Empreinte Grace Review

Lately, I know it’s going to be a good bra day if I can answer yes to two questions as I get dressed in the morning:

  1. Do I need to wear a black bra?
  2. Did I give my Empreinte Grace a break yesterday so that I can wear it again today?

Honestly, it wasn’t love at first sight for Grace and me. With all the gorgeous Empreinte bras that I showed you in August, I only gave Grace a second look because the company offered to set us up–they said I could keep the display model that we used for our raffle in September. Now I can’t live without her!

Empreinte Grace

Let’s begin with measurements and fit. Today my under bust measures 33″ if I pull the tape measure super tight, and my over bust measures 41″. The Grace in 32F fits me perfectly. The center gore tacks comfortably against my chest, and there’s no bubbling at the top of the cups, which is great since the lace and tulle have absolutely no stretch. I have the full cup version, which lessens the chance of quadraboobing because the top of the cup crosses the breast tissue closer to my chest where I’m firmer. There’s also no empty space at the bottom of the cups.

With Grace, there was none of the typical break-in stiffness that I often experience at the end of the day with new bras. I completely forgot that I was wearing a new bra. Some of the comfort may be attributable to the looser band that French brands are known for, but I’m not sure if “looser” is the right word for it. The Grace band simply stays in place without needing to cinch. That being said, sometimes after a long day of sitting in the car (traveling home from Thanksgiving, for instance), the underwires feel slightly lower than the base of my breasts, but a single readjustment puts everything in place again.

Besides comfort–my boobs feel almost weightless in the Grace–there are two other things that I love about this bra. First, I love the lift and rounded profile.

Empreinte Grace profile in purple Urkye top

Second, I don’t know if this is specific to the full cup version, but the wings are nice and wide so that, combined with the non-cinching fit, they actually smooth out some of the back bulges that I thought were here to stay. I also like that even the 32 band has three rows of hooks. (Speaking of hooks, I’ve worn it on the loosest column for the last two months, but I’m trying the middle column today and feeling more secure.)

You can see how back bulge is less apparent in the Grace on the right side of this screen shot from a recent Meredith Vieria Show (Town Shop fitter Alba Salas puts the volunteer in the “Rolls Royce of bras” beginning at 3:50 in the video). The microphone and fitter’s hand are in the way, but you can still see a difference in the spot between her left strap and underarm, which is where I see a big difference on me.

empreinte grace back view

Here’s a before-and-after from the front that doesn’t do ANY justice to the delicate features of this bra because they inserted a pad to hide the volunteer’s nipples. However, you CAN see the difference in lift and centeredness.

empreinte grace front view

Here’s what the bra looks like without a modesty insert.

empreinte grace center detail

The straps are sturdy and comfortable, but Empreinte adds lace to keep them pretty.

empreinte grace strap detail

Here’s a closeup of the power mesh wings.

empreinte grace band detail

The fitter in the video says that this is not a molded bra, but that’s exactly what it is. Empreinte is the only lingerie company I’m aware of that can create a seamless molded cup from a single panel of lace for women who wear DD+ bras. (On the other hand, if the fitter meant that this is not a contoured cup like the volunteer’s original bra, she is completely correct. There is no lining or padding in its construction.)

empreinte grace interior detail

I haven’t worn full cup bras in a long time, and I forgot about how secure the full coverage makes me feel. The tulle strip across the top of the bra doesn’t really mitigate the “too much bra” look, but it certainly mitigates any bouncing. Interestingly, the un-stretchy tulle also makes it challenging (but not impossible) to scoop and swoop.

With its delicate materials and special details, I love wearing the Empreinte Grace as an everyday bra. Because I usually wear it under dark or textured clothes, the lace never shows through. If Grace were offered in my skin tone, the sheer cups and lace would keep me from wearing it under one of my white shirts. However, I would gladly wear Grace in other colors under most anything else.

The Abyss colorway is currently on sale at Bare Necessities, plus an additional 30% off today with code CYBER.

empreinte grace abysse


Full Bust Clothing Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales!!!

You know what I’m thankful for? Having enough full bust companies out there to make it worth publishing a sales roundup for Black Friday and Cyber Monday! (Thanks for the idea, Kelly at Bitter Lollipop.) Check for updates as I hear back from other companies.

black friday sale

DD Atelier logo

The DD Atelier 20% Birthday sale with promo code BIRTHDAY is going on for the entire month of November. Special offers for Black Friday will be posted online on Thursday night, and special offers for Cyber Monday will be posted online on Sunday night.


More Front Room logo

On Friday, November 27th the entire More Front Room store will be 40% off with free shipping on orders over CAD$99 (usually $250) with promo code BLACK40.

Subscribers to our email list will get early access to the sale starting Wednesday, November 25, with a special promo code.


exclusively kristen logo
From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, receive 25% off the Signature One and Only Shirt with code LYLBH0VLF30M (good from 12:01 am, Nov. 27, to 11:59 pm Nov. 30).
Exclusively Kristen white button front


Bolero logo

You can receive 20% off at Bolero with code HOLIDAY20 now through December 25!

