Saturday, 28 September 2013

Made in Preston

The brand Made In Preston now has purchasable 26 band bras, from DD-J. The company also makes wired bralettes, bikinis, tops and dresses, but FREAKING TWENTY SIX BANDS!!!!!!!!! So far there are two styles, with coordinating knickers.


The Winter Brights set: http://madeinpreston.com/lingerie/winter-brights-padded-plunge-bra


And the Winter Punk Lace set.

Let me just register my excitement yet again!

Princess (Both images taken from the MIP facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/madeinpreston)

Charlotte Bra and High Waisted Briefs

Parfait Charlotte Padded Bra Red & Black

Despite receiving my Tutti Rouge sets only a month ago (http://diamondsandsteel.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/tutti-rouge.html), I had since become desirous of the Parfait Affinitas Charlotte set, in the new size range, which had expanded to include 28 bands. I ordered the Charlotte plunge in red, 28F, and the high-waisted briefs in XS, last Wednesday, here: http://www.beautyfullbras.com/Parfait-by-Affinitas-Charlotte-Bra-NEW-EXTENDED-SIZES-28-40-D-K-3-Colors_p_42.html.

The Aftermath laying on my bed

The package arriving on Friday the next week was exceptionally quick for Australian, and cheap too (for Australia, at $9.80, calculated, quite fairly, as a percentage of the purchase cost).


Aesthetically, the set is really nice. There is both shiny material, and matte, as well as black trimmings and bows. The set is not whimsical, girly, and fussy, as lingerie is wont to be, instead being somewhat solid, assured looking almost... but nevertheless very pretty! Coupled with the high waisted panties there is a very retro, pinup feel, which suits me well. Upon trying both pieces on, I, not having tried on anything by Parfait-Affinitas before, was struck by how well made and non-scratchy (very important!) they were. Please excuse the photo-quality,btw, they were done at night, and whether with flash or without, the colour has been distorted. In reality it is a rich, deep, flattering red, more like what the official pics show.

 The front of the panties


 And the back

 The back of the bra


 Interior of the cups

 Part of he band, made of some nice mesh

 Bow and ribbon at gore. Also notice the contrasting stitching



Size wise, the briefs were firm for me at the tummy, but, having ordered an XS, I was not surprised. My waist has been biggering, from 24" to 25 or 26 inches, or S territory, while my hips remain at 34-35", or XS territory. I don't like to size up because I like to have panties firm on my butt, not gaping around and potentially getting caught in my butt crack.

Alas, the bra just didn't fit. The band was firm, comfortable, and lay parallel to the floor without digging or causing discomfort. Apparently the earlier Charlotte models ran very tight, so it seems this has been corrected. I really wanted to try this bra after hearing that the cups where deep, and wires very very narrow, just like the Polish bras, but not Polish (obviously). Since shipping, returns and figuring out sizing was such a nightmare for me the one and only time I ordered from Ewa Michalak, I wanted to try the wire shape in the non-polish Charlotte. The wires are VERY narrow indeed, maybe 2 cm narrower than this standard-cupped 30E (same cup size, due to sister sizing).

Wire comparison

The cups are also somewhat deeper than usual, though not outstandingly so. Again, note the comparison to the 30E.



Simply, the bra was too small, through no fault of it's own, I just took the incorrect size. Nevertheless, it was not uncomfortable or irritating. I am at my largest of the month atm (tmi, but I am just being accurate!). I would guesstimate a 28FF or very narrow 28G, as I suspect I have put on weight these holidays. Case in point, today heralded 3 slices of cheesecake and 4 peanut butter cups. Nevertheless, I would say that the bra runs a little on the smaller side cup-wise. The too-smallness of the bra is also exacerbated by my very full-on-top breasts, which make the quadra-boobage all the worse.

The singlet sits right on the top edge of the cups. This is my smaller side

And larger side. The visibility of the cups is more due to the shittiness of the singlet than their size

 I am debating if I should exchange it for a 28FF, which could fit me at smaller times of the month, and still provide cleavage, or if to size up even to a 28G.

Aforementioned cleavage. Sometimes too-small bras have advantages! And yep, that awful tan-line is from wearing my black Panache Sport to the beach, because I don't like wearing non-supportive bikinis, and am too broke after these holidays to buy a proper wired one.

In going up to the 28G, I am afraid the cups might dig into the top of my  armpits (I have high-set breasts). Also, I might sacrifice the narrowness of the wire.

