Off the Rack ~ Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 Part II: Elomi, Fantasie, & Freya

After four weeks of weddings and working overtime, I’m finally back to blogging! And I’m continuing my coverage of Curve Spring/Summer 2018. This week, I’m covering the Eveden family, which is Freya, Fantasie, and Elomi (well, and Huit, but that’s the small-bust label, so it’s not included here).

I rarely write about Elomi, since it’s Eveden’s “full-figure” brand so I can’t assess the fit. But there are several very nice pieces this season that I want to highlight. Plus, the Eveden rep actually told us Elomi is the biggest label in the brand family.

How stunning is this “Sachi” cage bra?

How stunning is this “Sachi” cage bra?

I didn’t snap a photo of the back, but this “Matilda” bra has a J-hook.

I didn’t snap a photo of the back, but this “Matilda” was one of several bras with a J-hook.

The “Amelia” spacer bra has proper interior side-slings to pull in your profile, then stretch lace to cover it up and look pretty instead of strictly utilitarian.

The “Amelia” spacer bra has proper interior side-slings to pull in your profile, then stretch lace to cover it up and look pretty instead of strictly utilitarian.

“Morgan’s” cobalt animal print with just a pop of pink is a sophisticated take on leopard.

“Morgan’s” cobalt animal print with just a pop of pink is a sophisticated take on leopard.

I also love the modern monochrome floral print of the “Kim” bra.

I also love the modern monochrome floral print of the “Kim” bra.

I was quite impressed with this range of nudes on display. I don’t know what bra style this is, though, since it’s not in the new lookbook.

I was quite impressed with this range of nudes on display. I don’t know what bra style this is, though, since it’s not in the new lookbook.

Next up, we have Fantasie. To be honest, I was a bit bored by this collection, though there were a couple stand-out pieces that really stood out.

I adore the vintage styling of “Charlotte.”

I adore the vintage styling of “Charlotte.”

How cute are these high-waisted bottoms? And the antique-y rose print is just lovely.

How cute are these high-waisted bottoms? And the antique-y rose print is just lovely.

The sheer, vertical-seamed “Sienna” in bright cobalt looks more like a Huit-style piece to me—in the best possible way!

The sheer, vertical-seamed “Sienna” in bright cobalt looks more like a Huit-style piece to me—in the best possible way!

“Aimee’s” dainty, neutral leopard-print is the subtlest animal print I’ve ever seen—and the gold and ivory lace is a beautiful complement.

“Aimee’s” dainty, neutral leopard-print is the subtlest animal print I’ve ever seen—and the gold and ivory lace is a beautiful complement.

Lastly, we have my old favorite, Freya. Lots of good stuff here, as usual!

I adore the brightly-colored embroidered dots on “Deamcatcher,” but the dainty keyhole and the navy (not black) base of crisscrossing geometric lines make it even better.

I adore the brightly-colored embroidered dots on “Deamcatcher,” but the dainty keyhole and the navy (not black) base of crisscrossing geometric lines make it even better.

“Chi” is a new molded-cup bra based on the Idol shape, which I’m told is even more projected than the Deco.

“Chi” is a new molded-cup bra based on the Idol shape, which I’m told is even more projected than the Deco.

“Chi” also comes in a non-wired nursing bra.

“Chi” also comes in a non-wired nursing bra.

Here’s the original “Idol,” in a gorgeous cobalt blue.

Here’s the original “Idol,” in a gorgeous cobalt blue.

The “Epic” molded sports bra is now offered in black with a hint of orange.

The “Epic” molded sports bra is now offered in black with a hint of orange.

But I’m way more excited for the addition of Freya Sport shorts and leggings with a zipper pocket!

But I’m way more excited for the addition of Freya Sport shorts and leggings with a zipper pocket!

The “Soiree Lace” collection features modern geometric lace that was so soft, we could not stop petting it.

The “Soiree Lace” collection features modern geometric lace that was so soft, we could not stop petting it.

“Soiree Lace” high apex bra and briefs.

