Saturday, May 30, 2020

Friday, May 29, 2020

Catch of the Day - Macy's Off-The-Shoulder Print Dress

Macys- INC Toile-Print Off-The-Shoulder Midi Dress

Occasionally an item will jump off a web page or catalog and scream "I am beautiful - You will look great in this!"  I saw it on the Macy's site a few weeks ago and immediately put it in my shopping cart. Just doing that does not mean I am going to make an immediate purchase. I am not an impulse shopper and tend to analyze and go through a justification process before purchasing. I drive my self crazy thinking and rethinking large purchases, but that is a story for another day (new car).

This is part of Macy's house brand INC International Concept, and is described like this:

Breezy and chic in every way, INC International Concepts soft cotton dress features a scenic toile print and a skin-baring silhouette you'll want to show off every sunny day - Approx. 43" long Off-the-shoulder neckline; A-line midi silhouette; Pullover styling; smocked waist. 

I love the cool summer look.  For me it is a bit long, falling at my ankles and I will get the length shortened. The Toile* print is adorable and feminine.

My patience in waiting paid off. The original price was $99 and a few weekends ago it was one-half off at $49. Macys' has easy return policies either in-store or by mail so I decided to try it; every bit  as cute and practical as I hoped. I wish I could encourage you to purchase it, but it is currently unavailable. The fact that it disappeared overnight, in all sizes, tells me that there may be just some inventory adjust happening and it could become available again. If so check the link above over the next few weeks if interested. At a sale/clearance price it is well worth it for the upcoming summer season.  Enjoy. 

*"Toile de Jouy", sometimes abbreviated to simply "toile", is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a white or off-white background on which is a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as a couple having a picnic by a lake or an arrangement of flowers - Wikepedia. 


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thank You Sears

As Sears circles the drain and a comeback is becoming less likely, I want to state again how much the Sears Winter, Summer Catalog and Holiday Wish Book meant to this country kid. It arrived and I would study every page of the women's, petite and shoe section. Lingerie mysteries were unveiled and there was always an outfit I wanted to wear; dreamed about owning. 

Lantor's! South Boston VA
Since 1906, 3 generations of Lantor’s
have worked hard as a first class retailer
 of fine ladies clothing.
My little home town had a main street with two stores the exclusively catered to the town's women shoppers. Going in and browsing was out of the question, so the Sears catalog was my best proxy. 

I learned how lingerie was sized, how heel heights were measured / looked and about coordinating colors. I would play a game where as I scanned every page, pick one item then go the next page; repeat.  Hours of entertainment ensued.  
A memory of days gone - Thank you Sears for being a part of my tender years and providing a visual fashion outlet where none existed.

The 1956 fall/winter Sears catalog showing women's clothing. 

History.com - When the Sears Catalog Sold Everything from Houses to Hubcaps.
The catalog was the Amazon.com of its time—packaged in hundreds of pages.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

VCU - Power Issue - 200 Inspiring Alumni

Celebrating Alumni Success

I received a letter from my Alma Mater, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in January, along with a printed coy of our Alumni magazine, "Shafer Court Connections".  I was included among their Power Players..." the amazing 200 alumni who prove that a VCU education can take you to many places". 

My write-up included in the section "Social Impact and Public Service" and had this paragraph:

Rhonda Williams -  '68 Engineering, software engineer and entrepreneur turned transgender activist, founded two support groups for trans people in Florida, provides resources and community for about 2,000 daily readers through the blog Rhonda's Escape.

It was such a honor to be included among many who are changing communities,  doctors making a difference in research / patient care, individuals leading successful companies and those capturing the imagination of millions. 

If interested, the magazine is available electronically here - Read the current Shafer Court Connections.

Thank you VCU!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

I Love A Success Story - Boris April


Boris April - Ukrainian singer, songwriter. The owner of the vocal range of 4 octaves. Member of television projects of Ukraine “Star Factory 2” and “Factory. Super Final. ” In December 2017, he shocked the audience by appearing at the casting of “Voices” in a new image. The guy changed sex, now he is a transgender girl Zianja.

