Want Of the Week: BH “Venezia” Blue by Sugarshape

sugarshape-birthday-venezia-bh-shop

I end up featuring Sugarshape in these columns every few months because their stuff is just so pretty! I’ll admit that this bright blue bra feels just right for this week – I’m working on clients in three different time zones, it’s going to rain for two days and it’s Easter! What better time to fall in love with a blue lace lingerie set?

There are lots of pretty lace lingerie sets out there, but the detail on this lace is luxurious and lovely. I’m really impressed how Sugarshape keeps using their community to turn out lingerie that reflects the needs and tastes of actual consumers – they’re great at walking the line between pretty and useful. This is one of their girliest options yet and I’m seriously tempted to grab one for myself. It would be great combined with their bird bra charm.

If you’re new to Sugarshape, remember that they use centimeter measurements instead of cup sizes to make things easy. Grab a tape measure and try it out for yourself! Their sizing system really works.

Do you love this new set from Sugarshape? Have you tried them yet?

Kelsey’s Romper Roundup

Holly’s posts for her “Want of the Week” always result in some sort of impromptu online shopping binge. While it always starts out with the item that she wants, it usually ends up in me clicking the “you may also like” category at the bottom of the shopping pages (these online retailers know me too well…).

This week I ended up searching all things related to rompers. Don’t ask me how I got there from the Panache set. Regardless, searching/researching I found rompers you can wear out of the house, rompers you can dress up to become outerwear, and rompers that you really should just keep behind closed doors. Regardless, I need them all and I need them now.

Catherine Malandrino Romper- $295; Image from Bloomingdales.com

Catherine Malandrino Romper- $295; Image from Bloomingdales.com

I scoffed at this trend when it resurfaced a few years ago. But now, there’s no escaping it, and to be quite honest, I’m totally okay with it. Embrace the trend by pairing this loosely-chic romper with a fitted white blazer for a sharp day-time look. But surrrprise! It’s made from lycra and spandex so you are totally justified while falling asleep in it after a long day.

Flora Nikrooz Romper- $98

Flora Nikrooz Romper- $98

I still don’t know how I’d wear this, all I know is that I need to wear it. Clearly suitable as nightwear with it’s camisole styled top, the shorts complete the look with fun pleats. Even paired with a blazer, the shorts may be a bit too short for me to wear out. It’s not something I would rule out as outerwear, but definitely something to toy with.

Journelle Romper- $265

Journelle Romper- $265

Finally, this Journelle piece is all sorts of adorable. It has my favorite combination of black and pastel pink, very reminiscent of my days in the ballet studio. And the attached garter straps give you the opportunity to really sex it up or keep it casual.

What do you think? Are you on the romper train? Do they work with your body type? Has this post sparked a shopping spree?

Want of the Week: The Panache Jasmine in Ivory Floral

Image via ASOS

Image via ASOS

I’ve had a weird couple weeks in regards to lingerie. I felt really mentally overwhelmed after doing all of the Autumn/Winter previews and even with all of the new stuff, there were only a few brands I really truly loved. I usually pre-order a bunch of bras, but nothing I looked at grabbed me. Part of me wondered if I was just suffering from too much bra-itis, which happens occasionally when I’m doing lots of writing and lots of client work all at the same time. Luckily, running across this bra seems to have snapped my brain back into normal working order!

There’s nothing groundbreaking about florals for spring, but I think the colors in this bra are just wonderful. The color of the lace is a nice unexpected contrast and the ivory is fresh without feeling too fussy. It reminds me of a china pattern, in the best and most wearable way. It helps that this bra is based on the home run construction of the Jasmine and Envy bra (I’ve reviewed the Envy here), which definitely gives me a reason to own two versions of it.

Do you love or hate this bra? Have you tried the Jasmine yet?

