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Why it’s been a little quiet on the blog…

September 26, 2013

Dear lovely readers,

Please accept my sincere apologies for disappearing from the blog scene for a while. 

As you may remember I was pregnant, and in August I became the mother of a beautiful little baby boy! 

Of course it has been a huge adjustment for us and has left me with precious little time to eat or sleep, let alone blog about interesting things. Fear not, as I stumble my way through these early weeks, I am slowly getting on board with motherhood enough to pick the rest of my life back up, and resume service as normal. 

Bear with me, the Sophia Jenner blog has not gone off the radar, rather just on hold for a brief period of time.

Love and hugs to you all,

Sophia x

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New Look: My Summer Wish List

June 24, 2013

New Look is one of my go-to high street shops. It’s rare that a woman with curves can get on with high street clothing, as often the cut is so straight that the clothes do not lend themselves well to a variety of shapes and sizes (ehm, Topshop I’m looking at you…)

However, New Look is one of those exceptions. For me at least, I can definitely find pieces in their collection that are both flattering and can fit over a big bust or hips. That’s not to say everything they sell will, but that wouldn’t be the case with any clothing company anyway, specialised or high street.

Looking through their current summer range has got me thinking about all the things I would like to try. Despite their clothes being very reasonably priced, I still can’t afford to have them all…obviously. :)

So without further ado, here are my top picks for summer from New Look:

I’ll start with dresses as we all know I am very much a dress loving girl!

Monochrome Paisley Print Sun Dress

Monochrome Paisley Print Sun Dress

Monochrome Paisley Print Sun Dress

Whether you’re going to the park on one of those rare sunny days here in the UK, or you’re headed somewhere wonderfully warm on holiday, this paisley sun dress is a perfect day time dress for hot weather. Not only is it pretty, but it’s light and airy, and 100% cotton to boot.

Blue Demin Pinafore Dress

Blue Denim Pinafore Dress

Blue Denim Pinafore Dress

Ok, I’ll admit it, I love that denim dungarees-style dresses are back in fashion. I loved dungarees as a young girl and I still love them now. This lovely mixture of dungarees straps on a short cute denim dress is awesome – it’s a casual look that is both cute and fun too.

Closet Green and Blue Oversize Polka Dot Print Dress

Closet Green and Blue Oversize Polka Dot Print Dress

Closet Green and Blue Oversize Polka Dot Print Dress

This elegant dress has the ability to look both summery and smart at the same time. It’s the type of dress you could just as easily wear to work as you could to a day out with friends. I love the big green polka dots, I’ve always found it hard to resist a polka dot!

Mela Red Folk Tapestry Print Maxi Dress

Mela Red Folk Tapestry Print Maxi Dress

Mela Red Folk Tapestry Print Maxi Dress

This Red Folk Tapestry dress is one of my favourite dresses I’ve seen so far. The pattern is a sort of Paisley-Aztec mixture, and those lovely reds and blues go so well together – it looks like the perfect summer dress.

Apricot Blue Tie Dye Folk Maxi Dress

Apricot Blue Tie Dye Folk Maxi Dress

Apricot Blue Tie Dye Folk Maxi Dress

Another maxi dress that I really love right now. This one is the type you can dress up or dress down, making it suitable for both day and evening wear. I love the block black combined with the tie dye pattern on the bottom.

For more Summer New Look Dresses click here

Skirts are always a necessity during summer.

My favourite type of skirt is a maxi skirt, and New Look do have a wonderful varied range of them. In the UK when the weather can be so unpredictable, a maxi skirt can be a lifesaver. They not only keep you cool in the warm weather, but ward off any strong winds when the weather starts to turn. 

Chestnut Brown Pleated Voile Maxi Skirt

Chestnut Brown Pleated Voile Maxi Skirt

Chestnut Brown Pleated Voile Maxi Skirt

This chestnut brown skirt is great and particularly versatile. It looks smart without being overly formal, and the colour and style means it can create quite a wide variety of outfits.

Cameo Rose Nude Belted Maxi Skirt

Cameo Rose Nude Belted Maxi Skirt

Cameo Rose Nude Belted Maxi Skirt

This is the ultimate ‘hippy’ skirt, it’s a lovely neutral colour and has the ability to make you look like you don’t have a care in the world. The style gives it a slight vintage-feel, and I really think it’s one of those timeless skirts that doesn’t go out of fashion.

Pink and Blue Scarf Maxi Skirt

Pink and Blue Scarf Maxi Skirt

Pink and Blue Scarf Maxi Skirt

I often buy beautiful scarves and think ‘this would make a great skirt’. Lo and behold…the scarf maxi skirt. Its floaty construction combined with the stunning pattern makes this one of my absolute favourites.

Fuchsia Thick Belted Maxi Skirt

Fuchsia Thick Belted Maxi Skirt

Fuchsia Thick Belted Maxi Skirt

Similar to the cameo rose nude skirt, this fuchsia version gives the same lovely style but with a more modern twist. The bright colour stands out and makes it much more of a style piece.

