Undressed to Impress

Quick review: Ewa Michalak S Szafirek

I love blue bras, so when I saw the Szafirek pop up on Ewa Michalak’s site I ordered almost straight away. As an added bonus, the bra had 20zl off for two days only!

I ordered a 65FF with the matching briefs in size 36 (UK 8). I received the set in about a week – the fastest I’ve ever had an EM order delivered, as nothing had to be made to order.

The bra didn’t quite look how I expected it to – I think I was expecting a slightly lighter blue. However, I’m still really happy with the overall look. The fabric is navy blue lace over a beige background, which matches my skin tone rather well. This gives it a slightly sheer appearance in real life (the photo below doesn’t represent this well) despite it being a padded bra. The knickers don’t have the beige backing behind the lace panels, so if your skin tone is significantly different from the bra backing this is worth taking into account. Personally I would have preferred the beige backing on the knickers too, simply for consistency. The knickers are made of a silky polyester fabric which is also found on the wings of the bra.

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Fit wise, the 65FF was OK. I’d have preferred a slightly tighter band, but I expected this and I like to avoid special orders wherever possible so it’s not too much of a concern. In my experience with the S style (albeit I’ve only tried 3) the bands have always been slightly looser than the older PL styles I have. Cup wise, the FF was pretty spot on with the removable padding in place. My boobs have shrunk a tiny bit in recent times, which has led me to wonder if I could get away with a 65F without the padding. I love the 3D styles from Ewa and these sometimes go up to an F, so I’d love to try and squeeze in one! The knickers were a good fit on me in my usual size.

I wore the set all day today and found it very comfortable straight out of the box. This surprised me, as I always expect some discomfort from non-plunge bras due to my close set shape. However, the gore is very narrow on this bra so it’s a good choice for others with this shape. Other things to note about the shape are the cups. For those used to the rounded shape of Ewa bras, the S gives a slightly different silhouette. The website describes this as a “rounded shape with a subtly marked peak”, which I think is very accurate. Unfortunately I didn’t snap a picture to show this. Personally I prefer the perfectly round shape I get in the PLs, but this isn’t different enough for me to be particularly bothered.

Overall I’m a big fan of this bra and looking forward to the other new bras to come from Ewa for Spring!

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Curvy Kate Lola Babydoll review

I’ve been excited for around a year waiting for the Autumn/Winter ’13 lingerie ranges to launch – most notably because a couple of brands (Cleo and Curvy Kate) have launched styles that have rarely been seen in the mainstream small back, large cup market: babydolls. I’ve never owned a babydoll, but have often lusted after ones that simply don’t come anywhere near my size. Last year I tried out the Parfait Honey babydoll but at the time the brand did not offer any 28 backs, and I unfortunately found the back and body far too large. This season is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to try a babydoll in a 28 back, and I purchased the Curvy Kate Lola from Figleaves the moment I saw it pop up online.

Curvy Kate isn’t a brand that generally works well for my shape. I often find the cups too shallow, the wires too wide, the bands too loose and the straps set too far apart (i.e. the bras are usually a complete disaster on me). However, I really fell in love with the styling of the Lola babydoll and I was keen to give it a go regardless. I really want to support a brand that’s helping lead innovation in the fuller bust market, and so I was willing to accept some fit problems in order to do this.

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Firstly, I think the babydoll is a great price – £39 vs. the usual £30 I’d expect to pay for a bra. It feels affordable and within the reach of most women. For the price, the materials used felt quite luxurious. The mesh body is soft and smooth, and the satin edging helps weigh it down nicely and adds a luxurious finish. As with most padded Curvy Kate bras I’ve tried, the inner material feels cotton-rich and soft and comfortable against my skin.

I was happy with how the babydoll fit in the body. It’s an A-line shape which I didn’t expect to be hugely flattering, but it will accommodate pretty much any body shape and provides plenty of room in the hips. I was surprised at how well I felt the shape worked on me. The mesh was just the right level of transparency to hide lumps and bumps but show off my body shape, and I felt very comfortable in it. It is worth noting that it could be tricky to get into if you’re blessed with ample hips, as there is only a small cut-out in the fabric to help with putting it on.

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As you can see in the picture below, I did have to close the babydoll on the tightest hooks as the band was very stretchy. This is a common complaint with padded Curvy Kate bras, and it’s a shame to see this hasn’t been addressed. However, the stretchy material of the band is very comfortable, and as it’s a ‘bedroom’ item I was willing to accept the looseness.

