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Hello! I don’t know if I’ll update any of my social media accounts ever again, but if I don’t, I want my last post to commemorate and shout-out my top 5 brands, brands that I will continue to support, long after I cease posting. They are listed in ABC order.

If I didn’t include you, please don’t be upset! I only could pick 5, so if I ever bought your stuff and raved about it, you know I really love your work!

And before I list my top 5, I would like to mention just how hard these indie brands have worked to stay afloat. I’ve personally interacted with all of them, and a handful of ladies have informed me that their brands struggle every day to keep their doors open. I think a lot of people love the sentiment of supporting indie brands, but when it comes to making a full-priced purchase, most waffle. I’ll be the first to admit that paying full-price for things has been hard because I grew up poor and didn’t have much money for many, many years. However, the more that I focus on labor-intensive work, the more I appreciate all of the skills that women have fine-tuned in the lingerie market. Also, if you ever had to sew elastic, you realize that it’s a difficult skill to master. To this day, I still wanna gouge out my eyes when I have to sew on elastic and kind of avoid it like the plague. :P

Black Friday is around the corner, so in light of all the sales that are going on, please don’t forget to support your indie brands, even after the sales are over!

PS – Please forgive me for the worst flatlays ever. :P

1. Alexandrea Anissa
Vanessa is the badass punk rock seamstress behind this brand. I love how vocal she is about body positivity, how she refuses to undervalue her work, and how she encourages people to sew. She is honest with her personal struggles, and to me, it’s inspiring to hear a story that is authentic and heartfelt, vs. “I started making my lingerie because there was a void in the market where no one has ever made a boring t shirt bra that fit my D cups!” Her lookbooks have such a dreamy aesthetic, featuring women of color and bodies of all shapes and sizes before it became “a thing.”

I LOVE the leopard bra I got from her; it’s super comfy, and I feel so rock and roll and badass like Vanessa when I wear it. :D One thing that I find pretty amazing is how Vanessa has started to release lingerie patterns. I sew quite a bit in my spare time (but still think lingerie sewing is still difficult as hell), and Vanessa is super accessible. I’ve given her feedback on her pattern (specifically, her high waisted panty pattern), and she’s incorporated them into pattern updates.

Alexandrea Anissa Leopard Bralette

The Fawn Lace Lingerie Set is one of her most iconic sets, and I’d love to own it in the future.

2. Between the Sheets
I freaking love Layla. I’ve written about BtS in the past, but as I get older, I find her to be a bright light in the cesspool that is fashion. I feel like a lot of companies greenwash/pay lip service/do things to increase sales, but with Layla, everything she does is a heartfelt action to do and be better in this world (like her B-corp certification!). Every time I have engaged with Layla, she has been so kind and compassionate; you can’t help but love her!

As for her lingerie and loungewear… I LOVE IT. I still ADORE my Birds of Play set and almost can’t bring myself to wear it too often because I want to keep it perfect forever. Her fabrics are thoughtfully chosen, and everything is just so comfortable to wear. I am obsessed with her Specimens of Seduction line, especially her Sheer Romance Peach Robe.

Between the Sheets Birds of Play Bodysuit – the dusky mauvish grey feather print makes my heart go pitter patter. :3

3. Flash You and Me
I remember when FY&M was a new up and coming brand in Latvia. Their aesthetic was a bit sweeter, and they made matching underwear for couples. Since then, they’ve grown and expanded quite rapidly, offering an assortment of on trend, fun and flirty pieces, including loungewear and underwired bras (albeit, in limited sizes). What they’ve done is nothing short of amazing in terms of growth and product offering.

Flash You and Me Knickers (discontinued print) + gorgeous gift boxes.

