Tag Archives: full-bust bras

Sivutyöstä täyspäiväiseksi naisyrittäjäksi: Lumingerien 10 vuotta – From a Side Job to Full Time Female Entrepreneurship: 10 years at Lumingerie

11 Feb

Suomessa alusvaateala on aina ollut marginaalissa: jokaisella suurella kaupungilla ja joskus jopa pienemmälläkin pitäjällä on oma pieni putiikkinsa, jonka kapasiteetti usein riittää tarjoamaan kokoja n. G-kuppiin asti, ja vuokrien ollessa kalliit ja tilojen pienet kivijalkakauppiaana alalla on vaikea menestyä. Alusvaateverkkokaupat ovatkin olleet monen isorintaisen pelastus: kokoja löytyy huomattavasti enemmän ja merkkivalikoimasta löytyy paljon muutakin kuin perinteistä Primadonnaa.

Ensimmäinen suomalainen alusvaateverkkokauppa, johon itse blogiurani alussa (eli n. 5 vuotta sitten) tutustuin, oli omassa kaupungissani Oulussa varastoa pitävä Lumingerie. Lumingerien valikoimassa itselläni sykähdytti tutut nuorekkaat merkit kuten Curvy Kate, Freya ja Cleo by Panache, joita pääsinkin jossain vaiheessa blogiarvostelujen merkeissä testaamaan Lumingerielle. Yhteistyöstä kehittyi ystävyys, ja jossain vaiheessa myös työpaikka, jossa pääsen tänäkin päivänä toteuttamaan omaa intohimoani asiakaspalveluun ja alusvaatteisiin.

Lumingerie on monelle edelleen alusvaatejälleenmyyjänä uudempi nimi ja moni yllättyykin, kun kerromme asiakkaillemme, että yritys on ollut pystyssä jo aika lailla tasan kymmenen vuotta! Haastattelinkin Lumingerien perustajaa ja omistajaa Merviä yrityksen kymmenestä vuodesta ja siitä, minkälaista on ollut olla naisyrittäjä alusvaatealalla Suomessa.

English: The Finnish lingerie market is a tough one – many small boutiques don’t have the capacity to cater for bigger cup sizes than G as the rents are high and store spaces are small. 

I became familiar with a Finnish e-commerce shop Lumingerie in the beginning of my lingerie blogging career and instantly fell in love with their vast selection of young and fun D+ brands. Even better, the storage was located in my town, which meant after a couple of blog collaborations with the company I was invited for tea and to see what the whole thing was about. I was so excited! That very summer in 2014 I got my summer job at Lumingerie and since then, I continue my story with them today as a CS for the company.

Lumingerie was founded exactly 10 years ago, which is a great achievement for lingerie retailer in Finland! Today I have interviewed the founder and owner Mervi about her success as a female entrepreneur in the industry.

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Mervi Modan alusvaatemessuilla Birminghamin NEC-keskuksessa / Mervi at Moda lingerie exhibition in NEC-centre, Birmingham.

Mistä lähti ajatus verkkokaupan perustamiseen ja miten yrityksen perustamisprosessi eteni? / How did you start your business and what was the process like?

-Kirjoitin pro gradu -tutkielmaani vuoden 2007 lopussa ja lähdin samalla yrittäjyyskurssille kotikunnassani Lumijoella. Pääaineeni yliopistossa oli tietojenkäsittelytiede, mutta ideaa alusvaateverkkokaupasta pyöritellessäni päätin kokeilla verkkokaupan perustamista sillä idealla, että jospa tätä voisi tehdä sivutyönä opiskelujen ohessa. Tein Lumingerien yrityssuunnitelman yrityskurssin päättötyönä ja itse verkkokauppa aukesikin jo vuoden 2008 alussa. Tein tuolloin lähes kaiken itse, ja jopa verkkosivut väänsin omin pienin kätösin. Eiväthän ne hääppöiset olleet, mutta jostain piti aloittaa. Myöhemmin puolisoni Mikko onkin auttanut verkkokaupan kehittämisessä koodaustaidoillaan.

Odotuksena oli, että pari hassua tilausta kun viikkoon saisi, olisin tyytyväinen. Yllätyinkin kovasti kun ensimmäinen tilaus tuli todella pian verkkokaupan avautumisesta, ja tilauksia alkoikin tulla oikeastaan joka päivä. Jossain vaiheessa heräsikin ajatus, voisiko tästä lopulta ihan täyspäiväinen työ.

I was doing my university dissertation in 2007 and took an entrepreneurship course in my home town Lumijoki at the same time. In university I studied computer science, but wanted to try out my idea of a lingerie e-shop as a side job. I crafted my business plan at the entrepreneurship course as my final dissertation and soon in the beginning of 2008 I launched the e-commerce shop. I did almost everything by myself, even the layout of the website. It wasn’t the best layout ever, but I needed to start somewhere. Later on my husband Mikko has helped me a lot with the coding.

