Tuesday, 22 April 2014

[Guide] Where to find 28 and 30 bands with < D cups?

[updated 22-04-2014]


Most full bust brands start at 28-30D, and most high street brands start at 32 bands. This leaves the ladies needing 28-30A-C sadly out in the cold. Luckily, there are some great, sometimes lesser known brands out there who offer these sizes, and well-known full bust brand Cleo by Panache has recently announced a size expansion to include 28-30 B-C - hopefully other brands will follow Cleo's lead! Of course, any and all size expansions, up and/or down in the alphabet, are always welcome, but recently the trend is upwards expansion in cup and band sizes, so its nice to see that smaller sizes are not getting left behind.


I'll be focusing mainly on brands that ship internationally, but a few European/American only are also listed. I also listed a few discontinued brands, but only because they're still commonly found on Ebay or outlet sites. I 'm listing brands that have very few models and/or sizes available as a simple list, and I'm not listing brands that start at 32 but run small in the band, as there's no sure way of telling if it's the case for all bras. 

Atlantis

One of Panache's daughter brands, launched AW10, discontinued SS12. They manufactured push-up bras exclusively. Most bras were available in 30A-C, some also in 30AA. Other than that, there's not a lot of info to be found on this brand.
● Full size range: Differs per bra, 30-36AA - E being the range of their most popular model. Check out Bratabase for respective size range.
● Discontinued, but still commonly found on Ebay.

Ampere Lingerie


A new American luxury Lingerie and Loungewear brand, offering absolutely stunning bras in sizes 28B-C and 30A-C. They use their own sizing scheme, with 65 bands being 28 bands, and US cup sizing (UK E is a US F cup here). They offer free shipping and returns in the US, and when you order a bra, you'll receive at least 3 in differing sizes, so you can keep the best fitting one and send the other back. 
● Full size range: UK 28B-E, 30-34A-E, 36A-DD
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.

Asos Boudoir 

Asos' lingerie brand, offering affordable and fashion forward bras in sizes 30A-C. The collection also features triangle bras, bralettes, bandeaus and loungewear in conventional XS-XL sizing. 
● Full size range: 30-36 A-D
Available through Asos' various international sites.


Asos Swim

Asos' swimwear brand, offering affordable and fashion forward bikini tops. 30A-C is part of the regular bikini range, 30DD+ is part of the "fuller bust" range. The collection differs per season, but generally features halter plunges and bandeaus in all sorts of colours and patterns.
● Full size range: 30-36 A-G
● Available through Asos' various international sites.

Bradelis New York


An American boutique chain with stores in New York and Japan. They offer bras in sizes 30 B-C. Their bras are of Japanese make, and said to run 1 band and 1 cup size smaller.
● Full size range: differs per model, full size range available is 30-36 B-G, 38 C-G. They use US cup sizing, as far as I can tell.
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.


b.temp'd by Wacoal

Japanese brand, sister brand of Wacoal. b.tempt'd offers 30 B-C in selected styles. This brand is rather commonly available in American stores like Nordstrom, but rarer to find in European (online) stores.
● Full size range: differs per model, full size rang available is 30-32 B-DDD, 34-36 A-DDD, 38 B-DD.
● Available at Asos and Figleaves.

Boux Avenue

UK lingerie chain, offering affordable and cute lingerie, swimwear, and nightwear. They offer 30A-C as part of their DD+ range in lingerie and, 30B-C in swimwear.
● Full size range: differs per model, full range offered is 30A-G, 32-34 A-GG, 36 A-G, 38 B-G, 40 C-G
● Has its own online store, ships internationally on request.


By Caprice


UK brand, part of Intimas, the same company behind Lepel and Charnos. By Caprice offers all of their bras in 30 A-C. The current collection consists out of padded bras and gel padded bras, and swimwear is also available in conventional XS-XL sizes. Although I can't find conclusive information, it looks like all of the bras have integrated push up padding. 
● Full size range: 30-38 A-DD, 30-38 E-G. 
● Available through Amazon UK and Figleaves.


Calvin Klein Underwear


American brand, part of the Calvin Klein umbrella. Almost all bras start at 30C, 30A-B are available in selected styles. 
● Full size range: 30-32 A-DD, 34-36 AA-DD, 38 A-DD. 
● Available through Amazon UK, Amazon US, and Figleaves.

Change Lingerie

A Scandinavian chain which offers one of the biggest size ranges in European and Canadian brick and mortar stores. A limited range of bras are available in sizes 28/60 A-C, and a wider range of bras is found in their 30/65 A-C offering. They also offer swimwear in these sizes.
● Full size range: differs per model, the entire size range offered is 60 A-H, 65 A-J, and so on. 
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.
● Note: their cups sometimes run small.


