Hi, I'm Emma, a 20 something blogger based in Nottingham

I'm really passionate about promoting creativity in all its forms not only that but positivity and self-growth, so 
Not Copper Armour is an exploration of capturing lifestyle ideas, my love of photography (other artistic endeavours), personal style and an obsession for lingerie. My blog is my creative outlet and a way to reach out to others. After wanting my own little space for ages I finally gained the courage, took the plunge and never looked back. 

                    

What I'm Watching: November


Some of you keen eyed ones will know that I'm a bit of TV and film lover, you may have seen my Spooky Viewing (films for Halloween, but some are good enough for anytime of the year) and my Films To Improve Your Mood. Whilst this isn't a monthly regular post, maybe it could give you inspiration for when you're lacking on ideas for what to watch - like I do when I read such posts.

Unforgotten: This is an ITV series, a fictional murder story looking into a cold case with a group of seemingly unrelated people, unbeknownst to them they have been drawn into the investigation by one person. It's a wonderfully written bit of TV, a serious story but does feel real not like some other murder programmes where it's a bit cheesy or too dramatic for it's own good. The ending will leave you feeling bitter/sweet but it's not bad by any means.

Ratatouille: A late night film watch, if I'm honest I've never been a fan of this film and another watch just confirmed it. That being said friends of mine really enjoy this Disney outing for the cute story line and unlikely relationship between a rat (with a darn good nose) and a (very) trainee chef. Think of good food and a bit of pizzazz with the colour.

Spectre: The wait is over and it is out in cinemas and that partner of mine treated me to a date night with cushy seats a few hours with the famous Bond. For me this film was too neat of a package, I won't give away the plot - it does have some nice links to older Bond films even the pre-Daniel Craig ones (if you've been brought up on Bond you'll see). It's a good action film but for me my heart will always be for Skyfall, you should watch it and give your own opinion.

Modern Family: A brilliant american series about 3 parts of one family, I hadn't caught up to the latest series but this week I made it too the finish line (now I just have to keep up). With later seasons it has lost a teeny bit of the comedy or sparkle that made it shine in earlier outings, but I still adore this show. It's a bit madcap but relatable - go enjoy.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: After a peruse on Netflix I found this programme, whilst I wouldn't say it's revolutionary for its genre (1920's, camp, murder investigations) it does add a nice little twist in that it's set in Australia (beautiful accent and all) and the lady leading this shindig is a fashionable, sassy minx. I wouldn't expect this to be super serious as it is just a good bit of fun.

Lewis: If you ever watched Inspector Morse with the now deceased John Thaw, then you'll be aware his rookie has now moved up the ranks to detective inspector spawning his own series with sidekick and all. In similar vein to its predecessor, me and my mother always try and guess who the murderer is. Another plus is that it is set and filmed in Oxford which is an absolute stunner in tv form and in real life.

Jekyll & Hyde: I've yet to finish this series and I can't decide whether it's so cheesy it's good or bad, me and my dad are fans of mythology, myths and ghouls so this should have been right up our street. just recently it caused a bit of a stir, for it's violent scenes and early airing times having a fair few complaints after it.

Pokemon: Indigo League: Those of you who follow my twitter (thank you) may have seen a few posts about me and the partner sorting Lego for his business, I know sounds a little bit nerdy but you can make some good pocket money out of it - plus he enjoys it. Just recently we've been going through what feels like mountains of stock for his shop and when we do we put on the original Pokemon and watch. I admit I don't know how I watched it the first time it is so ridiculous and Ash is not the best at training or battling.

Pacific Rim: My love for Idris Elba knows no bounds from both this and Luther (another amazing show that I couldn't recommend highly enough), this film is about humongous beasts that have come to our world to destroy us - Kaijus (taken from the Japanese 'Strange Beast'). By the director Guillermo Del Toro, I have loved everything I've seen of his and this is no exception, this action film is about the human spirit in all it's forms, monsters and 2 scientists who are always arguing.

Ant Man: When I saw this advertised in the cinema I didn't think it would be anything to shout about but this next installment of Marvel is surprisingly good, full of smart quips and ridiculous science that isn't possible but they style it out well. Paul Rudd makes a surprisingly good super hero. 

American Horror Story: Freakshow: This was featured in my Spooky Viewing post, I finally finished this series I have to say Coven is still my favourite but this is a close second. One of the goriest yet (not counting the very latest series which I hear is all about the blood and gore). Think of the old fashioned 'freaks', anger issues, a spoilt brat of man child, 1950's prejudice and some people a little bit too hungry for power.

Celebrity Juice: Those of you in the UK will be aware of this illustrious program, starring Kieth Lemon (actually Leigh Francis's alter ego), it's an adult comedy chat show of TV stars come game show. It's depends on your humour if you like crude stuff sometimes with slime, for me, at times I can find it a bit gross but my sisters love it - think of your humour.

Kung Fu Panda & 2: I feel these are seriously underestimated films in the world of animation not only was the first one a good time but the second was even better. The first film follows a Panda trying to find his way and become accepted into the world of Kung Fu by his teacher, peers (The Furious Five) and finding happiness in himself. The second is fighting off a dreaded Peacock who has a very powerful weapon with enough destructive power to take over whole of China. It has a sweet, sometimes sarcastic wit about that I enjoy, hopefully you will too.


