Things To Wear When It’s Sleepytime.

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As everyone knows, I am a major proponent of wearing gorgeous underpinnings. I have spent the better part of the past three years working on this – not only building up my own bra wardrobe, but also customers’ at Bra Genie. I have lacy, sexy, silky, pretty bras and panties out the wazoo. Unfortunately, my adoration of undergarments doesn’t quite apply to sleepwear. Typically, my wardrobe for sleeping consists of gym shorts and tank tops – some I’ve even worn for years. I finally decided this summer that it was time to update my sleep garments to something a little more classy – and in some cases, a LOT more sexy.

At Bra Genie, we started carrying some wonderful pieces from the Rhonda Shear “Butterknit” line. This fabric is silky-smooth, stays cool, and feels great to sleep in.
The first piece I got was the Sweet Cakes Butterknit Crossover Gown in Grape, a rich purple color. The elastic empire waist sits snug under the bust, the adjustable straps allow it to work for any shape, and the stretchy faux-wrap top shape conforms and supports your girls. Yeah, it wasn’t as high and lifted as an underwire bra – but when you’re sleeping, who wants an underwire bra? This gown hits right above the knee and has a shirttail hem for a cute look, too.

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I also ordered the Sweet Dreams Butterknit Sleep Shirt, which is pretty much what it says. A scoop-neck super-long tee in that ultra-soft butterknit fabric, with a split hem on each side for ease of movement. It provided enough coverage so if I needed to step outside to bring Gizmo out in the morning, I wouldn’t feel too naked – or I could throw it in my suitcase for traveling and sleep in it in a hotel room without feeling like I was showing too much off. I have this in both black and a bright turquoise blue.

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Since getting these items, I’ve discovered that Rhonda Shear is possibly going to discontinue her butterknit line, which saddens me to no end. It’s a great seller at Bra Genie, and since she makes items up to a 4X in some sizes, it fits a wide range of women. I beg you, Rhonda, please reconsider this! I was really hoping to get another crossover gown in black…oh well.

I’ve been on the lookout for a few more pieces to add to my sleep wardrobe. I’ve narrowed what I’m looking for down to two styles: Things to Wear When Expecting Company AND Things to Wear When it’s Just Doug and I.

Things to Wear When it’s Just Doug and I:

You can’t go wrong with the basics. Never. Which is why I like this Wide Neck Oversized Shirt from Hips and Curves. There are sometimes I just want to throw on something and crawl in bed, and this is perfect. The wide neck sits off the shoulder, which is a little sexy.

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I also love the Short Satin Peignoir Set by Amoreuse. This comes with a robe for a little coverage. I love the ivory floral print!

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This Cacique Tru to You Lace Cup Chemise kind of reminds me of my crossover gown, with the empire band and stretchy lace cups. I love the classic black and ivory lace appearance, and the fabric looks soft and comfortable. The straps are adjustable, too, which is nice – it will allow the bust to fit a range of sizes.

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And for nights that I want to turn up the heat (heh), I’d go with this Sinfully Sweet Georgette Babydoll from Hips and Curves. Light as a feather, sheer, and sexy as all get-out. I’d go with the navy and black, since I’m loving all things navy these days. Maybe I can snap one of these up before our night out in December?

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Things to Wear When Expecting Company:

I really like this 3-pc cotton knit pajamas by Dreams & Co.. The set comes with a shrug, tank, and pants, so I can layer with whatever I feel comfortable wearing. I can throw on a pair of slippers to get the mail or sit on the porch with my coffee. So simple and cute – and I love the stripes!

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These Cotton Woven Pajamas by Dreams & Co. are classically cute – pink and stripey! Cotton can be worn year-round, too. I can pair the bottoms with a tee or a tank in the summer and throw the long sleeved top on in the cooler months.

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For traveling, or when it’s 90 degrees outside in August, I like these Tag-free Cotton Knit Shorty Pajamas by Dreams & Co. The bright turquoise is fun for summertime, and I could easily wear this in a hotel room for conventions or vacations when people are staying in the room with Doug and I.

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I also like this Cacique Striped Tank & Legging Sleep Set for sleepovers or traveling, too. I tend to get really warm when I sleep – but this gives me the coverage without sacrificing the comfort. I could probably wear the leggings with outfits during the day, too! I like pieces that do double duty.

