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.

Big Bust, Small Shoulders: Are You Finished Playing Dress Up?

This woman is running for an elected position in a nearby town, but if I only had the photo to go by, I wouldn't vote for her. Why? Her baggy shirt says, "This job is too big for me."

Buttons Are a Curve's Best Friend

If you can identify with this woman, then it may surprise you to hear that buttons are actually a GOOD thing for large busts.

Big Bust Clothing Creation: Quality Details

You know the saying "other fish in the sea"? It's totally true. After Campbell & Kate's amicable breakup with our first sewing contractor, I wondered if we could find anyone else as amazing--and we have. Of course there will be some issues to work through during this transition, but the fit and quality of our shirts will only improve as a result.

One reason for the improvements is Steve. As a parting goodwill gesture, our original contractor gave me Steve's number and said, "Steve might be able to help you."

Steve has certainly been able to help me, but not in the way I expected. Instead of sewing our shirts for us (we're negotiating with two other contractors), his help has been along the lines of  "teach a man to fish" (final fish metaphor!). In other words, he's teaching me to sew a Campbell & Kate Signature Shirt myself.

When I began Campbell & Kate, I knew that creating a perfect fit for big breasts would be difficult, and I was right. Finding an H-cup fit model, creating our sizing system and smoothing out the bust darts were just a few of the challenges. As for actually sewing the shirts, I planned to hand that off to the professionals.

Steve is handing it back to me by walking me through everything that goes into the construction of our shirts. Much of it you would never think about--unless it's done badly. Take buttonholes, for instance. Made with one machine, you won't give them a second thought as you get dressed in the morning (except to think, "I love how my Campbell & Kate shirt never strains at the buttonholes because of its spectacular fit!"). Made with another machine, the buttonholes are in danger of unraveling. And if that happens, you'll think, "I can't believe I paid so much for this piece of junk."

Steve, who for many years supervised production at Brooks Brothers and other high quality men's shirting companies, is making sure you never think that about your Campbell & Kate shirt.

It even comes down to the point on your collar.

In the photos below, Steve is using a point turner to turn the collar right-side out with the sharpest points possible.

You can see the beautiful result below.

Big Bust Power Dressing: Are You Wearing Your Black Underwear?

Who can resist a good mom story ahead of Mother's Day? After my own mother visited last week, she left behind her finished copy of Ladies Home Journal where I found a collection of stories called "The Best Conversation I've Had With My Mom."

Here's my favorite, from reader Suzanne Casamento:

"When I was 22 I had my first important work meeting and I confessed to my mother how nervous I was. She told me the story of her reentry into the workforce in the 1980s. She'd been a stay-at-home mom for years, so she was anxious when she had a big job interview. On the morning of the meeting she put on her sexiest black lace bra and panties, which made her feel powerful. During the interview she thought of the black underwear and told herself that even though she might be scared on the outside, she felt totally confident underneath. She got that job and now, whenever I have something important to do, she calls and asks, "Are you wearing your black underwear?" I always am."

What accessory or piece of clothing gives you confidence every time you wear it? If you can't think of anything, it may be time to try a white shirt from Campbell & Kate!

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