Monday, December 9, 2013

Butterfly Collection Gift Guide $85 to $140

Following on from last week's guide to gifts under $85 at Butterfly Collection this week we're looking at some fab boudoir pieces and set from $85 to $140. As well as being incredibly beautiful we have chosen pieces that are supportive too. xx

Boudoir Pieces
The Holidays are a great time to treat yourself or someone special to a boudoir piece. Full bust boudoir has come such a long way so that you can have support as well as gorgeous design. The nursing chemise from Cake is a particularly spectacular piece.

Ginger Macaroon Nursing Chemise - $97.50
Celine Camisole and Hipster Knickers - Set $99
Marcie Babydoll - $75
Lingerie Sets
A great matching set will make you feel beautiful and supported. Here are my picks for sets between $85 and $140.

Retro Chic Rose Violet - Set $115
Jasmine Champagne Rose - Set $96
Fishnet Scoop Neck Bra and Pin Up Pant with detachable suspenders - Set $136

Monday, December 2, 2013

Butterfly Collection Gift Guide Under $85

To help you with your Holiday shopping (and to try and keep you on budget!) here's our guide to gift buying at Butterfly Collection this year. This week we're looking at gifts for $25 to $85 xx

Perfect Stocking Stuffers
Huge swathes of North America endure epic winters with sub-zero temperatures and banks of snow. This kind of weather can be a bit uninspiring for your wardrobe but an easy way to bring some colour and pattern to your outfit is with designer tights. Fun yet practical (and warm!) are a perfect stocking stuffer gift. Here are my favourites from this year's collection:

Faux suspender tights with colour garter bands $25

Starry Night opaque tights $35

Plus Size Animal Print Tights $25

Henna Print tights $35

Modal socks with built in tights (no more pulling up socks!) $25

Lingerie Sets Under $85
Our focus has always been on well-fitting large cup bras but we never underestimate the joy and contentment that comes from having a matching set. Lots of women will forgo buying themselves the matching underwear to their bra which makes a matching set an even more lovely gift. Here are my top set picks under $85:

Charlotte and Pinup High Waist Knickers - Set $78

Lori and Brief - Set $84

Dessous Tomato Soup and rouched back Bikini, Set $81

Dessous Chinchilla and rouched back Bikini, Set $81
To make your shopping budget go even further you can use the code BLOG15 to get 15% off any of the gifts featured in this post (expires Monday December 9th) xx

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bust-Friendly LBDs for the Party Season

Whether you have an intimate gathering with a few friends or a huge office party to attend a Little Black Dress is a versatile party staple. I still find it really hard full-bust shopping in Canada but I've been scouring some of the options out there for you and come up with some pieces that are full bust friendly.

A few caveats; not every style will work for every full bust but I hope you find some inspiration. Secondly, I know lots of people love the retro/pin-up look so if you're looking for that style I recommend checking out Holly at The Full Figure Chest and Georgina at Fuller Figure Fuller Bust because they have retro down! Finally, I'm not knowledgeable in plus size fashion so the options below range in size from 00 to 14. There are amazing plus size bloggers out there and The Curvy Fashionista has done a plus size party dress round up to die for!

Top Shop at The Bay - Sleeveless Texture Dress $72.00
The asymmetrical neckline and rouched body are what make this piece bust-friendly. This dress can be jazzed up with a colourful or sparkly belt and some killer heels. Sizes 2-12

H&M Canada - Draped Dress $34.95 CAD
Don't let anyone tell you that big boobs can't wear higher necklines. The horizontal draping on this dress is very bust flattering. An epic necklace and/or belt are essential and I would add a colourful clutch bag for a bit of attitude. Sizes extra small to large.
Dorothy Perkins at The Bay, Stencil Print Flare Dress, $37.00
An LBD doesn't mean you can't add a little flare into the mix. Prints are a bust's friend and this is a particularly stylish, wintery print. For those of you unfamiliar with Dorothy Perkins, their fabrics are very friendly (stretch for fit) and they wash and wear well. Keep the accessories simple and elegant with some immaculate black or fawn shoes. Sizes 2-14

Dorothy Perkins at The Bay, Teal Floral Pu Ponte Dress, $50.00
On the similar lines as the dress above, your LBD can branch out into some colour. The pattern blocking and pattern makes this a very curve friendly dress. I love the faux leather trimming. I would team this dress with metallic accessories. Sizes 4-14
Dorothy Perkins at The Bay, Black/Silver Lurex Tube Dress, $67.00
This mid-sleeve dress fits a multitude of body shapes thanks to the stretch fabric and the deep scoop neckline is very accommodating for large breasts. I would definitely add a belt to add definition. Sizes 4-14.

