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It’s hot. So damned hot. When the Gulf Coast summers are so humid and stifling hot, I rarely wear any of my nice lingerie. I’ve reached the point where I’m just going to buy a bag of Hanes/Fruit of the Loom/whatever is sold in a sack and call it a day until October/November. (Come to think of it, I’m actually wearing Hanes boxer briefs that I bought 5… 7… years ago. :P) ANYWAY.

When you live in Texas and are being choked by humidity at 6:00AM, you look for very lightweight, comfortable, drapey items. Lately, I’ve been living in these lightweight robes that I purchased from ForBride on Etsy.

Funny enough, someone I met in real life actually sent me a link to this store! When I was getting ready for work in the gym basement at my office (my preferred place to shower although I work out at the YMCA), this friendly, gorgeous girl asked if she could share the vanity with me and complimented me on my shoes. She had on the prettiest robe, and I told her how much I loved it and asked her where she got it. She said she received it from her friend as a bridesmaid gift, but I could easily find something like it on Etsy. I got her business card, dropped her an email, and she sent me a link to a similar robe. :)

(c) ForBride - item image stock photo.

(c) ForBride – item image stock photo.

Apparently these are “typical” bridesmaids gifts, which explains how they can be easily found on Etsy! I ended up purchasing this floral robe in mint and in blue floral plate (lol), both in size large. I paid $19.99 for each robe and $12 for shipping.

Now, I really don’t know if the shop owner’s story is true, but assuming that it is, I’m always willing to support small independent businesses, even more so if they’re owned & operated by WoC. Some people refuse to buy made in China, but I find that general rhetoric ignorant and off-putting; I’m Chinese and talent/opportunities/internet livelihoods are not limited solely to the West. Furthermore, not everyone in China is a big evil faceless factory.

I did email the seller with a question, and she responded back in a few hours. It took a week before my order went into EMS stream. I received my order 10 days after it shipped. All in all, I am very satisfied with the customer service.

The gown has an inside tie, and it has belt loops to hold the belt. The seams are neatly serged, and the hem (and sleeve edge) is double folded, sewn with a straight stitch, ~3mm; not the best but good enough. I think the floral pattern is pretty! (I ADORE the blue pattern as well, but I only had time to snap the mint one.)

Closeup of the floral pattern in the mint color.

Closeup of the floral pattern in the mint color.

The robes were advertised as being 100% cotton, but I actually don’t believe that is the case. The robes are made of a tightly woven fabric that is super silky to touch and incredibly drapey. Methinks it’s rayon. For some, this may be a huge dealbreaker, but I’m honestly not even mad. These gowns are super airy and super floaty but still provide coverage without being see through (did I mention how damned hot it was here??), but please be aware: I would only recommend laundering these in a mesh bag on the delicates/handwash cycle.

I wear my robes at home or at the gym. It feels like such a lovely treat especially when I peel off my sweaty gym clothes and gather my toiletries before I hit the showers. Since I do use my robes predominantly at the gym, the fact that they’re so lightweight without being transparent is such a huge plus. I love my robes, and they’re undeniably in my top 5 favorite, most useful garments that I’ve ever purchased.

ForBride Mint Robe (Worn)
And really, I just can’t say no to a pretty robe!

All items in this post were purchased by me; ForBride did not ask for a review, nor do they even know who I am. :P No affiliate links were used.

I remember when I first saw Tiffany’s tights featured on Refinery29. Thanks to the internet, her beautiful tights became a viral sensation, and it seemed like everyone and their mom wanted a pair. Being short on disposable income at the time, I bookmarked her Etsy shop, BZRshop, and waited until I could buy some of her legwear without feeling guilty.

In Electric (discontinued), Flamingo (discontinued), Sunset, & Sky.

In Electric (discontinued), Flamingo (discontinued), Sunset, & Sky.

That day finally came a few months ago, and boy, was I glad to see that BZR was alive and thriving! Not too many businesses would be capable of handling all the new found attention and demand, but Tiffany hammered through it like a champ and is now a successful small business owner, woo! I can’t help but cheer so hard for her because she’s a WOC like me, and it’s so encouraging to see diversity in fashion. :)

I’ve placed two orders, and both times, I’ve been quite pleased with my transactions. Shipping was prompt; one order shipped out in a couple of days, another took longer. Both orders shipped within the time frame, and if you’re in a rush, you can drop Tiffany a note for ETA.

BZR tights come beautifully packaged in translucent silver mylar bags with a sticker identifying the colorway. I usually don’t care for packaging since I recycle everything, but I love how clean and sleek the packaging is! So far, I’ve kept it. :) Also included with each pair of tights is a care card and a coupon code to redeem on future purchases.

Colorway: Sky

Colorway: Sky

The tights are hand-dyed and have a gorgeous ombre effect. I’ve looked everywhere (seriously) on the internet, and there is no other company out there who has produced such a high-quality ombre effect on their tights. The tights are also made in the USA and are comprised of a nylon/spandex blend, 50 denier. They are wonderfully thick and stretchy!

The size chart is as follows:

US –
Small: 5′-5’2″, size 0-2, weight 100-120lbs
Medium: 5’3″-5’6″, size 2-6, weight 120-135lbs
Large: 5’7″-5’10”, size 4-8, weight 135-150lbs
Tall: 5’9″ – 6’1″, size 4-10, weight 135-175lbs

EUROPEAN –
Small: 152cm- 159cm, 45kg-54kg
Medium: 160cm-168cm, 55kg-62kg
Large: 169cm-178cm, 63kg-70kg
Tall: 175cm-186cm, 63kg-80 kg

Ladies and gents, you all know how much I hate general size charts. HATE. I ended up emailing Tiffany for more information. She was very helpful, but I know how subjective fit can be especially on all types of bodies. I typically wear a US size 6/8 (8 primarily since I prefer fitted silhouettes) and currently weigh about 150lbs. I was leaning towards Large, but being a decidedly short 5’4″ and having owned two pairs of tights that were also sized by height, I opted for Medium. I’ve owned tights that were too long, and suffice it to say, I rarely wear them due to how baggy and saggy they get at the foot.

Medium was the best choice for me. I still had an additional bit of stretch in terms of length if I needed it, and they fit me very well without digging into the waist. I am also proud to report that I neither felt like a sausage being squeezed into a casing nor did I feel my circulation was being threatened – yay! In my opinion, I would recommend taking the size based on height vs. weight. I think maximum stretch in waist measurement would actually be helpful instead of sizing by weight because body compositions are not the same. BZR offers tall sizes, too, but it appears that they are temporarily unavailable since Tiffany is switching suppliers.

Here’s how these tights look in Sunset:

Sunset, front view. (Shoes are discontinued Nine West.)

Sunset, front view. (Shoes are discontinued Nine West.)

Sunset, side view.  Fun, huh? :D

Sunset, side view. Fun, huh? :D

And here they are in Electric (discontinued since it was a limited color – sorry!):

Electric, front view.  (Shoes are discontinued Steve Madden.)

Electric, front view. (Shoes are discontinued Steve Madden.)

Electric, side view.

Electric, side view.

I took these with morning light on a rainy day, so apologies again for some graininess!

Each pair of BZR tights is $40. However, Tiffany does offer “imperfect” tights at a discounted rate in the range of $20-30 (there are none available at the time of publishing this post). Both pairs featured in this review were picked up during a listing of “imperfect” pairs, and to be honest, I love them just as much as the “perfect” ones. I’m also not picky and any variations to me are just the nature of hand-dyeing, but I know some customers are more particular about this. If you’re looking for some ace quality-control, you’ll find it here.

If you need a bit of color to brighten up a bleak, dreary winter, wear some rainbows on your legs! Until Monday, February 9, 2015, BZR is offering 20% off all products in their Etsy shop.

BONUS: All BZR tights smell like bubble gum – straight up delicious bubble gum without a cloying or headache-inducing fragrance (and this is coming from someone who thinks most perfumes/fragrances/scented-anything smells bad). This scent doesn’t last forever, but it sure is nice opening a pair of tights that doesn’t smell like chemicals or cancer. The bubble gum scent is a nice touch to a cheery product!

All products in this post were purchased by me. No affiliate links were used. Tiffany/BZR did not ask for a review of their products.

One of my favorite new brands this year is Flash You and Me. Handmade in Latvia by the talented Liva Steina, Flash You and Me offers so many flirty, romantic designs that are extremely well-priced and equally well-made.

I’ll be honest: as much as I love the strappy, S&M/bondage details in lingerie, I feel that they’re now a cliche with most brands producing similar things. To me, Liva’s brand is super refreshing. I love her assorted palette of colors, and her lingerie is just pretty. She also offers matching underwear for couples if you’re interested in that. Unfortunately, my cat doesn’t wear underwear… ;)

I received my order in less than two weeks. The wait time is entirely reasonable, and the post office was relatively quick with delivery from Latvia. My lingerie came to me in fun, silver ink screenprinted boxes:
Flash You and Me Boxes

I purchased this gorgeous crop top and with matching knickers when I saw this on Etsy. This cost me ~$50USD for both pieces. I love how you can buy sets for ~$50USD!
Flash You and Me Floral Mesh Set (Front)
Wrinkled sheets are wrinkly. :)

The floral mesh has some stretch, but it isn’t overly stretchy. It has a bit of stiffness to it; it feels sturdy. I have no doubt that it will hold up in the wash! I ordered the crop top in Small, and it fits me and my broad man-shoulders well. It is just a bit short in length, but some readjustments avoids underboob spillage. The panties are Medium.

I really adore all of the little details in the lingerie. The bra strap is a gorgeous mint green that nicely complements the floral print. Seriously, it’s just pretty.
Flash You and Me Floral Mesh Set (Back)

Here’s a closeup shot of the floral mesh and the adorable ruffle on the bottom of these knickers:
Flash You and Me Knickers Closeup

I also purchased the Karmen harness in mint. There are a total of 7 colors you can get this harness in! If this isn’t a steal, then I don’t know what is. Seriously. $25.11USD for this harness?! I swear that you will not find another handmade harness of this quality at this price. Liva also offers other styles of harnesses – none are more than $30USD.

The elastic is silky soft, and the gold hardware has a nice weight to it. The product feels luxurious. You can wear it by itself for sexy times if you prefer:
Flash You and Me Karmen Harness (Mint) - Solo

Or layer it over other pieces! Perfect over the crop top. Would look amazing over bras as well or form fitting clothing.
Flash You and Me Karmen Harness (Mint)

Here’s a full-body shot. All the pretty pretty princess feels. ;)
(I’m wearing a white thong underneath the knickers for modesty.)
Flash You and Me Set (Worn)

I’ve had really great customer service from Liva, too. In my first package, she also included some adorable green teardrop stone earrings. They matched my lingerie set quite wonderfully! There was initially a mistake with the wrong size being sent out to me (Medium crop top which was way too huge on me), but Liva was wonderful and sent me the proper size without any delays.

Flash You and Me currently has a 15% discount available at their Etsy shop. If you fill out this survey, you may redeem the code. (The code is available through their Etsy website at the top, but please remember to do the survey before using.) If you were wondering about trying out this brand, now’s the time with this great deal! Discount is valid until September 1. I love my Flash You and Me lingerie, and I cannot wait to make more purchases in the future. :D

All items were purchased by me.

I love independent, handmade lingerie – don’t you?

Hopeless Lingerie has been one of my favorite brands since I stumbled across it on Etsy years ago. I love Gaby’s aesthetic. After following her on Instagram, I feel like her collections are truly a wonderful reflection of herself.

I actually made my purchase through Passionate Jade, one of Gaby’s stockiest (I didn’t want to wait!). Yep, they sell all sorts of sexy things! After convoing Gaby about sizing – she was super awesome to answer my questions even though I was buying from Passionate Jade and was equally gracious about it, I placed my order for a Suzy bralette in a small and a pair of Kristen mesh knickers in medium.

Ordering from Passionate Jade was a smooth experience. The folks at the shop were responsive to my emails, especially when I got a bit concerned that my parcel may have been missing. Nearly three weeks later, I received my package safely in the post – whew! The mail was just super slow.

Passionate Jade prettily wrapped my order in black tissue paper with black silky cord and a cheeky little tag! :)
Hopeless - Passionate Jade Parcel

Suzy bralette – a bit hard to photograph in its full glory (hard to show the strappy-ness when it’s not being worn):
Hopeless Suzy Bralette

Kristen knickers; high-waisted underwear with a flirty butt cut-out. ;)
Hopeless Kristen Knickers

I’m incredibly pleased with my order! I always get a bit nervous when I order handmade lingerie online since some people have questionable sewing abilities, but Gaby’s is spot-on. Everything is beautifully, professionally made and finished, and you can tell she takes a lot of pride in her work. (I love seeing studio shots posted on her Instagram, too! You can tell she takes Hopeless very, very seriously.)

Gaby has written to me that since she doesn’t have a showroom, she wants to make sure that whatever people buy, there’s a margin of flexibility for fit. The Suzy bralette fits me well and is exceedingly comfortable to wear. (I wear a 32D in most American brands and some foreign brands. I wear a 36A in most British brands – sizing is not measured the same!!) Even if the fit was slightly off, the adjustable straps make it tailorable to my body.

The Kristen knickers in a medium work well, too. At first, I was a bit nervous at just how small they looked (could I shove my butt in it??), but after trying them on, they were form-fitting and comfortable, too. I wish that the waist strap could be detached, but it’s stretchy enough that I can slide it over my rear end. I guess I worry that I may stretch out the elastic.

Speaking of the elastic, it’s smooth and silky to the touch, and it doesn’t dig into the flesh.

I loved my order so much that when I woke up one morning – missing a flash sale she had on Facebook for individually pieces – I went ahead and placed a second order for a pair of Carrie knickers and Maja leather harness and garters with a 20% discount. :) My order should be shipping any time soon, but all good things come to those who wait – right?

Hopeless Suzy Bralette + Kristen Knickers (worn)
All items in this post were purchased by me. I’m wearing my trusty Blush thong, so as to not put my entire business online. ;D

I swear I have other brands that I love and adore, but since Liya (La Lilouche) only has a few more days left on her Summer Sale, 30% off everything in her shop, I wanted to post one of the newer pieces I purchased a couple months ago.

In my previous life, I swear I must’ve been a magpie. If it’s shiny and covered in sparkles (glitters/sequins – I don’t discriminate!), chances of my wanting it are increased by 75%. I’m also a huge fan of bodysuits; there’s just something so sexy about them. Thank god for Mila, an homage to badass women of the 70s.

I just love everything about this piece. Harness and bodysuit in one? I’m all over it.
Lalilouche Mila Harness

Black and gold sequined panel.
Lalilouche Mila Harness (inset)

Gold-toned hardware + smooth, high-quality elastic.
Lalilouche Mila Harness (hardware)

Okay, so when it comes to bodysuits, I need a way out. Literally. Bodysuits that do not allow me to easily relieve myself are not going to fly, nor am I going to get naked and crawl out of a bodysuit while in the toilet. For me, bodysuits must come with crotch snaps! (Let’s call them what they are.)

After sending Liya a note, I asked if I could get my bodysuit made with snaps, and she happily obliged for no additional charge. I really love the small requests that you can make with handmade companies, especially since everything is made to order; it allows room for reasonable customization without absurd up charges. I was concerned that the snap area would be bumpy, but Liya ensured enough snaps were sewn, so that the bodysuit would lie flat at the crotch

By the way, these snaps are also super cool. They don’t snag and snap shut together easily.
Lalilouche Mila Harness (snaps)

I am wearing a Medium. Liya had my lingerie made within a few days, and I received it a few more days later.

I think this piece is flattering on all body types. The leg openings are cut modestly, and the lines of the piece draw’s one attention through the center of the body to the collarbone. I have broad shoulders, and I don’t feel that they’re a point of focus. This bodysuit balances nicely on the body. Love!

Lalilouche Mila Harness (worn - full) Lalilouche Mila Harness (worn - partial)

Bra is DKNY in 32D (more on this later – I actually wear 36A in La Lilouche and what would be most British brands), and thong is Blush in Medium. All items in this post were purchased by me.

I remember the first time I saw this robe: the cascading black silk, the heart-shaped cut-out, the understated sex appeal.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (front)

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (back)

It was love at first sight! After obsessing over this piece for a few weeks, I pulled the trigger. I ordered a size medium through Bella Bella Boutique. I received notifications as my order processed, and within a couple of weeks + shipping from India, the kimono was delivered into my hands.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (sleeve)

La Lilouche is a “designer handmade luxury & bridal lingerie” brand. Liya Amar is the lady behind the label. My robe was still made to order – cut and sewn by Liya herself! You can tell by the construction and stitching that this lingerie isn’t mass produced or finished with so-called serged perfection. I like seeing all the human touches that go into handmade goods: the care, the attention, and the couture finishes.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (shoulder seam detail) Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (back seam)  

The kimono is lightly interfaced at the collar, and a thin, grosgrain tie ribbon is sewn inside.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (bias tape)  Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (front ties)

It’s hard not to feel super glamorous while wearing this.  The cut is very comfortable and equally flattering! I prefer wearing this during autumn through early spring since the silk is a bit too warm for the humid South. I love the black version, but since I purchased this, Liya has released a powder blue version, Livia, for those who love the color as well as brides to be. :)

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (worn; front) Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (worn; back)

Liya is currently offering 30% off her Etsy shop during her summer sale, which ends 24 August. Now is a perfect time to snag up some pretties. :)

All items in this post were purchased by me.