10 Full Bust Friendly Lingerie Picks For Valentine’s Day!

1. Cream Rose Tights by Hose Tights: Hose Tights makes stunningly simple and original tights, and their holiday pieces have been note perfect for me. I featured their reindeer tights before Christmas, but these rose print tights are a perfect nod to Valentine’s Day without all the fuss.

2. Floral Print Underwear by Knickerocker: I’ve been so busy working with Knickerocker on her wholesale line that I’ve lost track of the new stuff in her Etsy shop recently! This new pair of underwear is one of my favorites. They’re a sweet acknowledgement of Valentine’s Day that is also wearable year-round.

3. En Dentelle Underwire Bra by Claudette: Every time I see another new bra by Claudette I drool, and then tell myself that they are trying to expand their sizes and that I should be patient. If you are in their current size range (A-G cup) this En Dentelle bra is an easy sell. It’s lacy yet edgy, which can be a hard combination to pull off. If you’re looking for something different this Valentine’s Day, this is the perfect set to pick up.

4. Silk Chiffon and Charmeuse Babydoll by Bijte: Bloggers have been raving about Bijte for one big reason – this is the same gorgeous lingerie that everyone else gets, and it’s a revelation. Bijte has ditched the wires that make you feel like you’re being supported like the Eiffel Tower, and devised a support system that actually works with silk, chiffon, and charmeuse all the way up to a J cup or so. These babydolls are girly classics that will make your lingerie loving heart sing. This one comes in chocolate brown, aqua blue, or a soft peach pink.

5. Darling Heart Set by Bravissimo: Once again, Bravissimo reigns supreme as the champion of the HH+ cup woman. This gorgeous Valentine’s Day set is available up to a K cup and in a 28 band. I love the navy blue base as an alternative to red, and the heart embroidery that makes the set ladylike instead of childish.

6. Rita Banded Bra By Elomi: Elomi is finally making bras that look like Huit bras! While this  makes my head spin, it also makes me really happy for plus size full busted women, because it’s not like there’s a ton of choice out there in that category right now. This cotton candy pink Rita bra is the perfect example of how to produce great bras for this part of the market.

7. Satine Bra by Bravissimo: It’s hard to go wrong with a classic red plunge bra for Valentine’s Day, and the Satine is one of the best out there right now. It’s soft, satiny, and disappears under even the most low cut dress. It’s full of useful sex appeal – which is the best kind when you’re investing money in good bras.

8. Sorbet Sweet Nothings Set by Beaujais: Sets like this make me wish that Beaujais would  expand their size range! This set is gorgeous and the ultimate Valentine’s Day splurge: it includes a bra, two different panties, a garter belt and a matching eyemask. This set goes up to a GG cup in UK sizes.

9. Bisou Bisou Kiss Bra by Mimi Holliday: Mimi Holliday has another gorgeous take on red satin and sheer black lace with this set. The beauty in this set is in the details – the various laces and shapes that work with each other and the subtle layered colors.

10. Ooh La La Corsetlette by Gossard: This corset is a red lace classic and has been selling like crazy for Gossard. It’s retro and sexy while providing more coverage than a regular bra and panty set, which makes it a great for those of you looking for something different. If you want to channel your inner vintage starlet, this is the set to pick.

Are you picking anything new up for Valentine’s Day? Have you tried any of the items on this list?

 

Pick of the Week and Some Thoughts On the Curvy Kate Spring 2013 Offerings

Image via Figleaves

I have a terrible confession to make: I am a wimp who has spent the last two weeks in her house covered by a blanket while wearing thermal leggings and whining about the cold. My complains finally felt justified when it snowed last week, which is completely out of character for Mississippi and felt a little like the Twilight Zone. Part of this leads to today’s pick of the week, which is the warm and summery Lottie bra in a new raspberry colorway. I was gifted several Curvy Kate bras last year for a big review on The Lingerie Addict, and the Lottie bra was by far my favorite. It’s one of the most comfortable bras out there and holds up forever. If you’re a fan of having your boobs under your chin this bra won’t be your thing, but it’s a nice natural look and works beautifully under t-shirts and sweaters.

I realized that I hadn’t taken the time to talk about the new Curvy Kate collection, so I thought I’d do that today. I’m really torn about some things in it, and I thought it was worth putting them out there.

Image via Curvy Kate

I’ll start with the good news: I think this collection by Curvy Kate is the strongest yet in terms of design. They have everything from classics with a twist to multiway bras in gorgeous fashion colors. I love so many of the new offerings, and I think Curvy Kate has finally settled on a unique and incredibly appealing aesthetic that works for a wide range of body types and ages.