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I was quite disappointed with the fit in the cups. I found them quite large, and ended up sizing down to a 28FF. The FF was a tad small in the cup, but gave me more cleavage than the G (which had definite spare space), so I figured it was more appropriate for the intended use. I could really use a FFF though!

More of an issue than the size was the unfortunate shape the cups created on me. I’m not sure whether this is due to incompatibility with my shape, but the look was somewhat pointy. This isn’t a shape I particularly like (although some women do), so I’m hoping the cups will soften up a bit with wear.

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I didn’t choose to try the matching briefs (rare for me) as the length of the babydoll would mean they’re obscured, so I felt a plain black pair would do the job just as well.

I don’t think the pointy shape will stop me from wearing this babydoll, and I’m still really pleased with what Curvy Kate have produced – and this is coming from someone whose shape doesn’t match the brand’s at all! If you’re someone Curvy Kate works for, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. The fit of the babydoll has been matched to the Daily Boost, so if you’ve tried this bra you can buy with added confidence. As ever, I’m hugely impressed that Curvy Kate have offered the babydoll in their huge, inclusive size range of 28-40 D-K.

Next season, the Lola will come in a lovely ivory/gold colourway that would be just perfect for brides-to-be.

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Mimi Holliday Bisou Bisou Review

I’ve long admired Mimi Holliday’s beautiful lacy bras, and tried a few in the past but never settled into a long-term relationship with any. But an idle browse of the Damaris website a couple of months ago revealed a bra so perfect for me that it looked like I’d designed it: the Bisou Bisou Azure maxi bra. It’s teal. With eyelash lace. Need I say more?

But then disaster struck. It was OUT OF STOCK IN MY SIZE.

I started pining for this bra. I emailed to ask if more stock would come in, and received a vague “we’ll email you if it does, but we’re also bringing out this pink version that might work for you instead you’ll totally hate” response that did little to allay my fears that this beautiful bra had slipped out of my reach. I spent so long looking at the lone 28GG in stock that I began to wonder if I should buy it and try and alter the cup down. A silly idea, I’m sure you’ll agree. BUT I WANTED IT THAT BADLY.

And then, my calls were answered! I clicked onto the website in bra-stalker mode and found a sole 28G in stock. I bought it as fast as I could and bobbed about in excitement for the next few days until it arrived.

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And it was every bit as beautiful as I’d hoped. They were actually out of stock in my size in the matching briefs, but I spotted them on Figleaves with a lovely 20% off, and within a few days I had the most gorgeous matching set I’ve ever owned.

CIMG9912OK, so now I’ve got some of that bra delirium out of my system, onto the actual fit. The band is nice and firm, and fit me comfortably on the second set of hooks (of 4). The band is quite wide, and has only two hooks but within an area that could really fit three. I don’t have any particular preference for two or three hooks so this suits me just fine, and the width of the band has me feeling comfortably supported. The cups fit me like a glove, but they feel so delicate I am extra careful when scooping myself into it. They give a shape similar to my natural shape, but slightly uplifted. With cups so delicate I wouldn’t expect any more heavy lifting, and I’m pleased that Mimi Holliday have reached a happy compromise between aesthetics (quite frankly, an additional lining would have ruined it for me) and support. I find this maxi bra style a darn sight more supportive than anything else this brand produces, and it definitely feels like fuller bust engineering has gone into it.

CIMG9910The matching briefs are another delight. I went for the classic brief style, which remains consistent in size across collections and I knew an XS would fit me well. The lacy back is really stunning as well as being flattering, and I love how it keeps the set interesting even from behind. The little peephole edged with the teal silk is a perfect finishing touch – and oddly popular with my boyfriend!

So there you have it, my new lingerie love affair. Excuse me whilst I go and take my clothes off so I can admire it again.

 

 

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Bravissimo Autumn/Winter Mini Round-Up

Bravissimo’s latest Autumn/Winter collection has had me intrigued with quite a few interesting new styles. Since my last trip to Brav was quite a while ago, I decided to pop into store this weekend to try on a few of my favourite styles from the collection.

First up was the Panache Idina Moulded bra. I’ve seen the balconette version of this in store before, but it didn’t come in a 28 back and I’m not a big fan of unpadded bras so I passed it up, despite liking the design. The moulded version very much reminded me of my beloved but sadly no more PL Black from Ewa Michalak in terms of styling, so I was keen to try it out.

