Curvy Clothing Review: The Biu Biu Porto Shirt

I have had a really hard time getting this review together, and it’s mostly because I spend so much time washing and wearing this shirt that it’s hard to find a time to get photographs. However, I finally persevered with my iphone on my vacation, so I can finally talk about my new clothing obsession.

I’m becoming a big fan of Polish brands. Between the wonders of Ewa Michalak bras and Biu Biu clothing, I am almost ready to pick up and move to some gorgeous historial Polish city. Both of these brands really understand what curvy women want, which really sets them apart from lots of American and UK based companies.

Ironically, this porto shirt was sent to me by the fantastic UK based Annella Lingerie, which stocks both curve friendly lingerie brands as well as curve friendly clothing. This seems like a genius idea, and I don’t know why more boutiques that cater to curvy women aren’t picking it up. The shipping was quick, and Hannah was a pleasure to email with. Annella Lingerie has fantastic shipping from the UK to the US, so I highly recommend them if ordering clothes in Polish seems like a big hurdle. No one should miss out on this great brand.

I’d heard lots about Biu Biu, but had never gotten clothing with specialized sizing before. Pepperberry isn’t really my style. Biu Biu clothing comes in a base size, in either a B/BB version or a BB/BBB version. If you’re under a GG cup, you’re a B/BB generally. If not, you will be a BB/BBB. I’m right on the edge (much like I am in bras), but I went for a 42 B/BB.

Photo via Biu Biu

The porto currently comes in a teal color, a black color, and this maroon version. I love all three, but I went with the maroon to start.

And here it is on me. Excuse the most unflattering jeans of all time, please. As you can see, it’s rather more cleavagy on me than on the model, but that was expected. I intend to order the BB/BBB size for comparison next time. The material is soft, and the sleeves aren’t even too long! I’m 5’4″, to give you a feel for the length of the sleeves and of the shirt itself. I’m completely in love with it.

Here it is again, with a Second Base demi cami underneath it. If I was headed out to a business meeting, I’d wear it like this. It works perfectly with skirts and stockings, or just jeans and a jacket.

I’m so impressed with this brand. The waist, bust, and shoulder measurements are perfect, and the fabric is incredibly high quality. I can’t wait to try more. If you want to see more of their dresses (I’m currently drooling over the Paris Dress pictured below), Darlene of Hourglassy has a great review up. No review is complete without a wish list, so here are some of the pieces I’m dying to try.

Mojito Halter Top

Paris Dress

Navy blue Faro shirt

The short sleeved version of my beloved Porto in my favorite color!

 

Are you a Biu Biu fan? What has your experience with them been?

Review: Claudette’s Mesh Dessous and Cool Cotton Bras

There are some amazing new lingerie companies popping up this year, and Claudette seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. They’re getting tons of press, and deservedly so.  I’m especially excited that they’re aggressively trying to expand their size range next year. If they can do it, I predict they’ll become a leader in the full-busted market very quickly. Today I’m going to finish up my series on them by reviewing the incredible bras that they sent me.

I recieved both the Cool Cotton and the Mesh Dessous sets from this season. I picked mauve for my Cool Cotton set (which is their neutral), and hot pink in the Mesh Dessous set. Both bras were a 34G, and the bottoms were size L.

The Cool Cotton line is designed to provide breathable comfort and support. There are a lot of basic bras for full-busted women, but it can be hard to find one that is really cute. The Cool Cotton set fills this niche nicely.

I love the subtle button detail on both the bra and the panties, and the mauve color is gorgeous. The straps are supportive without being really wide or cutting into my shoulders, and the cups give a great amount of coverage. The band feels like an average 34 band, and the cups feel pretty true to size. I might be better off in a 34GG in this bra, but until they make it I won’t know for sure. I’ve been wearing the 34G with no problems for ages now, and it’s stayed supportive and comfortable. Unlike some brands, I don’t feel like either bra has stretched much at all despite some pretty intense wear.

The Mesh Dessous bra is the first sheer bra I’ve seen that is actually sheer the whole way through. Lots of full-busted bloggers complain about companies that line sheer bras with fabric in larger cup sizes, and I’m pleased that Claudette doesn’t. Great design and construction make this bra totally sheer, and surprisingly supportive.

The Mesh Dessous line uses black trim for continuity, and it works. I feel like it makes the set look a little more grown up and sophisticated. The Mesh Dessous set looks exactly like all the bras I wanted to buy but never could, which is the best kind of lingerie for me. It’s incredibly sexy, and I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing support at all when I wear it.

