I have a love/hate thing happening with shapewear. I love how good shapewear can make my dresses fit…but I hate the way wearing shapewear makes me feel. And after trying many different brands of shapewear, I was convinced that there simply wasn’t a way to avoid those oh so typical shapewear issues. Rolling up around the legs, rolling down around the waist, feeling constricted in my movements in general — that’s par for the course, right? WRONG, bellas. Apparently the issue was entirely with the kind of shapewear I was trying. I learned all about the RIGHT kind when I attended the Bali Style Summit, which allowed me time to meet the movers and shakers behind the brand and spend time with the fabulous bloggers who were also invited on this special trip to NYC. It was such a pleasure to meet the bloggers behind Addicted 2 Etsy, Already Pretty, Prior Fat Girl, The Budget Fashionista, Intimate Guide, Miss Vaughn from YouTube, Look Linger Love, Mom Trends, She Takes on the World, and Rainy Day Diva. And so wonderful to spend time with my homegirls The Curvy Fashionista Marie Denee, Kristin of Fashion Style Beauty, and Nichelle of Stylemom.com!

bras, underwear, shapewear, lingerie

Pretty Bali bras all in a row

So what did I learn at the Bali Style Summit? Quite a bit! I learned new terminology in the world of undies — bellas, avoid the perils of VPL (Visible Panty Lines) and “underboob.” Bali execs educated us on the history of the brand (Bali bras have been around since 1927!) as well as their charitable initiatives and best selling products. Truth be told, Bali was one of those brands I viewed as having an older demographic. Turns out that Bali does make classic styles for longtime fans, but they ALSO make really chic, cute, great fitting undies for bellas like me. Check out the fun colors! The colors and patterns used by Bali are directly influenced by what their consumers want. And we the people are apparently tired of boring, beige bras!

underwear, bras, shapewear, panties, Bali

Bali's bolder, brighter colors

If you’re plus size, Bali’s underwear comes in sizes up to 3X. If you’ve got a bigger cup size and haven’t tried a Bali bra before, their largest sizes come in 48 DDD and their bras are available on BaliCompany.com and at stores like Sears and Kohls. As it turns out, most women are currently wearing the wrong size of bra, and going to get properly fitted at the department store can make the world of difference in the weight on your shoulders and your posture. Wearing the right fitting bra just FEELS better and makes a huge difference. And I can say this as a woman who walked into the Bali Style Summit wearing the wrong size of bra. Yikes!

Jen Rade Afrobella Bali Style Summit

See me listening intently? Jen Rade is the truth!

Celebrity stylist Jen Rade spoke to us about style and shapewear, and she is both adorable and hilarious. Jen has worked with some of the biggest names in showbiz, but she says she has no interest in going to another New York Fashion Week, and hasn’t read Vogue in “like seven years.” Why? “I’m into reality and acceptance,” she explained. “Everybody has something that’s fabulous about them, that should be admired and enhanced. You have to love yourself and be comfortable in your own skin,” she said — and that message resonated so much in the room. All of the bloggers there came in different shapes and sizes and Jen truly blessed us with humor and words of inspiration.

What else did we learn from Jen?

— you should buy a lingerie bag and wash your bras and shapewear in cold water. Never dry items like these in the dryer, as harsh heat can affect the elastic. Lay items flat to dry to maintain their shape.

— If you buy a clothing item and don’t wear it for like three days…you may never wear it. It’s better to have less items of clothing that you DO wear than “a bunch of crap you never wear.” Jen’s words, not mine — but agreed. I came home and cleaned out my closet after listening to Jen!

— Layering is about different textures. You can layer with necklaces, camisoles, cardigans.

— “As a stylist, everything is about shape and proportion,” Jen said. So even on her most slender clients, Jen recommends they wear items like Bali’s Powershape shapewear.

As luck would have it, we were gifted with samples of Bali’s Powershape shapewear, and I can now speak from experience and tell you, that Hi-Waist Thigh Slimmer was exactly what I couldn’t previously find in a shapewear item. It’s got a wide waistband that prevents rolling down, and does the job comfortably without making me feel immobilized in swaddling bands of unforgiving elastic. Their No Lines. No Slip panties also completely live up to the hype and hopefully indicate an end to the scourge of VPL.

Bali bloggers go to Broadway!

The whole experience was wonderful and it ended with a bang! Thanks to Bali, the Style Summit attendees all went to a Broadway show. We went to see Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, and Broadway legend and Academy Award winner Joel Grey was one of the stars. Lead actress Sutton Foster had JUST won the Tony Award. If you’ve never been to Broadway and you have the opportunity, GO! It was such a magical experience.

For a more detailed review of the Bali Style Experience, click here to read Intimate Guide, and check out our photos on the Bali Facebook page. If you’re looking for bras and panties and shapewear of your own, definitely check out what Bali has to offer. I was so pleasantly surprised!

What are you looking for in shapewear, bellas? Have you tried anything by Bali before?

