Friday, 31 January 2014

My top Valentine's Day picks for 2014

Love it or hate it, St. Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Single or not, what better way to treat yourself than with a new lingerie set (and maybe a big tub of ice cream...)! Using my favourite online retailers I've put together a collection of my top picks for this February 14th.

The latest trend in lingerie seems to be straps. Straps everywhere! The Entice Alexa set from Figleaves Boudoir is a perfect example of this. It's strapping details hints cheekily towards bondage whilst remaining classy. The bra comes in XS-L suggesting it's not meant to be a functional piece and rather one for, ahem, 'bedroom wear'. 

Priced from £14 to 34 per piece in red or black and consisting of an unpadded bra, thong, brief and suspender belt it's above my budget for something that lacks functionality. However, for that special occasion it's rather stunning! 

If the Entice Alexa from Figleaves is your kind of thing but you can't quite bring yourself to part with over £60, how about a detachable choker strap from Esty Lingerie? These straps simply attach to your bra band at the central gore and range from just £5.49 to £19.99. They add a subtly sexy rock/bondage look to any outfit and are really quite unique!

Not sure? Check out the reviews from The Full Figured Chest, The Undercover Lingerista and Of Lambs and Lace.

Sadly this sexy slip is old stock and doesn't come in a large range of sizes (32-26 B-E) but if you're lucky or willing to sister size you might be able to find this at a bargain price. Gossard are currently selling this at £35 knocked down from £59.00. The slip can be paired with any black thong so you don't even have to buy the matching one.

Photo courtesy of Gossard

I love the contrasting lace bra section and the sheer polka dot slip. It's functional too, useful as shapewear and with foam padded plunge cups it'll boost your bangers for a WOW cleavage!

The only set in my Valetine's selection I actually own is the decadent Charlotte. I bought her from LargeCupLingerie a few months ago and have only worn her a handful of times. I have this weird OCD thing about 'special' sets and sadly rarely get to wear them because of that reason! Although I've not yet reviewed the set, you may have seen my selfie on Twitter a while back.

The set is sexy, supportive and high quality, so you really feel you've treated yourself should you choose to buy it. I found the cups on the small side so I bought a 28H and the thong is a Large. The padded cups quite shallow and didn't give me any cleavage, which is forgiveable since the set is so nice! The band is firm and VERY wide as are the fully adjustable straps, which can only be a good thing if you have a large bust.

I bought my Charlotte set in Red but it's also available in Peach and Dusty Rose. Charlotte costs £30 for the bra, £12 for the brief and £14 for the high waisted shorts here at LargeCupLingerie. Charlotte comes in sizes 28-40 D-K, the best size range I've seen in a long time!

Long standing readers of my blog will know I'm a huge fan of Curvy Kate's Tease Me, and when they released the autumn/winter colour way of black and scarlet I knew I had to have it. 

At £29 for the bra, £13.50 for the thong and £15.50 for the shorts it's not the biggest bargain but I do love Tease Me so I'll be buying mine from Debenhams shortly. The set can also be found at Brastop for the same price but most sizes are now out of stock. *Don't forget that if you can, try a band size smaller and two cups larger. If it's not possible to downsize a band or you like a looser fit then just go up one cup size.* Tease me comes in sizes 28-30 D-J, 32 D-HH, 34 D-H, 36 D-GG and 38 D-GG but the above retailers don't have all sizes left.

*Edit* Curvy Kate have kindly informed me that this version of Tease Me now runs true to size, so it's advised that you order your usual size.

Brand new from Curvy Kate is the pretty pink long line Carmen. This is the first long line bra Curvy Kate have produced and with it's padded cups with pale yellow embroidery I'm sure it will be a hit! In sizes 28-38 D-J Curvy Kate have made sure all their usual customer base won't miss out.

Carmen is a three part set consisting of the long line bra £35, suspender belt £18, and thong £15 or shorts £16. All can be purchased at Brastop. If pink isn't your thing wait until AW14 range when Curvy Kate will be producing it in black. I'm sure you'll agree it's fabulous! 