Childhood and youthBoris April was born on December 12, 1990. Real name - Boris Maksimovich Kruglov. Born in the Crimea, in the village of Chernomorskoye, in an average Ukrainian family: father - Maxim Valerievich, mother - Elena Evgenievna and older brother and sister - George and Anna.

Since childhood, Boris showed interest in music, in the 5th grade, parents sent the boy to a vocal school. But they did not consider this hobby as a profession for life. They saw their son as a lawyer, economist, ecologist, but not a singer. But Boris himself was sure that he was waiting for fame and success at the musical Olympus.

After graduating from school, the guy assured his parents that he was leaving for Simferopol to enter the University of Tauride as an economist. He did not want to upset them. But in fact, the guy went to Kiev and applied to the Kiev National University of Culture and Arts for the vocal department. The first time he failed to enter this specialization, but he went to the department of "show business management".


According to Boris, this disc was the start to a new stage in his life and work. In 2012, April left for China, where he gave dozens of concerts in various cities of the country. In the same year, Boris April and writer Lada Luzina presented their joint photo project “Departing Kiev”, dedicated to the disappearance of old buildings - architectural monuments of Ukraine.
Personal LifeAfter successful performances in China in 2012 the following year, the artist decided to return to China again. Now he planned to stay there for 2 years. But came back earlier. At the end of 2013, the guy leaves for the USA.

Amazing Ukrainian model and singer Boris Aprel (2012)

Monday, May 25, 2020

"Lit Girl" - A PSA about Dating TRANS WOMEN

No words needed. 

Thank you Caitlin and friend for sharing this!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Friend's Friday - Connie's Beautiful Hair

A Beautiful Hair Do
By Connie

Having read Rhonda's posts and blogs in the past  - she's the one I feel who gave me the inspiration to let my own hair grow LONG-- 

I know that a woman's "crowning" glory is her hair and I've always had a fascination with women,s hair styles -I remember being  curious since very young...

Now after a few years of letting it grow out I've discovered how annoying it can be maintaining long hair but also how glorious it feels and looks when properly styled and maintained ---and I just can't think of going back to a "normal" male length style..- my hairdresser had known me only in male mode for years - now she only see's Connie -- After our initial first meeting she quickly adjusted to her NEW client and made me feel very comfortable and at ease.... Also my wife now will put my hair in rollers before we go out as G/F's and will make quite a fuss ensuring my hair looks good -- that's something I never dreamed would start to feel NORMAL--- the one thing I wish i had  is thicker hair - as I do wear a hairpiece to hide a thinning area.. but we do what we must ..

My wife, a woman friend and my hairdresser would like me to keep it shorter in style to keep  my appropriate looking for a WOMAN my age ( another thing I find  strange hearing at times)  but so far I'm resisting and am keeping it as long as possible.

One woman friend has told me i should use Rhonda's look as a model for myself --- I'd be ecstatic to be able to match her wonderfully feminine style !!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The History of Women Beneath Their Clothes

Part 1

A look at women’s issues in America often feels like a tense, politically charged study best suited to ivory towers and comfortable shoes. The usual topics stick close to the classics — the traditional roles of wife and mother, political issues surrounding the right to vote, or assessments of educational and professional equality. There is, however, a less traditional, and vastly more colorful look at the position of women in American society – and that is through a study of what women were wearing under their clothes.

Prior to World War I, women were primarily bound in their clothes by constricting and inflexible corsets that were as restrictive as their roles in society. When the US entered the war, women were asked to stop buying corsets, in order to re-purpose the steel support boning for warship production. Once the war was over, and the 1920s began to roar, women gained independence and started voting and dancing. The confining underwear of the pre-war years made jitterbugging impossible, but with no stretchy modern fabrics to control flapping fronts, flat-chested fashions became symbols of women’s freer lives.

1931 marked the snap heard round the world – the introduction of Lastex. The revolutionary fiber had an elastic core that was wound with fabric thread, creating two-way stretch for the first time. In combination with new, cup-based sizing, women’s bodies — and Depression-era realities — required support to earn a living. The importance of women’s ability to be productive in the workplace became even more pronounced during World War II, the era of Rosie the Riveter. Women’s clothing during WWII was all about function, and underwear followed suit. Boobs needed to be contained without being constrained, and the bras of the day did just that.