Betty Le Bonbon Custom Skirt Review: Trains, Planes and Antique Houses

Betty Le Bonbon custom skirt

I was lucky enough to work with the fabulous Jasmine of Betty Le Bonbon and in the process I also got to try one of her amazing skirts! I’ve put it up on social media a few times, but earlier this week I wore it up to the Garden District to get some proper photographs of it. It turned out to be a great choice, considering it was nearly 80 degrees out and I’m not used to the sun and humidity yet here (these pictures are from before I started to resemble a lobster!).

Gatsby Fabric from Betty Le BonbonBetty Le Bonbon skirts show up all over the internet now, but if you’re unfamiliar with them then here are the basics:

1) BLBB offers tons of amazing vintage inspired fabrics. All you have to do is pick your favorite!
2) BLBB asks for your waist measurement and skirt length (up to 24 inches long for most skirts). You pay and your custom skirt magically ends up at your door!

I immediately fell hard for this Jazz Age inspired fabric, but loved it even more once I realized it had metallic accents in it! That said, this skirt clearly works for both casual and dress occasions. I’ve now dressed it up in multiple ways and it’s worked with each outfit.

My Betty Le Bonbon skirt with a La Lilouche bodysuit

My Betty Le Bonbon skirt with a La Lilouche bodysuit!

It looks pretty nice with some beautiful Garden District houses behind it too! This is how you can identify me in a crowd generally

- I’m the woman clutching the hot coffee in 80 degree weather. skirt1

There is supposed to be a review in here somewhere, so let me get to it. These skirts are gorgeous and extremely well made. It closes with a hidden zipper and a hook and eye clasp on the back. This skirt has a 33″ inch waist, which is exactly what I measure in other vintage repro brands. I’m 5’4″ and this is the maximum available length for this skirt – when I buy another one I may actually try it shorter! The print is eye catching without being too loud and I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it every time I’ve worn it. I haven’t tried washing or dry cleaning it yet, so I can’t report back on that. I suspect it’ll be treated much like my Trashy Diva dresses in that respect, so I’m not really worried about it. This has the shortest possible waistband, which means there is no bunching under a belt or over your hips. Yay! That’s a common problem with vintage repro skirts, so it’s nice to see that Betty Le Bonbon has it under control.

Betty Le Bonbon Custom Skirt

Betty Le Bonbon has started to offer lots of other options besides skirts, so I’m honestly torn about what my next purchase will be. A sassy miniskirt? A Dita Homage dress for winter? Decisions, decisions.

As a bonus, here are a few pictures from my trek to the Garden District today for those of you interested in architecture and the occasional aboveground gravesite. 

 

Full Bust Bra Review: The “Envy” Bra by Panache

Image via Amazon

Image via Amazon

I know this review is a little behind the times, as most bloggers have already reviewed the Panache Envy or it’s cousin, the Panache Jasmine bra. Panache has always been a hit or miss brand for me, so I honestly haven’t tried them in three or four years and I’ve only ever tried the Tango. On top of everything else, I truly hate the idea of beige bras. Unfortunately I really like this dress, so when my lone beige bra died I needed a replacement.

Luckily Erica of A Sophisticated Pair had lots of great suggestions when I called the store – her first choice for me was this Envy bra. I do a lot of preorders through her, but she happened to have one in my regular size in stock! A few days later, this 34HH Envy bra showed up on my doorstep.

So how does this look in a 34HH?
envybra

Apologies for the awkward color of the photo – I’m not used to the stronger sun here yet and keep getting sunburned despite my best efforts.

This bra boosts some very smart construction along with some really nice materials. Panache bras can be a bit scratchy, but this one is soft and flexible. I love how the houndstooth pattern livens up the cup some, while the stretch lace top provides some sizing flexibility. This is the rare bra that works great for multiple breast shapes and tissue types, which has obviously contributed greatly to its popularity. In some ways it reminds me of the Elomi Valentina bra, which also uses the stretch lace construction to great effect. The band and cups on this bra fit true to size, so I’d stick with whatever you think of as your real UK bra size.

