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July 2013

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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Men's Guide: How To Behave in a Lingerie Store

Image by Team iDiva

Men and Lingerie. Lingerie and Men... the two often have an awkward relationship. 

Men have as many reactions to lingerie as there are types of people in the world. The aspect of this we will be focusing on today is lingerie shopping. To make this easy, I'm going to break Male Lingerie Shoppers into three basic categories:
           a. Men shopping with their significant other.
           b. Men gift shopping for their significant other.
           c. Men lingerie shopping for themselves. 

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Full Bust Bra Review: Ewa Michalak SM Malinka

When Ewa Michalak initially unveiled this new SM soft style, I was crushed. I knew it would be replacing the brand's signature sheer shape, the HM. As I've whined before, there's a ridiculous void for many full busted women in the vertical seam demi department so I was disappointed to see the only option disappear. Thus, before ever setting eyes on the replacement, I knew it would take a lot to win me over to the SM team and to my hesitant surprise, I caved. This three part plunge bra is a fantastic fit, supportive, sexy, and as usual with Ewa Michalak designs, has it's own charming personality.

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Full Bust Bra Review: Claudette Sophia Icon

I could sum up this review in one word: Hallelujah! I had written Claudette off for a long time as a brand that I loved, but didn't work for me personally. The ethos and energy behind the brand is tremendously appealing: they've been kind, open and gracious with bloggers, their catalogs featured  full figured or full busted women from the beginning, and for DD+ women, they offer a sleeker or sexier aesthetic. The Sophia belongs to the former category and while it's never my first instinct, I'm a huge fan of this sportier, simplified set.

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Sneak Peek Monday: Prima Donna Twist "So Chic" (Or, OMG CATS!!!)

I met with Prima Donna a few weeks ago and left feeling as if I understood the brand's core principles. Of course, their commitment to fit, construction, and quality is undeniable, but their aesthetic remains in the realm of "universally appealing". Their designs are meant to feel familiar with what they've done in the past so their exceedingly loyal and enthusiastic fans may continue to rely on them. The look of their lines, from what I've seen, are consistently agreeable. Thus, when they pulled out the So Chic for Twist Autumn/Winter 2013, I almost fell off my seat. CATS!?!? From a brand who prefers subtle design finishes, they've made a CAT PRINT bra?! The company representative I spoke to was quick to point out that it "wasn't like them" and the So Chic would be made in a very small, limited edition batch. 

I don't care if they made 20 or 2,000, I'm proud they've stepped outside their box and c'mon, has there ever been a full busted bra with cats all over it!? 

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Fleur of England's Wimbledon 25% Discount (And Happy 4th of July!!!)

In celebration of summer, great tennis, and I suspect a nod to American independence, Fleur of England sent over these promotional details this morning. I might be adding in a bit of patriotic pride in there, but let's go with it because the company is offering 25% off on their luxurious and breathtaking lingerie. To get the discount, you must locate two of the three objects seen above and email them to It gets crazier because I learned earlier this week that technically the brand produces full bust sizes. Their cups are A,B,C, D, DD, E, F, G and they offer 28-30 DD-G, 32 DD-F, 34 DD-GG, and 36 DD-F. Those offerings capture anyone on the smaller end of the size range and for an independent label, it's a shocking and smile-inducing inclusion.

To my fellow Americans, Happy 4th of July!!!

To my U.K. readers, Happy Wimbledon Season!

And to everyone else, I hope you're having a wonderful day. :)

Full Bust Bra Review: Fantasie Rebecca

Rebecca, at last we meet! I've heard so much about you and I was curious if you'd live up to all the hype. I've been pretty proud of Fantasie lately (see my press day coverage here) and I have a hunch they're proud of themselves too, especially with the new basics they've been launching. This bra, the Rebecca spacer, and Jana's moulded cup -- an adaptation of their beloved Ava -- have been the company's darlings and boutiques' bestsellers. Although I'm attracted to their more daring ventures, i.e. the SS13 Deliliah and the AW13 Martina, even I have to admit that this is where Fantasie traditionally excels: good, solid basics with popular appeal. Let's take a closer look at this juggernaut:

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DD+ Outfit: Blooming

I bought this dress off the mannequin at a Second Time Around in Northampton and it's a new treasure. Does anyone else have these - a dress or pair of shoes that if there were a fire or they were stolen, it'd be a bummer? Don't get me wrong, I know my priorities and these would not be the thing to save if something happened to our apartment, but they're personal gems nonetheless. I feel these items are such a great reflection of my own aesthetic or style that it feels as if I could've designed them myself. And I think that's pretty cool, that someone out there once designed something you or I totally get. As if, someone made something you love and you hadn't told them or envisioned it yourself.

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Sneak Peek Monday: Harlow & Fox Sophia

Harlow & Ross Sophia Bra, Classic Brief, Suspender & Kimono  
When I saw this photo there were no words or blog-related thoughts, just extreme want. Few full bust brands make lounge wear to match their sets and even fewer take their designs in a sultry direction. I know we're already spoiled for choice, but there will be a distinct new voice emerging this autumn.  Leanna Williams is the lady in question and she'll unveil her new brand, Harlow and Fox, during the Autumn/Winter 2013 season. I've taken a peek at her look book and there's a distinct wave to old time glamour, with materials and fabrics of unbeatable quality. Her colors, like the classy maeve above, and pattern choices are enchanting. But it was pieces like the kimono that struck me the deepest because c'mon, full bust women could match their lingerie to a robe?! Inconceivable! What's next, peignoir sets or a sexy wirefree?!

Harlow and Fox will initially offer sizes 30-38 DD-G and if you'd like to keep up with the Ms. Williams or her jaw dropping designs, she has a mailing list on the company's website and a (very distracting!) Facebook page.

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