Posts by Holly

A Short Guide to Buying International Bras Online

MOLLY set by Kris Line

MOLLY set by Kris Line

More US consumers are buying bras internationally these days than ever before. A few years ago, buying bras internationally was mostly something that was talked about in the full bust community. Some Polish bra companies were the only ones who catered to the more extreme end of small band/large cup sizes and lots of full busted ladies just liked the international options better. As the internet becomes more of a shopping resource and more communities pop up that are dedicated to bra swapping and selling, more customers are starting to explore international brands.

Despite more resources popping up online, buying a gorgeous bra from another country can still be a scary and confusing process. How do you figure out sizing? What is VAT? What if it doesn’t fit? How do you pay if they don’t take Paypal? Today I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to navigating buying bras internationally, as well as some resources and communities that you should check out if you want to start the process.

Jewel Bra by Avocado

Jewel Bra by Avocado

Some Things To Know Before You Buy:

Your size in both inches and cm:
You may know your basic bra size (make sure you know it in both US and UK sizes) but make sure you also know your measurements in both inches and centimeters as well. This will be critical if you want to buy matching panties, but can be helpful if you have to ask questions about sizing.

Not everyone speaks English, so keep your questions short and simple:
If you do want to ask questions before you get ready to purchase something, many companies will work with you. Be aware that most company hours in non-English speaking companies don’t have fluent language skills, so keep your emails restricted to something that Google can translate easily. When in doubt, send measurements in centimeters rather than inches.

Find Out How To Pay:
Some companies do sell to the US, but either aren’t e-commerce equipped outside Europe or only use a payment service like DotPay. Lots of these companies will sell you a bra, but you’ll need to email them first so they can arrange a separate Paypal invoice instead of going through their website.

Use Online Communities to Figure Out Sizing:
We’ll touch on this in more detail in the resources section, but I wanted to make a note of it here too. Like the more common bra brands, no two international brands size the same way. Google reviews of each brand for sizing notes and check out the various communities listed at the end of this section to learn more about each company’s sizing.

Where To Go For More Information and Sizing Help:

There are honestly tons of communities out there now that can help with this, but here are some of the easiest places to start with.

- The “Clothes for Boobs/Buy/Sell” page on Facebook
- Bratabase

Chevron Bra by Comexim

Chevron Bra by Comexim

 

The Money Stuff:

US Based Buyers Don’t Pay VAT:
VAT is simply a sales tax that the end buyer pays – in Europe, it’s built into the price of the item. If you’re a US buyer, it doesn’t apply to you. This means that your bra is actually cheaper than the listed price (unless a site has e-commerce and specifically lists both VAT and non-VAT prices, but that’s rare), so yay! Make sure you get an itemized listing of the fees and shipping you’re paying, as there have been issues in the past with some international companies charging a hidden combination of VAT + Paypal fees + shipping to US based customers.

Customs Fees Start Around $200:
It’s common to band together with other lingerie lovers to save money on shipping, but be aware that any total order over about $200 can be subject to some hefty customs fees. Depending on how much you order, that can add up and negate any shipping savings you’d get on a group order. When in doubt, split up any orders over $200 to avoid customs fees (even if you’re ordering as part of a group).

CHP Lawenda Bra by Ewa Michalak

CHP Lawenda Bra by Ewa Michalak

If This All Seems Scary and Complicated And You Want To Buy a International Bra in the US:

International Bras Are More Expensive Once They’re Imported:
Don’t expect that gorgeous $40 bra you see listed on a Polish site to cost the same once it’s imported to a US retailer. Paying higher prices in the US can also mean the ability to return a bra easily if it doesn’t fit, so depending on your priorities it can be worth it.

Try At A Lower Price Point Through A Swap/Sell Community:
Lots of people find selling bras in swap/sell communities easier than paying to return them, so you may be able to snag a great bra in your size brand new. If you’re willing to take a slightly used bra, you can pay a much lower price to try one out in your size so you don’t have to take chances on your next international order.

Some US Retailers Are Selling International Brands Now
While it’s still hard to access international bra brands in the US, it’s no longer impossible. Here are a list of my favorite places to check, as well as the brands they specialize in.