This may not be the obvious choice for Valentine's Day so let me explain. My boyfriend ADORES yellow. His bathroom is yellow, his kitchen is yellow including ALL appliances. He loves it. Yellow isn't a colour often found in lingerie, particularly in the market for larger cup sizes. When I came across this fun set from Made In Preston my heart skipped a beat on his behalf!

In a good size range of (yes, a 26" band!) 26-30 DD-J, 32-36 DD-H and 38 DD-GG, Made In Preston have really pushed the boat out to ensure a lot of large busted women are included. My only complaint about this is that they are charging a higher price of £38.95 for 26 bands! It seems ridiculous to charge for the smallest and most niche of band sizes when they already have the patterns cut for all the advertised sizes. All other sizes cost £34 and the matching knickers are £8.95. I don't know if the bra is padded or not and with Made In Preston being new to lingerie, I can't advise on fit I'm afraid.

Will you be buying yourself lingerie for St Valentine's Day? Let me know your favourites by commenting below!

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Super Sweet Sophia by Tutti Rouge

,A while back you may remember me trying out new big cup lingerie brand Tutti Rouge's Liliana and Betty bras, but sadly neither worked on me. I was contacted by the lovely Jessica from Tutti Rouge who then offered me the chance to try the beautiful Sophia, as she seemed adamant on me becoming a 'Tutti Rougette'!

After some too-ing and fro-ing (are they even words? No..) we finally hit the nail on the head with this set! First I tried the Sophia in a 28H as this seemed to be the correct cup size for me in the Liliana and Betty, but it was far too big in this style as you can see in the photo below.

I was then sent my recommended Sophia size of a 28G and it's near perfect! My only quibbles are that the half adjustable straps are a bit too long, but I can easily shorten them, and like all the Tutti Rouge bras I've tried so far, the cups appear to have a shallow part right at the bottom of them, creating an unusual 'dent' in the underside of the bust. It's not really visible in my photos as I couldn't quite manage to photograph it accurately. If you look at the bottom on the cups in the shots of the pink Sophia above and the green below you should be able to see what I mean.

The band is nice and snug and the bra is oozing with all of Tutti Rouge's usual sweet little details such as the embossed branding at the hooks, heart shaped adjusters and a little bow and button to the central gore. The bra is lightly padded and has a contrast in textures between the satin cup and double mesh layer of the upper cup, helping keep everything in place.

I won't go into great detail but a mix up over brief colours resulted in me getting the set in this gorgeous shade of mint, the likes of which my lingerie drawer has never seen before! Here I'm wearing a medium in the retro brief. I was also sent a thong in the same size and they're both spot on. For reference I usually wear Primark pants in a size 16-18, Freya Deco shorts in a Medium and Deco thongs in a Large. There's very little difference in the look of the brief and the thong at the front, but the back of the brief has a bit of ruching, a keyhole and a couple of little bows. Very cute!

Sophia is currently retailing at around £16 in various sales such as LargeCupLingerie and is also available here on the Tutti Rouge website.

I've not worn Sophia for any long periods of time as yet since I've not managed to find the time to alter the straps but as first impressions go, Sophia seems to be pretty good for me and I've decided not give up on Tutti Rouge just yet!

Have you ever been put off a brand you were really looking forward to trying?

Friday, 3 January 2014

HATTY New Year!

Aside from my extensive collection of lingerie I'm also a bit of a hoarder of hats. Being a total wuss who feels the cold at the very sound of the word 'winter', they also serve a more practical use. My 'hatspiration' is definitely Gwen Stefani who rocks a slouchy beanie like nobody else, see? I adore this woman!

Anyway, I was recently contacted by Ricefield Collective who offered me a hat of my choice in exchange for a blog post, which I naturally didn't refuse! I chose the simple 'Dreamer' hat in Peacoat, a navy blue and off-white knit. 

Priced at $36 (plus a $10 shipping fee outside of the USA), £27 is a bit more than I'd usually pay for a hat. However, Ricefield Collective are a far cry from your average company...

