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?

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 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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Am I Curvy?

“Am I curvy?”

“My measurements are X. Does that count as curvy?”

I've been hearing variations on this question a lot recently. I wanted to take a moment to address it, which is something I've been dreading a bit. Because I get the feeling that when you ask me that, you’re really asking,

“Am I beautiful? Can you validate me?”

Yes. You are beautiful. You are wonderful and unique and utterly gorgeous. I’m sorry that we live in a world that doesn't appreciate beauty in all of its diverse forms, instead making you feel like you need to fit into some arbitrary and narrow standard to feel beautiful.

Let me tell you something else. At the end of the day, I am just some lady on the internet who writes a blog. Please don’t give me the power to define your self image. I’m not the ultimate authority on what curvy is or isn't  or what the most comfortable bra size for you is, or anything else. I’m here to help, and if my advice is useful to you- great! If not- ignore it! Anyone is welcome to read, anyone is welcome to comment and participate, if this blog is useful and meaningful to you. You do not have to fit into some arbitrary measurement to be reading this.

Now, to answer the question on a more practical level:

Most women have some amount of curve. Humans aren't made up of straight lines! I personally think of “curvy” as more of a spectrum than any sort of absolute thing. Also, the idea of there being some specific cutoff is ridiculous- among other reasons, because your other features, such as your bone structure, height, body shape, etc, are going to affect how curvy you appear.

That being said, I think that the word “curvy,” as well as this blog, will probably be most useful to you as a description, if your curves- your breasts, hips, bum, and/or thighs- are different enough in measurements from the rest of you, as to cause you significant problems fitting into off-the-rack clothes or lingerie. My main target audience- ie, who I am thinking of when I write most of my posts- are women who have these problems. Again, that’s not a very specific cutoff- intentionally so- but to me, this tends to be the most useful way to use that word.

Curvy is not synonymous with beautiful.
Curvy is not synonymous with sexy.
Curvy is not synonymous with worthy.

It doesn't define who you are. It doesn't define whether men will find you attractive. I honestly, really, truly believe that there is beauty in all shapes and sizes. If you really feel like you want to describe yourself as curvy, and that it’s a useful word to use, then go for it. If you feel like other words are more useful, then that’s fine. You are still amazing and beautiful and sexy and gorgeous. And totally welcome here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lingerie Lust List: A/W 2013 Edition

I have a confession, everyone. I may very well spend all of my money on bras within the next few months. Can you really blame me, when companies are coming out with goodies like these?

A newsworthy offering from Ewa Michalak!
I never knew how much I wanted a newsprint bra until I saw one. Ever since EM provided the sneak-peek photos on their Facebook page, I have been drooling. The panties are adorable as well, and I can easily see myself splurging to get the matching set.

If I was wearing this bra right now, I'd be smiling just as wide!
This is called the "Seaside", and you can find it here at SugarShape! I'm a huge fan of SugarShape, and I highly recommend their bras if you find Panache wires to be too wide and Ewa/other Polish brands' wires to be too narrow. I just love the ice blue hue and the pinstripes! You also can't forget that SugarShape provides bra charms that you can attach to a hook on the center gore of all of their bras! They add a lovely touch.

The most beautiful purple ever, on one of my favorite bras ever.
Ah, the Cleo Marcie, in an exclusive color at Bravissimo. I think it's a real shame that other retailers don't get to benefit from this completely gorgeous colorway, because it is stunning. It's such a rich, deep shade of purple... love at first sight for this gal.

The color is called Vanilla. I think it's extremely fitting!
This is the Tutti Rouge Liliana in Vanilla, and while the Liliana isn't the best fit for me, I absolutely adore this colorway. This isn't just a boring white bra -- this is a softer, more muted ivory, with an adorable hot pink ribbon detail.