What Have You Been Watching?
What Do You Think Of These Choices?


Does Creative Originality Exist?


The above artwork featured is from Karen Duffy (a painter from my class whilst at Northumbria University) and Anna Maria Garthwaite both artists are stunning. 


"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known." - Chuck Palahniuk


The illusive 'originality' concept, nowadays does it even exist?

In some of my past image posts I've tried to help encourage the creative process and get the juices flowing such as Contemporary Artists You Should Know, Favourite Photographers #7 and Being Inspired #1 however the question still being asked by few critics is - is there such a thing as pure originality?

On the outset some would argue, yes of course, new art work is being produced all the time otherwise surely we'd be producing all the same ideas. For myself I can't really give a definitive answer as I have found that nearly everything in life is both linked and inspired by something else whether they may not originally have been thought to go together at all. Creativity is all about finding the uniquenesss and relevance for solutions to problems. 

I agree with the above quote, we are all made of our life experiences, whatever that may be. Same goes for any creative processes, when any educational course asks you to research something it's because if you have a greater understanding of older ideas you can pick and choose elements that you can bring forward to suite your work - especially for a creative course. Looking at relevant artists can influence, shape and change your ideas over time. Also with any education institution you are taught about the rules of using ideas to support your inner workings versus outright using of others work as your own. Taking someone elses complete work is not using your own creative mind, it is effectively stealing.

In terms of blogging, a little while ago I was reading a few blogs who were having blog posts (and imagery) copied word for word with no links or mentions of the originating blog or creator. This, for me, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth especially having created essays and work which has to be tested to check it's 'originality' - all those uni students out there, my sympathies friends, sympathies. Not only is it upsetting for the original maker to have no credit but it is mighty unprofessional if a potential job prospect sees this kind of behaviour they may not hire you. Over the blogosphere there are ideas that have been done by many, such as the 'What's In My Bag', 'The British Tag' or even a 'Life Lately' maybe instead of copying and skirting others coat tails you can add your own individual, wonderful personality to a concept. As said by William Cowper 'variety is the spice of life'. Blogging like everything else you're passionate about takes graft and time, everyone can write about the same thing but it's how they approach the subject and add some individuality maybe offering a different perspective.


What are your opinions on 'originality' ?


Being Nice

(My niece was my maybe not-so helpful assistant for the day - her hand not mine)

Today is a personal post about something that has followed me around since I was a young girl and that is being 'nice' and the perceptions that other people give to you. If I'm honest that expression, "she/he is so nice" makes me teeth chatter as it always seems patronising or they have nothing else to say. I'm not a 'nice' sugar and light girl, I'm a decent one who has more to her then being nice. People's perception of being nice isn't always the same as being decent, I'm not sure why - I believe in consideration, do you? 

Does anyone else have that word that gets associated with them? The word that makes them shudder? People have called me nice and it made me think every time: I'm not nice, I don't have ringlets and sing to the flowers. I treat people how I want to be treated and that isn't like trash. This lack of good word association came from my younger much more informative years when I was surrounded by some people (bullies) who made me feel lesser than them because I wasn't as pretty, funny, thought of others and wasn't as cruel - nice for them and me meant I was a put upon/ doormat and easy to walk over. I admit when I was younger when they said that word it was always with a tone, the tone that doesn't seem the most positive.

I know some of you are thinking: why on earth wouldn't you want to be nice? That's good. It is good if they mean it but what does it really mean? This word for me is a blasé word, that it doesn't really describe a person in all their uniqueness that the person took one look and didn't really see them. Or even worse on a few occasions when having group discussions and everyone would ask what the best thing about them? One answer I had was nice shoes. Shoes? My personality and looks equate to shoes. Wow, makes you feel really good. Unfortunately at that age I relied too much on people's perceptions, being accepted and balancing that from being suffocated or 'finding myself' as a person.

When I taught my students and they described an image as 'nice' I would challenge them as you don't get marks for telling the examiner that. What is the image? What makes the image? Why do you feel that way? All these things matter and they matter to people as well.

Let's debunk a few theories of being 'nice':

01. "You have to be agreeable to anyone and everyone, all the time": No, here's the thing you really don't. You don't have to get on with everyone, there may be some people who you don't get on with for whatever reason. There is no point being spiteful or vindictive to this person, if you don't like someone stay away, be dignified and don't put on an act especially for people you're not fond of. Some people you may have for your job, the fact is you don't want a bad atmosphere at work - you want to do the job with ease, just be polite and stick with your gang.

02. "It means you can't say 'no' ever": Still not true, admittedly as a former doormat it is harder to say no and sometimes you do have guilty pangs depending on who or what you're saying no to. The fact is when you get older you learn to not care as much for what other people think. You don't have to be a meanie about it but it's ok to say no, if it's not going to make you happy then why should you agree?

03. "You're happy to go along with what everyone else wants": Definitely not, however for my loved ones I want to make them happy, seeing them happy is a wonderful thing. That being said going along with everyone else 'just because' is not a thing that could make me happy. Admittedly yes for work and certain situations it does require a bit of compliance but if you want the doe, sacrifices are made. At the end of the day you come first.

