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2013

Santa, Baby...Bring Me Some "Day of the Week" Underwear


I've consciously skipped gift guides this year because I've realized 1) the pressure of the holidays make me spaz and I completely forget what my friends and family might like and 2) my friends and family ask for gifts that aren't on any traditional lists (No joke, Zack wants women's floral skinny jeans this year!?). But I know what's made my wishlist and there are a few people who'll be doing last minute holiday shopping (*cough, Mr. Floral Pants, cough*) so here are a few things I'd like to see under the tree. Day of the week underwear isn't exactly seasonal and I know that some crazy people find them silly, but Santa, let's get it on:

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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Ewa Michalak Sm Nana


The Ewa Michalak Nana is easily one of the best sets of 2013, one of the sexiest things I've ever put on my body and it's utterly unlike anything currently on the market for full bust women. The eponymous brand has had a strong season with the release of it's first babydoll, gorgeous new bridal pieces, and a fury of out-of-the-box prints. Over the summer, I read a few complaints (and might've done some complaining myself) that the soft cups they'd sporadically produced in the past had all but disappeared. The debut of their SM shape was a long awaited revival and since it's arrival, Ewa Michalak's sheer bras are a force to be reckoned with, both in fit and design. And with the exception of Miss Mandalay's Amelie and Cleo's Lori, they've blown right past the standard for sheer bras in Britain.  The Nana is the pinnacle of that achievement and in my opinion, Ms. Michalak deserves a round of applause.

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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Freya Marvel


Even if the Marvel was uncomfortable to wear (it's not) or a poor fit (again, it's not), this bra represents a giant step forward for the brand who has been timid -- if not terrified! -- of stepping outside their technical safe space. Freya delayed the release of it's first soft halfcup multiple times and seemed oddly hesitant to discuss it in any depth. This once game-changing company has clung to it's successes lately, stubbornly committed to mining every profit from their bestsellers rather than exploring new territory. The Marvel is a break from that pattern which offers longtime Freya fans a glimmer of hope that the company's confidence is slowly returning. If the Marvel is any indication, I can't wait for what surprises    the brand has in store for us.

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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Avocado Arielle, Caprice, & Greta


Avocado is one of my all time favorite brands so when they recently released a bevy of new styles I was beyond excited. Their designs work that rare balance between sophistication and spunk, their fit never fails, and since the co-owners are material nerds, their quality never disappoints. They don't follow the strict seasonal schedule that big brands like Freya do, with two separate collections in one year. Instead, these styles have been released and their future will depend on market demand: Avocado will either sell through a design, add an additional colorway, or continue production, but these decisions will be made based on the response from their customers. Of the three I'll be reviewing today, there's one set I'm crossing my fingers I'll see again in a new color. Can you guess which one before we begin? If you got to make the call, which one would you keep around? 

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Avocado Sale & Free Shipping from Wellfitting!

Avocado Kyoto
Two announcements showed up in my inbox this week that I've been dying to tell you about! Avocado has put some of their bestsellers -- including the gorgeous Kyoto! -- on sale. The Michelle, all the Nina colorways except the white, and both Kyotos will be €37 ($50.65) rather than €49.75 ($68.10) until 11:59 pm on December 8th, 2013

The new online boutique, Wellfitting, has also extended a flash promotional code to Miss Underpinnings' readers: Enter "missunderpinnings" for free shipping until midnight tonight (Pacific Standard Time).

Full Bust Lingerie Review: Harlow & Fox Eleanor


Last month, my mom and an old friend of hers dropped by my apartment for a visit and eventually, we began talking about lingerie. Specifically, lingerie that has emotional value and while it might not fit or be in the best condition, it's one of those things you hold onto because it's woven into the story of your life. My sister and I have long fought over this "vintage" Victoria Secret's robe and chemise set which belonged to my mom, who'd never really worn it. She had received it from the aforementioned friend, who was re-gifting it from her sister. The set isn't high quality and has little practical value, but it's important to me because it was of the first times I'd experienced lingerie that wasn't strictly utilitarian or bought in bulk from the Gap. It symbolized the type of mature femininity I idolized and to my preteen eyes, it was incredibly fancy.

When I previewed the Harlow and Fox collection, I immediately thought of my lingerie collectibles back home and how wonderful it would be to cherish those pieces and hand them down to my own daughter. I suppose it sounds strange to pass down underwear, but Leanna Williams' designs are as luxurious, evocative, and sentimental as any Victorian engagement ring or family china. Her line calls forth another era of lingerie -- silk! tap pants! dressing gowns! -- which I'm delighted to be transported back to.

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Win Your Fleur of England Wishlist!


