Friday, February 7, 2014

Made in Preston Dress Roundup!

This post was written by Laura, a contributing blogger for Thin and Curvy. If you missed her intro post, look no further!

----

During the pre-holidays shopping frenzy, Made in Preston had a promotion that allowed first-time shoppers a 50% discount on everything. I couldn't pass that up, right? So, I purchased a dress and planned to review it. And planned. And planned. The lovely ladies and gents at MIP then offered me two dresses to review as a preview of the upcoming Spring/Summer 2014 line, and I couldn't pass it up!

So, this first dress was purchased by me and all opinions are my own. The following two dresses were given to me free of cost to review, and all opinions are still my own.

----

The dress I bought during the promotion is the Gold Panelled Party Dress, which immediately drew my attention.

I mean, how could it not, right?
 I knew this dress was one-of-a-kind and I couldn't pass it up. Especially not for 50% off! It's a minidress, so tall ladies may want to watch the length. Or not. It's up to you! I felt most comfortable wearing tights with this dress, mainly due to my bodacious bottom.

The back ran a little big on me, so broader-backed and/or taller women are in luck! 
 The sizing at Made in Preston is a bit different than your normal shop. The numbers are in UK sizing, and 16 is as high as they go (equivalent to a U.S. size 12). To determine your size, you input your "high street" size and then your bra size. They calculate your suggested size for you, so it takes all the work out of it! There are three categories of size beyond number: Fit, Foxy, and Fab. Fit is on the less busty side, Fab is for the bustiest customers, and Foxy is right in the middle. Because I wear a 34HH, I said I wore a 34J (since 34HH is not an option in their drop-down menu). 16 Foxy was my result, and it definitely was the right size in all 3 dresses.

You can totally disco in this dress. For reals.
The zipper is really easy to do up yourself, which I love in a dress. Then again, that goes back to the fact the dress is a little big on me in the back. Doesn't make it unwearable, but it's definitely something to note for the more petite crowd.

A better shot of just how gorgeous the details on this dress are!
This dress is fabulous. Yes, it is a tight dress. Yes, I have a tummy. Yes, I'm still going to wear it out. For those more self-conscious about tummies, you can easily get away with standard shapewear under this dress; however, a corset may show due to how close this dress hugs the body. For those of you readers with body shapes more similar to Brittany, it won't be an issue at all.

Outfit Summary:
Dress: Made in Preston Gold Panelled Party Dress, size 16 Foxy
Bra: Ewa Michalak PL Charlie, 34HH (I think! Will update this when I have a chance to look.)
Tights: Spanx
Boots: Steve Madden

----

The first of the two dresses MIP gifted me completely blew me away with its super-cool print.

CARS. CITY. SO COOL.
This dress is called the City Print Bodycon Dress, and you can find it HERE. It is slinky, stretchy, comfortable, and dare I say, traffic-stopping? (ba-dum-pssshhh)

This dress loves all of your curves. All of them.
I had a little trouble with getting the lighting right in these photos, but this was supposed to demonstrate that on me, this dress hits me a little below the knee. For taller readers, this should probably hit you right at the knee.

Weird stomach lump, brought to you by my tights slipping down. Too many costume changes!
This dress doesn't really need tights, because it goes past the knees. If you do decide to wear tights, go with something solid; I tried wearing this dress tonight out for my mother's birthday dinner, and the fishnets I was wearing caused the dress to static cling uncomfortably to my legs. Lesson learned!

This print is bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s.
For those of you readers who have body shapes more like me, shapewear may make you more comfortable in this dress. I mean, it is a bodycon dress, and they're supposed to be super clingy. It's certainly not a bad thing -- I actually like how the length of the dress balances out how tight it is. However, I know a lot of people want to hide "problem areas", and it's pretty impossible to do that in this dress without the assistance of shapewear. Made in Preston really is a company that designs for women with figures like Brittany, but it makes me happy to note that I feel comfortable pulling off these clothes, too!

I recommend being very careful when handling this dress -- don't, say, lay it on top of a sequined dress, because it may snag a little. Whoops. 

Outfit Summary:
Dress: City Print Bodycon Dress, size 16 Foxy.
The rest: see above.

----

I saved the best for last. This dress is my absolute favorite, and since receiving my dresses on Tuesday, I've worn it out twice. Once to the theatre to see Book of Mormon (GO SEE IT RIGHT NOW), and for my mother's birthday dinner tonight because the City Print dress was too static-y for my tights.

Behold:
I am so excited about this dress.
This is the Springtime Floral Skater Dress, available NOW.

