GG Musings – Holiday Look 2 – Bravissimo’s Jennifer Velvet Dress

I have been eyeing the Bravissimo Jennifer Velvet Dress in black for a while so when this smoky blue color came out I decided to give it a try. I love the blue shade of the dress and others seem to as well since it is already sold out in some sizes.

I like the length of the dress as so many Bravissimo dresses are so short. However, I had a couple of fit problems with this dress. On the top of the dress the fabric seems to be pulling around my armpits and you can see the seaming and fabric pattern on my bra. This issue doesn’t make this dress an automatic no – but issue number two does.

Issue number two is the hips. I have complained before about the hips in Bravissimo dresses not being a great fit on me, however this dress I believe was cut out wrong. When laid flat the hips are not even. This resulted in some strange puckers on my hips.

The model in the Bravissimo catalog also looks like she has some issues with the hips of the dress fitting.

I want to say this dress would be great for an office holiday party due to the ¾ length sleeves, scoop neckline and longer length but there is something about the fabric that makes me look super busty. Maybe it would be less busty in black? I’m wearing the 14 RSC (18 RSC in UK sizing). I’m 5’7 and my measurements are 48-39-44. This dress definitely got sent back.

GG Musings: Holiday Look 1 – eBay Bravissimo Lace Tank Top

This is part 1 of an 8-part series of Holiday looks from Bravissimo. I don’t know about you but I already have three parties booked for December and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

Look 1 is a new Bravissimo tank top purchased from eBay. This tank is only $29.57 (including shipping from the UK!) and available in all sizes and four colors: black, white, navy and red. I opted to buy the black. I sized down in this tank to a 16 RC/SC (12 in USA sizing) for a sexier fit.

This tank definitely requires bra straps that match the color of the tank or a strapless bra. It would look great for the holiday season in red too!

I’m wearing a T Tahari brand black pencil skirt with the tank in size 16. T Tahari and Elie Tahari are great brands if you need a skirt that is cut slimmer in the hips. I’m 5’7 and my measurements in this outfit are 48-39-44.

Circled above are some of the dresses I’ll be sharing with you over the next week!

GG Musings: Sister Trip to The Rack Shack!

My sister was in town last weekend and because she lives in an area without lingerie shops she wanted to go and be fitted for a bra. She originally found a place in Manhattan, and I countered with let’s go to this really hip place in the Bushwick part of Brooklyn instead. I first went to The Rack Shack with Darlene and it’s the only place I have ever gone bra shopping where I felt great afterwards.

What makes this shop special? For me it’s the warmth of the owner Laura (follow her on Instagram if you want to see some beautiful bras!). I’ve never equated bra shopping with fun. Laura turns an experience that has always been uncomfortable and left me feeling bad about myself into a good one. She doesn’t use a tape measure but instead asks what size you are currently wearing and can tell by looking at you what size to start trying on.

The Rack Shack stocks fun bras (and prettier basics) in sizes 28A to 42HH. Laura adjusts the straps and demonstrates how to scoop your boobs into the right position in the bra (don’t worry she asks first). The shop welcomes everyone and is LGBTQ friendly.

My sister found two bras and I purchased this pink and black Curvy Kate bra.

Leah has also written about The Rack Shack if you are curious to read about her experience.

My sister is wearing my Urkye top in size 44 oo/ooo. She looked so good in it – I gave it to her!

Do you have a favorite local lingerie shop that makes you feel great?

GG Musings: My Spring Trench Coat Purchase is a Winner!

Last spring, after discovering how wonderful Bravissimo’s clothing fit me on a trip to London, I placed a big order. In this order was my navy trench coat. I almost didn’t keep the trench because it is expensive – $200.

I ended up keeping it after thinking about it for a few days and now I love it. I have had several compliments about how well tailored it is and I enjoy putting on a coat that actually fits me. It is holding up well, although the buttons will need to be reattached soon (I don’t think I have ever owned a coat that I didn’t end up re-attaching the buttons more securely).

On the downside because of the princess seams the trench needs to be buttoned or it looks strange. The belt is a little short given that most trench belts are worn knotted and not with the buckle. It’s now getting too cold to only wear this trench but I’m planning to layer it over my Uniqlo puffer jacket for the time being.

I have found a trench coat to be a great style for larger busted women since the belt cinches the waist in. Before buying my new trench coat this year, I had a black Calvin Klein trench purchased for around $70 at TJ Maxx for seven years. The photo below is not a great one of me – but you can see my old trench clearly!

I would definitely recommend a trench coat as a wardrobe essential. Do any of you love trench coats?

GG Musings: What Percentage of My Wardrobe is Bust Friendly?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about if I want to continue having a minimalist wardrobe (I wrote about my summer capsule wardrobe here). One of the main tenants of a capsule wardrobe is only having clothes in your closet and dresser that actually fit you. Once I cleared out all of the ill-fitting clothing several years ago I was left with a lean closet and finding business casual (non-jean clothing) for work was a constant struggle…until I discovered Bravissimo. Which makes me wonder was I an accidental minimalist? Did I only have such a small wardrobe because I didn’t know where to buy clothes that would flatter my body?

A big thing in the minimalist world is counting the number of items you own. Two of the bloggers I follow actually do this with their wardrobes: Gold Zipper and Paris To Go. Gold Zipper’s video on analyzing her wardrobe is fascinating. This video got me thinking – what percentage of my wardrobe is made by a bust friendly brand?

