When the lovely Darlene of Hourglassy hosted a busty clothing swap a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to get the chance to see her and her readers, as well as to meet Courtney, one of the co-founders of the delightful Dirty Dolls Lingerie. The line has a cheeky, flirty aesthetic and vintage Old Hollywood feel, and Courtney and Erica, Dirty Dolls’ co-founders, are committed to creating beautiful, high-quality, glamorous lingerie that celebrates curvy figures. Courtney had brought a huge selection of her beautiful bras, knickers, suspenders, and bralettes for us to check out, and I was blown away by how straight-up pretty it all was. There are a few more pieces I want to go back and try the next time my budget permits, but there was one item I grabbed the minute I saw it and said “oh my LORDY that is so cute.” Behold:
High-waisted slightly sheer knickers with detachable suspenders and a delicate lace trim. I kind of had to buy them, because they are magnificent. Y’all, it wasn’t until I had these on my body that I even realized they’re designed to function as shapewear. They are, in a word, fantastic.
I was initially attracted to the high-waist/low-leg retro style. Lately I’ve been finding that classic bikini briefs hit me at an uncomfortable angle, so I’ve yet to meet a fuller-coverage knicker I didn’t like. High-waist briefs have been a huge trend over the last few seasons, thanks in no small part to renewed interests in mid-century fashion and pin-up and boudoir photography. For me, they’re just so freaking COMFY, plus I find a lower legline makes my legs look long and my butt look awesome, which pleases me (and my vanity).
They’re also one of the finest pieces of shapewear I’ve ever worn, both from a comfort and aesthetic point of view.
Some of y’all know that I have had mixed feelings about shapewear for a long time now. When I last wrote about shapewear, I talked about how much I hate the “problem solver” label that gets slapped on shapewear all the time, like the only thing it’s good for is to camouflage all these terrrrrible problem areas our ghastly bodies have, lo, how shameful, the horror, etc. etc. While body shaming as a selling/marketing tactic clearly sucks, I can’t deny that one of the factors that goes into my underwear-purchasing decisions is the shape a garment gives me, whether it’s a bra or a slip or knickers or what have you. If I don’t love the shape and feel of a garment, even if it’s the right size, there’s no way I’m going to buy it. Likewise, I absolutely reserve the right to buy something BECAUSE I like the shape it gives me. I will never, ever, ever wear a minimizer bra ever again: I feel wide and smushed and not-cute in them, whereas the seamed bras I choose give me a lifted, rounded shape with tons of support. So while I was initially attracted to the look of these knickers, the way I felt when I put them on (read: SASSY) absolutely sealed the deal.
While no shapewear options will really truly re-shape a body the way a boned corset will, I find that these knickers offer an incredible amount of bang for the buck. I have a slim ponte pencil skirt that I sometimes feel self-conscious wearing, and the first time I wore the skirt with these knickers it was a revelation. The skirt fell smoothly to my knees with no lumps or bumps around my belly or hips, and the stretch lace waistband meant that there was no elastic biting into my waist and interrupting the smooth line. I don’t know why more shapewear pieces don’t have waistbands like this, but they should! It stays up on my waist, flat, and smooth without ever curling up, digging in, or falling down. These knickers are a miracle, truly.
If I had to change one thing, I’d wish the detachable garters were ever-so-slightly shorter. I’m 5’10″, and my legs take up most of my body: I’m used to stockings and garters being too short, not too long. However, I’ve found that I can’t wear these knickers under some of my shorter skirts, because the tops of my stockings will show when I walk, which isn’t a great look at my office job. The tops of my stockings are sitting a few inches above my knees, rather than comfortably around the fullest part of my thighs. It’s not a terrible problem, to be sure, but be warned. That being said, I’ve worn these knickers to work and well into the evenings without once feeling like my stockings were falling down, the way I might with a flimsy suspender belt. Instead, I feel comfortable, secure, and sexy: a winning combination in my book. Courtney advised that these run a bit small compared to the size chart, so if you’re between sizes consider sizing up.
I’m always thrilled to get to see the work of independent brands up close and in person. An enormous amount of passion, inspiration, and creativity goes into creating new lingerie companies, and I loved seeing how Courtney, wearing a sensational outfit from Bettie Page Clothing, talked us through her brand. She knows the fit of each garment through and through, and she offered us all fantastic size advice. Bras are available in sizes 28C-44G (US cup sizes), depending on the style, and knickers in sizes 5-10. Some of the bras fit a bit differently than some of the UK brands you might be familiar with, so if you’re able to try styles on in person, I highly recommend it! I have my eye on this pretty underwired bralette, which was an unexpected hit with Miss Underpinnings in a size she doesn’t usually wear.
I also might need another pin-up panty, this time in pink. Because it’s really, really awesome.
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For more fun shapewear reading, check out this great blog post from Kiss Me Deadly, with a break-down of all of their different shapewear options and how to determine which piece will be a great fit for you! I think the next thing I want to try is a boned suspender belt or a panty girdle– anything catch your eye?