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January 2013

An Introduction to Gossard

I've always thought of Gossard as a bit of an 'outlier' brand. Like Lepel, Bestform, or Just Peachy by Figleaves, their lingerie is infrequently reviewed and they pop up occasionally on full bust blogs. I was familiar with their aesthetic, but I didn't know what to expect in terms of quality or fit. I'm always cautious when I try new lines because I'm a risk averse person by nature. I'm the girl who orders the same meal in a restaurant fifty times and keeps Hoarders-like collections of one niche item. So, this quality kept me away for awhile. But of course, I mistakenly set the bar too low.

The biggest surprise? Although they don't look it, I'd say Gossard has a lot in common with Curvy Kate. For starters, Gossard is a total steal. Like the juggernaut Curvy Kate, their bras look much more expensive than they are. Definitely a "bang for your buck" quality. To fall in love with these sets, you'd need to let go of your expectations that you'll achieve a certain look. Once you're familiar with them, you could turn to the brand to get an exclusive shape. Curvy Kate and Gossard also have more unpredictable sizing than what you're used to with Panache/Freya. That's not a necessarily a bad quality; it allows women to enjoy their bras who might otherwise size out of their range. Nor is it revolutionary, since we've all experienced crazy fit differences between the Eveden and Panache lines. Most importantly, if the company continues with such strong designs, I think it has unbelievable cult potential. Their Ooh La La Corselet is already a wonderful success and I've also seen their Retrolution pieces pop up everywhere. Even Modcloth! It's definitely a brand I can see women becoming devoted to.

It'll be interesting to see if you guys agree with my findings or think I'm totally off base. Either way, I'll be excited to learn if anyone owns Gossard lingerie and what their experience has been. I've structured this review into three parts: padded, soft, and a body. Ah, I'm remiss! Gossard has some kickass pieces for Valentine's Day! Check it, then send it to your Significant Other, Special Friend, Sugar Daddy, or Sexy Neighbor:

Next Up: Reviews of the Gossard Retrolution Half Padded and Oriental Bloom Longline Bras...

Guest Post: Embracing Body Diversity

As a new year on Miss Underpinnings begins, another behind-the-scenes blog adviser is throwing back the curtain of anonymity. Known previously (and cryptically) as Miss Underpinnings' friend 'K', I am happy to have joined the writing corps of one of my favorite blogs on the internets!

Part of what has drawn me to Miss Underpinnings since the beginning (besides my unwavering devotion to its eponymous creator) is its commitment to debunking the myth that women's bodies come in one form. Hardly a revolutionary concept, but one that bears repeating... and repeating until we all begin to internalize and embrace body diversity.

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Full Bust Bra Review: Miss Mandalay Amelie

The Miss Mandalay Amelie is one of the best bras I've ever worn, hands down. I don't think that bras are good or bad necessarily, but I do believe in bra magic. Bra magic happens when you try on a particular style and it just works.  It's that ideal combination of fit, shape, and design that all lingerie bloggers - hell, all women! - are after. The Amelie certainly worked her bra magic on me. 

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There is No One Shade of Nude and 20 Neutral Bras to Prove It

There's an issue in the lingerie world that has bothered me for awhile, yet my thoughts were vague and I didn't know what I could add to the discussion that hadn't been said before. One day it clicked and I realized it's simple:

There is no one shade of 'nude'. 

In case you haven't noticed or you're new to my blog, I'm white. Caucasian. Of Western and Central European descent. However you'd like to categorize my appearance, there are privileges and stereotypes that accompany my ethnicity and many I'm probably not aware of.  However, there's one seemingly benign one that's sprung into my head again and again. I'm able to buy countless beige bras that are meant to mimic my skin and disappear under light tops. There's nothing essentially evil about that availability; I'm delighted with the plethora of basic bras on the market...

...for me. For many equally beautiful 24-year-olds on the prowl for neutral bras, there are far fewer options. The worst part? My beige bras are labelled "flesh", "nude", or "naturally nude". That is a clear and pronounced reflection of how the intimates apparel industry understands how women look and which women count. Are brown bras unnatural? Are deep tan bras not a shade of nude? The message is unavoidable: Bras intended for women like me are labelled nude, while every other shade isn't. In this categorical hierarchy, there's an assumed preference for the white customer base and little to no acknowledgement of, respect towards, or status given to nonwhite populations. Folks, that's racism.

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Bravissimo Early Spring Collection

I'm rushed for work and I have a million other posts to get up, but this morning I woke up to such loveliness I had to share. Bravissimo unveiled their Early Spring collection this morning and it's gorgeous! I've gotta say, the last few seasons of their own bras left me lukewarm. There weren't many 28" bands and the clashing color schemes didn't tempt me. However, this new collection ROCKS and all the new pieces (except for one basque) are available in small bands.

Miss Underpinnings Awards: Best Lingerie of 2012

Best Soft Cup: Freya Beau
Awww, my Beau. This Freya bra was hands-down my most worn bra of the year with it's phenomenal fit, appealing yet unusual color combination, and adorable-as-snuggling-puppies print. Beau's pink and greys matched up perfectly with the muted colors I prefer in the spring and summer and proved to be a wonderfully comfy fit under my sweaters in the winter. This brand's sheer paneled styles are a "sure bet" for me fit-wise, but the Beau blew me away.

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