Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Relationships, Swimwear

Postcards from Paradise: Travel Tips for New England


Brooke here, editor and writer for Bare Necessities and the Bare it All blog. I’m wrapping up Postcards from Paradise, our summer travel series, with some notes on New England for your next trip to the compact yet super-scenic Northeast.

Here’s the mini guide I’ve compiled for Newport, Rhode Island (where we go every year), and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (where we finally ventured for the first time). Here’s hoping this summer hasn’t totally eclipsed you yet. Happy trails!

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Behind the Seams, Confessions, Personal Style

Top 10 Stylist Confessions with Kirsten Bode


Kirsten Bode, who goes glamorously by her last name (“Sounds like bo-dee. It just stuck.”), is a creative to the bone. She’s an artist, photographer and—when it comes to partnering with Bare Necessities—stylist.

Some of her body-painting works appear in Howard Schatz’s book 25 Years of Images, and she recently collaborated on Visceral: The Dark Side of Love, Lust and Infatuation, contributing a film noir-style story about two men in love in the 1940s. Says Bode, “I like my work to have a message behind it. It’s my language; it’s how I speak to people. I’m always surprised at what people get from my work.”

Of course, when you wear as many hats as Bode does, equilibrium can feel elusive. “Balance is the hardest part, but I get excited to problem-solve. I’m grateful to do something different each day, whether it be hair and makeup or painting and taking pictures—I’m just happy to be creating,” says Bode. “Plus, I find that each process feeds the others when it comes to ideas and concepts.”

Read more about her days, her work and what feeds her free spirit…

Continue Reading Top 10 Stylist Confessions with Kirsten Bode

Ambrassadors, Personal Style, Pop Culture, Swimwear

Big Boobs on the Beach: Top Problems, Solved


Ladies, ye of the larger chests: Gather ’round, because it’s time to figure out the best suits for us to wear this season. We know that we’ve got a different, ahem, set of problems than many of our sisters.

I’m with you; I am one of you. I, too, have heard the friends lamenting about how they wish their chests were bigger, not realizing the #struggleisreal to find something that doesn’t make you overly matronly…or overly sexy…but just right.

Today, on the eve of July 4th and not a moment too soon, we’re coming to grips with some of our gripes and getting stellar advice on flattering options for the curvaceous among us from swimwear buyer and resident expert Megan Puma.

Continue Reading Big Boobs on the Beach: Top Problems, Solved

Personal Style, Pop Culture

Model Contest: Curvy Kate’s Star in a Bra Model Competition


Ever flipped through a fashion magazine, looked up at a billboard or watched a commercial starring a woman wearing lingerie?

Thought so.

Ever wonder what it must feel like to be that model?

Now’s your chance to find out.

Curvy Kate, the D-K cup lingerie and swimwear brand from London, has crossed the pond to search America for its next model. And seeing as how Curvy Kate has never once used professional models in its campaigns, well, this is the part where you come in.

Continue Reading Model Contest: Curvy Kate’s Star in a Bra Model Competition

Ambrassadors, Having a B.R.A. Fit, Swimwear

Bethany’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 34H to 32G


Bethany Jung, 39, is a registered dietician/lactation consultant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a hospital (“my passion and my purpose”) and a mom to three kids under five, so it’s safe to say that one thing she doesn’t have a lot of time for is swimsuit shopping.

That’s why she jumped at our call for women to try out bra-sized swimwear: “Swimsuit season is like that annoying uncle—nothing to look forward to. I could never find anything to fit my boobs and the rest of me. The band would ride up, or the suit would give me uniboob. Even the DD-cups the stores sell now don’t cut it. There was nowhere for me to go. I had nothing to lose.”

