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Intimate Insight: I love you, Jenette!! by Enid

27 Jun

A year ago this week I finally decided to make a major change in my life and set out to lose 85 pounds.  As of today I’ve lost 57 pounds, dropped three sizes and my waist is almost 8 inches smaller.  Even more important is that as I began to experience positive progress with this goal, I was encouraged to make some other changes in the rest of my life.  Today I am a much happier woman who is very excited to see what new surprises await this year and the years to come.

Given all this weight I’ve been losing, it was inevitable that my bras, like most of my wardrobe, would start to become too big for me.  At a house party one weekend, I met two fellow busty gals, Brittany and Lisa, who told me about this place called Jenette’s Bras which sold to D cups and above only.  I was excited to check out this store and when I needed to replace some of my now too big bras, I decided to take the subway down to their East Hollywood location.

Located in the Bike District, near LA City College, this shop is no regular rack store.  Instead I walked into a waiting room furnished  à la Mad Men, complete with vintage Playboy and Life magazines and a nice display of bras from my favorite label, Prima Donna.  The woman sitting at what looked like a receptionist’s desk had me fill out a card with my info and then take a seat.

After a short wait, Sara escorted me back to the dressing room area and started sizing me up.  No tape measures here, just some questions about what I was looking for, what size I had been and an eyeball of how my Fantasie bra was now fitting me gave her all the information she needed.  She handed me what turned out to be the beige version of my beloved Prima Donna Deauville bra to try on to verify  my size.  I had been worried that all this weight loss would mean a reduction in my well-endowed chest, so I was thrilled to discover that while my band size had gone down, my cup size had remained the same and I was now a 36G/34H depending on the style of bra.

I tend to stay with black and beige colors, but when Sara brought over this cute red number I just had to try it on; and it was love at first fit.  I can safely say my love affair with molded bras is over and I’m now all about the sheer and lacy!

The bra I bought was a Panache Superbra Tango II.  It made my chest look amazing!  I wore it out that night on a pub-crawl and seriously could not stop checking myself out.  It lifts, separates, gives amazing support and looks beautiful.  I’m quickly learning that a good bra is not determined by the type of fabric used so much as by the construction, and Panache makes an amazing bra that looks and fits as good as the more expensive Prima Donna, but for half the price.

Thank you so much to Sara who helped me out and introduced me to some other amazing styles as well.  If you live in the LA area and you are a D cup or above, you must take a trip to Jenette Bras and get yourself something gorgeous!

Resources:

www.JenetteBras.com

www.Panache-Lingerie.com

Intimate Insight: Investing in My Chest by Enid

2 Apr

“Buying a phone’s a big deal.  I mean, think about how long you’ll have this thing.  It’s like buying a car or a bra.”
She snaps her bra strap.
“Eight years, man.”
– Zooey Deschanel on New Girl

There are two things my mother tried to instill in me when it came to money – the importance of living within your means and, when it comes to certain items, cheaper is not always better.  The first lesson took me a long time to learn.  As for the second lesson, at the time, my mother was explaining why she was spending so much money for Le Creuset cookware and a Kitchenaid food processor.  She felt it was worth it to spend more money for something dependable and that would work better than it’s cheaper cousin.

For the longest time I’ve always tried to go the cheap route when it comes to clothes to keep within my means.  And for the longest time I saw purchasing a bra as no different from purchasing underwear.  Just something there to wear under your clothes until you wear it out and find another one.  And the marks on my shoulders from the straps digging in, the constant adjusting, the boob seepage underneath the bra and the lack of support were just considered par for the course for a full figured gal like myself.

Since starting these reviews for Moira and learning everything she and other women in her field have taught me, I’ve realized that buying a bra is not like buying any other piece of clothing.  Buying a bra when you have large breasts is more equivalent to buying a pair of running shoes.  Sure, you can go cheap.  And then you can suffer from nerve damage in your leg and sciatica like I did when I started running in cheap shoes that, despite the fancy name brand, turned out to have no arch support whatsoever.

When you go to a good shoe store to get running shoes, they don’t just throw you a pair and say, “Here you go.”  You try them on, go running around the block in them, try on a couple different pairs until you find one that fits comfortably, feels good and gives you the support you need.  And often you may find that the right pair is going to be about $100, but it’s totally worth the investment.  I’ve discovered recently that it can be the same for bras.

When I first found myself paying $60 for some of these bras, I went through some sticker shock.  Having always been used to keeping my apparel purchases to $30 and under, it seemed absurd to pay so much.  But these amazing bras fit well and gave me great support and it was worth the investment to feel comfortable and look good.  But to pay over $100?  No way!!

Well, maybe…

Prima Donna Deauville Full Cup Underwire Bra

I was fortunate enough to have been given a lovely Prima Donna Deauville bra recently.  I about choked when I saw the $138 sticker price.  Craziness!  Who would pay that much for a bra?  Well, it turns out I would now.  I have to say that out of all the bras I have, I live in my Prima Donna bra the most.  Not just as everyday wear, but I get more support from that bra than any of my sports bras.  Thought it’s definitely a fancier bra, I always wear it when I go cycling since I never have to worry about an errant boob knocking me in the face when I hit a bump in the road.

And it looks gorgeous!  I have a couple tops that I’ll wear with it that give just a little peak of the lace pattern when I go out with my girlfriends just to feel a little sexy and flirty.  So often it seems that I have to choose between pretty and functional when bra shopping, but with this one I get both in one amazing package.

So while I will still be looking for more affordable styles, I don’t mind saving up to splurge on a couple more Prima Donna bras because they are so worth the investment.  Because every woman deserves at least one amazing bra that makes her feel and look gorgeous.

Resources:

www.Prima-Donna-Bras.com

Intimate Insight: Bra Straps or No Bra Straps – That is the Dilemma… by Enid

13 Feb

Decorative Beaded Bra Straps from ExposedEnvy.com

Valentine’s Day is coming up and for some of you that might mean dressing up for a night out with your guy.  For me, it means paying a $20 cover charge to go to an overcrowded bar in Beverly Hills with some of my single friends where the majority of the guys will be looking for someone a bit more model-like but, after a few drinks and a few strike outs, they will start thinking that perhaps the big breasted curvy gal might be desperate enough to put out.  Of course being that the drinks are so over-priced, I will not be nearly drunk enough to actually consider their offer and they’ll do the sour grapes thing, and my friends and I will laugh about it.

The one thing in common in both scenarios is that we are trying to dress to impress and, as always, part of that perfect outfit involves a bra.  And if you live in LA where the temperatures are a bit more moderate (as I write this in February, the temperature is in the mid 70’s), your outfit may include something strapless or off the shoulder.  And if you are blessed with a larger cup size, the question becomes do I wear a strapless bra or stick with the straps?

Gravity is not your friend when your cup runneth over and though it’s the band that holds your girls up and not the straps, the straps can often seem to make the difference between wearing a bra and wearing a bra as a belt.  For years I’ve avoided strapless outfits of any kind because invariably the strapless bra would end up around my hips at some point, especially if any kind of dancing was involved.

At the same time, wearing a regular bra also wouldn’t do.  While I’ve seen plenty of women baring their straps without a qualm, given that the straps on large cup sizes tend to be more utilitarian than decorative, for me doing so was out of the question.  And then two great things happened: I Googled and I went to New York.

