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Personal Style, Power Figures

Emily Lau, Founder of The Little Bra Company, is Standing up for Small Chests

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Earlier in life, our petite power figure Emily Lau was a television writer/producer in California, forever on the prowl for bras that served her 32B chest. She could only find “glorified training bras” or those with “push-up padding that felt like pillows on straps,” she said. “Nothing really fit my smaller body type properly. I wanted a bra that gave me shape as well as looked good, especially when I wore wrap dresses and deep V-neck T-shirts. I still wanted to look like my natural self, just with a little more cleavage.”

Ninety-nine percent of us would have given up and settled for either uncomfortable or unattractive bras, but not Emily. Somewhere inside her, a wire tripped; she believed she could do better by women like herself. So in May 2007, The Little Bra Company—where “good things do come in small packages”—was born.

“I loved my career, but I had a real passion for lingerie that I’m happy I pursued.” As are we.

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Personal Style, Pop Culture

Spring 2017 Fashion Trends: Innerwear Meets Outerwear

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Spring is finally here, and we couldn’t be more delighted by that fact. The days are looking lighter and brighter, making it feel like the perfect time for a closet refresh. This season in particular, even our lingerie drawer is getting directly inspired by the spring fashion trends coming down the runways of New York, Milan and Paris.

Like never before, outerwear fashion trends are influencing innerwear fashion trends—and sometimes innerwear IS the trend. (Bralettes as tops, anyone?) Even if you’re just heading to spin class, you don’t have to be a supermodel to dress like one. From big, bold stripes to flirty florals, we’ve rounded up our favorite trendy spring looks for you to rock as the temperatures rise.

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Personal Style, Swimwear

Love This Bra Brand? Try This Swimsuit!

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Let’s just say you’ve come to love one (or two or three) particular bra brands for their comfort, fit and style. Guess what? Many of those same brands are in the bathing suit biz, which means you’ll feel as happy on the beach or by the pool as you do at work, on a date or at school drop-off.

“By shopping these collections, your bathing suit finally gets to fit as well as your favorite bra does,” says Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma. “The suits feature underwires, adjustable straps, clasp backs and an overall more tailored fit so you can jump into the water or run after your kids without worry.”

What makes these swimsuits from bra brands so special is that they’re constructed exactly like a bra, which gives even a teeny swimsuit so much more support than the standard offerings. The suits are designed with the same level of detail and quality of construction as their bra counterparts. “Shopping is more precise since you’re able to buy them by your exact bra size as opposed to the more generic small-medium-large,” adds Megan.

Here, Megan divides our 10 bra-sized swimwear brands into three categories so you can key right into the style you’re seeking. She picked a favorite look from each brand, too. Ready to dive in?

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Personal Style, Pop Culture, Power Figures

Dita Von Teese on Redefining Glamour

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Among lingerie devotees specifically and appreciators of beauty and style in general, Dita Von Teese needs no introduction. She is an iconoclast and an icon, a modern muse and of another era entirely, a larger-than-life dynamo in a soft-spoken, petite package.

Born Heather Sweet, the self-described “mediocre-looking blonde girl from a farming town in Michigan” fell under the spell of Hollywood’s Golden Age of Cinema and, at a time when the rest of America’s youth was grunging out in flannel and combat boots, set out to remake herself in its raven-haired, red-lipped image. When she discovered that many of the glamorous screen sirens she admired were also dancers, she adopted her stage name and learned the art of the striptease. Since 1992, Dita has been synonymous with burlesque and can be single-handedly credited with its revival. Everything she touches, from her Swarovski crystal-bedecked sets and couture costumes to her lingerie collection and new hosiery line—reflects her impeccable eye for detail.

This past month, hours before the final sold-out New York performance of her latest show, “The Art of the Teese,” Dita visited Bare Necessities to tell us firsthand about her collection—both iconic styles (like Madame X) and new additions (like her Instagram fan-selected shade of emerald green)—and how she turned herself into a Power Figure. Read on for our exclusive interview.

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Behind the Seams, Personal Style

6 Exciting 2017 Lingerie Trends We Saw at CURVEXPO

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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.

curveExpo

Here are the 2017 lingerie trends we spotted at CURVEXPO New York that got us super excited this season: Continue Reading

Personal Style, Swimwear

Trendy and Stylish One-Piece Swimsuits: Definitely Not Your Grandma’s One-Piece

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Megan

There’s something to be said for the effortlessness of one-and-done. When it comes to the beach or pool, you can always count on cute one-piece swimsuits to be flattering, chic and easy to wear. Though one-pieces used to be accompanied by a certain stigma—they’re only for grandmas, or to cover up body issues—these days, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. (To wit: Last Independence Day, 26-year-old Taylor Swift and her squad rocked red, white and blue one-pieces that just about broke the Internet.)

“One-pieces are great because they give you as much or as little coverage as you want. What’s your comfort level?” asks Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma (at left). “Every trend imaginable now comes in the one-piece silhouette. The cut came back with style to spare; it’s not frumpy. Now it’s possible to be stylish and covered. Maybe even more so than in a bikini, you’re making a strong visual statement in a one-piece suit. And they can do so much more for your figure, too. Because no matter what you’re wearing, you can’t look good if you feel uncomfortable.”

Megan especially loves their versatility: “I like how you can incorporate a one-piece into an outfit, from festival fashion to going out to dinner. In this case, you can have both fashion and function.” Here are a few of her favorite stylish one-piece swimsuits for the season….

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Behind the Seams, Model Confessions, Personal Style

Top 10 Model Confessions with Alyssa Riley

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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.”

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Personal Style, Pop Culture

Sexy Valentine’s Day Lingerie—No Matter Your Relationship Status

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We all deserve to feel loved, worshipped and adored on Valentine’s Day, whatever our relationship status, period, end of story. To some extent, that means dressing the part—if you want to feel special, you’ve got to exude special.

“Luckily, you can’t really go wrong with lingerie,” says our boudoir buyer Krista Molinaro. “It’s easy to shop for because the fit is more forgiving than precise, and your choices are basically black or red.” Start your Valentine’s Day state of mind with a sexy lingerie foundation, then extend the fun all week—make that all winter—with novel 3-for-$30 panties. A lingerie wardrobe like this isn’t just for February 14th, Krista notes; feeling desirable is good for you year-round.

Teddies, also known as bodysuits, continue to be a major trend (shown above: the Idalia playsuit by L’Agent Provocateur). The same goes for sets with multiple pieces, which include cheeky accessories like garters and garter belts, eye masks or cuffs. Whether you gravitate toward understated, frilly or edgy Valentine’s Day lingerie, hey, this is the time to dress to thrill.

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Health & Wellness, Personal Style

Sports Bra Reviews: Road Test, Part 1

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It’s January, meaning we all just made New Year’s fitness resolutions revolving around health and wellness. To that end: We linked up with real women to help them find new favorite sports bras that would help propel them through their workouts. They put some of our merchants’ picks through their paces at the gym, in the dance studio and on the trail, then reported back. Here, in part one of our two-part series, is what they found—so you can find new ways to power through this year, too. Continue Reading