My expectations about the shop weren’t too high at first and I would have been happy with just a couple of orders a week. However, I was surprised to find out that the orders kept coming almost every day and it made me wonder whether this could be something I could do full-time.

Miten päädyit valitsemaan verkkokauppasi kohderyhmän ja millä perusteella valitsit ensimmäiset merkit kaupan valikoimaan? / How did you set your target market and choose the first brands to offer in your selection?

Olen itse isorintainen nainen (tällä hetkellä käytän UK-kokoja 70-75 J-K merkistä riippuen) ja koin, ettei kokoiselleni löytynyt Suomesta erityisemmin valikoimaa – erityisesti pienen ympäryksen ja ison kupin yhdistelmä on haastava! Päätinkin siis, että Lumingerie keskittyisi erityisesti D-kuppia isompiin kokoihin ja tällä hetkellä valikoimassa on kuppikokoja D:stä aina UK K-kuppiin asti. Muuten en ole lähtenyt kohderyhmäämme määritelemään, vaan asiakkaidemme yhdistävä tekijä on tarve D-kuppia isommalle liiville.

Ensimmäiset merkit, joita otimme kauppaamme, olivat Kris Line ja Adore Lingerie. Nämä merkit ovat sittemmin jääneet pois, mutta ne valikoituivat alunperin sillä periaatteella, että molemmilla oli hyvä kokovalikoima ja he olivat halukkaita tekemään yhteistyötä pienen verkkokaupan kanssa. Nykyään yritämme valikoida mukaan merkkejä, joilla on kohtuullinen valikoima kokoja ja hinta ei päätä huimaa. Suomalaisessa alusvaateverkkokaupassa luksusmarkkinat ovat vaikeat, joten otamme valikoimaan liivejä, joita on matala kynnys tilata kotiin kokeiltavaksi.

I am big busted lady myself (I wear a UK 32-34 J-K) and felt that there weren’t enough retailers catering for my size – especially the big cup, small band market was lacking. I decided that Lumingerie would focus on cup sizes above D-cup and now we cater up to a UK K-cup. There is really nothing else that defines our customers – just a need for a cup size bigger than D.

The first brands we took in were Kris Line and Adore Lingerie. These brands are not sold at Lumingerie anymore but they were selected in the first place for their wide size selection and willingness to do business with a small e-commerce shop.These days we try to select brands that have a decent size range and a price tag. The luxury market is very difficult for an online-only business, which is why it is something we haven’t really wanted to try.

Kertoisitko jotain Lumingerien kehityksestä yrityksenä näiden kymmenen vuoden aikana? / Please tell us something about the progress at Lumingerie over these 10 years!

-Lumingerie on kasvanut tasaisesti ja varmasti näiden kymmenen vuoden aikana. Jo perustusvuonna 2008 työ muuttui päätyöksi vuoden lopulla ja keskityin täysillä Lumingerien pyörittämiseen. Varasto oli aluksi suhteellisen pieni ja siksi pystyin pitämään sitä kotona Lumijoella vuoteen 2010-2011 asti. Muistaakseni vuoden 2010 lopulla kaverini Digitarvikkeelta vinkkasi varastotilan heidän varastonsa vierestä Oulun yrittäjäkylästä, ja päätin tarttua ehdotukseen. Ensin varastoja oli vain yksi, mutta nykyään tilamme ovat jo kolminkertaistuneet.

Vuonna 2014 otin yritykseen ensimmäisen kesätyöntekijän (toim. huom. eli minut!) ja vuonna 2015 muutimme toiminimen osakeyhtiöksi puolisoni kanssa. Tuolloin Mikko tuli myös töihin Lumingerielle ja hän toi yritykseen erityisesti teknistä tietämystä aiemman koulutuksena ja ammattinsa puolesta.  2015 ennakoimme muutenkin yrityksen kasvua ja palkkasimme vuoden aikana kaksi uutta työntekijää mm. markkinoinnin ja kirjanpidon tehtäviin.

Vuonna 2015 valikoimamme muuttui niin, että mukaan tuli myös miesten tuotteita. Miesten verkkokaupalla onkin ihan oma nimensä HerMan’s, joka tulee Mikon toisesta nimestä Hermanni. Ajatuksena miesten kaupan nimen takana oli myös se, että Lumingerien asiakkaat olisivat mahdollisesti voineet ostaa HerMan’silta alusvaatteita puolisoilleen – tämä ei kuitenkaan mennyt lainkaan niinkuin ajattelimme, vaan miehet ostavat alusvaatteensa oikein mielellään itse ja tilaajat ovatkin HerMan’silla lähes poikkeuksetta miehiä. Hyvä näinkin! HerMan’s onkin enemmän Mikon vastuulla, jolloin molemmilla meillä omistajista on myös omat kiinnostuksen kohteensa mukana työssä.

Lumingerie has grown surely and steadily over these 10 past years. In the end of 2008 my job at Lumingerie turned full-time and I decided to give my all to it. The storage was quite small at first so I could have all my stock at home in Luminjoki until 2010. If I remember correctly, it was in the end of 2010 when my friend at Digitarvike suggested I rent a storage right next to them at business village in Oulu. I grabbed the offer and first rented one storage unit, and now Lumingerie takes up three whole units!

