Merry Widow by What Katie Did. Loving my What Katie Did corsets as much as I do, I really wanted to love this peach satin and power mesh merry widow. With underwired, lightly moulded cups and strong yet flexible boning this piece gives a wonderful shape beneath dresses. The straps are removable and convertible and my favourite part is that it is a good, sturdy foundation garment with six garters- Stockings do not move with this baby! While the satin and power mesh fabrics are a lovely quality, there’s something a little off about the trims and possibly construction. The sheer tulle trim can become slightly scratchy after a while and the ribbon bow in between the cups came undone the first time I wore it, yet is sewn on so well that neither removing it nor “re-bowing” it is possible. So it now looks like an odd little loop of fabric on the front. The satin can pull in funny ways, particularly on the bust, giving the creases and little bumps you see in the picture. Basically it’s just not as smooth and soft as I thought it would be. This is a fantastic basic merry-widow in regards to functionality and the price for such a piece I feel is reasonable. But I did think it would also be a ‘pretty’ aesthetically pleasing piece, a bit of vintage-style show-off item. But the small issues with the creasing and bow-that-couldnt let it down in that regard. I therefore tend to keep this with my beige bra’s and knickers as I consider it a ‘practical’ piece, a lingerie wardrobe necessity, particularly if you are a fan of vintage outerwear. If that’s what you are looking for this piece is for you. If you’re looking for an extremely beautiful, perfectly constructed merry widow style you could possibly find better. 6.5 out of 10.
Trashy Lingerie’s ‘Bam Bam’ bra and bottom. This style from Hollywood institution Trashy Lingerie was on my wish list for a long time. I’ve had this for about 8 years and the style existed looonnng before the current trend in lingerie for all things strappy and cut-out. I have a soft spot for Trashy. They made my first corset (custom waist cincher) on my first trip to the US when I was 17 and as I’m a huge fan of ‘character dressing’ or ‘situational dressing- as my stylist friend Tara and I call it- their themed collections tick all my boxes (‘Stepford’ is a fave!). They also make everything by order- they have their styles and you pick the fabric- and sew it on premises. I chose a dark, hunter green velvet for Bam Bam for a Poison Ivy vibe. The underwire, halter bra exceeded expectations. It’s comfortable. It’s supportive. It gives good-but not crazy- cleavage without any padding (in fact the cut-outs are where that would usually be). It looks bloody amazing. Hooks at the back and at the neck, both in a variety of lengths as per usual bra. So as I bought a Medium for the cup, I can just hook it on the tightest and it fits like my regular 32d. The velvet is also a thick, quality one, not a cheap stretch one. The thong bottom I am divided on. It’s VERY high cut, even by the standards of yours truly (LOVE a high cut), very 80s/90s style as I’m sure that’s when the pattern itself was cut. I think I can just barely pull it off due to being tall and having a long torso. The shape and style I love and as that velvet is non stretch you can imagine the design problems of being able to make it fit. Trashy’s solution was adjustable garter like straps on the hips which I’m not a fan of aesthetically but not only does it solve the non-stretch problem it provides a little burlesque-y raunch factor, which I do think is hot! I do wish the bottom was different though. The large silver clips bug me. All in all well-made with quality fabrics, best cut halter I’ve ever found in regards to shape, comfort and support and incredibly original design. Also, remember you can have it made in any fabric or color you like in the Trashy arsenal! 7/10.