Bullet Bra
In post-war America, the men came home from the fronts and back to their jobs, quickly and firmly reestablishing traditional gender roles. Men were manly, and women were sexy and ultra feminine. The ideal was a woman who wasn’t required to work outside the home, and clothes became tighter and constrained — with Rosie’s pants on a back shelf in favor of curve-enhancing skirts, cinched waists and tight sweaters. In order to achieve the hourglass feminine ideal, as modeled by Marilyn Monroe, the bullet bra became the norm. Bullet bras did for a woman’s shape what nature did not, and in combination with the sharpers required to optimize fashions, women’s underwear was at its most restrictive since the corset.

With the 1960s came a backlash against traditional gender roles, which will be covered in Part 2 of this column, along with the myth of the bra burners, and how the role of women and their bras has evolved through today. Stay tuned!

Part 2 is here (that’s real progress)...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I Love A Success Story - Martine Rothblatt

The Trans-Everything CEO

By Lisa Miller
Published Sep 7, 2014
Martine Rothblatt

Futurist, pharma tycoon, satellite entrepreneur, philosopher. Martine Rothblatt, the highest-paid female executive in America, was born male. But that is far from the thing that defines her. Just ask her wife. Then ask the robot version of her wife.

Only about 5 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 are run by women; double the sample size, and the proportion is the same. Compensation levels for female CEOs appear to lag as well, though it’s hard to tell because there are so few of them. On a recent list of America’s 200 highest-paid CEOs, only 11 were women, and their median pay was $1.6 million less than their male peers. Certain of these women are already household names: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, No. 34 on the list, who earned $25 million last year, and Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman, No. 95, who earned $18 million. But the highest-paid female CEO in America is not nearly as well known. She is Martine Rothblatt, the 59-year-old founder of United Therapeutics—a publicly traded, Silver Spring, Maryland–based pharmaceutical company—who made a previous fortune as a founder of Sirius radio, a field she entered as an attorney specializing in the law of space. But what’s really extraordinary about Rothblatt’s ascent is not that she has leaned in, or out, or had any particular thoughts about having it all. What sets Rothblatt apart from the other women on the list is that she—who earned $38 million last year—was born male.

In September 2017 Forbes Magazine named Rothblatt as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds of the past 100 years. (Source Wikipedia)

“It’s like winning the lottery,” Rothblatt said happily, about seeing her name atop the list, during one of the meetings I had with her this summer. But Rothblatt could not be less interested in establishing herself as a role model for women. “I can’t claim that what I have achieved is equivalent to what a woman has achieved. For the first half of my life, I was male,” she said.

In person, Martine is magnificent, like a tall lanky teenage boy with breasts. She wears no makeup or jewelry, and she inhabits her muted clothing—cargo pants, a T-shirt, a floppy button-down thrown on top—in the youthful, offhand way of the tech elite. Martine is transgender, a power trans, which makes her an even rarer species in the corporate jungle than a female CEO. And she seems genuinely to revel in her self-built in-betweenness. Just after her sex-reassignment surgery in 1994, her appearance was more feminine than it is today—old photos show her wearing lipstick, her long, curly hair loose about her shoulders. But in the years since she has developed her own unisexual style. She is a person for whom gender matters enough to have undergone radical surgery, but not enough to care whether she’s called he or she by people, like her 83-year-old mother, who occasionally lose track of which pronoun to use.

What she prefers to be called is “Martine.” To her four young grandchildren she is “Grand Martine.” Bina Aspen, the woman who married Martine 33 years ago, when Martine was a man, and remains her devoted wife, calls herself not straight or gay but “Martine-sexual”—as in the only person she wants to have sex with is Martine. Together Martine and Bina have four children, and they refer to Martine as “Martine” in conversations with strangers. At home, they call her “Dad.”

In 1995, just after her transition, Martine published The Apartheid of Sex, a slim manifesto that insisted on an overhaul of “dimorphic” (her word) gender categories. “There are five billion people in the world and five billion unique sexual identities,” she wrote. “Genitals are as irrelevant to one’s role in society as skin tone. Hence, the legal division of people into males and females is as wrong as the legal division of people into black and white races.” Instead, she suggested, people might better express their gender and sexual identities on a spectrum, perhaps in terms of color: Green might be “an equally aggressive/nurturing person who does not try to appear sexy” (lime green someone a little less aggressive), and purple someone gentle, nourishing, and erotic in equal measure.