In year 2014 I took in my first summer assistant (editor’s notes: that was me!) and 2015 we founded the Ltd with my husband Mikko. Mikko came in to work with me and brought some valuable technical know-how into the company. We also wanted to predict the company’s growth and thus hired two new employees to take care of marketing and book-keeping.

In 2015 we also took in some men’s products and named the men’s store site HerMan’s according to Mikko’s middle name Hermanni. We also imagined that HerMan’s could be a place for women to buy underwear for their partners – little did we know that HerMan’s whole customer base would basically be all men! This suits us perfectly fine though. HerMan’s is more Mikko’s responsibility and this way we both have a focus in our work and something interesting to work on.

Mitkä koet suurimmiksi saavutuksiksesi yrittäjänä ja mitä haluaisit vielä saavuttaa? / What are your biggest successes as an entrepreneur and what would you like to achieve in the future?

Ylipäänsä se, että tästä oli mahdollista tehdä kokopäivätyö itselle on iso saavutus. Pidän myös itse siitä, että Lumingerie on perheyritys. Varmaan kuitenkin isoin saavutukseni yrittäjänä on mahdollisuus tarjota useammalle ihmiselle työpaikka yrityksessäni. Tänä päivänä Lumingerie on myös kansainvälinen yritys – lähetämme tuotteitamme Eurooppaan ja myös rapakon taakse viikottain.

Tulevaisuuden suunnitelmia ja haaveita on paljon, enkä ihan vielä aio niitä paljastaa 😉 Yhtenä esimerkkinä voisin kuitenkin sanoa omien liivimallien suunnittelemisen juuri meidän kaupallemme – haluaisin tarjota jotain uniikkia asiakkaillemme! Pyörät tässä asiassa ovat kuin ovatkin jo lähteneet liikkeelle ja Lumingerien 10-vuotis juhlamallin Lilahin olemme suunnitelleet yhteistyössä alusvaatemerkki Gorsenian kanssa. Malli tuli myyntiin tällä viikolla ja se on suunniteltu Lumingerien väreissä koko työtiimin mielipiteet huomioon ottaen.

It is amazing that I could make this my full-time job so that is an achievement in itself. I am also happy to say that Lumingerie is now a family business. My biggest achievement though would be being able to offer jobs to other people as well. These days Lumigerie is an international company as well, as we ship to European countries and also beyond the pond weekly.

I have a lot of plans and dreams regarding Lumingerie but I am not sure whether I want to reveal them just yet! Something I could tell you is that I would like to create more in-house designed styles just for Lumingerie and this way offer something unique to our customers. We started this journey already and are now offering a 10-year anniversary style Lilah in our e-commerce shop. This style has been designed with our whole Lumingerie team in collaboration with a Polish lingerie brand Gorsenia. 

Kiitos Merville haastattelusta! Jos haluat lukea arvostelun Lilah-setistä, pysyhän kuulolla huomiseen asti 😉 / Huge thanks to Mervi for the interview! If you would like to see Lilah reviewed here on the blog, please stay tuned until tomorrow 😉

Lingerie Review: Ewa Michalak PL Lśniąca Scarlet

5 Mar

Happy March! How are you guys? Feeling spring-y already I have been centered around art, wedding-stuff (I found a dress, yay!) and some unfortunate drama in a project I was working on so it’s good to take some time to sit down and spend some time with the ol’ blog. Also, the blog giveaways are coming so don’t fret! 2COP is a hefty toddler now and just turned four, which is something we need to celebrate 😉 However, today we are bathing in some scarlet goodness, which is the Ewa Michalak PL Lśniąca Scarlet. This set was generously provided me by Ewa Michalak, but all opinions are my own!

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The Design: The PL Lśniąca Scarlet is a classic PL-style from Ewa, which means it’s a padded plunge. The design features seams though, which gives the bra its signature well-constructed feel and improves the fit for a padded bra. As someone who doesn’t enjoy padded bras as much, I wasn’t even surprised that I still liked this particular bra – it’s the absolute royal of the padded bra family and I wear it each time I want to feel uplifted and oomphed to the max. The cups feature removable cookies, which is great if you want something extra, have a-symmetry or change a bit in size during your cycle.

The style of the bra is not the most ornate I have seen in the Ewa Michalak collection, but it still manages to appear striking with its colour and satin-y materials. This bra can easily be worn under t-shirts (with a darker colour, of course) but it’s still appropriate for boudoir as well. What’s not to like!

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The Fit: The PL bra is not unfamiliar to me and thus I pretty much knew it would fit me in my regular size of 70GG. I don’t find EM sizing to be that different from British D+ brands, maybe just a bit tighter in the band, so I usually go for my looser band size 70 (UK 32). Picking a size is pretty easy for me personally, as the EM team usually does it for me when I provide them with my usual size. Ewa Michalak bras are infamous for varying in fit and size, which is why it pretty much depends on the style whether I go for 70G or 70GG, or even H. This one runs very true-to-size though, which always makes the shopping experience a bit easier.