The 28G was a good fit on me – the same size I wear in the Masquerade Amor (the only other moulded style I’ve tried from Panache). I was pleasantly surprised by the wires – they weren’t horrendously wide (as I expect from Panache) and felt very wearable. The band was firm and felt comfortable on the second hook (bearing in mind my 26″ underbust measurement). The overall shape was rounded, but I felt like something odd happened at the top of the cup. The pictures below don’t capture it and it’s quite hard to describe, but I felt like there was just a bit of shape incompatibility at the top. It didn’t quite feel like overspill, but it didn’t feel like there was quite enough space at the top and the shape wasn’t quite there for me as a result. I think this problem could have been avoided with a slightly lower cut cup, which would have left the shape feeling more open at the top.

Looks-wise, it was very pretty and definitely one to consider if you’re looking for the smooth shape of a moulded cup but want something a bit prettier than your average t-shirt bra.

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Next up was the Curvy Kate Flaunt. This is based on the traditional CK plunge shape seen in the Tempt Me and Wild bras, so I knew straight away it wasn’t going to be compatible with my shape. However, I absolutely adore anything peacock-related (or pavonine, if you will) so I had to try it out.

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I asked to try on the 28GG in this style, as this is my best fit in the Tempt Me bra, and didn’t realise until after I’d tried it on that I’d actually been given the 28G. I actually quite enjoyed the fit of the 28G – the straps weren’t too wide-set (as is the case for me on the 28GG) and I got some excellent cleavage from it! The centre gore did not lie flat, however, as the cups were far too shallow for me. The band is also incredibly stretchy, and the 28 was too loose for me on the tightest hooks. I’m still almost certainly going to buy this bra though, because the design is just amazing. Since it’s so wildly impractical for me I’m tempted to go for the cleavage-tastic 28G.

Next up was the style I was most excited to try – the Satine basque. I’m a big fan of the Satine bra, as it’s so very comfortable on me. I like the plunge style as I find balconette wires uncomfortable due to my close-set shape, and the cups are cotton-lined so they’re great even on a hot summer’s day. My only complaint is that the band is a bit too loose for me in the 28, so I was worried this would leave the basque feeling too loose for me in the body.

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I was pleasantly surprised to discover the basque was a really good fit for me on the second row of hooks. It definitely feels slightly tighter than the standard bra – for reference, my waist is 25.5″ at the moment. The basque has boning down the front and sides to help pull everything in, and I felt comfortable and supported by it. The Satine bra used to have an issue with the thin layer of padding not lying flat within the fabric on some of the bras, and I’m pleased to see that the issue appears to have been fixed on the basques (at least, I didn’t notice it on any that were out on the shop floor). An added feature that’s great to see on the basque is multiway straps, making the basque more versatile. The suspenders are also detachable.

The basque felt a good length on me, and I can see it working for a number of different heights as it’s not too long. However, I think women with a larger waist to high hip ratio than myself might struggle with the sizing, as it was snug on me all over. It’s also worth noting that the back sat quite low on me – although perhaps something that could be altered with a different strap length – and as a result I got a bit of back bulge at the top.

Overall I really liked the basque and probably would have bought it if I liked the pattern more than I did. It’s a subtle purpley-grey colour that looks different depending on the level of light so I can see it appealing to a lot of women, but it  wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s £59 price tag really made me feel like I needed to love it to buy it. In terms of sizing, I tried the 28G, which is the same size I wear in the Satine bra, and the fit was spot on. I hope Bravissimo will keep manufacturing this style in a 28 next season (unlike the Lola basque) as I’d snap it up in a heartbeat in a less fussy design.

The final item I tried was the new Cleo Marcie Babydoll. My initial desire to try this style faded when I saw the open back design and ultimately I was won over by the floatier Curvy Kate Lola more than the Cleo Marcie. However, I was still keen to try it out and thought I might as well while I was there.

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I tried the babydoll in a 28G – the same size I know fits me in the Marcie bra. In general, I felt the fit was very similar but the cups ran a touch smaller than the red colourway from a couple of seasons ago. This felt to me like the difference black dye can make to bras and to me it didn’t feel enough different to need to size up. Some women have reported that it fits more like the turquoise colourway of the bra, but I haven’t tried this one so can’t comment. The back is firm, as in the bra, and you may need to size up if you’re between sizes or like a looser band. The rounded shape was the same as I’ve come to expect from the Marcie bra and overall I felt it was a very good fit. (The cups weren’t actually wrinkling as you see in the first photo – this was just from lifting my arm to take the photo.)

