Going with the Flow

It’s been a fun two and a half weeks filled with vacation, holidays and a birthday, and we still have New Year’s ahead this weekend! As usual at this time of year, my ability to concentrate has flown out the window, and I expect to return to Hourglassy in January refreshed and inspired. See you soon!

Big Bust Sports Bra as Bikini Top (Preview)

You’re going to see these pictures again when I write my full review, but I can’t wait to share them now. I decided to wear my Lynx crossback sports bra with my Curvy Kate starry-eyed bottoms on our trip around the Napali coast yesterday. This is right before we took a snorkeling break, so I’m dry. Let me say, though, that I was completely unselfconscious in the water–no worries that I was flashing my underwater cleavage to anyone else. And with the rigid non-stretch fabric across my chest, plus the lining, I didn’t give headlights a second thought as I climbed back into the boat. The top was gifted to me by the company, but my  opinions are my own. 

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