Parisian Light Blue Pleated Belted Daisy Print Skirt

Parisian Light Blue Pleated Belted Daisy Print Skirt

Parisian Light Blue Pleated Belted Daisy Print Skirt

The one non-maxi skirt I picked is this gorgeous Parisian daisy print skirt. It is both cute and summery, and just perfect for warm weather.

For more Summer New Look Skirts click here

Now for some essential summer tops:

White Butterfly Wrap Front Long Sleeve Blouse

White Butterfly Wrap Front Long Sleeve Blouse

White Butterfly Wrap Front Long Sleeve Blouse

This lovely casual blouse is great if you’re not feeling in a t-shirt sort of mood. I often look for breathable clothing that simultaneously gives me a break from the harsh rays of sun. With my fair skin I tend to burn quickly, so finding a pretty blouse like this is an absolute must for me. There is also a sleeveless wrap version of this top here.

Navy Button Up Boyfriend Cardigan

Navy Button Up Boyfriend Cardigan

Navy Button Up Boyfriend Cardigan

It’s rare that I go anywhere without packing a trusty cardigan with me. You never know when you’re going to need one. This useful long navy cardigan is one of my favourites – I tend to go for blue and black cardigans quite often as they go with most of my outfits and colour choices.

Misumi Mint Green Butterfly Kaftan Top

Misumi Mint Green Butterfly Kaftan Top

Misumi Mint Green Butterfly Kaftan Top

Another butterfly patterned item – I do adore butterflies so this suits me very well! This kaftan top is an elegant look for almost any casual occasion. The pattern is both pretty and interesting which makes this a great top to have on-hand.

Parisian Cream Lace Mesh Longline Waistcoat

Parisian Cream Lace Mesh Longline Waistcoat

Parisian Cream Lace Mesh Longline Waistcoat

I’m not 100% sure why this is called a waistcoat, it looks more like a short-sleeved lace cardigan to me. However, I do love it. All you need is a basic tank top underneath and this ‘waistcoat’ turns it into an outfit. Definitely one for the list.

Red Vintage Coca Cola T-Shirt

Red Vintage Coca Cola T-Shirt

Red Vintage Coca Cola T-Shirt

Whilst I think this t-shirt is brilliant, and I love the vintage coca cola print, I do struggle to find t-shirts with enough room in the bust. I haven’t tried this t-shirt myself so I cannot tell you what sort of bust size it fits. However, I thought it deserved a mention as it is fab, and will no doubt be a popular item this summer.

For more Summer New Look Tops click here

Now it wouldn’t be right for me to skip New Look’s fabulous maternity range, being pregnant myself and all. I am always pleased with any high street shop that makes an effort to stock a decent maternity range, as no one wants to forgo their favourite items just because they are expecting! I have discovered that there are a number of maternity clothes that can actually be worn by anyone whether you are pregnant or not. They usually just have extra stretch, but can be just as useful unstretched – many maternity dresses fall into this category.

Maternity 2 Pack Black and Blue Crop Leggings

Maternity 2 Pack Black and Blue Crop Leggings

Maternity 2 Pack Black and Blue Crop Leggings

Now this is a basic, but it’s an absolute must for any pregnant woman (or in fact, any woman) during the summer. Leggings are great to go with anything, and they can turn a long top into an acceptable dress on occasion. The last thing you want is anything tight and restricting, so I wholeheartedly recommend leggings, or cropped leggings for these warm months.

Heavenly Bump Blue Bird Print Tunic

Heavenly Bump Blue Bird Print Tunic

Heavenly Bump Blue Bird Print Tunic

White birds on a blue dress, so pretty! Now, depending on how big your bump is, you can either wear this as a tunic or a dress. All you need is to pair it with the aforementioned leggings and you have yourself a very cute outfit.

Maternity Black and Purple Aztec maxi Dress

Maternity Black and Purple Aztec Maxi Dress

Maternity Black and Purple Aztec Maxi Dress

What’s that you say? An aztec print maternity dress? Yes please! So often we pregnant ladies are left with the plain boring clothes because it’s just assumed we don’t care how we look because it’s only 9 months. Not true. I always want a beautiful dress, whether I’m expecting or not. This super dress would be my alternative to the tie dye folk maxi dress I mentioned earlier, if indeed I didn’t fit into that one anymore. :)

Maternity Navy Ruched V Neck Dress

Maternity Navy Ruched V Neck Dress

Maternity Navy Ruched V Neck Dress

Having just pooh-poohed plain clothing, it does make sense to have at least one plain (yet nice) dress to hand. Whether it’s just to go to work in or because you don’t feel comfortable dressing up, this very nice looking navy dress is a winner in my opinion. It’s another basic like the leggings, but it’s an important basic.

