Behind the Seams, Personal Style

Invest in Your Wardrobe with the Top Picks in Luxury Sleepwear and Loungewear

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Say what you will about tiresome winter weather, but the clothes are as decadent as it gets. Impossibly soft cashmere sweaters, velvet blazers, satin party dresses, brocade jackets, nubby coats….the list goes on. Simply put, there’s no better time to get extravagant.

This year, touchable, decadent fabrics have made their way from ready-to-wear over to intimates. For the price, a little luxe goes a long way (cashmere slippers, anyone?) and, if you’re daring, many of the pieces can be worn out of the house, too.

“Anyone can wear these fabrics to dress up a bit and take their wardrobe to the next level in seconds. I love that this holiday we’re seeing all these great fabrications play out across all different silhouettes, from robes to loungewear to nighties,” says Bare Necessities buyer Alyssa Barnard.

By all means, wrap yourself in something extra-special this season. A little fa-la-la-la-luxury may be the best way yet to cope with the cold.

Continue Reading Invest in Your Wardrobe with the Top Picks in Luxury Sleepwear and Loungewear

Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Pop Culture

Find Top Picks for this Holiday Season, from Swimwear to Sexy Lingerie

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! Of course, it can also be one of the most stressful. Whether or not you’ve gotten a jump on your gift list yet, you’re in luck: Our best-in-the-biz buyers are here to point you directly to their favorite picks for perfect presents in every category on Bare Necessities.

Now, with a minimum of time and indecision, you can find something your significant other, best friend, parents, in-laws, kids and even the dog are all but guaranteed to love. Consider it our gift to you.

Continue Reading Find Top Picks for this Holiday Season, from Swimwear to Sexy Lingerie

Ambrassadors, Having a B.R.A. Fit, Health & Wellness

Learn How a Sports Bra Should Fit with Hazel-Anne’s 36DD to 34F Sports Bra Makeover

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Hazel-Anne M. Johnson, Ph.D., 38, is a professor and the director of a university undergraduate program, a mom of two toddlers, deeply involved in community activism and a CrossFit devotee. She’s been going to the intense workout for the past 5 years and can do a headstand or deadlift 150 pounds like it’s the easiest thing in the world. “It’s the most inspiring workout I’ve ever done,” she says. “I actually enjoy burpees.”

In other words, Hazel-Anne is basically Superwoman, and finding time for herself is her Kryptonite. She tries to get to CrossFit three or four times a week—a lofty goal even with a less intimidating schedule: “My mission is to figure out how to carve out me-time despite an ever-busy agenda.”

So you can pretty much guess where bra shopping ranks on Hazel-Anne’s priority list. “I don’t like shopping, and I’ve been pregnant or nursing for over three years, so I’m at a loss when it comes to understanding what my bra size is at this point. When I saw some of your swimwear makeovers on Bare it All this past summer, I was intrigued by the women’s transformations.” That’s where the Bare Necessities amBRAssadors come into play. Hazel-Anne wanted to experience the same revelation with her bras, especially her sports bras.

Continue Reading Learn How a Sports Bra Should Fit with Hazel-Anne’s 36DD to 34F Sports Bra Makeover

Behind the Seams, Personal Style

Find the Best Problem-Solving, Special Occasion and Everyday Bras with Le Mystère

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Le Mystère became a household name when none other than Oprah named the Dream Tisha T-shirt bra one of her “Favorite Things” 15-plus years ago and ushered in a new era: the bra fit revolution. The brand is still going strong and, while Dream Tisha still anchors the whole collection, Le Mystère has gone in two different directions: solutions bras and everyday bras.

Today, we’re looking at the solutions because who doesn’t need more than a few of those in her special occasion arsenal, especially this time of year? “People tend to go to brick-and-mortar stores first to try on these types of bras because they’re too specific to take a wild swing,” says Bare Necessities premium buyer Heather Viskovic. “That’s why we decided to do a product road-test. We did the work for you, so you’ll know how to choose the right bra with the best possible fit when you really need it.”

Bare it All had three staffers put three solutions bras through their paces to find out firsthand how they actually work, whether they perform out in the real world, what they’re great (or not so great) for and everything else you’d want to know before you get a bra home so it really can be the answer to your night-out prayers.

Read on for the full scoop and to find a bra that solves some issues of your own.

Continue Reading Find the Best Problem-Solving, Special Occasion and Everyday Bras with Le Mystère

Personal Style, Pop Culture

Alyssa Hertzig’s Treat Yourself, Gift Yourself Guide to Sleepwear and Loungewear

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Alyssa Hertzig of The Sparkly Life blog is no stranger to the “treat yo’self” philosophy. A mom and a wife, a lifestyle blogger, a beauty writer for some of the world’s top magazines and, oh yeah, a Bare it All Power Figure, we knew Alyssa would be the perfect person to talk to for our holiday gift yourself guide.

Bare Necessities spent the day with Alyssa at her home outside Manhattan, hanging with her adorable kids Sadie, 7, and Nate, 4, and pup Easton. Alyssa was in full sparkly life mode during our photo session, while her in-between moments were spent trying to feed the kids, get them to after-school activities, talk to the babysitter, let the dog out….

Real life, meet the sparkly life.

That’s what this gift-yourself guide is about: the times when the reality of every day rubs up against who we imagine ourselves to be…polished, put-together, at our best even when kicking back.

