By HOLLY JACKSON
I’ve spent the last few days getting ready to move next month, which at this stage mostly involves sorting through my stuff and deciding if I really love each item enough to pay to move it. Once I sorted through my lingerie I realized that I, like most women, tend to wear the same bras over and over again. Not unexpectedly, these bras tend to be both high quality and all purpose. I was reminded again that if you wear a luxury basic bra enough then it becomes pretty cost effective!
The EVERY WOMAN collection by Prima Donna expands their line of quality basics to include a full range of skin tones. While Prima Donna isn’t the first line to do this, they are one of the highest quality lines to offer this sort of skin tone range combined with a large cup size product line. One of the most common complaints of curvier women is that they can’t buy high quality clothes and lingerie, so I’m thrilled to see more companies stepping in to fill that gap.
While this collection is smaller, it’s optimally designed to include something for everyone. Lots of people have really strong opinions about t-shirt bras and their details! I love that the EVERY WOMAN collection offers both a seamless non padded bra, a strapless and a spacer option, as people tend to prefer one style over the other strongly. The strapless that can also convert to a regular bra and a multi-way bra is really clever and would be the perfect all purpose bra for summer! These styles are like a second skin on the body, a much sought after feeling for a woman with larger breasts. (30-44, B-H cups)
I write a lot about inclusivity in the industry and I’m also thrilled to see it done well. I love how this line includes a diverse range of skin tones as well as a diverse range of curvy bodies. There aren’t a lot of choices out there for customers who are looking for both options, so it’s lovely to see Prima Donna coming out with such a high quality lingerie line for them.
By HOLLY JACKSON
I’ve been more than a little obsessed with lightweight bras recently! They used to be incredibly hard to find in larger cup sizes so I always assumed I’d never be able to try one. In my eyes, the mesh plunge bra was pretty much the perfect summertime basic – if only someone made one in a wider size range.
While the new Maya Bra by Parfait doesn’t quite come up to my personal bra size it still sports a wide size range that is going to make lots of customers extremely happy. It’s available in sizes 34-44C, 32-44D to G, and 32-40GG and H. The mesh fabric combined with the classic plunge cut is timeless.
Parfait Lingerie’s new season is designed around the idea of products that channel old Hollywood glamour with new and modern materials suited to the current lingerie consumer. A bra doesn’t have to be fussy to be striking, as Parfait Lingerie demonstrates with Maya. In many ways, this bra is the equivalent of a great red lipstick: You can wear it with any outfit and it just makes it a little bit better.
The Maya Bra is designed with a rigid sling in the inner cup to help create a smooth and lifted look. The bandless style design is of the type that has been popular recently, since it helps create a smooth line around the customer’s back and ribcage. Concealed side boning creates yet another layer to help smooth out the look, making the Maya Bra invisible under clothes.
We tend to think of red bras as something to wear during the holidays, but I think they’re a treat no matter what time of year it is. The Maya Bra is a great modern example of a classic silhouette done right in a color that never goes out of style.
By HOLLY JACKSON
Summer is in full swing here in New Orleans which means the “feels like” temperature is about 109 on a daily basis. Everyone is pulling out their lightest clothing and spending as much time in the air conditioning as possible. Even my dog spends all his time napping on the air conditioning vents! The weather has me dreaming about sheer bras and light as air lingerie to go with my summer wardrobe.
Sheer bras used to be something that were only available in smaller cup sizes but are now available to a wide range of body types! I love the idea of stocking up on some new options to beat the summer heat and get that elegant Parisian look.
Aubade has recently released a supremely elegant sheer bra that functions as the perfect summer basic. The Nudessence Comfort Half Cup Bra is available up to a G cup and channels European sophistication.
Adina Reay has essentially perfected the full bust sheer bra in recent years and her embroidered Veronica Bra is a neon dream. Other brands and tastemakers such as Journelle have promoted Adina Reay as well, so I suspect that this luxury brand has a bright future ahead.
Prima Donna (above) offers a great selection of high quality sheer lingerie options, but my two favorite are the Waterlily Passion Full Cup Bra and their Summer bra line. Both are available in a wide cup size range and feature stunning embroidered details that make these bras worthy of showing off.
I’ve written about the Cosabella Curvy bralettes here before but their Pret-A-Porter bra is a sheer summer classic. These bralettes are great for women with large cup sizes and small ribcages and actually fit.
