January 31, 2013

Freya's 365 Days of Deco

This month Freya kicked off their 365 Days of Deco campaign.

Each month will see ten winners drawn which means you have a new chance roughly every 30-days! Simply visit the website and upload a photo of your niftiest outfit supported underneath by any of the Deco range. Prizes include new items in the Deco range and £1,000 stylist shopping spree! And it's open Worldwide so that means hooray, New Yorkers can enter! Personally I think it's quite exciting enough to put together your own stylin' 2013 Deco Calendar! It's like a scrapbook of excellent outfits you get to proudly show off and without ever having to give a sneak peek, unless it works for you and what you're wearing!

I'm actually excited to discover the new AW13 fashion styles featured in the video...

A stunning ruby red and black number, shimmery lavender & black lace, the muted turquoise reminiscent of a deep sea dive. Perhaps a late summer availability?

Is this a new Deco-named line like the "Deco Honey"?

More contrasted piping/trim along the cups to match the darker straps, ala the "Taylor" and "Ashlee" versions of Deco.

Looks like a wee twinset of buttons similar to the Freya Plunge in Charcoal.

I spy with my little eye what looks like a Freya Honey in Turquoise! YESSS!!!

Freya Shape is launching this year available in Ivory for SS13 and the Black is likely part of AW13 collection. Included are a new Multiway, Strapless Longline and Moulded Strapless Slip. There is a wide size range in most save the Slip which debuts in 32-36 D-GG cups. Frankly, I'm hoping they expand those sizes just a bit more with the Black colorway.

I'm highly anticipating the new blueish Freya Honey and still wish Taylor in Charcoal were available in 28GG. It does appear that SS13's Deco Flamingo and Honey in Iris purple are however much of the range still tops out at a GG cup. It's exciting to see so many options in style but I wonder how much longer GG+ fans will have to wait until they can join in on the fun?

January 24, 2013

What's Your Size Range?

Many women find a bra they like that fits well and believe that's their size in every bra. There's a myriad of reasons this isn't the entire truth because behind each label there are different factors that comprise the make up of each bra.

It stands to reason most brands would have one or more designers responsible for each season's styles and the ongoing core or "continuity" lines, you know the ones available usually in Black, White and a "Skin-tone" year after year. The total fabric content also likely differs depending on whether it's made from lace, nylon, sheer mesh, lightly-padded for shape and security, the list goes on, really. Each material will grant a different level of flexibility and some remain rather firm.

I think it's quite important to be properly measured for the likeliest size that will fit and work with it. After that it's basically up to finding the nuances of your appropriate size in each brand. Sometimes a band will be far too snug for comfort and so you can size-up the band. Other times a cup may be too big with very clear signs of wrinkling. Or, the underwire may poke at your sides so you can try a cup larger to see if that helps alleviate the issue (so long as it fits right everywhere else!).

Online Bra Size Calculators!

Measure in Inches
Linda's Online (aka Linda The Bra Lady)

Measure in Centimeters
Elektroniczny Bra-Fitter

Measure either Cm or In
Butterfly Collection

A Sophisticated Pair

It's really just a starting point. The only real way to find out if a bra will fit you is to try it on. Here are some examples of variation through the same brand.

I'm a huge Cleo fan. The colors, the patterns, the fit! I believe (after blooming early) taking about fifteen years to find the right size has me longing to make up for lost -and very necessary- wardrobe time. Give me the bright purples and neon greens any day! I found much of the 2010 through 2012 seasons to run either TTS or they may appear so and tend to stretch out rather quick. Most notably I purchased the Eleanor in Red one band smaller and a cup size larger, 28gg, because I anticipated it would stretch somewhat given a bit of time. So I added an extender and wore this cherry tomato red pieced-cup bra with a lovely almost picnic-basket like embroidery a few times over the course of a summer week. Usually after a wash and dry a bra's elastic snaps back into place somewhat making it more snug. After only a few wears I had to leave the extender in my drawer because it was already perfect on the first set of hooks. I was shocked and definitely in awe. So I figured from thereon if the shape fits it was best to buy smaller bands so my new bras would have more life. As it turns out I would go on to purchase several more Cleo's in this size such as the Bonnie and the ever popular Lucy in many colors.

left to right: SS11 Cleo "Bonnie", SS10 Cleo "Eleanor", SS12 Cleo "Lucy" (all 28GG)

Migrating Tissue?
When one size seems to work a majority of the time there can still be size variations. As mentioned in an earlier post on my first proper fitting I'd originally been fitted into 30FF's. After wearing proper sizes for about 8-12 months I noticed the need for a slightly larger cup. I wondered why because my weight rarely fluctuates outside a few back-and-forth pounds and never enough to significantly alter the fit of my clothing. So after all the years spent wearing ill-fitting and unsupportive boob hammocks the extra tissue had over time kind of floated away from the front bust into the underarm and toward the back but now had been brought forward where it should be. Claire at Butterfly Collection has a great blog post with examples.

