Lingerie Blogger Secret Santa Exchange: Awesome Mystery Panties!

Behind the scenes, several members of the lingerie blogging community took the time to organize a secret santa gift exchange for all of us. It’s been lots of fun getting to know my fellow bloggers better and planning our gifts. The rules were a $10 maximum and that the gift had to be handmade. To my delight, mine showed up today and I don’t really know who it is from (although I have a guess). These beautiful high waist panties (my favorite!) showed up with a cute card. I think they’re homemade, although they look gorgeous and professionally done to me. They fit beautifully, and I’m so excited to have them! It was a really thoughtful gift.

My guess for the maker is The Lingerie Lesbian, but I’m not as sure about that as some people have been about theirs.

Full Bust Friendly Dress Review: The Trashy Diva Sadie Ruffle Dress and Paradise Dress!

Trashy Diva is one of the stores that I always check out on my visits to the French Quarter, although I’ve never gotten up the nerve to try their dresses. On the surface, they don’t look like they would be full bust friendly. Luckily, a combination of their huge sale this week (it goes until Thursday so don’t miss out!) and someone to advise me on sizing meant that I got up the courage to try again via the internet. Thank goodness I did, because these dresses are great!

You’ve probably seen other fashion bloggers raving about Trashy Diva dresses, but here’s the short version: Trashy Diva is a New Orleans based boutique that focuses on classic style that verge on vintage reproductions. They sell in lots of boutiques, have two boutiques of their own in NOLA, and have great internet service.

I’m going to talk about each of the dresses individually but here are some tips if you want to try some for yourself:
1) The rayon dresses have virtually no stretch, so take the size charts seriously.
2) If you’re in doubt, call and ask your question. Everyone I dealt with was friendly and helpful, and didn’t seem to think me asking a bunch of questions about whether my breasts would fit into their dresses was awkward at all.
3) These dresses need to be dry cleaned (no handwashing allowed), so you can’t cheat and wash them like you can with some PUG dresses. If you hate dry cleaning, these may not be for you.
4) Even though the Sadie dresses aren’t very revealing, the cut of the V-neck means you will probably need a plunge bra with them if you’re in the H+ cup range. I’m wearing a Curvy Kate Angel bra with the Paradise dress, for reference.

The Paradise Dress, size 14:

This dress felt a little ironic, as it’s 29 degrees here this week and I’ve spent most of it in furry slippers freezing my butt off. I wanted a tropical dress for an upcoming beach holiday, and this felt perfect. I love the pocket details, and it highlights my waist beautifully. I’m actually hiding the one major flaw with my hair: my bra straps show! I don’t have a problem with that, and will just end up buying a short sleeved shrug to cover them. I suspect I will get lots of wear out of this during hot summers here. In terms of size, the chart says this only goes up to a 42.5 inch bust measurement, but I’m at 43.

I love that the print is tropical without being as literal as a tiki print. The birds and the color combination makes this an unusual and beautiful print dress.

Sadie Ruffle Dress in Mardi Gras Print, Size 14:

These two dresses are the same shape in two different prints. The 14 was listed as my exact measurements and fits like a glove! You can’t tell in this picture, but the details on these dresses are incredible. Vintage-style rhinestone buttons add some great sparkle to the front of the dress, and the belt matches the dress pattern perfectly. While I love my Pinup Girl Clothing dresses, I’m not always impressed with the quality of the belts that are included with some dresses. This belt is heavy duty, has lots of holes to fit various body types and will hold up. Given the climate that I live in, this dress is basically seasonless. I’ll wear it in winter with black tights and a cardigan and in the summer as is.

I love the festive feel of this and how NOLA it is, all while not being too loud. The pastel colors are lovely against the black background, and the pattern is busy without being overwhelming.

Sadie Ruffle Dress in Slap and Tickle Print:

I haven’t purchased a pink dress ever in my adult life, but I loved this print so much I couldn’t resist. It’s flirty and feels retro in a cool way rather than a musty one. This dress, despite being the same cut and size as the Mardi Gras print one, felt like it was slightly bigger on me. You can see the ruffles on the hip better on this one, I think. Again, with a black cardigan and black tights this will work perfectly for all seasons for me.

This print has a slightly racy sense of fun while still being subtle enough to wear out to basically any occasion. It would be perfect for a night out at a french inspired restaurant, but I’m going to see if I can get away with it at work stuff too.