Enid at Bra La Mode's Debut Intimate Affair

At the end of January, I flew to New York for Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair at Bra*Tenders.  Moira was bound and determined to have them fit me for some new bras so as the event drew to a close, Cristal took me into one of the fitting rooms and brought me several different styles and brands to try out.  The first discovery is that as I have been slowly losing weight, so have my breasts.  I’m now down to a 38F/38G depending on the style and brand of bra.

I love the Fantasie brand bras and ended up with this lovely black strapless (Style # FL4530.)  It’s a snug fit, but I could jump on a trampoline wearing it and it’d still stay put.  The one thing that amazed everyone was the support.  I came out of the dressing room wearing a cami over it and people thought I was wearing a push-up of some sort and no one believed it was a strapless.  (Seriously, people came in the dressing room so they could see the actual bra on me.)

Also prior to my visit to New York, I had also received the Va Bien Ultra-Lift Strapless Convertible which also has great staying power.  I have a friend who wears this brand and swears by it.  The only thing to be aware of is that the cup sizes can run large so be sure to try it on before you buy.  I ordered it in my old size and it ended up being a bit big for me so I’ll be getting myself a new one because it’s a great bra.

Of course, even with a good fitting strapless, sometimes it’s just nice to have those straps either as a back up just in case or, as I’ve recently discovered, as another type of accessory.  A friend of mine used to order these beaded bra straps to wear with her lacy tank tops in the summer.  Interested in trying them out for myself, I Googled “beaded bra straps” and found ExposedEnvy.com.

Exposed Envy sells decorative bra straps of all sorts – beads, rhinestones, fabric, gems and even just metal.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry as my skin tends to react badly to the metal in chain necklaces or earrings, so I liked the idea of being able to wear something shiny and pretty that wouldn’t cause me to break out in a rash.

If you saw the pictures from the Intimate Affair, you’ll have seen me wearing an off the shoulder number with some straps made of red roses on dark silver.  When I first saw them on the website, I just had to have them and they were as beautiful in person as on the website.  I got a lot of compliments about them and found that they were comfortable to wear.  The straps themselves are easy to fit as there is a little clasp in the back that you can use to adjust the length of the strap.  I just put them on backwards the first time to get them adjusted and then I was all set to go.

At work I tried a set of beaded straps for a scoop-neck shirt that had a tendency to stretch out and become an off the shoulder number as the day went on.  The beads were nice and flat so I didn’t have anything digging into my shoulder and they looked really nice so that instead of constantly pulling up my shirt to cover my bra strap, I could just focus on work and let a little strap show.

Gemstone Straps and Matching Bracelet

Exposed Envy also has matching bracelets for many of their straps.  I ordered a lovely blue rhinestone set of straps which came with a matching bracelet and I can’t wait to wear them out to that Valentine’s party next weekend.

Each set of straps comes in it’s own green cloth bag which makes for easy storage since they won’t become jumbled with the other straps.  And Kelly Carroll, the owner and designer, adds her own personal touch.  When I made my second order and made a comment on the order form, I found a lovely handwritten note from her in reply on my receipt. I will definitely be shopping her site again.

Resources:

www.Fantasie.com

Follow @Fantasie1

www.VaBienUSA.com

Follow @VaBienLingerie

www.ExposedEnvy.com

Follow @ExposedEnvy

Intimate Insight: Attack of the Body Shapers by Enid

11 Jan

Curvy Gal Enid as Maid of Honor

A few years ago when I was getting ready for my sister’s wedding (I was the maid of honor), I discovered that the dress I had bought months earlier was suddenly a bit too snug.  (I’d never worn it or washed it but somehow it had shrunk in my closet. So peculiar…)  To keep from looking like a sausage in a frilly, flowery casing, I decided to try one of those popular body-shaping undergarments.  Anything to just smooth out the lumps and make me not look quite so Jabba-licious in the photos next to my very slim little sister was all I needed.

Using the sizing chart on the back of the package, I picked out one that allegedly was going to fit.  Being that the sizing chart used was very similar to the sizing charts on the back of pantyhose, I should have realised I was in danger.  Following those charts, I usually end up with a pair of hose where either the crotch starts mid thigh or my legs aren’t long enough and I end up with sagging stockings around my ankles.  (I am ever so grateful to be living in LA because I can get away with not wearing pantyhose.)

The day of the wedding, I’m trying to get into this… device of torture… and I decided that the person who had invented this thing had been attacked by a boa constrictor and, in the midst of having the life squeezed out her, happened to see herself in the mirror and thought, “Oh, well I do look a bit skinnier, don’t I?”

It took me a good amount of time to shimmy into that sucker.  The heavy, flesh colored fabric was so rough and it was made to fit so tightly that I began to wonder why they didn’t recommend you put it on with dish detergent much like putting on a wet suit.  I’m amazed I didn’t get any type of burns from the fabric, but I figured the friction it caused was meant to help it stay put.  When the garment was finally in place, I felt triumphant for having gotten it on while also feeling like I was stuck in a very tight hug.  The style was similar to a pair of high-waisted biking shorts – all the better to even out all problem areas, I thought.  I discovered that it worked fine as long as I didn’t move much at all and never had to pee.  Fine for a first date drink and a movie.  Not so fine for when one is in a wedding party.  But for at least 30 minutes I looked great.

Pre-wedding, as I had to rush around with the sudden list of tasks my sister had given me, I found that the waistband of my undergarment preferred to be at my actual waist as it slid down and started bunching up there.  In front of my family, I had no problem doing a little adjustment shimmy to get it back up where it belonged but, once guests started arriving, it became an annoyance to run back and forth to the bathroom to fight with it.  Eventually the rest of the garment followed suit, choosing to shift to the areas of least resistance and actually squeeze the skinnier parts of me enough to make the bigger parts even bigger.  I guess by body shaping, they meant shaping my body into a balloon animal??

The other issue was that the bands around my legs were soooo tight and they just seemed to get tighter and tighter until it just stung.  Even though the dress wasn’t terribly snug, you could actually see where the undergarment ended as it attempted to form a tourniquet mid-thigh.  At one point during the reception, I considered taking the damn thing off, but as I wasn’t wearing any other underwear, I was certain doing so would just lead to one of those embarrassing moments that gets caught on camera and is passed to everyone on the internet until you find yourself in a job interview with someone who can’t look you in the eye because they’ve already seen your wax job.

And forget going to the bathroom.  Though the garment was made with a little gap for you to pee through, once I actually had need of it, I realised that there was no way I wasn’t either going to pee on the garment or my hand.  So I treated it like underwear, which then meant another 20 minutes in the stall trying to get the thing back up while people impatiently knocked on the door.  Had they really thought this through, the inventor would have provided a handy catheter.

I was so happy when I finally got home and could take off that thing.  I’ve never worn it since and had sworn off all body shaping garments.  There are many who believe that beauty is pain, but I am not one of them.  Life is too short!  (Plus, if you suddenly find yourself with an attractive man and on the verge of a night of passion, the last thing you want to do is tell them to wait 20 minutes while you try to extract yourself from one of those garments or try to explain the unseemly welts on your legs.)

So fast-forward to last month when Moira asked me to try out some body shaping garments.  My first reaction was to run for the hills, but I have a bad knee and with all the holiday dinners, running just isn’t my thing right now.  And since Moira’s a friend, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try out a pair; though I was not optimistic.  Fortunately I ended up being pleasantly surprised.

