I love Cleo for their bright colors, fun prints, and youthful designs. I haven’t had the greatest fit with the line in the past, due to the fact that I just don’t think my breast shape works well with many Cleo bras, but when I saw this super sweet Cleo Minnie Longline Bra, I knew it was worth a try! I’m glad to report, this baby works pretty well with my boobs. More on that later. You could probably even wear this bra as outerwear, paired, with jeans and wedges and a knit blazer or cropped jacket. Cuteness! While I had wanted this bra, what really sold me, was seeing Gia Genevieve wearing this set on her Instagram.
I found the fit to be pretty good, I tend to find their cups a bit narrow, so I tend to size up in the cup. I have soft tissue breasts, so sometimes taller/deeper cups can give me a more pointed look, but Minnie made me feel rounded, supported, and I really liked the fit and feel. The band is quite firm and supportive, and the design is just adorable. Not to mention, the longline band didn’t roll up on me, as can happen with some longline bras. I have the regular Minnie bra in red, but I have to say, I really like this blue longline style a lot better and feel that it gives me boobs a more lifted look.
The color is what really makes this set a winner for me. I love that bright turquoise blue color, paired with the tiny white polka dots. it gives it a cute modern look, and the circle embroidery at the tops of the cups add a really cute addition that brings the design together. The cups are lightly padded for extra support, and there is a small white bow at the center gore. The band is turquoise blue and made of powermesh. The straps are adjustable, comfortable, and have the same blue and white polka dot design. There was a matching thong or short available, but I went with the shortie brief. I normally would go with a regular brief rather than a hipster style, as I have a small butt and feel like shorties tend to make my butt look even smaller, but this shortie brief is really comfortable, and I find that their panties run a little larger, so I definitely went with a XS and it offers a good fit, and the slightly cheeky back and the material is soft, and the sheer embroidery panels on the hips are really cute.
If you’re a fan of Cleo, I think you’ll probably like this set. If you haven’t tried Cleo yet, I think Minnie is a great first set, and I’m so glad that they’ve kept this design and added this new colorway for SS15! You can find the Cleo Minnie Longline Bra and matching brief at Figleaves, Herroom, or Bare Necessities.
Looking for a handmade swimsuit this Summer? Many indie designers and handmade brands offer not only lingerie or clothing, but also swimwear. The suits below are made to order, and in most cases are available to be ordered in your measurements!
Are you a fan of handmade swimwear? What are some of your favorites?
Looking for cute swimwear thats anything but boring, but fits a fuller bust? Check out some of these great swimsuits, tankinis, bikinis below! If you don’t like one of these suits, be sure to check out the brand that makes each suit, most of those brands carry other styles in full bust sizing too. Ah, Summer lovin…
We talk about body acceptance a lot in the lingerie community, which is so important to me. We also talk about equality of gender, race, age, sexuality, and disability. These are all things that I believe in strongly, and try to showcase as often on the blog as I can (though I’m hoping to do better in the future and showcase even more). One thing I haven’t brought up on the blog, though, is mental health. It’s taken me a long time to write this post, so I type this with an open heart, mind, and hope that you will read it as such. Mental health isn’t something we talk about as often as we should. There is a stigma, or a taboo, that’s it’s something to sweep beneath the rug or shroud in shame. Yet, so much of the population at one time in their life, will suffer with, or know and love someone who suffers with, a mental illness. So this is my official mental health “coming out”, and I’ll explain to you why I decided to do so, on a lingerie blog of all places.
I was on Twitter, and saw this being retweeted, and it really made me nearly cry:
I almost cried because, I suffer from anxiety disorder and often feel weak and ashamed. And this small little blurb that some kind hearted person wrote just really made me feel compassion for myself for once in my life, instead of anger towards myself. Whoever wrote this…thank you. You inspired me to write this blog post.
OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’ve suffered from this internal mental war since I was 3 years old. Back then, in the 80’s, things like mental health were even more so less talked about, and not many people knew what OCD was. So I grew up thinking I was very wrong, or crazy. My life consisted of a lot of playing by myself and being a loner, because it felt safe and I didn’t worry so much. First off; let’s have a quick OCD lesson, shall we? You can’t “be so OCD” about something. You can’t be “OCD when it comes to organization”. The term itself makes no sense. Obessive Compulsive Disorder is something you have or you don’t, it’s not something you are. These types of sayings undermine the mental health issues that people who truly suffer with OCD have. Not to mention, it perpetuates rumors and stereotypes about the disorder. Can people who suffer from OCD be very neat and like organization? Sure! But that is only a very small part of it. Somehow it’s become cute and quirky (OCD is Not a Quirk article by The Atlantic) to say you “are OCD”, which diminishes sufferers as a people. OCD consists of two things: obsessions and compulsions.
An obsession is something, that I like to explain as a thought or fear that gets stuck in your head, like a broken record. For example, “I’m afraid my family will die”, or “What if I have a stroke?”. It’s a thought that you know is irrational, but your mind obsesses over it. OCD feeds on what scares you and what is important to you. Generally, for most people, their health and family, are two things they wouldn’t want messed with, and so those some of the things that OCD can use against you. It’s a bastard of a thing. It’s the boogie man. So that thought begins to make you anxious, it makes you uncomfortable, it could make you cry, or make you hyperventilate, or make you very depressed and scared. It can even give you a panic attack (i.e. one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced in 32 years of life). So to combat that fear, we do a compulsion, something that will temporarily relieve that fear, even if only for a moment. A compulsion could consist of washing your hands several times in a row, tapping a steering wheel, walking up the stairs a certain way, checking the lock on the door over and over again. It’s exhausting and never ending, the world and everything in it becomes a danger; your worst enemy. A eager bully always waiting to pounce. The hardest part is, this bully that is ruining your life, lives in your head…it’s your brain.
You can’t truly comprehend how wonderful peace of mind is, unless you’ve never had to live your life without it. I am so jealous of you, and you don’t even realize it. I’m jealous that you don’t have to question your own thoughts. Or, maybe you do? Have you been diagnosed with OCD? If so, I’m also writing this post for you. You’re not alone, even though this illness is a very lonely one.
OCD also consists of “intrusive thoughts”, oh boy, those are fun. Note the sarcasm. They can consist of violent thoughts, deviant sexual thoughts, scary thoughts, etc. Basically anything you wouldn’t want to think about. These thoughts will pop into your head and torture you slowly. “Why am I thinking this? Am I crazy?” For example, you could have an intrusive thought about going into the kitchen and cutting your wrist. Or, a horrible sexual thought about a family member that you love very much. It is torture. It makes you want to die. It makes you question yourself. “Why would I think that? I must secretly want it.” No, you don’t. It’s upsetting you. That is the difference. The thoughts are causing you distress, not pleasure. That is why it’s an intrusive thought. It is actual hell on earth, and it’s never talked about. No, instead, it’s mocked. OCD is the butt of a joke, or the plot of a silly tv comedy, or on hundreds of quirky meme’s that don’t understand the illness at all, but instead perpetuate the stereotype.
OCD is an anxiety disorder, it’s based in fear, it’s based in the part of the mind where you’ll also find our “fight or flight” mode. So a lot of people with OCD, have some form of anxiety disorder too. Usually generalized anxiety. Anxiety is like a watchdog in your head that barks incessantly, and without need. “Did I turn the stove off? Did I unplug my curling iron? Why is everyone staring at me, are they judging me? My arm hurts, am I having a heart attack?? Oh god, now I can’t breathe..I’m going to die.” Then comes the panic attack. If you’ve never had a panic attack, I don’t think I could ever fully explain to you how scary they are. Your mind becomes so afraid, that is tricks your body into thinking you’re in a “fight or flight” situation, that you’re in real danger, so your body pumps extra adrenaline to help you “fight” or “escape”. But, the problem is, it’s just a panic attack, you’re not really in danger! You’re okay. You’re just scared. But now your body is convinced that you’re in real danger, so the symptoms of that rush of adrenaline kick in: trouble breathing, numb limbs, sometimes my lips or part of my face go numb, jelly legs, heart palpitations, mania, hot/cold flashes, having to go to pee a lot, not to mention your body and mind believe you’re going to die, that the end is near, that this is fatal. And even though deep down, in your mind, you logically KNOW that you’re fine, you’re just afraid, your anxiety just won’t listen. Reason does not apply.
