Saturday Spotlight: Filling a Niche

TweetHello Ladies, Given my busy schedule, Saturday Spotlights have fallen by the wayside recently, but I am hoping to post them more regularly because there are so many amazing businesses, bloggers, and companies I want to showcase!  Today, I want to promote newcomer to the bra blogosphere Filling a Niche:  Yes, You Might See Boobs Here.  Drawing inspiration from other bloggers, writer Missy has created a nice mix of bra reviews, lingerie wishlists, and generally interesting reads on complementary topics.  As someone in the process of going green in more aspects of my life, I found her discussion of the reusable menstrual cups to be informative and thought-provoking. Furthermore, her size is a little more mainstream, and she often wears a 30F or 32E.  Many bra bloggers tend to fall into certain categories, and Missy is right that she definitely fills an underrepresented niche!  As our readers know, Dezi also fits into this size range (although lately she teetering into the 28FF/30F range), but I think what makes Filling a Niche fantastic is that Missy is a mother of two, meaning she has experienced the myriad of breast changes incurred by pregnancy and breastfeeding. I’ve enjoyed her blog so much that I have offered to help sponsor a giveaway for her readers.  You can win a $50 Sophisticated Pair gift card by participating, so definitely visit her blog and check it out.  Have a great weekend everyone! Erica

Saturday Spotlight: Canine Coaching Services, LLC

TweetHello Ladies, As many of my local customers know, I love dogs and often have my two Jack Russell Terrorists guarding the back of the store: During a fitting, I learned my customer, Valerie Broadway, shared my passion for four-legged creatures and started a dog training business called “Canine Coaching Services, LLC.”  Located in Chatham County but serving adjacent counties and cities, Valerie’s business provides in-home training sessions, vacation coaching, and even group seminars. Promoting a relaxed, quiet environment filled with clear communication and positive reinforcement, Valerie aids dog owners in learning how to present themselves “in a position  of leadership to their pets.”  Some of her most common coaching requests involve aggression, puppy or obedience basics, hyperactivity, leash problems, lack of socialization, and house training. In addition to her time as a veterinary technician, Valerie has years of experience working with animal rescues and shelters and has personally fostered hundreds of dogs in the last thirty years.  She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and frequently attends workshops, lectures, and seminars to stay abreast of all the latest training and coaching techniques.  Together, her family, including their eight dogs, five cats, and the occasional parrot, strive to meet their goal of “helping people and their pets live together better!” If your pet pooch needs some behavioral help, you can reach Valerie by phone at (919) 542-4726 or by email at CanineCoachNC[at]yahoo[dot]com.  Be sure to like her Facebook page too! Erica

Product Review: BiuBiu Venice Tops

TweetHello Ladies, Earlier this week I posted a review of the stunning Marsala dress from BiuBiu, but while placing my order, I also snagged two of the Venice shirts.  Having never tried the knitwear, I was unsure what to expect, but my need for summer tops which actually fit trumped my reticence about potential returns.  With all the beautiful colors available, my decisions was a difficult one, but I was ultimately wooed by the violet as well as the black and white printed version. As I mentioned in my previous review, my measurements (41.5″-29″) suggest I need a 38BB/BBB, and while I would have preferred sizing down in the Marsala, I am glad I bought the 38s in the Venice because the torso is very fitted. Because of the added room in the bust, I never experience pull lines from stressing the material of the shirt, but there is also enough space in the back for my broad shoulders.  Directly beneath the bust line, the shirt nips back in at the waist and stays closely fitted down the sides and stomach.  Ladies hoping for a more relaxed fit may want to size up in the Venice. Moreover, the fabric features a lightweight cotton which, while soft, is a little stiffer than the dreamy material of the Marsala.  On the whole, the tees are breezy, comfortable, and easy to wear when temperatures rise, and if you happen to break a sweat, the fabric is still forgiving, meaning you look polished and cool.  Since I live in the south where high temperatures are only matched by the high humidity, I find this quality a bonus to the design.  Thus far, I have also never had an issue with BiuBiu items bleeding color onto other fabrics either.  Some of my knitwear from rather