I'm not a big contest or giveaway person -- my luck is terrible! But when this announcement landed in my inbox yesterday, I decided it was too fun not to share. The steps sound easy and straightforward while the process of making a pinboard around my favorite Fleur of England lingerie is going to be downright fun. I'll definitely be participating and I've gotta warn you, I'm pinning to win. ;)

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My Top 5 Picks: DD+ Jackets

Denim jacket layering. Image via Pinterest (Source: Home & Delicious & Refined Style)
Way back in June, I made a list of the designs I'd like to see from full bust clothing manufacturers and low and behold, a few of my dream items have arrived! There are bustier crop tops from Made in Preston and Urkye has a 1940's-inspired peplum blazer, but there are also tons of other cool DD+ jackets floating around. After talking to you guys about layering and winter style, I started to think about wearing thinner jackets under thick coats or sweaters. It's something I've never done, but I always thought looked cool. I've analyzed the selection and these are my five favorites:

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Announcement: Harlow & Fox's Website is Live!


Harlow and Fox, the new luxury full bust brand, launched their website yesterday! The site looks gorgeous, with crisp images, extensive sizing/fit help, and a very appealing mission: "to create effortlessly elegant, beautifully luxurious lingerie, exclusively designed for sizes DD-G". Three styles are available now -- the Eleanor in Almond, the Alexandra and the Viola -- with the Lydia and the Eleanor in Mink following later for Valentine's Day and the Sophia completing the debut collection in March. I previewed the lines in August and was awestruck at designer Leanna Williams' commitment to fine quality materials and old school glamour. I'm especially obsessed with the Eleanor's tap pant and Downton Abbey-esque georgette robe! Just call me Lady Mary. ;)

Harlow and Fox has kindly extended a discount code for Miss Underpinnings' readers! Enter "MISS10" for 10% off your order, it'll be valid until Monday, November 18. 

The Guide to Avocado's Constructions & Fit

Avocado's A Shape: Greta, Jewel in Black & Kyoto

Purchasing a product from a new brand is stressful and ordering from an overseas company feels even riskier, especially when it comes to bras. Avocado is a wonderful company and after Wednesday's announcement that their international website was live, I was flooded with questions about their collection. Specifically, there seemed to be a lot of uncertainty about the various constructions they offer and how their bras fit. I've created this guide to cover the basics and share my own experiences of the line. I hope this helps! :)

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Announcement: Avocado's International Website is Live!


After months of anticipation and weeks of testing, Avocado's international website is finally live!! You can now shop their full collection of sultry padded half cups, intricate sheer basics, and discounted swimwear with a PayPal purchasing option and reasonably priced express shipping. If you've tried to access the new site in the last few days and you've experienced some difficulty, Avocado recommends clearing your browser as they've worked out a few coding kinks in the last 24 hours. Additionally, international customers will be given the "wire transfer" payment option but rest assured, once the order is processed you'll be sent PayPal information and it's only temporary.

To celebrate their international website launch, Avocado has offered Miss Underpinnings' readers a discount! Enter "missunderpinnings" at checkout for 10% off your order. The offer is in effect until Monday, November 11th.

UPDATE: I've received a number of questions and concerns about the price increase that we saw on Avocado's website in the last couple of days and I'd like to put everyone's fears to bed. The website's coding still had a glitch and those prices weren't accurate, but everything's been corrected today and you should now see the actual prices. :)

What do you have your eye on? I'm keen to see the Chamade's funky colors in person and the Orla Kiely-esque details on the Laura bikini are mighty tempting...

Winter Is Coming: Now What Do I Wear?!

Image via Pinterest/I Left My Heart in Paris Tumblr
I've spent the better part of my life in New England, but if you were to look at my closet, you wouldn't know it. The majority of my wardrobe is devoted to warm weather staples, like breezy sundresses, three quarter length cotton cardigans, and sleeveless blouses so once the temperature drops, my choices shrink considerably. Last year, I unintentionally decided to go for a "chic maternity" look and wore the same three pair of black leggings for eight months straight with oversized shawl cardigans and tunics. There's no shame in that uniform -- I'm sure I'll be adopting it again soon! -- but this winter, I want to cultivate a style. Pieces that feel as feminine, retro, and whimsical as my collection of vintage summer dresses...I just don't know quite how to do it yet and am looking for advice:

What do you wear in the winter? How do you manage the tricky combination of requisite layers, practical concerns, and style during the colder months?  

Full Bust Lingerie Review: Ewa Michalak SM Margot


In today's full bust market, it's near impossible to use floral embroidery in a way that's fresh and unexpected. The feature has been incorporated so repeatedly -- with good reason, it's beautiful! -- that it feels traditional, comfortably familiar which is exactly why Ewa Michalak's SM Margot stuck out to me. It's blooms are oversized in a punchy deep pink and the surrounding vines are made from green polka dots, making the entire embrodiered element look like bursting fireworks. It feels different and somehow, surpring as an Autumn/Winter arrival. Suffice it to say, I love it!

