GRAND SEDUCTION When investing in lingerie, make sure it’s stunning for the right reasons. By Christine Whitney.
In the world of lingerie, there’s a fine line between risqué and risky. The right stuff promises to make you feel powerful and alluring. But one false step and instead of Catherine Deneuve in Belle De Jour, you’re an extra in Showgirls. Italian luxury lingerie brand La Perla just celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2014, so we asked the company’s North America CEO Suzy Biszantz and global marketing director, Nick Tacchi, to share their expertise on what is – and isn’t – sexy in the world of intimates. First things first: Fit and fabric are everything. Unless you nail these, it’s curtains. Yet proper bra sizing continues to elude most of us. In brief, you should be able to slip a finger under the band when it’s hooked at the loosest setting. A professional fitting could save you from what Tacchi calls the most common slipup. “Women often go with a band size that is too tight so that the cup size is right,” he says. “That’s wrong. They probably need to go up a band size and down a cup size.”
A few key things to avoid: polka dots, large bows, ruching, garter skirts (proceed with caution), and, of course, uncomfortable fabrics. Be wary of aggressive neons and brights; if venturing beyond black or white, stick to rich jewel tones. Though they aren’t gaudy, nudes (while ideal for wearing under white) have little place in the bedroom.
When dressing to thrill, your first choice should be something matching. “You can’t go wrong with a Leavers lace set,” says Biszantz, citing La Perla’s handloomed bra-andpanty pairings. Want something racier? This season it’s all about a bustier, preferably in black. A silk chemise is another winner. If a special occasion garter belt (sans skirt) sounds like your idea of fun, then go for it, provided that it’s simple and Deneuve-y.
Don’t choose something you’re uncomfortable in just to impress your intended audience. If, say, you’re not on board with strategic cut-outs, you’re in luck – pieces that offer a bit more coverage are now very much in demand. When it comes time to put on (or take off ) panty-line-prone pieces, the G-string is no longer the sweet spot it used to be; it even feels a bit passé. Thank the rise in popularity of boy shorts and highwaisted briefs and laser-cut fabrics, which yield underpinnings so seamless it’s as if you’re wearing nothing at all.
A word of caution if you want to try high-waisted: Like so many trends, it’s one that women seem to love and men seem to … not quite understand. “When men are buying gifts, I don’t think it’s high on their list,” Biszantz says. “If it’s done with a sheer panel and paired with a bustier or bralette, it can be really sexy, but opaque high-waisted is definitely not a gentleman’s favourite.”
Granny panties notwithstanding, sexy is in the eye of the beholder. Asked what men are buying for their better halves, the consensus is that there is no consensus. But there is one thing everyone agrees on: Sexy is about confidence and attitude. “When you’re not comfortable with what you have on, it will be visible,” Tacchi says. “It will immediately break the game that’s being played.” Game on.
IF THE BRA FITS All too often it doesn’t. Here, a few rules for getting it just right: 1. The fit is perfect when your bra fastens on the middle hook ( if the straps slip, it’s definitely too big). 2. If the cups – or underwire – cut into your skin, the bra’s too small. Gaping? Too big. 3. The centre section should lie flat in front; the band should anchor at the shoulder blades. 4. Everything should sit firmly between the elbow and the shoulder.
Dolce & Gabbana Spring/ Summer ’15
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