Ifugao knitters in indigenous dress

Who are Ricefield Collective?
Ricefield Collective hats and accessories are hand knitted by women in the Ifugao region of the Philippines. The idea was born when Meredith Ramirez Talusan visited Ifugao in 2011 and learned that locals were being forced to abandon their communities in order to seek higher wages in larger cities. Meredith then decided to help the women by teaching them to knit, the products of which they could then sell on to tourists to supplement their income. Ricefield Collective successfully funded their project via a Kickstarter campaign in April 2011 and thus, an Ifugao knitting school and wonderfully ethical company was born! 

Not only do they knit, they also model! Marietta models the 'Upward' hat she knitted

Made with love
My hat was beautifully packaged in a cloth dust bag with a photograph of the lady who'd knitted it! I loved this idea as it somehow made me happy knowing it wasn't made by a faceless machine and that someone who had spent hours hand knitting that very hat I was holding! Thank you Maricel!

Quite different than my usual reviews, and much more straight forward! I have quite a small head so most 'loose fit' beanies are baggy enough to keep me happy, and with it's soft blend of premium American wool and Alpaca wool it's comfortable and warm to wear.

Thanks for your wool sweet Alpaca!

What's a blog post from me without at least one self indulgent shot?! 

I see Ricefield Collective almost as a charity. You're donating to a good cause to empower a group of women to stay on their ancestral land, the Banaue Rice Terraces (a UNESCO Heritage Site) AND you're getting an awesome, hand-crafted hat to boot!

Happy New Year readers!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

My love for Morticia

Widely tipped as being THE corset to own, the best selling Morticia underbust corset by What Katie Did has been firmly wedged on my wish list for quite some time now. With it's gored hips and extreme wasp waist, the Morticia is recommended for those who possess a 'vintage' hourglass figure with a large difference between the waist and hip measurements, preferably 10 inches or more.

A few months ago I came across one on eBay for £100, £59 below the RRP, so I went ahead and bought it. I went for the 22" as my 25" waist sits awkwardly between sizes 20" and 22". Sadly, when it arrived, it was too big and the gap at the back of the corset was fully closed, offering no potential for waist training or reduction. This was a very sad day for me because as soon as I'd unwrapped the pretty peach corset, I'd fallen in love with it instantly.

As you can see from the photos, the colour married beautifully with my icy blue Masquerade Rhea (Bravissimo exclusive colour way, no longer available) set. Despite the corset being too big, I still felt it had given me some shape at least, but I couldn't justify spending that amount of money on something that wasn't absolutely perfect.

I continued to search eBay on at least a weekly basis for a Morticia in a 20", then lo and behold, last week, there she was! Admittedly not in the beautiful peach of my previous purchase nor the super practical black I coveted, but in white satin. I was willing to overlook the Colorado on account of the price, just £60! The seller was only asking this amount because it was being sold without laces, something I managed to pick up for £4 from another eBay seller. So for the grand total of £70 including postage and laces, I became the very happy and proud owner of a brand new sparkling white Morticia!

As soon as she arrived, I unwrapped her; the seller had placed her in silver tissue paper inside a leopard print carrier bag, which added to the enjoyment of purchasing such an item of luxury. I took my laces and set to work with the aid of thisYouTube video to help me properly lace up my new baby. With a little tugging and adjustment, she was on, and boy was I impressed! Instant reduction, instant Jessica Rabbit curves! BAM!

     Of course, corseting with an off-the-shelf number can come with its problems, and for me it was a slight discomfort of my floating ribs (the very bottom set). However, I'm pretty certain that given proper waist training I could overcome this quite easily. My problem is that I want it all and now, so in the photo I'd laced it up as tight as I could to see what kind of reduction I could gain. I'm pretty sure you'll agree that it's rather impressive! Here's the back;

You can really feel the quality of the Morticia, and the structure is quite a feat of engineering. Somehow the Morticia has that perfect balance between hardcore structuring and slightly pliable comfort. Perfection!

I'm wearing Morticia with Curvy Kate's Tease Me set, available in a variety of colours from Brastop.

I adore the figure corsets give me and I'm more than tempted to give waist training a try, but for now I'm happy to just get my Morticia out whenever I need a reminder of exactly how awesome I can look with a little help! 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Lady V London's new collection!