- A Sophisticated Pair: Comexim, both basics and fashion bras.
- Zulily: Kris Line
- Wellfitting: Comexim
- Brastop (UK site): Sells a wide range of international brands, as well as loungewear and swimwear by the same companies.

Do you feel ready to buy an international bra now? Have you bought one in the past? Do you have any tips to add to this list?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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Plus Size Shapewear Review: Ruby Ribbon

 

Image via Ruby Ribbon

Image via Ruby Ribbon

Products for this review were provided by Ruby Ribbon. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

While I wear mostly vintage style dresses, I’m actually a big fan of shapewear leggings in my down time. They’re great for playing with my dog, walking around the French Quarter and doing yoga or ballet exercise tapes. I’ve been relying mostly on Lysse products for the past year or so, so I was excited to try out a similar style of shapewear based clothing from Ruby Ribbon.

I was sent three products: the Capri Leggings, The Lace Lingerie Tank and the Full Support Cami. If you’re short on time, here’s the capsule review: while I liked the look and feel of these products, I didn’t feel like the quality was in line with similarly priced products. However, one product I absolutely loved and would purchase again.

Image via Ruby Ribbon:

Image via Ruby Ribbon:

The Capri Leggings:
I really loved the look and feel of these leggings. They were super flattering (even on my size 12/14 rear end) and made out of a lighter material than my usual go to shapewear leggings. While I was initially thrilled to have the perfect leggings for summer, I was really disappointed once I washed them once. After a short amount of wear and one time through the gentle cycle in my washer, they had substantial pilling. I know lots of leggings and yoga pants have this issue, but I have some cheaper leggings than these from Old Navy that have almost no pilling after a year. My more expensive leggings from Lysse have zero pilling after 2 years, so maybe I’m just spoiled. Either way, while I loved these to start with, there are much better leggings out there for your money.

Image via Ruby Ribbon

Image via Ruby Ribbon

The Full Support Cami:
This is the one piece from this sample set that I’d purchase for myself, especially now that I know that it comes in colors. This is the perfect layering tank for all kinds of outfits and I’m honestly glad to have found it. It’s washed well and has several features that make it really useful and unique. I love the silicone gripper edge on the bottom that keeps it from riding up, as there’s nothing more annoying than trying to tug your tank top down underneath your dress in public. It’s also a nice weight, which would make it a great underlayer for winter. While I think Ruby Ribbon’s claim that the tank top can “support any size” is pretty farfetched, it’s a great basic shapewear piece that has a place in everyone’s closet.

Image via Ruby Ribbon

Image via Ruby Ribbon

Lace Lingerie Tank by Ruby Ribbon:
This unlined lace tank comes in a variety of colors and actually looks really cute with jeans or over a pair of basic leggings. Unfortunately, this was another instance where I felt like the price didn’t justify the quality. The lace was a little scratchy, which made wearing it out in the heat uncomfortable. The floral lace pattern was also pretty basic. If this is your style I’d steer you towards similar products from Hanky Panky, which are super soft and last forever.

While Ruby Ribbon was a bit hit or miss, I’d definitely encourage people to check out their shapewear tank tops!

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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5 Steps to Declutter Your Lingerie Collection

Image via SunshineCity

Image via SunshineCity

I finally set aside some time this weekend and dealt with my overflow of lingerie. My situation is obviously more drastic than other people’s, as I see lots of lingerie due to my column here and my job as a lingerie copywriter. However, almost all of us have stuff that is old, worn out, or lingerie that we just don’t wear lurking around in our lingerie drawers. Since most of us have limited storage space, clearing out the old to make room for the once in awhile is essential. It also gives you an opportunity to figure out what you really do need, as well as what lingerie you wear a lot and should pick up more of. Clearing out your lingerie collection can seem really overwhelming, so today I’ve made a list of steps that can help make it a reasonably short and easy process.

1. Throw away the obviously bad pieces.
Panties are usually the worst culprit here, as we all have a tendency to keep things that are stained or ripped. Get rid of all of the obviously bad stuff – this includes lingerie that is stained, ripped, has bad elastic or is just not wearable. Make sure you go through all of your lingerie, including stockings to check them for runs. For bras, throw out anything that is stained or where the bra is just dead.

