First, I must apologize for the delay in blogging here. I have so many fantastic ideas for the new year, but my business partner and I are in the midst of finishing up all of the necessary information for last year’s financials plus getting a jump start on taxes (basically stuff we both abhor with a passion). Sadly, blogging is one of the lower priority items on my agenda for the time being even though it’s one of my favorite aspects of the business. Ironically, despite intermittent Internet access, winter storm Jonas has provided me the perfect opportunity to catch up work on blogging because I was stuck at home while a barrage of freezing rain and pellet-sized hail assaulted the already fragile tree limbs, tempting them to give way and fall to the earth. Rather than brave the packed ice constituting our roads which left my brother’s newer and nicer car sliding about and unable to climb a hill, I curled up inside with a beautiful afghan knitted by my aunt as a present, my terrorists, and a glass of wine to write product reviews and edit a very special guest post for later this week. Here’s hoping all of my east coast readers weathered the storm safely.
As a store owner, a bra fitter, and a lingerie enthusiast, I am always seeking out new brands and products both for myself and for my customers. Exploring the marketplace for hidden gems can lead to a creative inventory assortment which distinguishes a small business from a big box competitor, and with bras, new brands and products can not only offer the chance to find more innovative solutions to customer requests but can also allow for a wonderful relationship with a vendor you respect. With this sentiment in mind, I was speaking with a sales representative for another company we offer who also happens to work with Fit Fully Yours, and she raved about the fit and the quality of the line. Furthermore, she noted Fit Fully Yours values retail partners by protecting territories, handling orders swiftly, and ensuring their products are not discounted or sent to outlet stores. Since most of my readers are regular consumers, the latter endorsements are probably irrelevant, but as a tired, overworked entrepreneur, I am more likely to dedicate a chunk of our budget to a company that makes things easier on me. Of course, no matter how great a company can be to work with, their products’ fit and quality must be top notch for our customers, and so I ordered a few for myself, including the Nicole See-Thru Lace!
Back in the day, Freya was my way-too-cool-for-me bestie with her crazy prints, bright colors, and confidence to throw Russian dolls on a bra like it was as natural as flowers or polka dots, but then a cup size bump and breast shape change sent on us divergent paths. I never lost hope that we would reconnect, which is why I have continued to experiment with new Freya styles like the discontinued Marvel and the Fantasie retread Rapture. In the shop, we phased out Freya non-padded bras a couple years ago because the demand for t-shirt bras and basic colors eclipsed the need for a fashion-oriented brand; however, recently, customers in the 30-36 DD-FF cup range have begged for core colors and styles from my former pal. As a result, I asked my sales rep for suggestions, and her choice was the new Hero—the first original, uniquely Freya frame in some time. Naturally, I snagged one for myself.
TweetMy torrid love affair with Polish bras has taken over the content of the blog for the last few months, and while they hold a special place in my heart, I realized a few weeks ago that there were so many other brands and new styles worth considering, particularly because not everyone has the same success with Polish companies as I do. As a result, I went on a bra buying spree with several of our vendors, including a whopping six new bras from UK staple Panache. To kick off the next few weeks of reviews, I want to start with the absolutely gorgeous and completely upscale Georgia set. Sizing & Fit: Because of personal issues, my weight ticked upwards and impacted my bra size. At the moment, I am firmly in 31 band territory, but when I ordered the Panache bras, I was closer to my standard 30HH size, which is what I am wearing here. While the bra clasps on the loosest set of hooks, it feels a touch firm to wear without an extender for the first week or so, and the cups have a slight overflow toward the top. Given my current weight, I believe the Georgia runs true-to-size and would recommend ordering your standard Panache size. Originally, I heard Georgia was a reboot of the non-defunct Sienna bra frame minus the stretch lace upper cup; however, Sienna featured a band-less design, meaning there was no additional elastic banding beneath the underwire. Georgia features a banded frame, and the exceptional lift and forward, rounded profile remind me more of the Envy, Jasmine, and Floris bras. In fact, the height and wire shape for Georgia is nearly identical to Envy with the former having only slightly more coverage at the center. Despite the raised gore, the sweetheart
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.
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.
When I reviewed the Tutti Rouge Liliana last week, I mentioned the obscene amount of lapsed time between trying the brands offerings, and when I saw Nichole, I felt the tinglings of longing in the lingerie chamber of my heart. Liliana was a necessity to test because I wanted to see how the design changed from the Tutti Rouge launch in 2013, but Nichole was a newer style with a gorgeous aesthetic which spoke to my personal craving. Not to mention, early feedback emphasized the use of a narrow center gore, deep cups, and a rounded, forward profile—basically three components all of my favorite bras possess.
When the charming Tutti Rouge brand first debuted two years ago, I was excited to see another new entry into the fuller-market, particularly one which effortlessly blended flirty bubblegum fun with grown-up sophistication for a collection with broad appeal. Tutti Rouge generously provided me bras to review, including the core style Liliana, but we experienced initial sizing problems. Ordinarily, I wore a UK 30H/HH, but the 30HH Liliana was too tight to fasten and an entire cup size small, making it difficult to wear often, but I always wanted to revisit the style in a better-fitting size. Flash forward to 2015, and I finally had my chance!
Despite writing enough blog posts to fill several books in the last four years, I struggled intensely the first year to find both my voice as a writer and the direction the blog should pursue. My prior experience in writing centered on academic papers, copy writing for businesses, or my own fictional stories, novels, and poems. A blog was foreign territory for my skills and made all the more challenging because I wrestled with two conflicting motivations. My years of working in technology coupled with the preaching from my business classes about the acceptability of interactions with customers left me purposefully stunting the passion and emotion within my posts. This hesitation was not made better by reflecting on what my mom, a consummate professional, recommended for inspiring confidence, leadership, and authority. However, my personality was begging to be included. I have always been a mix of contradictions in a sense. When I had my labret pierced (the one on my chin), my mom’s first words upon seeing me were “You’ve committed professional suicide.” She used that phrase “professional suicide” frequently to summarize unorthodox personal preferences, like visible tattoos, less conservative attire, and of course, facial piercings. I have always found it interesting how professionalism in certain industries requires a divestment from the self, how we must repress who we are to represent a company image or to project an air of trustworthiness and intelligence to clients.