Hanky Panky brandvangelism

I wore my first Hanky Panky thong way back in graduate school. It was $3 at Macy’s, hanging on the clearance rack. I doubt I will ever find one at that price again, but I am no longer subsisting on a grad student’s means. I was new to thongs and although it was billed ‘the world’s most comfortable thong’ I was deeply skeptical. It wasn’t an ‘aha!’ moment to own one, but it was definitely more comfortable than I’d anticipated.

Over the past year I’ve become more interested in clothing manufacturing locales and conditions and have found two NYC brands for my basics: Hanky Panky and Only Hearts. Hanky Panky thongs start at $20 with their panties being more expensive depending on the cut, color, and embellishments.

I have gotten more comfortable with thongs over the years, but HP also makes panties in several cuts. The major difference is in the sizing: thongs come in petite (under US size 2), standard (US size 2-12), and plus (US size 14-24). The panty styles are S/M/L/XL/1X/2X/3X. There are fewer offerings in the petite and plus ranges, but the lace is so stretchy that if you’re on the border between standard and plus, I’d wear a standard. For sized panties, I wear a medium or large depending on how high rise they are- large if they encounter my belly, medium otherwise.You may well find yourself sizing down.

Additionally, the regular rise sometimes folds under the weight of my belly, so I’m torn as to whether I prefer that to the low rise version. The modal thong has the best rise for me, in the middle, but a more limited color selection.

The palette of colors you can get is dizzying. Neons, brights, patterns, combinations, pastels, basics…
(their neutral colors are chai, suntan, taupe, vanilla, chestnut) are available for the signature lace thongs, with a more limited selection for the v-kinis, bikinis, briefs, non-lace items, etc.

I’ve been looking into loungewear the past year, and HP has a line of stretch lace camisoles. They’re billed as bra-friendly because of the wide lace straps, and I was curious as to whether they’d fit a busty lady (as opposed to the bralettes, which fit only up to a 36Cish). To my delight, a medium fits me. A large also fits, but a bit more loosely. I’d say they run large as well. The patterns offer less show-through than the solid colors. I usually wear them around the house or to sleep, I haven’t tried layering them yet. Below’s the limoncello-colored cami and boyshort, both in large.

Hanky Panky cami, large

Hanky Panky debuted their BARE line a few years ago, boasting no lines under clothes and a smooth feel. I’ve yet to try this line and look forward to doing so.

You can buy Hanky Panky from their website, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and many online retailers. If you have limited means, discontinued colors tend to be on sale, and eBay might be helpful. Many auction items are remainders or resales of sale items from the website, which are not returnable and may not have fit the buyer. These in turn won’t be returnable either, but if you have an idea of your size you can start there.

I’ve had mixed experiences with the lace materials: some colors have felt like butter out of the package, and others are still a bit rough after several washes. Perhaps it’s different dyes? Or fabric treatment? What are your experiences?

Eucalan wash and its applications

I don’t usually hand-wash my bras. I know, I know that it shortens their lives. I don’t have a big basin or room for one, and doing them one or two at a time in the sink is not something I want for all my bras. I do have a few bras and garments that I consider precious, though, and I use Eucalan on them because it is clumsy-proof. No rinse! No rinse makes all the difference, and it works.

Um_small

I love stuffed animals. Above is Umbreon in a pillow fort (paging Windie Gardie), who needed a bath. I submerged him in the sink with warm water and a tablespoon of Eucalan. I came back to him a half hour later, squeezed him a bunch to get the water. The results were successful enough that I gave Madame Sylveon (below) a pedicure in a similar fashion, as her paws had gotten dirty. The grime came out in the water and her feet were as pink as they should be.

sylveon

My friends who knit use Eucalan to wash their delicate fabrics. They have a host of other uses, too. I’ve been using lavender and it doesn’t irritate my allergies, but they have a fragrance free version called ‘Natural’ as well.

In the US, you can get Eucalan from Amazon as well as yarn and fabric stores. In other countries, you can use their store locator. 9-15 USD for a 17 oz bottle, which says it’s good for 95 washes. For those who like to buy in bulk, a gallon is currently $45-70 on Amazon, good for 760 hand washes.

Rebranding

As Wilson Phillips once sang, “Seasons change, people change.” This blog is over three years old, so I thought I’d give it a bit of a new look to cooperate with mobile browsers and big monitors alike. There will be more changes ahead.

One change you may have noticed is that I am attempting to take pictures of myself. In the past I avoided this due to being insecure about my workplace finding out and also because it can be a pain to do. However, I realize that it really is helpful to see a bra on as many different shapes and sizes as possible for a prospective shopper.

Another is that I’m occasionally going to post about comestibles- chocolate, tea, coffee. I find that those are everyday luxuries that make me feel decadent along with lovely lingerie. I am working on being kinder to myself, so I’ll try to appreciate some nice things without feeling vaguely guilty about it (There are people starving in Sri Lanka! Why aren’t you helping them right now?!, says my brain) Maybe I will also post about my other hobbies in the context of lingerie, or loosen my restrictions on what I post about, and see what flows out. “What I wear when I rock out to Trivium”, “Lingerie for being a space alien”…

I’m probably going to change the name of the blog and my user name. “Faustine’s Foundations” is a mouthful, as is the name Faustine, which I took from Ten Kids, No Pets. I’ll be going with “Lee” as my new blogger name, but don’t know what to do with the title. “Lee Loves Lingerie”? Too cutesy? Have a better idea? I’m all ears.

