GG Musings: My Full Bust Packing List for Labor Day Weekend!

The final days of summer are here. I am fleeing New York City and getting in my last weekend at the beach. Lucky for me – my sister and her husband/kids happen to live in Cape Cod. Labor Day on the Cape brings to mind images of pastel polo shirts with popped collars, Nantucket Reds and Lily Pulitzer. I own none of this clothing, so let’s see how my city clothes translate to a weekend in a seaside town, oh and there are three kids under ten so my wardrobe needs to be washable and kid friendly.

My first step in traveling is always to create a list of potential outfits for each day. When doing this it’s best to keep in mind the weather, your travel days, any activities at your destination and where you are staying. My activities for this weekend include the gym with my sister and the beach with the kids so I need a bathing suit and workout gear in addition to my normal clothing.

Day 1: I am working half the day before catching my afternoon train. I chose a black sleeveless dress from Bravissimo with white cotton sneakers – cause it’s casual Friday and I will be hauling a suitcase around. Also going to bring my white cardigan in case the office or the train is cold.

Day 2: Going for comfort this day in long cut-off jean shorts and a princess seam tank from Urkye (I also have this in red). Guessing this will also be a beach day so I am bringing my swimsuit (it’s a hand me down from my sister – I definitely need to up my swimsuit game next summer).

Day 3: Planning to wear my zip front sleeveless black print dress from Bravissimo with a white tee knotted at the waist. This might also be a beach day so I can always wear Day 2’s jean shorts with Day 3’s white tee.

Day 4: I’m spending the morning on the Cape and then traveling back to the City. I chose my White House Black Market knit sheath in navy with white stripes. It’s the only nautical clothing I own and one of my favorite most comfortable dresses – which makes it great for a seaside town and a travel day.

I’m bringing three pairs of shoes, the least amount I can get away with since they take up so much room in my luggage. I mostly plan to wear my white cotton sneakers, but I’m also bringing my workout sneakers and flip-flops for the beach.

In case it gets cold – I’m packing a pair of black button front jeans and my denim shirt from Bravissimo. Seriously, if you can only buy one thing from Bravissimo buy this shirt!

Not pictured are my workout pants, my Bravissimo workout jacket, a black loose fit tee, socks, PJs and undergarments.

Follow me on Instagram @ggmusings if you want to see what I actually end up wearing.

Are any of you packing bust friendly clothing for a Labor Day Weekend trip?

The Celebrity D Cup and Up List: Winning Looks from Serena Williams

Summer is almost over, but here’s one more swimsuit photo because Serena looks so incredible in this Gottex* Essence one-piece swimsuit (affliliate link).

The same friends who shared their US Open Opening Night tickets with us last year are giving them to us again, and this time we’re going to watch Serena play! Last year we got to see former large-busted Simona Halep, and I had a lot of thoughts on the difference between Halep and Williams when it came to their attitudes towards their large chests. Tonight I’ll be studying Serena’s Berlei** sports bra in action.

Halep is now ranked #1, and Serena has launched own clothing line. Curious whether a full-busted celebrity would design bust-friendly clothes, I started with the tops on her website and was disappointed to find a lot of of basic tees and oversized shirts and this very un-bust-flattering cropped sweatshirt.

She has two dresses on her site, however, that I think are very promising. The varsity zipper dress has a flattering V-neck, and the striped detail on the left arm ends just below the chest–a great way to group it with the neckline rather than the waist.

Since it’s a knit, it’s going to be forgiving at the bust line and hips. I feel like the biggest challenge would be length–if you’re short, the zipper is going to keep you from being able to hem it.

Thanks to Instagram, we can see how this dress looks in real life. Here it is on a full-busted fitness model.

Here it is on one of the founders of @thecurvycon.

Here it is on Serena herself. I’m assuming it still fits if she zips it up all the way, although you can see from this and the photos above that someone with a large chest is going to have to be comfortable displaying cleavage or add a camisole to the mix.

Her denim dress is the other one that I think has promise.

I love the detachable chain straps and stretch denim, but it’s the seaming up the bib that pleases me most–does this mean there’s room for boobs without smashing them?