As I expected, I wasn’t particularly keen on the straighter style of the mesh section or the open back. However, the back does come completely open when you undo  it, so it’s a good option if you have larger hips or worry about getting into this sort of garment. I also think the polka dots keep the babydoll feeling younger and more accessible than the Curvy Kate Lola, and it’s quite fun as well as sexy. Overall, it wasn’t one for me due to the firm wires used in the Marcie styles which I find dig in.
Overall, I’m really impressed with these new styles – it’s particularly great to see basques and babydolls becoming more mainstream in the fuller bust market. Have you tried any of these styles? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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Impatience

While I’m sad that the summer is over (we actually had some sun in the UK this year!) the arrival of Autumn brings with it a number of exciting lingerie launches. I’ve been lusting over these for over a year in some cases, and the wait has not dampened my lust. Now I’m champing at the bit for the release of some of my favourites, and have been fruitlessly searching  the internet in the hope they will pop up before the advertised launch date. Yes, I’m truly obsessed. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you a few of the objects of my desire.

A babydoll in my size is something I never thought I’d see. The Cleo Marcie is top of my list, as the fit of the bra was so good on me that I was convinced to purchase (and wear) an unpadded bra – an almost unheard of occurrence. The basic black colour of this is a great choice and will make it equally suitable for day or night, while the polka dots keep it young and fresh. I think babydolls get a bit of a bad rep from the proliferation of overly sexualised designs/images, but the accessible design of the Marcie eschews this trend and will appeal to a huge range of women. And the best part is that the 28-38 D-J size range should mean a huge chunk of them can get it in their size, and for the bargain price of just £35! Anticipated launch date is THIS MONTH. Can you tell I’m excited?!!

And if one babydoll wasn’t enough for you, there’s a SECOND one coming out this Autumn/Winter! The Curvy Kate Lola Babydoll is a padded option with a beautiful print that makes me think art deco and menswear at the same time. The fit will match that of the Daily Boost, a note which I loved when I spotted it in the catalogue as it takes some of the unknown out of trying a new product. Unfortunately for me the Daily Boost wasn’t a great fit, but my boyfriend likes this one so much I’ll be purchasing it anyway. Who would have thought I’d be spoilt for choice on the babydoll front? The size range on this one is an even more awesome 28-40 D-K, so if you just miss out on the Marcie size range here’s one for you to try! It looks like it will retail for a purse friendly £39, and will launch in October 2013. Also, how cute is that eye mask?

Another quick Curvy Kate mention has to go to the Starlet set in Petrol. The fit of this one matches the Smoothie – again not a great fit for me, but it’s my favourite colour. Enough said. Due out this month!

Even more perfect in colour is the Deco Honey in Jade. Alas, I must wait until November to own this beauty!

Finally, I must mention All Undone Lingerie. I’ve been eagerly awaiting their launch date for months now, and you may have seen images of a beautiful model in a white body (another item I never thought I’d see in my size – lingerie designers are really treating us this season!) floating about the internet. They’ve been tight-lipped about the rest of the collection, but posted a picture of the gorgeous Didi set on their Facebook page not too long ago and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The price point will be higher than the items I’ve mentioned above, but the designs are original, intriguing and just my cup of tea. Launching this month and I CAN’T WAIT!

So there’s a quick round-up of my favourite Autumn/Winter pieces. Whilst I go and sort out a bank loan to buy them all, let me know in the comments what you’re looking forward to this season!

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Hello strangers! (and a review)

Hello…it’s been a while! I’ve had a much longer break from blogging than I ever intended for a multitude of reasons. I’ll summarise by saying that life has got in the way lately – in positive and negative ways. In any case, I’m back with a review for you now and I’m hoping it will be the first of many of the coming months. I’ve been trying lots of bras in the last few months so we’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

The bra I’m going to review is the Freya Patsy. I have a big thing for turquoise, and when I first saw this bra I fell in love. Sadly Freya and I don’t get along well, but my love was too strong and I decided to try it anyway.

