21 Questions With: Lingerie Blogger Sweet Nothings

Sweet Nothings by Lydia Hudgens

Corporate Manhattanite by day, lingerie blogger by night, woman of mystery 24/7.


 

Since its 2012 inception Sweet Nothings has remained a leader in the lingerie blogging community thanks to its candid reviews, original photo editorials, emphasis on body positivity and of course – the occasional dessert recipe, from full bust bra expert and certified bra fitter “Sweets.” Ending up in the lingerie world couldn’t have come as more of a surprise to the self-described “non-model size” blogger however, who struggled with the lingerie industry growing up until a post-college bra fitting changed everything.

Now a corporate analyst by day-lingerie blogger by night, when not penning all things lingerie and full bust bras the Manhattanite can be found binge-watching Jessica Jones, Instagramming her beloved felines Ruby & Gus and baking up a few sweet somethings, naturally.

We caught up with Sweets on the full bust lingerie brands she can’t do without, navigating the corporate life-to-lingerie blogger dichotomy, her go-to-cocktail, and the top 3 things she wishes everyone knew about full bust lingerie.

[Related: read “Holiday Gift Guide: 40+ Lustworthy Picks From 8 Lingerie Experts” here]

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1. Did you have any idea growing up you’d end up in the lingerie industry?

Oh my gosh, no way, not at all. I wanted to be a ballerina first, and then when I realized that my body wasn’t remotely designed for that I wanted to be an actor. The lingerie industry was in many ways so, so different when I was growing up, and most of the people around me knew very little about bras and bra fitting. I’ve had a fuller bust since I was in my early teens, but I didn’t have my first good bra fitting until after I graduated from college. Being a part of the lingerie industry would never have crossed my mind.

2. When & how did the idea first spark to start your own lingerie blog?

It kind of came in pieces, but a lot of it had to do with that revelatory first bra fitting. I remember thinking “oh my god, why has no one ever explained this to me before? I’ve been so miserable, and I could have been so much happier!” I’d always felt shut out of the lingerie world as I knew it then, and I became obsessed with finding out as much as I could about D+ brands and styles. I told my sister and my mother and all my friends about my bra fitting epiphany, and my therapist kind of gently began saying “what about a blog?” One night, several years into my time in New York, I was simultaneously making brownies and giving my roommate a list of new bra sizes to try, and her then-boyfriend said “you really need to write a baking-and-bras blog”. I am loathe to give full credit to a dude for my blog, but I have to confess that the name Sweet Nothings was 100% his idea.

3. What has surprised you most about being a lingerie blogger?

When I first started posting pictures of myself I was braced for a really awful response. Women on the internet are popular targets for trolls, women in their underwear more so, and non-model people even more so. Thankfully, with one or two exceptions, I’ve had the most supportive feedback. I’m still a little wary of the tide turning or my blog turning up on reddit or something, but I’ve been humbled by how fantastic my readers are and how open and welcoming other bloggers have been to me.

4. Writing under a pseudonym, how hard is it juggling your blogger identity vs. your “real” identity?

It can definitely be tricky. Usually if I’ve met someone in person, like at a trade show or during a fitting, I’m fine to share my real name, but during initial correspondence I like to use my pseudonym, particularly as it makes it easier for brands and bloggers to remember to call me Sweets online! I just try to avoid any linking of my full name and the blog, because I’m not really ready for Google to connect us. From a professional point of view, I work in a traditional corporate environment in a traditionally male-dominated field, so I want to keep my work life and my blog life really separate.

Another big reason I use a pseudonym is personal—it can be a little scary having my pictures out there, and I have a unique name for a woman, so it would be pretty easy to find me. Every time I think “you know, maybe I’m feeling comfortable and confident enough to reveal my identity”, I see one of my posts blow up on tumblr thanks to somebody’s BBW/Curvy MILF porn blog. I don’t identify as a MILF, BBW, or adult performer, and I don’t want those labels following me around the internet. I also want to protect my family’s privacy. I have an identical twin sister who has a different body type from mine. She works in an image-obsessed industry, and I’d hate for her to lose out on a job because someone accidentally confused the two of us.

