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 pretty regularly, and their affiliate site

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 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 [] from BiuBiu, available in black or grey.

Manchester jacket from BiuBiu, available in black and grey.

Zipper jacket [] 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 [] 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!


Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Freya Minx Bra

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a straightforward bra review, but I’m excited to introduce you to the Freya Minx, especially after I gushed about the design during the Curve Expo this past March.

To be honest, I like the “Tabasco” colorway better in both name and aesthetics, but the leopard and lavender color is currently on sale for 60% off at, so that’s what I ended up buying.

Still, while I tend to avoid realistic leopard in favor of more unusual shades like monochrome or neon, the pairing of it with the cool-hued lavender is most unexpected in the best of ways, and adds a sense of modernity. It also helps that Freya did a nice job with the lookbook photography:

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 8.18.15 PM

Some details that I highlighted in the Curve post:

The whole set.

The whole set.

The single-hook band closure.

The single-hook band closure.

Keyhole opening on the gore.

Keyhole opening on the gore.

Thinner straps (3mm smaller than the half-cup strap on the right and 7mm smaller than the GG-K balcony version, according to the lookbook).

Thinner straps (3mm smaller than the half-cup strap on the right and 7mm smaller than the GG-K balcony version, according to the lookbook).

I bought this bra in 28G, the same size I always buy from Freya.

Now, the delicate sheer fabric, thinner straps, and single hook had me a little worried about fit. Would this bra really be able to handle a pair of G cups? Happily, the answer is definitely yes!

The profile is just like most of Freya’s other half-lace plunge balcony bras—well lifted, yet natural with just the slightest pointiness. The keyhole doesn’t affect the structure at all, since the wires are still in their traditional position.

As for the band, it remains just as supportive as your conventional two-hook option from Freya. In fact, I found it tighter than usual, though it loosened up after I wore it several days in a row. The support is due in large part to a piece of vertical boning where the band splits. The boning is quite strong yet surprisingly bouncy. If I fold it in half, it springs right back into position, and it doesn’t dig in or feel uncomfortable at all.

I quite like the single hook in back as well because it doesn’t dig into me if I sit in a hard chair, which is often an issue even in my best-fitting bras. Apparently I have a sensitive spine?

I also like the fabric. The leopard portion has a little more give in all directions than other Freyas I own. The lace is quite thin without any mesh liner, making it flexible and able to mold to any shape. However, the elastic at the edge of the lace does dig in a little, so this may not be the best design for someone especially full-on-top.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about is that the straps seem unusually stiff. As mentioned above, I wore the bra for several days in a row when I first got it to loosen up the band. But even after all that, the straps still seem weirdly stiff and unyielding. Further, they attach a little far out to the sides in back for my narrow shoulders. They feel close to sliding off my shoulders and I find myself pulling on them throughout the day. Unfortunately, due to the unique band structure, I can’t unsew the straps and move them over, so there’s really no escaping it. But other than that, I’m very pleased with this purchase!


Off the Rack ~ Reviewing Urkye Long-Sleeve Tops “Lodka” and “Veka”

This week I’m reviewing two new long-sleeved tops from Polish big bust brand Urkye. I bought them with my exclusive 30% off coupon that I received at Hourglassy’s Big Bust Clothing Swap last month, plus my 4% returning customer discount, so they only ended up costing about $63 including shipping. Additionally, the shirts were delivered in a mere two weeks! If you like any of them, I’d suggest buying your own right away, because some of the sizes have already sold out.

My measurements are 37” bust and 29” waist, and I bought all these shirts in 38 o/oo. This is the size I always buy from Urkye (unless I want something to fit extra tight or show extra cleavage, in which case I sister-size to 36 oo/ooo). So far, everything I’ve ever ordered in this size has fit consistently.

For those who aren’t familiar with Urkye’s sizing, it works the same as other big bust brands such as the British Pepperberry or Polish BiuBiu—you use your waist measurement to determine the number and your bust measurement to choose from three curvy levels (in Urkye’s case, o, oo, and ooo) for tailored items or two curvy levels (o/oo and oo/ooo) for stretch items. You can find the size chart here, and you can see a list of the Urkye models’ measurements and sizes here, which makes it even easier to figure out the best fit for you.

First up is the Lodka, which Google Translate tells me means “boat.” This makes sense, since it features a boat-neck neckline. It also has two seams up the front and back to give it shaping. It’s a slightly thicker and heavier knit, perfect for fall and winter.