2. Sort your lingerie into piles.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the trash, you’re left with things you want to keep and lingerie that is in good enough shape to sell or giveaway. Pull out the stuff you wear on a regular basis and look for patterns. Is it all beige? Is it all red? Do you gravitate towards a certain bra cut? Why does this lingerie work with your wardrobe so well? These are all things you can take notes on and remember when you’re contemplating future purchases.

Now, take a look at the second pile. There are two options at this point: selling and giving things away. There are now several Facebook groups centered around selling gently used bras – if you’re full busted you should try the Clothes For Boobs group there. You can also talk to local consignment shops if you have one in your area or try Ebay.

Image via Bed, Bath and Beyond

Image via Bed, Bath and Beyond

3. Organize what you’re keeping and plan how you’re going to store it.
While it’s tempting to just shove all of your bras back in your drawers, it’s really not good for them. If you have tons of drawer space you can store them flat, but you can also look into supplies like these lingerie hangers if you have more closet space than drawer space. Take space care with moulded cup bras so they don’t get flattened when you store them. I also like to store all of my stockings together, whether it’s in their original packaging or in a protective bag so they can’t snag on anything.

Image via Journelle

Image via Journelle

4. Invest in a decent lingerie wash.
If you’re full busted or just into more expensive bra brands, this step is particularly important. You can wash your lingerie with baby shampoo (and I’m not judging people who do) but some of the more expensive lingerie washes contain components that will help preserve your bra elastics and extend the life of your bras and stockings. By moving up a step in your lingerie wash, you’re saving money by extending the lifespan of your lingerie. My current favorite is this version by Journelle that I reviewed a few months ago.

5. Fill in the holes in your lingerie wardrobe.
Now that you’ve done this, you should have a pretty good idea of what you need in your lingerie wardrobe. You may also have some extra cash if you’ve sold your gently used bras! When you contemplate new purchases, think first about what you need and what you tend to wear on a regular basis. If in doubt, look at your now edited lingerie collection and see if your new purchase fits in with the kind of lingerie you tend to reach for on a daily basis.

When was the last time you cleaned out your lingerie collection? What’s your favorite lingerie wash? Let me know in the comments.

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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6 Plus Size Friendly Indie Lingerie Designers

Century Girl Slip by Dottie's Delights

Century Girl Slip by Dottie’s Delights

I get lots of questions about indie lingerie designers from plus-size women, but one of the most frequently asked questions is about which designers cater to larger bodies. One of the most obvious barriers to buying a piece of made to measure lingerie if you’re plus-sized is fear: after all, no one wants to feel judged or told that their money isn’t wanted. It doesn’t help that most indie lingerie is shot in a way that pleases retailers, which generally means using industry standard size models rather than a variety of body types. All of this can make it difficult to tell whether a designer welcomes (or has experience with) plus-size customers.

While there are lots of indie designers out there who will work with you to design a beautiful made to measure or custom piece of lingerie, today I’ve put together a list of six designers that are a good place to start with. These are places I have extensive experience with or have bought from and they represent a variety of styles and price points. If you’ve been itching to try a piece of custom lingerie but feel lost whenever you head to Etsy, check out these designers first.

Liberty Print Bed Jacket by Ayten Gasson

Liberty Print Bed Jacket by Ayten Gasson

Ayten Gasson:
I’ve ordered multiple pieces from Ayten before and loved everything. While her regularly offered sizing is pretty standard, she’s got a great understanding of curves which she readily applies to custom pieces. I think these gorgeous liberty print pieces are a great place to start, but her teddies and basic silk pieces have quite a following as well.

Stardust Maxi Gown by La Lilouche

Stardust Maxi Gown by La Lilouche

La Lilouche:
La Lilouche is back from her maternity leave, which means we’ll all have access to her amazing lingerie again. Liya is willing to go above and beyond to make her lingerie work for you – she’s gone as far as to double line mesh pieces for me so I can wear a regular bra with them. She’s lovely, open, and fun to work with.

Purple Dress with Cupcake by Knickerocker

Purple Dress with Cupcake by Knickerocker

Knickerocker:
If you’re looking for something a bit younger or with a more whimsical feel, Knickerocker is your brand. From animal inspired pieces to junk food lingerie, there’s something for everyone.

