Sunday, 14 December 2014

Trompe l'oeil tattoos: Tatu Couture 'Carine' bodysuit review from Honeys Lingerie Boutique

   As a lingerista, it only goes with the territory to love the 'underwear as outerwear' trend and I make no secret of my obsession with luxury British lingerie and bodywear brand, 'Tatu Couture', whose striking tattoo-inspired pieces transition seamlessly from boudoir to outerwear.

   Since its launch in 2012, Tatu Couture has carved out a veritable name for itself as both a lingerie and ready-to-wear brand, thanks to the versatility of its trend-led pieces and high quality craftmanship. Tatu Couture is best-known for its 'trompe l'oeil' tattoo designs printed on to sheer mesh panels, giving the illusion of inked skin. The brand's signature collections are the perfect blend of style and innovation, thanks to the use of sculptural, bodycon silhouettes and edgy, graphic tattoo prints.

   After meeting Tatu Couture's designer, Luisa Sidoli, at the Lingerie Collective in 2011, I was lent two pieces from the debut collection for review and, of course, I fell head over heels in love with them! Ever since, I have been lusting after the new collections year in, year out, hoping to eventually own a piece of Tatu Couture luxury! 

   Luckily for me, the amazing people at Honeys Lingerie Boutique recently got in touch and offered me the chance to review a piece for them! My choice was a no-brainer and before too long, a luxurious Honey's gift box arrived on my doorstep.

   The packaging definitely added to the excitement and I couldn't wait to unwrap the tissue paper to reveal my new Tatu Couture 'Carine' bodysuit!

   The 'Carine' bodysuit forms part of Tatu Couture's new Fall/Winter 2014 collection, which focuses its attention on chic tailoring details and 'alluring silhouettes' with a contemporary edge. The collection is sophisticated and feminine with sculpting shapes and lace panelling, whilst retaining strong attitude and drama through strap detailing and racy mesh inserts.

   'Carine' is every bit as exquisite in real life as I hoped that she would be - fashioned from a sleek,  sculpting polyamide and elastic fabric, this bodysuit feels ultra soft against the skin, skimming the body's curves for a smooth silhouette. To contrast with the matte black body panelling, luxurious woven satin adorns the neckline and arms, adding a glamorous sheen to the bodysuit.

   One of the key design features of the 'Carine' resides in the use of sheer mesh inserts to mimic the illusion of exposed flesh. The black mesh chest panel boasts a sweetheart plunge neckline, revealing a seductive flash of cleavage. By contrast, the front panels are made from 'nude' mesh, giving the impression of 'cut outs' on light-medium skin tones.

    The back of the bodysuit features 'nude' stretch mesh panelling, separated by a chic statement black and gold zip which runs down the spine, giving the bodysuit a couture finish.

     The undisputed 'pièce de résistance' is the breath-takingly intricate angel wing tattoo printed on the back panel. Luisa Sidoli has worked extensively with real tattoo artists to produce authentic and beautiful tattoo prints for her collections and the wing design on the 'Carine' showcases tattoo artistry at its finest.

   The tattoo print has been executed to a truly exceptional standard and the black and blue inks have been shaded to add depth to the tattoo design. When worn, it is incredibly difficult to believe that the printed mesh is not a real tattoo on somebody's back and I have already fooled several people into thinking that I have an impressive new back tattoo!

   I am extremely impressed with the attention to fine details on this bodysuit and I love that 'Tatu Couture' has been calligraphed on to one of the side panels! Additionally, thought has been given to the wearability/ functionality of the 'Carine' bodysuit and a popper opening makes it easier to take on and off.

   With regard to the fit, I was recommended a size small, which equates to an 8-10 according to the Tatu Couture size chart. Although the bodysuit does fit me, it is slightly too big at the waist for my size 8 frame and my longer-than-average torso makes it a bit too short in the body for me. 

   This means that the bodysuit does not 'sculpt' my body in quite the way that I had expected. You can see in the picture below how the excess fabric stands away from the curve of my back at waist level...

   Although the 'Carine' is not the perfect fit for my body, this is easily hidden when I incorporate it into my outerwear looks. This bodysuit looks fantastic with high waisted skirts, leggings and skinny jeans and it is ideal for transforming both day and evening outfits into something strikingly dramatic, unique and glamorous!

   In the pictures below, I have gone for an edgy, sculptural look, keeping the colour scheme to black, gold and 'nude'. I have paired the 'Carine' bodysuit with some shiny, high waisted American Apparel  leggings, ASOS gladiator heels, a gold detail Topshop belt, gold 'spike' earrings and a gold cuff to match. This look would be perfect for a night out and it makes me think of an inked Sandy from Grease!

   Although the 'Carine' is quite a graphic, edgy piece, I find that wearing a lace bodycon skirt with it injects femininity in to the look. Below, I have again kept the colour scheme simple ('nude' and black), adding elegant touches of gold and pops of scarlet red to 'up the glamour'.

   I recently wore this outfit to the UK Lingerie Awards and I certainly felt very glamorous and edgy in it - ideal for such a stylish, star-studded event!

   The Tatu Couture 'Carine' bodysuit is a stunning statement piece of couture bodywear, exuding high octane glamour worn on its own as a boudoir piece or equally as lingerie-inspired outerwear. The 'Carine' retails at £240 and also comes in a black and pink colourway, which would be well-suited to darker complexions.

   Whilst this bodysuit is an investment piece, it is a truly unique designer garment that has the versatility to be worn and styled in a multitude of ways. Every Tatu Couture piece is crafted using the highest quality fabrics, sewn by a team of highly skilled Ateliers based in the UK and every printed design is placement cut by hand, meaning that you are paying for outstanding craftmanship right down to the smallest detail.  

    I am absolutely thrilled with my beautiful Tatu Couture bodysuit and cannot wait to style it up again next time I go out. The angel wing tattoo print on the 'Carine' is like a piece of art in its own right and as somebody who has always toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo (but cannot quite commit), this bodysuit is my perfect solution!

You can buy the 'Carine' here or shop more of Tatu Couture's stunning collections at Honey's Lingerie Boutique!

As Christmas is on its way, Honey's are kindly offering Undercover Lingeristas 10% off any purchase with the code: 


What better way to treat a special someone (or yourself!) than with gorgeous luxury lingerie?



Special thanks goes to the amazing Brian Harris, who took all of the professional studio shots in this blog post!



  1. I love the idea behind this brand, it's really unique, and actually looks like real tattoos. It looks lovely as outerwear with that skirt!

    1. Glad you like it, Estelle! The tattoo designs really are clever! I'm pleased you're a fan of my UK Lingerie Awards outfit also! :) x

  2. I do love to receive nice underwear all wrapped up nicely like this. It all adds to that feeling of being really special.

    1. Totally agree, Wendy! It feels very indulgent & special :)


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