I Took Someone for a Bra Fitting!

I am back.

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ee-hee, it was a fun time

I had internet problems during my vacations, and it made me pretty angry for a while, but since I was in Miami Beach having a nice time, I decided to take vacations from the blog, as I was unable to write, and come back with news later. Now I am back and ready for this new year, which will be Under the Unders’ second year and my 20th year (actually, I turn twenty today, the 13th. Isn’t that exciting?). I hope it will be a great year and I have the intention of keeping the blog updated and with lots of nice pictures and good content.

Back to the main topic, while I was in the city, I took my mother and a friend to get fitted at Intimacy, located on Aventura Mall. They both wanted to shop at Victoria’s Secret, obviously because of the store’s different options and low price (specially on the Semi Annual Sale). Knowing that Victoria’s Secret has probably one of the worst fitting services on the US, even though they got my sizing almost right -I could be a band or two smaller, but I actually feel pretty comfortable in a 32D-, I decided to take both of them to real fitters before they shopped.

Each one went a different day and got fitted with a different person, but they both were middle-40s women that never got fitted. The fitting method was the same, and I got to write one of them down, apart from taking some pictures of the bras and store (since I wanted to preserve the women’s identity, I didn’t take pictures of them), in an experience I am about to describe now, for the ones interested in bra fitting and for the ones who would like to know how a fitter works.

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The store shopping bags. Bras are quite expensive there, but the fitting job is really awesome.

Arriving in the store, we were received with smiles and may-I-help-you? faces, for whom I said we wanted to have a fitting. So, the fitter took us inside to one of the fitting rooms, where the lightning was pleasant, and explained that they did not used measuring tapes. Asking what size the customer usually worn, I helped providing the information on what did a brazilian size meant (42=34B, 44=36B and so on), and the fitter explained to both of us they didn’t use measuring tapes, they would be trying on bras and fixing little problems so that the customer would eventually find the perfect bra.

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Details of the fitting room

Following that logic, the fitter brought to the customer a 30E bra, a Marie Jo ‘Avero’, which was clearly too tight on the back, but just a tad big on the cups. She went away and brought a 32D, another Marie Jo ‘Avero’. The fitter on my first visit was keen to explain every step to us, but the one on the second seemed a little tired, so I was the one that explained to the customer, my friend, that she brought a different size, bigger on the back but a little smaller on the cups, and the letter changed because when we go up a number on the back, we must go down a letter on the cup, although she did went a letter down, because after the D, there is the DD bra. I thought this second woman could have had a little more care when talking to someone that never got fitted (I stated that on the beginning of the talk), but maybe she just forgot about it or assumed we knew it.

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After trying Marie Jo’s bras, we ended up hanging them on the wall.

After concluding that a 32D was a good size for her (she was wearing a 34B when arriving, which is the Brazilian 42 size), the fitter proceeded to ask what kind of bras the customer would like to try. Since she was not looking for anything specific, the fitter was requested to bring something sexy that could be worn on a regular basis. Then, as the customer said she liked the model with push up, the fitter brought two Chantelle bras, the ‘Opera’ and the ‘Merci’. The Opera was her favorite, because of the lace details – and I agreed it looked really good.

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Chantelle Opera bra, in dark grey.

They did have matching panties, which was good, and the color of the bra was a pretty easy color to match with other ones. Overall, I really like the experience in taking family and friends to get fitted. In addition to that, I guess that being inside the fitting room while that happened helped me understand a lot more about the process of fitting, which I intend to know more and more each time, since it’s exactly what the brazilian lingerie market need the most.

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Chantelle Merci bra. Another great option, but more colorful.

Now my friend could easily buy at Victoria’s Secret. By having the correct number of her perfect bra, she can choose which model will she take, being comfortable in many styles, in a wide range of prices. It just took us a little step to another store, one with real experienced fitters – or at least some with knowledge of that subject!

You can visit Intimacy’s website and schedule your own fitting, if you wish so.

On that subject, I would like to link some of my friends articles on Victoria’s Secret bad fitting process:

Bratabase’s Why You Shouldn’t Go to Victoria’s Secret for a Fitting

Boosaurus’ In-Store Bra Fitting: Victoria’s Secret

Braless in Brazil’s Remeasuring for Victoria’s Secret

Miss Shapen’s Victoria’s Secret Crappy Fitting Techniques

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I Took Someone for a Bra Fitting!