Chantelle



French brand, most moulded t-shirt bras are available in 30 B-C, including a memory foam bra. 
● Full size range: differs per model, full size range available is 30 B-FF, 32-36 A-FF, 38 A-F, 40 B-FF, 42 B-FF, 44 C-FF.
● Available through Figleaves.

Claudette


American brand, all of their bras are available 30A-C. They're a bit hard to find (Asos, for example, carries their bras from 30DD onward), but most new models are available in these sizes from Herroom. 
● Full size range: 28D-G, 30-34 A, 30-38 B-G.
● Available through Herroom.


Cleo by Panache

Starting AW14 Cleo will offer select models in 28-30 B-C. See my post for more details.
● Full size range: differs per model, generally 28-38 B-J / D-J for non-padded models, 28-38 B-G / D-G for padded models.
● Available through every major lingerie retailer, such as Figleaves.

Comexim


A Polish brand, their bras start at 28C (60C) and 30B (65B). They also offer swimwear, and 26 bands are available through custom order. 
● Full size range: 60 C-N, 65 B-M, 70 A-L, 75 A-K, 80-85 A-HH, 90 C-H, 95 C-G.
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.


Ewa Michalak

A Polish brand, their bras are available in 30 A-C, with 24, 26, and 28 bands available as custom orders. The 3D(M) range is designed especially with smaller busts in mind. 
● Full size range: differs per model, full size range available is 24-44 AA-L.  
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.


Gossard

A UK brand, their best selling Glossies range is offered in 30 B-C (sheer moulded bra only). Several Gossard models run small in the band (hence me listing it here), so if you're a 30 band, you might want to check out some of their 32's. 
● Full size range: differs per model, usually 30 D-G, 32-36 A-G, 38 B-G.
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.


Huit

A French brand, part of the Eveden group. They offer 30A/B-C in most of their styles - check out the lingerie index on their site for each bra's respective size range. 
● Full size range: differs per model, full size range available is 30 B-E, 32-36 B-F, 38 B-E. 
● Available through Asos and Figleaves.


JANAY Intimates


A newly launched UK luxury brand. Their launch collection, Avenue Twenty Four, consists of non-padded shoulder and balconette bras, all available in sizes 30 A-C.
● Full size range: 30-34 A-DD. 
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.

Just Peachy


Uk brand, one of Figleaves' house brands. They offer different bras for different size ranges (A-DD, D-G), the small size ranged bras are all available in 30 A-C.
● Full size range: 30-38 A-DD, 30-38 D-G. 
● Available exclusively through Figleaves.


Lepel

A UK brand, who offers bras from 30B-C in nearly all of their models. The Athena Soft Cup bra is available from 30A. Their prices are a bit lower than Freya and the likes, and they also offer nightwear and swimwear, although so far none of their bikini tops have been available in 30 bands.  
● Full size range: differs per model, most are available in 30 B-G, 32-36 A-G, 38 B-G.
● Available through Figleaves, BrastopAsos, Amazon UK, and Mio Destino.


The Little Bra Company


Probably one of the most famous small bust specializing companies, TLBC is an American brand that specializes in small sizes. 28 A-C and 30 A-C are readily available in many styles. Also worth noting that their basics cover a variety of skin tones, not just plain old beige!
● Full size range: 28-38 A, 28-36 B, 28-34 C.
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally.
● Important note: several models are said to run small in the cups. Check out bratabase for each specific model.


Lorna Drew


A UK pregnancy and maternity lingerie brand, offering bras with adjustable cup sizing - one cup size up, and one down from the main size. All of their models are available in 30B and 30C.
● Full size range: 30-38 B-J (30-38 A-JJ with the adjustable cup sizing taken in account)
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally. Also available through Figleaves and Mio Destino. Soon to be available through Asos.



Lula Lu Petites



An American online store specializing in smaller cup sizes, offers 30 AA-A. They offer underwired and non-underwired bras, sleepwear, and swimwear. 
● Full size range: 30 AA-A, 32-34 AAA-C, 36 AAA-B, 38 AA-A.
● Has its own online store, ships exclusively to the USA.


Lulu Tout

UK brand, a new Figleaves house brand. Their current offering includes non padded half cups with vertical seams in the 30A-C range.
● Full size range: 30-38 A-DD (half cups), 30 E-H, 32-34 DD-H, 36-38 DD-G (underwired bras). 
● Available exclusively through Figleaves


Marie Jo / Marie Jo L'Aventure


French brand, all their moulded ("mouse") balconettes and plunges bras are available in 30C, as well as most of their push up bras and a strapless bra. 
● Full size range: differs per model, 30 (65) bands are mostly available in C-DD cups. 
● Marie Jo does not sell its products online. Check out their website to find a store near you.


