Hurray for Independence Day!

Hurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital Media

Hurray! It’s Independence Day weekend and I’m sooo excited. Here’s why:

  1. Our country has gone through some big ups and big downs recently. We are growing, learning, and making some major progress. No matter what your political beliefs are, I hope you can say Hurray for the USA. I sure can!
  2. The #HurrayRoadTrip giveaway has officially ended and I’ve randomly selected a winner. Hurray! She’s been notified via email and Instagram. Is it you?
  3. I’ve got some fun photos from the road trip to share – including me riding bareback on a horse. YEP. Take a looksie and enjoy your holiday weekend!

Photos by Becky Yee of Around Digital Media. As always, no photo shopping of my body or face. I use a retro tint and that’s it. So you may see some bulges, stretch marks, or “imperfections” here and there. Guess what: that’s me! No perpetuating the falsehood of “the perfect body” on this website. xo

When you think of America, what do you think of? Personally, I think of America as a delicious melting pot of cultures, freedom, and democratic possibility. I look around my Queens neighborhood and see all of the different skin tones, religions, and cultural views… and the freedom to be who you want to be. That’s America to me.

The word “Americana” has me thinking of country roads, denim, American flags, 1950’s patriotism, and good ole red, white, and blue. Here’s my salute!Hurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay on a horse, Lady, wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital MediaMeet Lady. She is a gorgeous horse, isn’t she? She belongs to my sister-in-law, Christina, who was a big help on this photo shoot. She also adores Lady, who she rides in barrel race competitions. I was so excited to take a few fun photos with Lady, and had zero intention of hopping up on her or going for a ride. So what went from “I’ll just walk with her” then turned into “why don’t you get up on her bareback and take the reigns?” Not gonna lie – I was scared! Horses are big, powerful, and tall animals. And this city girl has only been up on one a few times. Maybe someday I’ll share the outtakes from this shoot – there are quite a few of me looking terrified and laughing hysterically while Lady patiently waits for me to get my sh*t together. I think she and I were a good team in the end, don’t you?

Hurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay riding Lady, and wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital Media

This adorable Panache Britt Bandeau bathing suit top is so supportive and comfortable. With underwire support, molded cups, and removable straps, I actually felt like my bust was secure enough to go for a gallop…. if only I were not so scared 😉 I paired this top with some cowgirl boots that I bought maybe 10 years ago from Nine West (yes, to wear around New York City) and a simple pair of jean shorts from Target.

Side note: If you need help finding a bra or swimsuit that fits, I’m your girl. But boy is it hard to find jean shorts that are not super short,  too tight, or unstylish. I am not looking for bulky, unattractive shorts. I am also not looking for shorts that require a bikini wax. Having a high waist and long legs may make this task more personally difficult for myself, but I am willing to bet there are other women out there with the same issue. Am I right? Where do you shop for your shorts? What cuts or lengths make you say hurray? Help a sista out!

I added in one of my favorite necklaces from J.Crew and a bandana from my mom’s picnic basket to complete the look. Hurray!Horse Hurray Kimmay 3Hurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital MediaHurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital Media

If yee-haws and country roads aren’t your thing, try a retro beach party look! I adore the 1950s and 60’s styles. Also from the Panache Britt group, this halter and high waist bottom are stylish and supportive. See more photos PLUS tips on two piece swimsuit confidence in this Road Trip Tips postHurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital Media Hurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital MediaHurray for Independence Day - Hurray Kimmay wearing Panache. Photos by Around Digital MediaHave fun this summer, embrace your body, and say HURRAY!

PS: Are you on Instagram? Join me! @HurrayKimmay

xoxo kimmay

Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders

Road Trip Tips Part 2 One Piece Wonders Hurray KimmayHurray! Did you enjoy the first part of my Road Trip Tips series? I got such wonderful responses on Facebook and Instagram. Both for the actual tips, and for my thoughts on body love and positivity. It means so much to me to hear that you not only appreciate my honesty, but also encourage me to continue my work to help women say hurray on the inside, outside, and underneath it all. Thank you!

So, are you ready for more? Here’s Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders!

Last post, I encouraged you to wear whatever kind of bathing suit style makes you say hurray. If it’s a two piece, I shared my tips for wearing a style that fits well, supports your bust, and gives you the coverage that you crave. This time, one piece swimsuits get the spotlight. I’m coming at you from Disney World’s Animal Kingdom!