Chi Chi by Sculptresse

Panache has already taken this construction (originally seen in their popular Jasmine bra) and rolled out the Envy as a basic version of it. Given my tastes in lingerie, I was extra excited to see it will now be showing up as the bold and fashion forward Chi Chi set in the Sculptresse line. I definitely plan on sister sizing into this to give it a try when it releases in the autumn.

I love the fit of this bra, although I’m still on the hunt for a beige bra with a deeper plunge to go under some of my v-neck dresses. This is the perfect everyday bra that I was looking for and I’m glad I took a chance on Panache after all of these years.

Have you tried the Jasmine/Envy yet? Did you like it?

 

 

Spring Trends: Aqua, Turquoise and Tiffany Blues

Blues for Spring

Autumn used to be my favorite season, but it’s almost impossible not to fall hard for spring in the South. It’s full of gorgeous flowering trees, dramatic rainstorms and beautiful natural scenery. The best part is you can even enjoy it as the weather is perfect! Every year, I find myself lightly restocking my wardrobe in honor of spring with new colors that catch my eye. This year, it lines right up with the plethora of light blue colors that are popping up in stores everywhere. This will always be one of my favorite spring wardrobe colors, whether you call it aqua, turquoise or Tiffany blue.

1. Panache “Fern” Balconette Bra from Forever Yours
I own a Panache Fern in purple from way back, but this blue colorway is tempting me to pick up another one! The floral pattern is gorgeous without feeling fussy and reminds me of beautifully painted teacups. This is also a practical bra under all kinds of outfits, which means you can buy something trendy without worrying about how much wear you’ll get out of it.

2. Claudette Fishnet Scoop Bra in Aqua from Faire Frou Frou
Claudette always comes up with amazing new colors, but this aqua version of their fishnet bra is extra fabulous. I love the high waisted panties with the attached garters and would pick this up in a heartbeat if it came in my size.

3. Candice Gwinn Lena Dress by Trashy Diva
I tried this dress on at the store awhile back and it fit me without a bra! It’s worth purchasing for that reason alone if you’re on the busty side. It’s also heart stoppingly gorgeous in person – I’m trying to avoid buying cocktail dresses since I’m fairly maxed out on them, but it pretty much took all of my willpower to not buy this dress right then.

4. Francesca Dress in Robin’s Nest by Cabiria
Cabiria does amazing designs in silk jersey and I’ve wanted to try their dresses for awhile. This Francesca dress is exactly where I like my day dresses – pretty, practical and easy to dress up or down.

5. Here Today, Lawn Tomorrow Flat by Modcloth
I’m super into flats these days since I’ve moved to a walking city. These cute blue flats from Modcloth are comfortable, trendy and won’t break the bank. These are the kinds of shoes I live in during the warm months (which is most of the year here).

6. Always Flock Together Flat by Modcloth
How can you resist pretty flats with flamingos on them?! These faux suede flats are cute and quirky.

7. Vintage Blue and Metallic Silver Embroidered Clutch at AuldMemories
My favorite purses have all been purchased from vintage shops for stupidly low amounts of money. This clutch is one of those lucky finds that is the perfect sundress accessory. I’m warming to the whole clutch purses as day wear trend and have been using mine more and more lately.

8. Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility Clutch by psBesitos
It’s blue, it’s Jane Austen and it’s a fun clutch purse. What more could you ask for? Oh, a zipper top for security. This purse is the perfect grab and go casual spring accessory.

9. Double Tag Heart “Return To Tiffany” Pendant by Tiffany & Co.
It’s impossible to talk about Tiffany blue without showcasing the color in its most coveted form: jewelry by the world famous Tiffany & Co. While most associate the company with over the top jewelry for millionaires, they also have a great sterling silver collection for us regular people too. I think this adorable mini “Return to Tiffany” pendant is a great way to treat yourself to something blue.

