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September 30, 2015

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Fashion Meets Function: The Best Garments For The Bridal Party

Bridal lingerie is always a hot topic - whether you’re have a flowery and botanical spring wedding, a laid-back summer wedding, or a cool and crisp fall or winter wedding - it seems like it’s always wedding season. While the bride has enough on her plate, the bridal party and especially the maid of honor may be feeling just as much pressure. Today we’re taking the focus off of the bride, just for a minute, to make sure that the rest of the party has the appropriate garments and underpinnings to keep this big day as flawless as possible.

Shapewear is going to be a “must-have” for most bridal parties. And this type of garment isn’t what is used to be. The stigma of ugly granny-panties is long gone, and replaced with attractive and functional girdles, panties, and camisoles to keep everything smooth and in place for the whole night. For a one stop shop, our Menage Open Bust Body Suit is pretty much a miracle garment, and all you need to do is slip it on! Functionally speaking, it has extra firm control, meaning that it’s shaping panels are tighter than others which smooth and slenderize your tummy, waist, and back helping you achieve that perfect hourglass shape. It’s style is simple and classic with black lace details, but also has a boyshort panty attached, and adjustable and removable straps so it will work with any dress style. Regardless of what the bridesmaid dresses look like, you’ll always be a bombshell underneath!

 

A second great option for a body suit is the Slenderizing Shaping Slip. This piece is so popular that it’s constantly selling out! With a sophisticated and sleek design paired with ultra firm shaping power, it’s easy to see why we can’t keep it on the shelves. This piece focuses of slenderizing your tummy and waist while giving your buttocks some extra curve and lift. The underbust design allows you to still wear your favorite bra, but you’ll get a little extra support from this as well.

Let’s say however, that your bridesmaid, or maid of honor dress is a little more complicated. Backless, strapless, plunging neckline, or all of the above, you can still have control of what’s going on underneath. For women with larger busts, we have a fabulous selection of convertible bras. The Jeanie Strapless Contour Bra goes up to a 38E and has molded cups in seamless microfiber to ensure a smooth look. Another great convertible look is the Coco Multi-Way Balconette which goes up to a 36DD, with beautiful lavender and white floral stitching this is the best combination of pretty and functional.. Similar to the Jeanie bra, this has removable and convertible straps so you can fasten it whichever way works best for you, and still be confident that you’ll be comfortable and supported all night long.
Jeannie StraplessCoco Balconette

 

If you have a smaller bust and don’t necessarily need added support, pasties are an easy option to make sure you stay smooth and subtle under any type of fabric. Our Breast Petals are easy to put on and will stay on throughout a long night of dancing!

 

If you want a little shaping, but not an entire shaping body-suit, there’s still comfortable and cute ways to pull it all together. If you’re on the curvier side and want to show off all of your beautiful curves but just fine-tune them a bit, the Curves Gore High Waist Garter Thong is a great choice. This piece has removable garters so it works with thigh highs or stockings, meaning you can totally rock the vintage lingerie look under your dress. But it also has a shaping panel in the tummy area so this beautiful lace panty is more than just another piece of sexy lingerie.

 

Or maybe your bridesmaid dress is giving you more problems than you anticipated. Similar to the strapless/backless bra situation, there’s no underpinning problem that we can’t solve! If you're dress is either very tight, or very light weight, you’ll want to avoid panty lines. Our Shaping Thong is a fantastic pick because of both is shaping power and seamless design. It is high waisted with a tummy control panel, so you can still have control over that area without wearing a full-body piece of shape wear. And the seamless design ensures that you won’t see any panty lines no matter what type of dress you’re wearing.

While it may not be your big night, your role in the bridal party is undoubtedly very important, not to mention you’re there to have fun too! The last thing you’ll want to be thinking about is your undergarments — no matter what your fashion emergency is, we can help you solve it before it even happens!

 

September 03, 2015

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Why are bras so expensive?

