Men’s Christmas Gift Trends 2016

Christmas is fast approaching and many men are placing orders through the site.
These are the most sort after products which their lucky partners will be receiving on Christmas Day.

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The Bare set by Janay is for the eco friendly lover. Made from Bamboo, it is incredibly soft to touch and comfortable to wear, even against the most sensitive skin.
Availability:
Coral and Khaki | 30-34 bands S-L Cup sizes.
Bra: £25 | Knickers £20
Browse Janay here.

The Maison Lejaby Soie Belle nightie has been a real hit in the last week.
This nightie is for a lady who deserves to be thoroughly indulged this Christmas.
Available in S-L
Nightie £280 | Matching negligee £320
We have now sold out in a size Medium but we have a new round of stock on its way.
Reserve a size by contacting us here.
Discover the Soie Belle range here.

The Chantelle Presage range has been incredibly popular for gifts and it’s easy to see why.
This set is suitable for all occasions and the look can be taken into the night with the beautiful nightie.
Availability:
Bra: 32-36 Band B-F Cup | Knickers XS-L | Waist Cincher S-L | Nightie S-L
Bra £65 | Knickers £32 | Waist Cincher £65 | Nightie £95
Discover Presage here.

The Aubade Crépuscle Satiné Nightie is a timeless piece and is a wonderful addition to any ladies lingerie collection.
Navy is the new black for 2017.
Avalible S-L
Nightie £130 | Matching Kimono £168
Discover Crépuscle Satiné here.

I hope my wonderful customers have helped inspire you for Christmas present ideas. Please always feel welcome to sent through an enquiry and I will help you find that
perfect gift.

FREE First Class Delivery on Orders over £175 until 20th December. (UK Only)

Claudia.x

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Van de Velde Client Visit 2016

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Over the weekend I set off to Belgium for the Van de Velde client visit. For those of you who don’t know, Van de Velde is the parent company for PrimaDonna and the PrimaDonna sub brands, Marie Jo and Marie Jo sub brands and Andres Sarda.

There are so many things to write about the client visit so this post will be about the production process.

Obviously I admired PrimaDonna as a brand otherwise I would not be stocking their products, but now I have to tell you exactly why they are such an impressive brand!

We stock four different bras which vary in sizes across designs from 32-40 band sizes to E-J cup sizes.

So what makes a PrimaDonna bra so special? 

PrimaDonna do not compromise fit with their bras. If the design isn’t going to be supportive, the bra does not make it to the shelves.

The cycle from first conception of a new bra to having it on the shelves takes 18 months. This includes the design, ensuring all fabric suppliers have materials in the exact same colours for each part of the bra. They then take an international trip to show mock ups to suppliers who will give feedback on the products.

They then make a decision on the final collection and prepare for bulk production. Part of the preparation for bulk production is testing the fabric. They use air pressure testing to see how strong the material is and if it breaks before the required pressure it is reevaluated.

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Machine used to test materials  using air pressure

All fabrics are asset in two hour slots where they check for holes and make sure the pattern on lace and fabrics is consistent.

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Machine and man checking fabric for holes

The entire process for a PrimaDonna bra takes place in Belgium apart from the actual production/ construction of bras. There are two reasons for this, obviously labour in China is cheaper but this does not compromise the well-being of the workers over there. Van de Velde are certified for ethical production in China and their material suppliers are also certified. No children are used in the production of any products which is hugely important to the Claudia May Lingerie ethos. The other reason production is completed abroad is because there aren’t enough people in Belgium who can construct so many products for the quantity of bras Van de Velde need to make each year.

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Tiny section of a very huge warehouse.

All products are then checked back in Belgium in quality control to ensure they meet the required standards before being boxed up and shipped to suppliers or stored in their incredible warehouse.

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Quality control

Van de Velde sell 6 million bras to suppliers each year.
93% of wearers would recommend PrimaDonna bras to a friend.

Van de Velde continue to dominate the lingerie market, especially for larger cups, simply because they care about their products and will not settle for anything less than the best.

Find our PrimaDonna choices here.

