Falling In Love With Kiss Me Deadly

Vargas Dress by Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss Me Deadly are a brand who really know who they are. Not only that, they know who their customers are. They have created something completely unique that evolves from season to season from input, not only from the company itself, but from its own fans where every year they get to vote on which pieces make it into each collection and which ones don’t.

Set up in 2006 by owner Catherine Clavering after her search for a decent suspender belt fell short and she decided to design one of her own. From there the business has transformed into an innovative intimates company specialising in retro and vintage inspired lingerie, nightwear and swimwear, all with a seductive, femme fatale twist. Catherine, who has a seriously sharp sense of humour and a slightly eccentric side (perfect for working in the lingerie industry) brings this all together to produce a brand her fans can really fall in love with.

Azure Delores Swimdress by Kiss Me Deadly

Several times a year Kiss Me Deadly offer competitions where the customers can compete for prizes like appearing in their catwalk show or win a £100 voucher by recommending the brand to their favourite local lingerie shop. There’s even contests where the fans can customise their KMD items and Catherine will send out seconds items as an incentive, so they don’t have to ruin their own beloved pieces.

On top of all this the Kiss Me Deadly photo shoots really are something to wonder in their own right. Each one, more often than not featuring the stunning Morgana of Threnody in Velvet, is based around a particular theme that is not usually associated with lingerie, such as Twisted Fairytales, British Myths and Mademoiselle Maupin (a 17th-century swordswoman and opera singer!) and often feature props such as knives, dragon wings, swords, incredible hand-made headresses and even a live owl (okay, it was photoshopped in!).

Tempest Set by Kiss Me Deadly

This year has seen reworked sets from previous seasons appear in gorgeous new colourways. The Tempest set, with its shell shaped bra cups, was original produced in a soft peachy rose colour with the black lace overlay. Last month they brought it back, replacing the rose with a more autumnal petrol blue, changing the brief to high-waisted knickers (one thing they are exceptionally good at!) and swapping the original suspender belt with a killer longline waist cincher.

Ida Set by Kiss Me Deadly

The Ida set was originally released in 2013 as an oh-so-sexy leopard print silk longline bralet, high-waisted knickers and longline suspender belt. This year it has been softened with the introduction of the most exquisite peach silk. Although this bra works perfectly for a smaller breast, those of us who need a little bit more support during the day need not miss out on having this truly sensuous silk against our skin as the bralet and knickers make a perfect nightwear set too. And, shhh, as this is a limited edition set we are one of the few online retailers who still have each piece in stock, so grab yours now before it’s too late!

Emerald Jezebel Set by Kiss Me Deadly

The Emerald Jezebel knickers, which resemble a longline panty girdle, are an ever-so-popular Kiss Me Deadly piece and have been made in a soft pinky peach, red, a stronger cerise pink, cobalt blue and now emerald. They were originally out on their own as an add on item to other sets but in 2013 they were joined by the classic Kiss Me Deadly bralet reworked to include the matching featured colour. Like the peach Ida set, this shimmering emerald Jezebel set is a limited edition and we still have a small amount left in stock.

Claret Cherie Teddy by Kiss Me Deadly

This cute, yet very sexy Cherie teddy is based on an original vintage design and was first introduced in 2010. It has been produced in limited editions of peach and latte satin both with ivory lace, pink silk with black lace, black satin with black lace and this, exclusive to Joanna’s Wardrobe and Fox and Rose, claret red satin with black lace. An ivory version is said to be coming soon and it is the perfect item of sleepwear for any wannabe pin-up girl.

Purple Elle Robe by Kiss Me Deadly

And if you dream of being a femme fatale in a Hollywood film noir, look no further than the Elle robe. Made in full length sheer chiffon, this peignoir (the proper vintage word to use) is to die for. It has so much fabric in the bottom half that you can literally spend the entire evening swishing around the house pretending that your Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner. It is designed using an original vintage peignoir and has been produced in red, purple and black. Kiss Me Deadly are not producing anymore of these for a while so it’s best to pick one up now before they disappear.

