Disclaimer: The items pictured here were gifted to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade, because I often prefer vintage designs to what I see on the racks in most stores today. Dresses with full skirts, kitschy prints and 50's style garter skirts fill me with glee, so when I find beautiful contemporary lingerie that is designed with a vintage feel in mind, I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. It's no surprise that I fell in love with Gossard's Retrolutionrange immediately.
In the Retrolution collection, Gossard offers an array of bras, panties, garters and slips. My favorite item was the Retrolution slip in the blush colorway and I searched high and low but could not find it anywhere in my size. When I contacted Gossard about my plight and mentioned I'd like to write about it on the blog, they kindly offered to send me the slip and matching thong to review. The slip starts at a 32 band and runs from 32B-36DDD, but I've consistently heard that a Gossard 30 fits like a 28, so I figured it was close enough to try and went for a 32DD, a sister size to my usual 28F.
When the slip arrived, I almost jumped with joy when I took it out of the packaging. The color was gorgeous, the fabric was smooth and the lace detailing was breathtaking. Unfortunately it didn't fit me the way I had hoped. The cups fit well and the band felt decent fastened on middle hook, but the bodice was simply too wide and the slip too long for my frame. The removable garter clips hung much lower than I could ever wear my stockings, making them virtually unusable. Although it broke my heart, I wasn't really shocked, because most lingerie is designed with an average height woman in mind. At my height, I shop for petite-sized clothing and alter many of my garments.
The matching thong, in size XS, was also much too large, with at least 3 extra inches of room on my 33" hips.
After a few minutes of disappointment, I decided it was just too lovely to sit in my drawer or be given away to a friend, so I thought "I'm going to make it fit, damnit!" So I did something a bit unorthodox - I took the slip to my tailor. After several weeks of waiting patiently, I finally got to try on my newly altered lingerie.
My tailor took in the bodice on both sides, brought up the length, and removed some fabric from the band. It now fits me like a glove and smooths my body just like gentle shapewear should. However, I'm not entirely pleased with the tailoring work itself. The slip is a bit shorter than I had hoped, not covering my bum fully. Some of the edges are sloppy and I noticed asymmetry in the inside stitching on both sides. These flaws aren't visible from the outside, but it still really irks me because this slip very well made before I had it altered/ This tailor is well regarded in my area and he did a fantastic job on my wool peacoat, but in the future, I will definitely do my research to find a better tailor for delicates.
As far as the panties go, I decided to take matters into my own hands since the job was easy and frankly, I felt shy bringing in a thong for an elderly man to tailor...
I've included step-by-step instructions, if anyone is interested. (Note: I am a total novice at sewing, please don't judge me...)
First, I snipped the thong on both sides along the seams - the stitches were very strong, so seam-ripping was almost impossible.
Of course I poked myself with the seam-ripper and bled everywhere..
Next, I snipped off about an inch and a half on each side and carefully matched up the edges.
Then, I loosely hand-sewed both ends together with about 1/3" of overlap and a contrasting thread. For such a small garment, I found this much easier than pinning while using the sewing machine.
Lastly, I ran the thong through my machine with a simple zig-zag stitch. Since I don't have a serger, I did this stitch on the inside too so the piece underneath the overlap would lie flat and wouldn't irritate my skin.
The finished product!
I'm pretty happy with how my little sewing project came out!
As far as lingerie alterations go, I stand by my opinion that some lingerie is just too pretty to pass up if it's not in your exact size (but close enough). I've done my fair share of sister-sizing in bras and taking in the bands and don't see anything wrong with this as long as wire width or projection don't become a problem when sizing up. However, please learn from my mistakes and do yourself a favor - find a tailor that has worked with lingerie before!
What's your favorite piece from Gossard? Would you ever alter your lingerie?
P.S. I also tried the Retrolution longline bra & waist cincher panties in black and will do a mini review soon!