Bravissimo’s Early Spring collection

Spring is quite possibly my favourite time of year, not least because I can’t wait for the snow to disappear! And while it’s not quite here yet, lots of lingerie brands are now releasing their Spring/Summer collections, which is good enough for me!

Bravissimo released their Early Spring collection just a week or two ago, and there are definitely some gems in there. Sadly for me, a grand total of 2 Bravissimo’s-own styles were available in my usual size of 30JJ: an ivory Lola Luxe basque, and the new Darling Heart bra, neither of which quite appealed to me. Sizing down to a 30J, however, there were three bras that caught my eye, and which just might work!

The first bra I had to try out was the Betsy Bow in a 30J, which is based on the older Primrose style. For some reason, Bravissimo have cut the size range down for  this bra: instead of the usual 28DD-J, 30-38DD-K, it is available in 28F-H, 30DD-J, 32-38DD-K. I really don’t know why they’ve done this, and I’m definitely not the only person upset about it. Personally, I think this is one of the most beautiful bras they’ve released in a long time, so I’m very sad to have been sized out! So, I thought I might as well try it out in the closest available size…

Betsy Bow 30J

Sadly, I just can’t quite squeeze myself into it! Though I can often size down in half-cups or plunges, balconette styles are nowhere near as forgiving! The Primrose, which it is based on, ran about a cup small, so it was always going to be a long shot!

Betsy Bow 30J angles

It is between 1-2 cups small for me – I’m leaning towards it being fairly true to size, though those between sizes may need to size up. The band is nice and firm, the straps fully adjustable, and it sports a sturdy three hooks and eyes. I’m also happy to see that the additional lining is a very subtle, non-contrasting colour! I really wish it had the usual size range, as I seriously do love this bra. The shell colour, the polka dots, the profile, the little purple bows, it’s adorable and vintage-esque at the same time! But, and it’s a heartbreaking “but”, it’s just not going to happen for me.

The next bra I tried out was the Purity in a 30J, Bravissimo’s offering to the moulded t-shirt bra market. Going up to a J cup for 28-36 bands, it’s definitely worth a try for anyone sized out of the Deco, Smoothie etc ranges.

Purity 30J

This is a bra that, though it looks good from the front, just wouldn’t quite work on me. Though Brav staff have reported that it runs large in the cups, it’s definitely at least one cup too small for me. Combined with what seems to be a shape mismatch, I don’t think it’s meant to be! I found I had spilling towards the centre, and a huge amount for spilling at the sides (see below)  – I would say it runs true to size to a cup small, at least in the black. The cup also seemed to buckle at the bottom from the weight of my breasts, though obviously it was made for someone smaller.

Purity angles 30J

The band felt nice and firm, the straps are fully adjustable, and it has three sets of hooks and eyes. The wires seem wider than on any of my other Bravissimo bras (even the JJ/K ones), which explains why most of my boobs seemed to be in my armpits. In terms of shape, on me it gave a very round, very flattened, wider look. It’s a world away from the narrow, upfront, naturally rounded shape I normally get from Bravissimo!  Obviously, the shape is not quite me, but those that favour a minimised, smaller-from-the-side look will love it. I thought the armpits and the central gore were fairly low, though obviously not as low as a plunge. Saying that, I did get a decent cleavage, most likely due to the small cups! The cups are constructed of a standard, somewhat rigid foam material (less rigid than the Smoothie), and seem like they would be fairly full coverage in a better fitting size. So, alas, another bra that didn’t fit me! I was starting to lose hope…

The last bra I tried was the Paradiso Plume in a 30J, a half cup bra in a vibrant feather print.

Paradiso Plume 30J

Does my face say it all? I think my face says it all 😉 I can’t even remember what I was going to write now, I’m in another world staring at its loveliness! This is the first of Bravissimo’s half-cups to go up to a J cup, and I’m so pleased it’s this one. It’s obviously slightly small in the cup, but this is going to have to be another one of those I-really-shouldn’t-but-just-look-at-it cases. I mean, look at it! I love the tiny bows going up the straps, the adventurous print, the bright pink lace, aagh! I want to marry this bra! And I love the colour scheme, it reminds me of liquorice allsorts! I’m sorry, I just can’t stop gushing about this bra!