04. "It's important to be liked by everyone": Well here's another big fat no, I never thought that when I was younger and I don't think that now. The fact is I never wanted to be liked by everyone just the people close to me, it is a little upsetting when the people who you care about or like don't feel anywhere near the level you do. Just because mother and papa instilled in me manners, politeness and decentness it doesn't mean I want everyone to love me.

05. "It's better to keep the peace then start an argument": For me this depends on the situation, when I was much younger I would have never ever have said anything I most likely would've gone home and cried about any mean things that were said or my lack of backbone. Now whilst I don't fly off the handle now I'm more likely to stand up for myself and approach things a different way. Small minded people could stand to be ignored.

06. "You get looked over for romance": I find this kind of thing, for lack of a better word disgusting. For a fairly long time I wasn't really interested in boys, I didn't like how I looked and knew I was too shy to even try to talk to someone I liked romantically. If I don't like myself how can I expect someone else to? It was my issue to overcome and I learned long ago a boy/girl/other partner doesn't hold all your happiness. As I got older I started to like myself, my ridiculous quirks and my sarcastic humour and figured a nice, strange boy will come along eventually. Oddly enough one did, he liked me despite me wearing an unflattering, unattractive uniform and we've been together a little while. Shock horror, good things do happen to a former put upon who had no self-confidence.

07. "It's nice to be nice": I find this an odd statement to digest, it is nice to be nice, it really is. I live on a street with a few retirees and when walking past we can smile to each other on a daily basis. I find small things like that lovely. By the same token I found much more when I was younger that I felt very tired all the time by being nice to these people who claimed to be my friends yet the next minute were horrible or patronising. If it's an act to be yourself, to be kind then your hanging out with the wrong people for you.

08. "Nice guys (& gals) finish last": This is one of the worst statements to hear, because it's just not true. To be the boss of something, I admit, you have to be strong but that doesn't you have to be mean, harsh or rude, an effective manager of people is one who can see who will fit the mold best and help others achieve their goal. This has a personal note for me as my other family members have also had this statement, it's so insulting sometimes. Yes, other people can do less than savoury things to get where they want but that's their choice and not your problem. Good people can get their dreams jobs by working hard and being themselves. Miracles they happen.

The fact is being nice doesn't make you entitled, some people may not get along with you and you may not automatically be gaining a place in their heart because you're a good person. Other people may be mean for the sake of it, some just because you're not they're cup of tea. That shouldn't stop you being a good person it shouldn't be an act, if you want to make someone happy then do so. We need to let go of those myths about what 'nice' behaviour is and do your best to be considerate, friendly, respectful and giving with boundaries for you. In general just be a good human being. It can help you become a more empowered person for yourself. People will both like you and take you seriously if you like yourself and flaws, if they don't then they aren't worth your time anyway. It allows you to be happier because you’ll like the person you are and people will respect you more. You can be the best you. Speaking as a former doormat, you'll get there.


Any more 'nice' myths to debunk?



A Different Type Of Bra


Long time no lingerie review, if you've been with Not Copper Armour you will know that I am an underwear lover I haven't done a review in months (depressing my last one was in August of last year and it was on a rather girly cute frilly pant). Since starting my uni course and teaching I didn't know appropriate or inappropriate it would be, especially if my students or placement found my blog with my underwear things, despite it being a freedom of mine and not having the reputation of being an established blog. Now I've finished it's all the underwear! This beauty of bra was bought a little while ago however it is still available here and they've now brought out a lace version and a wetlook one - be still my beating heart. 



This purchased was enabled by the wonderful lingerie blog Of Lambs and Lace with Lamb's post on Agent Provocateur Classics On A Budget: Annoushka, in which she discusses the cheaper options of the original design of Annoushka which comes in black, red and white - unfortunately my teeny back account can't comprehend such a brand so other alternatives are the way to go.

The bra itself in terms of shape is a high neck crop top, fastening with a hook and eye at the nape of the neck and mid back because of the high neck it can be visible over tops so it is something to consider. The lines of the bra follow the natural line of the breast (titters ensue) this is enhanced by the push up wire that offers some support however the itself bra is not padded so be wary. To contrast the (none see through) full cover of the front, the back is surprisingly strappy which leads the down the body to give the illusion of a longline shape - which if you've been reading for a while will know of my love for this shape, however I do find that it does on occasion roll up the body depending on if I'm sat down for a long time. There are slight darts that lead up to where the nipple is, these black lines accentuate the shape of the body. The fabric and strap material is soft and doesn't irritate the body.

It fits in my wardrobe nicely in that it is monochromatic, the fabric under the fishnet is just off white, and will contrast with anything colourful or fit in with all the black. The fishnet overlay adds another texture to an otherwise simple design. So all in the bra is a lovely shape and would normally  be out of my comfort zone, but I would advise anyone to get this bra - it would look good on a variety of shapes. This bra is incredibly different for me covering up whilst enhancing my shape (thank you).

Do you like crop top underwear?