Aritzia, Wilfred Lison Dress, $165.00
I know this will be out of many people's price range but I had to include it because the fit is lovely. I'm a sucker for a 3/4 length sleeve and the faux leather trimmed v-neck is stunning. You can go bonkers on accessories or let the style do the talking in this dress, it's very versatile. Sizes 00-10,default,pd.html?dwvar_49934_color=1274

I hope these options give you some ideas for adding an LBD to your party wardrobe. Despite not having full-bust specific brands in Canada you can find some styles that work well. The fabrics are crucial and a body that has some rouching will always help! Let me know in the comments section if you've found a full bust party dress! xx

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to Tailor Your Bra fit with Accessories

In an ideal world bras would fit us perfectly from the first time we put them on. In reality many of us need to tailor our bra fit by using accessories or by making minor alterations so that we get a fit that's right for our bodies. Bras fit so close to your body and have to do such a specific job that there's less room for error which is why it's a good idea to know which accessories are out there to help you get the best fit.

You can find bra extenders that are 1 hook to 10 hooks deep
Bra Extenders
These are easily the most popular and convenient accessory we sell. A bra extender gives you more band length by hooking some extra fabric to your band at the hook and eye fastening (extenders are readily available in 1, 2, 3 and 4 rows of hooks to suit different bras). Having a little more band length is particularly useful when you're breaking in a bra.

Shown here in a contrasting colour for effect, you can buy extenders that closely match your bra tone
Rather than buying a 34 band that fits but could quickly stretch out on your 33 ribcage, using a bra extender on a 32 band gives you the wiggle room of a 34. Once the band has stretched a little (new bras stretch in the first 3 weeks) then you can remove the extender and wear your 32 band in total comfort. This isn't just comfortable it also prolongs the length of time you can wear a bra before it stretches out completely.

An adjustable strap holder like this is looped through your straps to give you more security.
Bra Strap Holders
This accessory holds your straps together so that they don't slip off your shoulders. The most common cause of straps falling off your shoulders is your band being too big. However, some women have such narrow or sloping shoulders that they find most conventional styles to have straps set too far apart.
Stretchy bra strap holders move with you so that you have a more flexible fit.
Bra strap holders come in lots of different styles from plastic discs that make your bra into a racer back to the elastic ones we carry that stretch with you as you move so you don't feel constricted.

Straps Pads give you some extra cushioning between your shoulders and your straps

Bra Strap Pads
If you're a regular reader then you should know by now that if your straps dig into your shoulders then you should check that your band isn't too big. When your band is too big it stops doing the work to support your breasts and the weight gets transferred to your straps which begin to dig into your shoulders.
For women with very heavy breasts or sensitive shoulders (trapped nerves for example) strap pads are great.
Having said that, some women have extremely heavy breasts and no matter how fitted your band is a lot of weight still rests on your straps. Other women have sensitive nerves in their necks and shoulders and find that some extra cushioning makes them much more comfortable. Bra strap pads attach to your straps and sit underneath them to give you some extra comfort.

Related Article: Top 3 bra alterations for tailoring your bra fit

There are lots of other bra accessories out there like pads and cookies to slip into one cup to even out cup size and bra liners that sit between you and your bra band to stop the irritation of sweat. If you have an issue that you find happens with every bra you try on then it's worth contacting our support team to see if there an accessory or style suggestion that could transform your fit xx

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Some Bras Squeak

Some women will be only too aware of the frustration of a squeaky bra and lots of you will never have encountered one. For those of you who are plagued by the squeaky bra I'm going to explain why it happens and what you can do to stop the squeak.

The squeaking is caused by the underwire rubbing against the the tube of material it is sewn inside when you move around. The material tube has been pulled too tightly and has come into contact with the wire which causes friction and squeaks.

In a perfectly fitting bra the wire and it's material tube housing don't come into close contact, or at least not under a lot of tension. The reason the material tube is pulled tightly against the wire is to do with the shape of your torso and the shape of the bra wires.

Rounded Torso
If you have a round torso then you need a bra with wires that can wrap around the shape of your body. Most bra wires are pretty flat but flexible enough to accommodate the curve of an average torso. If your torso is more curved than your wires can accommodate then the material around the wires gets pulled extra tight as the wires are under more pressure to curve further than they're designed for.