Spanking Shorts by Nearer the Moon

Spanking Shorts by Nearer the Moon

Nearer the Moon:

For those who are into the elegant bondage look, Nearer the Moon offers barely there pieces with a real point of view. Her collections are smart and interesting, but she’s also great at customizing pieces to work with curves or larger bodies. She’ll talk with you about sizing as well as what part of your body you’d like to accentuate when you order something made to measure, so you can work with her to design your ideal lingerie set.

Century Girl Slip by Dottie's Delights

Century Girl Slip by Dottie’s Delights

Dottie’s Delights:
Dottie’s Delights channels pure elegance pretty much 100% of the time, so those looking to step back into another era should give her a try. This gorgeous slip is high on my list for my next order from her. She produces a wide variety of custom pieces and will tackle bras in larger sizes as well.

Dentelle Slip by Angela Friedman

Dentelle Slip by Angela Friedman

Angela Friedman:
While Dottie’s Delights oozes turn of the century American elegance, Angela Friedman pieces to me seem to channel a French sense of elegance. Her materials are incredible, she’s lovely to work with and she’ll even send muslins for fittings through the mail for custom pieces. I love this cheeky yet elegant black slip that would fit perfectly in almost any lingerie drawer.

Have you ever ordered made to measure lingerie before? What did you think of it?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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5 Full Bust Sleep and Lounge Bras

Lavender Sorbet Bra by Cake Lingerie

Lavender Sorbet Bra by Cake Lingerie

If I had to make a list of frequently asked questions, sources for sleep and lounge bras would be at the top. Everyone seems to want one and no one seems to be able to find a great one. While the options out there are pretty limited, things have gotten a lot better in the past few years. This list is based on lots of trial and error on my part, as well as lots of feedback from other people. It also includes my personal favorite lounge bra, which you can pretty much pry out of my cold dead hands at this point. This list also includes both wireless and underwired options, as I know everyone’s comfort preferences are different.

The Ahh Bra by Rhonda Shear

The Ahh Bra by Rhonda Shear

The Ahh Bra by Rhonda Shear:
This is going to be a controversial option, given the fact that lots of us have a bias against bras that have their own informercial. Having said that, when I ask full busted women what they wear for extra support when they sleep, this is the most frequent answer. These are reasonably cheap, machine washable and definitely provide that little extra bit of support. They’re worth trying out if you just want a little bit of extra support without an underwire, or if you’re just not into spending a bunch of money on a sleep bra.

Panache Sports Bra

Panache Sports Bra

The Panache Sports Bra:
When Panache first designed their sports bra, I can’t imagine they were thinking that women would wear it for everything. I know people who use this as an every day bra and as a sleep bra – I even met someone who traveling through multiple countries with just this and a bikini top in her suitcase for support. I own three of these, so I’m clearly part of the fan club. These bras do have wires, but they’re so well padded that you’d hardly know it. They’re comfortable, wash and dry easily and come in a wide range of patterns and colors.

Dark Chocolate Bra by Cake Lingerie

Dark Chocolate Bra by Cake Lingerie

Dark Chocolate Bra by Cake Lingerie:
This is hands down my favorite lounge bra on the market – I own two of them and I’m intending to buy more this autumn. The flexible wire design means that you get enough support so this can pass for your regular bra while enjoying all of the comfort that comes with a soft cup bra. If that wasn’t enough, Cake Lingerie makes several insanely pretty sets using this same design. This one is next on my list.

Original Un-Bra by Decent Exposures

Original Un-Bra by Decent Exposures

Original Un-Bra by Decent Exposures:
Full bust ladies in the know have been flocking to Decent Exposures over the past few years. I haven’t tried them yet, but I know lots of people who rave about these bras. Decent Exposures builds custom bras where you can pick the material, so you can choose how much support you want and create your ideal support to comfort ratio. These bras may not be the most gorgeous option out there, but I know several ladies who would testify that Decent Exposure bras have changed their lives.

Lavender Sorbet Bra by Cake Lingerie

Lavender Sorbet Bra by Cake Lingerie

Lavender Sorbet Bra by Cake Lingerie:
I haven’t tried this soft cup bra from Cake Lingerie yet, but it goes up to a 40J. I love the idea of a wireless sleep bra, so this will probably be next on my list to try. It’s also pretty, which gives it an extra leg up for me.

