I’m brimming over with ideas to write about for this column, but I wanted to start with the basics. Over the years I’ve tried a ton of bras and I’m constantly asked about which ones are my favorites. This list represents bras that have washed and worn well, are still in my regular rotation and that I’ve invested in multiple versions of (or would have if they existed). If you’re looking for a winner to fill a hole in your lingerie wardrobe for the holidays, these are all good bras to start with. I’m generally a 34HH/36HH in UK sizes and anything from an L to a 1X panty, depending on the brand. Erica can special order most of these for you – as she’s done for me over the years!
Hot wings might be a slight undersell. However, 5 Alarm Habanero-Cayenne Spontaneous Internal (*Intestinal) Combustion Hot Wings just seemed like too long of a title. For the purpose of this post, I am just going to scale down the pepper amounts. You can always make them with BBQ sauce**, which I’ll include a recipe for, omit the peppers, or make them hotter to suit your tastes.
My name is Holly, and like Erica, I spend at least six hours a day looking at bras. As a boutique owner, Erica has to get dressed up and go to work every day. As a lingerie copywriter and owner of The Full Figured Chest Copywriting and blog, I at least get to look at bras in my pajamas while petting my dog.
I jumped at the chance to write a column for Erica for several reasons.1) Most of the bras that I’ve bought in the past two years have come from her shop. Several of my favorite brands are things I have tried based on her recommendations. 2) Lots of the Sophisticated Pair customer base, both online and in store, is in my exact size range. And believe me, I have seen a ton of bras in my size range.
TweetI normally don’t say much as Erica takes care of that with doing the blog, newsletter and our social media. However, I just wanted to say a few words to you, our customers. Our three year anniversary is quickly becoming a distant memory with the next year set firmly in our sights. I wanted to reflect on the last few years and personally thank our customers. Without you, we wouldn’t still be here today. As Erica mentioned a few blog posts back, there was a time we weren’t sure we’d make it past the first year. Opening a new business is extremely difficult. It takes a lot of hard work, personal sacrifice, sweat and a good many a tear. Our immediate family has been very supportive of us. But without you, our extended family, we would still be struggling. You may consider yourself only a customer to us, but when you enter through our doors, you become a member of our store’s family and not just another department store statistic. Thank you for helping making our dream come true. Debbie
TweetMy name is Debbie and I am one of the co-owners of A Sophisticated Pair. Erica is my niece and Jason is my BiL. If you have had the opportunity to stop in and see us at the store on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday, you have probably been greeted by me. I’m going out of my comfort zone a little by taking on a product review of Comexim’s Arizona. A few weeks ago, we received our samples from Comexim and they are all absolutely gorgeous. The Arizona stood out to me the most and I was delighted that it happened to be in my size, 32F. I tried it on and loved the fit so much that I decided to do a review based on my opinion of it. Color: Red with black embroidery. Red satin bows adorn the center gore and straps. Fit: Comexim runs tight in the band and slightly small in the cups, however, as I mentioned, the 32F fits me perfectly with no adjustments. The cups are lightly padded, and the interior cup is lined in a cotton like fabric. Yes I said cotton! The wings are slightly wider which provides wonderful comfort and support. The fully adjustable straps allow for greater range of customization. The underwires are narrow and low (especially on the sides). The Arizona bra has a low plunging neckline with a low center gore. It tacks beautifully and lifts my girls where they should be. Overall Opinion: The Arizona is an definite “eye catcher”. The color, bows and embroidery just add to the beauty of this bra. Comexim bras normally run tight in the band and the cups are usually 1-2 sizes too small in my usual size. We often recommend sizing up one or two sister sizes. But, as I said, this one
TweetErica, Debbie and I strongly believe in supporting surrounding communities any way that we can. So when TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers) reached out to us for bra donations, we wanted to extend that reach to our customers and businesses in the area. Everyone that has stopped by the store lately has more than likely seen a box by the checkout counter that has a sign asking for bra donations for TROSA. “MISSION: TROSA is an innovative, multi-year residential program that enables substance abusers to be productive, recovering individuals by providing comprehensive treatment, work-based vocational training, education, and continuing care.” – source TROSA The gentleman I spoke to at TROSA informed me that they consistently have 100+ women in the program at any given time. The majority of women arrive with only the clothes on their back and as such, are in drastic need of bras. Sizes needed run the gamut of those available. What impressed me most about TROSA is that they are not just a run of the mill rehabilitation program. They work with the individuals through elements that include vocational training, education, counseling, mentoring, leadership training and aftercare. – source TROSA. As most of you know, having a bra that fits properly can greatly boost self-confidence and esteem—a much needed boost when you are trying to get over addiction and get back into the work force. We have been taking donations for TROSA for a little over two months and have collected close to 50 bras. We are getting ready to send the first donation to TROSA. However, we want to continue to support their need for the ladies on a continuous basis. What we accept are bras that are new or used but wearable. We launder all donations before shipping them to TROSA and
