9 Nov 2015

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets #14

le bon marche in paris, vickiarcher.com

One of the best-kept beauty secrets is lingerie.

You are thinking how is lingerie a beauty secret?

Lingerie is a very powerful beauty secret because it makes us feel fabulous and if we feel fabulous our confidence grows, our happiness soars and we are all round more attractive women.

Feeling beautiful underneath our fashionable exteriors is so important to our mind-set. Sleeping well is so much easier if we feel the part. A shabby old tracksuit and a holey pair of socks do nothing for anyone’s joie de vivre. Even if it is for your eyes only a beautiful nightgown or pair of pyjamas can make the world of difference to our equilibrium. Why shouldn’t we dress for bed? Comfort and beauty are not mutually exclusive; they can work very well together.

Try it; you will see I am on to something.

In Paris I have a small ritual; it is a treat I look forward to and a personal tradition I have been following for years.

I take myself up the art deco escalators at Le Bon Marche and lose myself in the lingerie department. There is a style of nightgown I love; bias cut with a little bit of lace and a lot of movement; a slip style that moves and doesn’t get caught in the most uncomfortable of places. I don’t like that feeling when sleepwear rolls around and around, almost like a straightjacket. The straps need to be the right length and the cut under the underarms high enough to feel protected but not so covered that I feel like, Mrs Doubtfire or equally like an ageing siren. It doesn’t even matter if I am carrying a few excess pounds, the feel of luxuriousness and femaleness I have when I step into the gown far outweighs any curves that I begrudge.


Playing to the feminine strength is very much a French woman’s game.

She adores her lingerie and probably owns a wardrobe full of lovely pieces. She must or there could not possibly exist so many boutiques throughout France specialising only in lace pretties.

I found my nightgown, almost identical to this one and as a beauty secret, I think it’s working. xv

Night Time’s Best Kept Beauty Secret

[thefeedproducts style=’one’]

***lace trimmed silk nightgown in brulee  //  contrast silk pyjama in brulee with black

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets

#1  //  #2  //  #3  //  #4  //  #5  // #6  //  #7  //  #8  //  #9


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Mimi Gregor

I agree with you completely on this one. Even if no one else sees your fancy underwear, it is a delicious little secret under your clothes that gives you confidence — which always makes a woman look more attractive. As for sleepwear, it is a bit of a search for me to find something that I find attractive and cool for the summer that isn’t overly revealing (sexy nighties make me feel the opposite of confident. They just seem silly to me.) and something attractive and warm for the winter that isn’t cut in what they euphemistically call a “relaxed cut”. Just because I am relaxing doesn’t mean that I want to let all hell break loose with my appearance!

I found a couple retro slips at an estate sale this summer that do well for summer sleepwear. They look a lot like the picture you provided, only shorter. I already have a lovely summer robe that I purchased from the sale racks at Anthropologie for — get this — ten dollars. It was the only one left, and very lovely and with a retro feel.

Winter sleepwear is a conundrum for me. I want something that will keep me warm, like pajamas, but as I am very petite, I am apt to look overwhelmed by what is in the stores. Children’s sleepwear is no good: besides the juvenile prints and the flame-retardant that makes it feel terrible next to the skin, there is the matter that children’s pants are NOT cut to fit someone with a butt! Ah, well. Something will turn up. It invariably does. I may even have to resort to having my pjs tailored. *Rolls eyes at this prospect*


Love the idea of bespoke pj’s Mimi.. :)

And yes the bias cut slip style is the nightgown i always wear.. easy, comfortable and feminine but not impossible to sleep in.. or feel as if you are auditioning for a role in a “b” grade movie.. ;)


Thanks for the subtle tip of lingerie as a beauty secret. Your blog is a daily treat which carries me to Paris and Provence from Atlanta. Hope to be in Paris in a couple of months and will stop by Le Bon Marche for a little visit! Merci beaucoup!


For Melissa – Vicki of course know all this:
Le Bon Marche – it’s one of the nicest stores in Paris. Not too crowded either. They don’t get the hundreds of busloads of tourists all running through the ground floor following the tour leader holding a furled umbrella aloft.
It’s all beautiful – the fashions and accessories, the newly vamped shoe department, also love the books and the furniture and china etc. Children’s clothing and toys! Rose Bakery (one of the in-store cafes) is a fabulous place for lunch (the prawn salad!) or afternoon tea. They do the best scones I’ve ever tasted and have their own jam! Staff are so pleasant and helpful too. Best wishes, Pamela


I am loving the thought of bespoke sleepwear, Mimi! I agree with both of you, beautiful lingerie and sleepwear is a luxury, even if only you see it, that makes a woman feel her most beautiful best. I wear the most comfortable, beautiful pjs in winter time, simple, usually black, if I wore pearls and heels I could go out in them. I feel great, and chic! No fuzzy slippers for me, I wear my Chanel “look alike” flats as slippers, I bought them just for that purpose, so that on the off chance someone should arrive chez moi whilst I am in pajamas, I wouldn’t be mortified!


Gorgeous.. and there is nothing worse than a surprise drop-in when we are not looking our best.. I always get caught.. ;)


Sadly, I sleep alone with 2 cats these days . And it is very cold out … so I wear the flannel pajamas my husband bought me once Christmas .. I am not sure if they were a joke but they are so warm, baby blue flannel with little white christmas tree print .. I get sad and smile when I wear them, he picked out the best gifts for me !

Mary from Napa Valley

Oh Vicki, you are so much fun! Someone who loves being a woman!
I love it!
Mary in Napa Valley

anita rivera

Good afternoon Vicki! I agree that going to bed happy inside and out is a great way to start the process of a good night’s sleep. Love those luxurious pajamas!!


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