Lace Print Bikini by Kiss Me Deadly

The Kiss Me Deadly swimwear really stands out from many of the high street brands you see today. As always each piece has a strong vintage vibe but Catherine always tries to add a really unusual twist to give it it’s own originality. The Lace Print Shell Bikini features unique touches such as the ruched bandeau style top with clip back and halterneck tie around the neck printed with a lace design. The bottoms are high-waisted (of course!) and have a sarong style wrap around the top printed in the same lace design to give it a truly retro touch.

Vargas Longline Girdle by Kiss Me Deadly

If there’s one item you should have in your wardrobe so you can really call yourself a Kiss Me Deadly fan then it’s one of their longline girdles. They have been reproduced over and over in again in designs like black and white pinstripe, a bold Baroque floral design, a mini animal print, peach polka dots and even an outline drawing of birds and flowers that you could colour in yourself! My very first KMD purchase was the pinstripe girdle and I have added several to my collection since, including the ivory one above. They are so versatile and can be mixed and matched, not only with other Kiss Me Deadly pieces, but also with just about any set you already own. And, of course, they work perfectly with the Joanna’s Wardrobe Ella satin bra and high-waisted knickers.

Now you know a little bit more about Kiss Me Deadly I think you’ll agree when I say, this brand is truly unique and definitely a breath of fresh air.

Do you own any Kiss Me Deadly lingerie or swimwear? Which one is your favourite piece?

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Hosiery Care Guide: How To Avoid Having To Replace Your Favourite Pair

Original post by Cate on Fox & Rose: The Lingerie Blog.

Laddered Stockings

Hosiery is a fine and delicate thing that needs to be looked after and cared for, not manhandled and abused. If you’re just going to grab your favourite pair from a chaotic drawer stuffed full of other clothes and shove your legs into them without much attention then they aren’t going to last very long. We want to make sure your beautiful hosiery stays beautiful and gives you joy for much longer, so we’ve created our very own care guide to help you.

Storing Your Hosiery


There are some amazing innovative hosiery storage ideas out there such as the Stoxbox (pictured above). This cute little box was invented by Danielle Ashcroft after she bought a pair of stockings, not realising she already had the exact same pair at home because they were lost in an unorganised drawer. To use, you simply insert the Stoxbox into the tights or stockings and push all of the garment into a hole, leaving the fabric stretched over the box, then stack them in a drawer.

However, this costs money and there are simpler and cheaper ways of storing your hosiery neatly and in an organised manner. The first option, and one that I find it more suitable to stockings, is keeping hold of the original packaging.  Once you’ve worn and washed them place them back in the cardboard and bag they came in and line them up in a drawer.

With tights either roll or fold each pair so they are ready to be stored neatly. Then place each one into an individual sandwich bag to keep each one separate in your drawer. Or, for a more pleasing aesthetic idea, buy some drawer dividers and separate each section to hold the same or similar colours.

Putting Your Hosiery On

Putting on stockings

Before putting on any tights or stockings it is best to add a little moisturiser to both your feet and legs. This will help to soften the skin, making sure that dry skin and calluses don’t snag against the fabric.  It will also help to keep your legs feeling smooth throughout the day.

You should also check your finger and toe nails to make sure they don’t have any sharp edges that might get caught on the finely knitted fibres. If you have long nails use hosiery gloves to make sure they don’t pierce a hole in the fabric as you are pulling them up. Also check the skin either side of the nail as this can become loose and cause snagging. Finally remove all jewellery that may come in contact with the hosiery, particularly rings.

When you are ready gather the stocking or one of the tight legs all the way down to the toe. Slip it on to the foot and smooth it over the heel. Gently work the garment up the leg, moving your hands from the front to back as you go to create a smooth finish. Don’t pull or yank at the fabric and try avoiding contact with the very tips of your nails. Trust me, it’s not fun putting a beautifully manicured nail straight through a brand new pair of stockings!

