Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Pink Corset--A New Jersey Store Review by a Guest Blogger

A friend of mine went to a New Jersey bra and lingerie store a few weeks back.  Because of her (not so great) experience, I asked her if I could share her story on my blog.  She had no problem with doing so.  Here is her review for The Pink Corset in Absecon, NJ (with only a couple typos edited, all else is direct copy/paste i.e. I didn't alter this story to make it better or worse):
As a lingerie lover, I love to stop and support local boutique even though I manage a small boutique. I went with a friend to get her wedding dress in New Jersey and checked if there were boutiques around where she was and found The Pink Corset. I walked into the shop and it was in a cute little town and parking was easy to find. The shop main color was red with all the bras were color coded hanging on the wall. Bras were everywhere and then a huge red set of drawers and drapes in the middle which held all the underwear. I was looking for a particular bra the Freya Hero in pomegranate. A saleswoman approached me and asked if I needed anything. I said I was looking for a 30HH and just looking. It was a very tight space so the owner asked me if I needed anything and I said I was just looking. She cut me off and told me they measure you and then pull bras. I said that I am pretty sure I know my size and she like how? I said I worked at a bra shop in Delaware and know my size. She preceded to tell me that I was not a 30HH and that I had no idea what I was talking about. I keep looking even though I was irritated that someone would tell me how my breast and knowledge was wrong. Curious, I asked the younger girl what size am I if I am not a 30HH. She said we would have to be in the fitting room to understand that. She pulled a panache sports bra in a 32H which she said was a sister size and I said I have that bra. I told her I was looking for something with a plunge because I found my perfect bra. Then I said why not get fitted, who knows I might be off by a little bit. So the fitter was waiting at the desk and I said I like to be fitted. The third women, the fitter, said she can not judge my size until I was in the fitting room and there was a women finishing. I was like ok, this bra I have on does not fit well but I found my perfect bra but there are some downsides because it is full coverage. The fitter said that the is  not the perfect bra then. So overly annoyed with the service, I waited. The women was done in the dressing room the fitter told me that I should go in the dressing room and take everything off except my bra. Being in the bra business, I was a little embarrassed by my bra because I gained weight so it was a little small. The fitter came in leaving the door open which made me feel uncomfortable. The fitter said this is a good bra but it does not fit which I had already told her. The younger saleswoman came in giving her a bra and the fitter shooed her and told her it would not fit. The fitter turns around and went into the Elomi bijous, which is a molded plunge that starts at 34 and I am a 30, interesting pick. The fitter unhooked my bra and gave me the Elomi Bijou and said it was altered for a 32. The fitter, without asking, decided to maneuver my boobs in the bra which made me feel uncomfortable. Once the bra was on she asked what I thought. The middle gore was an inch off my chest, I took my hand and pulled it from my body saying it was to loose. I asked if they had anything in my size, she yelled at me telling me they had up to a K cup but not in smaller bands. I asked if she had anything close to my size, she told me “No, we do not” and then just walked away. I would like to add that she left me in a bra with the door open. This experience made me feel like a was weird and violated.  

My takeaway: Not a great place to shop. However, if you would like to check them out, they are about halfway between E Moss Mill Rd and Atlantic 610 on the southbound side of Hwy 9. Their address is 3 N New York Rd Shoppe #36, Absecon, New Jersey 08205

Saturday, February 20, 2016

My Journey With A Few Cleos by Panache

I've received some feedback regarding my bra journey and folks wanting more details so I've decided to do some brand reviews in which I lump all the bras from that brand in one post.  This is my first one of those and I've decided to go with Cleo by Panache.

I've tried five different styles of Cleos--two in different sizes--and none have been successful, even when I adjust for size.  For example, I've tried three sizes in the Juna Balconette because the 36FF and the 36F fit very much the same.  

Here is the first try, 36FF:
You can see that there is a bit of a flattening at the front of the far cup as well as some muffin top.

The next round was a 36F (I think I fat-fingered when I meant to select 38F lol):
Surprisingly, there wasn't much difference in the fit, just a tad less room in the cup.

The final try was the 38F:
This one had a bit more give in the band but, as expected, the cups fit much the same as the 36FF.

Now, it was this last round that inspired me to actually measure a Cleo band.  Guess what the 38 band measured, unstretched.  30.5 inches.  And stretched...it measured just 41 inches.  I knew Cleos were tight but dang!!

The only other Cleo that I've tried multiple sizes in was the Lucy Balconette.  
The first round was a 36FF (as are all my first tries since that's what I measured at when this journey began):
It fit okay but, as with all Cleos, the band was tight so I sister-sized to a larger band.  This was also before I was avoiding this general style altogether.  The combination of my short roots and even fullness makes me "functionally" FoB which results, every time, in that fluttering of lace that you see in the upper cup.

The 38F:
Just a hint of lacy flutter but this bra had a weird asymmetrical construction to it, so I sent it back.

