Underwire: June 2024 ‘Throw the Ball!’

Something’s been bothering me.  I feel like a poor figurehead for my brand. I’m supposed to be a tough, sassy, straight-talking action figure of a bra lady, right? Chewing up challenges! Obliterating obstacles! Making snap decisions like a quarterback about to be crushed under a 300 pound linebacker!  The only thing I fear is STANDING STILL–that’s always been me. Well, as I mentioned last month, I’ve hit some kind of old lady wall and I’m ...continued

Underwire: March 2024 ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

“So where are you living now?” This is a question I get asked a lot. For those of y’all new to this newsletter, let me enumerate the bullet points of how I came to live in two cities at once.

  • We decided to expand Jenette Bras to Atlanta partly because this is the city where my mother’s family is from and partly for the food and film production.
  • We bought a small house with a large basement in Southwest Atlanta to use as a base for our Southern expansion. In the basement we staged all the elements of our Decatur build-out, including vintage factory windows, custom cabinetry and racks, mannequins, paper goods and boxes and boxes of inventory.
  • The plan was to open the store in Decatur, throw a fabulous opening party, do a few events, interviews, and, with everything in motion, rent the house out and take a two week vacation before heading back to LA.
  • The Atlanta store opened its doors for business on March 8, 2020. We had a good first week before COVID shut the whole country down.

Timing is everything, eh?

Needless to say, those other parts of the plan were slightly delayed. So here we were, locked down in this strange house, in a new city with only a suitcase of clothes and, thankfully, our car (we had driven across ...continued

Underwire: Feb 2024 ‘Onward and Upward’

Fifteen years ago I was in a hotel room in Las Vegas giving myself a pep talk between sobs. No, I had not just gambled away my children’s college fund, though it certainly was feeling that way. Surrounded by lingerie catalogues and linesheets, I was at the Lingerie Market trying to place my very first order for Jenette Bras which–fingers crossed–would be opening in a couple of months.

Now, five stores strong, I have a crack buyer dealing with ...continued

Underwire: Jan 2024 ‘Telling Stories’

In 1984 I was living in East London married to a veterinarian. We lived in a small flat over the PeeDee clinic on the ground floor. PeeDee stands for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, charity-run clinics where London’s poor and unemployed receive free care for their animal companions. Our clients were elderly widows with their even more elderly dogs, gypsies with sick horses, bikers with ailing snakes, and the infamous Mr. Crowder who shared his small ...continued

Underwire: Dec ’23 ‘Straight Talk for Curvy Gals’

“…But that’s not fair!” I whined in response to some outrageous, now long-forgotten injustice. “Life ain’t fair,” growled my dad, as usual. Not much an eight-year old can say to that, is there? Maybe his Bronx-born attitude made me what I like to think of as a pretty straightforward person, or maybe it’s just genetic.

Possibly I may at times come off as a bit brusque or impatient with employees, kids, husbands…what ...continued

Underwire: Nov ’23 עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי

Star of David

New York, 1964: I have just descended concrete steps into a clammy hole in the ground with my Grandma Bernie for my first subway ride. Born Basya Shapiro in 1905 in a Russian shtetl near the Neva River she was the last of her family to be born in Russia, landing at Ellis Island in her mother’s arms. She holds my hand tightly as we push into the crowded car which had just roared into view with an unholy squeal. “Hold on to the pole, Nettie!” ...continued

Underwire: Oct ’23 ‘La Vie de Lingerie’

In a couple of days I am flying off to Spain, my luggage filled with a pair of good walking shoes, sandals, a few skirts, dresses, and tops and my head filled with questions about the current state lingerie industry and ways I might improve and strengthen Jenette Bras. This yearly excursion is to attend the Empreinte Circle, a weekend of learning (and a lot of eating and drinking!) with a tight-knit group of independent lingerie boutique owners from around the world which was ...continued

Underwire: Sept ’23 ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Underpants’

Terri and Jenette

Hurricane in Florida, earthquake in Turkey, cyclone in Myanmar, wildfires from Maui to Greece. These days the world seems tethered by threads, fraying and snapping with each storm or strike or economic pendulum swing. In good times these frail connections may go unremarked, but it is at our peril that we ignore the way our small individual actions re-weave the netting of the world.

I have a very good friend named Terri who ran a small bra fitting shop on Maui. ...continued

Underwire: August ’23 ‘Gnocchi Night’

In 2011 I had the idea to write a newsletter, named it the Underwire Quarterly, and promptly sent out the premiere issue – which also turned out to be its last.
January of 2020, I decided to give it another go. I re-named it the Underwire Monthly, figuring that I operated better under pressure. It seems to have worked, as I close in on four years’ worth of musing, and without fail, as the month draws to a close, I stress about finding something of ...continued

Underwire: July ’23 ‘To Bra, or not to Bra’


Ah, the ceaseless hunt for the elusive Unicorn Bra! She is a creature not of this world, who occupies our thoughts and taunts us mercilessly on Instagram. Through her magical powers she is able to defy gravity and corporeal physics, lifting the bosom without squeezing the torso, separating the breasts and making them smaller too, leaving no indent anywhere. Strapless, backless, sideless, plunging, covering the nipples, invisible under any fabric, matched to every outfit, and turns ...continued