Slowly and steadily, I am chipping away at a (still growing) backlog of bra reviews, but I am extremely excited to finally reach the two Samanta lingerie reviews I planned. As long time readers know by now, I am a fan of Polish lingerie design and appreciate their unique approach to both bra fit and aesthetic. As a result, when Marzena of Samanta contacted me back in December about potentially carrying the brand in the store, I was excited but reserved. I had never tried Samanta before and was going to order a style or two direct from her as samples to test the fit and quality. Enter the amazing Sweet Nothings! A while back, she reviewed three of Samanta’s popular designs on her blog and was gracious enough to give me her A925 Mintaka and her A111 Hana Claret because she’s totally awesome like that. Since we’re in the same size range, I was excited to see how this brand compared to the other UK and Polish companies I tried in the past. Initially, this post began as a review of the A925, complete with video review and pictures, but my penchant for detailed explanations turned a “brief” discussion of the Samanta brand, their model numbers, and sizing system into a 1500+ word epic better suited for a post of its own. As a result, before delving into the product reviews, I am taking today to provide some background on Samanta for anyone not familiar with the brand.
Back in December (or was it November?), Dixie of Rixie Clip contacted me about her amazing product, and I snagged some for the store in January (note to self: buy more Rixie Clips) with the intention of writing a review that same month. So, yeah. Welcome to Review 1 of the 20 or so in my backlog!
Oftentimes when I do product reviews on the blog, they are usually bras, underwear, or bust-friendly clothing, and I realize I have done my readers a disservice in largely ignoring the wonderful world of bra accessories. Bra accessories are typically designed to solve common bra problems in an easy, no fuss way and range from silicone nipple covers to bra extenders to low back converters. In some cases, these nifty products can even salvage an unwearable bra, giving you more time with a favorite piece.
No, this is not some prank post. Today, I am seriously reviewing a salad spinner. Don’t give up on me yet though! Several years ago, Muscles with Curves posted a blog about using a salad spinner to gently dry her padded and molded cup bras faster, and I found her experiment fascinating albeit unrelated to my life. Until I discovered Comexim and Anna Pardal, I lived in unpadded bras which are not only lower maintenance to wash but also dry faster on account of how easy it is to remove the excess water. When my wardrobe transitioned almost exclusively to padded bras, I had totally forgotten about the tip until an incredibly generous customer gave me a salad spinner a few weeks ago. She had already given me a drying rack for bras, which I will also showcase in this post, and before continuing, I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to her for not only supporting the store but for also being such a sweet and generous soul. <3
TweetHello Everyone, I was so pleased to check my email this morning and see this gem of a blog post with fantastic pictures awaiting me. Jillian from our KK+ bras series is back with some astute observations on developing her patterns and prototypes. As the Lingerie Addict pointed out last week, bra making can be an artisan skill, and Jillian’s quest certainly underscores this. I hope you enjoy the post as much as I do! Erica P.S. You can find the two previous entries here and here. —————————————— Hey everyone! It’s Jillian again with an addendum post to the second entry. I apologize for its tardiness- I experienced for the first time a tension headache that lasted almost two full months. I basically curled up in a ball and tried not to move or look at light the entire time. In the last entry, I spoke about the thought process used to develop my pattern drafts. The actual materials used for the practice bras and for the final products were mistakenly left out *hanging head in shame*. This entry would serve to correct that. Pick up a bra that you’re not wearing and try to count the different parts that make up the whole. Such a tiny garment having such vast importance and so many parts. My current bra design has: Rigid/non stretch tricot knit fabrics for the cups, center bridge and side wings, ultra thin padding for a strength/shaping layer in the cups, heavyweight powernet for the back wings, full plushback satin elastic straps, Single picot edged plushback elastic in TWO widths for the band, O-rings AND slides on the straps, vertical steel underwires, underwire casing, three row hook and eye tape that can be cut to fit as the back closure, Polyester thread. Twelve components in total- pretty
