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Hello! I don’t know if I’ll update any of my social media accounts ever again, but if I don’t, I want my last post to commemorate and shout-out my top 5 brands, brands that I will continue to support, long after I cease posting. They are listed in ABC order.

If I didn’t include you, please don’t be upset! I only could pick 5, so if I ever bought your stuff and raved about it, you know I really love your work!

And before I list my top 5, I would like to mention just how hard these indie brands have worked to stay afloat. I’ve personally interacted with all of them, and a handful of ladies have informed me that their brands struggle every day to keep their doors open. I think a lot of people love the sentiment of supporting indie brands, but when it comes to making a full-priced purchase, most waffle. I’ll be the first to admit that paying full-price for things has been hard because I grew up poor and didn’t have much money for many, many years. However, the more that I focus on labor-intensive work, the more I appreciate all of the skills that women have fine-tuned in the lingerie market. Also, if you ever had to sew elastic, you realize that it’s a difficult skill to master. To this day, I still wanna gouge out my eyes when I have to sew on elastic and kind of avoid it like the plague. :P

Black Friday is around the corner, so in light of all the sales that are going on, please don’t forget to support your indie brands, even after the sales are over!

PS – Please forgive me for the worst flatlays ever. :P

1. Alexandrea Anissa
Vanessa is the badass punk rock seamstress behind this brand. I love how vocal she is about body positivity, how she refuses to undervalue her work, and how she encourages people to sew. She is honest with her personal struggles, and to me, it’s inspiring to hear a story that is authentic and heartfelt, vs. “I started making my lingerie because there was a void in the market where no one has ever made a boring t shirt bra that fit my D cups!” Her lookbooks have such a dreamy aesthetic, featuring women of color and bodies of all shapes and sizes before it became “a thing.”

I LOVE the leopard bra I got from her; it’s super comfy, and I feel so rock and roll and badass like Vanessa when I wear it. :D One thing that I find pretty amazing is how Vanessa has started to release lingerie patterns. I sew quite a bit in my spare time (but still think lingerie sewing is still difficult as hell), and Vanessa is super accessible. I’ve given her feedback on her pattern (specifically, her high waisted panty pattern), and she’s incorporated them into pattern updates.

Alexandrea Anissa Leopard Bralette

The Fawn Lace Lingerie Set is one of her most iconic sets, and I’d love to own it in the future.

2. Between the Sheets
I freaking love Layla. I’ve written about BtS in the past, but as I get older, I find her to be a bright light in the cesspool that is fashion. I feel like a lot of companies greenwash/pay lip service/do things to increase sales, but with Layla, everything she does is a heartfelt action to do and be better in this world (like her B-corp certification!). Every time I have engaged with Layla, she has been so kind and compassionate; you can’t help but love her!

As for her lingerie and loungewear… I LOVE IT. I still ADORE my Birds of Play set and almost can’t bring myself to wear it too often because I want to keep it perfect forever. Her fabrics are thoughtfully chosen, and everything is just so comfortable to wear. I am obsessed with her Specimens of Seduction line, especially her Sheer Romance Peach Robe.

Between the Sheets Birds of Play Bodysuit – the dusky mauvish grey feather print makes my heart go pitter patter. :3

3. Flash You and Me
I remember when FY&M was a new up and coming brand in Latvia. Their aesthetic was a bit sweeter, and they made matching underwear for couples. Since then, they’ve grown and expanded quite rapidly, offering an assortment of on trend, fun and flirty pieces, including loungewear and underwired bras (albeit, in limited sizes). What they’ve done is nothing short of amazing in terms of growth and product offering.

Flash You and Me Knickers (discontinued print) + gorgeous gift boxes.

Flash You and Me hits all points in terms of style, inventory, and price. Digging the strappy trend? If so, they got you covered. Nothing but loungewear for you? Of course they oblige! Want basics? Check, check, check! And if you are looking for swimwear, they offer that, too! My picks: their luxe harnesses at a very modest price point and their versatile tops. I own their limited release crop tops (so stretchy that they comfortably fit my broad shoulders), matching bottoms, underwear, and harness and can personally attest to the quality. Their CS is responsive and friendly, and I adore their lovely boxes! I also converted Vicky, so there’s that. ;)

4. Toru and Naoko
When my Cassia order from Toru an Naoko did not fit me whatsoever, I thought that I would never have anything to do with them again. Camila saw my post and wrote me a nice email and offered to send me a set with their new sizing. And even though the bra didn’t fit me, I was able to return that bra for another that did. Nowadays, brands take everything so personally but play nice with top influencers. Well, I’m a nobody online, but Camila still treated me with nothing but respect. She was so professional and friendly. I’m a loyal person, and this really cemented my patronage.

The grape pieces from the Lempicka collection. This collection is one of my favorites. Their pieces are magical on the body but impossibly hard to translate into a flatlay! (This image also turned out redder than it actually is; Camila’s photos are accurate in color.)

