Posts Tagged ‘bloggers’

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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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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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Freya – Blog Star Competition Two!

July 10, 2012

Last year, Freya launched their first Blog Star competition where they searched the nation for new and exciting blogging talent. Well, they’ve done it again!
Freya have launched their second Blog Star competition, and you could be in with a chance to join their blog panel, and contribute to their ‘fitting talk’.

Freya Blog Star Competition

To enter, all you have to do is pick out your favourite style or styles from their AW12 collection, write a short paragraph on what you like about it and why, and upload a photo to go alongside your description. Freya give an example on the entry page to give you some ideas. You can upload either a mood-board or a photo to back up your thoughts on their collection.

You have until the 15th of July to get your entries in, and the finalists will be announced on the 17th July.

Click here to find more details and to enter the competition.

Good luck girls!

Love

Sophia xxx

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Ewa Michalak – CH Lato

July 5, 2012

Ever since Ewa Michalak posted this beautiful picture (below) on their Facebook page, I have yearned for the Lato bra.

Ewa Michalak models wearing the Lato bra

The photo has four of their current models all posing together each wearing the stunning bra – some of them wearing the plunge style, and others wearing the half-cup.
It is such a happy photograph, and the Lato consists of such gorgeous summery colours, that I knew I had to get hold of this bra.

I was unsure as to whether to get the CH (half-cup) or the PL (plunge) version, because both were very tempting. I opted for the CH Lato purely because I own more PL styles at the moment.

The first thing to note is that this bra (as with most of their bras) is wonderfully comfortable. I often wear Ewa Michalak bras to work because they feel so nice to wear…all day long, (not kidding, I’m wearing one now!)

Ewa Michalak – Lato – 70G (32G)

As with many of their styles, this bra runs tight in the band. I am currently wearing most bras in a 30GG at the moment, but purchased the Lato in a 70G (32G). The style and fit are almost identical to the CH Toffik bra, which I loved, so I was more than happy with the fit. The bra straps are only partially adjustable, however, the straps are not particularly stretchy, and the band is very supportive which makes this work. The cups are lightly padded and run true to size, so I got this in my usual cup size and it was a perfect fit.

Ewa Michalak – Lato – 70G (32G)

Unfortunately (as I often seem to forget) half-cup bras don’t work brilliantly on me, because I have bottom-heavy breasts. This can often mean I have gaping at the top of the cup (which is actually the reason why I no longer own one of the fabulous Rhea bras). Despite this, I decided to keep the Lato bra, it still looks lovely, and the gaping isn’t as obvious as I make it sound.

It’s one of my new favourite bras; the beautiful aqua blue ribbons and coral floral patterns work wonderfully together. While lots of people are off having fun in the sun, some of us (sadly) have to stay here, in the rain, whilst our bikinis gather dust. Despite the crummy weather, the Lato really does make you feel like summer is just around the corner…somewhere. 🙂

Caroline over at Curvy Wordy has done a review of the PL Lato, so if you’re interested in the plunge style, why not take a look and see what she thought.

As some of you may know, I’m getting married in just a few months, so apologies if my posts are a bit few and far between. I will certainly be doing a bridal lingerie post at some point soon – oh the trials and tribulations of trying to find something that fits. Hopefully, Ewa Michalak’s Lilia bra will be one of the ones I test out!

Love

Sophia xxx

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USA Star in a Bra – Cast Your Final Vote!

June 19, 2012

Star in a Bra USA

You may remember my recent post about the gorgeous girls that made it to the Top 30 of Curvy Kate’s USA Star in a Bra. Well, the top 10 have now been chosen, and as always, they are a lovely group of girls.
The lucky 10 flew to New York for a professional make-over and photoshoot; you can see the behind the scenes footage of their photoshoots here.

From Left to right: Cristyen Fowler, Rhiannon Mariani, Jackie Flores, Brittany Jencks, Michaela Duerson, and Chandler Jade

From left to right: Danielle White, Katie Simpson, Krista Cousins, and Tiffany Schmidt

Star in a Bra is not just about finding a lingerie model, but finding a woman who can represent the brand and be a positive role model for women all over the world.
Who would you like to see modelling the lingerie you buy?
The winner this year for the UK competition was the very beautiful Sophie Morgan, but who will be the next?

UK 2012 Winner – Sophie Morgan

The two beautiful bloggers Brittany and Cristyen both made it to the top 10 (which is very exciting news!), and now we need your help for the final round. Unfortunately you only get one vote this time, but in my humble opinion, both of these girls would make fantastic ambassadors for the brand. Like the rest of us lingerie bloggers, they have backed the war against plus four, the 30-band project, not to mention aided women all around the world with fitting advice through their blogs. These girls are determined to make a difference, and you can help make that happen.

Criss and Brittany Behind the Scenes

Vote for Brittany here

or

Vote for Cristyen here

Which girl will be representing the busty women of America? It’s up to you to decide.

