What is up with Wonder Woman?

Photo via io9.com

Okay, so before I get back to lingerie reviews and feminism and the usual stuff, I have to first deal with a huge, unshakeable disappointment: the brand new Wonder Woman costume.

Ugh. Ignoring for a second that this is a near perfect imitation of fellow warrior princess Xena (as if WW needs to steal anyone’s style), does anyone believe that – under self-administered lasso of truth – Wonder Woman would thank her stylist?

Wonder Woman has flair! She has her own playful style! She has gold and red and high cut hotpants with stars on for the love of god. Sure, so much exposed flesh can’t be good in combat and she’d probably get cold in flight, but as every girl who has ever winced the night away in beautiful but evil heels will attest sometimes impractical is worth it if you love the outfit.

What this has done is strip Wonder Woman of her unique signature style and forced her to conform to the other warrior princesses’ fashions, but without the payoff of a more practical or comfortable outfit. Wonder Woman is an icon and a complete bad ass and apparently wandering around on the smouldering ruins of something pretty messy up there. You think she’d pass up something longer in the leg for BROWN?

Wonder-woman

 

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Excuses, excuses.

Photo on 2014-08-12 at 18.23 #2

It has been way too long, dear readers. I have lingerie unreviewed, I have nearly one hundred help requests unanswered, and enough e-mails to last me a lifetime.

Not to sound too much like another Buzzfeed list, but what only people who travel a lot for work know is that it is damned hard. Don’t get me wrong, there are perks – and if you’re like me you love your job – but working away from home is as much of a jolly as trying to get your G-cup boobs fitted at Victoria’s Secret. Jetlag becomes such a permanent state that measured time becomes abstract to you. You work every waking second of the day because the day to day stuff doesn’t stop. You eat terribly (helllooo, minibar Pringles for lunch). You re-wear clothes way more than strictly socially acceptable. You don’t have time to do the things you like, like to run, or ring your husband, or write your blog.

You also are so tired when you get home that you are prone to doing stupid things… like tripping over your own suitcase, smacking your head against a brick wall, and giving yourself concussion so you can’t actually look at a screen for a fortnight – only to recover just in time to get on another damn plane… It’s been a hell of a summer.

Anyway, apologies for the tardiness, thanks for the patience, apologies if I owe you a reply… and hello. How have you been? I missed you.

Back soon.

Love, B4J x

 

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Free The Nipple!

Free The Nipple

It’s time to #FreeTheNipple! Or rather, it’s probably time we stopped freaking out so much about something every single mammal in the world has when it appears on a certain 50+% of the human population.

In a culture that loses its head pretty much every time a female celebrity “daringly” (*ahem*) shows a bra strap, the team behind the TaTa Top definitely has its work cut out for it – but I love the intention. The $28 bikini (currently available in three skin tones) makes you look topless at first glance – but as your real nipples are hidden underneath the cartoon ones it’s technically not breaking any indecency laws. It takes a friendly poke at anyone who’s ever flagged a breastfeeding Facebook post, tutted at a topless sunbather, or lost it over a nip-slip. It seeks to highlight the absurd difference between of male vs female nipple freedom, while normalising the sight of bare boobs. It’s provocative, it’s interesting and – most importantly – it’s funny. I love it.

Best of all $5 of every sale goes to one of their supported charities. Get your TaTa Top here.

 

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Most inspiring Kickstarter ever: the Monokini

Monokini

A couple of days late to this, but I can’t quite articulate how wonderful, inspiring and cockle-warming this Monokini Kickstarter story is.

Bold, fun, and designed exclusively for women after a mastectomy; Monokini stands up to “narrow minded ideas of beauty” that excludes one-breasted cancer survivors, challenges people’s discomfort at post-mastectomy bodies, and creates a wonderful alternative to uncomfortable prosthetic swimwear on the beach for those who want it.

It exists as a haute couture version, but the Monokini team have a vision to bring their creations to market. For this, they need a mere $55,000 pledge – for which they have asked the Kickstarter community.

I love this story, I love the spirit, I love their message, and FYI I LOVE LOVE LOVE the black and white number in the above centre. I reckon these girls deserve a just few of our dollars to realise their awesome dream.

Go forth and back!

Photo by Monokini.

