Lingerie: Avocado “Chloe Folie NF” in 70H

22 Sep

Even though autumn and winter are upon us, it is never a wrong time for basic coloured lingerie, something that most people call “nude” (which is a bit problematic as nude does not mean the same thing to everyone). Some work places require a white button-up as basic work attire, which is why you can never have too many skin-toned bras. When I first saw Avocado‘s Chloe Folie, I thought that this is a truly versatile yet pretty “nude bra” – it could probably work on multiple skin tones, from a fair skin like mine to deeper ashy tones. Avocado sent me this style in their NF style, which is a revised version of their old H-cut, where the straps attach to the bottom part of the cup. Here’s how I liked this delicate beauty…

dsc_0077dsc_0085
The Design:  I loved the colour combination of this set right from the start – it was a great pairing of greige (greyish beige) and deep magenta. The lace is delicate and who does not like the little tassels at the front? As a lingerie blogger, you start to get tired of the old bows, which is why the tassels were a nice surprising touch to the design. Regardless of the centre gore adornments and the lace, the style of Chloe Folie is quite simple and thus work appropriate. The lace is very thin, meaning you can wear it under regular shirts without it showing through too much. However, it is not a seamless t-shirt bra so you won’t get a “braless” look with it, if that is what you require from your everyday work bras!

The shape is rather similar to the old H-cut, but it seems to be a bit less covering and pointy and thus for me at least, a lot more practical. There is also quite a bit of uplift, but the one thing I don’t like that much is how the balconette shape splays my breasts to the sides a bit. I like my boobs “at the front” as they make me appear bigger than I am anyways. Keeping them as compact as possible makes me feel more comfortable and look the size I actually am rather than looking wide and frumpy. The one definite upside of the bra is that Avocado seems to be working with much stretchier materials these days and even though the the upper panel of the cup is not exactly stretch lace, the cups seem quite stretchy overall.

dsc_0082dsc_0091
The Fit: As I knew from my past experience with the Avocado NF-style, it would probably fit me nicely this time as well. I was right – my size still seems to be 70H with the NF style, but with the Chloe Folie, I would be wary of not picking a too tight band size. If you are between band sizes, definitely size up! This style is not as tight as the Lorca I reviewed recently, but it is still on the snugger side compared to my older Avocado bras.

The cups are still the perfect size for me, even on the roomier end of the H-cup which is excellent if you need deep cups. What kind of baffles me is the cup width-depth ratio; usually deep cups mean narrower wires whereas this Avocado style seems to be both quite deep AND wide. The underwires are a tad too wide for me personally, but I don’t find them pinching me in the armpit whatsoever.

When it comes to shape compatibility, my full-on-top breasts are definitely friends with Chloe Folie: the RV shape seems quite open at the top with this particular style and thus leaves me more room for my upper breast tissue, that sometimes can argue with a cup pattern like this. In general, I’d think this bra would suit many breast shapes if you are not bothered by the wideness of the cups.

dsc_0098dsc_0109
I know they look like a different colour but they are not! The lighting is playing its tricks on me – the real colour is more of a mixture of both of the pics shown above.

Comfort: I like this set a lot but there is one fundamental problem with it and I actually mentioned it before already: the band is a bit too small for me unfortunately. Not as much to make me want to size up a whole size, but maybe half a band size too snug. I can close the bra no problem, but the rigid band does not conform to my body very easily, which is why I haven’t worn the bra a lot during long days at work. Otherwise there are no comfort issues with the bra really: the tacking centre gore loosens quite quickly after a few wears and I especially like the width of the straps which are too widely placed for me personally, but still manage to feel good without any chafing.

The bottoms on the other hand are fantastic! I love that Avocado has brought the option of high-waisted panties into their selection and they have nailed it right away. I have to say though that the Medium is a bit too large for me, so if you are between two sizes, I would advice to size down with these. The rise of the panty is divine: it reaches my belly button and covers my butt well. A covering comfortable style yet still very attractive in my opinion!

If you would like to test the Chloe Folie set, you can find on the Avocado online store for 66,92€ for the bra (60-95 C-L, Avocado sizes) and 33,96€ for the full brief (XS-XXL). If these are not the shapes and styles you prefer personally, you can find the Chloe Folie in other Avocado styles as well. What do you think of the Chloe Folie? Have you tried the new Avocado styles recently? Let me know in the comments! xx

Beach-side Basics – Review of Bolero Beachwear Halter Retro Dress

6 Sep

I have to say starting work at a new company and a completely new branch of childcare (special needs kids) has had me facing a problem with work attire – I need to have something quite easy-going that can be washed with no problem, even several times a week. So you can imagine that stretchy jersey dresses have been a great option for me, especially as I work right next to a beach where we play with the kids on a daily-basis! When Bolero Beachwear came out with their halter dress a few months ago, I immediately knew this was the perfect work dress for the hottest days of summer, but also great for hanging around at a summer cabin and going for a girls night out on Fridays. Lucky me, the lovely Patricia who is the CEO of Bolero, decided to send me a dress to try for a blog review! Here are my thoughts on this Marilyn-esque little number… (Psst! Thank you miss T for taking the pics, I really appreciate it and love you forever <3)

DSC_0157DSC_0138DSC_0122

It’s pretty obvious that the Halter Retro dress got its inspiration from Da Queen, that is Marilyn Monroe. You know the iconic flashing scene with the white dress? I think you do! Instead of going for the classic white only, Patricia has come up with a few different colours and prints that the Halter Retro dress can be made in and obviously, as a big fan of classic styles and colours, I decided to go for my favourite colour, red.  The dress is made from a very stretchy and quite thin material, so it is perfect for the more active summer days when you don’t want to stress about being restricted by your clothes.

