Review: Viva by Pour Moi

I’ve been wanting to do a few more “helpful” reviews – for example of brands I don’t already talk on and on about, and ones that I’ve actually wanted to try myself but couldn’t find many other reviews about. So it was pretty good timing when Brastop reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying something from their new season stock. I asked about a few things I hadn’t tried and Grace from Brastop very generously sent me the Viva set from Pour Moi in grey.

I’d had my eye on this colour for a while because grey is just so classy for lingerie (and I love grey, it’s very key). However I’d never had the chance to try any Pour Moi lingerie. I was familiar with their swimwear from working in Bravissimo – and I’m actually really obsessed with the Crazy Daisy bikini, which will be mine one day. So I was pretty excited about the chance to try this and review it for you all!

I received the bra in a 30H and the deep briefs in a 12. I originally asked for a 10 but Grace said the pants come up very small, and she was right. The 12 fits comfortably but they do look small for that size. I definitely don’t think I would’ve felt good in a 10, so if you are ordering pants, keep that in mind! I know “deep brief” and “high waisted” are not the same, but I wish they just would be. I love that these briefs come to my actual waist and not hit me awkwardly in the middle of my hips, but if they could just come up the tiniest bit higher. Just to completely cover my belly button. But I like them! They are still very comfortable and although they’re very plain, the colour and the mesh panelling makes them a little bit more special than a bland, everyday set.


The fit of the bra is pretty much perfect! I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve put on a bit of weight recently and have been back and forth between a H and HH, so I was kinda nervous this would be too small. I think I’ve evened out back to my “normal” weight again though as my boobs aren’t as sore and heavy and I can wear most of my 30H bras again without yucky double boob. Thank goodness!


The Viva is described as a full cup, which I would have to disagree with because to me, a full cup comes up higher and shows very minimal or no cleavage. The wires also don’t come up as high in the middle as other, true full cup bras I own do. This is fine for me though, as full cup wires are generally too high for me and hit me in the wrong place, which can be pretty uncomfortable. The straps are set slightly wider like you would expect of a balconnet style. I love the ruching detail on the straps too, it’s another little touch that makes this bra slightly more dressy.

I know I always do it, but I just can’t help it – I compare the shape of everything to my Cleo bras. It’s just my preferred shape, and obviously has become my standard that I hold all other bras to! The wires are slightly wider on the Viva, so of course I’m not going to get the same projection, but I’m still pretty happy with the shape. It’s ever so slightly more east to west than I would prefer, but the cups also give a lovely round, natural shape. The sheer upper layer also gives it a little bit of racy-ness you wouldn’t get from many other of your everyday sets. I did find that I had to tighten the straps quite high to get the lift I wanted – but this is again something I find from most other brands bar Cleo. I think my shallowness on top and my short shoulders mean I find most straps too long anyway. It’s not uncomfortable to wear them as tight as I have them currently, however. And I definitely think this style would be great for other full on bottom breasts. The band felt true to size and was firm enough for my liking.

Overall, I am really happy I asked for this style. I love the colour so much, and this has already become a go-to bra. It’s really comfy to wear and I do like the shape under clothes. The Viva full cup comes in a range of other colours, and the collection also offers a longline up to a G cup, as well as a padded plunge up to an F cup, and a suspender belt in selected colours. I can see this becoming a firm favourite, and I’m definitely interested in adding some of the other colours and suspender belts to my collection!

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Learning to love me more (again)

Disclaimer: I’m not gonna write this like an academic article with great paragraphing and points that flow smoothly from one to the other. This is a way to process my brain stuff from the last couple of months to figure my shit out, but I think it’ll still be a good read and hopefully help other people deal with some shit too. So, if you don’t like stream of consciousness stuff and random paragraphs, *shrugs*.

 

A few weeks ago I had a photoshoot in a forest beside the river with my friend, photographer and fricking inspirational goddess, Dalyce Wilson (here and here). I only met Dalyce in March of this year. I think I desperately needed someone who understood that I wasn’t getting over my broken heart, and we bonded over the sadness while laughing through the ridiculousness of it all. Do you ever meet someone and like, ten minutes into your first conversation with them you’re just thinking, this is going to be an Important Person? Dalyce is one of those people. I just instantly felt so comfortable with her, like I could say anything and it wouldn’t be judged, but that I’d find some sort of answer or solace or understanding through talking to her. She left last week for Thailand on a one way ticket, and I never said goodbye to her even though I meant to. It was my typical anxiety-ridden, talk about doing stuff then drop off the face of the earth thing that I do quite a lot. I’m pretty sure she’ll understand, and also that she was probably too busy getting ready to worry about it too much. I’m also pretty sure that I’ll see her again some day and we can just pick up where we left off.