Do any of you have bras you've been drooling over this season? It seems as though a lot of companies have stepped up their game for this season, and it's extremely exciting!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Skirt Review: Pink Clove UK's Lace Skater Skirt

First of all, I have to say I never would've heard of Pink Clove had it not been for this blog post by The Full Figured Chest. Thank you, Holly! I fell in love with the Gold Roses Foil Pencil Skirt, so I headed over to their website and began to drool. I'm at the very low end of their size range, so I consider myself lucky to be able to shop their styles! I ended up purchasing both the Gold Roses Foil Pencil Skirt and the Lace Skater Skirt in UK size 16 (US size 12). I'm going to review both eventually, but I'm starting with the Skater Skirt. I'm mainly going to be writing about business-appropriate clothing here, but I want to show y'all a bit of my casual side as well.

Here's the image from the Pink Clove website:

This is how it looks on a woman who is 5'11" and knows how to model!
How could I resist? It's gorgeous. Here's how it looks on me:

I need to take lessons from Brittany or the Pink Clove model on how to pose for pictures. Yeesh.
First, I want to say this skirt is exceptionally comfortable. The waist band is nice and stretchy, and there are no annoying zippers to worry about.

Showin' off that batwing shirt. It's supposed to be a dress. I got it at Bebe. It's so short
I have to wear it as a shirt, or else I'll get arrested. Getting arrested isn't a good look.
I love where this dress hits my leg. It's not so short as to be indecent, but it doesn't cut me off and make me look shorter than I am. Since I'm only 5'3", other ladies may find this skirt to be a bit short. For me, however, it's perfect and I love it.

Me, deeply contemplating that wind chime. It was here when I moved in.
I may take it with me when I leave. Shh, don't tell.
I often have trouble with skirts being shorter in the back than in the front. I don't have that problem with this skirt, and it's lovely! Pink Clove understands that their customers may have sizeable butts to cover, and they take that into consideration in their design. A well-covered butt: it's a beautiful thing.

The stretch-lace layer has a really lovely sheen to it.
I love the stretch-lace. I love lace, but its inflexibility makes it hard for me to be able to rock it. I need lace that can deal with curves, and this stretch lace is absolutely perfect. Underneath the lace is a black slip that also has some stretch to it, making this skirt extremely accommodating to different body shapes.

I really love the wind chime. I also need new props. 
This is a very easy skirt to wear, and I think it'll transition perfectly from season to season. I'm rocking a bit of a fall look in this picture, but I can easily lighten it up for summer with a pink tank top and sandals. It can go to winter easily with some tights and a cardigan.

Outfit Summary:
Shirt: Bebe "dress" that I got last year
Skirt: Pink Clove UK Lace Skater Skirt
Shoes: Rocketdog flats
Belt: Charming Charlie's
Awkward Photo Face: delightfully my own
Windchime: ???!
Bra: SugarShape BH Pure Ivory, in 85/110 (note: I am wearing the left strap really loose because I got a new tattoo two days ago and I don't want to irritate it. This bra, in the Ivory, runs a bit larger in band and cup than their BH Leyla, which is my favorite bra of all time. Since I normally wear a 34HH at the present moment, I'd say the Pure Ivory is more of a 36HH.)

For our readers who are blessed with a bum like mine, I hope this review inspires you to check out this skirt! It's beautiful, insanely comfortable, and well-priced. Can't beat that!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Let's Talk #DiversityInLingerie

Here on the bra blogosphere front, we've been discussing something that is lacking in the lingerie world: diversity. Diversity is a pretty loaded word, and it means a lot of different things to different people, especially in the context of lingerie. For me, it means that I cringe when a bra that is beige is labeled "nude", and I hold my head in my hands when a tiny model is kicked out of a runway show for having boobs that are too big. For me, it means that I wish that I could see full-bust bras being modeled by ladies more my size.

