Vacation Surprise  

You’ll never believe where I’m writing this from: HAWAII! We arrived late last night, and of course I was up before the chickens (literally–I read that they wake people up here on Kauai). It’s still dark as I write this.

After Paris in May, you may be wondering how we can be taking a second once-in-a-lifetime trip in a year. Here goes: a single friend who hasn’t taken a vacation since 2007 because she hates to travel alone found out in November that a big December deadline had been pushed to September. She asked if we would  like to go somewhere, anywhere, with her. Incredibly, Mr. Campbell had vacation days he needed to use or lose. Since we got married in our 40’s, we remember what it’s like trying to find someone to travel with,  so we said yes. 

That’s when  amazing things began to happen.  We discovered that we had enough Delta miles for 1.5 roundtrip tickets to Kauai. We  discovered that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the cheapest time to stay here. And when we arrived at our gate at JFK on Monday, we discovered that our flight had been overbooked, and they wanted to give each of us a $1300 Amex gift card for volunteering to come a day later. So basically we’ve been given a gift of a free vacation. Avis even gave us a complimentary upgrade to a Mustang convertible!

You know you’re going be seeing some amazing pictures soon, beginning with the Lynx ladder back sports bra that I wore for 20 hours on Monday. I have so much to say about this bra, and I tried to finish a post about it on our 6 hour LAX-LIH flight last night. But it’s not going to happen before our 5-hour boat tour of the Napali coast this morning, so I’m just going to share this airport teaser picture with you.

And because I’m proud of my layering lessons from my stylist friend Christina, here’s the complete look with my DD Atelier denim jacket.

I’m even proud of my sneakers. Do you know why? They’re evidence that I have finally said no to overpacking. We’re doing everything with carry-ons on this trip, so I also said no to every padded bra in my lingerie drawer. Except I couldn’t say no to my favorite bikini–the Curvy Kate starry-eyed bikini. That’s what I plan to wear under my Rock Cotton tunic on the boat this morning (unless I think my new swimmable Lynx crossback sports bra might be a better match for a bumpy ride!).

Off the Rack ~ Retrospec’d “Elizabeth” Dress Reviewed

I’m so excited to share a new (semi-) bust-friendly brand with Hourglassy readers: It’s Australian vintage reproduction brand Retrospec’d. I just discovered them a couple weeks ago when someone posted a pair of their dresses for sale in one of my Facebook sell/swap groups. Though they were size XS, the construction looked strikingly boob-friendly and I navigated to the brand’s website straightaway.

That’s when I laid eyes upon one of the most lovely dresses I’ve ever seen:

homepage photo

Readers, I was totally smitten. I clicked around the website until I found the dress—the Elizabeth in Gay Paris print. At first the price seemed prohibitive. $190??? But then I remembered that the American dollar is quite strong against the Australian dollar, and in US dollars that would be about $148. Still not “cheap,” to be sure, but about the same range as many other vintage repro brands such as Pinup Girl Clothing, Tatyana, and Heart of Haute.

Next I checked out the size chart—and couldn’t believe my eyes! The Australian 10 matched my measurements almost perfectly. But…I’m always a 12 in Australian and UK sizes (which is the same as a US 8 / Medium). Size 10 couldn’t be right, could it? Especially since all the other dresses’ size charts put me in a 12 (or none at all, depending on that garment’s particular measurements).

Feeling conflicted about sizing, I was wary of ordering. Shipping from Australia is pricey and slow, and I knew it wouldn’t be worth it to attempt an exchange. Luckily, a lovely gal in one of my Facebook groups pointed me toward a stockist in the US, Bygones Vintage in Richmond, VA. Since it’s a brick-and-mortar store, I called and asked them to measure the actual waist of the dress in size US 6 and 8. The 6 was 29.5 inches—a quarter-inch over my exact waist size! So I placed the order through them and the dress was in my hands a mere 3 days later.

Readers, this dress fits like a dream. With my waist measuring just over 29 inches, and most size charts usually listing medium at 28-29 and large at 30-31, I always have to choose between slightly too small or slightly too big. But this dress is perfect. And it actually has room for boobs! Further, the straps are wide enough and in the ideal placement to cover my bra straps (I’m wearing a Comexim plunge in Polish size 60J [about a UK 28GG] in these photos).

Additionally, the cotton is a fantastic weight. It has enough heft that it doesn’t feel cheap (*cough* Bernie Dexter *cough*), but is still light and airy enough for a hot summer day. And while most of my poofy skirts are gathered, this one is pleated, giving it lots of volume without blowing up and flashing my underwear with every gust of wind.

The print is a gorgeous lavender base with peach and red details, featuring a scene of a painter sitting along the water’s edge in Paris, trees in the foreground and the Eiffel Tower in the distance. It’s an unexpected color combination that works so well—and perfectly matches my lavender heels!

So let’s get to some photos, shall we??









Now, while the Elizabeth has up to nearly an 8-inch difference between the waist and bust, many of the brand’s other styles do not. In fact, some are downright tiny in the bust. There are a lot of different styles, so I’ve compiled a list here of each style and its waist-to-bust difference in inches (in size Aus 12 / Medium), with the biggest difference at the top. With my 8-inch difference, I’d probably avoid anything with less than 7 inches. So I guess there aren’t really that many big-bust options here…but the Elizabeth is so lovely and has enough prints to tide me over!