Remove the hosiery in very much the same way. Unclip any suspender clips first, don’t take a suspender belt and stockings off as if they were tights. Roll or gather the fabric down towards the toe and then gently pull off.

Washing Your Hosiery

Drying Stockings

Ideally, like lingerie, hosiery should be hand washed using a mild detergent or even a baby shampoo. Allow the items to soak for a good five minutes and then gently squeeze the soapy water through each leg with your hands, making sure all rings and sharp nail edges are removed first. Never wring or twist the stockings or tights as this will weaken the fibres.

Rinse by running them under a lukewarm tap and then squeeze them carefully to remove any excess water. Finally lay them on a towel, which you can roll up as tight as possible, to dry them. Drape them over a rail to let them air properly before putting them away.

If you just don’t have the time to wash your hosiery by hand then make sure you insert them into lingerie washing bags before adding them to the machine. Choose a cool cycle or even a delicate items one, if you have it. Once they are done hang them on a rail to dry, never put them in a dryer or iron them.

Hosiery Care Tips

Maison Close Stockings

Nobody can completely avoid things like children’s wandering hands, animals claws or unexpected furniture so holes and ladders will always happen. Just make sure you carry around a small pot of clear nail varnish in your bag for emergencies when you’re out and about and dab it on the edges to stop any further damage. This has saved me a few times, I can tell you!

Choose hosiery that has reinforced toes, and top section for tights, as these strengthen these more vulnerable areas. You can also buy stockings that have reinforced heels for added protection. And, of course, there are some brands  that produce run resist items, but just remember they’re not 100% guaranteed against modern living.

When wearing stockings make sure your suspender clips are of good quality, preferably metal hooks and rubber stoppers rather than plastic, and aren’t damaged in any way before attaching them to the welt.


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Underneath the Little Black Dress

While you’re getting yourself and your dresses together for your upcoming Christmas parties it’s definitely the right time to think about some gorgeous lingerie to go with them.  We all know that wearing something special underneath makes us feel more confident and sexy and at party time that’s even more so.

At Joanna’s Wardrobe we understand that everyone has a different idea of what’s special and what makes some women feel confident and sexy isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But I’m an unashamed fan of the femme fatale style and since sometimes it’s a good idea to stick with what you like and know about I’m going to tell you what I’m thinking about wearing when I dress to impress this Christmas.

The look I’m aiming for this year’s Christmas festivities is sexy, yet sophisticated and elegant, with a big splash of retro glamour thrown in. So I’m going to go for a faithful and classic choice with a twist: a little black dress accompanied by a suspender belt or a girdle, and teamed with seamed stockings and black courts or stilettos.

If I’m going to be partying I need to be confident that my stockings are going to stay up so I always want at least six straps on my suspender belt or girdle and they must have metal clips. I never wear anything that’s designed for the bedroom when I’m going to be in it for hours, because stocking failure can easily spoil my night. On the same point, I always take a spare pair of stockings with me just in case of accidents.

For me the little black dress mustn’t be too short because I’m going to wear stockings and suspenders and I don’t want the welts or clips to show. I’ve chosen two dresses this year, a classic Hermione folded layer dress from Reiss (above left) and a very special 1920’s inspired black dress with silver detail from Derhy. Because neither dress is overly short, I need high heels to make my legs look longer – with the 20’s style dress I’ll go for slightly lower heels to match the flapper style, but with the Reiss I can go for 5″ stilettos.