I received my dress in size Medium, but Bolero Beachwear is overall on the generous side of sizing, so I could have probably gone down to Small, which I wear with my Erica and Carmen dresses comfortably. The bodice is lined to make it more sturdy and the cuts of the top accommodate a large bust very well. The neckline of the dress is quite open but I still find it work appropriate in laid-back work environments, especially if you throw on a cardi like I did in the pics (this one is from Collectif). Bolero also make lovely little shrugs in basic colours so make sure to add some to your cart! As the dress must be worn with a strapless (mine is the Curvy Kate Luxe in 30H), there is not much cleavage and I quite like it that way. The top part of the dress covers my bra completely which is a huge upside when talking about a halter dress for big busts.

DSC_0125DSC_0135DSC_0152

One of the biggest selling points for Bolero Beachwear is the wearability and easiness of the clothes – they are easy to travel with, don’t require ironing and can be washed several times without losing colour. I simply cannot wear a lot of “Dry-clean only” clothes at work, as when I wash them in the machine, they don’t really like it that much. Also I can get pooped, pissed or puked on at work (yes, we work with babies too!) so I need to have something that I can clean with ease immediately. This is the reason I love Bolero for: there is no hassle if I drop something on my dress or a child gets messy – my Bolero dresses simply don’t get ruined (unless it’s foundation or something equally tricky that stains all clothes!).

In addition to being easy, I have found some great wardrobe staples from Bolero – my Erica and Carmen dresses get a lot of wear as they can be dressed up and down and worn through the year with some tights and cardis to make them more versatile in cold weather. This is why I usually choose the most classic colours and prints when it comes to basic dresses such as the Halter dress – so that they could be easily adapted to my pinup style and will look good after years and years of use.

DSC_0113DSC_0144

I am all for team Wear-Whatever-the-Fuck-You-Want (as my dear friend Jessica put it), but if you are wondering who this dress would be for, I would say it suits very well someone who is either an hourglass shape or top heavy, as the top part of the dress is clearly designed for a fuller bust but also for a wider back. I found myself pulling the back up a few times when wearing the dress, as the Medium might be a tad too large for me. If you have a wide back and a big boobs though, this is the dress for you! I usually find every other dress too snug for me in that area, which is why I was amazed how roomy the dress is for a quarter-back built girl like me, haha.

To be honest, I don’t really have anything bad to say about this dress – it is comfy, looks great and has pockets! What more can a girl hope for?! I think it pretty much tells it all that I didn’t have time to photograph this dress before yesterday, as I wore it through the whole summer (it was probably my most worn dress for three months) and it was in the wash all the freaking time (oops, so sorry, Pat…)! The Halter Retro dress costs $120 which is a bit up there, but personally I feel it is worth the splurge. These garments are made locally in USA and thus cost a lot more to make than your average China dress. They are also made with love to achieve the highest quality and fit a fuller bust like a dream. What’s not to like! If you want to shop Bolero, take a look at their online store, here.

Bespoke Corsetry: Review of Vollers Made-to-Measure Corset

31 Aug

There is nothing like getting a lingerie item made to your own specific measurements: it feels like the ultimate luxury, having something so close to your body fit like a dream. So you can imagine my delight when the legendary Vollers Corset Company contacted me and asked if I wanted to review a corset from their selection. Of course I did! Knowing I wouldn’t fit into the measurements of their regular overbust corsets, we immediately decided to have a corset made to my measurements specifically. I was over the moon! After a couple of weeks of making my corset and sending it to me in a lovely luxurious wrapping, I finally placed my paws on this beautiful garment. As corsets take time to test, I have owned this piece for a few months now but I hope I can be a bit more thorough with my review because of that.

DSC_0381DSC_0391
The Design: I wished for something similar to the Eye Candy corset as it was a classic sweetheart neckline with a Jessica Rabbit-ish look to it! I had seen a couple of other bloggers wearing similar styles and had fallen head over heels in love with it. I also really wanted an overbust corset, as that was something quite impossible for me when buying corsets off-the-rack – so it was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity. I would say that the Eye Candy style is more of a quarter-bust style as it does NOT cover even half of my bust. I know my bust is quite big to be contained in an overbust corset, but it is also a matter of breast shape; my bust has a lot of fullness on the top part of it (ie above the areola) which means there will be naturally more overflow with these sort of corset styles.

