Luxury Sleepwear for Curves: Two Figs Lingerie

I’ve found myself at that stage in my life recently where I’m trying to go through and replace my cheap post-college things with high quality and slightly more stylish things. Recently, my focus has been my sleepwear. I’ve spent years sleeping in t-shirts with holes in them and shorts that don’t fit, so I decided that this was the year to change that.

Here’s the problem with sleepwear if you have a large cup size: there isn’t much of it. Bravissimo offers some, but I haven’t been very impressed with the pictures that I’ve seen of it on real people. Freya offers some, but it doesn’t seem to be very supportive when you put it on. This is where Two Figs enters the market.

Image via Two Figs Lingerie

Two Figs is a wonderful company out of San Francisco that produces luxury sleepwear for D through G cup women. Deb Figge, the owner, has taken a very simple approach to putting her line together. Two Figs offers a variety of basic pieces, from camisole tops and shorts to full length triangle top gowns. All pieces are produced in black, white, and indigo.  Each piece features top of the line luxury materials, and are finished with Swiss lace. This simple approach means that each design has to really work.

I love the baby clothespins.

I asked for the empire gown in indigo, as I wanted to try their most elegant and ladylike option. The package showed up two days later, and was wrapped beautifully. I was a little nervous, as the design appeared to be based on the dreaded shelf bra that I had spent my whole life avoiding, but really loved it once it was on. It was supportive (even though I’m now an H cup!), and absolutely beautiful on.

Honestly, the support from the gown feels a lot like the support my Shock Absorber sports bra gives me. This is a serious compliment, as I basically live in my Shock Absorber these days. Two Figs pieces are sold by band size instead of cup size, and the compression technique they use works. The 32 band fit me perfectly.

Shelf bra support!

The straps on the gown are easily adjustable, along with being completely removable like the straps on a multiway bra. I suspect this means you could wear this gown as a halter or with crossed straps if it was more comfortable for you.

Here’s what really impresses me about the Two Figs sleepwear line: when I tweeted about them, I got a response from Ellen Lewis saying that she loved them as well, and had the same gown. I don’t know many pieces of lingerie that would work on two women of varying ages like that, but Two Figs pieces are classics. They’ll look great on whether you’re 25 or 75.

I’m looking forward to saving up and buying more pieces from Two Figs. They’re a great option for anyone in their cup size range (and even above it), and any of their pieces would make a wonderful bridal or honeymoon set.

Luxury Lingerie For Curves: La Lilouche Sophia Silk Kimono Wrap Robe

I’ve spent time trying to fill in some lingerie basics lately, and one of the items I was missing was a robe. It seems like a basic piece, but I’m picky. I wanted something luxurious and comfortable that would fit perfectly. I also wanted something that would last with proper care.

Enter La Lilouche, a brand I’ve been in love with for awhile. La Lilouche is the brainchild of Liya Amar, an Israeli designer with an amazing sense of playfulness and color. Liya has a completely unique take on the lingerie world, and her pieces work on a wide variety of shapes and sizes. She’s primarily a made to measure designer, which means that everything she makes for you will fit perfectly.

It will surprise you all to know that when faced with all of these lusciously colorful pieces, I choose basic black.

This Sophia robe had everything on my list. It’s 100% silk, and definitely built to last. It’s also very flattering on my curves, while still actually performing it’s job as a robe.

I placed my order through Bella Bella Boutique, and the whole process went really smoothly. Aline kept me updated, and a week and a half later I had my robe. I was impressed, as I know Liya is really busy these days and doesn’t outsource production.

So how does it look? I love how the kimono style pulls me in at the waist so I look nice and trim! I also love how the robe shows enough to be sexy, but still gives nice coverage.

You can’t quite tell in the Bella Bella pictures, but the sleeves are absolutely gigantic! I love it, but if you’re looking for a practical robe this may not be your first choice. Didy (who is a 20 pound dog) can get his entire head into one (and has incidentally, found a new favorite way to bother me while I work by doing so). Again, notice the great silhouette it gives me, along with the waist definition.

Here’s the back view, which I didn’t think much of until I saw how the pictures came out. I’ve lived with my two tattoos so long I forget that they’re there, but I liked the look of this.

I’ve spent hours lounging in this since I got it. It’s incredibly soft and comfortable, and I finally understand why everyone raves about silk lingerie. If you want to show off your curves, La Lilouche is a great made to order brand to try.

La Lilouche lingerie can be purchased through Liya’s Etsy site, or through Bella Bella Boutique.

I’m ready for Curve! Are you?

It’s hard to believe that in less than a month many of us will be gathering at Curve! This is my first year attending, and I’m incredibly excited to meet all of the people I work with so extensively. I also know that the upcoming show puts lots of brands into panic mode – photoshoots, look books, brochures, website updates…

I thought I’d run a quick stress saving special to try and help out any brand that needs a helping hand marketing-wise. I think we’d all like to breathe a little easier during trade show season.

Any Curve NY/NV and Lingerie Journal Designer Showcase participant can take 15% off my services from now until the shows go live. If you book by January 30th (this coming Monday, for those of us who went around believing that yesterday was Wednesday), I’ll guarantee a completion date of February 15th. 

It’s that simple. To book your work, or to just have a friendly chat with me, email me at holly@thefullfiguredchest.com. If you’ve arrived here because someone has recommended me or tweeted about me, you can see all the lovely words my clients have said about me here or find out all about the time and stress saving copywriting services that I offer here.

 

Luxury Lingerie for Curves: Naked Princess Atelier

Bodysuits are my new kryptonite. I’ve amassed quite a collection of them, but so far all of them have been made to measure. Bodysuits that actually flatter in a size 12/14 are hard to find! Naked Princess pitched their bodysuit as the answer to my dreams a few weeks ago, and I’ll have to admit I was skeptical. I get pitches from lots of brands whose idea of curve friendly is smashing your breasts into something two sizes too small, so I’m a little wary. In addition, Naked Princess is now a whole month old as a brand, and newer brands usually have lots of kinks to work out.

Lovely Ever After Soft Tee

Their website was what sold me on them. I talk to clients all the about the importance of a great website, and Naked Princess has nailed their online presence. I asked for the Lovely Ever After Lace Bodysuit in Charcoal, and it showed up promptly five days later. The bodysuit is also available in creme and blush, but I have a charcoal grey skirt I wear all the time that I wanted to match something with. They also sent me a gorgeous lace mask as a bonus, which is perhaps the most decadent boudoir inspired item I’ve ever owned.

Lovely Ever After Lace and Silk Blindfold

Each item comes it a gorgeous lace bag, which is great for presentation and for storage. I’m still storing my stuff in them in my drawers, which saves on space and keeps my new favorite bodysuit safe. Naked Princess mostly focuses on modal and lace items, along with body items, luxury makeup, and books for your stylish boudoir. Their lingerie line includes panties, soft cup bras, camisoles, robes, chemises, lounge pants, and bodysuits. All items are made in the US from French and Italian laces, silks, and cashmeres.

Lovely Ever After Lace Bodysuit

I’m a huge fan of modal lingerie, but it tends to be fairly hit or miss for me. I’ve had some that I loved that just fell apart when I hand washed it carefully, and some that has lasted forever and ever. I suspect this bodysuit will fall into the second category. I’m not sure where Naked Princess sources their modal from, but it’s the softest fabric I’ve ever put on. I’d use it as pajamas if I wasn’t so busy wearing it three days a week. It’s several cuts above the modal that other luxury brands are using, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by how well the bodysuit has washed.

This bodysuit really works for me, especially paired with a skirt. I wear it with jeans and sweaters as well. Here it is with my favorite grey skirt. The tank top underneath is by Second Base, and the bra is the HP Puder by Ewa Michalak. I’d tell you where I bought the skirt if I hadn’t had it so long that the tag has washed away.

I love how this hugs my curves but doesn’t add bulk, and I love the lace touches at the top. It looks pretty fantastic without a tank underneath it as well, but I can’t exactly go to meetings like that. The grey is a deep charcoal that has an almost lavender hint to it, and is a really unusual color. This bodysuit is an XL, and it fits me perfectly.

They’ve already released a preview of their newest collection, and I’ll definitely be spending some quality time with them when I’m at Curve NY. Their new collection looks like it’s just as fantastic as the first one.

A Thousand Kisses Deep Chantilly Lace Lace Robe

If you’re looking for a luxury lingerie line that will win you over instantly, and really does cater for curves, look no further than Naked Princess. You can purchase their amazing lingerie and other products at their website.

 

 

Review and Preview: DimitySo Becomes Evollove!

