Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part III: Claudette, Tutti Rouge, & Passionata

Part 3 of Curve coming up. This time I’m sharing Claudette, Tutti Rouge, and Passionata.

Claudette

For the last few seasons, I’ve looked at Claudette’s offerings and my initial response is that the items look insane and useless. But then the reps start showing it off, I look at the model photos, I feel the fabrics…and it all starts to seem so cool and innovative. This year was no exception, with Claudette continuing to introduce more loungewear that could almost double as clubwear or even gymwear in some cases. Claudette is the only big-bust lingerie company I saw embracing the athleisure trend.

“The Cat’s Pajamas” is a whole new collection of sleepwear made of super soft rayon modal mixed with fishnet. It looks super comfortable. Check it out:

A romper with pockets? Adorable.

A romper with pockets? Adorable.

The romper (or “playsuit,” as they call it) features a fishnet racerback complete with cutout.

The romper (or “playsuit,” as they call it) features a fishnet racerback complete with cutout.

The short robe comes includes a fishnet-lined hood.

The short robe comes includes a fishnet-lined hood.

My photo is not doing this set justice, but the top is a little tube top with a one-shoulder outer fishnet layer. The pants are drop crotch with fishnet side panels. I can totally see them being worn as streetwear.

My photo is not doing this set justice, but the top is a little tube top with a one-shoulder outer fishnet layer. The pants are drop crotch with fishnet side panels. I can totally see them being worn as streetwear.

Finally, there’s a pj set with shorts and a button up top that’s all fishnet in back.

Finally, there’s a pj set with shorts and a button up top that’s all fishnet in back.

Moving on to more lingerie-esque items…

Last season’s bodysuit is back in a new colorway. The previous ones should be hitting stores very soon. Apparently lots of stores ordered them, so I guess retailers are expecting them to sell well!

Last season’s bodysuit is back in a new colorway. The previous ones should be hitting stores very soon. Apparently lots of stores ordered them, so I guess retailers are expecting them to sell well!

Here’s what I’m excited for: Claudette’s first bralette! Unlike most bralettes, these ones have hook-and-eye closure bands in back. That means no yanking it over your head and shoulders then pulling a muscle trying to get it back off later! In the lookbook, there’s a 36E model wearing the bralette in a large, and it looks really fabulous.

Here’s what I’m excited for: Claudette’s first bralette! Unlike most bralettes, these ones have hook-and-eye closure bands in back. That means no yanking it over your head and shoulders then pulling a muscle trying to get it back off later! In the lookbook, there’s a 36E model wearing the bralette in a large, and it looks really fabulous.

Here’s the piece I was really thrown by at first: a one-strap microfiber bodysuit with a sheer mesh panel over the stomach. To be honest, I still don’t entirely understand how or where you’d wear this piece.

Here’s the piece I was really thrown by at first: a one-strap microfiber bodysuit with a sheer mesh panel over the stomach. To be honest, I still don’t entirely understand how or where you’d wear this piece.

The low-back suspender camisoles with mesh panels lining the armholes, fully adjustable straps, and interior shelf bra seem a little more useful. The description says: “The perfect way to wear stockings without the bumps created by a suspender belt.” Good point!

The low-back suspender camisoles with mesh panels lining the armholes, fully adjustable straps, and interior shelf bra seem a little more useful. The description says: “The perfect way to wear stockings without the bumps created by a suspender belt.” Good point!

There’s also a traditional chemise in the microfiber, again with mesh panels lining the armholes, fully adjustable straps, and interior shelf bra, plus another strip of mesh at the bottom hem. This fabric was a dream—super soft and slinky. The chemise would make a great slip or a comfy at-home option during the hottest days of summer.

There’s also a traditional chemise in the microfiber, again with mesh panels lining the armholes, fully adjustable straps, and interior shelf bra, plus another strip of mesh at the bottom hem. This fabric was a dream—super soft and slinky. The chemise would make a great slip or a comfy at-home option during the hottest days of summer.

Finally, some bras!

The new Dessous colors are gorgeous, as usual. Here are “Tea for Two” (top) and “East Hampton.”

The new Dessous colors are gorgeous, as usual. Here are “Tea for Two” (top) and “East Hampton.”

“Little Edie” (left) and “Grey Gardens.” In case it’s not obvious, the color names this season were inspired by the story of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and Edith Bouvier Beale, two reclusive relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who lived in squalor in an old East Hampton mansion, and were chronicled in a 1975 documentary and a 2009 HBO film.

“Little Edie” (left) and “Grey Gardens.” In case it’s not obvious, the color names this season were inspired by the story of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and Edith Bouvier Beale, two reclusive relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who lived in squalor in an old East Hampton mansion, and were chronicled in a 1975 documentary and a 2009 HBO film.