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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Ewa Michalak PL Charlie


When I was taking the photos for this post, Zack asked where the set was from and complimented me on it. He's seen a lot of lingerie and unless I ask him directly for this thoughts, he's stopped chiming in on what I'm wearing. But this afternoon was different, he noticed and there was a little earthquake in my brain which came out as: "Wait, WHY do you like it!?". His response? "It's nice". When pressed for more descriptive adjectives, he admitted that Ewa Michalak's PL Charlie looks "classy" and putting aside the fact that Zack says weird things all the time, I think he's onto something. Menswear designs are almost nonexistent in full bust lingerie, but they're a very sophisticated theme to play with. Blazers, trousers, oxfords are all "borrowed from the boys" and add a distinctive crispness to any ensemble. The Charlie is no different and left me feeling particularly polished.

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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Ewa Michalak CHP Gazeta


In the nearly two years I've been blogging, I've never experienced anything like the CHP Gazeta's debut. I've been around for a lot of exciting changes too -- Claudette's launch, Freya's introduction of 28" bands to the Deco, Wacoal's purchase of the Eveden brands, the infancy of Curvy Kate's "Star in a Bra" competition, and of course, Cleo's long awaited swimwear. But there hasn't been one set,  announcement, or size extension that rivals the release of Ewa Michalak's CHP Gazeta and it's easy to see why. The Gazeta is the year's most original design, it's a unique move even for the daredevil designer behind it, and judging by the outpouring of anticipation and enthusiasm online, many women have been longing for such an unusually fun print.  I've received more questions about this set than any other product I've written about so at long last, (drumroll, please) here are my thoughts:

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Exclusive: Avocado Launches Wholesale Distribution!

Avocado Caprice
During my trip to Poland, I met with Avocado at their flagship store in downtown Poznan and I've been smitten with their collection ever since. Their designs are alternatively restrained and celebratory, they have a steadfast commitment to quality and their bras are a reliably consistent fit. They're also a perfect example of what the "middle market" wants -- sophisticated sex appeal, crisp graphic details, a fresh use of embroidery, and modern, everyday coverage. Unfortunately, Avocado has also been one of the hardest brands to purchase, as their online shop didn't offer an English translation or Paypal and their boutique was in Poland, but that's all about to change! They're launching their wholesale business this month and if buyers are interested, their products could be in North American stores by the holidays!!

Avocado has assembled a wholesale catalog that contains six brand new lines and they've given Miss Underpinnings readers an exclusive first look: 

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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Debenhams White spotted non padded D-G Balcony Bra & Shorts


While it might not seem like it to the women who live there, Britain has a vast selection of full bust lingerie and several more budget or in-house labels to choose from. Enviably, some DD+ women can pick between Bravissimo's label, the Victoria Secret-inspired Boux Avenue, Marks and Spencer's options and the Gorgeous line from Debenhams, in addition to all the big brands we know in North America! However, Debenhams now offers an international delivery option for their private label lingerie and shipping to the United States costs a mere £10 (or $16.05), which is only a fraction higher than Bravissimo, who charges £7.95 ($12.76).  This fee -- combined with their continuously running sales and promo codes -- adds Debenhams to the list of modestly priced options for American women.  To get an idea of what the Gorgeous line offers, Debenhams generously sent me a review sample and I ended up being quite surprised...

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Curve NY: Mimi Holliday Spring/Summer 2014

Battenburg & Apple Tart
Last August, I had my first Curve meeting with Mimi Holliday and alongside my sister (notetaker), my boyfriend (photographer) and two fellow bloggers, I previewed the entire Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Only two weeks later, I was in Selfridges and got to try on Mimi for the first time and let me tell you, I'm a convert! I've been wondering around ever since, muttering to myself, and wondering, "Mimi! Where have you been all my life!?". I love their irreverent use of color and the way they remix a familiar collection (the Bisou Bisou) each season. The laces are soft and luxurious and they offer a ton of my favorite things -- sheer bras! High waist panties! Silk! Polka dots...le sigh.

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The Middle Market and Why Freya Should Join It

John La Gatta for Laros Lingerie, c. early 1940s.
Full busted women are allowed two choices when they go lingerie shopping and I'm growing dissatisfied with both. On one side, Tutti Rouge, Cleo, Bravissimo, Curvy Kate, and Evollove reign over the market for youthful spontaneity; the second domain belongs to Fantasie, Fauve, Empreinte, Prima Donna, Panache, and newcomer Harlow and Fox, who offer elegant timelessness and exquisite European laces. As much as I love both, I don't completely relate to either. I've outgrown the juniors' section and I'm not ready for side support panels or full cups. I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way so I've begun to think of myself (us?) as "the middle market". We're the ones who are caught between too cute and too classic. Every full bust brand assumes we're part of their target demographic, while no one seems to be designing anything expressly for us. And that's where Freya comes in...

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All Undone Launches Online Next Week!