What’s your favorite sleep or lounge bra? Have you found one you love yet?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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5 Plus Size Swimsuits in Graphic Prints

The Zanzibar One Piece Swimsuit in Brown by Josephine Swim

The Zanzibar One Piece Swimsuit in Brown by Josephine Swim

I’ve discovered that my happy place for swimsuits is pretty close to my happy place for clothing: a dash retro, lots of prints bordering on kitsch and bright happy colors. All of these swimsuits make me terribly happy and come in a great size range. While this article focuses on plus sizes, lots of these have a full size range as well. All of these swimsuits go to size 3X, with some going higher.

ASOS CURVE Mexican Elephant Print Bikini

ASOS CURVE Elephant Print Bikini

ASOS CURVE Bikini Top and Bottom in Mexican Elephant Print:
I had something intellectual and smart I was going to say here, but oh my god it’s baby elephants on a swimsuit and I want it. ASOS CURVE has been hitting it out of the park with their fashion items this year, so it’s not surprising that their swimsuit collection is great as well. This bikini is eyecatching while still offering lots of coverage and a hint of kitsch.

Nala Midkini by Swimsuits for All and GabiFresh

Nala Midkini by Swimsuits for All and GabiFresh

Nala Midkini by Swimsuits for All and GabiFresh:
Gabi Gregg of the GabiFresh blog has debuted another knockout swimsuit collaboration with Swimsuits for All this season. This Nala Midkini is a great 70′s inspired print option for those of us who love lots of bright colors at the beach.

1940's Swoon Suit in Red Plaid by Pinup Girl Clothing

1940′s Swoon Suit in Red Plaid by Pinup Girl Clothing

1940′s Swoon Suit in Red Plaid by Pinup Girl Clothing:
For vintage swimsuit lovers, it doesn’t get much better than this Swoon Suit by Pinup Girl Clothing. Based on an original 1940′s swimsuit pattern, this suit is a one piece with all of the fun of a two piece. This plaid print is a completely different direction than most swimsuits go, which I love.

Swim Sexy Lips Midkini by Swimsuits for All

Swim Sexy Lips Midkini by Swimsuits for All

Swim Sexy Lips Midkini by Swimsuits for All:
This lip print swimsuit is a great option for those who like to embrace the kitsch fully. I love the fun print as well as the peek-a-boo style briefs – after all, where better to show some skin than the beach?

The Zanzibar One Piece Swimsuit in Brown by Josephine Swim

The Zanzibar One Piece Swimsuit in Brown by Josephine Swim

The Zanzibar One Piece Swimsuit in Brown by Josephine Swim:
Josephine Swim has released a knockout collection of amazing luxury plus size swimsuits – I love every last one of them. While there are lots of drama filled options, my favorite is this relatively quiet Zanzibar swimsuit. I love the beautiful colors against the brown background as well as the flattering cut.

Which of these is your favorite? Do you like to wear swimsuits with prints or do you prefer plain colors?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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Lingerie For Your Inner 1920′s Party Girl: The Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

 

This robe was provided by Trashy Diva for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I was extra excited when this review opportunity came through, because I’m a huge fan of Trashy Diva’s dresses and own a ton of them. Somehow though, I’d never gotten around to trying any of their lingerie options. I’d never even set foot in their lingerie boutique despite living close by.

The Trashy Diva Lingerie Store - Magazine Street Location

The Trashy Diva Lingerie Store – Magazine Street Location

If you’re unfamiliar with Trashy Diva, they’re a vintage reproduction clothing line out of New Orleans. Unlike some reproduction lines that focus on modern patterns and shapes, Trashy Diva tries to get as close to the classics as possible. They’ve taken this philosophy and applied it to some lingerie pieces recently, most notably this Flapper Robe that captures the 1920′s perfectly.

The Trashy Diva Lingerie Store - Magazine Street Location

The Trashy Diva Lingerie Store – Magazine Street Location

Since I live in the same city as the Trashy Diva stores, I got to actually try on several sizes of the robe before I picked the size for my sample. All of them are cut generously and as a 12/14 I fit both the medium and the large. I ended up going with the large so I could have more coverage over my chest, but I would have been happy with the medium as well. If you’re planning to wear this as an outerwear piece I’d size down, while those planning to wear it as lounge piece or as a dressing gown should pick the larger size.

