Introducing our Playful Muse, The Lingerie Addict, Cora Harrington.
Cora is a lingerie expert, writer, and founder of The Lingerie Addict - the world's largest lingerie blog dedicated exclusively to intimate apparel since 2008
In 2018, Cora released the book In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. Cora is a true lingerie aficionado and believes that lingerie is for everybody - no matter their size, race, sexuality, age, ability, or gender.
"Be who can, be who you want to be, right now, while you can." - The Lingerie Addict
What do you enjoy most about lingerie?
I enjoy how lingerie is a real means to self-expression. Intimate apparel allows you to be the truest version of yourself - whatever that means to you. With lingerie, you can wear your favourite color, a beautiful lace, or a lovely bustier every day. You can be who you really want to be, even if you can't show that to the outside world.
Why did you start The Lingerie Addict blog?
I started my site way back in the early days of blogging, in 2008. Playful Promises was actually the first brand I collaborated with, so this feels like a full circle moment! There were primarily 2 parts to my inspiration. The first was the rising corsetry community on old school social media sites like LiveJournal, which made me aware of other types of lingerie. The second was dating someone I wanted to buy something nice for. After searching online, I realized there weren't any shopping guides, reviews, or easily accessible advice. The first item I fell in love with was a pair of stockings with these gorgeous embroidered welts, and that made me wonder what else I hadn't seen. What else was there to discover that no one had told me about before?
If you could pick one piece from your edit, which one would you choose and why?
Definitely the Eddie bra in that stunning shade of emerald green. I've looked at that style for awhile, but haven't been bold enough to try it, especially considering how my bust has changed over the last two years. When I got the Eddie in my size (34DD), it fit perfectly and the color was so complementary to my skintone! Obviously, I love Playful Promises, but I was absolutely stunned at just how much I liked this bra
Tell us about your latest book and what influenced you to write it?
My book is an interesting story in that my publisher (Ten Speed Press/Penguin Random House) actually approached me about writing it! My editor sent an email which basically said, "We want to publish a book about lingerie, and we think you're the right person to write it." I remember thinking...this must be a scam. When does an actual book editor write someone like this out of the blue? Of course, the e-mail wasn't a scam, and, as you know, it resulted in a book! My approach to In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie is that it's a 101, introductory level guide to the world of intimate apparel.
Whether you know a little or a lot, it's meant to give you the language and terminology of lingerie, as well as a way to frame it that, hopefully, feels more welcoming and inclusive than other conversations about lingerie you may have seen. I wanted to bring my entire philosophy about lingerie - that it's something for you, that it's an aspect of the fashion industry to be appreciated like any other, that it's for all ages, ethnicities, sizes, genders, etc. - I wanted to put all of that into a book. In Intimate Detail uses gender neutral language throughout and watercolor illustrations (instead of photos) so people don't feel as if they have to compare themselves to a model. It has specific sections on lingerie for trans folks, disabled folks, pregnant folks, and others and I wanted it to be a lush reading experience all on its own.
While the UK edition is slightly different, the US edition has a wonderfully soft, almost velvet-like cover and a ribbon bookmark. I wanted it to be something that felt sophisticated, a book about lingerie you could set out on your coffee table or gift to a friend without feeling weird or ashamed.
How do you want the lingerie world to develop in the next 5 years?
I'd love to see the intimate apparel industry become even more inclusive and diverse across every axis: age, gender presentation, disability, sexuality, and so on. Diversity is a journey, not a destination. You don't ever arrive at a perfect version, but you can constantly get better. You can constantly strive to have a brand that reflects the world we live in. And I'd love to see more brands, even brands that are doing a good job right now, take things even further. Do you feel that what you look for in lingerie has changed at all over the years? Absolutely. I would definitely say there have been changes in what customers expect. When I first began my site, it was normal for brands to launch with sizes S-L, and bra sizes 32A-38D or similar (sometimes even smaller!). Customers rightfully expect more now. Customers also want to see more variation. While t-shirt bras and everyday underwear are the bread and butter of most lingerie brands, people also want fun pieces. And they don't necessarily want to go to lingerie boutiques to find them. While I wish lingerie was even more mainstream than it is - a wish I've had for years now - I can't deny that it's come a long way since 2008.
Do you feel that what you look for in lingerie has changed at all over the years?
What’s one piece of advice you live by? Oh, this one is hard. I'd say right now, especially in the wake of the pandemic, remembering that I only have this one life, this one shot at being whoever I want to be. There won't be any do-overs, no restarts; it's a single, straight through run and that's it. While the thought is sobering, it's also liberating. Be who can, be who you want to be, right now, while you can.