Hurray for Memorial Day and Boston, MA!

Flags at Boston Common Memorial Day Hurray Kimmay

Hurray it’s Memorial Day!

Last week, I took the train up to Boston from NYC for some work and fun (they don’t have to be mutually exclusive, after all!). I took the above photo at Boston Common, where 37,000 small American Flags grace the park grass. According to this article, “Every year, the Massachusetts Military Heroes organization plants a Garden of Flags in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boston Common. The intention is to commemorate each of the Massachusetts service members who have given his or her lives to defend the United States and our freedom since the Revolutionary War.”

It was truly a sight to behold. Here is another snap of this very impressive installation.

Memorial Day Flags in Boston Hurray Kimmay

I was so fortunate to get a proper Boston tour from Bostonian and lingerie boutique owner, Jeanna Kadlec of Bluestockings Boutique. You may remember Jeanna from this blog post and this video interview on Hurray Kimmay. Huge HURRAY for fellow lingerie industry friends with whom I can share life, business, and girl talk. Jeanna Kadlec and Kim Kimmay Caldwell Hurray Kimmay*Please ignore the strange proportions below. I wasn’t planning on putting these side by side, but they’re too cute not to!Kimmay and Jeanna in Boston Hurray Kimmay

The train ride to and from Boston was so beautiful. I’ve taken this Acela ride just a few times now, and it’s dreamy. Here’s a short snippet of the scenery from my Instagram feed…

A video posted by Kimmay Caldwell (@hurraykimmay) on

Besides site-seeing and lingerie chit chat, I went up to Boston to attend WistiaFest, a video content marketing conference. As a lingerie marketer, I love helping brands and businesses develop and share their video content. Hold up. That sentence may sound really lame to some people, but I’m pretty passionate about it. Last year alone, I made, produced, voice recorded, edited, or hosted at least 25 videos for my own website and for my clients. In fact, a series of product videos I made with the fabulous lingerie brand, Elila, are now up on Kohls.com! Hurray!

Video is one of my favorite forms of communication, education, and brand building so I was thrilled to learn more, meet like-minded (and really fun!) people, and grow as a business owner. Here are a few photos from the conference, taken by (the very talented) Sasha Israel.

Hurray Kimmay at WistiaFest 2015 photos by Sasha Israel

Playing corn hole and soaking in the Boston sunset at the Wistia after party…Kim Kimmay Caldwell at WistiaFest 2015 Hurray Kimmay photo by Sasha Israel

Dancing to Michael Jackson in the Wistia HQ parking lot. Because I love to dance. Hurray! {A version of this photo made the Wistia thank you email.}Kim Kimmay Caldwell at WistiaFest 2015 Hurray Kimmay photo by Sasha IsraelJust a small selection of the nearly 400 WistiaFest attendees during the wrap party. WistiaFest 2015 on Hurray Kimmay photo by Sasha Israel

I’m so excited to put my new video knowledge to use. One reason: I’m starting my very own Q&A video series! There’s more information to come, soon. But for now, if you have a Bra-blem, I’m here to help you solve it. Submit your questions now and get ready for the answers via video. (Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter HK Updates to be the first to know about this exciting video series!)

What's your brablem HK

————————->One final note. Thank you so much to the veterans and current troops. I have several vets in my family, including my step dad. And, it’s his birthday today! Here’s a throwback with him, my step sister, a little piglet, and I circa early 1990’s. Happy Birthday and Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Birthday and Memorial Day Hurray Kimmay

Happy Memorial Day everybody!

xoxo kimmay

Behind the Scenes at my O Magazine Swimsuit Shoot

O Mag bts cover

Hurray!

I’m so excited to share this post today. I’m pretty excited to share all of my posts, but especially this one. I’ve been waiting for the June 2015 issue of O Magazine to come out for almost a month.The magazine recently celebrated its 15th year in print. 15 years ago, I can remember my mom owning stacks and stacks of O Magazine. I would carefully flip through the thick, glossy pages to discover Oprah’s ah-ha moments, favorite things, and life advice. I never thought I would be in the magazine myself… let alone, in a bathing suit! But flash forward to the June 2015 issue, flip to page 52, and there I am. Hurray!

O Mag Kimmay in O The Oprah Magazine

I’m tempted to say something here: I am not a model. I don’t make a living posing for the camera, but I sure love to do it! The other ladies in this shoot had modeling agents and everything. I do not. In fact, I was a little intimidated to work with such professionals. Yet, here I am wearing this swimsuit in a big magazine. I pose for photos on my own site all the time. I work with brands to represent their products often. So… am I officially a model now? I’d say historically and traditionally: NO. But it was fun!

At the fitting in the giant Hearst building in midtown Manhattan, I had a blast trying on bathing suits. There were racks and racks and racks and racks in a giant room filled with bathing suits in every color of the rainbow, from a million different brands, and in lots of sizes. It was bathing suit heaven. Wearing a swimsuit that fits well, supports my bust, and ups my confidence is supremely important to me. I have come a very long way in my journey to love my body. But that doesn’t mean I wear just anything or show everything off. I take pride in carefully choosing the items that I wear. And that means wearing something that makes me feel great, and reflects my own personal style.