Anyway. We’d talked about doing a photoshoot for ages, because we were both craving some sort of creative collaboration. I had all these ideas and visions, but when it came to the day all creativity seemed to have left me with my confidence and self-assurance (which have been in hiding for a little while), but I felt like I was in good hands with Dalyce. Also, it’s really fucking weird getting your photo taken in your underwear by an actual person when you’re used to just propping your iPhone up and taking selfies in your room. Not weird in a scary way. Dalyce wouldn’t make you feel like that. But it’s easier to do dumb poses by yourself than to try and do them in front of someone else and act like that’s totally normal. Dalyce was good at directing me though, and once I warmed up it felt pretty good. I didn’t even try to hide when families and cyclists were passing by.

I felt so energised and inspired after the shoot, which is kind of a normal feeling after being with Dalyce cuz she just exudes that woman magic – I hate myself for saying that but it’s the best way I can describe it. I was more motivated and felt slightly more equipped to keep pushing through the shit that is being unemployed and trying to become self-employed and being 26 and living with my mother and feeling like a lost 16 year old and losing all confidence in myself and trying to ignore the dark, negative thoughts I thought I’d pushed away forever years ago and trying to remember how to deal with hating my body when I only just learnt how to love it and feeling sort of worthless and pointless and pathetic but not wanting to give up. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit stuff like that when you’ve created this online presence and preach about body positivity and believe so strongly in the message that all bodies are good and beautiful and normal, but then one day look at your own and suddenly it’s changed and this time you don’t know how to accept it and be positive and love it. I’ve been looking at my body lately and the immediate thoughts I have are so negative and destructive and just SAD. I haven’t felt this way in such a long time. I got used to being pretty happy, and confident, and self-assured and really believing in myself. I got used to looking at myself and loving what I saw, and not giving a shit what people thought or said about me. I guess I kind of forgot that I’m still just a human. Things change. And especially when you’ve already dealt with the good old depression, and “got over it”, you feel like you’re cured somehow and that you couldn’t ever possibly feel bad again. It super sucks, but that is just not how life works. Mental health is a journey in itself. It isn’t something that stays one way forever. And sometimes a bunch of stuff happens all at once, so it makes everything seem so much worse and harder to deal with. But hey, I’m still here and I’m pretty sure I’m doing the best I can, which is all we can ever ask for.

So, a couple of days after the shoot, I got the photos from Dalyce. I was so excited to see them and the first couple I looked through I loved. Then I started seeing things I didn’t like. Things I wanted to change. I should’ve stood differently. Angled myself that way, sucked that in, hidden this, worn something else. I noticed how much weight I’d gained and all I could think was that it was bad, shameful, disgusting. But then I saw this photo:

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I know it doesn’t show an awful lot of me or my body, but, it also kind of does show a lot of me. I saw a bunch of little things all at once that would have made me sad the day before. Seeing it did make me cry, but it was happy cry. It was relief, and love, and release. I saw stretch marks, hairy arms, scars, fat that wasn’t there a couple of months ago and fat that has always been there. I saw some breast tissue falling out of my bra which as a bra fitter makes me cringe but as a human, I can accept it and see past it. I also really fucking love my tornado tattoo and what it means to me. And this is just such a beautiful photo. I looked through the rest of the photos and still picked out the things I didn’t like. About myself. The photos are so gorgeous, because Dalyce is super talented and sees beauty in so much. But no, the photos are also gorgeous because I’m in them. I had to keep reminding myself that when I was standing in the middle of those trees where anyone could pass by, I wasn’t thinking about my fat or stretch marks or boobs or anything else. I was barely even conscious of my body or how I looked. I was just having a really good time with my friend. It was peaceful and relaxing and so badly needed. I want to share a load of the photos from that shoot, because I really do love most of them. But even though there are ones I don’t like as much, and in most of them can pick out things that bother me, I’m going to write something I love about myself in each one. I’d highly recommend everyone do something like this for themselves with their own photos.

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I like how in the first photo, I’m making the exact same face my great-grandmother is making in a photo I only recently saw of her. I like how dark my hair is, and how my skin looks in this light.

