Review: Panache Sport Top

Sweet Nothings reviews the Panache Sports Top

Back in January I shared my thoughts on the super-popular Panache sports bra, and you might recall that they were pretty glowing.  I seriously have four different colors of this bra in my lingerie drawer right now, and I kind of want to buy four more because my size is changing and some of mine are worn out.  After a few successful seasons built around the bra and matching workout shorts, I was really interested to see what I thought of a new addition to the sports range: a new sports top, which features a built-in Panache Sport bra.

Appearance

The debut colorway is a bold, saturated coral with contrasting neon multicolor accents. It’s… I won’t lie, it’s a lot brighter than I normally go for in my workout wear—I prefer black and neutrals. That said, it’s definitely cheerful and summery, and if I’m trying to drag myself to the gym in the morning before work, it’ll wake me up!

Neon yellow contrast piping lines the neckline and continues onto the straps and J-hook, and swooping panels of the multicolor accent sweep down the front and create a long, streamlined look. Well, that might be the idea—in my size I felt like the panels just emphasized the width and curve of my bust, which again isn’t usually something I’m dying for in my workout clothes.

The top contains a built-in Panache Sports Bra (original flavor) with partially adjustable straps, a J-hook, and three columns of three rows of hooks and eyes.

Sweet Nothings reviews the Panache Sports Top

The wonkiness at the neckline is there for a few reasons: I’m stretching, which is pulling the cups closer to each other, the molded cups are fairly open at the top, and the cups are slightly too big, as I lost a little bit of weight between the time I bought the top and the time I reviewed it.

Fit

The bra part? Business as usual, which, as I mentioned in my review in January, is very good business indeed. This is an underwired encapsulation style sports bra (as opposed to a compression style sports bra), meaning that the cups and underwires fully contain (encapsulate) each breast to minimize movement from all sides. I’ve found that this is the style I prefer—I stay cooler and drier during a workout, I can breathe more deeply and easily, and I have a full range of movement without worrying about shifting, digging, squeezing, or poking. I found the bra part fit very similarly to my regular Panache sport bras: the cups are round and full (some women prefer to size down in the cups, and indeed I think it’s time for me to do so with all my sports bras, as I’ve started to get some chafing where the center gore lies because there’s a little too much room in the cups). The band is quite firm (though I find they stretch fairly quickly).

Sweet Nothings reviews the Panache Sports Top

I am so glamorous all of the time.

The top part itself is where I got into a little trouble. I was worried it might be short, as I’m 5’10” and sometimes find clothes made in the UK are short all over for me, but the length is good. Well, at first. The top is cut very slim, which is great as it means that there’s no bagging or drooping or bulk to get in your way while you’re moving. The drawback is if your waist/hips are wider than your underbust (as mine are), the top immediately begins climbing skyward, as you can see in the picture above. By the time I finish a run the hem is usually higher than my navel, if I haven’t been yanking it back down to my hips every minute or so. You also have to really wriggle into that sucker, and then fasten the bra underneath the skin-tight top, so if you have joint pain or any issues with joint rotation and flexibility, be warned that it’s definitely trickier to get into than the standard sports bra (I tend to step into it and pull it up, FWIW). In an ideal world I’d love to see the top have a little more room through the body, with a hem that accommodates the curve of the hips, but then again, that’s just me: many athletes have leaner, more streamlined torsos, so this top might be perfect for them.

Comfort

The bra part? A+! I feel supported and stable, and I feel comfortable running, using an elliptical, dancing, and doing all sorts of other cardio-based activities that made me uncomfortable before I had a good sports bra.

Sweet Nothings reviews the Panache Sports Top

That being said, the top itself isn’t my first pick, unless it’s a really hot day and I’m going to be exercising outside. For one thing, I’m more self-conscious than I realized about my back (so here’s a picture of it! woo!). Because the top is so snug on me and I have a fairly squishy torso, you can see a clear line where the bottom of the bra band digs into my fluffy bits. It also clings to my belly (before it begins traveling upwards), so when I’m not busily yanking it back down I’m busily sucking in my stomach, which—ugh, why do I even care about doing that at the gym? I’m at the GYM, not The Club, and yet here we are. So I usually wind up wearing this on days when I know the gym is going to be underpopulated, like early mornings during the weekends. It’s dumb that I feel self-conscious about how I look at the gym, but there you have it. I’d prefer the top to be looser, so that it hangs better, otherwise I’d just as soon wear a regular sports bra and tank top.

Overall

My personal fit and flattery issues aside, this top is a brilliant addition to the Panache Sports lineup. If my budget allowed I’d love to track down the coordinating running leggings. I really, REALLY like the look of the Fall/Winter 2014 styles, and I’m excited to test out the wire-free version of the sports bra that will debut later in the Fall. I’m not sure if it’s an increased activity level or just a sign that I need to invest in some smaller sizes, but after several years of wearing the underwired style with no problem, I’m suddenly developing some sore, chafed patches of skin where the underwires meet between my breasts. It will be nice to have a wire-free version of my favorite sports bra, so that I don’t have to stop exercising while my skin heals.

Sweet Nothings reviews the Panache Sports Top 1

Panache Sports Bra is available in sizes 28 DD-H, 30 D-H, 32 C-H, 34-38 B-H, and 40 D-GG.  All cup sizes are UK cup sizes, so the cup size progression goes B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H.

The Panache Sports Top is available in sizes 28 DD-H, 30-38 D-H, and 40 DD-GG.  While this colorway is discontinued, the new colorway (black with multi-print, below) should begin showing up in stores at the end of this month and into August.

Panache Sport Top Black

*****

Photography: Lydia Hudgens
Top: Panache Sports Top (available here with a few sizes left here)
Pants: Gap (yay for tall-person athletic wear!)

My Favorite New Styles for Fall/Winter 2014

As I’m beginning to make my appointments to see the upcoming Spring/Summer 2015 collections at Curve next month, Holly’s recent article for The Lingerie Addict reminded me that I never shared some of my top picks for Fall/Winter 2014! Cecily and I covered some of the trends for this season after the show in February, and now that some of these styles are starting to show up in stores (Fall/Winter styles begin to ship in late July/August and continue through November), I thought it would be fun to show you the pieces I’m most looking forward to seeing!:

Elomi

"Bijou Soiree" by Elomi. Available in sizes 36-44 E, 34-44 F-G, 34-42 GG, H (UK)

“Bijou Soiree” by Elomi. Available in sizes 36-44 E, 34-44 F-G, 34-42 GG, H (UK)

While I thought Elomi’s season wasn’t quite as strong as F/W 2013 or S/S 2014, this baby stood out as a clear winner. With an on-trend trompe l’oeil lace print and a versatile, smooth plunging shape, this bra is a huge stand-out in the full-bust/full-figure market. The price is a little higher than some of Elomi’s other bras (recommended retail is $82 for the bra alone), which might drive it out of the reach of some, but as a special occasion bra it’s pretty outstanding.

Sculptresse

"Flirtini" by Sculptresse, available in sizes 36 F-H, 38 E-H, 40 DD-H, 42-46 D-H.

“Flirtini” by Sculptresse, available in sizes 36 F-H, 38 E-H, 40 DD-H, 42-46 D-H.

Sculptresse is REALLY starting to find its feet, style-wise. After some timid early seasons the brand has stepped up and begun offering vibrant, cheerful and pretty full-bust full-figure lingerie that reminds me of the strongest offerings from sister brands Cleo and Panache. Y’all know how I feel about polka dots, so Flirtini is a no-brainer as my favorite pick. This is one of the brands I’m most looking forward to seeing in August.