Heavenly Bump White and Pink Floral Malibu Maxi Dress

Heavenly Bump White and Pink Floral Malibu Maxi Dress

Heavenly Bump White and Pink Floral Malibu Maxi Dress

One more maxi dress for the road; this very pretty summery dress is another favourite. It looks great while still covering up those swollen ankles you want to hide away, and even if they are showing, this gorgeous floral print will take all eyes away from ankles and keep them on this fabulous dress!

For more New Look Maternity Wear click here

Accessories:

Black Retro Sunglasses

Black Retro Sunglasses

Black Retro Sunglasses

You can’t go all summer long without a decent pair of sunglasses. These blue-tinted wayfarer-style glasses are my personal choice – the tint just gives them a little something extra.

There are two types of bag I like to have to-hand during the summer – a big bag and a tiny bag, both are essential:

Grey Chevron Stud Fold Over Clutch

Grey Chevron Stud Fold Over Clutch

Grey Chevron Stud Fold Over Clutch

This clutch is a great neutral colour that will go with numerous outfits. Always a good idea not to go too bold with the bag choice, in my opinion anyway. 

Tan and Cream Crochet Winged Satchel

Tan and Cream Crochet Winged Satchel

Tan and Cream Crochet Winged Satchel

However, when you really do need a big bag, make sure it is big enough to carry all your essentials. Again, I prefer the understated colours, but I feel that this bag has a little something extra. It’s not plain and boring, it’s nicely made and stylish. 

Silver and Turquoise Teardrop Necklace

Silver and Turquoise Teardrop Necklace

Silver and Turquoise Teardrop Necklace

As blue is one of my favourite colours, and in a lot of items I’ve picked, this lovely teardrop necklace would be a great addition to many of these outfits.

Silver Coin Drop Earrings

Silver Coin Drop Earrings

Silver Coin Drop Earrings

I adore dangly earrings, and these are no exception. Definitely my style for summer.

For more New Look Accessories click here

Last but not least, shoes!

I have spotted some great shoes for summertime, and these are my top choices:

Tan Triple Buckle Ankle Boots

Tan Triple Buckle Ankle Boots

Tan Triple Buckle Ankle Boots

I like boots, even in summer I need a casual boot. These tan ankle boots are perfect and just the right amount of heel to be comfortable.

Cream Crochet Sandals

Cream Crochet Sandals

Cream Crochet Sandals

Sandals, especially flat sandals are a must-have, particularly if you are headed on a beach holiday. These crochet sandals are my favourite and they look pretty comfortable too!

Blue Cross Strap Cork Wedges

Blue Cross Strap Cork Wedges

Blue Cross Strap Cork Wedges

If you’re feeling daring, then why not go for these uber-cool giant blue wedges. I find wedges are a tad easier to walk in than narrow heels, and they look more summery to boot.

White Cut Out Ballet Pumps

White Cut Out Ballet Pumps

White Cut Out Ballet Pumps

Ballet pumps are practically all I wear at work during the summer months. The great thing about these is that they’re cut-out, meaning your feet can breathe a little easier than when they’re fully encased in leather.

Blue Abstract Print Heel Strappy Sandals

Blue Abstract Print Heel Strappy Sandals

Blue Abstract Print Heel Strappy Sandals

I had to pick something with an interesting print, and abstract is the right word for these. I think these sandals are just great for summer evenings when you’re fed up with wearing flat shoes. A great alternative. 

For more New Look Footwear click here

I am definitely pleased with New Look’s summer offerings; their collections are both interesting and versatile which is great to see from a high street store. While a lot of busty girls look to Polish clothing companies like BiuBiu and Urkye, you can’t really beat finding something beautiful and wearable from a store that’s just round the corner.  

Love

Sophia xxx

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A Review of the Freya Adelphi

May 19, 2013

Today we have a special guest post from That Bra Does Not Fit Her. She normally wears a size 28FF/G and this is her review of the Freya Adelphi bikini – just in time for summer!

freya-delphi1

When I first started looking at full-bust swimsuits last Christmas, I immediately fell in love with the Freya Adelphi.
The print is adorable: ferns, poppies, and other tiny flowers and leaves along with 
unique colors. When it went on sale at ASOS, I decided that I needed to have it! Unfortunately, there was only a 32F left in stock—I normally need a 28FF/28G, but I figured I would just alter the band, since it was just a triangle bikini top. I got the tie bottoms to match, and it was on its way!

It actually was a pretty good fit, even with the large band and cups. I don’t think this is a reflection of 
the top running small, rather of the flexibility in sizing for the triangle tops. I can tell that it’s a little big in some places, but the fit doesn’t bother me:

freya-delphi2

If I could have gotten my usual size of 28FF or 30F, I think this would’ve fit better. However, I am happy with the fit and I wear this swimsuit all the time, even though I still haven’t gotten around to altering it. It gives a pretty good shape even though it’s a triangle top with no underwires. It’s not super rounded, but it’s not pointy either (and I’m usually pretty picky about “pointy” shapes!) I’ll also make a note here that my breast shape is primarily shallow and full-on-top, so my biggest fit problem is usually bras cutting in on top and wrinkling at the apex. I’m not sure if I would get quadraboob in a smaller size, because here the apex is rather empty, even though the top fits well. I think that, again, this type of top is fairly flexible in size and shape.