Xoxoxo,

Princess

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Freya Taylor and Bra Alterations



A bra I have had for quite a while is the Freya Taylor. Now, the smallest size the boutique had was a 30 band, so, being a little less savvy, I bought the bra in a 30DD (I was a cup size or two smaller then anyway). Anyway, as Freya bands are wont to do, the band stretched. So the Taylor went from being a size too big, on the stretchier side of a 30 band, to stretching to the large size of 33 inches, or a large 32 band. Despite the cleavage which Deco bras, and Deco variations (like the Taylor) are known for, the band made the whole thing too uncomfortable to wear, ie; I had to tighten the straps until they were painful to get proper 'butt-crack' cleavage, and the band was in my armpits.



Nevertheless, the bra is gorgeous! the colour is unlikely, black, caramel and brown, but surprisingly looks lovely together, expensive, luxurious and harmonious. The subtle stripes, and sheer fabric overlay on the cups, the velvet trim on the top of the cups and the adorable little mesh bows all contribute to making it look so pretty, expensive and retro. On the note of expensive, that bra cost me $90. Bra shopping locally, I guess.



I decided to salvage my poor, abandoned Taylor from the fate of my bottom drawer of uncomfortable lingerie, and took it to my Grandmas to use her sewing machine. It WOULD have taken 5 minutes, only the machine caught some cotton, and my grandmother and I spent half an hour fixing it, whereupon, as is her want, she just did the alteration for me. Basically, she took in two centimeters off each side of the bra, and then sewed the surplus fabric down. SO now the band measures only 29" stretched.




I cannot emphasize how comfortable it is now. I can hardly feel the bra on me all day, and my my tits looks smashing (did I just say that?). However, the bottom of the left seam sometimes digs into my bony rib cage. But whatever, now that the bra is wearable again, I can focus on the fit of the cups and straps. Predictably, by narrowing the band, the straps are a little too wide, and sometimes fall off my left shoulder, which, to be fair, happens with every bra on me. The wires are quite narrow, and I do have some side-boob, but I am still adequately fitting the sister size of a 28E. So saying, I might, in an alternate universe where I have enough money to buy more bras, try a 28F, or 26FF if it existed. Also, the cups come nowhere near my armpits, which is a blessing for my high-set breasts.


Here is the Taylor on me

In summary, I LOVE this bra, and highly recommend it, though maybe (if you are planning on wearing it for ages, and thus stretch the band) size down in the band and cup. You can buy it here: http://www.figleaves.com/uk/product/fra-aa4971/taylor-underwired-moulded-plunge-bra/

Xoxoxoxo,
Princess



Saturday, 21 September 2013

Australia's Lingerie Market part 1

I know that I like to complain about the  state of the Australian mainstream lingerie market, but here I want to outline, concretely, its main faults, why it is letting us all down, and what should be done about it. This post has no pictures, you are warned. Part one, which is this, deals with the practical and external aspects of lingerie down under (#awful puns).

Firstly, the only places you can buy buy bras are the two big department stores, small boutiques, which are quite expensive, sometimes hard to find, and do not often carry all sizes, cheaper department stores like Target (http://shop.target.com.au/) and K-Mart, and the chains Bras N Things (http://www.brasnthings.com/) and Cotton On Body (http://shop.cottonon.com/shop/body/). (That was a mouthful indeed). This presents problems, because, the main focus of the department stores is not to carry a huge array of bras, lingerie and accessories, which is understandable, so only a narow range of brands is showcased, and rarely accessories, corsets, bloomers, etc. The lower end of these carry from an 8AA (30AA) in training bras ONLY to an E cup in plus size bands, which, I suppose, means they are acknowledging a more diverse size bank clientele. But COME ON! what about D+ sizes, and 28 and 30 bands, and I mean not just in AA cups for juniors. Hell, little girls wearing wired bras should probably be given 26 (or even 24) bands if need be (and grownups for that matter). My first bra was a horrifically fitted 10B (32B) bra by Berlei (http://www.berlei.com.au/bras/shop-by-style/wire-free/first-wirefree-bra.html#80=65&142=521), from Myer, one of the two main 'respectable' department stores, fitted to me after a 10A Bonds bra was deemed 'too big' . Well DUH. I was a super-skinny 14 year old, more of a 24 or 26 band. As it is now, I am only 27" on my ribs. That bra HURT.