Panache

"Envy" Bodysuit by Panache, available in sizes 30-38 D-J.

“Envy” Bodysuit by Panache, available in sizes 30-38 D-J.

I’m so, so excited to try this bodysuit I can’t even handle it. I’m on a major spending lockdown at the moment, but if I buy one piece of lingerie in the next few months, it’ll probably be this one. The placement of the stretch lace, the cool houndstooth pattern, and the careful construction are making me extremely hopeful that this piece will be a winner.

"Clara" by Panache, available in sizes 30-38 D-J (UK)

Runner-up: “Clara” by Panache, available in sizes 30-38 D-J (UK)

While Clara wasn’t the best fit for me, shape-wise (it’s a cousin to Andorra, so if that shape works well for you you’ll probably be set), this gold and black colorway is staggeringly lovely.

Freya

"Deco Darling" by Freya. Plunge Bra AND Strapless Bra in sizes 32-38 B, C; 28-38 D-G; 28-36 GG. Brief, Short, Thong sizes XS-XL, Suspender sizes S-XL.

“Deco Darling” by Freya. Plunge Bra AND Strapless Bra in sizes 32-38 B, C; 28-38 D-G; 28-36 GG. Brief, Short, Thong sizes XS-XL, Suspender sizes S-XL.

I am lukewarm on Deco, at best (it’s a fantastic bra, truly; it’s just not my cup of tea), and I’ve wearied of seasons built around eight different colors of the same bra, but wow: this collection is lovely, versatile, and understatedly elegant.

Claudette

"Fishnet" by Claudette in Pointe Shoe. Available in sizes 28-38 A-G (UK).

“Fishnet” by Claudette in Pointe Shoe. Available in sizes 28-38 A-G (UK).

I am obsessed with Claudette’s color names, because they are consistently perfect, and this pointe shoe color slays me.

"Paloma" by Claudette in Pointe Shoe. Available in sizes 28-38 A-G (UK).

“Paloma” by Claudette in Pointe Shoe. Available in sizes 28-38 A-G (UK).

Not only does it appeal to eleven-year-old me who was convinced that despite her towering height, big boobs, and flat feet she could still ONE DAY be a professional ballerina, it also satisfies my new What Would Miss Fisher Wear? lingerie criteria, by being a lovely retro-ish blush pink. For a shiny, luxurious look, try Paloma, with its fabulous button-back brief OR side-tie knicker, or give the fabulous Fishnet collection a try!

Masquerade

"Aleah" by Masquerade (cancelled). Was going to be size 28-38 D-H (UK)

“Aleah” by Masquerade (cancelled). Was going to be size 28-38 D-H (UK)

Just kidding, it was cancelled. Poor Masquerade—from everything I’ve heard they had a rough season, sales-wise, which is a shame, because I thought it was one of their stronger seasons in years, style-wise. After some dreary lookbooks and drab oatmeal-and-greige color schemes they finally presented a collection featuring sumptuous, flattering colors and some new shapes (and G+) sizes. The Aleah bra, a non-padded, non-molded (hallelujah!) D-H bra in a totally luxe grey-and-gold color scheme, reminded me of one of my favorite books from when I was little – Beauty by Robin McKinley. I was prepared to pay good cash money for this bra (it was one of my favorite bras I’d seen in my size in years), and I was incredibly disappointed that it was cancelled.

"Alice" Slip in Ink by Masquerade (cancelled). Was going to be sizes 28-38 D-G (UK).

“Alice” Slip in Ink by Masquerade (cancelled). Was going to be sizes 28-38 D-G (UK).

My second choice (the Alice slip in a gorgeous navy with gleaming floral embroidery, which also reminded me of Beauty’s wardrobe from the afore-mentioned favorite-book-of-my-childhood) was cancelled too. I’d have loved to have seen both Aleah and Alice at a higher end boutique like Journelle, and I’m not sure why Masquerade had such trouble finding buyers at the show. The collection they’ve been left with for the season feels like a motley crew of stragglers (there’s a dusky berry color with lace for Antoinette, there’s a somewhat basic purple molded bra, there’s a random hot raspberry bra, there’s that one exceptionally boring black lace bra for H-cups, there’s the bridal collection. We’re done). Masquerade is getting a rebrand for SS15 (it will become “Panache Black”), so I’m interested to talk to brand reps at the show in August and get a little more information about what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Fantasie

"Rebecca Mirage" by Fantasie, available in sizes 30-40 D-FF, 30-38 G, and 30-36 GG.

“Rebecca Mirage” by Fantasie, available in sizes 30-40 D-FF, 30-38 G, and 30-36 GG.

I’m going to talk about Ivana in a second, but first: Rebecca Mirage is SUCH a smart choice for both the brand and the style. Rebecca (original flavor) is a really fantastic bra: a seam-free molded bra in lightweight, breathable spacer fabric, it offers smooth coverage and a flexible fit. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (it’s MUCH more full-coverage than, say, Deco), but for women who don’t like seams but want something more breathable and comfortable than a standard molded cup, this bra is amazing. Rebecca Mirage offers the same great shape in a new, grown-up color and print. I love the stylized swirling floral vines and the delicate velvet bows, and I love that they’ve taken one of their basic, workhorse bras and made it a little special and elegant. A+.

"Ivana" Basque by Fantasie, available in sizes 30-38 D-G (UK).

“Ivana” Basque by Fantasie, available in sizes 30-38 D-G (UK).

Ivana speaks for itself. It’s beautiful and I love it and the color and I LOVE IT.

Cleo

"Jolie" by Cleo, available in sizes 28-38 D-G (UK)

“Jolie” by Cleo, available in sizes 28 D-G and 30-38 C-G (UK)

I was torn trying to choose a favorite from Cleo, because I think the raspberry version of the Marcie babydoll (below) is the perfect marriage of color and style, but ultimately Jolie charmed the pants off me. Look at how interesting the neckline is! Look at how great the charcoal-orange-pink-red color scheme is! Look at all the bows! I don’t even care for padded bras and I still think this is just a damned delight.

"Marcie" Babydoll in Raspberry by Cleo. 28-38 D-J (UK)

Runner-up: “Marcie” Babydoll in Raspberry by Cleo. 28-38 D-J (UK)

Harlow & Fox

"Augusta" Collection from Harlow & Fox: Bra, Brief, Suspender Belt, and Robe. I want it all.  All of the silk, and all of the tassels.

“Augusta” Collection from Harlow & Fox: Bra, Brief, Suspender Belt, and Robe. Bra available in sizes 30-38 D-G, accessories in XS-XL.  I want it all. All of the silk, and all of the tassels. It’s available in both Scarlet (pictured) and Black.

TASSELS! I mean, I could be more eloquent, and I could say that this too belongs on the list of Lingerie for Lady Detectives, and I could talk about how staggeringly lovely we’d all look slinking down a grand staircase by candlelight with a drink in our hands and soft, silky fringe swishing against our thighs, but I don’t reeeeally need to say those things, because duh.

Huit

"Nouvel Emoi" by Huit, available in sizes 32-38 B-E, 32-36 F (UK sizes). Colors: Poppy (pictured) and Noir.

“Nouvel Emoi” by Huit, available in sizes 32-38 B-E, 32-36 F (UK sizes). Colors: Poppy (pictured) and Noir.

