Archive for December, 2010

Sales shopping

If you have any money left after Christmas then you might have decided to hit the sales and make the most of the reduced prices. However there are certain ways to ensure you get the things you actually want and avoid coming home with bags full of things that you’ll probably never wear but bought because they were massively reduced!

1-     Don’t buy anything that has been damaged; we’re talking broken zips, fabric tears and suspicious marks that may or may not come out. You might have the intentions of repairing the damage or trying to get the mark out but unless you’re Kirstie Allsopp then it’ll probably end up in the back of your wardrobe, unworn.

2-     Try to stick to classic pieces that will stand the test of time as opposed to buying lots of fashion forward pieces that by the time you get round to wearing them their fashion moment will have been and gone.

3-     Be prepared. Sales shopping shouldn’t be considered a leisure activity; when the prices are slashed it’s a case of every woman for herself! So expect queues for changing rooms, elbows barging through the store and potential scuffles for the must haves.

4-     Avoid the crowds and shop online. If you just can’t stand all the argy-bargy then do your sale shopping online. Shopping from the comfort of your own home is easy. The only downside however is not being able to try things on. Here at Bravissimo we let you search by size for lingerie and clothing, making it quicker and easier to find what you’re looking for! Another major benefit of online shopping, no rooting through rails and rails of clothes only to find they don’t have your size!

5-     Finally, think about what you could buy to see you through to spring. A couple of basic pieces can make your current wardrobe more wearable so transitional pieces are a must when sales shopping!

Top ten sales must-haves;

1)     a great fitting pair of jeans

2)     a good pair of boots

3)     a classic white shirt

4)     anything cashmere

5)     fabulous lingerie

6)     a good winter coat, we still have Jan and Feb to get through yet!

7)     shoes; that pair you’ve had your eye on for months, now half price?! Well, it’d be rude not to!

8)     basics, tee-shirts, long sleeve tops etc are always worth getting in the sale

9)     children’s clothes, well they will grow so fast so make the most of the small price tags

10)Christmas presents, if you can face it, there are bargains to be had

Did you know that shopping is a great form of cardio? So there’s even more reason to brave the sales! Get up to 50% off at Bravissimo, online and instore.


Post Christmas health kick

Over indulged this Christmas? Then you’re probably one of many starting a New Year health kick. You might want to loose weight, get fit or both however drastic changes to diet and exercise might work short term but if you’re serious about loosing weight and keeping it off you should really think about your long term goals. Plus taking on too much at once could result in a quick defeat therefore it’s often better to set yourself small goals to boost your morale whilst on the road to a healthier you. If exercise is your main aim try a few different sports and classes, you don’t have to go to the gym if you don’t enjoy it. There are plenty of other sports, classes and clubs you could get involved with without being in a gym environment. If you’re forcing yourself to do an activity you don’t really enjoy then you’re more likely to give up so take the time to try a few different things and see what appeals to you. Get a friend to go with you for moral support/friendly competition or be brave and try something yourself, plus sports clubs and classes are a great way to meet new people. A new hobby and new friends, now there’s a resolution we think we could stick to!

Often the biggest factor acting against us when it comes to regular exercise is time. We often feel like we just don’t have the time to exercise, so we have to get creative;

  • Walk instead of taking the car, a short walk to the shop will burn calories and get our heart rate going. Make it a brisk walk on the way there and a slower pace on the way back as you won’t want to loose your shopping to over enthusiastic arm pumping. Plus the extra weight of the shopping will work out your arm muscles too!
  • Get up half an hour earlier. During those extra few minutes in the morning you could go for a brisk walk, jog or cycle and the extra adrenaline will keep you going all day. It seems like a contradiction that if you expend energy you will have more but it is true, try it for a week and see for yourself.
  • Make the most of your children’s game consoles and invest in some exercise games; from yoga to dance and you can do it in the privacy of your own home!
  • Get the right equipment to protect your equipment. If you do want to take up a new sport then make sure you properly protect your assets with a good fitting sports bra. Boobs, especially of the larger variety, can be put under a lot of stress and strain when participating in sports so avoid unnecessary injury and get a sports bra. We also feel more serious about the sport we’re doing when we’re wearing the right gear. Be it a sports bra, swimsuit, gym gear or something more specialised, it gives us an extra confidence boost and motivation to try that little bit harder.

Bravo to the perfect bra fitting…

Alana Bra

Alana Bra

Hello all

We thought we’d share with you this fab blog from girl in the city in glasgow!

And if you’re interested in the Alana bra she bought after having her fitting, click here

Pre-Christmas pamper

Bravissimo Nightwear

Bravissimo Nightwear

Christmas is a time for spending with the family, taking time off work and enjoying good food and good company. But Christmas can also be a very stressful time of year as people frantically rush round the shops trying to find the perfect present for their loved ones. So it makes sense to us to have a pamper day just before the 25th so that we can look and feel our best on the big day. We’re talking face masks, long soaks in hot baths, doing our hair, nails and probably a drop of red to help us to unwind. If you’re anything like us, you also probably have a stash of bubble bath and pampering tools from last Christmas, so they might as well be used to make room for the next lot! We’ll use any excuse for a night of ‘us’ time but we think that after all that shopping (and half of it not even for ourselves) we’ll be in need of some rest and relaxation.

