A Trip to Tatyana

I firmly believe that every woman is entitled to treat herself, especially in times of trouble. When emotions are running high, sometimes the only person who can really make you feel better is yourself. And so, we search for ways to ease the strife.

Some girls indulge in tantalizing treats. (Ohgodyes, brownies.)

Some throw themselves into a fervor of exercise.

Me? I shop. I get impulsive, and I shop like there’s no tomorrow. And in these most recent weeks…oh boy, did I come home with a haul.

After a recent emotional upset lead me to an impromptu solo-trip to New York City, I suddenly found myself gliding through the doors of Tatyana Boutique’s flagship store around 1st and Bowery. Allow me to set the scene:

Deep breath in, exhale. Must not squeal, exhibit self control! A chorus of angels harmonizes in the background while afternoon sunlight glimmers over racks and racks draped with fabulous retro-chic clothing. I’m greeted by a team of beautiful women, all dressed to the nines in the latest that Tatyana has to offer. Deep breath, exhale. There’s no place like home (away from home).

I came dressed for the day in a current-season purchase from the previous weekend–the absolutely stunning Shame dress in red–and found my kindred spirits in two similarly polka-dot clad (and absolutely wonderful!) employees.

Lots of dots at Tatyana Boutique NYC

Lots of dots at Tatyana Boutique NYC

After much excited chit chat with these lovely ladies, I set to scouring the inventory, determined to try on essentially every damn thing in the store. Countless swimsuits, dresses, and separates later, I made my choices and practically skipped to the register, brandishing my credit card. Here’s what came home with me…

The Sweet Berries Dress:

DSC_3212It’s all in the name. The Sweet Berries dress from Tatyana Boutique is one of the sweetest dresses that I own. It has very quickly morphed into my favorite go-to “casual day out” dress. With it’s red and white polkadot motif and bow accent, it is a dress that (in my humblest of opinions), can do no wrong! Fully lined and made from fabric with just enough give, it’s perfectly curve-hugging and fits my body as if it was made for me. At 40/30/44, I purchased this beauty in a size Medium.

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The medium requires just the tiniest bit of wiggling to get into, but it’s no stress on the rugged zipper, and once into the dress I can breathe, sit, and dance with no issues.

DSC_3192editThis dress retails at $120.00, and is available in sizes Extra Small to Extra Large. While this is a smaller size range then Tatyana usually offers, I would encourage my 2XL ladies to give the XL a try, given my size experience with this dress! Love it? Order your own here!

The All Aboard Blouse and Catwalk Skirt:

I am very much a dresses-before-separates kind of lady, but in an effort to broaden my wardrobe horizons, I tried on a few separates while gallivanting through New York City. And despite my original misgivings about a two-piece outfit, I fell truly-madly-deeply for two particular items at the Tatyana Boutique: The All Aboard Blouse in red, and the Catwalk Skirt in black:

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Maybe I’m predictable in that I love anything red-white-with-bows, but when I saw this pretty, I couldn’t resist. This top is not only gorgeous, but it is flattering, breathable, and loaded with s-t-r-e-c-h! I initially tried this on in a size medium, only to be swamped by fabric in my shoulder region. The size small that now hangs in my closet is a perfect fit and leaves room for me to lose the last few pounds I’m working on without the need for alterations. Besides that, what’s not to love about a big decorative bow and a keyhole cut-out? The All Aboard top is available in both red or navy, and retails for $58.00. If you love it as much as I do, grab your own here.

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It’s hard not to feel cheeky in patriotic stripes, but it’s even harder not to feel downright sexy in the perfect black pencil skirt. Enter the Catwalk Pencil Skirt in black. Made of a stretch material that I can only classify as bengaline, it hugs my curvy hips and thighs in all the right places. Button and kick-pleat details adorn the front, giving it just the right amount of sass. Be warned, though: while the body of the skirt is stretchy, the waist is NOT. The side buttons and zip of the skirt are firm, so pay close attention to your waist measurement if ordering online. At 30″, I walked out with a size large and I struggle to get the buttons done up if I’m particularly bloated.  This skirt is available in sizes XS to 4XL, and retails for $70.oo. Need a new basic in your wardrobe? Order yours here!