I’ve talked a lot about how much I love Elle Macpherson Intimates on various websites, so I was thrilled to find out that the same parent brand who produced Elle Macpherson also made a second D through G line! DimitySo is a D through G line from Bendon, a New Zealand mega brand that also owns Pleasure State and Pleasure State VIP.

DimitySo very kindly offered to send me their Pepper Dream convertible strapless bra to try out before their brand relaunches as Evollove in August. I was really excited about this bra, because I had read that they were cut very much like my Elle Macpherson ones. Knowing that, I went up a band size to a 36.

This bra is a moulded cup bra, which I like. It pairs wonderfully with my shapewear, and doesn’t show under dresses. It also gives me a nice shape beyond the supportive band.

Here’s my favorite feature: four sets of hooks on the back! I normally like small sets of hooks, but when you’re wearing a strapless you want it to stay in place. I had to chase after Didy in this bra the other day and it stayed in place beautifully.

If the high cut sides of Elle Macpherson bras bother you but you like their shape otherwise, DimitySo/Evollove may be the brand for you. This bra feels exactly like the Elle Macphersons, but with lower sides. Sadly, the convertible element doesn’t work for me. It fits perfectly as a strapless, but as soon as I try it with straps I get the dreaded quadraboob.  I don’t wear halter tops, so I don’t really have a need for a convertible bra anyway.

I love this bra, and I’ve worn it a lot. I’m even more excited about the new Evollove line now that I’ve seen the photos of the new sets. They’re focusing on gorgeous and colorful patterns, and I’m hooked already. I’m already making plans to get my hands on Bird Song set as soon as it comes out.

The Pepper Dream Strapless bra can be purchased at:

La Jolie, 401 Winkham Road, Melbourne, FL 32935

Knicker Designer Interview: From Wonder Woman to the Boudoir.

Lately I’ve been on the hunt for made to order knickers that can be worn everyday, but feel like classic fun bespoke pieces. Knickerocker is the best of both worlds. Her knickers are made from easy everyday fabrics, and focus on comfort and fun. They’re also gorgeously custom creations, and exude that passion that great made to order pieces have. Kickerocker panties can be purchased at her Etsy store, along with custom rompers and bralettes.

Holly: You design an amazing array of knickers. What made you choose to focus specifically on knicker design? What inspires you?

Floral Panties Retro Style

Nic: Thank you so much. My focus on knickers came about through trial and error really. When I started Knickerocker, I wanted to provide an alternative for nude colored panties and those molded t-shirt bra’s (which I’ve never liked). Yes, nude underwear is a necessary part of a girls underwear arsenal, however I wanted to design panties and bras that were somewhat different, that could be something fun without the use of cartoon characters or gimmicks but could still be worn for everyday wear. Bra’s are a little more challenging to make efficiently with the the quality that I would want and as I’m not offering a luxury line, it becomes difficult to justify a high price for cotton underwear. Panties on the other hand, give me a lot of space for fun designs and ideas and I am inspired a lot by fabric. Shopping for fabric is my drug of choice, sometimes I immediately know exactly what I will do when I see a fabric, and occasionally I think the fabric just speaks for itself, like in these panties – if I had made anything other than a pair of big knickers out of this amazing blue floral fabric it would have been a crime.

Ruffle Lace Tartan Knickers

Holly: If someone is new to buying handmade knickers, what should they know? Do certain cuts work better on certain body shapes?

Nic: When buying my handmade knickers, I can actually make any size to measure -yes bespoke panties! But, you would be amazed at how many people don’t actually know what size they are. In my Etsy store, I offer a small, medium, large and x- large as Etsy is a global platform, however I am more than happy to go by measurements and this can be especially crucial if you feel that your shape is difficult to buy for, such as a tiny waist with large hips. I can easily adapt patterns to accommodate a longer or shorter torso and I can also make bigger than a XL or smaller than a small, but I require measurements to make these sizes, as I found that there really is no generic 2xl and beyond. A women’s shape varies significantly after XL, for example a high waisted pair of panties might need to accommodate a bigger waist and smaller bum or vice versa and I want your underwear to fit you comfortably no matter what your size or shape is.

Image via Knickerocker

Holly: What are some of the joys and challenges of running a made to order lingerie business?

Nic: I love hearing from customers that wearing my underwear had made their day much more tolerable. I’ve had emails from lawyers to paramedics, stating that wearing the wonder woman panties had given them that extra boost to get them through the most impossible of days.