I know Huit is more of a core size brand, but this bra goes up to an F-cup and it has sleeves (which can be swapped for regular straps), and they please me. That is all.

Curvy Kate

"Roxie" Camisole by Curvy Kate. Available in sizes 28-30 D-J, 32 D-HH, 34 D-H, 36 D-GG, 38 D-G.

“Roxie” Camisole by Curvy Kate. Available in sizes 28-30 D-J, 32 D-HH, 34 D-H, 36 D-GG, 38 D-G.

I don’t care for padded bras, blah blah blah, you’ve heard this song before, and I don’t care because THIS IS ADORABLE. And it’s available up to a J-cup in some band sizes. It is so stinking cute.

"Dare" by Curvy Kate in Boysenberry/Silver. Available in sizes 28-38 D-J.

“Dare” by Curvy Kate in Boysenberry/Silver. Available in sizes 28-38 D-J.

I also enjoy Dare’s new sparkly embroidery, which continues onto the back of both the bra and the knickers, very, very much indeed.

Parfait

"Danielle" by Parfait, available in sizes 30-40 D-G (UK). Continuity colors Dusty Rose and Imperial Purple.

“Danielle” by Parfait, available in sizes 30-40 D-G (UK). Continuity colors Dusty Rose and Imperial Purple.

I will never stop wishing the Danielle longline bra in pretty pale pink came in my size, and I will never not be jealous that Julia Lambert has one. For those of you lucky enough to fall in this size range, this peacock-blue satin set trimmed with black embroidery is simply dazzling. Please wear it, as I cannot.

Fauve

"Grace" by Fauve. Available in sizes 32-38 B-C, 30-38 D-G (UK).

“Grace” by Fauve. Padded half cup available in sizes 32-38 B-C, 30-38 D-G (UK), plunge balcony bra (pictured) available in sizes 30-38 D-G, 30-36 GG.

 

This bra reminds me of Rapunzel from Tangled. I’m not a huge Disney nerd, although I loved fairy tales from all walks of life when I was little, but this beautiful bra looks like a dreamy watercolor. I think it’s much lovelier in person– the brand images don’t really do it justice. So pretty!

*****

Did any of these make it onto your wishlist? What are your favorite picks for the upcoming season?

Sweet Nothing Du Jour: 7/10/14 Claudette “Fishnet” in Blondie

This is one of my favorite sets of the summer:

"Fishnet" by Claudette in Blondie/Hot Coral. Sizes 30-38 D-G (UK). Matching suspender brief sizes XS-XL.

“Fishnet” by Claudette in Blondie/Hot Coral. Sizes 30-38 D-G (UK). Matching suspender brief sizes XS-XL.

Fishnet, as an entire collection, remains pretty unique in full-bust world, where there tends to be a LOT of “inspiration” (ahem, sometimes outright copying) amongst the different brands. To some extent, a mesh three-piece balconette bra is a mesh three-piece balconette bra is a mesh three-piece balconette bra, and similarities are excusable, but there are some cases (like new brand Bombshell Boudoir’s “Bombshell” bra, which is a pretty blatant ripoff of Parfait’s “Charlotte” style) where a brand deliberately copies another brand’s popular design.

Fishnet by Claudette in Blondie/Hot Coral

I can’t really think of another set in this price range available up to a G-cup that looks like Fishnet.  The fishnet fabric, the sporty lines, the bright colors, and the unusual two-part cup construction make it a real standout collection.  The first few colorways featured neon bases with black contrast, and for summer the color scheme’s been flipped: neutral Blondie makes up the base, with Hot Coral accents.  It’s SO sassy, and kind of lean and athletic, but the suspender knickers make it kind of retro-and-pin-up-y too, and GAH I love it.  It’s currently available at Faire Frou Frou and Butterfly Collection, for those of you lucky enough to fall in the size range. Someone get this and rock it for me, please.

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Knickers

Sweet Nothings Angela Friedman Adrienne sneak peek FW14

I’m really, really, REALLY excited to share an early preview of two styles from Angela Friedman’s Fall/Winter 2014 Muse collection: the high-waist “Adrienne” ruffle panties and the “Laurel” ruffle bikini panties.

Full disclosure right off the bat: I received these as a holiday present from Angela, because we’re buds and neighbors. She gave me two pairs of handmade silk underwear, and I gave her a jar of caramel sauce, because I’m the worst. So while this post is written in the spirit of embarrassed and overwhelmed gratitude, all opinions on the underwear itself are my own.

Sweet Nothings Angela Friedman Laurel FW14

I’ve been excited for the Muse collection to launch ever since I saw it during February’s market season. The thoughtful details and touches I expect from Angela, like silk, French lace, impeccable lines, and sophisticated silhouettes are all there in abundance, and this new collection introduces a loose-limbed athleticism and some unusually angular, streamlined looks. While her exemplary corsets and beautiful, feminine details are absolutely present, there are also pieces in the collection that I can see appealing to customers who might not identify with frills or corsets or ruffles, like cropped camisoles, silk tap pants, and sleek, body-skimming chemises with elegant racerback details. Basically, just wait. It’s fantastic, and it’s coming soon.

Now, I tend to be of the “ALL THE RUFFLES FOR ME, please” mindset, and fortunately, the Muse collection does not disappoint in that department either. Like, seriously, these are the most Sweets-appropriate underpants in the world.  First up: the stunning high-waist “Adrienne” silk and mesh suspender knickers.

Sweet Nothings previews the Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

These stunning knickers feature a fabulous keyhole closure at the back of the waist and detachable suspenders for stockings. The center front panel is pure, luxurious silk, available in black, pink, or purple (Angela chose black silk for mine, so that they’d be versatile and go with everything), and the hips and rear are sheer black mesh, trimmed with two parallel rows of delicate dotted mesh ruffles. They feel light and luxurious on the body, and I love that the ruffles add a little bit of volume to my hips to balance the fullness of my bust.

Sweet Nothings previews the Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

I like wearing the Adrienne knickers under fuller skirts for a little added poof. Also, can we talk about how fabulous the sheer mesh back looks paired with sheer black stockings?

Sweet Nothings previews the Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

In keeping with the general fanciness of things, I styled these knickers with my luxurious Maison Lejaby bra from my trip to the Journelle Atelier, plus my personalized nylon stockings.

The second piece from the collection is the shorter and sassier “Laurel” bikini panty. Where the Adrienne knickers feel delightfully old-fashioned and grown-up, the “Laurel” knickers feel more contemporary and streamlined. With a silk center panel and sheer mesh hips and rear like the Adrienne knickers, Laurel features two rows of soft, full, floaty ruffles across the seat.

Sweet Nothings previews the Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

Presenting a sleek face from the front and a little bit of sass from behind, Laurel feels cheeky and playful. I paired mine with the cute open-backed Marcie babydoll from Cleo, the better to let the ruffles peek out and and say hi.

Sweet Nothings previews the Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

My knickers are slightly modified from the ready-to-wear versions. For one thing, they’re larger than Angela’s RTW sizes (she estimates that they’re somewhere in the XL-XXL range), and for another, Angela made some special adjustments just for me, after a fitting session at her studio. I’m tall, so even though I think of myself as short-waisted, sometimes bikini briefs literally aren’t deep enough to stay on my body (hi, Cleo! Your panties are so cute, and then they fall off me). So Angela adjusted the rise on both the high-waist briefs and the bikini knickers to sit more comfortably and proportionally on my body. The Adrienne knickers rise to my natural waist, just over my navel, and the Laurel knickers rise to a classic bikini cut, a few inches below my navel. This is one of the many, many reasons independent lingerie designers are so amazing: you can get a fit that is tailored to your unique body.