I don't even know what to do with my hands, I love this dress so much.
The waistline of this dress was in the most absolute perfect place for me -- at my natural waist! Taller readers with similar proportions to me may find that this fits more like an empire-waist dress, but I had no such problems. This dress also hits me about mid-thigh, another thing for taller readers to keep in mind.

I don't know what I'm being sassy about, but deal with it.
I find the a-line cut of this skater dress, like so many skater dresses, to be ridiculously flattering. This skater dress is really cut extremely well for busty women. Now, as much as I adore this dress, it was missing something: a belt. Personally, I think this dress begs for a waist belt. So, y'know. I obliged.

Pleeease forgive my bedhead. Please?
Much better! Right? I just think a wide black belt makes this dress 100x better. 

Apparently, my back was itchy while the camera was going off. Welp.
I can't believe I haven't talked about how much I love this print yet. I love this print. I would love it in the form of a blouse, a skirt, pants... I'd wear it all day, every day. Where the City Print dress was a more delicate fabric, this dress is made of much stronger, yet still soft, stuff. 

I feel pretty, oh so pretty!
My only complaint with this dress is that it comes up very high in the back, so far up that the back of the neckline is on my neck. As a result, it kinda feels like my neck is being pushed down a little bit, like how a halterneck feels. It's certainly not enough to deter me from wearing this dress (seeing as I've worn it twice in the week I got it), but for those who are sensitive to halternecks, it's something to keep in mind. I'm probably going to have it altered somehow so it'll be perfect.

Outfit Summary:
Dress: Springtime Floral Skater Dress, Size 16 Foxy.
The rest: see above.

If anyone has any questions about sizing or styles, please feel free to ask in the comments!



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review of a Custom Angela Friedman Overbust Corset!

This post was written by Laura, a contributing blogger for Thin and Curvy. If you missed her intro post, look no further!

---

I am really, really good to myself sometimes. For example, I managed to get myself the most beautiful birthday present of all time: a custom overbust corset from none other than the lovely Angela Friedman! Her work has been featured on other blogs such as The Lingerie Addict and The Lingerie Lesbian, and I've been lusting after her designs for a good while.

I caved when I saw the Claire de Lune corset.

Image courtesy of Angela Friedman
I had already been thinking about ordering a "standard" custom overbust corset from Angela anyway, but when I saw the Claire de Lune, I fell in love.

But, you see, I wanted to be different. I wanted to play around with the color choice, and I'm completely, 100% in love with what I went for.

Pink and gold is one of my favorite color combinations OF ALL TIME.
Ordering a custom corset from Angela Friedman was a relatively simple process, all things considered! I live in the South, while she works out of New York, but we were able to make it work. The whole process took somewhere between two and three months (I think?), but I was the reason it took so long! If you're a prompt sort of person, you could easily have a corset in a month. 

I went to a local tailor and had myself measured, which they did for me for free! It took me a few weeks to get my butt to a tailor, so there's one example of me dawdling. I sent my measurements off to Angela so she could make me a mock-up corset. 


The mock-up corset is just white cotton, nothing fancy, and was a way for me to figure out what tweaks needed to be made before she made the final version. If you decide to order a custom corset from Angela Friedman, I highly recommend paying the extra fee to have a mock-up sent to you! 

Then, of course, I had to send back the mock-up, which took me longer than it should have because I was emotionally attached. Eventually, though, I sent it back, complete with lots of cat hair. 

And the final result?


You guessed it! Me posing awkwardly with the most beautiful thing I've ever put on my body! All the photos I took are ones where I laced the corset up myself. I'm not the greatest at it, so you'll have to take my word for it that this looks even MORE amazing when I've had assistance from a friend!

Ignore the face that my jeans clearly need a wash and that I have a camera balanced on my head.
I wore this exact outfit out to dinner with my boyfriend (note: the jeans were freshly washed and not wrinkled to oblivion), and it was amazing to be able to wear something strapless that was still exceptionally supportive! I paired my ensemble with a black pleather jacket and I felt gorgeous and like a badass all rolled up into one.

Dat. Structure. It's phenomenal! Plus, you can see that my boobs are very well-contained!

All those itty bitty seams... drool. DROOL, I TELL YOU.

I love how the laces match the silk exactly, and how the lace looks like it's applique!

The corset is lined in cotton, so it's unbelievably comfortable.



I am one happy, happy lady.
It was completely worth every single penny. Angela is a dream to work with and I look forward to ordering another corset from her again!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review of the SugarShape Ruby!