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PoetrysTruth says:
July 12, 2011, 2:48 pm
*sigh* I'm a 34H (34FF)...I want affordable and cute underthings. *sobs quietly*
bella says:
July 12, 2011, 2:57 pm
awwww I feel your pain! And hopefully the people at Bali will read this and consider your needs.
Nikia says:
July 12, 2011, 2:59 pm
I swear by Bali! I love to go to the Playtex/Bali outlet store semi-annually to rack up on bras and undies. Ummm..I love me some Jen Rade too. So cool that you had the opportunity to meet her!
b. says:
July 12, 2011, 2:59 pm
I must admit, I've often skipped over Bali bras. I don't even know why. Intimacy stores (there aren't too many of them) is my new love. @ PoetrysTruth -- THEY HAVE YOUR SIZE. IN LACE. It's expensive. However, I liken it to shoes: I buy a few really sturdy pair, take care of them, and look/feel good without buying more for a long time. (Those w/ shoe fetishes pay me no mind.) I'm glad to see you had a great time; having the right sized bra is a real life-changer.
bella says:
July 12, 2011, 3:02 pm
oooooh good to know! Where IS this Playtex/Bali outlet store? We may need to make a trip! Jen Rade is mad cool and keeps it real! You should follow her on Twitter @stylistjenrade
b. says:
July 12, 2011, 3:05 pm
Wait...I remember why. I didn't think they'd hold up for a while. I may have to revisit them. My go-tos for dept store bras have always been maidenform and vanity fair. I feel that every woman in the whole wide world need -- NEEDS -- the right sized bra and the right sized shoes. Ladies...measure your feet every few years. It makes a world of difference.
damusicalpoet says:
July 12, 2011, 4:40 pm
I love Bali bras. They are pretty much the only ones I wear. A great bra makes you feel great.
milaxx says:
July 12, 2011, 5:48 pm
I my try that hi waist thigh slimmer. I'm looking for something to wear under knee length dresses. Since the ones I have tend to be a knit or clingy (not tight), a bit of shapewear would create a smoother line. I'm just worried I may be a 4x and Bali's only goes to a 3x.
Danni says:
July 12, 2011, 6:18 pm
As someone who just walked home in her too-cute dress, but with panties all over the place in this heat I am going to look into those no slip panties. Seriously, I a grown woman and "grown women need proper undergarments" as my island-born mom would say. Nice post!
Danni says:
July 12, 2011, 6:22 pm
As far as bras, I wanted to add that I feel the first poster. I am a 32G (been sized by professionals at Nordstrum)....so no bras for me, sigh! maybe they will go up in sizes if they see this ;)
S. Moore says:
July 12, 2011, 8:42 pm
I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM!!!! 48FF Most times I get a choice of blush, black, beige, and white. Ugghhhh!!!
luv-4-self says:
July 12, 2011, 9:57 pm
Undergarments are certainly key. While I have never actually worn a Bali bra (I work for another bra company- Le Mystere which goes up to size 44H by the way), I have certainly fit many women in the product. As a professional Fit Specialist I can tell you that a good bra is the ultimate in the land of shapewear! If your bra is not fitting properly (85% of women wear the wrong size or style), the rest of your shapewear will not perform as well or have the same effects. Bra questions?? Hit me up at www.thebrachronicles.com or www.luv-4-self.com Happy Shaping!!
Farah Mendlesohn says:
July 13, 2011, 3:00 am
Try UK firms Bravissimo (for cheap) and Rigby and Peller (for not so cheap).
Rahshell says:
July 13, 2011, 8:40 am
I agree on Bravissimo! Figleaves.com is great too for the larger sizes. Check your local area for specialty lingerie shops, they tend to buy in bulk from Europe and carry the wide range of sizes.
bella says:
July 13, 2011, 10:22 am
I'm going to write a follow up posts on bigger bra sizes just for y'all!
teachermrw says:
July 13, 2011, 11:57 am
I'm a 40 D, and I swear by Wacoal bras. I've worn them for five years now - the BEST! I may, however, take a closer look at the Bali bras.
b. says:
July 13, 2011, 12:12 pm
When you do, please for real address ladies like the first poster who have large cups sizes but small bands! That's my issue as well (although to a slightly lesser degree). Also, it up Intimacy as I mentioned -- there's one in Oakbrook and on in 900 Shops. The fitting is free and so much fun! They don't use measuring tape. Okay, I'll let it go now...
dee says:
July 14, 2011, 11:10 am
I'm a 38G. I'm all about Freya and the occasional other bras I can find at nordstrom. Modal draws have been my savior these last hot days.
Lauren says:
July 15, 2011, 7:41 pm
Seamless panties are also a great option because there is no chaffing, no seams, and no stitching. They're created by seamless knitting machines. Seamless garments are knitted in a tube--a larger one than used to make stockings. --Lauren (www.knowmeshape.blogspot.com)
mzbonafidediva (ashley) says:
July 16, 2011, 9:09 am
Thank you so much for this post! I have never tried Bali but I wear a 48DDD and I have finally found comfy and cute bras at Catherines but their shapewear sucks! I also personally believe that all shapes of women should be supported by shapewear to smooth all things wrinkled over or tuck in that hereditery pudge or celly. It just makes you look better. And according to Cosmo or Glamour, can't remember which one, guys dont care if you are tucked in soooooo please hand me my spanx! Again, love this post. Are conventions like this open to the public? I love that you were able to experience this!
urban socialist says:
July 17, 2011, 7:04 pm
I am 30 something year old female, who recently just purchased a pair of a spanks. Firstly, it made me look fab, lost 5 inches in just seconds. The flip slide can't describe the feeling just felt uncomfortable. Great post bella!!!
urban socialist says:
July 17, 2011, 7:07 pm
I have the same issue 38g, I just simply dye my bra's. Got tired of complaining to lingere companies.
Jennifer Banks says:
July 18, 2011, 1:27 pm
 I just bought new bras and panties. I love all the different colors to choose from!
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September 7, 2011, 2:34 pm
WOW! I am almost speechless at how beautiful everything looks, I am such a fan. I thought I could help some of you and share my story with you. I have been buying bras over the internet for years now. I am the kind of person that hates shopping in stores for bras, so i found the perfect place to get any size, style and color of any bra you want. Leonisa offers a wide variety of bras and panties. You should check it out. I hope my story will help some of you that know what i am talking about.
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