Friday, October 19, 2012

Breathe

People, I've got a bit of good news. A few bits of good news. And since that's been thin on the ground, let's enjoy the moment.

For starters, I think the prednisone is helping. I'd say, point blank, that the prednisone is helping but I'm particularly superstitious and anxiety-ridden right now, so let's just leave it at the first sentence. Originally prescribed a short dose, it's been extended by a tapering course over 18 days to mitigate any possibility of rebound swelling. This may come with some side-effects (or maybe not, this is not such a long course - though it isn't negligible and the drug is kind of serious). The point is, I'll take that risk for the joy of having a trachea that doesn't close intermittently when I cough. Cuz cough, I do. It's the first time in 2 weeks that I haven't been light-headed from oxygen deprivation. Prednisone gives a kind of false-energy (like caffeine), so I actually feel - not energetic, Lord, not that - but not dangerously inert. It's been a very dark time for the last couple of weeks so I am incredibly grateful even for intermittent clearing of the clouds.

But health updates are nowhere near as fun as lingerie updates.

I received 2 packages this morning! Interestingly, neither is from Figleaves - these are totally new items.

Item 1 is a bra I already bought a while ago, but I can now confirm, it is a very small fit (specifically on the sides, where the wires are short):

Freya Nina Plunge (not padded)
I should have returned the one I bought from Figleaves in the summer, as soon as I realized that it was not capturing all the tissue at the upper side breasts, but I delayed, and then wore the bra, so I lost that opportunity. A while ago I realized that it's really too small and put it in the stash drawer. But I LOVE the pattern. When I recently went back to LCL and Figleaves and everywhere else I could think of, it was gone in practically all sizes. So I sourced it on eBay, one size up, and the fit is spot on. I already have the undies, which fit well, so it's a new set, all ready to enjoy!

Note: I've lost quite a bit of mass at this point so the bra is actually a bit big in the back, but the cups on this bra are small - evidenced by the fact that they still fit (if loosely) when I'm at my current, artificial dimensions. When I finally return to being able to eat reliably, I'm sure it will fit very well. For what it's worth (and I don't weigh myself so I have no idea of whether I've lost pounds), I've dropped upwards of an inch in each of the full bust, waist and hips. Gotta say, one of the ways in which my body is very accommodating is in that, when I gain or lose size, I do it proportionately.

The bad news about this purchase is that, while the (UK) vendor was very good (and the price and shipping were reasonable), it got dinged at Customs (this NEVER happens from UK). The extra charge was 20 bucks - a sizable portion of the original purchase price. I'm happy to have this bra, but I loathe Customs charges even more than shipping charges, so don't know that I'll be ordering on eBay anytime again soon, if only on an associative basis.

Parcel 2, however, is a splendid delight. Cha, at LCL, has been offering to send me a lingerie set as a gift for months now, and I haven't known which one to choose. Finally, I decided that I really needed to give the Fantasie Samantha (strapless version) a go.


Why? Well, it's unpadded - the first unpadded strapless bra I've ever found in my size - and I loathe padding more and more with each passing day. Furthermore, it's extremely elegant, sexy really. And I don't have a decent strapless bra to wear. Mine is a) padded and b) doesn't stay up to save its life. Note: I can't remember the brand, though it is a good one, and I got it 10 yrs ago when the pickings were way more slim. Remember someone saying something about upgrading the goods if they've been in your closet since your tween was a baby?

Cha sent me, so generously, not just one pair of undies but both styles:



 The thong is incredibly practical but the shorts really steal the show.

Wanna know about the fit?

FANTASTIC. I am so glad I chose this set as my gift. I've been deliberating because a strapless bra just doesn't see a lot of play in my wardrobe. But this comes with 2 sets of detachable straps - clear and black. Clear straps that actually fit the clips that come on the bra are all but impossible to find, peeps. Ask me how I know. So having the clear strap option is worth the cost of the bra, IMO.

