I had a me-day last Monday, a totally self-indulgent day where I geeked out over lingerie and attended CurveNY. I feel somewhat embarrassed admitting that I went. Why? When I read or hear about Comic-Con, I wonder what weirdos go. Seriously? Three-days of movies, science fiction and comics? What dorks! Well, I am now that dork, but instead of it being comics, it’s lingerie. Oi vey! What has my world come to?!
The reason I attended was for inspiration. Really, that’s it. I was not there to buy and I was not there to sell. New York is just a short, cheap bus ride away and CurveNY is one of the nation’s largest lingerie trade shows. Why not go? The day turned out to be not what I expected and at the same time, way better than I ever imagined. Within the first 30 minutes, I ran into Pamela Cooper. She attended my bra workshop and just launched her own lingerie line. I spent the remainder of the day hitting up the booths and it was such a treat spending time with her. Not to mention, it was so much easier to approach each one with a partner in crime.
If you’re not privy to CurveNY, I’ll give you a brief rundown. It is a men’s and women’s lingerie and swimwear trade show that showcases spring/summer or fall/winter collections from brands around the world. Buyers and press attend the 3-day event to either purchase or review styles for the upcoming season. Also to note, it is bicoastal, happening separately in New York and Las Vegas.
Out of more than 300 vendors, below are my favorites. I don’t mean to be a bore with a review post. Seriously. Before I began making lingerie, Victoria Secret was pretty much the only lingerie brand I knew. As I sewed more bras, I looked for more inspiration outside VS. The lingerie industry is a heavily guarded one, and finding retailers is like finding a hidden gem. What I discovered, especially after CurveNY, is that there are so many cool brands out there, and that’s what I’m hoping to bring you today. For those who don’t sew, you might find your newest favorite brand. For those who do sew, the below brands could offer inspiration for your next me-made.
Last, I’m also guest posting on The Lingerie Journal with the same recap. So when you’re finished reading, hop on over to their site and check them out!
Lonely Hearts reminded me of For Love and Lemons. Bras are available in sizes 30B though 34D, and undies are available in sizes x-small through large, so Lonely Hearts is definitely geared toward the slim/bralette/small-chested type of gal. The delicate lace and strappy details (read: limited support) definitely are not for the 36Gs of the world! There was a lot of mixing of fabrics (lace and mesh)which created a cool textural mix, and their use of velvet trimming elevated otherwise everyday styles.
The brand started out as a soft cup company only, adding underwired styles a few seasons after launching. The marketing reps at the booth said that adding underwires is when their brand really expanded. They are mid-priced and available at Journelle, True & Co., Nasty Gal as well as other online retailers.
Else Lingerie also reminded me of For Love and Lemons, but more classic and less trendy. It wasn’t obvious to me at first, but their styles are a mixture of sporty and feminine. Check out their Petunia Bodysuit and Triangle Soft Cut Racerback Bra – the side panels and panels at the top of the cups on the body suit and the racerback on the bra are an open mesh similar to a sports bra like this one.
I read a review of the brand on The Lingerie Addict, and she said that this brand is not a big buy at trade shows and she doesn’t know why. I agree with her. Although Else Lingerie is available at Anthropologie, it is not sold many other places, and that’s a mystery to me too. Super cute, right?
Based in Instanbul, Else Lingerie was founded by Ela Onur. Her family was in the lingerie business, so it was natural for her to develop her own line.
Else is mid-priced with bras starting at $81, underwear starting at $51 and bodysuits starting at $156. Bras are offered in band sizes 32-36 and cup sizes B-DD while other alpha sized items are available in x-small through large.
Appealing to both larger and smaller size chests, Addiction Nouvelle offers classic bra silhouettes that are elevated with clean and sophisticated cuts and fabrics. They eschew ruffles, boxes and lace trimming for modern design. Lots of sheer panels too.
Customer service is important to me. In most cases, I think how employees treat customers is indicative and telling of the brand. Out of all the booths I visited, the women at Addiction were the most inviting. I wasn’t a buyer, but I am a woman who wears bras and they wanted to show me a product – their product – which they believed would work for me. They even gave me a sample cami/panty to take home. Based in California, the brand is also domestically made.
Addiction is mid-priced as well with bras starting at $59, underwear starting at $35 and slips starting at $77. Sizes range from x-small to x-large and band sizes 30- 40 and cups A-G.
Edge o’ Beyond
Edge o’ Beyond is sexier than the brands listed above. Sexy and suggestive, but not slutty with lots of sheer, eyelash lace and metallic/gold accents. Based in London, they offer lingerie as well as jewelry, merging the two in many cases (their jewelry comes in different sizes).
All their items are designed and hand made in the UK. Additionally, all their fabrics and trims (exception being jewelry) are sourced from Europe. All gold components are 24K gold plated, and our fine jewellery is 18K gold plated.
Prices are on the higher size of mid-priced range with bras starting at £85 and underwear starting at £45. Sizes range from bands 30-36 and cups B-DD.
BlueBella is another lingerie line from the UK. The brand was founded in 2005 by Emily Bendell, and it is her goal to provide both lingerie and sleepwear that is made well but affordable.
This is a budget-friendly brand with underwear as low at £2.40 and bras as low as £5.40 (both on sale).
Photos from the event are below, but not all of them are from the brands listed above: