Loungewear Pieces for When You’re Locked Indoors

I feel a little guilty for writing about pretty loungewear pieces while Hurricane Sandy tears through the eastern seaboard, but I think these pieces work equally well whether you’re stuck in a hurricane or having a weekend in. If you are in the path of the hurricane, stay safe!

There’s lots of gorgeous and girly loungewear out there, but I’m less of a fan of frilly things and more into pieces that are comfortable, pretty, and reasonably practical. After all, it’s hard to lounge comfortably if you can’t drink a cup of coffee in whatever you’re wearing (at least if you’re a klutz like me). I also generally like for my loungewear to be easily washable, although I’ll always make an exception for a true vintage feathered robe.

1. The Lovely Ever After Soft Tee and Breezy Boy Short by Naked Princess
This set is perfect for absolutely everything from lazy Sundays to sleepovers. Naked Princess makes the softest modal pieces on the market which hold up marvelously over time. It’s shown in white here, but my favorite colorway is the charcoal from last season. It’s a slate grey with a purple/blue undertone that is elegant, unusual, and looks good on everyone.

2. The Dreamer Flannel Pajama by Victoria’s Secret
I’m not a huge fan of Victoria’s Secret, but they make my favorite flannel pajamas. They come in tons of patterns and colors, three different lengths, are soft and warm, and are completely affordable at $49.50 a set. They tend to go on sale after Christmas, so check back then for even better deals.

3. Long Jersey Bamboo Robe by Sandmaiden Sleepwear
This is basically the elegant version of a slanket and I love it. It’s made of jersey sweater material by the always fabulous Sandmaiden Sleepwear. Sandmaiden makes to order, so just provide your measurements at checkout and you’ll end up with a custom robe!

4. PJ Lace Racerback Top by Bravissimo
Sometimes you want to lounge around with more support, which is where these Bravissimo hidden support tops come in. They go up to an H cup and have built in wire free support. I know lots of women who swear by these, and they tend to sell out quickly. Pair them with your favorite pajama pants or jeans and a sweater for daytime comfort.

5. Vintage 1950s Dramatic Teal Dressing Gown Robe Trimmed with Feathers by Fab Gabs Vintage
Everyone needs some drama in their life, and this teal feathered robe is just too perfect to pass up. You can find lots of reproductions of this style, but it’s rare to find an original and even rarer to find one in this color. Pick it up and have fun indulging your inner glamour girl.

What’s your personal loungewear style? Which pieces on this list do you love?

Friday Roundup: Disney Princess Couture and Fat Anxieties

Image by Claire Hummel

Did someone declare this unofficial Disney princess week and forgot to tell me? Shame on you, internet! Let’s start with the historical and then get to the over the top couture versions. This article has some fantastic (and historically accurate) illustrations of the Disney princesses in the clothes of their time period. The sleeves on Ariel’s dress alone are worth the clickthrough.

Secondly, Harrods will be putting up windows showcasing updated versions of the Disney princess dresses by various trendy designers. The windows aren’t up yet, but this video is gorgeous. The Versace take on Cinderella is astoundingly edgy while still feeling familiar. Yes, those are Medusa decorations on her dress.

Jezebel has yet another article about weight, and after reading months of reflections about being fat or not and what does it all mean and should we care or not I feel like we’re all just confused. As someone who has been working on the diet thing and the workout thing and the health thing, I’m just as confused as everyone else.  Here’s the thing: I like the way I look. Genuinely, I do. I also know that my weight at my height isn’t great over the long term and that I have some horrible eating and exercise habits. But part of me worries that I don’t hate my body — and I suspect that dieting would be much easier if I did. But I’ve been this weight for so long that if I lose the weight, I’m not sure who I am anymore. I think that’s part of what drives people crazy about weight loss. So many people tout it as a chance to be a whole new shiny person, but what if you like who you are? I don’t have any smart conclusions about this, but I do think that weight loss is much more complicated psychologically than food in/calories out.

The Hourglassy clothing swap happened, and I’m so jealous that everyone got to go and I didn’t. Sweets has a great review here of Bijte Lingerie, complete with marabou slippers and fantasy train trip. Miss Underpinnings has a great write up of her clothing haul and the people she met here. I think next time this happens there needs to be a remote buyer and Skype socialization option for the rest of us!

Finally, since it’s been a long week and we could all use some fun, who is your favorite Disney princess and why? Whose dress do you want? Let’s have some fun in the comments today. 

 

Sports Bra Throwdown: The Zoom Bra Versus the Royce Impact Free Sports Bra

Today, we’re going to start with the truth: if you’re an HH cup or above, your sports bra options are horrible. They’re expensive, uncomfortable and restrictive, and frequently unsupportive.

Luckily, a new bra has been released and more and more companies are carrying the options that are out there! I’ve been testing two sports bras for the last few weeks that are easily available and represent the best of the extremely limited sports bra market out there.

Both sports bras were tested under the same conditions:

1. Daily use for seven consecutive days for at least 40 minutes of kickboxing.

2. Daily washing and drying.

So, onto the reviews!

The Impact Free Sports Bra by Royce:

Image via Bravissimo

The Impact Free Sports Bra comes in band sizes 28 through 40 and cup sizes D through K. The band runs tight, and I say this as a fan of tighter bra bands. I couldn’t even hook the 32 (my normal band) and the 34 even felt a little tight to start.

This is the more traditional sports bra of the two. It works based on compression and does a fairly good job of minimizing bounce. The back has a velcro strip across the hooks, which are fairly traditional.

The Pros: This bra diminishes bounce, but won’t stop it completely. The straps are nice and wide for support, and the tight band helps give lots of support. The thick fabric absorbs sweat nicely for long workouts. The Marl colorway is also pretty if you don’t love basic white or black sports bras.

The Cons: Put simply, this bra isn’t all that comfortable and is a pain to wash. Due to the velcro strip on the back, it really needs to be handwashed. However, even if you do that, the fabric is so thick that it can’t dry in a day. By the end of a workout, the straps tend create enough pressure that it causes shoulder and back pain, and the band feels slightly restrictive. It gets the job done, but I didn’t feel happy with it at the end of the week.

The Zoom Bra by Lynx Sportswear: 

Image via Lynx Sportswear

Lynx Sportswear is an American company making a variety of sports bras and sportswear that has recently released the Zoom Bra. It’s designed for women who have a 10 to 13 inch difference between their ribcage measurement and their full bust measurement. It’s also got a whole different design philosophy behind it, which I’ve summarized over on The Lingerie Journal for an article. It’s designed to wash easily, be useable for beach sports, and provide support for high impact activities like running.

The Pros: 

This bra is machine washable and can be put in the dryer! For those of us who work out lots, this is huge bonus. It’s also comfortable — the bra has a loose band on purpose, which feels a little funny when you first work out in it if you’re used to wearing tighter bra bands. I wonder if it would work for swimming as well, but since it’s winter I haven’t had a chance to try that out. The support is equal to the Royce. It doesn’t get rid of bounce completely for me, but it’s supportive for kickboxing and I can generally work out about 15 minutes longer in this bra than in the Royce.

The Cons: Sizing in this bra is tricky, and it won’t work if you have more than a 13 inch difference between your ribcage and full bust measurements. To get it to fit, I had to go up from the measurements on the chart and if I lose any weight in my ribcage I’ll be sized out. However, if you’re within the size range it’s a pretty great choice. I’m really hoping that Lynx is willing to make one more bra that will work for those of us with small ribcages and more extreme full bust measurements!

What’s your favorite sports bra? Have you tried either of these options? What did you think?

 

Saint Bustier Launches New Curvy Clothing Site — Heaven or Hell?

Saint Bustier has had such great emails and marketing that I had gotten all excited about it.  Sadly, the preview yesterday didn’t live up to my expectations. Not only that, but for me it felt like a perfect illustration of the issues within the full bust clothing market. If you haven’t signed up for the preview, the store should be open to everyone at midnight GMT on the 22nd. Until then, you’ll have to be content with my opinion!

Image via Saint Bustier

 

Saint Bustier isn’t a brand new clothing brand — basically, they find pieces that work for full busts and sell them through their store. It does look like they have some pieces which are exclusively theirs which are scattered throughout the site. On the surface, this is a great idea. After all, everyone has experienced the frustration of trying on everything in the store just to find out that nothing zips or buttons up over your chest.  The idea of having someone do that for you is fabulous and a great business model.

However, I found myself being underwhelmed by the selection and totally overwhelmed by the prices. Here’s an example that illustrates all of my issues at once:

Take these two dresses:

Image via Saint Bustier

Image via BiuBiu

One of these dresses is $66 and comes from a company that designs exclusive for full busted women, and one is $440 and can be found in any high end department store. They are both basic work dresses that would make great wardrobe staples. Which one is from Saint Bustier?

If you guessed the first one, you’re correct. It’s a Kay Unger dress that while cut generously, is still standard sizing and can be found lots of places. The Biu Biu dress is designed and cut for full busted women, while the Kay Unger dress just happens to have some extra room in the chest. As a full busted woman, I’d rather give my hard earned money to a brand that designs for me rather than a designer who just happens to have an item that fits me. 

Part of me feels bad about writing this review, because Saint Bustier had such great early  marketing and I really wanted to fall in love with their stuff. I also naturally want to love anyone who is making shopping easier for full busted women. I still think the idea is great, but until their range of clothing is expanded in terms of price and actual full bust design I don’t think I’ll be a customer.

Edited to add some more thoughts from other bloggers that I’ve heard since this post went up a few hours ago: 

Sweets, the author the Sweet Nothings NYC blog (which I love and highly recommend) says this: “I’m curious about who their ideal customer is. The up-to-date website, the facebook campaign, the friendly tone all led me to expect younger and more affordable clothing. This seems almost like someone curated a collection from, say, Neiman Marcus or Saks, so that a busty shopper who would like to shop there doesn’t have to do as much legwork.”

Darlene, creator of Campbell and Kate shirts and the Hourglassy blog says this:

“1. I had pretty low expectations based on their giant claims and the predecessor site of one of their founders,www.odyldesign.com, so I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. 

2. I agree with Sweets about the Saks-type target customer, and I think this is a welcome addition to the current landscape. Some of the styles struck me as fresh. I loved the Erna suede motorcycle jacket, the drape neck dress and the Claude dress . . . each has nice details and touches.

3. They have chosen pieces with features that I try to point out as good for full busts. For instance, the Erna jacket has (1) a zipper front; and (2) fabric panels. I’d have to try it on in person to see if it not only closes over the boobs but actually does so without smashing them flat, but these are two design features that are good for us. The Claude dress has power mesh around the bust and arms. Some of their necklines surprise me, but that should make Brittany of Thin & Curvy happy after her most recent blog post.

4. I get your point of buying from people who sew specifically for us, but here are some of the benefits that I see of their model: (a) no one wants to be pigeon-holed, and this curated approach says, “There is mainstream fashion out there for you, and we are bringing it to you.” The biggest drawback that I see in trying to market to full-busted women is the challenge of avoiding the full-bust ghetto. Although most of us in this group are happy to shop at specialty stores, the average woman on the street doesn’t want to be restricted to specialty stores, and to the especially uninformed about bra sizes, “full-bust stores” sounds too much like “plus-size”; (b) if this company is successful in showing that there is a demand for full-busted clothing from mainstream designers, then it can use its influence to encourage more designs and production. Already they have “private label” exclusives (although not that many), which means they have paid a designer to create something specifically for them, specifically for us. I would LOVE to see them develop similar relationships with other designers we admire. My dream would be “Reiss for St. Bustier”!”

Darlene also rightly pointed out that this idea started with Dbusted and has been tried before.