5. What is 1 thing readers don’t know about you?

I don’t know! I share a lot with my readers (the stuff that I’m willing to share, anyway), so the only things I can think of are so boring! If you don’t follow me on Twitter you might not be aware of my wholly earnest and unironic love of both The Flash and brussels sprouts pizza. They are amazing, especially together.

6. What’s next for Sweet Nothings?

I really want to produce more collaborative content this year, particularly exploring some indie brands who offer custom work. The conversation about lingerie for different body shapes and sizes never goes away, and the longer I’m in this industry the more I’m reminded that some people don’t consider me womanly, or feminine, or desirable as a customer, or even normal, because I’m tall or have broad shoulders or have unusually big hands and feet. I had a major, major lingerie brand send me a fawning “we want to work with you, anything you want!” email, and when I responded with my sizes they vanished. It sucked, but it wasn’t unexpected. I want to use my platform to promote the work of people who do want to make products for non-model-size people, and who have the skills, but who aren’t necessarily in a position to launch a whole new size range. I also really do love producing photoshoots, because I still have a little bit of the performing bug in me, so I want to figure out a way to make more of them without bankrupting myself.

7. What are the top 3 things you wish everyone knew about the full bust lingerie market?

a. That it exists! If I get one more press release that’s like “FINALLY pretty bras in F cups” I’ll scream. There have never been more DD+ bras available than there are right now, in a huge range of colors, styles, sizes, and price points. There are literally thousands of them. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of stigma in pop culture and in the fashion world directed at DD+ sizes, and some people (consumers, stylists, journalists, and retailers alike) are (understandably) reluctant to try sizes and brands outside those available in most department stores.

b. Every brand’s sizes are different. A ‘DDD’ in one brand is an ‘E’ in another brand is an ‘F’ in another brand. A ‘J’ cup in one brand is a ‘GG’ cup in another. Not all H-cups are the same size. It’s confusing, and it can be frustrating, but I tell people that bra shopping can be like shopping for jeans– you may have to try on lots of styles before you find the one in the shape, length, size, color, and design that you like. You may wear a 30 in one denim brand, a 29 in another, a 10 in another, but that doesn’t mean that one pair of jeans is “wrong” or “bad”– they’re all just different! The same is totally true of bras.

c. Full-bust bras are complex to make, and new styles can take years to create. New styles and sizes can be risky investments, so no brand can be all things to all customers. If one brand or store doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong for your body! It just means that another brand that offers different construction might be a better fit.

8. Top 3 busty girl DO’s for buying, and wearing, full bust bras:

a. Try new things: try new brands, new styles, new sizes you’ve never worn before. You’ll get to learn what you like to wear and how you like things to fit for your individual body, and you might find something you love that surprises you!

b. Wash your bras after every few wears. The warmth and oils of our bodies can break down the fibers in the bra, which will affect its fit and longevity. Many full-bust bras are in the $40-$75 price range– you want that investment to last! My general rule of thumb is two wears and then wash, and try to avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row, so the fibers have a chance to relax and recover.

c. If you’re active and wear full-bust sizes, a good sports bra is worth the investment. It will protect your regular bras from the extra heat and stress of exercise, and it will grant you the freedom to explore your full range of motion.

[Related: read “12 Sports Bras for (Nearly) Every Bust” here]

9. Top 3 busty girl DON’TS for buying, and wearing, full bust bras:

a. Don’t be mean to yourself when you’re shopping, either online or in-person. It can be frustrating and intimidating to go bra shopping if you’ve had trouble finding a good fit in the past. It’s totally okay to feel self-conscious in a fitting, so feel free to say “This is weird and I feel self-conscious,” but try to not to say “ugh my X is so Y, sorry about my Z”. It’s a bra-fitter cliché to say “once you’ve seen as many breasts as I have you’ll realize EVERYONE’S are different”, but it’s so true! Related: if a bra fitter speaks unkindly of your body, or makes you feel in any way uncomfortable, leave. Just leave. Get the hell out of there. Take care of yourself.