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What I Wore: “Shame”

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Of course, a Tatyana-exclusive post couldn’t come to an end without discussing my all-time-favorite dress! The week before my NYC trip, I walked into “my”  Tatyana on Walnut Street in Philadelphia wearing a purple wiggle dress. I walked out about fifteen minutes in “Shame”, deeming a wardrobe change in the fitting room 100% necessary. As is apparent at this point in the post, this dress ticks all of my boxes: red, polka dots, bow accent.

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It has a shoulder-skimming front and a v-back that shows off both my hard work at the gym and my favorite tattoo. Form fitting with a keyhole cutout under the bust, the only issue I’ve had with it is that my gold-star bra (the Freya Deco) tends to show out the bottom. I circumvent this issue by wearing solid shapewear under the dress. (My holy grail shapewear from dMondaine, if you’re interested!) I initially tried this beauty on in a size Large, but sized down to a Medium. It takes only a tiny bit of wiggling to get into this stretchy little number, and is absolutely worth it. This dress hugs every curve of my body without highlighting any of the little lumps-and-bumps that I (and everyone else in the world) have.  I have found that it can very easily transition from a day out in the city to a night out on the town with a few hair and makeup switcheroos. Versatile and comfortable, this piece has definitely earned top marks from this vintage-repro enthusiast.DSC_3254editPriced at $126.oo and available in sizes XS to 4XL, I’d highly recommend that every vintage-loving beauty out there run to Tatyana and snatch up their very own bit of “Shame”. It’s definitely a must-have for every pin up’s closet!

In a nutshell, I’ve become a frequent-flier at Tatyana Boutique. I can always count on their clothes to be beautifully made and high-in quality. My recent trip to the New York City flagship store left me not only 100% pleased with their products and customer service, but itching for another trip…and soon!

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Let’s take a minute to discuss my fantastic photographer, shall we?! Friends for nearly ten years, Sarah King of Sarah King Photography was one of the few people I was comfortable enough to commission to shoot me not only in these pin-up lovelies, but in my undercrackers (for future posts). If you’re local-to-me, I highly recommend her services! Check her out on Facebook, and if you’re feeling really sporting, give her page a “Like”!

 

Music, Martinis, and Made In Preston: A Busty Girl Clothing Review

As if being a curvy girl isn’t enough, the clothing conundrums that accompany the figure can be downright tiresome.

Business casual tops with buttons that pull.

Jeans with gaping waistbands.

“If it fits great here, it doesn’t fit here, here, or here.”

It can be a nightmare but not all is lost, ladies! Never fear.

I was recently contacted by the lovely Nikki over at Made In Preston. Made In Preston is a British designed-and-manufactured company that offers gorgeously on-trend dresses, swimwear, and lingerie that is designed with a busty girl’s frame in mind. They realized what many high-street stores have not: that style goes far beyond a “DD”.

While it is already impressive that MiP offers lingerie and swimwear ranging in size from 26-38 DD-J, what’s even more fascinating about their line is their unique method of sizing. Each dress is available in sizes UK6-16 (US4-12), but let’s take it one step further:

“FIT … The same fit as you’d buy on the high street
FOXY … A little bit of extra room in the bust
FAB … A lot of extra room in the bust”
The magic is in the silhouette! Each Made in Preston item is offered in three shapes “Fit”, “Foxy”,or “Fab”. Ladies without the need for too much extra space in the bust could order a __”Fit”, and find little difference than on the high-street. But go with a “Fab”? You J-cup ladies may find this shape to be just what you’re looking for!
But how does Made In Preston shape up? I was given the opportunity to try out their Polka Dot Bodycon Dress in a 12Foxy (US10). As a 32G, I am not quite into “Fab” territory, and I found that the bust area of the “Foxy” silhouette was practically perfect. I trialed my dress for a concert in the city. Here’s how she fared:
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Made In Preston Polka Dot Bodycon Dress £32.00

