Hello everyone! Originally, I hoped to review the Fit Fully Yours Maxine a couple years ago when I was still wearing a UK 30H and consequently purchased the bra in size North American 32J (UK 32GG). However, before I found time to prepare the necessary materials, my size changed, and the bra I purchased no longer fit. No big deal, right? I moved on to other items with the intention of circling back to Maxine soon. Eventually, I repurchased the bra in a 34J (UK 34GG) and added the review back in the queue. Spoiler alert: My weight continued to roller coaster, by which I mean it went up at a sharp incline while I looked down at my scale screaming “Whyyyyyyyy?” Last fall, I not only repurchased Maxine for the third time, a 36J (UK 36GG), but I also decided to test the style in the store and gauge customer feedback. Sometime around November, I took pictures and shot a video only for them to mysteriously vanish and need to be redone a few weeks ago. Persistence is a virtue in my book, and I am extraordinarily pleased to finally present the review.
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!
Today on “Life: The Destroyer of Plans” we revisit photos taken way back in December and finally publish the review on Comexim’s Moulin Rouge. Also in my backlog is a review of pajamas, but afterwards fresh content will be forthcoming, including discussions of new brands, off-topic posts on chronic illness, and musings on our upcoming seven year anniversary. Stay tuned, dear readers, come hell or high water, I am back to blogging!
Of the three bras I snaggeded during Curvy Kate’s massive online sale, the Scantilly Peek-a-Boo was my absolute favorite, and if I am being honest, the real driving factor behind my decision to order. For starters, it’s freakin’ green! Bright green, even! Have I not been pining after a bra this color for years?! Fabulous color aside, I was also curious to try the higher end, boudoir-inspired Scantilly line itself. The initial show-stopping collection debuted after I cut ties with the brand, leaving me to eye the stunners from a distance. Finally, I would have a Scantilly piece of my own! (Side note: No video again due to the general sheer styling of the piece.)
When Curvy Kate had a big sale on older merchandise, I snagged several styles from their website partly for curiosity’s sake and partly to determine if it was worthwhile to resurrect my relationship with the brand. While I don’t mind padded bras, I prefer unlined, and I wanted to try one of those styles in addition to the Daily Dream I reviewed. Given my penchant for black, I opted for the quite sheer Bridget—so sheer in fact there will be no video review accompanying my written one. Oh, and a warm welcome back to the Sophisticated Pair Pears!
Since we opened in 2011, my relationship with Curvy Kate has always been a mix of admiration and frustration. My love of their colorful aesthetic and willingness to include more options for higher cup sizes was dampened by professional problems with distribution, pricing, and marketing. Ultimately, despite being one of the first stateside retailers to stock the brand, I dropped the line a few years ago with no intentions of revisiting them. Within the last year, however, I heard Curvy Kate addressed both retailer and consumer concerns by improving fit and streamlining wholesale relationships. A few fellow store owners enjoyed great success with the line and encouraged me to reconsider my stance. Since Curvy Kate recently had a massive online sale to purge older fashion stock, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to reevaluate. To kick off my Curvy Kate reviews, I give you the Daily Dream—a soft, comfortable t-shirt alternative for fuller cups.
Figuring out the right assortment of bras in a retail store can feel like an insurmountable, ever-evolving challenge. In the past, I wrote more extensively about buying plans, but generally speaking, the process of narrowing down literally hundreds of bras to the profit-turning core collection found in the shop requires time, patience, and feedback. Usually I read through reviews of products left by consumers to help my decision process, but some reviewers do not know how to properly fit themselves and leave complaints more related to purchasing the wrong size than to the bra itself. As a result, I love interacting with other store owners and discussing our best-sellers. Bra fitters have firsthand experience trying the style on multiple body and breast shapes and can often provide more accurate information. In one such conversation, my friend Jackie from Her Underthings in New York raved about the new Serena Lace from Fit Fully Yours, but each store is unique in what works for them. Naturally, I had to test one myself!
Focusing on the silver lining in the clouds—a task I always attempt albeit sometimes unsuccessfully, then the positive side of gaining weight has been the myriad of lingerie options I can now try and review. When I wore a UK 30H (US 30K), there were several styles and even entire lines which were unavailable in my size or which simply did not work for me. In some cases, the fit issues directly related to the size itself, and most people wading through the small band/big cup market can write lengthy treatises on which bras do not scale properly and are plagued with fit and comfort issues. As a UK 34H (US 34K), I still encounter some of the same issues, usually related to my breast shape, but not nearly as many. My lingerie wardrobe boasts a variety of brands and styles now instead of solely representing the latest and greatest from Comexim. Furthermore, I have been able to explore new brands with real hopes they could fit me, and Sculptresse has been one such brand. Panache’s plus-size line starts most styles at 34 or 36 bands and often goes to a 46, and the fit profiles have ranged across breast shapes. Candi is an ideal option for wider set breasts while Chi Chi is perfect for narrow. As part of my ongoing experimentation, my sales rep sent me Gina, and I was eager to determine where this style fit into the line.
You know how there occasionally exists a partnership between a celebrity and a designer which works so impossibly well, you can’t think of one without the other? Cher and Bob Mackie. Lady Gaga and the late Alexander McQueen. Evan Rachel Wood and Ralph Lauren. Erica and Bolero. Okay, clearly I’m not a celebrity, but that’s the great thing about Bolero dresses. Every time I wear one, I feel ready to strut the red carpet like I am. For those just tuning into my ongoing sappy love affair, I have reviewed multiple Bolero dresses, tops, and even pants on the blog and loved them all. But for the shop’s sixth anniversary, Patricia of Bolero managed to outdo even herself when she sent her latest creation: the Margarita Dress.
Alright, dear readers, today we’re venturing into uncharted territory and chatting menstruation, aka periods, that time of the month, the rag, the crimson tide, the red river, shark week, and my personal favorite, Aunt Irma. We’re also going into the nitty gritty details of what it is like to have a period and how to determine which menstrual products suit you. This is not a “tee hee, let’s be cute and not gross anyone out” kind of post. Nope, we’re going real, natural, and a little bit funny because, hey, we’re all adults here, people. It’s about time we have a frank discussion about the human body, even its less glamorous functions. Specifically, I am reviewing three alternative menstrual products: the Diva Cup, Thinx Period Underwear, and Lunapads. Clearly, this post is not for everyone, and in order to review the products, I will need to go super TMI and discuss my own period experiences. The number of twisted comments I delete is going to go through the roof I’m sure, but menstruation is a natural part of life for many of us. We need to acknowledge it and have an actual conversation about how to maximize both our comfort and reproductive health, and part of that starts with opening up to each other.