An Exclusive Glimpse of All Undone's Website
Squee, All Undone is almost here! They've begun shipping to their brick and mortar stockists already, but the new British full bust brand will launch their online shop on Monday and their entire collection, excluding the bodysuits, will be available for international customers. I profiled the brand earlier this month and I'm so excited! All Undone's minimalist sex appeal and modern conception of full bust lingerie is tremendously appealing and truly one of a kind.


All Undone Facebook | Twitter  

Full Bust Lingerie Review: Tutti Rouge Sophia & Frankie

The Tutti Rouge Sophia in Mint 
Tutti Rouge is entering their second season and new autumn styles will be available soon on their website, with Facebook hints that the first to debut will be a luscious berry toned Betty. However, my mind is stuck back in their feminine Spring/Summer collection and I still can't get over these two adorable mint sets. Colors like seabreeze blue, mint, and seafoam green were popular this summer and last and while a few full bust brands experimented with it (notably Curvy Kate's sold out Portia version), I hadn't had a chance to try out this trend. I finally have my mitts on two mint bras and now that I've also tried Tutti Rouge's Birds of a Feather, Liliana, and Betty, I have a solid understanding of how the Sophia and Frankie measure up.


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I ♡ FRKS Lingerie on Etsy


I stumbled upon this Hungarian Etsy shop through one of my favorite lingerie blogs, Scarlet's Letter, and I haven't been able to look away since. FRKS Lingerie combines folkloric embroidery and ouvert panty details to create wildly original, delightful, and energetic designs. Sure, these panties are sexy but they also seemed to have danced out of some bizarre dreamscape where underwear can cast spells and explodes into technicolor fires on your butt.

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Here & There



Oops, I'm rolling my Friday Favorites and Monday Pick Me Up posts into one today's. I found this video last week and I adore it. It's the most realistic music video about love I've ever seen because c'mon, who hasn't conveniently returned to a certain time and place just see a crush? When Zack and I were roommates and before we were dating, I once ran across campus so I could get home in time to watch Mad Men with him. I'm the most unathletic person so the wheezing may have made him pause, but he made me feel too warm and fuzzy to care.  

Here are some other things I've loved seeing, reading, and pinning lately:

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Freya's Deco: What Would YOU Like to See Next?

Counterclockwise from top left: Aubade Fleurs d'Afrique; Huit Rhapsody via Journelle; Aubade Evasion Tropical via House of Fraser; Aubade Malicieuse Sissi (sold out); Aubade Russian Can Can, Marlies Dekker Dame de Paris via Faire Frou Frou; Agent Provocateur Petronella via The OutNet; Huit Equivoque via Polyvore, available at Figleaves
Freya really wants our feedback on Deco because, with good reason, it's their pride and joy. I've heard enthusiastic cries from their fans that they're in favor of this Deco phenomenon But Freya seems too timid to truly tinker with it and season after season, the bra is only slightly tweaked, rather than thoughtfully reinvented. Basics can be boring and while the Deco certainly isn't, it has the potential to be if bolder ideas aren't applied. Below, you'll find the suggestions I gave to Eveden and as my earlier post says, I'd love to see what your thoughts are on the Deco's design and if we have any opinions in common. :)

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Tell Freya What YOU Would Like to See!

Image via The Resolve Project 
Sweet Nothings and I went to Eveden's New York headquarters on Friday to discuss their company news, the Spring/Summer 2014 bestsellers and to share the feedback we've received from you guys through blog comments and social media. Unsurprisingly, the conversation quickly turned into a lengthly discussion about Freya and we touched on a lot of elements I've written about here, including their lackluster look books and strong competition in the youth market. We gave Eveden an ear full about how we'd like to see Freya's focus to change and the direction we think Freya should consider for the the future.

At the end of the meeting, they asked us, "Do you think these ideas capture what your readers have been saying?" and we both said yes, however it got me thinking about how to create real change. Our individual opinions can be casually brushed aside by these international companies, but if we speak in one distinct voice as a community, it's tremendously powerful. I've decided that after I conclude my series on Freya, I'm going to gather all the comments on these posts, organize them by subject and send them to my contacts at Eveden. Therefore, if you see something in the Freya posts or comment threads that you agree with, please include a little note that you seconded the idea. Or, if someone hasn't mentioned a design concept or fit change that you'd like to see, mention it because maybe someone else feels the same way.

My next post will be on Freya's aesthetic design, one in terms of what we'd like to see in their basics and another on their fashion. I'm also thinking of including two more, about fit and technical innovation. Are there any other BIG issues with the brand that you'd like to discuss?

