Pretty Bras for Big Breasts: My Second Impression of Tutti Rouge

I’m super late to the Tutti Rouge party, but I don’t mind because originally I didn’t even want to go. If you’ve been reading bra blogs for a while, you know that Tutti Rouge made a big splash in 2013 with its fresh styling, packaging and marketing. There were many reports of inconsistent fit issues (including Leah’s that she shared on Friday, plus I had tried a friend’s Tutti Rouge bra that didn’t work for me), and I thought Tutti Rouge was yet another new company promising big things to big busts that it couldn’t deliver.

In the final hour of the final day of Curve, I finally stopped by their booth. Since Mia hadn’t had the chance to visit them for her J-Cup Chronicles, I thought I should check them out (and I didn’t realize Leah already had!). That’s where their PR and marketing manager Katie changed my mind about the brand. As she showed me the gorgeous emerald Beatrice (it reminded me of raw silk in person), I asked, “Is it true that your bras are better for shallow breasts?

big bust beatrice tutti rouge

“Some of them are,” she admitted. “In fact, we’re fixing the cup in the Beatrice so that I don’t slip out the center when I bend over.” Fortunately, Tutti Rouge also makes bras where where slippage isn’t a problem. Katie wears a 32G, and she finds the Nichole works great for fuller boobs. She even pulled down her shirt to prove it–and told me I could publish the picture!

32G in the Nicole

It turns out that Katie isn’t your typical marketing maven from the outside. She used to be a fit model for Wacoal, so she knows the ins and outs of bra fit and function. In fact, until the Tutti Route Fifi (below) came on the scene with its side sling for upward and forward projection, she refused to leave the Freya Deco behind. The Fifi and the Liliana (last picture in this post) are Tutti Rouge’s two styles that go to a J cup. Everything else goes to a HH cup.

big bust friendly tutti rouge fifi

On the other hand, styles like the Beatrice, Betty (below) and Kitty, where overflow is allowed, are great for a shallow bust. As Katie made clear, these aren’t run-for-the-bus kinds of bras.

big bust bra betty tutti rouge

Katie also pointed out that certain styles, like the Tallulah below, will always work better on the 30F model than they do on her. (By the way, the Tallulah tattoo print that Miss Underpinnings described in August is also out now!)

big bust bra tallulah tutti rouge

Finally, Tutti Rouge is quite excited about the Jessica, which Leah told you on Friday is the “world’s first unpadded plunge with removable cookies”. To add a little more detail, the removable cookies are graded for bras up to a HH cup–it’s not “one cookie fits all”–and they create a gentle cleavage by pushing the breasts to the middle instead of pushing them up. Below, the model is wearing the Jessica with the matching garter belt.

big cup bra tutti rouge jessica

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Last summer, a reader asked Hourglassy to tell readers where they can find the bras that we rave about at Curve, and we’re going to try to do that. Here in New York, the well-respected Suzette’s carries Tutti Rouge, and I called them this morning to find out which styles they carry.  They currently carry the Nichole that you saw Katie wearing above, as well as the Eliza, which Science and Silione reviewed in December. In two weeks, you can expect to find the Liliana there.

bust friendly tutti rouge easter colors liliana

I couldn’t resist photographing this Easter candy color combination of the Liliana. However, it’s also available in continuity colors of creme, noir sugar (black lace over pink base) and ice white.

The Liliana comes in 28-38 D-J and 40-44 D-F, and Suzette’s will carry it in 30-38 F-J.  Finally, Suzette’s will carry the Jessica when it ships in July or August.

Thanks to Suzette’s good experience with Tutti Rouge, I’m pretty sure you’ll soon find Tutti Rouge in more brick and mortar stores than those currently listed on its stockists page. Bravissimo and Figleaves will also carry it.

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If you’ve worn Tutti Rouge beyond the dressing room, would you tell us in the comments how you’ve liked it? We’re hoping to be able to try it ourselves soon!