Black Done Right

You'll have to excuse my bad image quality from Polyvore
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

So being a lingerie lover I'm all about adding new additions to my wardrobe, the majority of the items within my underwear box are black, because quite frankly a girl can never have enough black underwear in her life. This is a current my black underwear wishlist featuring Agent Provocateur, Topshop and New Look.

The top line features all Agent Provocateur, if money were no object I would buy a lot of their sets no lie, the first to step up to the plate is Whitney a beautiful minimalist, slight bondage inspired piece. With this depending on the fit I am hesitant of a nipple slip as on other Lingerie bloggers the cup is made out of several pieces. It looks as if it should be really sturdy, which sounds odd however as I have a slightly ample bust I do not like it if I'm not supported. The second bra from this brand is Demelza, can we all just admire this piece of material? The crossing wires will create some good cleavage, illusions that help the self esteem into feeling fabulous are always welcomed. This is made with mesh material in the cup area with an overlaying inter-dispersed geometric design, however with mesh I always worry about any irritation against my skin and as this is going to be super up close and personal as it were it's something to think about. The last from the top line is Chiki, a lovely (slightly skimpy looking) item with criss crossing lace across the bust. If you feel daring the plunge shape will be right up your street, it's also sweetened up with cute little bows between the bridge of the cups.

The second line's first item is from Topshop, this Simple racerback would be a nice addition to the underwear box as at the minute I'm really into that shape of cut for a bra. The scalloped edge softens up the black sheer material emphasising that femininity. I think the racerback shape is incredibly flattering for my body, another plus is that it fastens at the front; a nifty idea for a lazy girl and if I'm brutally honest a novel treat for your partner. (Eh-eh?). Innuendos aside the next and the middle selection is from New Look and is a Lace High Neck Cross Back, this seems very much inspired originally by Annoushka yet another beauty from Agent Provocateur. Whilst Annoushka is a full panel of sheer mesh with only a supporting wire, however the New Look offering does have the lace panel but inside has a white bandeau like item to hide your modesty. Also coming in Khaki, it has a cross back to it which as you know from the previous Topshop racer is a winner in my book. The last and final item here is another one from Topshop, the one here seems to be sold out so isn't available (shucks) however I have found an adorable alternative Balconette Bralet. This longline number with beautiful lace detailing and what seems like satin around the cups, is a wonder. For those of you who have read Not Copper Armour for a while will know of my love for longline/high waisted shapes, however despite my love they don't always agree with my curves and have become a little painful in the past. Still doesn't diminish my love for the shape.

What black lingerie are you pining for?

Yankee-Doodle (Yay)


It's not to be denied I am a candle lover, in all seasons. My last years collection of mini candles saw me through for a good few months but at times I wasn't being cost effect with my buying of the things. My love of candles doesn't expand to the more expensive brands like Neom or Jo Malone because let's face it spending £30 on a 1 wick candle is really going against me attempting to save money. I've been trying out a few brands over the past 6 months but there is only one for me in all honesty.
My preferred brand for the sweet smelling stuff is Yankee Candle after not having any candles for over a month I was in dire need and they're quite affordable, these beautiful glass jars are a lovely shape to add to my room. I taste in scents generally don't tend to change during the seasons as I don't particularly like anything woody like spiced apple or cinnamon but I do like the sweeter scent like these offerings: cherry (right) and sweet pea (left). They last for a pretty decent amount of time and because of the shape of the container, hardly any of the candle is wasted in the burning. Burnt together they smell just as incredible as burnt individually.

On a side note if you're out there then you'll be aware I took a little blog hiatus, unfortunately my work for uni had got on top of me and I needed time to sort it out. After a pep talk, some serious list making and working to get back on track with some focus I feel a bit better but there will no doubt be more breaks before this course is over. Boo. If you've stuck with me, your support if very much appreciated!

What scent of candle do you like?

Life Lately (I'm Back)


Gone are the instagram grid posts, they'll crop up now and again but I'm a smitten kitten with my V&A William Morris Wall Calendar. This print maker is one of my favourite artists ever, his use of pattern and colour is astounding, almost second to none. From now on this will be my format, Hope you like.

Despite my 2015 resolution post I failed to get back on the metaphorical blogging horse, well technically that's not true, I've been stockpiling a multitude of posts and so far I've amassed 15+ completed posts and a few more to photograph however the publish button hasn't been pushed due to my nervousness and wanting to create a decent timetable for myself. That being said I'm back and will mostly likely be the 'occasional' blogger as my timetable in terms of university work and placement will be heavier as it is my last year. So if you're still there hello!

Current Fashion: This duration has included Christmas and snow days, dressing for this has included wearing fur lined boots, chelsea boots and brogues; these three are from older seasons but they are serving me pretty well. Instead of my usual dresses and tights, I have been wearing my ol' faithful high waisted trousers and a snazzy shirt. (All items were bought in a past season, so no links are available.)