Flash You and Me hits all points in terms of style, inventory, and price. Digging the strappy trend? If so, they got you covered. Nothing but loungewear for you? Of course they oblige! Want basics? Check, check, check! And if you are looking for swimwear, they offer that, too! My picks: their luxe harnesses at a very modest price point and their versatile tops. I own their limited release crop tops (so stretchy that they comfortably fit my broad shoulders), matching bottoms, underwear, and harness and can personally attest to the quality. Their CS is responsive and friendly, and I adore their lovely boxes! I also converted Vicky, so there’s that. ;)

4. Toru and Naoko
When my Cassia order from Toru an Naoko did not fit me whatsoever, I thought that I would never have anything to do with them again. Camila saw my post and wrote me a nice email and offered to send me a set with their new sizing. And even though the bra didn’t fit me, I was able to return that bra for another that did. Nowadays, brands take everything so personally but play nice with top influencers. Well, I’m a nobody online, but Camila still treated me with nothing but respect. She was so professional and friendly. I’m a loyal person, and this really cemented my patronage.

The grape pieces from the Lempicka collection. This collection is one of my favorites. Their pieces are magical on the body but impossibly hard to translate into a flatlay! (This image also turned out redder than it actually is; Camila’s photos are accurate in color.)

I’ve talked about how I’m bored by blah basics and stereotypical strappy stuff. I’m so jaded, guys. But every time I see a new collection from T&N, I’m just awed. Camila is a fantastic designer and has a real eye for transforming a simple bralette and knickers into something truly special. Her lingerie silhouettes gorgeously frame the body with their thoughtfully placed layers. Lempicka, now discontinued, grabbed me by the face (and I grabbed what I could), and her Lunar Mission and Queen of Hearts have me wanting more. I remember being so blown away when I saw those two collections. They’re wearable for every day activity, but they look unbelievably special.

5. Katastrophic Clothing
This one is not in ABC order because Melissa has currently closed her Etsy shop; however, she has some projects in the pipeline, and I’m suuuuper excited to see what she does! Her lingerie, to this day, is a champion of humid Texas summers. She works with hand-dyed organic cotton and laces and creates some of the most comfortable lingerie ever. Surprisingly enough, her lingerie also gives me the best cleavage ever! Whenever she opens up shop again, I’d love to purchase some more lingerie from her. I can’t wait to see what else her brand will carry in the future.

Katastrophic Clothing Bralettes – organic cotton jersey and laces, hand-dyed.

So, there you have it!
I really am thankful and grateful for everyone I’ve met through the lingerie community. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and winter holiday.

Also, if you’re in the US, please take a look at what’s going on with Net Neutrality. FYI, Chairman Pai was a former attorney at Verizon who specialized in competition and regulatory issues. Please call your senator and make your voice heard. If Congress gets enough votes, they can stop the FCC from allowing ISPs to control what you do/use/access online. (You have until December 14.)

CHEERS TO 2018 – WE GOT A REVOLUTION COMING!!

All items in this post were purchased by me. None of these brands asked me to write about them or include them in my list. No affiliate links were used.

Happy New Year!

My posting was a bit regular towards the end of the year, kind of like a deflating balloon. :B But I’m alive and hope to write more, but real life always seems to get in the way. I tend to avoid my lingerie blog when I’m feeling down and rough on my body, which unfortunately, was predominantly the 2nd half of 2015. I also took a break on my certification, but I’m throwing myself headfirst into that this year. It may be quiet for a bit longer, but I’m still around! (I’m somewhat active on Instagram, so if you want to keep up with me there, please shoot me a request. Unfortunately, due to the amount of IG spam and creepers, I put my account on private. I’m not super picky about who follows me, but if you look like a spam account or are a s3x account, I won’t approve.)