Here's what it means to June of Braless in Brasil, who started us all on this whole thing:

From now on, if you want to join me take a picture of yourself (can be with or without your face, in lingerie or clothes- whatever you feel comfortable with!) and somehow fit in the hashtag #DiversityInLingerie.  You’re welcome to either post it on twitter with the hashtag or email me and I’ll put it up in  a post on my blog. Starting today (August 21st) other bloggers will becoming out with their own posts and pictures so check back to this post for the links! I’ll post them as they come out. I’d encourage women of ALL walks of life and appearance to join in.  By participating you can show the lingerie industry that, yes, you’d buy lingerie from a diverse group of models, not just the ones currently shown.  I want to be clear that this is nothing against the body types currently shown and I don’t want to get into a “real women” debate. We’re all real women.  I just want a bigger pool of models so that ALL women can see someone like them and say “hey, she looks like me and that bra looks awesome on her, it could look awesome on me too!”. – See more at:

This is the picture I first decided to take for the world to see, to show my support.
Now, I don't expect models to make this face when modeling lingerie. That's my special photo face.
Then, after having pondered long and hard, I realized that I was hiding behind a lot of things that make me... well, me. My tattoos are covered, my lumps and bumps are covered, I'm wearing lip gloss... and that's fine. However, I wanted to be more honest with y'all about my body. I felt compelled. There's nothing wrong with covering up what makes you feel insecure, but to me, the #DiversityinLingerie campaign encourages body honesty. I believe body positivity and body honesty go hand in hand, and I stand for both. I decided to take some more photos again, to show you what I'm all about.

Much better.
I have rolls. I have fat. I have wide shoulders for my frame. I have keratosis pilaris, a skin condition that makes my arms have bumps all over them. I have a big tattoo on my shoulder blade. I have faded pimple scars all across my back. There's no Photoshop here, other than to add the text. I am proud of, and love, my body. I want to be able to see or get an idea of how products will fit said body. It's hard, though, when it seems that most full bust bra models are no bigger than a 30E, when I'm hauling around my 34HHs.

Would I buy lingerie from a model who had similar proportions to me? Heck yes I would. Also, I wouldn't care what color her skin tone is, I wouldn't care if she had stretchmarks, pimples, or cellulite, and I certainly wouldn't care if she had a disability or was an older model. I buy most of my lingerie online; it'd be nice to have an inkling of what something will look like when I buy it.

Want to read some of the other amazing #DiversityinLingerie posts today? Here are some. I'll add more as they get posted!

Braless in Brasil
Braless in Brasil, Part II
Braless in Brasil, Part III
Les Gros Bonnets
Wide Curves
By Baby's Rules
The Full Figured Chest
Curvy Wordy
Under the Unders
Muscular Hourglass
Bras and Body Image
The Absurd Curvy Nerd
Fussy Busty
The Lingerie Addict
Anytime Yoga
Busty & Thrifty
Pretty Big Bras
Diamonds and Steel
The Breast Life
The Curves Have It
KathTea Katastrophy
Scarlet's Letter
The Chocolate Plushie
Two Cakes on a Plate
Huffington Post
Butterfly Collection
Quest for the Perfect Bra
That Bra Does Not Fit Her
A Sophisticated Pair
Angela Friedman
More Sand In My Hourglass
Les seins du Sphinx
Wide Curves for The Full Figured Chest
Barbarian Librarian
Voluptuously Thin, for Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed
Invest In Your Chest
Nothing Ever Fits and Nobody Sympathizes
Warning: Curves Ahead
Guest Post for Voluptuously Thin
Bra Queen
Faustine's Foundations
Curvature Boutique
Becky's Boudoir


For readers' reference, I'm wearing a Kiss Me Deadly Elle robe in the first photo, and in both photos I am wearing a Knickerocker romper.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Outlet Mall Lovin'

Hey everyone! I'm still alive after having taken the bar exam, so that's saying something, right? To celebrate, I decided to go shopping for tax-free weekend. Here in the U.S., several (if not all or most?) states have tax-free weekend once a year, in the summer, to encourage people to go shopping. As if I needed an excuse, right?

