The Middle Layer
Our clothing style represents us outwardly and we've all heard about inner beauty, but what about the layer in between? Few people get to see us in this fun, functional, and beautiful layer that we wear (almost) every day. It's this middle layer that can make us feel strong, powerful, balanced, and beautiful regardless of who can see it.
"some things aren’t as i would love but that’s okay. i’ve worked really hard for this body and it’s time i start appreciating it" - Ashley
“I would say that right now, with working from home and self-imposed quarantine, comfort has been more important than ever. An interesting part of not leaving the house, is that you really do only dress for yourself now. So how do we make that decision in what to wear? Ditching the pants and button-down blouses and opting for pajama tops and underwear as daily wear is a new way to experience myself, and my taste in what I wear.” - Kinga
“These past seven months in lockdown and quarantine have required me to reevaluate and reflect on my relationships as a Black woman - with myself and others. I’ve always believed that anything I wear is for me, including lingerie. With this time alone, I’ve had to look at myself and spend time with my body and think about my relationship with my body. I’ve had to eschew the lessons I learned as a child that ‘too much time in the mirror’ was self-indulgent and vain.
It’s not self-indulgent for me to love my body or achieve neutrality with it, but that wasn’t possible without spending sometime in front of a mirror or capturing my own image which I’ve never felt comfortable with in any capacity. My life used to be 500mph and it was easy to justify not looking at myself.
Yesterday, I felt compelled to take and share photos of myself and tell my story. This vulnerability isn’t something I share often but it’s my truth. I’m not wearing a matching set - which is a big thing for me but I was happy with my body and how it looked in that moment and that is something to celebrate. Take sometime to look at yourself in #themiddlelayer and challenge any negative ideas that you’ve held about your body.” xx - Lindsey
"We hope our first collection brings you a sense of ease. These pieces are designed to be mixed and matched into your wardrobe and made your own."
- Meredith & Rachel
Forty Winks Founders
“I’ve always found so much joy in my wardrobe. Getting dressed is a form of expression and play for me. But, feeling inspired by clothing is more complicated these days. I still crave that joy as I stay home though, maybe more than ever—so #themiddlelayer becomes essential. Undressed is my new “dressed,” and I want it to feel great.” - Arielle
"My pandemic life has shifted so much that I feel like a completely different person. But, I look at these photos, with my DIY haircut, a little extra squish than I'm used to, and no makeup, and I feel so very me. It's the best to be able to dress in fun, and most importantly, comfy lingerie with this very true version of myself." - Dayla
"When you're working from home you're still in your body and it's important to feel empowered. Sometimes some cute lingerie under your pjs will do just that." - Fonda
"I'll be honest: given that I mostly work from home, I don't wear a bra most days. My loungewear (which is now also workwear) is, at its fanciest, the leggings I'm going running in later. Yet I'm more attached to my little collection of lingerie than I was before the pandemic. Putting on this set to take these photos felt like tapping into a little vein of joy and sex and glamour. It was a reminder that those things will still be there for me when it's safe for all of us to share them with each other again." - Kit
“Being pregnant has completely changed me. It’s forced me to stop trying to plan, prepare, and control everything. Such hard things to unlearn as someone climbing the corporate ladder 9-5, who also has a side business to run, with a major home renovation underway, all during a pandemic 😅
I had to slow down. To be fully present with this new body, growing this new life, evolving into this new version of me. I had to learn to let go, and it’s been one of the most liberating feelings.
#themiddlelayer for me is finally trusting the process and feeling confident and comfortable while doing it, but not needing to do it all ❤️” - Nasreen
“Like most women, I've struggled with loving my body. It got really bad when I was in my 20s, so I decided to get a massive tattoo 💁🏼♀️. I thought that if I had this beautiful art added to my body, then I'd love my body. And honestly? It worked -- but it took 11 hours of WILD pain.
I’ve learned some things since I was 21, and you know what else makes me feel beautiful and love my body? Lingerie. Having gorgeous handmade lace that perfectly hugs me and props me up :) -- it really does the trick on dark days.
#TheMiddleLayer, is like armor when I put it on — but sexy armor 🖤🤺“ - Natasha
Forty Winks x Titov
Forty Winks has been supporting our community since 2010. We opened Forty Winks to share our love of lingerie with our community and to show people how lingerie can make you feel like you’re true original, individual self. Our business is successful because of our customers and we gratefully continue to put our focus on building this community.