Product Review: BiuBiu Marsala Dress

Product Review:  BiuBiu Marsala Dress

TweetHello Ladies, As an avid fan of all things BiuBiu, I was ecstatic to see they were releasing new styles for spring and summer.  While I love dresses like the Viena and Noli, I find long-sleeve dresses to be impractical for summer, which left me unable to purchase anything new for my closet.  Then the gorgeous Marsala dress and Venice tops debuted with their lighter fabrics and short-sleeves!  For today’s blog, I’ll be covering the Marsala dress, but tune in later this week for a review of the Venice. Sizing:  My measurements of 41.5″-29″-41.5″ put me firmly in the 38BB/BBB category, but in the past I’ve often bought both the 36BB/BBB and the 38BB/BBB.  Given the thinner fabric, I opted for the 38 which fits pretty well, but I would have preferred a tighter fit at the waist, especially without a belt.  If you’re between sizes, I recommend selecting the smaller one. Fit:  As expected, the Marsala hugs the curvy figure beautifully.  There is ample room in the bust without creating any pull lines across the center, and my broad shoulders have plenty of space to move without tugging the seams.  With a fitted torso design, the Marsala nips in at the waist before softly draping over the tummy and hip region to offer a flattering silhouette.  An open v-neckline shows some skin without requiring a camisole or becoming inappropriate for work, and in the back, the dress contours to my shape for a sexy rear profile.  However, the fitted top portion of the dress ends rather low on the waist.  I am over 5’6″ with a long torso, and the waist seam hits me rather well, allowing the pleating to fall straight down and softly accentuate my figure.  Petite or short-waisted women may find the pleating sits too low

An Important Website Update

TweetHello Ladies, In the past, I have often spoken passionately about how the media and the fashion industry, of which lingerie and bras are a part, manipulate women into feeling like they are never good enough.  Negative language, a bombardment of photoshopped images, and an emphasis on young, thin, white models combine to create an atmosphere of homogeneity permeating most aspects of modern life.  Nevertheless, while discussing the issue is vital to change, taking action is better.  With this in mind, we updated many of the products on our storefront to include photos of normal, non-models wearing each of the styles without the generous aid of Photoshop. Because we are a small business and cannot afford to pay anyone to model, my aunt, resident blogger Dezi, and I all volunteered to showcase how these products fit and look.  As we grow, I hope to shoot our own professional photos to replace the stock images and increase the diversity on our storefront.  Our intentions are to present potential customers with a better idea of how a bra truly looks as well as to prove there is no need to change the female form to make it more appealing to a modern audience. Look for us to continue these positive changes in the future! Erica, Debbie, and Dezi  

Saturday Spotlight: Two Cakes on a Plate

TweetHello Ladies, Cakes on a plate cleavage refers to the high, rounded, and open neckline cleavage of Marie Antoinette, but our Saturday Spotlight cleverly repurposed the term as the title of her fabulous blog:  Two Cakes on a Plate!  With a mix of thoughtful articles, helpful lingerie advice, and product reviews, this blog has a lot to offer lingerie lovers, and I want to share a few of my favorite posts: The Cleo Marcie Review:  Honestly, I still lust after this bra even though the fit is not perfect for me, so I love reading how it works for others. The Summer Dress Series:  Sporting a sexy LBD in this entry, the stylish blogger provides suggestions on how you can maximize the look of a dress by choosing the right support garments.  Be sure to check out the other dresses she showcases! The Right Pair of Knickers:  The lingerie blogosphere often focuses on bras more than anything else, and it’s refreshing to see a post on the different types of underwear we need. Does Size Matter?:  This one resonates with me because she criticizes the somewhat flippant and callous way people and magazines recommend breast reductions. Trying to Fit In-Confessions of a Busty Gal:  Like many of us, the talented voice behind Two Cakes on a Plate would often use sister sizing when buying bras that fit, and she discusses her journey toward finding and wearing the proper size. Have a great weekend everyone! Erica

Saturday Spotlight: Wide Curves

TweetHello Ladies, Even though I try to provide as much information as possible on the bra reviews, it’s not always easy to decide if something will work for you if you have a different shape than me. It’s with this in mind that I want to shine our spotlight over to Wide Curves: Put an hourglass figure into a penny press and this is what you get. Providing detailed measurements of herself and the bras she reviews, this blogger is on a quest to find styles which fit and flatter her. Her breasts are wider set than mine, so we often cannot wear the same bras which makes her reviews complementary to the ones we write here.  Furthermore, she’s in a more mainstream size (UK 36FF/38F), so like our resident blogger Dezi, she can try a heck of a lot more styles than I can. Her recent reviews of the Panache Sophie (it’s tough to find wireless bra reviews), Fantasie Rebecca, and Claudette En Dentelle have been favorites of mine, and I’m looking forward to reading more. As I mentioned, she always includes a lot of measurements with her reviews which can further help you identify which styles will or won’t be right for you. Check out her blog and be sure to like her on Facebook! Erica