Bolero Erica Dress

The Erica dress has just been reduced from $170.00 to $140.00. Adding the HOLIDAY20 code at checkout makes for an even more spectacular deal.Also reduced:  Jenna dress from $185.00 to $150.00 and the Hanky dress from $130 to $120.





What Full Bust Women in the Know Need to Know about More Front Room

There are two types of busty women: (1) the busty lady who thinks that baggy clothes are the only way to fit her boobs; and (2) the busty lady who knows she doesn’t have to hide her waist because we have some pretty great options out there.

When I studied the More Front Room website, it seemed geared towards reaching the first group, which made me wonder how much we could expect from this new brand. Fortunately, founder Melanie Love is firmly in the second group, as I discovered in a two-hour phone call with her that flew by last Friday.

The first thing I wanted to understand was why, with so many big bust clothing options now available to us, her About page said that she’d had “a hard time finding work-appropriate tops that kept my full bust under wraps and still looked good”? It turns out that Melanie’s bra size is 30JJ, and Pepperberry’s Super Curvy is simply too small for her. Her underbust measures 28/29.5″, her waist measures 31/32″, and her bust measures 42.5/43+”.

She’s the fit model for her own brand. This is GREAT news for H+ readers who are tired of explaining that no, they can’t simply shop at Lane Bryant. The full bust clothing industry finally has a company that begins with a JJ cup instead of considering it as a possible add-on later.

Next, I wondered about the quality. The high prices indicate that it should be good, but it’s impossible to assess from a website. I wrote Melanie ahead of our call to see if she would send review samples, and I was thrilled when she said yes. The favorite pieces that I posted last week arrived last night.

Sure enough, the fabrics for the shell, peplum and dress have the weight, hand and drape that you would expect for the price. The silk charmeuse blouse feels feather-soft without being flimsy.

However, as I suspected, it isn’t only the fabric that makes these garments special. Melanie has paid attention to little details that she hasn’t enumerated on the website.

more front room striped shell

The silk cowl neck can be tucked in for a more minimalist look. The same silk is used for binding along the neckline and inside the armholes–both places that no one else sees. And the armholes are high enough that there is absolutely no underarm bra showing.

more front room shell seam binding

Silk binding along the back center seams. I LOVE the back vent zipper detail. This is a very fitted top to try to slip over your head.

more front room hidden placket extra buttons

Is there anything worse than the pulling that ruins the line of a hidden placket? Even when a blouse has enough fabric to accommodate a large bust (and this one does), there can still be pulling. I admire the extra buttons placed at the bust line to avoid this.

Two-button cuff.

Two-button cuff.

more front room silk sleeve rolled up

Even if you roll up the sleeves, the satin interior keeps it looking classy.

more front room silk sleeve seam binding

More binding on the seams to keep the rolled-up sleeves looking nice.

more front room blue peplum

Melanie has worn her own peplum top for six months, and Still. No. Pilling. There’s also NO WRINKLING. The actual color is slightly deeper than this picture.

more front room dress front top

Also absolutely no wrinkling.

more front room dress back

The lining is super smoothing without being Spanx-like constricting.

Melanie’s criteria for any design is its versatility. As she put it, “If I won’t pack it in a carry-on for a business trip, I won’t produce it.” She wants customers to be able to repurpose and remix each piece in order to obtain the best cost per wear. Pieces that she adds in the future will build on her current separates.

Finally, about the fit. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering about a size chart that goes from XXS to XL without an additional metric for bust. Short answer: each size is designed to fit the largest cup size but also meant to look good on smaller cup sizes.

I currently measure 41″ at my bust and 32″ at my waist, so Melanie sent me size S in each of the samples. The dress and shell fit perfectly, but the peplum and silk blouse felt slightly large. She’s sending them to me in XS to compare. Once they arrive, I’ll take photos and post a more complete report on the fit. Until then, if you’re at the larger end of the cup size spectrum, you should feel confident in the size chart. If you’re at the smaller end, you may want to consider sizing down.


Here’s a sneak preview of the scoop neck lace tees that will be added to the More Front Room website soon. The neckline binding is velvet and the lining is Spandex.

2015-11-24 12.03.02

2015-10-23 07.59.21

The lining is a beige-ish blush.

Off the Rack ~ Busty Biker Jackets

Since fall is in full swing here in New York, this week I’m going to discuss my favorite bust-friendly jacket option, the biker (or the motorcycle, or the moto). Some of the features of this style include a wide collar, epaulets, zips on the wrists, a built-in belt, and studs. But the most important feature that all biker jackets must have in order to be classified as such is an asymmetrical zipper up the front. And this, my friends, is what makes the style so bust-friendly, even from non-booby brands and in unforgiving fabrics.

The asymmetric zipper and the wide, decorative collar mean that with most of these jackets, you can stop the zipper just under your bust. In fact, many are designed to be worn this way. This means you can buy a size to fit your waist without worrying about fitting your chest. Below are some photos of several biker-style jackets I’ve purchased over the years, with notes about their particular details.

First up is a knit, biker-style hoodie from Forever21:

Please excuse the old haircut; this photo was taken a year ago.

