Friday, September 9, 2011

Sidewalk Sale Tomorrow, Saturday September 10th!

Pick up the lingerie or loungewear you've been craving at a fraction of the retail price at our Sidewalk Sale tomorrow, Saturday September 10th!

Enjoy 20% off basics, which include Prima Donna staples like Deauville and Madison, as well as nursing bras and pieces by Huit and Natori.

Indulge in 30% off sleepwear by PJ Harlow and select pieces by Pluto.

Fashion collections are a sumptuous 40% off, which include pieces by Nina Ricci, The Little Bra Company, Prima Donna, Andres Sarda and many many more! In addition, all panties in the shop are 40% off!

Swing by and pick up something special this Saturday only!

(*Sale excludes fragrance items, Forever New, sports bras, jewelry, accessories and select basic collections.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our Online Shop is Live!

Yes it's true, amis! A La Folie has a new home on the web where you can purchase your favorite lingerie pieces... without ever having to leave la maison! Check out the site here!

We're well on our way to populating the store with some of your favorite pieces as well as new arrivals, so keep our store on your bookmarks tab!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A La Folie's Summer Sale This Friday to Sunday!

Been coveting something special at our store? Now's the time to pounce!

That's right, chers amis! This weekend (Friday August 12 - Sunday August 14), A La Folie is having a spectacular summer sale featuring deep discounts on your favorite brands*!

Enjoy 20% off basics, which include Prima Donna staples like Deauville and Madison, as well as nursing bras and pieces by Huit and Natori.

Indulge in 30% off sleepwear by PJ Harlow and select pieces by Pluto.

Fashion collections are a sumptuous 40% off, which include pieces by Nina Ricci, The Little Bra Company, Prima Donna, Andres Sarda and many many more! In addition, all panties in the shop are 40% off!

Swing by and pick up something special this weekend!

(*Sale excludes fragrance items, Forever New, sports bras, jewelry, accessories and select basic collections.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

More Swim! Janine Robin Has Arrived!

Don't let the Bay Area fog fool you - summer is still in full swing and a virtual waterfall of swimwear has arrived in store, including an amazing selection of timeless suits from designer extraordinaire Janine Robin! While we've carried Janine Robin's lingerie for quite awhile, she actually found her start in swimwear so it follows that she knows her stuff when it comes to bringing out your inner mermaid. (We already know her underpinnings are just the ticket to bringing out your inner siren!)

The lure of a classic Two-Piece is undeniable, and Janine Robin's flirtatious pieces will appeal to even the most exacting bikini hunter! The Eole bikini is a divine find. The Balconnet comes in sizes A-D and the Full Cup comes in sizes C-F. Both bikini tops in the Eole collection boast strong straps and underwires, so they're great choices for girls who want more support from their swimwear. If you've tried on swimwear at A La Folie before, you know nothing beats a bikini top that's built like a bra! The Nacre bikini is another that's divinely supportive - it features a Full Cup top that comes in cup sizes ranging from C to F. The coordinating bottoms are Brazilian Shorts, shown below with the matching Pareo.

Nacre Full Cup Bikini Top ($131) with Brazilian Bottom ($48)

Eole Full Cup Bikini Top ($122), Brazilian Bottom ($55), Short Pareo ($80)

Eole Balconnet Bikini Top ($96), Brazilian Bottom ($48)

If the classic one-piece is more your speed, Janine Robin has some amazing styles to fit just about any aesthetic. Janine Robin's Silhouette suit is divinely flattering with its plunging neckline, generous cups and princess seaming, and comes in sizes 10-18. The classically-silhouetted Nacre Bustier suit fits sizes 8-12 and offers support from its halter strap. If a modern, clean cut is what you're after, the Java Encolure Carree suit (sizes 10-16) features a wide, square colorblocked neckline to direct focus away from the hips.

Silhouette One-Piece in Brown, $172

Nacre Bustier One-Piece in Black, $172

Java Encolure Carree One-Piece in Black, $159

So whether you prefer a tank or bikini, we've got something to suit your swimsuit style, no matter what your size!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sweet Swimwear from Huit

We're so excited to have Huit swimwear back in store, and just in time for the warmer weather! For years, Huit's been our go-to swimwear brand - it's fun, flirtatious and functional. Boasting bright pops of color and details with attitude, Huit's bathing suits are in high demand. And our two newest collections are no exception.