TweetHello Everyone, The holiday music softly saturating retailers signals not only the time to deck the halls and shop for presents but also the impending arrival of the holiday party season. Whether it’s an informal family dinner, a (probably too informal) company cocktail, or a black tie event, you need the right supporting garments, and for today’s blog, I want to share a few products that can and will make the holiday party season a little easier for you! Braza Low Back Converter – $10 If wedding season has taught me anything, it’s that formal wear has embraced a lower back, and unfortunately, a person’s existing foundation garments may not be as discreet as necessary. Enter the low back converter which attaches to an existing bra and allows you to lower where the hook-and-eye closures hit by up to 2″. For deep or wide low-back dresses and tops, the converter may not be sufficient, but if you need a little extra space to avoid showing your bra band, this inexpensive accessory is a great solution. Flash Tape aka Double Sided Tape – $8 A universal fix all for closing gaping blouses, quick hemming pants, and preventing your dress from sliding to reveal your bra, double-sided tape is another inexpensive way to solve a host of wardrobe problems. In fact, we often use Flash Tape in conjunction with the low back converter to ensure nothing shows while you’re dancing the night away. Braza’s My Secret Emergency Kit – $7 As its moniker implies, this emergency kit contains multiple fixes to any wardrobe malfunction and includes double-sided tape, deodorant stain wipes, disposable nipple covers, and a lint remover. Kix’ies – $22 Instead of reaching for a trusty pair of pantyhose or tights, why not spice up the night with a pair of
TweetHello Everyone, Mastectomy lingerie is, admittedly, an area where I lack expertise. I have worked with women who have had reconstruction, but women needing to wear prostheses are often recommended to other retailers who offer superior advice and a better selection. As we continue to expand the shop and pursue new opportunities, mastectomy fittings and lingerie may be avenue where I explore additional training to better serve the needs of all of our customers. Nevertheless, I did have a chance to post a blog written by a Allison Goodlin which details some fantastic tips and tricks to feeling confident and coming to terms with body acceptance through lingerie after a mastectomy. Anyone who has other advice to add, please feel free to comment, and if any women have needed a mastectomy (single or double) and wish to write about your experience here, I would love to post it. Have a great day, everyone! Erica ————— Your body is beautiful, and a mastectomy doesn’t change that. For many women that have undergone either a single or a double mastectomy, finding lingerie options that flatter their new look can be difficult. The scars that remain after breast cancer surgery are a constant reminder of their struggle, and many women fight daily to feel like themselves again. Finding the right lingerie can help you rebuild your confidence after mastectomy. Although finding lingerie for your post- mastectomy body may be more difficult, it is possible. There are many gorgeous and flattering options for women after a mastectomy. Fighting breast cancer doesn’t mean you can’t love your body, even if it is different than the body you remember. Analyze Your Concerns Every mastectomy is different, and each woman will have different areas of concern they want to camouflage when choosing lingerie. Before you even start
TweetHello Everyone, As little as a five pound weight loss or gain can completely change your bra size, and I am often asked by women in transitional weights how to navigate bra buying. Because bras are expensive, no woman wants to invest money in an item she can only wear a short time, so today I want to discuss ways of maximizing your lingerie budget while on a weight loss journey. Almost every week, a customer will ask if there is a way to determine how weight loss will impact her bra size, and I wish I had a firm answer. Depending on your body type, your bra size may not change, or you may experience fluctuations in the cup, band, or both. Since the weight loss process is so variable, there is no definitive way of knowing how your bra size will be impacted. Nevertheless, in general, most women lose weight in keeping with their body shape. Breasts are composed of both glandular tissue and fatty tissue, and losing weight tends to impact the fatty tissue the most. Consequently, if you gained weight and gained cup sizes, losing weight could mean a drop in breast size, but if you were always on the busty side, losing weight may not drastically reduce your breast size. For example, I have always been between a GG and a H cup at every weight. When I was at my heaviest, I was around a 36GG, and at my lowest weight, I was a 28H.
