Late last year I started noticing some REALLY PRETTY knickers starting to show up in my feeds. I mean, REALLY, REALLY PRETTY: bows, ruffles, frills, lace, satin, and mesh, in an array of cotton candy colors, all paired with coordinating pastel stockings. This lingerie was my Happy Place.
I was delighted to learn that the creator of these sweet things was Sarah, a young graduate of the Art and Fashion Design course at the University of Gloucester. She makes all of her lingerie pieces in the UK, and offers a wide range of sizes as well as made-to-measure options. She is committed to making lingerie that is free of animal-derived products (like silk) but which is nonetheless beautiful and luxurious.
I haunted her Etsy shop for a few weeks, trying to decide how I could possibly choose a piece, when Sarah contacted me to offer an item or two for review! At the time, she offered classic bikini briefs and simple suspender belts in her store, and she has since added several petite bras and bralettes. I wrote her back and asked her about the possibility of custom-ordering a pair of high-waist knickers, as all of the knickers in her shop looked very low-cut. Imagine my delight when she said that not only was she in the process of patterning a new, high-waist style, but she was going to adapt her popular blue ruffle-and-lace Forget Me Knot knickers as one of the first styles!
I requested this pair (it reminds me of tutus, and of course the black trim makes it easy to pair with a black bra and stockings) and sent Sarah my measurements. I was a bit nervous about ordering a made-to-measure pair of knickers, as I haven’t always had great success with made-to-measure clothes in the past. I needn’t have worried. My knickers arrived in a beautifully wrapped package, tied with a black satin ribbon, and I can honestly say that they are one of the most delightful pieces of lingerie I’ve ever owned.
I mean REALLY:
How lovely are these? They fit perfectly and feel wonderful– a light sheer lace that’s soft against the skin, trimmed with shining black satin. The rise hits me right around my navel, although women with longer waists may find that theirs hit just a bit lower. They’re ABSURDLY comfortable– I wore my pair under a dress on one of the days I spent at Curve, and I didn’t fidget or fuss with them all day.
I have a black satin plunge bra I wear with them now (Moonlight in Paris by Bravissimo), but I really want to get a sheer black lace bra to have as another option to pair with my froofy, ruffly, lacy, delightful knickers. Sarah reported that lots of customers love wearing the adorable matching camisole with their high-waisted knickers as a cool, frilly sleep set, perfect for hot summer evenings.
Pale blue lingerie often reads as “bridal” (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and while I do think that this set would make very lovely bridal lingerie, I love that Sarah trimmed it with black, instead of white, which gives it an edgier, punkier feel.
So, Sweets, I thought you were kind of a big, tall girl? Why are you reviewing petite lingerie?
I’m so glad you asked that, hypothetical reader. As a reminder, “petite” in the lingerie world doesn’t necessarily refer to overall stature, the way it does in more mainstream clothing departments. In lingerie, “petite” generally designates a customer who wears cup sizes in the AAA, AA, A, or B range, regardless of her band size. There’s been a tremendous amount of growth in the full-bust and full-figure lingerie markets over the last few years, but unfortunately many small-bust customers still struggle to find pretty, sophisticated lingerie that embraces their natural shapes.
Just because some women don’t want or need the intense construction or shaping that goes into full-bust bras doesn’t mean they don’t also want some of the frills and prettiness their fuller-busted counterparts wear. I really love how the structure and formality of wearing a garter belt and stockings plays against the sweet colors and soft, easy structure of Arabel’s bralettes.
What do you think of Arabel Petites? Have you tried one of these lovely pieces yourself? A new collection is coming soon, so keep your eye on the website!