Off the Rack ~ Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 Part II: Elomi, Fantasie, & Freya

After four weeks of weddings and working overtime, I’m finally back to blogging! And I’m continuing my coverage of Curve Spring/Summer 2018. This week, I’m covering the Eveden family, which is Freya, Fantasie, and Elomi (well, and Huit, but that’s the small-bust label, so it’s not included here).

I rarely write about Elomi, since it’s Eveden’s “full-figure” brand so I can’t assess the fit. But there are several very nice pieces this season that I want to highlight. Plus, the Eveden rep actually told us Elomi is the biggest label in the brand family.

How stunning is this “Sachi” cage bra?

How stunning is this “Sachi” cage bra?

I didn’t snap a photo of the back, but this “Matilda” bra has a J-hook.

I didn’t snap a photo of the back, but this “Matilda” was one of several bras with a J-hook.

The “Amelia” spacer bra has proper interior side-slings to pull in your profile, then stretch lace to cover it up and look pretty instead of strictly utilitarian.

The “Amelia” spacer bra has proper interior side-slings to pull in your profile, then stretch lace to cover it up and look pretty instead of strictly utilitarian.

“Morgan’s” cobalt animal print with just a pop of pink is a sophisticated take on leopard.

“Morgan’s” cobalt animal print with just a pop of pink is a sophisticated take on leopard.

I also love the modern monochrome floral print of the “Kim” bra.

I also love the modern monochrome floral print of the “Kim” bra.

I was quite impressed with this range of nudes on display. I don’t know what bra style this is, though, since it’s not in the new lookbook.

I was quite impressed with this range of nudes on display. I don’t know what bra style this is, though, since it’s not in the new lookbook.

Next up, we have Fantasie. To be honest, I was a bit bored by this collection, though there were a couple stand-out pieces that really stood out.

I adore the vintage styling of “Charlotte.”

I adore the vintage styling of “Charlotte.”

How cute are these high-waisted bottoms? And the antique-y rose print is just lovely.

How cute are these high-waisted bottoms? And the antique-y rose print is just lovely.

The sheer, vertical-seamed “Sienna” in bright cobalt looks more like a Huit-style piece to me—in the best possible way!

The sheer, vertical-seamed “Sienna” in bright cobalt looks more like a Huit-style piece to me—in the best possible way!

“Aimee’s” dainty, neutral leopard-print is the subtlest animal print I’ve ever seen—and the gold and ivory lace is a beautiful complement.

“Aimee’s” dainty, neutral leopard-print is the subtlest animal print I’ve ever seen—and the gold and ivory lace is a beautiful complement.

Lastly, we have my old favorite, Freya. Lots of good stuff here, as usual!

I adore the brightly-colored embroidered dots on “Deamcatcher,” but the dainty keyhole and the navy (not black) base of crisscrossing geometric lines make it even better.

I adore the brightly-colored embroidered dots on “Deamcatcher,” but the dainty keyhole and the navy (not black) base of crisscrossing geometric lines make it even better.

“Chi” is a new molded-cup bra based on the Idol shape, which I’m told is even more projected than the Deco.

“Chi” is a new molded-cup bra based on the Idol shape, which I’m told is even more projected than the Deco.

“Chi” also comes in a non-wired nursing bra.

“Chi” also comes in a non-wired nursing bra.

Here’s the original “Idol,” in a gorgeous cobalt blue.

Here’s the original “Idol,” in a gorgeous cobalt blue.

The “Epic” molded sports bra is now offered in black with a hint of orange.

The “Epic” molded sports bra is now offered in black with a hint of orange.

But I’m way more excited for the addition of Freya Sport shorts and leggings with a zipper pocket!

But I’m way more excited for the addition of Freya Sport shorts and leggings with a zipper pocket!

The “Soiree Lace” collection features modern geometric lace that was so soft, we could not stop petting it.

The “Soiree Lace” collection features modern geometric lace that was so soft, we could not stop petting it.

“Soiree Lace” high apex bra and briefs.