freya-delphi3

The only thing I wasn’t thrilled about was the tie bottoms: they were fairly high-waisted compared to my usual cheap Target bottoms (which was nice), but very narrow. This created a sort of strange, tall, inverted triangle look, and were revealing in a way I’m not used to. It sort of made my butt look taller, which might be someone else’s cup of tea, but not mine. I’ve noticed that this is a common shape for Freya swimsuit bottoms, but I’m not sure if the other style would have been better. I wonder if it’s a shape that appeals to people who are a bit older than me, and is just different than I’m used to. I ended up swapping the bottoms out for a pair of white American Apparel swimsuit bottoms that I got on sale.
If I ever get around to my list of alterations, I may use the fabric from the bottoms to make the bottoms match better, but for now it’s fine for me!

freya-delphi4

There are also some cute little metal “beads” on the end of the string that say “Freya” on them. I think they’re cute, although I suppose I wish that they were plastic instead of metal, because they get cold and land on my back.

Overall, this is a pretty fantastic swimsuit! I’m personally not a fan of the bottoms, but that may just be my personal preference (I’m picky about how my bum looks!) There are no glaring fit or shape issues, and the top does a good job of supporting my bust. Plus, the print is just lovely. I would keep the top even in a very wrong size because I just love looking at it!

A great review from That Bra Does Not Fit Her. Ahh if only I had the energy to put on a bikini right now :)

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The Modesty Panel: Where do you stand?

May 16, 2013

The Modesty Panel

A group of bloggers, including myself, have teamed up to participate in something we have termed ‘The Modesty Panel’. We all felt very strongly on the topic of modesty and what it means for women all over the world. Understandably, we all have varying opinions – opinions that relate to different aspects of life, depending on where we’re from and the varying lifestyles we lead.

The other bloggers participating in the project are:

Boosaurus

Braless in Brasil

Bras and Body Image

By Baby’s Rules

Contrary Kiwi

Fussy Busty

Hourglassy

Miss Underpinnings

Nothing Ever Fits

Obsessed with Breasts

Red Hair and Girly Flair

A Sophisticated Pair

That Bra Does Not Fit her

Thin and Curvy

Two Cakes on a Plate

Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed

Windie Gardie

An example of a modesty panel

An example of a modesty panel

    Modesty is a controversial topic, especially as everyone has a different idea of boundaries, and where to draw the line. Some might argue that there should be no boundaries, and that’s an opinion I can very easily understand. However, having said that, I do draw boundaries for myself, and would also do so for my children. This is not to say that I feel I could judge others on what they wear, and of course I would never succumb to any prejudice that I may have. In fact I would do my level best to both understand and accept someone else’s choice to wear what they want and what they feel comfortable in, and question why I might have reacted with a certain prejudice to begin with. It’s the same with any controversial topic, whether it’s politics, religion, or something else, everyone should be entitled to their own beliefs and to embrace their own choices. I love that all my friends and acquaintances are different – the world would be a very boring place if we all believed the same thing – the same can be said about modesty.

    I’d like to try and articulate my own thoughts and feelings on the topic of modesty, but at the same time remind anyone reading this that these are just my thoughts, based on my own experiences and culture, and this is no way reflects how I feel about others with different opinions.

    While I was born in the UK and live here now, I spent a large portion of my childhood living and attending school in The Netherlands. These two cultures are very different particularly in terms of modesty. In the UK, we can be quite a prude bunch. I have a lot of that in myself; ignoring my own feelings for the sake of manners and civility, making snap judgements about someone who does not act in what I deem to be a ‘proper’ manner, not wearing a certain piece of clothing because it could be considered inappropriate. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, even to me, but this has a lot to do with my upbringing in this country, and the way my parents taught me to behave. At the same time, I have a bit of the Dutch in me too; I wholeheartedly do believe in speaking your mind when it comes to something significant, and not dwelling on what others may think of you, and I do believe we should be allowed to wear whatever we like without judgement. It is only through working on myself as a person that I have come to embrace the good aspects of both these cultures. In my perfect world, there would be a lovely mixture of these qualities brought together to create a place where people are respectful and polite, yet confident and individual, all while being kind to your fellow (wo)man.

    Speaking of embracing individuality, there has been a large amount of controversy lately surrounding school dress codes, particularly in the USA.

I’m going to list a few topics I have read about recently:

    - Cheerleaders from a school in Omaha were told their skirts were ‘too short’, and they could no longer wear their uniforms – despite the fact the school had purchased these uniforms for the girls themselves.

Well the first thing point out is that the school really has no right to kick up a fuss about uniforms that they had previously deemed appropriate. This implies that once the uniforms were seen on the cheerleaders, it was only at that point (with their curves and feminine figures) that they were apparently no longer acceptable. What a terribly damaging thought for a young girl, to feel that her own body turns a previously appropriate uniform into something completely unacceptable. We all have different body shapes, and the same piece of clothing can look completely different on one person to the next – does that mean some people shouldn’t be allowed to wear the same clothing as others?

