A Bra Recommended by an On-Line “Buddy”

Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media platforms one would think there would be enough sites on which to network.  Today people need people to interact for support, to share information, and to buddy up with, therefore the more outlets the better.

When it comes to fashion, women love to get affirmation from their friends about their “finds” or about a special product they thought was especially worth sharing.  Networking is one of the ways they discover each other and get tips, ideas and friendly advice.

There is never enough information about bras.  What is more of a challenge than finding that perfect bra?  I mean, haven’t we all gone through bras that dig into our skin, where our cup runneth over, where one size in one style isn’t the size in another, where we have to visit more than one store for that perfect workout bra? And then, what with designers finding every way to cut away a neckline or create “peek-a-boo” openings it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack to find an undergarment that will suit what you need.

Now, if you’re like most women they feel more comfortable with a bra under their outer layers.  Really doesn’t matter if it’s a tee, a halter, a strapless or backless number, what one wears underneath is the foundation for that perfectly turned out look.  A good bra that fits makes the difference in looking and feeling good.

Many of us have made the trek to department stores to look for a style that suits our bodies and lifestyles.  Try and find someone in a department store to help guide you to styles that might fit you or what you’re looking for. Then there are the specialty stores where you are being fitted by an expert who convinces you what she has brought you to try on will be what you will always wear.  Until that company no longer manufactures that style and then you’re back to square one.

Let me introduce you to a very unique site called Brayola.  It’s not just a site that tells you to take out a tape measure and measure here, there, and everywhere to get to the size you wear.  I don’t know about anyone else but I have never found the right size following these directions.  And, usually these measurements that take a good amount of time sends me into contortions.

Brayola invites you to join their website by asking a few pointed questions such as the name of your favorite bra, your size in that particular bra, your lifestyle, etc.  This connects one to the site where you are matched up to “buddies” who present similar size and pastime characteristics.  Think match.com or eharmony.com where you are supposedly being matched with the love of your life; except you will get better results with Brayola. And you will love your next bra! Really!  Because your “buddy” is recommending it.  She is your size, has similar fashion tastes, leads a similar lifestyle, has tried and worn the bra.

It’s also fun because your bra horizons will open up to almost every bra manufacturer that exists around the globe. You will be exposed to a world of bras you never knew existed because Brayola has almost every brand, style and size you would ever want to try.  If you’re not happy with what you wind up with, you just return it. You will thank your “bra buddy” and Brayola for making the introduction to your next favorite bra…that fits.

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A Bra Recommended by an On-Line “Buddy”

Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media platforms one would think there would be enough sites on which to network.  Today people need people to interact for support, to share information, and to buddy up with, therefore the more outlets the better.

When it comes to fashion, women love to get affirmation from their friends about their “finds” or about a special product they thought was especially worth sharing.  Networking is one of the ways they discover each other and get tips, ideas and friendly advice.

There is never enough information about bras.  What is more of a challenge than finding that perfect bra?  I mean, haven’t we all gone through bras that dig into our skin, where our cup runneth over, where one size in one style isn’t the size in another, where we have to visit more than one store for that perfect workout bra? And then, what with designers finding every way to cut away a neckline or create “peek-a-boo” openings it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack to find an undergarment that will suit what you need.

Now, if you’re like most women they feel more comfortable with a bra under their outer layers.  Really doesn’t matter if it’s a tee, a halter, a strapless or backless number, what one wears underneath is the foundation for that perfectly turned out look.  A good bra that fits makes the difference in looking and feeling good.

Many of us have made the trek to department stores to look for a style that suits our bodies and lifestyles.  Try and find someone in a department store to help guide you to styles that might fit you or what you’re looking for. Then there are the specialty stores where you are being fitted by an expert who convinces you what she has brought you to try on will be what you will always wear.  Until that company no longer manufactures that style and then you’re back to square one.

Let me introduce you to a very unique site called Brayola.  It’s not just a site that tells you to take out a tape measure and measure here, there, and everywhere to get to the size you wear.  I don’t know about anyone else but I have never found the right size following these directions.  And, usually these measurements that take a good amount of time sends me into contortions.