The Spirit Lace Moulded Bra by Chantelle comes in an amazingly saturated pumpkin orange color and has a chic sheer look to it. I love the sheer panel in the gore as well as Chantelle’s typical elegance and high quality materials.
I’d love to see more stores and customers think less about t-shirt bras and more about lightweight European style bras for summer, especially in curvy sizes that traditionally have had fewer options! The perfect summer sheer bra can be a freeing and fashionable experience for everyone.
By HOLLY JACKSON
What does size equality really look like when it comes to fashion and lingerie? Many prominent companies are starting to argue that it’s pretty simple: equality is when a store carries a full size range of items that are all the same. While Uye Surana isn’t one of the companies explicitly making that argument in their marketing materials, I would argue that they are a great example of what those principles look like at work. A few years ago this small NYC based brand decided to take on the challenge of making lingerie, swimwear and loungewear for everyone – and to make it all by hand in the United States at the same time.
The first clue is their marketing. Plus-side models lounge next to smaller models wearing the same looks with no design dilution. Sizes XS to 3XL are considered standard for “Easy Fit” sizing and sizes 28A through 42H are considered standard for bra sizing. If a customer doesn’t fit into that range, Uye Surana will make a custom size version of that piece for no additional charge. Uye Surana is a place that doesn’t restrict possibilities in a world where producing a huge range of sizes is both expensive and difficult.
The brand doesn’t restrict itself to bralettes and panties either. Uye Surana produces a lovely range of reversible swimwear as well as beautiful draped loungewear pieces. They even make matching stockings for each range which can also be custom sized – I’ve truly never seen this option anywhere else.
What this massive mix of sizing and styles has in common is a focus on feminine details and bright modern colors and prints. Their “Give Me Butterflies” Bikini Top features a showstopping exclusive and realistic butterfly print, while their Lila Lace Wireless Bra uses eyelash lace and mesh to create layers of texture and lightness. Even their snake print pieces have a natural charm and elegance to them.
Handmade lingerie brands used to reside strictly on Etsy, locked into the perception of being forever ‘amateurs’ in the industry. Brands like Uye Surana prove that there is a future for handmade lingerie as part of the mainstream industry – and that it’s one that customers of all sizes can get in on.
By HOLLY JACKSON
Bralettes are still a dominating market force, but there are many women who are looking for a different kind of wireless bra. Beyond new mothers, we don’t talk about them much! There can be lots of reasons that women develop a dedication to wireless bras. Some women have health conditions that make wearing underwires deeply uncomfortable. Some women have skin sensitivities. Some women dislike the sense of restriction that comes with wearing a properly fitted underwire bra. Traditionally, there have been few options for women who prefer wireless bras and are curvier.
Royce Lingerie doesn’t make bralettes and hasn’t jumped on that trend, but they are experts in creating wireless bras that really work. They were established in 1991 and describe themselves as “the world’s only dedicated wirefree bra specialist”. While they make several popular nursing and maternity bra styles, much of their catalogue is devoted to full-bust and plus-size friendly pieces that are completely wirefree.
What sets Royce apart is their quality and their dedication to a customer base that is often overlooked. I know women who live in wirefree sports bras because they can’t find a compatible underwire, but also yearn for a regular t-shirt bra that doesn’t hurt them. The Royce Comfort Bra line straddles the line between the two. Several of their models go up to a UK L cup, which means they fit even exceptionally curvy women. Both the Luna and the Charlotte are supportive and comfortable and they come in a wonderfully wide size range.
Royce’s Impact Free sports bra goes up to a UK K cup and manages to generate serious support without any use of wires. Curvy customers who are fans of compression sports bras will like this one, even for higher impact sports. The breathable cotton base fabric means that it’s also great for hot weather.
My favorite of all of the bras I tried from Royce was a surprise: The Blossom Nursing Bra. I’m not pregnant, but the super soft fabric and adjustable neckline made me fall in love. I’ve been using it as a crop top to sleep in for several weeks now and adore it. If they made a version without nursing clips I’d buy three.
Royce Lingerie’s long term devotion and dedication to wirefree bra styles shows in their superior construction and design details. It’s a great line to convert underwire loving customers to the wirefree life and to help serve curvy customers who don’t feel comfortable with underwire bras.