“Soiree Lace” high apex bra and briefs.

“Soiree Lace” padded plunge bra and shorts.

“Soiree Lace” padded plunge bra and shorts.

The “Soiree Lace” underwire bralette has a standard band with two rows of hooks-and-eyes beneath a non-opening scoop back.

The “Soiree Lace” underwire bralette has a standard band with two rows of hooks-and-eyes beneath a non-opening scoop back.

Loving this collection’s sky blue additions, such as this “Summer Haze” padded half-cup bra.

Loving this collection’s sky blue additions, such as this “Summer Haze” padded half-cup bra.

I adore the new aquamarine “Fancies” colorway.

And the new aquamarine “Fancies” colorway.

“Daisy Lace” isn’t exactly taking a risk with its color, but I love the art deco triangular decoration at the gore.

“Daisy Lace” isn’t exactly taking a risk with its color, but I love the art deco triangular decoration at the gore.

I love black and white chevron striped swimwear because it reminds me of the first Barbie. This is the “Making Waves” set.

I’m always a fan of black and white chevron striped swimwear because it reminds me of the first Barbie doll. This is the “Making Waves” set.

“Making Waves” also comes in a cute high-neck crop top (only up to FF cups, though).

“Making Waves” also comes in a cute high-neck crop top (only up to FF cups, though).

The crocheted “Sundance” collection is still going strong, with “deep ocean” and hot pink being added as fashion colors.

The crocheted “Sundance” collection is still going strong, with “deep ocean” and hot pink being added as fashion colors.

Freya is really into the macramé look this season.

Freya Swim is really into the macramé look this season.

A Macramé halter bikini.

A Macramé halter bikini.

The Macramé bandeau can be worn two ways…

The Macramé bandeau can be worn two ways…

The Macramé bandeau in its second iteration.

And the second bandeau iteration.

I love the rainbow/zebra/butterfly print of “Hot in Havana,” but yeesh those strappy bottoms are awfully tough to pull off.

I love the rainbow/zebra/butterfly print of “Hot in Havana,” but yeesh those strappy bottoms look awfully tough to pull off.

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Pockets & Shirt Dresses . . . Full Bust Fit and Proportion Considerations

[Leah is finishing a busy stretch of weekend weddings and lots of work, so Off the Rack will be back soon!]

I was reminded of our big bust fit issues after I bought this size 12 Ralph Lauren shirt dress at my favorite discount store.  Sure, the dress gapped in the dressing room, but I figured I’d safety pin it and be good to go. The first day I wore it, I was constantly aware of the fabric straining at my chest and pulling from my armholes to create enough volume. I’ve been wearing my own shirts so much that I’d forgotten what it was like to wear a button up that doesn’t provide enough fabric for a large bust.

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The ace bandages have been replaced by a cast for my wrist and a boot for my ankle–I fractured them on Saturday when I landed on a dumb bell in boot camp and reached back to catch myself.

Now I’m used to it (is that a good thing?), and there are three reasons I bought this dress despite the gap: [Read more…]

A Way Out of the Full Bust Bra Fitting Desert with My Bra Concierge

When I fit a customer into my shirts in person, I often take along a set of bras in a range of sizes. That way, when I measure a woman with a 31″ waist and a 40″ bust who is wearing a 36DD bra like the woman below, I can show her how a better-fitting bra makes a better-fitting shirt. In this case, a 32G bra did the trick.

bra difference before after

It’s another story when a woman emails her measurements and bra size to me before placing an order online. Then I have to remind myself that they came to buy a shirt, not a bra. However, when Sharon (not her real name) from Wisconsin told me she had the same measurements as the woman above and that she wore a 38D bra, I couldn’t help myself.

“Are you happy with your 38D bra?” I asked.

“I struggle with bras, but I have spent a fortune on them,” she answered.

I knew of a great lingerie store an hour away from her, but a quick check on Yelp showed complaints that the store was now cutting the size tags out of its bras! There was no way I could send her there. I also didn’t feel comfortable fitting her by email and giving her a shopping list at Bare Necessities.

