Bras and Body Image is moving!

Yes, finally ūüėČ From now on, I will be posting at my new domain of www.brasandbodyimage.com. WordPress and email followers should have transferred to the new blog already, but if you follow on Bloglovin or just check in from time to time, make sure to update your links/follows. This site will remain up for a few days and then links will start redirecting, so if you’d like to carry on keeping up with my posts, please go and follow the new blog!

You can sign up for email updates in the new blog sidebar, or follow me on Bloglovin here. See you on the other side!

Aren’t You Sweet?

The Dotty Spot from Bravissimo is one of my all-time favourite bras, which I have previously reviewed in both the Black/Caf√© and Aqua/Red colourways. This will be a fairly short post, as I covered the bra in-depth in my first review.¬†The design disappeared for a few seasons, but it returned this summer in a wonderful Red/Ivory colourway¬†(eep)! I adore polka dots, and the combination of red and white never fails to make me feel like a sexy Minnie Mouse. On that note…

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…Okay, I just wanted to throw in one of my holiday snaps ūüėõ This is one of the sets I wore while at Disneyland, featuring the wonderful Dotty Spot, some semi-matching La Senza knickers and the obligatory Minnie ears. At the moment, my usual size is 30K (30KK in Bravissimo Alana, 30JJ in Panache Jasmine), but the Dotty Spot runs slightly larger than most other Bravissimo balconettes by about half a cup. My older Dotty Spots fit about half a cup small, so I decided to try this colourway in a 30K, expecting it to be perhaps half a cup big.¬†My sizing guess was right – I get some slight wrinkling along the upper seam in this size, but not enough to size down without getting overspill.¬†If you are between cup sizes, you may find you need your smaller cup size in this bra.

I do find that I’m slightly too full-on-top and centre-heavy for most Bravissimo balconettes, as they are more suited to those with more outer/bottom-heavy breasts. This means I get slight wrinkling at the bottom and overspill at the centre, but these are really just minor issues with the shape.¬†I think it would be best suited to those with a mid-width root, a lot of projection, and even to bottom heavy breasts.

Dotty Spot Red 30K close1watermarked

I was happy to find that this colourway retains all the wonderful qualities of the previous ones. The cups are constructed of a gorgeous polka-dot laminate material, which is very secure and supportive. This bra definitely brings you up and centre, with a lot of projection and¬†a beautifully retro pointed shape. The pointiness may not be to everyone’s tastes, but I am personally a big fan, as I find it to be quite youthful under clothes.¬†The straps are fully adjustable, and the true-to-size band fastens with 3 sets of hooks and eyes. I did find that the first eye I fasten the band onto has already started coming loose, something which shouldn’t happen, however, in my experience, Bravissimo will return or exchange any bras that start doing this. The wires are fairly standard for Bravissimo, so fairly mid-width with a narrow but high gore – I could personally do with slightly narrower wires and a lower gore, as they are about a thumb too wide at the sides and can irritate in the middle due to me being close-set. I didn’t have any issues with the sides being too high, which was a huge relief to me. Overall I found this bra to be great, both in terms of comfort and appearance, and I would definitely recommend trying it if you like the style.

The Dotty Spot is currently available for £29 at Bravissimo, with a size range of 28 E-J, 30-38 DD-K.

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Brastop Awards 2013

BrastopAwards2013HeaderBrastop are one of my favourite retailers, stocking high quality D-K lingerie at bargain prices. They have grown and grown over the years, and today, Brastop are launching the Brastop Awards.
There are seven awards for different categories, with the winners to be chosen by public vote. You can select as many of your favourites as you like in each category, with the option of naming any other bloggers you would like to add recognition to.

Categories:
– Best for Lingerie
– Best for Swimwear
– Best Lingerie Blogger
– Best Sports Brand
– Best Brastop Model
– Best for Maternity Wear
– Best Celebrity Curves

To my surprise, my little old blog has been nominated in the category of ‘Best Lingerie Blogger’! I am very flattered to have even been nominated, especially considering the other blogs in the category – I definitely have some big competition! I’m not going to get my hopes up for winning, but if you do enjoy my blog or find it useful, I would love it if you could vote for me.

To vote, go to the Brastop Facebook page any time before the end of 23rd October. Thank you!