“As moms, we tend to put our kids before us—and we should do that! But it doesn’t mean we don’t matter, too,” says Alyssa. “I dress my kids in adorable PJs each night, but if I’m being honest, I’ve kind of let myself go in that area. I had fallen back on wearing sweatpants and an old tee shirt to bed—not exactly chic.” And since Alyssa spends a lot of time working for home, “that outfit often follows me into the next day, so I love the idea of giving yourself the gift of cute loungewear or sleepwear. It can be just as comfy as your standby sweats, but you feel so much cuter and more confident.”

Who doesn’t need a daily dose of that? Read on for where she found it.

Continue Reading Alyssa Hertzig’s Treat Yourself, Gift Yourself Guide to Sleepwear and Loungewear

Inner Beauty, Personal Style, Power Figures, Relationships

Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein See Beauty Everywhere in their Podcast for Women, Fat Mascara

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By day, Jessica Matlin (top right) is the health and beauty director at Teen Vogue, and Jennifer Goldstein (top left) is the executive beauty and health editor at Marie Claire. Not glam enough for you yet? On nights, weekends and rare, spare moments in between, they become the co-hosts of Fat Mascara, the award-winning, first-of-its-kind weekly podcast about all things beauty. (The show’s name is an allusion to the bigger, better, juicier, where-does-it-end? trend in mascara and the like.)

Since last spring, Jess and Jenn have been “raising a wand” to their favorite products; interviewing celebrities, hair stylists and makeup artists, physicians and all manner of experts; reporting the latest industry news; answering listener questions and otherwise holding up beauty as a mirror to our culture.

For bravely, stylishly and hilariously exploring this often fraught women’s territory in a smart, fresh way, we hereby name Jenn and Jess this month’s Power Figures. Read on to hear how they know a hero from a zero when it comes to cosmetics, why these print all-stars became audiophiles, how they cope with stress when they’re at their limits and what beauty really means to them.

Continue Reading Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein See Beauty Everywhere in their Podcast for Women, Fat Mascara

Ambrassadors, Behind the Seams, Having a B.R.A. Fit

Carole’s Bra Fit Makeover: From 36D to 34DD

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“I’m 58 years old and have never been fitted for a bra before. That’s a long time not to know,” says Carole Walker, founder and president of Integrity Marketing and Media, where she works with major brands —“they don’t intimidate me”—to find solutions to problems.

We got the vibe that a bra intervention wouldn’t unnerve Carole in the slightest. “I’m an open book,” she told us. “I’m always up for an adventure and learning something new.” The same can be said for the Bare Necessities amBRAssadors, our in-house team of fit and fashion experts.

Let’s do this, Carole.

Continue Reading Carole’s Bra Fit Makeover: From 36D to 34DD

Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Pop Culture

An Empowering and Exclusive Look into Curvy Kate’s 7 Star in a Bra Finalists

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Curvy Kate, our dear friends from London, decamped to Bare Necessities this past weekend. Given our shared reason for being—empowering women of every age, size and shape—we were excited and honored to be their exclusive partners in hosting the annual Star in a Bra competition. Fans of the brands entered to become the new face of Curvy Kate and win a yearlong contract with True Model Management, as well as all the Curvy Kate lingerie imaginable.

“We received about a thousand entries, the most ever for Star in a Bra stateside,” says Chantelle Crabb, Curvy Kate’s communications manager, “bra whisperer” and a former winner herself—so she knows the rigors the 19 contestants went through: before-after photos; bra fittings with Bare Necessities’ ace amBRAssadors Mette, Michelle and Kristyn; photo shoots in three different bras and interviews with Bare it All. You’d never know that some of the contestants hadn’t so much as stepped out of their bedrooms in their skivvies before, much less in front of a camera in a studio full of strangers, but they brought it like the bold, confident women they are.

Today, those 19 inspiring women, beautiful inside and out, became the final 7. And the winner is up to you.

Read on for their moving personal stories, then visit Curvy Kate’s Star in a Bra to cast a vote for your favorite. The winner will be announced on November 15.

Continue Reading An Empowering and Exclusive Look into Curvy Kate’s 7 Star in a Bra Finalists

Personal Style, Pop Culture

Trick or Treat? Sexy Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults

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Step aside, pint-size ghouls and goblins on parade. The grown-ups are reclaiming Halloween. Last we checked, there was no age limit on a wicked good time. We’re all in favor of playing dress-up, whether you’re going out for your thrills or staying in and ignoring the doorbell.

This year, Bare Necessities has easy do-it-yourself costume ideas made up of good-looking separates you’ll re-wear after the Halloween party is over, as well as tongue-in-cheek sexy costumes designed explicitly (and we do mean that literally) for the bedroom.

Mischief Night, redefined.

Continue Reading Trick or Treat? Sexy Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults

Personal Style, Power Figures

Dora Lau, Founder of Curvy Couture, on What Women Really Want

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Sometimes, fate meanders, bringing us baby step by baby step to places in life we never could’ve predicted.

Sometimes, it’s a straight shot.

Looking at Dora Lau’s success, you can almost see it preordained, each dot connecting sequentially and building on the last lesson at the optimal moment. Dora evolved from a curvy teenager searching for the right clothes she could never seem to find to a fashion stylist to a lingerie trailblazer, founding Dora L International, Inc. in 1991 and racking up the accolades. In 2012, she laddered up another level when she launched Curvy Couture, her self-funded label for women much like herself, with elevated expectations and a taste level to match.

Bare Necessities interviewed Dora about that process of finding your calling and achieving your dream—not just down the road, but every day.

Continue Reading Dora Lau, Founder of Curvy Couture, on What Women Really Want