So when the gals at O pulled out this Cassie high waist, long line, underwire bikini with cup sized support, from Cleo by Panache I squealed with delight. I’ve helped literally thousands of women shop for bathing suits, and many of them into supportive styles from Panache and Cleo by Panache. (Note: Cleo by Panache is a sub brand that, in my opinion, is a little more youthful and peppy than its sister brand.) They’re supportive, stylish, and offer a range of coverage options.

Kimmay wearing cleo by Panache swimwearA note on the phrase “big chest“. So, I’ve fit women for bras ranging in size from AA-N cup, with the most popular sizes being 32F and 34G (alllll day long). “Big” is really relative. I wear a 30DD or 32D in most bras. This Cassie top was a 32E. Typically in Cleo by Panache swimwear, I fit best into a 32DD. The 32E here, was almost too big… until the day of the shoot, thank you PMS boobs. That may “sound big” to some, but not “look big” to most. Keep in mind, a bra’s cup size is all relative its band size. Same goes for cup-sized swimwear. So that 32E is one cup size smaller than a 34E, two smaller than a 36E, three smaller than a 38E… etc. In the grand scheme of things, I wouldn’t consider myself to have a “big chest”. But I do crave support. I’m so used to a well fitting bra and love the confidence and comfort that I get from a supportive style, that I want the same thing on the beach. With underwire, cup sized swimwear like this, that’s exactly what you get.

O Mag behind the scenes with Hurray Kimmay

On the day of the shoot, I had such a fun time getting my hair and make done, my nails painted, noshing on the snacks, and playing dress up with the hats, sunglasses, and accessories on set. I have never seen so many beautiful straw hats in one place!O Mag straw hats

O Mag make upFYI, in the photo above, the model is literally getting sprayed with coconut cooking oil. I was next. I’m now hooked.

O Mag racks of bathing suits

O Mag in Hudson Studios with Hurray Kimmay

I especially had a fun time jumping around and posing in front of the camera. I even got to play with giant beach balls and had a snazzy Beyonce style wind machine to blow my hair during the photography session.

O Mag studio

But despite all of this joy, I was feeling pretty blue. The night before this shoot, my Grandmother suffered her second stroke. Walking up to this photo shoot, I was filled with mixed emotions both for Grandma and for myself. I felt like this was finally it for Grandma. I thought how ready she was to make her journey to heaven, but how much we would miss her. I thought about how excited I was for the shoot, and how nervous I was to work with professional models. I thought how far I’ve come in my journey to love my body that I’d pose in my swimsuit in a magazine, and how bloated I felt because my period was going to start the next day. (By the way, that was not helping with all of the emotional stuff.) And I thought how proud my Grandma was when I was quoted in Real Simple magazine, and how I’d never get to show her my photo in O Magazine. There was a lot going on all at once. Have you ever felt this way?

I tried to keep busy and make small talk with the crew. I tried to focus on the fun in the day. I remember the stylist saying “You’re hair and make up are all done, you should totally go out tonight!” That didn’t happen. When I got the word that Grandma had indeed passed, I stayed home and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. 

In the weeks that followed, I traveled to Florida to see my family. My Grandma’s funeral also happened to be the week of my brother’s wedding. Did I mention there was a lot going on for my family? Needless to say, it was a week of emotional ups and downs. But the biggest lesson I learned: life does not stop for death. It became so clear to me that even when someone dies, the world continues, life continues. Because in essence, death is part of life. In the busy weeks after the funeral, I fondly remembered Grandma, cried here or there, smiled a lot, and . . . life went on.

I don’t believe in coincidence. So it was rather fitting that I got word from a family friend that she spotted me in O Magazine the day before Mother’s Day. This was my first Mother’s day without a Grandmother to celebrate with, and the first for my Mom without her mom. What a joy to call my mom up and tell her that my photo is in the current issue of O Magazine! Mind you, I’ve been on TV several times, quoted in magazines many times, on the radio, in a commercial… but every time I’m in something it’s like the biggest deal in the world to my family, especially my Mom. And that just makes my heart burst with joy.

I say HURRAY for being in this issue of O Magazine. Hurray for how far I’ve come in my journey to love my body. Hurray for wearing a supportive, cup sized swimsuit top. Hurray for retro high waisted bottoms. Hurray for confidence from a swimsuit. Hurray for meeting O Mag artistic director Adam Glassman and his fabulous team. Hurray for sharing this with my family. Hurray for sweet memories of Grandma. And Hurray for life not stopping for death.

This was an exciting and difficult post to write. Have you ever dealt with bittersweet emotions or ups and downs? Share with me here or send me a tweet @HurrayKimmay.

xoxo kimmay

 

 

Hurray for Pretty & Practical Mother’s Day Gifts

Where to find Pretty and Practical Mother's Day Gifts Hurray Kimmay V2

Mother’s Day is almost here! My mom and I kid around that she “couldn’t disown me” if she wanted to because we look so much alike. Truth is, like many of us, it’s not just looks. I’m a lot more like my mom than I thought (or intended) I would be as a teenager. Now, at 30, I see so many human qualities in my mom that I admire, understand, or can sympathize with.