 

Construction: Upon pulling my dress out of the parcel, I noticed right away that the construction of the dress was lovely. The stitching was strong and secure, there were no loose threads, and the seams were even. It was quite stretchy, and the only issue that I had was that the fabric itself was noticeably sheer and lightweight. Personally, this was not an issue for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this with appropriately skin-toned lingerie on a hot summer day, or with a shaping slip underneath on other occasions.

Fit: When I was first discussing sizing with Miss Made In Preston herself, I was clueless. Quite simply, I sent her my bra size and my measurements (currently 40″/31″/44″, 32G), and she waved her magic wand. Just five days later, my dress was in my hot little hands! The 12 Foxy that landed in my mailbox–and subsequently onto my body!– was nearly spot on in both size and shape. My chest fit wonderfully into the bust portion of the dress without gaping or stretching (another busty-girl woe). The waist of the dress was the tiniest bit big, but not noticeably so. A quick trip to the seamstress for some tightening would give me the va-va-voom that I prefer in my wiggle dresses.

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At the concert, the dress was comfortable for equal parts dancing (Uh Huh Her, yes!) and sipping strong martinis in the mezzanine. The fabric is stretchy and breathable, and moved easily with each shimmy to the music. I did not find myself adjusting my clothing all night long, which is a definite “gold star” quality!  This is a piece that I feel could be dressed up or down. In this case, I paired it simply with black flats, a fierce red lip, and tousled hair, but I think she’d do nicely with a pair of sky-high heels and an up-do!

In all, I am very impressed by this offering from Made In Preston. (Not to mention the several other styles that have caught my eye.) I love the fresh and on-trend styles that the company has to offer, and it feels good to have high-street style options with my bigger-bust needs in mind. While their pricing may be considered a little higher for us USA-based ladies it is definitely worth a second look if you, too, are struggling with the Big Boob Conundrum. The shipping options to the US are quite affordable, and if you’re quick about it, MiP is offering a whopping 50% (!!!) off of your first order if you place it between May 29th and June 2nd.

Happy Shopping!

Bonus Shot!: "Martini in the Mezzanine"

Bonus Shot!: “Martini in the Mezzanine”

Bonus Bonus Shot: "Too Many Martinis, Bathroom Selfie Edition"

Bonus Bonus Shot: “Too Many Martinis, Bathroom Selfie Edition”

A Dose Of Glamour: (What Katie Did Girdle Review)

As a long-torsoed lady and self proclaimed shapewear addict, I’ve always been a huge fan of longline underbust girdles. In my humblest of opinions, they offer me the most for my money: garter clips for my favorite stockings, enough coverage for the requisite smoothing and nipping of my tummy area, and the ability to wear my own bra.

Amongst many a vintage/reproduction enthusiast, the Rago 1294 reigns supreme in this category, and it’s really no surprise. It boasts quality, affordability, and from retailers such as Orchard Corset, dye options in a variety of colors. It is regarded by many pin-up and lingerie bloggers as a wonderful girdle choice.

But there’s another contender. And she is one that won’t go down without a fight!

Recently, a friend of mine listed a piece of shapewear for sale. It was the What Katie Did Glamour Zip Underbust Girdle, and I immediately snapped it up, excited to give it a try. On the What Katie Did website, this girdle is described as:

Strong, layered powermesh trims, non-stretch satin smooths and added steel boning flattens your tummy while preventing roll-up. The high rise of this girdle eliminates any unsightly bulges that could appear below your bra. It also features six garters, and a hook and eye fastening, which is in turn covered with a zip for a sleek finish and easy entry and exit.”