Suspender Belts and Girdles

Joannas Wardrobe Cherry Suspender Belt Joannas Wardrobe Peggy Stripe Suspender Belt Joannas Wardrobe Red Betsy Spot Suspender Belt Joannas Wardrobe Pink Cherry Roll-on Girdle

People often ask whether suspender clips will show through a dress. Well obviously it depends how tight and clingy the dress is but generally the answer is that they’re not normally noticeable unless you’re looking for them. Which if you’re a genuine femme fatale – even just for a night – you’re not going to worry about too much anyway. Let them look.


I usually wear nude, tan or or sheer black nylons with contrast seams because heavier denier black or coloured stockings with a black dress and black shoes can be a bit much. Seams accentuate leg length still further and are the first clue that people catch that you might be wearing stockings rather than tights – the classic femme fatale guessing game – so I tend to wear seams rather than just RHTs.

Knickers and Bras

Considering visible panty lines, since it’s a bit inappropriate to go commando under an above-the-knee dress and anyway neither dress is skin tight, I will select something retro from the knicker drawer. With suspender belts I tend to wear a bigger style and wear them over the straps, with a girdle I wear them underneath and normally in a briefer style. When a suspender belt is part of a collection there is a fairly easy choice of matching knickers but if not I will often pair them with something simple from my mix and match collection. The same goes for bras, both my LBDs this year can take a bra because they’re not completely backless, although since I am not large-chested the 1920’s style looks more authentic without a bra. I must admit though that if there was ever any chance of anyone getting my dress off after the party I would always wear matching bra and knickers 😉

I hope that’s given you some ideas, but remember – half the fun of dressing to kill is trying on all the alternatives!

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Get a Wiggle On

Launched on 4th October 2013, the Get a Wiggle On! Range from Joanna’s Wardrobe is an exciting mix of pinup-inspired retro styled shapewear in stunning colours guaranteed to make a splash wherever and whenever you wear them! The range includes three collections, the Betsy, the Cherry and the Peggy, as well as the Elsie girdle, a white version of the popular Priscilla girdle and the fabulous Mix-and-Match collection of retro-inspired bras and knickers that complement these and our existing shapewear ranges.

The Betsy Collection

For aspiring pinup girls our fun and flirty Betsy Collection will give you the perfect retro style.

Available in both red and black with matching panels of over-sized white polka dots, it comes in a pull-on girdle, suspender belt, corselette and detachable strap high waisted panty girdle.

The Peggy Collection

Joanna’s Wardrobe’s own Peggy collection is styled in a striking bright pink and black bold stripe perfect for all you retro pinup divas or burlesque performers out there! Too good to hide away so for the more daring it could be worn as outerwear, especially the cincher with its detachable suspender straps would look fabulous over a top or worn with a bra top! It’s also available in a roll-on girdle and 6 strap suspender belt.

The Cherry Collection

Joanna’s Wardrobe’s fabulous Cherry Retro Lingerie Collection is fun and flirty with its bold red cherry print perfect for that 50s pinup girl look.

Available in a detachable suspender strap cincher, pull-on girdle and suspender belt.

The Mix-and-Match Collection

We wanted to put a collection of “mix and match” retro lingerie items together that you could match with our own Joanna’s Wardrobe suspender belts, girdles corselettes and panty girdles. So for starters we’ve added a gorgeous collection of high quality stretch satin knickers, briefs, deep knickers, French knickers and bullet bras in classic black, white, ivory and a stunning red.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

It’s amazing how many people visit Joanna’s Wardrobe looking for a nostalgic 1940’s look, epitomised by the movie star icons of the day like Rita Hayworth, Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, and Ava Gardner and recreated in the 60’s for all those classic nostalgic films about the war that are probably the source of most of our memories of that era. Who can forget Susannah York in The Battle of Britain and Maria Pershey in 633 Squadron. And even later, the amazing Jennifer Ehle and Tara Fitzgerald in the 1992 TV series The Camomile Lawn…

In the 1940’s, fashion that emphasised our female attributes was all the rage, all cinched waists and bullet bras, women were expected to look like women, with the sway of our hips and the jut of our breasts on deliberate and uninhibited show, with powdered cheekbones and bright red lipstick de rigeur for the woman about town. Seamed nylon stockings were in high demand and the source of probably the most famous trompe l’oeil in fashion history – legs stained with gravy browning and seams carefully drawn on in eyebrow pencil.