Image via Curvy Kate

Image via Curvy Kate

This all looks great, until you see that most of these bras stop at an HH cup (or a J cup if you’re a 28/30 band). The Princess is actually an exception to this rule, and one that I’ll definitely be picking up to try out this season. That said, most of the line that goes above an HH cup looks like this:

Image via Curvy Kate

While everyone needs an awesome t-shirt bra, the designs do tend to look more run of the mill as the cup sizes go up. Now, I’m not trying to be down on Curvy Kate specifically. I love their bras, and they’ve been a leader in pushing the full bust market further into the future. But, as a customer and a blogger, I feel sad when I see one more picture of someone shoving themselves into a Showgirl line bra with the caption “just one or two more cup sizes, please?”. This isn’t helped by the fact that the whole Showgirl line runs small in the cup, so sizing is even more restricted than it appears on paper. Even worse, I think it can unintentionally discourage HH+ cup women from entering Star in a Bra, which is a great piece of marketing and a great way of showing non-models in Curvy Kate lingerie.

Curvy Kate has been a trailblazer in so many ways, and they’d be the perfect company if they could just expand their sizing a little bit! Changing things around so all the bras in their line worked up to a K cup would be icing on the very nicely decorated cake.

 

Branching Outside the Push-Up Bra

Normally when shopping for bras, I immediately go for the push-up section.  As someone who doesn’t have too much to work with and envies those with natural curves and fuller chests, I’m always looking for ways to enhance what I have.  Admittedly, besides my sports bras, I’d say about 98% of what I own has some amount of push-up padding in it. However, on my most recent trip to Bare Essentials, I was reminded that sometimes all you need is a good fitting bra to show off what you have. Normally, I avoid trying things on whenever possible, but on this day I pulled about fifteen different bras and tried every single one on. Ladies, finding the perfect bra is no joke, but it’s totally worth it when you start growing your collection of well-fitting garments, and feel confident in your shape.

Normally, I wear a 28D, but I’ve found with different brands that there are slight differences in the fit.  I tried a couple from b.tempt’d, they didn’t carry a 28D, so I tried both the 30C and the 30D.  The C cup was definitely too small, from the front it didn’t look too bad, but if you saw the side view there was some really awkward looking spillage.  Not a cute look. Luckily, all the ones I tried in the 30D fit perfectly.

This nude option, Celebration Push Up Bra (I know, I know, I couldn’t not try on a push-up…But read on, I eventually came around) I really loved, because of the wide band.  Even though finding a ton of support isn’t always my main concern, I still prefer the feeling of being all strapped in as opposed to a flimsier band with only one clasp in the back.  I also loved that it was firm enough without digging into my skin, instead I was left with a seamless line that wouldn’t be noticeable even under the tightest t-shirts.

The equally adorable and supportive band.

If you’re looking for something with a little less structure, the Ciao Bella Balconette Bra was really cute, and super comfortable.  It wouldn’t be my first pick for creating the ideal shape for my chest, but the soft cup design didn’t feel restricting at all.

Although I loved the Celebration Push-Up, I knew I had to branch outside my wonderfully padded comfort zone, and I ended up purchasing a Freya piece.  The company goes up to a K cup, but they cater beautifully to small busted women as well.  With the Deco Honey Iris Molded Plunge Bra, I loved that I still got full coverage, but the deep plunge neck line also worked well with low cut tops.   At first I thought the 28 band was bordering on being too tight, but the woman who worked at the boutique advised me to stick with it since Freya bands tend to stretch easier than others.  What I loved the most about this bra was that even though it wasn’t a push-up, it still lifted my chest up, but not necessarily pushing them together. Really, it did a better job of creating shape and lift than my older bras that were basically all padding. Overall the added perkiness looked natural and most importantly it felt comfortable, like everything was right where it was supposed to be.

And the winner is....Freya!

One of the biggest differences between a well-fitting bra and those that aren’t: The first full day I wore it, I wasn’t constantly adjusting, shifting, and moving things around.  After all, there’s a big difference between how a bra feels in the fitting room, and how it feels when you’re being active all day.  Although smaller busted women don’t always struggle with finding proper support, I’ve always had issues with the bra either fitting right in the cups but shifting around my body, or fitting firmly around my body but the cups were too small.  Finally starting to shop at the right places, and discovering brands that value a good fit instead of a good sale has been the most important change I’ve made in shopping.

After I got home, I tried it on under some different types of tops, and from t-shirts to bustiers, it seems to work with it all! I especially loved the result when paired with my previous Bare Essential purchase–I mean the fact that I could get this lift without a push-up? And I was comfortable? I was sold.

