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For years, full bust bra wearers (roughly defined as people in sizes DD or higher) have talked about how few choices there are for beautiful lingerie in their size. I’m not just talking about bras that exist in a particular size, of which there are (usually) many, but about bras that feel modern and fresh and equivalent to their core size counterparts in terms of both construction and design. Adina Reay is one brand trying to bridge that gap.

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Since writing for The Lingerie Addict, I’ve frequently mentioned my annoyance with the lack of aesthetic variation in plus size lingerie. The selection for trendy or unique off-the-rack pieces is slowly improving from major brands like Torrid or Cacique, but not as quickly as I (or others) would like. I was thrilled to see Toru & Naoko in TLA’s Best Brands of 2016 list. TLA has reviewed Toru & Naoko previously, but I’m excited to offer a perspective on ordering customized pieces for a fat body.

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The pearl thong is a notorious piece of lingerie. Designed primarily for stimulation, rather than comfort or style, it seemingly represents the more sex-focused side of the lingerie industry. People (always men, in my experience) would call the lingerie store I used to work at asking if we carried pearl thongs. They’re mostly marketed as gifts, rather than something a lingerie-wearer would purchase for themselves. In my opinion, it’s the epitome of the male gaze in lingerie: overtly sexual marketing and designed entirely for sexual purposes – without the wearer’s comfort in mind.

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A couple of years ago, I wrote an article on black-owned lingerie brands and it became one of TLA’s most popular articles to-date. Despite what many business experts or industry authorities have to say about the importance of “neutral” or “colorblind” companies, it turns out many people want to support underrepresented or marginalized designers. This is especially when these brands respond to a need the larger intimate apparel industry has neglected for decades.

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One of the things I’ve mentioned here before – and that I keep coming back to, because it’s always true – is that every shoot is a new experience. Not just because I’m working with a new photographer, but also because I’m a different person. The Cora of a few months isn’t exactly the same as the Cora of right now. And I’m finding myself wanting to push, to move forward, to dig beyond what I’ve done before and what feels safe.

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