Tag Archives: lingerie industry

Up & Coming Lingerie: The Kickstarter Series

Fellow Dreamers, Filiz Rezvan, Flimsymoon: these are the current lingerie brands using kickstarter to crowdfund. Each has a unique, vibrant aesthetic, and all are women-owned and operated with missions that are both local and global in scope.

As a disclaimer, I’ve backed all three brands. However, the backing isn’t because these brands make lingerie I’d personally wear, even though it’s all gorgeous. However, as a small business owner and as a feminist, it’s crucial to me to support other women-owned businesses, especially those that are socially conscious, especially those that ethically source their materials.

I hope you’ll support them, too.

The "Idealist" Playsuit - Fellow Dreamers

The “Idealist” Playsuit – Fellow Dreamers

Fellow Dreamers

Mission: “A luxury loungewear and lingerie label with positive social change and sustainability at the very heart of all we do.”

Where? Designed in the UK, handcrafted in India (with the goal of creating employment for some of the most disadvantaged women in the community).

Days left in campaign: 21

How much money is left to raise: ca. £2000 (goal: £7000)

"Krissy" bra & brief - Filiz Rezvan

“Krissy” bra & brief – Filiz Rezvan

Filiz Rezvan

Mission: Luxury handcrafted lingerie with an air of excitement.

Where? Handcrafted in San Francisco, with a goal of employing other local seamstresses.

Days left in campaign: 67 hours!

How much money is left to raise: ca. $2000 (goal: $10000)

"La Sylphide" knickers - Flimsymoon

“La Sylphide” knickers – Flimsymoon

Flimsymoon

Mission: “Whimsical, poetic, and otherworldly, Flimsymoon intimates evoke a vision of femininity which playfully flits between the erotic and the innocent.”

Where? Designed and handcrafted in the UK.

Days left in campaign: 9

How much money is left to raise: ca. £3000 (goal: £6500)

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American women, their bras, and that 80% statistic

You may have heard that 80% of women in the United States wear the wrong bra size. Unfortunately, this statistic isn’t surprising. Speaking anecdotally, bra shopping is one of those things that a lot of women don’t enjoy — but interestingly, it’s one of those things that I hear women say they want to enjoy.

The now infamous statistic comes from a 2004 study by Wacoal America, a well known lingerie brand. While the main takeaway of the study is a headline in itself, details of the survey are useful for people like myself who want to know more about why so many American women are wearing the wrong bra size. (We can’t uniformly blame Victoria’s Secret.)

  • 39.9% of participants wore the wrong band and cup size.
  • 22.4% had the wrong cup size only.
  • 18.3% had the wrong band size only.

It makes sense that 40% would have the wrong band and cup. Cup size is proportional to band size, and oftentimes, changing the band size makes an enormous difference in what cup size you’re wearing.

  • After being fitted properly, more than half of the women moved up in cup size and down in band size.

Liz Smith, who at the time was director of retail services for Wacoal, noted that this made sense, since given the stigma around wearing larger cup sizes, women compensate by wearing a smaller cup size with a larger band — probably the most uncomfortable option available. As someone who wore a 36C, then a 36D, then a 38D, and finally a 36DD before finally being fitted and realizing that the vast majority of the time, I’m a 34F, I relate to this trend in a major way.

Numerous lingerie bloggers have noted the difficulties with US bra sizing, which determinedly stick to double-D, triple-D, and even quadruple-D standards, complicating the simple UK standard that just follows the alphabet. It is normal to have a bra size that goes past E, but based on what many US retailers stock, you wouldn’t know it.

So, how should a bra fit? 

Nothing beats being able to actually see what a good bra fit looks like. This is the best bra fitting video I’ve ever seen on youtube. It’s long, but it’s comprehensive and real. It compares what an ill fitting bra looks like as opposed to a bra that fits well. She also provides a cheatsheet to the sections of the video as well as helpful links in the “About” section.

Wrapping Up

Have you ever had a bra fitting? If not, I’d highly recommend it! And even if you have, a bra fitting in a new store can be helpful to expose you to new brands. Good sales associates are good teachers and help you learn how to put your bra on properly, how your bra should fit, and help you figure out what kind of options are available.

For those who feel comfortable, most lingerie boutiques offer private fittings, including walk ins. Chains like Intimacy are known for having excellent private (scheduled) bra fittings, especially for the busty and plus sized (I’ve had great experiences with them). MOC friends have recommended the fittings at Nordstrom, partly due to their selection.

And remember!

1. 90% of the support comes from the band. If you are constantly tightening the straps, or if the band is riding up your back, throw that bra out.

2. When trying on bras, always use the loosest hook. The other hooks are there for when the band starts to lose elasticity.

3. Remember that cup size is proportional to band size: a 38D will actually be much larger than a 28D. Even though they both are D cups in their respective bands, the 28D will have a much smaller cup because of the smaller band.

4. Scoop all of your breast tissue into the cups, and smooth it out to prevent quadboob. If you’re popping out at the sides or on top, the cup is too small.

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bluestocking’s core four values

True story: trying to title your company values in a non-cheesy way is kind of impossible.

In the end, I shamelessly stole the title from my mother. My mom has a nickname for the four most important people in her life: she calls us her “core four.” It’s not surprising that I thought of relationships, because it’s the people — the community — that are driving this idea.The idea for the store is about curating a collection of items and special delivering it to people who aren’t used to having those items chosen with them in mind, in an industry that all too often privileges particular kinds of bodies and identities and, however unintentionally, leaves those who don’t fit feeling — well, like they don’t fit.

With all of that in mind, these are bluestocking’s core four values:

1. Underthings are for everyone. Everyone should be able to shop in an environment where they feel accepted and safe.

2. Consent is critical. It’s not enough to say I’m a feminist-minded businessperson — I’ve got to follow through. This means prioritizing consent at every stage, from how I conduct market research right now in the startup phase to how sales associates interact with customers in the eventual brick & mortar store (read: not pressuring people to buy).

3. Representation is a practice, not an idea. It is vital to actively curate a bold selection of high quality lingerie in a variety of styles and sizes that is identity-affirming and ethically made. The most important piece of the puzzle? To have it in stock and not in the back corner.

4. Support the community we’re a part of and the broader world we live in. This is a small business. That means putting a premium on connecting with other small businesses. It means supporting and stocking independent designers who use resources local to their regions and who engage in ethical, sustainable business practices.

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