What’s your favorite confidence-boosting purchase? Have you struggled with any of the same issues as me? Comment away!

Valentine’s Day Copywriting Specials!

Some retailers are already seeing Valentine’s Day sales and some of you are just getting prepared, but either way I’m here to make your life easier with some Valentine’s Day copywriting schedules. I can fix up your website to make Google and your clients like you more, or just put together that gift guide series that you’ve been dreading.

My most popular offering around this time of year is gift guides, so if you think you’re interested let me know! I’m trying to get people on the schedule early so I’m not working 19 hour days during the first week of February. I’ve also done gift guides for brands that I’m a fan of in the past, so if you’re interested in that please go ahead and reach out to me over email as well.

To make your life a little easier, I’m offering some Valentine’s Day related specials:

Product Descriptions: Retailers frequently add lots of new products around the holidays,  but each product has to have a description. Lots of retailers use what the manufacturer gives them, but the Google Panda update is now down ranking websites with what they see as “copied” content. Make your customers and the Google crawler happy with some original (and professional) product descriptions that increase your sales and your website ranking!

Holiday Offer: 20% off any product description package (must include at least 15 descriptions)

Newsletters: Newsletters are a great way to generate extra sales around the holidays, but they take time to write. I can create a newsletter that gets results while showing off the personality behind your brand. In the meantime, you can get back to doing…well, whatever you want to be doing!

Holiday Offer: $99 per newsletter

Gift Guides and Ghost Blogs: Blogs and gift guides seem like the easy part of holiday  marketing, but they can become a huge time suck. They can also sap your creativity, or take you away from helping customers in your physical store. Leave it to the professionals (yours truly) and make an appointment with me to talk about ghost blog content and gift guides. I’m the secret mastermind behind lingerie blogs large and small all over the world, and can create content that you and your customers will love.

Holiday Offer: $50 per ghost blog and $150 per gift guide

To schedule your work in time for Valentine’s Day or to talk about what a copywriter can do for you, please contact holly@thefullfiguredchest.com

Full Bust Friendly Dress Review: The Jenny Dress by Trashy Diva!

I have to confess that I have a tendency to buy things in batches, especially if a sale is involved. This means that I managed to acquire lots of Trashy Diva dresses in the past sale, so there will be several more reviews coming soon if you’re liking this series.

There was a sale on non-sale merchandise, so I gave in and picked up this gorgeous Jenny Dress that I’ve had my eye on for ages. I wanted to see how the stretch knit pieces by Trashy Diva compared with their other offerings and if they were equally flattering on a full busted figure.

Due to the stretch fabric, they do run larger, so this is a 12. While I love it and have worn it lots, I might be tempted to try a 10 the next time! These dresses have lots of stretch, so sizing down is definitely recommended even for us bustier women. As you can see in this photo, the bust section is loose enough that it occasionally slips when I sit down and needs readjustment. This isn’t a big deal at all, but does make me wonder about going down two sizes next time.

I love this traditional dress shape which is incredibly hard to find these days! It’s such a classic and clean look, and this works perfectly for a night out or for work. I’ve paired it here with a gorgeous hat I picked up at a local antique store that seems to be made to go with it. This may seem like just enough stretch knit dress on the surface, but the details are what make it worth the price tag. The sleeves are just slightly puffy, the skirt is pleated to give it extra shape, the stomach is paneled to hide any flaws, and the bust is draped to add flattering support. The neckline is also perfect on me, which is hard to find in a v-neck dress. I will definitely be picking up another one later this year — I just have to decide if I want to go for this dress in another color or the long sleeved version.

The knit fabric is incredibly soft and surprisingly thick. This helps the dress keep the perfect shape it gives you, but also means that I’ll get wear out of it year round here rather than just in the summer. I feel like the dress is begging for one of those vintage pins, but I’ve found a treble clef one that may be perfect with it (as you can tell from the background, I’m kind of a music geek).

Have you tried this dress? What do you think of Trashy Diva in general? Let me know in the comments!

 

Pick of the Week: Kris Line “Pearl” Set

Image via Brastop

Image via Brastop

I wasn’t intending to do a pick of the week, but once I saw that this set was back in limited quantities on Brastop I felt like I had to (after I squealed loudly and bought out multiples in my size to replace the set I wore through). If I had to pick my favorite basic lingerie set ever, this would be it. 

Kris Line is a Polish bra company that makes amazing stuff that hasn’t really made it to the US yet. Occasionally, the basic sets show up on Brastop in a weird array of sizes. It’s back currently, with some sizes up to JJ! My rule for Kris Line is to pick your band size based on your Panache bras and go up a cup size. 