This is the first Mother’s Day that my mom will be without her mom. My grandma passed away last month. It makes me so very glad that I have my momma here with me this Mother’s Day. So of course, I want to get my mom a special gift! If she is any two things, it’s pretty and practical. Not pretty practical (she’s actually very practical), but pretty AND practical. She totally gets both from her mom, and I’m not ashamed to say I think I was lucky enough to get those two things in my genes, too 😉 Want proof? Here’s a photo of Grandma, my mom, and me!

Grandma Mom Kimmay Hurray Kimmay

Triplets, right?!

Moms deserve something that they can wear that will help them feel comfortable, confident, capable, and powerful. . . and beautiful. Moms are superheroes who have to wear many hats during one day, and their clothing and sleepwear options should accommodate them. So in honor of Grandma and my mom this Mother’s Day, here are a few of my favorite pretty and practical shopping destinations for concealwear, loungewear, daywear, sleepwear, and sportswear!

Bumbrella on hurray kimmayBumbrella

You may remember Bumbrella from my video overview, photo shoot, and review earlier this year. Truthfully, I adore my Bumbrellas! I wear mine under dresses and skirts, even over tights. Bumbrella gives you the ability to wear short or sheer dresses and that extra confidence boost that comes with knowing you’re totally covered and discreet. This 2-in-1 panty slip comes with an attached thong or bikini to anchor it in place, and smooths without the too-tight feeling of shapewear. According to CiCi Soleil, the  spokesperson for the brand, Bumbrella is the “No Squeeze, Please” gift for the mom who “deserves to get dressed up, go out for dinner, eat the whole bread basket with butter, have dessert, a bottle of wine, too, and still be able to breathe.” Sounds like a Mother’s Day in paradise! Shop Bumbrella.

AlessaOlga Bateau Top and Ashley Pajama Short_Nude_Alessandra Mackenziendra Mackenzie

I had the pleasure of recently getting to know this simple, luxurious line and its designer, Alessandra. She says her collection was inspired by a rich family history of bespoke and tailored menswear, and the ease that men have in their outfit options. Her line is part loungewear, part sleepwear, part daywear, and every part high quality and understated beauty. She says: “Alessandra Mackenzie style is informed by luxurious ease, creating pieces that make a woman feel special and, therefore, beautiful.  I can’t think of a better present for a mother, sister or best friend!” I’m especially fond of this bateau top for its chic wearability in or outside the house, and it’s just the top of the iceberg.  Shop Alessandra Mackenzie.

BTS loungewear KimmayBetween the Sheets

I couldn’t agree with designer Layla L’obatti more when she says: “Mom deserves something luxurious to lounge in. Our robes and pajamas are cozy, soft, and stylish so she can enjoy those little luxurious moments to herself in style.” The Between the Sheets line offers a plethora of colorful and sleek loungewear, mix and match sleepwear, cozy over the knee socks, and simple basics that any woman can wear with ease. What’s more, the brand is totally transparent and downright passionate when it comes to ethical labor practices and sourcing for its luxurious materials. Now that’s a feel good gift for you, mom, and our world. Shop the Between the Sheets Mother’s Day Guide.

Newkirk Tank_Black_Cortelyou Jogger Pants_Digital Floral Print_Alexis Mera_3Alexis Mera

“Alexis Mera Loungewear is for the cool and easy-going mom who lives an active and healthy lifestyle and appreciates the simple things in life” says its designer, Alexis. These cool separates are breathable, and easy to wear around the house or out for a spin. They’re the cool, chic answer to sweatpants and tanks and this stunning digital floral print is coming soon in a long maxi dress style! (Totally on my own wish list.) Bonus points for the brand’s dedication to empowering young women. If your mom is the perfect combination of sporty and feminine, this is the perfect collection for her. Shop Alexis Mera.

Listen, mom doesn’t need a macaroni necklace, bouquet of flowers, or yet another bottle of lotion or perfume. Give her something that is just as pretty and practical as she is. What’s on YOUR Mother’s Day wish list? Tell me here or tweet at me and tell me what makes YOU say hurray!

xoxo kimmay

 

Bluestockings Boutique Bursts Onto the Scene

Hurray for lingerie!

If you remember, last December I interviewed Jeanna Kadlec, the owner of the soon-to-be lingerie e-tail store, Bluestockings Boutique. {{{You can watch my video interview with Jeanna here.}}} Jeanna hoped to create a shop with “underthings for everyone”, with a focus on an inclusive lingerie shopping environment and offerings for the LGBTQ community. Well folks, the day has finally come: Bluestockings Boutique is open! Hurray!

Bluestockings boutique opens. Here's what's on Kimmay's wish list.

