As I’ve mentioned in a few recent outfit posts, I spent part of this past week in New York City. I was lucky enough to be chosen as part of a group of a dozen lovely bloggers to take part in the Bali Intimate Apparel Style Summit. In attendance with me were the ladies behind Afrobella, Addicted 2 Etsy, The Budget Fashionista, The Curvy Fashionista, Fashion.Style.Beauty., Intimate Guide, Look Linger Love, Mom Trends, MsVaughn on YouTube, PriorFatGirl, Rainy Day Diva, She Takes on the World, and Style Mom. As you can tell from that amazing list of women, the Bali folks were looking for bloggers who had a personal, vested interest in empowering women through personal style and a desire to improve the self-image of their readers. I was truly honored to be among such a stellar group of smart, driven, kind, and insightful women.
The conference itself was a mix of background on Bali and its products, general information about lingerie fitting and uses, and discussions of how feeling great about yourself is absolutely key to looking amazing and vice versa. I found myself nodding my head vigorously and often as I listened to the Bali team and their guests speaking and explaining.
We also got a chance to see some of the latest styles on live models. Bali is well aware of its reputation for being, “Your grandmother’s bra company,” and although they’re proud of their heritage and have no intention of eliminating the classic styles that have made them iconic and steadfast, they’re also working to incorporate some more contemporary fits, styles, colors, and prints among their bras, panties, and shapewear.
Later in the afternoon we met with celebrity stylist Jen Rade – who has worked with the likes of Cher, Pink, Angelina Jolie, and Tina Turner. She was AMAZING, people. A budget-conscious, body-positive, whip-smart woman who said, “If you don’t feel better about yourself as a person after you’ve spent an hour working with me, I haven’t done my job.” She preached the word about weight and size having no relationship to worth or beauty, encouraged us all to dress in ways that made us feel amazing, and just generally made me want to French kiss her.
Then, since the generous Bali folks were taking us all to see Anything Goes on Broadway that evening, we saw a makeup demo from artist Moani Lee, who showed us three looks from casual weekend, to day, to amped-up evening. (The lovely Kristin got the star treatment for this, see below.)
A few fun, miscellaneous things I learned:
- The average American woman purchases bras 4 times per year.
- Bra fittings can and should be done with your bra ON.
- If you gap in the top corners of your bra, you can try a minimizer to redistribute. Or opt for balconettes or demi cups.
- To put your bra on properly, bend over, place the straps over your shoulders, the wires against your chest, shimmy into the cups, THEN stand and fasten the back strap.
- 85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.
- Bali products are sold on Amazon and Bare Necessites as well as Macy’s, Sears, Kohl’s and most mid-market department stores.
- It’s pronounced “bally,” not “bah-lee.” (Oops.)
The sheer number of products that we were shown was quite overwhelming, so I’m not going to delve too deeply into styles and items. Especially since many of the bras and other pieces we saw won’t be available for several seasons. What I will tell you is this: Not all but some Bali bra styles range from 32B to 48DDD, the company is pioneering bra and shapewear materials that are sturdy but breatheable, they’re incredibly passionate about proper fit and have a helpful section on their website with answers to common questions, and they truly, truly believe that the best way to look amazing in your clothes is to FEEL amazing in your foundations.
I was not paid nor even asked to blog about my experience at the summit, and I can tell you honestly that I am DELIGHTED to do so of my own accord. And not because I was flattered to be included, or seductively wined and dined. Because witnessing the passion with which the Bali reps talked – not only about their meticulous research into women’s needs and wants, bodies and emotions, but also about their desire to help women look and feel beautiful every single day of their lives – was encouraging and uplifting. Bali has given $200k to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation over the past three years, and their parent company, Hanes, has been an Energy Star partner since 2007. So in addition to making quality products for a relatively wide variety of bodies and needs, the company gives back and does its best to be environmentally responsible.
These folks were smart and savvy, but also attentive and open. They knew a ton about their products and market, but were hungry for suggestions and new ideas. Are you familiar with Bali‘s products? Which ones do YOU wear? What suggestions would you make for improving, changing, or enhancing their garments? I’ll be passing along your feedback, so let’s hear it!
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