Marks and Spencers

UK department store, apparently offers (at least) 28C and 30B as part of it's limited collection. Those bras seem to have been discontinued, but they are still commonly found on Ebay. M&S also owns a teenage line, Angel First Lingerie, which offers non-wired and wired bras in 28 AA-C and 30 AA-C. 
● Full size range: Limited collection differs per bra. Angel's entire size range is 28 AA-D, 30-36 AA-E, 38 A-D. 
● The Angel line available through their own online store. Check out Ebay for Limited collection bras in this size range.

Mimi Holliday by Damaris

A UK luxury brand, offering gorgeous bras in a variety of shapes. Their price range is above Masquerade, but below brands like Fleur of England. As of SS13, all styles (aside from the Maxi bra) are available in 28 B-C and 30 B-C. Older styles were also available in 28AA, 28A, and 30A. They also offer wire free bras in conventional sizing, XS-XL. The smaller sizes are sometimes found heavily discounted on Ebay and Amazon UK.
● Full size range: differs per model, but most bras have this size range: 28-30 B-FF, 32 A-F, 34 A-E, 36 A-DD, 38 B-D & 40 B-C
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally. Figleaves, Asos, and Amazon also stock it, but rarely in the full size range it's available in.



Only Her

Polish  brand, their bras are designed especially with smaller sizes in mind. They offer half cups and plunges in 28 B-C, and 30 A-C. As a side note, they use European band sizing (a 60 is a 28, a 65 is a 30, and so on), and UK cup sizing. 
● Full size range: 60 B-FF, 65 A-F, 70 A-F, 75 A-DD.
● Has its own online store (Polish, only ships to Poland) and EU online store (only ships to Germany and Austria). 


Royce


A UK brand, specializing in wireless nursing, sports, and everyday bras.They offer wirefree bras in sizes 28 A-C and 30 AA-C as part of their Missy range, including a sports bra. 
● Full size range: 28-38 A-D, 30-36 AA-D (Missy Range).
● Has its own online store, and ships internationally. Also available through Figleaves.
●  I've been told through r/abrathatfits the following regarding the fit of the Missy Range: "... is not a good fit for grown up women with small breasts, the cuts are clearly scaled down versions of shapes found in large breasts, aimed at teens who develop early and even for those the fit is often odd." Many thanks to t_maia for bringing this to my attention!



Ysé Lingerie

A French brand, the first French brand to specialize in smaller sizes. They offer both underwired and non-underwired bras, as well as swimwear. The site is currently only available in French, but an English version will open up soon.
● Full size range: 30-36 A-B. They use French sizing, a 30 band is 80, a 32 an 85, and so on.
● Has it's own online store, and ships internationally. They have sales points in France and Germany. 


Brands with Little Selection

  • Aerie
    • A few models are available in 30 A-B online only. 
  • After Eden
    • Their push up bras are available in 30 AA-C. 
  • Anita / Rosafaia
    • A few models are available in 30C, some are available in 30 A-C. 
  • Aubade
    • At least one model, the Bahia Half cup, is available in 30 A-B. 
  • Berlei 
    • Their non-wired running bra comes in 28 A-B and 30 A-C. 
  • Betsey Johnson
    • A few models, such as the Stocking Stripe T-Shirt Bra, are available in 30C. 
  • Bluebella
    • A few models are available in 30 B-C, such as the new Eden longline. 
  • BP.Undercover
    • Nordstrom's house brand for juniors, they offer several models in 30C. 
  • Braologie
    • Their Lacie and Casual bras are available in 26 AA-D, 28-30 AAA-C. 
  • Cake Lingerie
    • Their moulded nursing bra is available in 30 A-C. 
  • Debenhams
    • Offers a few models in 30 A-C as part of their house brand, the Gorgeous range. 
  • Esprit
    • I noticed some models in 30 A-C on Amazon UK, but they don't appear on Esprit's official site. 
  • Emporio Armani Intimates 
    • Their push up bras are available in 30 B-C. 
  • Fantasie
    • The Helena and Belle underwired balconettes bras are available from 30C. 
  • Gracya
    • Polish brand, a few models are available in 30 A-C. 
  • Hunkemöller Sweetheart Collection
    • Hunkemöllers teenage line, their wired and non-wired bras are currently offered in 28AA, 30 AA-B. The size range used to be bigger, and it looks like they're phasing out the 30B's. 
  • La Senza UK
    • Their bras used to be available in 30 A-D before the company changed owners. Check out Ebay for those sizes. 
  • Lascivious
    • Most, if not all, models start at 30C. 
  • Natori
    • The Feathers and Sheer Mesh Bra is available in 30 A-C in continuity colours Black and Café. As a side note, the Feathers is often recommended for shallow breasts. 
  • Passionata
    • At least two models are available in 30C.
  • Pour Moi?
    • The St. Tropez range is available in 30 B-C. It used to be available in 28 B-C, check out Ebay for those. A t-shirt bra is also available in 30 B-C, widely available on Ebay. 
  • Princesse Tam Tam
    • At least three models are available 30 A-C.
  • Shock Absorber
    • At least one of their sports bras is available in 30 A-C. 
  • Sloggi
    • A few models are available in 30 B-C. 
  • Triumph
    • Their non-wired Amourette bra is available in 30 AA-A. 
  • Ultimo
    • Several models used to be available in at least 30B. 
  • Victoria's Secret
    • The Pink line used to offer 30 A-B in several models, check out ebay for these sizes. 
  • What Katie Did
    • Their bullet bra is available in 30 A-C.

