Undressed to Impress

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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Curvy Kate “Wild” and “Tempt Me” Review

The Curvy Kate Tempt Me was one of the first bras I bought when I started wearing the right size, and it’s had a place in my drawer ever since. It’s a big oversight on my part that I’ve never actually reviewed it! I thought I’d combine this with a review of the Wild, which is a leopard print bra new to CK this season and it has the same cut as Tempt Me.

Over the years, I’ve owned every colour of the Tempt Me except the pink one, which is only because I hate pink! I’ve never worn it in my “usual” size, but have found the size of the cups to vary slightly between colours, so I have it in both a 28GG and a 28H – one and two cups up from the 28G I wear in most brands, including unpadded Curvy Kate bras. Other ladies have reported having to size up as many as 3 cups to get a good fit. As with all Showgirl styles, the bands are very stretchy and I find the 28s too loose for me so I usually alter them down. My current collection that fits is the blue in 28GG, the coral and gold in 28H, and the Wild in 28GG.

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I have to say, none of these bras are particularly compatible with my shape. The cups are too wide and shallow for me, which gives a very minimised shape from the side, but good cleavage and more of an hourglass look from the front. This is partly the reason I need to size up, as if I wear one of my older styles in a smaller size it appears to fit at first, but I ‘pop out’ quite quickly. In the larger sizes I often get a tiny fold at the base of the cup, as it’s not as deep as I need there, and extra fabric on the side where my breast tissue doesn’t extend that far back. The straps are too wide for my shape as well, and dig in after the first few wears. They also seem to get a lot wider as you go up the cup sizes, which is disappointing as they can look a bit ugly.

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But the reason I love these bras is because they’re oh so comfortable. After the first few wears the straps soften up and don’t cause me any problems, and they’re quite stretchy so they don’t dig in. They’re also fully adjustable, which is brilliant for me as I usually have to shorten straps quite considerably. The centre gore is really low so I never get any problems with wires digging in like I do on a balconette or some not-so-plunging plunges. The band is really stretchy, as I mentioned earlier, which combined with its width makes it really comfortable and flattering – these bras aren’t going to cause any back bulges. Bras I Hate & Love finds the Showgirl bands so comfortable that she sleeps in them!
The cups are lined with a cottony material that feels very soft against your skin and is great in summer months when a mesh bra can make you sweaty and uncomfortable. The thin padding is also great for keeping your boobs warm in winter (you may laugh, until that moment when your nipples make an unwelcome appearance through your t-shirt when it gets chilly!)

To match the Tempt Me bras you have a choice of shorts with detachable suspender straps, a thong or a high-waisted brief. They all come up a bit smaller than non-Showgirl CK knickers – I prefer to wear a 10 in the shorts whereas I wear an 8 in the matching knickers for non-padded CK styles. This was also true of the Wild briefs. I do like the shorts, but I find they sit at an odd place on me and the waistband is quite firm elastic, so it tends to dig in when they fit perfectly everywhere else. They’re slightly too high for my liking – I think making them a little lower would solve my fit problem, and would also enable me to wear them under the low-cut jeans I favour. The detachable suspender straps are a nice touch and they have a sexy sheer back. These touches make the set ideal for the bedroom as well as everyday wear. This bra is really a chameleon, and whilst the fit is admittedly tricky, it’s definitely worth persevering to find the Tempt Me for you!

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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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Evollove Bird Song Review

 

ASOS have recently been expanding their full-bust offering and I was surprised to see a number of new (to me, at least!) brands available in my sister size of a 30FF. Among these, a few sets from Evollove really stood out to me with their unusual, youthful designs.

I wanted to find out a bit more about Evollove, and discovered the brand has only been around since July 2012, and was designed to be “the affordable lingerie brand fuller busted women have long coveted”. The brand is owned by parent company Bendon, which also owns brands such as Elle Macpherson Intimates and Fayreform. While Fayreform also specialises in larger cup sizes, Evollove looks to have a more youthful feel, and it’s great to see the launch of a new brand in this often-overlooked area.

“Modern, fashion-conscious women will revel in evollove’s provocative mix of on-trend prints and fashion-forward designs.

The evollove debut collection gives traditional, structured shapes an infusion of vibrant colours and mischief, while luxurious fabrics, soft lace, and impeccable fit heightens desirability.

Inspired by LOVE, this is lingerie as it’s meant to be; confident, exciting, sexy and available in size D-G cup.” (Taken from the Bendon website)

The range covers Australian sizes 8-16 D-G, which is equivalent here to UK 30-38 D to FF (their G cup appears to be equivalent to a FF cup, as no FF is offered). This is a conservative size range and really what I’d class as middle ground in the bra sizing spectrum, so the brand certainly isn’t breaking any new ground. Many will be disappointed to be sized out of the four cup sizes offered in each band, but I’m pleased to see the inclusion of a 30 band here. That said, with a younger focus it would have been nice to see some smaller back sizes included, so it’ll be interesting to see if this is an area the brand considers expanding into once it’s more established.

I chose to try out the Bird Song set, as the combination of the pale blue background and the on-trend bird print really appealed to me. I tried the bra in a 30G (the equivalent of my usual UK sister size of 30FF) with the matching brazilian briefs in XS/size 8.

The bra is a moulded cup design with partially adjustable straps and 2 hook fastening.
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I didn’t find the 30G to be a good fit for me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I found the cups of the 30G to be a little large for me, but not to the extent that I would have sized down. As a result of this, I didn’t get much uplift or cleavage. Secondly, the straps were too long, as is so often the case when they are only partially adjustable. Finally, the band was predictably too loose for me. I’d recommend sticking with your usual band size in this bra.

I really like the material this bra is made of, as it’s soft and feels like it would be comfortable to wear. I don’t think it would work well for the straps, as it feels quite slippery, which is presumably why the adjustable section is made from a different fabric. Despite seaming and lace on the cups, the bra was actually fairly undetectable under clothing and gave a nice rounded shape similar to the Freya Deco. The quality of the bra seems to be very good, and it looks well made for the price, which is towards the higher end of the usual price range you’d expect in the fuller-bust market at £34 for the bra and £20 for the matching knickers.

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The matching brazilian briefs are low-rise, which I prefer, and fit well in my usual size. The set together is very pretty and felt like it would be comfortable as an everyday bra. If it came in my size, I’d be really happy with this set, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to those of you who fall into the limited size range. I hope to see Evollove expand its size range in the future, as I feel like the fun, fashionable and not overly sexy designs would be great for teenagers and young women in particular.

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Brastop Christmas Wishlist!

As if it wasn’t enough for the lovely people of Brastop to be selling us bargain bras in every full-bust size from a 28D to a 46K, they’ve gone and given you the chance to win your Christmas lingerie wishlist over on Facebook!


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Head over to the Christmas Wishlist app to pick out your five favourite sets and share with your friends for a chance to win. Hurry though, you’ve only got until the 12th December!

Here are my top picks:
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All of these would make great gifts for the lady (or ladies!) in your life if you’re feeling generous or thinking ‘but I’ve only got one pair of boobs’. On which note, you can vote for my wishlist here!

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