I had no idea what colour my corset would be, but I wished for something golden, as I thought is was a great colour for both spring and autumn and would fit perfectly under a little black or red dress during the Christmas party season. The Vollers team decided to make my wish come true and paired the gold with a classic black. The laces are black to be as modest as possible and the golden grommets are carefully hidden with an extra fabric trim at the front. The curve of the corset is quite impressive which is always a huge upside when it comes to corsets – however, if you want something extra curvy and decide to go for bespoke Vollers corset, I would advice you to give the design team a bit smaller waist measurement than you actually have. This will ensure you can tight-lace and even waist train in your corset and won’t have to change your corset size too soon.

The lower part of the corset is not my favourite style though – the rounded “hem” makes my belly look more rounded than it is and does not flatter my body type the best way. I would have probably needed something a bit more straight/horizontal line to fit my body – now the hem of the corset curves upwards at the sides which is not ideal on my body, as I would love some compression and definition especially on my upper hip/lower belly area.

DSC_0385DSC_0413
The Fit: The corset I received features 16 steel bones, ten panels , a waist tape and five busk closures to close it at the front. As I knew better with this corset, it being my second, I knew that I had to close it at the front starting from the middle busk closures and then working my way up/down from there. This corset was a lot easier to close and open compared to the True Corset which I reviewed here – I think that might have had something to do with the Vollers corset being an inch or so bigger at the waist, which made it easier to loosen it up before trying to put it on. As this corset is made to my very own measurements, I could choose the size between regular corsets sizes 24 and 26, which made the waist size absolutely perfect for me. I only wear corsets for special occasions, so I won’t be closing the back anytime soon, but as this is the right size for me, I can still tighten the corset the way it won’t show any skin under the modesty panel.

My biggest gripe with this corset, as with the previous one from True Corset as well, is that  it is undoubtedly too short for me. I have an extremely long torso that would need a suuuuper longline-style corset, which the Vollers corset unfortunately is not. This is a preference thing though – some like their corsets short and sweet, whereas I like mine to go seamlessly across my whole upper body. I feel like the shortness of the corset is pushing my middle body fat towards my lower belly and thus creating more bulk there, which is not the most desirable affect, especially with wiggle-style dresses. Also, it gives me less boob coverage when being so short, as I can’t hike the corset up more and risking my lower body having even less coverage.

The first and foremost question we need to ask with this piece is however, does it support my boobs? Well, in short, it really does. If you scroll down to the last picture of this review, you can see me wearing the corset under my Collectif Dolores dress without a bra on. The corset gives me a very Marie Antoinette like shape – kind of like a shelf-boob – but there is no discomfort with the bust flopping around or moving painfully inside my dress. The cups are big enough to hold all the volume of my lower breasts and there are no unsightly bulges to make people guess I have crammed myself into a too-small OTR corset. It doesn’t flatten me out either but makes my waist and bust ratio look deliciously curvy.

DSC_0401DSC_0134
These pics have been taken a few months apart – this means there may be some slight changes to my body and how the corset looks on it.

Comfort: This one is always a bit tricky for me when it comes to reviewing corsets – some people claim good corsets are never uncomfortable and you will be able to breathe pretty normally with one on. To be honest, this is not the case with me. Even with a bespoke corset, I have hard time wearing it for several hours as it constricts my breathing, movement and eating habits. Disclaimer: don’t eat a normal warm meal when wearing a corset! It will instantly make you feel sick and you will need to take your corset off, especially if you are a beginner. As someone who lost her corset virginity only a few months ago, I cannot say for sure if the comfiness aspect will improve over months of wear, but I am pretty sure me and corsets are not meant to be full-time lovers. I also think this is a lot due to my ribcage shape which is very protruding and thus fights the shape of the corset. However, bones are flexible and will get used to corseting over time.

The materials of my Vollers corset are definitely premium quality and feel good against a bare skin – I know you are supposed to wear a liner or a cami of some kind to prevent your corset from greasing and getting sweaty, but I don’t wear them for a full day ever, so I am not too concerned about that. With my Vollers corset, I can clearly see that the quality is overall supreme, and it is lovingly stitched to the very last detail to make its wearer feel extra special.

Overall, my experience with the Vollers bespoke service was excellent, even though I forgot to mention a few details that would have helped them to create an even better fitting garment for my body type per se. If you are looking to have something made just for you, make sure to tell them each detail that they would need to take into consideration when it comes to your corset. Bespoke corsets cost always a bit more than their OTR equivalents, so make sure that the makers have all the information they need – this will ensure that at the end, you will have a perfect luxury product for your special occasions.

If you are looking to invest in a reasonably priced, well-made made-to-measure or off-the-rack corset, I would be happy to recommend Vollers for both purposes and budgets. You can find their look book here and  get an idea what would suit your body the best way. To have a corset especially made for you, you can contact Vollers by email. However, they do offer most of their corsets in sizes 18″-38″ which is a very impressive size range on its own. Have you ever considered buying a bespoke corset? After this review, would you be tempted to? Let me know in the comments! xx

Late Summer Offerings from Signature by After Eden – Review of “Bilbao” & “Alicante” in 70G

23 Aug

Hi everyone! How are things on that side of the screen? I am all good just been extremely busy taking part in my first pinup pageant (which went decently, I was the 1st runner up!) and settling back to work. I must say, working with special needs kids can drain the life out of you at times. This is why I have been battling a lot with how to use my time between a full-time job, starting my uni work for this year, seeing friends and keeping up with my hobbies as well. Now everything is getting back to routine so I have more energy to blog again. Hope that makes you as happy as it makes me!