Currently, I only have two bust friendly brands in my closet: Bravissimo/Pepperberry and Urkye. However, not counting bottoms these two brands account for 52% of my wardrobe!

I learned two things in this experiment: I have more clothing than I thought I did (56 items!) and a much higher percentage of it is bust friendly than I thought. My goal for 2019 is to branch out and support other bust friendly brands. Do you have any favorites you would like to see me try out? And do you think I own too much or too little clothing?

GG Musings: New Black Dress

This is the last of my postings on my October shopping binge. This black Bravissimo dress arrived in the mail about 2 weeks ago from the UK and I am reaching for it constantly!

And not a surprise given my last few postings – this dress came from eBay. I purchased it new without tags from the seller Colourfashion. This seller seems to be a liquidator for Bravissimo, they actually have a ton of new stuff in multiple sizes that went on sale this week! This dress is still available in many sizes if I inspire any of you to buy it also.

I’m 5’7 and this dress is a good length on me. I did throw it in the dryer and it shrunk a bit, so don’t do that unless you want it to be smaller. I didn’t really need a new black dress when I bought this but it definitely has become a favorite dress fast. And I love the long sleeves. Do you have a favorite everyday black dress?

GG Musings: Major Dress Haul from eBay!

This is my second to last post about my early October shopping binge. I often browse clothing on eBay and when I noticed one seller was selling a ton of Pepperberry/Bravissimo dresses in my size I instantly thought combined shipping costs! The majority of Bravissimo clothing on eBay is located in the UK which means that any item I buy comes with an additional $20 international shipping charge to get it to the USA. So, the ability to buy multiple dresses shipped in one package was beyond appealing.

At one point, I was bidding on ten different dresses from this seller!

I ended up winning 5 dresses: 1 from Bravissimo, 3 from Pepperberry (Bravissimo’s former label) and one from the British department store Marks & Spencer. The Pepperberry/Bravissimo dresses are all size 18RSC (14RSC in US sizing) and the Marks & Spencer dress is a British 18. My current measurements are 47.5-39-45. None of these styles are currently available, however the fit can still give you an idea of what might work for you in Bravissimo dresses.

The Marks & Spencer dress is not designed to be bust friendly, but the smocking at the empire waist does work on me. The smocking comes up a little on the edge of chest so not a perfect fit but still super cute. I don’t see a lot of cleavage in New York City but I definitely will be wearing this next summer when I head back to Los Angeles for my cousin’s wedding.

The next dress is also a summer dress. I love the rainbow smocking at the waist on this one. It’s a bit longer than newer Bravissimo dresses – which I love because I ride the subway every day and prefer a longer dress for this. This is definitely a keeper and going in my bottom dresser drawer for next summer.

For the next dress, I actually thought it was this dress still available on the Bravissimo website.

My sister and I tried this dress on last spring and both liked it. The dress I ended up winning is similar with a lace overlay. This dress came new with tags and is supposed to be my sister’s Christmas present. I selfishly hope it is too big for her so that I can keep it!

I’m working on wearing more prints since I have a lot of black dresses. This dress reminds me of Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I love that about this dress! I used a safety pin to keep the top closed. The safety pin is not the best option and I will probably end up tacking the top part of the dress closed with stitches in a few places.

Last up is my newest dress love! I love the cut of this dress and the colors! The style is amazing – it fits in the hips, has a bit of fullness in the tummy area and the empire waist hits at the smallest part of my body. I definitely need to campaign Bravissimo to make more dresses in this style. I also think it will work for winter with my belted cream colored cardigan and favorite boots.

This was definitely a great dress haul. In total I paid $170.31 including shipping which breaks down to $34.06 per dress. Given that Bravissimo dresses generally cost over a $100 this is definitely a good deal! Do any of you ever buy clothing on eBay?

GG Musings: Update on My No-Shopping Ban & a Super Duper Curvy Dress

My no-shopping ban has been partially successful. In the last two weeks I have only purchased two pairs of tights and a pair of work-out pants. The original plan was to continue my no-shopping ban from mid-October to the end of November. However, I feel much more in control of my shopping urges so I am lifting the ban and pledging to stick to my budget this month.

As I re-enter the world of online shopping, I plan to focus on actual clothing needs and not just pretty items that strike my fancy in the moment. Most likely this month, I will be purchasing the crop notch neck cardigan in black from Bravissimo and trying out bras without underwires. Any suggestions for comfortable bras in a 38GG that won’t make me feel like I am being stabbed in the armpit when I make a sudden movement?

In line with my no-shopping ban when a dress popped up on eBay in size 16 Super Duper Curvy I didn’t buy it. Well, I did bid on it, but was instantly outbid and then the price skyrocketed to almost $40.00! I’m not sure how long this size was actually produced and only knew of its existence from a review on the Bravissimo website complaining that this size was no longer available. I can’t help but think this size would solve my problems with the fitted dresses from Bravissimo since every non-stretch dress I try on I end up returning because the waist and the hips are too big.

I have been watching sales of Bravissimo/Pepperberry dresses on eBay for the past few months and $40 for a used Bravissimo dress (or in eBay vocab pre-worn) is high. Which makes me wonder if a used dress goes for double the normal amount in the SDC size – how many women would benefit from being able to buy this size new? How many of you have issues with the waist and hips still being too big once it fits your chest even in bust-friendly clothes made to solve this problem?

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!!!