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.

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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.

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Ambrassadors, Breast Cancer Awareness, Health & Wellness

10 Things to Know About Life After Breast Cancer from Survivor Theresa Specht

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Four years ago this month, Theresa Specht, a preschool teacher and mother of two, was lying in bed watching television when a public service announcement about Breast Cancer Awareness Month came on. At 29, she had never really thought to thoroughly check herself out.

That’s the night she felt the lump in her left breast.

“My husband told me, ‘You didn’t have cancer an hour ago; you don’t have it now” and to relax and get some sleep,” Theresa recalls. Her gut told her otherwise.

Just before her 30th birthday, Theresa was diagnosed with stage III lymph node-positive breast cancer.

She had no risk factors or family history and tested negative for the BRCA gene. Her cancer, in her breast and lymph nodes, appeared to be estrogen-driven and was positive for the HER2 protein. “It’s a nasty cancer, but for that reason, a lot of research has gone into developing drugs to target the protein,” Theresa says. (It’s unclear whether her Cowden syndrome, a rare genetic variant, played a role.)

After six cycles of chemotherapy, a year of targeted biological therapies, a bilateral mastectomy and prophylactic hysterectomy, six weeks of daily radiation, reconstructive surgery and ongoing use of Tamoxifen, Theresa is still here, showing cancer who’s boss. She shares with Bare Necessities 10 truths about what happens when you’ve emerged from the fight of your life and it’s time to pick up where you left off:

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Inner Beauty, Personal Style

Beauty & The Bras: Top 5 Beauty Trends for Fall 2017 (and the Bras that Go with Them)

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Sure, we’re sad that rosé season (also known as summer) is over, but let’s focus on the positives that come with this change, shall we? That forever-exciting back-to-school feeling, cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything…there are so many things to love about fall. Add gorgeous new beauty trends to the list, as inspiration from the runways makes its way to the real world.

There’s no shortage of new hair and makeup ideas: This year, the trends are sophisticated and totally wearable. Best of all, they’ll work beautifully with the scarves and boots you’re about to bust out of your closet, not to mention the season’s loveliest lingerie that you’ll be wearing underneath.

Ahead, five of the top beauty trends to try, each perfectly matched by yours truly at Bare Necessities with the best bra. Bring it on, autumn.

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Behind the Seams, Confessions, Inner Beauty

Top 10 Model Confessions with Nina Daniele

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Nina Daniele (“‘Nina-Marie’ if my mom is mad at me”) grew up in Pelham, north of the Bronx in New York City. “It’s one of those towns you don’t appreciate until you have to be an adult and pay your own bills. As a kid, you’re bored AF,” she told us behind the scenes during the Fall Hot List shoot of some of our coolest bras and bodysuits. “I spent countless summer nights driving around with my friends, hanging out in the parking lot of the 24-hour Dunkin’ Donuts, stealing donuts out the back door since I think collectively we had about $5.”

She’s come a long way. Nina started modeling about seven years ago, while she was still in college. She planned to join the Air Force post-graduation, but her boyfriend convinced her to try modeling first: “I’m so happy he did because I don’t know how long I would have lasted!”

At Bare Necessities, we’re glad, too. The woman the lens loves gets her workouts from pole-dancing, her style inspiration from Aerosmith and has amassed much wisdom since her donut-filching days. Such as…

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Ambrassadors, Behind the Seams, Relationships

Meet the amBRAssadors: Jeanette & Christianne on Professional Bra Fittings

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In the back-to-school spirit, we sat down this week with our senior and freshman amBRAssadors. Jeanette, 35 (top right), is the longest-serving amBRAssador on the customer service team, with five years under her belt. Christianne, 25 (top left), is the newbie: She’s been at Bare Necessities three months now.

What has Jeanette learned the hard way that she wishes someone had told her from day one? What does Christianne bring up from a Millennial perspective that changes how we shop for bras? What questions do they both field all day long, and what do they wish women knew?

Listen in for a few insights from the women you’ll find on the other end of the phone—or screen.

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Inner Beauty, Power Figures, Relationships

Nitika Chopra on Learning to Love Yourself

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Nitika Chopra has empathy like some of us have parking tickets or high heels—in spades.

First, she’s a global citizen. Born in Ohio, she moved to Cairo, then Singapore, back to Ohio, on to New Jersey and Hong Kong and, for the past 16 years, she’s called New York home. She’s seen the human condition around the world, and the differences we share in common.

But moving a lot didn’t help her escape her personal conflicts. Nitika hated her name, endured a painful and debilitating case of psoriasis for a decade from age 10 and was divorced by her twenties.

Now 36, Nitika is not only all grown-up but fully self-actualized. As the host of Naturally Beautiful, a talk show that ran on the holistic lifestyle channel Z Living, she referred to herself as a “self-love guru,” and few have learned the hard way better than Nitika how to show oneself grace.

“I’m committed to helping others access tangible self-love. It’s such a buzzword these days, but the more I talk to people, the more I realize that most of us have no clue what it is, what it looks like, what it feels like, what it means. My mission is to make it tangible, to help them feel like they can achieve it. I use every avenue I can—my blog, my social media—to share the journey I’ve been on.”

We got philosophical with Nitika to find out how one gets from the lowest lows to the highest highs in the same lifetime.

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Personal Style, Power Figures

Sarah Chiwaya, Fashion Trendsetter, on Staying Body-Positive

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Sarah Chiwaya, the blogger and founder of Curvily and the associate fashion editor at Plus Model Magazine, walks the proverbial walk and talks the proverbial talk.

Curvily is about fearlessly bringing plus-size fashion to the fore where it rightfully belongs and, when Sarah came by our photo studio to show how she would pair some of fall’s trends with bras that really fit, that’s just what she did. As soon as the flashbulbs started popping, Sarah owned the place. She knew what she wanted, going so far as to schlep in her own accessories to finish each look. Sarah did not for one second flinch at a plunging neckline or shy away from a sheer shirt and, in her conversations off-set, dazzled everyone she met with her passion, wit and boldness.

Her message—wear whatever you want if it makes you feel great—was deeply resonant and inspiring and, what’s more, she wants the same for you, too. It starts with one’s own self-confidence, and it ends with fixing the way women are depicted in modern society and in the media. Her life’s mission is to actually bring about those changes. Sarah is more show than tell, and we got right away that we were in the presence of a Power Figure out to do no less than change something about the way the world works.

We dug deeper with Sarah to find out how she got to be so fearlessly self-actualized, what she’s seeing in the industry and what literally keeps her up at night.

Continue Reading Sarah Chiwaya, Fashion Trendsetter, on Staying Body-Positive

Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Relationships, Swimwear

Postcards from Paradise: Travel Tips for New England

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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

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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…

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