“Soiree Lace” high apex bra and briefs.

“Soiree Lace” padded plunge bra and shorts.

“Soiree Lace” padded plunge bra and shorts.

The “Soiree Lace” underwire bralette has a standard band with two rows of hooks-and-eyes beneath a non-opening scoop back.

The “Soiree Lace” underwire bralette has a standard band with two rows of hooks-and-eyes beneath a non-opening scoop back.

Loving this collection’s sky blue additions, such as this “Summer Haze” padded half-cup bra.

Loving this collection’s sky blue additions, such as this “Summer Haze” padded half-cup bra.

I adore the new aquamarine “Fancies” colorway.

And the new aquamarine “Fancies” colorway.

“Daisy Lace” isn’t exactly taking a risk with its color, but I love the art deco triangular decoration at the gore.

“Daisy Lace” isn’t exactly taking a risk with its color, but I love the art deco triangular decoration at the gore.

I love black and white chevron striped swimwear because it reminds me of the first Barbie. This is the “Making Waves” set.

I’m always a fan of black and white chevron striped swimwear because it reminds me of the first Barbie doll. This is the “Making Waves” set.

“Making Waves” also comes in a cute high-neck crop top (only up to FF cups, though).

“Making Waves” also comes in a cute high-neck crop top (only up to FF cups, though).

The crocheted “Sundance” collection is still going strong, with “deep ocean” and hot pink being added as fashion colors.

The crocheted “Sundance” collection is still going strong, with “deep ocean” and hot pink being added as fashion colors.

Freya is really into the macramé look this season.

Freya Swim is really into the macramé look this season.

A Macramé halter bikini.

A Macramé halter bikini.

The Macramé bandeau can be worn two ways…

The Macramé bandeau can be worn two ways…

The Macramé bandeau in its second iteration.

And the second bandeau iteration.

I love the rainbow/zebra/butterfly print of “Hot in Havana,” but yeesh those strappy bottoms are awfully tough to pull off.

I love the rainbow/zebra/butterfly print of “Hot in Havana,” but yeesh those strappy bottoms look awfully tough to pull off.

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Off the Rack ~ Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 Part I: Fortnight and Impish Lee

It’s time for the semi-annual Curve Show roundup! For Spring/Summer 2018, I mostly checked in with our usual favorites, but I also stumbled upon a couple brands I’ve not covered before, which I’ll be sharing in this post.

First up, some great news from Fortnight! A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to try one of their Luna bralettes on a trip to Portland, Maine, but the largest size was still one cup too small for me. When I emailed Fortnight later, they told me there had been so much consumer demand for larger cups that they were planning on introducing bigger cups—and with the SS18 collection, they finally have! The “Luna” longline will be available in G-cups.

Unfortunately, that’s an American G, which is only a UK FF, and the new G cups will only be available for 30 and 32 bands. But at least it’s some progress. Perhaps if it sells well enough, they’ll keep expanding.

The Fortnight reps I spoke with were very excited to explain that the brand wasn’t created with a specific body niche in mind, so every item is engineered to its individual size. As such, the gore height will vary depending on the size, going higher with larger cups, and some sizes will include interior side-slings for more support. Additionally, they’ve added sizes XL and XXL to all their slips and bodysuits (which previously only came in S, M, L).

For all the extended sizes, plus-size model Candace Huffine (who’s on the May 2017 cover of Elle magazine) collaborated with Fortnight to ensure great fit, and she features prominently in the new collection’s marketing materials. She also helped design the inkblot leopard print that runs through the collection (see below). Here are the two new Luna colorways, which are pretty yet still true to Fortnight’s minimalist, slightly androgynous aesthetic:

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Next up is Impish Lee, a brand I’ve seen making its way through the blogosphere but never paid that close attention to. Started as an Etsy shop by sisters Kali and Noelle, Impish Lee has expanded to an amazingly designed website and are now seeking brick-and-mortar distribution (hence why they were at Curve). [Read more…]

Big Bust Boredom Dressing No More–Shopping My Closet with a Professional Stylist

Our tagline–“Above average style for the above average bust”–often feels misleading because I’m so far from a role model for stylish dressing. On the other hand, I aspire to look stylish, and I know our readers do, too. So even if Leah and I are not professional stylists, we give busty women pieces that they can put together on their own.