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

This robe has tons of lovely details that make it truly special. The floral embroidery is bright gold and absolutely stunning, while the fringe is decadent and lots of fun. I love how the embroidery goes all the way around, including to the back of the robe. It’s that kind of detail that adds an extra dash of luxury to the Flapper Robe.

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

Since I work from home, I gave this robe a full try out – I wore it for an entire work day to see if it would be comfortable as well as pretty. I’m happy to report that it’s comfortable and beautiful, which can be hard to find in the lingerie world. The robe is made from featherlight rayon, which makes it great for hot weather even though it has long sleeves. The sleeves can also be cuffed to make them shorter, which is nice if you’re making tea or doing something that you’re afraid will get your robe dirty.

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

Trashy Diva Flapper Robe

Speaking of cleaning, I did not do a wash test on this robe like I do on all of my other review pieces. The robe is labeled dry clean only and if my experience with Trashy Diva dresses holds true then they really mean it. That said, you can spot clean this rayon easily with a little soap and water, so it’s not a disaster if you spill some coffee on it. I’ve tried this and none of the colors ran, but I wouldn’t dunk it water to handwash it without at least doing a spot test on the embroidery and the black rayon.

This robe is incredibly comfortable and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a 1920′s style lingerie piece that can actually stand up to lounging around the house. This robe is beautiful and striking, but it can also make it through Sunday brunch and the occasional dog cuddle. I really hope Trashy Diva produces more lingerie like this, as I’d absolutely buy more.

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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The Best Full Bust Lingerie for A/W 2014

Paradise Babydoll by Sculptresse

Paradise Babydoll by Sculptresse

For those of us in the industry, lingerie seasons seem to move so far ahead of the current time that it’s easy to feel like all of the new stuff is really old stuff. While lots of us are preparing to deal with Spring/Summer 2015 soon, customers will finally be seeing pieces from the A/W 2014 shows in the flesh starting in early August. It was a particularly strong showing for various full bust companies, so today I thought I’d highlight the brands and sets that you might want to put on your autumn shopping lists.

Mercy Set by Tutti Rouge

Mercy Set by Tutti Rouge

Kitty Set by Tutti Rouge

Kitty Set by Tutti Rouge

Tutti Rouge:
Several brands on this list had tough first seasons. They listened to lots of feedback, revamped and are now back and leading their competition. If you tried Tutti Rouge the first season and didn’t get along with their sizing, you really need to give them another shot. Their sizing is in line with the rest of the full bust industry now and their designs ooze creativity and a sense of fun. While I know lots of people are still devoted to Cleo, I think Tutti Rouge has outdone them in terms of fashion and materials recently. One of my favorite features of Tutti Rouge is the range of matching bottoms they produce, which means there is something for everyone. From barely there thongs to skirted bottoms, it’s worth buying the whole set.

Save up for: The gorgeous leopard print ‘Mercy’ set and the luxe vampire inspired ‘Kitty’ Set.

Dottie's Delights F/W 2014

Dottie’s Delights F/W 2014

Dottie's Delights F/W 2014

Dottie’s Delights F/W 2014

Dottie’s Delights:
Dottie’s Delights had one of the few lookbooks that made me want to buy absolutely everything in it during the previews – in fact, I’m budgeting a reasonable amount of my personal spending money for several pieces. The new line channels 50′s burlesque with modern materials and gorgeous cuts that look good on a wide range of bodies. It also features several new versions of the wildly popular Mosh Playsuit, which is one of my all time favorite lingerie pieces. I already own one, but I see myself picking up at least one more this season.

Save up for: Mosh Playsuits, 50′s inspired mesh sleepwear pieces

Paradise Babydoll by Sculptresse

Paradise Babydoll by Sculptresse

Chi Chi Set by Sculptresse

Chi Chi Set by Sculptresse

Sculptresse:
If you’d told me I would have been incredibly excited about the new Sculptresse season when the brand debuted, I would have thought you were crazy. The bras have always been well made and comfortable, but it wasn’t hitting my buttons style-wise. This season brings a serious style injection to the Sculptresse line that shows it can go toe to go with brands like Elomi. While I’d still love to see larger cup sizes and a more diverse set of bra shapes (plunge bras, please!), I’m insanely excited about getting to try some of the new pieces. Panache is also making the smart decision to incorporate bestselling styles like the Jasmine into the range – you can see it here as the leopard print Chi-Chi bra.

