Thursday, June 20, 2019


It's taken me years of trial and error to end up with a collection of undergarments that I think work really well for me, and I thought that it might be helpful to someone out there if I shared what I've learned here today. I've spent countless hours googling "strapless bras that actually work" to no avail and I know I would have loved it if I had stumbled upon this post at some point instead of ordering 200 strapless bras over the last 10 years and sorting them out through trial and error, lol. (Also it took all of my willpower not to title this post "underpants!" and start with a gif of Cory from Boy Meets World)


First of all, I have a small band size and a large cup size so I've had a really difficult time finding bras that fit me since I was 13 years old, let alone pretty bras. I can remember all of my friends getting cute ones with ladybugs and butterflies printed on them and I was always stuck with plain white or ivory. It was like the binders scene in The Trouble with Angels where all of the girls want the beautiful brassieres and bustiers, and then Mother Superior walks in and orders plain white bras for everyone. Except in my case Mother Superior was Mother Nature dictating that my bra size relegated me to a world of ugly frumpy undergarments.

So naturally I was over the moon when I found this Wacoal bra. It has really good lift, which is something I have a hard time finding, but it's actually pretty and comes in a ton of fun colors! It did come with a little rhinestone on the front that I thought was tacky, so I cut it off, but otherwise this is literally perfect. It's an "up front and center" look but rounded instead of pointy. It just creates the perfect lift and shape.

My other favorite bra is the Bali flower bra. This one creates a little bit more of a bullet bra look. VERY good lift and a slightly more pointy shape. I should note that most of the things I'm listing here are more for the look than the comfort. It seems like most new bras that come out now are geared towards comfort and yes, when I'm lounging around the house I usually switch to a more comfortable bra, but when I'm out I want the girls lifted and shaped nicely and I honestly don't think underwires are as painful as commercials for wireless bras make them out to be, lol.

Here's an example of what I look like when I'm wearing the Bali flower bra (left, brown dress) vs. when I accidentally left on my around-the-house bra for outfit photos (right, pink dress.) This is the bra I wear around the house (and, if I'm being totally honest, I also wear it to sleep. I know, you're not supposed to. I still do.) I also wear this one with sweatshirts or t-shirts since the high lift and pointy shape looks a little wacky in casual wear (at least in my opinion.)

For strapless bras, I have two favorites. The one that does the best job for me is the Carnival corset bra, which is like a longline bustier. The boning on the bodice keeps things lifted well and it doesn't slip down like a regular strapless bra normally would. In the summer, though, sometimes a full body bra isn't quite realistic. It may not be a real corset but wearing one in 90' heat sure feels like it's the same thing! So when it's super hot out I go for this Wacoal halo strapless bra. It provides lift and it stays put. Almost every strapless bra I've ever purchased has slowly but surely made its way down to my belly button throughout the day, and this is the first one that didn't really budge. It does have a slight minimizing effect and can create a little bit of fat roll under the elastic band on the back but it's a small price to pay for being able to wear spaghetti strap dresses, right? In the photo below I'm wearing my Carnival corset bra:

I also really like body briefers for creating a nice seamless, smooth surface. My favorite is the Bali Lace N'Smooth Body Briefer. If you've never tried one of these before, they're really a godsend. It has a nice low back which is good for low back dresses, and it's so seamless that you never have to worry about your bra lines showing on the back or side. Plus it's actually pretty comfortable and has snaps on the bottom for easy bathroom access.


I wear two different types of slips. The first kind are full dress slips with bras built in, like this one. These are perfect for when you want to wear a dress that's a little tighter or the fabric shows bumps and lumps a little too much. I prefer this way more than wearing actual shapewear since it's all one piece (but it's a dress so it's open on the bottom for easy bathroom access!) I mostly wear these for special occasions. One thing I'd note is that I tend to order a larger band size than normal for these since I have wide hips, and my regular size was just too small to fit over them.