Curve NY: Fauve Spring/Summer 2014


In the last few seasons, Fauve has quietly and modestly put out dramatic, enticing, and eclectic collections that rival the finest European producers in their price point and during the same time period, they've turned their Chloe and Bronte lines into stalwart pillars of the brand. They don't have the size range that Fantasie boasts nor the volume of pieces that Freya can churn out, but I'd say that Fauve is Eveden's strongest full bust brand (Of course, I'm leaving the unstoppable Elomi out on purpose!). Fauve's recipe for success is simple; they recycle their basics at a balanced-not-boring pace and they aren't afraid of experimenting with their seasonal fashion. Let's take a look at the lovelies:


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Annoucement: The Ewa Michalak & Miss Underpinnings Partnership for Autumn/Winter 2013!

S Margo
Today, I'm proud to announce that Miss Underpinnings will be partnering with Ewa Michalak for their upcoming collection! The independent Polish brand has very, very generously sent me their entire collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 so I can guarantee Miss Underpinnings readers an exclusive first look at their new styles. As the lines are released, I'll be able to share my take on the fit, quality and design and like always, I'll publish tons of detailed lingerie photographs to oggle! In all seriousness, I feel deeply honored to work with a brand I've so long admired and I'm enormously grateful for their support and your ceaseless encouragement. I would've stopped blogging long ago if it weren't for your ever present cheers, passionate comments and the experiences and opinions you've bravely shared here.  From the bottom of my heart -- Thank you.

And just to tease you, these photographs have popped up on the Ewa Michalak Facebook page so I think I'll be reviewing these sets soon...

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I ♡ Dear Creatures' Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection

Dear Creatures Edie Dress in Merlot & Moss, $99
Dear Creatures is one of those brands Zooey Deschanel has championed and anything Zooey likes I usually do too.  I've never had the chance to try them and I've always stayed cautiously optimistic about my potential success with the brand. They've released several babydoll styles and their voluminous or runs-large-at-the-waist dresses are two of my shopping warning signs. But then, I saw this -- this ridiculously cool, Moonrise Kingdom-ish Autumn/Winter 2013 collection and I realized, I WANT IT ALL NOW

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Full Bust Lingerie Review: Tutti Rouge Birds of a Feather


Tutti Rouge has taken brave steps in their first collection by producing a half padded balconette, which are not commonly found on the British market, but are overwhelmingly popular in Poland. Dahlia and Kris Line, the brands who have the best reputations for this style, aren't readily available in the United States; the former does not have any presence here and the latter has a minimal one, with stockists that prefer their soft cups. Conversely, Tutti Rouge operates their own website and counts Bravissimo as one of their stockists so their decision to experiment with this shape was very, very exciting and guaranteed a market advantage. But Tutti Rouge has just released their debut collection and they're bound to experience growing pains. I think the Birds of a Feather's fit may be one of those uncomfortable transitions:

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Monday Pick Me Up



My weekend was...rough. I'd planned to share a sneak peek with you today but my head is too cloudy to write anything decent so I'm going to post this movie trailer for Populaire simply because it makes me smile. Movies, like lingerie, make me feel better and I'm particularly inclined towards the light-hearted-and-quirky-French-romantic-comedies-with-incredible-styling genre so I'll be tracking this limited release film down. If you're intrigued by this very, very specific niche then I'd also recommend Romantics Anonymous, Heartbreaker, The Names of Love and Love Me If You Dare. They're good for a smile on days when you can't quite manage one on your own.

Full Bust Lingerie Review: Parfait Charlotte 28" Band


I've had this bra for awhile and I haven't gotten around to reviewing it because I've worn it so much. I have to confess, I wore it for a few days continuously while I was in the U.K. The Parfait Charlotte doesn't reinvent the wheel or preform any great fitting miracle, it's just easy. It's affordable and for full girls on a budget, it would be one of my top recommendations. For the price point, it's well made and the design should've been ripped off years ago, but miraculously remains an exclusive market original. What's not to love?! Parfait has decided to experiment with an extended size range for this bestseller and they've revamped the fit so it better matches the industry standard. I was lucky enough to try out one of those newly introduced styles:

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I ♡ Egretta Garzetta's Etsy Shop

BISQUE color High Waist Panties, $23
August was one of the most wonderful and hectic months of my life and now that it's over I want to lie on my couch, binge watch Spiral on Netflix, and eat cereal...until Halloween. I'm exhausted and predictably, I'm yearning for lingerie that's cozy, quiet, and ideal for all the aforementioned "activities". Enter Egretta Garzetta -- the Latvian Etsy shop appeals to my minimalist taste and has quickly become my new favorite thing ever. It's full of unfussy and sophisticated briefs, which are handmade, available in high or low rises and retail for less than $30. Sighhhh....