Wonder Woman High Rise Knickers

A challenge I’m having right now, is being able to sell at boutique/craft fairs. For the most part this is because I’ve been too busy to build up stock, which in itself is not a bad thing, however its fun to be part of these fairs, as Knickerocker is a one woman run business, its good to be part of the outside world every now and again.

Rainbow Ruffles Panties

Holly: What’s new for Knickerocker next season?

Lingerie Satin Lace Up Panties

Nic: I work on new items all the time for my Etsy store and I will have a whole bunch of new knickers available in the next month or so, but I’m also starting to think about perhaps putting a cohesive collection together that I could show at wholesale trade shows. I know there will be a lot of work involved in this and I’m not even 100% sure of what that is but the idea is developing in the back of my mind and i’m sure some way, some how, I’ll figure it all out. And, I’ll figure out a bra thats efficient to make yet flattering and supportive, one day soon too.

Review: Miss Mandalay Paris Moulin Underwired Balcony Bra

I reviewed the gorgeous Miss Mandalay Tilly bra ages ago, and while I loved the bra I had commented that I needed a 34GG instead of a 34G. Unfortunately, this brand is known to run small in the cup. When Cha from Large Cup Lingerie offered me a 34GG Paris Moulin bra to try, I was thrilled.

I opted for one size up in the cup from the Tilly, and one size down in the thong. Both were absolutely the right decision. This set was a great fit, and gorgeous to boot.

Image via Miss Mandalay

But first, we’ll begin at the beginning. This was one of the few times I’ve opened a lingerie package and been totally surprised by what turned up. I’ve been on a big mesh lingerie kick lately, and this set is definitely more mesh than satin. If you look at the Miss Mandalay promotional pics and the ones that I took, I think you can see the difference.

I actually think the set is sexier in person, and the leopard details definitely stand out more. This is my first piece of lingerie that involves leopard print, and I see why so many women are fans.

One of the things I really like about Miss Mandalay bras is that their underwires are really comfortable. I’m not sure if they’re thinner or a slightly different shape, but it really works for me. I can happily wear this set all day and not have it dig in anywhere. I’ve washed it once, and it came out really nicely.

Depending on how racy you like your lingerie, this will be great set for everyday wear or a sexy bedroom set. It’s very supportive, but I know some people aren’t fans of wearing fully mesh bras to work.

This set has definitely sold me on Miss Mandalay as a company, and I’m almost ready to be brave and order one of their beautiful bikinis. I’m love that Cha carries such a wide range of their sets, and that her shipping to the US is so easy.

Designer Interview: Femme Fatale Knickers From Amuse-Bouche.

It took several internet meet cutes with Marie Lauchlan before I realized that she was the designer behind one of my favorite indie lingerie companies: the always charming Amuse-Bouche Lingerie. Then, as if to put the icing on the cake, she went ahead and released her Winter collection that featured pieces named after classic suspense films. As a 40′s film noir film fan and a lingerie lover, I was hooked. I’ve only recently started to buy non-matching knickers, and I foresee myself collecting several of Marie’s pieces. Last week, I was lucky enough to get some time on her busy schedule to ask her about the new collection.

Arsenic and Old Lace Knickers

Holly: Your new line is based on old film noir movies. Can you tell us more about how those themes play out in your lingerie?

Marie: My first collection was quite loosely ‘vintage’ themed and quite eclectic in style – which I think worked fine for introducing my work and what I do – but for the second collection, I really wanted to present a more cohesive look and feel.  I’d had some great feedback on the debut collection from women who enjoyed the playful, and I suppose, accessible feel of my pieces.  What I found the most interesting is that so many women told me they can be quite intimidated by overtly sexy lingerie and felt that they were playing dress up in a way that was uncomfortable to them. It definitely chimed with me because I’m not remotely at home in the basque and suspenders set up (I found this out the hard way via a deeply embarrassing burlesque class) although I absolutely adore the classic burlesque look.   I guess I wanted to straddle the divide – there’s definitely a theatrical feel to some of my pieces which appeals to women who still want to play dress up but not necessarily at the expense of feeling like they can completely be themselves. 

La Cage Aux Folles Knickers

With that in mind I wondered if I could design the second collection with a slightly sexier edge, though a subtly different version of sexy.  Naturally that led me to thinking about a darker, more eveningy palette and the use of ruffles and sheers and so on.  I decided on black and white because it’s so visually striking and transitions well from the bridal to the evening styles I was designing.  I knew I definitely wanted to convey a sense of drama and a continuation of the theatrical feel with the winter collection.  Deciding on the palette was actually the springboard for both collections; whereas the summer designs had been all vintage teacups and tea roses, this time around I was drawn to images of dangerous film noir femmes fatales in dark, smoky shadows.  It was a joy to name the pieces for the winter collection too – there’s a real sense of melodrama about the film titles which I think lends itself really well to lingerie and as a bonus, really appealed to my sense of humour too.