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Looking Sexy in Parfait’s Alexis

As I mentioned in my last post, Parfait have recently expanded three of their bras up to a K cup for AW13: the Charlotte, Sophia, and Alexis babydoll. I have reviewed the Charlotte here, but I was also lucky enough to get my hands on the Alexis babydoll. This is the first babydoll to be made up to a UK K-cup, so I was very excited to try it out.

Parfait Alexis Black 30K Full

The Alexis now comes in a size range of 30-40 D-K, and is currently available in both Black and Ivory. I received this in my current usual size of a 30K. I didn’t get the matching briefs with this, but there is both a bikini brief and an unbelievably stunning high-waist brief available if you do decide to get the whole set. I found the babydoll to be a good length on me – just long enough to add mystery, but short enough to be flirty. The keyhole back gives a peek of skin, while the neckline of the bra gives somewhere between a plunge and Marie Antoinette style cleavage. I am sure some women will want a babydoll for bedroom attire, so I was quite happy to see the cleavage I got from this.

The cup construction of the Alexis is not something that I would have ever expected. Most full-bust bras are constructed with multiple panels, but the Alexis seems to just be one piece of sturdy black lace, with a dart at the bottom to shape the cup. This results in a rounded lower cup with a flatter section at the top. I was surprised at the fairly round shape this cup construction gave me, which I think is down to the inner side-support sling. It seems as though the sling (which joins the bottom of the cup to the strap) is giving most of the lift and support in this bra. The sling is made with a lightly padded material, whereas the cup itself is completely unpadded, which gives the bra a very sexy appearance. The straps and band are made of a standard black elastic, while the wings and front of the band are layered with a black shine satin, similar to the kind used in the Charlotte.

Parfait Alexis Black 30K Close1

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the sizing of this piece quite right for me.¬†While I usually wear a 30K at the moment,¬†I believe I would need at least one cup up and at least one band size down in this, so I think this fits more like a loose-banded 32J (or a Panache 32HH). It is definitely loose for a 30 band, stretching to almost exactly 33 inches, making it one of the loosest 30 bands I’ve ever tried. Though the cups might not look too small in these pictures, I should point out that I didn’t¬†fully scoop, as scooping properly resulted in significant overspill.¬†This means that I would probably need more like a 28L, but as this set doesn’t go below a 30 band or above a K cup, my best option would probably be altering a 32K. Unlike the Charlotte, which I found supportive despite the 32 band, this band rides up even on the tightest hooks. I would¬†say the cups run similarly to the Charlotte but the band is looser, so this 30K fits perhaps like a 32JJ Charlotte would. The cups seem to have the same sort of depth distribution, so they are too shallow in the centre for me and slightly too tall around the strap.

The wires measure as mid-width, but due to them not stretching with the band they are quite narrow when on, making them a good width for me. I have the same problem I had with the Charlotte of the sides and gore being too tall for me, with the wings measuring at 13.2cm and the gore at 11.7cm. With the Charlotte, I found that I had empty space at the bottom of the cup which I thought was due to my arms pushing the cups down, but I don’t seem to have that problem in this bra. What I did notice is that the wires themselves are shorter than the wire channels by about 2cm, so you can move the wires either more towards the gore or the sides. Due to the unpadded material this means the excess material can be folded down, effectively lowering the height. I have fewer issues with high sides than high gores (due to being close-set), so I pushed the wires into the sides after taking these pictures, which made the gore a fairly reasonable height for me. You could also have the wires somewhere in the middle, giving an effective side height of 12cm and a gore of 11cm (both of which would be quite average measurements for most of my bras).

Parfait Alexis Black 30K Close2

This bra has a square back rather than the leotard back that most full-bust brands choose, something that is quite new to me but didn’t seem to give any problems. The straps seemed to be quite close-set at the back, but this might partially be due to me fastening the bra on the tightest hooks. It has a deep full-band, fastening with four sets of hooks and eyes, and the straps are wonderfully thick and supportive at 2.7cm. In terms of appearance, I think this piece drips glamour – there are some tiny details, like the crystal drops on the gore and the shine satin panels on the band, that just add a little bit more sophistication.