Even in my new found 30G I still found variation depending on different brands and styles. As of current time writing this I fit and constantly wear a 30FF in Fantasie moulded cup styles as the 30G is still a bit too roomy leaving little air pockets inside the cup. Fantasie's Ava from their core line is one of my favorite bras and the first one I ever wore all day without feeling like I was wearing a bra. It's that comfy! Otherwise I tend to fit well into the 30G cut-and-sew Fantasies as well as Freyas which makes sense as they are sister brands and often design shapes are identical across both lines. That said, I own just a couple of these in Freya since I'm less a fan of the overall pointed shape they give me personally. Not to be confused the similarly named AW12 Freya Ada is perfect in 30G and I loved the pattern so much I made an exception for it. Going back two seasons the Cleo Sasha (AW11) technically fit in both a 30G and 30GG but the 30GG felt more secure. In comparison the cups are ever so slightly higher and more supportive and I feel better about bending over/moving about. However just as with the previous 28-band Cleo's this band stretched out quickly and it now wears on the final hook, sometimes second-hook when a bit of room is required (luckily I was able to snag it in the smaller 28H via Bratabase and the shape is consistent).

left to right: Fantasie "Ava" 30FF, AW12 Freya "Ada" 30G, AW11 Cleo "Sasha" 30GG

Bump It Up
Most of the above mentions are of unlined cut-n-sew types with the exception of Ava. Not everyone will find themselves in the following situation but most of the time I tend to need one cup size larger in lightly padded styles. It feels like there is just a tiny bit less room in there with more than just the outer defining fabric. And so it's usually a 30GG for me in padded bras like Cleo's Juna. A shape from the core line it's one that started long before her as she is well known today. Available in Black, Ivory and "Nude" shades Juna seasonally wears different patterns and shades such as the current AW12 Darcy with patriotic red, white and blue leafy heart print and the purple tartan AW10 Sadie below. The purple Sadie however was not available past a G-cup. Here is another exception made and purchased in the same volume however in a 32G, worn immediately on the final hooks and will eventually need altering to shorten the band. Braless in Brasil has a good post on altering or shortening bra bands. When I purchased Juna and her colorful sisters Sadie in Orange, Darcy, and Rihanna I was still anticipating their bands to stretch out fast in a 30 and so bought the size down all in 28H's. They work well for my shape and I have a matching bra extender for each to get more wear in the long run. The only 30G bra I've found to work appropriately in a padded style so far has been Cleo's SS12 Arianna which ran 28-38 D-G and I tried the 32FF and 32G but they were both too big in the band and the 32G was definitely too big overall!

left to right: SS12 Cleo "Arianna" 30G, Cleo "Juna" 28H, AW10 Cleo "Sadie" 32G

For those curious, The earliest incarnation of Juna I've found was from just before my introduction to Panache and their Masquerade line: SS10's Inca.
Being measured on average for a 30G is just the starting point as witnessed above. All of these bras are worn on a regular basis and all have their own slight variation on fit and shape although on the same body.

Do you find yourself varying between brands or even in the same line? Please share below in the comments!

January 16, 2013

TONIGHT: Online Fitting Event with Bare Necessities.com!

Bare Necessities will host an Online Fitting Event LIVE from New York City tonight at 7:00PM EST.

Back in August 2012 we had a few great firsts. One of those epic events was our blog launched! The other grande experience was meeting Frederika Zappe at CurveNY. Freddy is a national fit specialist with Eveden and now you can watch her in action as well as interact with all your questions! That's right, everything you ever wanted to ask about bra fitting. Just make sure to use the hashtag #BAREFIT when writing in!

And in case you weren't already intrigued enough there will be a viewer-only secret deal during so get your alarms set and stay tuned.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/barenecessities hashtag #BAREFIT
Facebook: www.facebook.com/barenecessities hashtag #BAREFIT
Live Chat: http://www.ustream.tv/barefit

January 11, 2013

DD+'s on Television: Double Divas

We're super excited to see the ladies of Georgia's Livi Rae Lingerie bring DD+'s to the world in Lifetime TV's "Double Divas". The first episode premiered last night.

Image courtesy LifetimeTV

One reason we love them is because not only are they responsible for helping lift up some southern belles they are helping to dispel myths about big breasted women. Mainly, lingerie and brassieres are generally about function. That is bras play a supporting role in every woman's life as her busom friend. Let no bust be left behind! From episode 1's Norma having a custom made bra made by Cynthia, LiviRae are changing lives one pair at a time!