Claudia.x

Caught Short- “Panties to go”

Before I begin, Caught Short sent me some samples free of charge. They have not paid for this blog post and opinions are my own.

Caught Short are bringing you pants for emergencies, i.e. that time of the month when you forget to expect the expected. They very generously sent me three pairs; white, black and nude.

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A “brief” about the product:
Each knicker is made from 95% cotton and 5% elastane making them breathable material.
They are made in Turkey and they are a Sedex Global registered supplier: committed to empowering sustainable and ethical supply chains.
They come in white, black and nude and range from sizes S,M,L,XL.

Packaging
Each brief comes in its very own clear plastic pouch. This is so you can store the clean knickers in your bag and know that they will stay sanitary and it also means that you can put your dirty knickers in the pouch ready to be washed when you get home. Make sure you wash out the pouch when you take the dirty knickers out to be washed. Stay as hygienic as possible. Also remove the card from the pouch and dispose of it. Care instructions are embedded into the back of each knicker.

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Size?
I am a UK size 10 and I was sent a small which caters sizes 8-10. My initial reaction was that I didn’t think they would fit. Fortunately they do fit me and they sit well on my body. I would recommend that if you are a size 10-12 to go for a medium.

Comfort?
I don’t often wear briefs so originally it felt a little strange but rather quickly they became incredibly comfortable. The material is soft and they sit nicely on the skin. There was no digging and I could move around easily in them.

Hand bag friendly?
Obviously the point of this product is that you can easily transport it. I have a good sized handbag. It isn’t too small and isn’t too large and this product fits in the zip pocket inside the back of my bag and can also easily sit in the main part of my bag. The only thing I would recommend doing is cutting the top part of the packet off- do not cut past the sealed part so you can re-close the pouch from the popper at the back.

Washable?
Of course I waited to do my wash so I could try and test washing the product which is recommended on a 40 degree wash on dedicates with similar colours. After washing I let them dry on my radiator over night and they have not shrunk and still sit comfortably on the skin. They state to not tumble dry this product so please always take a companies advice on any lingerie care.

Recommendations
These are back up knickers, so make sure you carry a sanitary product with you to use with the knickers. A small to medium sized sanitary product will fit in the pouch with the kickers.

Overview
Please note that this product does give a VPL on tight clothes such as leggings. It is less noticeable with skinny jeans though.
Otherwise I think this is a really great concept. I know a lot of people get “caught short” and this product is easy to transport, wear and wash.
I would really recommend this as a “Coming of age” gift. When I started secondary school my Mum gave me a little bag which I could hide a sanitary product and spare pair of knickers in to easily take to the toilet if I needed and it’s something thoughtful that I have and will always remember. It also means your teenager will be prepared if they start their period at school and when they are younger they are more likely to be caught out due to irregular cycles. In saying that, this is also a product I would recommend to women with irregular cycles.
It is important to stay feeling fresh as well as hygienic and “Caught short” allows you to do both.

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How beautiful are the visuals for this product?!

Thank you so much Caught Short for sending me these products, I have thoroughly enjoyed trying, testing and reviewing them.

View their products here.

Claudia.x

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How to increase the support of your unworn bras.

Every few months you should go through your bra drawer and try on bras that you almost never wear. Check if they are still bras you need and if not, don’t throw them away, this is what you need to do with them and how to give them the most support.

When I think about how my underthing make me feel, they make me confident, I feel beautiful and that I can conquer the world. It is my privilege that lingerie makes me feel like that when there are women in the world who need underwear in order to avoid some of the worst abuse a woman can go through.

Women in poverty who do not have access to clean underwear obviously have the hygiene factor to be concerned about. The huge issue is that a lack of underwear is a problem for many women in countries including Kenya, Zimbabwe and Senegal. Females who do not wear underwear become vulnerable and a target to rapists and sex traffickers. If a woman is wearing underwear, she is seen to have a male in her life who takes care of her, a husband or a father for example. She is basically seen to have a bread winner who can provide this essential piece of clothing making her less likely to become a victim of rape or trafficking.

