Tag Archives: control brief

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 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: Care for the Cause at Linda’s in Murray Hill

31 Oct

Linda Becker hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness event at her Murray Hill NYC store on Thursday, October 27, 2011.  The Care for the Cause event was the first of its kind for Linda’s store.  However, Linda is no stranger to breast health.  In fact, Linda started her career in bra fitting over twenty years ago when the American Cancer Society invited her to a bra and prostheses fitting class.  Linda and her staff are all trained in mastectomy bra and prostheses fittings and she is proud that she has been able to assist many women over the years with post-surgical options.

Linda Becker at her Murray Hill Store

The intimate affair provided free fittings from 1pm-9pm for all of those who have battled breast cancer (or other breast diseases) and require post-surgical solutions.  But, the event was open to all women looking for a bra fitting and some education about breast health.  The event was a great way to support an important cause whether you have been directly affected by breast cancer or not. 

Linda's Care for the Cause Event- Cupcakes, Giveaways, Prizes, Rub-On Nipple Demos

Although breast cancer is a sensitive topic, Linda and her staff turned the Murray Hill store into a festive environment by offering pink lemonade, strawberry ginger ale, and mini cupcakes in vanilla and strawberry vanilla flavors from Buzzed Cupcakes.  Every customer who made a purchase was entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes including gift certificates, OnGossamer thongs, the Romina bra and panty set from Anita, among other fun goodies.  And any customer that made a cash donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at Linda’s that day received an additional entry into the drawing.

On hand at the event were two special ladies— Elizabeth Vivenzio, founder of the educational sites www.EmbracingMastectomy.com and www.TattooedNipples.com,  and inventor of the U.S. patent pending Rub-On Nipples, and Joyce Rylander, a certified mastectomy fitter and care consultant from Anita, a well-known manufacturer of foundations, swimwear, and accessories including mastectomy bras. 

Elizabeth Vivenzio (left) and Joyce Rylander (right)

Elizabeth was a real inspiration to me.  She has undergone numerous breast surgeries and is now in the final stages of her reconstruction.  She has dedicated herself to providing positive and empowering information for mastectomy patients.  Her websites provide practical and essential recovery information that cannot be found elsewhere.  While researching areola pigmentation for her educational site, www.TattooedNipples.com, Elizabeth realized that temporary nipple tattoos would be a solution for her and the many others who had long periods of reconstruction which ultimately delayed permanent areola pigmentation (which is the final stage of reconstruction).  Oftentimes, the reconstruction surgeries take several years.  During this period of reconstruction, mastectomy patients live with bare mounds (or “Barbie Boobs” as they refer to them.)  Elizabeth offers a temporary solution to help patients feel “normal” again.  One of her customers commented, “After 2 ½ years of my Barbie Boobs—in my thirties—it’s nice to kind of look “normal.”  It has made a huge difference for me… and for my husband.”  Rub-On Nipples are temporary areola tattoos that can last one to two weeks and can be easily removed using rubbing alcohol.  They look amazingly similar to permanent 3-D areola pigmentation and are available in 12 shades to match your skin tone.  Elizabeth proudly pulled down her blouse to show off her very own Rub-On Nipples.  We had a good laugh… Since today is Halloween, we considered rubbing on a few extra nipples just for fun!

I spoke with Joyce Rylander from Anita regarding their innovative products.  The Anita brand and their contemporary sub-brand Rosa Faia are well-known around the world for their core foundations in regular and full-figure sizes (many styles are avail up to an I cup).  The company is celebrating 125 years in business and is still family run.  Anita provides high-quality foundations with exceptional fit and places emphasis on solutions products including mastectomy products, maternity/nursing bras, as well as innovative sports bras for active women.  I am familiar with Anita products, but I guess I didn’t realize just how long Anita has been in business.  I was impressed with their heritage and enjoyed talking to Joyce about the company philosophy.  She is passionate about the products and as a care consultant for Anita, she really enjoys working one-on-one with her wholesale customers and directly with consumers.  I was curious to learn about Anita’s Active line of Sports Bras.  Joyce proudly showed me the Anita Active Sports Bra style # 5529 which recently won Europe’s coveted RedDot Design Award for 2011.  The style is designed to support the bust (including the connective tissue).  The straps relieve pressure on the back and neck.  And the seamless, breathable high-tech “spacer” fabric cups provide moisture management and temperature regulation.  I would highly recommend this style to the active full figure or full busted women as it is a feat in bra engineering.  I was very impressed with the construction and quality of this style.

Moira Nelson (left) and Darlene Campbell (right)

The event wasn’t just about education for me (although that was very important and made a significant impact on me)….  I had a bit of fun too!  How can I go to Linda’s without trying on a few bras for myself???  I attended the event with my friend Darlene Campbell, founder of the clothing company Campbell & Kate which offers a traditional button-down, white, woven dress shirt for full-busted women—“The CEO shirt for DEF women.”  Darlene also writes a blog called Hourglassy for women with “curves on top.”  As we are both full-busted women, we can identify with one another’s struggles and we enjoy sharing our experiences….  She’s one of my favorite “bosom buddies” and shopping at Linda’s with her was a real hoot.  We tried on dozens of bras each and we both walked out with shopping bags overflowing with new, fun styles.  The quest for the perfect bra never ends for me and Darlene….  I walked out with the Freya Nieve longline bra and brief set, the exquisite Fauve Rosa molded underwire plunge bra, and a pair of Simone Perele Invisi’bulles control briefs.  Success!

Kimberly Arce, marketing manager for Linda's

It was at this event that I realized just how very little I know about breast cancer.  In my family, cancer is still considered a dirty word.  The word cancer is always muttered in a hushed tone.  My Aunt Rosemary had breast cancer.  But that’s all I know.  She had breast cancer.  Period.  It has never been talked about.  I have no idea what she went through or how it made her feel.  After attending Linda’s Care for the Cause Event, I feel ashamed that I don’t know more and haven’t educated myself….  Perhaps it is easier to live in denial…  But for someone that makes her living in the “boob business,” it’s unacceptable.  From this point forward, I am making a commitment to better understand breast care and breast related diseases.  I owe it to myself, to my friends, to my family, and to the numerous men and women in other areas of my life—including Bra La Mode readers. 

Later this week, I will be posting an article on metastatic breast cancer written by Bra La Mode contributor Liz.  Please be sure to read it as it is a poignant piece about the realities of living with breast cancer.

Resources:

Linda’s

www.LindasOnline.com

Follow @LindaTheBraLady

To read more about Linda’s, click here

Elizabeth Vivenzio- Rub-On Nipples

www.RubOnNipples.com

www.EmbracingMastectomy.com

www.TattooedNipples.com

Follow @TattooedNipples

Anita Unique Body Wear

www.Anita.com

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