Were you tuned in? What are your thoughts? If you weren't able to watch the first full episode is available streaming at the link below on mylifetime.com. Go now and watch!

Check out Double Divas via link: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/double-divas

January 1, 2013

Compendium of New York City Lingerie Stores

**Originally posted 1st January, 2013 you will find a new, always updated version here**

We're not really the ones to make New Year's Resolutions because we believe any time of year is a great time to jumpstart a self-improvement vow. January can be seen as a difficult time of year when we batten down the hatches in wintery Northern climates, yes even in New York City!

So during this reflective and warmth-seeking season we love the idea of reinstalling your own confidence and the self-esteem of a loved one by sharing a fitting day together. Take yourself and a loved one for a dual bra fitting excursion! Your best friend, aunt or sister-in-law could benefit both from a day with you and some newly uplifting underpinnings to point the year in a great direction.

And because many of us are itching to firmly decide on resolutions the first day or month can be an easily memorable one for a few reasons:

* That shiny, new fresh calendar feeling!
* New bras, new you!
* Numerologically speaking, The Number 1 is powerful and all about Potential, DO-ing, and is very Goal Oriented (hint: both January and New Year's Day are both represented by the #1)

That's why we suggest taking a gal pal out for a fitting and a few new bras to kick start a wonderful year of rediscovering you.

We've started our compendium of shops which carry 30- and 28- bands in large cup sizes. This is a starter post and will be added to as necessary.

So go on, get your new year started out cozy and crisp.

* Highly Recommended with all stores especially boutiques: Call ahead to ensure they have a variety of styles for your size-range. Most stores accept walk-ins except where noted.

Brooklyn Fox Lingerie
132 North 5th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 599-1555

Small Williamsburg boutique located just off of Bedford Avenue. Have recently introduced 30-bands in 2012 at least up to an F-cup maybe even a G-cup.

Linda's Bra Salon, two locations 
Upper East Side/Lexington Avenue - The original UES location. Carries 28+ bands, AA-N cups.
  828 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10065
  (212) 751-2727

Murray Hill (3rd Ave/36th St)
  552 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10013
  (646) 736-1949

Larger than the original UES location with the inventory styles to boot. Carries many sizes in 28+ bands, AA-N cups.

Journelle, three locations
17th Street - Flagship (largest store)
  3 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003
  (212) 255-7800

Soho (Mercer St/Prince St)
  125 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012
  (212) 255-7803 
Upper East Side (3rd Ave/73rd St) 
  1266 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10021
  (212) 255-7804 
The "Flagship" location is the most likely to carry 30+ bands in larger cups in select brands/styles like Elle MacPherson, Evollove, Claudette, Fantasie. Carry 28-40, A-G cups.

La Petite Coquette
51 University Place, New York, NY 10003
(212) 473-2478

Centrally located independent boutique in Union Square area. Carry 30+ bands, usually up to a G-cup.

Bloomingdale's, two locations
Upper East Side/59th Street
  1000 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10022
  (212) 705-2000
  504 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
  (212) 729-5900

Thanks to the larger busted ladies of the lingerie department Bloomie's carry Fantasie, Fauve and Freya. Most Essentials and some Fashion styles available. 30+ bands, usually up to a G or H-cup (and maybe larger).

The Town Shop
2273 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
(212) 787-2762

These ladies really know breasts and are usually very personable. Great selections of lingerie and swimwear, many sizes in 28-48 bands, A-J cups.

630 Ninth Avenue #601, New York, NY 10036
(212) 957-7000

By-Appointment-Only shop located within the Film Center Building. Specifically caters to the theater and film industry. Prices follow in accordance with privacy. All sales final, no exchanges. Carry 28+, AA-L-cups.

Intimacy, two locations
Lexington Avenue
  1051 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10065
  (646) 395-3885

Upper East Side/Madison Ave
  1252 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10128
  (212) 860-8366

Started carrying 30-bands by constant customer request! Appointments recommended, walk-ins may be accepted. 30+ bands, typically up to a G-cup (may carry larger).

211 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012
(212) 431-5639

Japanese lingerie chain recently opened Spring 2012 in Soho. 30+ bands, up to a G-cup (cups run very small - they are labelled as a UK-size but fit like US-sizes. Ex. 30G "UK" fits like a 30F "US".)

Orchard Corset Center
157 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
(212) 674-0786

A real New York institution. The extremely talented staff can tell if your bra fits properly just by eye. Over your clothes! Carry 30+ bands, up to a G-cup.

Saks Fifth Avenue
611 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10022
(212) 753-4000

Carry Fantasie starting at 30-bands. Although not shown online, this locations may also carry select Freya and Cleo, could only be available in 32+bands, D-F cups but still helpful to see styles in-person and possibly helpful to try on "sister" sizes. If they fit, buy them so the demand is there for the next season!