    – The Principal of a school in Minnesota sent out an email to parents telling them that girls wearing leggings with a t-shirt instead of a long jumper, was inappropriate attire to wear at school. He claimed that the legging material was ‘too tight’ and distracting for other students.

This is bizarre. These girls are not even showing skin, they are wearing leggings. Now, while I myself wouldn’t choose to wear leggings without a skirt over the top, that is just my personal choice. These girls obviously feel comfortable with what they’re wearing, and as they’re not even showing skin, only shape, I cannot understand where the issue lies. Boys need to be taught that the female form can be both sexual and non-sexual depending on the context. Even if a boy was to be caught off guard by his hormones, it is the parents’ job (and the school’s job as well) to teach children what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour – hormones are something we all experience and learn to keep under control when necessary.

    – At a school in Michigan, a girl arrived one day wearing a pink & black pirate costume – the Principal informed her that she looked like a ‘porn star’. The student asked what a porn star was, and the Principal explained it to her informing her that ‘all men watch porn’. Needless to say, the girl was shocked to learn that that was what she looked like.

This is not the way for a young girl to learn about pornography! If the Principal felt she had to say something, there are countless better ways to explain about modesty other than relate it straight back to porn. The implication is she looked like she wanted to have sex, this does not promote confidence in young girls – it is one of the worst kinds of ‘slut-shaming’ and can only result in feelings of guilt and humiliation. Why didn’t she discuss the choice of outfit with the student? Why didn’t she ask what she liked about wearing the pirate costume and why?

    – Possibly one of the worst cases: At a school in Ohio, students were told to remove t-shirts that had the pro-gay rainbow image on the front.

This perhaps veers slightly off-topic, but I mention it because it shows how hard these schools are trying to crush individuality out of their students. Individual opinions are no longer acceptable, there seems to be just ‘one’ opinion that is encouraged. Some of these children are even being punished or suspended – what does that teach them? That having your own opinion or belief is wrong? Then it’s no wonder these children grow up so confused and unable to embrace who they really are.

    One particular area of modesty which can cause some very heated discussions is about women and girls showing ‘too much skin’. This has been talked about a lot in the media, and it usually goes hand-in-hand with ‘slut-shaming’. This then creates a direct link with rape culture, and the idea that a woman can actually be blamed for a rape because of what she chose to wear. Again, we all have our opinions of what clothes show too much skin, and there will always be people who choose to dress more modestly than others, but that should never affect how the person is treated. Accusing someone of being a ‘slut’ based purely on what they are wearing or what they look like, is a very sad by-product of our society, where it is assumed a certain image will provoke a certain reaction. In my opinion this is the very significant fact that needs to be dealt with - it is society as a whole that needs to change, not women and their choice of clothing.

    While I’m not keen on (for example) those tiny shorts that are pretty much just underpants in a more fancy material, or tiny crop tops that barely cover more than nipples, it is a fact of life that there will always be someone somewhere wearing clothes like that, and that is their choice.
Now, I personally feel a lack of clothing being worn in school isn’t really appropriate, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with boys being ‘distracted’ or other people’s opinions. The only fact of any significance is that school children are young. Young girls are sometimes under the impression that having more skin on show is a way to make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex (and a lot of this stems from what we see in the media). This is another aspect of modesty that is often ignored; the reasons why a young girl might choose to dress in a certain way – that to me is another very concerning point that needs to be addressed. I am all for people wearing whatever they like, but not at the expense of their self-respect. Girls and boys need to be taught that they should dress for themselves, not for anybody else.

This brings me to talk about one of my favourite campaigns; Beauty Redefined.

    Beauty Redefined was created by twins Lindsay and Lexie Kite. They spend a great deal of time and effort trying to change the way we view ‘beauty’ and writing brilliantly informative articles to back-up everything they say. They discuss the way media thrives off insecurity, highlighting the fact that these unrealistic messages aren’t going anywhere. They talk about how educating ourselves and those around us is the key to fighting back against the media, and learning that there is so much more to us than just the way we look.

    It is clear that modesty and the topics that accompany it, is something we should actively be talking about and dealing with. The good news – lots of bloggers and people all over the world are seeing the light, standing up for themselves and trying to spread the word, and this can only be a good thing. As long as we continue to fight and make ourselves heard, we stand a real chance of making a difference. Not just for ourselves, but for the next generation as well.

Love

Sophia xxx

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Cake Maternity and Nursing Lingerie

February 26, 2013
Cake Lingerie

Cake Lingerie

As some of you may already know, the HB and I are expecting a little bundle this summer. Fear not my lovely readers, my blog will not become solely dedicated to writing about maternity and nursing lingerie, but at least you now know why I have been a little quiet as of late.