I tried two styles of the bra – the unpadded balcony (my boyfriend’s choice as he liked the see-through fabric) and the padded half cup (my preference as I don’t really go for unpadded bra). I tried the balcony in a 28FF and a 28G and the half cup in 30F (as it unfortunately doesn’t come in a 28 band). Starting with the balcony, I often find I end up between sizes in Freya, and this bra was no exception. The 28G gaped at the top of the cups, where I have less fullness, and the 28FF caused me a bit of quadboob.

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It’s really a bra that needs to fit you perfectly – the sheer fabric leaves no room for error. Part of the wrinkling in the picture above was caused by me holding a camera to take these pictures, but other wrinkling made it obvious the bra wasn’t the right shape for me. I’d have been tempted to persevere (as I love the colour so much) but the side profile was truly horrendous on me.
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This is probably the least awful picture I got of it, but the bra gave me a ski slope style profile – flattening on the top into a point. It’s a look I truly hate and it’s why I tend to avoid Freya bras as I get this look in a lot of them. As I often find with Freya, the band on this bra was not particularly tight and I had to wear it on the middle set of hooks.

I don’t have any pictures of the half cup on me, but a quick summary of the style is that it didn’t. I knew the band would be really loose on me, but there’s absolutely no way I could have worn it without some serious alterations. Unfortunately the cups were also too small, causing me to spill over the top. I think a size up may well have worked in the cup, but with the band so loose it wasn’t worth trying. I’m very disappointed that this bra wasn’t made in the longline style (as another colourway was) and that the halfcup doesn’t come in a 28 band.

Alas, this was not a bra for me. It’s not the most up to date of colours now, but you can still find it lurking around the interweb at reduced prices. If you’re someone who fits nicely into Freya this is definitely one to try! It’s unusually sexy with the sheer fabric, but also a great bright colour for cheering you up. Top marks for looks, not so top for fit!

Interestingly, I have recently discovered a Freya shape that works quite a bit better for me. One to show you another time!

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Curvy Kate Paradise Review

I was very excited last year when Curvy Kate launched their first swimwear collection. I don’t think I ever got around to posting my review on here, but I tried all the styles and found some major fit discrepancies between them. This year I was hoping for more consistency in sizing and I was also intrigued to try the new styles. This is the first one I’ve tried, but I’m hoping to post reviews of the whole collection and my reviews of last year’s collection for comparison.

I can’t remember ever owning a moulded cup bikini, so I was really interested to try the Paradise set. As you may know, I wear padded and moulded bras almost exclusively and there really aren’t many options in the 28-back swimwear market that fall into these categories. I’d never tried a moulded cup from Curvy Kate, so I took a guess at my ‘usual’ size of 28G and ordered the matching shorts in a size 8.

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In last year’s collection, I found the Rio Ruffles bikini to be a nice firm fit in the band. This one is similar, and it felt comfortable on my 26″ underbust. The other similarity was in the strap length – I found them to be very long. I have to wear the Rio Ruffles straps as tight as they’ll go, and I didn’t need to tighten these quite so much so it was a slight improvement, but something to watch out for if you’re petite. If you need longer straps, these are great as they’re fully adjustable.

The cups felt like the right ‘volume’ but I had a few fit issues. Curvy Kate wires are too wide for me and the cups a little on the shallow side, and as a result I got a slight ‘orange in a glass’ look on one side. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting though, and I would feel comfortable wearing the top out in public.

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The feeling of wearing a moulded cup bikini was quite odd – it definitely felt like I was wearing a bra! The top certainly doesn’t look that way though so I think it’s a feeling I’d get used to, and the bra feeling meant the top felt supportive.

The matching bikini bottoms fit me well in a size 8, and they’re slightly higher rise than last season’s swimwear. I do like low cut swimwear but I feel very on show when I wear my tie-side Rio Ruffle briefs. Of course this is a different style, so it remains to be seen whether the tie-side briefs have been improved in this collection.

Overall, I’m impressed with this set and I’d recommend it to moulded cup lovers out there, especially if you have a fairly wide-set shape. Ultimately I decided to return the set, but because the colour doesn’t really suit me rather than due to fit issues.

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2013 Blog-olutions

2013 has got off to an extremely busy start for me, so I’m way behind on my blogging! Because of that, I think I’m a bit too late to post my 2012 favourites, and as lots of bloggers did this anyway I don’t think many of you will miss it! However, I do still want to share my 2013 resolutions with you, as I’d like to make some goals for this blog and tell you a bit about my plans for the year.