Today I will be bringing you a couple of lovely styles from the SS16 collection of Signature by After Eden, Bilbao and Alicante. The SS16 collection at Signature included two colour schemes, pink and blue which were kind of two different collections altogether. I wanted to introduce you to a set from both of these collections, so here goes! *These sets were generously provided by Signature. All opinions are our own.*

DSC_0015DSC_0031DSC_0064DSC_0056
The Design: As per usual, Miss E will be assisting me with the review so be so kind to welcome her back to the blog! I picked out two sets that felt appropriate for her age and preferences (young, laid-back & fun!) and decided to go for Bilbao (the blue plunge bra) and Alicante (the pink strapless balconette). These styles are incredibly appropriate for summer – the first one being a great option under low cut tops and the other under strapless and spaghetti strap tops. The colours are light yet not too cutesy and pastel-y – the shades of pink and blue remain vibrant and look gorgeous against a tanned skin. These t-shirt bras are adorned with a moderate amount of lace and thus are perfect for everyday wear.

The profile of both of the bras is very rounded and looks a bit similar to most American bras, to be honest – American women are known to love rounded padded t-shirt bras which is why I am wondering whether Signature will be expanding their sales to other parts of the world in the future. These bras are also very appropriate for young girls in general – they are not overtly sexy or super-padded but have a lightly padded moulded cups that give you modesty and a nice shape under most of your clothes. The bra is also constructed to be supportive for a fuller bust as it includes both a wider band and sturdy fully-adjustable straps to give you a better overall fit.

DSC_0019DSC_0026DSC_0032DSC_0041
The Fit: I asked for the samples in Miss E’s regular Signature bra size 70G (32F in UK sizes) but exchanged the bottom size from Medium to Small as she preferred a snugger fit. The Signature bras run a tiny bit large in the cup, which is why the bra cups are gaping a bit on E’s smaller boob. However, I would always advice to choose your bra size according to your bigger boob which is why I wouldn’t have gone smaller in the cup with these bras anyway. However, if there were an option of 65H, I would definitely give that one a try as Miss E is more of a 30 band than a 32. Signature makes very few 65/30 bands at the moment as they are targeting their full-figured customers more, which is a bit of shame on our behalf. Wearing the band on the second tightest set of hooks works pretty well for E though, so we are not complaining that much.

I would say Miss E is a full-allover shaped gal, which is why she would perhaps need a tad more space in the bottom part of the bra cups; this makes me think Signature would probably suit better someone who has more full-on-top boobs. However, the denting on the bottom of the cups (the so-called orange-in-a-glass phenomenon when your boobs can’t sit at the bottom of your cups as there is not enough space) is not super bad and in my opinion, isn’t even a crucial thing to note when talking about a fit of a bra. What does matter more, in my opinion, is how the wires sit on your body – as you can see, both of the bras tack Miss E’s sternum at the front and encase all her breast tissue, which is important when trying to avoid migrated breast tissue. With the Alicante the wires are significantly taller though, which is discussed more in the comfort section of this review.

DSC_0029DSC_0047
Comfort: As with the very first review we ever did on Signature, there is significant difference in comfort level when it comes to these bras. Signature still has a challenge in front of them: how to make their balconette bras more comfortable and yet still supportive. The problem with Alicante is simple – the straps are placed way too widely on the shoulders and the underwires come too high up at the sides, which makes a non-working combination that rubs the heck out of your armpits. Personally, I think the strap placement could be fixed pretty easily, so maybe that could be something to consider in the design team. However, as a strapless, the Alicante works well and does its job without sliding down and rolling around.

The Bilbao on the other hand works well in all circumstances and stays comfortable during the day without the strap placement issue. Besides that, both of the bras are crafted lovingly from the softest materials, made with amazing supportive bands (with four sets of hooks and eyes I might add!) and easily adjusting straps. They work well for both plus size and more petite gals, as well as tall and short girls who benefit from the fully-adjustable straps. The panties are comfy and gorgeous as well and are great for everyday wear; even though they are not completely seamless, they are a nice basic pattern that gives them a flattering shape and a sturdy feel.