I used to think that one piece swimsuits were matronly, ugly, and a sure sign that you have either given up on looking good or have zero confidence or body love. That was a long time ago. I’ve since realized that one piece swimsuits can be ultra stylish. I’ve also learned that you don’t need to prove your confidence by wearing less – and that goes for clothing and for swimsuits. And most importantly, I’ve found out that wearing something that fits well and feels great is the best way to say hurray.

Tip #1: Wear a slimming suit that suits your style

I am going to be completely honest here. . . I thought that “slimming” swimsuits were a joke. Why would you want to wear shapewear on the beach!? I thought they’d be too hot (temperature wise, not sassy wise), uncomfortable, and way too frumpy. I admit it: I was wrong. The Magicsuit by Miraclesuit line is so chic and comfortable. There are so many elegant one piece swimsuits that fit my personal retro style flair, and I know you can find some that fit your style, too. I especially love the Pin Point Spellbound Halter Swimsuit for it’s cute polka dots, built-in underwire support, adjustable tie, flattering ruching, and secret shaping material.

Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media.Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media. Road Trip dino land 3Confidence comes from lots of things. Sometimes it’s not taking yourself so seriously, and just letting go! Other times, it comes from knowing you are wearnig a swimsuit that fits well and looks fantastic. Sidenote: while we were shooting these beach photos, an older gentleman sat in his motorized scooter nearby. Typically, I’m not a fan of unwanted, creepy male attention, but this man was just the sweetest. He said, dreamily, “You look like a movie star!” And you know what: I felt like one! I am NOT a swimsuit model, and I don’t get paid thousands of dollars to look good. But wearing this swimsuit gave me so much confidence, and it certainly showed!Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media.Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media.

Tip #2: Easily go from on the town to the beach with a skirt

I don’t know about you, but I hate changing into and out of swimsuits, carrying heavy beach bags full of clothes, and worrying if there is going to be one of those dirty beach or pool changing rooms. It’s such a pain! That’s why I love to wear my swimsuit as a stylish bodysuit or top. It’s so easy to pair a simple skirt over a sleek swimsuit for an elegant look. If you kick your swimsuit style up a notch you can go back and forth between the theme park (like I did in this video and these photos at Disney’s Animal Kingdom) to the pool, then to dinner, and then out to the beach – all with a simple skirt.

Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media. Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media. Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media.Here, I wore this GORGEOUS Magicsuit by Miraclesuit Yvonne Wire-Free Halter Swimsuit with a full skirt that I picked up at Forever 21. I wear this skirt all the time! The classic style matches the Marilyn Monroe glam of the swimsuit, and the full skirt shape left room in the hips for the bathing suit’s ruching. This swimsuit is such a stunner, with or without the skirt. Though there’s no underwire in this style, there is some bust shaping material, an adjustable halter tie, secret slimming around the torso, and super flattering ruching. So sexy, without showing off so much skin. Hurray!
Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media. Road Trip Tips Part 2: One Piece Wonders. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media. Shop more stylish and supportive swimsuits at Bare Necessities, your online shopping destination for bathing suits that make you say Hurray!
And don’t forget – you’ve got until June 30th to enter the #HurrayRoadTrip giveaway! You could win a $150 gift card to Bare Necessities to pick out your very own swimsuit. Get all of the details on how to enter here.

These gorgeous photos were taken by my #HurrayRoadTrip partner in crime, Becky Yee of Around Digital Media. Hair by Danielle Nycole. As always, I do NOT photoshop my face or body in the images on my site. Here’s why.

So tell me. What are your road trip tips? What do you think about wearing a one piece swimsuit? How would you style these suits?

xoxo kimmay

Road Trip Tips Part 1: Two Piece Confidence

Road Trip Tips Part 1 Two Piece Confidence Hurray Kimmay
Hurray for summer vacation! I am SO thrilled to share my #HurrayRoadTrip photos and tips. Have you been following along on Instagram? Whatcha waiting for?!

You may know that I have been a bra fitter for 10+ years, but did you know I’ve helped thousands of women find their bathing suit confidence, too? That’s right! And truthfully, bathing suits were more of a challenge for most women. Here’s why: Bathing suits are worn out in public for everyone to see. There’s no hiding under clothing. It’s the closest most people come to wearing their underwear in public. And the stakes are high! You want to look good, you wan to feel confident, you want it to stay in place, you want it to cover just enough, you want it to reflect your personal style. . . I totally get it. 

