10 Years of Hourglassy

Exactly 10 years ago today I published my first two posts after almost everyone else had left the law firm for the day: a welcome and a promise to review shirts from Bravissimo. A few days later I announced that, having tried three local bra stores, I now wore a Wacoal 36DDD! Who even knows what size I should have been wearing???

I have learned SO MUCH in the past ten years, and hopefully you’ve learned along with us. We’re overdue for a reader survey, so look for one soon–we need to know your interests!

If one of your interests is an amazing chain of three lingerie stores in the Bay Area, then I cannot say enough good things about Revelation in Fit. I’ve spent the last three days listening to their fitters respect and care for everyone who visited or called. One reason I think they’re so skilled is that almost every fitter began as a customer there! And they carry Ewa Michalak, which as you know, is shorthand to me for a bra store that really knows its stuff. (I also had the chance to try the steel-colored Cleo Spencer long line in 34G. It fit perfectly and was incredibly comfortable. They told me that Panache is NOT planning to bring this out in the crimson as originally planned for this season, so if you’ve been wanting to try this long line, don’t waste any time. You can call Revelation in Fit to see if they still have your size, or click our Amazon affiliate link.)

One of their fitters also obliged me with these before-and-after shots. I almost ALWAYS wear my shirts untucked because I think it lengthens my torso, but lately I’ve been experimenting with tucking for a more polished look. I’m hoping to delve into this a little more in a future post. Speaking of trends (in my last post) I’m pretty pleased with my leopard print belt find!

And just for fun, with no idea if you have ANY interest, here’s a photo of my closet-converted-to-a-bed in my hostel.

I was getting ready in the dark at 3:00 am today so that I wouldn’t wake up my roommates as I prepared for my flight from San Francisco back to New York. My trip wasn’t glamorous, but it certainly was an adventure!

You know one thing that made it especially worthwhile? Reader Catherine visited me at my pop up shop in Los Altos. We got to talk about so many things in such a short time, and she’s given me some great brand recs that I’ll be sharing here soon.

My next trip is to Austin, Texas. If you’re in the area and would like to connect on November 7, 8 or 9, let me know!!!

Full Bust Find-ish: Anne Klein Jacket and the Profile Dilemma

When I gave you a roundup of trends a few weeks ago, part of me wondered “What’s the point when bust-friendly brands can produce so few options?” And then I realized a personal value: when I’m shopping and have a choice between two items, it helps to know if one of them is trendy. All things being equal, why not go for the trendy item to make sure I’m not getting stuck in a rut? Case in point, this colored python print jacket from Anne Klein that I discovered at my favorite discount store for only $14.99. It checked a box on my trend list, AND I won’t regret spending the money when colored animal prints are passe. I have a lot of “classic” blazers in my closet, so this was a fun way to update my wardrobe.

Besides the flattering color, I love how it follows the curve of my back.

However, it’s definitely guilty of the big bust profile problem that so many of us encounter with blazers. First, it doesn’t fasten (there aren’t any buttons, so I don’t even have to pretend that I chose to go the unbuttoned route). Second, it hangs out from my chest, completely obfuscating any curves in front.

Actually, there IS a hook and eye at the neck, but why would I fasten it there? With a large chest, it’s simply going to splay out like a teepee.

I wondered if I could restore my frontward curves by moving the hook and eye to my waist, so I experimented with a safety pin.

This gave me an exaggerated bust line–I essentially looked like my chest extended from my collarbone to my waist–so I added a second safety pin.

Haha! Not any better. This solution would definitely work with a lapel-less blazer, but not a flappy one like this.

Still, I love the color and print too much to get rid of it, and my husband complimented me when I wore it on Sunday.

It’s a great layering piece that will work well with jeans and skirts and over my Campbell & Kate shirts, and I’ll forget about the profile issues.

What would you do?

GG Musings: Bravissimo Fall Order – Part 2

As I have said in my last few blogs my shopping has been out of control for the past few weeks. I’m going on a clothing shopping ban for the rest of October and November…as soon as the dresses I won on eBay arrive in the mail from the UK.

The rest of my fall order from Bravissimo was three midi-length dresses. I wanted to love these midi-length dresses as Bravissimo’s dress length in general tends to run on the shorter side. Unfortunately, none of them ended up working out for me and I returned everything I ordered from this shipment.

I’ve lost some weight since this summer and after this order I came to the realization that Bravissimo clothing in the size 14 Super Curvy (18 in UK sizing) is just too big in the hips for me to wear unless it is a dress with a full skirt. Going forward any dresses I order need to be in the stretch sizing 14 RSC or I need to be prepared to pay for alterations to the dress.

I loved this rust colored dress the first time I saw it online. The reality is not so great. The top is too low cut for work and pulls at my bust. My hips are swimming in the extra fabric and the side zipper and visible pockets would definitely add to the alteration bill for this dress. The kimono cut of this dress comes in different colors and prints so it must be a big seller for Bravissimo.

This black dress with an orange print was also a miss fit wise. The waistband is right under my rib cage and the hips are too big. This dress looked dowdy before I put it on and the style seems better suited to a fancier fabric. I do love the sleeve length.

I really liked this grey ribbed t-shirt dress. So much so that I styled it with a sweater to see if I could make it more winter friendly. I liked the length and the ribbed fabric. What I didn’t like is the price. Why is a t-shirt dress with simple construction only $10 cheaper than a kimono dress that took far more time to cut out and sew? Ultimately, this felt like a summer dress to me and I’m also not in love with the color. I would be interested in this dress with longer sleeves and darker colors – maybe in burgundy? And final thoughts on this dress – it only looked good with Spanx on underneath it. If I’m going to wear a t-shirt dress which in theory should be comfortable I don’t want to have to wear a modern-day girdle with it.