I have literally no bad things to say about the fit of the PL Lśniąca Scarlet: everything just seems to fall into place perfectly. The cups encase my breast tissue well when I insert just one of the pads into my right cup (my left boob is bigger). The cups are just deep enough for my breast tissue to sit in them without the cup foam collapsing at the bottom (very usual with most padded bras if there’s not enough depth at the bottom of the cup) and luckily the wires are not too narrow for me with this particular EM style! I am so happy, as this trait with Ewa bras has always been a bit of a hit-or-miss with me.
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Comfort: In addition to being well-fitting, Ewa bras are usually a pleasure to wear all-day, as the materials are well-thought out. The PL bras are always lined with cotton to feel comfortable against the sensitive boob skin (I am sure most women relate to boob itch, don’t you?!), which is something I wish every lingerie brand did with their bras. It also makes the bra much more comfortable during the summer months, as sweat does not play well with artificial fibers, in my personal experience. The straps are pretty well placed with this style, I would say and they are fully-adjustable, which is great for tall and petite girls alike.

The Lśniąca Scarlet “high-waisted” panties are not the highest I have seen, but still proper cute and sexy. The lace on the back could a bit stretchier in my opinion and if you have a more rounded butt than me, I would suggest sizing up. For reference, I have 40″ hips and these were a size 38/10. These are perhaps not your everyday panties but are sure to make some hearts flutter, if that is what you wish for!

The Lśniąca Scarlet can be bought at the EM online store, which you find here. It’s made-to-order which means it can take 2-3 weeks to make and after that the product will be shipped to you. If you can’t find your size in the drop-down menu, the EM team will be happy to make a custom size, however those are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged. The price for a custom sized bra is 20 PLN higher than the regular price of the bra. The bra (in regular sizes 30-44 A-JJ) costs 189 PLN and the high-waisted briefs (36-48, UK 8-20) cost 69 PLN.

Lingerie Review: Ewa Bien “Daria” B103

5 Feb

It has been a while since I tested Ewa Bien bras myself: they are actually visually one of my top favourite brands but unfortunately, most of their beautiful bras stopped at G- or H-cup in Polish sizes. As someone who wears 70J in their bras, this made the brand out of reach for me. When I reported this problem to Ewa Bien and though I understand the limitations when it comes to bra manufacturing and running a business successfully, Ewa Bien team took my advice and plea, and added a couple new full-bust appropriate styles to their collection! This is amazing, as making J-M cups is not always the easiest nor the most cost-effective thing to do. Today I am trying out their new B103 style in Black/Grey Daria. Here’s how it turned out for me! *This bra was sent to me by the lovely Ewa Bien team. All opinions are my own.*

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The Design: The B103 is meant for the fuller bust as it goes up to Polish M-cup, equivalent to UK J-cup. This is an amazing size expansion for a family-lead brand, that doesn’t yet have the audience of Panache and other huge brands. In Poland however, businesses such as Ewa Bien are very popular and Polish women trust in their country-women’s knowledge on bra-making. No wonder – the shape you can get with a Polish bra is unrivaled and Ewa Bien is no exception.

The shape with the B103 is very uplifted and it has a great deal of immediate projection, which is something many women look for in their bras. The cups are constructed of four parts: it has the traditional three-part cup construction but for added support, there is a side sling to bring the breasts even more forward. This prevents the breasts from splaying towards my sides, which is something I can always appreciate.

The Daria style seems to be something that Ewa Bien is making as one of their core styles for bigger cup sizes. The style is also available in other cuts which doesn’t have the massive size range, but they do make it in one other full-bust style, the semi-soft B151. The Daria also comes in two colour combinations: Black/Cream and Black/Grey, of which I chose the latter one. Grey has recently become one of my favourite colours in both clothing and underwear and I love the sophisticated combination of black and grey a lot.The cups are completely see-through which is nice if you are looking for something a bit sexy for your everyday bradrobe.

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The Fit: The B103 is quite a regular balconette style cut, with a 3/4 coverage. Personally, I would prefer something a bit more revealing like the styles I tried a couple of years back from Ewa Bien, but I have no issue wearing this bra either on a regular basis. The cut still suits a variety of necklines and is a great basic style for everyday wear.

I am wearing my regular Polish size 70J (UK 32GG) with this bra and I am very happy with the size – the band is stretchier than with many other Polish brands but this suits me fine as I like my bands comfortable. The fastening happens with three hooks and eyes and the band is wide enough to feel comfortable and supportive on someone with my body type (ie. small band, big cups). I would say the size runs very true-to-size if you have tried Polish or other European brands before. If you are between band sizes, I would advice to size up with most Ewa Bien styles.

My only gripe with the fit is the wires – however, wires are the one part that are highly personal when it comes to what fits your body the best and I prefer wires that are medium-to-narrow width. This style is a bit on the wider side for me, but not alarmingly so. If I could, I would have them just one cm narrower, that’s all. The depth is absolutely perfect for me, and I like how it contains me fully top, bottom and sides without any extra bulging.