Both of these sets are ON SALE right now, so if you live in Netherlands, you can snatch the Alicante set up for a mere 31€ and the Bilbao set for 33,50€. If you live somewhere else, 4AllWomenLingerie ships worldwide and offers a wide selection of Signature! The sizes go from 70D to 100G, S-XXXL. How do you feel about molded t-shirt bras such as Alicante and Bilbao? Do you prefer non-padded bras like me? Let me know in the comments below! xx

Lingerie Review: Avocado “RV Lorca” in 70H + GIVEAWAY WINNERS ANNOUNCED

15 Aug

Avocado is one of those brands that if you like the kind of classic European style lingerie with great materials and high quality, you are destined to find THE bra from their collection. Their e-shop is also full of different bra shapes that can be matched to pretty much any breast shape out there, no matter if your boobs are more full on top or bottom. Today I am introducing you to a fairly new style, RV as in Round Versatile, developed in the massive revision of all the Avocado patterns that took place about a year or so ago. I got my hands on a prototype of the model back then, but as it wasn’t the final product, we decided not to review it on the blog. Now, I am happy to tell you all the details, so keep reading! *This bra was generously provided by Avocado, all opinions are my own!*

DSC_0109DSC_0118
The Design: The RV is supposed to be the style replacing the old A-shape, which was quite rounded, yet a bit flattening (which was something I actually liked about it!). This style on the other hand is meant to give more forward projection, which is something most full-bust ladies can appreciate. The straps are attached to the top part of the three-part constructed cups and the shape of the bra is a true balconette. In my opinion, this style really challenges the good old Panache “Jasmine” which is a cult favourite among bra bloggers and full-bust customers alike. If you are looking for the same projected yet rounded shape in a more luxe wrapping, I would definitely recommend Lorca in RV!

The Lorca style is absolutely beautiful and even though we are not in Xmas season yet (though it’s definitely autumn in Finland already) this is a piece I could see succeeding especially well later in the autumn as a festive piece under the LBD. It’s lightweight and looks gorgeous under tight-fitting dresses but also works as a wow-piece to wear in the boudoir. The delicate stretch lace with the hues of bluish grey finish off the set beautifully and make the set fit far better than it would have with more rigid embroidery.

DSC_0125DSC_0131
The Fit: I know it’s a big promise to say this bra fits similarly to Jasmine, but it is the truth. Except for sizing, as that is again quite unique to Avocado and I would always suggest consulting their size chart to find out your perfect fit with them. I am wearing my regular Avocado size 70H in the pics and again, it was a good choice for me. I do have to say though that the band with Lorca seems more like a 65 band so it runs almost a size smaller than my other Avocado bands (or perhaps half a size). Do size up if you are between band sizes!

The cups are absolutely perfect for me size and depth-wise. They contain all my breast tissue but are also a tiny bit too wide and the underwire ends up too far in my armpit with the RV-shape. I have noticed a slight difference with Avocado’s wire width since the revision, and to be honest, I would personally prefer the older wires as they were the perfect fit for me. However, you can’t always have it all. The cups would probably fit both FOB and FOT breasts as the top part is made completely out of stretch lace, which accommodates a plethora of breast shapes and even a-symmetry.

DSC_0110DSC_0140
Comfort: As the bra band is a tiny bit too tight for me, I am not sure whether it is quite fair to even review the bra’s comfort level. I would love to say it is absolutely heaven on me but you know how it is with too-tight bands – they try to strangle you and with a bra this beautiful you stay in that abusive relationship and keep wearing the set for pretty’s sake. As a result, you get a stabby centre gore and nasty red marks on your body (which are btw not always painful but in this case, you bet they are). However, the materials are heavenly and I really appreciate the stretch lace which always adds up to the comfort level of a bra. Just remember to go up a band size with this and you will fine, as it is a well-designed bra with fully adjustable straps and all.

The Lorca bra came with a classic brief in size Medium which was a bit too large on me even though I was recommended a Medium or even a Large in Avocado back in the day when I asked them about the fit of their panties. However, I have come to the conclusion that Small is a far better option for me with their bottoms as these sag a tiny bit at the front when I wear them. Other than that, the Lorca classic briefs are a very flattering style with the perfect rise for me personally (not as low as Cleo yet not that unflattering mid cookie pouch style). They are also made of the same comfortable high quality materials as the bra and contour perfectly to my curvy backside without any muffin top or cutting into my butt.

The Lorca set can be bought at the Avocado online shop, here. The bra comes in sizes 60-95 C-K and retails for 64,12 €. The classic briefs come in XS-XXL and set you back with 22,12 €. Avocado ships internationally so even if you are not Polish, you will have no problem getting your hands on their beautiful lingerie!

Now for the fun part! I have yet to announce the Curvy giveaway winners, so here they are. *drum roll*

The Australian winner of a set of their choice is… Kath!

The international winner of a set of their choice is… Victoria T.!

Congrats for both of you! The winners have been emailed and you have exactly one week to get back to me to claim your prize. I would like to thank everyone who took part in the giveaway and may the odds be ever in your favour, so maybe next time😉 To conclude this post, I would like to ask a small favour from everyone who have read this far: would you mind liking THIS picture on Facebook and thus voting me as the next Miss Midnight Sun Pinup? This is my first pinup pageant and I am super nervous yet excited. If you would be so kind to cast me a vote, I would be more than grateful❤ TIA!

The Ultimate Lingerie Tradeshow Guide – What to Know about Visiting Tradeshows?

