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.

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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…]

Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part IV: Fantasie & Freya

In my final dispatch from Curve, I’m sharing Fantasie and Freya. Overall, both brands demonstrated a lot of color-coordination across styles without being too “matchy.” I was impressed with Fantasie’s color choices and attention to detail, and found lots of Freya swimwear to love. Everything here will be released December 2016 – May 2017.


Fantasie Lingerie

Here’s that color coordination I mentioned. Clockwise from top: Rebecca Lace spacer bra in “Cherry” (starting at 30, up to H), Marianna side-support plunge bra in “Raspberry” (starting at 30, up to GG), and Rosanne side-support bra in “Ivory” (starting at 30, up to H).

Here’s that color coordination I mentioned. Clockwise from top: Rebecca Lace spacer bra in “Cherry” (starting at 30, up to H), Marianna side-support plunge bra in “Raspberry” (starting at 30, up to GG), and Rosanne side-support bra in “Ivory” (starting at 30, up to H).

Love that wide lace back on the Rebecca Lace. The rep told us it has a smoothing effect to avoid what I like to call “phantom back fat.”

Love that wide lace back on the Rebecca Lace. The rep told us it has a smoothing effect to avoid what I like to call “phantom back fat.”

I love black and white prints and digital floral prints, and the Abby side-support bra in “Monochrome” combines both! (Starting at 30, up to H)

I love black and white prints and digital floral prints, and the Abby side-support bra in “Monochrome” combines both! (Starting at 30, up to H)

It might look black here, but the Jacqueline Lace body is actually NAVY. The fabric felt super silky and slinky. Also note the adjustable length with the hooks and eyes in the crotch (though going to the restroom might be a serious struggle!). (Starting at 30, up to GG)

It might look black here, but the Jacqueline Lace body is actually NAVY. The fabric felt super silky and slinky. Also note the adjustable length with the hooks and eyes in the crotch (though going to the restroom might be a serious struggle!). (Starting at 30, up to GG)

[Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part III: Claudette, Tutti Rouge, & Passionata

Part 3 of Curve coming up. This time I’m sharing Claudette, Tutti Rouge, and Passionata.

Claudette

For the last few seasons, I’ve looked at Claudette’s offerings and my initial response is that the items look insane and useless. But then the reps start showing it off, I look at the model photos, I feel the fabrics…and it all starts to seem so cool and innovative. This year was no exception, with Claudette continuing to introduce more loungewear that could almost double as clubwear or even gymwear in some cases. Claudette is the only big-bust lingerie company I saw embracing the athleisure trend.

“The Cat’s Pajamas” is a whole new collection of sleepwear made of super soft rayon modal mixed with fishnet. It looks super comfortable. Check it out:

A romper with pockets? Adorable.

A romper with pockets? Adorable.

[Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part II: Curvy Kate

Last week I showed you Panache’s new offerings. This week I’m focusing on Curvy Kate. Everything featured here will be released during spring/summer 2017 (generally January through June).

CK’s latest collection is more juvenile and cute. There is lots of neon, especially neon pink, with a few pops of blue, as well as influences we were told include kitsch, fun, and surf. They’ve also expanded their molded options in response to demand from US customers.

New style Vegas really fulfills that kitsch influence, with a fun flamingo and floral print. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

New style Vegas really fulfills that kitsch influence, with a fun flamingo and floral print. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

The Daily Dream in “Aqua” is light and refreshing, one of many seafoam-colored options I saw this season. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

The Daily Dream in “Aqua” is light and refreshing, one of many seafoam-colored options I saw this season. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

[Read more…]