Brayola invites you to join their website by asking a few pointed questions such as the name of your favorite bra, your size in that particular bra, your lifestyle, etc.  This connects one to the site where you are matched up to “buddies” who present similar size and pastime characteristics.  Think match.com or eharmony.com where you are supposedly being matched with the love of your life; except you will get better results with Brayola. And you will love your next bra! Really!  Because your “buddy” is recommending it.  She is your size, has similar fashion tastes, leads a similar lifestyle, has tried and worn the bra.

It’s also fun because your bra horizons will open up to almost every bra manufacturer that exists around the globe. You will be exposed to a world of bras you never knew existed because Brayola has almost every brand, style and size you would ever want to try.  If you’re not happy with what you wind up with, you just return it. You will thank your “bra buddy” and Brayola for making the introduction to your next favorite bra…that fits.

THE SCENT OF A WOMAN

When we were dating my husband gave me my first bottle of perfume.  It was called “Femme.”  I was never interested in fragrances before that time but now I was being given this romantic gift that was so personal. No other boyfriend had given me an extravagant gift such as this. I was impressed!

The fragrance was a little strong but lovely.  When I dabbed it on, it was done very gingerly as I didn’t want this scent to take over a room.  I have been in elevators where a woman’s perfume permeated every corner of the cabin.  The elevator door could never open fast enough for me and I felt like I was wearing that woman’s perfume for hours afterwards.

“Femme” was my perfume because of sentimental reasons but it wasn’t the one I ultimately settled on. Since that gift I have tried other perfumes but I never found one that I felt suited me. Perfume is very personal.  It defines the wearer.

Walking into a department store one day I passed a counter with little sample bottles of a fragrance called “Y” by Yves St. Laurent.  It drew me in.  After a few minutes at the counter I purchased it.  It was exactly what I wanted to wear any time of day, any season.  It became my signature scent and I have been wearing it ever since.  But lo and behold “Y” is no longer being sold in stores.  I have looked everywhere including Duty Free shops.  It is out of production.

But not all is lost.  Recently I was introduced to another fragrance which I find equally appealing.  It happens to be one that has recently been introduced by my client. I make it a practice not to mix business with personal recommendations but this fragrance is special. It’s light, floral and very feminine.  It’s called “Broderie” and it’s by a French couturier named Hayari.

Hayari-Paris Broderie Bottle in Box

The other reason why I love this perfume is that it is exclusive.  It isn’t available at every department store or beauty or drug store.  It has limited distribution.  That makes it special and unique.  I like that.

I have already been stopped on the street and asked the name of this perfume by several women and a few men.  That leads me to believe this exclusivity will not last forever because it won’t be long before this perfume will be scooped up by retailers that sell fashion, beauty and fragrances.  That’s when I will have to start my search all over again.

Alas, that is the price one pays for individuality.

NANNY NONSENSE

A few days ago I came upon an article that simply had me flabbergasted.  The story was about a Mom and her disappointment with the Nanny she hired.  The Mom, as far as I could tell, was pretty free with her time but chose to hire someone to take care of her two children; one an infant; the other a toddler. The Mom’s disappointment stemmed from the fact that when she’s around the Nanny leaves it to the Mom to be with her children.

Hold on a minute!  Isn’t that the function of a Mother?  I can understand having a Nanny to care for the children when the Mom is out to dinner; when the Mom is cooking; when the Mom is at work; when the Mom is out-of-town; when the Mom wants to take a nap or all of the aforementioned but shouldn’t the Mom want to take care of her own children if not the whole day at least part of the day when she’s in the house?

To top it all off, the Mom hired a “Nanny Doctor” to find out what was wrong with the Nanny. There’s a doctor for everything now-a-days.  This Nanny spoke three languages, had excellent recommendations and was prompt and had a nice personality, but she stepped aside to allow the children to be with their Mother, and this Mother found fault with that.  I have heard of everything but this one had me stymied.  Frankly, I cannot see anything wrong with the Nanny but the Mom has some serious issues and should be seen by her own doctor about child rearing.