This post was written by Laura, a contributing blogger for Thin and Curvy. If you missed her intro post, look no further!

**Disclaimer: This set was gifted to me by SugarShape. All opinions are my own.**

Hello, readers! Is everyone feeling the holiday spirit? Well, if not, you're going to soon! Take a gander at the SugarShape Ruby, available here:

Them polka dots. That lace. SO BEAUTIFUL.
I can't describe this red as any other color than Santa Red. It's stunning. The bow is black, red, and green, so it's definitely appropriate for Christmas! My normal size in SugarShape is 85/110. SugarShape bases sizing strictly on measurements and forgoes the letter system entirely. The Ruby runs small in both the cups and the band, so I was sent a 90/112.5. The first number in the SugarShape sizing system is for your ribcage, and the second number is for your bust circumference.

Better view of the polka dots. They're a lovely touch!

The materials on this bra are exceptionally soft. The only remotely uncomfortable aspect of the bra is that the sides of the bra come up a little high under my arms, but I'm short. I think most people wouldn't have a problem, and it only actually is a problem when I'm not wearing a shirt.

The cups are lightly padded, which helps give a phenomenal shape!
As you can see, the cups are comprised of three panels with vertical seaming. I love bras with vertical seaming, because it's almost guaranteed that they will always give an uplifted, round shape!

The gore's fabric is sheer, too. So pretty!

As I mentioned before, I was sent a 90/112.5. Even going up one size in the band and two sizes in the cup, the cups in the Ruby were still a little too small. I think a 90/115 would have been perfect!

EDIT: Team SugarShape told me that the cup sizes in the 90/112.5 and the 85/110 should be equivalent. That makes sense, since they don't use a cup size system. My brain was stuck on the normal "up in the band, down in the cup" mentality! So once you figure out your SugarShape size, (like 85/110), add one band size (85 -> 90) and two cup sizes (110 -> 115). It's not that the bra runs two full cup sizes small. Proportionally, an 85/110 would normally have the same cup volume as a 90/112.5. This bra does happen to run tight in the band and the cups, though, so the result is as if you're adding one band size and two cup sizes. I hope this isn't too confusing! If you want help in figuring out your SugarShape size for the Ruby, please ask in the comments!

The gore doesn't tack because the cups are too small, but I don't get quadboob in this bra because the cups are really nice and low-cut. This bra can definitely be used as a plunge, even though SugarShape calls it a balconette. I am going to save this bra for nights when I'm going out on a date, or... *ahem* staying in. My boyfriend's a pretty big fan of how low-cut the cups are, not gonna lie.

I somehow missed taking a picture of the bra charm I got with this bra, but I picked the anchor, which is absolutely adorable with this set! All of the proceeds from ordering the bra charms, which are interchangeable among SugarShape bras, go to charity! Doesn't that put you right in the holiday spirit?

SWOON.
I also received the high-waisted panties, found here, in a size 115. These fit like a dream, let me tell you! They hit me right at my natural waist, and they have a bit of shaping strength in them. I feel very smoothed out in these panties, and they are beyond comfortable. These run true to size.

For anyone in the United States interested in ordering from SugarShape, it's best to do so through email. Contact Sabrina at sabrina@sugarshape.de and she'll take very good care of you! I've placed several orders with SugarShape through Sabrina and have never had a problem. She'll even verify which size you should order if you're unsure!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Frustrations with the Polish Brafitting Community

About two years ago, I ran across a thread on the Polish brafitting forum Balkoneta, talking about me. Although I don't speak Polish, I was able to tell enough from Google Translate to feel shocked and hurt. (** Edit: I did check with a native Polish speaker for translations on each item mentioned in this post, and received confirmation that the ladies mentioned were, in fact, being rude.) The ladies on the forum were suggesting that I was lying/measuring wrong and that I couldn't possible be a 26 band- that it was just my ego convincing me that I needed one. They also decided that I was wearing my bras "at the waist," although how that would work, I honestly have no idea. I didn't address it at the time, although I did perhaps write an over-enthusiastically positive review of Ewa Michalak in reaction- the truth is, they're not the best company for my shape in other ways, they were just my only option, and it was nice to have bands that fit me. Eventually, a girl from the forum emailed me in English, and we had a discussion about bra fitting in which we were able to come to an agreement.

Honestly, the incident really discouraged me from blogging. People sometimes forget that bloggers have feelings, too. I can handle random trolls, but I was really saddened to see myself attacked, and my body analyzed like a piece of meat, by women on a forum I had respected.