The Dangerous collection is perfect for the Bond girl in all of us.

Huit's Dangerous Triangle Top ($64) and Brief ($44) in Blueberry

With a sleek and plunging Triangle Top, asymmetrical Brief bottom and button detail, this ensemble means business. So while your agenda may simply include lounging and quaffing Mai Tais by a hotel pool, you'll look like you're ready for a speedboat race through the canals of Venice. Who doesn't love to feel a little dangerous once in awhile?

If your style is more Brigitte Bardot than Ursula Andress, then Huit's Baby Be Mine collection is right up your alley! We love that Huit routinely uses 1970's details in their swimwear (after all, the company was founded in the '70's), and Baby Be Mine does not disappoint.

Huit's Baby Be Mine Bandeau ($62) and Low Brief ($46) in Blueberry

The asymmetrical Low Brief bikini bottom boasts a cute belt buckle detail, imparting some vintage sass to a boldly printed contemporary cut. The Bandeau's molded cups give the kind of support you can expect from an underwired Huit bra, so it's great for girls who need a little more structure. Sexy and supportive swimwear? Who knew!

So whether you're snorkeling in Anguilla, yachting in the Mediterranean or simply shell seeking on the California coast, Huit's got you covered... no matter what your adventure!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fourth of July Hours

A La Folie will be open on July 4th!

Join us at the store from 11am - 3pm before heading to your Independence Day festivities!

Get Into the Swing of Summer!

It's finally feeling like summer in the Bay Area! I don't know about you, but I've spent my weekends lounging out in the park, coating my shoulders in sunshine and downing champagne and oysters with friends. Even though I've been donning my favorite summer dresses for quite some time now (albeit with leggings because of this year's extended winter chill), it's now official: It's finally time to break out our prettiest pieces, and lingerie is no exception! Lucky for us, new uber-feminine summer collections from Lejaby and Aubade have arrived in store and they're suitably summery. Take a peek!

Aubade's Fleurs de Pommiers collection in Scarlet

When I hear the name "Aubade", I immediately think of balconnet bras. Aubade has spent decades perfected the sexy picture frame cut which has been even further beautified by the brand's Fleurs de Pommier collection. Fleurs de Pommier features a lovely embroidered net whose floral motifs are truly eye popping. The Balconnet begs to have its butterfly detail straps peek out from under a sexy black tank - it's the perfect piece for warm summer nights. The Fleurs de Pommier Balconnet and Tanga (pictured) are $99 and $69 respectively. We also have the matching Boyshort in stock as well ($99).

Lejaby's Serenity collection in Blue

Lejaby's Serenity collection is a totally different take on summer - it's pretty, crisp, and well, serene! Serenity is not only gorgeous, but eco-friendly! The collection is made of 93% organically grown cotton, so it's fashion you can feel good about. The molded demi is a sexy yet versatile cut whose floral embroidery whispers of flower-filled fields and jaunts down the boardwalk. The Demi and Tanga (pictured) are $95 and $45 respectively. We also have the Briefs in stock ($49).

No matter what your style we have something in store to suit your summer taste. Come on by for a fitting - we'll have you sunning yourself in style in no time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A La Folie is Still Open!

To those of you who are inquiring, yes, A La Folie remains open! A note from Shelley:


First let me assure everyone that A La Folie is not closing its doors. There has simply been a changing of the guard at A La Folie! For those of you who have not met me, my name is Shelley and I have been a partner with Nafissa for several years. Now that Nafissa has needed to step down and take care of personal matters, I am happy to say that very little will change at the store you know and love, except for the ownership.

My passion for the lingerie business and its offerings is now a dream come true. I am committed to carrying the most beautiful fine lingerie, loungewear, jewelry, parfums and so many more objects of desire.

Outstanding customer service and attention to detail will remain our top priorities. Please stop by to say hello, introduce yourself and share with us what you are looking for and let's see how we can help.

Your continued support will be appreciated and valued, as always.

Yours truly,

Shelley Grubb
A La Folie, Owner

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's New from Marie Jo

We like to think of Marie Jo as the very fashion-forward sister of Prima Donna. Rocking sleek cuts, bright lace, sweet trims and personality to boot, Marie Jo continually surprises us with pieces that are not only beautiful, but are crafted to last. And right now we have quite the bumper crop of Marie Jo lingerie! Come sneak a peek at what's in store...

