Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Braologie Bracie (Mini Posture Vest) Review

Early last month, Braologie was having a super sale on the updated version of their mini posture vest, the Bracie. The Bracie was created with several things in mind: to help take pressure off the ribcage from bra wires digging in, improve posture, create a smoother line under clothes, and bring the breasts more to the center (as well as create a more "uplifted" look). At the sale price of just $19.99 + free shipping, I decided to finally snatch it up!

I ordered a Size 1, which is the size recommended for ribcages measuring 24-27" (my underbust measurement is about 27"). My package arrived surprisingly quickly, especially considering the company is based in Hong Kong. A pamphlet is included that gives clear directions on how to wear the Bracie.


The size I ordered measured about 32" stretched. However, as the Bracie is worn a little lower than the bra band, it's good to keep in mind that you may need to size up if your ribcage flares out or you're in between sizes. Although I could fasten the Size 1, I would've been interested to try a Size 2, just for comparison.



The Bracie adds some support to the breasts by helping lift them from underneath. This can create some extra cleavage, which may be a great bonus for some. I appreciated the fact that I could use the Bracie for this if I so desired. However, I found that the Bracie gave my profile a little bit of an odd look from the side, possibly due to my breast shape. My breasts looked more projected and "centered", but as the Bracie comes up past the underbust, the band sort of cut in to my breasts and made them spill over the top of the Bracie a little oddly.

Profile with the Bracie

So, on to the main question: Did it help with posture? I've always struggled with poor posture, exacerbated by years of wearing ill-fitting bras in high school. Thus, I have really been on the lookout for something that serves more as a "gentle reminder" rather than full-on posture vest (which my chiropractors have advised against). The Bracie does provide this bit of a gentle reminder, and also does help a bit with smoothing the back. However, I would have to categorize the posture help I personally get from the Bracie as "very slight". It's not nothing, but it's less than I had hoped. However, I've heard accounts from others who say that they definitely noticed that their posture was helped by the Bracie, so this may be a very individual thing.
Image from Braologie.com

My main issue with the Bracie - and this was a big one for me - was that the bottom edge of the posture vest where the hooks sat was rough and caused skin irritation. I eventually tried wearing it with an extender to see if this would help the issue. It may have helped a little bit, but it by no means solved the problem. While I realize that I have more sensitive skin than some, this was such that I couldn't comfortably wear the Bracie for more than a few hours at a time, if that, and I was left with darker red marks that lasted for hours, far longer than the marks usually left by my everyday bras.

Red marks left by the Bracie

I experienced this irritation and marking regardless of whether or not I used an extender, and I don't believe it had to do with the Bracie being too tight - rather, I think it was a poor design factor that left certain portions of the fabric rough. You can see from the below examples where the main portion that caused the irritation was - on the bottom of the hook portion.

Normal vs. with band extender. Both ways left marks.
 One possible solution to this could've been wearing something protective underneath the Bracie, and/or covering the irritation portion with something like moleskin or another fabric, but I felt that this was too much of a hassle and shouldn't have been necessary. Also, I felt that the irritating portion was a little big to cover easily. I did experiment with sticking a bit of fabric underneath the hooks for a little while, but found it didn't really help the overall feel.


In summary, here's my personal pro/con list for the Bracie:

Pros
Fast shipping time
Helped create a smoother back
Slight posture help
Cleavage boost and a more forward/projected shape
 
Cons
Irritating fabric edges
Not as much posture help as I had expected
Somewhat odd profile shape
Not super comfortable overall

I think the Bracie would be best for those who struggle with bra underwires digging into their ribcage. Since I don't really have this problem, I didn't get to experience the benefit of having this relieved by the Bracie, but for those who have this issue (often a problem for those with sub-28 bands combined with J+ cups), the Bracie could become a wardrobe must.

Other Bracie Reviews:
Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed
UndieGamer 
Venusian Glow
Voluptuously Thin


The Bracie regularly retails from Braologie for $39.99. What are your thoughts on this mini posture vest? Have you ever tried it, or anything similar? Would you?


--
A brief housekeeping note:

You may have noticed that I added a "Support the Blog/Donate" button to the sidebar a little while back. I've been on the fence about doing this for quite a while as I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable or obligated. However, I decided that giving readers the opportunity to contribute to blog content if they so wished would be a mutually beneficial arrangement. I can't always review items that I'd like to or that are requested due to my limited budget, but if there's something you'd like to see, you can donate towards a specific item on my blog wishlist, or just make an "in general" contribution - all donations will put towards blog content.

Again, no obligations or pressure to contribute here, but if you feel like this blog as been helpful to you and would like to see more varied content, this is a way to make that happen! And, as always, thank you guys for being so awesome. I appreciate your readership, moral support, and insightful comments. You're what keeps me going. <3

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Brand Review: Fit Fully Yours

Once in a while, I'm alerted to a brand that I'd never heard of before. The owner of online bra shop BeautyFull Bras contacted me the other month about reviewing a growing Canadian-based bra brand that she herself had fallen in love with: Fit Fully Yours Lingerie. (note blog policy)

My first impression when looking over the website was that even though the company uses US sizing (which traditionally tends to be more limited), the sizes available are fairly impressive: 30A to 46J (that's 46GG UK). The brand also looks to be expanding sizes in their lines that are more limited - a good sign!