TweetHello Ladies, For a few weeks now, I contemplated the ongoing confusion plaguing the millions of women searching for a bra that fits—confusion due in part to the persistent misinformation circulating the web. However, until now, I have been so busy working at the shop that I was unable to give the issue the time and attention it deserves. At the end of May, Jockey made waves in the lingerie world by launching a new fit kit which tosses out the band/cup combo of old in favor of a band measurement paired with a series of breast molds used to identify the best cup volume for you. Women were promised a simple solution for their bra woes although many were left scratching their heads at sizes like 2-32 or 5-36. For more information on the sizing system itself, read these comprehensive reviews from Sweet Nothings, Ali Cudby, and Elizabeth Dale. In addition to Jockey’s system, intrepid bra shoppers can turn to the expansive and resourceful reditt /ABraThatFits which addresses sizing and fit issues on a massive, interrelated, and somewhat jumbled scale only made possible by the Internet. Finally, there is always the advice found on manufacturer’s and retailer’s websites. Of course, if you pick ten different guides and compare the advice, often you will find varying and sometimes conflicting ways of measuring, a limited explanation of why that method is the best, and/or not even a cursory examination on how to ensure the suggested size actually works for you. This confusion has led Jezebel writers (among others) to ponder whether bras actually come from outer space because the garment most women wear seems to baffle just about everyone, and the lingerie industry keeps piling on layer upon layer of complexity. So, what’s the deal with bra sizes? Are they the
TweetHello Ladies, Happy Valentine’s Day! Because so many of the talented lingerie lovers in the blogosphere have already put together amazing wish lists and recommendations for the holiday, I want to forgo offering my favorites and instead focus on the practical side of lingerie, namely how you can transition it beyond the bedroom. Selecting styles with built-in versatility can aid you in enjoying lovely lingerie throughout the year, but thinking creatively about how to incorporate your latest purchase into your regular wardrobe or routine can add an unexpected dose of glamor to everyday life. The Basic Matching Set in a Hot Color If your budget is tight, one of the easiest ways to spice up your lingerie drawer is to snag a tried-and-true basic style in a hot new color or pattern. Variety adds interest while the pre-tested design guarantees you can wear your new purchase every day. The Sexy Set with Seams and Lace and Embroidery Tee shirt bras—fit issues aside—are a versatile pick for everyday wear because of their seamless, contoured design. Nevertheless, if you want a new style for Valentine’s Day, I recommend breaking up the routine with something unexpected and fun, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find bras more beautiful than those featuring seams, lace, ribbons, or embroidery. The matching panties are always incredible, and the designs range from daring and bold to sophisticated and ladylike to quirky and cool. Let your personality and taste guide you to the style which suits you best. However, when it comes time to throw on your tee shirt, these stunners often fall short in how discreetly they blend under your tops. To combat this problem, forget wearing an ornate bra under thin knits without layering—a fabulous technique which adds visual interest to outfits and allows you to branch out
TweetHello Ladies, Shoes and bras are two of my guilty pleasures because both make me feel confident, sexy, and pulled-together, but whenever I acquire a new gem for my collection, there is a day that I look to with a mix of anticipation and dread: The Break-In day. No matter how comfortable the new bra or shoes feel when I try them on, I know the first day (or three) of wear will be less than ideal. As a result, I want to focus today on the break-in period for bras and discuss why it occurs and what you can do to alleviate the discomfort. Let’s start with a basic question: What exactly is “The Break-in Day?” Essentially, it is the first day you wear the bra during which the elastic stretches to fit your body and the fabric softens from friction against the skin. Your body also learns where the bra will apply pressure and gradually becomes accustomed to the shape of the bra. How the bra feels on break-in day is usually the worst it will ever feel. But, shouldn’t bras feel perfect the first time you wear them with no pinching, chaffing, or tightness? Not necessarily. When a bra is shipped from the manufacturer to the retailer, the new fabric is starched, sometimes heavily, so that the bra maintains its shape and hanger appeal after compression in the shipping container. Most of us are guilty of judging clothing by how it appears hanging on the rack too, and the process of starching the bras helps preserve their shape in the retailer’s store even if they have been tried on by multiple people. Furthermore, the fabric itself is brand new which means it has not been thoroughly washed and worn to soften its texture. The elastic—a chief component