10. Tiffany Blue Box Charm by Tiffany & Co.
Everyone knows the Tiffany box, so it’s no surprise that they make a charm based on it. These charms are dainty and small, but would look good on a chain as a necklace or on a delicate bracelet. I aspire to be the kind of woman who can collect them one day.

One Dress, Three Colors: My Obsession with the “Luscious” Dress by Pinup Girl Clothing

Pink Luscious Dress

I’m sort of ashamed it’s taken me so long to feature the amazing Luscious Dress by Pinup Girl Clothing on the blog, as it’s been one of my wardrobe staples for several years now. As someone who wears dresses almost exclusively, I often yearn for flattering yet casual options. The Luscious Dress fills almost every casual need I have, which is why this pink one is my third!

pinklusciousdressdetail

Pinup Girl Clothing describes this as their version of the basic babydoll dress. While I’ve never been into babydoll dresses, it’s hard to imagine a better casual dress build than this. Each dress is made out of thick cotton t-shirt type fabric that wears and washes beautifully, but has some extra ric rac trim to make the dress feel a little special. Each color also features a unique design embroidered on each shoulder, which means you don’t feel like you’re wearing the same dress all the time if you own multiples. There are currently six color options available and I occasionally debate stocking up on them all.

Blue Luscious Dress

Honestly, without trying to sound like an ad, I wear these for everything. They’re great for running errands, taking the dog for a walk, or even going out for casual dinners. They wash beautifully, which means I don’t worry about dropping barbecue or soy sauce on them. The pink is new, but the blue and the green versions have been washed at least once a week every week for the last two years. As you can see, they’re in incredible shape for the amount of wear that they’ve gotten.

bluelusciousdetail

 

It’s extra hard to find flattering casual dresses if you’re full busted, so I really like that these have enough structure to create that strong hourglass shape that I like without feeling constricting at all. While they give just a hint of cleavage, I’m wearing a regular Kris Line balconette bra in these photos with no problems. I’m always a fan of not having to break out a super low cut bra to run errands in.

Green Luscious Dress

 

All of these are an XL and hit me right below the knee on my 5’4″ frame. You could dress them up, but this is pretty representative of how I wear them – throw on a pair of basic flats, run a brush through your hair and you’re ready to go.

greenlusciousdressdetail

 

These dresses are also fairly wrinkleproof, which makes them easy to care for a great for travel. The blue and the green versions went through my house move and spent a week shoved into a moving box with no ill effects. I also forgot to steam them for these photos. Oops!

The one downside to these dresses is that they have no closures, so if you’re full busted they can be a bit tricky to pull over your head without pulling any stitches loose. In the spirit of honesty, I’m pretty sure I’ve pulled lots of stitches loose in the blue and green ones and inevitably will in my new pink one. They’ve still washed well and I haven’t had any issues with them, so I’m not sure it’s worth stressing over (other than that lovely stitch pulling sound that gives me anxiety). At $80 a dress, they’re some of the best wardrobe money I’ve ever spent.

Have you tried a Luscious Dress? Do you like the look of them?

Holly’s Favorite Things: Full Bust Friendly Vintage Reproduction Dresses for Spring

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

I worry a lot about variety on this blog. I tend to cover several brands heavily, for a pretty practical reason: they’re the brands I’m spending large chunks of my own money on. This does mean that the blog runs into the vintage reproduction world more than it probably should – one of my goals for the spring is to try and work some modern pieces back into my wardrobe. I see lots of great dresses I’d like to highlight but don’t want to do it individually and overwhelm people. The “Holly’s Favorite Things” posts are my new solution! I’ll cover a category of stuff that I love and is currently on my mind and lump it all together into one post. If you’re feeling the same way, go to town and make a shopping list. If not, tune it out and come back the next day. I suspect these will show up covering clothes, outerwear and lingerie.