I haven’t bought much lingerie these past few months, but I’m okay with that! I’ve been working on a true budget in the sense that I account for every single dollar I spend vs. “I have a budget” where I treat my checking account like an expense account. I’ve actually saved about $1000 last quarter by significantly slashing all of my expenses and accounting for every single dollar in my pockets. Progress!! I’m pretty sure that most of the stuff I will be talking about will be covering brands and lingerie I’ve owned for awhile. I actually wear “boring basics” somewhat regularly by choice (don’t want to sweat buckets into fancy laces or silks, don’t want to tear anything while working out, etc.), so a lot of what I own always feels like new to me. :)

Onto more lingerie-specific things, one of the biggest highlights in 2015 for me was getting to know Melissa Taylor of Katastrophic Design. Melissa has this cool girl vibe about her, you know, that girl in school who you wanted to be! I love her look (she’s a chameleon!!), and I also love her work.

katastrophicdesignblueroseshopflat-2

(c) Katastrophic Design – Seafoam Rose Bralette Set, shop photograph.

Melissa got in touch with me to offer one of her awesome sets to me, but I couldn’t take it gratis, so we decided to trade. :D I sent her a set of handmade pizza felt badges and some other gifts while she sent and surprised me with her signature pastel seafoam rose lace organic cotton bralette and undies set. Total hearts in eyes moment, all.

I’ll get around to taking better pictures of myself wearing this set, but for now, here are some filtered to death pictures and my cat. :D

As worn by my little model. :)

As worn by my little model. :)

I’ve raved about this set on Instagram, but let me consolidate this information here…

The main reason behind my adoration of Katastrophic Design is the fact that Melissa is a true craftswoman! I really appreciate how hands-on she is with her business. In addition to drafting a pattern, cutting out the pieces, and sewing up each piece with her hands, she also hand dyes her fabric and laces. She also supports other niche markets by sourcing US grown organic cotton jersey for her base fabric and European organic cotton laces. I read on her Instagram that most laces are constructed with a backing that is dissolved in a chemical bath, but her laces do not undergo this process. For people with sensitivities, I feel that Katastrophic Design would be a wonderful consideration and option.

(c) Katastrophic Design.

(c) Katastrophic Design.

I sent Melissa my measurements, so I’m not super sure what size I received. It’s either a medium or a large or a medium-large. ;) If you have any questions or concerns about fit, drop her a line! She will get you quickly squared away.

Unlike most cotton jersey fabrics, Melissa’s fabric has a really, really good weight to it. It definitely lean towards a heavyweight and is much thicker than average t-shirt material. There’s also a good amount of firm stretch to the jersey and a certain plushness to it. The color is beautiful, similar to the crystalline blue-green waters you see in those perfect beach pictures. The fabric is comfortable on the skin and totally breathable, which is a MUST for hot humid summers! Fun fact: Melissa currently resides in Texas, so she totally understands the absolute misery, my pain, of Gulf Coast Texas summers.

The Seafoam Rose set that I received (pardon the incredibly yellow/overexposed picture - forever battling the night...)

The Seafoam Rose set that I received (pardon the incredibly yellow/overexposed picture – forever battling the night…)

The fit is spot-on. Due to the stretch of the material, I feel like my set fits me like a glove! Also, to my shock and surprise, this bandeau bra gives me some really great cleavage. I’m actually surprised at how much lift and support I’m getting from a bandeau bra (keep in mind, your mileage may vary!). Ahhh, I may never go back to underwires!

Natural lift!

Natural lift!

The cotton lace applique is sewn onto the jersey with a zigzag stitch, and the seams are neatly finished with an overlocker. The straps on this bralette are on the thinner side (I personally prefer thicker straps), but on the plus side, I haven’t had the straps twist on my shoulders excessively. I do get a bit of twisting every now and then, though.

Although I received my set from her via swap, you’ll be hard pressed to find a set of this quality, with this amount of attention, for $66, which is honestly a steal; however, if $66 is still a bit out of your reach, this is your lucky week! Melissa is currently raising funds for her trip to Portland for the Unmentionable Lingerie Show, so this week, through Saturday, enjoy 20% off your order at her Etsy shop with code PDXORBUST!

No affiliate links were used. Katastrophic Design did not ask for this review, nor was I compensated for it. The seafoam rose set was received in exchange for my own handmade goods. :)