This problem is very real. In 2012 South Africa’s statistics showed 127.6 for every 100,000 people in the country will encounter rape or some form of sexual assault. This crime is also rarely punished.

So, how can you get more support out of your unworn bras?

There are a few charities that you can send bras to which will transport them to these countries but I want to focus on Smalls For All. Smalls for all was founded in 2009 and since its launch, they have collected 226,858 items of underwear, distributed 152,153 and recycled 34,400 bras at last count this year.

Smalls for All accept never worn or hardly worn bras so if you would like to donate please see how to here, they accept any size. They also collect new packets of children’s underwear ages 3-15, and women’s underwear sizes 8-16. Remember that knickers must be new so when you are doing your next supermarket shop, please consider picking up a packet.

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Image taken from the Smalls for All website.

 

I would suggest teaming up with some friends who have hardly worn bras and post them off together to save on postage and it is better for the environment.

Please do what you can and donate what you can.

Claudia.x

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Lingerie as Outerwear AW16

Party season is fast approaching and at Claudia May Lingerie we adore lingerie as outerwear. If you are not keen on the idea of lingerie as outerwear on an everyday basis, an event this season is your opportunity to come out of your comfort zone.

Before we get on to what to pair what with, we want to discuss how to break out of your comfort zone to then feel even more fabulous.

Step one
Question how much of your body you want to show. We have a principle that we choose either our legs or our cleavage. That is just our preference as we like to feel modest in some areas. If you are totally comfortable with bearing more, feel free and embrace your confidence.

Step two
Choose a piece of lingerie that works with your body requirements. If you do not want your nipples on show, find something you can wear a bra under or nipple pasties to keep your nipples at bay.

Step three
Try on your entire outfit a few days before you debut lingerie as outerwear. You want to make sure you do not have a last minute panic before going to an event so allow yourself to see the complete outfit so you can interchange parts of the outfit or start afresh. Remember this is about your comfort and even if you decide to scrap lingerie as outerwear, you can hide a beautiful matching set under normal outfits to boost your confidence.

Our picks for lingerie as outerwear.

We adore pairing a body with a pair of jeans and heels. It is a simple and sophisticated look that many can pull off. Bodies are fitted to your skin but somehow manage to flatter in all of the right places.

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This Corolle Body by Maison Lejaby is simple yet sophisticated. It can be worn with a strapless bra underneath for added support but allows you to feel modest as well as sexy. We would recommend wearing a nude strapless bra underneath so you do not deter from the beautiful detailing on the bust. We would pair this with a dark shaded tulle skirt for added sophistication but also for a seasonal look for your autumn and winter parties.

The Bare collection. Janay Body offers a gorgeous low V back. Claudia loves to pair this body with high waisted jeans because of the white band being just where her jeans come up to. She feels as though it works well and brings her waist in.
The bare collection is ultra soft as well as Eco friendly so you can wear this and feel like you are doing the world some good. We would recommend wearing nipple pasties or plasters over your nipples as you can not wear a normal bra under this body because of the back. This product is also available in a stunning coral colour.
We would wear this look for a night out with friends.

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If a body isn’t to your taste you could try a camisole top. Despite being nightwear, camisoles, such as the Soie Belle by Maison Lejaby, are far too pretty to never been shown outside of the house. You can wear this as a top out as well as going to bed. We also look for any excuse to wear out most comfortable lounge wear out and about. Pair with any trousers and a simple jacket. This is a perfect look for a more formal, business event.

Claudia.x

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The significance of Crépuscle Satiné Nightie Versailles

When I was a child I remember my Mum buying me a light pink butterfly print polyester nightie with a bright pink trim. I thought it was the most amazing nightie in the world and I wore it with such pride. My nightwear collection as a child consisted of nighties and I soon grew out of them and on to mismatched pyjamas usually consisting of a pair of soft shorts and a vest top.

Things changed at the beginning of the year when I attended Moda and on the way out I walked past the Aubade stand. After a brief discussion with the representative I started to feel up their products. I remember picking up the Crépuscle Satiné Nightie in Versailles and I did not want to put it down. I handed it to the person I attended Moda with and exclaimed “Feel the quality of this!” For months after that moment, the nightie was embedded in my mind and I dreamt of the day mine would arrive.