That's all I could find for now, if anyone has any more brands/stores to add, please leave a comment!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

[Review] Tutti Rouge Mae Padded Balconette & Frilly Brief - 28E & S

I meant to share this review ages ago, but life caught up, along with a bit of writers block. My current strategy is to review the remainder of my bras by brand, and I'm starting from the bottom.

I received this set a few months ago after participation in the Tutti Tattoo competition. I didn't win, but was offered an AW13 set of my choice to review for my blog. I went with the Mae, as I was intrigued by how it would compare to the Betty, one of my favourite everyday bras.

The Bra

General
This AW13 beauty is based on the SS13 Sophia cut, called a "padded balconette" although I'd call it more of a halfcup. It's a luxurious piece featuring satin and tulle, and is available in two colourways: Deep Berry/Black and Black/Ivory. I own the Berry/Black colourway. SS13's Sophia is still widely available, in colourways Mint and Candy.

Look
A red berry coloured base with black lace on top, along with a berry coloured tulle section. A big black rose sits in the middle, a refreshing change from the traditional bow. Simple black bows sit on top of the cups where it meets the embroidered straps. Black frills are present underneath the band, just like the Betty.

Band
Mesh band featuring two hooks and three eyes in this size. The band is wide and firm, comparable to a 28" Cleo. I recommend sizing up in the band if you're in between band sizes.

Cups
Lightly padded foam featuring one vertical seam. The cups are wide and shallow, although I do find the cups to be a bit deeper than the Betty's. The tulle is quite loose, but you can fold it in the cups for the most part. Interestingly enough, Bras I Hate and Love, who reviewed the SS13 sister cut the Sophia, mentions how very loose the tulle is in her size - and she's very full on top.

Center Gore & Wires
Narrow, relatively high center gore. The wires are wide.

Straps
Half adjustable straps. They're wide set. 

Fit
A good fit! The cups are filled well, the band is firm and doesn't shift around, the straps are decent when adjusted all the way. The wide wires cause no noticeable fit issues. The only issues are the wide set straps, and the tulle section: I do not entirely fill it, but pushing the tulle inside the cups solves this easily. The shape is very round. I prefer to wear the bra racerback, just like the Betty, although the photos I took are of me wearing the bra with the straps adjusted all the way.

Comfort
The materials used are of high quality, and comfortable. The tulle does not itch at all, nor do the frills underneath itch. The high gore gives me no discomfort.

Verdict
Another excellent Tutti bra for shallow breasts, I recommend this bra for tall, wide-root shallow breasts that are full on top. If you're even or full on bottom, the loose tulle section may gape, but I think it's entirely possible to tighten the tulle, or even remove it completely. Another option would be too size down in the cups, as the cups are very open and can easily accommodate.

The Frilly Brief 

The Mae comes with two matching options: a thong and a frilly brief. I own the latter, and it's much more true to size than the SS13 briefs in S. The back and side sections are see through, the fron section is the same satin like material as the bra's cups. They fit me perfectly, are comfortable, and playful - I love the keyhole and frills on the back! 

Mae vs Betty

Mae's cups are a bit deeper and more open on top, Betty's band is firmer. Betty's cups are lower, and are different in upper shape. Mae's cups start lower than the gore,and continue to go higher until the section where the straps are attached, like a slope. Betty's cups do not have this gradual slope, and its straps are directly attached to the cups. Overall, the Mae is bigger than Betty in a few ways.