Please excuse the old haircut; this photo was taken a year ago.

In this case, I actually do zip it up partway over my bustline. But it’s a stretchy knit and I could stop the zipper lower if I needed to accommodate even more boob. Additionally, since this jacket is cropped and has the built-in belt, if it wasn’t stretchy, I could adjust the belt to be smaller and it would still show off my waist.

Next up is a studded denim jacket from Romeo & Juliet Couture:




This brand is ordinarily way expensive, but I found this piece heavily discounted at a Burlington Coat Factory. The brand also pops up on US flash sale site Hautelook.com pretty regularly, and their affiliate site NordstromRack.com.

I got this jacket in a size medium. It’s 99% cotton and 1% spandex, so it has just enough stretch to accommodate my curves while maintaining its structure. I think it fits well whether open, zipped to the bust, and even zipped all the way up. It has a hidden snap in each corner of the collar, so that when I zip it all the way the collar stays in place and doesn’t crumple up or slide around. The princess seams, a serious rarity among biker jackets, also help make it fit well. I really love how nipped in it is at my waist while still accommodating my chest, and frequently wear it with poofy skirts.

I can’t seem to find this jacket for sale with any conventional retailers, but there are plenty of people selling it on eBay and Poshmark. It also comes in light blue denim.

This particular jacket is what’s called a “collarless” style. It still has lapels, but no collar around the neck. The next two options have a conventional motorcycle-style double-collar.

For the third look, I have another Romeo & Juliet Couture piece (also purchased at a major discount), this time in a soft and floppy rayon-polyester-spandex blend with polyester lining:



This one lacks the princess seams, the structure, and the stretch of the previous choice. It fits quite differently even though it’s the same brand and the same size. The zipper is also on the opposite side.

I would not wear this one zipped all the way, as it squishes my chest that way. (It would also hide the blue denim lapels, which I like the look of.) However, by stopping the zipper at the base of my bust, it leaves me with plenty of room. This jacket is also long enough that as bust size increases, one could stop the zipper lower and lower. With this very floppy fabric, the lapels don’t stick out or float away from my body the way they did with the Express striped blazer Mia tried earlier this year.

Finally, we arrive at my favorite fall clothing item out of my entire wardrobe, a real leather motorcycle jacket with all the trimmings! I bought this coat from WilsonsLeather.com last year with major trepidation. The size chart is useless and the reviews weren’t really helpful. Even with extra coupons that dropped the price to $160, that was a lot to invest in something that might not fit. But then I saw a girl in my apartment building’s elevator in an amazing leather jacket, and when I asked her where it came from, it was the very same one! So I went for it.

The jacket features the double-collar, stud snaps, epaulets, a built-in belt, several pockets, wrist zips, lace-up sides, and—best of all—a zip-out quilted poly-fill liner.

Here are three shots with the liner in it:




And without the liner:




I guess you can’t really see a difference in the photos, but the liner, while warm, makes the jacket feel a lot tighter and more restrictive, so I really prefer to wear it without the liner when I can.

This jacket is obviously not as bust-friendly as the other options above, but it’s still a vast improvement over other leather jackets I’ve tried on in stores. Most of them completely flatten me and make me look like the Michelin Man. Even if it isn’t the most flattering coat ever, I still feel really comfortable in it and I think you can see my shape pretty well. One thing that helps a lot is the lacing on the side (visible in the third liner photo). I tightened it so that it’s looser at the bottom of the placket and as tight as possible at the top, so that it cinches my waist in further right at the base of my bust.

As for sizing, I tried a medium first and it was way too bulky. The shoulders were wide, the sleeves practically reached my fingertips, and the waist had inches to spare. So I exchanged for a small. The more I wear this jacket, the more flexible it becomes—and the more it molds to my body! When I first got it, it was definitely more boxy-looking than it is here. But real leather is known for molding to your body with heat, so over time this jacket will fit better and better as I keep wearing it.

A note about this particular item: Wilson’s Leather lists it as $400 but on sale for $269. Don’t believe it! This is an exclusive item they always carry year in and year out, and it’s always marked at $269. However, they have 30% or 40% off sales all the time, and as far as I can tell, this jacket is always part of that deal. So keep an eye out for their next big sale (Black Friday, perhaps?) before you make a purchase.

Finally, here are some biker jackets from boob-friendly brands that you can buy right now:

Manchester jacket [http://biubiu.pl/en/manchester-black.html] from BiuBiu, available in black or grey.

Manchester jacket from BiuBiu, available in black and grey.

Zipper jacket [http://dd-atelier.com/Zipper-Jacket-in-Brown.html] from DD-Atelier, available in brown (shown here), green, and bordeaux.

Zipper jacket from DD-Atelier, available in brown (shown here), green, and bordeaux.

Ponte biker blazer [http://www.bravissimo.com/pepperberry/products/coats/jackets/ponte-biker-jacket/plum/pc160plu/?level=2] from Pepperberry.

Ponte biker blazer from Pepperberry.

For cheap options, Forever21 has tons of faux leather “moto” jackets, and H&M frequently offers them too.

If you know of any others, please share in the comments!