Bali One Smooth U Hi-Waist Brief

Hanes sent me a pair of Bali One Smooth U Hi-Waist Briefs and I took them for a test run – once to a holiday party in a bar in Downtown LA and once at work.  The first thing I noticed was how easy they were to put on and how comfortable they felt thanks to the satin fabric.  No 20-minute shimmy needed to put them on and, instead of feeling like I was wearing a pair of long underwear, it felt just like any other pair of panties, albeit ones that hugged me a bit more.  The waist and leg bands were nice and flat so they didn’t squeeze and don’t stand out under clothing and the fabric information is printed right on the garment so there’s no itchy tag to deal with either.  The best part though is, because they were a high waist style, I didn’t have that annoying line around my middle.  (Nothing worse as a full figure gal than to look like you have an equator.)

For the holiday party, I wore a pair of slacks that I’m just now able to squeeze into again.  I found that they were easier to slip into with the briefs because of the smooth fabric.  And in the mirror I didn’t detect any panty lines – always something a lady likes to avoid when going out, especially if she’s hoping to meet a guy.  I had a great night out and never once had to rush off to the ladies room to put my undies to rights.

The real test, though, was when I wore them to work because I’m constantly moving – sitting, standing, walking, kneeling – which can lead to a lot of unintential wedgies if your undergarments don’t fit just right.  Again, no loosey-goosey waistband, no chaffing at the leg and no worries that anyone would think I was smuggling dinner rolls in my pants due to unfortunate lumpiness.  I just put them on and forgot about them.

If you are looking for something to give you a better shape under those body-hugging outfits and that won’t put you over your budget, (seriously, these are about half the cost of some of the other shapewear out there,) I recommend you try a pair of these.  It can be hard enough dressing to impress a potential boss or love interest without having to suffer in pain due to uncomfortable clothing or being constantly distracted by misbehaving undergarments.  A pair of these can help eliminate one worry while being kind to your wallet as well.

Resources:

www.BaliIntimates.com

Intimate Insight: Ahab, Indy and Enid- I Found My Holy Grail, My White Whale – My Perfect Bra

21 Dec

Ever since I began learning about all these great lingerie brands made for Tig O’ Bitties like mine, I’ve been drooling over their websites, all the while keeping an eye out for my dream bra – a red balconette style bra in my size that would match my sexy red boy short panties.

Why boy shorts?

In my 20’s I was doing the thong thing, but ever since I bought a six pack of Marks & Spencers black cotton boy shorts on a trip to London, I’ve been hooked on that style. Not only are they comfy, but I find that on a plus size figure, they are much more flattering.

My faves are those Marks & Spencer knickers that first got me hooked, and two sexy styles from Frederick’s of Hollywoodthe Angelina  (being discontinued so get them on clearance while you can) and the lacy Jessica  (stretchy and forgiving.) 

Why red?

Why not? It’s sexy and racy and bold – all characteristics I aspire to take on as I go into 2012 as a newly single gal!

But the key for me – regardless of color – was the style (no full size cups – I want demi balconette all the way) and that it fit well and didn’t drive me to tears by the end of the day. So imagine my delight when Affinitas sent me their Charlotte red balconet bra from their Parfait line to try out.

Parfait by Affinitas Charlotte Bra in Red with Black

I loved the retro style of it when I had first seen it on their website, but worried that this would be a case of a regular size bra being incorrectly up-sized and that I’d end up suffering from a case of “my cup overfloweth” leading to hourly trips to the ladies room to shove myself back into the bra. Some companies – when they try to go into the plus size market- don’t correctly readjust their styles to accommodate a larger breast size. You put a bra on that is supposed to be your size, but then find out that your nipples are constantly popping out and you spend the rest of the day seriously contemplating the use of duct tape to keep your breasts in place.

Imagine my joy when I put it on and found that the girls sat in the cups quite nicely without dangerous overflow issues, even if I leaned over to pick something off the floor or touch my toes. (OK, I lie. I can’t touch my toes quite yet. But I can wave at them.)

And the bra looked amazing!! Sometimes I’ll get frustrated when something I buy in the store doesn’t look nearly as good on me as it does on the model, but for once I think I actually looked better than she did. I was disappointed to have to put a shirt on because I looked so good in that bra! (I was actually humming “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” while I modelled it for myself in the mirror. Heaven… I’m in heaven… )

The bra was so comfortable to wear. The one frustrating thing about underwires is that after 8 hours, that stuff just digs into your skin like crazy and as soon as you get home, the first thing you want to do is take it off, but after a full work day wearing this one, I was in no hurry to take it off.

But my favorite thing about this bra is how I feel in it. There are certain items of clothing you will find that, for one reason or another, you will want to wear all the time – a business suit that makes you feel more powerful, a dress that makes you feel sexier, a pair of slacks that make you seem slimmer and taller or a blouse that hugs your curves in all the right places and makes you feel like a model. When I wear this bra, I can’t stop smiling. It gives me a little extra boost of confidence.

I will have to get myself an extra one of these because I know I’m going to be wearing it often so I could use a spare just in case. Now if only they made this one in navy blue as well…

Resources:

Parfait by Affinitas

www.affinitasintimates.com/parfait.html

Follow @AffinitasIntima

Intimate Insight: I’m How Big??!! (And Other Lessons I Learned From My Bra Fitting) by Enid

6 Dec

Curvy Gal Enid

When Moira first suggested that I go for a bra fitting and write about my experience, I started thinking back on my bra shopping history and realized that except for one time as a teenager when my mother took me to a department store for a fitting, I’d never been properly fitted.  In fact, I’m not really sure how I knew my size.  I know in college I was a C cup and after that my next recollection is of some girl younger than me wrapping a paper tape measure around me at one of those chain lingerie stores and declaring me a 42D.  Otherwise it seems that I would just stay with the same band and cup size until they didn’t fit anymore, and then I’d move up until something seemed to work and stick with that until they stopped fitting; basically bra size by trial and error.

So when the bra style that had formerly been so dependable started failing on me, I decided it was time to be properly fitted and, on Moira’s suggestion, I went to the Wizard of Bras in Monrovia, California.  I figured that they would confirm that I was pretty close to the size I had been wearing previously….and I was more looking forward to finding some new bra styles to wear.  Instead, I got quite an education on how to find the right bra.

Lesson #1: I’m a 40G… or sometimes 38H??!!!
I remember going to a Halloween party with a woman who was a J cup and had to have her bras specially made and being thankful I was only a D.  So when the woman doing my fitting told me my cup size, I couldn’t believe it.  The stores I usually shop at stop at double D and they seemed to fit… except for the boob slipping out under the underwire or through the front neckline in my plunge cut bras.  But still, a G cup seemed so… large!  Are my boobs really THAT big?  And why the two sizes?  Because…

Lesson #2: Just because it says it’s your size, doesn’t mean it is.
Just as women’s clothing sizes are not consistent across stores or brands, bras that say they are your size (in my case 40G) may not actually fit.  When they don’t fit, the solution is to either go up one cup size and down two inches or vice versa.  So for some of the bras I tried on, I found that 38H’s fit better than 40G’s. (Warning: if you do go up a cup size, make sure that the underwire isn’t digging in to your armpit.  It won’t feel uncomfortable at first, but four hours later you’ll want to rip the darn wires right outta the thing.)