Image via Trashy Diva

Image via Trashy Diva

The vintage reproduction companies tend to be slightly hush hush about their new stuff, but some previews are filtering out now and some things are even up for pre-order. Since the lingerie brand previews are mostly done, this seemed like a good time to cover some spring dress highlights. The lead image in the post is the Downtown Dames dress by Pinup Girl Clothing, which I adore. I would need the right occasion for it and I think you need some serious attitude to pull it off. With the wrong accessories, it could get theatrical very quickly. However it does combine some of my favorite things: gold, music notes and great cleavage.

Image via Trashy Diva

Image via Trashy Diva

Trashy Diva was all about solids with gorgeous beadwork last season, but this season returns to my truest fashion love: novelty prints galore. Two dresses have been put up for preview, which also serve as a sneak peek at some of the gorgeous prints we can look forward to. The bad news? They don’t come out until at least April 15th, so you have to wait. The good news? As soon as they go on sale I will be walking my butt over to the nearest Trashy Diva store and writing up a full report on the new stuff. These Crepe Myrtle and Blue Hawaii prints are the best kinds of novelty prints. They’re fun, bright but still wearable as day to day pieces. Trashy Diva should be releasing each of these in multiple dress styles, which means there should be something for everyone. So far neither of these styles is my favorite, so I’m desperately hoping one of my closet staple cuts will show up as part of the range. More Sadies, Lillian and Maria dresses please!

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

I’ve reviewed the Jenny dress cut here, but I haven’t really fallen in love with any of the prints since the Neverland fabric. This orange version has won my heart, although I have serious doubts about my ability to keep all that white space up top clean! Pinup Girl Clothing always goes big in terms of bright colors for Spring/Summer, so this print is actually on the restrained side for them. This dress is wearable with some drama and feels fun and fresh.

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

I have one of the Birdie dresses in the red roses print with short sleeves, so I’m intrigued by the new spring Birdie dresses with long sleeves. I’m not sure these will work with the New Orleans weather, but I love the prints and colors. While I’m a fan of all three colorways, this blue and yellow one is my absolutely favorite. These dresses look great on full busted ladies and are perfect for lunch dates, cocktails or brunches. They also pair well with vintage hats – the giant fluffy skirt just makes you want to wear one!

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

Image via the Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

Image via the Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram

I can’t seem to resist a good Disney print, so I squealed when I saw these previews up on the Pinup Girl Clothing instagram account. Fans of the classic Disney Sleeping Beauty movie will recognize the sartorial dilemma – pink or blue! Luckily this dress and skirt will be produced in both colors, so you don’t have to enlist your local fairy trio to make the decision for you. This dress and skirt should be available around May.

Do you love any of these dresses? Which is your favorite?

 

#NOTYOURBEFOREPHOTO: Reflections on being fat on the internet and in life.


For more background on this campaign, check out the original post at The Nearsighted Owl.

I wasn’t always plus size, believe it or not. When I was younger and even while I was in high school, I was skinny. I danced in ballet classes for more than 10 hours each week, ate total crap and was able to count my ribs through my shirts. All of this stopped when I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. My metabolism slowed and I was put on terrible medications that made me gain 50 pounds. I had to stop dancing. I also realized that all of the sudden, I was a different person to nearly everyone I knew. My family started treating me like “one of those fat people”. People started mentioning diets and exercise, like I didn’t know about the whole calories in/calories out thing. My highschool boyfriend slept with someone else because my new sick body wasn’t attractive to him anymore. It took me years to figure out that being a new person didn’t have to mean that I didn’t have value. I eat better now than I did when I was thin. I consciously exercise more. My habits are healthier. I have nicer friends and healthier relationships. And yet, fat girls on the internet are always targets.