In the mean time, this does give me the opportunity to test out maternity & nursing products, and discuss the best options for a fuller bust.
This particular post is about Cake Lingerie, a company that started up in 2008 to design beautiful maternity and nursing lingerie of excellent quality. Not only that, but they do cater for the fuller bust with certain styles going up to a J-cup; a rarity in the lingerie world (even maternity lingerie).

I was fortunate enough to win one of their fab Facebook competitions which they currently hold every month (check out their page here), and was delighted to be sent the gorgeous Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra and Brief set.

Apricot Sorbet Maternity Bra & Brief

Apricot Sorbet Maternity Bra & Brief

Since becoming pregnant, my size has been all over the place. You may remember from previous posts that my pre-pregnancy size was 30GG/32G – now it’s somewhere in the realm of 34H. I requested the Apricot Sorbet bra in a cup size up at 34HH, because being only halfway through my pregnancy, I am fully aware that my size will increase (again!) the closer I get to full term, and possibly more so after birth. 

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

The package was beautifully wrapped, and came with it’s own special ‘Cake’ fold-away bag. The first thing I noticed as I took out the set, was how amazingly well constructed it was, and how soft the material felt. The fabric is absolutely lovely, and the set fit very well (bra slightly on the big side as I had hoped).

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra & Brief

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra & Brief

The 34 band felt very nice and snug, and as I measure about 33ins underbust at the moment, I’m pleased to see it’s not going to get loose too quickly. Not only that, but there are 4 hooks with 6 levels of eyes to tighten it with, giving it a much longer life than your standard everyday bra. I absolutely cannot fault this set for comfort or support. It is beautifully detailed with lace panels, and has great snap-open sides for nursing. Whilst the bra is full-coverage, it doesn’t feel frumpy, and the straps aren’t so thick that they will show obviously under a sleeveless top.

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

Apricot Sorbet Nursing Bra

I got the pants in a size XL which I think probably equates to a UK size 16. Again, just like the bra, they are made of a wonderfully soft and comfortable material – during pregnancy, that’s bound to be your main requirement from any lingerie.

This particular bra is an angelic pale apricot colour, and it also comes in Lavender Sorbet too. If you’re after something with a bit more eye candy, they do have numerous variations of patterns and colours. This Shortbread Maternity Bra especially caught my eye! Click here to see a range of their other styles.

Cake Lingerie is a brand I have never had an opportunity to test out before – it’s always unnerving trying a new brand when you perhaps feel more comfortable sticking with your old faithfuls. However, I can safely say my Freya and Panache maternity bras are nothing compared to this (much as I love those two brands as well).

I highly recommend testing this great company out, they are worth every penny, and I wasn’t at all surprised at all to hear they won the UK 2011 maternity brand of the year. I can see why!

Love

Sophia xxx

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What to do with that ever expanding bust?

January 25, 2013

Being big busted, or even just an awkward bra size can be a nightmare. We all know this, we have all dealt with the trial and error of finding that perfectly well-fitting bra, but what do you do when your bust hasn’t stopped growing yet?

There are many reasons why breasts continue to grow, or start growing all over again. These reasons are numerous and include things such as; pregnancy, weight fluctuations, age (both younger or older), hormones, diet, or even just that time-of-the-month.
The fastest growing of these is usually pregnancy – it can be quite an overwhelming situation, and you may end up living in the biggest bra you own, afraid to buy anything new because it won’t fit you a few months down the line.

So, what can you do to deal with this constant growth? Well, I’ve put together a few solutions that may be of some use. Sure you’ve gotta ride out these hormones, but you shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable whilst doing it.

Before we get on to the bras, let’s talk about nightwear and around-the-house wear. You may remember a post I wrote a few years ago about Hot Weather and Big Bras, and in this I very briefly mentioned some of the M&S Secret Support tops. Well I’m pleased to say they are still around and still as useful as ever. While they are generally ‘inside’ tops, perhaps a little too free flowing to be worn in public, they are certainly good enough for the home. Having said that, they have now produced a version which has a bra clasp underneath, which actually is good enough to wear in public! They are fairly similar to Bravissimo’s supported cami tops, but an awful lot more affordable.

The M&S tops are listed as size DD-G; I know what you’re thinking, that doesn’t sound very big. True, it’s not huge, but it will also depend on the clothing size you pair it with. A size 10 DD-G is going to be at the smaller end, the equivalent of a 30-band perhaps, but if you’re concerned about comfort more than looks, a looser top in a 12, 14, 16 or whatever size you choose, will give you a much more adequate bosom space. Of course if you do happen to be pregnant, then this is a wonderful solution for you, as you will need to be buying a bigger clothing size to make space for that bump anyway!

So, here are the M&S tops:

Secret Support DD-G V-Neck Stretch Camisole

M&S Secret Support Stretch Camisole

M&S Secret Support Stretch Camisole

I can say from experience that this is a lovely and very comfortable top. It keeps you supported and in place, and it’s great to sleep in. Unfortunately it only comes in white, which is slightly boring and also makes it a little see-through. But as I mentioned before, this is more of an around-the-house top in any case.

