Best Breasts Forward ~ Sorting for the Swap

I’m preparing for the clothing swap and in doing so have completely gone through my closet. I’m anticipating seeing all types of goodies the rest of the busty ladies will bring, but I felt I needed to offer up whatever I could. I think it’s difficult for me to let my treasures go because they were so hard for me to find in the first place. While going through my big boob approved selection, I kept saying to myself “I’ve gotta hold on to that in case I never find another one that fits.” But what I realized is this: if I don’t take something out of my wardrobe, then I won’t feel the need to search for something new to fill that space. With all that being said, I’ll be swapping two of my most favorite items, both by Pepperberry, from my closet on Saturday.

The first is my gorgeous oatmeal cardigan with appliqué. What I love the most about this cardigan is that it is fitted at the waist but leaves ample room for the bust. The only reason I am willing to give it up is because I also have it in chocolate.

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The second item I will be swapping on Saturday is a plum ponte knit dress. I love this dress. It is extremely comfortable, fits like a dream and the color is a welcome alternative to navy or black.  It looks like a whole lotta nothing on the hanger but is oh so lovely on the right busty body.

I can’t wait to see what the other ladies bring on Saturday for the swap!

See ya there!

Big Bust Clothing Swap: Good Things Come to Those Who Trade

Incredibly, we still have a few tickets left to this Saturday’s 3rd Annual Big Bust Clothing Swap, but they won’t last long once I tell you what we have in store.

First, the goody bags include $20 gift cards to Magic Corsets in Forest Hills, Queens (I wrote about my niece’s first bra fitting there in 2011 and the great experience with Black Girls Run last year). Magic Corsets’ inventory makes it worth taking the E train to Forest Hills. There’s also a Fox’s that carries Byron Lars just down the street.

magic corsets

What else is in the goody bags? Great coupons from Urkye, Lion’s Lair, Emilio Cavallini and Sunday Intimates!

Second, the raffle prizes are amazing, and for each top, bra or dress you bring, you’ll receive one raffle ticket (up to a total of ten). Thanks to our generous raffle sponsors, here’s what you can win:

  1. Falling in Love short from Fraulein Annie (by the way, Kaori’s Closet has just received a new shipment of this line–I’m on my way over there soon to see if I can fit the Falling in Love bra now that I’m a smaller size than I was when I tried the 36G in 2012)
  2. Dress from Bolero Beachwear (your choice of short or maxi–I’m loving my maxi dress)
  3. Bra from All Undone (haven’t you been craving this brand since it launched last year?)
  4. Comexim bra from Wellfitting (a/k/a Leah’s favorite bra brand)
  5. Cami and panty set from Real Girls Lingerie (another brand I’ve always wanted to try)
  6. Perfect Cami (still my go-to for cleavage coverage)
  7. $50 gift certificate to Suzette’s Lingerie

Third, LOOK WHO ELSE IS COMING!

  • Bolero’s founder and designer is flying in from Miami so that you can try her dresses in person.
  • Campbell & Kate’s amazing seamstress will be here to answer any alterations questions that you have–including for items you’re not swapping, so bring those pieces from the back of your closet that you’ve always meant to get fixed.
  • Meet Hourglassy‘s fabulous columnists. Tina (all the way from Finland!), Leah and Mia are as wonderful in person as you would expect them to be from their writing.

Fourth–the whole reason we’re doing this–you’re going to walk away with something new to you and know that those valuable bust-fitting pieces you’ve relinquished have gone to a worthy home.

Best of all, you are going to have so much fun trading stories and tips about the full-busted life. Where else will you get such informed opinions  on what to wear and how to wear it than from the like-minded (and bodied!) group of busty women that you’re going to meet this Saturday?

Full Bust Finds: Curve Friendly Byron Lars

Fox’s is a discount store that has become my go-to shopping source for one reason: they carry Byron Lars Beauty Mark. I’d heard that Byron Lars designs his clothing for women’s curves, but until I stumbled upon a rack full of his pieces at Fox’s, I’d never had the chance to try them. Wouldn’t you want to try clothes from a designer with the following philosophy:

Beauty Mark is about clothes that make you look better . . . it’s that simple.  They often accentuate the waist, perk up the bust, flatter the booty and leave a girl standing in the mirror feeling quite taken with herself.

The largest Byron Lars sizes at Fox’s tend to be a size 8 or 10.  I’ve lost weight and now fit a 32G Panache Idina, plus I’d heard that Byron Lars sizes are generous, so  I decided to see if I could fit them. Before I show you the results, I have a theory that many Byron Lars styles will work great with broad shoulders. Here are closeups of two pieces to explain why I think this.

byron lars shoulder closeup navy backless shirt dress

Notice the absence of a shoulder seam across the shoulder bone in this navy dress. Instead, he provides structure with a seam that runs along the shoulder and ends beyond the shoulder bone–or on the shoulder bone if you have wide shoulders.

byron lars white blouse shoulder detail

This is the back of a white blouse. There’s extra fabric built into the top of the arm that you can kind of see with the fold in the bottom left corner.