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Comfort: This set is made of very comfortable materials and it’s lightweight which makes it easy to wear almost under anything. The top part of the cups is a bit stretchy so it suits many breast shapes without being too restricting for a full-on-top girl like me. The band is comfortable and the whole ensemble is very sturdy if you need to be active and walk/move around a lot during the day.

The only thing I am having issues with, are once again the straps. Even though they are rather wide and comfortable themselves, they are placed a bit too widely for my body type. This makes the bra cup’s edge chafe my armpit just a little, which is not ideal if you want your bra to “feel like nothing”. Overall, I would say this bra style is meant for someone a bit wider than me, when it comes to breast tissue distribution, shoulders and rib cage.

The panties are, in a very Polish manner, quite snug in sizing. I went for the size Medium which does fit me okay, but I would perhaps prefer something a bit more covering. However, the C511 style is a classic Brazilian so it’s not even meant to cover a ton. Great for feeling a bit cheeky, quite literally!

If you would fancy giving this new full-bust style a go, you can find it on Ewa Bien’s own online store. The B103 bra (219 zl) comes in Polish sizes 65-100 B-M (enormous size range, right?!) and the C511 briefs (109 zl) come in sizes S-XXL. What do you think of size expansion and the Daria? Let me know in the comments!

Say YES to Undress: Full-Bust Bridal Lingerie Finds at Moda SS17

30 Jan

I don’t know exactly how to start this post but by the title you may have guessed it – I got engaged over the weekend! We have been together with my Mr for over three years and have been talking about getting married for a while now. It has been kind of a joke for me to say “Oh marry me already” when he has been particularly lovely and on Friday, it was his turn to actually, seriously ask the same question. So, I am wearing the most beautiful engagement/wedding ring on my finger now and I still cannot believe it’s real life – it still feels like playing some kind of weird dress-up!

If I wasn’t living in a smaller city, I would actually probably be a wedding planner and now that I have finally the permission to plan my own wedding, I am so ecstatic. I will start this happy engagement period of a little over a year with bringing you (and me!) the most delicious bridal lingerieof this spring 2017 season. However, there will be many more round-ups to come in the future, so try to stay patient for my sake!

Disclosure: These pics were taken at the Moda catwalk in August 2016. I am very aware of the gross cultural appropriation in the form of Native American dream catchers and head that were sadly worn as accessories on the runway. This is not cool in any way, but the purpose of the photos is to deliver the latest bridal trends to you and these were the only pics available. I am sorry and do not support wearing someone’s culture as an accessory.

The white on white trend has been floating around in the lingerie business forever – mainly because bridal lingerie is never out of fashion and always needed, but statistically white has also been on the top three when it comes to men’s lingerie colour preferences. Even though lingerie should, in my opinion, be bought first and foremost for oneself, there is nothing wrong with wanting to wear something that pleases your partner as well.

On a wedding night white historically symbolizes purity and virginity – which to me, is a bit disgusting as I am not a lamb to be sacrificed in some weird ritual. Or, that’s what I’d like to think (even though marriage has been exactly that, not even long ago)! However these days, we still wear white a LOT when it comes to our wedding attire and that is the chosen colour of my wedding dress and the lingerie I will be wearing as well. Maybe I’ll break the “pure and innocent” look with some red or gold, who knows! Anyway, here are a few examples of what you or I could be wearing on our big day, when it finally comes.

ADINA REAY

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Adina Reay is one of the newer more luxurious options for us fuller busted brides. The prices are a bit up there for a bride on a budget, but the materials are pure heaven and the quality is breathtaking. I haven’t had the chance to try this brand for myself yet, but I’m super interested in their fit so if anyone has got any experience with them, please let me know! Even though I haven’t tried the pieces on, I have seen and touched them at the Moda show last August and have so much faith in this brand.

The two styles shown above are Pen in Champagne and Jess in Swan which are both part of the continuity line at Adina Reay. The prices are around £90-130 for a bra £50-80 co-ordinates which definitely put them into the luxury category, but I think full-busted brides need to have options. I also like the fact that the brand offers multiple different co-ordinate options, so you can choose whether to go for skimpy thong or an elegant high-waisted panty. The size range with Adina Reay is 30-36 DD-G, and S-L, which can unfortunately be a bit limiting.

FREYA

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If you are D+ girl on a budget, Freya might be a better option for you. This beautiful ensemble is called Sassy and goes up to GG-cup with the longline and up to H-cup with the padded balconette bra. The white on beige combination seems to be becoming more and more popular and I personally like the look a lot.

The one confusing thing is that the sample I was shown was a lot more beige than the stock picture above. I personally like the beige one a bit more, but maybe they tried to make it look a tiny bit more bridal? Who knows! This style isn’t available until March, but if history is to be trusted it will retail around £40-50 which is pretty good for a well-fitting strapless full-bust bra.

