Big Bust Bras You Want Everyone to See: Empreinte

At a recent dinner, I sat next to a European lingerie sales rep who has lived in America for 20 years. She told us about the disapproving looks she received from women and the leering looks from men when she first began riding the subway in New York City. She finally realized the cause: her pretty bras showing from beneath her white blouses.

I observed that visible bras now seem much more permissible, especially as a statement by younger women. My dinner companion responded indignantly that ALL ages wear pretty bras under white in Europe. "It's not a statement that you grow out of . . . it's being a woman!"

The next day I visited a French luxury lingerie booth at the trade show called Curve.  What I saw made me fervently wish that American women could feel as comfortable wearing beautiful bras beneath white blouses as their European sisters. Do these pictures of Empreinte's Spring/Summer 2016 collection have the same effect on you?

Coaching and Clothes Build Confidence for an Interview

If you’ve ever begun a new hobby that requires a special wardrobe, you know how hard it is to start from scratch. The first time I learned to ski, I panicked more about finding the right layers to wear than I did about how to keep from sliding off the bunny slope.

What-to-wear panic is even worse before a job interview, especially for the woman who hasn't had years to build her professional wardrobe. Without the right basics in her closet, she might as well be taking a chairlift to the top of the mountain in jeans and gym shoes.

New York City has a closet for the woman in this situation. Thanks to a non-profit called Bottomless Closet, an economically disadvantaged woman who has an interview lined up and an agency referral has access to the amazing boutique that you see below.

3 Tips for FINALLY Finishing that LinkedIn Profile

Only 50.5% of LinkedIn users have a complete profile. Are you one of them? I'm not, but I want to be!

If you google "how to write a linkedin profile," you'll easily find the basics. However, I needed inspiration from the trenches, so I attended a workshop by senior career coach Amy Kosh. For anyone with an incomplete or outdated profile, here are my favorite takeaways from her talk.

1. The end of the calendar year is a natural time to reflect on where you are in life. Happily, that's exactly what needs to happen to build a profile. Why not let one task serve two purposes? If you take time to answer these questions, you're well on your way to creating a foundation for the new year and your LInkedIn profile:

Gadgets and Game Plans for Laundry

If you're into gadgets but not into laundry, then you're going to love the Swash.

It's for "re-wearers", i.e., people who don't wash a garment after one wear. In just ten minutes--the time it takes to shower--it'll spray a garment with a gel, wet and then dry it. Wrinkles and odors disappear by the time you're ready to get dressed.

Divine Details from Harlow & Fox for DD+ Busts

When Harlow & Fox announced its presence on social media last year, I wondered if the new brand would distinguish itself from all the other lingerie options available to women with large breasts. Then the Harlow & Fox website launched, and these pieces swept my skepticism way.

In fact, I realized how low my expectations for full-busted underthings had become. That’s understandable when the typical first approach to “curvy lingerie” is to stick a sheer apron on a D+ bra and call it a babydoll. Happily, there isn’t a babydoll to be found on the Harlow & Fox website.

Instead, founder and designer Leanna Williams draws inspiration from “old time glamour, steam trains and sophistication," designing for women who "simply aspire to be a luxuriously dressed version of themselves." When we met in February, she told me that her goal is to create “I-feel-pretty-from-my-head-to-my-toes-inside-and-out" wear. Consistent with that goal, her attention to detail is impeccable.

Here are my favorite examples of Leanna’s attentiveness. These photos come from Leanna, her website and my own amateur efforts during our meeting.

Win Your Ironing Battles with Big Bust Darts and Princess Seams

Here's another clothing challenge for full-busted women: curvy darts and princess seams on a flat ironing board.

In the past, I've carefully aligned the seam with the edge of the ironing board and rotated as necessary until each section of the curve has been pressed. Half the time, the result is . . . okay.

Resurrect Your Big Bust Wardrobe from the Valley of the Shadow of Stains

It's happened too many times, hasn't it? You're wearing your favorite dress--the one that fits your large bust perfectly--when a piece of oily food lands on your bosom. In an instant of horror you realize that you'll never be able to wear that garment again.

 

Don't throw your dress away yet--there's hope from an industrial spot remover called Spot Lifter II that I discovered in the garment district last December. Occasionally a Campbell & Kate shirt arrives from the sewing contractor with a sewing machine oil stain. Each time I've sent it back to the contractor with a doubting heart, it's been returned to me miraculously spot free. When I saw Spot Lifter II, I wondered if I could perform my own miracles.

Another Top for Big Busts--the Workout Tank

If you thought that only the small-busted women in your Zumba class could wear those cute workout tops with built-in sports bras, then think again. For over a year now, full-bust powerhouse brands Freya and Panache have made their popular sports bras available as part of a tank top.

Two Sure Things for the Big Bust Wardrobe

You can pair your classic white shirt with a little black dress for instant chic. See how these women did it at a recent trade show.

You already know where to find the best button down for big busts, but where can you find the perfect little black dress? From a small Polish company called Urkye.

So far, I have seen the Urkye Mala dress look amazing on every full-busted woman who wears it. Here's why:

Feel Good Fabric for Big Busts

How could there be snow in the South at the end of October? That's what I wondered as I drove through southeastern Virginia last week and saw patches of white in the fields on either side of the highway. When I realized what it was, I had to stop for a closeup of the basic building block of Campbell & Kate shirts. I also couldn't resist picking the stem of cotton you see in this picture!

The bolls below contain the fluffy fiber until it is ready for harvest.

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