Off the Rack ~ Lise Charmel “Guipure Charming” Demi Bra Review

As part of the last Curve Expo, Darlene and I were invited to a Lingerie Française meetup at Ladurée SoHo. We got to meet a bunch of fellow bloggers as well as brand ambassadors for several French lingerie brands, all while enjoying a cute French meal followed by all the sweets we could eat.

Naturally, I dressed to match the dessert (this is the Lindy Bop “Vanessa” Wiggle Dress in size UK 12/ US Medium).

Naturally, I dressed to match the dessert (this is the Lindy Bop “Vanessa” Wiggle Dress in size UK 12/ US Medium).

Om nom nom!

Om nom nom!

A bonus of the evening was the goodie bags we received, which included an invitation to try a Lise Charmel lingerie set. Since I’ve never tried French lingerie, I was really excited to have this opportunity, especially after chatting with the Lise Charmel rep at dinner, to whom I even spoke a little French. [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Cleo Piper Longline Bra Reviewed

The Cleo Piper longline bra in cobalt blue was a huge blogger favorite at the autumn/winter 2016 lingerie trade shows. I’ve certainly been waiting patiently for its release, and many online retailers are already sold out of lots of sizes, if not the entire run.

I was lucky enough to find it in my size, but after trying my regular Cleo size and two other sizes, this bra absolutely does not work for me at all…which is really unfortunate since it’s so gorgeous! I mean, look at it!


I started off with size 28GG. This is the size I wear in most Cleo bras, though occasionally I need to size down in the cup or up in the band. To compare to a few other Cleo models: the 28GG Marcie fits my bigger boob perfectly and runs big on my smaller boob, enough that I need a cookie, and the band is perfect; Meg/Lily/Erin fits both boobs perfectly in 30FF and the band is perfect; and Hettie fits both boobs perfectly in 28GG, but the band is a little loose. I also recently tried the Blake in 28GG and found it too small in the cups (I’m debating whether to try exchanging for a size up or deciding the issue is actually that it’s just too closed on top). [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Visiting Etaín Lingerie Boutique in Portland, Maine

I was on vacation in Maine last week, including spending a few days in Portland, where my husband and I ate and drank to our heart’s content. I hadn’t anticipated doing much shopping there, and I certainly didn’t expect to find a lingerie shop that carried anything for the full bust, but that’s exactly what I stumbled upon on my very first day there!

Etaín is a really lovely little shop carrying a wide range of brands and sizes, with a distinct perspective. Much to my delight, there was nary a “nude” bra in sight! There were bright colors and cheeky materials, brands both well known (Panache) and independent (Fortnight), and items to suit several needs (in addition to conventional bras, there were binders, loungewear, swim, and sport). It was a beautifully curated collection that somehow still managed to provide something for everyone despite the lack of boring basics.


Owner and manager Mackenzie Morris was on duty when I walked in the door, and she was exceedingly helpful. She knew the stock well, and knew the size range of each of the items I considered, which made trying a few new things a real pleasure. [Read more…]

Big Bust Bra Review: Hero 1841 Side Support Plunge Bra

When Bras Galore offered me the opportunity to review any bra on their website, I quickly scanned their offerings to find the Freya Hero, a bra I’ve been wanting to try since discovering its extra side support at Curve.


Here is a closeup of the side support feature on the cobalt blue Hero that we saw at Curve last August.

Since the bra arrived in early January after a long stretch of holiday eating, the 32F gave me pronounced bubbling over the cups. However, by March I’d lost my holiday weight, but the cups were still too small, so I exchanged the bra for a 32FF. The fit was perfect, and it was immediately comfortable without any break-in period.

I tend to get an almond and east-west shape in other Freya bras, so I’m very happy with my more rounded and centered look in the Hero. You can see from the photos below that my lift isn’t particularly up there, but I could have adjusted the straps, which are very elastic. However, this makes them very comfortable (and slightly bouncy).

freya hero review

In Erica’s review of the Hero side support balconet in December , she mentions that women who want “a middle-ground between the front and center fit of Cleo or Polish bras and the wider, east-west style of other brands may find something to like here.” I’ve definitely found something to like. [Read more…]