DISCLAIMER ** THIS CAMI VEST WAS A GIFT FOR MY BIRTHDAY AND THE TAP PANTS WERE PROVIDED FOR A SEPARATE BLOG PHOTOSHOOT IN RETURN FOR IMAGES . MY THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND I HAVE NOT BEEN PAID FOR THIS REVIEW.
CREDITS ** ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROOK BOUDOIR **
Corset was on loan from Orchid Corsetry and is not my own (although I do own an Idelle) and the leopard print gown is from Biba and will have a review in due course
I generally speaking am a more reserved member of the lingerie community and tend to not follow trends or get sucked into things that audiences would like but I would not. I am nowadays more swayed by good decent people who I feel irrespective of my feelings towards their lingerie, I can wholeheartedly support. Any exchange, collaboration or ‘free’ blogs are curated out of conversation, transparency and my adoration for the person behind the lingerie as opposed to anything else so… ironically enough, I feel these can more often than not be some of my purest writings because I am writing about things I have invested emotional time into which to me is more valuable than monies.
I was told about Merle Noir lingerie by Karolina Laskowska (but I fell in love with her and her brand after she ran a competition to feed the birds). How anyone can not adore the lingerie she produces is beyond me because I genuinely do not think there is a craftsperson alive out there that is comparative to her on ever level. Merle is one of the most educated, experienced and wholeheartedly talented person and her creations are nothing less than works of fine art.
Foxtrot Molly is a smaller brand who is building herself a brand that is both sustainably focused and ethical as well as simply stunning and with its own sense of style (which is rare, I see so many brands that just produce things… that don’t have their own aura. These do and I love that). I love how everything she produces has its own standout beauty which is special to the brand. I feel her tap pants are currently her pièce de résistance but her small, standout collections are made to be brilliant and afford people the capability to purchase something that feels and embodies luxurious.
A black cami is a staple in any lingerie collection and to have a luxury 100% silk cami has entirely changed my life. The Merle Noir cami is simple, perfect and elegant and I would not hesitate if I ever came into any sum of money to have the simplest but flawless things ever again. It is stunning, it has that gorgeous element of being a little bit sheer but has such a rich dark colour is is perfect on its own as a piece of an underlayer. I have not had, up until now, much experience with 100% silk but you really can feel the difference. It isn’t as soft as satin and percentage silks have you believe but it is glorious to feel. It is smooth but has a real natural almost earthy grain.
The Silk Tap Pants are equally as gorgeous and in comparison pair lovely with this cami. They are beautiful and very soft, with the look of more expensive silk.
However Foxtrot Molly also produces Bamboo silk tap pants which despite the use of the word “silk” bamboo silk is not real silk but I think I actually do really like this material. It certainly acts like real silk. It is vegan so allows a market for those in that bracket.
The silk tap pants are extra soft and light which is perfect for the style of the pant and makes for a gorgeous shaping on the back which is a tie waist. I loved looping it into a pretty decorative bow! (which you cannot see in these pictures). The tap pants are an adapted design taken from an original pair of 1930’s knickers; they have true vintage roots which I absolutely adore.
Both of these garments, as per the material, need special care with ironing or steaming as they crease exceptionally easily and just look incredible when they are given the attention they deserve. The cami vest looks amazing after a fresh iron.
Merle Noir works off of one size purchases from her store but predominantly bespoke. Foxtrot Molly offers averages sizes to buy as standard or bespoke made to measure if required. I provided my measurements to Foxtrot Molly which means my tap pants are literally perfect for my size. My cami vest from Merle Noir was a gift and I therefore assume to be a small and fits me perfectly, possibly too tightly for some, but I love that as a fit.
Whilst the cami is a simple item, Merle Noir capabilities are ever present in the finesse of the garment. When I discuss construction I discuss it on a very open spectrum because my sewing knowledge is minimal and my own capabilities are non existent but there is that special concept of looking at something and just knowing. You look at the vest and it is nothing short of exquisite. The sewing is so perfect and close it practically melts into the fabric.
The straps are 100% silk with no elastic and again, it is so delicately and expertly combined you would like your fairy godmother simply magicked it into existence. I have never seem something so perfect. Like anything, if you are going to produce something simple, do it perfectly.
Foxtrot Molly easily reflects the values I see in Merle Noir cami in that all her construction is clearly considered carefully and with affection. Her sewing is equally as close knit and is very neat. I think it is very important to note that the tap pants are an item that is sewn with Scanfil organic cotton thread on Foxtrot Molly’s reconditioned 1960s sewing machine! Whilst the cotton thread does show, I think this gives a lovely definition on the pants to bring shape and definition.
Foxtrot Molly can also provide a version of the tap pants without the bow for a more everyday piece. Personally I find the waist tie is actually really supportive and is cut into the waist band section of the design so is secure. I did worry that because of the material it might be slippy or otherwise but I was pleasantly surprised.
Foxtrot Molly tap pants retail at £80.00 which I think is a very modest price for such a wonderful classic garment. You could buy these as they are or alternatively you could consider something such as the Sarah Silk Lounge Top which I am very likely to add to make a collective set! I really feel like Foxtrot Molly has opened up a space for a beautiful in between capability for affordable luxuries for people to buy.
I adore both these pieces as they exist. I adore my cami because it is amazing to have such a special piece to own and cherish because it is otherwise out of my league but shows me the value of true luxury and I adore my tap shorts because I consider myself lucky to have such a classic inspired piece that would be attainable to me as a customer and so stylish.
It is really important to appreciate that couture, luxury and affordable options are all considered to be valid and it is important that we allow them to exist both in their own spaces and together. Not everybody can afford everything and that is fine so by having such amazing, broad spectrums of capabilities and values there is something for everyone.