Current Film and TV: My TV intake hasn't been as intense as normal as I'm a busy bee, that being said I'm still on what seems like the never ending task of watching Law & Order: SVU. Currently I'm up to season 11, it's oddly therapeutic when tidying my pit of a room but there's only so much dramatised murder and rape you can watch within one evening. Another older series I'm close to finishing is No Angels, a bunch of sassy nurses with there lives and loves. In terms of film, I have been lacking the side down, apart from annoying that boy of mine with making him watch Disney (Princess and The Frog) and have my caterwauling sing along in his ear, it's been rather tame. I did finally watch the last in The Hobbit trilogy and it was the best by far and created a nice link to the Lord Of The Rings however it didn't even create a scratch on the previous trilogy. Lord Of The Rings will forever be the better section for me and the Two Towers is up there in my favourite films list.

Current Music: My younger self would cringe at my current music taste, it has moved over to the dark side. What with dark mornings and working a lot I need an up beat fast paced type of thing to keep me peppy so dance and electronic have seriously started to move in. Eww. With offerings such as Oliver Heldens X Becky Hill with Overdrive how could anyone resist? A playlist of the music I take to work will be up soon. Older music includes Wet Wet Wet, I know what you're thinking but it's good...honest.

Lingerie Loves: I'm sorry to say my bank account is in an appalling state and know I do not joke. I took my dad statement of 'money can always be earned again' a bit too far and what with a bad pay day well, lets just say so spending for me. Shucks. This section could go on forever if I write down every single beauty that I would like so I'll try to limit my choices. Monki is a brand that are producing some really nice affordable basics here, the Hilla set and Ronda bra stand out for me. Another one that has been on the watched list for a few months is the The Bow Playsuit, which is actually a revised version of a previous playsuit. Created by Dottie's Delights in collaboration with Mosh, an alternative model that I have been following for years. A playsuit is something that has yet to grace my collection so this would be a cute addition to the gang.

Life: Unfortunately I remain a boring boob, my days consist of either work, uni or placement and my nights consist of uni work and sleep. I'm always tired and feel like I'm not giving enough but to help combat this I've had to lessen my work hours to give me that chance to get shit done and sleep. So hey more work and bye extra money...I'm not to fond of this decision but it's something that needs to happen. I've been to different restaurants Annie's Burger Shack and Bills, I fell to the hype. I have to say the shack is better as the atmosphere, the staff and the burgers (of which you can get everything) are amazing and relatively cheap. Do not underestimate an Annie burger it may defeat you, no lie.
The only other thing to look forward to is my baby niece is getting older and cuter, despite the gushes of drool. Her smile is the nicest I've come across, I know I'm biased but my sister did make a cute one. Later this week we'll go to Kent and get her Christened, of which I'll have to photograph. So good things are happening despite my mundane timetable.

How is your life lately?


Lingerie in Film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


"I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."

Anyone who knows me will know my all time favourite film (after much deliberation) is Who Framed Roger Rabbit? starring Bob Hoskins in one of his first main role films. My love for this film knows no bounds the mix of animation and live action is a wonderful blend, the colours, the 1940's style and of course Jessica Rabbit. The colour tone, the camera shots all play into the film noir/ whodunnit persona.

She has become one of the most important sex symbols of the animated screen, she is popular with the younger generations as she is reminiscent of a by gone era where men wore suits and ladies wore dresses. Her introduction with her rendition of 'Why don't you do right?' is a stunner and makes everyone drool. Something about this lady her (unrealistic) shape, dress sense, flaming red hair, sassiness, 'booby' traps to keep away unwanted male attention, and that she's with Roger Rabbit because he makes her laugh. She says 'he's a better lover than a driver'. Apparently her book incarnation was quite different with her being an immoral minx who was an up and coming star who was estranged from her obsessed husband (Roger Rabbit). In the book on which the film was based (Who censored Roger Rabbit?) the plot is completely different and Roger is actually killed for hearing something he shouldn't have. Dun-Dun-Duh!

Many of the old stars of animation are featured in this film such as Betty Boop (on which I did a blog post about this lady here). There's Pete's Dragon, Goofy, Porky Pig and the penguins from Mary Poppins just to name a few. Also this was the only time that Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny have ever appeared together.

Did you know Jessica Rabbit has been voted sexiest cartoon character followed by Betty Boop (with whom you can briefly see in the film in her original black and white), she was my second Lingerie Icon, the third character in the list is Cadbury's Caramel bunny.

Have you seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit?/ How do you feel about Jessica Rabbit?

A Late Bikini Wishlist

Topshop: Black Top & High waisted bottom & Mirror Floral Bikini Set // F&F Diamond Top with Topshop Bottom

I'm not sure what is happening to summer right now, is it even summer?! It looks like the cusp of autumn (Yes, the cliche that brits talk about the weather is true). Yes I know I'm very late on any summer activities so this probably looks really out of place but bear with me.

I'm not good at lounging about in the sun as I burn like anything and can get really bad heat rash, plus I get restless after a while. So to pretend I'm on holiday, I've started joining my little sister and mama on their jaunts to the local swimming pool. This also gives me the illusion that I do exercise when (minus a fair few widths oh-ho) actually a lot of the time I'm paddling and playing, or getting annoyed by younger ones splashing. If I'm honest I'm not a confident swimmer and I never have been so taking away any body confidence issues with pretty bikinis is an added bonus. Last time we went swimming a cute little boy gave me a float, it's a bit embarrassing when a young child gives you things to help you swim, I have got better...honest. I don't often go on holiday so it's very rare I buy swimwear but this year has had me pining for pretty high waisted sets that are suitable for 'exercising' and rare holidays. 