Body Wrap Bodysuit. Secret- I LOVE shape wear. No seriously, I really, really love shapewear. Given that a massive part of my job is going to castings where it’s people’s actual jobs to judge my body and pick apart my size and appearance in general, sometimes I like a little extra help. Whether it’s the little smooth ‘polish’ to the silhouette shape wear can provide or because I wanted to have pasta for lunch, it’s very handy. This bodysuit by Body Wrap (initially purchased at Myer in Australia, recently again from Amazon) is one of my favourites in spite of a few complaints which I overlook because the shape it gives is so good. I wear the size Small for sufficient compression but as these only come in S-M-L sizing the cup is a little too small for me, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. The thick stocking-like fabric is extra compressive on the waist and creates a much more nipped-in, hourglass silhouette than any other body I’ve found, which is the main reason I keep coming back to this piece above others. The straps are adjustable but not convertible, there are three hooks in the crotch which occasionally- but more on the side of rarely- move around. Mostly comfortable, but once or twice I’ve had the odd hook-dig-in which was not pleasant! The leg cut is neither too high, nor low and it also gives your butt a nice shape and little lift. I’ve had to re-buy twice in the past three years but I don’t think this is so much because of the quality- which is perfectly fine for the price- but the fact I’ve worn and washed them so many damn times the wear has started to show. I wish this came in various cup sizes and also a thong option as it can give VPL at the back, which I usually don’t mind with most lingerie, but is not something I want from my shape wear. Overall, a 7.5/10 because of the couple of design flaws and lack of options, but bumped up a little because it does give a great shape and I rely on it so often to hide my *model* sins.
Agent Provocateur Bra, Thong and Waspie. Ladies and Gentlemen, here we have a little piece of personal history. This AP set was my first luxury lingerie purchase at age 18. Sure, I had been buying pretty lingerie all through high school, but these were the first pieces I dropped some serious cash on after seeing it in mint on Dita Von Teese and finding out it came in pink. But clearly once you pop (the luxury bubble) you can’t stop and this set off my ridiculous, expensive addiction. It was worth every penny though! Ten years I’ve had this and only now is the baby pink silk and black lace bra and thong beginning to lose it’s stretch. It has lasted hundreds of wears and been around the world with me multiple times as a constant lingerie staple. I usually hate thongs, but this one fits perfectly, is flattering, comfortable and easy to dress (i.e., functional under a wide variety of clothes/outerwear). The bra fits perfectly and has light removable padding, which I take in and out depending on fluctuation in cup size or whether I want more or less cleavage. The waspie… oh the waspie is heaven. Moderate boning, comfortable, holds stockings perfectly in place and provides just enough control to create a noticeably smaller waist without being unnatural. The only problem I have with this- as I do nearly all AP- is how quickly the ribbons in the garter clips fall out and are lost. Whats with that guys? It would be AMAZING if Agent Provocateur added this to their classics collection and re-released it because I would buy it again in a heartbeat. If you ever find this in your size anywhere online, snap it up- you won’t regret it. 9.5/10
Les Lunes 'Jessica' bra and ‘Alix’ brief. Ah yes, my eternal search for soft, triangle bras that function. In this particular shape i’ve never had much luck. They tend to either be unsupportive or flattening. This triangle bra by Les Lunes is the best I’ve come by so far. I think this is possibly due to the gathering under each breast (so it doesn’t flatten) and the strong but comfortable bamboo fabric (supportive and holds shape well, as well as having good ‘bounce back’ after washing) which I am happy to endlessly profess my love for- I love this material and find it far superior to cotton. If you are a bigger bust girl looking for a soft-cup triangle I highly recommend this- I’m a 32d and am wearing a small (so if you are very small-busted or tiny in general then even the XS may be too large for you). I love the delicate thin straps so also often wear this as a bikini top! The brief is a simple bikini-cut, but with some gorgeous little details like a subtle gathering/ruching on the butt and the waist is a fold over detail made from mesh, accentuated with a tiny black bow on one side. I like the V- shape that gives the waistline because it echoes the triangle shape of the bra and well, I love me some good lines. I travel a lot in these- being comfortable enough for long haul flights and sleeping- and LOVE that I can throw both bra and brief in the wash too and they stay in great shape. 8/10
H&M strapless bikini. Okay, so this is technically a bikini. But I’d love to review this as underwear for one simple reason. This strapless bikini top performs better than 95% of the strapless bras I’ve tried in my life and therefore I actually wear this set a lot AS underwear (and when it’s summer and/or any situation that requires a swimsuit it is wonderfully convenient). It has underwire and lightly moulded, but not padded, cups and a very sturdy plastic clasp at the back. It is one of only maybe 3 strapless bras I’ve ever found that supports, flatters, is comfortable and does not move. The simple bikini brief-cut bottom sits not too high, nor not too low and as it has no tie-sides or such adornments it is very smooth under clothing. Again, totally comfortable. Both are made of a durable lycra, with a marbled lilac, pale yellow and cream pattern, quite unique actually. I’d say this is my favourite and most versatile swimsuit and one of my top sets of ‘underwear’ to go under strapless, clingy or body-con outfits, elevating it from mere swim status to high-rotation place in my lingerie drawer, though of course it’s not as smooth and flat as say, seamless micro fibre, but it is far better looking. As if that wasn’t enough, what I paid for it? $5 in an H&M end of summer sale. As underwear? An 8/10. As a bikini? 10/10.