If you want to take advantage of the amazing Trashy Diva sale on currently, just use the code sale20 at checkout until 12/14. The code only works on sale items, but there is a fairly wide range left in lots of prints!

Turn to Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for Simultaneous Depression and “Empowerment”

Today we have a guest post from Kelsey, who watched the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and had lots to say about it as a result. When you’re done reading, you should also go sign up for the giveaway that we’re running with Knickerocker!

In case you live under a rock, I should inform you that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show invaded CBS network Tuesday night.  When it comes to the company, I’ll admit that I’m completely torn.  I love the style of all of their products, I’m a sucker for lace, bows, things that sparkle, and basically anything that screams, “Look at me!”  So, Victoria’s Secret sucked me in that way.  Unfortunately the fit of their bras is atrocious, and the “expertise” of their employees is even worse.  That being said, I continue my unhealthy relationship with the company because their branding simply won’t let me move on. And the annual fashion show is the perfect example why.

For those of you who don’t know, the fashion show started out many years ago as a way to show off the way the company has transformed underwear into, basically, works of art.  Over the years, I’ve seen it develop into more of a spectacle, with performances from chart-topping artists, the angel wings growing bigger and bigger (while the models seem to shrink), and different themes developing for each part of the show–this year they included: Circus, Calendar Girls, Silverscreen Angels, and In Full Bloom.  Regardless of your views on the company, its hard to deny that it’s one of the sexiest forms of entertainment.

The Daily Beast

However, there was one component they added this year that really just irked me.  The behind the scenes footage and commentary had the models explaining their favorite parts of being a coveted Angel. Traveling, shooting with famous photographers, and the holiday commercials were amongst the frequented responses, followed by one model’s statement that she loved being part of something that was so “empowering to women.”

Really??

I love the garments and I think the models are gorgeous, albeit a little too thin, but who are they kidding here?  Myself and about 60% of the girls on my campus tweeting about “time to stop eating,” or “let me just grow two feet and lose 45 pounds,”  followed by the hashtag, #VSFS2012, would argue that the last thing Victoria’s Secret does is empower women.  After that commentary was aired, I noticed the Victoria’s Secret Twitter and Instagram accounts coincidentally started making a couple posts about either the new workout videos that are integrated into the sport clothing line, and pictures of the supermodels working with a chef to prepare healthy meals.  This all gave the immediate illusion that the models maintain healthy lifestyles and that towering at 5’11” and 120 pounds is all part of being a “normal woman.”

The Daily Beast

To be clear, I have nothing against the models themselves, but at least own up to how you got to where you are.  The reality is that being a model means maintaining your body and your image is your full-time job.  An unrealistic possibility for pretty much every other woman on the planet.  Then, they replay video footage and images with the Angels strutting around in lacy thongs and claiming these models don’t need a man to feel beautiful.  They can feel confident, sexy, and beautiful all on their own as long as they have their Victoria’s Secret lingerie sets on. Right. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they’re all tall, thin, bronzed, waxed, toned, and buffed to perfection.  But if they want to call that “women’s empowerment,” then so be it.

I guess I’m just wondering who they’re thinking they’re able to fool with this new marketing initiative.  Like, which one of their employees spoke up at a brainstorming session and said, “Hey, after the incredibly select group of Angels are done prancing around in their underwear without a jiggle in sight, let’s have one of the models say that it’s about women’s empowerment.  Yea, I think that’s a home-run idea.”

The Daily Beast

To me, Victoria’s Secret has always been more about the sex appeal than the function.  Which is fine, it works for them, and occasionally I buy into it because bows make me feel pretty.  BUT, don’t you dare take over social media for a night and shove your perfect bodies in my face as I switch to eating a bag of celery for dinner, and tell me you’re empowering me.  Just be upfront about what the brand is about, and don’t try to tell me it’s normal or in anyway healthy for women to look up to.

The Daily Beast

That being said, I’ll sign off with with this lovely excerpt quoted in a Daily Beast article from one of the most notable Angels, Candice Swanepoel.

Must be nice….Not that I’m bitter or anything.

What do you think? Am I overreacting? Do you agree/disagree/even care?