Conclusion

An absolutely gorgeous set in the most gorgeous colours, complemented with adorable Tutti Rouge details. The bra is definitely worth checking out for those with shallow breasts who love a round shape. The set can be used as a bedroom set and as an everyday set, but the decorations on the bra may show through tight clothing. Tutti Rouge has easily become one of my favourite brands, and their consistent success on shallow breasts makes my heart flutter. While this bra is only available in DD cups and up, Tutti has plans to incorporate D cups in their collection soon, and I certainly hope they venture below a D in the future. 



Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Problem with Kate: On Curvy Kate and Shallow Breasts

When I started writing this post, it was meant to be one of my regular reviews, this time of the Curvy Kate Dreamcatcher Balconnete in 28D, DD, and E. As a result of reading a recent fit check on bratabase for the Curvy Kate Gia, this post morphed into something bigger, tackling Curvy Kate's performance as a brand in smaller sizes, and specifically it's non-padded bras and smaller breasts. I'm basing this post on my own experience, numerous fit checks from Bratabase and r/abrathatfits, a wealth of reviews from these two, as well as blogger reviews and customer reviews from retailer sites like Figleaves, Amazon and Herroom.

Curvy Kate is a brand I've loved ever since I discovered my well-fitting size (I'm leaning towards 28E currently, but I'm still the occasional 28DD). However, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that me and Kate are just not working out. Don't get me wrong, I still mostly like the aesthetics of their bras, but the fit part of their designs is a another story. 

"Curvy Kate Bras are Wide and Shallow"


Now for a bit of history on Curvy Kate's models and their performance on shallow breasts: Curvy Kate has acquired a reputation of being wide and shallow in all of their models -  I personally think the "wide and shallow" reputation originated solely from the larger cup sizes, and got also assigned to the smaller cup sizes. This reputation is simply incorrect when it comes to non-padded designs in the smaller cup sizes - the cups have always been quite deep in the lower size range, and have barely, if ever, been a success for shallow breasts. The brand listened to the customer complaints of "wide and shallow", and redesigned their entire collection (both lingerie and swimwear) to be narrower and deeper, starting SS13.

As a side note, I'm not going to devote much words to their swimwear collection for two reasons: 1) reviews are scarce, and 2) aside from the halternecks, all models are based on existing models of the main collection. Their first swimwear season was SS12, followed by SS13. For SS14: the tankinis are based on their balconette cut, the moulded bras are based on the Smoothie, and their padded bras are based on the Daily Boost/Lola. The halternecks do look shallow friendly, although the only reviews I found (most of them FF+ cups) only mentioned that they run small in the cups. Then again, complaints of cups running small are often a sign of the cup being too shallow for projected breasts.

Even before SS13, reviews of the non-padded balconettes from bratabase users with shallow breasts are overwhelmingly negative. The reviews after SS13 even more so. Currently, there are 4 continuity styles available, the Princess, Portia, Gia, and Dreamcatcher. Some models, like the Romance, only have fashion colourways available, and some only pop up once a season, like AW13's Rosie. Most of these balconettes have the same base construction with slight variations to differentiate them, such as a tighter upper section (Princess), or a laminated cup (Lottie, Eden). Curvy Kate introduced their non-padded plunge in AW13 with the Daisy Chain. There aren't any reviews available in smaller sizes, but I doubt they'll be any more positive than the reviews for the balconettes. 

In the past, most of Curvy Kate's padded half cups proved themselves as a success for shallow breasts. They were generally one-or-two seasons flies, like the Entice and the Fleurty.  The Tease Me is also often cited as being well suited for shallow breasts, but despite having very shallow cups at the bottom, the deep apex makes it a very tricky fit, as it does require much top fullness and and projection. This makes it a very hit or miss bra in the smaller sizes (judging by the bratabase reviews, it's overwhelmingly a miss). The Thrill Me has some sizing issues of its own, but fares better than the Tease Me thanks to the cups having less projection on top - some reviews indicate it to be wider and shallow than the Tease Me, but as the colourways differ so much from each other, I cannot state this with certainty. The Tease Me will return in AW14, all the others have been discontinued. SS14 saw the introduction of a new padded half-cup, the Ritzy (also available as a babydoll), and a half cup longline, the Carmen. There aren't many reviews out there on either, but so far the Ritzy seems to be promising, with Carmen being on the fence - more reviews will hopefully shed more light on their respective fit. 