 

Full Bust Finds: Knit Jacket from Express

As you know, I’m on the lookout for a knit blazer to replace my polka dot one, so I visited a few Express stores to see if they had the textured grid jacket that I showed you. Although that style was only available online, there were several other knit options that looked promising.  I took the two 24″ blazers below into the dressing room.

express 24 inch knit blazers

Incredibly, the size medium fit perfectly . . . even buttoned! There was even plenty of room to move my arms freely.

big bust friendly express ponte blazer front 2

big bust friendly stripe blazer express front

big bust friendly stripe blazer express front side closeup

big bust friendly stripe blazer express back

It surprised me how much I preferred the striped jacket to the solid one. It made more of an impact and somehow even seemed more slimming. There was only one problem. When I showed it to Leah and Mia at the Curve lingerie trade show yesterday, they both agreed that the 24″ length was too long on me. You can see the difference in proportion side by side with my trusty black cardigan. It looks like I should try the 20″ and 22″ blazers from Express instead.big bust friendly express jacket too longFor those of you who don’t have my length issue, here are the other relevant shirt measurements. For the waist, I started 15″ down from the center back of the collar and measured across the garment from the button to the keyhole end of the buttonhole. For the bust, I began 1″ down from the underarm and measured from the folded edge of one lapel to the other. Obviously, this means there is an expanse of space between the lapels that is not included in the numbers below.

  • In size Medium, the waist measures 35″, and the bust measures 37″.
  • In size Large, the waist measures 37.25″ and the bust measures 39″.

In these pictures, my waist measures around 32″ pulled snug, and my bust measures 40.5″, and I’m wearing my Fantasie 4510 in 32FF.

Can this blazer fit a larger cup size? I really want to take advantage of the variety of body shapes and sizes represented by the Hourglassy writers. That’s why I showed you the Tatyana top in large on me that you saw in medium on Leah. In this case, I wanted to see how the large striped jacket would work on a woman who wears a 32J, so I took it with me to Curve and asked Leah to snap this photo of Mia and me.

hrglssy profile pic

Mia’s analysis of the way this blazer fit her was eye-opening for me. It was also eye-opening to visit the various exhibitor booths with her and to encounter certain bra fitting considerations that never cross my mind. I don’t know what Mia is going to write about day after tomorrow, but she has promised to cover both of these topics very soon.

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A final note: this Express jacket is very well-made. The fabric is thick, the sleeves are lined, and the seams are bias bound. It costs $108 full price, which isn’t cheap. However, as I study this blazer, I doubt there is any way I could create a comparable blazer for the full bust market for the same retail price.  Startups who must manufacture small amounts domestically simply cannot compete on price, but what is even more sobering is that in this instance, there’s no contest when it comes to fit or quality either. How do you think a full-bust clothing company in the United States would need to distinguish itself in order to sell a higher-priced version of this jacket? Or what should they sell instead?

big bust friendly blazer bias bound seams express

 

Full Coverage Reading Roundup for D Cups and Up

Today I finished going through every Hourglassy post from 2012 as part of my blog housekeeping and organizing, and I was surprised to realize how much I enjoyed the reading roundups that I began in 2012 but let fizzle out last February. They took a lot of time to write, but as I reviewed them, I found links to some pretty useful information that I’d forgotten. Now that we’ve just had a holiday where I could catch up on my reading, I find myself with more useful information that I want to share with you. If this keeps happening, I’ll revive the roundup!

First

I’ve just given our blog roll some much needed updating . . . deleting links to non-existent blogs and moving blogs that haven’t posted anything since last fall to the “less active” section. But I didn’t only weed and prune. I’ve also added three new blogs that you’ll really enjoy:

Second

It’s not perfect, but the Ewa Michalak Nina Top is the best sleep/house bra that Curvy Wordy has found so far. If you’re on a quest for one, be sure to visit the links to all her past sleep bra tries that are located at the bottom of her post.

Speaking of sleep bras, there’s a new brand that will be at Curve this weekend called Nightlift. The bras cost $98 and only go to a DDD cup (32-42 bands), but I’m fascinated by the cradle concept designed to support breasts while sleeping on one’s back or side.

nightliftI’m dying of curiosity to try one, but a sleep bra has never been at the top of my wish list because my breasts don’t get in the way of my sleeping, or I would sister size to a 34 or 36DDD. They’re being marketed as a way to prevent sagging and wrinkles, but that doesn’t motivate me, either. However, I do like the idea of a bra to wear under certain nightgowns that would look better with a firmer bustline, especially if I could fall asleep comfortably in it since there are no underwires.

Right now there aren’t a lot of reviews out there, but here are a few links I found through the company’s website and tweets:

  • Glamour Fashion Blog (It’s not your imagination that the bra rides up in back in the pictures on the website–this writer noticed it on herself as well. I guess that’s okay as long as it doesn’t mean the band is so loose that the cups can’t contain all of the tissue.)
  • The Gloss
  • Smarty Panties

Third

Kris Line will also be at Curve this weekend. I’m always tempted by their bras on Zulily, but I can’t risk ordering the wrong size since all sales are final. Those of you who live in Florida can visit La Bella Intimates to try Kris Line in person, but for the rest of us there’s finally an online optionLa Bella Intimates has launched its ecommerce site where you can find the Fortuna and Brilliant styles in most cup and band sizes. As of this writing, I couldn’t find the return policy anywhere on the website, but when I called the store today, they told me that you have 14 days to return a purchase for store credit.

