Bustoire: Beautiful Boudoir Styles for Full Busts
A Full-busted woman’s challenge to find suitable intimate apparel is not just limited to everyday essentials. For Bustoire designer, Joyce Labinjo, the issue was finding beautiful, supportive boudoir style nightwear that made her feel good and complemented her full-busted silhouette.
A shopping trip with a friend was the turning point. “We went into a well-known lingerie shop where my friend proceeded to purchase a red lace slip that came in the usual small, medium and large,” Joyce recalls. “I sort of stood in the corner knowing there was nothing in the shop that would fit me and just waited for my friend to pay.”
On the train ride home, discontentment with the lack of supportive nightwear for a plus-size bust, Joyce decided to take action. “I felt frustrated and decided there and then there needed to be a change,” says Joyce. “I eagerly brought out a notebook and pen and started sketching designs. I remember how exciting and freeing it felt. As soon as I reached home I took out my sewing machine and made my first prototype.”
That prototype led to a full-scale brand, Bustoire, a high-end boudoir nightwear range with integral (hidden) bust support for women of DD to KK cup sizing.
Launched in May, Bustoire’s debut collection offers exquisite babydolls, chemises and nightdresses in sumptuous stretch silk satin, whimsical changeant chiffon and comforting micromodal, embellished with opulent lace and deluxe gold-plated adjusters. Styles feature classic colors including black, ivory, jewel-toned green and gold. Shapes are classic but romantic. Gathered bust detail and rounded and sweetheart necklines map out the perfect décolletage for a curvier bust line to make the wearer feel beautiful without the extra bulk of preformed styling.
“Prior to launching my brand, I found that a number of other brands have padded bra support in their nightwear which I always found rather odd,” says Joyce. “Fuller bust women don’t need it. So, I chose power net which has the benefit of being lightweight and provides non-wired bra support. It is so supportive you don’t need to wear a bra to sleep.”
Although not originally from a design background, Labinjo—whose initial career is in banking—had designed her debut collection in a matter of weeks. She positioned it at the high end of the market, her reason leading back to her personal experience: too long a shortage of luxury boudoir items for the fuller bust.
“Smaller cup sizes have more options in every range and I believe fuller bust women should have the same options. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful no matter their size and proportions,” Joyce concludes.
True to her ideals, Bustoire oozes Hollywood charm, influenced by strong women like 1920’s sweetheart Josephine Baker. Her famous banana skirt is the inspiration behind Bustoire’s Josephine babydoll, a bestseller in gold alongside the Sarah Chemise in green.
Despite the international nuances, the collection has strong local roots. It is designed, sourced and made in the UK and for Joyce, this was a decision centered mainly on quality assurance but also satisfying her desire to be involved as much as possible in the creative process.
“I knew I wanted the garments made in the UK, for the craftsmanship, quality and style,” she says. “Being in close proximity to my manufacturers is invaluable to the production process. Selecting fabrics is one of my favorite things to do.”
And the response to Bustoire has been reassuring. “Customers love the high-quality fabrics, colors and fit of the garments,” Joyce reports. “They also like the shape and support it provides. It really makes them feel like royalty.”
Building her full-bust brand, means that Joyce now splits her time between two careers – banking and design, a challenging experience which has demanded both personal and professional adjustments.
“I normally say, I don’t know what sleep is anymore, which usually gets a few laughs,” she reveals. “But in reality, I try to stick to a schedule and plan ahead of time what needs to be done in the evenings and weekends. This helps me to stay focused.”
The good news for the industry and her customers is that Joyce will be eventually going into full-time design, already with plans for a new collection and the possibility of branching into swimwear.