I have terrible posture from years of trying to hide my body, but that’s part of who I am now. I’ve put on weight and my belly is bigger, but that’s one of the most human things to happen and if I was looking at a photo of anybody else with this body, I wouldn’t see anything bad. I like my hands, and the side profile of my nose which I have never liked before.

My lips have a natural pout, which friends have made fun of but it looks pretty good. They are such a nice shape. I have a great smile, and even when I’m taking the piss it still makes for a pretty good photo.

I have a great pair of legs. They work, and they keep going even though I’ve had trouble with my knees for over ten years. They respond to different types of exercise, and heal and get stronger.

My freckles are really pretty and my eyes are amazing.

My face is good and kind and interesting.

I love my cheekbones and my dark eyes. My eyelashes always seem to stand out and my hair is shiny even if I haven’t just washed it.

My back rolls are cute, and so are my front rolls. My face is super cute too, and I know it makes people happy when they see it.

I’m just a person. It’s impossible to love myself all the time, but when I’m not feeling it the best I can do is to not say negative things about myself and try to remember what is good about me. Body positivity, just like life, is a journey. There are setbacks, and obstacles, and bumps in the road. But it’s how we deal with these things and what we learn from them and the kind of person we become through this that is important. And if we really can’t see how beautiful we are, sometimes it’s good to remember that we aren’t our faces and our bodies. We are people with unique and interesting qualities.
I’m kind, caring, passionate, intelligent, ambitious, introverted, funny, anxious, loyal, hardworking, warm, friendly, curious… I’m so much more than my body. But when I remember how to love it and be kind to it, it makes life a whole lot easier.

 

 

(Bra is Clara by Panache, briefs are by Marks and Spencer, suspender belt is by What Katie Did and stockings are by Charnos)

Bra Fitting Part Two: The Truth is Out There (now…thanks to me)

I wanted to do a quick follow up to my first bra fitting post, as there are a few things I should have mentioned. And splitting it in to two blog posts makes me feel like I’m being super productive! Do you like the title? I wanted the whimsy you’d expect of a 90s sci-fi/fantasy TV show nerd, with a side of loveable bigheadedness. I recently saw an Instagram bio which stated “humble with a hint of Yoncé”, and I think that’s how I’m going to live my life from now on.

MOVING ON. One of the main important points I missed in my previous posts is that boobs are uneven. ALL BOOBS ARE UNEVEN. They are asymmetrical, just like most things about our bodies. It is TOTALLY normal. As a bra fitter, it is one of the many things you repeat twenty million times on the daily. Some women seem to think it’s a huge deal, and that their lives are ruined and they’ll never find a bra that works for them (I’m not making fun of these women, society (and poorly trained ‘fitters’) has induced this state of panic in them). All ya gots ta do is figure out which boob is bigger and fit to that side. Yeah, if it’s quite a sizeable difference, you may notice it, but it’s just another one of those bra compromises you have to make. Of course, if you’d rather have a lil double boob on one side so the smaller boob isn’t swimming in a cup slightly too big, you do your thang, boo. Some bras will disguise the difference quite well, and some will emphasise it. I’ve found that heavily moulded/padded bras make it more noticeable as the stiffness of the cups won’t mould to your shape. The stretch lace styles from Panache however, seem to work well as the stretchiness moves with you instead of catching like a normal non-stretchy bra cup.