25 Jul

For a while now I have been thinking of putting up my own guide for visiting tradeshows – mainly as a blogger but if you are interested in visiting one as a guest too, there might be some interesting points in this post for you. Or, perhaps you just want an insight to what it is like to be a lingerie blogger visiting tradeshows! In my post I will be telling you about the two tradeshows I have visited so far, Moda in Birmigham and SIL in Paris – and telling you the tips and tricks of visiting your favourite brands and making connections with them. Let’s get on with it then! *Disclosure: this post was inspired by an old post created for the Bosom Bloggers (an online bra blogger group I am still part of) site, which has since gone down and is no longer available on the internet. However, these are merely my opinions and views on the tradeshow experience and thus this post is by no means a copy of the original Bosom Bloggers’ tradeshow post*

Tip # 1: Meet other bloggers, if possible  I started visiting lingerie tradeshows, mostly Moda in Birmingham NEC centre, in February 2014. I was living in UK as an exchange student and thought I had the perfect opportunity to go and see my fave brands exhibiting and after all, it was only a few hours in a train or even a bus from Liverpool to Brum. The first time I visited I was completely alone, a little bit hesitant and intimidated by the big brands but luckily, got to meet a couple of other bloggers as well, Becky and Cheryl from Invest in Your Chest. I had always admired these girls and was ecstatic to meet them in flesh finally! They also gave me the confidence boost to talk to brands without hesitation and they acted as a safety blanket when I talked to other industry professionals (such as editors of Lingerie Insight!) and just browsed the show.

After that one time I was hooked and wanted to come back for another round of beautiful lingerie, and yet again, I was looking for a partner in crime – but also a place to stay at. To be honest, I am usually poor as fuck and I cannot afford any fancy hotels which usually leads me to booking a cheap hostel or asking a friend for a couch. This is how I met the lovely Anna from Bras and Body Image! We belonged to the same bra blogger Facebook group and I noticed that she was studying in Birmingham University – so it suddenly occurred to me that if I was cheeky enough, I could probably ask if she would accommodate me for a couple of night. Well, the lovely person that Anna is, she agreed to the deal and since then we have seen each other every six months over fabulous lingerie, huge cocktails and delicious pub food. Anna is a true friend and who knew we would like all the same things: pinup dresses, Disney (we went to Disneyland together last January!), Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, food and wine.

DSC_0422
DSC_0799
Bitches slaying it in Paris! We cute. 

Tip # 2: If you are a blogger, register for a press pass (in time!) – This is vitally important if you want to have the advantages of sitting in the front row of the runway, taking pics at the show and using the press lounge. The rules and advantages that come with the press pass differ from show to show, but it is very common that you won’t be able to take photographs without the press pass. If you have a blog, you are automatically entitled to register as press, you just need to have an active website for it and a reason to visit the show (eg previewing the collections and taking pics for blog posts). The press pass is free of charge, but if you don’t have a publication nor a lingerie business, you will have to register as a visitor which costs a bit. However, if you are a true lingerie/fashion enthusiast, it is not a big amount to pay and it truly is a great experience.

As said, registering as press has its own advantages – sometimes it’s the way people treat you with the pass (champagne and strawberries!), but there is also usually a free press lounge to use during your visit. What the press lounge includes is a whole different matter though as that differs from show to show; personally, I prefer the Moda press lounge as it is more quiet but also filled with tiny snacks, Cadbury’s chocolate and free wine. There is nothing like a pre-show nibble and a taste of cheap wine! At the SIL show however, there were only a few mini croissants and orange juice, which were still a nice extra when looking for a quick snack. There were also fancy computers ready to be used if you wanted to blog on-site – but personally I wouldn’t suggest that if you want to see the whole show in less than three days.

The way people treat you as press depends entirely on the brand though – some see press as some sort of royals who need extra attention, some treat them as parasites who try to spread their designs for bigger brands to steal (which is absolutely not true, stop being paranoid!). Every now and then (usually the French brands) deny us from photographing the collections but the worst is the chilly behaviour towards bloggers – so to save you from too much regret, don’t even bother to try and get an appointment with those brands. They simply don’t deserve your time.

DSC_0618DSC_0720

Tip # 3: Make a plan and set up appointments with the biggest brands – It’s super important to know which brands you want to see and which you may want to see if you have extra time. At the beginning of the show there will be people handing out floor plans and brand guides, which are handy when you are trying to figure out an order to go by and see the brands you like. However, I would suggest browsing through the tradeshow website long before the show and trying to make a list of interesting brands before you actually enter the exhibition halls. This way you can save time and even make appointments in time for the show.

Email the biggest brands at least (eg Panache, Lepel and Gossard) and try to set up a meeting so you will be sure to talk to the brand reps about the collections. Many brands are super busy and with a big collection you will need time from half an hour to a full hour to review the whole collection and take pics of the models. Try to plan the meetings at a convenient time too, so not too early in the morning (if your train is late) or too close to the runway shows, so you can make it to them as well. Sitting at the front row of the runway is seriously rad even in a small show, so I strongly suggest you won’t miss that experience!