Despite the fit issues I have with this set, I am considering holding onto it, just because a babydoll around my size is such a welcome first (although I am looking forward to some of the other new babydolls popping up soon). I am hoping that the overspill will just look like mega-cleavage with some of my lower-cut/straighter necklines, and if it doesn’t I can always keep it as a bedroom set. It is possible that my experience isn’t quite the norm, so it may still be worth a try for those who who need 30 bands and/or J+ cups – I just wouldn’t be too hopeful. I imagine this will be a safer option for those who need at least a 32 band and at most a J cup, as there will be more space to play with the sizing.¬†As far as I know, the expanded sizes of the Alexis aren’t being sold in the UK yet, something that will hopefully change soon! For those in the US, the Alexis babydoll is available from Beautyfull Bras¬†for $59 (Black or Ivory).

Item provided for review by Lingerie PR. Though I received this free of charge, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Feeling Peachy in Parfait’s Charlotte

Recently, the lingerie world has been buzzing after a certain announcement from Parfait by Affinitas. Until now they have stocked 30-40 D-G, but in June they announced that they would be expanding three styles up to a K cup for AW13: the Charlotte, Sophia, and Alexis babydoll. I was very excited by this announcement, and upon release was lucky enough to get my hands on two of them, the second of which I will be reviewing in a few days.

Parfait Charlotte 32K try on full

The first set I tried was the Charlotte Padded Plunge, which now comes in 28-40 D-K. This has been my dream set for a long time, so when I won a ¬£50 LCL voucher in Fussy Busty‘s blogiversary giveaway, I immediately knew what to get! I seem to have settled at a 30K in most bras at the moment, but I had heard that the cups ran small, so I opted for a 32K. I’m currently a UK 14-16 with 42 inch hips. and¬†I opted the matching high-waist briefs in size L. The briefs didn’t quite reach my natural waist, and were also a bit snug on my hips, so I could have done with a size up. As I had some money left from the voucher, I also got the red high-waist briefs in a size XL, which I found to be a much comfier fit.

The Charlotte has three-part cup construction with outer side-support panels, which is good to give an upfront and rounded shape. It is cut tall at the sides and comparatively low in the middle, so it’s¬†something of a cross between a plunge and a balconette. I find it gives me a modest, “soft hills” sort of cleavage.¬†The cups are a lightly padded, matte material, while the front of the band and side-support panels are a shine satin. I would describe the colour as a buttery pecan, so it’s a fairly good nude colour for pale, yellow-toned skin like mine. For those with pink-toned skin, there is also a dusty rose colourway that could work quite well. Black piping on bras is one of my favourite design features (so sophisticated!), so I think it goes without saying that I love the look of this bra. The straps and band elastic are black, which adds to the boudoir look, but it does mean it can’t be worn as a nude bra under light clothes. I feel it strikes¬†the perfect balance of sexy and supportive to be worn as both a bedroom and everyday bra, and the colouring¬†would work fine under most darker clothes.

Parfait Charlotte 32K try on close 1

Previous runs of this style were described as tight in the band, but I found mine to be fairly true to size, stretching to roughly 32.5 inches. Despite me usually wearing a 30 band, I still find this bra wearable – I think the stable four-hook band combined with my V shaped ribcage means the band rides up much less than the average 32 band would. I found the cup volume to be fairly good, so I would say that it runs about a cup small. The cups seem to be fairly mid-depth all over (neither deep nor shallow), which meant that I had slight overspill at the centre and slight gapping at the straps, due to me being centre-heavy, but it isn’t enough to make it unwearable. I would say this bra is best suited to those with either lower or even fullness. I am fairly close-set, so the¬†moderately tall gore (11cm) doesn’t quite lie flat on me at the top.¬†The wires measure as mid-width, but they didn’t distort when the band stretched, making them more narrow to mid-width when worn. I do personally prefer slightly narrower wires, but others will have different preferences, and they are by no means unwearable. My favourite thing about this bra has to be the super-thick comfort straps, which measure in at an impressive 2.7cm, compared to the standard width of 2cm. The thick straps are a very welcome change, providing much needed relief for my shoulders.

Parfait Charlotte 32K try on close 2

The main issues I had with this bra were the side height and cup height. The cup itself is quite tall around the strap, which I think emphasises the gapping I get.¬†I think the issue that will affect most people is the side height, which is 14.2cm in this size. I would consider anything over 12cm to be quite tall; for comparison, most of my bras have a wing height of around 11cm, and the tallest wing height I’ve ever tried was 16cm (CK SS12 bikini in a 30K). So far everyone I know who has tried this bra has found the sides to be a problem, including myself. ¬†Due to the comfortable padded material I didn’t find the sides to dig or rub, but I did find the height itself slightly uncomfortable. The height also meant that my arms pushed the cups down slightly when worn, so the cups do end up sitting about 1cm below my root. I think the height could be a dealbreaker for anyone with high-set breasts and/or a short root.¬†I have considered altering the sides to be lower, but as the wires are also tall, I am not sure this would be possible without altering or replacing the actual wires.