Introducing: Água Fresca Lingerie

This post is the first one that comes double. Trying to, at the same time, reach my brazilian visitors and make brazilian brands reach international visitors, this post was originally written in portuguese and then translated to english. All of that was done by me, so that I can add notes in concepts that some readers outside Brazil may not understand. I hope this kind of post works, at least for now. It would be lovely to find out your opinion on it!

 

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Recently, I discovered a new brazilian lingerie brand (via Juliana, that has the brazilian lingerie blog  Tudo de Lingerie) – and I fell completely in love with it’s style! The brand, Água Fresca (it means fresh water in portuguese) just presented their new collection, called Singeleza.

The SS14 collection (just a reminder – we just entered spring, here!) takes it’s appearance from the city of Sabará, in the state of Minas Gerais, where Turkish immigrants brought the tradition of the characteristic lace produced there (with techniques similar to fishing nets). In the 25 years anniversary of the brand, the finesse of this lace, usually called Singeleza, was the inspiration to the beautiful pieces, as well as the expertise of the artisan producers and the cultural importance of it all.

So, it was more than expected that lace would have the leading role on the garments, and it really happens – in a delicate and lovely way, combining different types of lace with fine fabrics such as organza, voil, tulle, along with colors that range from romantic pastels to dark blue and green. Some prints are present, too, specially one made specially for the collection by the designer Cris Girollet.

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Unfortunately, just as many other cultural aspects of small villages, the laces produced at Sabará may be facing an end. The lack of interest of the youngsters to learn the art that once was passed through generations is the reason. However, the Crafts Center of Minas Gerais is trying to stimulate new artisans (this activity is commonly practiced by women, in this region) to learn the techniques and produce the lace.

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I got positively impressed by the images and the teaser. I am a lace lover, and the pieces caught my attention, along with their delicate details. For the ones who wish to know more about the brand, just access their website (it’s in portuguese, though).

Introducing: Água Fresca Lingerie

Book: Contemporary Lingerie Design

Some months ago, I got this book as a wonderful birthday present from a friend. It was a great chance for me to start learning about designers and their particular style, about what influences a lingerie collection and the processes involved in the creating and making it. I was just starting the blog, and didn’t have much knowledge about the industry.

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The cover – Made by Niki lingerie

So I thought that, instead of talking about the book, I could make something different. As the book talks about 30 brands, I decided to put together some of my favorite, together with a little excerpt of the book telling something nice about the brand. It was really hard to choose which ones I would talk about, because all of them are beautiful in some way.

As this is already going to be a long post, I am not putting any personal opinion, aside from my designer choices, that should be enough for you to understand a bit of my taste. The brands are in alphabetical order.

Bien Fée Pour Toi

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Autumn 2009

“I have two key themes: freshness and fantasy. I’m inspired by the freshness and purity of nature (…) and then, bit by bit, I bring it together with the fantasy side”

“I think I design equally well for a passionate and very feminine woman as for a woman who is more discreet and romantic.”

 

Carol Malony

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Summer 2009

“Lingerie gives you the permission to express yourself in another language. It can be beautifully done, it can be articulate, it can be poetic – it can be sexy!”

“It can start with a charm or even a bow and you just build it up. It’s much better to start with the materials and drape them on a stand so that they find their own dramatic style.”

 

Chantal Thomass

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Winter 2012

“I prefer to design my ready-to-wear with inspiration taken from lingerie, such as broderie anglaise or corsets. I like the masculine/feminine element, the contrast between the suit, which is something I’m well-known for, and lingerie.”

“I like the transparency of lace, specially very fine Chantilly lace. I really like satin and the transparency of tulle. I like to visit the suppliers’ factories.”

 

Claire Pettibone

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Heilroom collection

“There is an underlying femininity and romance in all of m work. I have developed quite a speciality for lace and embroideries, so there is a relationship there. (…) The goal is to make a woman look absolutely breathtaking.”

“All women are beautiful, and it’s my job to enhance that beauty with clothing. I see lingerie as an opportunity to step “out of time”, take a moment for oneself and perhaps share it with someone special”

 

Fifi Chachnil

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Collaboration with Topshop, Winter 2008

“Girls inspire me – their differences and singularity are my inspiration; the shape of the body and the way girls from different countries behave. Creativity often comes out of necessity.”