PARFAIT BY AFFINITAS

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Parfait is another great option if you are looking for something comfortable in the D-G size range and like something traditionally feminine and sweet. The brand offers many beautiful options both in their continuity line but also in their fashion range. These are the two styles that caught my attention in this ss17 collection: let me introduce you to the pale rose Sandrene and white Irene. These styles are great for plus size brides as well, as they go up to 44 band and 4XL in the panties! They are perhaps not the most practical under your actual wedding dress but would be nice options for a romantic wedding night.

HARLOW & FOX

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If I could choose absolutely anything for my wedding night, one of the strongest options would be Harlow & Fox. They are the essence of bridal glamour and actually carry a decent size range of 30-38 DD-G, XS-XL on their site. The Serena range in Ivory is utter perfection: it is made of the most beautiful embroideries, tulles and ostrich feathers – everything a vintage girl could want! The only limit for me buying this range is the price – even though Harlow & Fox may be well worth it, I cannot afford to drop 142€ on a bra, let alone 999 € on the kimono robe! A girl can dream though, right? Maybe I’ll get rich before 2018, hehe!

Here are some of my picks from the Moda show bridal offering – what do you think? What is your dream bridal lingerie ensemble like? Let me know in the comments!

Moda Lingerie Preview: Best of Lepel, Charnos & Lepel London

10 Jan

Hiya everyone! My trip to Paris is drawing close and I would still like to preview a few collections before we move on to AW17. Today I am bringing you some of my favourites from Lepel, which is an all time favourite for small- and full-busted gals on a student budget.

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Soooo, I’m trying this pic collage thing out, don’t judge me! I just thought it may be a more compact way of showing my favourites. If you want to see the designs in more detail, I think you just need to click on the individual pic on the collage.

This year’s Lepel core collection wasn’t one of their biggest, but they revamped a couple of their basic styles with new colour combinations and introduced two new styles, Poppy (obviously the one with the Poppy print) and Maisy (the lacy one with a raspberry tone). Interestingly, the Poppy looks very similar to something we already know – the Tutti Rouge first edition Betty, which was exactly in the same print as this one, with a slightly different colour scheme. I am not saying this is a copy, but I do think this is not a very original design from Lepel, which is a bit disappointing. However, I do like the print still and it will be a nice option for young gals on a budget who want to have the same look as with the TR Betty, but can’t find it in the Poppy print anymore.

The Maisy on the other hand is a rather beautiful little number and reminds me a lot of the Charnos collection. The Lepel team told us that the collections are and will be more linked to each other from now on and this is clearly visible when looking at the whole collection range.

The styles that got revised yet again were the Lilly (in the sparrow print) and Fiore, which have been winners in the market for a long time. I am pretty excited for the Fiore bodysuit myself and will be happy to tell you that it will go up to G-cup! All of the styles pictured above will be available in a size range of 30-38 B-G, with some of them including A-cups in band sizes 32-36. I think this is pretty impressive for a such an affordable brand and do keep in mind that their cups run a bit on the larger side usually! The Lepel team is continuing their trend of two-toned Fiore, which I love, and I am excited to see what they have come up for autumn – teal and purple, perhaps?

LEPEL SWIM

“Sailor” and Aloha, sizes 30-38 B-G

“Flower Power” bikini and swimsuit, “Tropics” swimsuit and bikini & “Deckchair” bikini

When Lepel core collection seems to shrink a bit year by year, Lepel Swim is alive, growing and well. They must be doing something right as their swimwear collection is and has always been one of the biggest and the prettiest I have seen on the market during the past four years! There is something for almost every taste – pretty florals, sporty mesh and net materials, stripy pinup styles.

My personal favourites from the collection were the stripy Sailor (which comes in a swimsuit, moulded triagle bikini going up to G-cup and a regular wired balconette bikini) and the rather classic yet a bit exotic Tropics, which is the black style with colourful tropical flowers on it. The best part of Lepel Swim collection is that it too is very size-inclusive and offers multiple bikini top and bottom options within one style. As you can see, the Tropics comes in a padded bikini and a swimsuit, both going up to G-cup.

Regarding sizes, the Lepel Swim collection has been generous towards us full-busted gals – most of their styles come in UK cup sizes and up to G-cup, with the exception of three styles going up to H-cup this time! This is fantastic news and a good start for the brand to start adding more sizes to their collection. H-cups will be available eg in the Flower Power print seen above and made in a non-padded halter-style wired bikini top.

LEPEL LONDON

“Charlie” black bodysuit and wired bra set; “Bea” triangle bra set; “Sophia” bodysuits in blue, red and ivory; “Caitlyn” triangle bra set; “Tamara” in Ivory

Lepel London was such a tease, as always, as they only carry cup sizes with some of their styles and when the products are cup-sized, they only go up to UK D- or F-cup. Every season I wait for a size expansion and it never really comes! Maybe this time? If it happens, I will be the first to report you!