Narrow Torso
If you try on a bra that is expecting to lie relatively flat against about 14 inches of torso but you have a narrow torso (again, most likely you have a round torso) then the wire are having to wrap around your body sooner and more dramatically than they were expecting. This causes the material tube to get over stretched, come into contact with the wires and squeak.

This is why some women regularly find their bras squeak and some women never experience it. Don't despair though ladies there is lots you can learn about the squeak so you can banish it from your life. Here are my top tips for getting rid of the squeak:

1) Look for styles with narrower wires (and/or more flexible wires) - the less wire that has to bend around your torso the less likely you are to hear the squeak.

2) If you love a bra but find it squeaks then you can try one band size up and one cup size down (assuming the cup volume was right for you on the squeaky bra). If this compromises your lift or band support too much then it's not a viable solution but sometimes this will alleviate the squeaky problem.

3) Spend some time with your new squeaky bra to curve the wires so that they are shaped more like your torso. Bra wires are tough so you can get yourself a tennis ball and start to mold the wires to be more curved.

4) New bras are very rigid so you might find that after soaking it for 20 minutes and letting it air dry that the squeak is lessened. It's still going to take a few wears to mold the bra to your shape and the squeak will happen until the bra forms to your body more.

It's best if you can find bras that don't squeak to begin with (and this means finding brands and styles that suit your torso shape). However, if you fall in love with a squeaky bra then bending the wires, softening the material and breaking it in a little could be rewarded with months of squeak-free wearing. If you need help figuring out your size or shape then our free size consultations are a great place to start xx

Monday, October 21, 2013

Don't Tell Me I Should Hate my Breasts!

Last week there was an article in The Hufffington Post (originally posted on Literally, Darling) that really irritated me. The two authors were bemoaning the problems and effects of growing and having larger breasts. This is a subject that is very real and many women with large breasts will feel some empathy with what the writers have to say. What bugs me is that the article (and many others like it) assume that ALL large breasted women are unhappy, in pain and lack confidence. What a load of rubbish! Besides being a happy, large busted woman I also know many women who are very happy and comfortable in their large breasts. The article in the Huffington Post implied that women like me are almost deluded because happiness, confidence and comfort simply don't apply to busty women.

There are a few stereotypes that get trotted out in articles about large breasts and I think we need to start taking them with a huge pinch of salt because they undermine the goal of stomping out big boob stereotypes. I want to address a few things written in the article:

"They (big boobs) dominate your whole life"
When you understand which sizes and styles of bras are right for your breasts many women can get on with their busy and varied lives without thinking about their breasts. My 32GG bust does not weigh on my mind when I'm working out in my Enell sports bra, they don't bug me when I'm out for dinner in my Idina plunge, and they behave themselves all day in my array of full coverage and balconette bras. They don't dominate my life because I have learned how to support and dress them in a way that makes me comfortable and happy.

"...and attempting to get guys to look above our chin when they talked to us."
There is a social assumption that every male is looking at big boobs with lecherous intent. Not only is this not true it also doesn't apply solely to big boobs. Those males who are only capable of looking at a woman's chest will do so whether you've got a little or a lot of boob, the problem lies with the man and not the cup size. This generalization also does a disservice to all the men who respect women, are interested in their thoughts and actions just as much (if not more) than how they look. This point is a whole other post but sufficed to say many people, men and women, are looking us in the face and we shouldn't dismiss them along with the stereotype.

"the giant girls sag from the sheer weight and flip-flop about in pretty much the least sexy way possible. Not a great visual, right?"
So much about this bothers me. Who the hell decides what's sexy? My breasts don't stay up by themselves, they haven't for years, they move about when not supported and not only do I feel sexy in my body I happen to love the natural shape and movement of my breasts so how dare you tell me it's not a great visual!

"Remember that we are just as insecure with ourselves as women who only need a camisole. We carry our own (very heavy) insecurities every day, too. Like everyone else, we learn how to cope with our own body image issues. You either hide behind giant clothing and pretend your breasts aren't the first thing anyone sees, or you learn to break the ice, make the first joke and just acknowledge the elephant(s) in the room. Because if you don't, someone else will."

Aghghghghgghgh!!!! Firstly, not every woman feels daily insecurities about her body and they're not delusional narcissists, they are women who have other priorities, have a self-confidence they can rely on and women who have dispensed with being told to feel insecure.