Sweet Nothings previews the Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

The Muse collection launches in late August, so be sure to keep an eye on Angela’s official site for updates. Interested in getting a custom fit like mine, or want to know more about the upcoming collection? Contact Angela for details!

*****

Photography: Lydia Hudgens

Look 1// Bra: Maison Lejaby, via Journelle; Knickers: Angela Friedman c/o; Stockings: Stockingirl customized RHT stockings; Earrings: Anthropologie (old); Ring: personal; Lips: Stila “Sonya”; Nails: Dior “Violet Graphique”

Look 2// Babydoll: Cleo by Panache; Knickers: Angela Friedman c/o; Earrings: Anthropologie (old); Ring: personal; Lips: Stila “Sonya”; Nails: Dior “Violet Graphique”

Hair and Makeup: Sweets

Sweet Nothings previews the Angela Friedman Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

Review: Megan Longline Bra and Brief by Elomi

Sweet Nothings reviews Elomi's Megan Longline Bra

Last February I decided to special-order some of my favorite upcoming Spring/Summer styles through A Sophisticated Pair. Erica offers a very generous special order/return policy, and while I often wait for certain pieces to go on sale (or for me to impulse purchase them during a Netflix-induced internet spiral), I knew I wanted to get a jump on one or two styles as soon as they became available, and I wanted to support an independent boutique while doing so. The first set on my list was Elomi’s “Megan” collection, including a lovely non-padded longline bra and coordinating brief. [Note: I purchased this set under my real name with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Appearance

The longline version of Megan features an opaque laminate fabric in a dark purple/navy blue color with a contrasting pink and white ditsy floral print. The longline band features a subtle colorblock effect with the printed center panel contrasting with dark navy powermesh at the sides and back. The band includes built-in flexible boning below the center of each cup, under the arms, and near the center back, to help keep the band lying straight and flush against the ribcage without wrinkling or curling up. The straps are fully adjustable and are set fairly close together in the back, which ensures they don’t slip off the shoulders. The band closes with two columns of five rows of hooks and eyes.

The cups are four-part cups, with a vertical seam in the bottom of the cup, a horizontal seam bisecting the cup, and a side panel connected to the strap, for forward projection.  The bra features a slightly lower center gore, and while I wouldn’t say it’s a true plunge, it’s definitely a lower profile than Elomi’s full cup bras. The cups are trimmed with coordinating pink embroidered mesh, with a pink bow at the center gore, at each strap, and at the center front of the briefs.

Sweet Nothings reviews Elomi's Megan Longline Bra

So this print: when I saw it at last August’s Curve, I thought “well, it’s better than the terrible denim weirdness that was last year’s version”. It’s very sweet, very cheerful, and very pretty. I think the colors will be flattering on a range of skin tones, and it feels very bright and summery whenever I wear it.

However.

I have been waiting impatiently for the magical day when a non-padded G+ longline bra would be mine, and I may have let my hopes get too high. I’ve wanted a longline bra since the trend first picked up steam 3-4 years ago. Freya, Panache, Curvy Kate, and Parfait all make (or have made) lovely D+ longline bras with padded or molded cups (see Julia Lambert’s review of Parfait’s Danielle), but I strongly prefer unpadded bras. Claudette has since introduced a cute longline version of Dessous, but they don’t make my size. My dream version, if anyone cares to know, is a sheer mesh longline bra with boning in the band and matching sheer high-waist suspender briefs, maybe with contrast seaming or opaque piping, or a set that’s unabashedly retro in pale pink silk with matching tap pants, like one Miss Phryne Fisher might wear. In other words, I want something really, really sexy or special, without sacrificing the fit and comfort I get from nonpadded bras.

Megan, bless its darling little heart, is not really, really sexy or special. It’s cute as a damn button though, so I’ll allow it. I feel like longline bras in fuller cup sizes can sometimes read as a Whole Lotta Bra, which can be a turn-off to some customers, and designing a set to be a showpiece or a special occasion set (like Curvy Kate have done with the black version of Carmen for A/W 14) can help make the style extra enticing, instead of intimidating. This purple-and-pink ditsy floral print can read as simultaneously little girlish or as mumsy (not that there’s anything wrong with youth or motherhood!), but this is a market demographic that, when not  dominated by beige, black, and white, is a little over-saturated with girly and mumsy. I’d love to see some pieces that might appeal to a full-figure woman looking for more fashion-forward, directional lingerie.

Sweet Nothings reviews Elomi's Megan Longline Bra

Fit

I’ve enjoyed wearing Elomi over the last year because the brand’s style has gotten both cuter and more sophisticated. They offer lots of different shapes, and I’m freed from the tyranny of the molded/padded bra. That being said, Elomi isn’t a perfect match for my body, and Megan is no exception.

I tried on last summer’s longline “Roxy” style once at a lingerie boutique in Virginia, and based solely on memory, Megan’s band feels a bit looser and less constricting. It’s firmer towards the top and more forgiving towards the bottom, where some full-figure customers’ waistlines widen. In fact, I sometimes hook the bottom three hooks on the firmest column and the top two on the loosest, in order to get the band to hug my ribcage more firmly. I’m not complaining about a more relaxed band: one of the issues I wondered about when it comes to longline bras in full-figure sizes was how flexible the fit would be in terms of accommodating different shapes (as many of us carry our weight in different places), and I think Megan will be flattering on a range of body shapes.

The cups feel true-to-size for Elomi, although, as is often the case, they’re the primary source of fit shenanigans for me. The shape is designed for a body that’s different from mine: the wires feel wide, and the cups have more room in the sides and less room at the center front. Elomi bras are great for women who feel like they have a lot of breast tissue under their arms, like their breasts are wide-set, or like the underwires in other bras sit on the breast tissue and dig. My breasts are high on my chest wall with a lot of forward projection, so sometimes it feels like Elomi bras sort of pull my breasts out to the sides of my body. Megan fit fairly well when I bought it, with occasional digging in along the neckline where my breasts are fuller, but now that I’ve lost some weight I really notice the extra space at the sides and in the bottom of the cup.

For the briefs, I chose what I think of as my “Freya” size (one size down from what I wear in other brands), and I’m glad I did, as I found Megan’s briefs fit very comfortably in the smaller size.  My hips and rear are smaller in proportion to my bust, so if you have a curvier lower half you might be comfortable in your usual size.

Sweet Nothings reviews Elomi's Megan Longline Bra

Comfort

So, why did I buy a longline bra from a brand that isn’t the best shape for me, when the print and color didn’t really set my world on fire?

So help me, I just really wanted one. I really, really, REALLY wanted a longline bra. The deeper bands distribute the pressure of supporting heavy breasts more evenly without digging in at the top or bottom edges, plus they offer extra smoothing to your back and sides, and some souls more daring than I even wear them as crop tops or as midriff-baring base layers. I totally wear Megan around my apartment when I’m cooking (hi neighbors) or cleaning or just lounging with the cats, and it’s very handy for some sleeveless tops, because the straps are set closer together in the back. It’s not quite right for racerback styles, or for tops with wide-set straps, but I’ve definitely found a home for it in my wardrobe.

The briefs are a really comfortable cut for me: low enough that they don’t dig in to my waistline or hips, high enough that they don’t curl up and roll down under my belly. I love the way Elomi cuts their knickers, so two thumbs up from me!