I drove up to the nearest outlet mall, because I really do love going into a shop that has discounts on literally everything, all the time. I found a few excellent bargains today, but am highlighting the one that would transition best (in my humble opinion) into the workplace.

Ann Taylor LOFT Outlet | $29.77 | 100% Polyester, with Polyester Lining
I found this beautiful dress on the clearance rack and absolutely had to try it on. I love the print, and I was positive that there was enough bust room just by looking at it. Sure enough, my ladies fit well in the dress, and the waistline fell at just the right place. I love how the neckline isn't too high or too low. Goldilocks would love this neckline.

Washing Instructions: Machine Wash Cold, Tumble Dry Low.
My heart is always happier when those are the washing instructions.
I will say this dress is most flattering from the front. You can see in the side view that there's a weird little pouf of fabric that they added in as a completely unnecessary neckline detail. When I fuss with it, though, it lays flatter. I may just add a stitch with white fabric to keep it in place. And by "I", I mean my roommate that actually knows how to sew.

Yeah, it's wrinkly at the back, but that happens to me in a whole lot of outfits. 
The back is a bit snug, yet wrinkly at the same time. Why doesn't this bother me, you may ask? Well, if this is going to be a work dress, I'm going to have to wear a cardigan or a suit jacket anyway to cover my shoulder tattoo. At the price, I just couldn't say no.

I wanted to show what this dress looks like unadorned, first, to show that it's pretty good in the waist as-is. However, one thing I've learned from reading many a busty-fashion blog is that waist belts are almost always an awesome addition to an outfit. So I jazzed it up with a belt, and also demonstrate my favorite part of this dress:

POCKETS!!!!!!! Squee!!!!!
I am such a sucker for dresses with pockets. I'm also a sucker for my lime green-accented toolkit that I inherited from my mother. For some reason, I just couldn't say no to letting it be part of the shot.

I'm 5'3", and this size 12 dress hits about two inches above the knee. Taller ladies may find it to be a smidgen too short, but my fellow short ladies can rejoice in this dress. It's very lightweight, despite being lined, and really is perfect for summer/living in warm weather year-round.

If you live near an outlet mall, or even a regular mall, I highly recommend checking out Ann Taylor or Ann Taylor LOFT. While not all of their clothes are bust-friendly, I've been able to find several pieces at each that work really well with my bust.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guest Post: Campbell & Kate French Blue Shirt Review

The following is a guest post from Jodi of Jailyn Apparel. You might remember the review I did a while back of Jailyn Apparel's first blouse style. Here, Jodi reviews Campbell and Kate's classic button down.

Campbell & Kate has expanded to offer their classic button-down shirt in French blue, and I’m thrilled to have recently received mine.

To start with a fundamental point, the construction quality is fabulous. The details are nicely executed, including neat buttonholes, enclosed seams, and barrel cuffs with beautiful rounded edges. If treated well, this shirt should last for years, and since it’s a classic style, that makes it a great value.

The French blue fabric is gorgeous. The color is vibrant, and the fabric is soft and light but still opaque.

With shirts for full-busted women, the bottom of the arm holes are typically designed to fall pretty high on the side of the shirt. This has a slimming effect because you’re not ending up with a bunch of extra fabric at the side of your body near your already full bustline. On the down side of that, several of the shirts I’ve tried have arm hole seams that dig into the front of my shoulders when my arms are moved forward, or are so close to the arm pit that I find myself pulling down on the sides of the shirt all day. The sleeves on the Campbell & Kate shirt are designed generously enough to avoid these problems while retaining the flattering close silhouette.

You tall or long-torsoed ladies out there who can’t find shirts with sleeves long enough for you are going to be very happy, as this shirt offers plenty of length in the sleeves. But don’t panic if you have shorter arms, as shortening sleeves is a simple alteration. I’m a bit short in the upper body, so the sleeves are long on me, but I won’t even bother altering them, because I always wear shirt sleeves rolled up to to just below my elbows.