Despite Jeanna calling this a soft launch, and insisting that the actual launch will be in June (coinciding with Pride Month), Bluestockings Boutique has already made a big splash with write ups on some very fancy sites. I specifically remember meeting Jeanna in person, after our Google+ interview, at CurveNY, the big lingerie trade show here in NYC. I asked Jeanna “Are you prepared for when your brand totally blows up? I know you are going to get a great response.” Jeanna just blushed and thanked me for my confidence in her and her vision, but I was dead serious. And now it seems I may have been accurate.

I will admit that Bluestockings Boutique’s offerings are currently limited, with a few carefully chosen lingerie, basics, and accessories options. There’s special attention to a size option for most, with small bust brand The Little Bra Company (I highly suggest their Lucia bra) and full bust favorite, Curvy Kate, two favorites from my years as a bra fitter. There’s also an inclusive option for women with darker skin tones from new brand Nubian Skin, bralettes and underwire options, foundations to sexy styles, some sassy play things, and even binders for women who want to minimize their bust. So while the selection isn’t vast, it’s breadth is wide.

Aside from a few favorite things I already own (like the Commando seamless bottoms and Pretty Polly tights – Hurray!) and favorites from my years as a fitter (TLBC and Curvy Kate), here is my personal wish list from the Bluestockings Boutique:

Jeanna revealed that the most popular item during her opening weekend was the lace boxer by Foxers. I almost caved and went with the lace version. Instead, I opted for this tomboy version for my very first Bluestockings Boutique purchase. I love to wear comfy underwear shorts to sleep!

What's on Kimmay's Bluestockings Boutique wish list - Hurray Kimmay

Also on my wish list from Claudette (how cute it this sheer blue tulle?), Blackbird Underpinnings (um, crushed velvet high waist retro style undies? YES please.), and Toru & Naoko:

What's on Kimmay's Bluestockings Boutique wish list - Hurray Kimmay

What's on Kimmay's Bluestockings Boutique wish list - Hurray Kimmay

And I just saw these days of the week undies from Cheek Frills in an article and literally squealed with glee when I saw them on the Bluestockings Boutique site:

These days of the week undies are on Hurray Kimmay's Bluestockings Boutique wish list

Besides Jeanna’s stellar commitment to offering products that both appeal to and support the LGBTQ community (and otherwise), she’s making a stance on sustainability, ethical practices, and partnerships with smaller and larger brands alike. Read more about the Bluestockings Boutique sustainability policy here. And I highly encourage you to read the BSB (not Backstreet Boys… Bluestockings Boutique) blog. Especially this little article about yours truly. Jeanna and I talk lingerie, stereotypes, and saying hurray.

I have seen many lingerie retail businesses fail at making an impact, and a lasting impact at that. I have high hopes for Bluestockings Boutique and full confidence that Jeanna’s integrity and and heart filled purpose will propel her and her brand forward. As some of my posts are in conjunction with brands that I work with on the marketing agency side of my business, I want you to know: Bluestockings Boutique is not a current client (I say current b/c you never know), and I bought my Foxers with my own hard earned money. I simply support this brand and the woman behind it and appreciate her support in my brand, too.

Have you checked out Bluestockings Boutique yet? Visit the shop, read the blog, follow on Twitter. And don’t forget to tweet at me @hurraykimmay and tell me what makes YOU say hurray!

xoxo kimmay

Kiss me!

kiss me hurray kimmayHurray for St. Patrick’s Day!

You know the phrase. “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” Although, I’m not actually Irish 😉 My husband is half Irish, my Step-Dad is, too. And so is my niece whose birthday is today – hurray! I stay away from corned beef, cabbage, and green beer, and choose to celebrate the luck of the Irish with (what else?) lingerie!

The color of choice for St. Patrick’s Day, green, is so fun to wear underneath because it’s unexpected. A gorgeous ivy bra, a neon green thong, pretty lime lace. . . there are so many ways to wear it and several brands and styles to choose from. One favorite colorful brand is Hanky Panky. I’ve pulled a few of my favorite signature lace styles in various green shades that make me say Hurray for Lingerie™! Shopping and style information below. Muah!Hanky Panky St. Patrick's Day Hurray Kimmay

Top row, left to right: Crossover Bra, Boyshort, Classic Camisole

Bottom row, left to right: V-kini, Original Rise Thong, Low Rise Thong

I’m also thrilled to share a special sneak peek into the Hanky Panky CurveNY booth, a really exciting project I did with The Lingerie Journal a few weeks ago. CurveNY is a big lingerie trade show, with hundreds of booths filled with the best lingerie brands showing off their latest and greatest trends for the upcoming season. Pretty much everyone knows Hanky Panky for their signature lace thongs, and in this video you get to discover a few NEW exciting things like their super smooth Bare Collection, the little naughty After Midnight group, new plus size offerings, and the 12-years-in-the-making Eau de Parfum. Hurray! Take a look at the video below, and check out a few behind the scenes photos on The Lingerie Journal.

Wishing you love, luck, and lingerie!

xoxo Kimmay blog signature

So Hot & Cold

How do you like it: how or cold?