Overall, the cup construction is outstandingly sturdy – it really is like sexy scaffolding, as it manages to be both a heavy lifter and a sultry set. I do wonder if this sort of construction would work well for a strapless, as even with the straps off, it is extremely supportive. All things considered I would say the Charlotte is fairly successful on me, but I really think it could work for a larger range of people if the centre was slightly deeper and the sides were slightly lowered. Despite the issues I found with the Charlotte, I think Parfait are a very promising company, and I hope they can take the feedback they’ve been given on board for their future collections. I really¬†am so pleased to have more options around my size – now I just have to find it in red ūüėČ

Read more reviews:
Sophisticated Pair (30J, Dusty Rose)
The Full Figured Chest (34J, Red)
Quest for the Perfect Bra (30H, Dusty Rose)
Boosaurus (28H, Red)

For those in the UK, the expanded sizes of the Parfait Charlotte are available from Large Cup Lingerie for £30 (peach colourway only). For those in the US, the Charlotte is available from Beautyfull Bras for $36 (all colours). The items in this review were purchased with a voucher to Large Cup Lingerie. Though most of the items were free, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Summer Fling, Don’t Mean a Thing

A few months ago, Bravissimo released their Summer collection. There weren’t many pieces in my size range, but one in particular caught my eye: the Cherry Fling. Featuring gingham bows and cute cherries, it’s a stunning retro-inspired bra that I knew I had to try! As a current 30K/KK, I first tried this bra in a 30K (pictures/review here), which was too small in the cups for me. I also found the 30K to run tight in the band, so it fit more like a 28KK. With this in mind, I reordered in a 32K.

Full1

I think you can see in the pictures, but this is a much better fit! As I hoped, the band was nice and firm, so it fit like a more true-to-size 30KK. Others have also said they found it regular in the band, so it seems this bra may have a lot of variation between sizes.¬†I found the bra to give the usual upfront, naturally uplifted/rounded shape that I’ve come to expect from Bravissimo. There is some slight wrinkling at the bottom of the cup, but this does disappear with further adjusting. The cup is made of a denim print laminate material, similar to the kind used for the Dotty Spot, which I find to be a very sturdy, supportive choice. As with many other Bravissimo bras, there is extra lining in the upper section for HH-K cups, but as it’s a sheer white material I didn’t think it detracted from the look of the bra.

Close1

I found the wires fairly standard for Bravissimo: a somewhat high but narrow gore, with mid-width wires. I have a relatively narrow root, so the wires are about 2-3cm too wide for me – not wide enough to be uncomfortable, but it does cause some wrinkling at the side. A lot of bras in my size range have cups that come up too high under the arm, but I found this bra to be better than many others. It still isn’t particularly low, but the underwires don’t dig in and the sides of the cups don’t irritate my shoulders, so it’s a win in my book! The bra sports the usual fully adjustable straps and three hooks and eyes, which are two things I always look for in a bra. I’ve got to say, I’m very pleased with this bra! It’s hugely comfortable, the appearance is just perfect, and most of all, I’m so happy to finally have a bra I don’t quadboob in! All in all, I would definitely recommend this bra, especially for any fans of 50s-inspired fashion.

The Cherry Fling is currently available for £29 at Bravissimo, with a size range of 28 E-J, 30-38 DD-K. For another review (and a fabulous cherry-chocolate ice cream recipe ;)), check out this post on Sweet Nothings.

    

Diving In with Curvy Kate

Last year, Curvy Kate came out with their first selection of swimwear. It wasn’t without its problems, but there were some stunning offerings. This year, Curvy Kate has released another gorgeous selection of swimwear, with some adjustments to improve the fit. Since Brastop is offering 40% off CK swimwear and free shipping for this week, I decided to try a few new pieces.

CK Caribbean Curves 30JJ full

This is the Caribbean Curves bikini in a 30JJ, which I bought last year. Though I have reviewed this before, I thought I would share it again due to size change. I found this bikini too big in the cup last year (as a 30JJ) ¬†and thought I’d need a 30HH/J, and I now find it to be slightly small in the cup. Based on this, I think this runs approximately 1 cup big.