Instead, I remembered My Bra Concierge (which purchases advertising space on this blog). When I met Jenn Baker and Velaire Elliot in April, they told me that they had also grown up in small towns with limited bra shopping options, so I knew my customer who lived hours away from a reputable bra fitter would have a special place in their hearts.

Regardless of their hearts, however, I couldn’t recommend My Bra Concierge without trying it first, and since my last fitting was for Ewa Michalak, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to find my current fit in the mainstream busty brands. Armed with the discount code you see in their ad, I began their TruFit Survey.

[Read more…]

What’s to Blame–the Bra, the Bust, or Something Else?

Our friends shared their U.S. Open tickets with us on Monday night, and if I had realized who was playing, I would have been even more excited than I already was. No, I wasn’t excited about Maria Sharipova’s return to Grand Slam tennis. I was excited when I found out her rival was Simona Halep, the player who had had a breast reduction in 2009 and supposedly went from a 34DD . . .

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. . . to a 34C.

simona halep smallerMr. Campbell told me about her a couple of years ago, saying she had blamed her lack of success on her large chest but that the surgery hadn’t made a difference. Maybe it did because she is now No. 2 seed!

As you know, at Hourglassy we don’t judge anyone for getting a reduction. How you decide to live with your chest is up to you. We’re just here to help women who want to live large with a large chest.

With that being said, now that I’ve raised the subject, I’m almost tempted to follow with, “Nothing to see here, folks,” because in interviews Halep insists she hated her large breasts in regular daily living and would have had a reduction whether or not she played professional tennis. That’s nothing new, is it?

But it’s such a high profile reduction that I can’t help musing about it here. Here are my thoughts and questions on the subject, and I’d love to hear yours:

1.Thank God for Serena Williams. If the top female tennis player in the world had also had a reduction, just think of the message to all the young women out there who love playing sports but are beginning to develop larger breasts than their peers. Instead, Serena found a sports bra that worked for her. (We still haven’t tried Berlei.)

Serena Williams of the US hits a return against Venus Williams of the US during the women's singles final on day 13 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2017. / AFP / PAUL CROCK / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images

2. Between the two of them, the message is more nuanced: do what works for your body and your goals with the best information available to you. I have never seen Williams or Halep side by side, so chime in if you have, but my impression is that Williams’ build is more muscular than Halep’s, and her cup size slightly smaller. Halep complained about the weight of her breasts, and this may be why. (Of course, Williams may not have complained about the weight because she’d found a sports bra that worked for her.)

3. Halep had her reduction in 2009. The Panache sports bra hadn’t even been invented yet. There were only a few of us blogging about living with a large bust. Department stores still labeled anything above a C cup as full-figured. Today I continue to meet women who think a DD is enormous, so imagine the dearth of information available to Halep when she was 17. (The media continues to perpetuate the Double-D’s-are-Enormous myth. Some sources say Halep’s waist measures 26 inches and Williams’ waist measures 28 inches, yet they both presumably wear 34 bands.)

5. While most of us can only imagine the pressure facing a professional athlete in her teens, we all know how it feels to want to shed any possible distraction in pursuit of “the zone”, to be perfectly present and focused on the task at hand. An extra bounce at the bust as you walk into your boss’s office or a bulge at your buttons when you stand up for a presentation can throw off your game. That’s why we rave about great bras and clothes for big busts on this blog (and why I make my shirts). If only every full-busted woman could experience the carefree confidence that comes from clothes that fit.

Simona Halep, of Romania hits against Mari Sharapova during the opening round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) Simona Halep, of Romania hits against Mari Sharapova during the opening round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

And if only the right clothes or a routine surgery were all anyone ever needed to reach her goals. Halep is known for letting opportunities slip through her fingers, and I witnessed this several times on Monday night. That’s going to take more than the right sports bra or a reduction to fix. That’s going to take a lot of hard internal work, something else we can all relate to.