Undressed to Impress

Masquerade Persia Review

The Masquerade Persia first appeared on the scenes last season, and I barely paid it any attention. It seemed to somewhat divide opinion, with some loving the unusual design and others, like myself, seeing fussy embroidery in the same colour as my secondary school sweatshirt. Come to think of it, the sweatshirt thing is probably what put me off…it was REALLY nasty and I had to wear it for 4 years. Anyway, out in the lingerie blogging world Miss Underpinnings was a big fan and Invest in Your Chest liked it too, but had some fit issues. So when I saw it in blue for AW12, I paid it a little more attention.

I’m a total sucker for a blue bra, and this colour just suddenly made me start thinking ‘expensive’ rather than ‘fussy’. Unfortunately, it lives up to that description quite well – at £40 for the bra alone it’s a bit too far from payday for me to afford. To try it out for size, I ordered a bargain one in last season’s colour from Amazon with the intention of returning it. Not something I’d ever do with a small retailer or a brand I cared about, but with someone as huge as Amazon I think it’s OK. It’s not often in the full-busted lingerie world that I can try something out for real and pay no postage and no return fee! Oh and should Amazon wish for my real custom, they need to start carrying Masquerade in a 28 back…but I digress. I ordered the set in a 30FF with matching size 8 brief.

The fit wasn’t right on me at all. Obviously I wasn’t expecting a 30 to fit me, but I can attempt to comment on it compared to other 30s I’ve tried recently. I thought it  probably fit about true to size or maybe half a size small (i.e. like a 29″ back). It was looser than the Masquerade Harem but tighter than the Amira (two sets I’ll be reviewing soon). Both Invest in Your Chest and Miss Underpinnings found the band to be tight in a 28, so it may be worth sizing up if you’re on the larger end of your band size or prefer a slightly looser fit.

The cups weren’t right at all on me. It’s fuller in the cup than the bras I prefer to wear regularly, as styles like this always cause me fit issues at the top – usually resulting in ski-slope look in the above right photo. Whilst not particularly wide, I found the centre gore to be painful, and the straps did not adjust short enough for me as they are only partly adjustable. Oh and you may have noticed it’s not padded. Another thing I’m not a fan of!

On a more positive note, the briefs fit me really well and felt like they would be comfortable. They come up smaller than most other Masquerade styles, which is good for me as it meant the 8 fit rather than falling down (I’m looking at you, Rhea) but others may prefer to size up. The ‘nude’ coloured underlay also matched my skin quite well, so gave a good sheer look without showing off too much. It’s something I thought I ought to point out, as I can imagine it could look odd on one of the many skin tones significantly darker than my own.

Overall, I’m not a fan of this bra. I’ll be saving my pennies for a good deal on the beautiful Rosetti when I see it!

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Urkye “Dzwonek” Top Review

I really like the short-sleeved tops I’ve ordered from Uryke, but they are designed as summer tops and I’m not sure how much wear I’m going to get out of them this winter. With that in mind I was keen to try one of the Dzwonek tops, which are the long-sleeved versions of the Kokarda tops.

The navy blue and green versions appealed to me as they are usually colours that suit me, and I went for the navy version mainly because I’ve been looking for a top that goes well with the pesky jeans in the photo below – I love them, but they’re really hard to wear! (I know, this is getting worryingly close to an outfit post…)

I went for the 34oo/ooo, which is the next ‘boob size’ up from all the other items I’ve reviewed so far. In some items I’ve felt like I could do with the extra space, while in others the o/oo has given me plenty. I chose the oo/ooo here purely because the smaller size was out of stock and I really wanted to try the top, and luckily it’s worked out well. I think either size would have worked for me because of the shaping – in the princess seams of the Francuski, for example, there’s less room for variation.

The fabric feels like good quality, and is just the right level of clingy so it shows off your shape but not all your lumps and bumps. It’s a great length for me as I always have to wear a belt with my jeans and don’t like to have that on show. I wasn’t crazy about the bell sleeves when I saw them online, but I actually quite like them in person. They balance out my skinny jeans quite nicely, and they’ve got quite a relaxed feel. One of my favourite winter cardigans also has this shape of sleeve so it works really well on top.

The only thing that doesn’t work for me about this top is the neckline. It’s just a little too wide for me at the shoulders, so without a jumper on it wants to do this:

 

I think this is partly a symptom of me ordering the oo/ooo, and partly me just having narrow shoulders. The dress I have with the same neckline does it, but to a lesser extent. To fix this, I plan on taking in the shoulder seams slightly – as it’s a raglan seam this is pretty easy to do without changing the shape too much.

At the time of writing, these tops are awaiting stock on the Urkye website, but should be re-stocked soon!

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Urkye “Kieska” Dress Review

I decided to place another Urkye order a month after my first one, as I was excited by the new designs that had come out. As it turns out, I didn’t end up ordering the ones I had my eye on as I wasn’t quick enough and they were sold out (so I will obviously be going back to make another order soon!) so I instead ordered some things I’d had my eye on for a while as well as a long-sleeved top.

