04/11/2014

Agent Provocateur Classics on a Budget: Fifi

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APfifidupe-2Arguably the selling point of the AP Fifi is the ruffles. In particular, the tiered ruffles on the suspender belt are a thing of beauty. You'll have to excuse the knickers in these photos though, they are, in fact, from the AP Petronella set as i seem to have misplaced my Fifi knickers somewhere at my mother's house (hopefully i haven't left them in Paris!). But anyway, with these ruffles in mind, i've compiled a little list of lingerie that won't cost you as much but will still enrich your life with the ruffles you crave:

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This Tutu Belt from Creepyyeha is possibly the most adorable belt i've ever seen. Not a suspender belt but it has that three tiered ruffle going on and can be worn both under and over clothes. It will also only set you back £62.50.

This Double Layer Garter Skirt from Creepy Little Girl replaces tulle with layers of broderie anglaise. It comes in at £31.25.

This Lingerie Set from Arabel couples a tulle layered garter belt with tulle layered knickers giving a tiered effect. Handmade in the UK and costs £75 for the set.

This Espirit Bra is a stripped back version of it's Fifi counterpart. With a plain black base and a delicate lace overlay at the top of the cup. Everyday practicality for £23.

The Pintuck Underwired Bra from ASOS is almost an exact dupe for the shape of the fifi bra. Available in sizes suitable for small busts (yay!) and at a wonderful £16.

This Coquette Suspender Belt has all the ruffles you could want but is slightly maturer than all the overly delicate and feminine pieces posted above. Better yet, it's only £13.95.

Likewise this Scarlett Suspender Belt goes easy on the ruffles to tone down the femininity and ramps up the allure with sheer polkadot mesh. Available in both black and white for £20.02.

These Frilly knickers from Playful Promises are a classic and a fun way to incorporate ruffles into your lingerie collection without breaking the bank at £10. You'll also be supporting an indie UK brand too!
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As always, comments are very welcome. This week was a lot harder to find similar styles so let me know if it was worth the effort!

28/10/2014

Agent Provocateur Classics on a Budget: Annoushka

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Whilst i was in Paris i picked up one of my dream Agent Provocateur sets from their flagship store just off Rue St Honoré (I totally recommend popping in if you're in the area. The sales assistants are a total pleasure to be around, a big difference from the snotty UK staff). The Annoushka bra set me back £160 but it was way worth it.
Naturally i posted it onto my main social media (instagram) and it became a firm favourite with my fellow lingerie lovers. However i was reminded multiple times that Agent Provocateur isn't a viable option for many. It's an unusual person who can justify such a large spend on something as frivolous as lingerie and AP have such a limited size range that many (including me a lot of the time) are sized out. 
So i kind of got the idea to maybe do a series where i pick out some of my favourite AP classics and scout out/link to some slightly more affordable bras in similar styles. Starting with my newest acquisition (thats a lie, i've bought more AP since but shhhh), Annoushka:
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The Anastasiya Bralette by Julie K lingerie is similar in shape and also made out of sheer lace but has the added bonus of being handmade in the UK and looks a little more durable than the Annoushka. This retails for £32 and can be shipped internationally.

This ASOS Fishnet Croptop mimics the shape of the Annoushka but offers more coverage with a non sheer fabric and has some interesting strap details. This bra comes in some pretty small sizes so is definitely suitable for small busts (yay!) and retails at £18.

The Venus Cage Bra from Agashi by Christina O actually shares an identical silhouette to the Annoushka with the halterneck and the shoulder straps, but is significantly more daring and definitely not just to be worn under clothes. This bra comes in at £92.13 but is entirely handmade and a potential wardrobe staple (if you're anything like me!)

This handmade mesh halter comes with a matching fluffy bra (i die, i have such a thing for faux fur lingerie) looks perfect under or over bras and is just as sheer as the Annoushka.  It's made in the UK and retails at £20.

This Vintage Black Lace crop top with built in bra is a more wearable version of the Annoushka, definitely more outerwear than lingerie. It's available in a 34D but looks like it'd be easy to adjust to smaller sizes with a few cleverly placed darts and costs £19.06.

This Asymmetric Bandeau Bra from Topshop isn't a halter neck but has the exposed underwire that takes the Annoushka to the next level. It's delicate, sheer and retails for £20.