I’ve had a dose of both in the very same week. I just got back from a trip to Florida and I’ve arrived into the freezing cold and snow of NYC. {In fact, I flew in on a Delta flight into LGA just one day before that scary incident. Thank God!} As a Rochester, NY native the snow doesn’t really bother me too much. But after such a snowy winter in the Northeast, I was ready for a trip to the warm, sunny shores of South Florida. The snow was enough to send me, but I also just wrapped three exciting and exhausting days at the CurveNY expo, working with The Lingerie Journal hosting special sneak peeks into some of my favorite booths like Elila and Hanky Panky. And, I had an even better reason to go: a girlfriends weekend with some of my nearest, and dearest friends to celebrate each of us turning 30! Hurray!

Super excited for the warm weather, I packed a few swimsuits (some of my favorite retro styles from Vitamin A and Seafolly, plus a few modern cuts from L*Space), tank tops, shorts, and wore my only pair of long pants and long sleeved shirt on the plane. I woke up extra early to wash and straighten my hair before the flight. These details are important because when I arrived in Florida, I was not greeted with sunshine. It was in the 60s, cloudy or raining, windy, and extremely humid. There went my hair (it grew to about 5 times its usual size in the humidity over the course of my trip) and there went those shorts.

Despite the cooler air, my friends and I insisted on sitting outside as we dined. . . until it started to rain. The five of us made the best of it indoors, as we waited on the last two to join us. We set up a surprise baby shower for one of our friends who was yet to arrive. There was a struggle to keep the baby bunting from falling, a terrible encounter with bad food and cheap drinks, and lots of bundling up in the stormy weather. We were still having fun and looking forward to more time together, but it wasn’t until our last friend arrived and all seven of us were finally together that things really took off. We surprised her with the baby gifts, the weather turned warm and downright beautiful, every place we went to had amazing food, we laughed and cried, debated over “the dress” and declared it voo-doo, and made memories to last us another 30 years. I’ve known these girls since we were in middle school, and spending the weekend with them was so special.

To add to the fun, I tacked on a few days to visit my Dad and family across the coast! We went shopping (hurray for Tatyana Boutique, retro fashion, and a new Beach Bash bathing suit below!), celebrated my birthday again, watched movies, went to dinner, went to the beach, hung out with a few of my brothers, and I visited with college friends in the stunning Bal Harbour shopping center for a day of luxury, playing dress up in $4,000 gowns and $18,000 jackets from The Row at Saks, and reminiscing at La Perla. All in all, this trip was SO fabulous.

Girlfriends trip to Florida Hurray Kimmay

at the beach hurray kimmaySwimsuit from Tatyana Boutique, by Beach Bash. Sunglasses by Gap.

miami beach hurray kimmaySwimsuit by Vitamin A, Rx Sunglasses by Warby Parker, Miami Beach tank top from a random cheesy souvenir shop.

At Bal Harbor hurray kimmay

La Perla Bal Harbor Hurray KimmayHere’s a Hurray for Lingerie tip: when it’s cold, gray, and snowy outside I LOVE to wear sassy or colorful lingerie underneath my clothes for a bit of heat.

Meanwhile in snowy NYC. . .

A special thanks to photographer Kevin Goggin who asked me to brave a snow storm to get these snow day shots in Astoria Park. We were freezing (and I lost the blue polka dot umbrella from my photo shoot with Bumbrella in the wind) but it was so worth it. His work is beautiful!

Snow day hurray kimmay photo by Kevin Goggin snow day hurray kimmay photo by Kevin Goggin snow day hurray kimmay photo by Kevin Goggin snow day hurray kimmay photo by Kevin Goggin

 

And here’s a video of the most recent snow day here in NYC over on my Instagram @hurraykimmay.

So what’s your favorite season? Do you like it hot or cold? Are you like me, and you like the change that comes with each new season? Share here or send me a tweet @hurraykimmay.

xoxo Kimmay blog signature

5 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Valentine’s Day Vixen

5 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Valentine's Day Vixen Hurray Kimmay

Oh hurrrrray there. In case you weren’t already hit over the head with it every time you go to the drug store, I’m letting you know: Valentine’s Day is Saturday. Hurray! Whether you’re spending the day with your sweetie, your friends, your family, or yourself – it’s a pretty great day to embrace your inner vixen.

If you look up vixen on google, it’s defined as:

  1. a female fox.
    • a spiteful or quarrelsome woman.

WTF? I didn’t realize vixen had such a negative connotation. To me, vixen means a woman who takes charge of her life and her desires. She takes risks and reaps the rewards. She is flirtatious or dangerous if she wants to be, or coquettish, or inviting, or dominating, or sincere. To me, a vixen is a sexy woman who is what and who she wants to be. Want to embrace your inner vixen? Here are a few tips to find her and let her come out and play, even if just for the day. Hurray!