Another Cleo that I've tried is the Lily Balconette.  Here it is in a 36FF:
This bra is super cute but, again, there was a lacy flutter that I didn't like.

If I remember correctly, this next one was actually one of the first Cleos that I tried.  The Maddie in 36FF:
At the top of the cup, you can see quad-boob, muffin top; and, at the bottom, you can see that it's not projected enough.  Very cute bra though.

In this last round, I tried what I think will be my last Cleo, the Marcie Balconette.
Here it is in 36FF:
It's projected enough and has only a slight lacy flutter but the material was itchy and the band too tight.  Since, like the Juna Balconette in 38F, I still had it on hand this morning and decided to measure the band.  This 36 band measures at 28.5 inches unstretched and 40 inches stretched.  Cleo is a great brand to go to if you can't find band *small* enough for your frame.  We average to bigger women...I'd suggest trying other brands.  lol.

I will say: in all of these, the gore tacked so the cup is pretty deep and the underwires didn't poke me in the armpit so they weren't too wide...nor were they too narrow.  It's really just the bands that I have any issue with.

That is my short journey with Cleo by Panache bras--the Juna, the Lily, the Lucy, the Maddie, and the Marcie.  All were Balconettes.  All were sexy.  None were suitable.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bra Review: Freya Deco Debut Plunge (in clover)

This bra was sitting right of top when I opened the box from barenecessities and I couldn't wait to try it on.  It's so pretty.  Now, I'm not looking to wear it for a full day but it would be fun to wear if I'm going out for the evening with my girlfriends or out on a date.  Knowing that I have on something so snazzy would give me that little boost of feeling good.

Lets' start with some details...
The bow at the gore and at the straps connection is a very feminine touch and I love the contrast between the straps and upper cup and the print on the main portion of the cup.

The material over the cup is cut and sewn in a princess seaming kind of way, making it so that it's not bulky.

The cup itself is one molded, non-padded, piece--which forgives all kinds of shape mismatch issues--and the wings are mesh lined.  The piece directly connected to the cup is a stiffer mesh than that of the actual wing with the wing being quite flexible and breathable.

The downside to this bra is that it's a little snug and the number of hook and eyes contributes to a little bit of back-roll.
Because of that, I'm going to try a sister size larger--this is a 36FF--to see if that alleviates the "snug" aspect.

You gotta admit, though...it does look pretty snazzy...

I'll update this post when I get the new one in.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Official Workshop Slides in Work

I'm very excited to be working towards pulling the information from online to a workshop form and forum.  The powerpoint is in work--taking a break because I just realized just how long the prep work for this endeavor is going to be.  I can't wait for it to be completed so that I can do a run-through with a couple trusted advisors and friends to get their feedback on format, layout, and grammar.

Here's the Title Slide:

I plan to have it completed in time for me to take it on the road during my cross-country trips this Spring.  I'll be happy to conduct a workshop anywhere along my Southern States or East to West routes come April and May.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Just Completed Round 4

When you're looking for the perfect fit, it can be quite the endeavor when you're an "average" size.  There's so many choices and, of course, they don't all fit the same or look the same.  The hard part isn't choosing which one, it's getting through all that you have to choose from.  My luxury is that I have the means to order a number of items at one time and that certainly saves me money in the long run and time because I'm not limited to just one or two at a time.  I usually order 15 to 20 at a time and Round 4 was no different.  This Round had 21 items in it and, surprisingly, it was the most successful of them all.  I found three to keep and six that I'll be trying in a different size to see if that takes care of the fit problems that I experienced.

Fantasie and Panache are tied for most styles that I've tried on from their lines--13 different bras each--with Panache being the winner, so far, for styles that worked with my shape and aspects of fit.

There is quite the difference between this round and the first one: I know my own breast shape a lot better.  During the first round, I ordered what I thought was pretty and what I thought I'd like.  Basically, there was no filter except aesthetics.  NOW, I know which bras to avoid, as a short-rooted, evenly full (which makes me functionally full on bottom (FoB)), breast shape.  I also have bottom-of-the-cup projection (also known as immediate projection) but I can't tell from website pictures which ones will work and which ones won't; mainly because most websites photoshop their pictures, erasing the "flaws" so there's no way for me to really filter for that fit aspect.