CK Caribbean Curves 30JJ close

The main issues I had with this bikini were the very long straps, very high sides, wide gore and square back. I also found the wires to be slightly too wide, but that’s a common complaint for me. I found the shape to be better than I had got in any other CK bra (slightly more rounded/uplifted). ¬†I was willing to overlook the issues for the support and appearance, and I still found it quite comfy.

CK Caribbean Curves 30JJ briefs

I also (finally) got my hands on the matching side-tie briefs in a size 14. I found them to be a very flattering cut, and I think the long, thick ties are gorgeous. Ideally I think I would wear a 10/12 in these as I get some excess material, but unfortunately these sizes weren’t available. A shorts version is also available.

CK Bondi Breeze 30K full

Another set from last year: the Bondi Breeze bikini in a 30K with size 12 shorts. I decided to try this set so I could accurately compare this year and last year’s bikinis in the same size. I found it fairly comparable to the Caribbean Curves, though obviously with slightly bigger cups, but it seemed like the extra space was in all the wrong places for me. The gore was slightly wider and higher, and the sides also slightly higher. The tall sides made this size just a bit too uncomfortable for me, so I think I will be returning this set.

CK Bondi Breeze 30K close

I would say this fits like a 30KK, but I still get some overspill at the centre and gapping at the straps due to the shape not being quite right for me, so the overspill wasn’t much improved. I found the shape to be good and the material very comfy.

CK Bondi Breeze 30K shorts

The shorts in a size 12, which I found quite comfortable, if a little low at the back. I believe there is also a tie-side option for the briefs. I do quite like this bikini – it’s very chic and minimalist, but still with some adorable details. I think it could definitely be worth a try for those who like the style, though the tall sides are something to be aware of.

CK Pebbles 30K full

One of this year’s offerings, the Pebble Padded bikini in a 30K with size 12 shorts. Can I just say how excited I was to see a polka dot K-cup bikini?! Polka dots are one of my biggest weaknesses, and blue tends to be a great colour on me, so I knew I had to try this set out. I was happy to find that the fit has been vastly improved from last year, which can be seen by the measurements (see bottom of page). I noticed that the gore height has been reduced by about 2cm, and the wing height has been reduced by around 4cm, a vast improvement. I also found the band to be more true to size, whereas last year the bands ran somewhat small. All in all, I found it far more comfortable.

CK Pebbles 30K close

As expected, I have some overspill towards the centre, but it doesn’t seem too bad – I find bikinis tend to have more give once wet anyway, so this will likely be fine with wear. The bikini seemed very comfortable and supportive, which is always fantastic news. The cups seemed deep enough, they were just slightly too shallow towards the centre for me. I really liked the shape it gave on me, which seemed like an improved version of last year’s. The cups are visibly lower at the sides (although I would personally still prefer slightly lower), and I don’t have any gapping towards the straps. A smaller improvement I noticed is that the band is slightly wider, which means that the clasp is sturdier and doesn’t pull diagonally, as well as being slightly more comfortable. One small issue I had was the shape at the bottom of the cups – it seemed as though the cup curved slightly inwards before projecting out, which meant I couldn’t get my boobs to go into the very bottom of the cup.

CK Pebbles unruched shortsCK Pebbles ruched shorts

The matching shorts in a size 12, shown here with the sides down and fully tightened. The size 12 seems to be a good size for me, and I really liked the tie sides – I think the shorts are much more flattering on me with the sides fully tightened. I thought these shorts were a bit taller than last year’s shorts, so they came up a bit higher at the back. There is a tie-side option available for those who like less coverage, and there is a moulded cup version for lower cups. All in all I love this bikini, and I think I’m going to have to hang onto it.

CK Horizon 30K full

The last set I tried, the Horizon Padded bikini in a 30K with size 12 foldover briefs. As expected, I found the fit and measurements to be pretty much identical between this and the Pebble bikini, so it was similarly comfortable and supportive. I think this bikini is a very stunning set, and I think the pattern is quite quirky and cute.

CK Horizon 30K close

I had the same slight overspill, and I think the slight emptiness at the bottom is more visible in these pictures. The cups seem to take this shape even before putting them on, so it seems as though it might be more of a manufacturing/storage thing. The properties are all pretty much the same as the Pebble, though I did find the shape to be slightly better in the Pebble bikini for some reason, which I think is most visible in the angled picture. I’m not entirely sure why that would be!