Ah, zippers. Katie, you had me at zippers, because with a set of hips, thighs, and a bum like mine, one does not do a lot of wiggling into the tightest of shapewear without a little help from my friends. And since my last experience with WKD’s lingerie was a complete and total disaster, I was excited to give it another try with a more positive outlook!

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What Katie Did Glamour Zip Underbust Girdle
Sizes US 6-16
$105.50

Wow, wow, wow! I was not disappointed, to say the very least! I actually acquired this piece in a UK16/US12, which does not appear to be available on What Katie Did’s Website. This size proved to be perfection my 30″ waist and 44″ hips. The girdle was smoothing without being uncomfortable, and nipped in all the right places.The side metal zipper (which closes with hook-and-eyes), sat smoothly against my body without bulging or showing under my tight dresses, and the bottom of the band did not cut into my thighs. Usually I prefer adjustable garter straps on my lingerie, but in this particular piece I found the length of the six garter clips to be just right for my 5’6″ frame. What’s more, they held firm and secure to my favorite and ever-present What Katie Did stockings!

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What Katie Did Glamour Zip Underbust Girdle

As far as quality and workmanship, this piece is flawless. The powermesh is thick and luscious, and the non-stretch satin panel in the front smooths beautifully while adding just a little extra “something pretty” to an otherwise fantastic functional piece. While the price point is a bit higher than it’s other reproduction counterparts, the What Katie Did Glamour Zip Underbust Girdle stays true to it’s namesake with that added injection of glamour. What Katie Did has definitely upped the ante with this piece, and pushed it into “luxury lingerie” territory.

Overall, I am very pleased with this girdle! Despite being a bit out of my usual price range, I am thrilled to have made a place for it in my collection. I’m quick to admire What Katie Did’s pieces from afar, and when the opportunity to splurge presents itself, I can’t resist!

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Bonus!: “Dramatically Getting Ready In The Loo” shot. ;)

Fashionable, functional, and fabulous, I highly recommend that every vintage-loving lady make a place for a little bit of this luxe in their lingerie drawer!

Meet “Marilyn”: dMondaine Shapewear Review

As a lingerie blogger, I spend a significant amount of time on the hunt for that one “it” piece of lingerie. Hours upon hours are spent pouring over websites and catalogs, and even more time is spent in front of a dressing room mirror, critiquing and deciding which piece is going to make the cut and end up on the blog. It’s a time-consuming gig, but someone’s gotta do it (and let’s be honest, I love every minute of it).

However, very seldom does the “it” piece of lingerie actually fall into your lap. I thought it impossible, until I received an email from the lovely Giovanna of dMondaine . Giovanna wanted to introduce me to dMondaine, a luxury shapewear brand with a longstanding history of catering to the stars. Their designer, Kiana Anvaripour, strived to design a collection of shapewear that was both gorgeous and functional, and if their press history has anything to say about it, they’ve succeeded tenfold.

After a little bit of back-and-forth (and a lot of gushing on my part), Giovanna offered to send me my very own piece of dMondaine–and when that parcel arrived on my doorstep just days later, I immediately understood what the hype was about.

Meet: Marilyn.

 

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“Marilyn” Full Body Slip by dMondaine
Available sizes XS-XL
$169.00

The Marilyn Full Contouring Slip is a dMondaine best seller, and it is very plain to see why. Constructed of breathable “ResultWear” performance fabric, it nips, tucks, and smooths and holds everything in place while still remaining comfortable for long-term wear. Besides being completely functional, it is a rare gem in the world of shapewear–it’s pretty. The fabric is thick and of obvious quality, and the construction is practically flawless. I was sent this lovely piece in a size XL and tested her out over the course of two days out in the city. What better to test the abilities of some serious shapewear than with drinking, dancing, and a room full of lesbians? :)

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“Marilyn” Full Body Contour Slip by dMondaine

Marilyn features a full back-zip, a built in bra, and  firm-control panels to slim the waist and smooth the tummy. As a 32G, I definitely needed the added support of my trusty Freya Deco underneath this slip, as the idea of a built-in bra working for a busty lady is almost laughable. However, the added support of the slip’s bust panels made for some serious cleavage, which couldn’t have been more perfect for my night on the town.