Also due to my shorter torso, the bust darts fall a little low, which is what’s causing some diagonal rippling in the fabric between my bust and waistline. You can see in the photo where I pull the shirt up that all of those waves disappear when the vertical darts end closer to my full bust. So I’ll extend those upwards about an inch to smooth out that area.

The back of the shirt has four vertical darts. This nicely accentuates the waistline while allowing enough width for movement across the upper back.

Overall this shirt is a beautiful, high quality addition to my wardrobe classics.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mythbuster #1: Button-down shirts are the end-all, be-all of professional, work-appropriate tops.

I must, I must, I must find that elusive button-down shirt!

Having followed the busty blogs for several years, one of the top complaints I find is that women want button-down tops that work for larger chests. I've only just recently found button-down tops that work, and beforehand didn't have any reason or need to wear them. As nice as it is to find that miraculous button-down, it's important to note that there are plenty of other blouse-styles out there that work for us busty women. They look just as polished (if not more so) and just as professional as a button-down. It's much more professional to have a non-buttoned blouse that fits the bust properly than to wear a buttoned blouse that gapes. Additionally, buying a professional top doesn't have to break the bank. When putting together a work outfit, the shirt can (and maybe should) easily be the least expensive part of the ensemble.

Here are a few tops I would consider taking a look at in stores this season, in various price ranges.

Layering Shell | $36.90 | The Limited | 

This is an classic top that will go beautifully with both skirt and pants suits and comes in different colors. One thing that's great about The Limited is that they always have one kind of awesome sale or another, along with their clearance section. To fit the bust, you may have to sacrifice a fitted waist -- however, I always tuck my work shirts into my skirts/pants, so the extra material provides a nice, bloused effect.

Liz Claiborne Cap-Sleeve Popover Blouse - Plus | $23.99 | JC Penney

I highly, highly recommend JC Penney for affordable dress tops. They have a fairly large selection of tops, and this is just one example of a blouse that would likely work for a fuller bust. The pattern can be toned down by a jacket, and it doesn't really hurt to have a little pattern in the workplace! My friend, who's a teacher, was able to get a blouse appropriate for work for only $2 because the shirt was on clearance. If that doesn't motivate you to at least give JC Penney a try, I don't know what will! Also, I used this blouse as an example specifically because it is for plus sizes -- JC Penney carries a good variety of plus size clothing as well as good variety for the other size ranges.

Geo Print Cowl Top | $58.99 | Banana Republic
I have completely fallen in love with Banana Republic. I also hardly buy things full price there. This, however, is just a great example of a sleeveless top that would still be work appropriate in most situations. Some offices have dress codes, and I wouldn't go sleeveless in a court room. However, if you're just in the office and it gets a little warm, this cowl neck is perfectly acceptable (and super cute!). If I were questioning a witness on the stand, however, I would keep my suit jacket on. Personally, I'm waiting 'til this cute top goes (more) on sale! It's also worth a shot to check out a Banana Republic Factory Store, if you have an outlet mall nearby.

I plan on doing reviews of clothing I own to give some better ideas on how things fit, but I hope this suffices for now! I'm in the middle of preparing for the July bar exam and I just moved, so I'm still settling in. If any of you have questions about Shopping Like a Professional Because You Are, In Fact, A Professional, please ask in the comments!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Modesty Panel

This post is part of The Modesty Panel, a series focusing on the concept of modesty from the perspectives of various bra bloggers. Each of us has experiences, beliefs and assumptions about modesty that influence how we blog about breasts, and this week we are taking the time to share our views. Make sure to check some of the other posts out!

A lot of people have commented that I dress “modestly.” At first, I was surprised by that. Modesty, as a goal in itself, has never been a real focus for me. I wasn't raised with any particular religious or moral admonitions on how I should dress. In fact, in my opinion, I’m unusually comfortable with my body for an American- there are photographs on the internet of me in lingerie, for pity’s sake! Sure, when I showed up at the Star in a Bra photoshoot, my outfit choice showed significantly less cleavage than many other contestant’s clothes... but I was there to be photographed in my underwear, anyway! 

