Friday, 14 December 2012

All I want for Christmas: A fuller bust Xmas lingerie gift guide

   With Christmas fast-approaching, now is definitely the time to finalise your Xmas wishlist! For lingerie addicts like me, Christmas is a great excuse for new lingerie and luckily for us lingeristas, there are some truly scrumptious pickings this festive season..

    If you happen to be buying underwear for a special lady this Christmas, make sure that you take a look at some of my helpful tips too:

  • Check the lucky recipient's bra size by peeking in her underwear drawer (don't get caught!)
  • Try to make sure that you're buying something that will suit HER taste not just yours and try to pick something that fits in with her style/ personality etc. There is nothing worse than receiving the great gift of underwear for it to be left unworn in a drawer!
  • Check the returns policy (make sure that you know the return date for your purchase(s) as you don't want for your recipient to be left with lingerie that doesn't quite fit right!)
  • Look out for gift wrapping options at checkout and maybe a personalised message (Some companies do this for free e.g. Boux Avenue (complete with scented petals and lacey tissue paper!) and others charge a small fee e.g. Figleaves (£3.50) - it can be a really special touch!)
  • Look up last Christmas shipping dates to make sure that your gift arrives in time!
  • If you want to give the gift of lingerie but aren't sure what the recipient wants, give her a gift card - that way she can get exactly what she wants and you won't need to agonise about what to buy her (win, win!)
  • Keep your eyes peeled for lingerie deals - it may not strictly be 'sale season', but that doesn't mean that you can't snap up a bargainous gift - more for your money..what's not to like?! (Check out Brastop for bargainous larger bust bras from just £10.95!)

(Picture via

   Whatever bra size you are, you will certainly be spoilt for choice this Xmas - there are some really gorgeous lingerie styles out there that will make you look and feel fabulous. If you are a fuller busted girl like me, here are 12 great lingerie pieces out at the moment to tickle your fancy! 

There's no denying that any of these beauties would look great under my Christmas tree..

1. Freya Ivy Underwired Padded Longline Bra, £32 (Available at Figleaves)

   Longlines are big news in the style stakes at the moment and who could resist this fuller bust beauty from Freya? The delightful ivy print is perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit and the delicate red lace trims and little bow detail keep this set looking flirty and fun. The cups are lightly padded to offer great shape and support. 

Available in sizes 30-38 D-G.

   Say hello to seduction in this gorgeous plunge bra from Bravissimo! With its deep neckline and lightly padded cups, you can count on it to deliver a lovely cleavage all the way up to a J cup. The purple/pink base is accented by irresistibly cute purple polka dots and purple ruffle and bow trimmings - the perfect Xmas treat for a special lady!

Available in sizes 28-38 DD-J.

How beautiful are the mesh bow back briefs (£18) too?

3. 'Tease Me' Balconette Bra by Curvy Kate in Cherry/Blush, £29 at Brastop

   Proving that fuller cup lingerie can be both supportive and sexy, the 'Tease Me' in this gorgeous cherry red colourway is guaranteed to make anyone's heart skip a beat! With its balcony style cups, intricate lace mesh overlay and striking cream ribbon details, this bra oozes boudoir glamour! 

Available in sizes 28-38 D-HH.

   As Undercover Lingerista readers will know, I'm a sucker for Freya's popular 'Deco' bras and I cannot wait to add the new Deco 'Honey' in purple to my collection! The 'Honey' delivers comfort, support and style without being overly fussy..and who could deny the allure of its knock-out cleavage and vibrant colour? 

Available in sizes 28-38 D-GG.

Also comes in firecracker red.

   Claudette has been on my radar for a while and I love this quirky neon 'Dessous' bra. This soft cup bra is crafted from turquoise semi sheer mesh and the contrasting black picot trim and appliqué grosgrain bows add to this bra's flirty and fashionable appeal. This bra is ideal for trendy girls that love to be playful with their underwear choices! 

Available in Sizes 30-38 A-G.

   For simple and classic sophistication, Bravissimo's 'Satine' hits the nail on the head. The ivory colourway makes me think 'Christmas snow' and 'a touch of bridal beauty' all in one and its smooth satin will make you feel both comfortable and elegant. It is a customer favourite and it is easy to see why - who doesn't love practical but luxurious lingerie that can be worn everyday?