Marie Jo's Avero Demi and Bikini

The Avero collection has been one of our staples for years! The collection's classic demi works lifts beautifully and imparts exceptional cleavage. It's also convertible! Whether your need is for a regular bra, a halter or a racerback, Avero delivers with one very simple adjustment. There's a reason our customers come back for the Avero again and again, and this season, the Cosmic Blue color is an exciting wardrobe update. The Avero Demi and Bikini are $115 and $42 respectively. We also have the matching Thong ($52) and Boxer ($54).

Marie Jo's Lucas Push Up and Thong

The Lucas collection in Natural is a another sweet spin on the classic t-shirt bra. It's high-end details amp up a simple and reliable cut. The Push Up and Thong (both pictured) are $111 and $42 respectively. We also have the coordinating Bikini ($46) and Boxer ($48) in stock as well!

Marie Jo's Emmanuelle Molded Balconnet and Tanga.

Marie Jo isn't all basics though! We're crushing on the gorgeous Emmanuelle collection in Golden Brown, which features an intricate embroidered net. While the Emmanuelle is all luxury, the lovely bra is just smooth enough to wear under knit tops. The Molded Balconnet and Tanga, both pictured above, are $180 and $110 respectively.

Marie Jo's Elodie Balconnet and Thong

Marie Jo's Elodie collection in Blue Symphony is the perfect collection for summer! Featuring a beautifully printed microfiber and a sweet white lace trim, Elodie reminds us so much of a country garden! The Balconnet and Thong (pictured) are $108 and $62 respectively. We also have the coordinating Boxer ($73) in stock.

There's a lot to love about Marie Jo this summer and we know we have the perfect piece for you, so swing by for a fitting!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Summer Crop of Prima Donna

We don't have to tell you that we absolutely adore Prima Donna. If you follow our blog, our affection is obvious. Our bra crush has only been intensified, though, with a bumper crop of new arrivals, perfect for summer!

Prima Donna Twist's Coup De Foudre collection.
Molded (top) in Ginger, $127 | Soft Cup (bottom) in Opal, $129.

If your taste is for tee shirt bras, look no further. Prima Donna Twist's Coup de Foudre collection is an elegant update to your average everyday underpinning. We have both the molded and soft cups in stock, and both feature a refined geometric print.

Prima Donna's Amazone Full Cup (bottom) in Pandora Blue, $179.
Prima Donna's Deauville Full Cup (top) in Crocus, $155.

Prima Donna's Deauville bra has been a staple around these parts for a long time, and it's not hard to figure out why. It's our most supportive bra, hands down. For those of you who live in your Deauville bras, we have the perfect summer treat: it's now available in a lovely on-trend light purple hue. If exceptional embroidery is on your lingerie checklist, you'll have to check out Amazone, a stunning collection that features a whimsical embroidery pattern. It speaks to all the best parts of summer - playful color, botanical motifs and undeniable femininity.

Prima Donna's Tamise (bottom) in Natural, $127.
Prima Donna's Stockholm (center) in Geisha, $142
Prima Donna's Kolyma (top) in White, $147.

So bright colors aren't your thing. Not to worry! We also have three lovely new collections available from Prima Donna in the wispiest of hues, perfect for the warmer days! Welcome newcomers Tamise, Stokholm and Kolyma. All feature beautiful embroidery, unparalleled support and sexy summer style.

For all you Prima Donna devotees, now's the perfect time to update your bra collection and get re-fitted, so come check out the new stock before it's all gone!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Seeing Stars, All Because of Pluto

A few years ago, Pluto (the one in space) lost its planet status. With that, a Facebook group was started called When I was your age, Pluto was a planet. The group gave everyone, even the youngest among us, a chance to feel old and nostalgic for the days of elementary school astronomy. These days, Pluto may not be a planet, but it IS a pretty amazing Belgian loungewear brand.

Pluto Sofia Robe - $297

Even though it seems at times that Bay Area rain will last forever, living here means being rewarded with exceptional spring and summer weather. Our warm days are just right - dry, breezy, not too toasty. Just enough heat to break out the shorts, and just enough chill that your leather jacket can remain part of your daily ensemble. If you're anything like me, you never want your good taste to start and end right outside your front door. Just because you're hanging at home for the evening or lounging on a sunny Sunday afternoon, doesn't mean you can't look chic, classic and yes, sexy.

