There's a common (what I like to call) misunderstanding that those who wear more clothes have higher moral standards. There's another (what I like to call) misunderstanding that lingerie is only for the sexy people.
And yah, I kind of get it. I'm a Christian so people think my mind should be on other, more spiritual matters than clothing. I mean, you really shouldn't dress in a way that could attract the opposite sex unless you're alone with your husband right? And what happens then is that you're suddenly expected to turn into a sexy siren thus adhering to the old, "lady on the streets, freak in the sheets" adage.
But I also think it's a pretty common and well-rehearsed load of tosh. I think there's a thing, historically, about the more layers you wear, somehow representing a higher social class. Cue horrified Westerners at wild Africans in Mowgli attire. But maybe they were just, like, hot or something? Because unlike here in the UK the sun tends to adhere to its job description.
And it's also a religious thing, with pretty much all the orthodox religious groups slathering on more layers to convey pomp and/or modesty. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And I do understand that it can be difficult to focus at work when you're staring at a pair of great boobs or long legs from under a teeny tiny skirt (personally reprimanded for the latter since 1999).
And with that in mind, what I actually want to talk about is lingerie. I've been obsessed with lingerie since I discovered La Senza in my early twenties. Previously put off by the plain black or white regulation sports bras cladding my teenage F-cups, bras and knickers were simply underwear - demi-clothes worn under outerwear to provide structure and what is seen as social decency for those of us living in the western world. (Except during the 70s when apparently, no-one wore a bra.)
I was always jealous of my small-boobed counterparts at school. While they were ooh-ing and ah-ing over cute and frilly bralettes in high street stores, I was trying to figure out how to hide my thick sports bra straps under a cute mini dress. Of course there were other brands around catering for larger busts but they were usually pretty granny-ish by teenage standards and also quite expensive. They also didn't do strapless, backless or racerback particularly well. Here in the UK, it wasn't until La Senza arrived on the high street that people like me, with small back sizes and large bust sizes could start to feel pretty in lingerie.
La Senza isn't around anymore and followers of this blog will know that my current lingerie love affair is with UK founded Agent Provocateur or AP as us brand ambassadors call it. (Just wait for the sale and trust me!) There are now lingerie brands popping up everywhere, catering to all sizes and budgets (I even know a brand currently working on bralettes for those blessed with anything above a C/D cup so watch this space!).
However, the real problem I see with lingerie these days is that people just.don't.get it. Especially Christians. Assuming that we are all in agreement that the first humans went around happily naked, it's funny that in the years since, society has slowly been building up its coverage to pretty full on in Victorian and Tudor times followed by a mass disrobe late in the last century which means (in most cultures) it's almost acceptable to wear hardly anything again. A real turnaround! And yet I know there are people who will frown upon me working in lingerie. As a Christian!! These things should be kept behind closed doors surely?? Cue shock/horror etc.
Again, followers of this blog will know I have never claimed to be a good example of a "proper Christian" but I do want to explain what my love for both lingerie and people has led me to create.
The Lace Rail is what I'm calling my personal shopping/consultancy for lingerie/swimwear/nightwear and I would love for you to be on board.
At one point in my modelling career, I wanted to be a lingerie model. Most people won't understand this but those in the industry will know that models are generally preferred if they are flat chested. That way the designers don't have to faff around with bras during shows and fittings. I was a 32F when I was 18 so I knew I would never be that favourite but I figured at least with lingerie it would all be cup-sized so I would (literally) fit in. But a friend killed my dream when she told me I didn't have the right look to be a Victoria's Secret model which is what I had my sights on (cue violins and sad emoticons) but looking back now I think that's part of the problem: we are not all Victoria's Secret models.
People have this perception of lingerie as something to be worn when you're trying to be sexy. Sure the VS girls are super hot but they're all of a type. They are picked because they look the same and that's not real life because we are all gloriously different.
But not everyone wants to be sexy and I get that. And okay sure there are sexy playsuits and ouvert knickers which, thanks to the likes of 50 Shades of Grey, have become a thing. But generally what you wear under your clothes is there to support you and make you feel confident in what covers it. It pays to invest in your lingerie; for most of us it keeps us up all day! There are so many companies offering bra solutions and specialist bras so that we can ALL feel sexy or confident or comfortable or all three. And that's relevant for those with small boobs, large boobs, small back and large boobs, boob jobs and mastectomies. There's an empowerment that comes with body confidence and with all the selfies and sexting going on at the moment we definitely all need some.
So what I'm trying to do with my personal shopping consultancy The Lace Rail, is to share some of my passion and also help to increase confidence in lingerie. If you lack the confidence to go lingerie shopping, I'll go with you and pick places which will work for your size, occasion and fit. If you hate shopping, I'll do the groundwork and bring you a selection, arrange a fly by or I'll show you where to click so you can buy it online.
And so basically, whether or not you consider yourself one of the sexy people, I want women everywhere to understand that lingerie is SO much more than just what you wear under what you're wearing.
For more info visit TheLaceRail.com or follow TLR on social media
PS if you're wary of seeing women in lingerie then please don't click on the above link.