CK Horizon briefs folded downCK Horizon briefs half foldedCK Horizon briefs unfolded

The foldover shorts in a size 12. Sorry for the lumpiness in these pictures, I was wearing them over my pants! I found the briefs to look most flattering on me completely folded down. I found that they rolled down and bunched up if I half folded them, due to my belly. I saw how stunning CurvyWordy looked with them worn unfolded, but unfortunately they hit a very unflattering point on me if worn like this. Again, there is a tie-side option available (which I think would be comparable to these in terms of coverage), and there is a moulded cup version for lower cups.¬†I would personally love a super high waisted option, as I find this is usually the best look for me. I do really love this bikini, but unfortunately I just can’t afford to keep both of them! So, I am definitely going to hang onto the Pebble, though I might have to snap the Horizon up again in the future.

Overall, I am so happy about the new selection of swimwear. Last year has some great offerings, but Curvy Kate seem to have really knocked it out of the park this year. I love the designs they’ve released this year, but I think something even better is how they’ve listened to customer feedback and improved the fit – something a lot of companies could learn from. I am sure many women will be happier with the improvements, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next year.

Crossing the K cup barrier

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve recently gone up to around a 30K/KK. I have been getting by in Cleo bras, but I’ve also tried quite a few bras over the past few months. None of the bras in this post are really successes, but I decided to review them anyway for anyone in K+ territory who was considering them.

Brav Alana stock

The first bra I decided to try was the Bravissimo Alana, one of the only bras readily available up to an L cup. I have tried the Alana before when I was a 30JJ, so I knew that the Alana runs about a cup small and I would probably need a 30L. Unfortunately, despite going to an L cup in 32-40 bands, it only goes to a KK in a 30 band (and only to a J in a 28 band), so this is a 30KK.

30KK Alana black

As expected, I found it to be too small in the cup, resulting in significant overspill along the top. What did surprise me is how much of a difference there is between the 30K and 30KK – the 30K Alana was one of my favourite bras, mostly due to how comfortable and well constructed it is. With just one cup up, I found the straps to be unbearably wide, the wires too wide, the gore too high, and the sides are far too tall under the arm.¬†I can’t tighten the straps enough without the straps/cups digging into my arms/shoulders, and I also found the band to run surprisingly loose. The Alana features the usual 3 hooks and fully adjustable straps, along with a fairly narrow gore. Ideally I’d need a 30L for cup volume, but even if the size was being made, I think the straps and armholes would be unbearable. A 30K in a regular Bravissimo balconette would be far more preferable and should fit the same as this, so I wouldn’t recommend buying the Alana in this size.

Boudoir Beau Raspberry stock

The next bra I decided to try was the Bravissimo Boudoir Beau, which is available in 28 E-J, 30-38 DD-K. I have tried this bra in the past and found the cups to be slightly generous, so I thought it could be worth trying a 30K in the Ivory/Raspberry colourway.

Boudoir Beau 30K close

Once again, despite being a stunning bra, I found this to be too small in the cup. The cups were definitely deeper than the 30KK Alana, but it also seems to be more closed on top, resulting in an extremely pointy, projected shape but with¬†the same amount of overspill. Due to this, I would think this bra may be more successful on those who are more bottom heavy. I found it to be quite east-west, and I didn’t seem to be able to get a very uplifted shape however much I tightened the straps. I found the wires to be quite wide (Brav wires tend to stretch easily), and the gore fairly standard for Bravissimo (narrow but tall). The band seemed like a true to size 30, and the bra sports the usual 3 hooks and fully adjustable straps. As with most bras, I found the straps to be slightly too wide set for my frame, but they seemed fairly standard for Bravissimo – definitely not as wide as the 30KK Alana, and the sides didn’t seem as tall either.

Panache Ariza stock

One that was recommended for me to try, the Panache Ariza, which is available in 30-38 D-K. I was told that it ran tight in the band and generously in the cups, with narrow wires and deep cups.