As a UK 28H/US 28K, I'm sized out of just about every brand I can think of that uses US sizing, but luckily for me, the Maxine bra is available in my sister size of US 30J (UK 30GG), so I agreed to give it a whirl! I also enlisted the help of a reviewer, Marie, to try out a few of Fit Fully Yours' other options. Marie, who wears in the 36DD/E range, is lucky enough to generally fit within the Victoria's Secret size range; her recent experiences have largely been with VS-brand bras, in terms of comparison. A big thanks to her for sharing her thoughts!

Smooth Sweetheart in 36DD
The Smooth Sweetheart is available in nine colors in sizes 30-38 A, 30-44 B-F, and 30-38 FF (UK sizing). It retails for $58.

Marie says:
"The bra seems like a good standard bra made with decent material. I decided to try the Fawn colorway since I needed a new tan bra (although I did like the other colors available). I liked how in the front the material in between the cups has a slight upward curve. It made the cups seem less bulky and annoying while I was wearing it.

Smooth Sweetheart 36DD
The band was tight. I'm a solid 36 band across the board, but even fastened on the loosest hook, the bra is very firm. However, I like tight bands so this was good for me - it was a "comfy tight". Someone who likes looser bands probably would not care as much for this bra.

Front and side views of Smooth Sweetheart, 36DD
The straps were interesting... I could only adjust them halfway. I have a long torso (bras that advertise as convertible into racerback have too short of straps for me to do that), so the straps had to be loosened all they way for a comfortable fit."

Crystal Smooth in 38DD
The Crystal Smooth comes in five colors, in sizes 32-38 A and 30-40 B-FF (UK sizing), with a retail cost of $59.95. Marie first tried the bra in a 36DD, but found the bra to be too tight in the band and small in the cups. She exchanged for a 38DD (the owner of BeautyFull Bras was great to work with, by the way) and was much happier with the fit, calling it her "new favorite bra!" Her thoughts:

"I really liked the Crystal bra! I generally wear a 36DD, but the 36 band on this bra was way too tight for me (it measured just 35" fully stretched). I went with 38DD instead and it fit perfectly!

36DD Chrystal in turquoise as compared to the 36DD Smooth Sweetheart, top
38DD Chrystal in champagne, bottom

I think the material is super comfy, which definitely makes it nice to wear all day. It also had a cute little jewel decoration in the center to add that something special. :) My only dislike was the straps. Again, you can only adjust them halfway, and the other half is a "fixed" strap. It's not uncomfortable, but personally I just like being able to adjust the whole strap.

Front and side views of Crystal Smooth in 38DD
Overall, I think this is a GREAT bra that is very comfortable, but order the band one size bigger then you normally do."

I've also been informed that this bra in particular (as well as many others from the Fit Fully Yours line) works well for augmented breasts. Since it can be very tricky to find a bra that gives a good fit and the right shape for implants, this should be welcome news for many!


Maxine Moulded in 30J (30GG UK sizing)
I tried this bra out in the Ocean Green colorway (it ended up being a very, very light, almost minty green). The Maxine comes in sizes 30-46 D-GG (UK sizing) and five colorways, with a new red color coming out in early 2014. It retails for higher than most of the rest of the brand's offerings (presumably this is largely due to the fact that it comes in more sizes), at $79.95.

In keeping with Marie's experience with the other two bras, the band was definitely firm, measuring 29" fully stretched. My underbust measures 27", and this bra felt snug to me when fastened on the tightest hooks. It would be ideal, then, for someone who prefers looser 28 bands, tighter 30 bands, or who considers themselves "in between" bands.

Maxine, 30J
Fitwise, it was really quite close to being a good fit despite my having to sister-size to a 30 band. I did notice that I got a little bit of empty space in the bottoms of the cup, but not enough to make the bra unwearable. The top edge of the cups seems fairly forgiving, and I'd guess that the cups would work with most breast shapes. The tops of the cup felt a tiny bit empty for me (although the edge of the cup sat nicely against my chest) as I have a more full-on-bottom shape, but I think that this wouldn't happen in my exact right size (and those with a more full-on-top shape would probably get a nice bit of cleavage in this bra).

Maxine Moulded side and front - 30J [30GG]
The straps are halfway adjustable, the band has three hooks, and I'd call the wires on the more narrow side. The top of the cups and the straps also have an embossed design, which adds a bit of interest and (I found) doesn't show up under shirts. Overall, the look, feel, and style of the bra reminded me of the nicer bras that one sees in department stores and Victoria's Secret - it was nice to get to wear the kind of bra similar to what I see carried in stores for just about the first time. I would consider this bra to be more "full coverage" than the moulded bras I usually wear; it's definitely not as deep a plunge like the Freya Deco (see below).

Deco as compared to Maxine, both 30GG
However, I also didn't find that the bra came up too high - it didn't show under the scoop-neck shirts I tried it with (I'd steer clear of wearing it with very low/wide v-necks, though). The material was comfortable and lightweight, and it's moulded, not padded (for comparison, the Deco has a light layer of padding in between the fabric). And while the bra cups themselves appear a bit pointy rather than completely rounded, I didn't find that the bra gave a pointy shape underneath clothing.

30J Maxine bra under Urkye Skub shirt (36oo/ooo)

Concluding thoughts:

My overall first impression of the Fit Fully Yours brand is a positive one. I think the bras would be ideal for those who prefer a very smooth, "mainstream" looking material, are looking for firmer bands, are looking for sizes that can be hard to find (like 30 bands and 40-46 bands in B-GG cups), and (particularly the Crystal Smooth line) for those who have had a breast augmentation. Personally, I appreciated the decent size range, the range of colors available, and the firm bands. The price point for this brand is on the higher end, but for those within the various "hard to fit" categories, it may well be worth it.