The one style that I still love is the Tamara, which goes up to F-cup but this season, the clear winner of the show was the Charlie, pictured at the very top. This combo of a bodysuit and bra set (only going up to D-cup though…) is absolutely breath-taking and I love the corset lacing detail at the back. It’s such a beautiful shape so I hope you small-busted girls will snatch it up and I can live vigorously through you…

The bodysuits in general are aesthetically the strength of the Lepel London collection as they look pretty luxe but are still quite affordable. The one weakness this collection may have is the size range though – and I am not even talking about cup sizes. Most of Lepel London pieces are made in UK sizes 6-14 which is US 2-10, and in my opinion, they are ruling out many plus size customers with this decision. I would increase the sizing up to 18, which is only two sizes bigger, and I think it would still make a huge difference.

CHARNOS

Bailey Bridal set (32-38 B-G); Sienna in Ivory/Gold (30-38 B-J); Suzette in Rose (30-38 B-J),Olivia in Black (30-38 B-E); Violet in Ivory (32-40 C-J)

Nothing super new on the Charnos front; the Charnos collection seems to be mainly about recolouring their old favourites such as Rosy, Violet and Suzette and the colour scheme stays rather muted and light. The Violet is once again one of my favourites, as it is the perfect everyday bra for girls who need G+ sizes and bigger bands. I also really like the new bridal set as it seems like a more rounded option than Charnos’ previous strapless styles. The one stand-out selling point of this range is the size range – there is only two styles that don’t go up to J-cup, which is phenomenal taking into consideration that Charnos started with only a couple of G+ styles a few seasons ago.

All in all, I really like the SS17 Lepel collection family, though I wish they would concentrate more on unifying the size ranges across all of their collections. The bodysuits seem to be on trend now so I am really looking forward to seeing their new collections and whether there will be more in bigger cup sizes available in the future.

Hope you enjoyed this preview and are excited see what’s up with the Paris show in just two weeks! I will try to post stuff straight from the show so do follow me on Facebook and Instagram at @2cakesonaplate to see the gems of the show!

Introducing the New Ewa Michalak SF Semi-Soft Cut

2 Jan

Happy new year 2017! A year of better bra blogging for me, I hope. Every now and then full-bust brands claim to have come up with “a new revolutionary” shape or a cut, that they are trying to sell as a cure for every bra problem in the world. This is not one of those times, as Ewa Michalak comes up with a new shape every now and then in all quietness. They make no fuzz about it, yet many gals wearing a D+ cup size swear by her bras. I can see why – EM bras are known by their incredible shape and narrow wires that are not rivaled by many. Today I would like to tell you about the new SF shape they came out with just recently.

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I received two styles called SF Trapez and SF Czerwona Pantera, the latter hasn’t been released yet though, but I thought you would like to get a complete idea of the new style. When you think of a semi-soft cut, made popular by Polish bra brands, you automatically think of a style with padding at the bottom and a sheer or a lacy top that accommodates your upper breast tissue. However, the Ewa Michalak semi-soft, shortened to SF, is a style which is actually not padded AT ALL, just reinforced at the bottom to gain a sturdier feel to the bra.

I was a bit worried when I thought that I was going to get yet another bra with padding, but I actually think this is a brilliant way of making sturdier bras without adding bulk. The bottom part of the cups is double-lined with strong poly-blend material which is rather stiff and thus holds its form better than some flimsier materials. The cut is rather similar to the soft full-bust style BM, but offers just a tiny bit more support in my opinion. The shape is very rounded and uplifted, which is something I always enjoy about Ewa Michalak bras.

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As the SF style is pretty much based on the BM, the sizing works similarly with it as well. I received both of the styles, SF Trapez and SF Czerwona Pantera in 70G, which seems to be a pretty good size for me with both of them. I would say though that even them both being a same cut, they are not exactly the same when it comes to fit. I prefer the red and black SF Czerwona Pantera as it feels a tiny bit larger in the cup and band than the Trapez. As you may notice in the pics above, the Pantera (which is how I will refer to the black and red bra from now on) covers my tissue a bit more from the sides and thus contains my boobs better.

As said, the band of the Pantera is also a bit stretchier so I like it better than the Trapez one. However, the Trapez isn’t bad at all, just needs a longer breaking-in period. Both of the bras feature a stretch lace on the top panel of the bra, which is great for a variety of breast shapes. The depth aspect of the bras is just about right to me and thus you cannot see any dents at the bottom of the cup, nor gaping at the top. As the Pantera covers my armpit area better than Trapez, I would go as far as saying it has become one of my top three bras of the year!

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The materials of both of the sets are a bit more “basic” than my other EM bras – instead of luxurious embroideries and sheer mesh, these bras are made of something stronger and everyday-appropriate. They are pretty and even sexy, but there’s no extra hassle to make them feel too precious and delicate to wear under your everyday wardrobe. The straps are fully-adjustable which contributes to the practicality aspect of these bras. The bands have three hooks and eyes, and four rows of them, which is great in regards of durability.

