Welcome to the Sophisticated Pair Pajammy Jam! As with the Comexim Moulin Rouge review, the images for today’s post were taken back in December because, in a perfect world, my intention was to get everyone psyched up about some cool pajamas in time for the holiday season. It was part personal odyssey, part shameless marketing, but now it’s all about catching up from a long hiatus and clearing a backlog. Despite being in my early thirties, my pajama drawer mostly consisted (okay, consists) of my brother’s old tee shirts, my dad’s old sweats, and my mom’s old nightgowns. I did have some lounge options I personally bought which were horribly stained, filled with holes, and oh, about 15 years old. A couple years ago, a wonderful blog reader sent me two pairs of spring pajama sets which I love and cherish, but stupid thyroid weight gain has rendered them too small. When you gain weight, it’s easy to rationalize not buying anything new for yourself, especially if you are on a tight budget, and pajamas were never a priority. Then I saw the new pajama collections from our vendors and wanted wanted to feel like that cool adult on Instagram who sits around in real lounge clothes with her well behaved, photogenic dog and a boss babe book in her lap. Bring on adulthood!
Try not to die of shock that I posted not once but TWICE in a single week. I have so many amazing products in my review queue that if I don’t get my butt in gear, I’ll never get to them all! With today’s post, we can all officially wave goodbye to the snow pictures, and I can take future photos more reflective of our current weather. Today also marks the last of my Panache freebies as well as my first Cleo review in quite some time. Back in the day, Cleo was my jam (that’s probably not what the kids are saying, but I don’t care). They had narrow underwires and deep cups and a great shape, and hey, did I mention I climbed a freakin’ mountain in the Marcie?
In what was one of the closest polls we have ever asked on Facebook and Instagram, the Freya Fearne review narrowly beat out the Sculptresse Candi to earn the prestigious position of first in my expansive review queue. Thank you to everyone who commented and participate in the poll! Freya and I started as lingerie besties but drifted apart as my upper tissue became fuller and my cup size bumped up above the GG range. Their super cute and fun designs often featured wide wires, higher sides which rubbed my underarms, a splayed profile, and an interesting downward pointing shape, like my boobs were checking out what color my toenail polish was today. They also were lacking in innovation, content to rest on their past victories and recycle bra frames from season to season in the form of new prints and colors. At some point, my reviews felt rehashed, as though I was revisiting the same bra over and over with the same critiques. We parted ways, but I was ever hopeful for a joyful reunion. When they released the magnificent Hero, I cautiously hoped more change was on the horizon. My faith was rewarded because Freya retooled some of their classic designs to fit better, especially in higher cup sizes, by listening to consumer and bra fitter feedback.
The steamy summer month of July holds a special place in my heart because our little bra shop celebrates its anniversary. A Sophisticated Pair stemmed from my personal desire to find a store which not only offered a range of bra sizes in a wide assortment of colors and styles, but that also offered the kind of quality customer service I found lacking in my own bra shopping experiences. When I was finally fitted properly, I realized the potential for transformation contained in a bra fitting and wanted everyone to feel the same way I did—to look at themselves through the lens of acceptance and confidence. The experience left such an imprint on me that despite being a computer programmer fresh out of grad school, I began researching not only bra fitting techniques but also the fundamentals of owning a small retail business. After two years, I felt comfortable contemplating the idea of a storefront, and I approached my aunt Debbie and my dad Jason with my ideas for improving the bra shopping experience. Together, we sacrificed, worked hard, persevered, and worked harder still so that we could open our doors on July 17, 2011. In a few short days, we will celebrate five years of operation. I have several posts planned about the anniversary (including our annual statistical series) and am looking forward to sharing some of the ups and downs we’ve had with all of our readers. For the meantime though, let’s discuss our annual sale and giveaway!
When bloggers, retailers, and industry professionals talk lingerie trends, the discussion includes multiple elements like color, print, embroidery, unique detailing, and even popular styles, and lately bralettes have been red hot from the fires of demand, leaving many manufacturers scurrying to release multiple versions in exciting colors and using a variety of fabrics ranging from silk to two-ply modal to soft lace. However, the bralette world has largely targeted the 32-38 AA-C cup crowd with the occasional style able to accommodate a D or DD. Most bralettes do not feature an underwire and either use X-Small to X-Large terminology or a band size only, e.g., 30, 32, 34, for sizing, and the designs themselves tend to rely on triangle shaped cups as well as deeper v-necklines for a lighter, comfortable appearance. For the fuller-bust and/or 38+ band customer, these limitations pose unique fit challenges, particularly in terms of coverage, support, and shape. Freya hopes to address the deficit in the market place by offering a new alternative: the Fancies Bralette!
I know it’s been a while since I checked in here, and I have a post planned which talks more on my absence plus upcoming plans for the blog. However, in the meantime, I wanted to pop in with a quick product review of the Freya Enchanted! I mentioned in my Freya Hero review the potential for carrying Freya’s non-padded bras in the shop again, specifically for the 28-34E-G customers who enjoyed the lightweight fabrics and comfortable fit. Because of Freya’s fashion forward nature, I wanted to select a style with longevity and multiple core colors to make replenishment easier, and Enchanted seemed like a contender with its smoother profile and adorable details.
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.
Red ribbon bows hang like harbingers from the lamp posts, holiday music blares through every speaker, and pine tree lots beckon early shoppers to select the perfect tree for their festivities. With these traditions also comes the glitzy, glamorous, and sometimes boozy soiree season filled with sequined party dresses, spiked eggnog, the annual company holiday party, and more than a few undergarment woes. Every year, lingerie professionals across the globe are tasked with finding the right solutions to holiday attire problems ranging from selecting the right shapewear to finding the perfect bra for a beautiful dress. All of us become the ultimate intimates fixers—whipping out accessories, miracle products, and double-sided tape to help you look your best and enjoy the party season without stress, and today I am sharing some of our secrets with our readers to give you a jump start in preparing for the season! (Click images to purchase.)
We have finally arrived at my favorite post to compile in the series: our best-sellers. While knowing which cup sizes, band sizes, and bra sizes sell the best is an extremely important element to maintaining inventory, it’s also smart to keep track of what products perform well and in what sizes. My strategy with purchasing new inventory is to create a well-rounded set of options per size cluster, which includes carrying multiple styles, colors, and brands designed to suit a variety of customer breast shapes and preferences. Analyzing our best-sellers can be a key way to select future core styles, determine the best colors to choose, and even analyze the optimum size configuration per style.
Ordinarily, I like to post these stats as close to our actual anniversary (July 17th) as possible, but between a hectic summer season, a website remodel, and my brother’s emergency surgery, this intense, labor-of-love series was continuously placed at the bottom of my queue. However, with my life finally returning to some semblance of normalcy, I knew it was time to break out the spread sheets and start work on analyzing our sales! This year proves to be even more exciting because we are entering a state of stability with the business and have a lot more sales to examine and discuss. Our business model has shifted significantly too because we expanded our online sales presence, thus necessitating some changes to how we showcase and scrutinize the data.