520 miles to NYC, a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses
TweetI have been meaning to start a series for the blog that relates a male’s perspective of being a co-owner of a lingerie boutique. Every time I sit down to start, I am interrupted by a phone call or computer consulting customer or a myriad of other things that demand my immediate attention. I have ADD mixed with dyslexia which means that once I am distracted the drain is terailed. So I was thinking back to my experience at Curvexpo in New York and a light bulb flickered on. Why not start the series with my experience from attending the show? I’ve given this warning before, but I feel it is worth repeating: The aforementioned ADD means that my writing, unlike Erica’s, is all over the place. I tend to write as I think, which means topics will change and butterflies are beautiful. Curvexpo is something Erica has been wanting to go to since we launched our store in 2011. Each time it comes around, I see the disappointment on her face when we discuss the ability to attend and I have to take the wind out of her sails. This year, I decided she was going to make it to the NYC show come hell or high water. We registered and got all of our ducks in a row for the show which took place February 23rd – 25th. On the 22nd, a Saturday, we were suppose to close the store an hour early and head straight home to get some sleep so we could leave around midnight to begin our epic drive from NC to NY. As fate would have it, we didn’t get to close early because we had an influx of customers right up to 5:20. When we finally got home it was 6:05. We hurriedly
TweetHello Hello, I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season this year! Several weeks ago, Erica reviewed the Fantasie Elodie, and let’s just say she wasn’t enthusiastic about the fit. Today I am defending my bra’s honor by reviewing it. Since I have had the bra about two months now, I can also comment on how well it wears over time. Size & Fit: The last time I bought a Fantasie bra, I was about 15 pounds heavier and wore a UK 32F. Given my recent weight loss, I wasn’t sure where to go with sizing, but Erica recommended trying my normal 30F. It worked out perfectly! The band was snug on the loosest set of hooks, and the cups fit rather well too. On my smaller side, I have the slightest wrinkle, but it’s not visible under clothes and does not otherwise affect the fit of the bra. In her review, Erica mentioned how she found the bra hit high on the sides and was extremely pointy from the side. Personally, I don’t have either of these issues. Is it as round as my Freya Deco? No, but I like the variety, and I think this gives a natural shape under clothes. Underneath my blouses, the Elodie reigns supreme. Not to mention, you can also see the marks in the above pic from where my Deco Charm was hitting me on the side, and the Elodie sits much lower. The front has moderate coverage, and in the future, I would like to try one of Fantasie’s plunge styles. The bra is also incredibly comfortable and has worn extremely well over the last two months. For those of you new to the blog, I work as a manager in fast food, so I need bras that are going to
TweetHello Hello, Over the last couple of months I have been watching Erica review a ton of fabulous Tutti Rouge bras, which gave me a serious case of bra envy because they’re all so friggin’ cute! I mean, heart-shaped adjusters, flowers, ruffles, frills—what more can a girl want? Even though I am on a self-imposed pretty bra buying hiatus at the moment, I couldn’t resist trying on the gorgeous Betty when I visited the store: Sizing & Fit: When Erica reviewed the Betty, she said the band ran tight, but the 30F I tried (my standard size) fit pretty well in the band. The cup was too small though, so I bumped up to the 30FF which fits amazingly. Of course, I actually tried on Erica’s bra (should have gotten a picture of that since it was pretty hilarious!), and I can attest that hers is definitely A LOT tighter than the one I am sporting for the photos. So, I guess my only suggestion is to order a couple of sizes if possible and return what doesn’t fit.
TweetHello Hello, It’s a been a while since I wrote a review here, but I am bursting with excitement over my latest purchase, the Masquerade Rhea! Let me begin by saying: I’m hard on bras, y’all. Plus, I lost ten pounds recently, and the only bras I have which fit are the Freya Totally Tartan and the Freya Elize. Since I’m not about to only have two bras in my closet, I swung by the store to see what was on the sale table, and lo and behold! There it was, staring at me and teasing me with its gorgeousness. It is the Ryan Gosling of bras, and I was powerless. Sizing: My only choice in sizing was either a 30H or a 30F. Guess which one I picked. Anyway, the 30 band on this is great even though the lack of stretch made the break-in period a little tougher. But, I liked the bra so much I could deal with the firmer fabric, especially because the shape and fit of the cups was fantastic. Part of my weight loss was in the band, but most of it was in the boobs. Waaah! Now, I am more of a 30E, but the F cup on this was okay. Fit: Even though they aren’t for everyone, I’m a big fan of the padded half cup styles. I just love the look! That rounded shape and the hint of cleavage at the top can’t be beat, and I like how there is padding for nipple protection (mine always seem to be pointing the way.) The wires on the Rhea are narrower than my others from Freya but still felt comfortable, and the band was significantly firmer and less stretchy than any bra I have ever tried from Freya. If you’re between sizes,