Pluto Esmee Pajama Set - $205

Pluto Matelasse Robe - $282

If your taste is for loungewear pieces with style, exceptional cut and unparalleled personality, then Pluto is the perfect brand to add to your coziest of repetoires. The fabrics run the gamut from impossibly soft matelasse to the slinkiest of jersey knits. Each piece is made with care and we have a great array of pieces to choose from in a variety of sizes. When it comes to comfort, each piece fits the bill - not too heavy and not too thin. Just right for the Bay Area's warmer months!

Pluto Emily Robe - $225

So if you're seeking some sexy summer loungwear, gravitate towards Pluto. It may no longer hold planet status, but it will always be stellar to us!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Learning Lingerie: Leavers' Lace

Before I plumb the depths of my bloggy brain for this post, I'll start with a simple question: Is good lace worth dying for?

I spent this past weekend in Pennsylvania, attending the wedding of my amazing childhood friends. In the flurry of joy, libation and friendship, among the hand-rolled cigars, the 20-year whiskeys, the jubilant attendees and the crisp rush of taffeta, there was the bride. The gorgeous bride, my friend, swathed in the loveliest Alençon lace gown. The gown itself was a simple cut, but you'd never know it by looking at it, because the lace was so stunning that the dress looked painstakingly assembled despite its easy construction. Glimpsing my pal in her stunning ensemble, I was inspired to write a blog post about lace for A La Folie. Because when you think about it, a basic bra construction, while painstaking in its own right, really is a fantastic canvas upon which to display some truly amazing laces. A two piece cup in a plain satin can look, well, plain. In lace, however, that same two piece cup takes on a whole new attitude, one that is imbued with femininity and sensuality.

Lace is a language that takes encyclopedias and glossaries to fully comprehend. There's no way to address all the subtle nuances between a machine-made tape lace versus a handmade one, or how to adequately decipher European filet lace from Chinese filet lace. However, I can at least start in familiar territory!

Cluny Lace which has been produced in the Leavers' Lace fashion

If you're a fan of French lingerie, you may have heard the term Leavers' Lace before. It's exceptionally common in fine lingerie and comes in a variety of different incarnations. Knowing that the name of the lace usually categorizes a specific style or region in which a lace is made, how can that be? The reason is that the name Leavers' Lace describes the machine it is made on, and not the style or the region. From The Lace Book by Jessie F. Caplin:
[The Levers' Lace Machine was] originally able to make lace 18 inches in width, [and] was invented in England by John Levers (sometimes spelled Leavers) in 1813. It is the basis of our present-day lace machines... [The Jacquard] can be repeated automatically across the 230 inches of width of machine, thus allowing many breadths of lace to be made at one time.

The Leavers' Lace machine
Even though the book quoted above was published in 1932, it's apparent that the Leavers' Lace machine is just as important today, as the lace is still regularly used in lingerie collections. The ability to mass produce beautiful figural laces that were previously only made by hand truly revolutionized apparel manufacturing. Also interesting to note is that machine made lace did not find its beginnings in France as many might think, but in England.

The making of lace by machine is usually conceded to have started in England and the inventors of that country receive credit for most of the major developments in this field. England tried to protect the industry and decreed laws to prevent the exportation of machines. These laws carried penalties of imprisonment and even death. Nevertheless, lace making by machine started in France very early. Perhaps the nearness of Calais to teh English coast may explain the early start of this city as a French center for machine-made lace.

How about that? The Leavers' Lace we all covet and wear so close to our bodies was cause for imprisonment or death! I've heard about dying for love before, but dying for lace? So much more romantic (and fashionable)!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Learning Lingerie: Taking the Plunge

Now that we know all about Balconnets, Demi Cups and Full Cup bras, it's time to talk the ultimate in low cut: the plunge bra!

Andres Sarda's Klein Non-Wire Plunge

The plunge bra does just what its name suggests by eliminating much of the center gore, making it perfect for use under low-cut clothing. What's really great about the plunge bra, though, is that it takes countless forms and works on a variety of body types.