Secret Support Cotton Rich DD-G Bra Vest

M&S Secret Support Bra Vest

M&S Secret Support Bra Vest

This is the top with the bra clasp at the back, which makes it fully usable to wear in public, but not so comfortable for sleeping. Fortunately it also comes in black as well as white this time. I found that a size 14 DD-G was very comfortable, not too loose, and fits my currently 32H chest. In fact, there is even a fair bit of room to grow in there!

And lastly..

Limited Collection Secret Support Modal Rich Floral Lace DD-G Vest

M&S Secret Support Lace Vest

M&S Secret Support Lace Vest

Well, this one is fairly indecent for the bigger bust, but nice to look at. I have this also in a 14 DD-G, and it is particularly low cut. By far my least favourite of the three, but it is still comfortable, and still great for sleeping in.

So, on to the bras. What exactly do you do when you don’t even know your size anymore?

The first thing to do is to try and re-establish your bra size. Ok, they may not stay that size for long, but you need to have a starting point. If you are comfortable being professionally fitted, try Bravissimo or Leia Lingerie, as they are some of the few shops likely to fit you into your correct size. If you’re not comfortable with that, here’s how to work it out yourself.

Image from All Sports

Image from All Sports

Measure under your bust, this is your band size. If you are inbetween sizes, say 33 underbust, try both a 32 and a 34 band and see which fits you best. Next, measure your overbust (around the middle of your breasts) – the easiest way to do this is to lean over forwards. This is the more difficult measurement to take, what with breasts flopping about all over the place, so don’t assume it will be 100% accurate.
For example, if your underbust measures 32 and your overbust measures 42, that is a difference of 10. So, count 10 bra size letters. 1: A, 2: B, 3: C, 4: D, 5: DD, 6: E, 7: F, 8: FF, 9: G, 10: GG and so on. Match that with your underbust measurement.

You would then have a starting point size of 32GG – this does not necessarily mean that is your exact bra size, but you can be sure that if it isn’t, your size will be very close by. The next step is trial and error with different brands and styles of bras, not much fun but worth it once you find one that fits the best.
There are of course lots of criticisms of using the tape measure, mainly because measurements do not set your bra size in stone – breast shape and comfort play important roles too. However, the quickly and constantly growing breast often has to be measured – it’s the one time when you may struggle to keep up with your body.

One of the must-have bras for growing breasts, is a sports bra. Usually they are very boring and no fun, but perhaps you will change your mind when you see this one.

The Panache sports bra:

Panache Sports Bra

Panache Sports Bra

I have this in the purple-blue-grey combination, but I’m very excited to purchase the pink version. Plus, if you buy the pink sports bra, Panache donates 10% of the profit to the charity Coppafeel, who try to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Panache Sports Bra - Pink

Panache Sports Bra – Pink

I found the band true to size, and the cups fortunately run a little big. It is an underwired bra, but weirdly (to me) it does not really ‘feel’ underwired. If you are actually using it for sport, it has that brilliant racerback clasp option, which makes the bra even more firm and supportive if that’s what you’re after. When I used it for sports I much preferred it in the racerback style, but now that I’m using it to keep my growing breasts under control, it’s useful to have the standard option too. It is without a doubt, the most comfortable sports bra I have ever owned – just wonderful. I recommend it for everyone.

Image from Threads Magazine

Image from Threads Magazine

If you happen to be a whiz with a needle and thread or a sewing machine, you may be able to get some good bargains on bras, both in stores or on places like ebay. Looking for a 32HH, but can only find a 36G? Then grab one for cheap and turn it into the 32HH you need. Having the skill to alter a band can be a lifesaver, but remember you can also pop to a local seamstress (sometimes a dry cleaner’s as well) and ask them to alter it for you. This can become especially necessary if you get to JJ/K/KK and so on, when bras your size become increasingly difficult to get hold of, not to mention expensive.

If you are still eager to buy the same bras you’ve always loved, and not let breast growth or pregnancy get in the way of those pesky sizes or wires, you may want to think about the purchases you make. So you’re a 34J and you want to buy a bra that will fit you right now? Good idea, but while you’re there, why not buy a 34JJ as well to save you some time? With my breast growth I have been doubling up on my purchases. I buy bras less often, but when I do, I grab an extra bra one cup size up to make sure I have something to wear for next month.

One last thing would be to head on over to Ewa Michalak’s website. If you don’t see your bra size listed, sometimes they can custom make one in your size, so it’s always worth asking. This becomes especially useful when you are out-sizing most other brands.

Bust increase doesn’t have to turn into an ‘attack of the giant breast’ horror movie, even though it may feel that way. Just try and put your comfort first, and make sure to have a few fall back staple items to get you through each month. Remember to keep an eye out for any bra swap/sell groups online, and always keep one eye on ebay in case any great bargains pop up. If you are going through pregnancy breast growth, and perhaps have friends that have been through it too, make sure to ask them what sort of ideas they came up with, they may surprise you with some great growth solutions!