So enthused was I on seeing Lady V London's new collection that I felt the need to write a post on them!

Relatively new to them is the gorgeous Roxie Rocks dress, with 3/4 sleeved mock wrap top section and swing skirt, it's ideal for all those Christmas parties you're all thinking about at this time of the year. It comes in red with black trim, black with red trim, purple with white trim and teal with white trim. I will say that I've tried this dress (but unfortunately didn't photograph myself in it) and was really disappointed with the sizing ON ME. It was just too big in the shoulders, a problem I often have with dresses and shirts on account of my petite frame. Roxie Rocks costs £40 and comes in sizes 8-22 and is made from a luxurious stretch satin type fabric.

Another new addition is the HD Swing Dress, which is the same as the previous range of swing dresses only it has the added detail of a contrast trim, which I'm a total sucker for! My favourite is the white with black polka dot, I'd wear it with red accessories as always. Priced at £45, the HD Swing Dress comes in a range of fabrics in sizes 8-22 and come with a matching headband too!

Next up, the delicious Dolly Darling. In sizes 8-26/28 and 5 different colours with contrasting trim and waist bow, you can turn yourself into a 50's pin up for just £45! My personal favourite is the Cobalt Blue, it's so pretty!

For those of you who prefer a less revealing neckline, how about Lady V's range of pretty Day Dresses? I LOVE the folded neckline and v-neck back. They cost just £30 and come in sizes 8-20 in a satisfying range of colours and prints.

Saving the best until last, Behold the AMAZING Isabella Dress! Drooooool...Erm, yes, I'm a sucker for polka dots AND red AND bows, and this particular dress has it all! It's sweetheart neckline and swing skirt are very similar to another favourite of mine, the Pinup Girl Clothing Heidi, so it's nice to have a cheaper alternative. Isabella is offered with 1/2 sleeves in purple (below), blue and black, and cap sleeves in Mocha polka dot, black with pink trim and black/white polka dot with red trim, comes in sizes 8-20/22 and costs £40. 

My only bugbear is that looking at the measurements, none of the Lady V dresses will fit me without alteration as the waist measurements generally come up between 1 and 3 inches bigger than my own. For this I'm GUTTED, but still very tempted to get this Isabella and have it altered.

For a limited time only (and I have no idea how long the offer is on) you can get a generous 15% off your entire order with Lady V London using the discount code WOW15 at checkout. GO!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Figure Hugging? Of Corset is!

It's no surprise that I love my curves, and anything to enhance them is a thumbs up in my book. The most extreme curve enhancer out there has to be the corset. Corsets have been around for several centuries, eventually spawning the bras that we know and love today, but still, they remain a staple in extreme shapewear.

It was back in 2005 when I first tried a corset, albeit a plastic boned one, offering little support but even so I was impressed with the way it flattered my curves. My collection grew and I found myself with 8-9 plastic boned corsets, dreaming of the day I could afford a 'proper' steel boned corset. As you can see from the photo, I still had to wear a bra to support the 'girls' or the corset would have collapsed.

Then one day I stumbled upon an online shop called corsets-uk, selling actually, proper steel boned corsets for a lot less than the £150+ was expecting to pay! I'm like a kid in a candy store when I find something new that I want, so I didn't stop at just one corset, I ended up with at least 10, all from Corsets-UK, but most of which don't fit nowadays sadly. With their fantastic Corset Of The Day (COTD) offers via their Facebook page you can often grab some real bargains. Most of mine I picked up for around the £30-£40 mark, like this awesome cherry patterned longline corset below.

My corset buying hit a lull until last year when I spotted this AMAZING Union Jack corset (£72 at the time of writing) just in time for the Queen's Jubilee and Olympic celebrations. I'm a sucker for Union Jacks since 1997 when Geri Halliwell stormed the Brits with that famous Union Jack dress. Despite measuring up as a 26" waist at the time, meaning I should have ordered a 22" corset, I chose a 24" for that bit of extra boob room. As much as I adore this corset, it just doesn't fit my curves as well as I'd like, particularly not now I've lost another inch from my waistline. I could cry! Still, look, it's not completely unwearable but it won't be cinching in my waist.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I tweeted a photo of me in said Union Jack corset to Corsets-UK. I was then contacted by one their lovely 'people' to ask if I'd like to review a corset of my choosing. As you can imagine, being a customer of theirs I was honoured and positively jumped at the chance! I'd recently drooled over FullerFigureFullerBust's review of Corsets-UK's Highly Curvaceous overbust corset, made for ladies such as Georgina and myself with more 'extreme' hourglass figures, meaning a difference of around 10" or more between waist and bust measurements.