For example, The Little Bra Company makes padded demi plunges which feature an open neckline and substantial boosting properties for girls on the smaller end of the spectrum. Other companies like Andres Sarda, even make styles like the Klein (shown above) in a non-wire plunge cut, perfect for girls in a B or C cup who don't want or need the lift of a padded/wired bra, but crave comfort coupled with a deep cut.

Prima Donna's Amazone Plunge

As a balconnet is not always a demi cup, the term "plunge" doesn't necessarily imply less overall coverage. For the girls who need a little more support, Prima Donna's plunge bra is actually technically a full cup. The Amazone (shown above, soon to arrive in store in Pandora Blue) is the perfect plunge for E to G cups -- it doesn't sacrifice support or coverage for the sake of the deep V style. In fact, they have all the lift and shaping of the balconnet and traditional full cup styles. That's why Prima Donna plunges have always been a customer favorite!

More extreme versions of the plunge cut feature a longline silhouette where the band (and thus, the plunging gore portion) extends vertically well past the usual measurements.

It's also important to note that while we may not carry each collection's version of a plunge in store, we can always order it for you! Almost every designer and collection has some iteration of a plunge bra, and we'd be happy to help you find the perfect one for you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Learning Lingerie: The Fabulous Full Cup

Now that the demi has had it's day, let's talk full cup bras. It stands to reason that if a demi is exactly that, a half cup, that a full should be, well, fuller! That was easy!

Full cup bras (whose cups encompass almost the entire, if not the entire, breast) are often associated with larger sizes, even though they're made in an impressive range, usually from B cup onwards. The correllation between fuller cups and larger sizes isn't without merit, though, because a fuller cut generally allows for more support.

Prima Donna Deauville in Cherry Punch

We'll give a deeper lesson on the mechanics of exactly how bras work at a later date, but for now let's do a mini one. A bra gains most of its support from the band. Because the cups of a fuller bra are larger, the band has to be wider in turn in order to accommodate them. Hence a wider band and more expansive cups mean deepened support, both for the breasts themselves and the wearer's back. These selling points are exactly why Prima Donna bras are cut so wide in the band - it's not an aesthetic choice, but one that makes the difference between comfort and the absence of it.

As mentioned before, full cup bras are not just for well-endowed ladies. Brands like Lejaby, Simone Perele and Huit all make versions of a full cup for modestly-busted girls. A common misconception is that just because a woman is a smaller cup size, she doesn't need a supportive bra. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Age, weight loss and simple genetics play a role in the 'perkiness' of a woman's bustline and sometimes, no matter what her size, she'll need a little help from a fuller cup.

If you haven't yet tried a full cup bra, give one a whirl next time you're at A La Folie. More coverage almost always means more comfort, and springing for a full cup doesn't mean eschewing style or sexiness. There are boatloads of gorgeous styles in our midst!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Learning Lingerie: A Discourse on the Demi

Going to a lingerie store and asking for a demi cup bra is much like walking into a grocery store and asking where the food is. That's not to say that a customer who requests a demi cup doesn't know what they're asking for -- it's just that a demi cup is a blanket term that does nothing more than describe the scope of coverage the bra offers.

Nina Ricci's Lettre d'Amour demi (which is also a balconnet)

The word "demi" is French for "half". So a demi cup bra is literally a half cup bra, and the term doesn't necessarily describe cut. Many refer to a balconnet bra as a demi cup and in fact many balconnet bras are demi cups, but there exist fuller-cut versions as well as smaller-cut versions.

A demi is best suited to petite to average figures (about A - D cup), and sometimes have padding or molding, depending on the chosen style. Our bustier customers are always looking for the white whale: the ultimate demi cup suited just for them. In general companies who cater towards larger busted women will not make demis for the simple reason that they do not do enough work to support a prominent bust. Chestier girls who wear demis often find that they wear out faster because they have more work to do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learning Lingerie: The Bra in Brief

The first bra I ever had was, well... not very fun.

If you keep up with our blog and know anything about Poupee Russe, you know I've got an uncontrollable obsession with all things pretty, lacy, colorful and embellished. That obsession didn't start at adulthood, so naturally when my mother took me to buy my first bra, it was an experience ripe with disappointment and shattered hopes. Plain cotton? UGH. My very unreasonable (or so I thought at that moment) mother wasn't having her daughter swathed in satin and lace at such a young age. And at that young age, how could I comprehend the reasons?

We each have our own tales to tell about buying our first brassiere. The experience is a rite of passage for the modern female, signaling her entry into womanhood.

