It all started from watching a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Seeing the models strut down the runway was the catalyst for Melissa to start her blog, The Lace Appeal, as a platform to encourage women to feel no shame about their skivvies. Our paths crossed late last year at a local event. She showed up and was entranced by the Serena bodysuit, and we were entranced with her cool California vibe, blonde hair, sun kissed skin and approachability. Just like Elma of Elma Lingerie, I wanted to share a little bit more about her as part of the series, Mes Filles. Today, she dishes on her thoughts on women’s relationship with lingerie, suggestions for organizing lingerie and more. Take it away, Melissa!
Tell us a little bit about you. What was your upbringing like? Do you think any of it contributed to you getting into the lingerie?
Is it bad that I never know how to answer these questions? I was born in California and raised in Long Island, NY. Every summer since I was five years old, my mom put me on a plane and I’d fly unaccompanied minor to LA. So I think I have a good mix of the west coast “dreamers” and east coast “hustler” mentality. Find a dream and hustle to make it happen. My mom was also a very independent woman and marched to the beat of her own drum. She always inspired me to go and chase my dreams, to not let anyone dim my sparkle, but also not to dim other’s sparkle too.
What relationship should women have with their lingerie?
Pretty sure it was right after my senior year of high school when I watched the Victoria’s Secret fashion show for the first time. Roughly 2009, maybe even 2010, but I remember being in complete awe at how confident these models were walking in their underwear. I wanted to find that feeling too. Throughout the whole show I kept saying “first thing tomorrow morning, I’m going underwear shopping.” But right at the end of the show, there was a commercial speaking to men about why they should buy lingerie for their significant others this holiday season. As soon as I watched this commercial, I was completely turned off. Why do men need to buy women lingerie? Why can’t they buy it for themselves and dictate what makes them feel confident and sexy? And that’s really how The Lace Appeal came to fruition. I wanted to provide a place where women can discover new brands and redefine their relationship with lingerie. It’s the first thing we put on in the morning, and the last thing we take off. Why not love what we wear?
I’ll admit that I have many days where my lingerie doesn’t match or I’m not wearing the right bra for my outfit. It’s usually because I’m in a hurry or I didn’t do laundry. Ugh. What advice do you give women, including myself, to wear kick ass lingerie every day?
I think we ALL struggle with this one. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my panties don’t match my bra. Life can’t always be perfect, right? So there are a few tricks I’ve started to implement into my lingerie routine. We’re pretty stubborn when it comes to our bras. If it’s a style we just absolutely love, we hang onto, long after it’s worn out. If it has a hole or long past stretched out, toss it. Let it go. Would you hang onto a shirt that has a stain or is too tight? Another thing I’ve been doing is buying panties around the bra. I don’t wash my bra’s after every wear unless I’ve spent the day profusely sweating or dumped coffee all over myself. So if I purchase a set, I’ll try to find other undies that will go with the bra. Even if it’s from a different designer, it will give you variety and help you feel a little more ‘matchy’ or if ‘matchy’ is not you’re thing mix it up with different colors. Always do what works best for you!
How do you organize your lingerie drawer(s)?
Okay, I am a little batshit when it comes to organizing my lingerie. Things have been a little crazy, mainly because I’ve been traveling all over the place and half of my belongings are currently in storage. But, typically I have all my bras hanging on a rolling rack that I’m pretty sure I got from IKEA. I mean, all of my bras, including bralettes and bodysuits. Then on the bottom of the rolling rack, there is a little shelf that can hold three bins that hold my panties: “lace panties”, “sporty panties” and “period panties”. Then I have two drawers filled with sports bra’s, one for low-impact and another for high intensity. What can I say, I like things to be easily found.
What is your newest addition to your lingerie wardrobe?
My latest and greatest addition to my lingerie wardrobe has been my Nina Bralette. How can you go wrong with a little lace and millennial pink? It’s turned into my newest obsession because of how versatile it is. You can literally wear it with just about anything. Two weeks ago, I wore it under a lower cut dress at CURVE (see here) and cannot wait to rock it next week down in Key West.
Is there any price you wouldn’t pay for lingerie?
I am definitely one of those suckers that believes you can’t put a price tag on feeling your absolute best. (Maddie: I couldn’t agree more)
What do your parent’s think about you being in the lingerie industry?
It wasn’t the easiest thing to tell my mom. What parent really wants their kid to be putting pictures of themselves in underwear all over the internet? But she’s always had my back and has turned into my biggest fan.
Tell us about The Contour Design Program you signed up for. Where did you find it? What do you hope to learn? Can I come?
This is actually an embarrassing story. Right before I launched my blog, I decided that I needed to quit my job and learn everything there is to know about lingerie. UAL or University of the Arts London offered a variety of courses on lingerie design and construction. I thought, why not? Well, I probably should have thought twice seeing I had minimal sewing experience. It’s not all that easy to make a bra (Maddie: Girl, attend one of my workshops and I’ll have you whipping up bras in no time!). I struggled and fell far behind. But I REALLY loved what I was learning. So, I decided on a whim to apply for the full-time program, not expecting to be accepted. In September, I’m packing my bags and moving to London for the next three years! Hopefully, while I’m there, I can FINALLY learn how to sew a bra, haha. But I’m really hoping this course will help me speak better to my readers on construction and quality. And please come with me. Do you think you could fit in my bag? (Maddie: YAS!)