Here it is on Serena herself.

I was going to end this post with an exclamation that even her bralettes might work for D cups and up because Serena posts a photo of herself wearing one. Then I saw this perceptive comment from a follower in Australia:

I’m such a big fan of Serena. She’s the greatest, strongest, coolest, most impressive person. But I wish her collection launched with more of a size range for curvier women. This looks amazing on Serena, but comparing it to the product shots with the skinny models – the shape looks different, looks like there’s a Berlei bra under the crop. (I buy all Berlei bras because of Serena’s endorsement!) Can’t wait to see the expanded range in the new season.”

Now I see the sports bra, too! Do you?

* Gottex intrigues me. Becky from Becky’s Boudoir wears a 30H bra and published a great review of one of their one-pieces in June. Leah wrote about a Profile Blush by Gottex in 2015. Currently the Gottex website gives options that only accommodate D cups, and the Essence one-piece only has soft cups–no underwire. How is it possible that Serena looks so amazing in it???

** It looks like Berlei sports bras go up to a UK G cup, and when I finally get around to trying one, it will be this extreme impact underwire (affiliate link). If you’ve tried it, please tell me about your experience!

Completely unrelated to Serena Williams, the Bloom sports bra is another one on my want-to-try list.

GG Musings: My New Bust-Friendly Workout Jacket Has Inspired 2 Early Morning Power Walks!

So if you’re a busty blogger and you find someone on IG called @ggmusings who lives in NYC and posts pics of herself wearing Bravissimo clothing, what do you do? You message her and ask if she wants to meet in person, of course! That’s how Jennifer Lynn and I found ourselves at @therackshackbk on Sunday. It was such a fun adventure meeting her in person for the very first time, and you’re going to have fun reading her very first blog post today!

I’ve been eyeing the black Hooded Sports Jacket from Bravissimo since March. The price recently dropped from $100 to $70 on the US site and I went for it. I wouldn’t say I am a super athlete by any means and nor have I embraced the athleisure trend of always being dressed as though I am going to yoga class

My past workout jackets have included a hoodie with a zipper intentionally purchased to small so that the zip stopped right below my chest (sadly no pics seem to exist from this fashion choice) and a lululemon black jacket that fit – but really wasn’t flattering (yikes see the pic of me in said jacket on a boating day trip!).

(In my non-flattering old workout jacket with fitness blogger David)

My new jacket is fitted with princess seams that provide a flattering fit without being too tight anywhere. I have a long torso and the length is great. For the past two mornings it has been in the high 60s and cool enough to wear my new jacket on a 1.5-mile power walk to a nearby riverside park before work. I definitely felt confident and warm in it. And bonus the thumbholes in the cuffs make me feel like a ninja.

Post Work-Out Selfie in My New Jacket!

For reference I am wearing the size 14 Really/Super Curvy (in American sizing – the British size is 18 Really/Super Curvy). I’m 5’7 and my measurements are currently 48-40-46. Bravissimo clothing tends to run a bit big in the hips on me but this jacket fits perfect in that area.

Maybe this jacket will inspire you too!

Off the Rack ~ Curve Expo S/S19: What’s New From Panache

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to explore all of the Curve Spring/Summer2019 show a few weeks ago, but I did manage to make it to an appointment with Panache. Here are my top highlights:

First up is Sculptresse. No particular news with the brand, but they are offering some really lovely colors and designs this collection…

Chi Chi in new “Tulip Print” fashion colorway. Sizes 34-46, up to HH cups.
The strappy Dionne bra is back in a “Denim Floral” print. Sizes 36-46, up to K cups.
Lula is a gorgeous plunge style in “Saffron” whose straps can be worn racerback or standard. Sizes 34-46, up to H cups.

Next up is Panache Sport. Again, there aren’t any major developments, but as usual I love the new colors:

The two new wired sports bras offer textured fabric this go-round. This black one is a tan base with black mesh lace overlay. Sizes 28-40, up to J cups.
A close-up of the lace, which is stamped, not embroidered, to keep it lightweight with no raised edges.
The other wired sports bra includes mesh overlay on the gore, straps, and wings.
I adore the new non-wired sports bra colors. This olive green with bright white and a pop pf orange is so fresh! Sizes 28-40, up to H cups.
The non-wired neon multi colorway also has a slight design difference—the band is extra long. I do not get on well with the original wireless sports bra, but I wonder if this one would work better with its more anchored band.