The pictures on Brastop really don’t do this set justice. It has all of the features of your favorite smooth t-shirt bra, with tons of classic European influenced style. It also gives amazing shape and works under anything that doesn’t require a plunge bra. It’s simple  and ladylike, but still detailed enough to make you feel sexy.

On the rare occasion that these bras do make it to the US, they fall into the $80 category. It’s well worth paying the international shipping as they’re about $26 now on sale, so stock up while you can. Now if they’d only bring back the black Brilliant set I’d be over the moon!

Full Bust Friendly Dress Review: The Dolores Dress In Red Ridinghood Print

Image via Collectif

Collectif has been on my rader for awhile, but it took this amazingly unique fairy tale inspired print to get me to take a chance and make an order. Lots of other bloggers swear by their dresses, but they tend to focus on prints which I tend to avoid. I was feeling brave after my Trashy Diva experience, so I decided to go for broke and try a print dress from a new company and place an overseas order.

This dress originally came in two versions: a wiggle and a swing dress. They sold like crazy, so by the time I got to it only the wiggle was being restocked. I’m still on the fence when it comes to swing dresses and me, so I’m glad I ended up with this version in the end. Shipping was about two weeks from the UK, but it looked like some US based retailers were carrying this as well under different names.

As you can see in my shot and the promo shot, I feel like the color of this dress is hard to photograph. It’s a bright teal rather than a true blue, which really makes the red button detail and the print stand out. It’s adorable and fun, but not for wallflowers!

I had heard from fellow bloggers that the Dolores dress shape was generous in the bust, which turned out to be an understatement. I ordered a UK 14, but now feel like I could have gone down to a UK 12 (which is a 10 in US sizes). The material is comfortable and summerweight, but also works well with tights and a cardigan over it. I’ve actually gotten away with this at a few meetings that way, despite Red Ridinghood having garters!

The sleeves are elasticized, which would be great if you want to wear them off the shoulder. Unfortunately, for me this just leads to them slipping around slightly and showing my bra straps if I’m not keeping an eye on things. It’s not a huge problem, and I’ve already worn the dress lots in spite of it.

The great news is that Collectif makes lots of dresses in this cut, so if you fall in love with them there are lots of options. The bad news is that this particular dress is sold out almost everywhere, so if you want this print you’ll have to hunt for it. There are some size 10′s left on the Collectif website, and some of the swing dress version left at Modcloth. I suspect that smaller retailers have some as well, so check the internet and the Facebook pages of any vintage reproduction retailers that you follow.

I love the dress, and I’ll definitely be buying from Collectif again if they come out with more offbeat prints like this in the future. I’m hoping that since this sold out so quickly, there will be more fairy tale inspired clothing on the way!

Best Full Busted Lingerie and Clothing Of 2012!

Image via ASOS

Best Full Busted Bra Brand (D-G): Pleasure State VIP
Honorable Mention: Evollove and Claudette

This category is becoming incredibly competitive, especially now that more international brands are making their way into the United States. Pleasure State VIP won this based on their unwavering commitment to truly high fashion lingerie in the D-G range. From ballet inspired pieces to sultry bras like this, the brand took the center stage in all the right ways. Luckily, they’re now available at ASOS for those of us who have been pining over their designs for years.

Evollove (also owned by Bendon) and Claudette are both doing incredible work and deserve mentions here as well. Claudette is focusing heavily on expanding their designs and size range over the next few years, and Evollove has put out stunning pieces at very nice price points all year. Again, thank ASOS for Evollove being so widely available in the United States.

Image via Bravissimo

Best Full Busted Bra Brand (G-L): Bravissimo
Honorable Mention: Panache and Ewa Michalak

It’s still sort of a wasteland at the more extreme end up the up size scale, but retailers like Bravissimo are leading the charge to change that. In addition to carrying a dizzying selection of bras, Bravissimo’s own line has been a standout in the larger cup sizes. Whether it’s the comfortable and cute Alana expanding to an L cup or their plunges up to a J cup, Bravissimo is the place to locate that perfect bra that you can’t find anywhere else.

Panache remains a strong contender and makes some bras that will always have a place in my underwear drawer. I wish they would expand the Cleo range into larger cup sizes, but they’re a solid presence and seem to be working on creating some gorgeous new designs for next year. Ewa Michalak has reduced the size range they stock (although they will still make your size if you special order it) as well as their lingerie that comes in anything except solid colors. On top of added processing fees for international orders, it’s made ordering from them less of a joy. On the flip side, they’ve added an international social media presence this year, so I’m hoping great things will be coming during 2013!