1)  Define your own sexy

In my years in the lingerie business, I’ve helped women with everything from lace g-strings to very simple foundations. After we’ve covered the basics, I usually ask if they’d like to try something “sassy”. I just LOVE helping a woman find her confidence when she slips on something exciting. What the customer ends up choosing as her “sassy” item varies widely. For some, it’s something sheer, for others it’s a bold color. Often it’s lace, and once in awhile it’s one of those basic foundations we just talked about. For you, what’s important is that YOU feels sexy in it. Maybe it’s not even lingerie! (Although, it certainly makes ME say hurray.) Don’t be tempted to give in to what others are showing you as sexy in magazines or movies. Without judgement or fear, ask yourself what inspires you to feel sexy, strong, feminine, powerful … and then go out and try it. Trust me, when YOU feel sexy, your partner will see that confidence and sense that energy. . . and confident energy is always sexy.

2) Be a flirt

I love to flirt. I flirt with my husband all the time. And while I pump the breaks when it comes to actual hard core flirtatious interaction with all other men, I still get my fill. Flirting can be as simple as holding eye contact across the subway, or an extra grin at the bar tender, or a slow batting of the eyes and a sincere thank you to the bank teller. There’s certainly a line here that you shouldn’t cross (please do not take this suggestion as an invitation to sexually harass someone, take something too far, or lead someone on) but I think our world puts too much of a damper on flirting. Flirting is a compliment. It’s a recognition of the other person’s attractiveness – either physical, emotional, or intellectual. I say, let us not temper our feminine charms just because we’ve been told to. Flirting, when done properly, is not slutty or sleazy. Flirting is infectious, it’s magnetic and it’s down right fun.

3) Try something naughty

I love wearing color and pretty things underneath it all, but my choices in lingerie tend to be pretty PG rated. Once, I went off my beaten path and tried {gasp!} crotchless undies. Even though I may not make them my everyday underwear, it was so exhilarating to try something new and a little bit naughty! No one is saying you have to go all Fifty Shades of Gray, but no one is stopping you either. Give yourself permission to try. I’m trying new things all the time now :)

4) Watch a movie

With all the hubbub surrounding the Fifty Shades of Gray movie, there’s a new spotlight on erotic literature and films. I haven’t actually read the aforementioned book and may or may not see the movie. There are SO many options out there. Remember to follow step number 1 and define your own sexy when it comes to movies, too. Maybe that means popping in an old femme fatale movie or a raunchy rom-com. Perhaps it means something more adult or … even making your own. With or without a partner, movie night is always a good idea.

5) Book a shoot

There is something SO glamorous about doing a photo shoot. And while the actual work (yes, it’s really work) is not 100% glamorous, the experience and the end result sure can be. I worked with Around Digital Media on the photos in this post, and I had my hair and make up done (by Katie Bickert and Mollie Parks) and I felt soooooo sassy! It was risky for me to take these. Even though someone else may show it all, just showing off my bra (yes, even though I’ve seen thousands of naked women and have zero problem talking about nipples and touching another woman’s breasts) is kind of a big deal. I am not a traditional model. And I certainly am not flawless. But the power of posing in front of a camera can not be denied.

The idea of boudoir photography is very popular right now. There’s couples boudoir, bridal boudoir,  maternity boudoir, retro boudoir. . . you name it, you can find a photographer who does it. I love it! It’s a way for the non-model woman to embrace her inner vixen and look her very best in front of the lens. It’s empowering. It’s ownership of your body. It’s celebratory. It’s sexy. It’s a discovery. It can be for you alone or for you to share. (PS: This very topic came up at the most recent Pepper Brunch with Jessie Artigue and her guest, photographer Tutti Del Monte. Book a session with her. Now. She’s amazing and her whole philosophy and reason for doing boudoir is so on point). What will you wear to your shoot?hurray for valentine's day hurray kimmay

Society may tell us that being a vixen is a bad thing. That being a strong woman who knows what she wants and acts on it is wrong. I say hurray for being a vixen. Being smart, stylish, empowered and sexy is a good thing. And that includes respecting others and giving with all of your heart. Who says that these things are mutually exclusive?

Stepping outside of your comfort zone has its rewards. Are you ready to be a vixen this Valentine’s (or any other) Day?

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{Video} Meet Crystal Cave & “Not So Skinny Style School”

You may know that I strive to provide content that helps women (and people in general) say hurray on the inside, outside and underneath it all. For me, bras and undergarments are an amazing tool to do just that. But there are other elements that are part of the story. When it comes to the outside, great style and dressing for who YOU are is a big part of that.

Crystal Cave Not so Skinny Style School on Hurray Kimmay

That’s why I’m so so so so excited to introduce Crystal Cave or xocrystalcave.com. Crystal is a stylist who has worked in fashion marketing, on super bowl ads, for big movies, and even on Taylor Swift’s style team! As a true fashionista working in NY and LA, you may expect Crystal to be a size 2, or maybe a 4, possibly a 6, but less likely an 8 or more, right? You’d be wrong. According to Crystal, style has no size. Her journey to loving her body and helping women sizes 10 and up dress with ease is so moving (I literally got goosebumps during our interview!), and her experience is what has prompted her to start the Not So Skinny Style School.