b. Don’t buy a bra from a store that tries to manipulate you. I once visited a well-known lingerie store that insisted that because I wore an F cup (at the time), I “really should” be spending $200 per bra because I needed it for my health, wellbeing, etc. I was 23 years old working an entry-level job; I did not have $200 to spend on a bra. That was a ridiculous thing for that store to tell me, on many levels. The luxury bra they insisted I try fit well and looked good under clothes, and looking back I know that it was appropriately priced, but it didn’t make me feel great– I felt stressed out about my budget and I felt like my breasts were suddenly this huge financial liability. I left the store feeling terrible. I later picked out a bra online that was about 1/4 the price. The fit was different and the materials weren’t as luxurious, but I loved wearing that bra, and it was a much more comfortable purchase for me. I haven’t been back to that store since. It can be hard when dealing with a sensitive subject like bras and breasts, but trust yourself– pick what feels right for you.

c. Don’t put your bras in the dryer, come on.

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10. Top 5 favorite full bust lingerie brands: oh god, this is really hard.

a. Panache

b. Bravissimo

c. Claudette

d. Maison Lejaby Elixir

e. Harlow & Fox

[Related: read “Designer Dossier: {un}covering Harlow & Fox” here]

11. Top 5 favorite non-full bust lingerie brands: this is ALSO hard, oh gosh.

a. Huit

b. Carine Gilson

c. Fleur of England

d. Meng

e. Buttress & Snatch (although apparently they’re adding full-bust sizes soon!)

12. Top 5 favorite places to shop for lingerie (in-store or online):

a. Bravissimo

b. Figleaves

c. Journelle

d. Nordstrom

e. A Sophisticated Pair

13. Your top 5 favorite Sweet Nothings original editorials:

a. Women of Mystery: The Actress (Irene Adler)

b. Stars in Her Eyes: Evgenia Lingerie

c. Once Upon a Time: The Sleeping Beauty

d. Women of Mystery: The Lady Detective (Miss Phryne Fisher)

e. Fairytales by Angela Friedman

14. Top 5 favorite Sweet Nothings recipes:

a. Spicy brownies! Oh man I love these things.

b. Sweet potato biscuits

c. Key lime pie

d. Earl Grey Ice Cream with Lavender Caramel Sauce

e. Pumpkin Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

15. If I weren’t a lingerie blogger in my spare time, I’d be:

I don’t know! Lingerie blogging kind of IS my spare time; it’s what I do when I’m not at work. If I weren’t doing that I’d probably have a much smaller “to be read” pile and a much cleaner apartment.

16. If I could invite any 3 people in the world (past or present) to a dinner party, the guest list would read:

Right now I’m grieving over Alan Rickman pretty hard, so I’d probably invite him, Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet.

17. My favorite lingerie moment in film is:

The lingerie fashion show in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day — so charming!

[Related: read “16 Iconic Lingerie Moments in Film & How to Get the Look” here]

18. If I could live in any past decade, it would be:

Hm. Well, I adore the clothes in the late 19th century, but less so the social/political/economic climate, so I think I’m actually pretty good living in the 21st century!

19. On a typical night, I can be found sleeping in:

I like to mix it up, usually choosing between old t-shirts/flannel jammies and silky satin gowns like Eleanor by Harlow & Fox or Bettie by Betty Blue’s Loungerie.

20. If I could pack up and go anywhere in the world tomorrow, I’d go to:

I want to go to Southampton on the Queen Mary 2 and then just take several months and travel around Europe. That trip was at the top of my when-I-win-the-billion-dollar-Powerball list.

21. If we were to find you at a bar, you would be drinking:

I contain multitudes and am ever-changing like the sea, but the shortlist includes French 75s, Guinness, a good Bourbon, or a really rich, intense red wine.

This is going beyond 21, but…

Brief or Thong? Brief brief brief brief, oh my god, brief. I literally have a tag on the blog called “thongs are stupid”.

Stay-up Thigh Highs or Stockings & Garter Belt? Depends on the occasion, but usually stay-ups for busy days at the office.

New York or Paris? Paris, but possibly because I live in New York, so Paris feels like more of a destination to me. Also I minored in French and you WOULD NEVER KNOW IT now, so I should go back to brush up🙂

Early Riser or Night Owl? I’m turning into an early riser, much against my own inclinations—I have to get my workouts done in the morning before work so I can go home and crash and/or blog at the end of the day.

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