You absolutely have more options than wearing baggy clothing or self-deprecating humour. Your breasts are not 'elephants' that need to be belittled in order to make other people feel better. You are the sum of many parts and your breasts are only one part and to the people in this world who truly care for you, you will never have to justify or hide this part of you.

I know that for a long time to come we will continue to see articles like this which only serve to keep busty women in a vicious cycle of self-loathing and fear. As you know a huge part of what we do at Butterfly Collection is build knowledge and confidence as well as your bra drawer so please don't feel like you should feel embarrassed or ashamed about your bust simply because you're busty, it's a load of nonsense!! xx

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bras Good for Short Torsos

Bra wires are a crucial part of keeping heavy breasts close to your body so that they don't bounce. The length of a bra's wire makes a big difference to a woman's comfort. If you have tall breasts then you might find that your breast tissue hangs over a short wire which is uncomfortable. Alternatively, if you don't have a lot of breast tissue near the armpit then a long wire can poke uncomfortably into your armpit.

It's a fine line for bra manufacturers to create wire lengths and shapes that are long enough to give coverage and support, but short enough to accommodate different torso lengths. In reality, not every bra will fit you and if you have a short torso (or high set breasts) it's important to find out which bras have shorter wires and side wings so that they don't poke you. Here are some of our top picks for short torso friendly bras:

1. Claudette Dessous
This modern-day classic has a semi-teardrop shaped cup and shallow wing that makes it ideal for women with short torsos. I have always adored the deep V neckline and of course the apologetically bold colour-ways.

2. Elomi Eva
This is a new addition to our store which we chose because of its short torso friendliness. The wires are deliberately shorter than other Elomi styles so that they don't come up too high into the armpit. I love that the cups are smooth like a molded cup but have the side wing and seaming of a 4 part bra to give more lift and shape. The straps are closer together too which is a feature lots of petite women need.

3. Freya Gem
Whether you're short or tall, heavy busted or not you can have a short torso. This is why Gem is such a great option. Ranging from 28-38 bands up to a K cup this style gives lots of women a balconette option with a shorter wing.

4. Panache Envy
This latest basic from Panache is in response to a request for shorter wires. I love the shape and support of 4-part cups, especially for heavy busts. This bra gives a good balance between support for weight and volume and a shorter wing for comfort.


If you have your size right (the band is firm and the cups aren't gaping or spilling) but still find that your bra is poking you in the armpit then I highly recommend trying styles that are shorter in the wing xx

Monday, October 7, 2013

Loving Your Body is a Journey

Every day I see a social media message that encourages women to feel good about themselves. That's great, of course it is, but is it perhaps a bit one dimensional? Increasingly I have felt that 'self love' is being held over women as a must-have accessory and those without a flawless relationship with themselves are found wanting. In my job I witness how complex and far ranging people's self confidence is and being told that you've failed if you don't love yourself, doesn't help.
Memes like this aren't always helping women feel better about themselves.
Bra fitting is a personal relationship that succeeds on trust, humour and some fabulous, well-fitting bras. When I first fit someone they are often at the beginning of their bra awakening and ending a lifetime of wearing bras that are too big for them in the band. Years of wearing bad bras takes a toll on you physically and emotionally and it's hard to love your body when you're in pain or feel awkward or unsupported in your clothes. By the time I've fit someone for the third of fourth time I see a shift in their posture and confidence. This gradual change is a chain reaction of one 'self love' act (getting a good bra) bolstering your confidence to make another one and another one. Each step towards a positive relationship with your body is something we don't talk about enough and I think should be emphasized more than 'Love your body NOW!' Now is intimidating. Now doesn't allow for uncertainty. Now isn't an solid as building up your self esteem gradually and authentically.

Loving your body is a journey that involves understanding yourself, focusing on what truly matters to you and liking how you live your life. I believe that, especially for busty women, well-fitting bras are part of that journey. However, as I've mentioned before, you can only embrace better bra fit when you're mentally prepared. Being hurried through the process of feeling better about yourself is not going to stick. It takes time to sift through the messages that have built up between your brain and your body and when you're ready to change something, you'll know.

If you know that you spend part of every day wishing something about you was different then the best first step you can make it to decide to change that. If you are conscious that you would like to live a life where you don't worry constantly about what other people think of your breast size, or how big your nose is or the size of your bum then you have taken the hardest step towards a more peaceful and happy relationship with yourself.