Available in sizes 28-38 DD-J.

Also comes in an eye-catching cobalt blue or classic black.


   As soon as I spotted it, I fell in love with the punchy colour clash of this red satin and pink mesh number! This bra offers something quirky and original thanks to its thick straps and gold hardware, plus it features a quirky cut out strap back. This is certainly a sexy bra that refuses to go unnoticed! 

Available in sizes 30-38 A-G.

8. Miss Mandalay 'Amelie' Mink/Black balconette bra, £46

   If you're looking for sophisticated lingerie that oozes refined glamour, get ready to fall for the 'Amelie' balconette bra. This sumptuous mink satin and black lace bra has 'classy and fabulous' written all over it! There is no surprise that this is one of Miss Mandalay's most popular bras and it's selling out fast! 

Available in sizes 28-38 C-GG (limited stock)

A few more sizes available at Large Cup Lingerie and Red Box Lingerie.

9. Marlies Dekkers Dame de Paris padded balcony bra, £59 at Red Box Lingerie

   Stylish, edgy and worn to be seen, this Marlies Dekkers bra makes a statement and has been famously worn by Lady Gaga and Victoria Beckham, no less! This is the ideal bra for those that want to channel the 'underwear as outerwear' trend and this bra has unlimited possibilities. One to wear and be seen in! 

Available in sizes 32-36 D-F.

10. Mimi Holliday by Damaris Cheeky Minx Lace Long Shoulder Bra, £55 at Figleaves

   After my first run in with Mimi Holliday, I'm hooked on the brand's flirty cuts and luxurious fabric combinations. This 'Cheeky Minx' bra is sure to impress with its pretty leopard print pattern and vibrant pink lace panels. Its unique shoulder bra design is a great twist on traditional bra styles - who could resist such a cute and fashionable lingerie set? 

Available in sizes 30-36 D-FF (limited sizes)

11. Masquerade by Panache 'Delphi' Basque, £61 at Figleaves

   Why limit yourself to a bra when there are such gorgeous alternatives on the market too? This sexy satin basque from Masquerade is a dream come true for fuller busted ladies and will not only look stunning and flatter curves, but will support them too! Featuring delicate mesh and embroidered details with integral boning for a great fit, this vintage style basque is a real showstopper!

Available in sizes 28-38 D-GG.

12. Tatu Couture 'Giselle' bustle back brief, £95

   If you want to buy lingerie that wows, don't forget a dramatic and sexy pair of knickers. This Tatu Couture lace bustle brief is just gorgeous with its edgy 'cut out' effect mesh panels that reveal a peek of skin underneath. Featuring a fabulous padlock tattoo print, lashings of enchanting black lace ruffles and a quirky zip opening, these knickers are truly irresistable!

Available in sizes S, M, L


   I hope you like my Christmas lingerie wishlist - it is certainly not exhaustive, but if I had to pick my 12 Christmas 'must-haves', it would be these!

Dear Santa, 

I've been a very good girl this year..

Kitty xo

Monday, 10 December 2012

A luxurious gift on the highstreet: Rosie for Autograph M&S nightwear review

   If you're looking for the perfect gift this Christmas, lingerie and nightwear can be a wonderful treat to receive! Whilst lingerie is a thoughtful and personal gift, there are many pitfalls to avoid when purchasing it for someone else - factoring in both her size and taste can be a difficult task! A fantastic alternative gift idea is to buy your special lady some luxurious nightwear or sleepwear; think silks, satins, lace, demure detailing and beautiful trims. The big question is..where can you find luxury without the huge price tag? Surely you can't find it on the high street, right? Wrong!

   When I say 'M&S' to you, images of decadent, vintage-inspired silk lingerie and nightwear probably isn't the first thing that springs to mind, but prepare to be impressed (and seduced in equal measure) by the debut collection from supermodel, Rosie Huntington Whitely: 'Rosie for Autograph'. Lingerie has played a huge part in Rosie's modelling career and she is said to hold a real passion for it, making the English rose a perfect ambassador for the M&S 'Autograph' brand. Rosie states:

   "I was particularly drawn to the opulent elegance of the Twenties era which really shows in my designs from the sumptuous silks I chose to the intricate deco-inspired embroidery detailing on the garments. The palette [...] was largely influenced by the rich colours of different types of roses. From the muted tones of dusky pink and green through to dramatic scarlet blooms." (via Daily Mail)

   Rosie's collection certainly channels Great Gatsby elegance and the pieces reflect a softness and femininity that is classic, sophisticated and timeless. As the lingerie from the collection does not come in my bra size, my attention was drawn to the luxurious nightwear styles..cue delightful pure silk and cashmere pieces with lace and ribbon trims.