“The idea was to make a lingerie collection that did not compromise on style. It was like fashion, but to wear underneath.”

Fleur of England

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Jasmine collection

“It’s about beautiful, stunning lingerie that is almost a modern classic.Above all, the garment has to fit amazingly well. Fit is the most important thing. (…) Something that if your husband or boyfriend bought for you, you would think “Oh! How lovely, he’s bought me this pretty garment, he’s really thought about it!”

“Favourite design: my balcony bra: the fit is really good. It’s been in my collection since I started and it will never go.”

Gâtez-Moi

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Summer 2008

“Fabrics and laces are the most important starting point for my designs. (…) I need to make the designs as beautiful as possible. I love fabrics that have a soft touch, very lightweight fabrics, frills, polka dots and layering lace over other fabrics.”

“I’m inspired by nature, such as as feeling for the seasons in Japan, the colour of the sky, sunrays from a cloud…’

Guia La Bruna

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Touch of Gold pieces

“I think of a woman between 20 and 40, who is fashionable, quite romantic and feminine, in love with colours, prints, quality fabrics, with a slightly edgy taste. I guess someone like me”

“The inspiration: vintage-style lingerie, 1950s, divas mainly, all translated in luxurious fabrics. I wanted to create the lingerie set that I would love to have found in my grandmother’s drawer, with a retro look but modern at the same time.”

 

Marlies Dekkers

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Exhibition in Rotterdam

“Women tend to have a different view of who they are; I try to create designs that allow women to accept themselves as they are and feel comfortable about this. I want to give them confidence and make them feel beautiful. That’s my mission!”

“I’m also very proud that I design underwear that women want to combine with outerwear. (…) I wanted to make them [the bras] so beautiful that women would want to show them off, and the buyers didn’t believe me. I’m very proud that years later I’ve been proven right and it’s something women like to show off.”

 

Miss Lala Presents

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Summer 2009

“With lingerie, you never know who’s ging to buy what. You can think, for example, that pink gingham is for a certain age group, but you can have a fifty-year-old woman come in who adores it. Lingerie is the one place you can really experiment.”

“I’ll never stop loving polka dots. I’m obsessed with hearts. Ginghams I just adore, and also 1950s cotton stripes; I love the colours. I like a bit of bling – I like Swarovski crystals.”

 

Nuits de Satin Paris

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Dita waspie with Dolly babydoll

“We take several vintage pieces and use one detail from one, another detail for from another – we don’t design on paper. Or we take a vintage design as a base and design around it.”

“I adore Chantilly lace, silk mousseline and silk satin, specially duchesse satin. (…) All the fabrics are French, including the silk, because I believe France has an unique savoir faire with regard to fine-quality fabrics and laces”

 

Pleasure State

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Summer 2012

“We find today that colour is an evolution and it has little impact from the weather being hot or cold. We still refer to collections by their seasonal name, but for Pleasure State the influences are more likely to be around fashion seasons and events such a Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.”

“I am very proud of our superbly fitting and comfortable bra cups, which are seamless, smooth, flattering and exquisitely beautiful.”

So, what did you think about those designers? Do you find one of them is your favourite?

Book: Contemporary Lingerie Design

Fashion Editorial: Lady Retro

Next month’s brazilian Marie Claire magazine features an editorial focusing on lingerie’s details, such as lace, pastel colors and delicate looks. 

Although I’m not a big fan of this particular style being the only one related to females, and I can’t see much of the relation between these pictures and “the pin up style”, as they state on the description (I’d definitely say it would be something related to a vintage aesthetic,  but not pin up), the pictures look pretty nice. Besides, some of the lingerie used on the pictures are from brazilian brands, such as Loungerie, 2 Rios, Madame Sher, Fruit de la Passion… 

Here, the pictures, captured by Eduardo Rezende, with makeup and hair by Helder Rodrigues: 

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Fashion Editorial: Lady Retro

Lingerie Review: Kiss me Deadly and What Katie Did

When I was around London, taking the tube and walking all around town searching for lingerie stores I’d like to visit, I stopped by these two lovely boutiques. The little Kiss me Deadly, located in a cute street, that made me feel home and the all vintage and full of feathers What Katie Did, which made me feel like I was about to become a pin up.