Although I’ve been seen in some major places in my bathing suit recently, I am not a swimwear model. And posing in a swimsuit was totally out of my comfort zone until recently. I was that girl who never wore shorts because I was embarrassed of my stretch marks and pale skin. I hid my stomach and cellulite thighs. I let the other girls be pretty and never owned my own beauty. I shuddered at wearing a bikini and did it anyway because I thought I had to.

Want to know how to feel your best on the beach? It starts with loving yourself and your body, first, not scolding it, trying to change it, or fighting with it. Love, nourish, and respect it. It’s a journey to self love that goes far deeper than skin deep. Adorn your beach body (aka your body as it is today) with a supportive, stylish swimsuit, and start the journey today. Go with what fits and feels best. Want to wear a two piece? Do it. Love the way a one piece looks and feels? Own it. Prefer more coverage on the bottom and supportive underwires up top? Join the club 😉

So you want to try a two piece? Here are a few of my favorite two piece bathing suit tips. These are aimed to help you say hurray in a bathing suit, but they’re not a one tip fits all guide. Ask yourself what makes YOU say hurray, and go with that.

TIP #1: Wear an Underwire, Bra-Sized Top

This is one of my most favorite ways to say hurray in a bathing suit. I’m very used to wearing a supportive, well fitting, makes-me-feel-like-a-million-bucks bra everyday when I am wearing clothes. Why would I want to skip that feeling when I’m not wearing clothing?! If a triangle top or stretchy style supports your bust, go for it. But for extra support, skip the small/medium/large style tops and go with one in your bra size. It will fit soooo well and you will feel sooooo good. It’s a total game changer!

Road Trip Tips Part 1: Two Piece Confidence. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media. Kimmay is wearing Panache, available at Bare Necessities.

Above I’m wearing the Panache Brit halter top and high waisted bottom. Shop more cup sized swimwear from Bare Necessities here. I happen to love retro styles, but there are so many to choose from (and a vast size range!) so pick the style that makes YOU say hurray.

Find your two piece bathing suit confidence with Hurray Kimmay

And above I’m wearing a strapless bandeau version. This style also has underwires, but unlike the stretchy seamed cups of the halter top, it’s designed with molded cups. It also comes with a removable halter strap, which I confidently removed. I pranced around without this top slipping down thanks to a great fit!

Sizing note: I’m wearing a 32DD top which fits perfectly! For your reference, I typically wear a 32D or 30DD bra because I measure about 29″ under my bust, and 34.5″ around my bust. That means I went up 1 cup size for this swimsuit than what I normally wear. Fits like a dream!

Tip #2: Go For More Coverage

OK, be honest. When we started talking two-piece, did you think string bikini?  It doesn’t have to be! I don’t mind showing off some skin and I am on a very loving journey with my body, but truthfully, I don’t feel my very best in a teeny bikini. I don’t want to worry about it riding up, the sides digging in, or the back showing off more of my bum than I want to share with that random old man and his iPhone camera over there. Being confident in your own body doesn’t have to equal show-it-all-off-to-everyone. So take a minute to ask yourself: “what kind of coverage makes me say hurray?”

Road Trip Tips Part 1: Two Piece Confidence. Hurray Kimmay. Photo by Around Digital Media. Kimmay is wearing Panache, available at Bare Necessities.

Personally, I love bottoms that aren’t too skimpy, are slightly wider on the side, are super comfortable, and extra stylish. In fact, I love high waisted, retro styles like this pretty little high waisted bottom from Panache here. They’re not for everyone, but I sure love them. In fact, I had some “I don’t like those on you” views from the peanut gallery when doing this photo shoot. Because I felt so dang good in these bottoms, and knew they matched my own style, I could stand in that truth and brush off that comment. Had I been wearing something I didn’t actually like, or that wasn’t actually in alignment with who I was or how I felt, that would have really stung.

Retro high waist bikini from Panache as worn by Kimmay. Photo by Arond Digital Media. Hurray Kimmay.

Coverage note: There are also a lot of skirted two piece bottoms now that are SO cute. I mean, when you think skirted bottoms you may think old lady swimsuit, right? But the new kind of skirted bathing suit bottoms are young, stylish, and oh-so-comfortable to wear. And, you can add a little extra coverage up top with a long line bikini top or a tankini top. Choose the kind of coverage that you love.