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On night 1, I wore this slip underneath my “Erin” dress by Pinup Couture. The dress fits like a second skin, and Marilyn was nearly invisible underneath. Not a line nor seam was visible underneath Erin–the tightest dress in my wardrobe. Through a night of dancing and too many vodka seltzers, I didn’t have to adjust myself at all. Riding up wasn’t an issue either. Marilyn and I made it through the night unscathed, and when the opportunity for another outing presented itself the next night, I was game.

_SMF0963Night two featured a brand-spanking-new dress, the Megan Lace Wiggle by Tatyana. With Marilyn underneath, I felt smooth, secure, and confident. She gave amazing (admittedly, eyecatching) cleavage, but because Megan is not nearly as form fitting as my Erin dress, I did experience a bit of riding up while I was moving around. I don’t attribute this to a product malfunction, but to my recent weight-loss.* Simply put, I shrunk: Marilyn didn’t. She is simply too big for my body now, and this issue was rectified easily with a bit of fashion tape. Once again, Marilyn and I made it through the evening unscathed and happy. Despite a bit of adjusting while dancing, I felt smoothed and secure in my wiggliest-of-wiggle dresses.

Even with my continued weightloss, I find myself reaching for my Marilyn quite often. It is a simply designed but incredibly effective piece of shapewear that is functional underneath almost every outfit I own. When I’ve completely shrunk out of my XL Marilyn, I can guarantee that I will be paying a visit to my seamstress and begging her for alterations! Who knows, maybe I’ll even be bold and start wearing my underwear as outerwear. ;)

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TL;DR: Full-body contour slip. XS-XL (Runs large, in my opinion). Available in black/beige. 169.00$. Built in bra (for smaller busts), cleavage boosting (for larger busts). Smooths and shapes while still remaining comfortable.

Like what you see? Think you might want your own? Take a look at dMondaine’s entire line of luxury shapewear over at dMondaine.com.

 

*I received this product for review at the beginning of March and trialed it 2 weeks later. In that time, I lost approximately 7lbs, which I believe attributed to my fit-issues. Upon arrival, this item fit perfectly in an XL on a 41″/33″/45″ body. At time these photos were taken, my body measures 40″/32″/44″)

Falling For Fraulein–”Falling In Love” Reviewed

There I was, lazing around in a plain-Jane chain hotel. My hair was a mess, I was drinking bad hotel coffee, and  staring at generic watercolors that were painted and printed by Joe Nobody.   In my mind, though, it was a little different.

In my mind, I’m rolling around on a California-king sized four poster bed, instead of the cramped full-sized mattress. (Tiny girlfriend, you take up a lot of space.) My crummy hotel brew is replaced by a mid-afternoon mimosa, and instead of staring out the window at a dingy Walmart parking lot, my room-with-a-view allows me to drink in rolling hills of the sunny Italian countryside.(This is my fantasy, and in my fantasy it is the summer, dig it?)

“Why?” you ask. Because, ladies and germs, it is difficult to feel anything but glamorous while prancing around in this little beauty:

"Falling In Love" by Fraulein Annie

“Falling In Love” by Fraulein Annie
Fuller Bust Bra: 30D-38G Approximately $79.00
High-waisted Panty Girdle” UK8-18 Approximately $79.00

“But Jessica, I’ve seen that set before.”

Well, yeah. I’ve been salivating over this particular set of lovelies for months now, and finally finally I can call them mine! You see, I recently had a birthday. And because the folks at Large Cup Lingerie are possibly the best people on the face of the earth, they ever so kindly offered to send me the very bra and pantygirdle that my heart had been wishing for! Call it a belated birthday gift, they said. (“I love you!” I replied.)