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Even though I want more coverage when people are over, that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t want something pretty. This is why I love this Long Satin Peignoir Set by Amoureuse. The long gown and robe give you coverage, but the satin and lace make you feel gorgeous. I really adore this chocolate brown print – it’s not the standard colors that you normally see with peignoir sets.

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Of course, if you love the classic peignoir look but don’t want satin, you could always go for the Long Peignoir Set By Amoureuse, which comes in black/ivory or wine/ivory. This fabric looks to be a little more soft and stretchy, which is nice, and the ivory lace is a lovely touch.

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This 2-piece Satin PJ Set by Amoureuse is also really cute – you know I love polka dots – and the satin makes it feel a lot more dressy. Like I should be sitting in my sun-warmed dining nook with a steaming cup of tea reading the paper. Satin pajama sets are always classic – and feel great on while giving you some coverage.

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Last – but certainly not least – in my picks for sleepytime wear is this Cacique Tru to You Cami & Pant Set. This sits square on the line of sexy and comfy – perfect for me! The silky charmeuse top has adjustable straps and is trimmed in lace, and is paired with the soft fabric of the pants, which have a lace edge along the legs. I would totally wear that cami under a blazer or sweater during the day, too – it’s too pretty not to be shown!

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I think as time goes on, I will be adding more and more beautiful pieces not only to my bra wardrobe, but also my sleepwear and loungewear wardrobe too! I think the days of lounging around in shoddy tank tops and gym shorts are definitely over for me.

Check out some more sleepwear and loungewear pieces from these companies here:

Roaman’s

Lane Bryant / Cacique

Hips and Curves

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post, which means the company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend and discuss products that I would use or that I believe would be good for my readers!

HALP: pick out a party outfit!

HALP is where I enlist you, Dear Readers, for advice and/or to help me make a decision.

So Doug informed me the other day that his company has booked their annual Christmas/Holiday party. It’s apparently going to be at the House of Blues, and they have a band, food, drinks – the works. We’re thinking about getting a hotel room that evening so we don’t have to worry about driving back across the lake, and we can partake of many adult beverages and spend the night playing around the French Quarter. Typically, if we’re going across the lake, one of us has to stay sober while the other gets to drink, and that’s no fun for at least one of us.

It’s been quite a while since the two of us have had an opportunity to go out on a real “date night”, where we dress up and hit the town or event looking GOOD. Honestly, I don’t really have a lot of super-dressy clothes anymore! My dresses are more for daytime wear. Also, both of us have our high school reunions next year and we’ll certainly need something to wear for those, so I figure I need a dress that can do double (or triple) duty for these parties. Time to start shopping and getting some ideas together – and I need YOU to help me decide.

Look #1 – Purple!

Purple Party Dress Look


If there’s one thing I know I can show off, it’s my décolletage. I know a deep V or scoop neck dress or top is flattering on me, and though I won’t go to my husband’s work party with a dress cut down to my navel, I have no qualms about showing some cleavage for a nighttime event. This IGIGI dress, with it’s rich purple color, deep neckline, fitted waist, and flared skirt that hits right below the knee, is absolutely GORGEOUS. These Seychelles heels that I found on Zappos have a heel that I can easily walk, dance, and stand around in – and the closed toe means my feet won’t freeze in cooler weather. Since both the dress and the heels have a distinct retro vibe, I’m pairing them with black fishnets. The Berkshire fishnets I show here are nice, but their size range is limited…I’d probably pick up a pair at Torrid, or get these fishnets with a cotton sole from Sock Dreams. I have a pair of Betsey Johnson earrings that are very similar to these leverbacks from In Pink, and the sparkly bold bracelet (also from In Pink) would work nicely with them. To wrap things up, I discovered this sequinned clutch at Handbag Heaven. It’s big enough to hold my necessary items (ID, money, phone, lipstick, and possibly a comb) and comes with a long chain in case I want to wear it as a crossbody later in the evening. Let’s face it, ladies, as much as clutches are cute and stylish, after about two hours of carrying them in your hand or under your arm, they are a pain in the ass. So I want something that has a little strap so I can wear it across my body as the night goes on.

Look #2 – Red!

