Cora Harrington, Founder and Editor in Chief of the world's largest lingerie blog The Lingerie Addict
, has been described by Forbes as "the woman changing the way we think about lingerie'. Founded in 2008, The Lingerie Addict
now boasts millions of visitors a year and has amassed a dedicated and highly engaged audience who identify with the blog's mission statement that 'lingerie is fashion too' and no matter what clothes you wear, the lingerie you wear underneath is 'a way to express your personal identity and sense of self'.
Here, Porte-à-Vie speaks to Cora about her newly released book In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear and Love Lingerie.
Image by Lars Kommienezuspadt
What inspired your personal love of lingerie?
The reasons I started writing about lingerie aren't the reasons I've kept writing. I started my blog because I wanted to find something nice to wear for someone I was dating at the time, and there was no information online to guide to me - no shopping guides, no reviews, no sizing info, nothing. So I just started sharing things I was either buying or interested in buying. But I've kept writing about lingerie because it's an endlessly fascinating world. There's so much to learn, not just from silhouette of a piece, but from its tiniest details as well, like the type of lace used or the placement of a seam. I feel like I've only barely scratched the surface of my personal lingerie journey.
Do you have a favorite period in lingerie history?
It's hard to choose and varies by the day, but my current favorite is the 1920s, especially the tap pants, early bralettes, and camiknicker sets.
What was one of the best inventions ever in lingerie?
It's a toss-up between the underwire, nylon, and stretch lace.
What common mistakes or misconceptions do women have about lingerie?
Keeping in mind that In Intimate Detail isn't just for women, one of the biggest misconceptions people have about lingerie is that they can only wear if there's a partner - an observer - to see them in it. However, beautiful lingerie can and should be a source of joy for its own sake, whether you have a lover or not.
Why do you think so many women deny themselves lovely lingerie?
For similar reasons to what I stated above. In America especially, we're not encouraged to think of lingerie as either an expression of our personal style or a way to indulge ourselves. Instead, the only two conversations most people have access to are those around bra fit ("80% of women wear the wrong bra size!") or shapewear ("Look like you've lost 10 pounds if you wear this product!"). And while I'm sure those conversations are valid to some people, they're not terribly exciting or inspiring. Instead, they reduce lingerie to a chore or to something that's only valid or worthwhile if there's a (presumably male) partner around to appreciate it. None of that, however, encourages people to buy lingerie for themselves and for its own sake.
What styles do you think are the sexiest?
I think sexy is incredibly subjective. And my perspective on lingerie is deliberately not centered around pushing the erotic appeal of lingerie. Instead, I want people to think of lingerie as a part of their lifestyle and as a complement to the life they're already living, whether it involves sexy times or not.
Can pretty/sexy lingerie help with your self esteem and body positivity?
I'm sure for some people it can, but I also think it's a bit limiting to reduce the conversation on lingerie to one about sexiness. Wearing lingerie that fits your gender identity, for example, can help your self esteem, and that may have nothing to do with how sexy or pretty it is. In fact, I think encouraging people to always think about being sexy or pretty can have detrimental effects on their self esteem and self image.
What’s the golden rule when it comes to buying a bra?
Buy what feels and fits best to you, no matter what the number and letter on the size tag say. That may mean buying a larger or a smaller size. It may mean buying a size you didn't even know existed. But that's okay because what counts is having a bra that makes you look and feel amazing...size tags be damned.
Image by Lars Kommienezuspadt
What styles are you loving at the moment?
I am living in my Catherine D'Lish nightgown and Kim + Ono robe.
What inspired you to write In Intimate Detail?
I felt like I had something to say about lingerie that hadn't been said before.
What’s your favorite chapter in your new book?
That's impossible to choose! I love them all the same! But I will say my favorite sections are the introduction and the conclusion because one sets the stage and one tells you what to do with your newfound knowledge.
Purchase In Intimate Detail Here
Header Image Credit: Coco Haus