But never mind that, this thing is profoundly sexy. And comfortable (something Fantasie is known for). And uplifting. And it fits super well. I cannot recommend it enough. Just go and buy it and then email to thank me.

A note about Fantasie sizing, in my experience (recent and otherwise): Fantasie bras tend to fit generously in the cups, and back. The reason I don't gravitate towards the brand, in general, is that I find the styles too full in the cup, the bands a bit wider than my preference, the shaping a bit more mature than Freya and Panache (for example). I'm pleased to note that's changing in some of the offerings, like this one. FYI, I'm not nuts about the Samantha that comes with attached straps where you can see what I mean. However, that bra would likely be excellent for women with lots of outer breast tissue who need upper cup support.

I chose my regular size in this bra, after consulting with Cha. It is too big right now because, like I said, I'm not quite myself, but I can tell that it will work very well in a little while - if on the vaguely roomy side in the bottom of the cup (which has this excellent, rigid though comfortable fabric thing going on to give extra uplift). If you're on the cusp of 2 sizes, size down. In fact, sizing down in the band may not be a bad idea. I'm not going to wear this all that often, I suspect, so I don't need to worry about stretching the band too quickly. If it's the kind of thing you wear all the time, you have to make your strapless band VERY snug. That's where all the support is coming from.

The undies are true to size and very flattering. Also very comfortable.

So, a little good news on a few fronts.

What do you think of these bras? Do you own either? If you've ever been on prednisone, can you tell me a bit about your experience? (Man, could I be any more all over the map in this post??)

Now I truly have used up that false-energy and it's time for me to take a nap. But do share your feelings. I love having company.

32 comments:

  1. So glad you're on the mend :-)

    AND: Pink, leopard, floral lace?! Perfect!!

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    1. It really is the perfect pattern. Thanks Gail.

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  2. So, glad to hear you're feeling better! As I said in a previous comment, I know what it's like to be so sick (gastro issue, in my case) and I, too, was on prednisone at the time. In my case, it was for much longer (I think it was something like 6 weeks, or maybe longer... don't remember). Anyway, it was long enough that I had to worry about the side effects, one of the big ones being weight gain and a bloated face! My GI gave me a really good tip, though, and said that the bloating could be mitigated by cutting salt out of my diet, which I did. So, I was fortunate that I didn't experience that but it's a huge issue for people who have to be on this drug for long periods. As is bone-density loss. I do also remember how it really was a miracle drug for me because I started feeling better within a day or so of starting the drug. Anyway, that's my two cents.

    Onto more fun topics! I was waiting for you to be healthy enough to get back to the lingerie talk! I just have to say that I have really run with this shop-along. It won't be fun when I get my credit card bills!

    Firstly, my experience with LCL was great. Both orders came quickly and without any incident and NO duty charges! I live in a condo, so the packages were small enough and in a soft plastic-y envelope so they were able to just slip them into my mailbox! Easy peasy!

    Figleaves, on the other hand took a lot longer and I got zinged big-time with a $55 duty fee! Ouch! On a $155.00 order! I don't understand it. The figleaves order came in a box, I wonder if that had anything to do with it... In your experience, is there any rhyme or reason to the duty charges?

    All my lingerie shopping was very educational, though! So, I can justify all the $$$$ I spent, right? I have learned that I am actually a 34 band, not a 36 as I was lead to believe for years. And, I'm not a newbie in the sense that I've been shopping in high-end Toronto lingerie shops for years. Those places that are known for their knowledge and ability to provide a proper sizing fit, offer lots of bigger-size options, etc. And, of course, charge super-high prices for their bras.

    I was actually considering that Samantha bra you bought, though not the strapless version, but opted for the Susanna from LCL (with matching panties, of course!) and I love it! Other "hits" for me were the Fantasie Elodie, the Lucy from Cleo, the Lacey, the Freya Rio. I have the Fantasie Vivienne on the way from figleaves so we'll wait and see on that.

    I also bought the Gem, which I do like, but I ordered it before I figured out that I was a 34, so it's a 36 band that I have to have on the tightest hook, and even then it's not tight enough currently, nevermind when it stretches with wear. But, I'm so pissed off about the huge duty charges that I paid on that order from figleaves, that there's no way I'm paying to send it back. I do love the panties, the Brazilian, which I didn't think I would but just ordered them because they were the only matching panties to go with the bra. I might just order the bra in the correct size later sometime if LCL gets it and wear this one on days that I want a looser band.

    So, bottom line is so far so good, I love all my choices and am having so much fun wearing all the matching panties with the bras. I just can't tell you enough what a revelation it is to actually figure out (and feel what it actually feels like) to have the proper size bra! I can't believe that I did it via online shopping vs. actually being in a shop getting fitted. Now I'm just bracing myself for the duty on that second figleaves order... Julia

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    1. Julia: What an awesome comment. Did it increase your appetite, even as you were struggling with an illness that may have prevented eating?

      I'm so glad your LCL purchase was easy. You know, I never get dinged on Figleaves, or anything from UK as I've said many times, but this time I did - on the order that came in a box vs. envelope. I think it is the box. I guess the key is not to order bulky items from them, or take your chances. I have received boxes before with no customs, fyi.

      For what it's worth, my Nina bra, above, was 29 bucks and the shipping was 20, which IMO is insane. Mind you, I wanted that bra and this was my last recourse. Thank goodness it fits, though. It wasn't returnable.

      You've chosen some gorgeous bras. I do love the Susanna and the Cleo in the blue colourway is lovely.

      On the topic of the Gem, which as you know I returned for a cup and band size down, I really do suggest (sorry) that you return it for the right size. It's a really beautiful piece but I sense it's going to be a bust (no pun intended) in a very short time with the band so loose. If you intend to buy the bra at a later time in a diff size (which will end up costing more, all around) be sure you do it soon enough that you don't end up having the problem that I did finding the Nina. Unless they stock the blue colour as a staple - and it's unclear that they will even though the line has been brought in to be a staple - you'll be out of luck soon.

      I so hope the next Figleaves order comes without a Customs ding. Remember, if you send the Gem back, you'll get that bra resent to you for free and, in an envelope, there's likely to be no customs charge. I estimate that will cost about 8 bucks.

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    2. Oh, yes, the prednisone definitely helped my appetite. I was just so terrified of getting that bloaty, steroid face that I was super strict about no salt (I know, call me vain), which really sucked because I do like my food (though, don't like to call myself a foodie) so, once I got my appetite back, eating salt-free, bland, food was not fun. Don't get me wrong, I would have done anything to get my health back! And I was amazed at how disciplined I was about the salt-free diet, considering under normal circumstances I have a hard time being strict about my eating/diet.

      You're right, I suppose I should just return the Gem for the right size. I didn't realize they don't charge for shipping on exchanges. I was going to just wait until LCL got it and order from them with free shipping. It is a new style, isn't it? Which means it should be around a while. I'm hoping they introduce different panty styles. Julia

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  3. I enjoyed that false-energy steroid kick the other week. My runs were twice as long, I felt like I was running on clouds, and I could have gone even further. Apres tapering it was quite a let-down: I was a regular runner who could feel the pavement again. Enjoy your lingerie delights; may they, umm, linger.

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    1. It has its benefits, especially in the morning.

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  4. So glad you're feeling better! Keep it up :-)

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  5. Kristin, I just had time to catch up and I'm so sorry to hear you've been going through this God awful health experience. What a nightmare!

    Hopefully you've reached a turning point.

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    1. Thanks Susan. I'll be writing about it. Here's hoping the turning point has now occurred.

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  6. I live in Toronto, and I get hit by customs on UK lingerie orders roughly one time out of two. I've noticed it's much more likely to happen on large orders than small ones - not once have they got me on small Ebay orders of a single bra, which I assume is because they couldn't be bothered.