   The piece that caught my eye above all was the Rosie for Autograph pure silk lace wrap dressing gown in taupe (£59):

   It was an interesting choice for me as I have never really worn anything in this unusual taupe/mink shade, but I really loved the wrap-over design, lace detailing, floaty 'butterfly' sleeves, ribbon waist tie and key hole detail at the back - vintage romanticism at its best! 

   As you can see, the colour of this night gown is slightly darker than the promotional pictures, which was a welcome surprise for me as I am very pale. The quality was also very high and the 100% silk content makes this piece beautifully soft against the skin when worn.

   The design of this wrap dressing gown is gorgeous - it features an inner tie which keeps the cross-over sections in place better and the ties can be tied as tight or loose as the wearer wishes. The night gown is finished off by a silky waist ribbon tie:

   I really love the way that this dressing gown looks and feels when worn. The silk feels lightweight and it is hard not to glide around in this floaty number without feeling like an old Hollywood screen siren! The size 10 fit me nicely and it sweeps over curves and drapes beautifully to just above my ankles. (I'm 5ft10, so it would probably fall to ankle/near floor length on someone shorter) The wrap style is also very flattering to ladies with a bust and I actually found the chest area (which is made from lace with a slight stretch) to be generous - great news for those with larger busts that need extra chest room!

   I was also very impressed with the attention to detail. The main body of the gown is silk, but the bust section and sleeves are predominantly semi-sheer lace. You could either wear this gown over a night dress or alone for a more risqué (but still classy) look.. 

(Close up of a lace sleeve with slightly scalloped edging..)

   The silky waist ribbon tie helps to cinch in the waist and emphasise your feminine curves, whilst its soft sheen compliments the matte silk of the rest of the garment. The key-hole slit detail adds interest at the back of this dressing gown, revealing a peek of skin - a lovely touch indeed!

   Better still, when I checked the washing label, I was thrilled to find out that it is machine washable! (Surprising for something that has such delicate looking details, but it seems very well made.)

   I was really bowled over by how pretty this Rosie for Autograph gown was in the flesh and would really recommend it as a gift to someone else or as a treat to yourself this Christmas! It is a very versatile and flattering piece and even accomodates for a larger bust - a big 'tick' in my books. This piece would be perfect for injecting some grown up, sophisticated vintage glamour into any lady's nightwear collection. It is the kind of piece that I would love for my husband to buy me for Christmas and it looks so much more expensive than its £59 price tag - anyone would think that it was a luxury boutique piece!

   If you're looking for affordable luxury this Christmas, the Rosie for Autograph M&S nightgown is a present-perfect romantic treat that will make the recipient feel well and truly spoiled. It comes in sizes 8-22 and is selling out fast, so be quick if you want a slice of supermodel decadence under your tree this Xmas...

Kitty xo

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Stepping into sophistication: Masquerade by Panache 'Amor' lingerie review

   Undercover Lingerista readers will likely be aware of my love for fuller busted lingerie brand, Panache and their Masquerade line. Masquerade lingerie is commonly characterised by sophisticated and elegant designs, sumptuous fabrics and ornate detailing, which combine to offer the wearer great fitting luxury lingerie at affordable price points. Masquerade tends to be slightly more expensive than Panache's other sub-brands ('Superbra' and 'Cleo'), but the Masquerade line is such a decadent approach to D-H cup lingerie, that it is hard not to fall in love with the collections! 

   When it comes to bras, I tend to favour moulded bras due to the great rounded shape and cleavage that they offer. One of my favourite bras from Masquerade is definitely the 'Capella' bra which I reviewed a while much so that this beautiful bra became one of my 'go-to' bras for both special occasions and under my everyday work wear (as it was so comfortable)! Unfortunately my 'Capella' is slightly too small for me at the moment, so when I spotted the new Masquerade 'Amor' sweetheart moulded bra at the Panache A/W12 press day, I couldn't help but lust after it!