30K Ariza black

Despite the reports of the band being tight, it’s worth noting that the band seems to get looser in higher cup sizes – this fits more like a 32 band, so I’d say it fits like a “standard” 32JJ. The wires are very sturdy and do not distort when the band stretches, so they are quite narrow when on. However, I wouldn’t say the cups are particularly deep in this size – it doesn’t bring you up and centre, it’s more of an hourglass-from-the-front bra. The cups also don’t seem particularly generous, as I still have overspill, especially if I hold the gore flat. I¬†found the wires to be uncomfortably tall, both at the gore and sides, to the point that I’m considering unpicking the wire channel and shortening the wire. The gore doesn’t tack on me, both due to its height and the too-small cups.¬†I might try bending the wires to see if it relieves the armpit digging/floating gore, but I don’t know if it’s worth me buying any more of this style. Apparently some other colourways are lower at the arm, which might be worth looking at for anyone in the size range.¬†One good thing about this bra is the strap placement, as they are significantly closer together than anything else I’ve tried. However, the straps are also quite thin compared to most other bras, which can be quite uncomfortable.¬†Ideally I think I’d need a 28L in this bra, though I would definitely need lower sides for it to be a success.

So far, I have tried bras that I hoped would run big in the cup or small in the back. The other current options for K+ bras would be looking for more bras that are readily available above a K cup (such as the Bravissimo Alana or Panache Melody), custom orders (some possibilities are Ewa Michalak or Louise Ferdinand), or altering the band of a sister size. I am also looking forward to the launch of Edwards & Millers, a luxury line who plan to stock 26-34 DD-M. Hopefully when I find a few more bras that fit I will be able to cover more of these options in depth!

   

A Taste of Kris Line

Kris Line are a Polish brand, stocking bras in 65-100 (30-44) bands and A-KK cups. The brand has their own sizing system Рeach cup in Kris Line is based on a 2cm increase, compared to a one inch difference in UK brands. They also use an I cup between HH and J. I have been curious about Kris Line for a long time, but due to being a Polish brand, their bras are often very hard to find at reasonable prices in the UK. Recently, Brastop have got quite a few older season models in stock, including a couple up to a K cup.

Selena stock image

The first bra I decided to try was the Selena Semi-soft Balconette, a half-padded underwired bra in green. Brastop skip the I cup, so a KL 70JJ is listed as a 32K to correspond with UK cups. I am around a 30KK in UK brands at the moment, so I decided to try the 32K to get a good comparison with UK brands. The measurements of both of the bras in this post are displayed at the bottom.

KL Selena 32K details

Appearance-wise, I found this bra to be much more beautiful in person – the lace under the cups is just stunning. Despite being listed as green, I would say this is more of a muted turquoise. The bra also has removable padded inserts which add quite a bit of volume, which would be good for those between sizes.

KL Selena 32K 1

Sadly, it is very much too small in the cups. A UK 32K is a sister size of my current 30KK and should theoretically be okay in the cups, but I found the cups to run very small – I don’t think the side pictures capture quite how much quadboob I have. I had also heard that Kris Line bands often run small (partially why I tried the 32), but I found this band to run loose at just under 33 inches.¬†I believe this bra is about 3 cups small on me, and 1-2 bands big. This, combined with comparing the measurements with other bras on Bratabase, leads me to estimate this bra as fitting like a loose-banded UK 32H/HH.

KL Selena 32K 2

Fit issues aside, this bra is really wonderful and I am so sad it doesn’t fit. The wires are gloriously narrow with a low, narrow gore which is perfect for my close-set boobs. The wires also seem to be quite firm and stable, so they stay fairly vertical at the sides rather than distorting as the band stretches. The sides are also nice and low (no armpit digging!), and the straps are the widest and comfiest I’ve seen. It seems to give a very uplifted, somewhat pointy profile, though that may be different in the right size cup.

KL Promenada stock photo

The second bra I decided to try was the Promenada Unpadded Balconette in a 30K (KL 65JJ).

KL Promenada 30K bra

Once again, this is a really stunning bra, far more gorgeous than it first looks in the official pictures. The embroidery on the cups is delightfully sophisticated, and the lace edging is lovely. I also love the embroidered straps and the patterned navy mesh.

KL Promenada 30K 1

Unsurprisingly, this is also too small in the cups. I have huge amounts of overspill, and there is some empty space at the bottom that I can’t fill due to the cups being too small. The cups feel about 4-5 sizes small, and the band stretches to just under 32 inches. Using the same method as before, I would say this fits like a loose-banded UK 30H/HH or a firm 32GG/H.

KL Promenada 30K 2

The Promenada has all the same good features as the Selena: narrow wires, low/narrow gore, low sides and comfy wide straps. It seems to give a slightly pointed, naturally uplifted shape, the kind that I personally favour for everyday wear. I would compare it to a 32H Bravissimo Alana, but with slightly narrower wires/gore.