When the word “modesty” is on my radar, it’s usually because I’m fuming over yet another person talking about how some women “deserved” sexual violence because she wasn't dressed right. Modesty is a really complicated issue- a whirling mess of religious beliefs, rape culture, slut shaming, moralistic lecturing, and so on. It so often feels like an impossible tightrope line to walk- it’s that old, overly idealized false dichotomy between “slut” and “prude.”

What is modesty, anyway? The definition isn't even very clear. Yes, it’s generally connected to women‘s sexuality and hiding it or not, but that’s still very vague. Some people would argue that anything beautiful or attention-gathering is immodest. They would say that if you even try to wear pretty clothes, you’re being immodest, because you’re drawing attention to how you look. By this definition, even bright colors could be seen as immodest! Others would argue that maybe pretty colors are okay, but the clothes should not reveal your shape. And others would say that modesty is about how much skin is showing, and nothing more.

I believe that when people call me modest, they’re using this definition, as I love beautiful colors and prints, and regularly wear clothes that are fitted to the shape of my body. However, I tend to only show a small amount of cleavage, wear skirts that come to a minimum of a few inches above my knees, and I prefer higher waisted pants and skirts.

Comparatively speaking, I was lucky that my upbringing included as little body shaming as it did. I did have my share of body image struggles, but I think that they were more about my overall self esteem and self image, and that my body image was a manifestation of those issues. As such, my body image journey has been more about learning, literally, to be comfortable in my own skin, and happy with who I was, such that I could feel confident enough to express my personality through my fashion choices. That, perhaps, is why I haven’t been so specifically focused on being “modest” or not.

As a teenager who was depressed, bullied, lonely, and who hated myself, I wore baggy clothes from Goodwill that hid my shape. Even though I practically dressed like a bag lady, I still got in trouble several times at the high school I attended for dress code violations- I was not only already curvy, I was tall, and at the time low rise jeans and short tops were in fashion, which meant that it was nearly impossible for me to find shirts long enough and pants with high enough rises, so that I wouldn't show midriff when I lifted my arms at all.

I think that lots of curvy women have similar stories. For many of them, showing skin is empowering- a way to take control of their bodies and their sexuality. I think that’s wonderful! I support everyone in making the fashion choices that make them feel beautiful and happy and powerful. However, just because showing skin can be empowering for some women, and just because people need to learn to mind their own business and not be judgmental or victim-blaming about a woman’s fashion choices, doesn't mean that I should have to show more skin than I feel comfortable with in the name of protesting these issues.The whole point of feminism- at least the model that I espouse, is about having the power to make personal decisions that feel right for the individual person. For me, my preferred choice is to cover slightly more skin. I think that there can be a big difference between covering up out of shame, and covering up out of a place of deliberate choice.

As to why I prefer to dress this way, here are some of my thoughts on what has influenced me to prefer it:

My personal style is sweet, girly, and heavily vintage-inspired. I often feel like I was born in the wrong era, fashion-wise. While many of my fellow bloggers and curvy women love the pin-up inspired fashion, the actual street fashions of women in the 50’s and earlier covered much more skin. I love the way that styles back then revealed a woman’s curves... while still covering her up. To my eye, this is just a prettier, more balanced, and even sexier look. I also feel like by showing a little less skin, I’m making the statement that my breasts are not my only attractive feature, and I don’t intend to treat them that way, and forget about the other parts of myself I like. I try to bring attention to my face in several ways- for example, I've gotten very interested in the past year or so in personal color analysis (something I want to talk about in future posts.) My overall goal is to have the focus be *me,* not the bright color I’m wearing, not my cleavage, but my overall personality, essence, and features.