Last week, Christina Frik, a friend who IS a professional stylist offered to “shop my closet” for me. I was amazed at the looks that she put together. SHE was amazed that I had so many “great pieces to work with”. She thought she was going to give me a long list of basics to buy. Instead, she suggested just four items that will help extend my wardrobe (that I share at the end).

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I set everything out in our living room, and Christina flitted around creating combinations I’d never considered.

Here’s my biggest takeaway about the landscape of big bust dressing: companies that produce clothing for D cups and up are doing their job. They’re providing big-busted women with great building pieces for individual style. We may complain about the lack of options–my side of our closet is practically empty compared to my husband’s–but the truth is, we have incredible essentials that can take us in all sorts of directions without having to compromise on fit. We ran out of time before we ran out of pieces!

Christina came up with options that fit into dress codes that are traditional business (think attorneys) and business casual (think techies), and I finally understand the power of accessories. Look at what she did with just 4 pairs of shoes, 2 necklaces, and 1 scarf. A variety of jackets, cardis and sweaters also helps.

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I had planned to donate this Urkye knit blazer and Express dress to our next Big Bust Clothing Swap until Christina put them together with my leopard kitten heels and new tortoise link necklace.

You’ll see that Christina came up with a lot of big bust looks for a button down shirt. That’s because my first priority was how to wear my own button-front shirts without looking like I’m going for an interview or ready to take food orders. The biggest lesson that bust-friendly designer Patricia McCaw of Bolero has taught me is: Wear your own designs. Now every time I go to an event where I meet new people who ask what I do, I’m ready for the question, “Are you wearing one of your shirts?”

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This 4-button Jones New York jacket that I bought years ago actually buttons across my chest without straining. The patterned pants are a new find from Alfani.

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The more I wear my Paige dress, the more I look forward to new lines from Bitter Lollipop in 2017.

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I still love this knit blazer from Express that I found at a discount store last year.

 

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Recognize this duster from last week’s cardigan survey? I think I’m going to keep it!

 

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This is the other cardi from last week that Christina tells me is a keeper.

As you’ll remember, shoes are always a challenge for me, and I’ve finally found a pair of high boots that fit my orthotics. However, I have a lot to learn about proportion. Christina has encouraged me to wear my ankle boots, t-straps and kitten heel pumps with low hems (like a knee or midi-length dress) and high boots with high hems (like a tunic over leggings).

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This sweater and the tunic below are two of the bust-friendly dolman sleeve pieces that I wrote about in the past.

 

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I don’t plan to keep this pleather jacket from JCP that I wrote about last week–I’m more comfortable with the faux-leather lined cardi–but this look is making me reconsider. Also, note the ankle boots with the low hem of this Rock Cotton tunic (that I’ve used as a swimsuit cover up and wrote about last year).

 

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This picture doesn’t do justice to the texture of the silk blouse from More Front Room.

Finally, I never would have imagined combining my Pepperberry moss-colored linen biker jacket and a brown belt with this Riley dress from Bitter Lollipop.

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My Doc Martin shoes are meh with this outfit, but they’re just a placeholder for one of the items on Christina’s shopping list for me. Here’s the list I promised you:

 

  1. a pair of taupe or tan ankle booties (she also thinks they’ll look great with my Samantha dress from DD Atelier)
  2. a long boyfriend blazer or cardigan with a hem that falls below where my legs join my torso
  3. a layering “shell”
  4. a long hem tank that falls below where my legs join my torso (could also be the same as #3)

Basically, I’m looking for everything that I saw this woman wearing on the subway the other day!

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I hope today’s post gives you some ideas for shopping your own closet! What pieces are you looking for this fall that will extend your wardrobe even further?

 

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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…]