why I’m so glad to see a designer like Rachel Rector strike such a chord with her brand. Rachel and I met while both working on a musical theater show during the New York Musical Theater Festival. She was working in costumes while I worked the social media platforms. What a beautiful coincidence to disover that we’re both lingerie lovers! After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Rachel launched RR Lingerie, which is artistic and sensual, yet remains foundational. Her answers to my questions below made me giddy – we are so in sync on why lingerie exists and why it makes us say “hurray”!

{Here is Rachel’s adorable Amelie inspired Kickstarter video! The campaign raised more than her $7,000 goal and is now closed.}

Rachel is just one of a few new brands that you will not see at the Curve Expo in August in NYC. Undeterred by the expense and size of the big expo, and eager to share her collection, Rachel has teamed up with two other designers (with whom she also shares a manufacturing space right here in the USA) just steps form the Javits Center for those shops and retailers who may be interested in exploring new brands and emerging designers (info at the bottom of this post.)

From one young entrepreneur to another… you’re pretty young to have your own line! What inspired you to start a lingerie brand? Did you always want to be a designer?

I started a lingerie brand because I consider it foundational in several ways. It’s the foundation for my outfits. I always start with lingerie and then I build my outfit around it. I like letting parts of the lingerie peek through, kind of like a secret that I can reveal or choose to keep hidden. Lingerie is also a foundation for the body, since it supports and helps shape the female form. It’s not about putting a body on display or pushing parts up – I design lingerie because it’s a way for me to express qualities that are important to me, like confidence, artistry and individuality. One day, after years of learning to sew, collecting inspiration and sketching ideas, I made the decision to go for it. I declared myself a lingerie designer, and voila! I find that dreams come true when I stay open to opportunity!

RR-Lingerie-photo-by-Duplex-Collective

Photo by Duplex Collective

How do you hope RR Lingerie will make a woman feel? Who is the RR Lingerie customer?

RR Lingerie makes women feel radiant and confident, strong and sexy, bold and fashionable. The RR Lingerie customer is a woman who seeks a story in her purchases and takes pride in supporting independent designers.

All of your items are designed and made in the USA. Why do you feel that’s so important?

It’s important to me to foster direct relationships with the manufacturer of my lingerie. When I visit my New York based factory, we work hard to create amazing garments while chatting about our families over oatmeal cookies and sweet tea. My factory is genuinely invested in seeing my young brand prosper, and I am proud to support the local economy and provide jobs to the community. Local production also ensures quality, as I closely inspect each garment during the fitting and production processes.

RR-Lingerie-photo-by-Alan-Rules

Photo by Alan Rules

I love this post on launching your brand and sharing space where other lingerie brands are being manufactured! What has surprised you the most or been your biggest challenge as a growing lingerie brand?

The biggest challenge for me is that RR Lingerie is a one-woman team. On one hand, it’s liberating to have full creative control, but I think it would be motivating to have a partner to help sort out the not-so-fun logistical details. However, I’m very lucky to have a supportive network of family, friends, and peers in the industry to look to when times are tough.

I’m so into your Instagram feed. Really beautiful! What kind of role does social media play in your brand’s big plan?

Thank you! I don’t own a smart phone or spend a lot of time online, so I try to tap into the social media platforms that suit my lifestyle. I love using Instagram as a glimpse into the world of RR Lingerie. I primarily feature photos of creative women (artists, writers, models, dancers, musicians) wearing pieces from the collection. It makes me so happy to see the joyful reactions of these gals when they try on the lingerie.

RR-Lingerie-on-Instagram-

Lastly, what makes you say “hurray” for lingerie?

I love the little details, finding the perfect fit, lingerie as fashion, and connecting with the independent lingerie design community. I feel such a thrill when I design the perfect set to pair with an outfit, to wear on a special night, or that just generally feels amazing to wear!

RR-Lingerie-Photo-by-BriAnne-WIlls-3

Photo by BriAnne Wills

Here’s how you can catch RR Lingerie and two other indie lingerie brands!

RR-Lingerie-Pop-Up-

Photo by BriAnne Wills

What are a few of your favorite indie lingerie brands? What makes you say hurray about lingerie? Will I see you at the Curve show and the Pop Up showroom? Shoot me a Tweet and let’s connect!

Xoxo

Kimmay


By  Kim “Kimmay” Caldwell

It’s no secret. I looooove hanky panky. Wait a minute… I mean, I LOVE Hanky Panky. The capital letters are important because while I may enjoy the other kind today I’m talking about the popular underwear brand! (PS: you may remember my trial of the Hanky Panky crotchless thong here, which combined both kinds of hanky panky!)

I have an (possibly unhealthy, but mostly enjoyable) addiction to the low rise Hanky Panky thong. Here are just a few reasons why:

  1. They are one size fits most and they actually mean it. While there are other cuts and even a plus size option, I’ve seen women size 0 to size 14 wear the same 4911 low-rise style Hanky Panky thong. And it fits them all.
  2. The wide lace band lays flat, doesn’t roll, and is pretty darn seamless under most clothes.
  3. The wider thong back goes in but not… up. If you get my drift. It’s the thong I suggest for those clients who “hate thong underwear” and want to try something super comfortable.
  4. I wore a Hanky Panky thong on my wedding day! That’s right, a pale blue HP was my “something blue”. (I work in lingerie and I wanted to be comfortable. Totally made sense.)
  5. I probably own over 100 pairs of Hanky Panky thongs in almost just as many colors. I LOVE the variety of prints & colors. Every time a new color comes out, I just have to have it. And picking out the rolled up thongs from a glass container feels like I’m picking candy from a candy jar!

I’ve converted almost every woman in my family, and have given these thongs to dear friends for their birthdays and weddings. They are my go-to underwear for myself, and as a gift. So imagine my excitement when I got the chance for a complimentary Hanky Panky thong with FREE crystal customization! With the option of adding up to six characters on the band, I immediately decided it had to be “H-U-R-R-A-Y”. Obviously.

And there’s good news: you TOO can get a free pair of personalized Hanky Panky from Bare Necessities. Starting July 4th, 2014 until July 14th, 2014 enter the contest on the Bare Necessities Facebook page and you could be one of ten winners. Check out the whole Hanky Panky selection at Bare Necessities and choose the style you want to win!

Bonus: Did you know that Hanky Panky underwear is made in the USA? With the sweepstakes starting on July 4th and all, that makes me say HURRAY!

Leave a comment below or send me a tweet at @HurrayKimmay and let me know: Have you tried Hanky Panky before? What is your favorite style to wear? How many colors do you own? What word will you choose for your personalized pair?

Xoxo

Kimmay


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