On the surface, lingerie pricing can seem intimidating. How can a basic bra cost $60 or more, you ask? Today, we're going to find out. Lingerie has come a long way in the past 10 years or so, as bra quality has gone up and a wealth of design options have become available. You can still find some types of bras cheaply: these bras tend to either be extremely plain or lack sustainable support. Most of my clients come to me because they are looking for solutions beyond what is available in department stores and they feel under serviced by specialty stores. If this is you, keep reading.

Even a basic bra works hard. Bras are made out of two main components: hardware and fabrics. If you don't sew, you probably haven't looked at the rising costs of basic fabrics. Even simple fabrics like high quality cottons have skyrocketed in price - and bras mostly use luxurious and complicated fabrics. Love that power mesh inner sling in your favorite bra? The price per yard adds up. 

The second component of bras is the hardware. There are the obvious things, like hooks and eyes, but many metal bra components have to be specially sourced. This is especially true for bras that create extra support for plus size women, full busted women or maternity bras. Want cute specialty strap slides and fancy metal details? That adds even more to the price, but can have a huge impact on the final look of a fashion bra. Certain design features, like flexible wires and breathable fabrics provide comfort. Microfibers are often used to keep moisture away from the skin. Metal hooks, clasps, and slider rings are used as opposed to plastic.These feature provide durability. Many bras have up to 50 individual components, some of which have to be custom designed and produced by the lingerie brand themselves. 

So what is the upside? Well, price generally indicates both quality and longevity. If you take care of a good quality bra properly, it will support you comfortably for a long time. Pick your basic bras with comfort, quality and fashion in mind. Basic bras now come in neutral colors like beige or black, but also come in a world of prints, cuts and fabrics. That basic t-shirt bra that you reach for every morning can now also make a fashion statement - even if you're the only one who sees it. 

The slightly higher cost of a quality bra means that you should pick your basic bras carefully. Always get professionally fitted if you're unsure of your bra size and learn the basic signs of good bra fit. If you're on a smaller budget, stick with light colors or neutrals that you can wear under almost everything. If you want to splurge, look for a fashion bra that is sexy enough to entice in the bedroom but supportive enough to get you through a long day at the office in comfort.

 You should feel like you’ve made good decision after your purchase. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve wasted your money. Why are bras so "expensive"? Because a good bra is engineered be durable and to provide comfort and support. Who wouldn’t want those things in their life? I mean if my last boyfriend had those features, we’d still be together. As you buy more bras, you'll learn what cuts and shapes suit you best so you can get the most out of your lingerie purchases. 

Images Tutti Rouge and Le Mystere

August 04, 2015

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How to Pick Your Perfect Maternity Bra

Most customers find regular bras complicated enough, so the idea of picking out an expensive maternity bra scares them to death. The good news is that finding the right high quality maternity bra will get you through both pregnancy and the later nursing stages of motherhood. Today we’re going to give you a checklist of what to look for in a bra and dispel some common maternity bra myths along the way. 

The first thing to know is that like with most bras, price usually does indicate quality. In this case, a quality bra can do more than make you comfortable - it can actually help prevent several pregnancy and nursing related health issues. More expensive bras also tend to use softer fabrics and hold up during repeated washing and wearing. 

We carry two types of maternity bras: underwired and wirefree. This may surprise you, since one of the common myths about maternity bras is that pregnant women or women who are nursing shouldn’t wear underwires. This simply isn’t true! If you love your underwire bras, you don’t have to give them up during your pregnancy. The Dark Croissant Flexible Wire bra by Cake is a great example of this. The flexible underwires help support you as your size changes, without rubbing or creating any health issues while you’re nursing. 

 

We currently offer two seamless and wireless options from Cake, which are great for those of you who want the most comfort possible. Cake uses incredibly soft fabrics to create comfortable bras that stand the test of time. For those who are nursing, our organic nursing pads and nursing pad liners fit perfectly under these bras. You can even double layer the nursing pads if you need more protection!