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Freya's Five Step Recovery Plan: Lookbooks & Styling

Freya Spring/Summer 2014
While they try to aim for an edgy or modern angle, Freya's lookbooks fail to communicate any theme or perspective on the collection they're representing. Lately, they've cast the same slender, pale skinned body type and outfitted her with gaudy stilettos, chunky jewelry and over teased hair. The ubiquitous half bored, half drugged "sexy" look can be found on every page, accompanied by the requisite slack jawed pouty mouth and barely open, but bizarrely focused gaze. The environment seems like an afterthought and often clashes with the products they're meant to reinforce. But with a few slight tweaks, they'd have images as brilliant as the ones below:

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Sneak Peek: St. Bustier Autumn/Winter 2013

The Marseilles Dress
St. Bustier, the stylishly curated clothing site, has begun steadily releasing their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection and I have two sneak peeks today! I love the cut and colors of the dress above, but the sleeves are really appealing with cooler temperatures around the corner. I think the Brunswick jacket would be an easy piece for any busty corporettes: 

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Freya: Eveden's Achilles' Heel

Freya Look Book Spring/Summer 2013 
The youthful side of the full bust market is becoming overcrowded and if that is a threat to any brand it's Freya, the longstanding champion in this arena. The brand hasn't been sinking as much as it's been coasting on previous successes, like the Deco and Patsy, which wouldn't be obvious if they were churning out original, interesting designs alongside their staples. But compared to their fresh faced opponents, Freya's non-Deco, non-Patsy side fades into a middling group of just okay lines. While other brands have increased or maintained a wide size range -- making it standard practice to include G+ cups and 28" bands -- Freya is reluctant to do either. I'm sure their current approach might be a success, I'm not convinced it's sustainable in the long run.

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U.K. Lingerie Trip: All Undone Autumn/Winter 2013

All Undone's Mai Body
Sleek, modern, and understated aren't words commonly used to describe full bust lingerie. If they are mentioned, it's typically comparative, as in sleek, modern and understated compared to the bright florals, embroidery, profusion of laces, polka dots and bows that dominant the design landscape. All Undone, the new brand from Eva Phillips, aims to change that and while it may not be "edgy" to the rest of the world, it's downright revolutionary for this niche industry. 

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U.K. Lingerie Trip: Harlow & Fox

The Viola Tie Side Brief
Harlow and Fox will be joining the luxury full bust lingerie market in early November and while I was abroad, I was lucky enough to sit down with the company's founder, Leanna Williams, to discuss her upcoming debut. I've featured the emerging brand once before, in a sneak peek of the breathtaking Sophia robe, and the entire lookbook was published online by the Lingerie Addict. Over our chat, I learned that Harlow and Fox stands for timeless elegance, impeccable workmanship and will consist of six initial lines for sizes 30-38 DD-G. I was impressed with Leanna's commitment to quality and courageous design signature so let's dive in!

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Thoughts & Observations: Beaujais

New terrain for full bust lingerie: The French Knicker from the Stargazing line
I covered the Beaujais collection in yesterday's post and if you haven't read it already, it's a good place to start for an overview or introduction to the brand. For this follow up, I'd like to do something different because I had one reaction to the specific lines and another to the company's particular strengths and weaknesses. Alice Warner has pioneered certain products in the market and she's successfully walked several tight ropes simultaneously. Without a doubt, as a businesswoman and designer, she's one of my personal heroes. I also think that Beaujais has a few areas for growth and development. Here's my opinionated, mostly ill-informed, and unsolicited advice AND fervent congratulations:

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U.K. Lingerie Trip: Beaujais


Beaujais launched their first collection for Autumn/Winter 2011 and their luxurious, romantic, and supportive lingerie for full busts was immediately captivating. At the time, there was nothing with silk, Leaver's lace, and seductive sheer cups on the market for this size range so two years later, I'm delighted to see the company going strong and releasing products the commercial brands wouldn't dare touch. Two weeks ago, I met with Alice Warner, the designer and director of Beaujais, for a breezy outdoor lunch in Bristol. There were some big surprises during our chat and it was great to get a peek "behind the scenes" of this mysterious luxury brand.

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U.K. Lingerie Trip: Tutti Rouge Spring/Summer 2014


For nearly two weeks, I've been traveling through the U.K. to meet with full bust brands and designers and I have a lot to say and share here. However, I'm going to begin with one of my favorite experiences from the trip: spontaneously meeting Jessica Prebble, the creative director and designer behind Tutti Rouge and catching sight of her Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Next year, the company has several exciting things planned: a major size extension, an updated fit for a classic staple, a sixth new shape, and a printed fabric which is very close to Ms. Prebble's heart. Curious yet...?

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Curve NY: Sunday Intimates Spring/Summer 2014


Unlike many other bloggers and industry attendees, I don't go into Curve thinking I'm going to discover something new. This feeling isn't pessimism, it's realism; I know there are a set number of big and mid-sized full bust lingerie companies I'm there to see and I've made appointments with their representatives. But this Curve was special and has me reconsidering my stance on anticipation...

