Archive for October, 2008
October 29, 2008
The other day, Oprah had a show about women getting their sexy back. Her style team from O Magazine took 5 women and transformed them into really attractive and sexy looking goddesses. It was truly impressive. Part of the show had a segment from Susan Nethero sharing her list of 5 lingerie must-haves every women should have in her lingerie drawer. Here they are:
- A Date Night Bra – This is a bra that is pretty and makes you feel pretty when you wear it out in the evening. One idea was for this bra to be in a color other than nude – like red. I think black can be a good choice as well.
- A demi cup or cleavage showing bra – A demi cup bra has cups that cover less of your upper breast tissue. This allows you to wear lower necklines. A cleavage showing bra, I call a plunge bra. The center panel is cut very low so that you can wear lower v-necks or be able to keep one more button unbuttoned.
- A strapless bra - I find myself more and more reaching for a strapless. With today’s unusual necklines, a strapless sometimes seems like the only choice if you want to wear a bra.
- An elegant camisole – I must confess that I frequently forget about the camisole option. It’s a great solution as a layer under jackets and sweaters. As winter approaches, and we all must go in and out of hot and cold temperatures, having a pretty camisole as your base layer can give instant relief when you want to take off something to cool down. And, there are great support camisoles that not only look pretty, but give you the added smoothing benefits.
- Matching bra and panty sets – After this recommendation, Oprah polled her audience as to how many women were wearing panties that matched their bra. Not many raised their hand. A conversation between Oprah and her stylists ensued. The overwhelming opinion is that women who wear a matching set feel more confident when they walk and talk – even if no one but themselves know they have it on.
Also on this show, Susan highlighted the Mary Jo Avero plunge convertible bra as her preferred date bra. It’s pretty, has fabulous detailing, a low center and convertible straps.
I must say that I agree with this list, with the possible exception of the camisole. So, breaking this list down into figure types, here is my list of favorites for each of these 5 lingerie must-haves:
Petite Plus size: Chantelle Legende Demi Underwire Bra
Posted by Tomima at 10:46am
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October 27, 2008
By now, you’ve probably seen their commercial. A thin model cropped between her waist and knees is walking down a street. Suddenly the model freezes, her creme pants are off, and exposed is Soma’s new Vanishing Edge Bikini Panty. Claims about its invisibility under clothing are made as the camera pans from the front to the model’s backside. Then, her creme pants return and she walks away with a flawless backside with no visible panty lines. Soma Intimates, for those of you who don’t know, is owned by the Chico’s retail chain and carries exclusive Soma products.
Is this new panty line the ultimate underpant for women? To read their copy, they seem to think so. Here’s their claim. Wear their Vanishing Ege panties (which come in 5 styles – bikini, brief, hi-cut brief, hipster and boyshort) and erase panty lines forever. Here’s how they say they do this. First, they use a very soft, stretchy and breathable micorofiber. On the back side of the leg opening starting at the side seam and going all the way to the crotch, the raw leg edge has 1/4" wide strip of silicone on the inside. Parallel to this silicone are much thinner rows of silicone that are spread out 2 1/2" from the edge. This would be the same silicone gripper tape that you see in shapewear to keep it in place and along straples bras to keep them up. This is called their "stay-put technology" and the essence of their marketing claim.
I went to Soma and bought several styles of the Vanishing Edge panties to test drive. The first thing the sales representative told me was to "size up." I normally wear a size 6-8 pant and am a size medium. In spite of this, the salesperson strongly suggested I purchase the size large. A later check on the Soma website shows they make the same suggestion of ordering one size larger.
The first thing I noticed about the Vanishing Edge Collection is that they use a very soft, lightweight, and stretchy microfiber. I really liked this. Next I inspected the waistband. Nothing new here. Like most panties, an elastic is sewn to the edge, so this would show under almost any garment. Along the front leg edge, starting at the side seam and going through your legs and along the side of the cotton lined crotch, there is an elastic serged to the edge. So, again, this edge would also show under garments. However, the most important edge for VPL’s is along the backside of the leg edge. The Vanishing Edge panties do indeed have a raw edge of fabric with fused-on silicone gripper tape for elasticity and to anchor your edge in place. I think most women would see this and think this new idea might actually work.
The next morning I reached for one of my new Soma panties and pulled them on. Instantly, I was aware that this is no panty to be pulled on and forgotten. The silicone sort of grabs your skin while you’re pulling them on. You therefore need work your panties up your legs, then perform the additional operation of placing the edge of your panty where you want it to stay for the day before continuing on with your morning dressing routine. That said, once the panties were put in place, I found them comfortable and almost forgettable until I went to the bathroom. Again, I had to carefully place the panty on my butt cheeks.
I purchased four of the 5 styles offered in Soma and test drove each one. All styles fit me in a size large with the exception of the hipster. In this style, I had to either show bottom cleavage, or cover the bottom of my butt cheeks. The back was not large enough to do both – and my bottom is in shape. On a later trip to a Soma store, I compared the hipster to the other styles. It’s back panel is considerably smaller than other styles.
So, does the Vanishing Edge Collection really erase panty lines forever? I pulled out my yoga pants to put this to the test. After all, these types of pants are the ultimate arbitor of panty lines… am I right? So, here’s what I noticed. A normal panty line is created by the edge of your panty being thick enough to cause a bump line along your pantyline. What the Vanishing Edge technology creates is an indentation along your panty line. That’s right. The silicone gripper tape pushes in your bottom flesh to create a ridge. Now, it may not be as obvious as a traditional VPL, but it’s still obvious. I then reached in and readjusted my panty edge in back to come right under my butt cheeks. This helped, but the ridge was again observable when I bent over.
Now, in their defense, our bottom tissue is soft. Therefore, like back fat in a bra, it would almost be impossible to put anything on your bottom that wouldn’t show. But I did have panty lines and I was disapointed. Soma, you’re getting close. But, you’re still not quite there.
As an aside, there are a couple of other companies who have designed panties with edges that almost disappear as well. They include:
Affinitas Intimates Grace Hipster S8-605
All have laser cut edges, and some have silicone gripper tape as well.
As a final note. the Soma panties need to be washed in warm water and tumble dried on low. Only non-chlorene bleach is to be occasionally used, They are made in Nicaragua.
Posted by Tomima at 6:31am
6 Comments »
October 22, 2008
Did you know there is a woman scientist studying the science of breast bounce? Her name is Dr. Joanna Scurr at the University of Portmouth in the UK. I had the pleasure of meeting Joanna earlier this year when she and I shared a podcast on sports bras and breast bounce. My part of the podcast was sharing the fact that HerRoom.com provides a Bounce Test video on every sports bra that is branded as high impact. From viewing the videos, several on the market are not doing the job. Joanna shared that during high impact, our breasts move in a figure 8 movement up and down (as much as 8.25"), side to side, and also move in and out. Her research showed that no matter what your breast size, wearing a good sports bra in the correct size will reduce or reduce breast pain and diminish the strain on the Coopers ligaments, which help keep your breasts from sagging.
Recently, Dr. Scurr and her breast biomechanics research team have discovered through many interviews with women that embarrassment and/or ignorance are the key reasons for women choosing the wrong type of bra support.
Over a three year study, Scurr confirmed that women tend to purchase bras where the band is too large, and the cup size is too small. This has been the consensus of almost all the bra manufacturers I have spoken with as well. Wearing the wrong size during aerobic activity reduces a woman’s breast support and increases her breast discomfort due to excessive movement. Thus women’s breasts will stretch and sag if not in the proper size sports bra. Adding to this incorrect sizing are women’s false perceptions about what breast size they want to be. Rather than finding the right size, women stick with a size that they feel is socially acceptable. This, of course, is absolute nonsense because no one knows what bra size you are wearing, and the right size will probably make you look thinner and more youthful.
Another interesting point made by Scurr is that women experience breast pain more during acceleration and deceleration of the breasts. So, once a woman is in the zone running for example, consistent breast movement is not as painful as when she starting to run or beginning to slow down. I absolutely agree with this finding because I personally feel more breast pain when doing aerobic activity that is not a consistent repetitive movement.
Women also seem to have some built-in predjudices when it comes to selecting bras for sports activity. Joanna’s team found that many of their interviewees have a stong preference for a certain style of sports bra, and would not consider buying a different style if it deviated from what they thought represented a supportive sports bra. Specifically, many women feel that a sports bra must be one that pulls on over their head and not have a back or front closure. If the sports bra resembles the look of an everyday bra, most women feel its not truly a sports bra. Of course, this is absolutely false. There are many sports bras with openings that provide fabulous support during high impact activity. Just look at the Bounce Test to see this point.
Perhaps the UK is really ahead of the US in this area. Last year, a British Medical Association Conference made a recommendation that a free bra fitting be offered during a physical exam. It is felt that if women are properly fitted, there would be a decrease in the number of unnecessary breast reductions.
Posted by Jan at 10:05am
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