What's favourite style of swimwear?


Give Me Frills

Primark

Did you see what I did there, did ya? Lets start out by saying I have never been a frill girl, in fact I don't really have an overly girly style I much prefer a structured piece that highlights my shape. The colour pink has never really struck me either but something about this coral/ peach tone just drew me across the store, despite our differences. I'm more into classic shapes and colouring so this looks a little odd in my wardrobe. I was surprised with this offering from Primark, not only the contrast of the blue bow and coral but the shape of the briefs and the ruffles.

The ruffles are made of a soft mesh material, like Tulle but much softer so it doesn't irritate the skin. I have noticed there is a loose thread but for the most part the stitching is actually quite neat and tight. Primark really have upped their game in terms of underwear over the past few years (with clothes and accessories too), their pieces can look but not always look and feel tacky, I'm not saying these will stand the test of time but they are a cute brief that suites me for now. There is the argument of quality over quantity with everything (lingerie is no exception) and with my Primark binges it's definitely quantity but you can find a few gems also I've found looking after any item does make them last longer. On a side note, unless you're allergic to Primark, you will know you may have to scramble for certain items and sizes or have multiple trips. In the store these were found on a stand that was filled with slogan and kitschy briefs so I possibly did look like a woman possessed trying to find my size. Primark can aggravate my fear/anger at crowds so to come out with pretty clothes and underwear at the end is a good result, we'll pretend it's therapeutic and justifiable to spend all the monies.

For my shape it possibly isn't the most flattering as it sits just below my stomach and makes me look a bit bigger but I'm still in working on the toning, and there is a slight difference. Plus it makes my hips look a bit larger and as I have an hourglass shape the illusion can be exaggerated. If you can't wear cute underwear for the hell of it when can you?! I would be a bit hesitant to wear something like this with leggings as it could bulk out the outfit and create some odd shapes under the clothes. Overall it's a sweet piece that I often pair with a mesh white bra for a modern feminine look underneath.

Do you enjoy Primark underwear?



Lingerie Icons: Marilyn Monroe


"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

or

"I'm selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I'm out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."


After 50 years the famous lady herself, Marilyn Monroe's, influence on popular culture is still going strong, one of the first products of Hollywood what with surgery, name changes, husbands and various studio contracts she became an amalgamation of the 'Hollywood Dream'. She became a product.

Born Norma Jeane, she had a tough upbringing and the echoes of that probably carried through her (short) entire life. She had multiple marriages and rumours of multiple lovers including JFK and his younger brother. She became a style icon what with using her famous figure and clothes choices, midi dresses that highlighted her hourglass shape. She was in an era of stockings and suspender belts with beautiful metal clasps and the high waisted brief, can I time travel please. Vogue has a style album here.

An aspect I love of Marilyn Monroe is how she portrayed herself to the public she was as much the social darling as the enigma. She could portray the many facets of her personality as demonstrated by the photo dairy here by Ed Feingersh (this is a beauty in terms of black and white documentary photography). She knew her body and the worth of presence, not only did she have a flawless fashion sense she also had photographic say over which images should be used in her photo shoots. Although in another way her main focus was her body and her acting was somewhat put aside which is very telling of the times (think Mad Men sexism). When in reality she was considered a very good actress and her talent should've been at the forefront. In that way she was very controlled over her life, it had to be perfect. I've seen her in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Jane Russell (another stunning beauty) and the little 'dumb blonde' routine just does nothing for me, it's like nails on a chalkboard...she does the role well, but it's not my thing. Her more serious or seductive side are ones I can take seriously.

Marilyn Monroe has an elegance and style that is so uniquely hers that makes you see why her iconic status has lasted over 50 years.

Do you like Marilyn Monroe? or Do you not? Why?




Lingerie Icons: Christina Hendricks


This lady, she is just a dream. Christina Hendricks is the kind of lady that can draw your attention from the other side of the room (especially in photo shoots with Max Abadian see the left and right images), we can talk about the breasts that nearly every man and woman would like to get close to. Yes, the aesthetics of her fabulous figure have made her famous and whilst I admire her figure I think what attracts me more is how she carries herself (even when her body has been made into a sexualised object). She is an actress but thanks to her amazing portrayal of Joan Harris in Mad Men, the media has defined her whole persona with her figure what with it's voluptuous shape and her throwback style reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe it has been deemed something different in this age of slim ladies with thigh gaps. It sort of highlights our society and the media's focus on 'the body' not with actual talent, there was even an awkward moment with a (slim woman) interviewer here. Surely women should help and celebrate each others talents? Although she has brought, and been praised for, a sharp turn in people's heads with the idea of beauty/health and how it can change, she's very much a body positive figure head.

I do think she's very attractive and has a wonderful shape, she also has a good style that suites her shape and it isn't too revealing (I am loving longer lengths of clothes in my own personal style). Her role in Mad Men steps on the fine line between sexuality and femininity, and is different to the other ladies in the office. I've only watched a few episodes of Mad Men and I like it, not sure whether I love it but it's well made and I am rooting for the 'girls' (so patronising) to make it. Plus they had a burlesque dancer in the first episode and I've always wanted to see a burlesque show.