Aubade was the first brand I connected with and pitched my business idea to and the first brand to take me on board to stock their products. The first thing on my list to stock was the Crépuscle Satiné range.

I feel like a million dollars in this nightie and I don’t think I have even owned a piece of nightwear or lingerie as beautiful as this. The way the silk feels on my skin and how light and dreamy it is makes me want to wear it out of the house and show the world.

If you didn’t know already this image is of me. I wanted to feature an image of myself wearing the most sentimental product on the site and have an image to mark the beginning of the Claudia May Lingerie journey that was personal to me.

The Crépuscle Satiné Nightie is a piece I will have and cherish for life.

Cherish yours for life too.

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Claudia.x

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DIY emergency bra solutions

This is for those of you who like to buy new outfits for the future and when you finally want to wear them, you don’t have the right bra. This is also for those of you who are on a budget who can’t afford to buy these solutions.

I wrote a blog post a while ago about bra solutions and official products, so check that out here.

No nipple pasties? No problem! 

Before I started buying nipple covers I was a user of plasters. I still actually use them a lot because they can sometimes be more discreet under what I am wearing. Make sure you have the fabric part over your actual nipple. If your plasters are higher end brands or just super sticky then stick it to your hand and pull  it off then stick it over your nipple. This will prevent a painful peel off at the end of the night.

Not got a backless bra? Mask that error.

Masking tape is something I tried for the first time last Halloween when my plunging neckline wasn’t having any conventional bra solutions. The only thing available was masking tape and plasters. So I plastered my nipples and then used the masking tape to shape my breasts how I wanted them to look. Kim Kardashian has an iconic tape look that she uses for the red carpet. It doesn’t seem to be the most easy thing to replicate from the “We tried this technique so you don’t have to” videos I have seen. Mircopore tape can be found in your first aid kit and this works just as well and is better on sensitive skin and is more comfortable.

For a cleavage effect, start by putting plasters on your nipples. Put a long piece of masking tape under both of your breasts. This will pull them together. Build on top of this piece until you have your desired look. Do a jump and a little shake to make sure everything stays in place. If it doesn’t then add more tape.

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For an uplift effect, start by putting plasters on your nipples. Cut a strip of tape and stick a quarter of the strip to the centre of your breast. Pull your breast up to the desired lift, stabilise your breast with your hand and and stick the remaining tape to your body. Repeat this as many times as you need to feel sturdy. Again, have a little jump and shake to make sure everything stays in place. If is doesn’t then add more tape.

You can combine the looks if you need to. There is no right or wrong way of using the tape, apply in a way that best suits you.

Racer back solutions.

This is the most common DIY trick that most people know but I do find myself helping some people out before going out because their peeping bra straps do not enhance their look.

Grab a paperclip or a safety pin and attach it to your bra. A friend or someone you feel comfortable with can help with this. Alternatively you can put the solution on the back of your bra first and then slide your arms and head through then do the bra up normally. Use more clips for more support.

 

Tip: You will need to adjust your straps to make them slightly longer for this to be comfortable.

Comment or tweet me your best DIY bra solution hacks, I always love to know what other people do/ use!

Claudia.x

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The Beauty of Bamboo

I have been inspired to write about the beauty of bamboo fabric as Claudia May Lingerie will be stocking part of the new Bare range by Janay.

Excited to be able to offer these alternative fabric underthings on my website, I had to do my research behind why bamboo is classed as an eco fabric and what the pros are for owning underthings in this material. I ended up switching out a different suppliers cotton soft bras in order to stock these products. After some research I knew that they would be far better for the environment and I also could be sure that the product production would be ethical which is also important to me.

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There are many ecological benefits of bamboo. Bamboo is the longest member of the grass family and can grow up to 35 meters tall. They are also the fastest growing wood plants in the world. Bamboo has over 1600 species which are grown over various climates making it a sustainable resource and giving it an ecological advantage over other natural fibres such as cotton which has a much more time consuming and spacious growing need.

