Intimate Innovations

By Ali Cudby

A lot of women want minimizer bras to “make their breasts smaller” as if there was some miracle of physics to actually shrink breast tissue.  What minimizers can do is make breasts appear smaller by creating a cup with a lower apex.

The challenge with minimizers, from a fit perspective, is that in order to achieve the lower breast profile these bras promise, the cups redistribute the breast volume into a lower – but wider – package.  The end result is that minimizers tend to make women look somewhat thicker.  Not exactly the outcome women are looking for – has any customer ever come into a store saying, “Gee, I’d really like to look heavier…and shorter, too?”

Addressing this challenge is what makes the new Chantelle C Magnifique bra an innovative new entrant into the field.  C Magnifique is, at its essence, a hybrid of a minimizer … ...Read more

By Ali Cudby

Innovation comes in many guises, and in this column we’ll take a look at some “cheeky” new approaches to undies.  In this case, the focus is not so much on the garments, but rather their distribution mechanisms.

Empowered By You

 The Empowered By You panty is a new luxury brand that contributes a percentage of all profits to the Seven Bar Foundation.  The purpose of the Foundation is to provide women a means out of poverty and into business through microfinance.  With each Empowered By You thong, you get a short biography of the entrepreneur you’re helping with your purchase.  Specifically, one dollar from the sale of every panty will go toward the Seven Bar Foundation to provide microfinance loans to women to build or grow their own businesses, empowering them to climb out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.

In this case, the Empowered By You panty … ...Read more

Technological Lingerie

By Ali Cudby

Innovation has many faces.  While I often discuss garments in this space, there are many more aspects to innovation in our industry.

Here are a few new ways in which technology is improving the lingerie buyer’s customer experience:

  • New website for Prima Donna and Marie Jo brands For consumers, one of the biggest challenges can be finding that elusive favorite lingerie piece in stores nearby.  The new website for the Prima Donna and Marie Jo family of brands addresses this issue by telling shoppers which of their 5000+ stores carries the pieces you’re searching for.  This search engine is more than a simple listing of stockists – it actually knows which stores carry your specific searched item, and even further refines by seeing which carry significant stock in that item.  The goal is to make shopping more pleasing and fruitful for the person searching for that
...Read more

Curves At CurveNY

By Ali Cudby

This year’s Curvexpo in New York revealed a number of manufacturers that are catering increasingly to the cohort of full-figured women.  This marks a shift from previous years, when the full-busted market got more of the attention.

What differentiates full-figured from full-busted?  Here’s the line of demarcation used in my book Busted! The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic:  Full-busted is D-cup and up; 38-band and smaller.  Full-figured is also D-cup and up, with a band size larger than 38.

While some manufacturers already go beyond a 40-band, the number of new entrants in that size range showing at this year’s CurveNY was striking.

Sculptresse:  Panache launched their new full-figured line, as well.  Sculpresse is “a range of feminine, flattering products for the fuller figure, designed to enhance…confidence through a combination of style, support, comfort and superior fit.”

Sculptresse’s debut … ...Read more

By Ali Cudby

Is Your Lingerie Store Selling the Wrong Thing?

Imagine a woman walking into your lingerie store – what is she shopping for?  If your answer is “lingerie” you are, on some level, wrong.  While a customer may end up purchasing a bra or shapewear, the truth is that she is shopping for something much more profound.

As lingerie professionals, we KNOW that a woman is seeking emotional support in the fitting room.  She brings her insecurities about her body and her desire to be understood along with her into the shopping experience.  After all, how a woman feels about her breasts is intimately connected to how she feels about herself as a woman.  Shopping for lingerie becomes an extension of those feelings.

Now picture yourself seeing that same woman walk into your store.  What do you see?  A lot of the time, if you’re the person helping … ...Read more

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