This is the last part of my talks with fellow lingerie blogers, the fabulous Treacle (of The Lingerie Addict) and Ally (of Guilty Pleasures)… I don’t know whether to say “Woot!” because this part is so good, or if I should get a little weepy that it’s ending… In any case, this is the finale!
After all this time blogging, what’s the one thing you were most surprised to learn about lingerie &/or the lingerie business?
Ally: Lingerie is one of those always surprising things. About lingerie, I never expected leather items to feel as soft as they are sexy. About lingerie business, a couple of years ago I read that Victoria’s Secret is the world’s largest lingerie manufacturer (not sure if it still is) – I always expected for an European brand to be on top.
Slip: That’s a really good point about leather lingerie — it often has that severe or hard look, so it’s easy to forget that quality pieces are incredibly sensual!
Treacle: Hmmm… the power of marketing and PR in influencing 1) the brands we hear about and 2) what we think of them is probably the biggest shock. I was absolutely floored when I learned that a lot of brands we think of as independent are actually owned by large conglomerates, and that lots of the labels we think of as high end/luxury use the exact same materials in the exact same factories as a lot of budget lingerie. It’s really trained me to be a more conscious consumer, and not buy into the hype.
What’s the one question that you are continually asked as a lingerie blogger? Not including inappropriate questions that some men feel compelled to ask (I can’t imagine that only happens to me lol); but the one question or theme that you feel will always need to be addressed and re-addressed in terms of lingerie?
Treacle: If I’m completely honest, the question I get most frequently is from crossdressing men who wonder if it’s okay that they enjoy wearing lingerie. Even though most of my readers are women, I firmly believe that The Lingerie Addict is a haven for lingerie lovers of every nation and persuasion. Anyone who enjoys lingerie (wearing, looking at, or buying) is all right in my book.
Slip: Crossdressers were some of the first people to embrace A Slip Of A Girl (the blog — but I’m sure we’d hug, slip-to-slip, if we could lol) and I’ve learned a lot from them, especially about myself.
Ally: Can I address 2 things?
Ally: 1. Regardless of how overrated the topic of bra fitting might sound, we have so many people constantly asking us about the right sized bra and how to choose the proper bra, that I believe it’s still a very important topic to discuss – both by lingerie bloggers and also by lingerie retailers. There are still many women who don’t know that more and more boutiques offer free fitting sessions and it’s one service that should be better emphasized.
2. The lingerie looks for less. There is this cliche that lingerie must be expensive in order to be sexy and comfortable at the same time. In reality, there are so many beautiful items that make you look and feel amazing without costing the Earth.
What’s the one thing about lingerie or the industry that you think you will never tire of exploring or writing about personally?
Treacle: I will never tire of exploring and writing about new lingerie designers. There are so many amazing things happening in the industry right now, and I still get crazy excited when I stumble upon a new brand.
Ally: I have a sweet tooth for unique lingerie items that tell a story of love or lust on their own, so I’m always on the lookout for interesting new collections and young talented designers that bring something original to the lingerie industry.
Slip: Here’s a shocker: you ladies are looking forward to the next new great lingerie thing, and I’m continually delighted to discover something fabulous from the past. *wink* Seriously, I do get excited to find new brands, designers, styles, too, but resurrecting yesteryear’s underthings will never ever bore me.
I’m also continually inspired to think (and blab) about our connections to intimate apparel… How it touches us, our lives, our culture… What it says to us as individuals, what it says about us, how others perceive us and our connections to it — from individuals to societal norms. No other garment or fashion piece has the same complicated story — or power. (Save, perhaps, for shoes lol)
Treacle Asked: What’s the one thing you believe the lingerie industry needs to improve?
Ally: From my point of view, the industry needs more events like “Curve NY/Las Vegas” or the “Salon International de la Lingerie” that gather together brands, retailers and lingerie aficionados under one roof. Events where the public gets to see more of what’s happening behind the scenes and can connect directly with designers and other people who work in the field are very important to understand the work and passion that go into every single lingerie collection.
As consumers, we take everything for granted and we don’t usually care too much about the origin of the things we buy, where they are made, in what conditions and so on. So just like most other industries, I’d also add that the lingerie industry can work more on focusing on local manufacturing and increased social responsibility.
Slip: I have three answers. (Hey, I have been pretty quiet for most of this gab fest!)
1, As usual, you girls are looking forward, while I’m looking backwards… I’d love to see more contemporary lingerie designers and manufacturers to look backwards to vintage and even antique lingerie. Not just the styles, but the fabrics and dedication to creating a quality garment.
2. Make lingerie in the sizes women are. I’m really tired of hearing how hard that is. Despite my continual swoonability here, I am a pragmatist and I get that it’s expensive blah blah blah — but what everyone, from designers having to re-size proportions to manufacturers having to re-fit the assembly system, is is really complaining about is having to do some work. Work like this will be rewarded with sales. No pun intended, but women over size 12, the big busted, etc., are a huge market. Doesn’t anyone want to grab a piece of it?
3. Make lingerie in the U.S.A. again. I say this as an American concerned about our economy; we need to make stuff here again. And I say this as someone who knows that we once had a rich tradition and pride in making beautiful textiles. I’d like to see that quality return — and yes, even with my meager budget, I’d pay more for it. Every time I read about sustainable undies made elsewhere, I get so angry thinking about sustainability here at home and the fact that abusing cheap labor in other countries is the new colonialism; have we learned nothing?
Whew. Ranties over. *wink*
Ally asked, “When was the last time you bought a lingerie item just because?”
Treacle: All of the lingerie I buy is just because.*wink*
Slip: Treacle stole my answer! So, being the good hostess, I had to rethink a bit… I came up with some serious soul searching on why I buy lingerie and I eventually wound-up on the flip side: I never buy lingerie “just because.”
There’s always some ulterior motive… I want to feel ravishing, I want to be ravished, I want to add a piece to my collection, I need to comfortably contain my breasts from jiggling uncomfortably… There’s always some reason. Even if hubby thinks I am rationalizing. *wink*
I know they are fellow fanatics; but I also know how busy they are and that they have their own sites to run. So lingerie lovin’ ladies, I thank you!
(And all that said, I secretly hope we can do it again sometime!)
Trio of sexy lingerie ads via Flickr
1969 Sears catalog page via Flickr
1948 Textron Tricot lingerie ad via Flickr