Saturday Spotlight: Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed

TweetHello Ladies, The reason I began the “Saturday Spotlight” series was to expose our readers to some of the other wonderful writers out there in cyberspace, and today, I want to direct you to recently launched Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed.  With gorgeously shot pictures and a cheerful tone, this full-bust blog aims to educate women about finding bras that fit and dressing your curves. Admittedly, her shape is less common than most which she explains in her post on why she hasn’t added any bra reviews yet, but her insights and descriptions are applicable even to those with a different body type.  The discussion of how built-in ruching can improve the look and fit of a garment is especially interesting, and Dezi can attest to how often I use the term “strategic ruching” when talking about clothes and fashion!  Not to mention, I dare you ladies to check out her review of the Pin-Up Girl Anna dress (shown above) and not want one for yourself. Be sure to add her to your list of blogs worth reading, and don’t forget to follow her on Twitter as @WeirdlyShaped! Erica

Monday Must-Reads Returns

TweetHello Ladies, Over the last couple of weeks, I have been bookmarking quite a few wonderful, well-written, and interesting articles to share with you, and I finally had the time to compile all of them into one blog! Valentine’s Day is on the horizon which means many women will be modelling sexy lingerie for their partners, and the Lingerie Lesbian offers practical, confidence boosting tips for wearing lingerie and feeling comfortable. On the bra fitting front, bust-friendly clothing company Cambell & Kate provides “Four Steps for Finding the Best Big Bust Bra Fitter for You” as well as tips for “Getting the Best Big Bust Fit Beneath Your Clothes.”  Furthermore, Sweet Nothings writes about “What a Good Bra Fitting Experience Should Be Like,” and Busts of Gotham discusses how your bra size often varies because of the style or manufacturer.  Analogously, Bras I Hate & Love posted about the difference between full on top and full on bottom breasts and how this impacts which bras work for you.  Finally, Darlene of Hourglassy wrote about the importance of tacking in the fit of your bras. Women of all sizes can appreciate Boosaurus’s comprehensive round-up of the smaller-busted bloggers and the perspectives they offer. Many of you have asked if I have seen the TV Show Double Divas, so I watched the pilot episode.  My thoughts mirror those of Fussy Busty! To counterweight all the discussions we have about bras, Nothing Ever Fits and Nobody Ever Sympathizes wrote an interesting article entitled “I don’t need bras I just happen to like them” on how we do not physically need to wear bras. A few weeks ago, a bioethicist made waves by claiming we should fat-shame people to make them lose weight (I’m not linking to it because I’m not giving it any

Saturday Spotlight: Mimi’s Pizza

TweetHello Ladies, Recently, my Saturday Spotlight has shined on some of the wonderful bloggers in the lingerie community, but today, I want to focus locally.  Pizza is one of my favorite foods because the possibilities for customizing it to individual tastes are endless; not to mention, anything relying heavily on carbs and cheese works for me.  But, when it comes to who makes the best pizza, I have only one answer:  the locally owned and operated Mimi’s Pizza!  So named for the childhood moniker of proprietor Jimmy Xionis, Mimi’s Pizza specializes in crafting delicious pizzas, pastas, calzones, subs, and salads all of which feature a hearty dose of traditionalism mixed with Jimmy’s own flair for cooking.  All of the ingredients are fresh, including the made-from-scratch sauces (try the white one!) and dough, and I love how the menu showcases some perennial favorites like Meat Lovers alongside specialty concoctions like my personal favorite, the Greek Pizza. After tantalizing my palette with the pizza, I branched out to the calzones, and I am only mildly ashamed to admit that I can (and have) eat one of them in a single sitting.  Where’s that emoticon with the big eyes when you need him?  Eventually, I decided to taste something healthier and ordered one of the subs: the Buffalo Chicken!  Out of all the Buffalo Chicken sandwiches and subs I have eaten in all the pizza/sub places in all the worlds (too much?), Mimi’s was the best.  Of course, I still had to add some hot sauce, but not everyone appreciates my level of spicy. But, the final test comes down to . . . *drumroll* . . .  the salad!  Everyone knows that pizza places always mess up the salad, but not Mimi’s!  The salad was packed with crisp lettuce and topped with