I am set for surgery in March to remove a congenital pilonidal cyst at my tailbone. I won’t be able to walk or sit down for a bit, and may need to invest in some Dear Kates. There will probably be fewer photos then, but plenty of words. Note to self: take as many photos as possible before the surgery.

Conflicting feelings about boudoir photography

Boudoir photo shoots seem to be all the rage these days. On one hand, it would be a fun look in the future at who I was in my thirties. However, thinking about it, I realize that none of my personas, even fantasy ones, seem to have anything to do with the boudoir aesthetics I’ve seen in any other shoot. My bedroom is not really a boudoir. I wouldn’t be expressing myself, I’d be acting.

This is my idea of an excellent chair.

I wear makeup once or twice a year. Once on Halloween, the second time maybe if I’m attending a formal wedding. My hair at most a few inches long and kind of spiky. I am figuratively allergic to lace. I don’t strive for soft, sultry, or sensual. I am a woman who would only choose to have born later than she was, not in any past time in history. What I want to have photographed and expressed, what parts of myself I can see exaggerating, are action cyberpunk and stark postmodernism. Me in a robe and bright colors sitting on an IKEA Vilmar, or in a duster wearing a longline and leggings underneath, but not intended to be seductive.

I am not sure how this post ended up showcasing IKEA chairs, but there you have it.

Are there postmodern or sci-fi lingerie photographers out there? Or am I getting the wrong idea of boudoir shoots from the brocade/sheer curtains, soft lighting, and plush bedlinens I’ve seen?

Good day, 2014!

I’ve been slacking on blogging the past few months, and it seems that trend is going to continue. I’ll try to post monthly, but probably only check my blogroll weekly, because otherwise it dominates my headspace and I’d like to learn other things, like singing and some new computer skills!

I’ve also found my fitting a mostly solved problem these days! There are so many options out there and some of them work for me, accessible in the US! I have lots of bras that are in the middle of their life cycle with no more room in my drawer, so it will be slow going for bra reviews. I tend to buy several of a model at a time now, for time constraints. I am retiring my beloved Panache Porcelain Plunge soon because it’s more than a year old and I’ve worn it consistently. Few other bras have stayed a good fit for so long!

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped buying things, though: I have a Panache Dahlia review drafted for you all, I bought a silk robe, and I have a Freya sport top which is basically the bra with a built mesh shirt on top of it. I’ll probably spring for a Cleo Neve to replace my Porcelain Plunge. If I continue to gain latissimus dorsi mass, I am sure I’ll need to replace even more.

Thank you for visiting, thank you for reading. I hope this year finds you and yours well.

Mini-review-palooza

I received a Bare Necessities order on the same day I stopped in at Bellefleur. Of the bras I tried on and received, I bought/kept only one, but I would have bought another if it came in a bigger band size.

Bellefleur had a lot of new stock in so I tried on what I could. They have a good selection right now in DD-G for a brick-and-mortar store (I will take what I can get). I tried the Masquerade Orla, Masquerade Ardour, Cleo Lori, and Panache Dahlia on.

The Masquerade Ardour fit in a 32G, although the band was tight and I may want to wear it with an extender for a full day, or just go up to a 34FF since the band is not stretchy. This is basically the Amor in black, so it has the same forgiving fit in the cups. I could have done without all the extra lace detailing, though.

I tried the Cleo Lori in a 34FF since they didn’t have a 32G, and the bottom of the cup was beautifully rounded. The top of the cup was not filled out, so this bra seems best for average to full profiles. Down a size would probably cut in. Also, the band is pretty stretchy.

I tried the Masquerade Orla in a 32G and the bra wouldn’t fasten. Whoops. It was quite pretty though, a nice non-padded half cup that seemed to fit in the cups. I’d love to try it in a 34FF but Bellefleur didn’t have it.

The winner was Panache’s new Dahlia in 32G. Think the Jasmine construction with no lace on top, just sheer mesh with an awesome pattern. It’s probably a bad fit if you’re full on top since the top of the cup is pretty full, but if you’re average profiled or shallow like me, the panel being made of less stretchy material will feel more supportive. The price was slightly marked up (three dollars, which I’m willing to pay for the chance to try everything on). The cups run somewhat generous, and the band feels somewhere between true to size and generous. I was so happy to find this in store! It doesn’t replace the lovely shape Confetti gave me, but them’s the breaks.

My Bare Necessities order contained the Claudette Sophia and the Curvy Kate Gia in purple. The Sophia didn’t really work in that the cups were very small for me in a 34G and the gore wouldn’t tack at all. It felt quite shallow. It’s a pretty bra, but doesn’t seem to come in my size.

