Style Police: The fine art of flirting

The late, great Diana Dors had the right idea, says JAMES SHERWOOD. Now there was a girl who knew her lingerie

Fashion is a question of context, consistency and timing. You see some black-clad stick insect at a flash party in London accessorising with a pair of patent acid-yellow pumps and applaud. Put said insect in Brent Cross shopping centre a season ago and the girl would have been lucky to get out alive. See? Context, consistency, timing.

This season yellow, from palest lemon to egg-yolk bright, is key. As colours go, yellow is like steak tartare: an acquired taste. Fashion editors have been spinning the usual nonsense to spread the yellow fever. If we didn't, we'd be the only ones looking like Big Bird. But Style Police think we've found the solution. Watching ITV's recent biopic of Diana Dors, The Blonde Bombshell, the answer came like a lightning bolt from Olympus: underwear.

Diana Dors in her 1950s lacy-drawer prime is inspiring. The sex kitten with more front than the French Riviera made us understand the power of expensive underwear. If a girl's wearing silk and satin next to her skin, she's already feeling sexier than the broad in the sports bra and cotton Calvins. If she chooses this season's colours - searing fuschia pink, pale lemon and cornflower blue - she's giving colour trends a coquettish wink without committing totally. Flirt but don't follow through.

Is there anything sexier than the flash of a lemon satin bra strap or a peep of hot pink lace under a low-slung shirt? The answer is a definite "no", but not everyone, these days, understands that.

As Hugh Grant's arm candy proved at the Notting Hill premiere, celebrities these days dispense with lingerie altogether. Liz Hurley's Versace-sequins- and-no-knickers look makes one shudder to think what she won't wear at the next film premiere. The divine Diana Dors, meanwhile, understood that a flash of lingerie is so much sexier than acres of flesh.

How to wear it

This spring is the season of backless, strapless fashion booby traps. Style Police advocates a variation of the dance of the seven veils. We love the idea of a hot pink satin camisole worn with pedals. We melt at the thought of a colour-clash basque under Helmut Lang's sheer hot pink T-shirts. Flippy little chiffon underskirts work with fine knit sweaters.

You've got to think yin/yang. If you're wearing hot-coloured lingerie, then it's got to be balanced by all those whites, creams and khakis. If you're flashing a little bit of silk, satin or lace, it looks lovely next to more modest linens and cotton. Style Police isn't suggesting a return to early Madonna underwear as outerwear. Never, but never, reveal all.

Where to buy it

If Diana Dors were alive today, she'd be the Gossard girl. Gossard instinctively understands va-va-voom. Their bras walk that tightrope between "Hello Boys" and too tarty. You're not going to find the yellow story with Gossard this season. You go to Janet Reger - the undisputed Queen of expensive underwear - for exquisitely made, 100 per cent silk satin lingerie. You go to Agent Provocateur for naughty little pieces of Fifties boudoir chic.

Knickerbox makes a great Brasilia padded bra (pounds 18) and brief (pounds 8) set in pale lemon and baby blue. Lilac embroidered flowers on the cream Poppy bra (pounds 20) by Knickerbox are simply edible. Gossard is so spot on with hot pink undies in the colour they're calling Lipstick.

Style Police particularly likes Gossard's satin lipstick-pink Ultrabra Balconette (pounds 21). As the name suggests, the Balconette will give any girl a Diana Dors cleavage.

If you're into the cute feminine story, then you want to go for Gossard's lacy pink Gypsy basque (pounds 46). If you're smitten with the sex kitten vibe, then get out immediately and buy the matching briefs (pounds 14) and suspenders (pounds 17). And honey, they don't call it hot pink for nothing.

Address book

Agent Provocateur: 0171 439 0229.

Gossard: 01525 859769.

Janet Reger: 0171 584 9360.

Knickerbox: 0171 730 1665.

Life and Style
Divers at Bouldnor Cliff underwater site in the Solent off the Isle of Wight, where the silt sample containing the einkorn DNA was found
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

    £23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

    Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

    £14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

    Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower