July 5, 2011
Post-baby boobs. Most moms I know (myself included) have a little bit of an obsession with them. Mainly because we are all so fascinated with how they've shrunk, grown, flattened, migrated... you get the picture.
It is pretty frustrating that something you were probably proud of at one time has now become something you can't help complain about after a glass of wine at the roundtable on girls night.
I have watched in agony and amazement as my boobs have continued to shrink since having my first child. A few weeks ago, I decided I was tired of stuffing my bra (sad, I know) and had to do something about it. Now, I don't particularly have the budget to go get measured (because at this point I had no clue what size I was) and purchase at Victoria's Secret or Nordstrom, so I decided to figure out how to measure my own bra size à la the trusty internet and head to Kohls to find something in my price range.
Here comes the sad part of the story... not only was a now an A cup (pre-baby: B, pregnancy & nursing: C), but... I ended up having to purchase my new bras from the Juniors department. This is no joke (oh, how I wish this were a joke). For some reason, Kohls didn't carry A cups in the women's department, so I had to wade through turquoise-colored, leopard-print-covered bras with star rivets and studded straps to find a decent bra (sans studs) in my size. Thankfully, I walked away with 3 of them and, quite frankly, my boobs have never looked better (well, except for when they were bigger).
Anywhoo... I wanted to pass along the info I learned on how to measure your own bra size so that you can save money and your sanity by boosting your bust. The measurement worked really well for me, and I feel so much better about myself in my new bras! If you're not feeling so great about your own post-baby boobs, maybe you just need to refigure your cup size and get the correct support.
So read the steps below for the easy 1-2-3 on how to measure your bra size.
How to measure your bra size
1. Measure band size:
Keeping the measuring tape parallel to the ground, exhale (let it all out!) and measure directly under your bust. Round measurements to the nearest whole number.
If the measurement is even, add 4”
If the measurement is odd, add 5”
2. Measure for cup size:
Stand straight with arms at side and measure at the fullest part of your bust (while wearing a non-padded bra). Make sure the measuring tape is parallel to the ground. I didn't have my tape completely parallel to the ground the first time around and got a measurement that would have given me a negative cup size, so be careful! I measured a second time and got a much better number. Don't forget to round measurements to the nearest whole number.
3. Calculate your bra size:
Subtract your band measurement (from step 1) from your cup measurement (from step 2). Generally, for each inch in difference, the cup goes up by one size. Figure out your bra size from the chart:
|If The Difference Is:||Your Standard Cup Size Is:|
|0"-1/2" (1.3 cm)||AA|
|1/2"- 1" (2.6 cm)||A|
|2" (5.1 cm)||B|
|3" (7.6 cm)||C|
|4" (10.2 cm)||D|
|5" (12.7 cm)||DD or E|
|6" (15.2 cm)||DDD or F|
|7" (17.8 cm)||G|
|8" (20.3 cm)||H|
|9" (22.9 cm)||I|
|10" (25.4 cm)||J|
Important note from HerRoom.com: This measuring system tends to become less accurate as the cup sizes go above a D. Additionally, some manufacturers name larger cup sizes differently. See "The Proper Bra Measuring Techniques for Plus-Size Women"
If you need help, check out the photo tutorial and video tutorial on HerRoom.com.
I hope this helps you tackle your post-baby boobs!
June 27, 2011
Oh I always look like this while sunning myself poolside... don't you?
Ah, swimwear season. Majority of the moms I know aren't big fans of donning a swimsuit. If it's not their weight they are worried about, it's their postpartum tummy, their stretch marks, their varicose veins, or just the worry of what is appropriate for a modest mom to wear to the public pool.
I, myself, am focused on modesty; I feel almost naked in a swimsuit and just feel odd wearing (essentially) my underwear in public. For that reason, last summer I purchased a tankini with matching boyshort from J.Crew as soon as it went on sale. It's something I feel comfortable in, and since I don't go swimming very often, it's something I plan to have for a while. It cost just shy of $100, but it was worth every penny.
If you are equally as worried about swim season, don't be! I've found some great options for swimwear that will make you feel comfortable in your skin thanks to the retro swimwear trend.
Retro swimwear is the perfect choice for a modern, fashionable mom. Designers like Nanette Lepore brought retro to the runway this summer due to a trend in increased femininity. “There’s a real feminine moment happening in fashion right now, and it’s great to be able to capture that,” said Lepore (La Times Blog, May, 3, 2011)
Retro swimwear is great at displaying all the right curves, covering you up, and maintaining your modesty. Plus, these looks reminiscent of the '40s and '50s are adorable!
Here are some of my top picks; each at a different price point. Just remember, your comfort is worth every penny, so don't necessarily skimp on this purchase. Cheap suits will only last you one season (the quality will deteriorate over time, and by next summer when you pull it out of the drawer, you'll realize it's time for another suit). Side note: To make your purchase last longer, rinse or (ideally) wash your swimsuit after each use. Allowing it to sit in a wet ball soaked in chlorine will literally deteriorate the fabric.
Scroll through these retro swimsuits to find the right one for your body type (there's something for everybody!).
Retro Plus Size:
If you're a plus-size girl, consider this polka dot one-piece from ModCloth. The ruching will flatter your tummy, covering up flaws, and the lowcut legs will give you great curves and minimize your thighs. If you're not crazy about polka dots, ModCloth.com has several plus-size options, with suits in solid colors and patterns.
The Retro Save (for most body types):
Target 2 pc. Stripe Tankini Swimsuit $17.99 (top), $14.99 (bottom)
This retro striped swimsuit from Target is a great deal at under $35 for both pieces. The retro bandeau top tankini offers coverage & style. The gold stripes add modern flair (plus a bit of a '70s feel, no?). This suit will cover your entire midsection so you'll feel comfortable.
The Retro Splurge (for all body types):
If you are ready to splurge for quality and fit, I would go with this retro one-piece from Carmen Marc Valvo. It is shirred for a flattering fit, fully lined, has full bottom coverage, and comes with removable soft cups. You'll feel comfortable and sexy in this perfectly fitting suit. It comes in three colors.
Retro for Small Busts:
I love this retro strawberry print ruffle suit from Urban Outfitters. It's a bustier style with reinforced seams down the front, which will enhance your curves and give you great shape. This swimsuit got great reviews on their website, although it is suggested for girls with smaller chests because there's not a ton of support up top.
Retro for Big Busts:
Coco Rave Swimsuit, Bra-Sized One-Piece Swimdress $56.99 (sale)
This ruffled swimsuit will give you great coverage and great support. The ruffled lowcut legs will cover thighs, while the ruched sideseams will enhance your curves. With adjustable straps, bust seams, and removable soft cups, this swimsuit will support larger busts as well (plus you order it in your bra size, so it's sure to fit up top).
This retro halter one-piece has a gorgeous floral pattern and is great for covering up a postpartum tummy! The ruching through the midsection will camouflage your flaws, and the lowcut legs will minimize thighs. It also contains boning to ensure you show your best curves.
The Retro Bikini:
If you're the brave mom ready to head out in a bikini, try this retro style. The full-coverage bottoms have cross-gathering to help minimize any flaws. The halter provides great coverage and support as well, with a flirty ruffle bust to boot. It doesn't really get much cuter or more affordable!
fashion, summer, swim
June 6, 2011
Colorblocking seems to be popping up everywhere this spring/summer. It was all over the spring 2011 runways, and you can find it in just about any store. This trends rules for one reason: it's super simple to achieve (oh, and you might be able to re-create with items you already own! - I guess that's two reasons...).
Colorblocking by [loose] definition is combining several complementary solid colors to create an item of clothing or an outfit. Some designers have done the work for you by creating dresses, shirts, skirts, and even accessories with blocks of color.
I love shopping my closets for solid-colored items and combining them to create my own colorblock outfit.
If you're wondering how to recreate this trend, check out these budget-friendly options below.
The safe route: Buy a colorblock dress, skirt, or shirt
If you don't consider yourself creative with your wardrobe and need help rocking trends, then play it safe. You can easily buy a colorblock clothing item that will do the work for you. The colors have already been assembled in a pleasing combination; all you have to do is complete the look with something neutral (i.e. jeans with a colorblock top, neutral shoes with a colorblock dress, a simple solid top with a colorblock skirt).
Here are some great affordable colorblocking options:
- Ya Los Angeles Color block Dress, $49.00: I love this simple dress! The belt will accentuate your waistline and add a break to the blocks of color.
- Shade Maker Hat, Anthropologie, $69.95: A little pricey, but I've got a soft spot for the girly items at Anthropologie!
- Ella Moss 'Dawn' Colorblock Racerback Tank, $55.90: This simple tank is perfect for summer. The loose fit will flatter any mommy who's self-conscious about her tummy!
- Cooperative Two-Tone Skirt, $44: This skirt is a safe choice. The two-color combo is simple, but pretty.
- Colorblock Sides Knit Top, $17.80: If you tend to shy away from color, you can still participate in this trend, as this white/grey/black top proves.
The true mom fashionista: Create your own colorblock look
If you love experimenting with your closet, then you can easily recreate the colorblock trend with items you already own.
The best way to create this trend is to start with a neutral (try white, grey, brown, or black) and then add an item in a bright color, and another item (clothing or accessory) in a rich color (i.e. cobalt blue [rich color] with yellow [bright color]). Take advice from The Budget Fashionista and try combining some of these complementary colors for a winning look:
- Cobalt Blue, Yellow, Orange
- Chocolate Brown, Pink, Peach
- Purple, Bright Blue, Teal
- Deep Blue, Bright Pink, White
- Coral, Grey, Ivory
Here's an example of how to mix colors to create the colorblocking trend:
- Adjustable A-Line Cami, $15.80: This simple cami is affordable with a flattering a-line shape (it looks good on everybody).
- LS Open Cardigan, $19.80: This lightweight open cardigan is the perfect summer cover-up, and I love the rich teal color. Open cardis are perfect for moms; the loose fit covers flaws, they're as comfortable as a bathrobe, and they allow you pick up/chase after your kids without worrying about wrinkles or a restricting fit.
- Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Wauna Braided Flat Sandals – Tan, $14.00: You can run the risk of putting too much color into your outfit, so opt for nude or white sandals or flats.
- Rose Bracelet Set, $5.80: These light blue bracelets stay in the teal/purple color family and add a bright pop to the outfit.
- Gap Broken-in skimmer, $49.50: Every girls should have a great pair of white pants or capris for the summer – they go with everything!