Finally, as your size changes you may want to pick up some bra extenders to help your bra fit a bit better. Cake bras come with 6 hook and eye extensions, but it’s always better if you can customize your fit. Remember that both your breast tissue and your ribcage size will change during pregnancy, so you’ll want a bra that can accommodate size changes in both places. 

What is your preferred maternity bra style?

 

Images Courtesy of Cake Lingerie, Fashion Forms and Mademoiselle Lolita 

 

June 22, 2015

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Mlle Lolita's Bra Dictionary - The Anatomy of the Bra

Bra shopping and fittings can be overwhelming, intimidating, and confusing. We want to alleviate some of the stress associated with bra fitting. Here is a basic lexicon of bra terminology, complete with diagrams and photos. We hope you will find this helpful as you search for the perfect style. 

Bra – a bra has two dimensions: the cup size and the band size.

Cup size has an alphabet identifier and the band is given a numeric identifier. The cup measurement is taken at the fullest part of the breast. The bra band is taken at the underbust and is commonly referred to as the rib cage measurement.  80% of the weight of the breast should be supported by the band, not the straps. If your band is too big, your shoulder straps will be overburdened.

  • Center Gore – the center gore separates the cups. It should sit firmly on the ribcage.
  • Cookiespush-up pads or bra inserts that enhance cleavage and increase volume, often made of silicone.
  • Wings – the side of the bra band
  • Closure – bra can have front and back closures. Bras often close with hook and eye clasp.

There are many types of bras, some of which have underwires and some that do not. Here’s a basic run down on the most common bra types.

Bra Types

    • Adhesive Bra – Often used as a backless, strapless option. Pulling off the little black dress with a plunging neckline and low back is tricky for anyone but especially if you’re on the busty side. The adhesive bra is always great to have in your arsenal. We offer several adhesive bras with sizes up to DD.

    • Balcony/Balconette linear push-up. This may not be the best solution for you if you have broad shoulders.

    • Bralette/Bralet - are unlined bras with no wire. Some do not have back clasp or closures. Minimal support
        • Convertible/Strapless has straps that can be removed and rearranged for wear with tube and halter, racerbacks or asymmetric tops. Remove both straps for a strapless dresses and blouses. We carry convertible bras for D+ cups.
        • Molded – seamless with moderate padding often referred to as the “t-shirt” bra. This bra is a great way to lift and shape. Molded bras do not add volume. Creates a great silhouette.
            • Maternity – Often needed in the last trimester of pregnancy. Mostly unwired and provides minimal support to aid with sensitivity.
                • Nursingprovides support for lactating moms, cups can be easily moved out of the way for breastfeeding.
                  • Plunge – The bra is perfect for the v-neck or button down. Enhances cleavage.
                  • Padded – heavy padding at the base of the cup. This gives the illusion of a fuller cup or larger breast.   If you want to add more volume, look for padded in the description.
                    • Sports bras - the sports bra is very important for high impact exercise. In some cases, one would like to minimize “the bounce” and keep the breast firmly in place without creating discomfort. Manufactures have come up with many different solutions to do just that. We prefer the running or gym sports bras for larger busted women. They reduce the bounce and in some case “minimize” or compress the breast.
                      • Helpful tip - Be sure that your sports bra does not push the breast tissue out to the sides. This is partially a problem for women that play golf or any swinging activities. Sports bra should control the bounce but not necessarily compress the breast tissue.
                        Soft Cups/Semi-rigid cups -  unlined with several seams for added support. Supportive seams provide shape, no molding, no padding.
                     Photos courtesy of Affinitas, Le Mystere, Cake Maternity, Berlei, Fashion Forms, and Mademoiselle Lolita
                    March 27, 2015

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                    Mlle Lolita's Fab Bra Fitting Tips

                    Breast and bra fitting – there are no two breast alike. I like to call them fraternal twins. They have a mind of their own. Either one is bigger or fuller than the other or the nipples point different directions. You get my drift. So why is it that women simply skip over regular bra fittings? Over the years, bras have evolved but our mindset has not. Manufacturers have taken advantage of any advances in microfibers, textiles, increased the sizing, and even had studies to determine the best locations for seams.