While we’re on the subject of uneven boobs, I want to share a horrible story about a young woman I fitted WAY BACK in the early days of my fitting career. I’d got over the nerves of my first couple of weeks fitting when I wanted to be really technically perfect every single time, and was still getting my head around the fact that not every fit will be perfect or life-changing. I was realising my passion and wanted to give 100000% to every single woman I fitted (WHICH IS HOW IT SHOULD BE). But I was still sort of in this mindset that as a fitter, I should also be a “fixer”, and felt like it was up to me personally to be a body coach, life coach, motivator, therapist, best friend etc to all my customers, and it was exhausting, but also meant I usually spent way longer than I needed to which meant other customers had to wait. I wish I could just be a freelance lingerie consultant (this is honestly something I’m thinking about seriously and in the very SMALL BABY SEEDLING stages of STARTING to THINK about PLANNING) so I could give each customer as long as they want of my time (within reason). BUT ANYWAY OKAY. This gal came in and she was in tears because she’d just been “fitted” in Ann Summer’s. Normally, I would not name and shame places cuz nothing bad has really happened to me personally (except all those times I was fitted incorrectly in my formative, tender, teenage years and had to suffer the judge-y eyes doing a quick up-down over my body, BUT WHATEVS) (SO MANY TANGENTS), but this just really took me to the fair (hey, Fiona xo). This young woman, who was also the exact same age as me so I think that’s partly why I got so involved, was devastated because the assistant at  Ann Summer’s told her they “couldn’t fit her” because of her uneven boobs and that the only way to “fix it” would be to GET PLASTIC SURGERY. It’s been over two years since this happened and it still makes me shake with anger to this day. I took her into the fitting room and she immediately whipped off her top AND bra and pointed at her chest crying and saying “look at them, they’re awful”. And I was like, sweet baby girl there is nothing wrong with you. To be honest, I was expecting her to have a noticeable difference, because some women do have a difference of a couple of cup sizes so it can make fitting a little but more difficult, but this girl was practically perfectly symmetrical. I couldn’t understand how the person who fitted her at Ann Summer’s could have said something so disgustingly, dangerously unprofessional. Even if she did have a big difference between her boobs, HOW VERY DARE YOU??? It is so not the place of someone like that to comment, it’s not anybody’s business to point something like that out and then to suggest something as drastic as plastic surgery. Especially when somebody has gone to you because they trust that you’re going to be able to give them the right advice. They’ve chosen to take their top off and be very vulnerable in front of you, a stranger, and all you can say is “can’t help, soz, get plastic surgery”?? I never have and never will shop at Ann Summer’s because of this (and other reasons like they don’t do my size and it’s just not my jam), and also because when I got home from work still in a rage, I phoned their customer services to complain and the person I spoke to said “oh no, I’ll put it on file” but basically said they couldn’t do anything because I wasn’t the customer, but that she’d certainly make a note of it. NAH, RETRAIN YOUR STAFF TO FIT PROPERLY AND HAVE A LITTLE EMPATHY. Long story short, I fitted the woman perfectly with the first bra I put on her (I still remember exactly what it was, size, colour, everything), but she had such bad body image and probably dysmorphia that she just couldn’t see that there was nothing wrong with her and had decided that she was already going to get plastic surgery. Which is fine, I don’t judge anyone who wants to do that. But there are so many factors which contributed to this beautiful young woman reaching this point, mainly society and it’s massively fucked up beauty standards. I still think about her a lot and hope she’s okay and that she’s found some sort of peace with herself. Man, just DON’T TALK ABOUT PEOPLE’S BODIES.

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Niamh says NO to bodyshaming (wearing Andorra from Panahce, an example of one of the stretch lace styles mentioned below!) So smooth, so balanced.
SECONDLY. And sort of related and I can’t believe I skipped this one out too -BOOB SHAPE. Finding the correct size is sometimes the easiest part for the fitter. Just because you figure out the correct size though doesn’t always mean you’ve immediately found the perfect bra. The shape of your boobs plays a big part in what style of bras will work for you. For example, I’m shallow on top due to my “drastic” weight loss (I say drastic because it was quite a lot, I guess, and it happened relatively quickly). This means that I no longer have a fullness on top which is generally expected of boobs (again, those dratted beauty standards). This is why I love Cleo bras so much. The shape of their wires does something magical to me and lifts everything in just the right way so it looks like I have full, round boobers again. I therefore tend to find it hard to stray from these styles, as I never like the shape just as much. I do own some Freya and Bravissimo styles, because they’re pretty and I’m a fool with money, but I never wear them as often as I don’t love the shape. The wires are wider so they give a more east-west look which just doesn’t do it for me, and because the lift isn’t as good, I just sort of “sit” in the cups and don’t have the same round shape on top. It’s just personal preference, yo. There’s no reason for me not to wear other styles if they’re comfortable. I just prefer certain shapes over others. Figuring out your boob shape can be more awkward, but I’ve found through trying on loads of different brands and styles, it becomes more obvious after really analysing the shape they give me and how my breast tissue sits in the cups and is lifted and such.