Now we come to Panache regular, which also has some amazing colors coming out:

This season’s Tango bra is on offer in three stunning colors. This “Wisteria” shade was my favorite. Sizes 30-44, up to K cups.
Tango in “Pale Jade” is also exquisite, especially with the ivory embroidery.
The classic Envy bra is being released in bright “Kingfisher” and a subdued “Forest.” Dark green lingerie is usually hard to come by, so I’m a massive fan of this gorgeous woodsy shade. Sizes 28-40, up to K cups.
I also love Envy’s delicate pale blue “Sky” colorway.
Jasmine is my all-time favorite Panache bra for fit, and I love that the fashion colors in recent seasons have actually been fashion prints. This is “Berry Burst.” Sizes 28-38, up to K cups.
Here’s another gorgeous pastel—the plungey Ana in “Bluebell.” Its core colors will include black and a super pretty mauve-y tan that they’ve named “Vintage.” Sizes 28-38, up to H cups.
Arla is a full-coverage style with enough sheer panels to avoid the “a lot of bra” look. It also features center-pull straps, which I love! This “Kitten Grey” color is a very appealing purple-y blue shade of gray in real life. Sizes 30-38, up to G cups.
A close-up of Arla’s blue-purple embroidery. Love it!
I was simply obsessed with Quinn’s rose gold color. The style and shade look so authentically vintage. I just might have to add this to my drawer when it’s released. Sizes 30-38, up to K cups.
Look how gorgeous Quinn is on a person!

Next is my favorite, Cleo by Panache. We were told this collection is more sophisticated and trend-forward. I do enjoy that Cleo seems to be growing up at the same rate that I am, but I hope they don’t lose the sense of youthful fun that they’re known for.

Everly is a bandless, high-apex super plunge. I’m very interested to try the fit of this one. Sizes 28-38, up to H cups.
I’m simply mad for the new Hettie bra’s color! Rose base and aqua overlay? Yes, please! Sizes 28-38, up to J cups.
I’m also crazy for the new Lyzy bralette colorway! Who knew wine and khaki went so well together? I’m also highly interested in trying this one’s fit, since it’s a wireless bralette that actually comes in conventional bra sizes instead of small/medium/large. Sizes 28-38, up to G cups.
Lastly, we have the new “Emerald” Piper color. The green is absolutely gorgeous, but I’m extremely disappointed to report that the bra is no longer a longline, but rather is a “midi balconnette.” The band is only a tiny bit extended and has only three hooks in back instead of six. The cups of this bra were only a so-so fit, so the longline band was what really sold it for me. Sizes 28-38, up to J cups.
The new three-hook band.

Finally, we come to Panache Swim. I was happy to see a few more Cleo-esque styles this season, since Cleo Swim was rolled into Panache Swim (i.e. was discontinued) a couple years ago.

Love the “Harlequin” print of the Jolee bikini, available in a padded bandeau (shown here), a halter triangle top, classic pant, and string bikini bottoms. Both bikini tops come in sizes 28-38, up to G cups.
How cool is this Lani zip top? That bit of liner inside the zipper will not be part of the final design, for a cleaner look. I only wish the zipper went even further down. Sizes 30-38, up to K cups.
The interior of Lani is a three-part cup with underwires.
Last Curve, I was captivated by the Summer bikini in red, black, and metallic gold stripes. But I’ve got no complaints about this cream, khaki, orange, and navy colorway! And it perfectly matches the orange Marina bikini (at right). Summer includes a molded halter bikini (pictured), non-wired triangle bikini, high-waist pant (pictured), and string bottoms. Marina comes in a molded bandeau (pictured), molded sweetheart bikini, fold-over pant, and Brazilian bottoms. All bikini tops come in sizes 30-38, up to G cups.

Big Bust Strapless Stress Workarounds

Let’s just say that when I found this Kickstarter campaign for the Compatibles Collection, I laughed.

