Brands for Small Busts: Bluebella

So over the festive season (which is decidedly unfestive for those of us who work in retail and have January exams) i managed to win a competition run by Bluebella. This was my entry and apparently me being a massive nerd actually worked in my favour for once. Sorry to everyone who isn't a massive nerd yo, it must suck to not be excited by theoretical AGN driven galaxy evolution. My prize was a lovely £100 voucher to spend on whatever i pleased in their online store. Weirdly though, i was given a very immediate deadline for my purchases, the email stated 7 days but when i actually placed the code through the website, i was told i only had 5 days to spend my voucher and it all had to be in one go. Since Bluebella are/were in the midst of their sale and some things were low in stock, i found this a bit inconvenient. I ended up panic buying a few pieces, with one being a size too large, because i didn't feel i could take the risk and wait to see if my size came back into stock. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth but it seemed like a very strange way to conduct the winnings of a giveaway. But i digress, most of us don't shop on deadlines and winning giveaways (or any stroke of luck) is so rare for me that it's not a legitimate complaint.
BLB-4I picked up the Vivienne Bra and Suspender in ivory and Basque in pink. Overall, i had to put a small amount of my own money towards this purchase but the £100 did cover most of it. There are various styles of Vivienne knicker but they were either a vile cut, sold out in the closest thing to my size (an 8 when i prefer to wear a 6, so naturally sizing up to a 10 would've been a bad idea) or not available in the colour-way i wanted. So i ended up going without in the hopes that i could pair something plain black/pink/ivory with these instead.

I picked up the Vivienne bra in a 30B, my usual size, although not my actual size (impossible to find 28C that isn't hideous) but i wouldn't say it runs true to size. The band measures 22" and stretches up to 29" and the cups fit large, although this could just be due to the nature of the high apex not being a style particularly flattering and suitable to small, shallow and wide-set busts. 
The basque i had to get in a 30C due to the time constraints and the 30Bs being completely sold out. It's exactly the same fit as the bra, measuring 22" and stretching to 29" and the cups were way too large for me. Luckily, i'm getting pretty adept at sewing darts into bras and so i was able to adjust this to a better fit. The actual basque has two columns of hook and eyes down the back and i would say fits a UK 6, possibly a UK 8 at a stretch. So not great for any girls out there who have small busts but are of a larger dress size further down their torso. Weirdly, the basque isn't quite long enough for my torso (and i would say i have a pretty average length torso, it just happens to look longer as my waist lies ridiculously high up). So those of you who do possess a long torso might want to pass on this one. Although i'm not an expert on basques (or anything for that matter).
The suspender belt i picked out in the smallest size, a 6-8, and the fit is pretty good actually. There's three rows of hooks at the fastening and so the size ranges from 22" to 30" when stretched fully. 

As all three pieces are from the same style, i can pretty much comment on the design and quality as a collective. All three are constructed from a relatively fine black mesh with large floral lace overlays . On both the basque and the bra, the lace covers the full cup however the mesh only covers the outer half. I find this a little strange as it means, due to the large seam down the middle, that the cups lack any structure. It's just billowing fabric, which is not flattering to the small bust as we need all the help we can when it comes to shape. Speaking personally, i'm more nipple than anything else so i either need a soft cup bra to be tight and flatten me out, or to have structure and provide shape. Otherwise i just look horrendously pointy and completely flattened on the outside of my breasts. The construction is fine, not exceptional but not bad either. There are a few loose threads and seams that haven't been finished properly but i'm pretty easy going with these sorts of things and they can either be carefully cut off or they lie on the inside of the garment so they don't show when worn. I do love the design, i wish the cups didn't increase in depth towards the outside as this is where i hold the least volume (this was left unaltered in the bra but remedied in the basque at the time of photographing this set) but this is definitely an issue with all things high apex not being compatible with my shape or size. 

Overall i'm pretty impressed with Bluebella and it's nice to see a new-ish brand offering 30 bands in some of the smaller cup sizes! I'm going to keep up with them as a brand and hopefully they continue to offer mature, exciting lingerie in sizes for those of us who are often left wanting.