Paradiso Plume 30J close

Onto the specifics! In terms of sizing, considering how much overspill I have, I think it’s true to size in the cup – definitely a good thing, as apparently the half-cups have been getting smaller over the past few seasons. It has four part vertical cup construction, which seems really supportive and uplifting, and fully adjustable straps. It’s quite low cut, which should be great for low, straight necklines, though some may not like quite how horizontally the cups are cut! As with the other two, I found it nice and firm in the back, and it also has a three hook fastening. On me it gives a very rounded shape, with some forward projection (obviously most of them is pushed skywards)! I thought it brought my breasts nicely forwards and upwards, no armpit spillage in sight, and giving a fabulous Marie Antoinette cleavage. The wires could be a hair narrower, but they’re fairly standard width for Bravissimo! And, for the last time…Just look at it!!! 😀

Looking at some of the other new items (i.e. the ones I have no chance of fitting into!), I’m loving the cream lace colourway of the Moulin Rose (DD-HH), the vibrant red Satine (DD-J), and the “ditsy star print” Starburst (DD-J)! There are definitely some stunning designs, and I love that Bravissimo are always developing new cuts and trying to provide the essentials for full-busted women. But please, Bravissimo, please don’t start cutting down your size range! The women wearing 30 bands and below with J+ cups are quite possibly the ones who find it hardest to find bras – I find myself increasingly wearing slightly loose bands for this reason. Not to mention the sub-28 band and K+ women, who no doubt have it much harder than I do. I admire your dedication to bringing out new styles, but please don’t forget the women who need it most. If anything, size ranges should be expanding – please don’t start going backwards!

My Blog’s 1st Birthday: The Winners

confetti

I hope that everyone has enjoyed my little giveaway! Once again, I’d like to give a huge thank you to my readers, sharers and supporters, and to the sponsors of the giveaway – definitely a fantastic few! 🙂

Now, drum roll, please!

A £50 voucher for Large Cup Lingerie: Tiina Repo

A top or shirt from Urkye: Patricia Tran

One bra band tightener from Rixie Clip: Chrystine Robinson, Elika Roohi

A £30 voucher for Esty Lingerie: Adena Morgan

All winners were selected at random by the Rafflecopter software. All winners have been emailed, and the companies should be getting in touch with you soon. Congratulations to all who won, and thank you to all who entered. I hope you stick around!

Confetti image courtesy of ba1969 on stock.xchng

In Love with Freya’s “Lacey”!

The Freya Lacey may not be a new or exciting bra, but it’s definitely a gorgeous one – plain enough to blend in under clothes, but with enough little details to keep her cute and fun! So, when I got the chance to try her out courtesy of Large Cup Lingerie, I clearly had no choice!

IMAG2592

Cha, who runs Large Cup Lingerie, was a huge help with sizing. I opted for a 30J in the balcony bra, and, since I wasn’t sure what size I needed in the briefs, Cha very kindly offered to let me try the shorts in both M and L. The set arrived speedily and beautifully wrapped – getting tissue wrapped lingerie in the post is one of my favourite things, it’s like getting a present!

Lacey 30J full

I think it’s safe to say, I really do love this bra! The combination of cream and mocha, the delicate polka dots, the scalloping on the band, the tiny buttons, all such subtle details that turn a basic bra into a beauty! In terms of fit, I found the 30J to be just slightly small in the cups, but from experience, the extra space from a larger cup tends to be lost under my armpits. Also, the central gores on Freya bras often don’t lie flat in larger cup sizes, which can make the cups slightly larger than if the gore tacked properly. So, this considered, I believe a 30J is the best fit in the cups for me. The wire width is also fairly spot on in this size, and could perhaps be just a hair narrower.

New out of the packaging, the fully stretched band measures just over 31 inches, so it runs fairly loose. Not a problem for those on the upper side of a 30 band, but small 30s may need to size down to get the best support. I already need the bra on the tightest hooks, so I’d prefer a 28JJ/K, but sadly this bra only goes to a J cup on a 28 band. On me, it gives a nice, naturally rounded and uplifted profile, which is what I personally favour for everyday wear! The weak wires combined with my close-setness mean it gives a slight cleavage on me, but in lower cup sizes (with firmer wires) it should give more separation.