Lesson #3: You’re putting it on wrong.
For my entire life I’ve put on my bra the same way.  Arms through the straps, hook it in the back and adjust boobage as needed.  The problem with doing it this way?  By putting the bra on straps first, I allowed my breasts to be pushed down in the front so that when I was hooking it in the back, the band was now slanted.  If the band is on a slant, it can no longer do the job of holding the girls up.  I always thought it was the straps that held everything up, but in reality it’s all in the band.  The proper way to put on a bra?  Hook it around you first just above your waist like a belt, then pull it up to just under your chest, keeping the band horizontal and making sure that the band stays below your shoulder blades. Then put the straps on and lean forward to adjust your breasts to make sure they are fully in the cups.  Also, when you first get a bra, start hooking onto the outer most loops first, not the inner ones.  As time goes by, the band will stretch out more and then you will slowly work your way to the next set of loops and so on.  If you start with the innermost eyehooks, you have nowhere to go when the band stretches and you end up shortening the useful life of your bra.

Lesson #4: As with clothing, some styles will just not come in your size.
One of the frustrating things about having such a large cup size is that the cute styles I love and want to wear often don’t go higher than a D cup.  Even finding colors in my size can be a challenge.  I used to have a bra drawer that was all colors of the rainbow and now just trying to find a red bra to match my cute red underwear has turned out to be an impossible task.  Fortunately, as I’m starting to find online, it is possible to find some cute styles and colors in sizes for the more well-endowed. While my local mall may be lacking in all the colors of the rainbow, the internet and a credit card can bring it all to my door and all while I’m spending my time doing something more worthwhile… like working out at the gym or getting a massage.

Lesson #5: Finding the right bra is like finding the right pair of jeans.
You have to do the footwork and try on a lot of different styles, cuts and sizes until you find the one that fits just right. And sometimes the one that seems to fit great at the store, may stretch out or take on some other personality quirks a few weeks later that may give you buyer’s remorse.  So if you find one you like enough to buy, don’t buy a bunch that same day.  Give it two weeks and see how things go.  If you still love it, go back and stock up on a couple extra.  Other times, the bra may be almost perfect, but it just needs an adjustment.  I try to avoid bras that have those bones in the side wing because they always end up bending and then drilling into my side.  If I end up with a bra that has those stays, I always cut them out right away.  Another bra I bought ended up taking off some skin because of some sort of adhesive used on a seam in the band that had become rock hard.  I was able to cut part of it off and then have a seamstress cover the rest up with a bit of fabric, and now it fits great without torturing me.

Here are some of the bras I’ve gotten so far:

Le Mystere Dream Tisha # 965
I’ve always had a thing for molded bras, but am told they are not common for my size so I was happy to find this sexy little number.  I have had to adjust the straps some as I’ve continued wearing it, but the support is as dependable as ever.

Parfait Jeanie Plunge # 4801
I have some low cut shirts that I enjoy wearing so I was really happy to find this style.  And for once I don’t suffer from three-boob syndrome that used to be common when I was wearing a smaller cup size.  How you adjust the straps on this one is definitely important to get the right fit.

Elomi Hermoine # 8120
This is another great fitting bra.  It has some slight molding in the cup that makes it great for under T-shirts and the straps fit great.  Just be sure you get the correct cup size.  I was originally given a GG cup and after a couple hours, the underwire in my armpit started to make me feel like someone was shoving wires into the skin.

Fantasie Esme # 2471
This bra is my favorite to wear and the most comfortable.  It’s not good for low cut shirts, but fits great under everything else.  The straps are comfortable and I barely notice I’m wearing anything under my shirts.  I‘ve even slept in this bra.  I have two of these and wish they came in more colors.

If you live in the Los Angeles or Orange County area and are fed up with ill-fitting bras, take a trip to the Wizard of Bras in Monrovia, California.  And if you are a large breasted gal like me, I hope the lessons I learned will help you on future bra shopping excursions.

Resources:

Creative Woman- The Wizard of Bras

www.WizardOfBras.com

Follow @Wizard_of_Bras

Intimate Affair: Dollin’ Around – Dirty Dolls Lingerie Private Doll-House Party

22 Nov

Dirty Dolls Courtney Newman and Erica Paul

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, Dirty Dolls Courtney Newman and Erica Paul hosted a private Doll-House party to showcase the styles from their latest collection, the Pin-Up inspired Pin Stripe Collection.  The Intimate Affair was a private event for friends, family, devoted Dirty Dolls customers and honorary Dirty Dolls like me and my friend Darlene Campbell from full-busted clothing company Campbell & Kate and founder of the Hourglassy blog– Above Average Style for the Above Average Bust.  The convivial event was a perfect “girls night out” replete with girly chatter about art and music, silly topics such as shower caps, shaving our legs, manicures, and of course, boobs and bras!

Dirty Dolls Pinstripe Pin-Up Brassiere and Brief

The Pinstripe Pin-Up collection is contemporary, yet it maintains the flirty and fun retro-feel of the brand.  The new Pinstripe Pin-Up Brassiere is a practical yet sexy full cup bra designed to fit and contour C cups and up.  It combines the allure of vintage glamour with modern bra construction to provide an everyday bra that makes you feel sexy and confident!  It is available in two colors- After Midnight and Tea Rose.  The Dirty Dolls have also introduced a Pin-Up Shaping Panty for Fall/Winter season.  This vintage-inspired brief flattens and sculpts without binding or pinching at the waist or legs.  It has oversized contrast color pink zig-zag stitching at center front panel seams and down center back.  This stitching detail adds to the charm of the panty which also includes delicate lace trim at the legs and waist.  The panty wouldn’t be complete without removable garter straps!  It is a true modern take on vintage shapewear from days gone by. 

The biggest news for the brand is that they are now offering their bras in sizes up to a G cup.  This is exciting for full-busted Dirty Dolls everywhere!  And, the Dolls have recently relaunched their website which now includes ecommerce.  So, for those of you that dream of being a Dirty Doll but can’t find a brick and mortar retailer in your local area, log onto their newly revamped site and order direct from the Dolls!

Dirty Dolls Peek-A-Boo Camisole Brassiere

I left the Doll-House event with a shopping bag laden with Dirty Dolls Lingerie including the new Pin-Up Shaping Panty from their latest collection as well as the Peek-A-Boo Camisole Brassiere, the organic cotton Cha-Cha Cheeky Short, the Smooth Her Tap Pant and the Showstoppin’ Shaper (from the Doll’s debut Classic Collection).  I am in love with the sensibility of this brand (which has recently undergone a brand image make-over), but I think I’m most excited about the Showstoppin’ Shaper which is designed as a heavy control shaping piece.  It is a true high-waisted shaper (it goes all the way up to your underbust) and is a long-leg.  This style is functional and sexy.  It reminds of old Hollywood glamour with its swiss-dot mesh at center front panel and two-tone lace trim at leg openings.  Finally…. Shapewear that’s sexy and sophisticated!  I can’t wait to wear it with my new Peek-A-Boo Cami Bra!  There is a lot of detail in this garment including bones at the side seams and silicone elastic along inside edge of the front/back waistband.  And, it has a “trap door” in the gusset!  What a surprise…. These are the construction details that are often sacrificed in today’s intimate apparel.  Nothing has been compromised in the quality, fit and construction of the Dirty Dolls Lingerie.  I look forward to seeing what’s to come from this emerging brand which has yet to disappoint!

My new favorite undergarment, the Dirty Dolls Showstoppin' Shaper

The Dirty Dolls will be busy Dollin’ Around town over the next few weeks….  On November 30th, the duo will be showing their collection at a Trunk Show being held at the NYC Sugar Cookies Boutique.  The event will be held from 6-9pm.  Champagne and Sugar Cookies will be served!  PLUS, guests will receive a free Dirty Dolls Lingerie lace thong with the purchase of any bra and panty set.  And as if that wasn’t enough, the Dolls will be offering 15% off all purchases made at the Intimate Affair.