The Transit Bralette by POUTFITS has a halterneck design with an open back and sheer panelling. It bridges the gap between lingerie and outerwear, being suitable for both and costs £26.69.

This heart cutout bra top shares its shape with the Annoushka but is ultimately much more fun. Made out of velvet with a giant heart cutout in the centre and the option of ruffle trim, it's kind of a no brainer boudoir piece. I desperately want the black and white one pictured in the final photo. Starting at £22.87, this is fully customisable and made to order. 

The Vixen and Femme Fatale bra from For Love and Lemons are very similar to the Annoushka (which is no surprise since FLaL actually make a living from very closely copying designs) but come in at a much more affordable £63.84 and £51.45.

And finally, if you're lucky enough to live near a Victoria Secret, keep an eye out for the limited edition almost perfect dupe of the Annoushka, but with the addition of a plunging slit, as reviewed on Write Me Bad Checks.
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As always, i fully appreciate and desperately want your opinions and comments regarding this kind of post. Would you guys like to see more in this series? 

19/10/2014

Chantal Thomass and a few little updates

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Wow, has it really been almost three months since i've blogged? Time flies and sometimes running a blog takes more than it gives back. I adore this blog and being in touch with other like minded people, i also adore knowing that i might be offering a different perspective to people on certain issues or possibly inspiring them. But naturally i do this all myself and it takes an input of an awful amount of time and an awful amount of money. So i really really do want to be more regular with my posting but most of the time, i just don't have anything to post whatsoever. There are very few options out there for small busts and even fewer that are affordable to purchase just for the sake of having something to post (and i'm loathe to start buying every beige t-shirt bra that crops up in "our" sizes either). So whilst i've always wanted to focus this blog around the small busted and the lingerie available to us, i'm failing miserably and it might just be time to go back to "regular lingerie blog" status. 
But i digress, i still don't have anything to post. I've pretty much exclusively been buying Agent Provocateur recently just because i consistently find their designs inspiring and invigorating. 
BUT on a recent trip to Paris i had the pleasure of seeing Chantal Thomass lingerie in the flesh and my love for a particular style of bra offered in a few styles is probably post worthy. And if it isn't, at least it might motivate me to try harder to find things to post?
Also massive apologies for the low quality/boring vibe of these photos. I'm equally as despondent with my photography skills and with myself as a model so i tried my best and fell a little short.
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If you've been around for a while, you'll know that balcony and balconette styles just do not work with my shape. Even if i size down i often can't fill out the cups. It's something i've come to accept but i still like to pretend and waste money occasionally. Even six months or so i clear out my everyday lingerie draws and throw out countless balcony bras that have charmed me into submission. So when i picked out this Encens' Moi set and the incredibly stunning (but not pictured) Rendez Vous set to try on in a 32A, i remarked to my mother (who begrudgingly followed me around the Bon Marché lingerie department for a good hour) that there was very little chance my shallow, 30B bust would actually fill out the cups and so there was borderline no chance i'd be spending lots of money that day. Boy was i wrong. Seemingly known as the "bandeau padded bra" style, this fits incredibly. The interesting padding design and the slope of the cups means i get a dreamy shape with no gape, the ultimate success. Inside the cups, rather than having just a layer of padding at the bottom, or to one side that small busts are oft to slip under throughout the day, there's what looks to be like a little shelf of padding that holds the breast up and in place. I get that nice rounded lift that comes with balcony bras and it stays all day. The actual design of the bra is so simple and chic. The folds of fabric adorning the cup add to the minimalist feel but take this bra from plain to rather beautiful. 
The matching thong is also something to admire, the layers of fine tulle/almost chiffon are really flattering on the hips and super comfortable. I picked it up in an XS for comfort but i could happily wear the XXS too. There doesn't seem to be a vast difference between these sizes but i prefer to size up to minimise my muffin tops (i have 32" hip and a 35" bum measurement for reference). 

It's such a rarity to come across a well established luxury lingerie label that works for my sub 32A bust, and whilst Chantal Thomass doesn't cater to the sub 32A sizes, i do find that the band runs a little small and thus i can size up to my sister size so comfortably that i do intend to be a return customer. 

Chantal Thomass has a handful of online stockists although many don't offer the full range of sizes or even her full range available but you can browse through the entire collection at her website here and then it's just worth a google search to scout out the best place to buy (London and it's surrounding counties seem to have a decent amount of physical stockists but as usual, the rest of the UK is pretty devoid).