 

Thirdly, I think it’s important to briefly point out that the way you put on your bra can help significantly with making sure all dat boob is in the right place, but also with prolonging the life of your bras. I am fully aware that for some people, there is no way to change the way you put on your bras. Issues such as arthritis, frozen shoulders, and mobility problems associated with different disabilities mean that it makes it more difficult to put your bra on a certain way. But, if you are able, do try and put it on front ways. Put your arms through the straps and lift them up to your shoulders, lean forwards as far as you can holding the bottom of the cups so your boobs fall into them, stand up and hook up the clasps, then make any other adjustments you need to. Yeah, it looks weird and it may be awkward if you’re not used to reaching back to do up the clasps, but this is the best way to protect the elastic and wires in your bras. Clasping a bra at the front and swivelling it around can actually twist and distort the wires. I may make a really awkward video of me doing it if you really, really need to see it. How else am I going to get famous?

 

Finally, and very quickly, please please please pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease handwash your bras and airdry them away from direct heat aka NO RADIATORS OR TUMBLE DRYERS. Hot hot heat is a bra’s worst enemy, as it can wear out the elastic and distort the wires. Do you ever have a brand new bra which gets destroyed after the first wash and dry? Yeah, it’s cuz you shoved it in the washing machine EVEN THOUGH THE LABEL EXPLICITLY SAYS HAND WASH ONLY. Those labels aren’t there just for the craic. It’s very easy to handwash bras too. Just use whichever detergent you would normally use, swish it around in some water, give a lil extra love and scrubbing to the bits that might get more gross aka armpit area, and either hang it up on the washing line or dry it flat on a towel. Mmmmmmkay?

 

You know you love me,

XOXO Bra Girl

 

 

Bra Fitting: The Truth Exposed

I want to talk about bra fitting and what your body will look like when you actually wear the correct size. When I first started this blog, I toyed with the idea of having a bra fit guide included, but there are already so many good resources from plenty of bloggers and I didn’t want the sole focus of my blog to be THIS IS HOW A BRA SHOULD FIT AND YOU HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE.

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I recently left my job as a bra fitter of over 2 years, and even in that job sometimes the focus would move from the perfect fit and onto what each customer really wanted. I’ll admit, as a trained and experienced lingerie fitting consultant, it can be really difficult to stop focussing on the most absolute, perfect fit. Obviously, it is extremely important, especially for fuller busted women as the correct fit can literally change your life. However, sometimes certain aspects have to be overlooked. Sometimes you need to compromise things like the wires in the centre not lying completely flush, or women who don’t want to wear a smaller band but insist on wearing the bigger band size on the tightest hook (why tho?? It’s going to stretch out so quickly and if you’d just gone for the correct band size it would last so much better AND give you more support! But I digress).

SO. If you want to get the correct bra size, but don’t think anyone is measuring you properly or you feel uncomfortable/unsupported/in pain, I’m going to tell you how to find it. The best way to get fitted is by fitters who do it by sight, not with a measuring tape. One of the reasons so many women are in the incorrect size is due to the fact that they are measured with tape, and places which use this process tend to follow the old +4 method. What this means is that they are literally adding inches onto your underbust measurement that are NOT THERE. For example, I wear a 30 band. My underbust measurement is 31 inches, so technically I could wear a 32, but any that I try always feel much too loose and I feel the need to go to the tightest hook straight away. I recently went to get measured in a well-known department store trusted by most (British) women for the last couple of decades. I was interested to see how it would end up, knowing what I know now. They still use the measuring tape/+ 4 method. The lady ended up measuring me as a 36 (31+4, rounded up is 36. I DESPAIR). She also said she would keep the cup size the same… From a 30H to a 36H??? How did she not realise how massive the cups would be? For some reason though she ended up bringing me a 36F, which was ridiculous, looked and felt awful, but was probably not far off what I would have been wearing before I was fitted correctly, and it was not uncommon for me to fit women measured as this size but who ended up being more like a 32G!

ANYWAY. If you can’t make it to a reputable lingerie store for a fitting, measuring your underbust as a starting point is okay. Make sure you keep the tape in a straight line all the way around your body and have it RIGHT UNDERNEATH YOUR BUST. Not around your waist, and not with the tape riding up towards your shoulder blades. This is not where your bra should be so it’s not where the tape should be.  Whatever you measure around here pretty much dictates what band size you should be wearing. Measuring as 34 inches? Wear a 34 band. Are you in between? Try both sizes, and go with whichever one feels more comfortable and supportive. The band should sit in a straight line across your back, not riding up or having to be pulled down low to fit. You should be able to wear it comfortably on the loosest set of hooks at first, then move into the tighter ones as it stretches out over time. You should also be able to fit two fingers under the band comfortably, with about an inch to two inches stretch, BUT NO MORE. Sometimes when women find their correct band size, it can be too much of a jump to handle straight away. For example, if you need to go down two band sizes but it feels too strange at first, try wearing just the next one down for a while, and gradually work your way down to the correct size to give your body time to get used to the firmer feeling.

