Behind the Seams Personal Style

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

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.

Behind the Seams Personal Style Pop Culture

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

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.

Behind the Seams Personal Style

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

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.

Behind the Seams Bra Fit Experts Having a B.R.A. Fit

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

“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 Bra Fit Experts, our in-house team of fit and fashion gurus.

Let’s do this, Carole.

Behind the Seams Personal Style Pop Culture

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

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 Bra Fit Experts 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.

Behind the Seams Confessions Inner Beauty

Top 10 Model Confessions with Nina Daniele

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…

Behind the Seams Bra Fit Experts Relationships

Meet the Bra Fit Experts: Jeanette & Christianne on Professional Bra Fittings

In the back-to-school spirit, we sat down this week with our senior and freshman Bra Fit Experts. Jeanette (top right) is the longest-serving Bra Fit Expert on the customer service team, with five years under her belt. Christianne (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.

Behind the Seams Personal Style Relationships

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!

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…

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 Bra Fit Expert 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. 

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.

Behind the Seams Confessions Personal Style

Stylist Confessions with Bruce Dean

For hair and makeup artist Bruce Dean, a typical day is never typical. He could be working with magazines (Vogue, Elle, Paper, Playboy, Men’s Health), models (Robyn Lawley, Lauren Mellor, Sean O’Pry), musicians (Missy Elliott, Cyndi Lauper, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5), actors (Amy Poehler, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Sandra Bernhard, Paul Rudd, Alan Cumming), Broadway stars (the casts of Bombay Dreams, Steel Magnolias and Heathers) or us here at Bare Necessities.

That unpredictable mix of high-pressure, high-profile work could be a recipe for burnout, but Bruce’s easygoing, charming demeanor—he treats the talent with the same respect as the rest of the crew—ensures he takes it all in stride. Bruce, who learned how to do makeup growing up in Ventura, California, by practicing on himself and his younger sisters, is equally happy to glamorize the elite as he is his friends. He’s just as comfortable on the red carpet as he is (wait for it) quilting at home in Spanish Harlem, New York City. Though he has the world’s best products at his fingertips, it’s only fitting that, as a makeup artist, he says his perfect day must include “making someone smile.”

Read more about the man who knows how to bring out the best in anyone, inside and out.