This Ideas and Inspiration set is sponsored by one of my favourite designers, Catherine at Kiss Me Deadly. Catherine and her regular model Morgana manage to capture the combination of the classic lingerie styles and the confidence that reflects the time so well – women were becoming much more empowered and independent and much more in control, working in jobs that prior to the War they would never have been considered for. Yet they retained an allure that even now has lots of imitators!

Kiss Me Deadly: available from Joanna’s Wardrobe.

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Introducing Joanna’s Wardrobe

As regular customers and Facebook fans will know, a few weeks ago on one of the hottest days of the summer Joanna’s Wardrobe had a visit from gorgeous pinup model Stephanie Jay and her regular photographer Nick Halling to rephotograph some of the Tempest Rose Collection for use on our website.

Well now I can reveal that wasn’t the only purpose of what was a long, hot Sunday – we were actually all at HQ to photograph Stephanie modelling the first products in Joanna’s Wardrobe’s own range of shapewear and retro inspired lingerie! That was one of the milestones in our launch plan which consisted of finding a reliable, accessible manufacturer ✔ getting access to some retro-inspired designs ✔ seeking out a range of fabrics we liked ✔ getting some samples made ✔ finding a model we thought would work well with our styles ✔ finding a photographer Stephanie could work with ✔. Then after the photoshoot we had to get all the garments made up ✔ and the site updated✔… and after all that, we’re now ready to go!

To begin with we’re focussing on girdles and suspender belts, but very shortly they will be joined by some wonderful knickers specially designed to be worn with open bottom girdles. Our range includes garments in traditional fabrics and colours, like the classic black Priscilla girdle and sexier, more subtle lingerie styles like the Ottilie suspender belt in a lovely dusty pink.

We’re also very keen to offer quirkier, fun styles like the Dotty girdle in red or blue, which is er… dotty, because we like our lingerie to attract attention! So to all you pinup models and burlesque artistes out there, whether you strut your stuff in public or in private, watch out for more eyecatching styles which we’ll be releasing regularly!

Designed for dependability, comfort and control, our girdles and suspender belts all have six wide garter straps with metal clasps, so they will reliably keep your stockings up all day or all night.

All of our garments are made in the UK by a long-established family run firm in Nottingham using variations on tried and tested, traditional patterns from the 1950s and 1960s made in modern comfortable fabrics.

You can keep up to date with all our news by joining us on Facebook or subscribing to our Newsletter.

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Late Nite Diner

Last Thursday I had the privilege of watching very talented young photographer Laura Whittaker with models Annie Andrews and Eliott Taylor at the Dieselpunk studio create this wonderful showcase. Annie was a very convincing Femme Fatale in classic Kiss Me Deadly Jolie, Eliott played the target of her charms to a tee and Laura orchestrated and captured the atmosphere brilliantly as I’m sure you’ll agree.

I asked Laura what made her choose the Film Noir genre for the shoot:

“I created this set of images because I wanted to produce something that looked aesthetically authentic and that proves women of today can still achieve this stunning 1940s look.

Every woman wants to look and feel beautiful, and I believe that the classic genre Film Noir has iconised women in this way. They are the classic femme fatales – seductive, in control and who did anything to get what they wanted.

I’m finishing my degree in photography this year and I hope to be able to continue photographing vintage style ladies as well as my signature cheesecake pinup style. I enjoy this type of photography because women want to be photographed in this way.”

I think we’re going to see a lot more of these very talented young people!

Laura’s Facebook page: Laura Whittaker Photography

Featured models: Annie Andrews and Eliott Taylor

1950’s American Diner set can be found at Dieselpunk Studios

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