   The Masquerade 'Amor' set consists of a stunning moulded underwired bra and brazilian briefs in a rich sapphire jewel tone. The bra comes in back sizes 28-38 with cup sizes D-G and the matching knickers come in sizes 8-18. In line with my current Panache size, I went for a 28G in the bra and a 10 in the briefs, courtesy of the lovely people at Panache..

   The Masquerade 'Amor' bra looks even more exquisite in the flesh and the play on detail actually resides in the contrast of the sapphire satin with the matte blue fabric sections. As you can see from the pictures, the satin has an opulent sheen to it when it catches the light, making this bra look very chic and high-end. The matte blue sections run across the cups and down the centre gore of the bra in a 'V' shape, drawing the eye down to a central cleavage point. The 'Amor' is similar to the 'Capella' in that it is a balconette-plunge style with a 'sweetheart' neckline, which gives a more subtle and 'natural' cleavage than a deep plunge bra.

   The straps are also fairly thin (compared to Freya bras for example) and measure about 1.5cm thick (the same as the straps on the other Masquerade bras that I own). Unlike the 'Capella', however, the 'Amor' bra's straps are fully adjustable, which is always a bonus in my book as it lends to a longer 'strap life' and is useful for those that need to tighten their straps considerably.

   The bra fastens with two hook and eyes and the back band is double lined with a matte blue stretch fabric and bordered by satin wrapped elastic. Initially the 28G 'Amor' band felt similar to the Masquerade 'Anise' and because it felt a bit too tight when I first tried it on, I exchanged it for a 30FF. I now wish that I had stuck with the 28G and worn it with an extender until it loosened up - the 30FF band loosened up very quickly and I need to go on to the middle hook after wearing it just once! 

   That said, the 'Amor' is a lovely bra and the satin is silky smooth. When worn, the bra gives a very rounded shape and a natural looking cleavage that is perfect for all occasions. Thanks to the smooth lines of the 'Amor' bra, it would work well under most clothing. I often reach for plain moulded bras for work (e.g. my Freya 'Deco' bras), so the 'Amor' makes for a more luxurious substitute. There is nothing nicer than going to work knowing that you're wearing comfortable and equally stylish lingerie!

   As for the matching brazilian briefs, I am glad that I exchanged the 10 for a 12 as they look more flattering in the bigger size. 

   The 'Amor' brazilian briefs are interestingly not a direct match to the 'Amor' bra and are instead made from a soft matte stretch mesh with satin-wrapped elastic edging. I actually quite like that the bra and briefs are not 'matchy matchy' as it makes the set a bit more unusual. The fabric is also very slightly sheer, meaning that they steer away from looking like 'standard' plain blue knickers:

   The briefs are very smooth feeling and practical as they are seam-free. Although they are comfortable, they are not my favourite knickers. The elastic borders dig into your flesh a little bit, which although not uncomfortable, is not hugely flattering or conducive to creating a sleek silhouette under clothing. 

   The 'Amor' is a lovely lingerie set and I can see the bra particularly being worn a great deal in the upcoming festive season - whether it is under a dress to a Christmas party or as an everyday set under work clothes or casual wear. It has an understated appeal that makes it a timeless set and the luxe satin and sheer matte fabric combination elevates it beyond being 'just a blue lingerie set'. 

   With Christmas approaching, the 'Amor' would also make for a luxurious gift. If you can't afford real diamonds and sapphires, the 'Amor''s jewel tone satin will be enough to seduce any lady and make her feel spoiled! There is nothing more indulgent than gorgeous new lingerie and the 'Amor' set delivers everyday luxury aplenty. 

   One thing that I have learnt in my bra journey is that beautiful lingerie makes me feel good, so why save it solely for special occasions? Whether you're at the office or just lounging at home, wearing that pretty lingerie set will make you feel like you really 'have it together'!

The Masquerade 'Amor' is available to buy from My Curves and Me and other retailers. (Now there is even more reason to treat yourself or someone else as the 'Amor' bra is currently reduced from £42 to £24.50 and the briefs are reduced from £18.50 to £10.79!)

(I have also heard that the 'Amor' is coming out in 'Berry' for 2013, so keep your eyes peeled!)

Click here to see more of Panache's Masquerade collections.

Kitty xo