Do you like Christina Hendricks? Do you have an issue with body representations in the media?


Underwear Box: Topshop Blue Mini Wire Lace Bra


Another from my Topshop little haul, extremely different from my last set as it is probably more classic in its styling.

The set is a deep cobalt blue and black detailing, blue will always be my favourite so it just had to be bought. The top half has a mini shape with wide and full triangle cups, this bra doesn't look as flattering on the model as it does in person ...damn you Sally! The cups and underwire diameter are quite wide in shape which matches my body to a tea, as a small diameter can irritate my side breast tissue. The bra isn't exactly longline but it does have that little bit extra that accentuates and gives leading lines down the body, which I like. The shoulder and back straps are quite thin, which normally I'd be worried about not being supportive but it does work, it also balances out the big bottom half aesthetically. Unfortunately with more high street brands the quality isn't always at it's highest, whilst these seem fairly sturdy but note the stray flyaway threads hanging out of the bra, this was before an actual wear of the item. In that way it was a little disappointing.

This high waisted beauty matches the top half in terms of colour and the detail of the black eyelash lace. The detail falls on the seams for the middle panel and lay towards each side, just as the top part does the lace is of a floral design but the black makes it faux-gothic in a way, sort of. I have to say these are one of the most comfortable pair of briefs I own. I am not even joking. Some of you may know that I adore a high waisted brief, yes it can be seen as a little grannified at times but I dislike wearing cheese(G)strings (or thongs) 90% of time as they feel uncomfortable so this is yet another winner. At the minute I'm just feeling 'big' with my body, y'know those days where you know you're not 'fat', but you look/feel it, these give the illusion of flattening my giggly bits. Even with a bad day. The scalloped edge of the band comes above my stomach button which is actually very flattering for me, what with the colour contrast against my pasty mcpasterson skin it just works. The briefs have a shape that follows the body upwards, they do look big in terms of fabric but don't be put off they are just lovely.

Overall it is a fairly striking piece with the tone of blue with cute detailing, the biggest positive of this set is that it is practical and comfortable which is something I do consider when choosing underwear as with my two jobs and teaching I want to feel supported and sometimes the 'nice' underwear is delicate but impractical. Everyone should have some good efficient underwear this fits my bill

Do you prefer practical underwear or just rely on prettiness?



Lingerie Icons: Betty Boop

[Isn't it annoying when a post decided to delete all your in depth writing? 
Now I've forgotten all my details and now I don't think I've remembered everything. It was better before. 
Apologies for bad quality in the videos, I couldn't find high quality originals.]


This synonymous line identifies with one of the most famous female cartoons to ever exist, she first appeared in  a black and white short 'Dizzy Dishes' starring her boyfriend Bimbo the dog, as a cabaret singer and a doggy version of the lady she would later become. After her first appearance her creator, Max Fleischer, began to lose her jowls and dog appearance and she started to evolve into a caricature of the 'flapper girl' image we associate with her today. She was styled on the famous ladies of the day such as Mae West (and what a lady) and her major inspiration Helen Kane.

Her most classic outfit is a strapless short dress, accompanied by hoop earrings, garter belt and heels. In some episodes her dress would have an accidental (or not so accidental) slip revealing a white strapless bra. In later years she had an array of outfits each one highlighting her figure, for example a white jumpsuit.

What made Betty special originally was the fine line she trod between childlike innocence and flaunting her sexuality, she had both of these in equal measure. She spoke to both the sexes with this design and it made her a roaring success. She had many a male character try and stroke or come onto her and every time she'd rebuke them with a Boop-Oop-A-Doop. In the later 1930's and decency laws were put in place she was made to wear less revealing outfits and became much more family friendly after garnering adult audiences with the risqué on goings. After appearing in over 100 episodes her popularity, what with the change of image, focusing on other characters and societies attitudes, petered off. Betty was a free, pretty girl and a cabaret singer to boot. She was mostly a black and white animation, creating a more classic 1930's look however she did make an appearance in colour for 'Poor Cinderella' in which she was made a red head...shock. She did a fair few talkartoons where it incorporated movement performances and the drawings, I enjoyed 'Minnie The Moocher' with Cab Calloway and his orchestra providing the music ghost sequence actions.

What made her a star was she was one of the only females who was not a foil to any male, she was sassy and independent (yes, you can be independent even with a boyfriend.) Betty came at a time when a woman was attached to the stereotypical housewife image, Dollface. They had many facets within society such as the flapper, the sex symbol and the housewife most of these always related back to 'the man'. Betty (made by a man) was seen as something new and at the time there was nothing like her around.

Betty first made an appearance in my life when I watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (my all time favourite), the film incorporates animated ink-and-paint cartoons and live actors. She was a waitress to the main character and made reference to the modern technology of colour animation replacing such acts as herself, apologies for the tiniest spoiler if you haven't seen it...which I insist you watch as it is so well made I can't even. Whilst we could get into the big sexist debate on animation and portrayals of woman in the media but she is still a timeless icon and has lasted throughout the decades. She has a shape and voice that is unique to her.

Do you appreciate the Boop?



Some Cheesecake Sir?

