The Bra Friend Challenge

Hello, everybody! I’ve been absent and a little preoccupied for the last while, but if you’ll take me back, I’ll stay and be good to you.Or at the very least, post regularly. I’m back at school now, and thus my beautiful natural lighting has been replaced by the grey filter of my new bedroom and a slight tinge of despair that comes with all things academic.

I write to you today about a little challenge I’ve embarked on called the Bra Friend Challenge, in which I challenged myself to create and make several bras for a select few of my friends to wear and give me feedback on. Why, you may ask?

Because I’ll be going into the market of selling my creations soon, and am prototyping the bras for other people as we speak.

First up on the docket:

The Springtime Bra

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Designed with the summer to fall crossover in mind, this bra has a summery floral-ish print with a deep mauve lace frill trim and a little blue bow. 20140918_133724

The hardest part:

Definitely the elastic at the bottom. I’m not used to using something so thick, so I pulled a bit too much on some of the parts.

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My favorite part:

The purple trim is so fun! It adds a feminine touch to an otherwise straightforward bra.

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The Katie

This bra uses my second-favorite fabric. This one is one of the last ones I did, and I’ll admit that  got a bit tired and added some elastic that doesn’t QUITE match the rest of the bra.

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The hardest part:

The elastic at the bottom.Not only does it annoy me that I didn’t use white elastic, it was also very thin and was a pain to sew in place. Lesson learned: don’t use skinny elastic!

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This one doesn’t have any back closures yet, but soon it shall and it will be complete and ready for its new owner.

Jasmine

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This is definitely my favorite design. I made it with a tuxedo in mind, and put a red bow to add a pop. I hope to one day make a pair of high-waisted panties with the matching pinstripes down them.

20140918_134025The hardest part:

Satin is a fabric that I would say “has an attitude”. It’s slippery and harder to sew, so I fudged up on a couple of the elastic pieces because of it.

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The Heartbeat

This one is definitely not my style, but I made it with the knowledge that the color combination would look bomb on my friend’s skin tone. It’s soft and sweet with an edgy touch, the black velvet straps and bow.

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The hardest part:

The fully cotton lining. I’ve never done a cotton lining before, so this was a bit of a treat. And by treat, I mean pain in the butt. I also used pretty sucky elastic, so it rolls a lot and I had to use a bigger stitch to keep it in place.

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The bras have been delivered and shipped to my friends, and I await feedback rather anxiously. I’ll keep all of you posted on this new venture, and with any luck, you’ll see my shop up and running on Etsy in the next couple of weeks.

Have a swell week, and stay positive, ladies (and maybe gentlemen).

P.S. The Gossard Phoebe is my next review, but I’m in the process of screening for photographers so I haven’t been able to post it yet because I don’t have anyone to take the pictures. Hopefully it’ll b up within 2 weeks. Hooray!

Cheers,

AFILAL x

About these ads

I Love Lingerie But Hate (Some) Lingerie Companies

Before I begin, I want to clarify some things: I am not disparaging any individual companies for producing their size ranges and can respect that for some sizes, there is not enough of a market to sell to. I have nothing against the fortunate women who can fit into core-size lingerie, and nothing against those who choose to buy lingerie in the a core size because it’s pretty. Let’s be real, we’ve all done that. All of this is quite obviously my own opinion.

If you’ve read a few posts on my blog, then you probably know that I’m an opinionated person. Add a dramatic flair and a weird addiction to lingerie to that, and you’ve got All’s Fair in Love and Lingerie. Now, let’s get one thing clear- I love lingerie. That’s a fact that needn’t be stated, and odds are if you’re here, then you do, too. But you know what really grinds my gears? When I see some amazing lingerie- I mean really beautiful and unique- and I go to check it out, and I see this:

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In case you don’t know what that is, it’s the retail page for an underwired BRA . A BRA sized XS, S, M, AND L. And the sad part is that the frequency that I encounter the S M L size range is way more often than the times I see “28-40 back A-K cups”. Speaking as someone who sews lingerie, it’s certainly easier to have that kind of size grading, but for the love of God, please don’t sell products using it. I don’t think there are too many women who’s breast volume is proportionate to the rest of them- I, for example, would need an XS band and a M size cups, leaving me sized out and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lucky few whose backs and boobs can fit into a single size and who would be able to buy the (amazing) set that I was looking at. Regretfully, I am not one of them, and I have a feeling that I’m not alone.

I’ve been branching away from the usual CK Panache Freya mix, and have been exploring indie brands, independent designers, and contemporary, modern collections- something Miss Underpinnings describes as “The Middle Market”. And the more I do so of this, the more I see beautiful lingerie sized as 32A-34B-36C- S-M-L. And I’d like to ask retailers how the heck they figure that to work out.  Women’s bodies are all different, so how can you expect such a tiny size range to fit a huge variety of bodies? Not only can I not buy your product because you don’t manufacture my size, I also can’t endorse or support it as anything more than pretty to look at. And to me, lingerie needs to have some functionality, otherwise it’s just a waste of money  lustful indulgence.

I also know that in terms of bras, my size isn’t too hard to find so I should quit whining while I’m ahead. I can’t imagine the frustration someone who would need a much larger cup or band size feels, those poor souls. I find that companies like this impede my ability to fully appreciate their product, because I believe that lingerie and a good fit should go hand in hand. Size should never have to be compromised on, something I see myself doing this more and more as I venture off from the beaten path. The other day, I even caught myself convincing the logical part of my brain into buying a 34D because it wasn’t “that different from a 28F”. Wrong. So wrong.