Fräulein Annie is a brand that I am no stranger to. Once upon a dream, I owned their Falling In Love full cup bra in black/chestnut, before my chest decided to make a break for it and grow three cup sizes. I was completely blown away by the craftsmanship and attention to detail in these pieces, and the romantic-vintage feel of the collection spoke to my inner enthusiast. It was my first dive into the world of luxury full-bust lingerie, and I could not get enough.

“Falling In Love” by Fraulein Annie Fuller Bust Bra and High Waisted Panty Girdle

Now, you can see that the pieces are downright drop-dead gorgeous, but let’s talk fit.

(I’d like to note that at the time of review, this bra fit me perfectly in a 34FF. It was snug and supportive on the last hooks, I filled the cups nicely and without wrinkling, and gave a rounded, subtly uplifted shape. Since that time, I have lost around 15lbs, and while the volume of my breasts hasn’t changed much, I am now pretty firmly living in 32-band territory, and thus this bra needs altering.)

The Bra:

The Falling In Love Fuller Bust Bra is made of sweet cinnamon colored satin and cream lace, and is double lined for durability. It features two strong vertical seams as part of it’s three-part cup construction. The straps are actually part of the cup (instead of being flimsy and thin), and are half-adjustable. Small bows adorn both straps at the point where cup and strap meet, as well as at the center-gore of the bra.
Aesthetically, it is positively stunning. The cinnamon/cream color combination oozes Victorian vintage charm, and I have fantasies of having an afternoon tea party swathed in just this set, and nothing more. (Because truly, in a set this beautiful, the only accessories a girl needs are some curls and a set of pearls!)
At the time of review, this bra fit me well, and I would say the cups are true to size. Fräulein Annie lingerie has a reputation for running more snug in the band, and as someone who fell between 32 and 34 bands, my original choice of a 34FF was spot on. Snug and supportive without sacrificing comfort, the band sat smoothly against my skin without digging or chafing.
As a self described Freya Deco-addict, the non-moulded cups were a bit of a new thing for me. I am so used to the va va voom of my Deco that the subtle, romantic cleavage of this set took some getting used to. However, once swooped and scooped into place, I was very happy with the rounded and natural shape that this bra provides.
I had just two complaints about this bra, (neither of which were deal breakers.) As a small-shouldered person, the half-adjustable straps are almost not short enough for my frame. I need to tighten them almost completely to get the fit that is most comfortable to me, so I would note this to other small-shouldered ladies. My second issue lies with the wires of the center gore. They are tough and poked me pretty significantly in the beginning. Thankfully it was easily rectified by bending the wires ever-so-slightly away from my sternum.

TL;DR: Cinnamon satin/cream lace. Unpadded but well-lined cups. Half-adjustable straps. Band runs on the tighter side. Wires may dig, bend if necessary. Luxury quality. Wear with curls and a smile!

The Panties:

I love them.

I had to get right to the point with that one, ladies, because there aren’t really words to describe how incredible this girdle is. In my hunt for shapewear, I have searched long and hard for a fashionable, functional piece that doesn’t conjure up images of my great-great grandmother’s lingerie drawer. In this world where shapewear automatically equals “dowdy”, the Falling In Love panty-girdle is a breath of fresh air. The front panel is the same gorgeous cinnamon colored satin and lace of the bra, while the back and sides are made of a powerfully shaping mesh that expertly smooths and cinches while still remaining comfortable. I received this piece in a UK16/US12, and 15-pounds ago, it was admittedly just a little bit snug. Keeping this in mind, if you have no body-altering diet or exercise plans in your immediate future, I’d recommend sizing up in this piece! Now that I’ve slimmed down just a bit, the 16 is perfect on my current measurements (31″/44″), and still gives the desired slimming and shaping effects.

But that’s not all!

(Allow me to paint you a picture.)