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions as to what kinds of posts or certain brands they'd really like to see featured on oflambsandlace, then please drop me a comment below because i'd really love to hear them! 

07/08/2014

An Announcement about Mimi Holliday: A brand no longer for the smallest of small busts

Mimi Holliday don't owe their customers anything, i want to stress this. I'm not throwing all my toys out of my pram because i think i'm something special or that i deserve any special treatment. I'm not claiming that Mimi Holliday should keep producing bras that don't sell. But i am upset about the way they went about this and the notion that they believe all we need are triangle bras. That's upsetting because i truly believed that they understood small busts and they were aware of our needs. I'm upset because i had to find out in such a quiet, blunt way. And most of all i'm upset because now i cannot think of any UK brands that regularly produce beautiful, affordable bras for small busted women.


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I took this photo a long time ago and it never occurred to me that i'd end up using it for such a sad occasion.
I'm actually not pleased to be writing this but i feel it needs to be documented somewhere and i'd like to alert all my readers to this new development vis-à-vis Mimi Holliday sizing. 
It came to my attention when Mimi Holliday's AW14 collection was released that not a single bra was available in my usual size, a 28B. If you're unfamiliar with Mimi Holliday then now is a good time to tell you that their bras, ever since AW12, run large and sizing down a band or cup is completely necessary to get a decent fit. So whilst i am a comfortable 30B in most other bras, i find the fit on a 28B to be the best for me in Mimi Holliday. After mentioning it on twitter the other day i received this response:

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which is odd because i am fully aware that Mimi Holliday phased out their 28 and 30 backs in the A cup when they also phased out their AA cup option completely (sometime after SS12). Today during a conversation about the sheer lack of brands catering to the small back small bust combo on twitter, i happened to mention that again, Mimi Holliday was once my favourite for this but they seemed to have stopped altogether and this is what happened:

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So, no public announcement or warning, they just stopped producing bras for 28 B and C cups, having already discontinued 28 and 30 A and AA cups quietly a while back. 

I have been a huge Mimi Holliday fan, i have bought almost every bra in my size that was suitable for my shape. If they still made 28A or 28AA bras then i would have also indulged in their balcony styles. I have promoted Mimi in every way i could to both the small busted, average busted and relatively large busted as a great brand that was almost fully inclusive to all sizes. A brand that understood that there do exist the smallest of small busts outside of the early stages of puberty and that we do have needs for the support and shape you can only get from a proper bra. I have sent Mimi over to small busted friends in the USA because i was unwavering in the notion that everyone needed a bit of Mimi Holliday to make them feel good about their small bust. 
I could fully understand the lack of demand being a problem if, as one instagram user pointed out to me, they had actually ever promoted themselves as catering to small busts. They've never once made it a point to advertise that they are one of the very few UK brands that recognise our sizes and made beautiful bras for us. That's a pretty unique selling point that would have been sure to drum up demand. And if it didn't, well then it's understandable that they didn't feel it was economically viable to continue making those sizes.  

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If you follow me on Instagram then you know all too well my love of Mimi Holliday
But wait, there's more. I am not only heart broken and very disappointed, i am also furious. They could've mentioned they were discontinuing these sizes due to lack of demand and left it there, but instead they went one further and insulted us, mentioning that they still catered for us with triangle bras. 
That's not catering for us.
Yes, i can indeed fit in a triangle bra in most XS sizes. But it gives me no support, no lift, no nice shape under clothes and most of all, it flattens me. I've been told time and time again that i don't need to wear a real bra (erm excuse me busty person or man, how do you know?) that a triangle bra, usually purely decorative or in the "pre-teen section" and adorned with minnie mouse and rhinestones, would suffice. It's not a solution. If you can no longer make our sizes then don't tell us that we should buy your triangle bras instead. A triangle bra offers me nothing that a proper bra, in my size and not a standard dress size, does. 

This all wouldn't be a problem for me if Mimi hadn't of changed their grading on all bras, a few years back, because people were complaining the cups fit too small. So now they run too large, which is fine for all of those who can size down, but now some of us, whose sizes are still made (and yes, 30B and 30C are not being discontinued as far as i'm aware) have been sized out. I can no longer purchase Mimi Holliday, a brand who made my all time favourite style of bra (that i own nine of), because of these reasons. 
And no, i don't want to buy another triangle bra.