Next time you tune in SiriusXM Satellite Radio, give a smile for a success story.

Ted Martine Rothblatt

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Feminine Differential - Colors You Should Never Wear

When I worked for BeautyControl Cosmetics as an image consultant, one of the first processes you were taught was to do a color analysis.  This is something few if any men would ever give a second thought but is important to the feminine differential. We are not speaking about the tradition where baby boys are wrapped in blue and baby girls in pink nor is it about your color preferences. It is about what colors make you look your best. 

Here is a personal experience: A few months ago, I ordered a beautiful yellow boat neck sweater from an online boutique. The color was soft and pretty, I like yellow and it looked absolutely amazing on the model. After a week of waiting (not-so-patiently) for my purchase, it arrived on my doorstep. I eagerly took it out of the package, tried it on, looked in the mirror, and was filled with an overwhelming sense of... disappointment. I looked washed out and tired; it was hard to believe that the same thing that had highlighted all of the model's features made all of mine look dull. I package it up and returned it that day.

Why do certain colors look beautiful on some people and boring on others? As we all know, shopping through an overwhelming array of products in innumerable colors and trying to decide which one to buy is not an easy task. 

Choosing colors that will flatter your complexion can make you feel like you're playing a game of roulette; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and there's no way of knowing why. Luckily, picking out a flattering color doesn't have to be based on luck. You can rig the game so you win every time.

So if you have not had a professional color analysis you will be amazed to what  it can do for overall presentation. Many department store makeup counter will be happy to help or hiring a professional image consultant will be money well spent.  

Point of truth: I am not going to point out what from your color palette what you should wear or not wear. it is both scientific and personal. The Fashion blog "A Well Styled Life" offers a much broader perspective.  Some great advice:

BY: Jennifer Connolly

Jennifer Connolly
While I put more of my thoughts together about our colors, I thought I would share the 3 colors every woman should avoid. It doesn’t matter what season or color type you’ve been slotted into, these are universal and just a good idea.
Here are the three colors you should never wear:


I suspect many of us have looked at the fabric or paper fan of colors we’ve been told are flattering for us, and see colors we don’t like. I certainly have. Don’t wear them. Wearing a color that you instinctively dislike is like taking bitter medicine. Research shows that the colors you wear affect your mood so if you dislike a color, wearing it won’t make you feel confident.

My color fan is too old to be of any benefit to me and contains many colors I would never wear. Those colors may have flattered my coloring, back in the day, but I disliked them so I never bought anything in them.


The color that leaches life from your face and makes you look and feel older than you are. For many women, that’s black but it could also be a heavily saturated or bright color that’s too vibrant for your personal coloring. I like to say it enters the room before you do and so you feel overpowered by it. It could also be too pale for your complexion which makes you look and feel washed out.


Life is certainly too short for this. If you had to wear a certain colored uniform to school and it still gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t wear it. If a certain color reminds you of a sad, traumatic, or tragic experience, I suggest you give it a pass. Our clothes should excite us and bring us joy.

Monday, May 18, 2020

I Am Not a Drag Queen - Billy Porter

Billy Porter Oscar Gown '19
Billy Porter wears tuxedo gown at 2019 Oscar: 

"I’m not a drag queen, I’m a man in a dress".

From the very start of his red carpet ascent, the 50-year-old actor has been forthcoming about his use of clothes -- fabulous, loud, fluid and larger-than life -- as a tool to subvert stereotypes, and ignite discussions around identity, gender norms and non-conforming representation.

"I am not a drag queen, I'm a man in a dress," he said of his Oscars look in the same Vogue essay in which he professed how the Golden Globes cape had been his catalyst for change.

"From this (Oscars) moment, I want people to understand that you don't have to understand or even agree with other people's authenticity or truths, but we must all respect each other. People are going to be really uncomfortable with my black a** in a ball gown -- but it's not anybody's business but mine," he wrote.