Can’t get enough of the Dirty Dolls?  Head over to Woodside Queens for an “Afternoon Delight with the Dolls!”  On Sunday, December 11th, the Dirty Dolls are hosting an event which will feature several independent brands as well as other artists and entrepreneurs.  The event is intended to be an opportunity for holiday shopping as well as networking for local designers, artists and other independent business women.  Bra La Mode will be attending this Intimate Affair along with Darlene Campbell of the full-busted clothing company Campbell and Kate, legendary biscotti baker The Naughty Housewife, gourmet Japanese sugar importer Chambre de Sucre, boudoir photographer Yvonne Lynch, and hosiery retailer Peek Brooklyn.  What an eclectic bunch!  Come join the fun and spend a delightful afternoon with me and the Dolls!  For more information about this unique event, Contact Me.

About Dirty Dolls Lingerie

Inspired by the vintage under-things worn by the starlets of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dirty Dolls Lingerie is bringing glamour back into the everyday.  Dirty Dolls Lingerie was founded in November of 2008 by Courtney Leigh Newman and Erica Rosalind Paul, two veteran fashion designers known to their loyal customers simply as “The Dolls.” The company’s core mission is to provide gorgeous, perfectly fitted brassieres, panties, and shapers to women who wear hard-to-find sizes. The Dolls themselves are among the millions of ladies who’ve long been frustrated by the absence of great brassieres available to those blessed with sexy curves. After years of being forced to buy dull bras simply because they had beautiful bosoms, The Dolls decided to take matters into their own hands.  The founding Dirty Dolls have set off on their quest to fit all women with exquisite lingerie, and to educate them in the importance of wearing supportive, yet coquettish under-things!

Resources:

Dirty Dolls Lingerie

www.DirtyDollsLingerie.com

Follow @DirtyDolls

Intimate Affair: “Make A Splash” with Eveden Brands – Spring and Summer 2012 Swimwear Press Preview

15 Nov

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, Eveden brands held their Spring & Summer 2012 Swimwear Press Preview poolside at the trendy Dream Downtown Hotel which is situated on 16th Street between NYC’s Meatpacking District and Chelsea neighborhood.  The Intimate Affair showcased the latest swimwear designs from Eveden’s portfolio of brands including Fantasie, Freya, Elomi, and their latest acquisition, the French label, Huit.  In addition, they provided a look at the top selling intimate apparel styles in all of their brands for Spring & Summer 2012. 

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a huge fan of the brands Fantasie and Freya.  I have worn Fantasie bras for years now.  As a full-busted woman, it is challenging to find bras that fit and function properly.  So when I first discovered Fantasie at The Wizard of Bras in Monrovia, California over fifteen years ago, I fell in love!  At that time, Fantasie styles were still very traditional.  They hadn’t introduced a molded foam cup yet.  But they worked!  So despite the classic (and mostly matronly) designs, I became a loyal customer.  As the years have gone by, it has been exciting to watch Fantasie evolve.  And it has been even more exciting to see the Eveden Group grow.  In addition to Fantasie, the portfolio of brands now includes Fantasie’s younger sister brand Freya which was launched in 1998, Fauve which launched in 2007 and is the company’s sophisticated and glamorous high-end label (and my new favorite), full-figure brand Goddess which was acquired by the Eveden Group in 2002, Elomi, which launched in 2008 and is a contemporary brand for full-figured women, and in 2010, Eveden acquired the French luxury brand Huit. 

Eveden is a leader in developing intimate apparel styles for the D+ cup woman.  And now that they offer an entire family of brands, they have something for everyone!  Each brand has its own individual brand identity and personality.  Eveden recognizes that women come in all shapes and sizes and have varying tastes in intimate apparel.  So, as a company, Eveden spends a lot of time designing and developing styles to fit into their individual brand identities.  And, when developing new product, they also consider each brand’s position in the market as they are offered at different price points and are sold in different tiers in the market.  The company has been around since 1920, but over the past ten to fifteen years, the Eveden Group has really emerged as a frontrunner in the design/development, merchandising, marketing and distribution of intimate apparel for full-busted and full-figure women.  And they have mastered “brand loyalty” by continuing to introduce innovative designs year after year.  As a consumer, I am never disappointed by the Eveden brands.  I can depend on their products to fit me properly, they never sacrifice quality, and the styling suits me whether I am looking for a basic, everyday bra or a sophisticated, sexy set for a special occasion. 

It’s hard enough for full-busted and full-figure women to find bras that are stylish and fit well; so you can only imagine how hard it is for us to find swimwear that makes us feel confident!  As a leader in intimate apparel, it was only natural for the Eveden Group to segue into swimwear.  And like their intimate apparel, the swimwear surpasses my expectations.  The fabrics are high quality, the colors and prints are sophisticated yet fun and flirty, the styling is on-trend, and most importantly, the fit and functionality is incomparable.  I wish I could highlight every style I saw at the poolside event on Thursday, but that would be impossible.  So I am going to focus on those collections which really stood out for me. 

Elomi Swimwear SS12

The most exciting news for Eveden brands this season is the introduction of a swimwear range for Elomi fans.  Until now, Elomi was only offered in intimate apparel.  Fans of the contemporary full-figure brand will now be treated to a collection of swimwear designed just for them.  I was very impressed with the direction that the brand took in developing this collection which will launch for Summer 2012.  They developed what I would call “a complete swimwear wardrobe.”  This innovative approach tells me that they truly understand the needs of the full-figure consumer.  The most essential piece in the wardrobe is the “swim bra.”  The swim bra is designed like a bra.  It has a 4-part cut-and-sew lined cup, an underwire, leotard back and adjustable straps.  This forms the “foundation” for your swimwear wardrobe.  They offer three coordinating bottoms including a classic brief, hi-waisted brief and skirted brief.  Then, there are unconstructed tankini tops which are intended to be worn over your swim bra as “layering pieces” for those women who are seeking more modesty or want to feel more confident.  In addition, they offer a kaftan which can be worn as a cover-up to complete your swim wardrobe.  All pieces mix-and-match.  The concept of developing a complete swimwear wardrobe which begins with your supportive swim bra is brilliant.  The swim bra is bra-sized up to an HH cup and the tankinis and bottoms are dress-sized up to a size 22 US.

Freya Fever One-Piece Suit SS12

My favorite Eveden brand is Freya.  Freya is a fun and flirty brand which appeals to the young contemporary consumer.  My personal “everyday” bra is the Freya Deco Plunge which was introduced in 2009.  The Deco range which is a basic, molded seamless bra collection was an instant hit and is still considered a wardrobe staple for full-busted women around the world.  The flirty sensibility of this brand is ever-present in their 2012 swimwear collection.  The colors and prints are bright and fun with an edgy vibe.  Although the styles, colors and prints are flirty and fun, they still maintain a sophistication which makes Freya relatable.  For 2012, they are introducing a new basics collection called Fever.  This collection includes two bikini tops, four bikini bottoms, a tankini top and a one-piece suit.  It is available in solid red and solid black.  Details include contrast color white top stitching, buttons, plackets, collars and belts.  I am at a stage in my life where I feel more comfortable in one-piece suits.  But I often struggle with finding a one-piece that is stylish and somewhat sexy.  I fell in love with the Fever one-piece suit which has a deep plunge neckline and a fabulous skinny belt trim to help define the waistline.  I love the cover-ups that are available in Freya Swim, too.  They are not your typical “mu mu” or wrap-style cover-ups.  Many of them resemble sundresses and could be worn with or without swimwear underneath.