Over all i'm so so disappointed that not once did Mimi Holliday try and reach out and drum up some interest for their smaller sizes. Not once did they contact a blogger or put out an advertising campaign letting all the small busted people in the world know that tits don't begin at 32A. And of course, not once did they make a public announcement before discontinuing sizes that it was going to happen. They did it quietly and i only found out because i kept mentioning it on twitter.

The sad thing is that the small busted community is such a quiet one that there won't be any outrage, there won't be any responses. It will just serve as another reminder that we're an abnormality, there's not enough of us to prove such a simple point that there is a demand for bras in our sizes, that we exist and we are normal. 
So not only am i writing this blog post to vent about how devastated i am, i'm also hoping it serves as an announcement to anyone wondering where their size has gone next time they want to buy some Mimi Holliday. 

There are still bras from previous collections available on ebay for those who don't want to go without their favourite styles, however sizing changes from like SS12 and before to SS13 and after and ebay sellers tend not to have returns policies. And of course, they won't be there in a few years time so keep an eye out and buy quickly. 

05/08/2014

A wish list of sorts: Things i want but will most definitely never own and the various reasons why

Just a little update: My camera met with an unfortunate issue and i'm afraid it has been shipped off for repair. So i don't have an eta on when it'll be back in my possession. I'm also on a bit of a shopping ban as my electricity bill is due at the end of the month so i don't have anything to review right now regardless. Thus you're not missing out on anything anyway. 
wishlist
Ohhh Agent Provocateur AW14 is as underwhelming as a collection can be. Lots of the same and 90% of it pretty dull or in a hideous colour. I do however have a soft spot for the Yoshie range. In true AP style, the bra doesn't come in my size or my sister size, it's irritating and i am irritated. But i do love the gown, it's beautiful, i want it, i can't afford it. Crying rivers. The Denver range does have a bra that comes in my size but it's boring and uninspired and a little reminiscent of my Roxie bra which makes my tits look truly terrible. However the gown, oh the gown. I'm big on boudoir wear right now and i could do fabulous things with that gown. But again, the same problems apply. 

Another gown, another upsetting price tag. This Lalilouche "Sophia kimono robe" has been around for some time and has appeared everywhere. But since my lust for gowns and robes and babydolls is a relatively recent one, it never really appealed to me before. I do love it but one couldn't do practical things in kimono sleeves.

There's actually nothing i love more than a surprise. I can not say no to mystery goodie bags, lucky dips or presents. This Surprise Vintage lingerie box is killing me. I want to indulge in the unknown but at that price (the prices vary and obviously the amount/quality of the lingerie you receive scales with this) i can just foresee a lot of disappointment when i don't get exactly what i want. I love surprises but i'm not so good at keeping my expectations realistic...

I've got a firm eye on this particular etsy store. I've been following the creator on instagram and she's been blowing me away but unfortunately none of the pieces i'm lusting over have made it up for sale yet. I do however love this Knicker Set, it is so cutesy and adorable. It's a shame i'm saving to snap up some of her other pieces, when they finally surface, otherwise i would think long and hard over this one. 

I could actually produce a full Creepyyeha wish list but it would be pretty dull for you guys as i'm sure i'd just be repeating myself. I love all of her work and this Tutu Suspender Belt in white is such a dream. I keep buying her pieces for other people and then never getting around to indulging in myself, but i'm afraid i just don't believe i am worth £88 of suspender belt.

Asos have been boring me lately, whilst i am excited they've started producing their own lingerie in 30 back and small cup combos, i just haven't really ~needed~ anything they've designed. There's a very popular image of a similar bra (that i'm sure ASOS have cheekily jacked the design from) in white and with a large cream fabric halter neck which i'd prefer in my collection. But i could happily make do with this Kitty Satin Tie bra. And believe me when i say i am tempted. But £18 for an ASOS bra just strikes me as kinda steep and i doubt the quality will be exceptional. 

And finally; i saw it on instagram, i wanted it, i recognised that it would look terrible on my body type, i still wanted it, i saw the price, i still wanted it BUT my electricity bill and a multitude of other outgoings (thank you camera, dermatologist and driving lessons) put a stop to that. This Strawberry Rosary set is by the fabulous brand Alexandrea Anissa, whom i intended to buy from and review the moment this blog was conceived but never actually did. For shame. 