If you have many panic attacks a month, or the fear of panic attacks causes you to have panic attacks, then you have panic disorder. Which is what I have too. I’m so afraid of fear and having a panic attack, that the fear sometimes causes me to have one! If I was in Harry Potter, my boggart would be a dementor. I often wonder if JK Rowling knew a little something about anxiety/OCD when she wrote the dementor and boggart characters. As Lupin said to Harry, when his boggart was a dementor…
“That suggests that what you fear most of all is fear. Very wise, Harry.”
So, how does this all effect my life? In every way possible. I’m very loving, I am empathic, caring, intelligent, funny, and a bit nerdy too. Does my OCD and anxiety make me any less of that? No, but it is a part of my life. It’s just as constant in my life as breathing or eating. I’ve dealt with it for almost 30 years (wow!) and truly, I never thought I’d make it this long. As a child, before I knew what my OCD was, I wanted to die a lot, and tried to kill myself a few times when I was a teenager because I just couldn’t take the mess inside of my head. If you’ve seen the great movie/book The Green Mile, when the amazing John Coffey says…
“I’m tired, boss. It’s like pieces of glass in my head, all the time. Can you understand?”
There are claims that point to genetics, that OCD and anxiety are often passed on down the line, like most mental health issues. If you suffer from mental illness, go down your family line if you can, and track it. I also suggest reading this great book on doing just that, called A Lethal Inheritance: A Mother Uncovers the Science Behind Three Generations of Mental Illness by Victoria Costello.
If you suffer from OCD or anxiety, I can recommend you some breathing exercises (Email me if you want! Even if you just need someone to listen), and I also suggest therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and there is also medication if you need it, which you can get if you seek help from a psychologist who will refer you to a psychiatrist (who dispenses mental health prescriptions). Look, OCD and anxiety are a bitch, and they can rule your life, I know it’s stolen many years from me that I’ll never get back, so please, don’t let it do the same to you. Even though there isn’t a “cure” for these disorders, the best course of action is to seek the help so you can learn to cope with the disorder. Please trust me. As a 32 year old woman who doesn’t even remember a life without OCD, ignoring it will only hurt you, and I don’t want that for you. I want you to have an easier life than I’ve had. I hope my sacrifice and pain I’ve gone through my whole life, and all of the research I’ve done and learned about these disorders can help you, in that I too might feel some solace in knowing my experience had helped you.
One last note. I don’t want to preach, but if you use terms like “I’m so OCD”, because you like your desk to be neat or color coded, etc, Please stop. Right now. Please be the change. It belittles our illness and makes a joke of it. I wish OCD was only organizing my desk! I’d gladly have that instead. Unfortunately that’s not it. Washing your hands 50 times just to “do it right” so that “your parent won’t die of cancer” and having raw chapped bloody hands? That is more of the reality. OCD isn’t “wanting” things to be “neat”. OCD is needing things to be a certain way or else you’ll have very high levels of anxiety, so much so that it stops your day/life right in it’s tracks and abuses your mind until whatever ritual you are doing gives you a nod of approval, you know, for like 30 seconds or so. It’s a vicious cycle. This also goes for other mental health issues. Please don’t add to the stigma. Don’t call someone “bipolar” because they have quick changing moods sometimes, don’t call someone “psychotic” because you think they’re acting “crazy”. Not only are these things horrible to say, but they’re just not true. Use Google, read a book, educate yourself, and if you can, educate others in turn, so maybe someday I won’t have to feel sad or feel my cheeks get red when I see a Facebook MEME being shared that says something like this…
I often think my OCD/anxiety is a very big part of why I often don’t showcase photos of myself wearing lingerie on my blog posts/reviews and choose to do lay-flat photos instead. I feel like a shitty lingerie blogger, and I’m sorry, but I have to do what I can…
I also hope that if you’re reading this blog post right now and you’re a reader or fellow blogger that liked me before, this won’t change your mind about me. I’m still me
So…Thank you for reading this blog post even if you don’t have mental health issues. Your attention and understanding means a lot
If you’re reading this and you do have OCD/anxiety…You’re okay (even if you feel like you aren’t). You’re not alone (there are more of us than you think!). And please get help (it’s hard at first, but it’s so essential to coping!). Also, check out this great video that Mara Wilson did recently (she suffers from OCD/anxiety too). Please don’t give up. I won’t if you won’t.