Red Party Dress Look


I’m going to admit, this is probably my least favorite of the three. It’s really BRIGHT and WOW HEY LOOK AT ME – but this dress is so cute I couldn’t help but put this together. I tried putting black and red together but it seemed too off – I wanted something brighter. The dress is from eShakti, which if you haven’t checked out, do so. Customization is the name of the game with this company – from sizing to changing necklines, hem length, sleeves – if the dress can be changed in some way, you can do it! I think I’d add some short or elbow-length sleeves on this dress, make the neckline a deep V, and keep the hem at below the knee. Oh, and did I mention the dress has POCKETS? I love a dress with pockets! The scalloped neckline is actually low in the front and back, so it would show off my tattoo. (Yes, this is a plus for me.) I’m pairing it with nude fishnets and these Gabriella Rocha gold kitten heels from Zappos – low enough to be comfortable but cute enough to be noticed. I love this little studded clutch from Handbag Heaven. It also has a chain strap that can be attached for later.

All of the jewelry is from In Pink! Tons of gold, red, and rhinestones. I mean, if you’re going to wear a red dress and gold shoes, might as well go big or go home with accessories. Most likely, I’d wear the earrings and one other piece.

Bracelet?

Bracelet


Ring?

Ring


I CAN’T DECIDE!

This dress also comes in navy, so this would be considered Look # 2.5 – Navy with rose gold accents!

Navy Party Dress


Look #3: Teal!

Teal and Black Party Dress Look


Out of all three of these looks, this one is the front-runner for me. I’m really digging the entire overall look here. It’s a little retro, a little glam, a little hip. It’s also a LOT outside of the box for me. Most of the time, when I’m looking for party dresses, I almost always go for the fit-and-flare shape (can you tell from the dresses I picked in the other looks?). It’s mostly a “comfort” thing for me – it hides my tummy, which is my area that I am most concerned about. However, I’ve been seeing this Scarlett & Jo for Evans dress floating around the blogosphere for quite some time now, and I’m a big fan. The middle panel, a rich teal green, is cut to give the illusion of super curves! Hourglass figure, here I come. Plus, this dress apparently has powernet mesh inside to help keep you smoothed and tucked and looking all sexy. With my rounder belly, I’ll probably still be wearing my Elomi Curve shaper underneath it (hell, I never wear ANY dresses without shapewear), but I think between that, the ruching, and the mesh I’ll look just fine. The neck is nice and low, and the arms are about elbow-length, so I can be covered and classy and still show off uber-cleavage. I found this stretchy belt on ASOS – I love the bold gold buckle, and putting that around my waist may make it appear more defined. The shiny teal dangle earrings from In Pink provide a bit of sparkle, the studded bag carries all my necessary items, and I’d finish off with black fishnets and Seychelles heels.

WHY CAN I NOT BE RICH AND AFFORD ALL THESE DRESSES. I LOVE THEM ALL.

Which outfit do YOU prefer? Would you mix some of these pieces up, or do you have some other recommendations? Leave a comment and let me know!

I love DUO Boots!

Anyone who knows me knows that as soon as the weather turns a bit cool, my feet are in boots. I’m a bit boot-obsessed. (Yes, that is an understatement.) I attribute this to the fact that for years I had absolutely no options in the boot department. Kind of like when I found well-fitting bras that were pretty – I went a bit overboard and bought a ton of them.

Being a full-figured woman, my calves are rather large – so most of those awesome boots that most ladies can pick up off of the shelf won’t zip up past mid-calf on me. The only options I had were super-stretchy boots, which were extremely uncomfortable and really cheap-looking. Then, someone pointed me to DUO Boots.

DUO Website

DUO specializes in women’s boots that are not only fit to the shoe size, but also fit to the calf. They offer boots in 21 – yes, that’s TWENTY-ONE – calf widths, from 30 to 50 centimeters. This allows women with both wide and narrow calves to have boots that fit their legs, which is wonderful. I poked around the site and really liked what I saw – the boots were extremely well-made, out of high-quality leather and suede, and the reviews were very positive. The only problem I had at the time was the cost. Since DUO is based in the UK, the conversion rate made the boots a bit costly, not to mention the shipping cost was fairly high. I don’t have a problem with paying for good quality, so I figured it would be an investment piece.

In 2007 we took a two-week trip to the UK. I didn’t do a ton of shopping when I went there, but I told Doug that one of the places I HAD to go was the DUO store in Bath. We’d already planned on taking a day trip out of London to see Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Bath, and since the store was within walking distance to the Roman Baths, it was very feasible! I can’t tell you how excited I was that day. Not only was I going to see some amazing sights, I was finally going to get my hands on a pair of boots that would fit me! As soon as the tour guide let us go, I made a beeline for the store. I wanted to make sure we made it there before they closed!

