Reviewing Dita Von Teese’s designer lingerie for Target
bras $39-45, underwear $17-27, corsets/girdles/chemise: $95-150
· Unlike a few of Dita’s other ventures, this line is reasonably priced and as a mid-range lingerie line, the quality does seem to equal what you’ve paid for. While more expensive than a typical Target brand bra, it is certainly still an affordable product (unlike the “My Cointreau Travel Essentials” or “My Private Cointreau Coffret” which came out of her collaboration with Cointreau, let alone her so called “affordable” Muse dress line which ranges from $499-899!)
· The line offers a multitude of styles from the more authentic to simply vintage-inspired. It also boasts a few plus size options.
· Widely advertised as a lingerie line designed to cater to all sizes (particularly the more voluptuous), Dita’s line fell short. Though I am not hugely busty myself, I did notice that the plus size options were only in 2 select styles (in the first Target drop) and the other styles didn’t go past a DD. Furthermore, I found only bigger sizes stocked larger cups, meaning those who were petite but ample bosomed were not catered for.
· In the opposite corner, those who aren’t gifted in the chest area would have found this range very frustrating. As a general rule, the cups in this range run large. So much so that I was buying two cup sizes below my normal stock standard (to illustrate, I’ve found that my standard size is compatible in every other brand I’ve tried such as Target, Bonds, Pleasure State and Elle Macpherson). In the first run of the line the smallest size offered was 10B, while the second line offered a few 10A’s in selected styles. Furthermore, only a few styles offered size 8 underwear and the distribution of the stock meant these were few and far between.
· Miscellaneous sizing issues. Alongside the other sizing issues in the first batch (and a few styles from the second drop) of Von Follies there were no 10C’s to be found, not in various stores or online. This I put down to a production issue.
· In terms of style I was unimpressed with the first drop from Dita’s Von Follies range as it simply did not seem “vintage” enough. Though there were certainly some nice pieces, with all the sizing and production issues I didn’t think the extra cost was really worthwhile. Simply put, I felt that better quality lingerie could be found at similar prices from a higher-range label like Pleasure State or Elle Macpherson. Furthermore if vintage inspired pieces were your goal, I felt there was more to gain heading to What Katie Did or Kiss Me Deadly for quality and beautiful stock.
What I found particularly disappointing was her suspender options, as any seasoned seamed stocking wearer will know you really need good quality clips and straps to hold the seams in place. Dita has even tweeted about the importance of a six strap suspender belt. While this has vaguely been remedied with the “Von Follies Satin Quilting Corset”, none of the other suspenders look much more than “lingerie belts”. For more information read the Lingerie Addicts post How to Buy A Garter Belt http://thelingerieaddict.com/2008/08/what-kind-of-garter-belt-should-i-buy.html
Spot mesh bra in red and nude: All very beautiful, unfortunately I found the actual shape of the cup to be a bit strange. Probably because it’s “vintage inspired” the bra protrudes slightly across the horizontal seam, producing a triangle effect. Some people might really enjoy this as it mimics the bra shape of the forties, but I felt it sat awkwardly in the middle ground between modern melon styles and the bullet bras of yesteryear. (For more on the 1940’s bust silhouette please read By gum By golly’s posthttp://blog.bygumbygolly.com/2011/10/adventures-in-recreating-1940s-bust.html )
(Just to clarify, I tried on all the bras in multiple sizes to make sure my assessment wasn’t based on poor fit and found the same “shape” problems regardless of size. However, it could simply be to do with the shape of my particular bust)
Von Follies Reverse Upside Down bra: Definitely my pick of the lot! This is certainly the most “vintage” inspired bra and I was very impressed by the quality. In comes in “blush” a pale pink shade (which incidentally matches the peach shade from Kiss me Deadly’s Vargas dress) and a black/nude shade. The only problem I found with the bra was the sizing. As a shape that I’m unfamiliar with I found sizing a little challenging and, as I’ve already explained, as I found the sizing very unreliable range-wide I was uncertain what fit best. However once I settled on the best fit I was thrilled. I’ve always wanted an over-wire bra but found them notoriously hard to buy online, as very few/no reproduction stores appear to produce them and authentic ones are scarce at best. I bought one in each colour.For those interested, it features 3 hooks-and-eye’s and a strip of rubber along the bottom and top seam of the waist-band, the straps also detach meaning it can also be worn as a strapless bra. I really appreciate this feature as few vintage-style bras have this option.
I really like the peek-a-boo detail on the cups, as well as the lace trim
Other small gripes with the upside Down bra includes the lack of sizes in the matching underwear (the smallest size was a 10 in the full briefs, but 8 in g-strings…) and it unfortunately didn’t come with a matching suspender belt or girdle.
Von Follies Spot Embroidery Bra: Aside from the large cup sizing (one cup larger than normal), this bra is the most “standard” shaped bra of the lot. The cups fit like any other balconette bra from other common brands, without the “gapping” or “triangle” shape mentioned above.
Though very modern in shape, it features thicker elasticised straps and the back has Dita’s “signature vintage closure” (see photo).
Luckily this bra did come with matching underwear in size 8’s and also a matching suspender belt (though it was not available in stores and from appearances, as a four strap belt I’m reluctant to buy it as it looks a bit flimsy… but that’s just from my online perspective).
It’s a lovely piece of lingerie designed to be seen, but as such it may be too showy for everyday wear or prove to be impractical under most clothes.
Von Follies Lace + Fishnet Balconette bra: Another modern shaped bra, I found it to be a good fit and very comfortable. A nice set, with hints of vintage styling (for example velvet bows and lace overlays) but not an overwhelming pin-up vibe (it lacked matching high-waisted briefs).
Von Follies Black/Blue Stretch Lace Balconette Bra: This was originally one of the key pieces I had decided to buy, but after trying it on I found the sizes too way to large and unfortunately left empty handed.
Von Follies Satin Quilting Bra: This bra, though seductive, sat awkwardly. The quilted satin portion was fairly stiff and angled out from my body, pulling and crinkling the stretch lace as well as creating a bizarre bust line.
Von Follies Satin Quilting Corset: This was the only “body piece” available in stores both times I went. I was quite impressed by the quality of the satin used, it was very silky and soft. However, the cups were huge and it didn’t appear to be stocked in a size smaller than 10B.
Considering the bra sizing difficulties in the Black/Blue Stretch Lace Bra, the Spot Mesh Bras and the Satin Quilting Bra I was reluctant to purchase any of the chemises, corsets or bustiers online. At the price they were being sold, I would want a perfectly fitted, practical and beautiful piece and sadly I wasn’t sure Dita’s collection could provide that.
Overall I hope you enjoyed my review. I tried to be quite pedantic in my observations and criticisms simply because I’m a bit of a lingerie addict and I thought a few of you may be buying online and need to extra details. Though I’ve picked up the negative aspects of her line, I’d like to point out that I was also very impressed and pleased with what I did buy (the Upside Down Reverse and Spot Embroidery sets). The designs of all the lingerie was beautiful and I think many of the flaws I pinpointed, such as poor sizing and availability of stock, lay with the manufacturing, production and sales.
To Dita I say thank you for adding a touch of glamour to our underwear drawers with a few very stunning and unique pieces! I'd gladly follow you into any future lingerie adventures!