Lacey 30J close up

It has the usual three sets of hooks and eyes, and very wide (over an inch) comfort straps. Not the best choice for a vest top, but, in my opinion, hugely comfortable and supportive. The pattern continues onto the band and the straps, which I am always a fan of – so many manufacturers stop at the side boning! However, it does mean that the straps are only half-adjustable, which may be a problem for some. I did get some slight wrinkling at the bottom of the cups however much I adjusted, so I think that’ll have to go down to a shape issue. The cups are somewhat high-cut compared to some of my other bras, but not unwearably so – just something to keep in mind if you favour low-cut styles!

With approximately 41 inch hips and usually fitting into a size 14, I found the shorts to fit best in size M. As with the bra, I love the tiny details on these – I love the use of buttons instead of bows! It’s just a touch less feminine, which is always good considering the huge lack of androgynous lingerie on the market. Finally, I love how this set can just pass as nude – considering how my current “nude” bra is in fact bright yellow, I’m sure this will blend in much better!

That’s all from me, for more reviews of the Lacey, check out Invest In Your Chest, Undiegamer and CurvyWordy!

My Blog’s 1st Birthday: Esty Lingerie

Esty Lingerie is an online luxury lingerie boutique, set up as a place for independent lingerie designers to showcase and sell their pieces. It was created in 2009 by Estelle Puleston, who acts as both managing director and designer for the site’s own-branded range.

Logo

The Esty Lingerie line offers handmade, luxury pieces at affordable prices. Their latest collection, “Black Magic”, was launched in December, and features a luxurious blend of satin and lace in elegant black and gold. I love the satin kimono robe!

Black Magic kimono

Esty stock corsets, babydolls, knickers, hosiery, garters and much more. From bondage to bridal, there is a huge variety of pieces available. Though they don’t have many large-cup items, there are still some gorgeous choices…

Lilly Wiggler Summer City

The “Summer Girl” set by Lilly Wiggler is one of my favourite sets of all time. Though this set in particular is only available up to an F cup, Lilly Wiggler has some other choices going right up to a K cup.

Knickerrocker

Wonder Woman high-waisted knickers and Rainbow print ruffle back knickers, both by Knickerocker.

Frantic About Frances pin up set

A small-cup offering, but it’s so gorgeous I had to include it! The “It Takes All Sorts” pin-up style longline bra and knickers by Frantic About Frances, 32-36 B-D.

Mistress Collection side-tie knickers

Silk side-tie knickers by The Mistress Collection. These come in various colours, but the violet’s definitely my favourite – so sultry!

If you were hoping to try any of the above, here’s your chance! Esty Lingerie have very kindly offered the prize of a £30 gift voucher to spend with them! To enter, follow the link below and complete the Rafflecopter tasks.

Good luck!

CLICK TO GO TO RAFFLECOPTER

Esty Lingerie on Facebook
Esty Lingerie on Twitter

Images courtesy of Esty Lingerie

My Blog’s 1st Birthday: Urkye

Urkye are a Polish boob-friendly clothes brand. Though they only officially launched in June 2012, Ula has been documenting her creations online since September 2009. She has a passion for creating new things, something which is very clear from her sewing blog!

logo

Offering a variety of tops, dresses and cardigans, Urkye definitely fill a gap in the big-boob-market for more casual clothing. I particularly love the Kieska dress – the lack of pockets in most women’s clothes annoys me no end, so this is hugely appealing to me!

Kieska

As well as what is currently available, Urkye plan to add jackets, blazers and coats to their range, and hopefully skirts and maternity wear, which is very exciting stuff!

Dwulicowa Czerwona Tuba

Urkye have very kindly offered a prize of one top or shirt of the winner’s choice! Personally, I’m loving the Tuba top!  To enter, follow the link below and complete the Rafflecopter tasks.

Good luck!

CLICK TO GO TO RAFFLECOPTER

Urkye on Facebook

Images courtesy of Urkye

My Blog’s 1st Birthday: The Rixie Clip

The Rixie Clip (patent pending) is the world’s first bra band tightener, specifically designed to give a tighter, customised and comfortable fit, without altering the bra itself.

Rixie main

The Rixie Clip was thought up by a couple who, noticing poorly fitting bras and wardrobe malfunctions everywhere they looked, decided to take matters into their own hands. A few experiments later, and the Rixie Clip was born!