H&M swim is available here and clearly they do great strapless bikini tops for those of us with a bust who never thought them possible…
Lonely Lingerie’s ‘Lux’ Underwire Bra and Brief. I was super excited when I found out Lonely was now doing underwire bras. They’ve been my favourite ‘pretty soft-cup bras and briefs’ for the past couple of years with their innovative designs and always on point colours and fabrics. Best of all, they fit great and are comfortable. So I was excited to see if they could nail the same level of fit/comfort with an underwire. The answer? Yes, they have. I adore this bra, made from a thick, pink (subtle) animal-print mesh, with signature Lonely strap details and metal O-ring hardware. This is such a wonderful, sexy and fun alternative to an everyday underwire bra, with all the comforts of one. Along with support and versatility of wear beneath clothes. I always love a bikini cut brief (90’s child, I guess), and this is such a great, simple one with matching bra-strap like straps on the hips, joining the front piece to the back. Again with O-ring details. It basically is super comfortable, whilst still being gorgeous and perfectly matching the bra. I wish so desperately Lonely would start doing suspenders, then the whole thing would be perfect! But that’s my only personal and frivolous, borderline OCD qualm. This also comes in black! 9/10.
Agent Provocateur ‘Jet’ Bra & Ouvert. Talk about a bad gal set! This bra and ouvert (open crotch knickers) are constructed from a sheer black mesh, with cut-outs and adjustable PVC strap detailing. This style definitely got a lot of attention when it was launched and i’m sure was on a lot of people’s wish lists. I did notice on various social media feedback where the people who had bought ‘Jet’ were not happy with the fit. Personally, I did not have any of these problems. Not sure if it’s because i coincidentally took a gamble and ordered up a cup size and down a band size, or if it’s a chest/torso shape issue, because I find both the bra and overt to be extremely flattering. Obviously, being made out of PVC straps with adjustable metal hardware this is not the most comfortable ensemble on the planet but damn, it blows people’s minds when they see it. I love and think it’s going to be a collector’s set for fans of AP. 7.5/10.
Suzy Bamboo Babydoll by Hopeless Lingerie. Woke up in this little number today so thought it the perfect opportunity to write about it. Continuing my love affair with bamboo, I wanted a slip/nightie in this fabric that could hopefully double as an actual dress. I had a hard time deciding between this and the Hopeless ‘Babette’ slip but obviously decided on this one. The bamboo is indeed gorgeous, thick, soft and holds up wash after (cold) wash. I absolutely adore the adjustable harness detail which surprisingly offers a little support under the bust for me personally. I love the style, love the construction, it’s damn sexy in an edgy way without trying to hard and I am so down with that. My only regret is that I- going on the size chart and what size I *thought* I was- ordered a little small and I find that for me, I really want the outer straps of that triangle shape of the harness at front to be a little further outwards, this is probably due to my small dress/larger cup size though. Usually being an AU 8/US 4 I ordered an XS when I probably should’ve ordered an S. So if in doubt, or even if you are a small girl but with a slightly larger cup size, I would order up. I’d also hoped to be able to wear this as a dress but due to my height (178cm/5’10) it’s too short on me. Again, if you’re taller too, I’d suggest ordering up. Aside from my own personal size-ordering mistakes, I love, LOVE this piece and am dying for more Hopeless Lingerie in future, should budget allow. Spectacular quality, handmade pieces and innovative design all adding up to effortless cool. 8.5/10