And while we’re on the subject of the correct band size and how firmer is better…if you have fat on your body, especially on your back or under your bra line, a well fitting bra WILL highlight this. Being able to see rolls of fat doesn’t mean the bra doesn’t fit. It just means there is fat on your body, WHICH IS TOTALLY FINE. Also, the heavier your bust, the more pressure it will put on the surrounding area. But the correct size is doing SO MUCH WORK and literally taking the weight off your shoulders and back, and ends up correcting a lot of pain issues for a lot of women (myself included). A lot of women struggle with this when trying on bras in the correct size, because suddenly the insecurities and “flaws” they’ve been trying to ignore for so long are suddenly much more obvious. It’s not that you suddenly have more “imperfections”, it’s just that a correctly fitting bra makes your body look different to what you’ve been used to seeing in the wrong size! And that’s okay! And I’m going to share a lot of photos showing you how a bra should fit and you’ll see my rolls n bumps in all their glory! Also, would you rather the band is nice and firm, lifting your boobs up and giving you great cleavage, or have them hanging around your waist because the band is too loose? As a fellow bra fitter once said, “it’s either back fat or saggy tits, mate!” I know what I’d prefer.

For the sake of comparison, I will also share the photos I took from when I was “measured” as a 36 so you can see what a difference the correct size really does make!

Now that you have the band size, you need to figure out the cup size. This seems to be where people struggle a lot more. Most people aren’t taught how the band size relates to the cup, and how moving up or down in one part affects what size you need to take in the other. Boobs are a volume measurement, which is why it can be so difficult to get the right size and why using a tape just isn’t the best way to do it. As my old boss said, “it’s like trying to measure a pint of milk with a ruler.” IT AIN’T GONNA WORK! The band size and cup size are relative to each other. Without going into too much confusing detail, you just need to know that as you change one, you also need to change the other to balance them out. So if you go down in the band but don’t need to change the cup size, you still need to take a bigger cup size to balance it out. There is a term we lingerie gals sometimes use which is “sister sizes”. This refers to how you can SORT OF get away with a bra that isn’t your true size, because it is roughly equivalent to what you should wear. Par exemple, if your correct size is a 32DD, but you can’t get it, you could get away with either a 34D (up in the band = down in the cup) OR a 30E (down in the band = up in the cup). TRY not to think about it too much, just remember that you do need to adjust these things if you’re playing around with different sizes. This is also what freaks a lot of women out when the find their true size. Because most stores only stock the “matrix” or core sizes (eg in and around 32A-38DD) most women who are heavier busted tend to be put into the biggest band size/cup size combo available.

This is also why there is a misconception that a DD cup is THE BIGGEST THING IN THE WORLD. Sorry, but it just isn’t. In fact, women who are actually around a D cup would actually be considered to have very small boobs. And honestly, in my 2+ years of fitting, I can genuinely count on one hand the women I fitted who were smaller than a D cup. And yet DD+ women are the ones made to feel abnormal. BUT WHATEVER. The times they are a-changin and all that. Onto how the cup should fit. The wires in the middle should ideally lie flush against your chest, separating your boobers and not squishing them together. If you find the wires sit forward, it means the cup is too small. Try bigger cup sizes until the wires are sitting all flat and cosy. The wires at the side should also be sitting away from the breast tissue, not on top of it or cutting into it, with nothing spilling out under your armpits. Everybody’s boobs are different shapes, so you need to make sure you check the fit by lifting your arms and checking the sides. Some people have overflow at the front, some have it at the sides. And again, if you are spilling out of the cup at all, it’s time to size dat cup up! It tends to be more obvious to most people when the cup is too big. If your boobs aren’t completely filling the cups, go down a size.

Oh, and just to make it all the more complicated, like clothes, not all bras fit the same. You do need to try them all on, even when you think you’re 100000000% positive. Different brands are cut slightly differently, different cup shapes will fit differently, and even the colour of the fabric can affect the fit. Just, try everything on. Always.

I hope this very eloquently written guide is of use to some of you. If you ever have any questions, please don’t feel like you can’t contact me! My email address is on the contact page, but I also reply to messages through my Facebook page and DMs on my Instagram (just search H Cup Chronicles on both!)