Fantasie L.A. Kaftan SS12

The best part about Freya and Fantasie swimwear is that most styles are developed with bra construction.  Bikini tops include underwires and adjustable straps.  And tankini tops and one-piece styles include “hidden” bra construction.  They are fully constructed inside with underwires and “floating” wings and hook and eye closures.  These details ensure a proper fit for full-busted and full-figure women that require supportive swimwear.  The swimwear is offered in bra-sizing up to JJ cup.

Fantasie L.A. Tankini SS12

The Fantasie brand swimwear appeals to the modern missy consumer.  She is a slightly more sophisticated and mature customer but is still very fashionable.  Highlights include the animal print L.A. collection.  And, I must mention the beautiful kaftan cover-ups which come in mini and maxi lengths. 

The Huit swimwear runs up to DD cup.  This brand is sexy and sophisticated with a French aesthetic.  The styles are modern and sleek with clean lines.  I love the Lucky collection which is available in solid colors with a bold white piping.  This sophisticated and elegant collection offers four bikini tops, four bikini bottoms including an adorable retro “roller derby” style shorty, a tankini, a one-piece suit, a swim dress and a sarong.

Huit Lucky Bandeau and Shorty SS12

Overall, I am very impressed with the swimwear collections I previewed at this Intimate Affair and already have a Wish List in hand.  It’s a dream come true for a full-busted girl like me to have so many options which are stylish and sophisticated…..and appropriate!  No more swimwear malfunctions for me….I will no longer be embarrassing my family at The Beach Club every Summer!  And I am very excited about the launch of Elomi Swim.  I expect it to be hugely successful.  Finally….a sophisticated swimwear wardrobe for the full-figure consumer; designed with her needs in mind.

Although the event was intended to showcase the Eveden brands’ swimwear collections, I did get a look at the top selling 2012 intimate apparel styles for Fantasie, Freya, Fauve, Elomi, Goddess and Huit.  Here are a few items you must take a look at:

Fantasie Rebecca UW Molded Bra and High-Waisted Brief in Nude

Fantasie’s new basic collection, Rebecca, will launch in April 2012.  It is designed with microfiber main fabric and diamante pattern embroidery.  And, this collection includes the first “spacer” fabric bra for the brand.  This collection is offered in white and nude.  The Rebecca high-waisted smoothing brief will be in my knickers drawer asap!

Freya has introduced new fashion colors Ocean and Red in their Deco collection.  And they have re-colored the popular Lyla set in a Hazelnut colorway.  The Tabitha set is being offered in a Missoni-inspired zig zag print in a Sherbert colorway (perfect for Spring!)  The Patsy set is an adorable Lime polka dot set with a retro “girly” look with satin ribbon bows and ruffle trim. 

Fauve Evangeline UW Plunge Bra and Short in Frost

The new Fauve collection Evangeline is to die for….  This one is on the top of my list.  It is available in a minty blue color for Spring called Frost and an ongoing Black colorway.  I am also weak-in-the-knees over the Maya collection which is constructed of fine Austrian embroidery.  It comes in solid White or Black over Nude. 

Fauve Maya UW Padded Half Cup Bra and Brief in Black

And the most elegant collection being offered in the Fauve brand is Coco.  Coco is made from French lace and satin trim in a Powder Puff colorway which is a subtle pink and creamy champagne colorway.  The lace has a geometric “art deco” feel.  The styles are decorated with delicate pearl and diamante details.

Fauve Coco UW Balcony Bra and Brief in Powder Puff

New colors are being offered in Goddess as well as Elomi.  Elomi’s Caitlyn bra will be available in Peacock and Slate colors come Spring.  And Elomi is introducing a retro-inspired Betty set in a Red and White polka dot mesh fabric with rose embroidery.  The matching knickers are adorable with self-fabric ruffle trim at waist and leg openings.   

Elomi Betty UW Plunge Bra and Brief

Huit’s Lucky Doll collection has a sheer geometric pattern all-over lace and oversized satin ribbon bows.  And the Tea for Two collection is perfect for the bridal boudoir!

Eveden brands held their intimate apparel press preview in London last week.  Since the “Make a Splash” event here in NYC showcased the Eveden brands’ swimwear, I suggest you read the following reports for more detail on the Spring and Summer 2012 intimate apparel collections:

Becky reported on the UK event on Cheryl Warner’s site Invest in Your Chest

Kitty Lingerista reported on the UK event on her site Undercover Lingerista

Resources:

Eveden Group

www.Eveden.com

www.Fantasie.com

www.Fauve.co.uk

www.FreyaLingerie.com

www.GoddessBra.com

www.ElomiLingerie.com

http://www.eveden.com/our_brands/huit.aspx

Follow @Fantasie1, @FreyaLingerie, @Elomi_Lingerie

In the US, the Eveden Group is represented by:

Weber Shandwick- contact Ashley Nelson at ANelson@WeberShandwick.com

Fashion’s Night Out- In Lingerie Style Part II

3 Oct

For details of the first half of my Fashion’s Night Out journey, refer to the Blog Post “Fashion’s Night Out- In Lingerie Style Part I” dated September 15th.  The following notes are from the second half of my “SoHo Lingerie Crawl” on September 8, 2011.  I would love to describe every detail of every garment I beheld that night.  However, that would be virtually impossible.  So I have selected a few key collections to highlight here as a “taste” of my evening.  Enjoy!

I left Journelle on Mercer Street and headed south towards Spring Street.  I heard squeals and applause as I approached the corner.  The NYPD had the street blocked off to pedestrians.  I could barely cross to the south side of Mercer Street.  I was headed to my next destination, Kiki De Montparnasse.  But, apparently the Kardashian’s were making a grand “Fashion’s Night out” entrance into their boutique, DASH, on Spring Street.  I was forced to walk a few blocks out of my way to get to Kiki De Montparnasse, but it was well worth it.

Kiki De Montparnasse SoHo shop window

Kiki De Montparnasse is an elegant, high-end intimate apparel boutique with a downtown location on Greene Street in SoHo.  The store is sexy and sultry.  The ambient lighting sets the mood for romance.  I felt sexy and sophisticated just walking through the door.  I was delighted that the store was virtually empty….  Apparently, I was one of the few people patronizing lingerie boutiques for Fashion’s Night Out!  The atmosphere inside Kiki was in complete contradiction to the insanity on the streets just outside their door.  I was only a few steps inside the store when I was greeted by a sales associate who was kind enough to point out the latest collection, Le Fleur (new for Fall ’11).  This collection exemplifies fine, French lingerie.  It is constructed of French Leavers Lace in cross-dyed color combinations.  The colors are dusty and muted.  Like the colors used by Eniko Bazsa in her line Bazsarozsa, these colors are subtle, sophisticated, and ethereal.  Colors include Smoke, Black, and Nude with Periwinkle.  The lace is paired with a fine gauge mesh fabric and a delicate picot trim.  The details are impeccable.  I’ve found that it’s the small details that set apart fine, high-end lingerie from mid-priced, mass-produced intimate apparel.  Kiki’s Le Fleur collection is no exception.  Body styles include an unlined underwire bra, corselette bra, bodysuit (to die for!), thong, boyshort, cheeky “tanga” bikini, garter belt, and my favorite piece- the high-waisted brief. 