Full Busted Gift Guide: Six Gift Worthy Holiday Bra and Panty Sets

It’s hard to go wrong with a great bra and panty set as a gift, so today we’re featuring all of the best holiday themed ones. The best bras, for me, are the ones that are sexy enough to feel special but still comfortable enough to wear under a ratty t-shirt while you lounge around the house. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the holiday stuff, so I also like to lean towards subtle nods towards the season rather than full out santa suit territory. After all, if you fall in love with a bra you want to wear it for more than a month!

Here are the six best full busted bra picks for Holiday 2012!

1. Satine Bra by Bravissimo
This bra is fabulous in any color, but this blue is a nice nod to winter without being too seasonal. The satin also gives it a luxe feel while adding soft comfort that make you want to sleep in it. Pair it with the matching panties for a basic set that feels special and luxurious while still being completely wearable.

2. Snowglobe Balcony Underwire Bra and Thong by Marlies Dekkers
Okay, so I’m willing to make an exception to my rule for things like this that are totally cheesy/sexy and know it. This set is sort of insane, while also being insanely cute. If you really love Christmas (or are buying for someone who does) this is the right gift. I feel like a santa hat must be tucked into the same box for the full effect.

3. Ivy Bra by Freya
I’ve seen lots of people saying that they’ve picked this up in the last few days! I think in part it’s due to the season and in part it’s due to the reliability of Freya bras. They’re easy to find your size in while also being easy to find online or in person. This version goes up to a J cup, but the adorable longline version is great too if you’re a G cup or below.

4. Gigi Underwired Bra and Retro Deep Shorty by Midnight Grace
If I could have one wish for the new year, it would be for Figleaves to expand the size range of their Midnight Grace line. The bras are great quality and the range focuses on trendy basics. This classic black set is a perfect example of everything they are doing right, and a great gift for someone who has everything. This bra goes up to a G cup.

5. Paramour Bra and Thong by Claudette
This bra checks a lot of the boxes on my list of what makes a piece of lingerie a good gift: classic with sex appeal, a seasonal color that isn’t too restrictive along with a big dash of comfort. Claudette continues to churn out amazing bras, which makes me more and more excited for their size range expansion. This set will be a hit with anyone.

6. Lola Luxe Basque by Bravissimo
While not technically a bra, this basque fits like your most comfortable every day bra and can be worn under lots of things for an extra confidence boost. It also goes up to a K cup, which makes it a great piece for women who don’t normally have access to items like basques. I own one, and it’s absolutely worth the price tag.

Which items do you love the most? What have I missed? Let me know in the comments. 

Holiday Gift Guide: Indie Lingerie Gifts For the Full Busted Woman

It’s no secret that I have a thing about indie designers. When you buy from an indie designer, your item is made with care by someone who has a real passion for what they do. You are also supporting small businesses and their hardworking owners, which I’m also a big fan of.

The indie lingerie market has expanded very quickly, and lots of designers have expanded their size ranges this year. Several indie bra companies that cater to full busted women have popped up in the last few years, and now Bijte is making sexy lingerie staples for full busted women as well. Whether you’re in the market for a full set of luxury lingerie or just fun stocking stuffers, this guide has it all.

1. The Ali Bra and Knicker Set by Louise Ferdinand Lingerie
Louise Ferdinand Lingerie makes gorgeous bras out of luxurious materials in hard to find sizes. Her band sizes start at 28, and this particular bra goes all the way up to a J cup. This makes her lingerie a perfect gift for someone who struggles finding rare bra sizes and wants a dash of glamour in their life. I’m not a huge fan of holiday lingerie that is overly literally (if it is red velvet with white fur, count me out), but this set is a lovely nod to the festive time of year without being too over the top.

2. The Carla Bed Jacket and Knicker Set by Ayten Gasson
Bras are great, but sometimes you just want something pretty to lounge in. I love Ayten’s bed jackets, and they make a great gift for the lingerie lover who has everything. This liberty print set makes a one of a kind gift for someone who loves beauty and comfort.

3. The Nell Robe by Betty Blue’s Loungerie
There are lots of robes in this world, but let’s face it — lots of robes are pretty plain and uninspiring. Holiday lingerie gifts frequently focus on comfort over sex appeal, but this Nell Robe is a nice combination of the two. The jersey fabric will show off curves while remaining soft and comfortable, and the peek-a-boo lace detail gives this piece a nice dash of vintage inspired sex appeal.

