An e-retailer launched its online store yesterday with the proclamation that it would be incredibly inclusive to all: Introducing "underthings for everyone" by Bluestockings Boutique. On the brand's about page, Founder Jeanna Kadlec states that BB is a lingerie boutique that was started with intersectional feminist principles in mind. She specifically considers the LGBTQIA community, who believes that "representation is not an idea — it's a practice." I can 100 percent get behind pretty much all of this — yes to lingerie for all, to actual representation, and to understanding the implications that the lingerie industry can have on women, non-binary, and queer people!
When you think of lingerie, probably one of your first thoughts is of sculpted women in elaborate lingerie and fluffy white angel wings walking down a runway to Taylor Swift. Or maybe your first thought is of the lurid and overt type of thing that's almost cinematically sexy: Black, red, lacy, sheer, and pushing everything up and out. Maybe you're thinking of some of the more subtle or nuanced versions of these images, sure. But you're likely leaving some people and some identities out of the mix — people who lack representation and visibility in mainstream media and, also, mainstream lingerie. It's not just about petitioning Victoria's Secret to add plus-sizes or asking them to show more body diversity: It's about understanding that not everyone even wants to wear the same lingerie.
The Boston-based online boutique is working with tons of indie lingerie designers to deliver a wider variety of lingerie than is available in the mainstream — to meet the demands of customers whose needs aren't met by conventional lingerie. Whether it's offering the Nubian Skin line that makes "nude" bras and panties for darker skin tones, gender neutral boxer briefs from company Play Out, the Transvormer 102 Band Binder for folks trying to decrease the appearance of their chest, or a pretty bra for smaller chests by A Little Bra Company, the boutique is stocked full of goodies, both practical and sensual, for pretty much anyone to enjoy and for the customer whose needs and wants have been pushed to the margins.
It's a refreshing change from conventional lingerie sites and brands having the only variation of "sexy" being available be either all-out, vampy sexy, or a softer, pink-er feminine aesthetic. The shop's casual and contemporary loungewear that features loose robes, floaty house dresses, bamboo rompers, and backless nightgowns is probably my favorite category — cozy, cute pieces that are chic enough to style for out of the house-wear but comfy enough to make chilling at home feel that much more luxe.
Don't think there's nothing here for you if you're looking for that va-va-voom sexiness, though: Bluestockings has that, too. The fishnet pinup knickers from indie designer Claudette, the sheer Cora bralette from Toru & Naoko, and the ultra-sexy Binding Brief by Dani Read are all perfectly suited for sexy times or for simply feeling like a total fox day-to-day.
While the shop is still in its infancy, I'm hoping that as it grows, it will include more plus-size offerings in all of its styles and more diverse bodies in its product shots as well. I can only imagine that more inventory and more original shots of the products are to come as the company evolves and finds its footing in the market — something that will give an even warmer welcome to this newcomer online shop. Images: Courtesy Bluestockings Boutique