The other padded model in their arsenal, the plunge, was a success for small, shallow sizes. Tempt Me, Wild and (especially) the Elegance were also a success on shallow breasts, but have been discontinued since SS13. The continuity multi-way plunge, the Desire, is also shallow, but has some (unrelated) issues which cause the top edge to flare. The Roxie showed up in SS14, but there aren't enough reviews available for me to give a proper verdict. It's supposedly based on the Tempt Me post-SS13.

An entirely different story are the padded balconnetes, based on their non-padded design: the continuity style Daily Boost, and the Lola (also available as a babydoll). The latter will show up in fashion colourways until at least AW14. These bras feature projected cups with narrow wires. Note that sizing down may allow shallow breasts to work in this style, but I personally can't comment on that.

Their moulded offerings, the Smoothie and Starlet (both continuity styles), are a tricky fit - the top edge is fairly closed, the bottom is very shallow, and the center is rather projected. In my case, going down a cup size solved this problem, but it does make this bra a mixed success for those with shallow breasts. Their first moulded strapless bra, the Luxe, is to be released in September as a continuity style. Strapless bras tend to be shallow, but time will tell if the Luxe follows this trend.

So, while Curvy Kate did score some hits in the past, their current collection exists mostly of non-padded balcony and plunge bras that do not fit shallow breasts well. Their SS14 collection offers 19 models in total: 8 non-padded models with a nearly non-existent success rate, 3 padded models (Daily Boost, Lola, Lola Babydoll) with a very low success rate, 2 models with a mixed success rate (Smoothie and Starlet), 1 model with a decent success rate (the Desire), and 5 models with an undecided success rate (Roxie, Ritzy, Ritzy Babydoll, Carmen, and the as of this writing still unreleased Luxe). AW14 sees even more non-padded designs, mostly new plunges, the Tease Me, Carmen, Ritzy, and Roxie all return with new fashion colourways,  and a new fashion padded plunge will be available, called the Lovestruck. In my eyes, it looks like Curvy Kate's priority for now are their non-padded designs. 

Me and Kate: A Summary of Tried and Tested Bras

28E
28DD
28D
As a reminder: my breasts are shallow, close-set, even in fullness, and have a conical shape, meaning I'm narrow on the sides and center heavy.

I won the Dreamcatcher months ago in the one year anniversary giveaway of Let's Get Lippy, a wonderful and well written beauty and lifestyle blog. After the bra arrived and didn't fit me, I ordered the bra in 28D and 28DD from Brastop, determined to figure out once and for all if Curvy Kate's balconettes can work for my shallow breasts.

The Dreamcatcher is a three-part non-padded balconette, introduced AW13 as a continuity range. According to bratabase, it's based on the Emily, Ella, and Romance. The cups are quite close together, not wide, and the wires are narrow-medium width in all three sizes I tried.

The main problem with me and the Dreamcatcher are the cups being too deep overall and too closed along the cup edge in all three sizes I've tried. The 28E was a mess of epic proportion: the cups wrinkled like no tomorrow, and no adjusting of the straps or band could fix it. The 28DD was a wrinkly mess of biblical proportions, and the 28D was simply a wrinkly mess, with cutting in at the top. Of course, me being conical plays it part, but the wrinkling presented itself in such ways that my shape on the sides hardly mattered with everything else going on. 

Size
73.0
54.5
19.8
11.8
20.0
6.0
5.0
2.0
2.0
73.5
55.9
20.5
12.6
20.3
5.8
5.0
2.0
1.6
73.1
54.8
22.4
12.3
21.4
5.8
5.5
2.1
1.5

As you can see from the bratabase comparison, the wires in the smaller size range actually aren't really that wide: my three different sizes were very close together in measurement when it comes to cup width and wire length. The cups are very deep for their respective sizes, even just going by the measurements. I know depth measurements aren't the clearest indicator on how a bra is built or how/if the bra will fit, but for comparisons sake: the 28E Dreamcatcher's depth is close to the Thrill Me in 28G's depth - ouch. 

Now that my blog is older, now that I've tried numerous bras and brands, I can reflect more clearly when it comes to bra fit. I'm ashamed to admit, but I did sometimes delude myself into thinking a bra didn't actually fit that bad, simply because I liked the looks of it too much or another silly reason.

I've tried several non-padded Curvy Kate models other than the Dreamcatcher, and the results were dreadful. The pre-SS13 Criss Cross I dug out of my "for sale bag" just for this post, and boy is it an awful fit on me, especially after loosening up the straps a little. The top of the cup doesn't even touch my chest, and there's heavy with wrinkling near the nipple. The pre-SS13 Princess, which has been sold in the meantime, had the same wrinkling issues along with cutting in at the top edge of the cups, thanks to the heavy embroidery. I did have a pseudo-positive experience with the Portia, as I was able to make it shallow by tying the cups together. It's not exactly ideal though, and it's of course not the way the bra is meant to be worn.