Brands and Shops for Small busts: Petite Brassiere and The Little Bra Company

LBC-1LBC-2Okay so today i come bearing a bit of a double whammy of a review. I was contacted by a new boutique that specialises in lingerie for ladies who fit in the small band, small cup category. We're sorely lacking in boutiques and brands that do cater to our size range so i am incredibly happy to see Petite Brassiere crop up. I'm really hoping that this little boutique thrives and expands. 
Anyway, PB asked if i'd like to try out one of the brands they carry; The Little Bra Company. I've been aware of these guys for a while but couldn't find any UK stockists that i was happy to buy from. PB currently have three styles from The Little Bra company available and i opted for the ridiculous Erin push up bra. I've yet to own a push-up bra that actually fits me so i was excited at the prospect of finally owning one. 
My package from Petite Brassiere arrived within a couple of days (although thanks to my useless postie, i had to wait a full week to actually get my hands on it) and was beautifully packaged. I'm a sucker for a giftbox. I despair when lingerie arrives without one. So this beautifully designed, simplistic, sturdy box was such a pleasant surprise.
LBC-3As for the actual lingerie; 
One little issue, and it's more an issue with myself than this bra, is that i've been increasingly aware that on a lot of my 30B bras, whilst they fit nicely, the cups seem to be too small for my torso and kind of sit somewhere in the middle. After deliberating over this for quite some time (and receiving no help from bra fit experts), i've deduced that it's probably because i'm a true 28C as opposed to a 30B. So it's a shame i didn't realise this fact before i requested the Erin bra in a 30B.
The bra has the most padding i've ever come across. It's actually a bit of struggle getting my nipples and attached jewellery to fit in and stay in the cups. However a small portion of this padding is removable and the bra still fits nicely without it. I do get a very nice lift in this bra, and for a while i certainly look like i'm occupying a space in the average sized bust club. But as with all padded bras, no matter how much i swoop and scoop when putting the bra on, eventually my breast tissue migrates underneath the padding and the effect is lost. However i will say that the gape that happens as a byproduct of this is not particularly bad with this bra, so i might be tempted to wear it with a low cut top (although i'd probably have to tit tape myself in just to make extra sure). The band on the bra measures 24" and stretches to about 31" so i'd say it's pretty close to being true to size, although i feel most comfortable wearing it on the tightest hook (yay for being ridiculous and dumb and not realising my actual size). The straps on this bra are removable, which i see absolutely no reason for. But this seems to be the only design flaw i've come across. 
As for the knickers. Where on earth do i start? I hate them, with a serious passion. They are hideously unflattering and i feel like some kind of gladiator in them. I requested them in an XS as i'm currently a UK 4/UK 6 and whilst they do fit, these knickers kill my confidence and they'd probably make anyone look 3 sizes bigger than they actually are. As well as that, one of my biggest pet peeves is when a bra is designed to have a base colour with a lace overlay but the matching knickers are just lace. It makes the set look mismatched, like you've just thrown two kind of similar items together. Luckily i have some similar knickers that i can wear with my Erin bra so i'm probably going to throw these in with my period pants because everything about them looks cheap enough to bleed on... 

Overall i'm super happy with the service i received from Petite Brassiere. All my fellow small band, small cup gals need to head over there and support them. They're only carrying a few items right now (including a few out of season Mimi Holliday bras that i know you all want) but hopefully with our support they can expand and we can finally have somewhere that caters to us and isn't american or kind of shady (not naming any names). As for The Little Bra company, i would REALLY like to try out some more of their bras, definitely in a 28C this time but i might give their knickers a miss. 

*These items were sent to me free of charge by Petite Brassiere for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own.


Tis the season: What i'd be getting for Xmas if i had someone rich and impressionable in my life...

Xmas-1_meitu_1As the title suggests, i'm not actually getting any lingerie for Christmas, instead i'm getting wholly practical and uninspiring presents that i don't actually want, but adulthood denotes that i kind of have to get. So anyway, i thought i'd throw together a little wish-list of all the things a Lamb in an alternate universe, with a fabulously generous clique, would be gifted. I will hopefully also be compiling a list of much more affordable pieces that a Lamb in this universe might get as stocking fillers or buy herself once she's stopped spending all her money on others (insert floods of tears emoji here)
I want a lot from Hopeless Lingerie right now but these three items are top of my list. I am craving the Lucy Bralette so much it's almost painful and i know it would look so incredible layered over the Amanda Top and paired with the Andie Skirted Suspender.

Mimi Holliday are sneakily still producing a few bras in my size so this Cookies and Cream Bra is a complete necessity and the matching Thong and Suspender wouldn't go amiss either.

As far as Agent Provocateur goes, i NEED a great deal from their current ranges. The Demelza is next on my list as a must buy, but the Ambrose, Abbey, Love Demi, Gloria, Cassia and their respective knickers/suspenders are coming close second. Even in the January sales, i doubt i'll be able to afford to get my hands on some of these before they disappear forever.

This La Perla Freesia Bra actually comes in my size and the matching knickers kinda seal the deal, but how could i also resist the Pizzo Bodysuit?

As you can tell, i'm all about the delicate black lace this year. Kiki de Montparnasse will forever be outside of my budget but the Le Reve Soft cup bra and knickers would be such a worthwhile investment.  

I go backwards and forwards on how i feel about For Love and Lemons but their Cut to the Chase Bra is basically my dream sports bra.

This basque, suspender belt, bra, in fact anything from Selena Bond would be much appreciated. I'm currently in love with her designs and i'm absolutely certain they would look really perfect on the smallest of small busts and it's a bit of a shame they only come in sample sizes.

This handmade matching set of sheer crop top and high waisted knickers adorned with religious symbols are basically calling my name.

I'm all over this Bluebella Viviene Suspender Waspie although it's a shame the matching bra only starts at a 32B. Typical.

I've had this Betty Blue Lace Teddy on my Christmas list for a couple of years now. So far no one loves me enough to indulge this whim. But my life is seriously incomplete without it.

Of course when it comes to Sonata Bodysuits i'd just like one in every colour, especially the Opaline, Aria and Aida (why is everything white automatically labelled "bridal"? Come on now, brides have eyes, they're perfectly capable of choosing something to fit their colour scheme, you don't need to push your archaic values and materialistic traditions on the rest of us).

Again with the "bridal" but i digress, I've been after the Ludique Lustful Bra, Suspender belt and matching Knicker for a while, but the sizing has massively put me off. I just can't afford to invest and take the risk in something luxury that doesn't have a size chart for comparison right now.
Sorry that everything i post seems to just be in list form recently. I'm hoping to eventually have some reviews to post but for now, i'm hoping this will suffice!


Agent Provocateur Classics on a Budget: Fifi

APfifidupe-3_meitu_2APfifidupe-2_meitu_1Arguably 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:

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!

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!


Agent Provocateur Classics on a Budget: Annoushka

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:
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.

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? 


Chantal Thomass and a few little updates

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.
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! 


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.

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:

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 11.23.28

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:

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 11.16.53
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.  

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.