Continue Reading Bethany’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 34H to 32G

Ambrassadors, Having a B.R.A. Fit, Swimwear

Leah’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 32D to 32DD


Finding a great fit on top has always been Leah Jiorle’s biggest swim season challenge, which is why Leah, 41, a freelance medical editor/writer, was the perfect candidate for Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit. “I need an underwire, and it’s really hard to find a nice selection of underwire swimsuits. I can see a whole rack of adorable triangle top bikinis in a store, and I know I can’t have them—it’s frustrating!” Leah said.

amBRAssador Mette, who, with her 34J or K-size chest, majorly empathized with Leah during their over-the-phone consultation. “Since I first found out about it,” she said, “bra-sized swimwear has been my best friend.”

Leah told Mette: “When I was looking around Bare Necessities, I appreciated all the one-pieces and tankinis with bra-sized support, too, because that’s another thing: I tend to wear bikinis in situations where I might prefer more coverage, but they’re the only suits I can find that look good. Most one-pieces mash my boobs together, and it’s not flattering. I don’t want to look like an Olympic swimmer; I want something attractive, with a little coverage. There were a ton of styles I liked.”

Continue Reading Leah’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 32D to 32DD

Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Swimwear

Postcards From Paradise: Travel Tips for Charleston


This month, we’re headed south—to South Carolina, that is—with amBRAssador Jeanette. She’s got the inside scoop on what to see, do, eat and drink in Charleston.

Why Charleston

If you like good food, good drinks, architecture and history, it’s the perfect place. The later you go in summer, the hotter and steamier it gets.

Where to stay in Charleston

I went with a few college friends to visit our friend Shaun, who lives there. We stayed with Shaun in the Avondale section of Charleston, less than 15 minutes from downtown. 

Consider looking into the Vendue Hotel. It’s a cool boutique hotel dedicated to art—there’s even an artist in residence—right smack in the middle of the action. It’s reasonably priced, exceedingly beautiful and has a rooftop bar. Continue Reading Postcards From Paradise: Travel Tips for Charleston

Personal Style, Swimwear

Gorgeous Swimwear $100 and Under


Summer is half over, half gloriously ahead—we’re still all about endlessly lounging on the deck and weekend trips to the closest beach. That doesn’t mean your bathing suit shopping days are done. In fact, right now is an ideal time to score some serious bargains to round out your aquatic wardrobe.

We asked Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma to curate her favorite under-$100 swimwear options in four must-have categories. Read on as our in-house expert helps you find the best bathing suit buys.

Continue Reading Gorgeous Swimwear $100 and Under

Ambrassadors, Having a B.R.A. Fit, Swimwear

Stephanie’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 32D to 32DD


Stephanie Makrias’s Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit search for a swimsuit was textbook trial and error. As with April Compertore, finding the right fit and support mattered more than troubleshooting her bra size and, as petite as Stephanie is, not everything worked as expected on her figure.

Stephanie, the copy chief at Entrepreneur magazine, had never tried a bra-sized swimsuit before. She flagged a dozen possible suits—solids, prints, bikinis, tankinis, one-pieces—for upcoming trips to the Jersey shore and to visit her father in Florida. “From experience, I know you have to try on a million to find one,” she said. “This process is somewhat terrifying, but I trust I’m in great hands.”

amBRAssador Brittany assured her of it: “Especially with a swimsuit, our main interest is your comfort. If you’re not completely comfortable, that will come across in whatever you wear. I’m here to make sure you’re feeling confident along the way.”

Continue Reading Stephanie’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 32D to 32DD

Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Relationships

Postcards From Paradise: Travel Tips for Lake Placid


The next Bare Necessities staffer who hit the road is Kathy Hein, our director of customer service. (Last month, we traveled vicariously to Puerto Rico with Tera Gallagher.) Let’s check out what there is to do up in the Adirondack Mountains, shall we?

Why Lake Placid

We always do a beach vacation, but my husband isn’t exactly what you would call a beach person. So this year, we decided to do a mountain vacation.

Where to stay in Lake Placid

We stayed in a junior suite at the Whiteface Lodge. The Lodge is amazing. It has a bowling alley, movie theater, spa, indoor/outdoor pools, game room and a couple of restaurants.Continue Reading Postcards From Paradise: Travel Tips for Lake Placid