You can find the Fit Fully Yours bras mentioned in this post in stock at at BeautyFull Bras, which offers free shipping.

Have you heard of this brand before? What are your thoughts?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mental Illness Awareness Week: Oct. 6-12

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week in the US. It's estimated that 20% of Americans have personally experienced mental illness, and 5% suffer from serious mental illness. Thus it's very possible that most of my readers either know someone who struggles with a mental illness or have struggled themselves. This is one reason I decided to write a related post this week.

Today's post is on a subject that hits close to home for me. Some readers may already know that I suffer from depression and sometimes-debilitating anxiety, and I have loved ones who struggle with various mental illnesses.

Mental illness is still a fairly taboo subject in today's society. While overall it seems that public awareness is improving - for instance, when celebrities or athletes share about their own struggles (Carrie Fisher, Brandon Marshall, Brooke Shields, Paula Deen, Pete Wentz, Jon Hamm, to name a few) - there are still many misunderstandings and stigmas that exist.

Thankfully, there are many resources out there today - books, articles, online forums, phone helplines, classes - both for those who struggle themselves and for those who have loved ones struggling. I'm including a quick roundup of a small variety of helpful/educational books and links that I have read or have had others recommend. Sometimes, it helps to just know that you're not alone and that there are resources out there from others who understand. And even if you do not personally struggle with mental illness or have a close loved one who does, resources like these can be helpful in order to educate yourself and better understand how to help others.
*please read at your own discretion as some resources contain trigger warnings. If you or someone you know is seriously struggling, please consult a medical professional. Remember that only medical professionals can make a diagnosis.


NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a great overall resource. Their website has lots of helpful information and articles. NAMI also holds local, 12-week classes both for family members/loved ones/caretakers of those struggling with serious mental illness (Family to Family) as well as classes for those personally suffering from serious mental illness (Peer to Peer) and various other support groups.




I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment

Ben Behind His Voices: One Family's Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope 
(+ blog)

Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner

Depression Part Two (Blog post from Hyperbole and a Half)

Depression Quest: An Interactive (non) fiction about living with Depression

24 Comics That Capture the Frustration of Anxiety Disorders

It Happened to Me: My Parents are Hoarders (Article from xojane)

4 Things No One Tells You About Having OCD

I Do Not Have an Eating Disorder (Comic that touches on the author's struggles with Anorexia/Anxiety/Depression/Self Harm)

Stop Walking On Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back when Someone You Care About has Borderline Personality Disorder

Real Monsters (Illustrations of various mental illnesses as monsters)

Mental Health - From Shame to Seeking Treatment (7-part blog series)

Series of various posts from Homeschoolers Anonymous


If you have resources that you've found useful, feel free to add them in the comments.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pretty (and Powerful) in Pink: Panache Sport Bra Review

FussyBusty started the theme "Fit and Active September" earlier this month, and several other bloggers have joined in. I'm a little late to the party as I hurt my shoulder and haven't been able to focus on my exercise goals as much as I'd like this month, but I wanted to contribute!

Last month, Large Cup Lingerie kindly offered to send me a Panache Sport Bra to try out, and I felt that a sports bra review would fit in well with the theme (see blog policy). Sports bras are a vital part of every bra-wardrobe; my workouts are so much more effective and comfortable when I have the right support.

The Panache Sport is a moulded underwire bra and comes in a variety of colors, including some seasonal ones. Since I'd heard that the cups of the Panache Sport tended to run roomy, I decided to go for the 28GG (rather than my usual 28H) in the Pink colorway. The pink I chose is a nice bright shade - honestly, it makes working out more fun.


The band of my 28GG stretches to 28", so I found it to be true to size. As a "small 28 band", I prefer to wear it on the loosest or middle hook. I've read that the Pink colorway tends to run a little looser in the band than other colorways, so those preferring a very firm band may want to check into other colors. I'm guessing I'd find some other colorways slightly more supportive.

The cups of the 28GG seemed like a good fit for me, confirming that the bra tends to run roomy in the cups. "Forgiving" may be a better word, as I think that the bra could work well for someone in a small variety of sizes (for example, I probably could also make both a 28H and a 28G work). Because of this, I wouldn't rule out trying this bra even if you wear above the H-cup size limit.


In the above picture, you can see where the wires end in the center channel; they only go a little over halfway up, a fact that I appreciated. No high, pokey, strangling underwires! The top edge of the bra also doesn't go super high up on the chest, so you don't have to worry about wearing a shirt with a high neckline in order to cover it. Honestly, though, this bra is so cute that I wouldn't mind if it showed under a tank top while working out.


I'm really happy with the shape and look of this bra. It doesn't create a "monoboob" look, and I actually feel comfortable wearing it on its own without an additional top when working out. Also, it's a lot easier to put on than a "pullover" sports bra (not practical for me) or a compression "vest-bra" like the Enell. I also found it surprisingly comfortable - so much so that I've worn it the rest of the day after a workout. It could certainly double as an everyday bra, especially since it doesn't really give the typical "I'm a Sports Bra!" look underneath shirts.

Side view, showing the wire width (a little further back than the seam) and how the top edge isn't meant to"tack"

In terms of shape, I think that those who have shallow-shaped or top-heavy breasts will have some difficulty finding a good fit in this bra due to the moulded cups and more closed top edge. I found the wires about average, not particularly narrow or wide.