I really liked KMD’s designs, because for me they were the perfect image of an independent woman, who likes to be known for her strength but loves to be sexy as well. They have a little vintage touch, which pleases me a lot, too. So I went there and tried on a few pieces, ending up with the Van Doren bralette and a 6-strap suspender belt.

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Funny faced me wearing these wonderful pieces in my oh-so-messy room

This bralette… I don’t know, I’ve never seen anything like it. It acts like a medium-support bra, as it’s made of foam, but it’s super comfortable and the lack of wires makes me forget that I’m wearing anything. I wear a medium size, even though I have a small back, because the small was too tight on my breasts.

I like the fact that the straps are pretty wide, too, because I feel like it gives even more support and it matches the whole design. The small detail between the breasts is really nice too, and the bralette gets super pretty underneath a mesh shirt!

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Keeping my hosiery up all day and all night (or not, who knows)

After the bralette, which I truly wanted, I asked if they had a suspender belt and a pair of knickers (well, it was England) to match. I tried on the Van Doren high waisted knickers but they were too large, because I have quite a small waist. Then, I went to this suspender belt and it was so pretty and fitted so well that I had to take it. It’s just vintage enough and seemed very practical. And the lace has “Virgin” written on it, which I thought was a little… ironic. 

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One strap on the front and these two on the side and back.

When I wore it, I realized it was not comfortable… it was way beyond it! Really good, it’s probably one of my favorite pieces and surely my favorite garter belt. It keeps the stockings up all day -I’ve tried it. As I wear it on my waist, I can wear panties over it, which helps if you plan on going to the toilet during the day (I find it quite important).

The What Katie Did store, as I stated above, looked like a pin up heaven. But I’m still not bold enough to buy really vintage-inspired lingerie. Although their pieces are gorgeous, they are still too… vintage for my personal taste. But an absolute must if you into that kind of style.

However, I was not about to leave without a shopping bag! I asked for nylon stockings, but after a small chat with the ladies present at the store, I realized it would be better if I bought one with nylon and elastane, for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I have thin legs and the elastane could help me with the size, and I didn’t know how to properly take care of nylon stockings, as I am a bit clumsy.

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I feel like a vintage babe!

Anyway, I really liked the seams, I thought that it gives exactly the touch that sometimes I search in my outfits. Bought a black and a nude one! I really feel like I’ve made excellent choices on my Lingerie Trip!

So, what is your opinion on it? Have you ever tried a 6-strap-suspender belt?

And how you feel about some reviews featuring pictures of some selected pieces on me? I think it’s nice to know how the pieces stay on the body!

Lingerie Review: Kiss me Deadly and What Katie Did

UK Lingerie Trip

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A funny picture of myself in Camden Town, today. London is an amazing place.

So, this is about to be a little post with plenty of photos and a bit about how my first days in London have been. I won’t be telling details about everything related to my trip because I guess just the lingerie parts are important (since this is, obviously, a lingerie blog).

First of all, I met Mira from Lost in Lingerie. She and her parter are absolutely lovely, we had a great time together. We got to talk about our lives, lingerie plans, I saw a preview of the next photoset that will be on her blog, we laughed a lot and I ate something delicious.

Mira and I after brunch, on St. Pancras railway. Beautiful place, sweet people.
Mira and I after brunch, on St. Pancras railway. Beautiful place, sweet people.

After that, I went to the famous Oxford Street for a walk and some shopping. I knew that Victoria’s Secret was near there, so I stopped by because I needed a bra that wasn’t about to be expensive, I needed proper fitting and I needed lounge pants and soft, cheap, cute panties. Victoria’s Secret may not have my favorite marketing strategy and I may not agree with all the magic that surrounds the idea of being an Angel (specially as I was a model before and I have felt how hard this is), but I really like some of their pieces and the smell of their body washes.

The back of the wings worn by Doutzen Kroes in 2011 in the Ballet section
The back of the wings worn by Doutzen Kroes in 2011 in the Ballet section

Therefore, I entered the big store and, after a few minutes mentally screaming “OH MY GOD” to the Angels outfits exposed, got to the fitting rooms for a proper fitting. As I’ve been measured as a 34B by a VS lady a while ago, I wasn’t very sure about the pink measuring tape they had around their neck. But the method they used was really nice, as a matter of fact. The lady measured my back and came to the conclusion that I was a 32 (something I already knew, since the band on the 34 was too large). Then, she started on a B cup and I tried it on, even though I was sure that I was a C cup. Then, she brought me a C cup and… it was too small. Maybe my boobs got bigger as I put on some weight (yay!), maybe they were always like this and I had never noticed. However, I tried on the next cup size and it fits just perfect. I can finally assume that I am a 32D girl.