Overall, and in spite of some shape incompatibility, I’m really pleased with this set. I hope Elomi keeps the longline style in their Spring/Summer collections– I’d love to see them experiment with some more unusual prints or styles. I think a solid colorblocked version, or one that featured sheer mesh or lace, could be a deeply dramatic, show-stopping piece. What do you think?

“Megan” Longline Bra is available in sizes 34-40 E-H (UK cup sizes, so approximately F-K in US cup sizes). Coordinating brief available in sizes M-4XL, and coordinating banded bra available in sizes 36-42 E-JJ, 44 E-G.

*****

Photography: Lydia Hudgens

Lingerie: Elomi Lingerie via A Sophisticated Pair (also currently on sale at Nordstrom); Earrings: Anthropologie (old); Ring: personal; Lips: Stila “Sonya”; Nails: Dior “Violet Graphique”

Summer Snoozing: Light and Breezy Pajamas and Loungewear

Well, the East Coast is heading surely into summer after a long winter and a (thankfully) long spring, and as someone who doesn’t sleep well in the heat, I’m looking for pajamas and loungewear that are both cute and cool.  I can’t really sleep with anything long on my legs anyway, so summer pajamas are right up my alley: camisoles, boyshorts, babydolls, and short-sleeved pajamas in soft, breathable fabrics and relaxed silhouettes offer comfortable relief from the heat.  Here are some of my favorite styles I’ve spotted in stores recently– anything catch your eye?

"Intrigue" Bird Print Nightie by Hotmilk (A-D and DD-G versions available).

“Intrigue” Bird Print Nightie by Hotmilk (A-D and DD-G versions available).

Somewhere Julia Lambert is sniggering “put a bird on it, Sweets”, and I KNOW, I have lots of bird stuff in my apartment/lingerie drawer, but whatever. This is light and pretty, and it comes in two versions to accommodate mothers who wear both core and full-bust sizes.

"Zen Floral" Plus-Size Chemise by Natori

“Zen Floral” Plus-Size Chemise by Natori

Sometimes I look at satin/silk/lace summer loungewear and think “you are so pretty, and you would make me so sweaty”. Even though this chemise features lace, the top is stretch lace and the skirt is soft knit, which I find much more comfortable in warm weather. It’s a pretty plus-size option that reminds me of …

"Pandora" D-G Stretch Lace Chemise by Figleaves

“Pandora” D-G Stretch Lace Chemise by Figleaves

… this lovely full-bust stretch lace chemise from Figleaves. I’ve never tried any of their loungewear, but I’d be really curious to see what the support is like, because the styles are very alluring and feminine.  Speaking of supportive nightwear for full-bust sizes…

Cami Top in Lagoon by Bravissimo (D-H cup sizes)

Cami Top in Lagoon by Bravissimo (D-H cup sizes)

Bravissimo has a really great range of full-bust nightwear, including some options that are available up to J-cup sizes.  While not as lacy or romantic as Figleaves’ offerings, the range of simple, colorful camis, night dresses, and tank tops will keep you feeling cool and supported without an underwire.

Nightdress in Bramble by Bravissimo

Night dress in Bramble by Bravissimo (D-J cup sizes)

Shorts and camis not your thing? I’d totally wear this night dress as loungewear to goof around the apartment on a hot summer weekend.  Best of all, it’s available up to a 38J, offering support to a wide range of full-bust sizes.

Come Out & Play Babydoll in Bamboo/Dawn by Between the Sheets

Come Out & Play Babydoll in Bamboo/Dawn by Between the Sheets

I adore my Venus in Play babydoll from Between the Sheets (review here), and I’ve worn it so much it’s nearly on its last legs.  With a flattering, flexible fit for small-bust and full-bust sizes alike, this snuggly babydoll is light, soft, and breezy: perfect for a hot Summer night.

"Lotus Blossom" Babydoll by Dollhouse Bettie

“Lotus Blossom” Babydoll by Dollhouse Bettie

One of my favorite new-to-me brands at February’s Curve trade show was Dollhouse Bettie. Their in-house designs are simultaneously contemporary and retro-inspired, and they inspire a playful creativity that encourages the wearer to mix and match pieces to suit her personality. The Lotus Blossom collections feature lots of gorgeous pieces (particularly for those who wear petite sizes (and check out these cool snag-proof stockings!)), but I was totally charmed by this babydoll.  In stretch lace and sheer mesh, this strapless babydoll mixes sophistication and an effortless, almost beachy sense of relaxation.  The Azure colorway is a winner too!

Anthropologie Eberjey Shorts and Cami

“Bohemian Reverie” Cami and Shorts by Eberjey (image via Anthropologie)

This color will never not remind me of Pistachio Ice Cream.  Also this whole set is adorable, I love the sweet lace trim, and Eberjey is the master of comfy, cute jammies.

"Domino Dots" Plus Size Pajamas by Oscar de la Renta

“Domino Dots” Plus Size Pajamas by Oscar de la Renta

Navy blue! Polka dots! Ruffles! Sold.

Pajamas (DD-H) version in grey by Hotmilk

Pajamas (DD-H) version in grey by Hotmilk

Sometimes simple is super. This classic cami-and-pajama-pant set offers wire-free support up to an H-cup for new mothers and mothers-to-be. The Hotmilk website suggests packing this set in your hospital bag, and I can’t help but agree.

"Venice" Night Dress by Only Hearts

“Venice” Night Dress by Only Hearts

I just really love a good, classic night dress. This one, made in New York City by Only Hearts, is beautiful. The soft knit and relaxed silhouette offer comfort, and pretty lace trim adds a little romance.

Lace Trim Camisole and Boyshort by Hips and Curves

Lace Trim Camisole and Boyshort by Hips and Curves

This right here? My favorite style of pajamas. Available up to a size 5X in multiple colors (and currently on sale for $19.95!), this set would make a great lingerie-drawer staple.

"Constanza Eyelet" Slip by Eloise

“Constanza Eyelet” Slip by Eloise

Finally, this one just makes me want to go on vacation. Can’t you see it? Relaxing in a beach house, strolling in the waves before breakfast, kicking back to snooze in a hammock with a glass of iced tea…

If you need me, I’ll be at my desk. Daydreaming.

Lingerie for Lady Detectives: Inspired by Miss Phryne Fisher

Guys, in case I haven’t made it clear over the last few posts, I STRONGLY FEEL that you should check out the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, starring Essie Davis as the Honourable Phryne (pronounced Fry-nee) Fisher (season 1 is streaming on Netflix, season 3 was just announced, and season 2 is available exclusively on Acorn TV, which makes me cranky because the last thing I need is to sign up for yet another video streaming service, and yet I can feel that I might cave any day now, because I want my Miss Fisher).  It is pure catnip to lovers of mysteries, romantical shenanigans, and olden-time eye candy.

The Honourable Phryne Fisher, who of course keeps daggers in her stockings.

The Honourable Phryne Fisher, who of course keeps daggers in her stockings.

They are frothy and flapper-y and charmingly cast and I promise the first two or three episodes will have you digging through your liquor cabinet searching for a cocktail to swill while you watch. Miss Phryne Fisher is a sexually liberated feminist who can handle her booze, her boys, and her bad guys with equal aplomb. She is slinky and sassy and compassionate and fierce and impeccably coiffed and I love her.

Yes, I am fabulous.

“Yes, I am fabulous. Observe my feathers.”

I also love her wardrobe.

Phryne in one of her many baller kimonos.

Phryne in one of her many baller kimonos. Swoon.