As for the padded models I tried: their padded half cups stab me painfully in the sternum, but other than that, a fine fit on my shallow breasts. I own(ed) the Entice, Fleurty, and Tease Me. I tried the latter in 28E ages ago and returned it because it was too big, I currently own it in 28DD. The Daily Boost, which I thought at the time to be an okay fit, was actually a bad fit a la the Freya Deco: a projected mess. The Desire is still a good fit, and I tried the Elegance ages ago before I started blogging - I don't remember much of it, but I remember it fit well enough, but I disliked how it looked underneath clothing. I haven't tried any of their other plunges.

The Bondi Breeze was a plunge cut, and I think it was based on the Tempt Me (the only plunge CK offered back in SS12). The fit wasn't bad or anything, I simply didn't like how little it covered. Although I do recall I found it to run big for a 28DD, but that may have had something to do with the stretchy fabric - other reviews indicate it to be shallow, and it fit Denocte of Kurven Diskussionen well when she wore this size. I've yet to review the Moonlight Padded Bikini Top in 28DD and Paradise Moulded Bikini in 28DD. The Moonlight, based on the Daily Boost is still too projected for me, and the cup fabric wrinkles where my breasts aren't round. The Paradise fits me exactly the same as the Smoothie, although the cups seem the tiniest bit more open, making it a slightly better fit.

So, all in all, Curvy Kate's non-padded offerings were a disaster on me, and their padded offerings worked mostly positive on me. I know I'm not the only one who experiences their models like this, and especially when it comes to my fit issues with the non-padded Curvy Kate bras - numerous reviews and fit checks tell me I'm not unique in experiencing a profound shape mismatch.


What Can Kate Do?


Is the Dreamcatcher, and by proxy the CK balconette, a bad bra? No, but it is thoroughly unsuitable for small, shallow breasts. This bra is made with full on top and projected breasts in mind, and with the recent trend of various redesigns making the cups even more narrow and deeper, I can't help but think that they should discontinue their smaller sizes in non-padded models.

I know I shouldn't think like that -  projected breasts in this size range do exist, and it's wrong from me to assume otherwise, and deny those with projected breasts within this size range a choice of bras. Then again, I don't want those with shallow breasts to be disappointed, and with the current trend being "narrower and deeper cups", I'm not particularly hopeful for the future.

So, what can Curvy Kate do about this? They're not obligated to do anything of course, but in my opinion, the perfect solution would be the introduction of a non-padded style with vertical seams, such as a half cup. This style nearly always works well for shallow breasts, and as an added bonus is it's also a style that generally works well with all other shapes and sizes. Another solution would be to make different designs for different size ranges, like Ewa Michalak does with the 3D(M) and S(M) ranges - but I cannot say whether this would be a feasible undertaking, especially sales wise.

They're on the right track with most their padded models, but the fact that little of their successful-on-shallow-breasts models are continuity styles is bothersome. Sure, you can still find the SS13 Entice if you dig around a bit, but in a year or so it'll be as good as gone. The Fleurty and Thrill Me's have virtually disappeared, safe for Ebay and a few outlet sites. A continuity style half cup in the vein of the Entice or the Ritzy would be an excellent addition to Curvy Kate's diverse continuity collection - perhaps even with a lower gore, as complaints of gore stabbing are common in the lower size range (again, in my opinion). 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

[Giveaway] RUBY South Africa - Win a Lingerie Set to Call Your Own!

A while ago, I was contacted by Robyn, the founder of RUBY South Africa, if I was interested in doing a giveaway for my lovely readers. Overjoyed, I shouted YES! at my computer screen before replying with a more rational e-mail. 

RUBY is an independent fashion brand based in South Africa. The company was founded in twelve years ago in Capetown by Robyn Lidsky, and is still owned by her to this day. They specialize in ethical, handmade lingerie and jewelry. Robyn also developed the RUBY BEADING CIRCLE programme, a fair trade initiative that employs local women, utilizing their traditional beading techniques in a contemporary, fashion-forward context. 


Their lingerie collections features handmade bras (most of them non-wired), knickers, hosiery, and nightwear in sizes XS-XL. One of my personal favourites is the lovely Coral and Dusty Blue lace set, which is also available as a chemise. Their official website shows several designs unavailable in their Etsy store (under the Fashion Week tab), but don't fret: the recent creations are available on request, such as this gorgeous black lace bra with sleeves.