21/07/2014

eLai

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The eLai "Back in Time" collection is truly one of the greatest lingerie collections of all time in my opinion. I was enamoured with the lookbook the moment it appeared on my radar but alas, i somehow never got around to purchasing a piece from it for myself. This collection embodies how fun and exciting lingerie can and damn well should be. So i was over the moon to receive a little eLai made gift from the moon of my life, my sun and my stars, Amélie in our biannual lingerie care package swap. I do go backwards and forwards on eLai, it's something Amélie and i agree on, as they have a couple of incredibly inspiring collections but no lack of pretty dull, un-innovative pieces too. So when they're good, they're beyond exceptional but when they're bad, it's hard to believe all the pieces come from the same designer. It's not an out and out negative, as everyone has different tastes in lingerie and many do prefer the simpler basics but i'm a sucker for new and exciting details.
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This peterpan collar playsuit in blue is now sold out, but it was the first piece that sold me on eLai as a brand, way back when this collection was first released. I'm a sucker for light blue for sporting reasons, with this being a shade or two shy of my team colours. And a broderie anglaise collar on it's own would have sealed the deal but the choice of sheer fabric and elastic strap detailing (connected by an o ring at the belly button, what a majorly pleasing design feature) goes above and beyond, "shut up and take my money." So yes, it is surprising i've shown so much restraint. 
Amélie picked out this playsuit in an XS for me, and as usual (with almost all XS knickers) it fits perfectly across my hips but there is apparently too much junk, in my trunk, and we get a nice bit of quadrabutt making an appearance. It's something i'm used to and i've learnt to love my quadrabutt. So whilst the XS is perfect for my hips (they measure approx 32"), the strap detailing around my mid torso and waist (which falls just over my lowest floating rib and is approx 24") is not ideal. Alas these straps are unadjustable, a "one size fits all," job but they are just too large for me and won't stay put. It's not the end of the world, the straps look just as cute when they're kinda pooling together and i could easily add a little stitch in the back to adjust them to fit properly. 
The collar is fully adjustable and damn cute, it's currently making appearances all across my summer wardrobe (where white babydoll style dresses reign supreme when i can bring myself to brace the heat). It's a nice little touch that makes this "playsuit" a playful piece of outerwear too.
One minor negative is that i, personally, prefer a cotton gusset as it's a breathable, hypoallergenic fabric that all in all is better for vaginal health. But since this isn't really an everyday piece of lingerie, i can survive without it. As far as the construction goes, i am very impressed, all the seams are finished neatly and there's no loose threads/wonky stitching.

 My love for eLai has been reinspired and i'm hoping to get my hands on the Anglaise set when i'm not sodding poor and hopefully before it sells out or is discontinued (although it might be a while as my current priority list is: rent, bills, Mimi Holliday, food, anime figures, train fare to visit my family and then eLai, in that order). But i'm interested to see if the bras are the smallest of small bust suitable so y'know, maybe family and food can wait...

As ever, if you'd like to purchase your own eLai you can do so from their official store here where you can find all their collections, including previews of their upcoming Constellation collection (which looks amazing and i am devastated to say i was offered first dibs with a decent discount but couldn't afford it at the time so hopefully will be living vicariously through other bloggers).

17/07/2014

What Lamb's Wearing Wedesday

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As you can see, my wardrobe doesn't get any more colourful come summer time. A folly of my youth was to cut deep plunging sides out of my favourite hand-me-down DFA1979 shirt. It now means that half the day i have at least one tit out and about, if not both. So it's a job for either something exceptionally architectural and exciting in itself, or something that covers my nipples and isn't too boring. I opted for the second option and went with this simple bralette that was gifted to me by Amélie. The leather cat head applique just about covers my nipples if i position it correctly. Since i don't own matching underwear for this bralette and i'm all about matching right now, i opted for these cheap eBay (although they're possibly originally from Primark) leopard print knickers that have high rise lace back to them. The, almost thong, lace back is a good match for these definitely inappropriate, booty shorts that don't cover half the arse. It would look pretty ridiculous if my knickers had fuller coverage than my shorts...
I usually throw a big plaid shirt on when i'm wearing these shorts, to cover my bum as we don't yet live in a world where males understand that wearing revealing clothes does not mean i am consenting to having my body sexualised. I wore this outfit to go for lunch and drinks with some Uni friends, it was comfortable and with the big shirt, modest enough for my activities and naturally it was well ventilated so i didn't feel overly hot (praying summer will end soon).