One of the only caveats I have with this bra is that I have experienced some shoulder pain from the straps at times, particularly when I tried the J-hook feature. In fact, I only lasted a few minutes into a workout before having to switch the straps from racerback back to regular. I know that some other reviewers really prefer to wear the straps racerback, but for me, it just didn't work - you can see that I had to have the straps lengthened all the way to do this, and I couldn't fasten the J-hook without help.

Straps J-hook'd
Another thing of note is that the Panache Sport is an encapsulation bra rather than a compression bra (like the Enell). That is, it has cups that separate and support the breasts rather than simply "squishing" them down. I think that encapsulation bras as a rule will tend to feel slightly less supportive than compression bras simply because the breasts are able to move a bit on their own rather than being completely strapped down. Encapsulation bras are said to be better for the breast tissue, though, so I'm willing to deal with a little bit less support overall.

I feel that the Panache Sport, for me, is at its best when used for lesser-impact sports. I generally wear it while playing Just Dance at home [edit: I've since used it during yoga and found it very effective], and while I definitely feel supported in the Panache Sport, I think that it may not be quite as super-supportive as I might prefer with a very strenuous workout or activity (like horseback riding, distance running, high-impact sports). Still, I was quite pleased with the amount of support I got in general, and I'd certainly recommend the Panache Sport as a very solid choice. I'll definitely be getting a lot of use out of it, and I'm already casting a longing eye on other colorways!

Have you tried out the Panache Sport bra? What do you look for in a sports bra?

Other Panache Sport Reviews:
Brastop - compare and contrast post with various sizes featured
Bras I Hate & Love (30H in violet/fuchsia)
Bra Nightmares (40GG in pink)
Bravolution (28H in grey/purple, with comparison to Freya Moulded)
By Baby's Rules (28GG in black, 28H in pink)
Fuller Figure Fuller Bust (32FF in grey/purple, guest review)
Full Figured Chest (34H)
Obsessed With Breasts (30H in black)
Petite & Plentiful (28E in grey/purple)
Pretty and Petite (28F in pink)
Sophisticated Pair (32E and 30H, both in white)
Stack DD+ (30H in violet/fuchsia)
Undercover Lingerista (28FF in violet/fuchsia, with comparison to Freya Active, Shock Absorber, and Pure Lime)
UndieGamer (28FF in grey/purple)
Venusian Glow (28DD in grey/purple & 28E in violet/fuchsia)
Voluptuously Thin (32GG in grey/purple)

The Panache Sport Bra is available in sizes 28 DD-H, 30 D-H, 32 C-H, 34-38 B-H, and 40 D-GG. You can find it for sale at Large Cup Lingerie (which always offers free shipping!) in several colors.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I Really Just Want a Batgirl Bra: Underthings for the Geeks and Nerds

The words "geek" and "nerd" have become nearly interchangeable in some circles. To avoid some confusion, I present to you a brief "official" definition of each:
A nerd tends to be "a person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept"- i.e. a "book smart", socially awkward person.
A geek tends to refer more to a person who is not necessarily socially awkward, but who is "generally very knowledgeable—even to the point of obsession—about a topic" - i.e. someone who's very into a certain TV show or comic book series or game. 
Based on these definitions, the underwear in this roundup pretty much fits into the "geeky" category. However, since even some of the companies and sellers themselves describe their products as "nerdy underwear" or "underwear for nerds", I'm going to basically use the terms somewhat interchangeably in this post.
Also, there are so many things to be geeky about that I can't possibly try to find underwear that represents everything. Thus, I'm just going to focus on some of the more "mainstream" geekiness. If you have other resources to add, by all means leave a comment! 


Today, I wanted to talk about the combination of two subjects close to my heart - lingerie and nerdiness.

If you've ever tried looking, you know it's very difficult to find "nerdy" or "geeky" lingerie, especially outside of the very limited range of mainstream sizes. And the geeky underthings I do come across are disproportionally marketed for (and towards) males. Selection in terms of subject and type of lingerie is also limited; I don't know of any nerdy-patterned bras (outside of a very small size range, at least). In a way, it's understandable; there's really not a huge market for Batgirl bra-and-panty sets in 28H (much to my chagrin). Brands are already taking somewhat of a risk by making non-mainstream sizes; unusual prints have a definite risk of not selling well (although there were many who were enchanted by Freya's quirky Hello Dolly set, and Ewa Michalak's upcoming "Newsprint" set has generated a lot of buzz).

I definitely wish we'd see more fun/unusual/nerdy prints on bras specifically. I like to wear fun and quirky things as well as pretty and frilly things or practical things. That said, there are a number of other geeky lingerie-related items - knickers/panties, garter belts, garters, babydolls, etc. - out there if you know where to look. Here are some of the sources I've come across. Happy hunting!

ThinkGeek
Along with its underwear offerings for guys, ThinkGeek does have several options for the ladies - Batgirl, various Superheroine packs, Big Bang Theory, Adventure Time, and Portal panties. Most options come in sizes Small (waist 26") to XL (waist 35").

Wonder Woman boyshorts. Image from ThinkGeek.com.

Since I was in need of sleep shorts, I decided to snag a pack of Star Trek Boxer Briefs during my last ThinkGeek order. I chose a size Small since the size chart indicated it was for "28-30 inch waists" (my waist is in the 26-27" range).