Kiki De Montparnasse Le Fleur Cami Bra and Tanga

Kiki De Montparnasse has also introduced a new color to its Soleil collection.  Although the collection is not new, the Ocean Blue colorway is.  The Ocean Blue colorway is best described as “almost navy.”  It is a rich color with a hint of “bright/light.”  They also added their high-waisted brief to this popular collection.  The Soleil collection is constructed of a beautiful, crochet-look galloon lace.  It is available in black, blush, and now ocean blue.  In addition to the high-waisted brief, body styles include an unlined bra, bodysuit, thong, boyshort, cheeky “tanga” bikini, and garter belt.

I am in love with Kiki’s Cashmere Loungewear collection.  The cashmere knit is the lightest possible…. It is like heaven- airy, light, soft, luxurious, and definitely special.  It is available in black, heather grey and pearly white.  They’ve introduced a few new styles in this collection.  Styles include a t-back tank top, lounge pants, deep-v-neck sweater, leggings, and a sweater with a large center back opening with an oversized dyed-to-match satin ribbon bow tie at center top back.  This collection is pricey but truly unique in its fabrication and unexpected styling details.

Kiki De Montparnasse Cashmere Loungewear Collection

I left Kiki De Montparnasse and headed north on Greene Street to La Perla.  Some would argue that La Perla Lingerie is the finest in the world.  Each season, they introduce unique collections with unparalleled detail.  Their Fall ’11 Collection theme is “The Roaring ‘20’s.”  One would expect each style to “roar” with flapper-esque influence.  However, the collections just subtly hint at that era, capturing only the indulgence, independence and rebellion of a period in history characterized by an economic boom, the cry for liberty, freedom and female equality, and the famed “Flapper” girl who challenged the social norms of the time with her new form of dress influenced by the jazz music of that era….. She danced provocatively, wore (and applied publicly) make-up which had once only been reserved for “ladies of the night,” she popularized the short “bob” hair style, she smoked and drank with the men, she did away with corsets and pantaloons in exchange for breast-binding, and attended illustrious “petting parties” as a means of demanding sexual equality as well. 

La Perla Indiscrete Unlined Underwire Bra and High-Waisted Brief

I was first drawn to La Perla’s new Indiscrete collection.  Even the collection name, Indiscrete, suggests a rebellious sexual attitude.  Like most of La Perla’s collections, Indiscrete is very seductive in a very tasteful manner.  The primary fabrication is sheer, “scratched” tulle with a delicate lurex thread.  The tulle is ruched and creates the illusion of an ice castle.  This tulle is accented with a dyed-to-match macramé-type embroidery which is patterned as glaciers in my mind.  The pattern is very elegant and also incorporates a lurex thread adding to the icicle effect.  All styles are trimmed with a silk satin piping or band.  One of the key features in this collection is the silk satin covered functioning buttons.  The Unlined Underwire Balconette Bra has cups made of embroidery.  The cups are then covered with the scratched lurex tulle which is ruched and finally gathered together at the center-front with a functioning button.  This styling detail creates a perfect peek-a-boo effect.  The collection includes signature logo elastics.  I love the Thong which has a ruched tulle waistband which is cinched at center front and center back with satin piping and the bustier has a wide satin band at its hemline.  Other styles include a fabulous bodysuit, triangle bra, push-up bra, a retro-style high-waisted brief, and a Brazilian thong.  It is available in white and black.

La Perla Indiscrete High-Waisted Brief Front

La Perla Indiscrete High-Waisted Brief Back

The other collection I was drawn to is the Lulu collection in print.  Lulu is characterized by an animal-esque feather print.  The printed silk fabric is accompanied by a guipure-look lace in a feather motif and a satin trim.  And my favorite detail is the tiny, picot-edge elastic used to finish the garments.  The Lulu print is in a neutral grey/black/taupe color combination with black lace and trims.  My favorite body style is the Babydoll which has a drop waist with a functioning self-fabric drawstring tie and buckle detail at top strap joins.  The hem of the slip is a wide solid black silk band.  This style is so sophisticated and elegant that I can imagine one wearing it as outerwear.  The Lulu printed Underwire Triangle Bra has guipure-look lace appliqués on the cups, mesh wings, a buckle at center-front, and continuous self-fabric straps.  In addition, the Lulu collection includes an underwire bra, bikini brief, and thong.

La Perla Lulu Printed Babydoll and Thong

La Perla Lulu Printed Unlined Underwire Bra

Moira Nelson with Hanky Panky's Glam Guru, JD Breen

After leaving La Perla, I decided to pop into Bloomingdale’s on Broadway to say hello to my friend JD Breen, Hanky Panky’s official Glam Guru….  No, really…. Even his business cards read Glam Guru!  Hanky Panky was celebrating Fashion’s Night Out on Bloomingdale’s Soho third floor.  If you purchased one of Hanky Panky’s Lace Thongs, Hanky Panky provided embellishments for free (on site!)  There was a line of women waiting to have the world’s most famous thong decorated with rhinestone placement hearts, stars, initials, etc.  It’s always great to see the Hanky Panky team.  And saying hello to JD was definitely one of the highlights of my evening.

I bolted out of Bloomie’s to venture back to Mercer Street.  By this point, the sun had dropped and the festivities had evolved into a full-blown party in the shops and on the streets.  I maneuvered my way back up Mercer Street to catch a quick glimpse of the live model in Agent Provocateur’s shop window.  As you can imagine, this drew quite a crowd with flash bulbs illuminating the sidewalk.  And the scene inside the store was very alive- everyone was fully engaged in the party atmosphere which had the aire of seduction and sex.  Agent Provocateur’s latest collection and ad campaign does not disappoint.   Always pushing the envelope, AP’s most recent campaign is the most erotic yet.  It is definitely not for the faint of heart.  Because of the crowd in the store, I was unable to get a real look at any one particular piece.  I made the executive decision to head out (with the intention of going back on another day).

I made another quick stop into Journelle to end my evening where it started.  By now, Journelle was packed with shoppers, tourists, and some of my fellow intimates industry professionals.  All were admiring the Trunk Shows of Kriss Soonik, Bazsarozsa, and La Fee Verte and appreciating the models that were bringing these collections to life.  My Fashion’s Night Out- In Lingerie Style had come to an end.  But I took away much inspiration from the various brands / collections and was so excited to be able to share it with you all….  I have to say, I love my job!

Resources:

Fashion’s Night Out

www.fashionsnightout.com

Kiki De Montparnasse

79 Greene Street

New York, New York

www.kikidm.com

Follow @KikiDM

La Perla

93 Greene Street

New York, New York

www.laperla.com

Follow @LaPerlaLingerie

Hanky Panky

Available at Bloomingdale’s

504 Broadway

New York, New York

www.bloomingdales.com

www.hankypanky.com

Follow @Hanky_Panky_Ltd

Agent Provocateur

133 Mercer Street

New York, New York

www.agentprovocateur.com

Follow @TheMissAP

Journelle

125 Mercer Street

New York, New York

www.journelle.com

Follow @ShopJournelle

Fashion’s Night Out- In Lingerie Style Part I

15 Sep Kriss Soonik Susan Motion Lace Bodysuit

I was lucky enough to attend a number of events for Fashion’s Night Out.  There is so much I want to share with you all…. But it is definitely too much for one Blog Post.  The following chronicles the first stop on my Itinerary, Journelle on Mercer Street in SoHo.  Check back in the days to come for details of the remainder of my evening. Here is Fashion’s Night Out-  In Lingerie Style- Part I….