Julia Lambert (“Julia Lambert” is my twin sister’s blog alias, for those of you who are newbies) and I have both begun reevaluating our lingerie drawers with the single criterion “What Would Miss Fisher Wear?”, and in light of that I thought it would be fun to share some of my picks for How to Build Miss Fisher’s Lingerie Wardrobe. Let’s all pretend we’re wildly wealthy aristocrats in Australia in the 1920s with a yen for social justice and a predilection for awesomeness, shall we?

The 20th century was a period of immense change in the fashion world in general, and women’s lingerie was no exception. Lingerie was hugely affected by the other Big Deal Things that were going on in the world at the time, like, you know, suffrage, world war, industrialism, and general social and political upheaval. Women’s clothes grew shorter and slinkier, so all-in-one garments like cami-knickers and “step-ins” became popular for their comfort and practicality, allowing the lighter, closer-fitting garments to hug the body. Instead of waist-nipping corsets, many women chose to wear longer, slimming girdles, corselettes, and other pieces of shapewear that helped them achieve the long, straight silhouette of the 1920s. Shorter skirts meant shorter slips and visible stockings, and pale pink and blush were some of the most popular colors. This distinctly retro color palette has made a resurgence lately, so you have plenty of options to begin building your flapper’s lingerie wardrobe.

Phryne Fisher Lingerie

Clockwise from top left: Dollhouse Bettie “Juliet” Black Silk Seamed Flapper Stockings, Angela Friedman “Charlize” Slip, Mimi Holliday “Knickerbocker Glory” Camisole and Shorties, Hips and Curves Satin Chemise and Robe Set, Dottie’s Delights Gold Lace Bra and Girdle Skirt, Mimi Holliday “Bisou Bisou” Teddy, Kiss Me Deadly sheer “Elle” Knickers and “Van Doren” Bralet

Phryne is, to quote Singing in the Rain, “so refined I think I might kill myself”, and as a woman dressing in the height of sophistication, she would DEFINITELY have some slinky black pieces in her lingerie drawer. These seamed silk stockings, fluttering tap pants, silky teddies, slips and camisoles, and a stunning girdle skirt would make any of her lovers weak in the knees.

Phryne Fisher Lingerie

Clockwise from top left: Harlow & Fox “Eleanor” collection, Dottie’s Delights “Century Girl” Slip, Harlow & Fox “Eleanor” collection, Mimi Holliday “Banoffee Pie” camisole and shorties, Dollhouse Bettie “Juliet” Silk Flapper Stockings.

But she’s not in full seduction mode all the time. This woman takes her detective work seriously (“I don’t allow myself to be lustfully compromised during my murder investigations”), and she dresses impeccably for every social engagement, from cocktails and dancing to a ladylike garden party. These beautiful ivory styles make a lovely counterpoint to black evening wear.

Phryne Fisher Lingerie

Clockwise from top left: Carine Gilson “Sonia” Short Kimono, Trashy Diva Flapper Robe, Layneau Collection “Contessa” Robe, Carine Gilson “Sakura” Long Kimono, Jenny Packham Long Satin Robe

Phryne busts out an awesome robe in the very first episode, while seducing a Russian ballet dancer, and that’s how I knew we were soulmates. I could see her wearing any of these stunning robes, particularly the velvet Layneau “Contessa” robe, which reminds me of one of her many fur-trimmed evening coats.

I see you, you saucy minx.

I see you, you saucy minx.

Don’t forget accessories!

I have not seen this episode, and so seeing this picture pop up on the internet caused me actual pain because I'm so stoked to watch it, NETFLIX.  Get on it.

I have not seen this episode yet, and so seeing this picture pop up on the internet caused me actual pain because I’m so stoked to watch it, NETFLIX. Season 2. Get on it.

While I can’t in good conscience recommend keeping a dagger in your stockings (we’re not all loaded, Phryne– how many pairs of silk stockings do you accidentally stab?), Dollhouse Bettie offers a silk garter flask that cracks me up, and also I want one.  Throw in a feather boa and some dancing shoes, and you’re all set!

Phryne Fisher Lingerie Accessories

Clockwise from top left: Dollhouse Bettie fan, garter flask, and boa, Very Fine ballroom shoes, Jacques Levine Kraze silk marabou mules

There were far, far too many wonderful options out there for me to include them all in the post. If you’re looking for more, be sure to check out Dollhouse Bettie, Dottie’s Delights, Kiss Me Deadly, Mimi Holliday, and What Katie Did for more retro goodness. From slips to camiknickers to tap pants to seamed stockings, each retailer and brand offers a huge range of vintage-style (and modern!) lingerie pieces in a variety of shapes and styles.

Oh you two. Get a room.

Oh you two. Get a room.

Go catch bad guys and drive the local detective inspector wild.

Miss Fisher and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson.  I want Phryne to have all the lovers she wants, but I am firmly Team Jack, in my heart.

Miss Fisher and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson. I want Phryne to have all the lovers she wants, but I am firmly Team Jack, in my heart.

 

Sweet Nothing Du Jour 6/5/14: Bravissimo’s Monaco Bikini

Presented mostly without comment, because when something is this cute, in this fabulous a color, with this wonderful a size range, there’s nothing much more I can add. Pass me a plane ticket, some sunscreen, and a fruity-umbrella drink, because I want to take this baby on vacation.

"Monaco" Bikini Top (£34.00) and Ruched Brief (£22.00) by Bravissimo. Sizes 30-38 D-K (UK) and XS-XL.

“Monaco” Bikini Top (£34.00) and Ruched Brief (£22.00) by Bravissimo. Sizes 30-38 D-K (UK) and XS-XL.

Also P.S. there’s a matching brief with a ruffle on it. That felt important to share.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Say Good-bye to a Bra?

I’ve talked a lot before about what to look for in a brand-new bra, and how to take care of your bras once you have them. A recent closet clean-out (and some recent weight loss) made me realize that I’d never actually talked about how to know when it’s time to say good-bye to a bra. As lovely as they are, and as wonderful as the construction and materials modern brands use may be, bras aren’t immortal, and there will probably come a time when you have to step back and say “You know what, bra? We had a good run.”

1.  That bra is TIRED.

This is probably the number one reason I ever get rid of a bra. Bras, particularly full-bust ones, are designed to have some longevity: Lycra, adjustable straps, sturdy wires, deep bands, and several columns of hooks and eyes all work together to fight stretch and distortion that come with wear. Still, no matter how carefully we fit, care for, and store our bras, they’re not immortal. The band will eventually stretch past the point where it offers support, the wires warp and poke into underarms, and the cups stretch out of shape. When you notice that you have to hook your bra on the tightest set of hooks and yet still adjust it throughout the day, your bra’s molded cups are creased and weakened, the elastic and mesh are starting to get threadbare and worn out, or your once-comfiest bra now pokes and chafes, that bra has probably reached the end of its lifespan.

Panache Sports Bra review at www.sweetnothingsnyc.com

That hot pink sports bra back there? It is on its last legs. I put my sports bras through heavy workouts every week, and that one is nearing the end of its days (Hi, Gus).

To some extent, whether or not a bra is “too-tired” will vary from person to person, depending on your size, body type, age, and comfort preferences. But I can tell you this for sure: the bra you’ve had for four years that you wear every week and toss in the dryer? That bra is dead. Good-bye, bra.

Remember: friends don’t let friends put their underwear in the dryer.

