Johnny Lingerie

By John Festa

huit-&-la-perla

Huit & La Perla

I love balconette bras. There is no other bra style that can compare with its classic sexiness and shape enhancement. The literal translation of the word balconette is little balcony. Performers regularly joke about the theater’s balcony being the cheap seats, though there is nothing cheap about this extraordinary bra style.

Lou-&-Chantelle

Lou Paris & Chantelle

Occasionally referred to as a shelf bra, the balconette is not for the meek. It is nearly a display case for the goods in a beautiful, tasteful way that exalts the female form.

aubade-&-Mimi-Holliday

Aubade & Mimi Holliday

Many bras are called balconette, though not all are. The essence of this style is the shelf construction and low décolleté. In either the seamless cup style, or seamed (I prefer a vertical seam), it is the nearly-horizontal décolleté that differentiates this style bra from a plunge or demi-bra.… ...Read more


Interview With A Fit Model

By John Festa

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Megan Wearing A Work In Progress

Recently, I met a plus-size bra fit model and I had the bright idea to interview her for another perspective on the enigma that is bras. As the appointed evening grew closer, I began to second guess myself wondering what this human mannequin* could know or say that would help the average Jane. But I figured how bad could it be if I got to wear a suit and there were manhattans involved..

Ever wonder how a garment’s size is determined before it makes its way into stores? A fit model is a human that designers and manufacturers build that garment on. Her specs are considered the perfect starting point to then grade up and down into more sizes.

It turns out I happened upon a formidable industry resource. Megan began as a plus-size photo model. It was instantly apparent that … ...Read more


Back Fat: The Ugly Truth

By John Festa

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I passed Victoria’s Secret on Fifth Avenue the other night and noticed the bras on display in the window. They all had such a wide side wings and back bands that I exclaimed to my companion “These would be great to combat back fat” — only to look up at the signage and see these bras were being sold as just that:  Back smoothing push-ups.

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It is very noble to address the problem of back fat – those bumps bras create when they indent into a soft body. They can be unsightly and create an unkempt appearance. But how to prevent this

Fact:  Except for the skeleton, humans are soft. Even those demigods with 4% body-fat will show a dent when compression is applied.  Another inconvenient fact: bra fitting nowadays incorporates the belief that the majority of support comes from the bra band. All stores and fitters … ...Read more


In Defense of Cut and Sew

By John Festa

BeigeLace

On May 31st of this year, the New York Times wrote a piece on a new bra sizing system developed by Jockey. I applaud Jockey in their effort and innovation in the area of bra fit. But what struck me most was the 427 comments left by readers in a matter of hours. Bra fitting remains an enigma and a source of anxiety for many women.

For a variety of reasons, it seems many women’s self-images are dependent upon and expressed through their bra issues. Now I am not a psychologist but I do have my PhDoubleD in bras and bra fitting. But we’ll save that analysis for another post.

One thread running through the Times article many comments was the molded cup bra and its shortcomings. They are referring to the shaped-foam lining to many seamless bras. A smooth, seamless look, like the ubiquitous T-shirt bra, … ...Read more


By John Festa

In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now heaven knows, anything goes.

​So wrote Cole Porter in 1934.  And it seems ever more appropriate when we consider the exposed bra trend.

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What once was edgy and daring now seems commonplace and thoughtless. Are exposed bra straps and bra bands simply acceptable now?  Does this trend speak to a woman’s owning her sexuality, being comfortable in her skin, flying in the face of convention or simple laziness?

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The answer lies in INTENTION.

It seems that if the exposed bra is forethought, planned with the final look in mind, it can work. But the part that I am missing, and, ladies, please enlighten me on this: To my eye, It never seems to enhance the end product.  I have yet to see an outfit look better because the bra was showing. I … ...Read more


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