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Curve NY: Cleo Spring/Summer 2014

The Pixie in "Floral Print"
So far, I've analyzed two collections: Freya had some fantastic pieces, but the collection as a whole wasn't as focused as it could be and they announced a size extension set back. Masquerade, on the other hand, needed improvement and while they're not finished yet, their collection was stronger than the current one. I had a love-hate thing going on with Cleo's last season. I was attracted to their subdued and unexpected moves (the Lori, the neon orange/white Lucy) and turned off by their use of "juvenile" details. For Spring/Summer 2014, I'm much clearer: I think it's a solid collection full of what the brand stands for -- fun, flirtation, and an optimistic confidence in itself. With all that said, I'm not personally attracted to Cleo's entire look this season either, but there are a few stand outs. Excited??


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Curve NY: Masquerade Spring/Summer 2014


The Celene in "Blush/Coral"
I didn't get a chance to publish a "where we left off" summary for Masquerade because of the hullabaloo over Curve and the U.K. trip planning, but I can sum it up in one word -- boringsville. The Autumn/Winter collection was a lot of what Masquerade has done before and if you wanted it served up exactly the same way, then you'll have no complaints. However, I love Masquerade and I like to see new lines and colorways that are spicier, fresher, and matured from what's come before. I'm happy to report Spring/Summer 2014 is better -- it still has quite a way to go, but I was impressed with the development and new direction.

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Curve NY: Freya Spring/Summer 2014

The Marvel in "Glacier" (March)
After all my whining and skepticism last season, I've come around to the "Deco domination" in the Freya collection. I've made peace with the change and admit that yes, it's a wise business move to produce more of what their customers are happily buying already. Or, maybe I've just gotten used to the fact that 65% of Freya's collection belongs to the Deco bra. Either way, Freya's Spring/Summer 2014 is full of several brilliant gestures, interesting new basics, and a few mind numbingly poor decisions. Shall we? 

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Countdown to Curve: Where We Left Off, Part 1

Freya Ohh La La for AW13
Like binge watching a television series before a new season starts, I wanted to give a brief recap of where we left the major full bust brands. I realize many of you were reading this February, when these Autumn/Winter 2013 collections were unveiled, but for those of you who weren't, I thought it'd be nice to know...well, what the hell I'm talking about. I've also included a brief outline of where I would like to see these brands go for Spring/Summer 2014. After these go up and a little closer to the event itself, I'll be publishing your suggestions, requests and questions for the brands so if you haven't weighed in yet, there will be another chance to concur, vehemently disagree, or state your own beautiful case.

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Countdown to Curve: The Basics

Hanky Panky's booth at Curve NY. (Image via Hanky Panky)
Next week on Miss Underpinnings, my posts will revolve around the new collections debuting at Curve in New York City. If you're unfamiliar with the event or new to Miss Underpinnings, it's a semi-annual three day exposition which takes place in both New York City and Las Vegas. Brand sales representatives, C.E.O.s, lingerie store owners, professional buyers and darling members of the press (like moi) converge at once to sell, buy, or report on intimate apparel. It can be a bit difficult to understand what goes on so I'm going to break it down here because at the end of the day, we're all talking about what you want! :)

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Lingerie & Style Trip to the U.K.

Image via Lonely Planet
That's right y'all, I'm going to visit cute little Prince George! I've had to hold off announcing the trip (which has been super hard), in case my plans changed a million times (which of course they did). Also, I was oddly scared of jinxing it because I'm a ridiculous Anglophile and I can't wait for this trip. I studied abroad there twice, vacationed in London, and it's the home of so, so many great things -- tea with clotted cream and jam, Top Shop, the tube, Jane Austen, flippin' ridiculous theater, the Duchess of Tresses, and a smorgasbord of full bust lingerie!! Here are the deets:

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July Wishlist: Lingerie & Swim

Empreinte Ludmila | Claudette (via Faire Frou Frou) Dessous Mesh in Pink Lemonade, $78 | Freya Deco Flamingo | Mimi Holliday Pineapple Express, $151.89 | Cleo Tilly Swim Dress & Bottom, $88 (but on sale for $69.60!) | Miss Mandalay Gingham Black Bikini, $114 | Unique Vintage Pink & Green Swimsuit (Image via Time Out Chicago), $97
1) Hahaha, this was the first design I saw at Curve last February and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. I'm crazy for the corsetry details, the fat roses, and the unstoppable colors.

2) I suspect this Pink Lemonade is almost entirely sold out, but it's soooo pretty that I included it just to look at it on the collage and sigh from the gorgeousness.

3) Two words: Kissing flamingos. 

4) Alright, Mimi Holliday, you have my attention -- I sit up and focus when you parade sheer polka dots, yellow lace, and silk chiffon in front of me.

5) When I saw the Tilly "swim dress" at a press event, I didn't get it. It's not a suit, it's a tankini...? On the hanger, it doesn't have a super powerful effect, but I've heard it's very, very flattering on.

6) This bikini is a Miss Mandalay classic and while my love for gingham has cooled slightly, I'd still like to give this design a spin.