That’s probably good protection from shoppers who might buy a bra to find their size and then return it to buy for less from Zulily. Otherwise, I can’t see La Bella being able to compete.

Fourth

On the subject of competition, here is the sign I saw on Linda’s wall last week while I waited for a friend who wanted my help with a fitting. This is Linda’s way of discouraging shoppers from using her fitting services but purchasing elsewhere.lindas bra fitting feeYikes! I had told my friend to meet me there for two reasons: (1) she wanted a cami bra, and Linda’s website said they had one by Natori; and (2) it was on the way to the Completely Bare lingerie popup shop. But if I had known about the fee, I never would have suggested it.

“Was it on the website?” I asked one of the women behind the front desk.

“Yes,” she said. I got out my smartphone, and sure enough, there it was–buried in the FAQ’s section.

“I’ve been coming to Linda’s for years, and I’m on the mailing list,” I said. “Was there a newsletter announcement?”

“No,” she answered. “The mailing list is only for the online store.”

Once my friend arrived, I explained the situation, and she was fine with taking the risk. Fortunately, she liked a Simone Perele Caressence in 34F. For my part, I was shocked at the low selection. Linda’s no longer carries Fantasie, and the fitter tried to push an Anita sports bra on my friend because they had sold out of the Panache.

Finally

We’re getting excited for Curve this Sunday. Invest in Your Chest has whet our appetites with their preview of Curvy Kate’s new Scantily line and other pictures on Twitter. Sweet Nothings also has us excited about the six new full bust lingerie brands that she reported on today, although none seem to be coming to Curve. As usual, if there’s anything you want us to look for or ask, please let us know!

Full Bust Finds: BreastNest Review

Last November I finally ordered my own BreastNest after Holly intrigued me with her review two years ago. Truth be told, when I studied Holly’s review and the photos on the BreastNest website, it didn’t look like something I would wear out of the house, but I hoped it would be different in person. Unfortunately, once it arrived, I didn’t think I could wear it inside the house either–I couldn’t get over the “breast sacks” that hung from the garment’s chest.

Something changed last week. After weeks on the shelf, I put the camisole on following an afternoon of errands, and I felt a giant sense of “Aaaaaaaaah”. I’d been wearing my Panache sports tank on the middle hook all day and didn’t realize how tight it was until I felt the soft contrast of the BreastNest.

I’ll never wear it out of the house, but I’ve now changed my mind about wearing it inside. I spent an hour in front of my computer in it and really appreciated its protection from skin-on-skin contact. Much as I love my Bra:30, it has nothing to protect me from under-boob sweat once gravity runs its course–the only solution is to hike the girls up and start again. I also like that the BreastNest prevents between-boob sweat.

As for support, there isn’t any, and that’s fine for just sitting in front of the computer or lounging on the couch. However, I’d be thrilled if the company could find a way to hide the “sacks” and add a little bounce-resistant compression. Then I would be willing to answer the door in it. In the meantime, since we’re having such a cold winter, I’m tempted to try the BreastNest under my Bra:30 for the best of both worlds.

The $58 price is a sacrifice for me, but I respect the high quality materials and workmanship that have gone into this product. The stitching feels very secure, and the multiple seams make this much more than a simple tee shirt. The fabric is Lenzing Modal, a bamboo fabric that is environmentally friendly because of the way the manufacturer treats the waste water used to soften the wood fibers. (I’m otherwise skeptical when anyone claims their garment is “green” because it is made with bamboo fabric. Bamboo fabric is the same as rayon, created with highly toxic chemicals that must be disposed of, which is why it is usually manufactured in third world countries with lax environmental laws.) The camisoles are made in the United States, and some of my photos show the careful attention to detail as well as the beautiful finishing inside and out. I’m wearing size medium.

After I tried the BreastNest last week, I mailed it to Mia for her opinion, which she’ll share with you tomorrow.

breastnest front

breastnest side

breastnest back preferred

The shelf bra extends completely around the entire camisole. I like the smoothing effect of the double layer of fabric.

breastnest under detail

I found the depth of the bra “cup” to be just right for me, although if I were larger I may want more. (That isn’t a flaw that you see in the seam that runs along my breast. It’s simply a notch to help the stitchers align the pieces of fabric.)

breastnest intersection outer

All the seams that must meet at the center gore area.

breastnest inside detail

An interior view of the cups. No raw edges.