Image via Urkye

Best Full Bust Clothing Specialty Line: Urkye
Honorable Mention: Biu Biu and Pepperberry

There are lots of speciality lines and retailers for full bust clothing now, and in my eyes none are perfect. However, Urkye takes it this year for their lovely basics at reasonable prices and really flattering fit. Biu Biu deserves an honorable mention here, as well as the tried and true Pepperberry. If you’re new to these lines, I tend to divide them by age group. Urkye feels the youngest, while Biu Biu is slightly older and Pepperberry seems a little too old to me sometimes. Prices also rise accordingly, I find.

Image via Knickerocker

Best Indie Underwear Designer: Knickerocker
Honorable Mention: La Lilouche, Amuse Bouche

Knickerocker has been so popular around here (also, don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway) that I feel like everyone can agree on this win. With new designs coming out all the time, Knickerocker is thriving. Reasonable price points mean that handmade undies are affordable for almost everyone, and Nic’s sassy girl chic aesthetic never gets old.

La Lilouche is now offering a larger range of loungewear sizes in her amazing designs that are influenced by India, and Amuse-Bouche is still my favorite place to get a pair of panties that could double as artwork. They’re both a splurge, but worth every penny.

Image via Pinup Girl Clothing

Image via Trashy Diva

Best Regular Clothing Line for Full Busted Women: Trashy Diva and Pinup Girl Clothing (tie)
Honorable Mention: Collectif

I could make an entire wardrobe out of Pinup Girl Clothing and Trashy Diva dresses, and may in fact put that on my goal list for 2013. Each company creates gorgeous dresses that work amazingly well on busty women. If you’re new to these lines, start with the stretch bengaline pieces from Pinup Girl Clothing and the Sadie-based dresses from Trashy Diva. Each are perfectly designed to accentuate your waist while making your boobs look ladylike yet amazing. Pinup Girl Clothing currently stocks pieces up to a 4X while Trashy Diva goes up to a size 18 in many pieces, so plus size girls can work these dresses too.

The Collectif dresses in the Delores Doll shape continue to sell out for good reason. Their small runs of unique patterns and forgiving bustline make them a staple for any full busted woman who can get her hands on one!

Image via Les Queues Des Sardines

Best Stockings Designer: Les Queues Des Sardines
Honorable Mention: Erica M and Hose Tights

Les Queues Des Sardines continues to produce cheerful and chic tights that are cool enough to be the centerpiece of any outfit. They are also well made and last forever, which makes the price easier to bear.

Erica M makes both stockings and thigh highs for when you’re feeling racy in an art deco kind of way, and the paper plane stockings from Hose Tights are on my must have list for 2013.

Image via Naked Princess

Best Full Bust Friendly Loungewear: Naked Princess
Honorable Mention: La Lilouche and Priscilla Jade

Naked Princess continues to create unbelievably soft loungewear pieces that work with a wide variety of sizes, and is showing full busted soft bras for their spring line. I am thrilled to see a luxury loungewear company make this kind of commitment to the full busted market and really hope that they follow through with it.

La Lilouche makes great special occasion loungewear and my favorite silk robe on the market, and the Priscilla Jade Hera robe in it’s candy shop colorways was one of the best buys of this past year.

Image via Bijte

Best Full Bust Luxury Designer: Bijte
Honorable Mention: Beaujais and Louise Ferdinand Lingerie

Bijte is a small but revolutionary brand out of New York that caught my attention a few months ago, and has become a fast favorite with other full bust bloggers as well. Their quality materials, traditional European design sense, and innovative wire-free support system makes them the best splurge on the market currently. I can’t wait to try more of their pieces.

Beaujais produced a strong collection this year in the D-G category, and offers complete gift sets that are a great option to show someone just how much you love them. Don’t be fooled by Louise Ferdinand’s laid back approach to the classics – their pieces are glamorous and high quality.

Image via Eliza Parker

Best Full Bust Friendly Plus Size Dress Designer: Eliza Parker
Honorable Mention: IGIGI

This was a tough choice, as both of these lines are fabulous for women who are both busty and plus sized. Eliza Parker makes the best basics around: if you need a dress you can wash and wear over and over, dress up or down, and pack in a suitcase then you should check out Eliza Parker. Their dresses are always elegant, boob friendly, and can be worn so many different ways.

IGIGI is a gorgeously fashion forward line with incredibly impressive offerings. Whether you need a bold sequined skirt or a sweater dress for work, they make them with style to spare. Their items seem to be a little bit more hit or miss with regards to boob room, which is why they came in a very close second.

What brands and bras made your best of list? Have I left anyone out? What do you think of my picks? Let me know in the comments.