Captain Kirk approved.
However, they ended up being snug for me, and I realized that I had foolishly neglected to take into account that the measurements given assume a small waist/hip difference (i.e. a typical male body). While my waist is around 27", my lower waist/upper hip where I would wear the waistband of the boxers is 34". My husband, who wears Medium boxers (typically for waist sizes 30-32"), has a 31" waist and a 35" lower waist/upper hip. Basically, I figured out that menswear assumes up to around a 4 inch difference between waist/hip, and since I have a 7-8" difference, I should've stuck with a Medium (which assumes an upper hip size of about 34-38"), especially since I wanted them a little loose. At least I learned something!

All that said, the boxer briefs are definitely fun and comfortable, and they're stretchy enough for me to probably just wear.



BunnyJump
Based out of the UK with its beginnings on Etsy, BunnyJump stocks a bunch of cute and amazingly awesome handmade underwear encompassing a wide variety of geeky interests. BunnyJump has definitely made my "must try out" list. Seriously want!

Star Trek Panties - image from BunnyJump
Portal panties (the cake is a lie). Image from BunnyJump
Pride and Prejudice print panties, where have you been all my life?
Image from BunnyJump

SuperheroStuff
This store has (you guessed it) a number of superhero-related undies, camis/bodysuits, PJ's, and stockings. Mostly casual stuff, and some of it's found on ThinkGeek, but it's nice to see a good variety on a specific "subject" all in one place.
Batgirl Boyshorts. Image from Superherostuff.com

YellowIbis
Mostly a science t-shirt site, but for the science/math geeks among us, there are a few underwear options, such as Pi symbol boyshorts and Estrogen panties.

Pi Symbol Boyshorts. Image from YellowIbis.com.

J!nx
Amongst its other geeky clothing offerings, Jinx has a couple of  cute panty options.

Username & Password Boy-briefs. Image from Jinx.com
Fashionably Geek
The site isn't a store, but posts feature various geeky underwear pieces with a link on where to purchase at the end. A good source for discovering new things and places to check out!


If you're looking for more variety of options for geeky underthings and/or more size options, Etsy is a good place to check. A few shops I've come across*:

SheFeltGeeky - mostly pasties, but also some pretty Harry Potter and comic-book related panties.

DanyellaMichella - a variety of more basic-looking panties, mostly with quotes. Good variety, including Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, and more.

NerdsWithVaginas - on the racier side of things. Basic panties with a mix of naughty quotes from and referencing Harry Potter, LOTR, The Princess Bride, Star Trek, and more. Also, lots of hair bows/bowties (bowties are cool).

LicoriceandCream - some really pretty, lacy knicker and garter belt options, including Batman, Starwars, DC comics fabrics

UniquelyYoursBridal - lots of pretty custom nerdy garters, including superhero and Doctor Who themed.

EvangelinasCloset - a wide variety of geeky things, including babywear and jewelry, but also some basic panties (mostly Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Supernatural)

BulletsandBees - pricier but pretty and frilly panties and bra-and-panty sets, including Star Wars prints

ConnieMunster - a few nerdy garter belts and high-waisted panties.

Voluscious  - a few comic book garter belts and some panties with fun prints

DisturbinglyAdorable - a few Zelda panties can be found here!

*please note that I personally have not purchased from any of these sellers

In addition to the above sites, you can check out stores with "novelty" items like Hot Topic; occasionally you can also find basic superhero panties at places like Target or department stores.
(Edit: I just came across Scarlet'sLetter's "The Geeky Fan Girl's Guide to Lingerie" series - check out her roundup for more geeky stuff!)

What do you think of "nerdy" or "geeky" underthings? Do you think there's a market for them? Would you wear them?

What kinds of things would you want to see sold? Do you feel your tastes are well represented in the lingerie market?

A bit of a news addendum:
This post also seems like a good time to mention that I decided to make my Amazon Wishlist public a little while back. If you feel so led, you can now contribute to blog content by picking out something from it for me to potentially review! This will allow me to review things I otherwise may not be able to afford due to limited funds. In conjunction to the wishlist, it's possible I may also introduce a "tip jar" in the near future for anyone who feels like contributing towards a specific item for review purposes (especially for things that can't be purchased directly through Amazon).
I also wanted to make it clear that my making these options available is for the purpose of helping support the blog and creating more content for readers - there's absolutely no pressure to contribute anything, and I'll keep any links low-profile (the Amazon Wishlist link is currently only on the About page). In the end, I'm blogging because I love all the aspects of it - writing, sharing my thoughts, helping others, being involved in the lingerie world. I hope this blog has been and continues to be a useful resource for readers, because I love you guys, seriously. *bra hugs*

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

G+ Babydolls? Yes, Please!

If you've been keeping up with various brand overviews, you might be aware that several brands are just coming out with babydolls for the G+ cup size range. This is super exciting news - I've always been rather jealous of all the cute babydoll options that mainstream stores stocked that I could never wear. Now, finally, there are options coming available for a much wider size range.

The upcoming babydolls are all generally based off of a popular bra cut that the various companies already have, and nearly all of them are available in just black - both of which are probably "safe" moves by the brands to "test out the waters" and see how babydolls do in terms of sales. Still, this is a really great start, and hopefully more colors and other variations will follow in the future!


Cleo Marcie Babydoll


Sizes: 28-38 D-J
Available: September 2013

Cleo's offering is a cute, fun take (I'm totally digging the polka dots). Other brands may have more "sophisticated" or elegant looking pieces, but I think the Marcie looks like it will appeal especially to a younger crowd. I don't know if the Marcie bra works for my shape, but I can't wait to see reviews on this one!
You can currently find the Marcie Babydoll for sale on Figleaves.

Parfait by Affinitas Alexis Babydoll
Sizes: 30-40 D-K (also available in Ivory)
Available: September 2013
Find now on Beautyfull Bras

I was able to see this lovely little number in person at Curve, and I'm jealous that the expanded range doesn't include my size! Check out a review of the Alexis Babydoll in 30K on Bras and Body Image, and in 34HH from The Full Figured Chest.

Elomi Izzy Humming Bird Babydoll



Sizes: 34 G-H, 36-42 E-H
Available: November 2013

Izzy is set to join Elomi's previous black Betty Babydoll (sold here and here) as a lovely, fun addition to the collection. Also, keep an eye out in the beginning of 2014 for the upcoming Maria Babydoll (shown in The Lingerie Lesbian's Curve roundup)!


Curvy Kate Lola Babydoll



Sizes: 28-40 D-K
Available: October 2013

The Lola looks like it'll be based off the Daily Boost bra in terms of sizing. The non-sheer, moulded, patterned cups on this babydoll make it stand out from some of the other offerings. Curvy Kate also has another babydoll, the Ritzy, set for January 2014 release, as well as the Lola in Ivory.
See CurvyWordy's review of the Lola in 32K for more detail!

And this just in!
Ewa Michalak Babydoll

Not yet sure of the availability or size range on this one yet (although I'm guessing it'll be available up to a K cup and 28 band at least by custom order), but isn't it gorgeous? Keep an eye out on the Ewa Michalak Facebook page for updates! (See another photo of it here)


What do you think of these new pieces - or of babydolls in general? Do you - or would you - ever wear them?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DDatelier Review: Safari and Lisbon Sheath Dresses

I have a confession to make: I've never really been one for dresses. In fact, a full disclosure - at the moment, I own a grand total of 3 dresses: one stretchy JC Penney dress from the Junior's section, a black dress from Target, and a recently-acquired green stretchy dress (that I actually really love with a waist belt) from Nordstrom Rack. Truth be told, dresses scare me a bit, and this - combined with the fact that it's hard for me to find one that fits, let alone one I feel is my style and that I'm comfortable in - has made it so that I rarely even think about wearing them.

Because of my general disinterest in dresses, I've always felt a bit "behind" in terms of fashion, especially compared to the many other fashion and bra bloggers who love wearing them. To my credit, I've been making very gradual and tentative movements towards trying more things out. I was able to try on a bunch of things of Miss Shapen's when we were at Curve last week, and it further solidified my resolve to once and for all again dive into the world of figuring out dresses! I took a leap a few days ago and ordered both a BiuBiu Honeypool Dress (aka "The Star Trek Dress", which is on clearout sale at this very moment!) and an Urkye Kiecka Tubowa (also on sale!), so it'll be interesting to review those at some point in the near future.

But on to the main subject of this post! Last month, when I was in the throes of trying to better understand the world of dresses, I contacted bust-friendly clothing company DDatelier about sizing questions that I and a few readers have had. I mentioned the possibility of doing a blog review, and they graciously offered to send me two pieces for review purposes.

There was some discussion about what size that I should choose. The DDatelier sizing system has body/waist sizes of 65-80 and uses letters D, F, H to basically indicate "curvy, really curvy, super curvy". Evidently my measurements given (37/27/36, 28H) indicated about a size 75D on the size chart, but based on my blog pictures, they said that they would recommend a 75F. I asked if perhaps a 70F would be a better choice as I was concerned about the 75 being roomy in the waist, and they agreed that a 70F would be a good choice based on my height (5'4).

The first dress provided was the Brown Safari Dress.
List Price: Currently on sale for €36.00 ($48.15)
Material: 98% cotton, 2% elastane
Size: 70F

The Safari dress is a nice dark brown color, with snap-buttons down to about belly-button area. I had never tried a dress quite like this one before, but I found that the style really grew on me. I liked the fact that the dress looks very appropriate for the office, but that I also looked (in the words of a fellow blogger) "pretty badass" in it with my short pixie-punk haircut. Also, the husband thinks it's sexy, so there's that.


The size of 70F seemed almost right for me in this dress. I'm not used to form-fitting clothing that isn't pretty stretchy, so the entire dress felt rather snug to me at first. After wearing it for a bit, though, I decided that it really was mostly just a little small in the bust area. You can see that I get a slight bit of gaping in the front buttons. However, I will add that if I was wearing a bra that was a little more "uplifting" - I tend to have trouble finding a bra that really "holds 'em up" due to my shape - the fact that my bustline would sit a bit higher might make the top portion a little less tight. It's something I'll try to experiment with, anyway. I think this dress would work best with a really good, uplifting, low plunge bra that creates some nice cleavage.


I felt the dress was fairly flattering overall, but it didn't really highlight my figure as much as I might've hoped. The way the buttons sat down the front also seemed to create the illusion of a slight "pooch" on my lower stomach where I don't actually have one.


The dress looks nice from the back (although the butt pocket is a bit random!), but I found the shoulders/upper arm area somewhat tight. The above picture shows the highest I can raise my arms. I don't think this is necessarily a size problem, but rather just the way the dress is cut. It doesn't make the dress unwearable by any means, but I wouldn't be able, for example, to lift things and put them on a higher shelf very easily while wearing the Safari.

Although the dress has belt-loops, it doesn't come with a belt. The site notes that the Safari would "look great with a waist-cinching belt". So, although I didn't have a belt thin enough to fit through the loops, I improvised with a black waist belt:


I think it works, but would be interested to see it how a thinner belt would look as well. Belts and dresses in general are a little tricky on me because of my "figure 8" shape (more on this in the future!) and my higher-set and not-as-well-defined hips. But all things considered, I found the dress very workable.

Overall, the Safari is an interesting, fairly practical (I totally spelled that as piratical at first, which I suppose also could work...) dress that I feel suits my personal style pretty well (which is saying a lot for a dress). It's not "fussy", and I like that. It would've been nice to try out a 70H to see if that helped the bust/shoulder tightness - or possibly a 75F, especially if the whole dress tends to shrink in the wash, but I'd be a bit concerned that it would be a little roomy overall and still not a great fit in the bust, which is sort of not the point of getting a bust-friendly dress! It's not a perfect piece for me, but I would be comfortable wearing this to an office setting or just out and around as a slightly-dressed-up casual look.


The second dress DDatelier sent for me to try was the Lisbon Sheath in Cyan.
List Price: Currently on sale for €49.00 ($65.53)
Material: 62% cotton, 33% polyester, 5% spandex
Size: 70F

This dress is another that would be great for office wear, and the greyish blue color is lovely. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the dress over my shoulders/bust. I gave it to a friend of mine in the 30E/28F range who agreed to try it out, and she ended up loving it:


She found the dress flattering and comfortable. It's a little roomy on her, but she prefers a dress that isn't too clingy. Based on both of our experiences, I'd estimate that the dress would probably work well for up to about the 28G/30FF range (possibly a size or two bigger depending on individual shape, etc).


My friend's overall shape works well with this dress, although I suspect that even in the right size, it wouldn't work nearly as well on my body type because of my short torso/high hipline. Since my shape seems to be more uncommon, I feel this dress would be a solid choice for most.


Overall, I really appreciated getting a chance to finally try out DDatelier for myself. It's great to see another company out there that provides a variety of options for busty ladies, and I especially appreciate that the size guide allows for waist sizes down to about 22-23", as women in this range - particularly bustier women - often have a terribly difficult time finding anything that flatters and fits.

Although the sizing will of course vary based on everyone's individual shape and preference as well as raw measurements, I think that I personally might feel more comfortable in a 70H in some dresses like the Safari (or a 75F - I just would be concerned it would make the dress too roomy overall), and might be able to do maybe a 75F on other dresses that are very form-fitting. I'm sure some dresses that are a bit more forgiving/open in the top area could also work well for me in a 70F. Bottom line, I think it comes down to preference; I like clothing to be fitted at the waist but not constricting elsewhere, and I think that balance will perhaps be reflected in various sizes depending on the dress. Although the site page notes that "DDatelier sizes are based on bra sizes UK 30-38 D-G", I think it's evident from my experience and other reviews I've read that the pieces can work beautifully for women even well outside this range.

Currently, other DDatelier pieces that are catching my eye include the Mimosa Dress and the Floral Print Tunic Shirt (I must be in a "light and flowy" mood). What do you think about DDatelier?


Interested in more DDatelier reviews? Take a look at the following:
Amazonia (70F) from WeirdlyShaped&WellPhotographed
DD Atelier Review from Thin and Curvy
Diva Dress (75D in 75F) from Hourglassy
Wrap Tie Top (80D) and Graphite Dress (80F) from CurvyWordy
Diva Dress and Floret Blouse (70F) from Miss Underpinnings

Monday, August 26, 2013

Urkye Review: Kopertówka Shirt

The other week, bust-friendly Polish clothing company Urkye kindly offered to send me one of their newer styles of shirts, the Kopertówka, to try out. As Urkye has been one of my go-to places in terms of shirts for quite a while now, I was thrilled! (note blog policy)

It was mentioned that the Kopertówka tended to run roomy in the bust and I could probably get away with a 36o/oo rather than my usual size of 36oo/ooo, but since I've been feeling that the 36's have been seeming a bit roomy on me in general, I decided to try out a 34oo/ooo this time around.

The Kopertówka comes in a variety of vibrant colors - red, green, lime, purple, and gray. I decided to go with zielona (green).

It even looks good on the hanger!
List Price: 79zl ($25)
Material: 95% viscose, 5% lycra
Size: 34oo/ooo

Unlike previous Urkye offerings, the Kopertówka shirt has an extra layer on the front as well as fabric gathering on one side. At first, I was a little confused about how to adjust the "layers", and thus ended up with a look that didn't seem quite right:

A little off, somehow...

But then I took another look at the model on the site and realized how the shirt was supposed to look! A bit of readjusting later:

Aha!
Much more flattering! The color itself is really nice, as well - it's a bit deeper than is shown in most of my pictures (the closest would be the one of the shirt on the hanger). I'm thinking I need more green shirts in my life.

I get a very slight bit of the usual gathering from "extra fabric" at the narrowest point of my back due to my shape and curve, but not enough to bother me.


Because the shirt is effectively two layers thick in front, the shirt seems like it would be ideal for the days that are just starting to get a bit chilly. I also found the shirt gave a somewhat more minimizing profile than many other Urkye shirts - see side views:

Arms down vs. arms raised

Although the 34oo/ooo technically fits me and is definitely long enough (I find too-short shirts that ride up especially annoying on me), I think that in general I prefer the looser fit of my usual 36oo/ooo just as a personal preference. Despite that, I'll definitely be getting a lot of use out of this shirt!

More examples of the Kopertówka

Urkye's Facebook page has an album of a customer in 42oo/ooo


Thinking about giving the Kopertówka a try? Urkye is offering Boosaurus readers an extra 10% off of the Kopertówka shirt from now through September 8 with the discount code Boo10. [note: this code works for ALL colors of the Kopertówka!]