Are strapless bras really such a nightmare that you’d buy a special bra just to go with a special article of clothing just to avoid showing your bra straps?

Then I got dressed to take my aunt and uncle to the Statue of Liberty on the hottest day of the summer. I had 7 strapless bras sitting in a box in my office, and I couldn’t bring myself to wear one of them. Maybe the Compatibles Collection is on to something–they certainly met their campaign goal!

Since then, I’ve discovered enough other ways to avoid a strapless bra to create a blog post.

1. Brassybra vs. Duct Tape

Amy Wine duct-taped herself into a strapless, backless bridesmaid dress and looked amazing, but she had scars on her back after removing the tape. The Norwegian creator of Brassybra duct-taped herself into her wedding gown, and “it started off the wedding night badly.” Afterwards, she spent 5 years developing a better solution. Her “Second Skin Technology” is 97% cotton and 3% medical adhesive, so it breathes and moves with you. All that sounds great, but seeing is believing, and here it is on a J cup (UK).

I saw that video in May (here’s a link to her follow-up on how it performed), so I was super excited to meet the founder Kat at Curve two weeks ago. If you want more “seeing is believing”, check out this video of all the ways co-owner @mish_mindy wears hers (she ordered Brassybra when she had 5000 followers and loved it so much she became a partner in the business). They gave me some samples that I’ll write about after I try them, but my respect for this company increased after Mindy emphasized that everyone’s breast shape, density and elasticity is different, affecting how and where you place the adhesives–you can even work with side strips if you need to center yourself a little more. Impressively, Brassybra comes in five shades: vanilla, caramel, chocolate, cocoa and licorice.

2. Clear Straps and Jewelry Straps

They’re never actually invisible, but clear straps are still an option–especially under lace shoulders–and I was excited to discover a Canadian company that makes the best I’ve heard of at Curve. Their website doesn’t even tell you what makes them so great:

  • They use metal sliders rather than plastic, so you’re sure to get multiple wears out of them.
  • They’ve been stress-tested by holding 25 pound weights for 18 hours.  According to Freddy Zappe, Eveden’s bra-fitting guru, a 38G breast tissue weighs around four pounds per breast.

This company has other products that I’m excited to share with you soon.

Then there are meant-to-be seen jewelry straps like these with rhinestones.

3. Incorporate the Bra into the Dress

I could have sworn we had a blog post on this topic, but I guess not. If any of you have ever done this before, please share! Here’s how one blogger gives herself some support in her backless dresses. Judging from her outfit posts on the blog, I’d say she probably wears an F cup, so this DIY project could work for some of our readers.

Five years ago, Leila told us how we can add boning to a dress for more structure. She still needed to wear a bra, but I wonder if a combo of sewing a bra into a dress PLUS boning could give someone who wears G cups enough support to forgo a strapless?

4. Choose Clothing that Has Already Incorporated the Bra FOR You

The size 4 model in the Miriam Baker Charlotte dress isn’t wearing a bra, and I have a strong suspicion that she’s well above a DD cup.

And there’s always the Panache tank top with built-in bra (affiliate link).

5. Wear the Straps Under Your Arms

Judy from Levana Bratique shared this trick: “If the bra fits you with the straps on, but gapes without the straps, wrap the straps under your armpits and wear them “criss crossed” in back but not over your shoulders. It will help to hold the cups up without having straps showing.”

6. Go with a Bandeau

A lot of full-bust brands base their bandeaus off their strapless bras. So while technically still a strapless, sometimes a binkini top is more comfortable. When I wrote my swimsuit roundup for Campbell & Kate, Judy from Levana told me that the Elomi swim bra (affiliate link) is “better than any strapless bra I’ve ever worn!”

Leah recently made the fascinating observation that, because of its simple clasp, a bandeau is much narrower in back than a regular strapless with its columns of hooks. Here you can see the difference between the Curvy Kate Maya bandeau and the Curvy Kate Luxe strapless (affiliate link).

Leah thinks this could make a bandeau ideal for wearing under certain cutout back dresses, and she would have written a blog post about it already–if she could have found one in beige!