The panties that come with these bras are as uncomplicated and sweet as the bras. Both of the styles feature the same stretch lace that is featured on the top panel of the bras, and the materials are nice and light-weight as they should be with comfy panties. These were both a size UK 12/ Polish 38 and they fit my 40″ bum very well. Even the thong is super comfy, as the rise hits me at the perfect spot and the materials are stretchy enough to hug my curves. I also really like how wide the thong is at the hips, it is such a flattering cut.

Out of all the EM styles, I would say the SF is my new favourite. I love wearing it regularly and it is one of their styles which does not try to stab me in the breast tissue. If you would like to try the SF, you can find eg the SF Trapez here at the EM online store. The Trapez is almost sold-out at the moment, but I would suggest taking a look at their new SF Roma (189 zl) which is a beautiful colourful style with a full size range of 30-44 E-JJ.

Lingerie Review: Ewa Michalak “BM Bordeaux” in 70G + A SALE!!!

28 Dec

Ewa Michalak has been one of my favourite full-bust lingerie brands and continues to be so – it is just a bit of gamble whether their wires are too narrow for me at times. This depends on greatly the particular EM bra and style of the bra which is why I was happy to receive some of the newest Ewa Michalak styles a few months ago. I had the privilege to try multiple styles at once and I am grateful for it, as I found true gems. Today I will the reviewing the BM Bordeaux, which is a brand new style at Ewa Michalak in a full-bust appropriate shape “BM”. *This set was kindly sent to me by the Ewa Michalak team. All opinions are my own!*

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The Design: The BM Bordeaux is a non-padded balconette shape and similar to the older SM shape that also includes smaller cup sizes. If I know correctly, the BM is a bit deeper in the cup to accommodate a fuller bust, and thus many can buy a cup size smaller with it. The style is very similar in looks compared to SM but seems to have a bit more support on the sides to bring the fuller breast tissue up and front. Ewa bras are very well-known for their exquisite uplift and forward-projection, and the BM Bordeaux does not fail us either – the shape is very round yet not unnaturally so and the profile is great under any shirts and dresses.

The style of the Bordeaux range is very sexy as the bra’s upper panel is quite sheer and the whole bra is covered in beautiful black/burgundy lace. The glimpses of burgundy are not easily shown on camera, so trust me that they are more visible in flesh! I like the colour combination and the classic look of the bra and I think it’s great for someone who wants something traditionally feminine yet a bit daring.

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The Fit: As I mentioned above, the BM style runs a bit deeper in the cup which usually results some people to buying a smaller cup size than usual. My most common size with EM is 70GG at the moment, but I do think the 70G is just enough for me in the BM. The upper panel of the bra is stretch lace, which is great for me personally because of my upper fullness, and thus the bra conforms beautifully to both of my boobs, even though they are not exactly the same size. As you can see, there is no bulging on my bigger side either (the one facing camera in the pic above)!

The band of the BM Bordeaux is on the tighter side of 70, but I can still close it and it has stretched over the many times I’ve worn it already. However, I have tried a couple of BM bras in my bra blogging career, and both of them have been tighter in the band than my SM and the new SF styles. This is something you need to consider if you are between sizes! The width of the BM wires seems to be better for me though, so I would say they are maybe a smidge wider than with the SM bras. This is perfect for me, as the SM bras I’ve tried have stabbed me in my breast tissue after a few hours of wear – not something anyone enjoys!

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Comfort: As I was sent four different sets in total – with one BM bra, two SF’s and one PL – it is easy to compare each one when it comes to comfort. There was one set that I would set apart particularly but it has not been released yet so this is why I can’t tell you yet which one it is! The Bordeaux however is not a bad one either – my only gripe with it is really is that the band is a bit a rigid at first and needs a bit of breaking in. But I do like it, and have worn it on an everyday basis, so there is really nothing else I can say about this bra. It’s not the most heavenly on your body but not the worst either! Besides, I would say this is something many women would reserve for boudoir use only.

The panties are very comfortable for me in UK size 10 and I am glad I got to try them this time, as the last time EM sent me samples, they did not include panties at all. However, I have always been a big fan of both of their briefs and EVEN… dun, dun, duuuun! THONGS. I know, who am I even? But yes, even their thongs get an A+ from me. These regular Bordeaux briefs were not any different; they are cute, sexy and yet so very comfortable I can wear them even though they are not high-waisted. The lace on the back is quite stretchy, they are a flattering rise and have a super cute key-hole detail on the back. If you get the bra, please invest in the panties as well – they are absolutely amazing!

For your luck, Ewa Michalak is running a sale TODAY. You heard it, today only! There are plenty of stuff even 50% off, so go and grab some goodies while you can. The Bordeaux is one sale as well, so I would heavily suggest to snatch it up – and maybe something else as well? My other golden tip is to get your hands on their new SF bras, they are pure gold. The Bordeaux bra (132 zl) comes in EM sizes (a bit different than most full-bust brands, so check the size chart!) 30-38 E-JJ and the panties (55 zl) in UK 8-16. The prices are now down but the EM products are always great quality even for the full price and I cannot recommend them more for girls who need deep cups and narrow wires, and still want to look cute in their lingerie.

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