Beware, My Lovely Knickers

Holly: Your lingerie shows lots of vintage influences, from vintage charms on knickers to vintage birdcage illustrations. Do you think of yourself as a vintage woman, and what attracts you to those styles specifically?

Ribbonesque Knickers

Marie: I don’t know if I would really consider myself a vintage woman, certainly not to the extent that I wouldn’t leave the house without gloves and perfect red lipstick, a la Dita… I love to dress in that style on occasion but I’m definitely not that disciplined!  I have a real love for vintage and I think I’m just drawn to things of beauty that tell a story, and those things tend not to be new or mass produced.  I’ve been vintage-shopping since my early teens, so around 18 years or so, and there’s something really special about the experience of finding and owning something that’s one of a kind.  I love collecting old jewellery and antique lace and often the design process for me begins with an old pearl brooch, or a scrap of lace – mostly I design from what I’ve sourced rather than sourcing for a specific design.  I’m attracted to vintage fashion in general and have been for as long as I can remember.  And of course vintage style goes hand in hand with the burlesque scene, which I love and is huge in my hometown of Glasgow.

Secret Beyond the Door Knickers

Holly: What are some of the joys and challenges of running a made to order lingerie business?

Marie: There are plenty of both but the biggest joy for me is simply doing something I love.  I launched the line less than a year ago and in that time I’ve met so many incredible people and new friends so that’s always a lovely and welcome thing.  A lot of the work I do is bespoke bridal orders and that’s genuinely a real honour, to be part of a woman’s special day.  I really appreciate the personal aspect of working handmade to order since there’s an opportunity to get to know the customer and create something unique to them.  I make in very small runs, often times in a run of just one so that’s quite special and keeps it interesting and creative.  Each piece is handmade with love – that’s the ethos that I never intend to compromise, which presents its own difficulties at times.  Because I order materials in small quantities there’s a cost issue to be resolved with each piece.  There’s an ongoing issue of making to the intended design, often with hand-beading and costly vintage embellishments, but with the end product at a sensible price point.  I’m very much a one woman show, so I take care of all the sourcing, design, production, admin, everything else… I think starting out I naively thought I could design and make and that was all there was to it, but I quickly learned that wasn’t even the half of it!  Having said all that though I’ve been bowled over by the response to my work and every nice comment and happy client more than makes up for the long hours and little difficulties along the way.

The Lady From Shanghai Knickers

Holly:  What’s new for Amuse-Bouche next season?

Marie: I’m really excited about the Summer 2012 collection!  I’m going all out with the Art Nouveau influence with lots of floaty sheers and draping, and plenty of sumptuous embellishments.  As with previous collections lots of floral motifs will feature.  It’s a more literal take on Art Nouveau than before, so hopefully it’ll appeal to lovers of vintage boudoir postcards, Mucha prints and good old-fashioned romance.

I’ll also be expanding my bridal range as demand for bespoke garters and custom bridal knickers continues to grow.

 

Spring 2012 Preview: The Claudette Neon Mesh Dessous Collection

It’s officially 2012, and that means spring lingerie season is here! I’m excited to be starting off with the Claudette collection. I’m personally a superfan of their bras, and The Lingerie Addict just predicted they’d be the brand to beat in 2012 last week.

One thing I was struck by in Treacle’s write up (which included some comments from me) was that a B cup woman and a G cup woman both loved this brand for exactly the same reasons. I’m truly not sure I know another brand that isn’t made to order which works for such a large variety of women.

Without further ado, here are the spring preview pictures. I love all the colors, but I’m especially enthralled with the electric blue and the bright orange sets. I hadn’t seen the full photoshoot before Claudette sent me the photos, but I loved the edgy modern vibe of the whole thing. It has also inspired me to pick up a pair of holdup stockings. The Mesh Dessous bra is already available in hot pink, mauve, leopard, and black from Faire Frou Frou and other boutiques.

Once you’re done with the picture gallery, go check out the Best of 2011 Guide. Claudette made the list along with many other deserving lingerie and clothing brands.