Body love note: It would be easy with all of the body positivity jargon out there for me to tell you to just not give a crap about what anybody thinks and wear a skimpy bottom to prove that you love your body. The truth is, loving your body is a journey. How comfortable you are with displaying it on the beach is not always perfectly equal to the love and respect you have for it. As I’ve mentioned before, go with what YOU feel best in. Be brave, and be loving. Be who you are and true to your own self, not to what’s trending on twitter. Just a love note for you, girl. Because I get it.

You can shop for all of the above mentioned styles at Bare Necessities. They have SUCH a wonderful selection of bathing suits, I’m positive you’ll find something that will make you say hurray. Have a question? Leave me a comment!

Enter the #HurrayRoadTrip giveaway at www.hurraykimmay.com

Want a swimsuit on me? Enter my giveaway! To date, there are almost 500 entries for the #HurrayRoadTrip giveaway. Don’t miss your chances to win a $150 Gift Certificate to Bare Necessities so you can stock up on your favorite swimwear, intimates, and sleepwear.

Here’s to saying hurray! Stay tuned for more tips and follow me @HurrayKimmay!

xoxo kimmay

PS: All photos are by Becky Yee of Around Digital Media, who you’ll see in lots of the behind the scenes #HurrayRoadTrip photos!

PPS: I never photo shop my body or face. It’s really important to me to be authentic and tell it like it is, and that includes showing my body as it is. I may use a filter or zap a zit, or even whiten my teeth a little (I love coffee), but I’ll never shave off pounds here or add curves there. xo

Hurray for a Giveaway!

Enter the #HurrayRoadTrip Giveaway on Hurray Kimmay! photo of Kimmay Caldwell by Around Digital Media. Kimmay is wearing a Cleo by Panache swimsuit.Get excited. I mean, really excited. The #HurrayRoadTrip giveaway is here! HURRRRRAY!

Summer is here and it’s road trip season. Whether you’re traveling by bus, train, plane, or car I’m here to help you have a #HurrayRoadTrip. To do so, I’ve teamed up with Bare Necessities, THE destination for online bra, sleepwear, and swimwear shopping. We’re giving away a $150 gift certificate so you can stock up on all the goodies you’ll need for the perfect getaway.

Follow along on Instagram @hurraykimmay or by searching #HurrayRoadTrip to see my travels from NYC to Florida and back. So far, I’ve flown to Florida, learned a lot at an entrepreneur’s conference, went backstage at Disney World, rented a car and drove across state, blew bubbles with my nieces and nephews, and walked the shores of a pristine beach with turquoise waters… and I’m just getting started. You’ll see lots of posts on Instagram and HurrayKimmay.com with travel tips (like how to wash your delicates on the go), bathing suit shopping advice (like how to wear a one OR two piece with confidence), behind the scenes action, and lots of ways to say HURRAY.

Hurray Kimmay on Instagram

I’ve had a blast trying a few favorite bathing suits from Bare Necessities, like the Cleo By Panache Betty set above. Oh, how cute is that yellow polka dot bikini!? Even better: it has built-in bra sized support with underwires, molded cups, and a removable halter strap. More on that later, though. This is just a taste. I’ll be sharing loads of swimsuit style advice all through June. Stay tuned, lovelies.

PS: Photo above by Around Digital Media‘s Becky Yee, my #HurrayRoadTrip partner in crime! <34214355-1All June long, you can enter to win that $150 Bare Necessities gift card by doing 1 or all of the following:

  1. Follow @HurrayKimmay (that’s me!) AND @BareNecessities on Instagram {worth 3 points, once}
  2. Share a photo on Instagram using hashtag #HurrayRoadTrip and tagging @HurrayKimmay AND @barenecessites in the caption. It can be of your favorite vacation memory, a destination you’ve always wanted to travel to, your best traveling companion, your favorite road trip music – get creative! {Worth 2 points each, up to 1 photo a day}
  3. Visit www.BareNecessities.com and check out their swimwear section. Then leave a comment on this blog post, telling me which bathing suit(s) you would want to bring on your own summer vacation or the styles you have questions about. {Worth 2 points, once} Bonus: I’ll answer your swimwear questions!
  4. Sign up for Hurray Kimmay email updates at http://bit.ly/HKNewsletterSignUp {worth 5 points, once}

Here’s where you enter {note: you must come here to this RaffleCopter box to make your entry actions official.} Enter now through June 30th, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hurray! The full rules and all that legal stuff can be found here.

Are you ready to say hurray for a summer vacation? Here we go! #HurrayRoadTripxoxo kimmay

 

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