Apr 132014
 

Cotton nursing bra by Medela

Medela sleep bra

Hey everyone! I figure it’s time for another post on nursing bras, because guess what… I’m 27 weeks pregnant. So far my breasts have grown about one cup and maybe half a band size, so that I’m now in a 34B. Underwires are uncomfortable these days, so I’m mostly wearing Wacoal bralettes and Lynn Saussy’s wonderful wire-free Zee Bra.

According to HerRoom’s maternity and nursing bra fitting guidelines, most women need to go up an additional cup size once their milk comes in after giving birth; that means I should be buying 34C nursing bras.

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Oct 092013
 

This past holiday season, American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s Marketing Coordinator for Social Media contacted me after finding my 32aabra review of Aerie sports bras. She told me that they are fans of 32aabra at the American Eagle headquarters, and graciously sent me merchandise from Aerie’s limited edition holiday line to review. Incidentally, I have not been able to complete the review until now due to personal reasons. I am nevertheless honored to publish my review of the beautiful merchandise that I received from my Aerie (Faerie) Godmother.

I received four bra and panty sets, as well as additional panties that I will also review. The particular bra styles that I received are Emma and Maddie, both classified as “Woah” according to the Aerie push-up scale. I received two Emmas and two Maddies, but as all of the bras look very different from one another in spite of sharing the same fit prototypes, I have given them additional titles for clarity. I received all bras in size 32AA, and all underwear in size XS. (For reference, my go-to bra is the Little Bra Company’s Angela in size 30A.)

As you will see, I fully unleashed my creative juices in this review, which I prelude with a Spenserian sonnet (rhyme scheme abab bcbc cdcd ee, iambic pentameter). I really had fun writing this sonnet, and if you’re a literary nerd like me, feel free to dissect my verse form (I went a little rogue with the iambic pentameter in some lines).

And for those of you who just want to get on to the review already—I’m warning you, it is rather long by virtue of my having so much cool merchandise to review, so if you’re a tl;dr sort of reader, you can also scroll down to read the recap at the end of the review.

Without further ado, I introduce you to my sonnet about Aerie Godmother and the Aerie Faeries. Aerie Godmother, seeing that I have not bought myself anything pretty in a very long time, compassionately commissioned the Aerie Faeries to create these brilliant limited edition bra and panty sets and to deliver them to little me.

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Jun 272013
 

Aima Dora Lotus

Aima Dora Lotus

Last week I received the delightful lace Lotus set by Aima Dora, a lingerie company based on the island of Mauritius. Aima Dora’s 2013 collection has a classic elegance that is unmistakably French, but what really makes this lingerie unique is the tropical influence evident in its playful details and contemporary color palette.

Lotus is a lightly lined wire-free bra and tanga panty in soft neutral colors (mine is a delicate rose-beige). Its design is sleek and wearable, with small touches — scalloped edges and a simple bow at the center — that add feminine charm. The fine lace feels lovely against my skin.

The bra has light boning at the sides and closes in back with two rows and three columns of hooks. I got a size 90A/B, which is the European equivalent of a US 34A/B. It’s a nice fit, with the cups set far enough apart that I can wear it comfortably all day.

The band is wide enough to provide significant support, especially with the side boning. It’s a little bit loose in the size 90, but I often have that problem with 34 bands; this one works well enough on the tightest setting, and I wouldn’t want to go down to a 32 because it might be too small.

The cups fit very well in the 90/34 A/B — they’re a full A or small B, which is perfect for me. This is a soft-cup style with plenty of stretch, but there is some structure from vertical seams down the center of each cup. The seams don’t show underneath clothing.

Aima Dora lingerie is not yet available in the United States, but hopefully this will change soon. Check out their Facebook page for more photos and updates.

Jun 102013
 

The Little Bra Company, one of our favorite petite lingerie brands, has come out with three new bra styles for Spring/Summer 2013: Esther, Eva and Charlotte. My co-authors and I each tried one of these and we are all very impressed. TLBC bras are designed on a petite scale, so the A cup will also fit all but the smallest size AAs. If you normally wear standard-size bras, we recommend ordering up a size in either the band or the cup in TLBC for the best fit.

Style: Esther
Reviewer: Renee
Size: 30A

Esther is a deep-plunge push-up underwire t-shirt bra with smooth, sorbet-colored cups. Nude lace accents the bottom of the cups and comprises the bra’s band, which has a back closure with two rows and three columns of hooks. A delicate lace bow and three small pearls adorn the center gore.

With its feminine accents, I would describe Esther as a more romantic version of Angela, The Little Bra Company’s best-selling t-shirt bra. I have been wearing Angela daily for the past two years or so. The Angela style features smooth, close-set cups with contoured push-up padding which provides tasteful lift for the petite figure.

Esther’s cups have the same silhouette and lift as Angela, but this bra is actually more comfortable. I attribute this added level of comfort to Esther’s lace band, which is approximately half an inch wider (vertically) than Angela’s band. The soft lace makes Esther’s band gentle on the skin, and the added width makes for a more secure fit. I wore Esther for about an hour doing various chores around the house, and I did not feel the need to adjust the bra.

I like smooth-cup bras for the sleek silhouette they provide, and I like lace bras because they are comfortable. With its smooth cups and lace band, Esther represents the best of both worlds. Although the cups are a rich pink, they are not particularly conspicuous through sheer clothing. Esther’s straps are very elastic and adjustable, so I have no issues regarding their staying in place on my small shoulders.

With proper care, I foresee Esther lasting me a couple of years. I also see myself wearing it regularly, since it is very comfortable and suitable even for sheer tops. And I love pearls and lace — so I’ll feel pretty while wearing it!

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Jun 012013
 

Bella Petite Lingerie chemise

It’s my pleasure to review this gorgeous chemise by Bella Petite Lingerie, a new company from U.S. entrepreneur and fellow itty-bitty-committee member Stephanie Ballard. This month, we are offering a giveaway of the winner’s choice between the chemise and babydoll styles.

I got the Bella Petite sheer nylon chemise in lavender with gray lace cups and black adjustable straps. It’s also available in a delicate light pink (shown here) or white.

By far, the best thing about this chemise is the fit. I’ve never had a slinky little nightwear piece that fit me this well in the cups.

Clearly, Stephanie understands the needs of petite women like us. Being small-busted herself, she has come up with a rather brilliant and unique design for this garment. It’s got sliding triangle cups in soft lace, with an elastic underbust so you can adjust it to get just the look and feel you want.

I got a size Small and was a little surprised to note that my breasts filled the cups completely. I could possibly have even gone a size up (to a Medium). As a 34A/32B, I rarely have that experience with lingerie — so this is a happy first. I usually go to bed in a ratty t-shirt, so an elegant nightgown like this is definitely not what I’m used to. Not that I’m complaining.

Best of all, the chemise and babydoll from Bella Petite are available in sizes XXS and XS… perfect for my very petite readers who have mostly given up on finding anything like this in stores that doesn’t gap, wrinkle or droop. Follow the size chart on the Bella Petite website to find your fit; in my experience it is reliable.

If you’d like to enter to win a Bella Petite Lingerie chemise or babydoll, follow the instructions after the jump.

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May 202013
 

Affinitas Rosie lingerie set

As promised, here is my review of the Affinitas Intimates Jennifer set that we are giving away this month (see previous post for details and instructions on how to enter).

One of my favorite things about this set is the color scheme. It’s even prettier in real life, and this shade of teal is flattering on almost any skin tone. Second favorite thing: it’s very breathable, and I imagine it would be easy to wear all day even in hot summer weather.

This is a push-up bra, and the style is somewhere between a plunge and a demi-cup. If you’re sensitive to wires and/or don’t like a lot of padding, this is probably not the set you want from Affinitas; fortunately they do have a non-wired alternative called Rosie (shown at right), which is also really pretty and looks ultra-comfy.

The 34A in Jennifer fits me very well and gives a nice tasteful hint of cleavage, without shoving my boobs up to my neck or squishing them together too much. In the words of my fiance, my bust “needs more guidance than lift” (yes, that’s a direct quote).

Who knows what would happen without such guidance? The girls might stray down the wrong path. They might run wild… it could be utter madness! So I appreciate what the Jennifer bra does for me.

I especially like it that the cups are not set too close together, so I don’t end up feeling like my boobs are being squeezed in a vise. The push-up padding is angled up and out to the sides from the center gore, which gently pushes things inward and doesn’t create that awkward “shelf” effect.

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May 112013
 

Affinitas Jennifer Push-Up Bra Set

Affinitas Intimates Jennifer bra & hipster

This month, one lucky reader will receive a gorgeous Jennifer lingerie set from Affinitas Intimates. The sophisticated and sexy Jennifer bra and hipster set comes in teal satin with black mesh lace overlay, and is available in the following sizes: 32-36 A and 32-38 B, C, D, DD (bra); S-XL (hipster).

The Affinitas Intimates 5511 Jennifer contour push-up is an underwire bra with medium graduated push-up padding built in at the bottom and sides of the cup. This style features a back closure with two rows and three columns of hooks, and breathable stretch mesh nylon sides. The center gore is set low in front to accommodate V-neck tops.

Wendy and I will be reviewing the Jennifer set together as a follow-up to this post, so stay tuned to find out what we think.

The giveaway is open to entries starting today (May 11, 2013) and will close on Friday, May 31, 2013. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow (“like”) Affinitas Intimates on Facebook.
  2. Follow (“like”) 32aaBra on Facebook and respond to the contest announcement on our page to say you want to enter.
  3. Email me via the 32aaBra.com contact page, or post a reply here with your name and email to let me know you have completed the above steps.

Please take a minute to read the entry rules after the jump.
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May 082013
 

Bikini top by Seafolly

Seafolly Festival Sliding Triangle Top

I just got this bikini top by Seafolly and it fits me perfectly. No sagging, no wrinkles, and no problematic shifting of the ties when I lift my arms.

Lots of you have written to me asking for advice on swimwear in XS or 32/34 AA/A, and I’ve had relatively few recommendations for the size AAs among you. Maybe it’s because they’re Australian, I don’t know; but this company seems to have excellent sizing in petite bikini tops for small busts. I ordered a size 2, but having tried it on I think I could even have gotten away with a size 4.

It has the usual removable pads, which aren’t too thick so I like to leave them in to keep the headlights under cover. It’s a sliding top, so you can adjust the ties to your bust width and fiddle with it until it fits. It stays in place nicely so far, though I’ve only tried in the pool… not sure what’s going to happen when I get in the ocean.

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Mar 262013
 

Wacoal Petite Underwire Contour Bandeau BraHi beauties. I hate to say this, but I am honestly somewhat disappointed with the latest Wacoal Petite bra. I saw the Wacoal 75316 for the first time in a photo on the Wacoal America website, and found myself distinctly underwhelmed. Still, I’m not one to judge a bra by its cover (or its internet image), so I decided to wait to pass judgment until I had seen it and tried it on in real life.

Nice of me, right? Only problem is, in real life it wasn’t much better.

I should clarify: there wasn’t anything horribly wrong with the fit. If you like the look of this bra and want to try it, by all means do that, and please let me know what you think. Maybe it’s amazing and I just haven’t given it the chance it deserves.

It worked fine on me, really, and the sizing was accurate enough. But I still felt let down when I looked in the mirror. This is an unusual thing for me with Wacoal, as typically I love how their bras look and am only disappointed when I can’t get the right fit.

In case you didn’t notice, it’s hard for me to say anything against the style of any bra spawned by my beloved Wacoal… but…

(Gulp.) All right, here it is: I think the Wacoal Petite 75316 bandeau bra is kind of ugly.

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Jan 152013
 

“If you don’t like what is being said, then change the conversation.”
–Don Draper

UK designer Megan Leung does’t like what is being said to women, so she is changing the conversation with her new label Meg at Midnight. Inspired by a friend who felt it was “embarrassing wearing a training bra and frustrating wearing an adult bra,” Ms. Leung saw a niche that was not properly being filled. Where other brands pack on the padding to disguise an inadequacy, Meg at Midnight celebrates the small with sexy, sheer, and pad-free pieces specifically designed to accentuate the slight figure.

Ms. Leung says: “Meg at Midnight is a designer intimatewear specializing in, but not limited to, the smaller busted woman. Our garments are carefully structured to fit and flatter rather than enhance small breasts. This is done by using a specific underwire (which makes the bras look more “grown up” as compared to a soft bra that often looks like a training bra). The materials as we use at the moment are delicate, which would not be ideal for supporting bigger and heavier busts.”

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