Friday 31 January 2014

My top Valentine's Day picks for 2014

Love it or hate it, St. Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Single or not, what better way to treat yourself than with a new lingerie set (and maybe a big tub of ice cream...)! Using my favourite online retailers I've put together a collection of my top picks for this February 14th.

The latest trend in lingerie seems to be straps. Straps everywhere! The Entice Alexa set from Figleaves Boudoir is a perfect example of this. It's strapping details hints cheekily towards bondage whilst remaining classy. The bra comes in XS-L suggesting it's not meant to be a functional piece and rather one for, ahem, 'bedroom wear'. 

Priced from £14 to 34 per piece in red or black and consisting of an unpadded bra, thong, brief and suspender belt it's above my budget for something that lacks functionality. However, for that special occasion it's rather stunning! 

If the Entice Alexa from Figleaves is your kind of thing but you can't quite bring yourself to part with over £60, how about a detachable choker strap from Esty Lingerie? These straps simply attach to your bra band at the central gore and range from just £5.49 to £19.99. They add a subtly sexy rock/bondage look to any outfit and are really quite unique!

Not sure? Check out the reviews from The Full Figured Chest, The Undercover Lingerista and Of Lambs and Lace.

Sadly this sexy slip is old stock and doesn't come in a large range of sizes (32-26 B-E) but if you're lucky or willing to sister size you might be able to find this at a bargain price. Gossard are currently selling this at £35 knocked down from £59.00. The slip can be paired with any black thong so you don't even have to buy the matching one.

Photo courtesy of Gossard

I love the contrasting lace bra section and the sheer polka dot slip. It's functional too, useful as shapewear and with foam padded plunge cups it'll boost your bangers for a WOW cleavage!

The only set in my Valetine's selection I actually own is the decadent Charlotte. I bought her from LargeCupLingerie a few months ago and have only worn her a handful of times. I have this weird OCD thing about 'special' sets and sadly rarely get to wear them because of that reason! Although I've not yet reviewed the set, you may have seen my selfie on Twitter a while back.

The set is sexy, supportive and high quality, so you really feel you've treated yourself should you choose to buy it. I found the cups on the small side so I bought a 28H and the thong is a Large. The padded cups quite shallow and didn't give me any cleavage, which is forgiveable since the set is so nice! The band is firm and VERY wide as are the fully adjustable straps, which can only be a good thing if you have a large bust.

I bought my Charlotte set in Red but it's also available in Peach and Dusty Rose. Charlotte costs £30 for the bra, £12 for the brief and £14 for the high waisted shorts here at LargeCupLingerie. Charlotte comes in sizes 28-40 D-K, the best size range I've seen in a long time!

Long standing readers of my blog will know I'm a huge fan of Curvy Kate's Tease Me, and when they released the autumn/winter colour way of black and scarlet I knew I had to have it. 

At £29 for the bra, £13.50 for the thong and £15.50 for the shorts it's not the biggest bargain but I do love Tease Me so I'll be buying mine from Debenhams shortly. The set can also be found at Brastop for the same price but most sizes are now out of stock. *Don't forget that if you can, try a band size smaller and two cups larger. If it's not possible to downsize a band or you like a looser fit then just go up one cup size.* Tease me comes in sizes 28-30 D-J, 32 D-HH, 34 D-H, 36 D-GG and 38 D-GG but the above retailers don't have all sizes left.

*Edit* Curvy Kate have kindly informed me that this version of Tease Me now runs true to size, so it's advised that you order your usual size.

Brand new from Curvy Kate is the pretty pink long line Carmen. This is the first long line bra Curvy Kate have produced and with it's padded cups with pale yellow embroidery I'm sure it will be a hit! In sizes 28-38 D-J Curvy Kate have made sure all their usual customer base won't miss out.

Carmen is a three part set consisting of the long line bra £35, suspender belt £18, and thong £15 or shorts £16. All can be purchased at Brastop. If pink isn't your thing wait until AW14 range when Curvy Kate will be producing it in black. I'm sure you'll agree it's fabulous! 

This may not be the obvious choice for Valentine's Day so let me explain. My boyfriend ADORES yellow. His bathroom is yellow, his kitchen is yellow including ALL appliances. He loves it. Yellow isn't a colour often found in lingerie, particularly in the market for larger cup sizes. When I came across this fun set from Made In Preston my heart skipped a beat on his behalf!

In a good size range of (yes, a 26" band!) 26-30 DD-J, 32-36 DD-H and 38 DD-GG, Made In Preston have really pushed the boat out to ensure a lot of large busted women are included. My only complaint about this is that they are charging a higher price of £38.95 for 26 bands! It seems ridiculous to charge for the smallest and most niche of band sizes when they already have the patterns cut for all the advertised sizes. All other sizes cost £34 and the matching knickers are £8.95. I don't know if the bra is padded or not and with Made In Preston being new to lingerie, I can't advise on fit I'm afraid.