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When you wear the right bra size, you can jump up and down to your heart’s content without having to worry about boob mishaps!

 

Moda UK

On Monday I had the pleasure of attending the second day of Moda UK, a bi-annual fashion trade show held in the NEC in Birmingham. Before one of the lovely women I work with told me about it, this was something I only imagined I could go to years down the line if I suddenly became some influential lingerie big-wig. How wrong I was! The exhibition is open to anyone. Obviously, the majority of the people who attend are buyers, but bloggers are also known to visit.

When I arrived and saw my little name badge I had a chuckle to myself. Apparently I fall under the “Press” category as a blogger. Feeling like a bit of a fraud, I entered the lingerie hall. I don’t know why I didn’t expect it to be as huge as it was, but I was slightly overwhelmed at first. I hung around awkwardly at the entrance for a few minutes, pretending to text and trying to find my bearings. I went to the booth closest to the entrance, which was Affinitas and Parfait. I think I awkwardly asked if I was allowed to look around, and admitted that this was my first trade show. Rebecca, the sales manager for Europe (THE WHOLE THING!) was really friendly and welcoming, and talked me through the new Parfait pieces. She also gave me a little Cupcake box which when I got home discovered was holding a pair of pants! Such a nice touch from the company. The gorgeous model (I’m totally blanking on her name, disgracefully), was also a delight and eager to chat. Here she is wearing the Charlotte full cup by Parfait:

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I moved on through the hall, and spotted the Curvy Kate/Scantilly booth. I was really looking forward to talking to the ladies from Curvy Kate, as the brand comes across as really exciting and friendly. Also, I happened to be wearing my Peek-A-Boo set from Scantilly and the girls were very happy to show me the amazing new green colourway on their model. I am so excited for the A/W lines to launch so I can add this one to my collection.

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Here are a couple more Curvy Kate sets which caught my eye:

 

Another brand I was eager to see was Tallulah Love. I’d recently started following them on Instagram and had fallen in love with the Tara set in Pistachio Green (I have a thing for green!). Although Tallulah Love are a small bust brand, I still like to know what’s out there, and hopefully I can convince someone else to buy this set so I can live vicariously through them. Their sets are just so luxuriously beautiful.

They also do these adorable little gift sets. I would be very tempted to buy one of these for myself as the pants are just as wonderful on their own.
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I made a quick stop at Charnos, selfishly because I know they carry my size! This is not a brand I’ve ever tried, but some of their sets have caught my eye in the past and I’d be eager to see how they fit me.


After building up to it for over an hour, I eventually made it to the Panache booth. If you know me or read this blog at all, you’ll know that this was practically a milestone event in my life! I awkwardly hovered around, waiting for someone to make the first move. Eventually, a very important looking man, (he better not have been the managing director, because I definitely came across as some sort of manic lingerie fangirl) asked if I was okay. I explained my love for Cleo and he quickly had me sit down with Tia and Eleanor, two awesome women from the marketing team. They showed me some of the A/W styles, while I hyperventilated and drooled all over everything. Apart from the entire collection, obviously, here are the two I’m most excited about (tough to choose, though!)

 

In the afternoon, I managed to watch the lingerie catwalk. It was my first time ever watching a catwalk, but I’m pretty sure I looked like a total pro with my serious pout.

As I was about to leave, my eye was drawn to a rail of some seriously stunning lingerie. I went over to have a look, and was immediately greeted by the extremely warm and bright Karen, managing director of brand new lingerie brand Rochella. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous her fabrics were, and was also excited to hear her lingerie goes up to a J cup. At the moment, she only stocks from a 32 band but she explained she will mostly like add 28 and 30 backs as the demand has already been quite high. Her lingerie is made with a delicious Italian Satin, and I was particularly taken with the Vintage Floral set from the A/W 2016 range. The duck egg blue and pink floral print perfectly matches all my bed sheets, and I had visions of myself in this set lounging gracefully on my pillows with a glass of Prosecco (my normal Friday night). I have one terrible photo of the Vintage Floral set. I was quite overexcited so my hands were pretty shaky. But please, please check out the website and you’ll see why I have fallen so hard for this new company. Karen also donates some of the profits from her sales to The Eve Appeal, a gynaecological cancer charity, which just adds to her delightful charm.

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I’m so glad I made the decision to attend this exciting trade show. I’ve been feeling so inspired and positive since I got back, and can’t wait to see how my journey with lingerie continues in the future.