Claudette is also introducing their first molded tee shirt bra, with a plunge shape, made of microfiber, and available in black and two nude shades (“Sunkissed,” seen here, and “Blondie”).

Claudette is also introducing their first molded tee shirt bra, with a plunge shape, made of microfiber, and available in black and two nude shades (“Sunkissed,” seen here, and “Blondie”).

The new Fishnet bra color is this “Blondie” with black trim.

The new Fishnet bra color is this “Blondie” with black trim.

Finally, I just had to snap a shot of the Dessous bra next to the custom M&M’s Claudette was handing out—the M&M’s and the cupcake wrapper match the new Dessous colors perfectly!

Finally, I just had to snap a shot of the Dessous bra next to the custom M&M’s Claudette was handing out—the M&M’s and the cupcake wrapper match the new Dessous colors perfectly!

 

Tutti Rouge

As usual, Tutti Rouge is back with great colors and a new signature print. They also told me they’re working on lowering their price points by sourcing better fabrics and working with their factories to keep expenses down.

Love all these citrus colors up next to each other!

Love all these citrus colors up next to each other!

Amelia is a new shape, a padded demi bra featuring a mix of spot mesh and floral eyelash lace. Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

Amelia is a new shape, a padded demi bra featuring a mix of spot mesh and floral eyelash lace. Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

Chloe is also new, a half-padded balconette with elongated lace on the band to mimic a longline, again mixing mesh and lace. Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

Chloe is also new, a half-padded balconette with elongated lace on the band to mimic a longline, again mixing mesh and lace. Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

The interior of Chloe, so you can see the padding.

The interior of Chloe, so you can see the padding.

Pixie is a non-padded three part cup with satin on the lower half and lace for the upper section. This season’s signature print features birds, flowers, and little bees wearing hot pink boots. Very cute! Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

Pixie is a non-padded three part cup with satin on the lower half and lace for the upper section. This season’s signature print features birds, flowers, and little bees wearing hot pink boots. Very cute! Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

Pixie also features a bit of lace on the back.

Pixie also features a bit of lace on the back.

And we have another new cut with Sukki, a half-padded balconette with detachable caging straps (which are hidden in this photo, of course). Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

And we have another new cut with Sukki, a half-padded balconette with detachable caging straps (which are hidden in this photo, of course). Sizes 28-38 D-HH.

The new Nichole colors include creamsicle leopard print and a pale solid tan.

The new Nichole colors include creamsicle leopard print and a pale solid tan.

Tutti Rouge has also introduced “Halto,” a little device meant to keep halter strap swimwear from digging into your neck.

Tutti Rouge has also introduced “Halto,” a little device meant to keep halter strap swimwear from digging into your neck.

Halto instructions. I wish they’d had a photo of this in action, but Tutti doesn’t make swimwear. Maybe it’s a hint that they’ll develop some one day??

Halto instructions. I wish they’d had a photo of this in action, but Tutti doesn’t make swimwear. Maybe it’s a hint that they’ll develop some one day??

 

Passionata

I was sad to hear the Passionata rep tell us that they’ve been adapting their aesthetic for American audiences since entering the market. They said European markets like big details and American shoppers like things more simple without any show-through with clothing. It really shows in their latest offerings, with none of the bright colors that drew me to the brand several years ago.

However, they did introduce one item that was absolutely genius—a medium impact sports bra with tons of adjustments! It comes in sizes Small (about a 34B) through XL (about 34G). Check this beauty out:

The straps can be worn cross-back or conventional, and each has seven points of adjustment.

The straps can be worn cross-back or conventional, and each has seven points of adjustment.

There are no hooks and eyes to dig in or rub. The back is flat, and then it opens on the sides. There are then seven points of adjustment on each side of the band.

There are no hooks and eyes to dig in or rub. The back is flat, and then it opens on the sides. There are then seven points of adjustment on each side of the band.

Here’s a closeup of the band at the side where it opens and closes and its length can be adjusted. You simply place the hook into the slot of your choice. So clever!

Here’s a closeup of the band at the side where it opens and closes and its length can be adjusted. You simply place the hook into the slot of your choice. So clever!

Next up is Passionata’s bralette, which they described as “sporty but feminine.” Again it offers Small to XL, and again they say XL can fit about 34G…but I’m a little skeptical with that deep plunge.

Next up is Passionata’s bralette, which they described as “sporty but feminine.” Again it offers Small to XL, and again they say XL can fit about 34G…but I’m a little skeptical with that deep plunge.

Love the bralette’s back, though!