Early Minoan women wearing bra-like garments (via)

Surprisingly, the bra (in some form or another) has been a part of a woman's wardrobe for quite some time. Early Minoans are believed to have used a bra-like device to compress and support the breasts of female athletes. Art among the ruins of Pompeii shows women wearing bandeau style tops. Another bra-like device arose during the Ming Dynasty, and was worn by wealthier women. Later, in the 16th to 19th centuries, corsets dominated the shaping of the bustline in western cultures. The bra we know and love first became commonplace in the early 20th century and began to be mass produced in the 1930's as steel shortages encouraged the demise of the corset. Short chemises (what closest resembles a modern day bralette) were also worn in the 1920's as part of a woman's undergarment or sleepwear. Our modern concept of the cup construction became commonplace in the 1910's. (via)

A few fun tidbits:
  • According to a survey of bra size conducted by Triumph, the UK has the highest percentage of D cup sizes (57%) out of 10 other European countries.
  • In 2000, the average bra size of American women was 36C. It is now 36E. (via)
  • The idea of the cup size was invented in 1935. (via)
  • The most popular bra color is white.
  • Some bras consist of 40 or more parts (in the case of Prima Donna - 50!) to assemble.
Got questions for us about lingerie? Ask away!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Learning Lingerie: The Bottom Line

Call them what you like: panties, knickers, drawers, underpinnings... There's no doubt that a great pair of bottoms can make or break an outfit. We've come a long way from Victorian ladies, who sported open-crotch drawers under their massive skirts. While that sounds downright scandalous, the open drawers served a very useful purpose: the ability for the wearer to use the restroom without having to take off the layers of hoopskirts and petticoats dictated by fashion norms. No longer do long underwear or stiff starched drawers play a part in the average person's wardrobe. Today we bask in the glory of microfiber, stretch lace, elastic and other wonders of the modern world. You can get your bottoms seamless, tagless and embellishment-less if you so choose.

But how do you choose? There are a myriad cuts to select from when it comes to picking up your most intimate of apparel. Consider this post a little knickers decoder to help you navigate the styles in our store!

  • Thong - The thong was one of the first pieces of clothing worn by humans - believed to be mostly men. A thong bottom has a minimally covered back. The waistband and back structure usually consist of at least a 1" strap of fabric, giving more coverage than a g-string, but generally less than a tanga. Because of their backless structure, thongs, tangas and g-strings are ideal for wearing under slinkier cuts of clothing where a panty line might be seen. Lines like Hanky Panky have made the lace thong and tanga a wardrobe staple for many women.
  • Tanga - Sometimes this term is used interchangeably with thong. Tanga usually implies a larger portion of fabric at the seat. Tangas are the midpoint in coverage between a thong and a cheekier cut boyshort. This is a great style for someone who wants the look of a thong but with a little more coverage. Because many tangas don't have elastic at the seat's bottom hem, they do a great job of eliminating panty lines.
  • G-String - Sometimes this term is used interchangeably with thong. While the origins of the term g-string are not known, it's speculated that "g" may stand for groin, which was a taboo word at the g-string's inception. A g-string is exactly what it sounds like, a thong with the most minimal posterior coverage possible. The back portion can consist of as little as, well, strings, or have a small triangle of fabric at the center back.
  • Bikini - Some of our French brands refer to this style as a slip and many people simply refer to it as a panty. From higher-waisted to daringly low cuts, this category of bottoms is probably the most expansive in terms of style. Modern bikini bottoms typically sit at about hip level and are fashioned entirely in lace or fabric. Often, the leg holes and waistband are elasticized. Bikinis are a comfortable staple with a lot of room for embellishment, and a decent amount of coverage for those of us who feel a bit more modest. While bikinis are great for wear in a day-to-day situation, they're known for creating the dreaded panty line, so they're not ideal for wear under slimmer fitting garments.
  • Brief - In general, briefs offer more coverage than bikinis, but it's not uncommon to see the two terms used interchangeably. Briefs usually are cut higher on the waist and therefore have a retro feel to them. For that reason, many brands have brought briefs back after years of focusing on uber-low cuts. Hence, we've seen some very beautiful manifestations of this style in the past few years. Control brief styles are great for those who want a little bit of shaping.
  • Boxer - While boxers are most associated with men's undergarments, we have to say that we love the comfort and cozy cut of a good pair of boxer shorts! This particular style is much roomier than a bikini, and offers about as much coverage as a brief. A true boxer short is more of a loungewear piece, but we've seen a few truly beautiful lingerie boxers now and then. Because this style is intended to be worn in a more casual setting, it's not advisable to wear a pair under clothing. The roomy fit will most definitely lead to excess bunching when paired with a slim pair of jeans!
  • Boyshort - This term is sometimes used interchangeably with boxer, and it's no wonder, as the boyshort is simply a variation of the boxer style. Also referred to as tap pants, boyshorts are usually low-rise and can offer different amounts of coverage in the back. This style generally offers more posterior coverage than a bikini, but that's not always the case, as some boyshorts show more cheek than others! This style is another that helps to negate the panty line issue found with bikinis.
For each lingerie collection we receive, we get up to three different styles of bottoms. What's great about every cut listed above is that each has its own more casual incarnations, as well as fancier ones. No matter what your shape, your budget, your mood or your lingerie style, you're sure to find something you like, and as always, we're happy to help!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Learning Lingerie: Humble Beginnings