Love

Sophia xxx

h1

Choosing Bridal Lingerie

September 13, 2012

Buying bridal lingerie is a challenge at the best of times, but when you outsize most bridal boutiques, it makes finding that perfect undergarment doubly hard.

It has taken me quite some time to compile this selection (not least because I’ve been simultaneously planning the wedding – just 1 day left to go now!)
Of course these are just some of the lingerie items I tried and tested. I browsed different brands in Debenhams (not including the Debenhams Gorgeous range, as the current extent of their bridal range is one ivory t-shirt bra) and saw that almost every ‘bridal’ devoted section carried mainly 38Cs – none had bands smaller than a 34, and there were no cups bigger than a D. I was disappointed to say the least, but then again, high street brands never fail to disappoint.

After a great deal of trial and error, I found a selection of lingerie perfect to test out for the big day.

I visited my faithful friend Bravissimo, knowing they would have at least a few pieces of Bridal lingerie in store.

First I tried the gorgeous Evie basque by Panache.

Panache Evie – 32G

First and foremost, this basque looks and feels beautiful. It’s soft, supportive and just lovely to look at. My only problem was that it wasn’t right for my dress. My gown has a v-shaped neckline, so the standard strapless straight-across-no-cleavage style just wasn’t going to work for me. The size however, was spot on for me in a 32G.

The next thing I tried, was the Gossard Ooh la la Corselette in vintage cream.

Gossard Ooh la la Corselette – 32G

This was mildly better in terms of shape relating to my dress, but frankly it wasn’t half as comfortable as the Evie basque, and I felt like it was just too much (especially with the bow in the middle – how does that work under a wedding dress?)
Again I tried a 32G, but this one came up a little big in both the cup and the waist. I just didn’t find it particularly flattering for my shape, and it very much felt like a big busted corset made for a very straight slim figure.

By this point, I felt like even the bigger busted brands were starting to let me down. Why did nothing seem to be quite what I was looking for?
I decided that the answer was that a basque or corset just wasn’t for me. Perhaps it was time to start looking at matching sets rather than a single piece.

I had seen just the thing I wanted to try. Bravissimo’s new Ivory Satine bra. But guess what? They had sold out of every size even remotely close to my own size! I was so disappointed, but never fear, there was something else I could try in the meantime…

The Satine bra is the same design as Bravissimo’s Oh So Kimono bra. All I needed to do was find my size in that style, and rush home to order the Ivory Satine online! Problem solved.

Bravissimo Oh So Kimono – 30H

As I have discovered with other Bravissimo own bras, the 32G I tried ran loose in the band and small in the cup. The best size for me was actually 30H, there was still a little emptiness in the very bottom of the cup, but the style just naturally pushes your bust to the top of the bra. It’s smooth, soft and very very comfortable, I couldn’t wait to try out the Ivory version.

Bravissimo Ivory Satine – 30H

The Ivory Satine was out of stock in my size for quite some time, so it was a month or so before one arrived at my door. Unbelievably, as bad luck would have it, I had lost a bit of weight by the time it arrived, which meant the 30H was just now a little too big, which you can perhaps see a little bit in the pictures. Despite this, I adore this bra, it is just so beautiful – I have decided to keep it anyway, as I’m sure it will fit me again. :)

By this time, it was too late to order a replacement, and so I went to my trusty Polish favourite – Ewa Michalak – and bought a couple of bras to test out, hoping one would do the trick.

First I tried their white Mleczny strapless bra:

Ewa Michalak – Mleczny – 65GG (30GG)

This was a terrible fit on me, unfortunately. I got a tighter band 65 (30), and that felt perfect, but for some reason, the cups just did not work for my shape. Weirdly the side I have that big gap at the bottom of the cup, is my bigger side. The shape of this bra is really better suited to a top-heavy breast shape, unlike mine. You may often find that a bra that works for one woman, won’t work for another woman of the same size, purely because their breast shapes are very different.

The last one I tried was the very lovely PL Malwa bra.

Ewa Michalak – PL Malwa – 70G (32G)

This was perfect. Both comfortable and cute (look at that adorable flower detail!), it was just what I was after, not to mention it gives great lift and cleavage. I got this in a 70G (32G) and it was absolutely spot on in that size – a nice tight band (considering I measure 30 underbust at the moment).

Ewa Michalak – PL Malwa – 70G (32G)

The matching pants were very cute too! They do run small, so I made sure to size up.

I should also mention that I was very keen to get hold of the PL Lilia bra to try, as it has that beautiful satin-y finish that I was after, but alas my size was out of stock, and I really had run out of time by this point.

I think looks-wise, my real favourite was the Ivory Satine bra, but in terms of what worked with my dress, the Malwa was the clear winner. Both brilliant bras, and definitely my favourites out of everything I tried on.

Well girls, sorry for the fairly short post this time, I am finishing this just as I nip out the door to my hotel, and won’t be back until after the wedding! Wish me luck!

Love

Sophia xxx

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