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A Lingerie Expert on All Her Favorite Underthings

Cora Harrington. Photo: Courtesy of Heidi Calvert

There’s no question that Cora Harrington possesses a deep, encyclopedic knowledge of lingerie. On her website, the Lingerie Addict, Harrington curates her favorite lingerie looks, explores the history of pretty underpinnings, and challenges the conventions of the industry. She recently rounded up all of that knowledge into a book called In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. Since she has such an eye for luxurious, well-made things, the Cut asked her about the best tights, candles, and how to throw a party.

How do you thank someone for a gift? I love to send a photo or a note later on showing how I’ve made their gift a part of my life and how it makes me think of them whenever I use or wear it.

What would you never wear? Thongs! But not because I hate them; it’s a nerve condition (vulvodynia).

What’s your dream vacation? Two weeks on a train, crisscrossing one large country (or several smaller ones), looking out the window in my favorite silk pj’s with a glass of wine.

What’s a good book on your coffee table right now? The House of Worth: The Birth of Haute Couture.

Favorite piece of furniture in your apartment/office? My new bookcase!

Last show you binge-watched? Star Trek: Discovery.

Secret to hosting a good party? Make everyone feel pampered and included. When I’m hosting a party, I love inviting my friends to wear their favorite robe or caftan, and having a selection of robes laid out if anyone would like to slip into one when they arrive. As an introvert myself, I’m also a big fan of having a quieter area for your introvert friends to find each other and mingle that feels less overwhelming than the general party area. And, of course, lots of bubbles — Champagne for your friends who imbibe and sparkling water “cocktails” for those who don’t.

What is a trend that you like right now? I love how ’80s-style, high-cut bikinis, leotards, and swimsuits are making a comeback! It shows so much leg, and is such a good look.

One you don’t understand? I’m pretty much a live-and-let-live person when it comes to trends that aren’t for me.

Who has the best collection of lingerie, in your opinion? Dita Von Teese, hands down. Her private collection of lingerie is one of the best in the world.

Favorite museum/gallery? The Met.

Shoes you wear most often? Right now? My Aquatalia ‘Swell’ boots. I’ve had them for years, and I feel like I should buy another pair, but I love the ones I have so much.

What’s your favorite …

Flower? Ranunculus.

Pajamas? Morpho + Luna (their silk prints are amazing). But if we’re talking what I wear most days? Catherine D’Lish loungewear.

Candle? Anya Lust’s Black Amber and Oak Candle.

Scent? Atelier Cologne’s ‘Santal Carmin.’

Everyday bra? Natori Feathers.

Special bra? Dita Von Teese ‘Madame X.’

Sheets/bedding? I don’t know! I’ve just been using my husband’s old sheets since we moved in together, but I do sleep on a silk pillowcase.

Tights? Wolford, especially their archival fashion styles (their tights last forever).

Store? Journelle.

Suitcase? Kenneth Cole.

Socks? Sock Dreams!

T-shirt? Old Navy.

Shop the Story

Natori Feathers Underwire Contour Bra

Available in sizes 30A to 38DD.

Dita Von Teese Madame X Wireless Bra

Available in sizes 32B to 36D.

The House of Worth: The Birth of Haute Couture
Wolford Women’s Velvet De Luxe 50 Tights

Available in sizes XS to XL.

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A Lingerie Expert on All Her Favorite Underthings