Last weekend, (after a particularly hellish week at the grind) I shimmied myself into the tightest dress in my wardrobe and went out for a night of drinking and dancing with friends. After some pleasant conversation and a few vodka-seltzers, I felt the call of nature and slipped off to the loo. (Can I use that word? I love it, it’s much cuter than “bathroom”.) So there I was, jammed in a tiny nightclub bathroom stall, swathed in my most figure hugging outfit and seriously lacking space to move. You’d think this would be a nightmare situation–no elbow room and layers of shapewear to peel off. Or worse! Having to hike your dress up to your chin in order to wiggle your underlayers off. That’s a lot of trouble to go through just for a quick pee. Right? Wrong. Wrong, because Fraulein Annie is some type of genius, and added snaps to the crotch of the girdle. (!!!)

"Falling In Love" by Fraulein Annie High Waisted Panty Girdle Available Sizes UK8-18

“Falling In Love” by Fraulein Annie
High Waisted Panty Girdle
Available In  Sizes UK8-18

If the gorgeous fabric and quality construction of this set hadn’t sold me on it already, that particular feature definitely would have. I’m a woman that’s easy to please, so something as simple as being one step ahead of my undressing conundrums is very valuable.

TL;DR: High-waisted. Firm shaping and control. Cinnamon/almond details. Run a bit small, size up for comfort if between sizes. Button crotch for ease of wear! Pretty and practical, the ultimate lingerie staple piece.

There you have it, ladies and germs. Do you think you could you Fall In Love with Fraulein Annie? If you fancy picking up a set for yourself or your significant other, might I suggest the ever-wonderful folks over at Large Cup Lingerie as your first stop? They are always quick to respond to customer inquiries and offer always free shipping, no matter where in the world you lay your head. :)

Let’s Talk “Letterphobia”, and Why It’s Been So Quiet Around Here

I know, I know.

February has been a quiet month over here in Blogland. I could give you a million excuses about work/life/whathaveyou, but instead I’ll say this:

While it has been a quiet month here, I have still been quite the busy bee! I was recently invited to participate in something called “Better Bra School” over at Better Bras Canada. It is the brainchild of a kick-ass lady named Michelle, who is nothing short of passionate about bringing great-fitting bras to all women. I love the idea, and I respect anyone with passion and drive, so when Michelle contacted me about writing for her page, I immediately pounced on the opportunity! I was allowed to chose any topic related to bra-fitting and the DD+ market, and since I was the one holding the reins, I decided to jump in feet first.

The topic of Letterphobia is a frustrating one for me, and in my article I aimed to discuss the issues that accompany the idea that “All D-cups are huge”. This preconceived notion makes it incredibly difficult to refit a woman who is otherwise uncomfortable in her bra. The idea that her body could not possibly fall into a certain size range makes her hesitant to even try a new size, for fear of disappointment or a blow to her self-esteem. In my post, I aimed to smash the stereotype, as well as provide positive examples of well-fitting lingerie that prove the D-cup myth wrong.

Want to read more? Check out my post!:

JESSICABBS

Letterphobia, And What It Means To Be A “D-Cup”

Stop The Hate: A Discussion on Girl-Hate in Popular Music

So there I was.

In the bathroom, up-close-and-personal with the mirror and a mascara wand (mascara face and all), jammin’ out to some dance tunes on Spotify and putting on my face for the day.
Just minding my own business, when it hit me like a ton of bricks: the amount of woman-against-woman hate in music is TOO DAMN HIGH.

The tune in particular that got the wheels a-turning in my head was a popular (albeit older) one: Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson. Here’s just a sampling:

“Mad ’cause I’m cuter than the girl that’s with you”

“Girls think I’m conceited ’cause I know I’m attractive. Don’t worry about what I think, why don’t you ask him?”

If my iPhone wasn’t so precious to me, I’d have Hulk-smashed it into oblivion out of sheer frustration.