First up is the Kieska dress in turquoise. I love the colour of this dress, but I held off ordering when it first came out as I wasn’t too sure about the puffy sleeves and the shape. Around my hips my shape has kind of a natural muffin-top, which I really hate so I avoid styles that look like they’ll be figure-hugging around that area. However, I then saw it on a number of bloggers, namely Bras I Hate & Love, Boosaurus and Muscular Hourglass – Boosaurus having passed it on to Muscular Hourglass as it didn’t work so well for her makes for interesting reading as you can see literally the exact same dress on two ladies with similar measurements but different experiences. On none of these lovely ladies did the dress look particularly clingy in that area, and having tried a couple of tops already I found the puffy shoulders far less off-putting, so I decided to take the plunge. My size had been sold out for a while and I was lucky to head to the site on a day when one had re-appeared!

This is a 34o/oo and overall I’m really pleased with the fit. The material is reasonably thick and feels similar  in weight to the Francuski top but stretchier. The fit across the waist and bust is really good, but I found the dress a tad large on the hips – probably most noticeable in the photo on the right. I’ll wait and see what happens when I wash it, but I don’t think I will alter it. The other slight niggle I had with the fit was it being slightly too large across the shoulders. I’m going to take them in a touch, as that’s all it needs and it won’t be too difficult to do. Again, I’ll probably see what happens in the wash before I do that.

I love the colour and it works so well with my skin tone. The new versions of this dress with longer sleeves for cooler weather look great, but they are all in more autumnal shades which don’t work so well for me. I’m still tempted to go for the black one, though I probably don’t need any more black clothing. I think this dress will be easy to dress up for cool weather – I’m planning on black tights and a cardigan. Maybe I’ll try an outfit post one day if I think the world can take my incredible (lack of) style 😉

As before, the ordering process with Urkye was as simple as any English website I use – at no point are you presented with baffling (to me, at least) Polish – and my order arrived very speedily. Best of all, Urkye have recently introduced a loyalty discount which increases with every 300PLN you spend. As my last order was just over this, I got 2% off this one!

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Urkye “Wodnik” Top Review

It’s taken me a while to get round to posting all these reviews – to the extent that I’ve since ordered and received another order! So expect more Urkye reviews in the hopefully not-too-distant future. But back to my first order, the last review I have for you is of the “Wodnik” top in black.

Rather stupidly, I put on a light-coloured bra to take these photos, but please ignore this! The top is not particularly thin, this is just an unfortunate side-effect of my camera flash.

As you can see from the front, this is a well-fitted, plain black top. Not particularly exciting, I’m sure you’ll agree! Until I turn around…

 

I LOVE this feature! I really love tops and dresses that show off my back, but so often they’re cut so low you can’t wear a bra with them. Not here! There are two layers of fabric – one fitted, one drape – so your bra is never going to be on show. The strap across the back of the neck stops the shoulders from slipping down, which is a great feature for me as I have narrow shoulders.

I ordered this in a 34o/oo and it’s a really good fit. The fabric is thinner than the other top I ordered, which makes it feel a bit clingier, but not excessively so, and it’ll be a great top for summer. I haven’t actually worn it out yet, as it’s too chilly to wear on its own at the moment and the draped fabric doesn’t lay very flat under jumpers (and why would you want to hide the back anyway?!) But it’s one more thing to look forward to about warmer weather!

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Urkye Skołowana Morska dress review

I’ve been lusting after this dress from Urkye ever since it first popped up on the blog. I loved the bright blue colour, the circle skirt and that black waistband which makes all the models’ waists look tiny. The day I came to place my Urkye order I was lucky enough to find a special offer on the dress in the very colour I wanted, but even at full price it’s only around £30 and worth every penny.

I really struggled getting full-length pictures so I’ve had to include this picture from the Urkye website to demonstrate what I’m doing most of the time while wearing this dress:

Seriously, I have to do this at least once an hour. I just can’t help it! The jersey has a great weight to it, which make it just perfect for twirling 🙂
The fabric is like a stretchy t-shirt, so it’s seriously comfortable. I’m really layering it up at the moment so I can wear it out in the chilly autumnal weather we’re having, but I can’t wait until summer when I can wear it out just as it is. It still looks smart, despite being so comfortable, so I think it’ll be a great option for easy summer dressing. The neckline is just the right height so you’re not showing off too much cleavage.

The colour is exactly what I wanted and works really well with my colouring. I think it has a bit more depth to it than it does in some of the photos, which is just what I’d hoped for. The black panel does as I expected and really slims your waist.

I ordered a 34o/oo and the fit was great across my chest. It’s a bit loose on my waist, but I expected this as the dress description warns that the waist is slightly bigger than the size chart. It’s great that information like this is included in the description as it means there are no nasty surprises and you’re more likely to get clothes that work for you first time. I plan to take the waist in a little at the side seams for a perfect fit, but until I get round to that I’m happy wearing it like this.

I’ve washed the dress a couple of times now and it’s still looking as good as new – no dye leakage or stretching – so I’m pleased with the quality.

Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend this dress, especially if you’re looking for a dress with a young feel or need something comfy but gorgeous at the same time!

 

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