I love the Freya brand, for functional and pretty full bust bras, and their sister brand Fantasie is full of beautiful colorways and silhouettes for all ages, though their styles tend to be more classic and elegant while Freya is more colorful and youthful. I don’t showcase Fantasie as often as I should, but when I saw this brand new SS15 style I knew I had to review it. The Fantasie Eloise is pretty, and reminds me of a watercolor painting or fairytale book lingerie. It’s a lovely array of colors that blend together so nicely, paired iridescent embroidery. This new colorway of Eloise is called Sorbet, and it’s so sweet for Spring/Summer.
The bra has a variety of soft pretty colors like peach, blue, green, pink, ivory. There is a small light turquoise bow at the center gore. The bra is unlined, and features paneled cups for added support. It fits very much like other Fantasie bras, true to size. Adjustable straps, very comfortable, and the material is soft and feels dreamy. Not only does it look like fairytale lingerie, it feels like it. It has a very barely there floral design, which is what I like, it’s not overly in your face floral, and instead the floral is understated and more of an afterthought to the colors and the embroidery. The embroidery at the tops of the cups is gorgeous as is made of a beautiful thin iridescent thread in a petal look design. This may be my very favorite Fantasie set in my collection. It’s dreamy, it fits well (if you’re a fan of Fantasie’s fit, which I am), and it works well with my softer breast tissue and my breast shape. The matching brief is sweet with a full coverage back and panels of the embroidery at the tips, with a matching bow at the center waistband. The panties run true to size, if not generous. I went with a Small, but I should have went with a XS, I forgot that it’s Fauve that I usually wear a S with, not Fantasie. The material is light, soft, and feels luscious against the skin. This is such a pretty set for lounging around, daydreaming, or sleeping in.
You can find the Fantasie Eloise at Figleaves
I was pretty much smitten with this super sweet Elomi design as soon as it was released. I don’t often wear Elomi, not because I don’t like the brand, but because they are a beautiful 36+ band band, and I wear a 34 band. When I saw this bra came in 36E, I took the plunge and figured I would size down in the cup and up in the band, to hopefully come close to a pretty good fit. For me, often lingerie is about fashion, how it makes me feel. While I wouldn’t wear a bra that didn’t look good on me, I don’t focus on size. It’s relative, as there are ways to alter the band with a little sewing skill, as well as there are bra band clips to help to tighten or lengthen a hook and clasp. One reason I really loved this pretty Naoko design, was because it features a lovely Japanese influence, without being overtly in your face about it or using cultural appropriation to sell a product. Possibly inspired by the book Norwegian Wood, which has a main character named Naoko. The print is really unique and fun, in shades of black and white with bursts of pink at the top of the cups, and the bow at the gore. I couldn’t get this as a set as I’m a bit too small on the bottom to fit into Elomi bottoms, but I would ave loved this as a matching set. So ladies, if you like this bra and the panties are available in your size (M-4XL), grab them up! Soooo cute.
