Playful Promises Blog

The product of a mischievous mind

The Playful Promises Blog covering all things knicker-related! Bras, girdles, corsets, panties, knickers, gstrings, thongs, longline bra, bra sizes, la bra, suspender belts, garter, dresses, clothing, boutique, stockings, seamed stockings and more!

Summer Sun Holiday Wishlist

With the English sun finally making an appearance in London this week - today it’s a tropical 23 degrees Celsius! - I’ve started daydreaming about the perfect summer holiday. Whether it’s a stylish city break, or a relaxed island sojourn, all of my dream destinations are by the sea – so naturally my mind has also been wandering to the perfect swimwear!

Top of my holiday wishlist right now is the fantastic walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, which you might recognise as King’s Landing from HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Dubrovnik sits beside the Adriatic sea, and with temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius in July and August, there’s no better place for picturesque views and pebbly beaches!

Next on my wishlist are the Cinque Terre (The Five Lands) in Liguria, Italy. These five quaint cliffside villages are accessible primarily by train, and are perfect for a peaceful, secluded getaway. Few places are as untouched by modernisation as the Cinque Terre and their remote yet dramatic location is to thank for this. 

Popular with hikers, the Cinque Terre are also a hotspot for scuba diving and boast some sandy beaches in sheltered coves. The Vintage Lazy Summer high waist bikini is top of my list for making the most out of this fab destination, and the colours match the beautifully painted buildings!

Home to two of the most famous beaches on Earth, the lively city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the perfect destination to let your hair down. With bustling markets and vibrant nightlife, the city is a feast for the senses both day and night!

Take your look effortlessly from day to night, beach to club, with the Playful Promises ‘I Love Lala’ swimsuit. Its dynamic print will ensure you stand out in this dazzling city!

Last, but certainly not least, is the Caribbean island of Barbados. With its balmy climate, white sand beaches and turquoise seas, nowhere more embodies the term ‘island paradise’. Top of my list for Barbados would be swimming with turtles, and of course relaxing with a rum punch (or three!).

And top of my list for swimwear would be the Vintage Lazy Summer frilly bikini!


What far-flung places are on top of your holiday wishlist? Are you travelling this year? 

And the winners are....

A few weeks ago we announced the shortlist of winners for our student and recent graduate Design Competition, and encouraged you to vote for your favourites on facebook.

We had hundreds of different votes on the 9 shortlisted designs, and now the vote is closed and counted, we can announce the three winners!

Congratulations to....







And because we just fell in love with the design and print, we've picked another winner!



Well done to the above winners (Emma will be in touch!), and thank you to everyone that entered. We saw some beautiful designs and refreshing talent, we hope that you'll continue to design pieces during and after your studies. 

Keep your eyes peeled on further developments as the above pieces are brought to life in SS'16!

The History of the Corset

Stays 1780-89

Stays 1780-89

Hi, my name’s Steph and I’m interning at Playful Promises this week! I’m a Costume Design student at UAL, so I thought I’d write a blog post about historical underwear – more specifically, the corset!


When we think of historical corsets today, what comes to mind is the extreme hourglass shape fashionable during the Victorian period. But when did corsets really begin?


The first instances of corsets, or ‘stays’, being used under a bodice can be traced back to the end of 17th century. These were stiffened conical shapes which lifted the bust and shaped the waist. However they were not the restrictive garments we imagine today – women at the time would stitch their stays by hand, and there were no metal eyelets for lacing, so stays could not be laced very tightly or the laboriously stitched together garment would break. 






During the 18th century, stays were laced either at the back or at the front under or over an embroidered stomacher (a stiff panel which attached to the bodice) in a zig-zag shape. In her portrait to the left, Madame de Pompadour wears a stomacher decorated with a line of bows; a look she popularised.


Towards the end of the 18th century, the fashionable waistline moves upwards (think Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice), so corsets also change - dresses are looser so the body no longer needs shaping in the same way. The emphasis in this period is on the bust, so cups are built into the corset for the first time, and stiff wooden busks are used to keeps the breasts apart. Below is an example of a corset from 1790.

With the advent of the Victorian period, the waist moves back down and more recognisable corsets come into use. These make use of new inventions – metal eyelets and metal busks which use hooks to allow the corset to be fastened at the front, as well as laced at the back. Criss-cross lacing is introduced, and remains in use today. It is during this period that tight-lacing becomes popular, along with the hourglass figure. Below is an example of a corset from 1864. 

Corsets largely fell out of fashion during the 1920s, as a new "boyish" shape was desired by flappers. They began to come back into popularity in the 1950s in the form of bustiers and girdles like the ones to the right.


Modern designers like Jean Paul Gaultier have revisited the corset in haute couture, and the resurgence of burlesque has ensured that corsets are once again  fashionable and desirable items of lingerie!

One of Jean Paul Gaultier's stunning designs

One of Jean Paul Gaultier's stunning designs

Ready to try out corsets for yourself? Our corsets and waspies are designed for the boudoir or as outerwear (rather than waist training corsets, which need to be specially made to safely reduce your waist-line)!