                    I’ve had women argue with me that they’ve been wearing the same bra for 20 years, but breasts change as we age. Over the years, most women gain or lose at least 10 pounds, or have had at least one pregnancy or illness. All of these things can affect the size and shape of your breasts. This is why regular fittings are important. Many women actually appear to look pounds smaller just by wearing a bra that fits properly. Bra Fitters strive to find the best solutions for your body type. Whether you purchase your bra from a discount store or a luxury lingerie shop, its helpful to know the best bra styles for your body type.

                    Remember bra fitting is not a science. It’s more of an art. A bra cup size is not 8 ounces and each manufacturer has a different rule for measuring cup size. That fact alone combined with the fact that there is US sizing, UK sizing, European sizing, Japanese sizing etc., is no wonder most women are wearing the wrong size. (*Note Mlle Lolita uses UK sizing)

                     US vs UK Cup Size Chart

                    Therefore, there are things you should look for when purchasing a new bra or getting a bra fitting.  Here are a few fitting tips to make sure your bra is sized properly and is providing the most support:

                    • For maximum support, make sure your band is firm and sits horizontally across your back. There should be no slack in the back. If your band is rising in the back, your bra is most likely too big.
                    • Don’t squeeze yourself into something that doesn’t fit in the dressing room. If you are pulling and tugging in the dressing room, you’re definitely going to fall out of it the next time you drop your iPhone on the floor.
                    • Make sure you raise your arms and bend at the waist when you’re trying on a bra. It’s easier to see bulges with your shirt on, so put your shirt or blouse back on to see if you notice a change in the way it fits.
                    • Make sure your bra band holds the majority of the weight of your breasts not the straps. It’s important to make sure your band is sized correctly to avoid digging.

                    • Make sure all of your breast tissue is in the cup. Be sure to check to see if the underwire is sitting on the breast tissue. That’s really bad! This can cause irreparable damage and it most likely means the band is too big.

                    Images courtesy of Curvy Kate: http://www.curvykate.com/

                          January 09, 2015

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                          The Best Lingerie Basics for 2015

                          2015 is here, which means two things: it's time to check your bra size and restock your lingerie drawer. Most women fluctuate in size even over the course of a month, so it's good to get professionally fitted for a bra once a year to make sure you're still wearing the right size. The wrong size bra can lead to back pain, sagging and those nasty shoulder grooves you get from straps that are doing too much lifting. 

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                          December 27, 2014

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                          Backless and Strapless Solutions: Perfect New Year's Eve

                          So you've got that perfect party dress all picked out for New Year's Eve: do you know what you're going to wear under it yet? The right foundation garments can make or break a great dress - in fact, it's one of the reasons that celebrities always look so perfect on the red carpet. Today we're going to go over five basic pieces of shapewear that will help smooth out any dress, no matter how low cut, backless, or plunging in nature. 
                           This backless strapless thong bodysuit is for those backless dresses that have a low neckline. The plunge bra portion has adhesive cups and gives a sexy pushup effect. While the thong back disappears under even the thinnest fabric. The tummy panel sculpts and smooths, while the open back makes even the most dramatic backless dress look great.  Dance the night away while keeping everything right place.  Available in Black and Nude,  Sizes S-XL
                          The Allison Strapless bra is supportive, high quality and budget friendly. This bra is a great basic that also works well as a convertible bra. 
                          This Body Sculpting Backless Bra is perfect for the most daring fashions. You can wear it with the clear wings or without for a backless look. 
                          This Jeanie Strapless Bra gives you the traditional feel and support of a moulded cup bra with a strapless and convertible option. This black bra is a great basic option to have stocked in your lingerie drawer. Jeannie is perfect for D+ cups.
                          This adhesive Backless Strapless U Plunge bra both shapes and supports your bust. The deep plunge cut gives you great cleavage and the clear wings mean that you can wear any backless dress you choose.  Available in Black and Nude.
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