Off the Rack ~ Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 Part III: Panache

I’m still catching up on the Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 (two months after it happened!). Apologies, readers, for my semi-absence within the last couple months. Work and obligations (weddings, etc.) have been relentless. I’ll be off next week, on vacation in Yosemite, but I’ve got one more Curve post and then a whole lineup of other topics after that. So enjoy this week’s post, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks!

This week, I’m catching up with the Panache family. The biggest news is that “Panache Black” line has been rolled into regular Panache, with the most popular “Black” styles sticking around. Additionally, the Cleo and Panache swimwear collections are now just “Panache Swim.” To be honest, I’m disappointed that Cleo Swim is no more. It really shows in this season’s offerings. It’s lacking the bright, youthful designs that appeal to me.

Well, let’s get to the highlights, starting with Panache regular:

This is the classic Jasmine bra, in a subtle animal print (which was a trend among several brands).

This is the classic Jasmine bra, in a subtle animal print (which was a trend among several brands).

[Read more…]

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?

[Read more…]

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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