The story continues to interview the Nanny Doctor who provides several case studies that she has overseen.  One of them had me jump out of my skin.  A high-powered professional Mom, the doctor said,  provides a “mission statement” to her Nannies (that’s right, she has four Nannies for one child) as to how her child was to be brought up.  Really?!? a mission statement?  Are children raised like a business plan now?

I would think when someone decides they want children they would like to raise them to instill their values and show some warmth and love.  But that’s me.  When I was raising my two sons I worked full-time and had someone home to care for my boys until I returned in the afternoon.  Still, I took them to school in the morning; I cooked dinner and ate with them; checked their homework; and prepared them for bed at night with a warm hug and lots of kisses (to their exasperation; though I think they really loved it).

So now the question is are children being brought into this world to be taken care of by someone else?  Even if the person hired to watch over their charges is warm, comforting and loving, she’s not the parent. What’s the point in having children if there is no time or desire to be with them?

FROM THE RIDICULOUS TO THE SUBLIME

Brave soul that I am I ventured out Friday morning through New York City’s first winter blizzard to attend a fashion show.

Fashion shows as a rule are quite entertaining in and of themselves, and judging by what I witnessed Friday morning during Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, one doesn’t have to bear witness just sitting in the front row to enjoy the spectacle. All one has to do is stand or sit inside the lobby of the building and just watch what people are wearing. I am pretty immune to strange dressing but even I raised an eyebrow or two at some of the getups that clearly announced, “Look at me!”

As I entered the building a statuesque figure preceded me through the door. Waist-length blonde hair, mustard colored coat over a print dress, bright turquoise tights and the obligatory 4 or 5 inch heels didn’t look too out of the ordinary, until I saw the profile. This trendy dresser with long mane was a man with full beard and mustache. Really!!!

Guy & beard small

Then while waiting for my colleagues outside the fashion show venue my eyes settled on three-not-so-little-maids (also male in gender). One wore a leather biker’s jacket with metal studs, leather cap and lo-and-behold a full length diaphanous net skirt… let’s not forget the lace up leather boots either. The other wore a full length fur coat of undisclosed origin, red skirt, high heels, and shoulder drop earrings. As I’m not the world’s best photographer I didn’t capture the third fashion victim wearing the white fur-like coat over knee-high boots let’s just say it was out of the ordinary.

3 guys

But, let’s get to the reason I was at Fashion Week in the first place; that was to attend the Carmen Marc Valvo Fall 2013 presentation. Carmen never disappoints and this collection was especially glamorous and elegant. I was seated in the front row so I saw the details and craftsmanship, which were beautifully executed. The contrasting inserts, the subtle drape created in liquid silk satin and luxurious lace; I was drooling throughout the show. The collection took me back to when I first covered fashion shows and how excited I was to review the lines. Carmen’s dresses, gowns and fur coats were feminine in every respect. The collection was very special! No drama. No quirky pieces. No shock waves… just beautiful designs that begged to be worn by women who love beautiful fashion.

White gownBurgundy Gown

Carmen launched the newest addition to his fashion label and that is a collection of shoes under his name. The shoes are as exceptional as his presentation of dresses, gowns and furs. The heels, as fashion calls for, were quite high but the models seemed to navigate their strut down the runway quite easily. From the strappy leather pumps to the mesh-like uppers with back-tie, each wrapped the foot in beautiful form.

Working my way back from Carmen’s show to the lobby there were some additional stop-in-your-tracks get-ups. But somehow now it all made sense to me. Fashion Week shows take place in the same Lincoln Center venue as the Big Apple Circus. The Circus features clowns such as the iconic Grandma. Her choice of  fashion would not have been considered unique, as a matter of fact she would have been quite comfortable among the fashion clowns that pranced about. I even think Grandma’s style would have created a bit of dress envy by the scene stealers.

A Kinder and Gentler New Year

Are we living in the “wild west?”  Seems every time I pick up a newspaper or listen to the news there has been a shooting somewhere in this country by some deranged person. 

Nothing was more heart wrenching this year than the senseless killing of innocent life in Newtown, Connecticut.  20 six-year olds were gunned down sitting in a classroom.  Their teachers and principal were also slaughtered.  Kindergarteners who were just beginning their future met their end instead.  How tragic and reprehensible is that?