I wear this set under lots of things, but my favorite use for it is as a layering piece with other lingerie pieces. I’m currently wearing frequently under my navy blue and hot pink Sonata teddy and a thin navy blue tank top. It gives a great hint of color under everything while still helping me stay very supported. Claudette currently has this bra out in mauve, hot pink, black, and leopard print. They’re coming out with a massive amount of colors in the spring and next year, and I personally can’t wait to get my hands on their electric blue version.

I usually do my bra reviews after a week or two, but this one has taken a little longer. As a result, these bras have been washed and worn extensively, and have gone on at least two road trips. I’ve hiked around NYC in them, gone to meetings in them, and gone to parties in them. They’ve worked for everything, and they’ve held up extremely well. I’m planning to add the mauve Mesh Dessous to my collection, as well as the leopard print. In other words, I’m in love with Claudette.

Claudette bras can be purchased online at boutiques like Faire Frou Frou, Real Girls, and Forty Winks.

 

Designer Interview: Claudette Goes Bold With Colors.

Claudette Bras came into my life a few months ago, and I’ve been a super fan ever since. I first ran into them when I was looking for independent bra makers for full-busted women, and ended up featuring their Sophia bra on The Lingerie Addict. After that, I was offered several bras to try and review.

Image via Claudette

Between the time I last wrote about them and now, the amount of press about Claudette has skyrocketed. They’ve been covered by all the trade journals, and have been picked up by boutiques such as Faire Frou Frou. I got my bras a few weeks ago, and absolutely fell in love with them. I’ll be doing a full review of both the Mesh Dessous and Cool Cotton bras later this week, but I thought we’d start with an interview with the company itself.

1. What was the inspiration for the Mesh Dessous collection?

Image via Claudette

We wanted something that was light and pretty. It’s often difficult to find a bra up to a G cup that offers support but still feels light. Claudette™ is about offering fashion at attainable pricing, we want our customers to be able to splurge without the guilty.

It was important to us to offer a compelling range of colours, and we worked diligently to get them right. Trimming the mesh with black on all colour gives us continuity throughout and an unexpected, edgier look.

The bra offers full-coverage, the sheer mesh makes it very sexy. We were aiming for a contemporary retro feel with this collection. We want it to be perfect under whatever you’re wearing, but also want you to feel it’s too good to hide.

2. What are the challenges when you design for larger cup sizes? Why is it important to you to make such a wide range of cup sizes?

Image via Faire Frou Frou

Support and comfort are the main challenges, and we added to this by aiming to offer something less traditional than usually seen with large cup product. We always start with the larger sizes. Our first fits will often be an E-cup or larger and we always fit our largest size, which at the moment is 38G.

We are aware that the majority of women in the U.S. are not wearing the correct bra size, and that they don’t want to feel they need a D or larger cup. So our aim is to provide something that fits well and offers the support we need in larger sizes whilst still looking great.

It is much easier to find a B- or C-cup, and most customers of that size can walk out of any store in the U.S. with something pretty that fits. We wanted to offer that same kind of choice to women of all sizes, whether they be an A-cup or a G-cup.

We spend a lot of time fitting and making sure our garments are all trialed before we sign them off for production. On our first two collections we felt it was important to have several women wearer trial a variety of sizes and get their very honest feedback. Knowing that women have very different shapes we worked on a full coverage bra for girls with fuller, rounder busts, and a lower neckline bra for girls that might not be as full.

Both work across all our sizes, but as with everything, personal choice comes into it, and some women prefer one shape over another. We can’t be everything to every woman, but we want to offer as much as we can.

3. Your cool cotton collection is based around mauve as a neutral rather than a nude color. What made you take that slightly unconventional route?

Image via Claudette

The mauve quickly became our signature colour, and will always run for us as a continuity colour. It is more modern than many traditional core colours. The mauve works great on all skin tones so is a real alternative to grey or nude as a neutral. It also happens to be Robin’s (Claudette’s president) favourite colour.

Image via Faire Frou Frou

4. What’s next for Claudette? What sorts of things can we expect to see next season?

Image via Claudette

Our Dessous collection will be available in five great neon colours as well as animal print. We have added a pretty eyelash lace range, which sits with a high shine collection in delicate shades. We have an amazing ‘American Tan,’ which is based on hosiery and looks fab on everyone.

For Fall 2012 we are working our neons with black lace. We are also working on fits up to a K cup and looking at adding 28 and 40 backs—our customers are leading the way for us on sizing and we have already been asked for a wider offering in the UK. We have just sourced a fabulous satin and we are working on that as well.

Claudette will always be about offering fashion styles that look great and fit well. We will always be playful with colour—so don’t expect our neutrals to be traditionally neutral.

What do you think of the new Mesh Dessous Collection? Have you tried Claudette yourself?