Love the bralette’s back, though!

Brooklyn is their best-selling bra in the US. It features lightly padded cups, a super deep plunge, and offers sizes starting at 30-band and going up to a European G-cup (which is a UK F).

Brooklyn is their best-selling bra in the US. It features lightly padded cups, a super deep plunge, and offers sizes starting at 30-band and going up to a European G-cup (which is a UK F).

Finally, we have this surprisingly well-fitting sexy little number. Charmeuse only comes up to European E cups, but I was told this model is a 34F and it still works for her! I was really impressed by the lift she’s getting from such a dainty bra in a technically too-small cup. Plus, Passionata told me they’ll be adding F-cups with the next manufacturing run in March 2017.

Finally, we have this surprisingly well-fitting sexy little number. Charmeuse only comes up to European E cups, but I was told this model is a 34F and it still works for her! I was really impressed by the lift she’s getting from such a dainty bra in a technically too-small cup. Plus, Passionata told me they’ll be adding F-cups with the next manufacturing run in March 2017.

 

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Celebrity D Cup and Up List: Rachel Bloom

Thanks to a link on Already Pretty last May, I discovered Rachel Bloom’s big bust in this video from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, in which Rachel plays the main character Rebecca Bunch. The song is really funny, and there’s a lot that Hourglassy readers can relate to, but ultimately I felt it was a ploy to captivate male viewers. That’s what happens when you watch a video out of context!

A few months later on a friend’s recommendation, my husband started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I wasn’t interested in watching with him until he observed, “You know, sometimes the star’s breasts seem really big, and other times they aren’t noticeable at all.” How could I resist sitting down to study Rebecca Bunch after that?

As a study in how to dress big boobs, Rebecca Bunch is all over the place. For any given scene, the costume designer spins a wheel, and you never know what style Rebecca is going to land on.  In fact, I’d rather have Rebecca’s hair than her wardrobe. This interview with Melina Root explains why.

Her style? She has a lot of money and doesn’t know how to express herself. She wears straight ahead business clothes in New York and when she moves they become more casual dresses and separates. She’s not stylish; she’s not a fashion plate. She has a hard time working around clothes. She always gets it a little wrong.

Instead of feeling critical of Rebecca, I relate. And I’m pretty sure any reader who has ever struggled to find her style while working to fit a big bust can also relate. Sometimes a girl wants to be Clare Underwood, but all she can find to wear is Nigella Lawson.

Since Rebecca’s style goes everywhere on the show, there’s something for everyone to love and hate. First up is the one style sold as a must-have to all busty women everywhere: wraps. Even a comedy star has to pin her wraps closed!

rachel bloom big bust wrap styles-002

Next, a roundup of work wear options appropriate for a busty woman in a conservative office. I want to know where the costume designer found a blazer that would button over Rebecca’s chest!

[Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part II: Curvy Kate

Last week I showed you Panache’s new offerings. This week I’m focusing on Curvy Kate. Everything featured here will be released during spring/summer 2017 (generally January through June).

CK’s latest collection is more juvenile and cute. There is lots of neon, especially neon pink, with a few pops of blue, as well as influences we were told include kitsch, fun, and surf. They’ve also expanded their molded options in response to demand from US customers.

New style Vegas really fulfills that kitsch influence, with a fun flamingo and floral print. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

New style Vegas really fulfills that kitsch influence, with a fun flamingo and floral print. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

The Daily Dream in “Aqua” is light and refreshing, one of many seafoam-colored options I saw this season. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

The Daily Dream in “Aqua” is light and refreshing, one of many seafoam-colored options I saw this season. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

[Read more…]

Posture Power When You’re Busty

If you’re like me, you probably always thought that proper posture was simply a matter of aesthetics–it makes you appear taller, slimmer and more confident. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain, though, so it’s perfectly understandable when we allocate our energy to nice clothing and makeup instead.

Bad idea. It turns out that proper posture isn’t just about looks. It affects the way we think, feel and act, and there’s a physiological reason for it: When we strike expansive poses, our  testosterone (the dominance hormone) increases, and our cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, causing us to feel powerful and in control. I learned this from Amy Cuddy’s 2012 TED talk that I only discovered this summer. Now whenever I’m feeling nervous before an event, I strike Amy Cuddy’s Wonder Woman pose that I write about on the Campbell & Kate blog.

wonder woman pose

After the TED talk, I marched to the library for her book Presence. The concepts of personal presence and power are much more nuanced than I can develop here, but when she discusses power, she doesn’t mean becoming a blustery bully. Instead, she means the ability to be ourselves and to tap into the resources available to us when we’re feeling calm and capable: [Read more…]