Premier Lingerie Store Journelle & Founder/ CEO Claire Chambers

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, cities around the globe celebrated Fashion’s Night Out.  The annual event coincides with New York Fashion Week and is a “shopping extravaganza.”  Retailers around the world (including over 1000 in NYC alone) keep their doors open late, offer discounts, and create a festive shopping experience like no other.  One can expect celebrity guests, gift bags and other giveaways, food and drink, music, and an overall party atmosphere including guest lists, red carpet entrances, and security guards checking your bags at the door.

I planned my Fashion’s Night Out itinerary days in advance (using the Fashion’s Night Out web tool to create my evening including addresses, mapped locations, and listings of each retailer’s scheduled events).  Although I did my homework, I was still not prepared for what was to come.  I selected a handful of Lingerie stores which were within the same vicinity so that I could bounce around and see everything I wanted to see.  My target destination was SoHo (downtown NYC).  Who knew this would be the mecca for Fashion’s Night Out shoppers seeking a glimpse of the Kardashian’s or a free goodie bag….???  Certainly not I.

When I emerged from underground at the corner of Spring & Lafayette downtown, I could feel a certain energy in the air.  It was only shortly after 5pm, and already the streets were crowded with fashionistas hungry for a good bargain and an evening of star-studded festivities.  It was certainly festive…  Who am I kidding??!!??  It was outright insane and chaotic!  The streets were blocked off.  Policemen lined the streets alongside their metal barricades.  People blindly crossed the streets without looking.  I was being shoved from side to side as I attempted to navigate towards Prince & Mercer….  But I must say, I was loving every minute of it!  I’m not a fan of large crowds (typically avoiding parades and mass parties such as New Years Eve in Times Square).  However, there was definitely a magic in the air on that night.  It was a warm night and slightly humid… but the temperatures dropped to a comfortable level by dusk.  The streets were full of people looking to catch a glimpse of “something.”  The retail parties spilled onto the narrow, cobblestone streets.  Outrageous displays welcomed you from one shop to the next…. Often blending together… 

3.1 Philip Lim "Girls on Bikes"

I finally made my way past 3.1 Philip Lim’s shop on Mercer Street (which had a mani/pedi truck parked out front… It was kinda like a taco truck… only they were giving gel manicures)!  Not to mention the dozen or so bicycles parked on the sidewalk as part of Lim’s “Girls on Bikes” theme….  I wandered into the first stop on my itinerary…. Journelle.  Journelle was an oasis from the chaos in the streets.  It’s a sweet & sexy lingerie boutique located just doors down from Agent Provocateur.  It was still early… Only half past five in the evening.  Honestly, I think I was the only customer in the store as the sales associated scurried around in preparation for the evening’s event which was to include trunk shows for three emerging independent lingerie lines- Kriss Soonik, Bazsarozsa, and La Fee Verte.  I knew I wanted to get a good look at these three collections, so I was glad that I entered the store early (and beat the inevitable crowd which was to pack the store within just a few short hours).

 

 

 

 

Designer Kriss Soonik and her model

The first line I looked at was Kriss Soonik.  Kriss’ collection is beautiful…. Modern yet classic.  She has multiple pieces which can be worn in multiple ways including several modal-feel rayon/spandex tops & tanks (surprise!….with suspender belts).  Kriss refers to her line as “Loungerie” which she defines as “luxe loungewear.”  I think she has accomplished her mission of creating a line of sensual pieces which can be worn as innerwear or outerwear.  My favorite piece is her Susan Chic bodysuit.  It is made from all-over lace with capped sleeves, a large slit back opening from neck to waist, a rhumba lace “back seat,” and contrast color velvet ribbon trim which ties at center top back (with sexy long tails!)  At the Journelle trunk show, Kriss wore her own Susan Motion bodysuit in bright orange with a graphic tee underneath.  Both of these all-over lace bodysuits can be worn throughout the day and into the night.  Truly unique and fun!  I’m looking forward to meeting with Kriss to further discuss her brand and her inspiration and direction for the coming season’s collections.

Kriss Soonik Susan Chic Lace Bodysuit Front View

Kriss Soonik Susan Chic Lace Bodysuit Back View

Designer Eniko Bazsa and her model

Across the Journelle shop, I found the Bazsarozsa Fall ’11 collection.  The Bazsarozsa line is designed by Eniko Bazsa and is a reflection of her personality.  Eniko is sweet and somewhat demure with a radiant smile and charming laugh.  Each style is simply elegant and fashioned for comfort.  Eniko said that she wanted to create “everyday basics” that were comfortable and sexy at the same time.  The styling is simple, but far from “basic.”  Each body style has unique trim details such as crochet-look lace trim and contrast color grosgrain ribbon straps.  Eniko said she wants people to be drawn to the collection because of its design & sensibility and then to be further enthralled with it when they discover that the fabric is locally grown organic cotton….  and the collection is produced in the USA too!  I love the dusty, neutral colors Eniko used in creating an ethereal feel…. Dusty Blush & Dusty Aubergine!  Love it!  Body styles include strappy camis, bralettes, cropped cami bras, hipster panties, and thongs.

Bazsarozsa Cami Set

La Fee Verte's Designer Adam Sakara and his model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahhhhh…..the elegance of La Fee Verte!  The third independent lingerie designer featured at Journelle’s Fashion’s Night Out Trunk Show was Adam Sakara’s brand La Fee Verte.  I was surprised to discover that the line is designed by a man because it embodies all of the things that I seek in a sophisticated line of lingerie, daywear, and sleepwear.  Adam knows what women want!  The brand is sexy, sultry, seductive yet classic, elegant, sophisticated, and timeless.  The fabrics and laces are divine.   The delicate details are impeccable.  The overall sensibility and aesthetic is clean, pure, timeless elegance.  I am in love with La Fee Verte’s Silk Romper in Navy with contrast color Champagne colorblocking at the neckline and at the hem.  The romper is sophisticated, flirty, and sexy with spaghetti straps and a tunneled elastic waistband.  This collection includes a Bralette, Tap Shorts, a Chemise, and a Robe.  My pictures don’t do it justice….

La Fee Verte Silk Romper

La Fee Verte Silk Robe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journelle was only the first stop on my itinerary, but was certainly one of the highlights of my night.  I’m thrilled that I was able to meet and speak with each of the designers showcased at Journelle.  Each line is unique and destined to be recognized as one of the finest luxury lingerie lines in the intimate apparel market.

I departed Journelle on a mission….  Kiki de Montparnasse, Agent Provocateur, La Perla, and Bloomie’s were up next!  Check back soon for Fashion’s Night Out- In Lingerie Style Part II.

A big thank you to the independent lingerie designers Kriss Soonik, Eniko Bazsa, Adam Sakara, and to the entire team at Journelle SoHo.

Resources:

Journelle

125 Mercer Street- between Prince & Spring

SoHo, NYC

www.journelle.com

Twitter @ShopJournelle

Journelle is the premier lingerie store in New York for the modern woman. With inspiration from the archaic French word journellement, which means “daily”, they’re passionate about helping women feel great from the inside out. They believe in wearing designer lingerie every day, presenting a tastefully-curated (rather than exhaustive) selection of lingerie, and providing customers with compassionate, expert assistance.

Fashion’s Night Out

www.fashionsnightout.com

Kriss Soonik

www.kriss-soonik.com

Twitter @KrissSoonik

Bazsarozsa

www.bazsarozsa.com

La Fee Verte

www.lafeeverte.com

Twitter @LFV_LaFeeVerte

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