I was also dismayed by an incident with Ewa Michalak herself a while ago, commonly referred to as "strapgate," in which Ewa asked for feedback on the smaller band sizes, and received many, many replies (including myself) saying the straps were too widely placed. Then she proceeded to attack her loyal customers, saying they were *all* wearing the wrong size, and threatened to discontinue smaller band sizes.

She also wrote a blog post supposedly debunking my fitting method. In it, she shows a woman with a 97cm (38") underbust, and she suggests that the "UK sizing method" would fit this woman into a 70KK, or 32KK. The problem is, she's completely wrong! I can't imagine how she managed to shove this poor woman into such a tight band, but that is certainly not how I measure. If I were fitting this woman, I would use a 38 band as a starting place. Because EM bands are not very stretchy, they run tight in larger band sizes, so I would probably suggest that she go up a size, based on her personal comfort. That means there's a good chance I would have fit her into a 90F/40F, exactly the same size as Ewa! And yet she ridicules the "British fitting method" without having any idea how it works.

She also ignored that women in the larger band sizes are perfectly happy with the fit of Ewa bras. It's specifically the smallest band sizes and biggest cup sizes that have this construction error. The straps were bad for me in a 26HH, but when I grew a few cup sizes and landed in a 26JJ, the straps were truly intolerable, making arm movement difficult, sliding off my shoulders, and causing me a lot of pain. Ewa Michalak bras are no longer wearable for me. And honestly, this whole experience left me with no interest in supporting Ewa's business any longer.

Today, I saw yet another thread on Balkoneta attacking myself, as well as several other bloggers. I don't understand why these women assume that we won't see the nasty things they're saying (since I discovered Biubiu and Ewa Michalak, it's a decent bet I'm good at deciphering Google Translate!) and I don't understand why all this nastiness is necessary. I know that I would be more than happy to hear suggestions for how I could find better bras. I've definitely struggled a lot to find things for myself. I would be overjoyed to be able to wear a wider selection of bras- as far as my vanity is concerned, I would far rather be able to wear a wide variety of pretty bras, than be able to say I'm a 26 band. Also, most Americans still think a 32 band is absolutely teeny tiny, so saying I was a 28 or 30 would sound unbelievable to most people I know.

Anyway, I wanted to share this photo, as sort of a counter to Ewa's ridiculous "UK measuring method" post, and as proof that a larger band size would not, in fact, work for me. The bra in question is a 30DD, and as you can see, my breasts are literally spilling out underneath it. At the time, this was the size that many +4 calculators gave me (my breasts have grown since this photo was taken.) The fact is, as my breasts have grown larger and heavier over time, the base has spread out over my ribcage. I have breast tissue extending from just under my collarbones to a few inches above my waist. I do wish the base could be higher up- you could see my waist better in clothes, I'd look slimmer, and I'd probably be able to wear a larger band size, as my back gets wider higher up. But this is the body I have, and it seems awfully nasty and petty to suggest that I'm some sort of freak for having it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Redefining Sexy: To Each Their Own!

At the beginning of the month, Les Gros Bonnets asked a pretty big question for the world of bra bloggers: How do we redefine "sexy"? She has a whole roundup of other posts for you lovely readers to mull over, but I decided to take a stab at what I consider "sexy" to be, for me personally.

I know that at a size 12/14, I'm not what everyone considers to be sexy. I also know that at a size 5/6 (which is what I was back in high school), I wasn't what everyone considers to be sexy. To me, sexy is in the eye of the beholder.

I don't have a physical type. If you lined up all the guys I have found to be attractive, you'd wonder why the heck they were all standing next to each other. Tall, short, skinny, fat, bearded, clean-shaven, white, black, Chinese... they don't really have a whole lot in common on the outside.

So what did I like about them? Their personality. To me, that's where someone's sexual allure really comes out. I've known plenty of conventionally attractive guys who couldn't get my engines revved to save their lives. I'm into emotional connections. I'm really, really drawn to confidence and excellent senses of humor.

So how does that translate into fashion? What makes me feel sexy? Wearing things that I love that are comfortable and make me feel confident.

For example:

Galaxy Print Big Underwear from Knickerocker
I cannot tell you how badass and amazing I feel in these high-waisted bottoms. They are so comfortable and so completely unique and amazing... I always feel like a rock star. They come right up to my natural waist and sit really well.

Tight-End Tights Original Shaping Tights from Spanx, in Currant

I bought these tights recently, and it is so incredibly nice to have colored tights that fit over my bum. They are completely amazing and I highly recommend them! They're soft and are of excellent quality. They also make my legs look fantastic. I wish my legs were purple because of these tights.