The print is really sweet, and almost has a retro appeal. The print features a parasol print based on Japanese woodblocking prints. It’s beautiful yet understated. It also features sweet little pink cherry blossom pops of color throughout, as well as cherry blossom embroidery at the tops of the cups. I would say that the band fits true to size, and has a good amount of stretch, so as I was already sizing up in the band to sister size down to an equal cup size, the band was a bit loose, but not so much that it effected the fit or look of the bra for me. I found the bra to be comfortable, uplifting, even though the bra isn’t padded. It created a pretty silhouette and seemed to work well with my breast shape. This design also has a longline bra, which just so happens to be available in my usual size of 34F, but I really wanted the regular banded bra. Though the longline is quite cute as well, I may have to pick that bra up next. I love that since the color black plays a large part in the design, I could easily pair this bra with any pair of black panties to complete the set. The cups are true to size, not wide, but slightly narrow. Overall this bra is great, and it really makes me want to try more Elomi in the future, and it makes me happy that there is a full figure brand that consistently comes out with colorways and designs that break the large band/cup mold.
The full bust market has grown so much, especially since I was a teenager, when my only options were beige, black, or white. One of the reasons I love lingerie so much, is because I love the style and fashion aspect of it. I like how lingerie makes me feel, which is usually, very very happy, and sexy in my skin. I sort of view lingerie as “a la mode”, the ice cream to my slice of pie. A la mode literally means ‘in the style’ and thats what beautiful lingerie is to me, sexiness and beauty in the style. A big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream melting ever so gently. Basically, yumminess. There have been a lot of great full bust brands that have joined the lingerie market, and even core sized brands that have increased their size range to include full bust, however, as much as I love the full bust selection on the market, I often long for styles that never seem to be available in full bust sizing. I’ve written blog posts before saying that I want lace, sheer cups, delicate styles that are sexy and sensual rather than the onslaught of florals, or basic color ways, or plain full cup styles that seem to be the full bust standard. So when I first saw this Maison Lejaby Elixir Attrape Couer set, it was literally like my dream set. It was a set that was everything I was hoping to find in a full bust size. With all the delicacy and appeal of a smaller bust style, but actually available in my size. I like it so much, that I have this set in both the red colorway, black colorway, and I bought an extra of the red bra too. Rarely do I buy multiples of a set, so when I do, it’s basically because I’m head over heels. You could definitely say that about this gorgeous Attrape Couer 3-Part Bra, Suspender, and Panty set. This set is from French lingerie brand Maison Lejaby‘s Elixir line, which features full bust styles in totally gorgeous designs that are more fashionable than about just about being functional.
As you can see, the bra is an underwire bra unlined with sheer cups that are soft and beautiful to the touch. The straps are full adjustable, and the band does offer a bit of stretch, while also offering support and a a beautiful lifted and supported silhouette without padding. My favorite part, is the gorgeous red embroidered heart design set upon a super soft microfiber panel that goes across the cups, over the bust. It’s really unique, pretty, and really makes this bra anything but boring. It’s an added flair of femininity that really draws me in, paired with the thin bow at the center gore and soft guipure lace at the tops of the sheer bra cups. Even though the sizing is French, I found that I didn’t really have to size up, as I found the Elixir line to be true to size in band and cup, so I stuck with my usual 34F sizing. It’s a good fit for me, but as I have softer breast tissue that is easier to manipulate into cups. If you have denser breasts, maybe size up in the cup and down in the band.
The bra is just as lovely in black, and since I’m a sucker for black lingerie, I had to get this style in black as well. This bra is gorgeous, and has become one of my favorite sets because of how delicate and sexy this style is for a full bust size. I want more of this! I’m so pleased with Maison Lejaby’s Elixir line, and can’t wait to add more designs to my collection. The panties and suspender fit true to size, but do offer a nice amount of stretch due to the buttery soft microfiber material. I love the lace and microfiber band and heart design on the matching suspender, which can be worn with your favorite pair of stockings. This feels like a luxury lingerie set, which thrills me. Luxury lingerie, in full bust sizing, that reminds me that not all full bust lingerie has to be functional, it can be pretty, sensuous, and I can spoil myself with Guipure lace, soft sheer cups, that are actually available in my size! Swoonage. Swoonage, indeed.
You can currently find this bra in black at Journelle and Figleaves. The red colorway seems a bit hard to find, especially in the US, so it’s best to check Ebay or international shops that ship to the US (which is what I did).