I also feel more comfortable in “modest” clothes. When I wear more revealing clothes, I feel like I have to be hyper-aware of my physicality and movements. Suddenly I’m stressing about flashing somebody my underwear when I move my legs the wrong way, or leaning too far forward and giving somebody an eyeful I didn't intend. Clothes with more coverage stay put better as I move. Again, there are other choices I make that are related to this preference- I also never wear really high heels, I have a strong preference for fabrics with a little bit of stretch, and I prefer flowing skirts to stiff pencil styles. I want to feel like I can move around in my clothes, and be prepared for whatever adventures that might come up.

My family upbringing, of course, was an influence for me. While I mentioned that I wasn't raised super religiously or conservatively, my family was definitely still a factor. My family on my mother’s side is French. It would be poetic here to write all about my grandmother’s utterly fabulous style, all silk scarves and fancy perfume, and how it inspired my current fashion love while I was still a wee tot digging through drawers to play dress-up... However, she has never, to my knowledge, been nearly as glamorous as the American legend of the Chic Parisian. In fact, she prefers wandering about her garden in stained cargo pants and a wide brim hat to prancing around city streets looking chic or whatever fashionable French women are supposed to do.

However, I certainly picked up a few tidbits of French culture in my upbringing, and one thing my mother told me is that for French women, a little mystery is considered far sexier than revealing everything. It always made sense to me. It’s a well-documented psychological phenomenon that the body parts considered “sexy” vary by culture and by what tends to be covered most of the time. The Victorians considered ankles to be erotic, because they were always covered. In cultures where women are expected to cover their hair, their hair becomes seen as far more sexual than it is in cultures where their hair is not routinely covered.

So, in a certain way, covering more skin is my own way of taking charge of my own sexuality. I get to choose when and for whom I’m going to reveal my body. In the end, what matters the most is that you feel powerful in your clothing choices.

This blog is one of many that is participating in the Modesty Panel Series….Please check out the following links to read more great posts about Modesty!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Introducing... Laura!

I have an announcement to make here at Thin and Curvy... 

I want to introduce you to Laura. As you've all probably noticed, this here blog has become a bit much for me to keep up with regularly. I wanted a way to keep things updating a little bit more often, as well as provide you with a different perspective. Enter Laura.

I met Laura as a Freshman in college, and we've kept in contact since. Via Facebook, I noticed that she was just as passionate and knowledgeable about bra fitting and big boob issues as myself. I wanted to give her an expanded platform in which to share her knowledge and passion. I know that you'll love her! 

Don't worry, though... I'm not going anywhere. I will still be posting here as often as I can (which will hopefully be more frequently than it's been the past few months.)


Hi everyone!

My name is Laura, and I have a problem: I'm addicted to bras and proper fit. GASP. Oh, and milkshakes.

I'm 25 years old and I've lived on the East Coast my entire life. My passion for properly fitting bras began when I was in high school, when I discovered the Livejournal community thirty_twod. Big boobs run in my family, and believe it or not, at 32HH/J, I am the smallest! Back then, though, I was a much smaller 34D (or so I thought -- probably 32DD). I learned a whole lot about proper fit and where to buy bras before I even realized I needed those resources -- I just thought it was interesting, at the time. Once I hit college and my boobs grew out of the ever-so-limited Victoria's Secret size range, I finally went to Nordstrom and learned a great deal about bras for gals like myself. I fell in love with brands like Chantelle, Le Mystere, and Simone Perele, and eventually, Freya, Fantasie, Panache, and beyond.

I love the feeling of a good quality, well-fitted bra. My posture straightens, my mood improves, and I feel beautiful and confident. I've become a bit of a bra-vangelist, trying to get all my friends fitted as well! My first truly successful fit was my mother, who went from wearing a 40G to a 38JJ. From there, I fitted a friend who went from 38DD to 34F/FF (depending on the bra). I worked on another friend for years, trying to get her to buy new bras. The four bras she owned when I met her were hand-me-downs from another girl. They were so stretched out that I could literally see the wrinkles of the fabric under her shirts! I was able to convince her to buy a few new bras at the time. She went from wearing ratty, hand-me-down 34Bs to wearing well-structured 34Bs, though I'd tried to get her to try a 32C then. Just recently, I was able to take her bra shopping as part of my 25th birthday present! She'd grown a bit since her "34B" days, and I got her out of a 34C and into a well-fitted, very flattering 32DD/E (depending, once again, on the bra -- see a pattern?).