Their jewelry collection features necklaces (pendants and lockets), earrings, and headbands. Again, all ethically made. 

Their products are currently sold through a number of local and global boutiques, and you can purchase RUBY's products online via Etsy. The best part: their prices! Very reasonable prices for handmade, ethical fashion, and their Etsy store charges very low worldwide shipping (always a big plus in my eyes!)

Another great thing about RUBY is their environmental stance. You may have seen their anti-fracking campaign, and their latest campaign is all about saving the ocean. Currently, the oceans are being plagued by plastic, the main culprit being plastic bottles. Not only does this threaten the fish living in the ocean that it their home, it also threatens the Earth's delicate ecosystem.



Shot by the South African photographer Ilse Moore, famous for her ethereal underwater photography. The campaign is cleverly called S.O.S: Save Our Seas. The models are shot as mermaids, with tails made from upcycled bra cups. It's a visually stunning campaign, using mermaid imagery alongside it's critical message to create a powerful statement. I personally try to use as little plastic water bottles as I can - a small gesture, but the little things count too. 


Would you like to win some pretty frillies? RUBY is offering Petite & Plentiful readers the chance to win 3 RUBY lingerie sets to call their own. Simply enter the rafflecopter below for your chance of winning a RUBY set of your choice!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 16 March 2014

[Review] Gossard Glossies Sheer Moulded Bra - 30D & 30DD

I've been wanting to try out the Gossard Glossies for a long time - they top Amazon UK's Lingerie chart in popularity, and the idea of a sheer moulded bra sounded very appealing to me. I ended up buying the Glossies in size 30D and 30DD, along with the padded plunge in 30DD, from Zalando, a German site that offers free shipping and returns to Dutch residents. I figured with the free shipping/returns, there was nothing to lose.

General
Gossard's best selling range, the Glossies are sheer, non-padded, moulded t-shirt bras. Continuity colourways available are Beige, White, Black, and Mocha. The current fashion colourway is Coral (SS14), and a Leopard print continuity range in Black and Blush will debut in AW14. Cup sizes above D feature a side sling. The range also includes a padded plunge, in addition to a matching boyshort, high waisted brief, and thong.

Look
A black see through bra. The center gore is made of black fabric. The 30D has embroidery on top of the band, the 30DD does not. Both feature a gold Gossard tag next to the right cup.

Band
The band of the 30DD is wider in the front than the 30D, but the 30D is wider in the back. Both feature two hooks and three eyes. They run a bit small for a 30 band, stretching to 29". Neither one of them has reinforced wings.

Cups
Non-padded, moulded cups with no seams. The cups aren't very tall, and they're not very tight. The 30DD has a big side sling inside the cups. The cups are see through, and do not shield your nipples. 

Center Gore & Wires
The gore on both bras is made out of stretchy fabric. The 30D has a low, very narrow center gore. The 30DD has a slightly higher center gore that is much wider than the 30D. The wires are narrow-medium width for both, and feel a bit more flimsier than those of Curvy Kate and the like. The 30D's are flimsier than the 30DD's.

Straps
Fully adjustable straps. The 30D's straps are about a cm thinner than the 30DD's. Both are narrow set.

Fit
Wearing the 30DD, side view of my bigger breast. You can see the wrinkling. 
Both of these bras were completely non-compatible with me, shape wise. The 30DD was much too big in addition to the fit issues I had with the 30D, so I'll be discussing my fit issues with the smaller size in detail. My breasts are conical, and this bra definitely requires round breasts - the cups wrinkle on the outer side of my nipples (the 30DD had extreme wrinkling). On top of that, in order to fit this bra, you also need very full on bottom breasts. In addition, I have a tall root which this bra doesn't like, all in all resulting in the unflattering pointy ski-slope shape pictured above.

Comfort 
The cups are very soft, the band is made of similar velvet like material. The cups of the 30D are softer than the 30DD's, an the straps are scratchy on both.

Verdict
I imagine this bra works great as a plain everyday t-shirt bra for those who it fit. Unfortunately, I ran in too much fit issues to ever try this bra again - I recommend this for those with round breasts, a short root, and a full on bottom shape. I can't properly recommend or advise against this bra for shallow breasts - the lower cup seems to me a shape issue based on me being conical and not very full on bottom, so it may be worth a try (in a size down perhaps) if you're shallow and very full on bottom. I'm quite bummed out that this bra didn't fit me, but luckily the other Glossies, the Padded Plunge, fit me much better - expect a review soon!