Pitting woman against woman? Basing your opinion of yourself on what a man (and not just any man, someone else’s man!) thinks of you? Keri Hilson, you should be ashamed of yourself. Of course, Keri doesn’t shoulder all of the blame. This kind of catty-girl banter is interwoven within every genre of the music industry, and the female population eats it up! One of the worst offenders is an artist I love: Carrie Underwood.
In her hit song “Before He Cheats”, Carrie sings about a “bleached blonde tramp” that her boyfriend is “getting frisky” with in the bar. She talks down about the fact that the woman in question can’t handle her liquor (don’t even get me started on the sexist/misogynistic undertones of this!) refers to her as white-trash…the list goes on. At no point does she clarify whether or not this girl that she’s verbally destroying has knowledge of the guy’s relationship status. And while this may seem like no big deal because it’s “just a song”, I think it’s very important to realize that while this is an imaginary example, this kind of stuff actually HAPPENS.

Almost every time I’ve heard about a cheating ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, the woman that was cheated with is always referred to as some sort of “slut”, “whore” or “bitch”:and not because she was aware of the cheating, but simply because she was involved. Regardless of her knowledge of the relationship, she is automatically branded as a harlot simply for being “the other woman”.

And do you know what, readers? I think that’s horrible.

20140114-000335.jpgShall we slap an “A” on her chest, too?!

If your significant other cheats on you with an unsuspecting individual, the blame should be placed SOLEY on them. If they sneak around behind your back with someone else and she is also being lied to, then you aren’t the only person being hurt, and she certainly does not deserve to be subjected to a verbal tongue-lashing. In more extreme cases, she definitely does not deserve to deal with harassment, acts of vandalism, or bodily harm. Instead of placing the blame on the actual perpetrator, women rage at someone who is possibly just another victim, because it’s easier: easier to blame a stranger, easier to dehumanize someone you’ve never met than it is to hold the right person responsible.

Think that’s bad? How about Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”? Now, Taylor is the Queen of Pining Over Someone Else’s Boyfriend, but that track takes the cake. It’s your typical boy-meets-girl-girl-likes-boy-boy-has-a-girlfriend-so-let’s-slut-shame-her storyline: insinuating that this boy’s fictional girlfriend is somehow awful because they don’t like the same music, because she doesn’t “get” his sense of humor, and she must be a slut because “she wears short skirts”. To some, it’s a catchy pop-country tune but let us not forget that our impressionable daughters, nieces, and friends are listening to these songs that condone slut-shaming and disrespecting the boundaries of relationships. Teens and Tweens practically worship these idols, so it’s doubtful that these harmful messages are falling on deaf ears. Essentially, popular culture is telling girls that this line of thinking is acceptable.

Except, it’s not.

Slut-shaming, name-calling, lying, disrespecting and cheating are all regarded as generally unacceptable behaviors, and yet the music industry tells a different story. These woman-hating-woman songs and albums are mainstream, and so commonplace that adults don’t even bat an eyelash at them. Young girls tuning in is a non-issue, when in fact it should be just the opposite.

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So, how do we break the cycle? For many, the idea of cutting out the influence of the mainstream is downright preposterous, but changes can be made without cutting ties. Conversations need to happen. As a former teenage girl, I understand that communication can be downright impossible at times, but if parents and mentors take the time to talk to their girls, they will listen. (They might roll their eyes, but they’ll listen.) Talk about the basics: how to treat others, basic respect, self-respect. But what I think is most important is to lead by example. If our girls see us balking at these negative girl-hating messages, chances are they’ll do the same. Want more? How about a Girl-Positive Playlist:

1. “Girl on Fire” by Alica Keys

2. “Who Says” by Selena Gomez

3. ““Strip Me” by Natasha Bedingfield

4. “F’in Perfect” by Pink

5. “Hard Out Here” by Lily Allen*

What do you think, readers? Is it time to stop the girl-on-girl hate? What’s atop your Empowerment Playlist? Sound off!

*Four minutes and twenty three seconds of delicious satire, addressing the same sexism, objectification, and negative messages that I just soap-boxes about. Lily Allen, the next round is on me. You go, girl.