Vogue interview "Billy Porter on Why He Wore a Gown, Not a Tuxedo, to the Oscars"
[At the first fitting in the gown,] I felt alive. I felt free. And open, and radiant. And beautiful! Which has not always been the case for me. I haven’t always felt so good about myself. It really is astonishing how much of an effect clothes have on your spirit. My aunt Dorothy used to always say, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” That’s why I look good every time I leave the house. I want to run shit. From this [Oscars] moment, I want people to understand that you don’t have to understand or even agree with other people’s authenticity or truths, but we must all respect each other.

The tradition continues - Billy Porter Oscars '20

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rhonda's Political Week In Review 5/17/2020

Just What We Need - More Thoughts and Prayers. 
Thanks Mitch.  Let's see if that pays the rent. 

Thanks Velma for sending along some great political stuff.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Why Hollywood Needs Transgender Actors

New Video Breaks Down Why Hollywood Needs Transgender Actors

Source: HuffPost, Cutris M. Wong

The cultural debate over whether cisgender actors should be cast in transgender roles was reignited last week after audiences got a first look at “Anything,” which stars Matt Bomer as a trans woman. 

The film, which debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival Saturday, has been mired in controversy ever since news of Bomer’s casting made headlines last year. It’s especially troubling given that talented transgender actors like Alexandra Grey, Elliott Fletcher and Ian Harvie have been able to make a splash in the film industry on their own. 

In the compelling video above, Grey, Fletcher and Harvie join a mélange of stars in breaking down the reasons that Hollywood should be more open to giving trans people their long-overdue moment in the spotlight. “For many young or closeted trans people, film and television is the first or only time that they see themselves,” Harvie, whose credits include “Transparent” and “Roadtrip Nation,” explains in the clip, which was produced by GLAAD and ScreenCrush.

“I have lost parts written for trans women to men,” Jen Richards (“Nashville”) explains, “because I don’t look ‘trans enough.’” Allowing those trans actors a crack at playing trans characters could be beneficially artistically, too. “When cis people play trans parts, they’re focused on playing trans,” Alexandra Billings (“Transparent”) says. “When we play a trans role, we play a character.”

Such an emphasis on trans representation could work wonders for the film industry as a whole, too: GLAAD’s 2017 Studio Responsibility Index found that only one out of 125 major movies released last year contained a transgender character. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance '20

Back in February my local Mercedes Club was ask to help with one of the nation's premier auto show events. I just received the May-June issue "The Star", the national magazine for the the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and there is a wonderful article about the Florida February event. The photos in the magazine are photos I took and I was recognized for helping in the hospitality tent. I met a lot of people; passed out many membership packets; took photos and had an over all fun/exciting day. A memorable Escape on my birthday weekend.     

Here is the magazine article and some of my photos:

Article by Pete Lester

The 14th annual Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance was held Sunday, February 9, at the beautiful and historic Boca Raton Resort and Club. This resort hotel is one of the oldest and the most iconic resorts on the East Coast of Florida. The Boys and Girls Club of Broward County is the beneficiary of this concours. 

Magazine Photos 
MB USA and Auto Nation of Florida sponsored this year's event. There were over 200 cars and 100 motorcycles on display including a special exhibit of the Collector of the Year, Stephen Plaster of Lebanon, Missouri, owner of over 400 of the world's finest classic automobiles. 

We had the fortunate job on behalf of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America to pick two deserving Mercedes-Benz  vehicles for recognition. One was for the Auto Nation Best Mercedes-Benz Vehicle on the show field and the other was for MBCA's award, the Mercedes-Benz Award of Excellence. 

For the Auto Nation award we chose Plaster's 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A body by Sindelfingen. This beauty was one of 10 vehicles he brought to the concours.  Leo Schegiel's 1960 300SL Roadster was selected for the MBCA award. Finished in Mercedes DB040 Black, it was a magnificent example with an almost perfect finish. All told there were nine Mercedes-Benz models in the show. Many of them also received other awards. 

Helping at the MBCA hospitality tent
The Road Star Section along with members from neighboring sections helped staff the MBCA hospitality tent with Josie Lesler. MBCA members attending the event included Oliver and Gloria Seligman from the NYC-Long Island Section, Southeast Regional Director Hank Webb with his wife Jean from Jacksonville, Victor Rodriguez and Section President Michael Chrusch from South Florida Section, and Section President Barry Paraizo, with his wife Linda, and Rhonda Williams [vice-president] from the Road Star Section.