2.  Change of size.

My size has fluctuated a lot throughout my 20s, so I’ve seen bras get both too small and too big with some frequency.  This can sometimes be an emotionally fraught reason to have to say good-bye to a bra.  Sometimes our weight changes for unexplained reasons, or because of illness, medical side effects, or other adverse physical condition, and discovering that our bras no longer fit can feel like an insult on top of injury.  Even if our weight changes as result of intentional diet and/or lifestyle changes, or even in the case of natural physiological changes (like puberty, pregnancy, or menopause), it can still be irritating to discover that, whoops, there are no more bras that fit, and now we have to buy more, with all of that extra disposable income we have JUST LYING AROUND, SO THANKS, BOOBS.

20130714-105250.jpg

In general, I always feel like if you’re gonna have a bra that’s not a perfect fit, then it’s better to have one that’s a little too big in the cups instead of a little too small.  A too-small band can in some cases be fixed with an extender, but too-small cups can dig in and create bulges, and too-small wires will sit on top of breast tissue and prevent the center gore from tacking.  Conversely, sometimes a bra will feel slightly too big in the cups, but as long as you’re still getting a shape and the support you like, then carry on.  There is, however, a point where slightly big becomes just plain too big: the band is too large to keep your breasts lifted, the cups will gape or wrinkle, the gore might begin to tack painfully, or the wires will suddenly seem too deep and wide, and they begin to dig or poke into your ribcage or underarm.

As an example, I wore my lovely, adored Cherry Fling set by Bravissimo to work last week, and by the time I got home I had to admit to myself that it was time to pack it away in case my size changes again. The band has held up beautifully through heavy wear– I still get great support when it’s fastened on the loosest hooks, but the cups are just too big now: the center gore is digging into my sternum, I have too much space in the top and bottom of the cup, and the wires are beginning to spread too wide at the sides. Oh adorable cherry bra, I wish we’d had more time together, or at least that I’d snagged a smaller size when it was available.

Now, while there’s no need to let a bra that doesn’t fit take up space in your drawer (I recommend keeping your lingerie drawer a happy place, stocked with bras you can pull out and wear right this minute), I personally like to hang on to any bras that are still in really good shape. I know my size fluctuates, so it makes for sense for me to hang on to a range of sizes, so that I don’t have to buy new bras every time I need a different size. Once I settle into a new size range I do a lingerie drawer clear out and move any bras that don’t fit to a storage box under my bed, while seeing if any bras I’d set aside previously happen to fit again. This weekend I made the happy discovery that a bra I’d sent packing around a year and a half ago for being too small fits again, and it feels like I have brand new undies.  I also keep my stash in case a friend asks me to do a fitting while we’re hanging out at my apartment, and I’ve sent many in-good-shape-but-too-small-for-me bras off to new and happy homes!

3.  You realize the shape isn’t a match made in heaven.

This one can be especially annoying, especially if you’re new to well-fitting bras, or you’re still experimenting to figure out your size range and what styles you like best. Sometimes a bra feels amazing for the first two hours and then you want to rip it off your body.  It can really take a few wears to discover how you feel about a particular shape and construction, and by then, of course, you usually can’t return it if you decide it’s not for you. Now, granted, some bras are like shoes, and they require a more involved break-in period.  I often find that my Panache bras take about two wears and a wash before they start to feel like all-day bras. But sometimes no matter how much you wear it, no matter how many adjustments you make, and no matter that it’s technically the “right” size, the bra just isn’t for you.

"Betty" by Tutti Rouge

I have tried more padded demi and balconette bras than I can count, at every size I’ve ever worn, and I have never yet found one that I actively enjoy wearing. I tried my Tutti Rouge Betty bra on the other day after several months of leaving it in the drawer, and I wore it for about 20 minutes before gratefully switching to something else.  Padded bras are just not my thing: I feel more supported and I get a shape and appearance I prefer in non-padded bras.  I’d much rather clear the padded bras out of my drawer to make way for bras I genuinely want to wear.

Bottom line: If your bra isn’t making you happy, it shouldn’t be taking up space in your lingerie drawer. If it doesn’t make you feel good, either because the fit is bad or it’s uncomfortable or it just isn’t “you”, it’s probably time to break up.

So what do I do with my dead/no-good bra?

In the case of dead bras, unfortunately the best thing to do is the throw them out. Bras with shot elastic, warped wires, mangled hooks and eyes, crushed and crumpled molded cups, and faded, soiled, or stained materials are not bras that should be donated. If you don’t want to wear it because it’s falling apart, why would anyone else?  The exception to this is that sometimes your local lingerie boutique may offer bra recycling programs, in which case by all means save up your dead bras to take with you on a shopping trip.

If , however, you want to get rid of a gently-used bra because your size or needs have changed or you just don’t like wearing it, absolutely consider donating it so someone else can benefit! Many lingerie boutiques like Journelle or Bravissimo offer donation options: Bravissimo has donation bins available in-store year-round, and in New York City, Journelle and Sugar Cookies both offer Spring-cleaning bra donation drives. Not sure if there’s a donation center near you? Consider donating your bra to SOL, a lingerie store in Denver that partners with The Gathering Place to offer well-fitting bras to homeless women in the community. They especially need cup sizes over a DD and band sizes of 38 and up, so if you have some bras in that range going spare, do considering donating!


A quick housekeeping note:

Those of you who have business or hobby pages of your own are probably already painfully aware of this, but Facebook has drastically revamped the way their algorithms handle Pages (like the Sweet Nothings page), to the extent that sometimes only 4 or 5% of those who “Like” Sweet Nothings actually see the content we’re posting! Facebook wants to push more and more business users to pay in order to get their content out, which I understand (hey, we all have to make money), but I do hate how much it affects the “community” feel we used to have. If you want to see posts, pictures, and updates from Sweet Nothings in your newsfeed/timeline/whatever we’re calling it these days, hover over the “Like” button with your cursor, and select “Get Notifications” and/or make sure that “Following” has a checkmark next to it, and you’ll be able to see all the lingerie, blog posts, recipes, and cat pictures your heart could ever desire.

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Support in Style: My Favorite Full-Bust Swimsuits

Happy Memorial Day, American readers! Summer is definitely on its way, and with the temperatures climbing in NYC I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite full-bust swim collections from this season.  With picks ranging from bikinis to full swimsuits to athletic wear, I hope you see something you love! All of these suits are in UK sizes, so the cup size progression goes B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K.  All of these swimsuits are available up to at least a UK G-cup, and many go higher.

[Note: A lot of the pictures link to Figleaves, because they're currently running a Memorial Day sale in the US: the code "25OFF" gets you 25% off all full-price styles, and it ends tonight! I couldn't include all my favorites, so be sure to check out the full Midnight Grace, Sophina, and Pour Moi? ranges for cute suits at great prices]


I need to start by talking about the one that got away:

Jecca by Cleo

"Jecca" Longline Bikini and High-Waist Brief by Cleo. Available in sizes 28-38 D-H, XS-XXL. Padded bandeau bikini (28-38 D-G) and gathered swim brief also available.

“Jecca” Longline Bikini and High-Waist Brief by Cleo (28-38 D-H (UK), XS-XXL). Padded bandeau bikini (28-38 D-G (UK)) and gathered swim brief also available.