The main thing I’d like to change is to post about topics other than lingerie. You probably don’t know it, but I’m an avid crafter and I spend much of my spare time sewing, knitting, making jewellery, folding origami and doing various other crafty things. I’d like to start sharing some of that on my blog and I hope at some point in the year there might be some crafting/lingerie crossover to share with you. The focus will remain on lingerie, but even with my obsession I don’t always feel like talking about bras and that’s why there’s often a long gap in between my posts. I’m hoping this way I’ll feel more freedom to post about whatever I’m inspired by that day and therefore post more often. Posting more often is really another resolution, so perhaps I can kill two birds with one stone. Without any of the killing or stone throwing, of course.

A big goal of mine is to downsize my lingerie collection. This is going to be hard one, but in 2012 I feel like I’ve been bought too much lingerie because I like it, rather than because I need it or think I’ll wear it. This was partly to do with returning from a bra desert (Paris) in May 2012, but months down the line I really have no excuse! I have numerous bras that sit in my drawer that I never wear, and I buy a lot of bras ‘to review’ but never get round to wearing them (or reviewing them, in many cases). I’m going to be listing lots on Bratabase and giving some old bras away to charity and I’m hoping by sharing this with you I’ll feel guilty about keeping any that make the ‘naughty list’.

Back on the crafting topic, I plan to alter more bras. I always have a fair few sitting in my ‘to be altered’ pile. Whilst I compromise on fit on an alarmingly regular basis (there’s just too many beautiful bras out there that don’t come in/are hard to find in a 28 back!) I cannot wear a bra that noticeably rides up during the day – and it’s these that sit on the pile. Gathering dust. In February I’m aiming to clear this pile, and in future not leave a bra sitting there for more than a month. I’d like to share some of my techniques with you at some point and I hope they’ll be a useful resource for some of you.

This list will almost certainly be added to throughout the year, but I’d like to aim for these as a starting point. I hope by sharing them with you I’ll be motivated to stick to them!

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Happy New Year & Ewa Michalak

Happy New Year to all of you! Coming soon on the blog are my blogging resolutions for this year and a summary of my 2012 favourites.
To kick the year off, Venusian Glow is giving away an Ewa Michalak bra on her blog. Whether you’ve tried and loved EM or you’ve been longing to give the brand a go, head on over there to enter now!

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Bravissimo Nightwear Reviews

I’ve been meaning to get round to this review for quite a while, and it’s a bit less relevant now it’s been so long as I ordered all these items in the summer sale, but I’m sharing my thoughts here anyway. Unfortunately Bravissimo seem to be fast removing 28 bands from their collections, nightwear in particular, so if you like their nightwear and you need a 28, you may want to snap up some of the older styles from the website or places like eBay before they’re gone forever.

I tried four styles in a 28F-G, which in theory should fit a 28F, 28FF or 28G. This multi sizing means it’s unlikely that the integral soft bra will fit perfectly, but as it’s nightwear this is less important and it’s designed to be supportive for the full range of cup sizes. As I’m on the upper end of the range, I expected to have some trouble with the sizing.

First up is the Moulin Rose Nightdress, which matches the Moulin Rose bra. Full price this was £45, but I paid £22.50 in the sale, and at the time of writing it’s still available at this price in a number of sizes (including all the 28 backs).

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Shapeless The bra section Tricksy buttons at the back

This was worse than I ever imagined it could be. Many of the reviews mentioned the buttons at the back and how they made the nightdress very difficult to get on. This was completely true, and the worst thing about it was that there was no way of getting it on without undoing them! Even if you had a partner to help you out (and let’s face it, who wants nightwear they can only get into with someone else’s help?) the buttons are still very difficult to undo.

Once I actually had it on, it was too small in the bust and too large in the body. It was incredibly unflattering. I can only imagine that the model on the website was mercilessly pinned into it as she looks great! I’m always suspicious of this when the back view isn’t shown. Additional to the cups being too small, the band was extremely loose and provided no support. It really offered no advantages over a regular nightdress to me.

In terms of appearance, I found the colour to be quite odd and it didn’t suit me at all. As a serial pink-hater I wasn’t a fan of the velvet ribbon trim under the bust, and I didn’t feel it really went with the pale appearance of the rest of the nightdress. The final nail in the coffin was the quality, which felt very poor. This is backed up in some of the reviews on the Bravissimo website.

