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"Nude" Bra Alternatives For Dark-Skinned Women: Take Two October 13 2016 1 Comment

In one of my previous blog posts, I lamented that finding a "nude" bra if you are dark-skinned is difficult.  However, it is almost impossible if you are both dark-skinned and full-busted.  Sam from Broad Lingerie kindly shared her vast knowledge of bras and offered valuable options to mitigate this issue in a guest post. So now I offer some non-bra alternatives to the dark-skinned-nude bra dilemma.  

One option is to find a regular tank top or short sleeved shirt that matches your skin tone, but there will most likely be seams and bulk.  However, there are a few companies that make seamless tanks that can be discretely worn underneath garments.  The first is the Commando Classic Tank, which comes in both "True Nude" and "Dark Nude."  For the record, I take issue with the label "True Nude."  True for who?  Certainly not "true" for me and certainly not "true" for millions of women, but that's a whole 'nother issue.  I passed on buying the Commando Classic Tank because I was a bit put off by the labeling and the dark nude wasn't dark enough for my skin tone.  Instead, I purchased the Hanky Panky BARE Scoop Neck Tank in mahogany (I do wish that they'd label the mahogany "BARE" just like they do the taupe).  It's thin and has minimal seams, so it paired well with even my thinnest shirts.  Also, the mahogany blends into my skin color well and I was able to wear the White Classic Short Sleeved Shirt and the tank didn't show through.  Since most of the bras that I own have patterns, lace or bright colors (I've outgrown my only "true" nude for me bra, the Freya Deco Vibe in Mocha.  The bra tops out at GG, but now I'm an H cup), I was finding it difficult to wear thin, light colored shirts and dresses.  Hanky Panky really saved the day!...for me at least.  The taupe is too light for light brown complexions and the mahogany is too dark.  So please post a comment if you know of alternatives for light brown complexions and everything in between.

Nude Bra Options For Full Bust Dark-Skinned Women October 05 2016

The following is a guest post from Sam, owner of Toronto's D+ bra and swimwear shop: Broad Lingerie.

I read Exclusively Kristen's blog post about the lack of "nude" bra options for full bust, dark-skinned women and I want to share some alternatives that may help to mitigate this problem.

As for a smooth cup style, it's going to be tricky, but I have some ideas. First, some thoughts on why it's so hard to find what you're looking for:

  •  It's hard to make a smooth bra that supports in bigger cup sizes. A t-shirt bra is made by heat forming cups over a mould of what the brand has decided your breasts are shaped like. So it's hard to get a perfect shape match. Plus, seams allow for more shaping (just like in Exclusively Kristen's beautiful princess seamed shirts - you wouldn't be able to create a seamless version!)

  • There's still a gap in the market when it comes to GG+ cups, especially in smaller bands. Lots of options have appeared in D-G, but once you get to GG+ it's limited. While there are some interesting options in the plus size/full bust market, most of them start in 34 or 36 bands. Boo!
  • Add in the perfectly reasonable need for a bra that is close to your skin tone, and we've got a really tricky situation. 

Here are my ideas:

  1. Buy a bra in a sister size & get the back altered. This is less than ideal, but worth looking at, because many of the options I can think of stop at G or GG. You could try the Deco Vibe in Mocha in a 34GG (I know you tried the 32GG) and have the back taken in. Or you could look at the Gossard Glossies (smooth, unpadded) bra, which is available in a rich brown. This one stops at a 32G, but the cup is cut BIG (When I was wearing a 32G in everything else, I fit a 32FF in this). You could try this in a 32G with a back alteration. Empreinte makes a seamless bra called Kaela up to a G cup in a taupe colour. This bra runs big in the cup (so a 30G fits like a 30GG). You could try this bra in a 32G with a back alteration. Finally, Fantasie makes a bra called Premiere in an "ombre" (taupey-brown) colourway. It goes to a GG cup, so a 32GG with a back alteration may work.

  2. Freya makes a seamless nursing bra in 30 bands up to an HH cup in the ombre colour! I know this is not perfect...but it's close.

  3. Try a seamed bra with soft seams and soft lace. I own exactly 2 seamless bras, but I prefer seamed bras because they give better lift, shape and support. Plus, as a 32G/GG there's a lot more selection in seamed bras. Ewa Michalak makes a lovely bra called Naomi that should be available in your size (I'd advise the 30HH, because her cups run small). I own this in 32GG and find the lace and seams pretty discreet under clothing. Comexim makes lots of smooth, non-lace bras with very subtle seams. I don't know if they have one in darker skin tones (their Polish website is a little confusing).

Note that Broad Lingerie will host a Bolero and Exclusively Kristen pop up shop in December. I can't wait!

Broad Lingerie: Toronto's D+ Bra and Swimwear Shop
1763 Danforth Ave
Toronto ON
M4C 1J1

"Nude" Is Not For Me: Finding A Full Cup Bra That Matches My Skin Tone September 28 2016 1 Comment

Finding a full cup dark nude bra is like finding Big Foot.  I've been searching for months and have only found a few bras that don't show through my white shirts.  I've searched high and low, I've searched in multiple states, and I've tried on dozens of bras underneath my white big bust-friendly Classic Short Sleeved Shirt, but beige just doesn't cut it and there are very few full cup brown options.  I was able to find a bra at The Heavy Hanger, located in Wichita, KS, that doesn't show through my white shirts.  It's the Deco Vibe in mocha 30GG but since I've gained a bit of weight, it no longer fits properly.  So now I'm looking for a replacement until my gym efforts pay off.  At this weight, I'm definitely an H cup but the Deco Vibe only goes up to a GG.  I even tried it on in a 32GG at Petticoat Fair in Austin, TX, but the cup still runneth over.  I also tried on Chantelle's Rive Gauche Full Coverage T-Shirt Bra in hazelnut nude, which goes up to an H cup, but the fit wasn't for me.  Thus far, the only promising bra is the Rosa Faia Twin Seamless Comfort Bra that I saw at barenecessities.com, which comes in a latte deep taupe color.  However, I'm a bit hesitant to purchase bras online these days.  After working with so many bra shops and trying on dozens of bras, I can attest that not all 32H's fit the same and I don't want to deal with online returns.

Stores usually carry copious amounts of beige bras, but very few browns.  It's even more limited if you are full bust.  Hurray Kimmay wrote a fantastic article highlighting where to find "neutral for you" lingerie.  But unfortunately, many of these brands, including Naja and Nubian Skin, only go up to a DD/DDD.  

Hopefully, more brands will start making "nude" lingerie that is more skin color inclusive and the brands that are at the forefront of this movement, like Nubian Skin and Naja, will develop a full cup line of bras.  Until then, I'll have to either lose weight (and hope that my boobs shrink as well) or try the Rosa Faia Twin Seamless bra and pray that it fits.  Otherwise, I will have to grin and bear it with my Deco Vibe bra while continuously adjusting it and trying not to bend over.

UDPDATE: I was just informed that the Rosa Faia Twin Seamless bra is a European H, which means a British FF/G...FML.