Now on to the fit of the dresses I tried. This navy laser cut lace shirt dress was my absolute favorite. I’m wearing it in a size 8, which I could get away with, but I would have felt more comfortable in a 10. And of course my favorite dress was the most expensive at $169, although that is nowhere near the full price.

byron lars lazer cut shirt dress full front

byron lars lazer cut shirt dress full back

byron lars closeup lazer cut shirt dress

Here’s why a size 10 would have been better, but I LOVE the set of three bust darts coming from the center front placket.

Next up is the black and ivory optical weave dress that I like to imagine Clare Underwood would wear–after all, it has an asymmetrical back and an architectural drapey knot just below the right shoulder! Speaking of politician’s wives, I only learned this week that Byron Lars is a favorite of Michelle Obama. This dress cost $79 at Fox’s, a significant difference from the $470 price at this Georgetown boutique. I’m wearing a size 8, and it felt fine.

byron lars drapey white and black front

byron lars assymetrical back detail

byron lars drapey side profile

byron lars drapey white closeupNext up, another sheath for $79. There was some underarm bra display, but I got rid of it by pulling it up at the shoulders–hence the too high shoulder straps that I would have had altered if I’d purchased it. I’m wearing a size 10.

byron lars drapey gray sheath front

Here’s a tailored shirt dress with a fun surprise–check out the back! Unfortunately, this size 10 fit everywhere except in the neckline department. With the scooped out back, I’m not even sure a Perfect Cami could help.  Otherwise, I would have had a hard time saying no to this dress. I can’t remember the price, but it definitely wasn’t $495!

navy backless shirt dress front

blurry front and back of navy backless shirt dress

Not all the dresses were streamlined, and I include a flouncy dress at the very end, but I’m including one more sheath-like dress because if you’re tempted to try the Byron Lars line at Anthropologie, this is a version of the Lana dress, which has mixed reviews from a couple of busty customers (one with a 40″ bust found the size 12 gave enough room, and one with a bra size 32E found the  size 2 too tight).  I’m wearing a size 8, and a 10 would have been better.

byron lars sequin bottom front and back

The dolman sleeves mean plenty of bust room in the top layer.

byron lars inner shell sequin bottom

Not so much room in the woven button front bottom layer. However, since the princess seams are covered by the top layer, you could add an extra panel in here for more bust room.

Now for the flouncy dress, also in size 8. Here’s a closeup of the same under-bodice as the Lana dress.

byron lars inner shell flouncy dress

byron lars flouncy dress front

This would have looked better if I’d rolled up the sleeves.

closeup of details under flouncy skirt

Incredible detail beneath the skirt–check out the scalloped slip!

Finally, I actually purchased one item–a white blouse for $35 in size 8. I’m not in love with how high the waist/knot sits, but the little details are AMAZING.

byron lars knot front shirt front

Just inside the neckline, there’s an inverted button to keep everything in place. Below that, there’s a hook to be sure it stays together.

byron lars blouse back

Princess seams in back. A side zipper up the right side.

byron lars blouse gusset detail

As with the white blouse above, there’s an added gusset under the arm. And although there is a traditional shoulder seam, there’s also a seam coming out of it (as with the navy dress in the first photo above), causing the sleeve to stand away from the shoulder.

byron lars blouse elbow detail

With the extra space for the shoulders, Byron Lars takes it in at the elbows with a little tuck.

There’s also a Byron Byron Lars line on HSN! However, I’ve studied the video, and this twist front blouse is definitely NOT the same as the one I bought, so you’ve been warned. I’m VERY tempted to try one of the chambray fit and flare shirt dresses that are on clearance for only $29.95, especially since some of the reviewers have complained about there being too much room in the bust!

Corporate Curves Report (Holiday Edition): In the Big Apple – Top Tips for Shopping?

I’ve just landed at JFK this late afternoon, and I’m heading towards my Tudor City hotel on Manhattan. This is not my first visit to New York, as some of you readers might remember, but I’m looking for a different perspective this time instead of what I always do. I’ve already gotten some excellent restaurant recommendations from our very own Off the Rack Leah, but let’s talk about shopping now 🙂

What are your go to places on Manhattan, Brooklyn or elsewhere close to Manhattan? Clothes, shoes, lingerie? I’ve avoided going to the Century 21 on Manhattan as I’ve heard it’s always crowded with tourists and I get really anxious in very crowded places. Is it a visit though?

It’s also my friend’s first visit to NYC, so what would you recommend as must sees? Off the beaten track or just something one must see?

We’ll be going for drinks at the Marriott Marquis tonight so we can tick off a skyline view at night off our list + Times Square.

And on Saturday it’s time for the Big Bust Clothing Swap! I’ve brought a LOT of goodies for the swap, pretty much unused Kris Line & Freya bras and Bravissimo and Pepperberry clothes that I’ve ended up only wearing once or twice.