Rixie before after

Clearly a stroke of genius, the Rixie Clip team aims to fix a lot of problems in the bra fitting world. The Rixie Clip can be used by those who:
1) Have weight fluctuations
2) Are between band sizes
3) Need smaller bands than they can find
4) Have stretched out bras that need new life

Rixie applied

Retailing for $9.95 for one clip or $24.95 for three, they are available to buy through eBay or etsy. As they are a fairly new company, only two-hook fastenings are currently available, but 1, 3 and 4 hook closures are in the works. With glittering reviews from bloggers including CurvyWordy, Bravolution and Thin And Curvy, the Rixie Clip is definitely making a splash! As such, I am very excited to offer a chance to try them out yourself: Rixie Clip have very kindly offered two clips as prizes, each to go to different winners, and the colour of the winners’ choice! To enter, follow the link below and complete the Rafflecopter tasks.

Good luck!

CLICK TO GO TO RAFFLECOPTER

Rixie Clip on Facebook
Rixie Clip on Twitter

Images courtesy of Rixie Clip

My Blog’s 1st Birthday: Large Cup Lingerie

Large Cup Lingerie are an online retailer, specialising in sexy and well fitting lingerie for curvy ladies.

LCL logo

Founded in 2010, they believe voluptuous girls should be able to choose from a range of fashionable bras. They aim to provide something for everyone, stocking a variety of brands in 28-40 D-K.

Freya Piper longline

Along with their range of bras, they boast fast shipping and great customer service, which I’m pleased to say I have experienced first hand! They offer free worldwide shipping and free returns in the UK, something which is very handy for those trying to find their perfect fit!

Masquerade Rhea black

With new stock arriving every month, there’s always something new to tempt you – the Freya Lacey is definitely tempting me! As well as offering a monthly newsletter to keep up with their latest news, they also have their own blog, covering everything from bra fitting to help with giving gifts.

Large Cup Lingerie have very kindly offered the prize of a £50 gift voucher to spend with them! To enter, follow the link below and complete the Rafflecopter tasks.

Good luck!

CLICK TO GO TO RAFFLECOPTER

Large Cup Lingerie on Facebook
Large Cup Lingerie on Twitter

Images courtesy of Large Cup Lingerie

One year of blogging!

Cupcake

Though it doesn’t seem like it, the first proper post I made was exactly one year ago today! I can’t actually believe I’ve made it to a whole year! Admittedly I’ve never been the most frequent poster, but I like to think I’ve made an impact in my own way. For me, it’s fantastic to write about something I love, and the messages from women I’ve helped never fail to make my day!

My blog really took off back in February, when my response to the “real women” debate went viral…

Real women

…And again with my post “Putting your bra on properly“, which is now my most-viewed wordpress post of all time!

As of today, Bras and Body Image has over 80,000 wordpress views, and over 750 followers between wordpress, tumblr and twitter, some numbers I never expected to see! For every comment, like, subscribe, reblog, I want to thank everyone who made my blog what it is today. Not only have I loved blogging itself, but my blog has also allowed me to meet some of the most wonderful women, who have changed my life in so many ways. I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d be without them!

To celebrate this milestone and get you as excited as I am, I’ve organised a little giveaway! It will be in the form of prize draws done via Rafflecopter, so hopefully everyone will find it easy to enter! I’ll be putting up the posts about the prizes and the companies offering them in a couple of days. Each draw will last two weeks, and the winners will be announced in a blog post!

Once again, thank you to everyone – readers, sharers and supporters. I have had a wonderful first year of blogging. Here’s to many more!

Prize draws:

Prize draws will run for two weeks: starting 18:00 09/01/2013, ending 18:00 23/01/2013 (GMT). No entries will be accepted after this. Winners will be selected at random by the Rafflecopter software.
There is no limit on how many giveaways you can enter. If tweeting to enter, you cannot use the same tweet for more than one entry: each separate entry, whether for the same giveaway or not, must be with a different tweet. Duplicate tweet entries will be removed before the draw. Please ensure any comments left as an entry have your name, so you can be identified should you win. If you are unidentifiable another name will be drawn.

Cupcake image courtesy of bluegum on stock.xchng