4. Sophia Kimono Robe by La Lilouche
This is another great basic robe with a sexy surprise touch. The silk is thick and luxurious, and the rest of the robe is basic enough to lounge around the house in or slip on after a shower. If you’re looking for a gift that isn’t as size specific as a bra and panty set, this is perfect.

5. Bird print Tap Panties by Knickerocker
Knickerocker has brought out a bunch of new stuff right before the holidays, but this is my favorite of the bunch. Tap style panties are always flattering, and these have great vintage details but are made from comfortable materials that will hold up to every day wear. If you’re looking for an adorable stocking stuffer, look no further.

6. Silk Chiffon and Charmeuse Halter Babydoll by Bijte
Bijte is making sexy and supportive pieces that work up to a J cup, but this babydoll is my favorite of the bunch. Bijte pieces are not sized by bra size, so contact them to make sure that you’re buying the proper size for you. Their amazing suport system works for a range of sizes and actually creates great uplift while making you feel secure.

7. Stargazing Set by Beaujais
This is another luxe set from a great British full bust lingerie company. If you’re buying for someone who loves matching sets and glamour, this is what you should look at. The set comes with a balconette bra, two sets of knickers, and a garter belt.

Which items are you wishing for? Are there any great indie lingerie pieces that I’ve missed?

The Holiday Giveaway is Here!

I had a post all written up for this, but after talking with my mom last night I wanted to start with the best lingerie gift story I’ve heard. Amazingly, it’s from my family.

I didn’t really talk about it, but my grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. I went to Ohio for the funeral, went to her house (which felt terribly empty without her in it) and have spent the last several weeks thinking about my grandparents and my memories of them. They were warm and wonderful people, and they loved each other very much.

My grandfather was notorious for being a late Christmas shopper, so every year he would go out and get gifts as they went on half price sale on Christmas Eve. He would them wrap them in newspaper for all of his children. The one exception was for my grandmother. According to my mother, he would march into the swankiest dress shop in their small town in Ohio on Christmas Eve and demand to see their fanciest bra, panty, and slip set. Then he would buy it for my grandmother. My mom says that as a kid she remembers my grandmother gleefully opening a new set every year (in front their five kids, no less!). I sometimes find it hard to explain how lingerie can be meaningful to people, but lingerie meant something lovely to my grandparents.

Sadly, not everyone is as great as picking out lingerie as my grandfather was, which leads us to the holiday contest for this year!

Nic of Knickerocker (who is in my top five favorite people ever list) and I were sitting around on Skype the other day talking about giveaways. Well, namely how we loved having them but didn’t want to do the same old thing. I can only blame this giveaway on our holiday spirit and wacky senses of humor, but once we hit on the idea we knew what we wanted to do.

Image via Knickerocker

I know there are lots of Knickerocker fans around here, so I think this contest prize is especially exciting. The winner will receive $50 to spend in the Knickerocker shop on fabulous custom made panties, bodysuits and more. 

Image via Knickerocker

So, without further ado we bring you the holiday contest from Knickerocker and The Full Figured Chest!

Your Mission: Buying lingerie is hard, but receiving it can be even harder. In the ugly holiday sweater spirit, we want to hear all about the worst lingerie gifts that you’ve received. Minimizer bra from your mother? Three sizes too small thong from a well meaning significant other? Any lingerie horror story is fair game, from training bras to Valentine’s Day gifts gone awry. If you tell us your story or send us a picture, you will be entered to win custom lingerie from Knickerocker that actually fits!

The Prize: 1 $50 gift certificate from Knickerocker.

The Rules :

1. Like Knickerocker on Facebook. 

2. Like The Full Figured Chest on Facebook. 

3. From December 2nd to December 22nd, post your horrifying or humorous stories and pictures in the blog comments. From December 23rd to January 1st, we’ll have all of the entries up on both the The Full Figured Chest and Knickerocker Facebook pages for you and your friends to vote on. The winner will be determined by the votes instead of a random draw. On January 1st, we’ll tally up all of the votes from both pages and declare a winner!

Make sure that you do all of this through the Rafflecopter widget, since it helps us keep track and makes your entry faster. Pictures can be linked to or can be emailed to me at holly@thefullfiguredchest.com if you want to include them with your entry. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway