Meet Tera Gallagher. She’s our premium brands assistant buyer here at Bare Necessities, and not even she was immune to the scourge of wearing the wrong bra size.
Reader, we hired her anyway.
And on Tera’s second day on the job, we saw to it that she was Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit.
For three days in February and March, more than 450 of the world’s leading lingerie brands converge at CURVE New York, a trade show that takes over the gigantic Javits Center in New York City. Buyers and members of the press, Bare Necessities always among them, walk row after row to check out the latest from longtime favorites and discover new rising stars in the lingerie industry.
Here are the 2017 lingerie trends we spotted at CURVEXPO New York that got us super excited this season:
Welcome back to Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit, real stories of game-changing bra makeovers. Our expert amBRAssadors are here to help women who settled for “good enough” long ago to finally find the bras for them. Over the phone or via email or chat, they use their experience to triage your fit issues and narrow the field of available options. The results are nothing short of staggering, not to mention stunning.
As it turns out, one good makeover begets the next. After we shared Leann Dawes’ bra fit makeover on social media, we received one comment we couldn’t resist:
“Bet you can’t find a bra to fit me!”
Challenge accepted, Rebecca Mazzarella.
Alyssa Riley has been modeling since she was 14, when she landed her first-ever job for Kohls. In the decade since, she’s modeled for Covergirl, Guess, Saks Fifth Avenue, Crest toothpaste…the list goes on. “Chicago was the closest city with the most opportunity, so I graduated from high school at 17 and signed with Ford Models so I could fully devote myself. It’s been an interesting world to grow up in,” says Alyssa, “but my family keep me grounded—my parents are my biggest fans. I’m thankful to them for trusting me at a young age and for being there when I needed them.”
A Capricorn whose nicknames include Lys, Toad or Jubilee (“long story”), Alyssa aptly fits the model profile: outgoing, ambitious, confident and street-smart, though “I’ve been known to walk on set wearing something backwards every once in awhile,” she admits.
Growing up in Ohio, Alyssa was an athlete—she played volleyball and was trained in classical ballet—and a “pro babysitter: I love kids and taking care of people.” After bouncing from city to city for work, her life is more settled now. She lives in New York City and spends a lot of time in New Jersey, where her boyfriend lives. “I’m obsessed with cooking and being outdoors—my happy place is Montana—so it’s nice to have an escape from the city. I love weekends spent relaxing at the house, having amazing wine and cooking dinner for friends,” says Alyssa, who credits her great-grandmother for teaching her to cook and bake.
In her downtime, Alyssa is likely reading a good book (currently The Hôtel on Place Vendôme: Life, Death and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris) or having a Sunday Netflix marathon in her favorite Calvin Klein boy shorts and sports bras (“I wear them as pajamas”). Says Alyssa, “My favorite campaigns to shoot are swim and lingerie. I absolutely love the beach and working outside; I feel my most beautiful when I’m on the beach in my bikini. And I always feel sexy and confident shooting lingerie, especially anything from For Love & Lemons. They make such beautiful detailed pieces. To me the contemporary department is the most fashion-forward, cool and appealing.”
When is a bra more than a bra? When it changes your life.
This is Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit, our new series documenting real moments of bra salvation and euphoria made possible by our certified team of expert amBRAssadors whose goal it is to improve women’s day-to-day lives, beginning with the right bra.
And Leanne Dawes started it all.
At 40, Leann not only finally learned her actual bra size, she found the comfort, confidence and cute styles she’d written off ages ago. Read on to find out how you can have what’s she’s having, too.
Our 23-year-old model Hunter McGrady, a.k.a. Peanut (“My dad has called me that forever”), lights up the studio like no flashbulb could whenever she comes by Bare Necessities. Hunter moved solo to New York from nearby Malibu, California, where she learned to love surfing and “never lived a conventional life: I grew up on a mountain with no neighbors for miles. My dad is an actor and my mom was a model. I’ve always been around this business.”