I have been fortunate to witness many women's body love journey which is why I wanted to share with you that it is a journey and not an overnight 'Facebook Meme' sensation. So take your time, breathe deeply and take steady steps towards feeling better about you, inside and out xx

Monday, September 30, 2013

2 Useful Things To Do During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Tomorrow is the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). Before the tidal wave of pink starts crashing over your inbox and social media I wanted to remind you to be a conscientious BCAM supporter. There are some things to avoid and two really useful things you can do.

"The Coolest Breast Cancer Awareness Products". Really? Cool?

What to Avoid
I have had a slew of emails from PR companies asking me to promote various products that will make a small donation to Breast Cancer Research when you buy their pink-themed merchandise. Included in this list; shampoo and conditioners that include chemicals linked to breast cancer rates, alcohol and make up. The irony is far from funny. Another email opened with "The Coolest Breast Cancer Awareness Products". Really? Cool? I very rarely put a finite line in the sand but it is never OK to trivialize breast cancer with trite marketing drivel trying to make a quick buck off the back of a terrible disease.

If you buy a pink product in support of BCAM be sure to check how much of the proceeds go to Cancer Research, which organization it goes to and ask yourself whether this product is contributing to toxic chemicals in our consumer environment.

There are two effective things you can do this month (and any month for that matter) that will make a direct difference to fighting breast cancer. 

1) Make a donation DIRECTLY to Breast Cancer Research. If only 20 cents of the price of a pink product ends up going to Cancer Research then a donation of $1 directly to the researchers is five times more effective.
2) Learn something about spotting the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. I know this can be a daunting task but knowledge is a really powerful tool. You can speak to your doctor about how to monitor your breast health or you can read our post with useful resources about breast health and monitoring.

I firmly believe that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an important endeavour that reminds us to be vigilant and knowledgeable about our breast health. We must remember that the goal is to eliminate this disease not to maximize the profit potential for retailers so please, think before you pink xx

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Basics Coming Soon

Being an online store that specializes in full bust bras makes us a bit of an anomaly, especially in North America. When we began many brands were unsure of what to make of us but over the years they have seen our reputation grow and come to understand our mission and service.

When Mr Butterfly and I attended the METRO lingerie market last weekend we were thrilled to find that lots of brands, that are new to Butterfly Collection, are keen to work with us. So, it's my very great pleasure to announce that we will have some new core styles joining our collection. From November this year to June 2014 we will be adding 10 new basic styles to our store.

We're expanding our 28 band bras and many of you will be delighted to know that we're adding some 40 band styles. I'm often asked why we don't carry plus size bands and the answer is that our knowledge is in the full bust sizes (28-38 bands). In recent months we have had the opportunity to consult with a plus size specialist and feel that we can now begin to expand our sizes. We don't just sell bras we are consultants in fit so we have to have the knowledge to go with the bras.

Here is a sneak preview of the first of the core styles we'll be bringing in soon. I hope you'll be as pleased as we are! xx

Charlotte by Parfait has received resounding praise for it's unique style and beautiful shape. This padded balconette gives a wonderful round shape without east west boobs thanks to it's external satin slings which keep the breasts together. This bra will be available in 28-38 E-K. We won't have all sizes on hand immediately, however, everything will be available on back order with full exchange and return conditions.

Eva by Elomi is an ingenious blend of smooth cups with the shaping and lift benefits of seams. The four-part cup gives support and shaping without adding any bulk. The beautiful crisscross pattern and velvet edges add interest to this very useful bra. This bra will be available in 34-40 G-J in both biscotti and black.

I know many of you will be thrilled to see that we're adding the much-loved Gem to our collection. This classic style from Freya is a lightweight bra that works well with many breast shapes. A beautiful twist on a basic black bra, the undertones of blush pink add a delicate interest to this everyday bra. This bra will be available in 28-38 E-K. We won't have all sizes on hand immediately, however, everything will be available on back order with full exchange and return conditions.
The Specialty Cotton bra by Fantasie is a bra that hundreds of women have relied on for its comfort and allergy friendliness. The cups are fully cotton lined and the simplex outer fabric is breathable and lightweight. We have long wanted to add a cotton solution for our clients with delicate skin. This bra will be available in 30-40 E-GG. We won't have all sizes on hand immediately, however, everything will be available on back order with full exchange and return conditions.