What do you think of the Saint Bustier offerings? Leave your opinions in the comments!

 

 

 

Pick of the Week: The Bettie Mae Bra by Bravissimo

Image via the Bravissimo Facebook page

I suppose this is technically a preview, since this bra won’t be released until Monday. However, I was so excited about it that I couldn’t resist putting it up this week. I also know that it sold out fast last year, so you might want to put it on your shopping list. This seems to be the same style as the Satine bras that I reviewed and loved, which means it’s definitely worth adding to your collection. Also, no one can ever have enough pink lingerie.

Bravissimo will be selling both a bikini and a short to go with it, which is great for those of us who are thong-avoiders. I’ll definitely be picking this up Monday, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the winter collection looks like!

If you’re lucky, the old coral colorway is on sale in some very limited sizes as well.

Fall Loungewear Review: Priscilla Jade and Plum Pretty Sugar

When I was a kid October meant cozy flannel pajamas, apple cider, and breaking out the winter jackets. Now that I live in a land totally devoid of real apples that is too hot for jackets, I’m hanging onto my cozy pajama traditions for dear life. I don’t talk much about Southern fashion on here because even after several years I still feel like I’m figuring things out, but people don’t give up their bright pastel colors for the winter here. Instead, they just layer on more colors over their summer dresses and throw some tights on underneath.

I actually picked these two items up months ago, but I’ve only gotten to wear them a bunch recently. Both came from Bella Bella Boutique, which is my favorite place to pick up luxury loungewear by indie designers. I’m also reviewing these two pieces together since they’re perfect for a southern winter — both are light but give you that cozy feel and have what I think of as the modern southern belle aesthetic.

First up, the Plum Pretty Sugar Lounge Genie Pants in Beckoning Creature print:

Image via Bella Bella Boutique

I ordered these pants in a large, and would actually go down a size in the future. They’re lovely, but the waistband is seriously stretchy (I may feel this way due to my freakishly narrow hips though). Small ties cinch the bottoms around your legs for a cute take on the I Dream Of Jeannie look, and the cotton is light and airy. I really love them, and they have replaced my ratty yoga pants that I used to sleep in. The print is an explosion of floral color, which is just girly enough without being too predictable. What has surprised me the most is how well they’ve held up through repeated washings and lots of wear. I put mine through the washer and dryer on the delicate cycles and they do fine, which makes them much easier to care for then lots of my stuff.

Image via Plum Pretty Sugar

I love my pants so much that I’m definitely going to check out the matching slippers that Plum Pretty Sugar has just put out! I’m a sucker for girly slippers.

Next, we have the Priscilla Jade Hera robe in the teal/red combination:

Image via Bella Bella Boutique

I love this Tiffany blue color. I love it even more here when it’s part of a completely non-traditional color combination and infused with the edge that mesh lingerie has. The satin keeps it trendy and classy without being too staid. I ordered an XL in this robe, and again felt like I could have gone down a size. This isn’t a dressing gown type robe that is meant to really cover you up fully, but it’s great for lounging in and for throwing on for some post-shower glamour. It’s got tons of volume, which also gives it an old fashioned romantic feel. I love Priscilla Jade’s take on modern youthful lingerie every season, and I can’t wait to see what she puts out next.

What’s your favorite piece of loungewear? Do you go glam or go for comfort? Let me know in the comments!

Friday Roundup: Downton Abbey Inspired Fashion and Other Frivolous Fun!

Image via Shabby Apple

I was thrilled to see that Shabby Apple has released a collection inspired by Highclere Castle! If you’re not familiar with the name, you probably know it as the either the big house in Downton Abbey or snooty Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s house in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. I suggest that this skirt can appear in my closet in a refined yet surprising manner, and I promise to only pursue ladylike activities like drinking tea from fancy cups, playing piano, and reading in it.

Shabby Apple is also giving away a year’s worth of dresses, so go sign up!

In other giveaway news, the Curvywordy blog is giving away a ton of great stuff and it ends soon! Go sign up for it as well.