7) My wild card! Who the hell knows how this would look on a full bust, but it's too funky and feminine and retro to leave off the list.

July Wishlist: Dresses & Separates

Vaux Vintage Ivory Sweater, $48 | Pepperberry Cropped Drawcord Cardi, $59.31 | The Awaking Ingenue 50s Gingham Top, $52 | Darling UK Gracie Skirt, $40.25 | Stop Staring Raileen Dress, $150 (Image via Forms of Fashion) | Mesmerize Mariel Pants, $90 | High Waisted Side Zip Pin Up Shorts (Sold out Mink Pink shown)
1) I found this endearing little sweater on Etsy a while back and haven't been able to get it out of my head. The pom poms, color combination, tie waist, flowers -- it's all perfect!

2) I've had a lot of comments suggesting that cropped cardigans are the greatest item to layer with dresses or peplum. I take your advice very seriously so I've been eyeing this delightful Pepperberry version.

3) Etsy for the win again! This 50s top is undeniably adorable and I could style it with every skirt, pair of shorts, or pants in my closet. Boy, our grandmothers and mothers sure knew how to rock a collar!

4) I would wear this skirt to press events or the Curve show with a silky secretary blouse.

5) I had never tried any reproduction clothing until I stepped into the Raileen by Stop Staring. This dress looks incredible on, I felt transformed.

6) In a fantastic vintage store, which also sells reproduction brands, I grabbed these pants and thought I'd try them on with a vintage blouse I was more interested in. I never, ever find pants so I did not have high expectations. Once on, I realized: THESE PANTS ARE FUCKING GENIUS! Every woman in the world should have a pair -- they're thick so there are no bumps, they flatter the waist and elongate the leg, and they feel as comfortable as leggings.

7) These are sold out, but I love the cut and I'm always on the hunt for these high waist shorts. Modcloth, Pin Up Girl Clothing, Bernie Dexter, Shop Ruche, and Modcloth all have different versions and I want them all. It's a problem.

July Wishlist: The Shoes

Modcloth (Miss L Fire) Tweet of Foot Sandal, $89.99 | Bait Footwear Penelope Pumps, $72 | Lola in the Sky Mercedes Loafers, $39.99 | Seychelles Freesia Flat, $79.95 | Marais USA Seaside Sandal, $100 | Grazith Darcie Heels, $120 CAD/roughly $115 USD

Yes, along with baked goods, lingerie, and mid century decor, I'm addicted to shoes.*

1) Huge sparrows on your feet!!! These sold out on Modcloth last year and are doing so again this summer so I'm scrambling to save up. They'd make any outfit a thousand times more fabulous.

2) I'm not sure I could rock these, they are awwwwfully high...the bows and wacky color are unquestionably adorable so I might throw caution and ankle health into the wind.

3) Everyone needs a pair of these, especially stylish and anxiety prone gals like myself.

4) Brown and mustard yellow are my power colors so with these sweet t-straps on, I'd be invincible.

5) Marais USA is one of my shoe brands I consider a personal white whale and yes, I have more than one. They're cool, simple, and I've never put this (or any!) pair on my feet.

6) I found these Israeli made mod heels on a Canadian website this morning and proceeded to make mewing sounds into Zack's ears when he was, I don't know, trying to work or something. I also tried to shove the screen in his direction so he could "just see for one sec" and he wasn't having it because he's seen my "collection". He must go, the man knows too much.

*I'll be publishing a few more wishlists in the next couple of days because Mr. Underpinnings and I are going on a mini-vacation to Cape Cod. We'll be down there, trying to get cool and celebrating my mom's store opening (Congratulations, Mama Bear!!). I hope you like these and please let me know in the comments what you've been lusting after this month! :)

Full Bust Bra Review: Ewa Michalak SM Trefl


You guys, I had to vamp it up! Ewa Michalak's Trefl practically begs for costume jewelry, vixen lipstick, and a saucy expression; it's a straightforwardly seductive ensemble and one of my favorite bras of the season. I was heartsick when their other soft style, the sheer half cup HM, drifted away but the Trefl more than makes up for the loss. It's genius, much fangirl raving after the jump:

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I'm Obsessed: Lucy B High Waist Panties & Girdles

Lucy B Sweet Tease Girdle, $72
One thing is clear: Retro-inspired or reproduction lingerie has gotten it's preverbal foot in the door of mainstream intimate apparel. Every brand that doesn't have a longline is scrabbling to make one and those who already produce them plan for more next year. Some independent brands, who are already seasoned and unique specialists in this area, have become much more visible through blogs and social media. The Lingerie Addict counts Kiss Me Deadly as one of it's friendliest sponsors and What Katie Did corsets are widely reviewed. I obviously adore the ethos of these labels, but you don't hear as much* about Lucy B, who happens to make truly incredible girdles, high waist panties, and babydolls.

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