I’ve talked about how I’m bored by blah basics and stereotypical strappy stuff. I’m so jaded, guys. But every time I see a new collection from T&N, I’m just awed. Camila is a fantastic designer and has a real eye for transforming a simple bralette and knickers into something truly special. Her lingerie silhouettes gorgeously frame the body with their thoughtfully placed layers. Lempicka, now discontinued, grabbed me by the face (and I grabbed what I could), and her Lunar Mission and Queen of Hearts have me wanting more. I remember being so blown away when I saw those two collections. They’re wearable for every day activity, but they look unbelievably special.

5. Katastrophic Clothing
This one is not in ABC order because Melissa has currently closed her Etsy shop; however, she has some projects in the pipeline, and I’m suuuuper excited to see what she does! Her lingerie, to this day, is a champion of humid Texas summers. She works with hand-dyed organic cotton and laces and creates some of the most comfortable lingerie ever. Surprisingly enough, her lingerie also gives me the best cleavage ever! Whenever she opens up shop again, I’d love to purchase some more lingerie from her. I can’t wait to see what else her brand will carry in the future.

Katastrophic Clothing Bralettes – organic cotton jersey and laces, hand-dyed.

So, there you have it!
I really am thankful and grateful for everyone I’ve met through the lingerie community. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and winter holiday.

Also, if you’re in the US, please take a look at what’s going on with Net Neutrality. FYI, Chairman Pai was a former attorney at Verizon who specialized in competition and regulatory issues. Please call your senator and make your voice heard. If Congress gets enough votes, they can stop the FCC from allowing ISPs to control what you do/use/access online. (You have until December 14.)

CHEERS TO 2018 – WE GOT A REVOLUTION COMING!!

All items in this post were purchased by me. None of these brands asked me to write about them or include them in my list. No affiliate links were used.

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I purchased the Birds of Play bralette and ouvert knickers nearly a year ago. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I never got to wearing them until now. (That was primarily due to a misguided belief that my body wasn’t good enough to wear some of the lingerie I bought and/or that it was too nice to wear!) I’m really trying to make a good effort to wear my pretty things, especially since I love them so much! And also because I’m wearing them for ME because ME is pretty awesome. :)

Birds of Play Shade

I regret not wearing this set sooner.

Between the Sheets really hits the spot when it comes to tasteful, elegant, and understated sexy lingerie. However, the most laudable aspect behind this company is their unwavering commitment to social responsibility. While I am NOT a saint and occasionally indulge in cheap, made with questionable labor pieces, I have nothing but respect for a company who invests heavily in doing the least amount of harm in an industry where sustainability is generally ignored. It’s tough, and I can’t even imagine what it’s like to compete with other companies who look solely at the bottom line. While I may not be able to regularly afford pieces at full price, I really want to save up and buy a couple pieces from them each year because 1) they deserve it and 2) it’s worth it.

Birds of Play is probably one of the prettiest sets I’ve laid my eyes on in a looong time. The stretchy lace is truly special; it’s designed and custom-made exclusively for Between the Sheets in the US. It’s amazingly soft and cuddly, and it feels wonderful against my skin. It also offers a good amount of coverage despite its sheerness. I am absolutely in love with the color (shade), too; it’s a unique, gorgeous dusty purpley-grey.

Birds of Play Lace

As for sizing, I find that this style runs large due to the fabric material. I typically purchase a “medium” in most brands (US6 bottoms) and have a 32-33″ underbust, about 36-37″ full bust, but I opted for a “small.” The ouvert knickers fit me perfectly on the bottom.

The bralette is a good fit, but it is extremely stretchy in the band and offers a looser fit with very little support. It’s perfect to flop around on the sofa in while watching Netflix in your underwear. There is no clasp, so it will need to be pulled on. The adjustable grosgrain straps are generous in length. My only complaint: the band did ride up on me a bit, even after adjusting the straps. If you have large breasts, the bralette cups might not offer much coverage.

Front and pretty ouvert back while worn. (Hi, horrible tan lines that are still on my body after being terribly sunburned back in May.)

Birds of Play - FrontBirds of Play - Front

Between the Sheets has a few of these pieces left in their sale section, so if you’re interested, snap them up before they’re gone! They also offer free worldwide shipping with a minimum purchase of $30. INSANE.

I honestly don’t know why Between the Sheets isn’t more popular whereas brands like Agent Provocateur are. To me, AP is so overrated that I can’t even… From Between the Sheets’ brand ethics, free shipping, and 15% lifetime subscriber discount (can even be used on sale items that aren’t already 50%+ marked off – you will get the code when signing up for their newsletter), they’re one of the best lingerie companies in existence; I don’t think you could ask for more from any brand.

My lingerie budget is a bit stretched, but I am sorely tempted to purchase the matching bodysuit Did it.  I can’t be helped. :(

All items in this post were purchased by myself. Between the Sheets did not ask me to write a review nor did they compensate me for this post.