A few days ago near Rochester, New York, firemen were lured  to a house  to put out a fire, but instead they were ambushed and fired at.  They responded to a call about a fire but their lives were snuffed out for their heroic efforts.  Firemen put their lives on the line every day knowing the danger they face from fire…. not bullets!

In July, in Aurora, CO, during a midnight screening of the sequel Batman movie a gunman entered the Cineplex and fired into the audience.  Some 70 people who attended the screening were shot.   What should have been an entertaining evening turned out to be a horror show.

These are but three events that took place this year alone.  There have been others that resulted in injury and deaths.  According to USA Today, four or more people are killed every two weeks in the United States. Is that what we can expect the norm to be in this country now?

What a sad commentary when classrooms are not safe; when our emergency responders are under fire; and when entertainment facilities turn into shooting galleries. 

All of these incidents were carried out by madmen with automatic or semi-automatic weapons.   And that is the issue at hand.  Guns, specifically assault weapons, that are in the hands of unstable individuals spells impending danger. 

Collectors and sportsmen take issue and pride in owning their guns of choice.  But here’s my question, is there any need for them to own assault weapons? They should be in the hands of soldiers, not private citizens. What hunter requires an automatic to shoot an Elk? What private citizen needs a semi-automatic to defend his home?

President Obama, when visiting Newtown, made a promise to that community that he would do everything in his power to stop this killing spree.  I hope he  will  put these words into action.  It’s all well and good to comfort those in pain for their loss but it’s another matter to get tough and get that job done. 

2012 is coming to an end in a few days. It has been a bloody year.  Not from fighting a war, but from stateside killers who pointed their guns at unsuspecting, innocent citizens, and killed or maimed them.  

Hopefully 2013  will be a kinder and gentler year!

FOOTNOTES—TODAY’S HIGHS AND LOWS

I have marveled at how women, predominantly women younger than me, navigate walking in sky-high heels, especially on the streets of New York….. well on any street for that matter. 

Really, can heels get any higher?  Well yes they can! Shoe designers have inched up their designs by adding platform soles providing more height to the existing heel elevation. Black pump platform shoesI don’t know, I think I would suffer from altitude sickness just trying a pair on. 

I suppose every generation has their own fashion statement.  I remember when pointy shoes were the footwear of the times.  Long, narrow and pointy toed shoes, were fashion’s  ”must-haves” by anyone with any style sense.  Didn’t matter if they were comfortable as long as they were slim, trim, and most importantly “pointy.”  I don’t recall the shoes having very high heels though.  My favorite styles were reflective of the Louis XIV era designed by my friend Marda for Margaret Jerrold.  As much as I loved the way they looked, I couldn’t wait to take them off at the end of the day! They were pretty to look at but they scrunched my toes. By the time I finished work I couldn’t feel my extremeties.  I remember how relieved I was when I took them off.

To what heights will women go to be in fashion today? Obviously, the sky is the limit! As I love to walk rather than take public transportation, I have seen several elegantly dressed women take pratfalls on the street due to what they were wearing on their feet.  Some take the footwear in stride however there are a few who I see precariously teeter tottering as they walk. Even professional models to their embarrasment have taken falls as they sashayed down runways .  Just imagine, if a model has a hard time walking on these stilts, how can a woman traverse city streets without breaking something?  I would venture it would be especially hazardous to one’s health walking down pock marked sidewalks. 

But wait.  It seems fashion designers may have come to their senses. According to the latest reports from U.S. and European runways, heels have been cut down to size and now “flats” have become the shoes of preference by leading designers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that couture designers in the recent fashion presentations have accessorized their designs with flats when sending their models down the runway .   That’s right…”no heels!”  Talk about the highs and lows of fashion! Sort of makes you think of a roller coaster ride.  One minute it’s up; the next it’s down. Well, fashion can be an amusing phenomenon. 

I, as many women, love shoes.  I can never have enough in my closet.  So, I am very happy to hear that when I next visit my favorite shoe store I will have more styles to select from. Right now I have enough ballerina flats to dress a Nutcracker production.