Save up for: The Flirtini, The Chi-Chi and the Paradise babydoll

 

Roxie Camisole Set by Curvy Kate

Roxie Camisole Set by Curvy Kate

Carmen Set by Curvy Kate in Boysenberry

Carmen Set by Curvy Kate in Boysenberry

Curvy Kate:
Curvy Kate is another brand that has redone their sizing for the better. They’re releasing some incredibly strong designs for this season, as well as options that aren’t found in other brands. Their Carmen longline bra will be back in a new colorway and several gorgeous babydolls will be making their debut. They have a lovely firecracker print bra and a new strapless that may grab a unique corner of the market. In short, there’s lots to love with much less guesswork in terms of sizing. In terms of new shapes, I really love the Roxie camisole. It’s a great option for ladies who don’t love the babydoll look but want more than a bra and panty set.

Save up for: The Carmen longline, the Roxie camisole, the Roxie babydoll

Which of these pieces is your favorite? Is there anything you’re really looking forward to for autumn/winter?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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Lingerie as Outerwear: Summer Wraps and Sweaters

Glitter Wings Sweatshirt by Kriss Soonik

Glitter Wings Sweatshirt by Kriss Soonik

Summer is one of the best times of the year to try out the lingerie as outerwear look. While it’s easy to wear bodysuits as blouses during the rest of the year, summer opens up a whole new range of possibilities. I’ve seen lots of pieces that double as outerwear being sold this summer, in part due to the popularity of movies like “The Great Gatsby” and tv shows like “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” (which honestly deserves it’s own lingerie style post, but we’ll skip that today). Whether you’re channeling your inner 1920′s society detective or just looking for a great silk wrap to wear out to dinner, you’ve come to the right place. As a bonus, these are pieces that are very free with sizing and look good on a wide range of body types.

Flapper Robe by Trashy Diva

Flapper Robe by Trashy Diva

This robe has been featured around here before, but I’ve seen it in personal several times now and have become a bit more obsessed each time I walk past it in the store. It’s simply stunning and the quality is great. It could easily double as a jacket over a wide range of summertime outfits, but try it with a pair of wider legged pants if you want to accent the 1920′s look that it already has.

Gatsby Kimono by Christine Lingerie

Gatsby Kimono by Christine Lingerie

This Gatsby Kimono is fitting named, as it’s another piece that channels both the era and the decadence shown in Fitzgerald’s novel. The motifs in the print reflect the fashions of the time as well, which is a thoughtful touch.

Chandelier Sweater by She and Reverie

Chandelier Sweater by She and Reverie

This sweater combines simple colors and shapes and then injects it all with lots of glitter. It would look extra cute over a short slipdress and brightly colored socks.

Jessica Bed Jacket by Ayten Gasson

Jessica Bed Jacket by Ayten Gasson

I own several of these bed jackets and wear them all the time. They’re cute with everything from jeans to pencil skirts. I especially adore the brightly printed versions that Ayten has released this season.

French Quarter Cocoon Wrap by Dollhouse Bettie

French Quarter Cocoon Wrap by Dollhouse Bettie

There is so much drama in this simple black lace wrap! Based on a 1915 pattern, it’s another piece that channels the early 1920′s perfectly. This would be wonderful with a longer formal dress if you want a light coat to go with it.

Glitter Wings Sweatshirt by Kriss Soonik

Glitter Wings Sweatshirt by Kriss Soonik

If the 1920′s isn’t your thing, Kriss Soonik has some wonderfully wearable and modern options this season. This sweatshirt is one part greek goddess, one part glitter explosion and one part lazy day sweatshirt. The result is new, fresh and eminently wearable.

Would you wear any of these pieces as outerwear? Which one is your favorite?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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Full Bust Perspectives: How Should Companies Market Full Bust Bras?

The Bombshell Bra by Bombshell Boudoir

The Bombshell Bra by Bombshell Boudoir

I spend the rest of my life talking about marketing from a company perspective, so it seems only fitting that today I find myself writing a piece on marketing as an actual bra consumer. As the full bust bra market grows, more and more companies are bringing out new options that claim to be the result of constant innovation, superior materials and construction that will change how we full bust women feel about our bras. Every new bra seems to represent some new never seen before style or a new age of full bust bras – so why are we all still talking about the bras we’d like to see?