On a daily basis I wear slip shorts or "pettipants." These are my favorite, since you can cut them to be shorter. I see so many reviews of dresses online that say things like "I had to return it because it was see through!" or "the fabric was so sheer you could see my underwear through the skirt!" and I'm like, you silly goose, that's what slips are for! I would take a translucent dress with a slip over a well-lined dress any day of the week. I think lining bunches too much and makes dresses feel too bulky.

Slip shorts are useful for so many reasons -- in the winter, they keep your dress from clinging to your tights. In the spring they provide modesty when the wind inevitably blows your skirt up around your head. And in the summer they prevent your thighs from rubbing together when it's hot outside. And all year long they allow you some freedom that you don't normally have wearing a dress. With slip shorts underneath you can ride a bike, sit cross-legged on the ground, or do a cartwheel. You've got shorts on! And, of course, they add some opacity to your outfit and prevent sheer garments from exposing your underwear underneath. If I could recommend just one thing on this list, it would be pettipants.


In the winter I usually wear black tights or these Capezio body tights in light suntan. They're warmer than pantyhose but still give the appearance that you're going barelegged in the winter, which is nice since not every outfit really works with black tights.

Depending on my outfit and which shoes I'm wearing, I do wear pantyhose pretty often in the spring and summer. There's a few reasons - I'm self conscious about cellulite on my thighs and I find that pantyhose really minimizes it, so I'm way more comfortable and confident wearing short skirts and dresses in the summer that way. It also seems to help prevent getting blisters on the back of my ankle. I never get blisters in the winter, and I realized it must be because I always wear tights. Bingo! I was right. So now whenever a particular pair of shoes is giving me trouble, I start wearing stockings with them.

I've never found a pair of full pantyhose that I really liked, mostly because they always either feel too tight on my waist or they start rolling down during the day. So I switched to thigh highs and I'm pretty happy with that decision. I've been getting the West Loop lace top thigh highs in the color beige mist from Walgreens, and they're perfect. They don't cut into my leg and they don't ride down or bunch at the ankle.

How I feel about an outfit can sometimes rest entirely on what I'm wearing underneath. When I buy new clothes, I always make sure I'm wearing the right bra when I try them on because it can really make the difference between loving the dress or thinking that it makes me look frumpy. Knowing that I have slip shorts in my arsenal erases the need for my dresses to come pre-lined. If a dress is clingy, I know that I can change into a body briefer or slip dress and erase any nagging lumps. Once you've figured out the best foundation for your garments it makes getting dressed and feeling good about what you're wearing so much easier :)

Friday, June 7, 2019

arms are for hugging

Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and to raise awareness for the cause Everytown for Gun Safety is asking people to wear orange June 7 - June 9.

In America we are TWENTY FIVE TIMES more likely to be killed by a gun than citizens of other developed countries. Every single day 100 Americans are killed by guns. 100. Every. Single. Day. That's unacceptable.

I've always been a proponent of gun control, but ever since the Newtown tragedy it's felt so much more urgent. No parent should ever be afraid to send their kids to school. Nobody should ever be scared to go to the movies, or to shop at the mall. Honestly if I had my way, I'd get rid of guns entirely. I hate that they are used for hunting animals, and I hate that they're used for killing people. I just don't understand the need for a machine thats sole purpose is to kill.

But most gun safety organizations, like Everytown, aren't actually trying to get rid of guns entirely. They're seeking common ground with people like me (guns are evil!) and people who are responsible gun owners that never want to see another American massacre. They want background checks and safety locks and reasonable, common sense laws that will keep guns out of the hands of people who might hurt innocent children or church-goers or college students.

Wearing orange today, tomorrow, and Sunday will help raise awareness for this vital cause. You can learn more, take action, and/or make a donation on Everytown's website, here.

And honestly the most important thing you can do is vote. Vote for candidates who will keep us safe, not the ones that are beholden to the gun lobby. Vote in primaries, local elections, midterms, every single time that you can cast a vote, do it! And if you aren't registered yet, you can do that right here.

Finally, this weekend I'll be donating the profits from my "Arms are for hugging" t-shirt to Everytown. You can find the shirt in my Threadless shop right here. I also have it available in pink lettering here.