When in Rome: Bestform reviewed


So I have been travelling and working a lot, and with my brain super busy with all that it’s made some inexplicable decisions in other aspects of my life. I’ll abandon getting dressed half way through to write one e-mail, only to come round an hour later shivering and powering through my list of things to do. I have made some questionable style choices, not least cutting my own bangs (when will I learn, seriously?). And, when asked to review a bra for Bestform I chose a style not available in my size… from a brand who makes my size.

I have started running again for my sanity, so I am coming back in to the light…

But that still leaves me with a 32FF bra to review. Bestform are a 91 year old lingerie company, and while they definitely do a stalwart line in – let’s say – conservative basics, of late they’ve been pushing their brand forward with brighter colours and prettier patterns. They cater for a range of sizes from a 30 back and up to a J cup.

Which again, doesn’t really explain why, 30G and a fan of bright things, I requested a black 32FF Rome

Everything about Rome is classic. It’s decent quality, the full balconette offers good coverage and the wires perfectly encased my boobs. The “B” pendant on the centre gore may be a little much if your name isn’t, say, Beckie and you don’t write a blog called Busts 4 Justice, but no one’s named a bra after me yet so I’ll take what I can get.

The only problem is – just as with any bigger banded bra – is simple physics. With big boobs, it really doesn’t matter how well the cup fits if the band doesn’t anchor them to your body strongly enough; if your breasts are heavy their weight will pull the perfectly fitted cups away from your ribcage and you end up a jiggling mess. I – and many other women – need a tight band to keep everything in place. This is why the traditional +4 method fails so many fuller breasted women: heavier breasts simply need a stronger counterweight to keep them up. See, physics.

I won’t labour my struggles with this bra – especially as I’ve reviewed Bestform in my correct size before and found it to be a great fit. Ultimately in cup fit, quality, style – this bra is a decent basic. They just don’t happen to make it in my back size.

I’m not having a great streak in 2014. Need topick up some sizzlers to ride the year out with a bang…

Thanks to the kind people at Bestform for letting me try this bra: I can only apologise for my ordering insanity!

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Oops I… quite like Britney’s new lingerie line, actually

That Britney Spears has launched a lingerie line perhaps isn’t that surprising, though I’m sure that – pre click – the Internetz was looking forward to a good old LOL about a trashy lingerie line inspired by her Vegas residency.

Well haters, sorry: Britney Spears’ lingerie collection is actually pretty good… and it goes up to a (UK) GG cup. Woah!

So confession: I bloody love Britney. I turned eighteen dancing to a Britney megamix in a sweaty Bournemouth nightclub. I think she’s handled over a decade of public, messy breakups, mental health issues, and not-always-the-most-successful releases with remarkable dignity. And… aw hell, I don’t need to justify myself: it’s Britney, bitch! I think she’s awesome and hope this collection proves to be as good as it looks.

And how does it look? For the most part, it’s clean lines and simple designs. The Anenome Cage bra is definitely an homage to Marlies Dekkers (Britney’s a fan, she’s worn Dekkers on stage before).

I love the simplicity of the Angelika Lace Bra. Minky grey and pink = perfect.

And there are a couple of long line bralettes that I wouldn’t mind pretending I didn’t have G-cups for…

The collection is completed by cute knickers, a couple of basic and strapless options, and even a few chemises too. It’s surprising in its simplicity, and I love Ms Spears all the more for it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to Toxic in the bath.

First image by the mighty perezhilton.com. Lingerie detail shots from barenecessities.com, where you can pre-order the collection here.

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Jet set Odette: Parfait from Affinitas reviewed

Odette by Affinitas Parfait

My Odette has to go in to my lingerie hall of fame – not as another pretty, vintage-feel bra from Affinitas’ Parfait collection (which it is) – but as the most well travelled review item ever. This summer it has been to Sao Paulo, Boston, New York, London, back to Amsterdam, back to London and on to Sicily in the hope that I might have time on my travels to review it. I am nothing if not optimistic.

Although it ran a little small in the cup, I liked their Charlotte a lot [still available, review here] and I liked Odette too. It’s a simple floral number, and it gives a really nice 50’s style cleavage (think Betty Draper rather than Joan Harris). Fit wise, it could be snugger in the back – even post Sicilian Carb Binge it was loose. The cups are fractionally small though, so sizing down in the back would have sized me out of the range. Sad face. Greedily, I can’t wait for this lovely little establishing brand to branch out beyond its D-G range.

Unfortunately while the fit is nearly there, as is my eternal curse with balconette styles, the centre gore is a little taller than my flared and bony rib cage can hack for extended wear – especially on a band that can’t anchor steadfastly to my body. So after all of those intercontinental adventures this little treat will remain for now at home.

One quick note – as per Charlotte I absolutely love the pants. Affinitas are clearly knicker wizards. Flattering with soft lacy bits that don’t do their best to expose themselves through your clothing, these are cracking little undercrackers. Fit seems true to size, so unlike with Charlotte and her mind-meltingly matching bottoms you don’t need to size down. Enjoy!

Odette by Parfait from Affinitas is available in sizes 30-40 D-G.

Thanks very much to the kind people at Affinitas for the sample: I’m sorry it took about 10,000 air miles to get to print! xoxo

Photo from affinitasintimates.com (less retouching on the poor models for future lookbooks please!)


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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?



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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


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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