IMG_0813

I say this all of this as background, and as a way of explaining that I completely understand why The Nearsighted Owl went postal when she saw that her fat positive bikini picture was being used as a diet ad. As you get older, I think you learn to brush away the hurt that comes from your family or friends treating you badly because you’re fat. You learn to delete troll commentary on the internet and find communities where you feel safe. Having your picture used as a “before” example in a diet ad would be a shocking violation of your space that you couldn’t just ignore. It’s everything you’ve learned to wall yourself off from, but shoved into one little ad that everyone sees and won’t go away.

Lois Dress, size 12

 

Every time a plus size blogger posts, they’re taking a chance. They’re putting themselves out their despite harassment of women on the internet (especially plus size women) to help show others that it’s possible to be plus size and love yourself. That plus size women are worthy of existence and respect. That we’re people too.

Navy Blue Elomi "Isis" Set

Internet trolls are scary enough, but they’re crazy people who don’t really have to abide by any formalized code of conduct. Corporations are a whole different thing. Stealing a plus size blogger’s photo to use in a diet campaign is despicable but also illegal. Accusing the blogger in question of profiting off of the attention is even worse. We already have to maintain our cool in our daily lives – surely large companies can follow the rules and not contribute to our stress levels?

DSC_0095 2

 

When I was a teenager, I never realized that believing that fat people were equal to skinny people would constitute developing a radical political position. Logically, it shouldn’t. On the internet and in the world we live in, it does. The least we can do this week is band together and teach big companies that we are not their “before” pictures to exploit.

 

Autumn/Winter 2014 Preview: My Angela Friedman Obsession Grows.

If you’ve read any of my posts, Angela Friedman is a name that pops up pretty frequently. She’s an inspiring entrepreneur, articulate designer, and like most of us–a fellow lover of all things lace. She was kind enough to let me get a peek at her Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection last week and although I’m a bit late getting my review up, I’m excited to share the fabulousness with everyone.

The collection, labeled “Muse” would create just that for anyone who slips into her newest garments. Angela describes the collection as inviting you into the world of imagination and intrigue, and as a representation of the modern woman.

As always there’s drool-worthy detailing on everything, from her structured corsets, to her dainty tap short and camisole set. The feminine colors (think dusty rose and deep purple) set a glamorous tone, and the pieces were sprinkled with sheer fabrics, ruffles, scalloped edges, lace insets, dainty bows, and of course her signature french lace. I could go on for pages about each garment I got to see but what you need to know is that Angela has absolutely perfected the art of frills while still maintaining a minimalist and purposeful vibe. It’s the perfect marriage between maturity, sensuality, and femininity.

 

Some of my favorites are pictured below, feel free to start a Christmas list now :)

Evelyn Bodysuit in black stretch mesh...and more French lace.

Evelyn Bodysuit in black stretch mesh…and more French lace.

Chloe Cami and Tap Pant set, in all french lace.

Chloe Cami and Tap Pant set, in all french lace.

The Laurel Bralet with ruched silk and stretch mesh, paired with the Adrienne High Waisted Panty, complete with keyhole closure and removable garters.

The Laurel Bralet with ruched silk and stretch mesh, paired with the Adrienne High Waisted Panty, complete with keyhole closure and removable garters.

Pièce de résistance (in my mind, at least), the Evelyn corset.

Pièce de résistance (in my mind, at least), the Evelyn corset.

The rest of the collection included other variations of cami/tap short sets, relaxed and adorable panties and bralettes, slips, waspies, corsets, and we all know how I feel about a good robe. Literally something for everyone. I felt confident and sophisticated just looking at them, so obviously I need to own everything. My life will not be complete until I do. I may be getting ahead of myself, possibly a little dramatic. But what can I say, beautiful things have that effect on me.

Make sure you check out Angela’s website, as well as her Etsy Shop where you can make these wonderful pieces all your own. Also, her Instagram (@angelafriedman) account is the perfect way to stalk some behind the scenes footage from photoshoots, corsetry, her design process, and of course her adorable cat (Holly Golightly taught me that every leading lady needs a feline backup).