Avita – 11
Josie – 9
Kathy – 7.9
Kelly – 5.9-7.9 (this one lists a range for the bust due to stretch)
Norma Jean – 5.9-7.9 (stretch)
Elizabeth – 5.9-7.9 (this one’s range is due to fabric gathering at the bust, no stretch)
Ruby – 3.5-7.5 (stretchy shirred back panel)
Sandi – 3.5-7.5 (stretchy shirred back panel)
Sarong – 3.5-7.5 (stretchy shirred back panel)
Bella – 7.1
Kathleen – 7.1
Wendy – 5.1-7.1 (stretch)
1943 – 6.7
Betty – 6.7
Connie – 6.7
Gidget – 6.7
Suzie – 6.7
Lori – 6.3
Audrey – 5.9
Peggy – 5.9
Sophia – 5.9
Tammy – 5.9
Betty Rose – 3.9-5.9 (stretch)
Lilli – 5.5
Dyann – 5.1
Sun Dress – 5.1
Valerie – 5.1
Ella – 4.7
Laura – 4.7
Sammy – 4.7
Empire – 4.3
Vivian – 4.3
Ingrid – No size chart


A Second Look at Scantily

If you read Leah’s post last Friday, then you’ve already seen the amazing pieces coming from Scantily for FW2016. But neither of us got to see the satin Tuxedo body in person, so I’m going to share this image from the company.

by Tigz Rice Studios 2014.

It will retail for around US$60 and is designed for easy putting on and taking off with a sash around the waist and a simple fastener around the neck.

It’s meant to be worn over the Unleash bra that you already saw on Friday (that’s an image of the belted smocktop behind it). The belt buckle, while purely ornamental, actually works!

Scantily Unleash Bra

And here’s another glimpse of the back of the matching brief with, yes, a working belt buckle.

scantilly unleashed briefs

Even though the Tuxedo body is meant to be paired with Unleash, it’s versatile enough to go with other bras. Bravo for Scantilly’s designer for finding yet another way to make full bust support sexy.

And just because I also think the Ignite metallic copper fabric is amazing . . .

Scantilly ignite metallic copper

Here’s another photo of the chartreuse Peek-A-Boo.

Scantilly Peek-A-Boo

Finally, a bra that didn’t make it into Leah’s summary, the sheer-cupped Fixate.

Scatilly Fixate bra

Fitting In ~ Hot Stuff

My summer has flown by, but I’m still here! What has kept me absent from blogging is the newest addition to our family — Meet Rusty….


Our Newest Addition

Our Newest Addition

This little guy was a stray found by a loved one. He was quite scrawny when found, and we spent a few months trying to fatten him up a bit while finding his rightful home. Now, we’re certain, his home is with us. This isn’t my first dog, but it’s the first dog we have when we didn’t also have a fenced in yard, so 4 times per day we need to take walks and sniff out all the interesting things in the neighborhood.  My spouse and I try to divvy up the walks fairly – and I try for the first of the morning and last of the evening when it’s cooler. Because it may be September, but it’s still hot.

Speaking of hot — what this busty girl has been using to beat some heat-related discomfort is the following:

BAN Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths —

BAN Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths

BAN Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths

These were given to me as a sample, handed out on the streets of NYC. My commute takes me past a spot that is popular with people handing out samples of new potato chip flavors, snack bars, new Vitamin Water flavors and I was handed these without ever having seen or heard of them. A search on Amazon shows that they’ve been around a while. It looks like I was handed a sample of a new scent with the baby powder finish. I expected them to be exactly like babywipes or some other pre-moistened cloth but these are different. They leave your skin with a drier finish. I could see myself keeping a few in my purse or at my desk for mid-day refresh.   I’m still working through the dozen or so I was given a few months ago as a sample. I’m not sure how quickly I’d use these up or when I’ll be buying more.

Monistat anti-chafing gel.

Earlier this summer, Darlene gave a Stressless Dressing for D+ at Bottomless Closet and one of the attendees mentioned this product. OMG. OMFG. She’d mentioned that her husband even uses it for where he might, ahem, chafe. I purchased this at CVS. A Google search of the active ingredient in the product will reveal that it’s the same active ingredient in Smashbox Face Primer, but at an incredibly steep discount. If you have trouble finding Monistat’s anti-chafing gel, that’s why. But if you do find it, anywhere your body may get chafing is a good place to try this.

Monkey Butt Powder.

In addition to my Ariats and Enell Sports bra, I never go riding without this stuff.

In addition to my Ariats and Enell Sports bra, I never go riding without this stuff.

Back in my horseback riding days, we would use this on our thighs. I picked this up at Tractor Supply when I was getting a new pair of Ariats. It’s worth having if you’ll be in the saddle for any length of time, but I only use it when riding.

Better Fitting Bra — We’ve all heard the statistic “80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra.” and everytime I see or hear this, I’m thinking, well…no joke. Even among those of us who are quite knowledgeable about fit, who’ve been fitted by the best (love you Freddie from Eveden!) we are still in the wrong size and it’s a function of mathematics. Women come in an infinite variety of sizes and bras come in a finite number of sizes. What fit close to perfectly at one week in my cycle doesn’t fit at all well in another week and this is normal. Then there is the non-menstrual variation in bra size. Gain or lose a few pounds and your bras fit differently, causing chafing or itching. The better the fit, the less I seem to chafe. But sometimes I have to make do with what’s clean and in the drawer so I turn to the gel.

What are your tips for beating the heat?

Coming to the Swap? I’ll have both the BAN Cooling Cloths and the Monistat gel with me.  Be forewarned, my phone has dozens of doggie pictures and I’ll be ready to share those, too!