When it comes to my personal lingerie stash, my basics are not basic and my simple everyday bottoms are anything but. Instead of plain white, I revel in pinks and reds. Instead of modesty, I covet peek-a-boo cuts. Cotton jersey is an endangered species in my lingerie drawer, and while that may not be the case for every woman, it's just fine with me.

All that considered, it's hard to imagine a time when lingerie was considered strictly utilitarian. The term lingerie comes from the french word linge, meaning linen or washables. Hundreds of years ago, it was rare to wash ones outer clothes, so undergarments (commonly made of linen) were an easy-to-launder protective layer both for the wearer and the clothing.

Typical Chemise, English, 1851 from V&A Museum

Such pragmatic applications may not seem all that fun, but consider this: In times that lacked today's technology and germaphobic sensibilities, staying clean was the best way to avoid illness. As regular bathing and laundering fell more into practice, lingerie's emphasis shifted, first to the fashionable shaping of the body (through, for example, corsetry), and then to seduction. To this day, we continue to don undergarments for protection, but the divide between utility and beauty has been bridged.

Today lingerie is not only utilitarian, but beautiful. At times it's even avant garde! We've been proud to carry some truly edgy pieces from designers like Andres Sarda, while still stocking our shop with the feminine simplicity of brands like Nina Ricci and Huit.

We're excited to bring a new facet to our blog: Learning Lingerie. Each week we'll bring you stories from the land of lace and loveliness, teaching precious bits of knowledge about fit, construction and history.

Got questions about anything lingerie related? Let us know here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Big or Small, We've Got It All

Just as certain cuts of a similar dress will look vastly different on two separate body types, certain styles of underpinnings will cater differently to two varying shapes. We've fitted just about every body shape there is, so we know firsthand that a bra designed for an A cup will not do wonders for someone who has an E cup. The same logic applies in reverse as well.

There is no such thing as an unusual size in our neck of the woods, so just because you're a chesty or need an additional boost, it doesn't mean you're relegated to tee shirt bras or have to settle for something that pinches, puckers or bunches. Come take a look at what's in store - some of our favorite brands have ushered in some lovely spring collections. We're sure you won't be disappointed!

Prima Donna Twist White Night Balconnet (Mistral Blue), $117

Twist is Prima Donna's diffusion line. It has all the support and construction of a traditional Prima Donna bra at a lower cost. Twist's colors and cuts are youthful, flirtatious and fun, as evidenced by their newest addition to our store, the White Night collection. The beautiful balconnet cut is perky and uplifting and the microfiber cups are smooth and soft. The beautiful embroidery adds a touch of decadence to a bra that is sure to be your uber-supportive everyday go-to.

Prima Donna Twist White Night Thong (Mistral Blue), $44

The White Night collection also features a coordinating thong and boxer. Both feature the bra's lovely embroidery and make a gorgeous eye-catching set.

Little Bra Company Mercedes Padded Bra & Thong (Blush), $87 & $29

For those among you who want a little extra boost, there's The Little Bra Company. Their motto "Good things DO come in small packages!" is spot on. Every bra they make has been a massive hit with our more petite clientele, and it's no wonder. A LBC bra is specifically designed for girls who need a little oomph and no other aspect (not construction, style or durability) is sacrificed. Their newest collection, the Mercedes, is a perfect springtime addition to our store.

