INTERVIEW WITH LINGERIE BLOGGER MELISSA CHERNISS

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Happy Saturday guys! I finally came back from a trip to Montreal, and I couldn't wait any longer before sharing this post with you. As you (probably) guessed it already, it's an interview with my favourite lingerie blogger, Melissa Cherniss from The Lace Appeal.

I met Melissa through Instagram about a year ago and instantly fell in love with her. She's honest, raw, empowering, and we share the same type of humour - and love for margaritas.

If you've been reading THB for a while, you know I love sharing other women's knowledge on subjects I'm not an expert in... Hence why I did an interview with my fave yoga teacher and female photographer. I knew I wanted to talk about lingerie for a while, and it was obvious that I HAD to bring in Melissa to do it. Keep reading for super useful lingerie tips, hilarious adventures and juicy stories!

Melissa In A Nutshell

  • Age: 27

  • City: Currently, NYC - Soon, London

  • Job: Lingerie Blogger / Soon to be Student

  • Favourite food: Nachos with extra guac

  • You in three words:I feel like you can describe me in one: batshit (lol) - if that's even allowed, explorer (but not the car), loner (but not boring)

  • Biggest fear: Buses

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Let’s get right into it: You’re a lingerie blogger. That’s very niche. Why did you choose lingerie and how did The Lace Appeal come about?

Oh gosh, where do I even begin? It’s kind of a long drawn out story, so bear with me. 2010 - It was my freshman year of college, and I decided to watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show for the very first time. Right away I was memorized by all the models (like ready to quit my day job to be an Angel). Specifically, as they strutted on down the runway with their badass confidence. I thought EVERY girl should feel that way in their bras and panties.

Unfortunately, the show ended with a major buzzkill commercial directed towards men. What THEY should get THEIR women for the holiday season. I left wondering why this show couldn't be just about the women? That night I laid in bed thinking if there were other lingerie brands out there. And where you would even go to find one. My mom never took me for a proper fitting when I came of age. It was like this taboo topic we never addressed. So I just wore sports bras pretty much every single day.

With no real direction other than VS, I decided to give the brand a shot. It was okay, totally ended up with a leopard print push-up bra (queue Kesha song). That's kind of what I fell into for a few years. When I got my first "Big Gal" job four years later, I decided it was time for an upgrade to my lingerie collection. Completely lost on where to find quality pieces I went to Nordstrom, where I had a proper bra fitting. They brought me many different options from all sorts of brands, eventually settling on a few goodies.

I left the store wondering if I was the only female on this planet who really struggled to find lingerie. Not knowing where to shop nor receive a proper fitting. After a little research, I came to learn just about 80% of women wear the incorrect bra size. Now, I don't want to assume things or anything. But I thought maybe I had a theory in the making. And this sparked the idea of The Lace Appeal, a blog dedicated to lingerie. A place to share my journey through the industry.

It launched the first of April back in 2017. A month and a half later, I left my job to explore this idea. Totally batshit, not recommended for everyone. But it's allowed me to pursue many different opportunities, like attending the London College of Fashion Contour Design Program.

Since when have you been wearing a bra, and how was the experience of buying your first one?

This story is actually super embarrassing. I must have begged my mom for one of those trainer bras you could find at Kmart or something. Because I'm not sure that your average third-grader needs that extra support. Anyways.

I get into school, thinking I am so fucking cool in my brand new training bra. Like I was a grownup or something. Everything was going smoothly until about lunchtime. I sat in my chair profusely sweating with my tummy turning. My request to go to the nurse had been denied, seeing we were literally about to leave for lunch three minutes later. And then it happened. I threw up in front of the entire class. Three years went by, and I still blamed the bra for making me sick.

Other than that I don't fully remember the "first" time I shopped for a bra. Which in a way, is kinda sad. There are a few instances that come to mind:

  • The first time I went to Victoria's secret and left with a leopard printed push-up bra. (Queue Kesha song)

  • Or the time my high school BFF and I went to Target where I had no clue what I was doing and bought the same size as her.

  • Or thinking sports bras were an easier buy because the sizes were based extra small through large.

Either way, I look back and see how uneducated I was on the entire process. It's dangerous to continue believing these types of topics are taboo.

Let’s say I’m buying my first bra and I have NO idea what I’m doing. How would you recommend going about it?

This is a good question!

Google search: Lingerie Boutiques in your area. If there aren't any, go to Nordstrom or Bloomies. I always recommend getting a proper fitting. These ladies know what they are doing. With a mission to get you into the RIGHT bra, nothing else. It's important to go somewhere with a variety of brands. All boobs are beautiful and come in different shapes and sizes. It's always good to have a few options and learn what styles you like.

Also, there is no reason to be nervous. These fitters see breasts all day long. If you are uncomfortable with going bare in the chaging room, bring a cami with you. It's super close to the skin and will provide coverage.

Now let’s say I’ve been wearing a bra for years, but I feel like I’m in a rut. How can I spice it up a little?

COLOR.

For some reason, women gravitate towards the classics. Beige, black, brown, white.

Just a side note: I hate when companies use "nude" as a color. Like it actually steams my clams. Nude is not just one shade, but many. It's rude to assume one nude fits all. Rant over.

With color, there are SO MANY different options. It's a fun way to show off your personality, especially under your boring work attire.

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I’ve heard you talk a lot about getting measured at a store. Why is that so important, can you tell me a little more?