Ideally I wanted a classic black overbust corset but unfortunately it was out of stock so I channelled my inner Jessica Rabbit and chose this red with black pleat trim overbust corset priced at £60 instead in a 20". I was so excited when it arrived that I tore open the packaging, laced myself into it and got work! So for continuity and amusement I thought it would only be fair of me to use those very photos.

As you can see, the corset cinches me in perfectly and compared to the Union Jack you'll see there's extra room in the bust and hips, fitting me much better and in turn creating a cleaner silhouette. I just love the way it skims over my hips and actually FITS them, rather than creating a muffin...bottom (?) underneath like corsets without this amount of flaring normally would. Great stuff!

It's not THE perfect fit and I do have a few minor gripes with this corset. It doesn't quite push my boobs forward as much as I'd like, but I think that's more to do with my soft boobs rather than the corset. I'm almost certain this could be remedied by wearing either a strapless bra or maybe even some strategically placed 'chicken fillets'. The other issue is again probably down to my body rather than the corset, in that it feels slightly uncomfortable on my bottom ribs. As I said though, this is probably down to my body, since I'm only 5'2" and something that could only be fixed by having a bespoke corset made to my exact measurements. My last little gripe is that I'd have preferred it to have cord lacing rather than ribbon, but I can change that very easily of course.

I say with with a sinking heart and a sigh deep in my chest, but Corsets-UK have decided not to replenish stocks of their Highly Curvaceous range, so if they have your size in stock (4-5" smaller than your actual waist measurement) then BUY before they sell out! A little tip when shopping, you'll get more results by typing "GE" in the search box, but not all are the curvaceous type. You should be able to tell the difference very easily though.

Overall I'm delighted to have found a relatively problem free corset for my awkwardly short and curvy body!  Since I've never shopped elsewhere for my corsets, I can't compare to any other companies, but I'm more than happy with Corsets-UK so I've never felt the need to shop around. The corset has inspired me to finally buy that iconic red sequined floor length dress a la Jessica Rabbit as I promised myself I would two years ago! Here's a sneak peek until my dress gets here...

Are any of you corset wearers? If not, would you consider wearing one?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Crop tops for busty gals? Can you, would you, dare you?

A few weeks ago Georgina of fullerfigurefullerbust tweeted that she'd tried on a crop top and since then I was curious about how they would look on me. As I was browsing in Primark one lunch hour, I saw a few I quite fancied and decided to give them a try just to see how they'd look.

I chose to team the crop tops up with a green jersey midi skirt, costing just £5. The skirt is available in red, blue, green and black. Primark didn't any have any in my usual skirt size 8 so the one in the photos is a size 10. I'm not overly keen with the midi length on me, but apparently it's THE length to wear so I guess I can live with it.

Unfortunately Primark don't have an online shop, although ASOS ave a small selection available. 

First up, a colourful Aztec print top in a size 6. Costing £6 (I think it was?) it's a cheap and easy way to work this seasons daring trend. The problem I had with this top is that besides making me look ALL boob, you could clearly see my bra straps.


You should all know by now that I'm a complete sucker for anything polka dot, so this black and white crop top immediately caught my eye. Costing £4, it's so tempting! Again, it makes me look very busty, but I kind of like how I look in this outfit and may well end up buying it. At just £9 fr both the top and skirt, I think I can justify it. My only issue is that the outfit might be a bit too young for me with me turning 32 in a month's time.


So, my curvy readers, what do you think? Would you dare to bare your midriff this summer for this latest fashion trend or is it all a bit too much for you? Would you avoid wearing fashions you know look good on you because you feel you're too old for them?