The Mercedes-Benz Club of America has had the privilege of judging this prestigious event for the past five years. The Boca Raton Contours d'Elegance is gathering momentum as a regional car show and is a major contributor to its benefiting charity.

Best Mercedes-Benz Vehicle on the show field 
Boca Raton Resort and Club in the background

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Salon Experience For Guys...

Although our long spring of isolation may be nearing an end, I feel that caution is still the best course until we see a definite downturn in cases. My family members, much younger than I who have had it, say it is not your ordinary flu and tell me that avoiding it is the best course. My one daughter who works in ER says she has never seen anything like this.    

No Makeup Monday
Our new normal, once we escape our imposed social isolation, may be very different. Retail has taken a big hit and some businesses may not survive. Some of our mom-and-pop eating establishments may see it as a time to retire to Florida/Arizona and close forever; sad.

Let's see if we can make a little lemonade out of the coronavirus lemon we have been served. In almost all areas, hair salons/barber shops have been closed.  Unless your spouse, in desperation, has taken scissors to your hair, you are likely looking a little unkempt or shaggy at best, the present company included - My Monday selfie is proof. My last hair cut / styling was around mid-February, just before my trip to Virginia. Just before that trip I did get an outstanding style that has grown in beautifully to a near shoulder length bob.  

             Not your granddad's  barber shop                 
I am unskilled in doing my own hair without years of that experience in my tool box. I usually have my hair done at a salon before an event, and depending on the weather, it does hold the style for about a week. Yesterday I washed, conditioned and used a blow dryer; not too bad for non-pro work. I snapped the above selfie in the bathroom mirror this morning. Proof positive that a good style can grow and hold it's shape.     

So now is the time to consider a feminine style for yourself.  You know the one you always wanted to try.  Hopefully, you have enough hair left to play with, so why not?  Have you ever been to a female or unisex salon?  The old classic barbershops are dying off and if you want more than just a buzz cut, now is your chance!

I found a wonderful site that gives the timid a how-to on “Confidently Navigating Your Visit To The Salon”.  

Here is the lead-in:
Most guys have rarely stepped foot into this historically female territory, much less in seek of services, much less with their long manes on the line.

A pair of scissors approaching your locks can be concerning, even without having to provide direction to a stylist in an unfamiliar environment or being disoriented by foreign sounds, smells, and activities.

Your first trip can be harrowing. For that reason, we are offering this introduction to the salon experience for men, where we provide the tips you need to confidently navigate your visit to the salon.

The site discusses “What To Say At The Salon?”, “Terms You May Hear” and “Enjoy The Shampoo Experience”.  Not your granddad's barber shops.

There are many cute and stylish haircuts that can get you on the road to the feminine cut that would flatter you face and break the wig cycle. Study Pinterest and find something you like that matches your current or desired hair length. Understand that there are limitations, however this will let the stylist know you are not looking for a "male" haircut.  As the above blog mentions: "A good place to start is asking yourself, 'what do I want to look like?'” - then convey that to the stylist. 

See this as a new ESCAPE opportunity.  


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Feminine Differential - Strapless Bra

BY Tomima @ HerRoom
       Founder & CEO

“Wanna hear a joke? Strapless bra.” I’m sure for many of you reading this, a strapless bra does feel like a joke – and with no punch line. You put one on only to discover it a few hours later down around your waist. But there really is a comfortable “I forgot I was wearing it” strapless bra in your future, and this Tomima Talk is going to help you find it… or maybe even two. After all, a strapless bra is an important staple in your lingerie collection. There are just a few things you need to know so you can zero in on the strapless bras that are right for you. 

Strapless Bra Size = Bra Size

There is some urban legend bouncing around that you need to change your bra size for a strapless bra. I just did a quick search and found several influencers recommending you go down a band size (without also telling you to go up a cup size!). This advice is flat out false. A strapless bra is actually your ultimate bra size test; if a strapless in your normal bra size doesn’t fit, you’re not in the correct bra size to begin with. It’s really just common sense. A well-fitting strapless bra will confirm both your band size and your cup size – no straps for cheating allowed. It's also preposterous to think bra manufacturers are intentionally making strapless bras too big. They are designing/sizing/manufacturing their bras based on actual women who they know are in the correct bra size.  So, on your path to finding a fabulous strapless bra, you need to make sure you know your correct bra size.