Of Lambs and Lace wrote a  great post about how Mimi Holliday has sized her out of their padded bras and abandoned the smaller-busted ladies with the XS-S-M-L triangle bras- gorgeous triangle bras, but the very fact that they thought it was acceptable to axe a whole size range and stick them with this basic, lazy sizing is insulting.

I’d like to see more sizes than what’s being presented to us. To apply the same three or four sizes to thousands of different women is lazy and insulting, and I think more should be expected of some of these lingerie companies.That’s why I try and make a point of showcasing brands that cater to a wider variety of sizes than the standard ones we see all too often.

What do you guys think? Are you as annoyed by sizing as I am, or are you not bothered by the core sizes being dominant in the lingerie industry? Would you like more selection, or are you happy with what you have? And finally, do yo buy a larger band size than what you measure as  out of lack of selection?

That’s all for now, ladies. Thank you so much for reading, and in case you’re down about any of the lingerie you’d like to buy but can’t (or for any other reason, for that matter) here’s a picture of a quokka to brighten your day.

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Look at this cute  little guy. I bet he doesn’t know that there’s a lingerie sizing crisis afoot.

 

Until next time,

AFILAL x

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Reviewed: Gossard Lola

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Disclaimer: This bra was provided by Gossard. Of course, all opinions and whatnot are my own. Thank you and enjoy! :)

You know those neon signs that you see in shop windows or at 70s’ themed parties? They’re so bright that they almost hurt your eyes, yet they’re also strangely mesmerizing so you don’t look away. The Gossard Lola manages the same effect while being nine hundred times less tacky. No photographs can truly capture the neon wondrousness that is the Lola- The colors are rich and very bright neon and compliment each other perfectly. Blue with pink has never been a color combination that I’ve liked, yet here I am in the middle of the afternoon, with one of the most vibrant and lovely bras I’ve ever seen glowing under my ratty t-shirt.

Upon opening the package, I was a bit worried it wouldn’t fit-the cups looked pretty big, and I’m not exactly busty. But since the padding is so thick, they’re actually ever so slightly small. Those who are fuller might need to size up- I’m told the padding is consistent among Gossard padded styles, and after an adjustment period (I ‘m used to non-padded or lightly padded) I’ve come to like the padding. I don’t have to worry about any wrinkling as I move around, the shape stays constant no matter what position I’m in, and it makes my relatively  humble chest a head-turner.

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I’ve found it to be a perfect going-out bra because of the awesome cleavage and push-up effect. It’s a new favorite for when I leave the house, as it’s much more comfortable than my other going-out bras (you know the type- stabby and pokey and loose in the band but they make your chest look fa-a-antastic).

The gateway back, a neat feature almost exclusive to Gossard bras, is a lot more supportive that I’d have thought. However, I’d have liked it if the elastics that make it up were just a bit thicker. I was comfortable with the smaller back closure, but not all people may be. I assume that for larger sizes than my 30E, they’d make some structural changes in the thickness of straps and elastics. The band is a standard  30, perhaps a bit more snug, so those who write this bra off because they don’t make 28 bands may want to reconsider.

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I LOVE those little blue bows

This bra is super comfortable and I reach for it every time I go out. It looks amazing, though I do have to be careful what  wear it under since the color is so bright. The shorts have the same scalloped detailing as the cups of the bra and are super comfortable. They feel like my old worn cotton boyshorts from Aerie, and I’ve found myself wearing them both out and about and when I’m lounging around at home.

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The shape is uplifted and rounded and looks obscenely good under clothes.

This bra has become one of my favorites. At first I wasn’t sure about it, as I’m used to thick straps, full backs, and non-padded styles. But the longer  wore it, the more glad I became that I chose the padded version of this style. It’s really comfortable, gives the girls an amazing boost, and stays in place all day. I’m extremely happy with it, and will be buying similar styles in the future.

Have you tried Gossard? Do you have any questions? Let me know down in the comments below!

Cheers,

AFILAL

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Reviewed: Mimi Holliday Apple Tart Padded Shoulder Bra


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The color initially attracted me to this bra. I mean, would you just look at that green color? It was toss up between ordering the padded shoulder bra (something I’d never tried before) and the unlined comfort bra in which I knew exactly what to expect). I decided to take the plunge and go for something I’d never tried before, and here I am- one shoulder bra up and  whole lot of padding more.

When I opened the package and pulled the bra out, my first thoughts were “holy padding”.  They weren’t kidding when they said “fully padded”, because this bra sure is. The cups are shallow and lined in cotton (bless!) and have more of a cleavage-heaving shape than a molded, deep shape. The straps, if you can really call them that, have a vest shape and are very supportive and offer a lot of coverage while still allowing cleavage to peek out.


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The wires are wide and bendy, the band narrow (the standard Mimi one hook) and is superbly comfortable. I think most of this can be credited to the straps, because their width really lends something to the fit of the bra. The good news is as well that the straps, despite being very wide, do not dig into my underarms, which makes AFILAL a happy customer. The worst part of this bra is how shallow the cups are and how narrow the band is. If I had to change one thing, it would be so that the band was much, much wider. This one-hook deal feels and looks a bit like a string across my back. For those who comfortable with less support, this may be ideal for you.

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Go for the shoulder bra if you’re seeking a little extra comfort and support. If you’re narrow or projected, this might not be your best option- but if you’re shallow or wide, give this one a shot.

Until next time,

AFILAL

In Bust We Trust

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