Undressed to Impress

Ewa Michalak CHP Mak Review

I’m home for Christmas, which in my house means I’m wearing six layers and hiding under my duvet in an attempt to keep warm. It’s times like this that I’m extremely thankful for my heating being included in my (admittedly, exorbitant) rent! Anyway, the upshot of this is that there’s not a lot of things I can do in this position and still stay warm, so I’m catching up on some blogging. Thankfully, I took the pictures some time ago!

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I made an order from Ewa Michalak a few weeks ago as I was keen to have some more 26 bands in my life. I hadn’t tried a CHP before so I asked around about the sizing and it was generally accepted that they come up large in the cup. As my 60G PLs are too small in the cup, I decided to order the PL Ametyst in a 55H and this CHP in a 55GG.

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The fit of the cups is spot on, but a different shape than I’m used to from Ewa. It’s still uplifted, rounded and upfront, but less of all these things than I get in my CHs and PLs. It feels like a more natural shape, which is no bad thing as it feels more ‘everyday’ than other EMs do. It makes sense that the CHP is a slightly more compact shape than the CH, as this is true of the HP style and the CHP is supposed to be a happy medium between the two. In addition, this bra doesn’t have the removable pads many of my other EMs do – and these definitely help give a bit more cleavage.

The band was a little tight, but I’m happy I went for the 26 as I’ve found EM bands to be hugely variable in terms of both the original length and the speed at which they stretch out.   I got an extender for £1 on ebay which matches the colour really well – with one extra row from this the band is a perfect fit.

The design of the bra is quite simple and I really love the red lace around the band. It’s unusual to see this being the detailed part of the bra, but it’s actually a great idea as it means the cups remain quite smooth so they don’t show through clothing as much as they would if they were the lace covered part. The matching knickers are really pretty, and I’m very glad I got the set. The colour isn’t the best on me, as the red is a little too orange-y, but it’s nice to have a set that’s a bit different from my usual style – and it’s very festive too!

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(Not the most flattering photo ever, but I wanted to show you the lovely lace back on the knickers! I ordered my usual UK size 8 in these.)

I found this bra to be very comfortable without any need to break it in, which was not true of the other bra I ordered. The straps are fully adjustable and a little thinner than usual, which is nice on the whole but left them digging in slightly by the end of a day’s wear.

Overall, I’m really happy with this set. I’ve been hankering after the Masquerade Rosetti for a long time, but after a disappointing experience with it I’m really pleased to have found this similar set – which is both a better fit and cheaper! The set it still available for 109zl for the bra, 43zl for matching knickers and 29zl for the matching thong. At the current exchange rate that makes the set I bought around £32 and although there are additional PayPal & postage fees which hike the price up somewhat, that’s still a lot cheaper than the £58.50 price tag of the Masquerade Rosetti bra and knickers!

As a side note,  Ewa Michalak have greatly improved their English language customer service and I found the ordering process much smoother. I would still recommend looking for sizing advice elsewhere, as my questions about how the sizing compared between the different styles were met with a ‘use the calculator’ response, and the calculator on the site is vastly inaccurate for me. I had some problems receiving an invoice for the correct amount, but my emails were all replied to quickly and politely. As the bras were made to order, the process took around a month from my first contact until I received the bras, but it was definitely worth the wait!

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Cleo Marcie Bra Review

Continuing my theme of red balconette bras, I bring you the Cleo Marcie!

I’ve never been a big fan of Cleo bras – the colours and prints have never really appealed to me. However, their new Autumn/Winter collection has changed all that. The mix of reds, blues and cute designs has really lured me in.

 

(Apologies for the knickers in this pic – I couldn’t find my usual plain flesh-coloured ones to wear underneath so went for what I thought was the next best thing – my Masquerade Delphi knickers in a sort-of flesh colour with very obvious embroidery!)

 

The Marcie set was not one I expected to love. It’s a combination of two things I don’t like in a bra: unpadded and a balconette shape. But it’s so pretty I couldn’t resist keeping it! The bra gave me a surprisingly rounded shape, which is what I prefer. As in most Panache bras, the wires are too wide for me, so there is empty fabric on the sides, but it’s not a big problem and I don’t feel it’s as minimising as other Panache bras can be on me.