Ewa Michalak has started a Facebook page in english this week, which is fabulous. Their newest collection should be up next week, and the teasers have been really interesting. I’m happy to see them talking with their customers outside Poland at last!

 

Three Meaningful Things to Do During Breast Cancer Month

I’ll start with the spoiler: none of these involve buying that goopy pink stuff in your local stores. 

The last few years have seen a backlash against the traditional pink products that show up in October. Some people don’t like it because it’s shiny and easy and some people don’t like it because pink products tend to be more about profit than medical research.

Whatever your opinion is on the pink campaigns, it’s clear that breast cancer is an issue that every woman should care about. 1 in 8 women who make it to age 85 will get breast cancer, and more than 40, 000 women will die breast cancer this year. These women are our friends, our mothers, our sisters, and our significant others. While buying pink products probably won’t make a dent in the breast cancer rates, there are some simple things that you can (and can encourage other women to do) that will.

1. Give yourself a breast exam every month.

If you are full-busted, this can take awhile! However, self breast exams are a important tool to detecting cancer early, and are worth taking the time and effort to do right. If you don’t know how or you need a refresher, check out this great guide. You’ll feel better and catch any problems early.

2. If you’re in the age group for mammograms, get one. If you’re not, make sure you’re getting a breast exam from a doctor once a year. 

Both of these fall into the category of awkward and uncomfortable experiences, but are worth doing to stay healthy and detect problems early. If you’re on birth control, lots of doctors will include this in your appointment for your pap smear when you renew your prescription.

3. Read up on the new breast cancer research and stay in the loop.

Scientists have recently discovered that breast cancer can be broken down into four different types of cancer and that several may be related to ovarian cancer. While this doesn’t mean that the market will be overflowing with new treatments yet, it’s a huge step forward. Knowing how breast cancer works, what the latest treatments are and what your risk is means that you’ll be able to detect cancers earlier and be an informed support person for anyone else you know that has breast cancer.

Do you buy pink during October? Do you not? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Pick of the Week: The Red Nell Robe by Betty Blue’s

I was browsing through the latest Lingerie Addict updates yesterday when I ran across her article on the newest item from Betty Blue’s. I hadn’t seen much from this designer besides  her sheer baby dolls and lounge suits, but I’m glad I dug deeper because I’ve found the new lingerie love of my life.

It’s a jersey robe with lace corset style panels and it’s fire engine red — just my ideal color! Sadly, it’s only left in a large and will probably be gone by the time I can justify buying it for myself as a birthday present next month. The large stretches up to 43 inches in the bust, which makes it great for full busted women (including moi).

Have you seen any great lingerie this week that you want to share?

Full Busted Friday Roundup: T-Shirts, Fashion, and Gloria Swanson

It’s Friday, which means a whole new round up! How was your week? 

Busts 4 Justice has a review of the newest Curvy Kate Tempt Me Bra in blue, which makes me which they’d expand their size range even more. Go check it out here.

Darlene tried her first Kris Line bra and wrote about it, and I’m seriously jealous of her discount nightwear purchases.

I’ve been loving this classic Hollywood scandals series on The Hairpin, and this week they’re covering Gloria Swanson in two parts! Did you know she once spent $125, 000 on lingerie?

Jenna Sauers has a great piece on the relationship between fashion writers and brands. This excerpt rings especially true for me: “Whenever I am writing something about fashion — no matter how anodyne — and I find I must talk to somebody’s press agent, I am inevitably asked if the story I’m working on will be “positive” or not. I never know how to respond: I tend to think of stories as merely true or untrue. I am, or at least I try very hard to be, a good-faith critic and reporter.” Check out the rest here.

As a point counter-point exercise, two pieces on that involve talking about breast sizes. Sweet Nothings NYC has a great piece on why we should all just get along and stop competing over our breast sizes and XOJane has an article on t-shirts for big breasts that is really useful but definitely takes an entirely different tone.

Have a great weekend, everyone!