Myer (http://www.myer.com.au/) does carry 30 bands in D-G cup sizes, but only really in the CBD stores, not suburban branches (I do not think DJs does). Also, the fitters are only sporadically competent, ie, I have been fitted as an 8DD/E (30DD/E), which, at the time, was only a band size off, a 10D (32D), 6F (28F, which they didn't carry, and the fitter did not know where to buy) and a 10C (32C). Oh yeah, and that time a scary Russian fitter told me that the 8E Freya bra I was trying was "only for big breast lady". This was all at Myer. David Jones (http://shop.davidjones.com.au/djs/en/davidjones/women) apparently, (according to the website) carries 3 bras in 8DD/DDD. That's not even Australian sizing! Confusion!

So the high prices and store reputation convince buyers that hey are getting the right garment, when this is frequently not the case. Solution? Carry more bras in a bigger range of sizes! David Jones; Chantelle and Simone Perele have more sizes than you stock, and Myer' so do Freya and Elle McPherson. You are both stores that promise quality, so PLEASE deliver. Also, Myer, train your fitters more consistently. There is a misconception that a 'quality' fitter fitted you, and so the bra must fit. Obviously, this is not always the case. David Jones I have not been to in a while, not being impressed with my local branch, and the CBD store not having anything close to fitting me, so I can't comment of the fitters as of late.

Next are the two chain brands, Bras N Things, which is a less cheap, less pretty and less famous version of Victoria's Secret, and Cotton on Body. Bras N Things offers from an 8A (30A) to a 22G (42G), exhibiting this weird Australian G cup barrier. So their size range is pretty good for Australia. But the quality, to me, seems sort of cheap and scratchy looking and feeling. It is not sophisticated or elegant. Also, when I still fit the cups of 8E bras, I got a funny flattened look. So the quality isn't the best, and it can be expensive for what it is, occasionally a bra is $60 AUD or more (around the same in USD) full price. Meh. This brand has shops everywhere, but I do not think it is so swish.

Cotton on Body makes bras in 8A-C (30A-C), 10-12A-E and 14A-DD. I don't think either of these shops do a good job as dedicated lingerie shops. Solution? I am not going to advocate the abolition of chain stores, as I feel that, when offering a desirable commodity, they have as much of a place as independent designers, and can be dependable on offering basics and consistencies. What I would like is chain stores like Bravissimo (http://www.bravissimo.com/), Boux Avenue (http://www.bouxavenue.com/), and Rigby and Peller (http://www.rigbyandpeller.co.uk/). These stores are dedicated to lingerie, everywhere, and, in the first and last twos cases, carry a large range of brands. Boux Avenue caters to a younger, poorer clientele (like me), and is tacky, while also being pretty and over the top and, well, fun! *Cough, cough Australia!*

Lastly, boutiques. I think that all boutiques, unless specified as a 'large' or 'small' band shop, should carry bands from 28-42, or even higher. You  pay more at a boutique for a superior service and product, which is what you should be getting. Also, prices! In the department stores, bras, especially D-G ( an heaven help you if you are over a G cup), are usually over $50 or $60 dollars, at LEAST. In boutiques, this figure can become a 3 digit number, or close enough, sometimes for brands like Panache, Freya, and Curvy Kate. This makes boutiques obscenely expensive and completely unaffordable (which is why I buy online from the UK). I think that if boutiques were a little cheaper, even by 15-20%, they would be a lot more successful. Also, they really must stock 28 bands.

Xoxoxoxo
Princess

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wishlist of Whimsy

It is Sunday night, the house is dark and quiet; most people are in bed. Sleepy and bedtimely music is playing on YouTube, and I have to be up at 6 am tomorrow. I am compiling a vauge wishlist of what I fancy at the moment. Its mostly Mimi Holliday (http://www.damaris.co.uk/), because, really, what other brand would you want to wear whilst listening to Birdy (http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialBirdy)?

Without further ado:

.

