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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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Ambrassadors, Personal Style, Pop Culture, Swimwear

Big Boobs on the Beach: Top Problems, Solved

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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.

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

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

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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.”

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

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

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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.”

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Behind the Seams, Personal Style, Swimwear

Postcards From Paradise: Travel Tips for Charleston

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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. 

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Personal Style, Swimwear

Gorgeous Swimwear $100 and Under

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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 three must-have categories. Read on as our in-house expert helps you find the best bathing suit buys.

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

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

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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.”

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Personal Style, Swimwear

Sexy Swimsuits, from Mild to Wild

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Sexy is in the eye of the beholder, so when it comes to swim season, there’s more than one way to make a splash. As with so many things in life, it all comes down to attitude and personal style. Sexy can be as subtle as it is bold and brazen: “Sexy swimwear can sound intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be at all,” says Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma. “For example, if you opt for a one-piece with sheer mesh panels, you’re fully covered, yet the overall look still reads sexy.”

Consider this summer your personal platform to show as much—or as little—skin as you like. “The most important thing is your comfort level,” says Megan. “If you feel hot, you look hot. It’s as simple as that.” Here are her picks, arranged from smoldering to blazing hot.

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

April’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 34DD to 32DD

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April Compertore, 35, is never not on the go. She’s a meeting planner and a mother of two little girls, and both roles keep her on the move. As a former professional touring musical theater performer, though, she’s used to it.

These days, April is always up for “giving my daughters experiences,” which, in the summer, usually translates to getting into a swimsuit and hitting an amusement park or town pool. And she definitely wouldn’t mind parking it for a few days in a lounge chair on a Caribbean island for her ten-year anniversary with her husband later this year.

For all these reasons, April was game for Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit, the swimwear edition. While she wasn’t far off in terms of bra size, she was missing the style and support a bra-sized swimsuit can give and the precious free time a personal shopper could save her.  

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Having a B.R.A. Fit, Personal Style, Swimwear

Danielle’s Bra-Sized Swimwear Makeover: From 36DD to 38FF

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Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit is headed on vacation. Out of office. Having a moment in the sun.

Now through August, we’re delivering bra-sized swimwear success stories. And we’re kicking things off with Danielle LaBarbera, a 34-year-old life insurance agent and single mother to a 14-year-old daughter.

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