Optimum pampering time is 2-3 hours including;

  • a long soak in the bath, glass of red wine optional
  • candles
  • face mask
  • hair mask
  • exfoliation
  • hair removal
  • cutting and shaping of nails, fingers and toes
  • painting nails, fingers and toes
  • intensive moisturising
  • cosying up in gorgeous nightwear
  • followed by un-intensive post-pampering activities such as reading a book or watching a film

And if you just don’t have the time to pre-pamper then make sure you have the time for some post-Christmas pampering, ideally before the New Year then you can be looking your best for New Year’s Eve.

Food, Glorious Food

Mince pies, chocolate, crisps, dips and biscuits; there is temptation all around us at Christmas and with such big tins of chocs and treats it can be tricky to keep an eye on how much we’re having! Before you know it a whole tin of chocolate biscuits have gone. So to avoid over indulging this Christmas why not try some of these tips so you can enjoy yourself without the guilt trip. You could put healthy snacks out alongside the unhealthy ones, for example a bowl of dried fruit and nuts and try to have something healthy for every naughty thing you have. Satsumas, tangerines and clementines are sweet and juicy this time of year so make the most of these sweet but healthy fruits. Swap the Baileys for Tia Maria; simple swaps like this can save big on calories and fat. Also try swapping the bread sticks and dips for carrot and cucumber sticks with low fat dips, swap a handful of chocolates for a handful of nuts and raisins and crisps for rice cakes, you get the idea. And why not swap mince pies with… well, we can’t think of anything to replace mince pies with. It is Christmas after all so we’ll let you off with the odd mince pie seeing as though they’re only usually eaten at this time of year! And just remember the more you keep an eye on what you eat over the festive season, the less hard you will have to work out in January because before you know it bikini season will be upon us once again and that’s a scary thought even before we’ve had our Christmas dinner!

Pencil, full or a-line?

Pencil Skirt at Bravissimo

Pencil Skirt at Bravissimo

We love dresses here at Bravissimo, they’re simple, easy and once you’ve found a good fit you don’t need to worry about matching tops or co-ordinating your outfit. But sometimes the extra versatility of a skirt wins over simplicity. Skirts, in particular 1950s style skirts, were seen on autumn/winter 2010 catwalks across the world. Pencil, full and A-line skirts all fit the ladylike theme of the season and we must say they’ve drawn our attention back to this particular garment as we raid our wardrobes to dig out our favourite pencil skirt and think about how we can update the look for the season. Pencil skirts are sexy without being too revealing, the epitome of elegance with just the right amount of sass. Plus, they flatter a curvy silhouette and being a modest length the look remains classy and stylish. Our classic Pencil Skirt comes in grey with piping detailing around the waist to create a flattering effect. This skirt will look just as good with a classic shirt tucked in as it will dressed up with a sheer chiffon top or even a basque. A gorgeous wardrobe staple, whatever you wear with it and an easy office to work party outfit with a swift change of top! Our sequinned skirt makes a great alternative to a party dress this season and has plenty of sparkle in shimmering midnight blue. Or try our Ribbon Appliqué Skirt which has an ultra flattering waist band, sexy a-line shape and beautiful lace detailing which is bang on trend for the party season. If you want a casual skirt however, you can’t go wrong with denim. Denim has had a bit of a moment in the style stakes recently and a denim skirt is a classic piece that you’ll wear time and time again, but don’t think this item is restricted to summer. Simply layer your denim skirt with thick tights and boots for weather proof dressing.

It’s over

Even after all those Saturday nights we have spent indoors watching the X Factor, we can’t quite believe it’s over and we must admit we’re a little sad. No more drama, no more judges’ feuds and no more shock evictions, we think that this last season of the show was by far the most dramatic of them all. Matt and Rebecca stood out early on in the competition, Rebecca for her soulful voice and elegant demeanour, whereas Matt stood out also for his voice but provided a little extra in the way of eye candy. When it came to the crunch however, Matt scooped the most votes and became 2010’s X Factor winner. Rumour has it that Simon Cowell will try to get Matt to the States to boost his career like the music mogul did with Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke.

The performances seemed never ending at the weekend, Matt’s duet with Rhianna was almost obscene and we’re not quite sure how he kept it together, even Dermot O’Leary couldn’t resist a little bite of the fist action which pretty much summed up the duos steamy performance. So could we see more from the Rhiannon/Matt combo? And what can we expect from the contestants that didn’t make the final cut? We’re pretty certain that Rebecca Ferguson won’t have a problem securing a record deal. Cher Lloyd also seems to have made friends in high places performing with Will I Am on the final show and being Cheryl’s mini-me we’re sure we haven’t heard the last from the spunky teenager, who definitely can sing.  Mary Byrne has already signed a deal with Sony and there are probably belt ‘em ballads being recorded as we write. From Tesco’s to Sony, that’s quite a step up and we wish the nation’s favourite all the best in her well deserved break into the music business. We also think that we haven’t heard the last of Miss Waissel, she was unshakeable in the show and despite multiple occasions in the bottom two she managed to claw her way back into the show thanks to her (I pull it out of the bag when faced with eviction) performances. And then there’s Wagner, after his unbelievable success on the show we’re wondering whether the Brazilian born singer will pursue his music career in the UK. Maybe 2011 will be the year that the X Factor contestants take over the charts; we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the likes of Cher, Rebecca, Katie, Mary, Paije and Aiden. But it just leaves one question… what to do with our Saturday nights?

