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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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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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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