Tip # 4: Dress to impress, be polite and show real interest – Giving a good first impression is always important. I know in the first Bosom Bloggers blog post about tradeshows the writer says not to worry about your outfit as the exhibitors are far more interested in impressing the buyer, but I need to disagree here. Your outfit is something that catches the eye and also the exhibitors’ attention, so I wouldn’t overlook that. Two pinup girls browsing around the show is a far more interesting sight than two casual press members dressed in jeans and t-shirts! However, don’t gamble on your comfort too much – the tradeshow days are long and sweaty so don’t wear anything too thick or long-sleeved even in the winter as the exhibition halls get pretty warm throughout the day. Also, invest in comfy yet nice-looking shoes that will go with any outfit. You will be walking, A LOT.

In addition to looking sharp, I need to address something that may be obvious to some: shake people’s hands firmly, make eye contact and smile. Don’t spare your kind words on the collections! I don’t mean you need to be all brown-nosed and suck up to people, but if you really like something, say it out loud. It makes a good impression and will make people remember you as a nice blogger, not someone who is stuck up and just wants free stuff. However, if someone tells you to straight up write about their brand, you are definitely allowed to suggest a product review so that both of  you win. You don’t owe free blog coverage to anyone!

DSC_0118DSC_0199DSC_0256

Tip # 5: Load your camera batteries in time and have spare SD cards – This is something that Anna forgets at times, haha! But seriously, you need to have a full battery and a BIIIIG SD card for your camera as there will be pics galore even after just one day. On average, I take around 700 pics at the show in one single day, which is a lot. The catwalk show alone takes a huge slot in my SD card as I take multiple pics of each “outfit” and want to make sure the models look nice in the pics. Also be aware of you camera settings; the lighting in the tradeshow halls may not be the best and you may want to use manual settings because of that. I just learned to use mine, so I hope to take better pics next time!

Take too many pics rather than too few – you will regret not photographing that one set when you get back home! Also remember to take selfies and pics of other fun stuff so you will have some memories from the show other than just pretty undies.

Tip # 6: Take notes – This is my vice – I never remember to take a notebook and then I forget important stuff I should have written in my blog posts. This is something I will correct this time and I will be sure to take a notebook and pen with me to save all the important little details for you, my dear readers! Anna always takes notes and thus she comes up with more detailed Moda posts than mine when I concentrate purely on “ooh isn’t this pretty” sorts of things, haha! What is most important is to write down any new changes with the styles or new innovations the brands has come up with, so your readers will know what to expect from the upcoming season.

DSC_0242DSC_1120DSC_1129

Tip # 7: Hand business cards out like a mad man – First of all, get yourself a big pile of business cards that represent you and your blog the best. I still have business cards from autumn 2014 but they are pretty and do the job well. This is first and foremost a way for people to remember you – so design a card of your own with a pic/logo that can instantly be attached to you. I personally have a pinup-y pic of me with a subtle bra peek somewhere in there, but not a full-on lingerie pic as that would be too much for my taste at least. I hand them out to everyone new I meet at the tradeshow and sometimes to old friends as well, just as a reminder. They have been pretty effective so far – just remember to put your blog address and contact details on it so you can be found easily! Also, don’t forget to take part in all the post-show shenanigans, as those are great places to spread the word too in an atmosphere that is not too official (plus, MORE FREE WINE).

Tip # 8: Remember to email some of the brands after the show – So you have seen the show, enjoyed the champagne and strawberries, and you camera SD is full of great pics of your favourite ensembles. Don’t leave it that way and just post about the collections randomly. I would suggest emailing some of your favourite brands and thanking them for seeing you and showing you through the collection. They will appreciate it and thus be in touch with you when the time comes – perhaps they remember you raving about a certain set and will send it your way. Who knows! Keeping in touch with the brands is a crucial part of being a blogger and after they have put a face on your blog, it is so much easier to keep the conversation going.

Have you been to a lingerie tradeshow before? How did you like it? If not, are you planning to attend one sometime in the future? The next shows are happening on July 31st- August 2nd at CurveNY (New York), August 15th- 17th at CurveNV (Las Vegas) and August 7th-9th at Moda UK (Birmingham). If you are intrigued, please take the plunge and browse the show – you won’t regret it!

Lingerie Review: Ewa Bien B132 “Fantasi” in 65E

17 Jul

In the full-bust industry you rarely bump into anything truly different – the last time that happened to me was when Playful Promises launched their D+ collection last winter. When Ewa Bien sent me their new SS16 catalog I was super excited for one style in particular – the Fantasi. Even though I could not wear any of their bras as I am just outside the size range, I knew I needed to see this beauty on someone – so I practically told Jo this is a set she needed to review, no discussion of it. Luckily, she agreed with me that this was something super unique and the whole thing was settled! Here’s how we liked the B132 Fantasi in Black… *Diclosure: This bra was generously provided by Ewa Bien. All opinions are our own!*

DSC_0008DSC_0025
The Design: The B132 Fantasi is a soft non-padded balconette bra which is made out of a thin embroided fabric with a touch of heavy black strapping and piping. This cage-style bra shows under almost any top or a dress, so it is definitely not for the faint-hearted! The cups are also completely see-through which may be a downside for some – but then again, if you minded see-through cups, you probably wouldn’t be opting for this set anyways!