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Meet Lulu Tout: Figleaves’ new own brand reviewed

Lulu Tout at Figleaves I’m a well documented fan of Figleaves – largely because their international shipping service is quick and easy, and way more affordable than shopping locally (€70 for an out-of-season Freya? No thank you, Amsterdam boutiques). I also have a soft spot for their own brand lines. Although I’ve had a decidedly uneven range of experiences with Figleaves Boudoir (here, here and here), Just Peachy is a cracking everyday option for a girl on a budget (here and here and here too), and both their own name range and Midnight Grace have been responsible for some affordable and fashionable swimwear options over the last couple of years too (here and here). So I was pretty excited to hear that Figleaves are launching another sub-brand, this time branding out to an H cup. Lulu Tout is an affordable, sophisticated range of styles that are every-day enough to be, well, everyday – but pretty enough to wear on special occasions. I love the range of colours and the dainty embroidery that threads through the range, and actually had a hard time narrowing down my choice of bra to review. (Somehow, I coped…) Settling on Amelie (low plunge, beautiful scalloping, sheer fabric: winner), I couldn’t wait to try her. And I wasn’t disappointed. Fit wise she’s firm, and the underwire tracks nicely. In my go-to size of 30G the fit was pretty bang on, although I had to tighten the straps to flatten the cups. Inbetweeny cup sizes may want to consider sizing down a half cup to find the perfect fit. Amelie Lulu Tout by Figleaves Both top and bottom are very flattering, and I loved the sheer knickers with the “bead embroidery” – there’s something very flapper-esque about the detail. On, it looks like a much more expensive piece of lingerie than its modest £24 price tag. That said, the bra itself is actually quite simply constructed. The slings aren’t stitched down – which is a bit fiddly when you’re getting yourself in to it but means it avoids that “suspension bridge” appearance some sheer bras have. In general it gives good support and a nice shape, and for the money I think is a great purchase. It would seem that Figleaves have done it again, and created another great affordable option for girls looking for something a little special on a budget. My only niggle would be that the feel of the fabric itself betrays its price point – it feels cheaper than it looks, and a slightly softer fabric mix would make this bra a knock out. But for the price and the fit, I don’t think it’s a bad little bargain at all. Thanks to Figleaves for sharing Amelie with me. Looking forward to seeing where the range goes next. Lulu Tout’s Amelie underwired bra is available in sizes between 30-38 DD-H.

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Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless: less than wonderful?

Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless

I’ve waxed lyrical about Wonderbra’s Ultimate Strapless on more than one occasion, but after a good six months of my questions about an apparent increased occurrence of allergic reactions in wearers being ignored, I’m forced to rethink my recommendations. My former reviews will now link to this post, and I will no longer recommend the Ultimate Strapless.

It started when a friend said that her replacement Ultimate Strapless had caused blistering underneath the silicon strips. The blistering was painful and left marks. I wrote about it and reached out to Wonderbra to ask if the silicon recipe had changed: that my friend had worn and loved one US before without any trouble. No reply.

It wasn’t just my friend though. Here are some complaints taken from messages to me AND messages left unanswered on the Wonderbra Facebook page.

“I absolutely LOVED the wonderbra ultimate strapless, and it was fine. Then I got new ones and it leaves me rashes and blisters in the shape of a bra (exactly where the non slip silicone is), so I’m sure it’s a new highly allergic formula of silicone. Such a pity, it was by far the best bra ever.”  S, B4J reader.

“I have worn this bra all day today and just havnt felt right but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. My back begin to ache I just though I was tired. Whilst I was washing up my back felt as if the bra was scratching me so I took it off and took a look in the mirror to my horror my back is all blistered and my front is raised and has a rash where the silicon has been on my skin. I searched on google and came across this thread.” G, B4J reader.

“the Ultimate Strapless caused my skin to blister on my ribs where the band goes and I now have scars!!!!” E, Wonderbra UK fan. 

“I wore the bra all day yesterday and when I took it off I had a row of very raised blisters containing fluid at quite a high pressure, on either side of my ribcage where the cups meet the back of the bra. My doctor confirmed today that the blisters are not the result of the bra rubbing me and are very likely to be an allergic reaction to one of the materials in the gel strips. They are likely to take at least several days to go down and as a result I’m now unable to wear a bra at all.” K, Wonderbra UK fan.

So what do you say Wonderbra? Has the silicon recipe changed or is it a series of bad batches? And most importantly, how can purchasers experiencing allergic reactions contact you directly for refunds?

Readers, I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

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War on Moobs

An argument has broken out over a ban on topless men at a funfair in England. Firm or flabby, men’s bare chests will no longer be free to the wind on a hot day (well, in parts of Essex at least).

Now I take no personal pleasure in the type of semi-nudity that we’re talking about here (although for the record I am much, much more offended by the gnarled and fetid unpedicured feet of your average suburban man in flip flops), but I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a step backwards for everyone.

Women are constantly told to cover up their top halves in public, even when attempting to breast feed (well it’s not like that’s their primary biological function or anything…).  That we’d got to the point where men could freely bare their dimpled, sinking, sporadically fuzzed chests to the world on a hot day without recrimination left a glimmer of hope that one day soon we might realise that we’re all just two nippled creatures, and that getting upset by a flash of one or two is as archaic as fretting over a flash of ankle. By enforcing a cover up, you confirm that nipples are something scandalous.

I never thought I’d say this but men: it’s your moral duty. Get them out for the girls*.

 

Original article from the Guardian here.

*And put those feet away while your at it, yeah?

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