I tried the Gia in a 32GG and it was just too big in the cups (I overflow a 32G in most CK bras). The shape seemed somewhat relaxed, though not as much as Emily’s. The shiny purple was excellent though, and I was more enamored of the design than I thought I would be. I didn’t feel like the cups were quite as wide as other CK bras I’ve tried.

Simulator 2014

I like to know how things work. Back in grad school I worked with Maya a bunch to simulate particle physics and to learn how it interacted with 3D modeling and animation. More recently, I’ve used the physics engine in Unity to make game demos for fun. The other day I began to envision a program/tool that would let us design our own bras and see how they worked. Start with a model of a torso. The breasts should be variable in shape, size, composition. There would be many variables like the measurements/squishiness of the underbust as well as the overbust. Then add an assortment of bra models using a cloth mesh. Ideally the user would be able to vary the cloth composition and seams, etc.

Roadblocks:

  • The physics involved. I know how gravity works, but I don’t remember the formulas for opposing seams/cloth/flesh/muscles, nor the force and forgiveness of various fabrics.
  • Anatomy. I don’t know what force all the different tissues exert on each other and on fabric. Also, what causes pain/marks and what wouldn’t.
  • The sheer amount of variables for the body and the bra. Good grief.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder what the job of a bra engineer is like! Also, this would be an undertaking I’d need a lot of physics and anatomy help for. Do any of you know of any tools like that? Do you think it sounds as fun as I do?

Anyway, that’s today’s pipe dream. Perhaps one day with proper consultation I can make it, or at least a decent contribution…

#diversityinlingerie

#diversityinlingerie

Despite having left 30 behind some time ago, I still wear silly hairclips sometimes. My purse strap decided to have an argument with my bra. Most of my bras are not quite smooth enough to stand up to the stress of the diagonal purse. I wonder whether I should rectify this with a new purse which I need anyway, or new bras.

The #DiversityinLingerie initiative shows that women are multitudinous and have different sizes and skin colors but many of them wear lingerie. We like to buy things that we know work for us, and so it would be totes mega cool to see more diverse models (age, size, skin, scars, tats, shape variance).

This picture was taken at night, so the lighting is off. My skin is a bit darker than this. I’d like a bra that comes in my skin tone! I am half East Asian and half Central Asian, which is not common anywhere I know of. Nevertheless, I’d like to see more humans of color as lingerie models. Besides representing humanity better, I like having some idea of how a bra’s colors will look against my skin tone. I’d also like to see older models (of anything up to a hundred, since I assume I’ll need some support until my dying day).

Dear DD+ manufacturers, there are in fact Chinese ladies who need your bras! My mom, for one. I don’t often see women of East Asian or really any Asian heritage in lingerie campaigns, and we are a rather large market. That’s my pipe dream for today.

Cheers to everyone participating, and I’d like to thank the organizers for putting this together! Here’s a master list!

New fitting issues

I’ve lived in Seattle for two months, gained some weight, lost some of it, and may have had tissue come from my armpits. I am popping out of my 30GG bras and some of my 32G bras. I finally put my Decos in storage because they required adjusting all the time.

As I’ve gotten older (I’ll be thirty-one in August), my tissue has gotten even softer and I require a slightly higher center gore and longer wires. It can be a bit frustrating to see lots of lingerie targeted to younger women with firm busts (as assumed from the promotional material).

I’ve mostly given up on Cleo. I’ve tried on the Marcie, Bella, Maddie, Rihanna, Juna, and Melissa, and I just did not feel very secure in them. The bands were tight enough, though. What gave? My guess is that the underwires are shorter on the sides and that they may be not quite as robustly constructed (hah!). Sizing’s also a bit tricky. I barely overspilled a Marcie in 32G but a 32GG was far too large. I love the cut of the Maddie but I felt pretty insecure if I walked at a quick pace or went up and down the stairs. Seattle’s got many hills and my building has a bunch of stairs, so it did not really work out.

I’ve also given up on my beloved Decos. The fabric buckling at the bottom is still there and I pop out of the top of a 30GG. That’s the end of their size range. I could try a 32GG, but the band feels quite loose and I’m leery of shortening/altering it myself. This leaves me with the Porcelain Plunge for tight tanks, since most of my other bras show through. I’m been trying to find shirts that aren’t quite as faithful to bra detailing that I still find flattering.

So I still have plenty of bras, but I feel dissatisfied. The Amors buckle a bit at the bottom. The Confetti,Porcelain, and CHP Stalowka are just a bit too small on top some days. The CH Onyx is usually too big and EM bras feel a bit too narrow in the cup. Going up a cup size often is too much volume. Perhaps I’m just extra finicky these days?

My dream bra is a smooth molded cup with enough room in the bottom that I don’t spill out of and otherwise feels secure. I might give Maddie another shot, otherwise it’s the Porcelain for now. I felt a bit droopy in the Fantasie Rebecca when I tried it on, but perhaps I should give it another try.

Anyway, that’s today’s rumbling and grumbling. I hope to provide some useful reviews within the month: Cleo Rihanna and Fauve Bronte. Yes, the Bronte fits. No, it’s not very practical and the bottom of the frilly band rolls up. However, it’s orange and pretty and MINE.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!