The cups of the soft balconette are constructed of two parts that connect with one vertical seam. This is very common structure in smaller sizes when it comes to balconette constructions but can also be made in bigger cups, like with this Avocado bra I recently reviewed. This style of balconette gives two cakes on a plate -style cleavage and leaves room for fuller breast tissue at the top. This style is a bit too open at the top for Jo, but it still looks fantastic, especially as a boudoir piece.

DSC_0041DSC_0045
The Fit: We first requested the Fantasi in 65F just like with the other Ewa Bien bras we have reviewed so far. However, this one ran a whole cup size large, so we ended up swapping it for 65E which is a rough equivalent to 30DD in UK sizes. This is a size Jo wears with Gossard, so it’s safe to say you need to size down in the cups with this particular style. The shape of the cups is very open at the top too, which is not ideal for Jo’s full-on-bottom breasts and still leaves the cups gaping a bit. This bra is meant for more “night-out”  purposes, so this was not a huge issue, but if you are more FOB and looking for an everyday bra, you might want to skip the B132 shape altogether.

The bra band of the B132 Fantasi on the other hand was a bit firmer than with the previous Ewa Bien styles Jo tried. This was a positive surprise, as Jo is very petite and usually would require a 28-band instead of 30. However, it is still a bit loose on her and if there were an option of 28/60 band, she would definitely want to go for that. The wires of the B132 were quite perfect for Jo though, which makes this bra a better fit for her that it otherwise would be. There is also just the right amount of space at the bottom of the cups, so I would say this bra is perfect for those with a narrow-to-average breast root and breasts that are evenly full allover.

DSC_0051DSC_0010
Comfort: As the B132 Fantasi is a completely see-through style with a thin yet sturdy cup material, it is an ideal bra for the hottest of summer months. The elastics that form the caging on the decolletage are very stretchy and move around easily with the body and the metal parts are high quality, so no itchiness there at all either. The straps are fully adjustable, which is always an upside especially if you have a longer or shorter than average torso length. As said before, the wires are also just the right length for Jo, which is always a big factor when it comes to your bra’s comfort level.

The bottoms are very innovative with a strappy kind of styling and a higher rise that reaches the middle of what we call the “cookie pouch”. I would have personally preferred them a bit higher if I was wearing them, but Jo really enjoyed them this way as well. All of the Ewa Bien panties we both have tried have come up quite small so that is something I would consider hard when opting for you panty size – especially with a style like this, which may create some bulges on the hips if you are wearing a too-small size. Jo is wearing a size Small in the pics and she usually goes for XS with most brands, so go at least a size up with the bottoms, if not two (especially with more rigid materials, such as rigid mesh). Overall the set is a comfortable and beautiful ensemble, which may not be your most practical for work etc, but suits perfectly your date nights, girls-nights-out and boudoir occasions.

The Fantasi set can be bought on Ewa Bien online store and the bra (sizes 65-80 B-G) will set you back at 199 pzl, the strappy bottoms (S-XL) retail for 105 pzl. In total it makes about 70€ which is a reasonable price for such a gorgeous set! What do you think of risque styles like this – see-through cups and all? Let me know in the comments! xx

CurvyGirlThin

a curvy girl's exploits in the wardrobe

Lucy's Corsetry

A Comprehensive Source for all things Corsets, Waist Training and Tightlacing

The Lazy Lingerie Blog

A blog about lingerie, bra fit and all things D+. A love letter to lace, dresses and pinup lifestyle.

For the perfect fit and beyond...

Thigh Highs and Glitter

A blog about lingerie, bra fit and all things D+. A love letter to lace, dresses and pinup lifestyle.

The Lingerie Addict: Lingerie Fashion Blog

The Lingerie Addict is a fashion blog dedicated to lingerie. TLA is the best place to discover for new designers, fresh trends, style guides, and shopping advice - all with a focus on intimate apparel.

Sweet Nothings

Everyone deserves a little sweetness.

Big Cup Little Cup

UK Lingerie Blog

brogwithadog

your local lingerie blogger, on a mission to find bras and pet dogs along the way.

the musings of Renzilla

My thoughts one blog post at a time

The Petite Collegiate

A fit focused love affair with lingerie

Becky's Boudoir

Lingerie and Lifestyle Blog

A blog about lingerie, bra fit and all things D+. A love letter to lace, dresses and pinup lifestyle.

Junebugs and Georgia Peaches: The Adventures of Modern June Cleaver + Amelia Jetson

A blog about lingerie, bra fit and all things D+. A love letter to lace, dresses and pinup lifestyle.

Bras and Body Image

One girl's perspective on boobs, bodies, self-image and society

Kupista asiaa

A blog about lingerie, bra fit and all things D+. A love letter to lace, dresses and pinup lifestyle.

Fuller Figure Fuller Bust

A UK plus size fashion and lingerie blog with a little extra padding.