Little Bra Company Mercedes Thong (Blush), $29

The Mercedes bra features padded seamed cups and a stretch lace that's silky soft. The coordinating thong has a sweet corset detail on the back - a reminder that the little things really do matter!

Long story short, chers amis, big or small, we've got it all! Come visit us and bring some brights to your underwear wardrobe!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Pop of Papaya!

Did you hear that San Francisco actually got snow last week? Yes, amis, it's true! The city saw its first flurries since the 70's! With that news, we couldn't help but sink lower into our coziest pajamas. The weather has everyone feeling a little blue, but that doesn't mean tropical vacations can't be had right here on the home front.

Selmark Noelia Molded Cup & Thong (Papaya), $97 & $42

Here's what I'm proposing: crank up the thermostat, break out the blender and pina colada mix, and pop your favorite 60's beach movie in your DVD player. Why not pick up Selmark's new Noelia collection while you're at it? It's the perfect distraction from the grey days, and the ideal vacation we've all been yearning for!

Selmark Noelia Brief (Papaya), $57

The Noelia collection is basic by design, fancy by embellishment! It features Selmark's coveted molded cup bra, whose embroidery is low relief so you can wear it easily under thinner tops. The collection also boasts a sweetly embroidered brief and thong. The rich papaya color looks great on everyone, so don't be shy about letting a bra strap peek out from underneath a black tank.

Come check out this anticipated new arrival before it's all gone! And if you do decide to wear it around your toasty house, tropical drink in hand, you might want to throw on some cozy wool socks for good measure. Don't worry. We won't tell anyone!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nina Ricci is Blooming at A La Folie!

Sure, spring doesn't officially start until March 20th, but at A La Folie, it has definitely sprung. We're surrounded by peachy pinks, soft blues and ivories - colors that both banish the winter chill and usher in the blossoming of a new season.

Nina Ricci Lettre d'Amour Padded Balconnet (Rose), $214

How fitting, then, that a new season should bring a designer who's been at long last introduced back into the A La Folie fold, Nina Ricci! The brand has long been synonymous with elegant femininity, measured flirtation and a timelessness that's hard to duplicate. The Lettre d'Amour collection is the brand's love letter to lingerie, and it's easy to see why!

Nina Ricci Lettre d'Amour Demi & Thong (Blue), $212 & $130

Carefully crafted in a delicate crepe-like fabric and printed with the sweetest of floral patterns, Lettre d'Amour is a collection that simply screams spring! A sweet net scallop trim adds a knowing sassiness, and the silhouette is simple and clean. The collection features a padded balconnet and soft cup demi, as well as a thong, boxer and uber-sweet camisole that not only works for the bedroom, but paired with jeans for a night on the town as well.

Nina Ricci Lettre d'Amour Cami, $306

Come profess your love to lingerie (and to spring) by giving the Lettre d'Amour collection a whirl. We know you'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A La Folie Hearts You!

Let your love show at our Valentine's Day event on
Saturday February 5th from 12pm - 6pm!

Whether you're searching for the perfect underpinning for the cherished woman in your life or simply looking to adorn yourself, we've got just what you need.

Our friend and trusted rep Vanessa Binot will help you choose from some of our most coveted lines like Valery, Lise Charmel and A La Folie newcomer Mimi Holliday. We're also welcoming back the ultimate lingerie luxury brand: Nina Ricci. Swing by, taste a treat or two, sip champagne and sneak a peek at what's to come!

And for a very special Valentine's Day treat, a purchase of $250 or more enters you for a chance to win a $100 A La Folie gift certificate!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Our January Sale Starts TODAY!

Didn't get what you wanted this holiday season? Lucky for you, our January Sale is everything you've been dreaming about... at a fraction of the original price!

That's right! Enjoy 25% off all merchandise* from January 14th to the 31st. Are you an Aubade fan? A Marie Jo devotee? A Hanky Panky lover? Snap up the pieces you've been coveting and scope out our newest offerings, all at an incredible discount. Hurry, though, because once our fall collections are gone, they're gone!

Happy shopping, chers amis!

(*Excludes jewelry, fragrance, Forever New, and Avero basic colors)