DUO Store - Bath, UK

I walked in (probably with a goofy grin on my face) and started looking around. A lady asked Doug and I if we wanted any help, and I asked if I could try on some boots. She asked me a few questions – did a want a heel, color preference, US shoe size, and so on – and then had me pull up my jeans to measure my calf. She went to the stockroom and came out with these lovelies – the Ravenna.

DUO Ravenna

When she helped me into them, it was like heaven on my legs. They were snug all over, but they looked GOOD. Doug was sweet enough to get them for me as a gift. I walked out of there a very happy wide-calf woman. We even stopped at Thornton’s Chocolate on the way back to celebrate. Okay, not really, but that was some really good chocolate…

Since 2007, I have worn those boots like mad. They’ve seen me through countless days of work, as well as nights out – including my bachelorette party! I love my DUO boots – however, they’ve seen better days. Even though I try to take care of them, the leather is looking a bit worn, the heel and sole are getting worn down, and now the calves are a little too big. Five years is a heck of a run, so I’m looking at replacing them with a new pair. I won’t be able to make it back to the UK this time, but luckily DUO has made it really easy for ladies across the pond to place their order! They offer FREE SHIPPING to all worldwide customers now, and the site recognizes my country and adjusts the currency – no more having to convert dollars to pounds anymore.

This fall, I’ve picked the following styles as my favorites –

DUO Avron - blue
Avron in blue suede
“The flat knee-high boot gets a chic update from DUO for AW12 in an electric blue hue and asymmetric cut. Let Avron do the talking, wear with an understated outfit in muted tones.”
There’s something so very chic about suede boots. No matter what, every fall you can find a suede boot in a brilliant color. This cobalt blue would look stunning with a grey dress and black tights – and maybe play up the color punch with a brilliant green trench! This boot looks flat, but actually has a small hidden wedge heel inside. This style also comes in taupe and black suede, if you prefer a more “classic” color palette.

DUO Cherie - black
Cherie in black leather
“Every wardrobe needs a pair of black knee-high boots. The understated design of DUO’s Cherie makes it the perfect classic style to carry you from season to season: for AW12 try with a skater dress or masculine tailoring.”
They’re so right…everyone DOES need a pair of black knee-high boots. No matter the year, a heeled boot looks great with anything. As much as I love the idea of pairing this with a skater dress, I’d personally go very simple – a tweed pencil skirt and lightweight sweater belted. If you want to add a bit of fun to it, throw in some brightly colored tights in shades of plum or red. Alternately, for going out I’d wear these tucked into skinny jeans with a sequined peplum top. These boots can be SO versatile!

DUO Beaumont - tan
Beaumont in tan leather
“Whether worn with trousers and a slouchy knit or with a knee-length dress and blazer, DUO’s Beaumont boots add a relaxed accent to any outfit. The high cut makes it ideal for longer legs.”
I love riding boots. They seem like a streamlined version of biker or engineer boots. Polished enough to go with dresses, but simple enough to be paired with jeans. I’d put these with a more “dressy/casual” look – a black and white striped tee with black jeans, a chambray shirt belted over it, these boots, and a chunky statement necklace.

DUO Ravenna - black
Ravenna in black leather
“The ultimate ‘go anywhere’ style, DUO’s Ravenna boots are comfortable and versatile enough to carry you from day to evening. Pair with relaxed separates for weekends and smart tailoring for work.”
Of course, I couldn’t finish the list without including my beloved Ravenna boots! Like they said, these are truly ‘go anywhere” boots. I’ve worn these with wrap dresses, jeans and sweaters, and floral tea dresses. You can’t go wrong with a basic that works with everything in your closet! As much as I love the black, I really hope that DUO decides to offer these in tan, something like the Beaumont above. I would LOVE to have a pair of both black and brown boots like the Ravenna and the Beaumont- I think that would cover my boot needs for years! :D

Of course, these are just a few options – they have a lot more styles available to check out on their website! They also offer shoes and ankle boots in three widths.

If you are ready to experience what a perfectly fitted boot can feel like, I highly suggest checking out all of the ladies boots from DUO!

(Slightly off topic: I just realized that both my boots and my bras come from the UK. Huh.)

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. Images were provided by DUO Boots.