News & Runway

Getting Intimate (Apparel) with Julie Bensman: Closed Set

pleasure state intimate apparelOn an informal survey spree from last week's post, I recently took a more…intimate…poll for this week's column. Inquiring minds (mine) wanted to know: 

in your dresser drawer, does there exist:

  1. A bra you haven't worn in over a year because it's too big, too small, or because the elastic isn't strong enough to hold a ponytail together?
  2. Along the elastic lines, do you own a thread-bare sports bra from your high school JV volleyball days?
  3. Do your underpinnings only come in three colors: white, cream, and nude?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions (take the poll here), it's time to take a good, hard, honest look at what lies beneath. Whether you're single, taken, or a nun, beautiful undergarments are both a way to infuse a little luxury into the everyday and to spice up an already spicy ensemble for special occasions. And since lace was seen all over fall runway shows, it's no surprise that the trend has made its way to the intimates market as well.

A lifelong fan of tried-and-true standbys like Victoria's Secret and Gap Body, I was recently turned on (no pun intended) to two lacy lines whose new collections hit hangers in July (good things come to those who wait…)

Pleasure State

Gaining a cult following down under (Again, the puns! Shoot!), Australia-based Pleasure State is the creme de la creme of luxury lingerie. I found two numbers available on either coast: first, this "Kryponite" set, available at Luxe Lingerie in Beverly Hills; for the East Coasters, this adorable polka-dot "Papilio" style, available at La Petite Coquette in NYC.

On the more casual side, Free People is branching out into the lingerie market with Zinke Intimates, a mix-and-match approach that's more everyday than special occasion. This sweet Victorian set feels very now, and I love the cranberry color (top and bottom both retail for $58 and will be available early July at

And for the very daring (or those who can't take this heat wave anymore), there's always au naturale…