Since working with thousands of naked women in the bra fitting room since 2005, I have a lot of thoughts on body confidence. I’ve even written about my own struggle with it and why I don’t own a scale. And while I’ve received a lot of wonderful feedback, I have also gotten the side eye and the “what would you know about it?” from other women. Ouch. As a size 2 or 4, I am not immune to the issues many of us women face with body confidence and style. So I am so pleased that Crystal never made me feel like I wasn’t allowed to join the conversation, and instead welcomed my input as a woman and as a bra fitter. In fact, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be a guest contributor in Crystal’s Not so Skinny Style School, which starts in February!

Not so Skinny Style School on Hurray Kimmay

To learn more about her course, why she prefers “Not So Skinny” over “plus-size”, how undergarments play a role in style and confidence, and what led Crystal to embark on this journey, watch my interview with Crystal right here:

Personally, I’ve realized the power of harnessing my own unique essence into my style. In the past, I was working in what I call “serious” jobs, at fancy locations. Afraid that I wouldn’t be taken seriously if I let my true colors show, I wore serious clothing. Because of that, I not only stifled my true self, but I kept attracting more serious people and jobs, and that kept leading me down a more serious path of sadness. It wasn’t until I let my true self show from the inside out that things started really going my way. I’m no longer afraid to wear bright colors, funky glasses, and bold prints. It’s really my true colors showing!

In fact, I had the best compliment recently when I told an employee at a paper store that I wanted to show him my business card so he would get an idea for the style of my business, and he said there was no need. He explained that he could tell just by the way I was dressed. I looked down and noticed I was wearing gold polka dot Kate Spade Keds, jeans, a BOLD Diane Von Furstenberg coat, a bright pink scarf, my retro Warby Parker glasses, and a gray knit cat hat… and realized he was right. I was dressed just like my business, and just like me.

not so skinny style school hurray kimmay

Crystal and her team of experts are diving in to so much more than what to wear. I can’t wait to meet you all there in the bra fitting class, and encourage you to sign up now!

Do you struggle with finding your own style? Do you find the options in your size difficult to find? Want to work with a stylist, find a tribe, and get bonus material from a whole gang of experts (including yours truly – bra fitting secrets revealed!)? Don’t wait another minute. Not so Skinny Style School starts Feb. 16th with the jumpstart module going out on Feb. 4th!

xoxo Kimmay blog signaturePS: I’m a proud affiliate and guest contributor to Not So Skinny Style School! If you sign up with my link, I may get a small commission. I truly believe in Crystal’s expertise and fantastic program and wouldn’t share it here if I didn’t! Hurray!

 

{Video} Overview: The Bumbrella by Cici Soleil

Bumbrella featured on Hurray Kimmay Let’s admit it, ladies. We’ve all been there: you’re strutting your stuff in a beautiful dress or skirt, and you’re wearing a seamless thong or bikini to avoid those unsightly “visible panty lines”. Hurray for you! However, what looked great at home suddenly turns into a see-through setback when you hit the sunlight. Eeeek!What to wear under your sheer wedding gown on Hurray Kimmay (Kim and Trent at the Bronx Zoo){Photo by MGB Photo}

I had this conundrum in my very sheer wedding gown (shameless share of me on the best day of my life). I tried on several sleek shapewear items and literally walked down Third Ave in NYC testing out the sunlight while I asked people on the street, “Can you see the shape of my thighs through this dress?” The answer was yes. And while I love my shapely legs, I did not want them to be what my husband’s family and our friends were looking at as I walked down the aisle.

Instead, since I really did not need the shapewear, nor did I want to bother with something super tight and smothering on a very hot August day (it was so hot I felt like I was peeing down my leg while I was saying my vows. Truth. TMI?) I opted for a light blue Hanky Panky thong and a seamless Commando slip. Voila!

And while this worked for me and my long gown, there’s a new option in town: The Bumbrella by Cici Soleil. The what? I know, the name is silly (that’s why I like it) but the idea is genius. This 2-in-1 panty slip combines a sleek mini slip with an attached brief or thong. Tara Gallagher, a medical professional, created the Bumbrella after a mortifying experience involving a sheer black dress, a thong, and the sun… at a funeral… EEEEEEEK!  Talk about the last place you want an accidental overshare of your bum.

The Bumbrella by Cici Soleil is brand new, so I’m sharing the lowdown here with a video, some fun photos, and a special invitation to see it, meet its creator, and pre-order the Bumbrella in person in NYC with me! Here’s the scoop:

FIT

According to the size chart, I would fit into the XS or S for some measurements, and a S and M for others. I’m also taller than the average lady at 5’7”. {FYI my measurements are 26” waist and 37” hips and I usually wear a size 2 or 4.} Tara sent me the thong option in black in a size small, and the brief option in blue in a size medium to try. Surprisingly, they both fit. For maximum security and to avoid any slippage, I’d go with the small because the medium was on the loose side, but I was surprised at how well the medium ft, too.

Both sizes were comfortable, easy to wear, and lightweight. I would consider these slips to be between a low-rise and mid-rise fit. As a very high-waisted lady myself, I’d love to see additional rises in the future.  Even so, the elastic never dug in or caused muffin top where it stopped. Hurray!