Assuming the 2cm-per-cupsize estimation is accurate, a possible way of estimating cup size would be by manually calculating between your UK cupsize in inches and KL cupsizes in 2cms. For example: I currently need around a KK cup in most brands, which is the 16th UK cup. 16 cups → 16 inches → 40.68cm → 20-21 cups, which suggests I would need around an M in KL sizing. Using this for the above cups: a JJ is the 15th KL cup. 15 cups → 30cm → 11.8 inches → 11-12 UK cups, which would be an H/HH. That is pretty much what I estimated these bras to be, so that calculation could be worth doing as a part of choosing a size.

I can’t speak for any of the other Kris Line bras, but for anyone in my size range, I don’t think it would be worth trying either of these bras. However, for anyone who wears a HH cup or under and prefers narrow, deep cups, these bras seem like a very good choice, though¬†I would definitely recommend going down a band size and going up (I imagine) at least 2 cups.¬†The sizing is the main issue – aside from that, they are very well-made, hugely comfortable, and undeniably gorgeous.

      

S WiŇõni√≥wka Review and PL Comparison

As anyone who has learned about proper bra fitting will know, there are some bra sizes that are hardly manufactured, if even made at all. In particular, women who need sub-28 bands and J+ cups will often have difficulty finding their size. ¬†Ewa Michalak are one of the brands, or perhaps even the only brand, that will make these sizes on demand, but in the highest cup sizes there has previously only been one choice of style: the Ewa Michalak plunge bra (PL). However, EM have recently released a new style, the “S”, specifically designed for large breasts. The style is intended to provide better support and uplift than the PL, bringing the breasts up and centre. I’ve found the S to be a huge improvement, so I decided to properly compare the two styles. This is a very picture-heavy post, so there will be a page jump after the S review.

S Wisniowka full

This is the¬†S WiŇõni√≥wka, the first S bra to be released, and my new favourite bra. It’s fairly basic in terms of appearance, but I’ve found the comfort, fit, shape and support to be absolutely outstanding.¬†I had read that the S bra runs about half a cup bigger than the PLs, so I opted to try this bra in a 30JJ (65JJ). My UK size is usually a 30JJ, but it’s worth pointing out that I seem to have had a growth spurt recently, and am now between a 30JJ/K.¬†The band feels like a fairly standard 30, stretching to about 30.3 inches.¬†I feel I could do with sizing up in the cups –¬†I don’t have any overspill, but it is cut quite open on top, so I do have a touch more Marie Antoinette style cleavage than I think there’s meant to be. I have also noticed that my boobs seem to push the cups down a bit throughout the day, another sign of them being too small. I’d say I could wear either a 30JJ or 30K, but the 30K would probably fit better, it would just be more full coverage.

S Wisniowka close

While it isn’t made to give show-stopping cleavage, the construction is more stable and supportive. Some people have found to be very pointy, but I haven’t found this at all – it seems to give a very uplifted, natural profile.¬†The strap placement is slightly too wide, but it’s definitely an improvement over the PLs, something I’ll go into further down the page!¬†The centre gore is nice and narrow, and about the same height as Bravissimo’s balconettes (~2cm higher than a PL). The wires are about the same height under the arm as a PL, but the wires are very narrow, so the highest point is further forwards. This means the sides of the bra are significantly lower than bras with comparable wire heights, which is great considering how high some full-bust bras are cut. It has four columns of 3 hooks and eyes and fully adjustable straps, although I actually found the straps were very short, so that might be something to keep in mind if you need long straps.

It really is a lovely bra, and definitely worth a try for anyone who didn’t find the PLs to work on them. One good thing is that just about every size has been made and tested on a person to check the construction is sound, but this does mean that some sizes might be unavailable until they’ve been tested. Band sizes go from 24-46, and the cups are 32E-32KK and all corresponding sister sizes. The bad is that EM prices have recently gone up, and they’ve added a 20zŇā surcharge for any custom order sizes. This meant that for me to order just this bra, after postage and charges, cost ¬£37 (177zŇā). Some people might find it worth it, some might not, but it’s something to keep in mind. Personally, I think a padded bra in my size range with this construction is definitely worth the extra cost. Anyone reading from the homepage, click the read more to see an in-depth comparison of the PL and S construction.
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