About 80% of women wear the incorrect bra size. Sure, some women don't feel the need to take their sizing seriously because of their smaller bust. But when a girl measures into a C-D+ cup, it becomes a necessity. If you think about it, boobs are weighted "objects," for lack of better terms, projecting from your chest. If not adequately supported, it can become strenuous for your back, neck, and shoulders. Bras are meant to help support your boobies, so your body doesn't have to. When you wear the wrong bra size, it doesn't give your body the support it might need.

Aside from getting measured, what’s the most important lingerie tip (or tips) you could give me?

HANDS DOWN, wearing something YOU LOVE and makes YOU FEEL YOUR VERY BEST.

Let’s say you’re shopping for a bra and you like a style. How do you know if it’s going to be comfortable in the long run? Are there tips to predict this, or is it just trial and error?

Definitely get into the changing room and try it on. I spend at least 2-3 minutes with the product on before making any purchase. To the point, I'm being asked like eight times if I'm doing alright. My secret is to get in there and do some yoga poses and maybe even walk around the changing room. Again, sounds a little batshit but:

If you bend down and everything falls out, not the bra for you.

If you reach up and feel scratching against your skin, it's not going to work.

If the underwire is hitting you in the wrong spot, it's not going to work.

Everyone is different and has different expectations with a bra. I promise a few extra minutes in the changing room won't kill you.

I get that it’s better to go to a physical store for a bra, especially if you’re gonna get measured. But do you think it’s possible to shop online for lingerie? Do you have tips or favorite websites?

Anything in life is possible.

Before purchasing online, I recommend becoming acquainted with your boobs. Learn their shape, figure out what styles you like wearing best, even the fabrics. Otherwise, it can become complicated.

However, if shopping online is your only access to bras, my advice is to badger the customer service reps. Basically, give them your whole life story, what you're currently wearing, how it's working/not working. This way you have a better chance at getting the fit right.

My favorite online brand at the moment is Giapenta. Specifically the London X Back Bra, such a great basic.

So we talked about bras a lot, as it’s often the case when talking about lingerie. But what about panties? What’s your favourite style and do you have any tips for picking the right ones?

I'm learning, like bras, panties are super personal too. For me, it's a thong all the way (specifically the Ahna Thong from Honeydew Intimates all black). Otherwise, my ass will eat everything else turning it into one anyway. However, I do LOVE the Hanky Panky Boyshorts that I like to wear under flowy dresses/skirts. As for tips: make sure you mix up your fabrics. You gotta let the girl breathe every now and then.

What are the 5 things every woman needs in her lingerie drawer?

This is hard to choose just five:

  • A basic everyday bra (Giapenta London X Bra)

  • A sexy everyday bra (Journelle Allegra Bra)

  • A high-waisted thong (Yummie)

  • A killer bodysuit (Candy Teddy by Allure)

  • A floor length robe (Woodstock Robe by Rya Collection)

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Lingerie can get a little expensive. Do you have any tips for caring for your most delicate pieces?

HAND-WASH and NO DRYER. The dryer is the fastest way to kill your bra.

I also suggest getting a laundry bag off of Amazon. It works great for basics and sports bras. But the super expensive pieces, don't take the risk. Boutiques would probably hate me for saying this, but there is NOTHING wrong with shopping a sale.

Now, I want to switch gears a little... A big part of wearing lingerie has to do with self-confidence. Do you have any tips for a woman who doesn’t feel confident enough to be seen in revealing garments (i.e. wearing lingerie for their significant other, or be in a bikini a the beach)?

Everyone is different, but this is what works for me. Ask yourself this every morning: "Am I happy?"

It's a hard question to ask. A lot of times we get caught up in a routine or rut, forgetting to check in with ourselves. I find when I am doing things that make me happy, striving for a better version of myself, I feel my best. And that's when I am the most confident.

Speaking of confidence, you’re a lingerie blogger, so you obviously post a lot of pictures of yourself in lingerie. Was that hard in the beginning, or did you feel confident right away?

Honestly, it was easier in the beginning. Last year when I launched the blog, I was in the best shape of my life. I was consistent with fitness and wellness routine. But a year can change a person. I've gained roughly 30lbs and have had to adjust my mind frame and accept my new body. Though it's different, it's still beautiful (even if that's narcissistic to say out loud).

A lot of women (and I’m sometimes guilty of that too) see lingerie as something they wear for their significant other. I know you feel strongly about women wearing lingerie for themselves first. Can you elaborate on that a little? Why is that so important to you?

I think it's important for women to realize they are sexual beings too. And sex is not just about their partner; it's about two people. Women should feel comfortable presenting themselves without fear of judgment. Being able to say, this is what makes 'ME' feel hot and sexy.

I have to say, one of the things I really love about your aesthetic is how “real” it feels. Every picture on the internet obviously has some level of editing, but yours don’t feel like they’re Photoshopped. Was that a conscious choice? If so, what motivated you to “keep it real” when it’s so easy and sometimes so tempting to go overboard with the airbrushing and the filters?

For starters, I am not a true girly-girl. I hardly wear makeup and have no clue how to apply foundation. Nine times out of ten I will poke my eye out when applying eyeliner. Right now in life, that is who I am. I have scars all over my legs from CrossFit tripping over box jumps and running through an Australian Rain Forrest because I saw a snake. Sometimes I get acne on my body in places I shouldn't. And I felt filters and Photoshop would take away from that. Removing the annoying imperfections will only make us believe that perfection is attainable.

That's all for now, I hope you guys enjoyed this interview as much as I did! If you did, you need to go stalk Melissa and The Lace Appeal on Instagram, @thelaceappeal, and - obviously - on her blog, thelaceappeal.com.

If you want more about lingerie, you can also read one of my first posts on THB, on how to style lingerie as outerwear.

Love, Jenny xx