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That stated, I bought a basic black bra (oh, not all VS styles come in this size. I wanted one from the PINK section because they are comfortable and cheap, so I could only find one), a lounge pant in this dark blue shade which I loved and some panties. And I got a PINK dog, which is lovely. Is my second dog (they are cute! you can tell that I get excited with these silly stuff because I can’t get in touch with them home, only when I’m abroad).

Sometimes, I like sexy panties. Sometimes, I like funny ones.
Sometimes, I like sexy panties. Sometimes, I like funny ones.

Then, on the next day, I got tired of funny patterns and cotton. I walked to the nearest Agent Provocateur store and, as they were on sale, I could buy a whole lingerie set. Normally, I would only have money for a bra, or maybe a bra and some panties that did not match. But not this time. The lady that helped me was absolutely sweet and we ended up having a good time trying on bras on me. Her middle name, by coincidence, was Manuela! I got caught between this set and a bright pink one. I thought for a bit and decided that I already had enough black things (besides the fact that I am probably going to get some more tomorrow…), so I would go for the bright pink and red one. And so I did!

The chosen one. I really, really love this. It's totally out of my comfort zone.
The chosen one. I really, really love this. It’s totally out of my comfort zone.

I am still going to buy stockings to match this set full of satin and lace, and tomorrow I have time to visit some other stores. I will be sure to take more pictures and share them all with you!

UK Lingerie Trip

The London List

Each week that passes I get more and more excited to travel to England. I could just throw every single college paper up in the air and pack my bags to catch a plane tomorrow. And buy lingerie. Since I am kind of a serious person (I’m not, but can we pretend that I am, just for a second? Thank you.), I am working hard on college, and in the spare time I dream about english-speaking-saleswomen and go around some websites to see what I like.

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Except I’m not about to buy these brands, this is what I was kind of dreaming of.

So, I thought I could make another small wishlist with some items I found on those websites and would fit me and my drawer perfectly!

Stella McCartney

I really didn't think I could buy this. But now is the time.
I really didn’t think I could buy this. But now is the time.

Stella McCartney is a brand that I admittedly like for how it seems to make classic pieces very luxuriously. They are definitely on the classic feminine aesthetic, something that personally attracts me a lot (although I admire very much all the brands that try to break this stereotype). Anyway, I’ve been very much into their Clara Whispering Chemise, which is a little expensive (£182) but luckily I have quite enough money to get one for my drawer! I have the feeling that I will leave Selfridges with quite a lot of shopping bags…

Mimi Holliday

Just take a look at that lace. And the happy face!
Just take a look at that lace. And the happy face!

Although I still have to know if Mimi Holliday is sold anywhere else other than Selfridges, I found some options on their website. And some of them -my favorite- have this amazing lace which is shown on the picture. I have been admiring the Bisou Bisou set (with briefs) and I think it fits my taste very well. A touch of glamour on a common day, maybe? I like the idea.

Lascivious

Not only the seams, but look at the little heart! I love these details.
Not only the seams, but look at the little heart! I love these details.

I recently discovered Lascivious, but I’ve been really amazed by their designs. Although I’d love to go on a shopping spree and empty my wallet in one of their stockists, I decided to focus and realized that what I really want (and need, actually) is their seamed stockings. They are seamed in the back -very pin-up!- and fit my budget! Definitely on my list.

Playful Promises

Frills and bows, red lips and funny faces! Oh, how I adore it!
Frills and bows, red lips and funny faces! Oh, how I adore it!

I just adore this brand. Absolutely one of my favorites – and I can’t wait to visit their boutique and buy some things, since their price is really reasonable and I can get a few items. Maybe two or three panties. Maybe the Ghost bodysuit I’ve been wanting for a while. This is the kind of store I might spend a long, long time just looking at every detail and having small attacks because I love everything.

So, how do you feel about my to-do list so far? Any other suggestions?

If you know/run/work at a lingerie boutique based in London or Leicester, please contact me via comment or contacttheunder@gmail.com so I can put your store in my destination list! 🙂

The London List