Just like a well-fitted bra can boost my mood, so does well-fitted clothing. I just finished up law school, and in a few months will be taking the bar exam. Having to find properly fitting, appropriate professional clothing has been a bit of a challenge, but I embrace it head-on. Thank my mom for that, since she's the one who's encouraged the love of shopping in me.

My hope, in contributing to this blog, is that I will be able to shed some light on dressing professionally with a big bust, and to answer any questions readers may have. I am all about body-positive shopping experiences, and I believe that not nearly enough women have them. I'd like to help instill some body lovin' and appreciation in my entries as well.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

DD Atelier- A Review

I am really in love with DD Atelier. It fills some huge holes that were previously in the big bust clothing market, sweeping onto the scene with clothes that are simply wonderful- gorgeous, well made, and stylish.

DD Atelier is a company that recognizes that busty women have different needs, different lifestyles, different personal styles. They make clothes for work and for play, for date night, for hot summer days and cold winter evenings. Every time I browse their site, I think, “Oh, I’ve always wanted that!” They make coats. Coats, you guys! It has been bothering me to no end for *years* that busty clothing companies tend to ignore coats. (Dear clothing companies, while our boobs might seem like they add a sufficient amount of winter insulation all on their own, we in fact still need warm clothes, just like everyone else. Love, me.)

They’re not afraid to break the rules a little- some items have featured things like chest pockets and a variety of necklines, including cozy turtlenecks for winter. But if that’s not your thing, they also have lots of more traditionally flattering items. Their styles run the gamut from classic, investment pieces that are perfect for work, to trendy styles that won’t make you feel like you have to be matronly just because of your bust, to feminine, romantic pieces (my favorite!), to a few boho pieces as well- a style that’s usually very unfriendly to curves!

DD Atelier’s clothes are really nice quality. They use lots of breathable, natural fibers- cotton, viscose, and wool, even silk. This comes as an especially refreshing change from the trend of so many companies using cheap polyester. When you buy a piece from DD Atelier, you can trust that it’s going to be an investment that will last you for a while. I also loved how well-tailored the pieces were- I often have trouble with clothing from other “busty” companies being too snug/straight at the hips, but not so with DD Atelier. The clothes, for the most part, fit like they were made for me, and I feel like DD Atelier really understands the hourglass figure. My only complaint was that a few things were a hair shorter on me that I’d like- but since I’m pretty tall, I definitely can’t fault them for that.

 The Rosie dress- This might have been my favorite. It's just such a sweet, pretty, simple summer dress!

 Denim Jacket- It fits me perfectly!

I love how you can layer over this dress for Spring or Fall, or wear it on its own for summer- and it looks great with the denim jacket layered on top!

 All of DD Atelier's clothes have lovely details, like this twisted waistband on the Rosie Dress.

The Diva Dress really classy. As other reviewers mentioned, it does wrinkle a bit easily, however it makes up for that inconvenience by being a versatile and elegant dress.

 Gorgeous buttons!
 Because I'm tall, this Pink Striped Blouse is a better length for skirts than jeans on me- but I still don't have all of my clothes with me in California (sigh) and so I didn't have a good skirt to photograph it with. This blouse impressed me with the tailoring at my waist and hips, especially.

 They tell me this wrap dress is one of their most popular styles- I can see why! They also sell a wrap blouse version. The fabric is thick, stretchy viscose.

DD Atelier is offering a discount to readers of Thin and Curvy! Just enter the code thinandcurvy at checkout for 10% off. The coupon is good until June 30th, so go check them out soon! :-)