Did any of you purchase new Fall clothing from Bravissimo?

GG Musings: Full Bust Find at Express

Continuing my internet shopping spree, I found a bust friendly short sleeve tee at Express. I didn’t end up keeping it because I mostly wear dresses in any weather conditions where a short-sleeved tee would work. And currently my wardrobe needs some long-sleeved items for winter.

I first noticed the tie front trend at Club Monaco. I didn’t bother trying this sweater on because it’s $328. I did make note of the style and contemplate how bust friendly it could potentially be.

When I found the same tie front trend at Express I knew I had to try it on. In full disclosure I used to work at Express in 2002 and the store still holds a soft spot in my heart. Express currently has this tee in multiple colors, fabric types and stripes. I wish this top had long sleeves! I’m wearing an XL in the pictures below.

In a ribbed burgundy fabric – this version comes in a ton of colors.

This is the textured ivory version.

I do think this style would be easy to DIY since it’s just an oversized top with two strips of fabric sewn on the side seams. Any of you willing to DIY and report back?

GG Musings: Bravissimo Fall Order – Part 1

Work has been stressful lately and I have turned to shopping as a coping mechanism. Not the best way to deal with stress but still better than spending quality time with my friends Häagen-Dazs and Chardonnay. The first big order of this shopping binge was of course from Bravissimo. They have a ton of new fall styles and I was curious how these styles would look on me. In this post I am going to be reviewing their full-length notch neck cardigan and lightweight padded jacket.

The cardigan looks good on me and I like the color. However, I find the cropped cardigan from Bravissimo to be a better fit on me. The cropped cardigan hits at my natural waist which is more flattering. The full-length cardigan went back to England and I am definitely thinking about purchasing the black cropped cardigan and the navy one for winter. Or asking Santa Claus to swing his sleigh past Bravissimo on his way to my parents’ house.

The lightweight padded jacket comes in both grey and red and costs $145. Normally I go for red so I am not sure why I ordered this jacket in grey. This jacket is the best fitting jacket I have ever tried on! No smashed boobs or tons of extra fabric at the waist and hips. My current winter jacket from Uniqlo has a broken zipper and a few small tears that I mended. Technically I probably need a new winter jacket, but I rather like my Uniqlo jacket (broken zipper and all – and I am planning to replace the zipper). My current plan is to wear my Uniqlo jacket this winter with my navy Bravissimo trench over it for work.

My issue with the lightweight padded jacket is that there is no indication of the temperature range. Will this keep me warm in 30-degree weather or even 20-degree weather? I really couldn’t tell by trying it on and Bravissimo doesn’t indicate on their website. This is the main reason I am planning to keep my jacket with the broken zipper instead of buying this one.

Do any of you have a great fitting favorite winter coat?

Coming by to Say Hi

I did not buy this top. I explain why at the end.

Yesterday a friend texted to ask if everything was okay because she hadn’t seen me on Hourglassy for a while. October is turning into a CRAZY month. If you’re near Philadelphia, D.C., or San Francisco, I’d love for you to check out the Campbell & Kate pop up schedule in the right hand column and come by and say hi. If you know any busty women in those cities who need a great-fitting button front shirt, send them my way!

Here’s what else has been going on: none of my clothes fit, including my bras. I thought it was just a matter of skipping a few desserts and I’d be back to my 32F’s, but weeks became months of wearing tide-me-over bras that didn’t fit perfectly. Getting dressed has NOT been fun.

When Jennifer and I visited The Rack Shack in August, owner Laura spoke what I’d begun to suspect: “Wearing the right size bra is a form of self care.” Then she put me into a black Panache Jasmine in 34G that fit perfectly. Silver lining: I also realized that I could once again fill out Leah’s and my favorite tee shirt bra, the Fantasie 4510 (affiliate link). I bought one, and things have started to look up.

With all these pop ups coming up, I realized I needed to take care of how I look on the outside, too. But not in the top that I’m wearing in today’s photo! I snapped it when I stopped at Marshall’s on Sunday because I think it’s a perfect example of waistline boob. A simple V-neck top in a color I love–what could go wrong? My theory is that the tiny rolled design detail on the neckline is what went wrong. It acts as a extra border between neckline and boobs.

I came home from my shopping trip with two new pairs of pants and a cute leopard print belt that will go great with my shirts. Getting dressed is going to be fun again.

GG Musings: Full Bust Find at LOFT

Saturday I was out running errands and wandered into the store LOFT. Seeing that plus size dresses were $35 I decided to try on a pretty polka dot dress with long sleeves. I didn’t expect the dress to fit that well as most plus size clothing fits my top half but tends to be too big on my lower half. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this dress fit me.

I’m wearing the size 16 plus. I wasn’t looking to add more dresses to my wardrobe at this time but the dress was so pretty that I decided I needed to buy it. And it has long sleeves which I rationalized would be good for winter. The hem of the dress is straight across and not shorter in the front which is an issue I tend to have with off the rack clothing.

The dress is also available in regular sizing. The regular sizing has a waist dart which the plus size version does not. It’s hard to tell if the regular sizing is also bust friendly, but maybe one of you can give this dress a try and report back! Plus LOFT is a store that often has 40% off sales.

My measurements in these pictures are 48.5-39-45.5 and I am 5’7.