The Bisou Bisou padded super plunge bra (http://www.damaris.co.uk/fully-padded-super-plunge-plunge-bra-silk-lace-bisou-bisou-cherie-ss13-60-mimi-holliday), in pink satin. It is ridiculously girly and pampered, like a french poodle. Speaking of French, The matching French Shorts are delectable



The Bisou L'Amor Super plunge bra in silk satin. It is delicate, whispy and so, so luxurious looking while still being affordable. And, um cleavage. (http://www.damaris.co.uk/bra-lingerie-mimi-holliday-silk-coral-mimi-holliday-ss13-300-bisou-bisou-lamour-lingerie)




The Bisou Bisou pearl lace silk satin maxi bra. This basically looks like a fuller coverage, unpadded longline (http://www.damaris.co.uk/maxi-bra-silk-lace-ss13-160lg-bisou-bisou-pearl-mimi-holliday). And the description cites thicker straps as a bonus.



The Bees Knees lace super plunge bra. I think the black and white is quite classic, and the higher white lace looks more supportive than other super plunge styles. I am not a fan of bunny imagery, however, I find it degrading. It can be found here : http://www.asos.com/au/Mimi-Holliday/Mimi-Holiday-Bees-Knees-Fully-Padded-Super-Plunge-Bra/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2635137

Nenah Bra
I HAD to include this Nenah bra by Lascivious. It is just so cool, with its cut outs. It is simultaneously bold, daring and very, very retro. I wouldn't even be able to fir into the 30DD, which is the nearest size to my own offered, but one can dream, right? (http://www.lascivious.co.uk/nenah-bra.html)



And...Back to Mimi Holliday. This Whizz Bang silk satin comfort bra is certainly not quite as cleavagey as the rest of the Mimi H bras I have been coveting. It nevertheless looks beautiful, young, a little wacky and very dreamy (not to mention comfortable) (http://www.damaris.co.uk/mimi-holliday-lace-fluoro-neon-wizz-bang-ss13-361-bows-fluro-summer-pink-green-silk). Windie reviews some Mimi H comfort bras on her blog, undiegamer; http://windiegardie.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/mimi-holliday-elferine-and-tinkerbell-comfort-bras-reviewed/.

SM Burek

The SM Burek, by Ewa Michalak. I love the pale, neutral colour tone that lets the detail of the bra become the focus. (http://www.ewa-michalak.pl/product-eng-430-SM-Burek-.html)

Night night.
Xoxoxoxo,
Princess


Sunday, 1 September 2013

White Sands Swimwear

wslogo
I confess that this is going to be a brief post, as I have been neglecting this blog for way too long, but still have SO MUCH FREAKING WORK waiting to be done. Nevertheless, I thought I should mention this Australian swimwear brand which I found out about last week through a friend (the owner is a relation of his). From what I can gather, it is a smaller brand that nevertheless makes quality, slightly indie pieces. In terms of sizing it seems to run small, which is good. I HATE it when vanity sizing sizes me out of bottoms. (Scroll to the bottom for pictures if words bore you)


XS

S
M

L
Australia
6
8
10
12
14
16
USA
2
4
6
8
10
12
UK
6
8
10
12
14
16
JAPAN
5
7
9
11
13
15
FRANCE
32
34
36
38
40
42

Measurements

BUST
75cm
29.5"
80cm
31.5"
85cm
33.5"
90cm
35.4"
95cm
37.4"
100cm
39.3"
WAIST
55cm
21.6"
60cm
23.6"
65cm
25.6"
70cm
27.5"
75cm
29.5"
80cm
31.5"
HIPS
80cm
31.5"
85cm
33.5"
90cm
35.4"
95cm
37.4"
100cm
39.3"
105cm
41.3"


However, I would probably have to go up to a M in the tops, which might make buying one-pieces harder for the more busty among us. The brand is having a sale ATM, and sets and one pieces are around $110 (even at half price, down from the $200 mark). Admittedly this is quite expensive (for me at least), but given the surge of birthday money I received, it might happen.

Here are some of my favourites:

The Celine set, for $100 AUD http://whitesandsaustralia.com/celine.html

The Juliette one-piece for $110 AUD http://whitesandsaustralia.com/juliette.html

The Jasmine Violet Floral set fr $109 AUD http://whitesandsaustralia.com/jasmine-violet-floral.html

The Erin Citrus for $60 AUD from their younger range, Sandi http://whitesandsaustralia.com/erin-full-piece-citrus.html

The Francis Gathered Maillot from the Sandi range, $40 AUD http://whitesandsaustralia.com/francis-gathered-mailott-posy-print.html

And last but not least, the Christelle dress. Though not actually swimwear, its a lovely all-grown-up version of little girl princess fashion, and I thought it deserved mention. http://whitesandsaustralia.com/christelle.html
Xoxoxoxo,
Princess