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.
It’s no secret: Most of our customers hate bra shopping. They may love our shop and their overall experience with us, but friendly customer service does not always turn what is viewed as a self-esteem destroying chore into a joy-inducing activity. In fact, I frequently joke how bra shopping is one member of the unholy shopping trinity which also includes trying on bathing suits and jeans. Because of my expertise, bra shopping is actually quite enjoyable for me because I love eyeing gorgeous new sets to add either to my collection or to my ever-expanding wish list. Bathing suit shopping by proxy has also become easier since many of the same brands I wear for bras also make a range of bra-sized swimsuits which leave me feeling stylish, supported, and confident.
With the headache of revamping the online store portion of our total website overhaul nearing completion and my brother on the mend from his recent experience, I want to dedicate time to one of my favorite store-related activities: Blogging! Ever since I was younger, I have loved to write, and blogging has been a wonderful outlet for me, even if the posts are not strictly personal. While today’s article is in the familiar vein of product reviews, it does hold an emotional significance to me as well. Some of you know by now that Anna Pardal was kind enough to name her Sophisticate style after our store, and Patricia of Bolero created and named a dress for me.
After falling in love with Comexim and partner-in-crime Anna Pardal for their superbly narrow underwires and deep cups, I embarked on an alterations process to tweak the original shape and figure out which combination worked best for me. In the past, I have reviewed Beatrix and Felicity from Anna Pardal as well as the Hibiscus Longline—all of which sported some alterations combination, but today I am focusing on a double review of two gorgeous Comexim styles: Sweet Dottie and Sapphire! Both bras feature the original, lightly padded classic plunge shape with reduced cup, raised gore, and straps moved in 2cm.
Looking back over my posts for August, my consistency was not exactly the best. As all of you know by now, we had a huge sale and giveaway contest, which took a greater toll on my time management skills than expected. Since the blog tends to rank lower on the priority list than my “business owner stuff,” it’s easy to fall into the trap of “That post can wait” and not update at all. While I enjoy writing posts more than writing purchase orders, the latter always take precedence. I do not know how September will pan out for consistency either because we have undertaken a pretty substantial project at the store: switching our e-commerce platform.
One of the questions I field frequently about Bolero dresses is whether they were going to have any styles which are a little less body-conscious through the midsection or that have a fuller skirt. Ladies and gents, please allow me to introduce the impossibly lovely, effortlessly flattering Carmen.
Featuring a sleeveless design for easy layering, Carmen provides extra space in the chest before narrowing for a fitted empire waist and then draping beautifully into a tummy-concealing circle skirt. Like other Bolero dresses, the armholes are narrow enough to avoid showing any bra, and the center ruching contours well across the cup size spectrum. In the front, the fabric is lined, allowing you the glorious freedom to wear whatever bra you like without fear of the seams or texture showing, and in the patterned variations, the mix of colors discreetly conceals nipple issues. The back comes higher than the skater or original D+ dresses, which was another concern.
Last week, I posted a glowing review to the new Anna Pardal Hibiscus Longline in the classic plunge shape, and today I want to compare and review a longline with the three-section half-cup design, similar to the Doyenne on the website. The sample I received is for the as yet unreleased Anna Pardal Rosa, which I am told should be on the website soon.
Industry innovator, Anna Pardal recently revamped her website to debut her latest collection complete with stunning prints and new styles engineered from the extensive feedback provided by customers and retailers. Most traditional manufacturers will use a particular fabric to create one or two styles, but Anna Pardal instead chose to offer four different bra frames in addition to a host of other custom features ranging from adding nursing clasps or asymmetry pockets for free, extending the band of any bra into a longline style, or allowing specific alteration requests at the modest fee of $10. Because of the higher quality materials and the improved designs, prices have increased, which will impact our shop in the coming weeks, but I have a much longer post about this and other store changes planned for September.
Full disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of the term “back fat” because I hear it way too often in my job by people who look perfect as they are. Factor in how the mere hint of this perceived imperfection can lead a client to size up in the band to the point of a poorer overall fit, and you can understand my frustration for yet another way people have at their disposal to pick themselves apart. I am also a woman who does possess some extra . . . ahem . . . tissue back there. I developed it after years of not wearing a bra that fits, particularly during periods of weight gain and loss, and even when I am in fighting shape, the squishy bits DO NOT GO AWAY. I used to be really self-conscious about it, but I realized there were much better things for me to worry about and have made peace with it.