Red hot

Thrill Me Bra by Curvy Kate

Thrill Me Bra by Curvy Kate

Why not heat up your love life with some red hot lingerie? There’s nothing like fabulous underwear to put a spring in your step and turn up the heat in the bedroom. Red is a colour that has long been associated with passion and a red lingerie set is no exception. Check out these styles to get pulses racing.

The Thrill Me bra by Curvy Kate does exactly what it says on the box; it thrills with its sumptuously silky satin fabric and frill detail that would give the girls of the Moulin Rouge a run for their money! The balconette shape of this particular style with a little extra oomph from a touch of padding gives great cleavage to make the most of your assets. Plus, choose from a frilled thong or shorts with suspender attachments for extra va-va-voom! Then there’s our very own Scarlet bra which is as supportive as it is sexy. The sheer fabric and embroidery detailing give this bra a feminine feel but add the suspender belt and you’ll have a far more exciting set. This really is a fantastic set add it to your wish list now! If you’re after something a little different however, then there’s the Angie basque by Masquerade. This basque comes in a charming raspberry shade and makes a delightful change from a bra and briefs set. The body sculpting shape of this basque will also help to define your curves and streamline your silhouette for up-most confidence.

Not sure what to get him for Christmas? We think any of the above plus a night or two away at a plush hotel could be a Christmas present he’ll never forget!

Gifts for him this Christmas

Men can be very tricky to buy for at Christmas, whether it’s your other half, brother, Dad, friend, work colleague or other relative. So we’ve put our heads together and compiled a list of man friendly gifts for Christmas.

  • Watch
  • Leather belt
  • Scarf
  • Jacket
  • Wallet
  • Man bag
  • Dressing gown
  • DVDs
  • After shave
  • A bottle of their favourite tipple
  • Diary
  • Gig tickets
  • A tangerine (only if he’s been really bad!)
  • Coat
  • Money towards a post-Christmas get-away
  • CD
  • Gadgets, men love gadgets, whether for the garage, kitchen or just for fun, a gadget will usually push all the right buttons with a fella. What gadgets, we couldn’t tell you, we’re women! So you’ll have to do your research!

These are all fairly standard Christmas gifts for men, but from what we know about men, they’re quite simple creatures and as Christmas is a time for many of their favourite things; eating, drinking, sitting in front of the TV, receiving a gift on top of this is a bonus! Plus, we think that men get most of their underwear and socks over numerous Christmases, goodness knows the kind of underwear men would be wearing if they didn’t receive a couple of nice pairs of boxers at Christmas. So, although socks and underwear as gifts for men is a little cliché at least they’ll have a couple more pairs of nice pants to keep them going until next year! But if you don’t want to buy him underwear, why not buy yourself some? A gorgeous new lingerie set that you can both benefit from, now that’s our kind of present!

Oh Christmas tree

This Sunday, the 12th of December, is traditionally the day that most people will put their Christmas tree up. With just 12 days to go it might also be the point at which you realise how many gifts you still need to buy to put underneath said tree. But don’t panic if you’re ordering anything from our catalogue or online you have until the 19th of December for all UK orders. We also have a special service for orders placed before 2.30pm on Wednesday the 22nd December which will be delivered overnight. So whether you’re digging the tree out of the attic/loft/garage or heading out to buy a real one we hope you enjoy taking the time to decorate it. So do you go traditional or modern? Minimal or for full on tinseltastic? Are you a household that puts up a Vegas style display of Christmas lights or is subtlety key when it comes to celebrating this festive time of year?

The tradition of bringing a coniferous tree indoors at Christmastime has religious roots that have been somewhat blurred over the years, yet the tree remains one of the strongest symbols of the festive season. The placing of a star at the top of a tree symbolises the star of Bethlehem that led Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem or an angel that represents the angels of the nativity. Over the years, candles were replaced with fairy lights and decorations have become more elaborate but the tradition dates back many years and the decorating of a Christmas tree continues to be a key part of the festive season. The reason for taking down the Christmas tree and decorations by the 6th of January is still due to superstition and the fear of bad luck if they are left up. Although, we think that most people are probably Christmassed out by early January. Especially with the increasingly long and drawn out build up to the holiday season, so much so, that many people will take down the decorations and any reminisce of Christmas before this twelfth night.

So how ever you decide to decorate your tree and your home this Christmas, why not get in the mood with Christmas songs, warm mince pies and a drop of mulled wine. And we mean ‘drop’ as too much mulled wine and you could find yourself with some wonky looking decorations!