Love

Sophia xxx

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Parfait by Affinitas

June 2, 2012

Affinitas are a brand I was not previously familar with, so when I heard about them from some fellow big busted girls, I had to see what all the fuss was about. It’s safe to say their beautiful selection of lingerie is nothing short of stunning. The set that caught my eye in particular (and Becky’s too, who reviewed it on Invest in Your Chest)  was the Parfait Charlotte set. It comes in red/black as well, but it was the peach/black that really stood out for me. The Parfait range is probably my favourite from their selections, but there are so many beautiful items it’s hard to choose! 

Parfait by Affinitas – Charlotte – Peach/Black

It’s taken quite some time to get hold of this little gem in my size – I contacted numerous companies asking for assistance, including Affinitas themselves, but they just brushed me off suggesting different styles or colours instead. They were at least friendly and polite which is great, but didn’t solve my problem especially as I had my heart set on this particular version of the Charlotte.
The one wonderful company that went above and beyond to help me on my quest for the Charlotte bra, was Large Cup Lingerie. I have heard of them before of course, but never realised quite how brilliant they really are. They are the reason I have this gorgeous set in my possession, and they have very quickly become one of my go-to online shops to buy from.  I cannot fault their customer service, and their online site reminds me a lot of Leia Lingerie, with an outlet section with lots of discounts, yay!

The Charlotte set has a beautiful vintage feel to it; the modest peach colouring combined with the burlesque-style black and satin panelling makes you feel a million dollars as soon as you put it on.
When it arrived in the post, I raced to put it on and headed off to work. I think it must have done incredible things for my confidence, because I received three lovely compliments throughout the day, and the only difference was the bra set!

Parfait by Affinitas – Charlotte – Peach/Black

It is lightly padded with 3 hooks at the back, and fully adjustable straps. I chose to get a 32G; I had heard that the band ran tight, and found that indeed true. It was perfect in the 32, and in fact it’s very comfortable. In the first 5 minutes I thought the label would become really scratchy, but I completely forgot  it was there from that point on, which is very good news (I hate to cut out labels). The cups do run small, so the centre gore was very slightly lifted in the middle. I suspect perhaps a GG would’ve been a better fit, but crucially, it wasn’t uncomfortable, nor did it bother me, and there didn’t seem to be any four-boob syndrome going on.

You will notice in the pictures of the bra, that by the end of the day, my breasts had shifted about, so there is a bit of space at the bottom – once rearranged however, the space goes away again, which is a similar issue I have with the Deco bras. It doesn’t cause any problems, it just means you need to check every so often that everything is sitting where it’s meant to be!

Parfait by Affinitas – Charlotte – Peach/Black

I had a choice between regular or high waisted briefs; I opted for high waisted – given the beautiful retro style of the set, I think they go wonderfully with the bra. I got them in a Large, and they were a perfect fit, very comfortable too. 

I’m amazed actually that such a ‘bedroom’ set is so pleasing to wear. I wore it for the whole day, and didn’t have any real fit or comfort issues at all. 

You can buy this set here from Large Cup Lingerie, and they offer free shipping worldwide!
If you’re in the US, you may also have some retailers near you that stock Affinitas (lucky you). 

I’m still lusting after some of the other Parfait by Affinitas bras, and the next one I have my eye on is the Blue Casey bra…it looks like a light blue Deco, wow!

Parfait by Affinitas – Casey – Pale Blue

Love

Sophia xxx

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Star in a Bra heads to America!

May 12, 2012

Star in a Bra USA

You may remember I mentioned before that the Star in a Bra competition run by Curvy Kate, has packed their bags and headed to America to find some gorgeous curves across the pond. The USA really does need to update their bra fitting guides (what with Victoria’s Secret sizing disasters), and I think more awareness about this competition and bra sizing in general will do wonders over there.

The top 30 have been announced, and of course they are a beautiful bunch (although I do wish I could help with some of those badly fitting bra issues).

Star in a Bra USA – Top 30

Another very exciting thing about the USA Star in a Bra is that we have some fellow bloggers in our fab top 30!

The very beautiful and talented wordsmith Brittany from Thin and Curvy has made it through, and she looks stunning. On her blog she is a strong campaigner for smaller band sizes and helps women find great clothes for a bigger bust. She also wrote a joint post with me about Christina Hendricks here.

Brittany – Star in a Bra USA

We also have the gorgeous, cute, and bubbly Criss from Red Hair & Girly Flair (check out this video and this video she made, they’re not only adorable but funny too!) On her blog she discusses body image, health and fashion with a very unique and fun style. Her pictures are wonderful as well, and I’m so pleased to see both of these brilliant bloggers make it through to the top 30 of Star in a Bra.

Cristyen – Star in a Bra USA

Remember, at this stage in the competition you get 3 votes. If you are not sure who to vote for (as not only are there so many great girls, but great reasons for entering too), then please save two of your votes for Brittany and Criss. They most definitely deserve it.

Vote for Brittany here

and

Vote for Criss here


One last thing, Brastop are currently in the midst of running their Covergirl competition. If you could take a moment to vote for the lovely blogger Kelly Parks from The Curvy Kitten, I know it would be really appreciated. Doesn’t she look beautiful?!

Kelly – Brastop Covergirl

Vote for Kelly here. Voting for the Covergirl competition ends Friday 18th May.

Love

Sophia xxx