I love this. I straight-up love it. The colors, the print, the shape– it’s awesome, and I KNEW this one was going to sell out. I knew it. I know that every year some swim collections are sold out by Memorial Day, and that when I start looking for a new swimsuit (usually around the Fourth of July) my pickings are slim, but I just didn’t have the disposable income lined up in time to purchase it in my size. Not only was it really hard to find in stores (thanks to late deliveries from Panache), once it did show up it sold out almost immediately. There are a few smaller cup sizes left in stock around the internet, so if you’re in the D-E range, you may still have some luck tracking one down.

Sundaes by the Seaside by Letters from Evie

"Sundaes by the Seaside" by Letters from Evie, exclusively at Bravissimo. Sizes 30-32 DD-G, 34-40 D-G (UK). £36.00

“Sundaes by the Seaside” by Letters from Evie, exclusively at Bravissimo (30-32 DD-G, 34-40 D-G (UK))

Sheesh, this is adorable. I really wanted this post to include lots of G+ options, but I love this suit so much I had to include it despite the smaller size range (although it does go up to 40 back sizes, which is nice!). It has ice cream AND polka dots on it, guys; it is SO in my wheelhouse.

Speaking of polka dots, brace yourself for an avalanche of them:

“Sienna” and “Sicily” by Bravissimo

"Sienna" Tankini (30 E-J, 32-36 DD-J, 38 DD-HH) and "Sicily" Bikini (30-38 DD-K) by Bravissimo.  Coordinating briefs available in sizes XS-XL.

“Sienna” Tankini (30 E-J, 32-36 DD-J, 38 DD-HH (UK)) and “Sicily” Bikini (30-38 DD-K (UK)) by Bravissimo. Coordinating briefs available in sizes XS-XL.

Bravissimo has some tremendously cute options in ever-popular pin-up shapes. The Sienna and Sicily ranges are designed to coordinate, with two tankini tops and a bikini with a whopping four different matching briefs, so you can mix-and-match to find your favorite shapes. In sizes ranging up to 38K (the Sicily bikini and tankini), these styles offer some of the best size ranges out there this summer.

“Ahoy” by Pour Moi?

"Ahoy" Spotty Halter Bikini Top by Pour Moi? (32-38 D-G)

“Ahoy” Spotty Halter Bikini Top by Pour Moi? (32-38 D-G (UK))

"Ahoy" High-Waisted Control Brief by Pour Moi?

“Ahoy” High-Waisted Control Brief by Pour Moi? (Sizes 8-18 (UK))

While Pour Moi? doesn’t offer the same great size range as Bravissimo, they do offer much more budget-friendly prices, and this unabashedly retro style, with ruffled halter and matching high-waist brief, is stupidly cute.

PinUp Bikini by Midnight Grace

PinUp Bikini and High-Waist Brief by Midnight Grace (30-38 D-G UK and 8-18 UK)

PinUp Bikini and High-Waist Brief by Midnight Grace (30-38 D-G (UK) and 8-18 (UK))

I know, it’s another one that stops at a G-cup, but look how cute! It’s green! I love green! There’s also a choice of a halter-style bikini top, if you prefer a little more support, as well as some other shapes (bikini, tankini, etc.) in other colors. That adorable swim brief is selling out quickly, so if you want one hop to it!

Los Angeles by Miss Mandalay

"Los Angeles" bikini in Magenta by Miss Mandalay (30-38 D-GG UK) and deep bikini brief (XS-XL)

“Los Angeles” bikini in Magenta by Miss Mandalay (30-38 D-GG (UK)) and deep bikini brief (XS-XL)

While lots of full-bust women love retro or pin-up styles, they’re not for everyone, and sometimes you just want a change of pace. Enter Miss Mandalay with her fabulous, sleek, and very sexy D+ bikinis. I personally don’t love black swimwear, as it throws my pale skin into sharp relief and makes me look blindingly white in the sun, so this yummy color is right up my alley!  I also love the hot cutouts at the hips on the brief.

“Vegas Baby” by Miss Mandalay

"Vegas Baby" Bikini and Tie-Side Bikini Brief by Miss Mandalay. 30-38 D-GG UK and XS-XL.

“Vegas Baby” Bikini and Tie-Side Bikini Brief by Miss Mandalay. 30-38 D-GG (UK) and XS-XL.

Y’all know I’m not really an animal print person, but I’m aware that I am in the minority, so this sassy beauty is for you, because I want you to have nice things.

“Birds of Paradise” by Curvy Kate

"Birds of Paradise" Tankini by Curvy Kate (28-38 D-K UK) and Mini Brief (8-20 UK)

“Birds of Paradise” Tankini by Curvy Kate (28-38 D-K (UK)) and Mini Brief (8-20 (UK))

It can be frustratingly difficult to find cute swim options that offer a little more coverage in G+ sizes. They’re harder to construct, and some of the big players (Panache and Eveden, primarily) tend to stick to bikinis for G+ sizes, or they’ll offer one solid black G+ swimsuit. Fortunately, Curvy Kate comes to the rescue with tankinis up to a K-cup that coordinate with the rest of the bright and colorful collections, like this lovely hummingbird print. The range also includes two bikini shapes and a skirted swim brief, so you can build the suit you like best.

“Santorini” by Bravissimo

"Santorini" Swimsuit (30 E-J, 32-38 DD-K UK) by Bravissimo

“Santorini” Swimsuit (30 E-J, 32-38 DD-K (UK)) by Bravissimo

For another fuller-coverage style up to a K-cup, check out this suit by Bravissimo in a popular navy blue shade with colorblock detail at the legline.

“Bon Bon” Bikini (Bravissimo exclusive) and “Betsey Yellow” Bandeau Bikini by Hoola

"Bon Bon" Bikini and Side-Tie Brief by Hoola (28 DD-GG, 30-36 D-GG, 38 D-G XS-XL UK) (Bravissimo exclusive)

“Bon Bon” Bikini and Side-Tie Brief by Hoola (28 DD-GG, 30-36 D-GG, 38 D-G (UK), XS-XL) (Bravissimo exclusive)

"Betsey" Yellow Bandeau Bikini and Side Ruche Pant by Hoola (30-36 D-G UK, XS-XL)

“Betsey” Yellow Bandeau Bikini and Side Ruche Pant by Hoola (30-36 D-G (UK), XS-XL)

I hadn’t heard of Hoola before I spotted this candy-striped bikini on Bravissimo, but seriously, you need to click over and look at the rest of these cute D-GG swimsuits. There are some particularly good deals in the sale section, and Hoola offers free worldwide shipping on orders over £50.

Finally, for those of you who are athletic swimmers, there are some great full-bust sports swimsuits available from some of the major full-bust brands. Panache wisely created a swim version of their awesome Sports bra, as did Freya with their Active range, and Figleaves and Speedo both offer full-bust athletic swimsuits, with Speedo’s going up to a J-cup!

Panache Sports Swimsuit (28 DD-H, 30-38 D-H, 40 D-GG UK)

Panache Sports Swimsuit (28 DD-H, 30-38 D-H, 40 D-GG (UK))

"Premier Ultimate Gold" Sports Swimsuit by Speedo (30-38 E-J UK)

“Premier Ultimate Gold” Sports Swimsuit by Speedo (30-38 E-J (UK))

"Active Swim" Underwired Swimsuit by Freya (30-38 D-H UK)

“Active Swim” Underwired Swimsuit by Freya (30-38 D-H (UK))

"Aqua" Underwired Swimsuit by Figleaves Active (34-38 B-H UK)

“Aqua” Underwired Swimsuit by Figleaves Active (34-38 B-H (UK))

Happy swimming! I hope to run another post soon with options for even more sizes, so if you don’t see something in your size but you want to, please let me know!