The Bumbrella is available in sizes XS to XL in a thong or brief option.

Bumbrella on Hurray Kimmay

FUNCTION

The length of these slips is pretty awesome. I have slips already, but they tend to be a little long for some of my shorter dresses. That being said, if I were to wear a shorter slip, I’d also pair it with a brief underneath if it’s a full skirt (um, hello air bursts while going down the subway stairs or over the subway grates) or a thong in a tighter skirt, so having the attached option is really perfect. From my experience, this attachment helps the slip and underwear stay in place. No slipping slip!

As an opaque option for under sheer clothing, it works perfectly. And the sleek material is pretty seamless. While it’s edges are not as seamless as the aforementioned Commando slip, it’s a practically invisible option for under most clothing options. What I really love? That extra layer of discretion equals peace of mind.

Tara, a medical professional, makes a point to explain the health hazards of wearing tight shapewear on a regular basis. Because there’s no room to breathe down there, because they’re not always cleaned properly, and because of a lack of other options, women overuse or misuse shapewear and wind up with some funky situations down there. To avoid this ghastly problem, Tara says the Bumbrella “conceals without squeeze”, which is also good news for those ladies who want less “sucking in” and more “cover me”. Healthy and comfortable!

Bumbrella featured on Hurray Kimmay

STYLE

Currently available in black, a neutral, and blue, the Bumbrella is a sassy little number. I had so much fun styling this like a regular skirt. I felt 100% confident that I was covered underneath, especially in the brief option.

I’ve already remarked on the stylish, modern length, but it bears repeating: it’s pretty awesome! You can see in the video just how perfect this length is for underneath a simple a-line dress.

Bumbrella on Hurray Kimmay

VALUE

Priced at $48 retail, the Bumbrella is right on par for price if we compared it to a slip and panty purchase of comparable quality. The Bumbrella website suggests hanwashing with a gentle wash, which means you can easily help this little number last a long time. Considering the versatility of its length and basic design, the Bumbrella will not go out of style anytime soon and is a safe investment for almost any woman’s wardrobe.

Bumbrella overview Hurray Kimmay

Overall: A big HURRAY for the Bumbrella by Cici Soleil!

For more information and wholesale inquiries, visit wearbumbrella.com

UnderHaus flyer for Bumbrella

You’re Invited: Guess what! I’m so excited about the Bumbrella that I’ve teamed up with Tara to bring it to the Completely Bare Valentine’s Day Market and Pop Up Shop in NYC February 6-8th. This is your chance to make wholesale preorders (the shipment drops in March) and to make a retail preorder. Come see the Bumbrella in action, feel the smooth material, meet its creator (and me!), try one on for yourself, and be the first to add the Bumbrella to your undergarment solutions wardrobe.

{Bumbrella photo credits: Around Digital Media. Hair: Katie Bickert. Makeup: Mollie Parks Booth} PS: retouching is used to clear away blemishes or studio props (there’s actually a big black extension cord coming out from behind me and my black dress!) but NOT retouching my figure, my body, or my shape. Realistic standards and authenticity are super important to me.

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This is a sponsored post. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean I was paid to write a good review. Want to learn more? Read here

Strut Your Stuff {Revealing my Reel!}

Hurray for Lingerie with Kimmay

Oh heeeey!

I have to share something with you. I’m SO excited! Just last week I had the opportunity to film a VERY exciting project. I can’t share all of the details yet (grrr!) but let’s just say I will be in a national commercial for a big brand as a bra fitting expert. HURRRRRAY! Oh I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t yet. What I CAN show you is this reel of yours truly on the TV and interwebs fitting women and sharing my bra and boobie experience with the world.

This has been a long time coming. I’ve been meaning to gather my hosting and braducation clips into one “greatest hits” compilation, but I felt like I either “didn’t have enough” or “couldn’t get it right” or “who am I to make this? what do I really have to offer?” but necessity and turning 30 have a way of propelling me forward. Because I wasn’t able to go in for an interview for the commercial, I sent several links to many of my clips. Sensing that they liked the videos but needed an efficient way to show the client, I stayed up late and forced myself to just DO it and make this reel.

I’m really proud of the work that I’ve done and am doing in the bra fitting world. And as nervous as I was (and am!) to share something that is so “LOOK AT ME because I am good at what I do”, I’m going to own it. It doesn’t hurt that I have had such overwhelmingly positive feedback from the director and casting director of the commercial, and my friends, family and colleagues. Support (from a bra or otherwise) is so vital to success and happiness.

So without further adieu, here’s my bra fitting and hosting reel!

Take it from a fellow perfectionist who often falls prey to that pesky impostor syndrome: done is better than perfect. Just do it. You have value and what you’re doing matters. Take pride in your work and strut your stuff. Because the more you share what you do, the more chances you have of reaching someone who needs help with just exactly what you offer. Worked for me!

Do you have a similar experience? Share with me! I love to hear from you 😀

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