I’ve got this in a 28G with the matching knickers in size 8, and it fits me absolutely perfectly. The band is pretty snug, stretching up to a maximum of 27″, so it might be worth sizing up if you are on the larger side of a 28. For me, the band fits really well on the middle hook at the moment, which gives me slightly longer than usual before I’ll have to tighten it.
As with any balconette, the wires in the centre do start to hurt me after a while, but the centre gore is quite narrow so it’s not as bad as it could be. There was also a little extra space in the underwire channel, which I made use of to position the wire slightly lower in the centre. I think I will experiment with bending the wires and perhaps sewing some padding into the centre to make it more comfortable.

Apart from the fun, young and bright designs, another great thing about Cleo bras is the price. Full price, this one is £25 for the bra and £12.50 for the knickers. £37.50 for the whole set is really not bad, and I got an extra 20% off it from Figleaves a couple of weeks ago – making it a real bargain!

I won’t say I’ve been entirely converted to the unpadded way of life, but I’ll definitely consider unpadded Cleo bras in the future – especially as some styles will be available in a 26 band next year. I’m really excited that a major UK brand has decided to do this, and I’m keen to buy the products to support this. I really hope it’s the start of something great in the small-busted market!

 

 

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Parfait by Affinitas Charlotte

This review is well overdue – my laptop’s been in repair for a few weeks so I’ve got a few new posts to share with you this coming week!
Thanks to the lovely Chrystal from By Baby’s Rules (a great lingerie blog you should check out – especially if you’re pregnant, wear a small band and/or have implants) I got this beautiful bra set for a bargain price. It’s one I’ve been wanting to try for ages but until recently there haven’t been any UK stockists. I actually ordered it from the US back in March, but the parcel got lost along the way and I never received it. Thankfully, this bra’s journey was a lot smoother!

I’m having problems uploading photos tonight, and this is the only photo it will let me add. I will add more of the whole set once it’s working properly! But you can see from this one what a seriously good looking bra this is!

In terms of fit, I’m wearing a 28G in most styles at the moment, but this fit well in a 30G. The band is EXTREMELY tight for a 30, which is good for me as they don’t sell 28s or 26s. I would say the band fits 1.5 sizes smaller than it states and the cup fits 1 size smaller. This sizing inconsistency may put you off this bra, but I’ve read a few reviews that agree with my findings, so I’d have a read around to try and get a confident idea of what you’d need. Seriously, it’s worth the effort. Oh and despite this being a US brand, they use UK sizing like Freya, Panache and Curvy Kate. Unfortunately, G is the largest cup size available in this bra, and with it fitting small this is a very limited size range.

Shape-wise, the cups of this bra are shallow and wide. They are too shallow for me, which is not actually a bad thing. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I can’t usually wear balconette bras as my breasts are very close set and the central wires sit on my breast tissue and not my ribcage, causing a lot of pain. This bra is very comfortable for me, as the shallowness of the cups prevents the centre gore from sitting against my body. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend you wear a bra where the centre gore doesn’t sit against your ribcage, as this usually means it does not fit you or is not a good shape for you (the latter being true here). However, I love this bra too much to let that bother me and I still feel very well supported by it.

The band is deeper than most of my everyday bras, which makes it feel very supportive and it isn’t likely to dig in. It fastens with three hooks, which I know many larger-busted ladies will like. The straps are also nice and sturdy, and are fully adjustable. The inside of the cups feels softer than the outer fabrics, and didn’t cause any irritation to my sensitive skin.

I found this bra took a couple of wears before it became totally comfortable. This is mostly due to the strap placement. I have quite narrow shoulders and I find the straps to be slightly too wide for me. With some softening of the fabric it’s become a lot better, and they no longer dig in. You know that feeling of desperately wanting to get your bra off as soon as you get home? Well you might find the opposite here – desperation to take your clothes off and admire its beauty!

If you’re outside the US (the only place this brand is widely available) I’d recommend Large Cup Lingerie for this bra. They stock the Charlotte in this colourway and also peach (photos of that one coming soon too!) with free worldwide delivery. Their customer service is great too!

More red undies coming next…

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