Le Petit No. 2 fragrance from Tokyomilk
This was the first perfume I ever bought for myself. I still love it completely, to this day. It's a beautiful fragrance that lingers but feels light and effortless. I don't feel like I'm ever choking people around me with my scent, and it makes me feel really good about how I smell.

What is sexy to you, readers? Do you agree with the mainstream view, or do you deviate?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thin and Curvy nominated for a Brastop Award!

Hey everybody! I'm a little later than I meant to be in posting this, but this blog has been nominated for a "best blog" award by Brastop! There are many wonderful blogs nominated, all of which are definitely just as deserving of praise, but I am honored by the nomination, and would be even more honored if you would click here and vote for me. Voting ends October 23.




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Am I Thin? A Followup to Brittany's "Am I Curvy?" Post

Brittany recently posted a phenomenal entry called, "Am I Curvy?" If you haven't read it, you should read it now, before continuing with my post. You can find it HERE.

This question I'm proposing isn't asked as often here on the blog, or in the emails, but I think it makes perfect sense to address both adjectives in the title of the blog.

Am I thin? Am I pretty enough? Am I a small enough pants size for people to find me attractive? Is my waist small enough? Should I lose 15 pounds? If I wear a XL, does that mean I'm fat?

The media bombards us women with immense insecurity regarding weight. The women you see on billboards have had their arms and thighs thinned out, their waistline smoothed, their cleavage enhanced... you get the picture. It's impossible to live up to the standard of someone who's half-photo, half-smudging tool.

I think now is a perfect time to address the elephant in the room. Y'know, the one who's been eating an extra cupcake here and there, and I'm going to ask myself a very serious question. Am I thin? Curvy has never been a concern of mine, and when Brittany and I first met in college, thin wasn't a concern either.

Then law school happened. There are two main types of stress reactions in law school: stress eating and stress-forgetting-to-eat. I fell into the former category, heavily. In addition, I moved from an area where walking around downtown involved endless hills, where my job had required me to walk up and down stairs every 20 minutes while doing rounds, and where taking hikes in the mountains was a common activity. I moved from a place that celebrated the outdoors and moving around to a place that celebrated shopping malls and restaurants. I was spending a great deal of my time studying, outside of commuting between class and home. When I took breaks from studying, I went out to eat with friends almost every time. I hardly cooked for myself those entire three years, which was very strange, considering that I'd almost decided to go to culinary school.

Unsurprisingly, I gained weight. And now, writing for this blog, I knew I'd be faced with criticisms about my weight. Why am I writing for Thin and Curvy, when I'm not "thin" by some people's standards?

Here's the thing. No matter what label you want to attach to me personally ("fat", "not thin", "sow", "elephant", or whatever other creative thing you can think of), I still love my body.  It may not be nearly as thin as Brittany's, nor will it ever be. When it comes to bra fit, she simply has a much smaller ribcage than I do. When it comes to clothes, she has a narrower waist and hips than I always have had. However, "thin" is not one size. "Thin" does not belong to one shape. "Thin," quite frankly, is all a matter of perspective.

So, am I thin?

For this blog's purposes, certainly. This is something that Brittany and I have discussed specifically. My ribcage is still small enough that I'm considered a smaller back size in bra fit. Edwards and Millers, the new lingerie company releasing in 26 backs and specializes in big-busts-small-bands, is going up to 34 bands. That's me! And for the majority of my bra-wearing life, I was a 32-band. I only, literally, went up to 34 a few months ago. That can be 100% attributed to "moving" stress.

For the real world's purposes? I have no idea, and quite frankly, the real world's opinion of my size doesn't matter. I love writing for Thin and Curvy and speaking to another audience of Brittany's. I don't want anyone thinking that I am trying to replace Brittany, or that I can provide the exact same advice about the exact same sets of problems. I am here to add another voice to this amazing blog, and am quite honored that Brittany asked me.

But what about you, dear reader? Are you thin?

That's something that only you have the power to determine for yourself. Everyone's going to have their opinion, of course, but the real problem with defining "thin" (just like defining "curvy") is that everyone's going to draw comparisons. Put me next to Brittany, and sure, I don't look as thin as she does. But put me next to the heaviest man on earth, and I'll look teeny tiny. What's most important is, just how important is being "thin" to you, anyway? As long as you feel beautiful/sexy/confident/cute/loveable/intelligent/witty/charming/etc., what does "thin" have to do with it?

Love your body, whether it's straight, curvy, thin, fat, tall, short... It's the only one you've got.