In fact, Hunter started modeling to be like her mom: “I absolutely idolized her—still do. Whenever someone had a camera out, even if I didn’t know them, I would try to get in the shot!” Now, Hunter’s mother is her biggest fan. “She keeps tabs on all my work. She’ll send me things I didn’t even know came out yet,” says Hunter who, as a size 14, has modeled for Lane Bryant, Forever 21, Torrid, Nordstrom and all of Melissa McCarthy’s campaigns in addition to Bare Necessities. “I was so excited to start working for BN eight months ago, as I’ve loved the site for so long,” says Hunter. She now swears by the Wacoal Red Carpet strapless bra and Natori Plunge bras in a 38DD.
We chatted with Hunter about what she values most and what makes her who she is today.
Thanksgiving is the time of year to hunker down at home with our loved ones and practice gratitude (or, you know, talk politics, whichever you prefer). Here’s what some of the Bare Necessities staffers are up to, and the sleepwear they’ll be all cozied up in.
Stephanie Salardino, brand amBRAssador
Thanksgiving traditions: My entire family goes to our beach house on Thanksgiving Eve. Along the way, I stop for the best pumpkin pie and apple cider donuts. We finish up any last-minute food shopping and order pizza because we know tomorrow will be food heaven. Later, we have a sitter come watch the kids, and the adults go out locally—I organize a dozen or so toy drives at local bars since it’s one of the most popular nights to go out. The toys are distributed to local shelters or organizations that adopt families for the holidays. It’s pretty amazing. One location has brought in over 500 toys.
We have a huge Thanksgiving Day breakfast, appetizers begin around 1 PM and we serve dinner at 5. There are usually 20 or so of us, and our house is like a revolving door. My friends and their families tend to pop in at some point. Thanksgiving night, I do lots of shopping online. By Cyber Monday, I’ve accomplished most of my holiday list.
The holidays are high season for breaking out the shapewear, but it can be challenging (yeah, major understatement) to know where to begin, even if you’re already a fan of what it can do for your body confidence. So we brought together the office evangelists—plus one skeptic—for some capital-R-real talk about shapewear: who it’s for (spoiler alert: everybody), what’s out there to choose from, why it can make your day and your figure that much smoother. Come listen in….
Many a lingerie model comes through our front door and heads into the photo studio at Bare Necessities—simply another day at the office for Ashley Graham, Kate Upton, Ebonee Davis, Candice Swanepoel, Nina Agdal and more who got their start here over the years.
This is Model Confessions, our new series about what it’s really like to be a lingerie model, from the full-on fabulous to the decidedly less so. Because one way of empowering women is by ensuring they’re seen and heard.
Meet Alexandria Hanson. She’s originally from the small town of Stillwater, Minnesota, “where there was nothing going on for me. I knew there was more to learn out there, but I’m not one to be told what to do while sitting at a desk.” From the hair and makeup chair at her latest shoot (full-bust bras, for the record), Alex got candid with us: “My childhood was a lot of ups and downs. I grew up fast, I fought with my mother and refused to listen to reason. My teenage years were full of puppy love, pointless drama and attitude. I was always sneaking out of the house. Looking back, I’m surprised with what my parents put up with. I had to strike out on my own to heal those relationships. Now, my mom is my best friend.”
Whip-smart and sweet, cool, calm and collected at only 23, Alex has also modeled for Kohls and appeared in a Colgate commercial. A career highlight: her Sports Illustrated ad for Dodge Ram trucks. Her secret talent is painting, she played some serious soccer in high school, her pet peeve is people showing up late and she’s learned a whole lot about life through her adventures in modeling…
Summer or winter, the Olympics always seem to seriously ramp up the intensity of everybody’s workouts, which got us thinking: How do Bare Necessities staffers stay fit, have fun and feel fab—even during these hazy late August days? Read on for your daily dose of fitspo, and check out our brand-new activewear arrivals for even more motivation.