Next up is the Berry Lace Nightdress, originally £38 and reduced to £26 in the sale. All 28 backs are still available at the time of writing, but no others. This nightdress has reappeared in a gorgeous purpley-blue and also in black this season, but starting at a 30 back.

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I liked this nightdress a lot better than the previous one. It had some definition at the waist, and whilst it was still a little too large for me (which is fair enough, I don’t exactly fit into the size range) it showed off my shape much better. Some might not be a fan of the jersey used, as it’s quite clingy, but it’s very soft and comfortable to wear.

My problem with this one was in the bust. It wasn’t a bad fit overall, but the seams across the chest (seen in the middle picture) cut in to create a weird lumpy shape. I’m not sure if this would have been fixed by going up a bust size  - I suspect not as I didn’t feel like lack of space was an issue overall – or whether it would have softened up in the wash. Overall, I was happy enough to consider keeping this one as it was so comfy, but I was dissuaded by the pink-y tone to it. If the new colours this season had come in a 28, I definitely would have purchased the purpley-blue one.

I had high hopes for the Blue Satin Nightdress as the colours were more like my usual palette, and the lace detailing over the bust looked really classy online. Originally £45, this was £22.50 in the sale and at the time of writing is still available in 28D-E, 28 & 30GG-H.

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Unfortunately it shared the shape of the Moulin Rose nightdress and was far too large for me overall. The bust shape on this was slightly better, but on me the lace detailing finished on the bust rather than under, contributing to the poor shape. I also couldn’t shorten the straps enough to feel well supported, so it felt more like it was just covering me. However, it did avoid the pointy shape the other two nightdresses gave me, so it had potential.

The quality also looked poor on this considering the high starting price (£45). I was hardly expecting it to turn up wrinkle-free, but it was so creased I got the impression it would spend most of its life looking this way. I appreciate this is the kind of nightwear you’d expect to take a bit more care of than your £5 Primark sets, but I hate ironing at the best of times!

Finally, the one success of my nightwear adventures, the Black Capped Sleeve Top. Only the 28D-E is still in stock in the black, but the pink has all the 28 backs still available for £22, down from £30. A top in what appears to be the same style (I haven’t tried it) made it into the new nightwear collection in basic black and white – available in a 28 back, huzzah!

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Apologies for the filthy mirror in these shots! This top fit me wonderfully – the band was actually pretty tight and the body fit me really nicely without showing all my lumps and bumps. The low back is my favourite thing about it and it was a nice surprise as Bravissimo rarely show you any pictures of the back of their nightwear.

As seems to be the case more often than not in the soft nightwear cups, I got a pretty pointy shape, but this has softened up somewhat with wear. It’s not a massively big issue for me anyway, as it’s preferable to the no bra look. The cups on this were a bit small, and my boobs were smooshed together in the middle. It’s pretty hard to avoid this without an underwire, but it means these tops aren’t great for wearing in the summer. Adding to this is the nylon fabric, which isn’t exactly breathable and is the only real downside of the top for me. It’s a shame the bra section is made like this, as the rest of the fabric is soft and breathable. The top left edge of the bra cups also makes me a bit itchy, presumably because of the nylon, no matter what I wash it in.

I get the most wear out of this top as loungewear. It looks like a nice little top, not pyjamas, so I feel happy walking round the house (I share with three other ladies) in it on a lazy Sunday, or in the evenings when I want to get out of my bra. Generally I prefer not to sleep in anything restrictive, so this top is exactly what I was looking for. In time I think I’ll need to tighten the band, but I’m happy with it at the moment as I don’t want this top as tight as I’d wear a bra.

Overall, I don’t think Bravissimo nightwear is really for me. I feel a lot of it is overpriced for what it is, but their attempt to make something sexy and supportive will appeal to a lot of fuller-busted ladies. It’s also good to see something like this with an actual soft-cup bra integrated, as many retailers put in an elastic ‘shelf’ which provides only light support for smaller busts. Of course, many women (myself included) prefer to sleep without a bra, regardless of their size, and I think this is an issue where comfort really is paramount. For those who really need the support (especially those above an H cup, which is the largest size Bravissimo offer), finding a well-fitting soft cup bra, or using a very comfy old bra, may be a better option.

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