Sometimes the colors on Urkye’s website look quite different from the color of the fabric in real life, and this top is no exception. However, there’s something especially funny going on with this particular photo. The online image looks like a dusty, almost denim blue. But when I saved the photo to my computer, the saved file looked much more teal. In real life, the shirt is teal. Here is a comparison, with a screen shot from the website on the left and the saved photo file on the right:

blue combo

Anyhow, here’s how it looks on me:




I love the seams, as I think they give this plain shirt just a tiny bit of extra interest (as well as creating the excellent fit, of course). I also think the sleeves are the perfect length, reaching just past my wrist, and the perfect level of tightness, just loose enough that they don’t bunch up or feel restrictive. The neckline sits on my shoulders a little funny, so that the trim lifts up and off my body somewhat, but I’ve had this effect with other shirts before too. I think the shirt is simply cut for slightly differently shaped shoulders than mine. It’s a small enough detail that I don’t physically feel it and really don’t care. In fact, I like this shirt so much that I just ordered it in two more colors!

Much to my satisfaction, the Lodka is quite long. With my extra-long torso, this is a rarity indeed. I’m wearing mid-rise jeans here, and to help show the length further, in this photo I’m pointing to my belly button:


Next up is the Veka top, which doesn’t seem to have a translation. It’s a V-neck with princess seams and three-quarter sleeves. I bought it in purple and green. This time, the colors on the website are actually quite accurate, and didn’t change when I saved the image file:



The purple is actually more color-accurate in the manufacturer image than my photo this time:




Though it’s the same 92% cotton, 8% elastane as the Lodka, the Veka is a thinner, smoother material, excellent for layering. I wore it tucked into a high-waisted skirt earlier this week and didn’t feel any extra bulk. The princess seams are, of course, ideal for boobs, and once again the sleeves are not too tight. The fabric does feel a little clingier overall than the Lodka, but I attribute that to its thinner texture. This time, the shoulders sit flush with my body as well.

Finally, another belly button photo for length demonstration (it’s the same length as Lodka), followed by the green top on me, looking slightly more neon in my photos than it is in real life:




Lastly, I just have to point out one more thing that I really love about these tops: They have a substantial waist! Check out these photos, and marvel at how much they flare out at the bottom. I hate it when shirts are super tight across my hips and baggy at the waist, but these tops accommodate my bottom-half curves as well as my top half. This means no bagging, bunching, or riding up.




Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Panache Wireless Sports Bra

I’ve been on vacation this week, borrowing my parents’ cabin in the countryside of central New York. My back is feeling quite a bit better, and I have a doctor’s appointment Monday, so as long as she says it’s okay, I’ll probably go back to my once-or-twice-weekly gym visits in just a few more days.

In honor of Hourglassy’s “Fit & Active October,” Panache graciously sent me a wireless sports bra to review before I left town. Unfortunately, my back pain meant I couldn’t try it out for running or gym workouts, but I did bring it with me to try with hiking in the woods.

Disclosure: This bra was received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

I tried the wireless sports bra in the same size as my wired one, 30G. In regular bras, I vary from 28G to 28GG or 30FF to 30G depending on the brand. In regular Panache bras, I tend to need 28GG, though in some Cleo bras, I also may take a 30 band. In any case, the Panache wired sports bra is perfect on me in 30G, and the 30G wireless feels about the same.

The wireless bra is soft, but has permanent, molded, crease-like shaping in the interior. It’s pretty cool, because it doesn’t feel stiff, but it still maintains its three-dimensional shape.

While at the cabin this week, I’ve gone on several little hikes. One day when it was in the 50s (Fahrenheit), I skipped a bra completely when I took a leisurely two-mile walk on the road, and by the time I got done and took my jacket off, I had huge wet marks on my tee shirt from under-boob sweat. It felt so gross!

The next couple days, I wore a regular wired bra and the sports bra on hikes in the woods in similar weather, to see how they all compared. Before I left town, I also wore the sports bra on a regular day, to check out how it stacked up when worn all day long.

Unfortunately, the wireless sports bra doesn’t work for me. It felt good when I first put it on, but right away I noticed it was crushing over a bit at the base of the cup even after swooping and scooping all my breast tissue and adjusting the straps. On the day I wore it to work, I felt perfectly comfortable, but when I got undressed for bed at night, I realized it was giving me a really saggy profile.

When I took my sports bra hike in the woods, I took photos before and after walking, and the difference is really noticeable. To be fair, on both the workday and the hike, I didn’t feel any jiggling. But the wired sports bra is so successful on me that I would never reach for the wireless one instead.

Before, from the front, side, and a view from beneath the cups, where you can see it crushing over slightly:




And after, from the same angles. Click to see larger, and note the visible sweat on the underside of the cups on the second and third shots:




In the third shot, you can see that the base of the cup has not only crushed, but the bra has folded over all the way around except for the hooks and eyes.

Also note in the straight-on shot, originally the Panache logo on the band was fully visible, and in the after-shot, it’s completely covered. Here’s a side-by-side:


Seems like the band crept up and the cups sagged and went east-west.

You can also see how much of the cups folded over in this shot of the interior of the bra:


I think my boobs are simply too heavy and too full-on-bottom for a wireless bra. As such, I can’t recommend this sports bra for women who in general require lots of projection in their bras. However, it’d be worth a try for ladies with a different shape—more shallow, mainly.