Friendship…It’s A Perfect Blendship

The Cole Porter song and Judy Garland lyrics came to mind the other day and the melody along with the words just would not stop repeating in my head.  It was terribly annoying but then after several irritating reprises I realized  the words were really spot-on.  It’s so true…there’s nothing like having a good friend to make you feel cared about and appreciated. 

I have special friends going back to high school.  We have been together through dating years, marriage, children and now grand children.  My high-school friends have known me for decades ( goodness this makes me sound like Methuselah).  Even though one of them has moved out of the immediate area we are still very close.  We are always in touch, well, as much as our busy lives allow us to be.  The four of us have a strong bond; we are kindred spirits; our innate antennae feel our mutual joys, sorrows and achievements.  Two of us are only- children; the other two have brothers. In my mind I f eel like they are my sisters without having to experience the pains of sibling rivalry. 

Though my high school chums are front and center I have cultivated others through the years.  There are those I met through marriage who continue to be close, dear and very important.  Working for as long as I have, created other close relationships, and even now, after I’ve stepped away from my business, they are still very much part of my life.  And then there are those that have come into my life by chance.  By whatever means I’ve collected these friends, I am very happy to have them in my life.  Each present different qualities and traits.  Though some may have moved hundred of miles away  all we have to do is pick up the phone and it seems like we aren’t separated by long distance.

I make an effort to keep in touch with friends I feel a mutual connection.   With all the social networking available it would be easier to email, text or reach out through Facebook, but mostly I choose to pick up the phone and hear my friends’ voices.  What’s even better, is to see those that live nearby face to face.  Lunch, theater, book club, gym, any way I can. I try to get together with them.

What makes friendships so special is the give and take of advice; the respect for  each others opinions; the unconditional help even before it’s asked for; the concern for each other’s welfare.  I can’t imagine my life without my friends.

I feel Cole Porter and Judy Garland said it best. “It’s friendship, friendship just a perfect blendship. When other friendships have been forgot; ours will still be hot.”

GRANDMA PERKS

One of the most gratifying and enjoyable past-times for me is when I’m with my grandchildren.  I have four. They are currently, 3 months old, 2 years old, 4 years old, and almost 6 years old and I marvel at their energy and pureness of heart.  Well, the 3 months’ old energy is still contained (she eats, she sleeps and she …well, you know). In addition to being the most adorable little people on the planet, they are also incredibly smart, but then doesn’t every grandmother think the same? 

I love being with them.  They make me laugh, they make me feel loved, and after a few days of having them to myself, I realize why we have kids when we are young. 

What I want to know is where does all this boundless energy come from?  None of my grand kids sit still for a moment. Their attention span is limited to 5 minutes or less.  They talk at the same time; interrupt each other constantly; and demand individual attention, even if I’m occupied with the other.  Trying to listen to one over the other could challenge a sophisticated descrambling device.

When I have them all to myself, they are on their best behavior.  They will do all my bidding and agree to whatever I suggest.  When I take them to a restaurant they act like little ladies and gentlemen.  They go to sleep without a whimper.  So who are these angels I’ve been watching when the parents show up?  They’re not the ones that were just with me.  Seems what happens at grandma’s house, stays in grandma’s house. I have to say there are no complaints about this here!

My grandkids say the funniest things.  What makes it doubly meaningful is they speak the truth.  They don’t know any better.  You know they won’t hold back even when it cuts to the heart. My 4-year old recently asked me how old I was.  After I told him, without subtracting any years from my age, he asked me if I’m going to die soon because he can’t count that high. My six year old is a little more tactful but nonetheless has her own zingers. The 2 year old will definitely be a charmer.  He just started to speak,  however his mischievous smile tells me I can expect some whacky words of wisdom from him too.  

“Grandma I love you,” are four little words that melt me to the core.  They come at the most surprising moments in time.  I could be busy making dinner; or they could be engrossed in one of their favorite television shows; or they could be splashing around in their baths; and out come these awesome words.  For me, there could be no better moment in time!

Whoever put “grand” into grandchildren had it right.