Bamboo is to cotton what cashmere is to wool. Bamboo fabrics are incredibly soft and feel wonderful against your skin. I brought some bamboo socks last year and even after many washes they are still the softest socks I own. Bamboo products are also great news for those of you with sensitive skin. It is anti static and combined with the softness of the fabric, it sits well next to your skin.

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Wearing the Janay Body as outwear. Yes, it is super soft!

If you want a product that keeps you warm, bamboo has hollow microfibers that can trap heat. But the material is also breathable and is ideal for both warm and cooler temperatures. Did you also know that bamboo has a 97.5% UV protection rate? So you can wear a bamboo item with the safety of knowing that very little UV rays will be getting through to your skin.

Bamboo fabric also absorbs moister from your body, keeping you dry. Bacteria also doesn’t live well in the fabric, so if you are prone to feeling a little smelly and sweaty, try wearing some bamboo underthings and feel fresh all day.

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And the best part about bamboo fabric for all clothes? After you have outworn and loved your items and fulfilled its lifespan, you can put your items in a compost bin as it is 100% biodegradable!

So whilst you pick underthings to love yourself, you could also be loving the planet.

I am so excited to be working with Janay!

Shop Bare here

Claudia.x

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How did I come to set up Claudia May Lingerie?

Most of you are well aware that I am setting up my own online lingerie store where I am selecting the best products from the brands I have chosen to work with.

But how did I get to this point in my life?

After deciding that University was not for me, I worked for a local store for just under six months until I realised I really disliked my job. I had a strong work ethic and I decided that my enthusiasm would be better served elsewhere.

I began working for my Dad’s company as a receptionist and soon decided I wanted to set up my own business. Dad then took me along to a Chris Cardell marketing talk. Afterwards we were walking back to the car and he said that I should set up a business in something I felt passionately about and asked me what that would be. The night before my Mum had been telling me off for buying too much underwear so I jokingly said “Oh, underwear”. Right away my Dad enthusiastically said “Okay then!”.

Whilst working as a receptionist, I did some on and off travelling around Europe. Most people say that they discover who they are when they travel, and I decided that I wanted to start setting up a lingerie business once I got home. Due to some unforeseen circumstances in my life, setting up a business straight after travelling, didn’t seem doable.

At the beginning of the year (2016), an opportunity came up to work for a lingerie retailer. I got the job and worked for a short time setting up their store. This motivated me greatly to get going on setting up a business of my own.

Through some contacts, I found out about the Moda Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham and was told I had to go. It was the place to be apparently. Without knowing what to expect, my Dad and I headed off on an adventure. By the end of the day I was so excited! I suddenly had access to all of these brands and felt like I had a great insight into how part of the industry worked.

Just before attending Moda, the retailer whose store I had helped set up offered me a new contract and I had accepted. I went back to work the week of Moda but after three shifts I handed in my notice before I had signed my contract. My heart wasn’t in their brand, it was in my own. I really want to bring the very best luxury lingerie to the UK market and unfortunately that is not to be found on the high street.

The following week I wrote my first blog post and started to build relationships with my Twitter friends. I then spent hours on end researching the lingerie market, choosing the best products based on comfort, quality and fit. I then contacted the retailers and introduced myself and my business idea.

I have spent a lot of this year breaking ties with negative people which I feel has really helped develop the positive outlook I now have on life. I also kept what I was doing very quiet. Very few people I know knew that I had a blog and that I was setting up a business. Once I announced my business on Facebook, the compliments and kindness from everyone was so overwhelming, I was not expecting such a huge response.

I never imagined at 19 I would have founded a business and at 20 be launching one. After years of feeling like I had nothing interesting to talk about, people always want to know how things are going and what the latest updates with my business are. Starting up this business has really helped me shape who I am and what I want to achieve from life. The future is totally unknown, but the experience I have had in the last 8 months is more than I could have imagined and I am incredibly excited to be moving forward and launching in just under a month.

Thank you if you have managed to get to the bottom of this blog post and to those who have supported me from early on in my journey.

Claudia.x

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