The answer seems to be that the full bust bra world is full of companies marketing to customers who are seen as unique unicorns in the lingerie world, while customers see themselves as just another group of consumers who would like pretty underwear. These effusive marketing strategies are actually offputting, at least to me. Today I’m going to go over some great and not so great examples of how bras are marketed to full bust women, as well as talk about full bust customers and their reactions to various marketing tactics.

Amanda Contrast Bra by Creme Bralee

Amanda Contrast Bra by Creme Bralee

The bra at the top of the article comes from a new company called Bombshell Boudoir, which specializes in what they describe as the underserved 30DD to 36F bra market. Aside from the bra at the top looking at little uh…familiar, let’s say, this is marketing talk that we’ve all heard before. I’d love to see more fashionable and supportive bras for that particular market segment, but I’m pretty sure most consumers don’t believe this kind of talk when we hear it anymore. It’s easy to feel overloaded and discouraged when all full bust bra companies seem to be saying that full bust customers are so special while replicating the same marketing speech to make us love them.

The second bra is from Creme Bralee, which has actually come a long way in terms of making cute and fashionable bras at amazing price points. They’re another company that specializes in the C through G range and markets as a company that supports and loves women in this size range. The hitch? They add a surcharge to any bra over a DD cup. I believe that Creme Bralee really does love their customers and this market segment, but it’s hard to feel respected as a customer when you see a surcharge on certain cup sizes and not others. Why not make every cup size the same price and make them slightly more expensive? Why not spread the cost out over the whole range and not make some people feel like outliers?

These companies aren’t alone in attempting to make customers feel special in some awkward ways – you can see it all over the full bust bra market. Here’s the key: full bust customers want to have the same choices as everyone else and be treated the exact same way. After all, most full busted women have had enough bad experiences standing out in a crowd due to their figures. Why would we want our bras to give us that same awkward feeling?

Bardot Plunge Lace Bra by Claudette

Bardot Plunge Lace Bra by Claudette

That said, it’s not all bad news. There are some companies who are marketing genuinely innovative products to full bust ladies by doing what every other lingerie company does to sell lingerie to customers. Claudette is a great example of this. They make bras that range from A through G and use multiple models to show off the full range. They also don’t go around putting yellow highlighter around every larger cup size. To Claudette full busted customers are the same kind of customer that their C cup customers are, which is smart and refreshing.

DD through J Cup Strappy Tank by Bravissimo

DD through J Cup Strappy Tank by Bravissimo

Bravissimo specializes in a huge range of cup sizes and has been putting out products that no one else has for years. This year they’ve taken their wildly popular built in bra tank top line up to a J cup and released new colors for the new size range. This is the image they’re using to promote it. The best part about this image is that this is one of those standard summer outfits that everyone can (and wants) to wear. It’s also the kind of outfit that you’ve been dreaming about wearing for years if you’re full busted. Instead of marketing this tank top with a speech about innovation, the implied marketing message is smart and simple: now you can wear the same things in the summer that all of your friends do. 

Addicted Half Cup Set by Pour Moi

Addicted Half Cup Set by Pour Moi

I’ve featured this Addicted Half Cup set before, but it’s another great example of bras that came out with little fanfare and really rocked the full bust lingerie world. Everyone was excited about this set because it was a look that full bust women hadn’t had much access to before. Figleaves didn’t market it in any special way: they just added it to the lineup and let the lingerie speak for itself. Even with very little marketing, it got a ton of buzz and I suspect sold extremely well as a result.

When you try too hard to make a certain market segment feel special, it can sometimes spill over into making them feel singled out instead. What popular full bust companies have in common in their marketing is really basic: they make full bust women feel included rather than excluded. Lingerie is a big world, but fashionable and supportive bras are something that lots of consumers want. By focusing on those principles rather than on technical achievements or pandering to a certain size range, the most popular full bust companies have created a real following that makes their customers feel just like everyone else.

How do you feel about the way full bust companies market their lingerie? What attracts you to a lingerie marketing campaign? What turns you off?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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