Gil Elvgren
Alberto Vargas
Rolf Armstrong
Enoch Bolles                                    Roland Topor                            George Petty

When I was younger I didn't have access to all the resources that are available now. In fact we didn't have a computer with internet till I was round about age 14/15 and even then we weren't allowed to use it, y'know dial up and all. Being an arty child from a very young age one thing I did look for was books to devour and by extension would be an inspiration, one day I discovered the world of the pin up illustration. The subject matter could be considered fairly boring and no room for expansion however the various artists seem to have come up with a multitude of brilliant drawings in their own personal style.

Gil Elvgren is my favourite pin up artist using classical illustration techniques to capture the little details of the hold up and the fabric folds. Alberto Vargas is a pretty close second for different reasons, his images are simple, clean and the women in his images strike an incredibly elegant pose. Rolf Armstrong attracted me first by his use of vibrant colours and harsh shadowing. There are probably a million and one other artists for example, Enoch Bolles, Roland Topor and George Petty (all unique and independent from each other) that draw in the pin up style but the first 3 are my most admired. A more modern interpretation of the pin up style using a highly digital media, is from Kei Phillips on Deviantart (I didn't feature her quirky, kitsch images as felt they fitted in with the aesthetics of this post.)

On a side note, we can talk about the objectification of woman and the judgmental views on the 'ideal' woman based on societies current trends. Can't we all just appreciate a pretty looking pictures (not to mention ladies) that are fun and inviting. I love drawings, couple that with underwear then we're onto a winner.

P.s. Cheesecake was the alternative name for such images, basic women posing all seductively and alluring, its evolution has spawned the modern day equivalent of Glamour photography. I think Erotic photography is much more in a similar vain especially the older images using pre-raphaelite posing whilst its contemporary counterparts rely heavily on the use of chiaroscuro. Both elements I like.


Lingerie In Film: A Dangerous Method



A thing I like to notice in films is style and detail, even more so if their is lingerie involved...in fact sign me up. Another new feature that I would like to persue is Lingerie In Film, the beautiful costumes that add to the character.  had wanted to see A Dangerous Method for a long time but it takes me a while to get around to watching more serious films as I want to be entertained when I'm alone. Serious films are normally reserved for family times. [If you haven't seen it, film spoilers ahead!]
David Cronenberg is directing some amazing films just recently, Eastern Promises and A History of Violence were such brilliant films that the next one had better be good...and it was. If you haven't seen it, it's (briefly) about the relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung with their studies into the psychoanalysis field. Along comes Keira Knightley's character Sabina Spielrein with her hysteria, she begins her own treatment which also includes an affair (with a married) Jung. It's a slow, talking film making the little details stand out and add to the subject matter. With the tension between Micheal Fassbender (Jung) and Viggo Mentenson (Freud) on their differing opinions, Freud with his single-minded sexual repression psychiatry expertise and Jung wanting to explore more ideas of the origins and treatments of neurosis'. Sabrina is a crux between the two.
In terms of the underwear it's incredibly subtle in it's usage despite Knightley & Fassbender's characters embarking on an affair that will improve their psychological theories. The lingerie is white, structural and full of lace, combining corsets and slips to make an all in one beauty as shown in the last image. The corset purposely forcing a very classic hourglass 'feminine' shape for the 1900's, pushing out the chest and bottom area then hitching in the waist so it is as tiny as possibly (ladies fainting and all that). For Knightleys character there's a mix of intricate lace in the more sensuous moments and smooth lines to not distract from the slightly more intense interactions. On another note don't men look rather dapper in suits? Yup, yup.

What lingerie in films do you like?

Underwear Box: Topshop Orange Soft Set


Lets all just take a moment to stop what we're doing and gaze at the intricate detailing on this beauty of a set, which is also available in a neon yellow (bra and high wasted pant) I may add. This might be a Topshop month as all my recent purchases have been from there, at the minute this shop really is catering for everyone and their styles. 

Let's just say I don't normally contemplate orange in my life for anything apart from the fruit or the juice, so when on a just been paid must buy things now casual browse this bright wonder made a striking appearance on screen, I thought why the hell not. It's quite delicate for my usual tastes and its construction, I was afraid I would put my finger straight through the material (you know, that can happen with tights and you have to awkwardly wiggle out of them and get new ones.) Be assured the design and embroidery make it make it sturdy enough, just don't go playing tug of war with it. The thread detail on show and bow make it cute and gentle, despite the in your face colour. It is see through so your breasts will be on show however the bra does enhance the natural shape, so you can be happy to flaunt whatever you may have. The bra doesn't have an underwire and is not padded making it a soft bra type but despite that it is incredibly supportive and at times it felt like I hadn't put a bra on, had to check a few times.

The high wasted pants are just as perfect as its counterpart the front section has a sheer mesh under fabric which hides *ahem* areas which you may not want on show. The back panel is without this added element so the derriere will be revealed. As you may know my love of the high waisted item and this no exception it gives the illusion of flattening out my giggly stomach. There was no irritation from the material itself or a too tight a fit which has happened with a more vintage styling Topshop set, it's still a beauty though.

Do you like this set? Do you like Topshop at the minute?