Will you be buying yourself lingerie for St Valentine's Day? Let me know your favourites by commenting below!

Monday 27 January 2014

The Super Sweet Sophia by Tutti Rouge

,A while back you may remember me trying out new big cup lingerie brand Tutti Rouge's Liliana and Betty bras, but sadly neither worked on me. I was contacted by the lovely Jessica from Tutti Rouge who then offered me the chance to try the beautiful Sophia, as she seemed adamant on me becoming a 'Tutti Rougette'!

After some too-ing and fro-ing (are they even words? No..) we finally hit the nail on the head with this set! First I tried the Sophia in a 28H as this seemed to be the correct cup size for me in the Liliana and Betty, but it was far too big in this style as you can see in the photo below.

I was then sent my recommended Sophia size of a 28G and it's near perfect! My only quibbles are that the half adjustable straps are a bit too long, but I can easily shorten them, and like all the Tutti Rouge bras I've tried so far, the cups appear to have a shallow part right at the bottom of them, creating an unusual 'dent' in the underside of the bust. It's not really visible in my photos as I couldn't quite manage to photograph it accurately. If you look at the bottom on the cups in the shots of the pink Sophia above and the green below you should be able to see what I mean.

The band is nice and snug and the bra is oozing with all of Tutti Rouge's usual sweet little details such as the embossed branding at the hooks, heart shaped adjusters and a little bow and button to the central gore. The bra is lightly padded and has a contrast in textures between the satin cup and double mesh layer of the upper cup, helping keep everything in place.

I won't go into great detail but a mix up over brief colours resulted in me getting the set in this gorgeous shade of mint, the likes of which my lingerie drawer has never seen before! Here I'm wearing a medium in the retro brief. I was also sent a thong in the same size and they're both spot on. For reference I usually wear Primark pants in a size 16-18, Freya Deco shorts in a Medium and Deco thongs in a Large. There's very little difference in the look of the brief and the thong at the front, but the back of the brief has a bit of ruching, a keyhole and a couple of little bows. Very cute!

Sophia is currently retailing at around £16 in various sales such as LargeCupLingerie and is also available here on the Tutti Rouge website.

I've not worn Sophia for any long periods of time as yet since I've not managed to find the time to alter the straps but as first impressions go, Sophia seems to be pretty good for me and I've decided not give up on Tutti Rouge just yet!

Have you ever been put off a brand you were really looking forward to trying?

Friday 3 January 2014

HATTY New Year!

Aside from my extensive collection of lingerie I'm also a bit of a hoarder of hats. Being a total wuss who feels the cold at the very sound of the word 'winter', they also serve a more practical use. My 'hatspiration' is definitely Gwen Stefani who rocks a slouchy beanie like nobody else, see? I adore this woman!

Anyway, I was recently contacted by Ricefield Collective who offered me a hat of my choice in exchange for a blog post, which I naturally didn't refuse! I chose the simple 'Dreamer' hat in Peacoat, a navy blue and off-white knit. 

Priced at $36 (plus a $10 shipping fee outside of the USA), £27 is a bit more than I'd usually pay for a hat. However, Ricefield Collective are a far cry from your average company...

Ifugao knitters in indigenous dress

Who are Ricefield Collective?
Ricefield Collective hats and accessories are hand knitted by women in the Ifugao region of the Philippines. The idea was born when Meredith Ramirez Talusan visited Ifugao in 2011 and learned that locals were being forced to abandon their communities in order to seek higher wages in larger cities. Meredith then decided to help the women by teaching them to knit, the products of which they could then sell on to tourists to supplement their income. Ricefield Collective successfully funded their project via a Kickstarter campaign in April 2011 and thus, an Ifugao knitting school and wonderfully ethical company was born! 

Not only do they knit, they also model! Marietta models the 'Upward' hat she knitted

Made with love
My hat was beautifully packaged in a cloth dust bag with a photograph of the lady who'd knitted it! I loved this idea as it somehow made me happy knowing it wasn't made by a faceless machine and that someone who had spent hours hand knitting that very hat I was holding! Thank you Maricel!

Quite different than my usual reviews, and much more straight forward! I have quite a small head so most 'loose fit' beanies are baggy enough to keep me happy, and with it's soft blend of premium American wool and Alpaca wool it's comfortable and warm to wear.

Thanks for your wool sweet Alpaca!

What's a blog post from me without at least one self indulgent shot?! 

I see Ricefield Collective almost as a charity. You're donating to a good cause to empower a group of women to stay on their ancestral land, the Banaue Rice Terraces (a UNESCO Heritage Site) AND you're getting an awesome, hand-crafted hat to boot!

Happy New Year readers!