In addition, Urkye is holding a sale (with most items anywhere from 10-40% off) through the end of August, so this week is a great time to try things out! And in mid-September, Urkye is set to come out with a long-sleeved version of the Kopertówka. I'm thinking it's one I'll definitely want to be adding to my wardrobe.

What do you think of the Kopertówka?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CurveNV Overview

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to get to attend the Curve Expo (a semi-annual buyer/seller geared lingerie convention) in Las Vegas (CurveNV). All sorts of lingerie brands attend Curve, and for press/bloggers like myself, it's a great place to get a "first look" at upcoming lines, designs, and trends, as well as get a chance to talk in person with brands.

The New York Curve show (CurveNY) is traditionally larger, longer, and more well-attended by brands, buyers, and press than the one held in Las Vegas, but CurveNV definitely had a good mix of brands and was a great place to go and "dip my toes in". Several of the bloggers who attended the recent Curve Expo in New York have great series of overview posts on their experiences there - give Sweet Nothings, Miss Underpinnings, and The Lingerie Lesbian a read to find out more about CurveNY!

Miss Shapen from Weirdly Shaped & Well Photographed and I were the only two bloggers ("Press") to attend CurveNV, and we spent the two days dashing about, making appointments, snapping pictures when we were allowed, talking to brands, and just taking it all in! A spotlight post or two are in the works, but in the meantime, here are a just a few quick pictures of some of the brands we got a chance to talk to while at Curve NV.

Parfait by Affinitas/Affinitas

Of course, we had to seek out and see for ourselves the upcoming new color (Wild Pink) for Parfait's Charlotte bra. Bright pinks seem to be a very "in" color currently in general; the Wild Pink Charlotte set in particular is lovely and bold without being overly bright.

I also managed to get a very quick snapshot of the ethereal Alexis Babydoll, which is set to be available in the newly-expanded size range of 30-40 D-K. Exciting stuff!

Affinitas also had some lovely offerings for the A-DD crowd.


Body Hush

Shapewear-specific booths abounded at Curve, and a lady from BodyHush was kind enough to model a lovely set of their Glamor Lace line for us. I'm not really one for shapewear, but the pieces from BodyHush were very comfortable-looking!


Contorno

New brand Contorno not only had some really neat vintage/corset-inspired shapewear, but also some lovely little bra and panty sets! At this point I believe they only cater to the A-DD size range, but they seemed very open to possible future expansion.


Empreinte

Tried-and-true brand Empreinte did not disappoint with its beautiful offerings. As a high-end lingerie line, their pieces are on the pricier side and their pieces are stocked in smaller stores and boutiques (such as Intimacy and Jenette Bras). Their designs are light and sophisticated-looking, and the bra shape works well for those who need deeper cups/narrower wires. If I had all the money in the world, much of it would go to Empreinte purchases, even though I'm not quite in their size range. *want*


Erica M

Brand Erica M had an amazing booth with still more amazing pieces, from stockings to delicate bodysuits. Miss Shapen and I were entranced!


Eucalan

Sadly, I didn't manage to snap a photo of Eucalan's super cute booth, but they were nice enough to give me some samples of their lingerie wash, including their new Wrapture scent. Can't wait to try it out!


Karen Luu

Miss Shapen modeling a super cute robe
Karen Luu had THE SOFTEST EVER bathrobes! Miss Shapen and I were enamored and couldn't stop feeling the robes. The owner herself was very sweet.

Besides robes, the Karen Luu booth also displayed some baby items (towels, blankets, mini-robes) and lavender eye masks and sachets.


Nude Barre

Nude Barre's slogan is "Nude comes in all shades", and they provide a wide variety of "nude" colors for their tights in a variety of types (nude fishnets! sparkly tights!). Apparently their "guava jelly" shade would work well for me.


Panache

We had a great chat with a rep from Panache, and learned that they're coming out with a tankini and swimsuit (both based off the popular Panache Sport bra) next season. Hooray!


Sunday Intimates

After hearing about the brand-new Sunday Intimates from bloggers who'd attended CurveNY, we just had to check out all their lovely things! I came away completely enamoured with their line, which is set to be available in the (are you sitting down?) 28-34 D-H size range! Very impressive for a start-up company. Also, they had *the cutest* robes and lounge sets:

Hopefully we'll be hearing and seeing more from Sunday Intimates in the very near future!


The Little Bra Company
Check it out - a babydoll based off TLBC's popular Lucia bra! How neat is that? And it even comes in a variety of colors:

Great news for petite-busted ladies who want a babydoll that offers the support and structure of a well-fitting bra!


Eveden Fit School/Workshop
Eveden hosted their famed Fit School (geared towards store owners/fitters), which was quite educational to attend. Many of the bra store owners in attendance didn't know a whole lot about proper bra fitting techniques, and Fit Specialist Freddy Zappe enthusiastically worked with them and went over the basics of proper fitting. It was a good overview for me as well as a chance to learn tips about how a fitter can best interact with and help customers. I definitely recommend attending an Eveden Fit Seminar and/or Workshop should you get a chance.


There were certainly LOADS more brands at Curve, but hopefully I've been able to give a sense of what we were able to see while there. I hope to do a Spotlight post or two on certain brands in the upcoming weeks; in the meantime, let me know if you have any questions or were curious about anything regarding Curve, upcoming trends, or the brands mentioned!