    Yesterday I received a Figleaves order, value of 100 CAD, which cost me $41 in customs fees. Given that I'm returning 2/3 bras, this is a pretty hefty fine.

    If you fancy a trip to Niagara, you can avoid this by ship everything to Kinek, pay a $5 pick-up fee, and mail your returns while still within the US.

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    1. Anna, that's fascinating. Maybe I order small batches on a regular basis, which is why I'm not noticed? Mind you, this time (on the Nina) I ordered the least amount ever, on eBay, and I did get dinged. Weird.

      I don't own a car so the Niagara option doesn't really work. Mind you, don't you think the gas for the return trip would run up the same charge as the shipping, in the long run?

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  7. So glad to hear the treatment is doing some good! It must be a relief to you.

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    1. Hey Katy: The post following this one isn't as cheerful, sadly, but I do think I am slowly getting better. Thank you.

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  8. Super cute bras. I love the look of the strapless one especially. Good luck with the Prednisone; the one time I was on it, the only extra energy I got was a really angry energy.

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    1. I've heard that can happen. I'm too tired to be angry, except at the universe and the television. I'm more depressed than angry.

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  9. I am glad to hear you're seeing improvement. I've been on prednisone before for the autoimmune benefits but it was with a whole cocktail of other drugs so who knows what did what. It's a short dose that I was on if I remember right, maybe a week. Last cycle they forgot to tell me when to take it and by the time I asked it was too late. All medications come with the pluses and minuses, seems to me breathing is a pretty big plus.

    Oh those are so pretty. I can see why you hunted down another Nina.

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    1. Thanks for your perspective, Sera. I think I do have to just way the pluses in this instance.

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  10. Yes! So glad the prednisone is kicking in to let you breath, Understand your reservations about the drug but also understand why you'd waive those for now in favour of some oxygen supply.
    And the lingerie scores -- so pretty, the lilac flowers and those black pieces are fabulous. Now, go nap!

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  11. btw, I'm still hesitating whether I dare wear a dress I bought this summer by Designers Remix. Love it, but it has a long open seam down the back. Cannot go braless, bought the adhesive bra cups but rejected that option as I'm sure the distraction of unevenly arranged boobs, prominent nipples and all, will be too much to bear. Trying to convince myself that yes, I can allow a well-chosen bra's narrow, pretty strap to be glimpsed through the long seam occasionally. Thoughts?

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    1. Oh, F, that's a tough one. The short answer is that it works for some people (Carine Roitfeld, Carrie Bradshaw) and probably not so naturally for others (Annette Bening, for example). Does the seam go all the way down? If not, you might be able to manage with a low back bra. Another option might be a basque or body suit underneath - that seems to look more "planned". I'm sure you can get away with it if it's how you play it. I could not.

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    2. nope, too low for any bra (seam closes at the waist). I did wear it and felt okay in it, although I may end up stitching it closed just for the inch or two that would cover the brastrap. Thanks for helping me think it through.

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    3. If you wore it and you felt ok, chances are you fall into the "can get away with it" category. Try wearing it again before you stitch it. The open back is a very elegant style.

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  12. I believe you did experience a boost of energy because your post was riveting! LOL, I mean you really sold that lingerie- I am ready to whip out my credit card! I am so glad you are getting a little better, that breathing problem sounds terrifying. Hang in there and enjoy that lingerie!

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    1. People tell me I should have been in sales :-) Thanks, Robin.

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  13. I'm glad you're getting a little better!

    And I LOOOOOOOOOOVE the strapless bra. I've never seen anything so awesome. I might have so go spend some more money now. Sigh. ;-)

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  14. Holy crap, that is a gorgeous bra.

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    1. I know. I'm like the bra whisperer :-)

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  15. Hurrah for feeling better. That's just the best news. Keep up the good work.
    Love the lingerie...strapless bras are usually so unappealing, but that one is lovely.

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    1. Maybe there can be a space for it in your wardrobe, Evie. And thanks for the well wishes.

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