Technically Unique

Bras are already a bit of a technical engineering marvel.  There is so much that goes into getting them to fit right – suspension, stretch, structure, support. A strapless bra is at the top of the complexity design heap due to what it’s being asked to do – support cantilevered breast tissue with no joists or beams. Consequently, their structure is quite a bit different than regular bras.

Underwires – The best strapless bras use longer/taller “U” shaped underwires with some spring built into them You stretch a strapless bra to fasten it.  This pulls the underwire ends apart.  Once fastened, they gently spring back to engage around the root of your breast. This “hug” helps to keep a strapless bra up – especially with larger breasts. Smaller cup sizes may not need this feature, but larger cup sizes will benefit from a larger underwire that surrounds about 2/3rds of the breast.
Engineering Marvel

Sides - Have you ever seen a chain-link fence when one of its vertical posts is missing?  It sags downward from lack of structure.  The same thing can happen without vertical boning in a strapless bra.  The good ones have this feature to shore up your sides to keep you smooth and supported. And boning is really an inaccurate name.  Back in the day of corsetry, actual whale bone was used.  But today's “boning” is now flexible with memory.  It is either a pliable, linguini-shaped piece of plastic or a very thin, tightly coiled metal spring. Both are rigid enough to keep your sides up but flexible enough to bow a little for comfort. Speaking of sides, do you ever get that pesky little muffin top “fat bulge” right in front of your armpit and above your dress line?  This primarily happens when the sides of your strapless are not tall enough (or your cup size is too small).  Find a strapless with tall sides, and you can neatly tuck this little bulge inside your cup and its gone.

Wings – First, let me define this term.  A bra’s wings are the sides and back of a bra that begins at the closure and ends where the fabric meets the cups.  Narrow wings on a strapless bra are never a good thing.  I hear complaints about “back fat” and “back bulges.”  Guess what causes this? Narrow bra wings – on any bra style. The more coverage a bra provides to your skin surface, the smoother you’ll look. A strapless bra should therefore really have 3 or more vertical hooks in the back.  It may not look sexy, but once you put on that strapless dress, you’ll look smooth and supported.

What’s inside – It’s really what’s going on inside a strapless bra that tells the full story.  Is there silicone gripper tape on the edges? Added elastic? More boning?  You need to see the inside of a strapless bra and study its design details. At HerRoom, we don’t just describe it, we actually show you – and we’re the only one who does!  Every strapless bra on our site includes an image showing the inside of its wings.  Here are examples to show you how varied it can be.

Read More at Tomima's Blog ...

Some Final Thoughts…

  • Over the last few years, the size range for strapless bras has skyrocketed.  Most women today can find a strapless bra in their true bra size.  I just checked our size range and we offer strapless bras from band sizes 28 to 50 and cup sizes A to D10.
  • I personally have more than one strapless bra. I have one with a center plunge.  I have one with demi cups. I have one with full coverage. I have a couple of bandeau bras. And I have a few longline bras. Now, I know what you’re thinking; of course you do. You’re in the business.  And you’re right.  But, I also live in Dallas where it can get really hot.  I wear strapless bras throughout the summer and the great thing is I truly forget I’m wearing them.  Maybe you don’t need as many as I have, but you should really think about getting more than one.  With our great “see it under” feature, you can quickly see which strapless will work for the challenging neckline you are trying to conquer
  • Adhesive bras are a strapless consideration and another Tomima Talk… stay tuned.
  • To be truly successful with a strapless bra, you need to make sure your skin is properly prepped.  Many strapless bras now come with silicone gripper tape inside, viscous-like elastics or other adhesives.  To be successful and slip-free, your skin should be free of powder, moisturizer, soap, oil and deodorant around the areas where your strapless bra will touch.  This step is critical – especially if you’ll be dancing and building up perspiration. Clean fresh skin just before putting it on will give you your best shot at dancing the night away without a worry.
  • For the visually inclined, here’s a link to my video on strapless backless options.