We knew for our first collaboration that we wanted to work with someone local. That is why we reached out to Masha of Titov. Masha lives, works, and creates all of her products in Boston. She has an uncompromising vision for design, fit and feel. We were really excited to work with Titov in a more intimate capacity with the collaboration.
The pieces we created with Masha and Titov are called the Kates. The Kate Bra and Kate Hi-Waist. The names are a nod to two of our very first customers. The Kate’s, as we call them, literally shopped with us the first week we were in business and they still support us to this day.
We created the Kate with comfort and luxury in mind and because it is offered in a large variety of sizes and made out of Titov’s signature geometric, printed, semi-sheer mesh.
We can do things like this collaboration because of the long-term support of our clients, people like the Kate’s. The Forty Winks X Titov collection is a true local collaboration, from concept to creation and we’re excited to bring you these pieces.
“I'm grateful for wireless bras right now! I have up to 20 video calls a week for work, so a comfy bra is often the extent of my undergarments. You'd think lingerie would be less important to me, but it's taken on a new kind of value. When I do decide to wear a set of lingerie, or when I have a reason to go out with a bra and underwear under my clothes, it's become that much more fun and personal.” - Silki
“In continuing to evolve and build upon my foundation of self, there’s been the deliberate choice to create a ritual of sorts and prioritize two elements of my being - sensuality and power. Coordinating sets of lingerie as a base paired with oversized blazers inspire confidence, even from the current confines of my kitchen office.” - Meghan
“Life in quarantine has really forced me to tap more into an embodiment practice. I'm feeling deeply more, I'm savoring my food, my wine or mocktails, I'm sitting in silence and just listening. I've taken on a new relationship with my body and that's appreciating it for carrying me through this tumultuous time. So when I put on underwear I've had for years or a new set of lingerie, I always stop and stare and have gratitude for this beautiful, strong, soft, Black body” ✨ - Racheal
"I've always been a fan of wearing beautiful and fun lingerie underneath regular clothes, even at work. It's something that only I know I'm wearing that helps me feel good about myself as I go about my day. This is especially true now, as I work from home in leggings and a tshirt, no makeup, day 5 unwashed hair, eating copious amounts of carbohydrates. I might look like a ghost on the Zoom call, but once my day is over and I peel off my outer layer of clothes to get down to the middle I know I'm alive." - Sake
“I've been home with my family for eight months now, but I still haven't gotten into the no-bra-no-problems mindset. For me, putting on daily lingerie is as much a part of waking up as coffee — I'm not ready for the day without it.” - Jessica
“I live with lupus. The smallest things can trigger my body to wage an all-out war against itself resulting in pain and sensitivity. Because of this, comfort has become such an important part of my everyday life. I choose my clothing based entirely on how I am feeling physically, and my lingerie is certainly no exception. But hey, who says that comfort can’t still be sexy! I love my lace and strappy sets just as much as I love my most comfortable bralette or sports bra. Choosing a middle layer is an important part of my everyday life. I rely on my undergarments to support me and keep me comfortable. But I also use them to remind myself that no matter what I am strong, sexy, and ultimately in control.“ - Marissa
"Lingerie is a powerful storyteller. It can convey the most authentic dimensions of a human. For me, it's about being powerful, sexy, charming, and queer! #themiddlelayer is where your truth is, it's the space closest to your heart and soul. And sometimes, your heart and soul is a perfectly embroidered bodysuit that reminds you what RBG has been teaching us all along: "Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time" - Paula
"I used to always look for the sexy and edgy items, and keep feminine pieces for Summer, but as I've grown more comfortable with my body. I'm also noticing I'm more inclined to grab my lighter, softer, comfier bras-which btw are still pretty dang sexy, just minus the extra straps." - Shelby
“Since quarantine, my wardrobe now consists of cute slippers, robes, bra & undie sets, lounge sets and slips. I literally style my ‘at home outfits‘ the same way I’d go about styling my ‘going out outfits’ in the past. Im alllll about a cute, sexy AND cozy outfit.💗💋” - Sophia
"Life at home is kind of hilarious right now. I rarely shower, wash my hair, or wear pants, but the undies are pretty much always on point." - Suzanne
“It is our intention to highlight the ways everyday luxuries (like beautiful lingerie) can inspire and cultivate one’s personal confidence and inner beauty. Our model is a friend of Meredith's sister and although she is not a professional, she thought a shoot like ours would be a source of confidence to her. At the beginning of the shoot, Ariele was a little nervous, but with each outfit change she became more and more poised, relaxed, and in control. Our belief in the confidence lingerie brings to an individual was beautifully conveyed throughout this process.” - Meredith and Rachel