To give you an idea of my journey, I'm attaching a list of the brands, styles, and sizes that I've tried.  I'm not including my notes this time because they tend to not fit in the blog format but you can see where I've tried alternate sizes in various styles.  There's also an overlap/repeat from the first leg because my list is sorted alphabetically.  Makes it easier to check my notes when I go back to them.  (The odd spacing is attributed to the space that my notes take up on the Excel sheet)

Chantelle C Ideal Tshirt Hazelnut 36H
Chantelle Pont Neuf Black 36H
Chantelle Rive Gauche Black 36G
Chantelle Rive Gauche Black 36H
Chantelle Revele Moi Black 36H
Cleo by Panache Juna Balconette Black 36F
Cleo by Panache Juna Balconette Black 36FF
Cleo by Panache Lily Balconette Aqua 36FF
Cleo by Panache Lucy Balconette Black 36FF
Cleo by Panache Lucy Balconette Black 38F
Cleo by Panache Maddie Balconette Blue 36FF
Cleo by Panache Marcie Balconette Burgundy 36FF
Curvy Couture Cotton Luxe T-Shirt Black 36H
Curvy Couture Matte and Shine T-Shirt Nude 36H
Curvy Couture Tulip Lace Push-Up Black 36H
Curvy Kate Princess Balconette Black 36FF
Elomi Betty Plunge Black 36FF
Elomi Bijou Convertible T-Shirt Surf 36FF
Elomi Caitlyn Side Support Chambray 36FF
Elomi Lexi Plunge Ultra Violet 36FF
Elomi Nina Lipstick 36FF
Elomi Tessa Cobalt 36FF
Fantasie Alex Side Support Sand 36FF
Fantasie Allegra Balcony Black 36FF
Fantasie Elodie Side Support Black 36FF
Fantasie Ivana Balcony Rosewood 36FF
Fantasie Jacqueline Side Support Black 36FF
Fantasie Joanna Side Support Black 36FF
Fantasie Lois Side Support Pink 36FF
Fantasie Melissa Side Support Plunge Black 36FF
Fantasie Natalie Side Support Samba 36FF
Fantasie Rebecca Mirage T-Shirt Blush 36FF
Fantasie Rebecca T-Shirt Red 36FF
Fantasie Susanna Side Support Smokey Rose 36FF
Fantasie Smoothing Tshirt Nude 36FF
Fantasie Salsa Balcony Nude 36FF
Fine Lines Blessed Memory Convertible Tshirt Skin 36H
Freya Active Molded Sport Atomic Blue 36FF
Freya Deco Spotlight Plunge Tshirt Ivory   36FF
Freya Gem Nude 36FF
Freya Idol Balcony Tshirt Nude 36FF
Freya Rapture Plunge Black 36FF
Freya Siren Balcony Plunge Black 36FF
Freya Minx Balconette Leopard 36FF
Freya Fifi Balconette Half Cup Ballet Pink/Black 36FF
Freya Deco Debut Plunge Clover 36FF
Freya Marvel Side Support Black 36FF
Freya Active Maximum Control Sports Nude 36FF
Freya Rio Balconette White 36FF
Goddess Rose Lace Nude 36H
Gossard Glossies Unlined Nude 36F
Gossard Glossies Unlined Black 36FF
Heidi Klum Intimates Madeline Royal Vista Blue 36FF
Heidi Klum Intimates Sofia Lace Jet 36FF
Le Mystere Dream Tisha Tshirt Natural 36H
Natori Pure Allure Tshirt Vivid Violet 36H
Natori Satin Fleur Buff 36H
Natori True Decadence Embroidered Black 36H
Panache Andorra Black 36FF
Panache Andorra Black 38F
Panache Clara Full Cup Charcoal/Black 36FF
Panache Colette Balconette Claret 36FF
Panache Dahlia Balconette Nude 36FF
Panache Envy Balconette Nude 36FF
Panache Floris Balconette Ivory Multi 36FF
Panache Idina Balconette Black 36FF
Panache Idina Lace Tshirt Black 36FF
Panache Melody Full Cup Nude 36FF
Panache Tango Balconette Black 36FF
Panache Porcelain Elan Lace Convertible Navy 36FF
Panache Cari Tshirt Cranberry 36FF
Panache Esme Balconette Black/Nude 36FF
Parfait by Affinitas Charlotte Balconette Purple Wine 36FF
Parfait by Affinitas Destiny Balconette Cassis 36FF
Parfait by Affinitas Jeanie Java 36FF
Passionata by Chantelle Starlight Plunge Black 36H
Passionata by Chantelle Sexy Fashion Demi Grapefruit/Pink 36H
Prima Donna Madison Full Cup Scarlet 36H
Sculptresse Kitty Full Cup Hot Red 36FF
Wacoal Casual Beauty Toast 36H
Wacoal Fine Form Cappucino 36H
Wacoal La Femme T-Shirt Cappucino 36H
Wacoal Maximum Control Sport Blue Iris 36H
Wacoal Retro Chic Minimal Gray 36H

Out of these 84 items, four have been kept (from four rounds of try-ons) with the Chantelle Rive Gauche being the one that I settled on six months ago as a compromise as I continued my search.  I bought four different colors to get me through.

If you're still in your own bra journey, keep on keeping on.  You'll find something that works for you.  If you're local to me and want to do a Fit Event--where I take on the task of ordering and returning items for just a little more than it would cost you to return anything--email me and let's get something set up.