20 June, 2017

Bra Science: How Band Size Changes with Cup Size - Freya


Welcome to part two of my series on how band lengths are not always equal between cup sizes. Last time we had Cleo by Panache, now we're testing Freya's band lengths.

I collected Bratabase data on the stretched and unstretched band lengths in a couple of band sizes of Freya bras - the ones with the most data. The results are as follows:


07 June, 2017

I will be the coolest kid! — Comexim Graffiti Review in 55M


Comexim's designs don't often inspire me. However, as a connoisseur of all things fun - underwear or otherwise - I just had to buy this bra as soon as I saw it. A graffiti print longline? SIGN ME UP!


I ordered the bra in a 55M with the "deeper cups" and "reduced cup height" alterations (though I have no way of telling if they were done or not). I paid 149 zloty for it, a little over £30, plus shipping.

Design:

 

Sorry for the low quality image! My phone just wasn't cooperating with me today!
Be still, my beating heart. I adore this print and the vibrant colours.



Although the gore floats - LOOK AT THAT CLOCK CHARM! I love it! Plain bows are so overdone, give me a charm any day!


While I really like the block of graffiti print below the cups, unfortunately, the rest of the band and the inside of the bra is just boring black, which does make me a bit sad. However, would adding more colour just bring it over the top? 


The straps are just embellished black elastic, which again is just a bit boring. They do their job well enough and are a good width for me - not too narrow as to dig in, but not hugely wide and stiff like some other brands.

Construction:


The bra is a three part, longline... plunge? balconette? with fully adjustable straps and 5 rows and 3 columns of hooks. I'm questioning the plunge/balconette part as its gore is lower than most balconettes I've tried but higher than a plunge. I would say it's about the height of a half cup's gore.

I would prefer 6 hooks but I'm happy to take 5 - some longlines I've tried (cough cough, Freya Pandora) have had a measly 4. 4 is basically 3 and 3 is a normal bra!

I also appreciate the leotard back. They always feel that bit more secure for me, and they're often hard to come by on longlines.

The bra feels like it's constructed sturdily. I feel like its lack of depth by the gore (more on that later) is putting a bit of strain on the fabric near the gore, but I'm confident it will last for a long time - it's certainly been difficult to even slightly stretch out the bottom part of the band - something I've struggled with as you'll see later on!

The straps are also quite well-designed as their texture means the adjusters really stay where they are, but aren't difficult to adjust manually.

Fit:



Unfortunately, while I love how this bra looks, the fit isn't stellar. The main issue is its v-shaped band. While my waist is about the same size as my underbust, the Graffiti is designed for a much smaller waist than underbust. While the band fits great at the top, it is a bit of a struggle to wear this bra all day. Often I have to undo the bottom two hooks after a couple of hours. Because the band is so tight it often scooches up a bit in the middle at the front over the course of the day, though it doesn't bother me too much.


The cups don't fit incredibly either - they can't handle my centre fullness, so the gore floats and I have some centre spillage on my larger boob.


The wires are also too wide and definitely don't have enough depth at the bottom, so the wires are both too wide and ride down a lot. By the end of the day the wires feel a bit pokey at the bottom, but I think this is more becase of the too snug band than the lack of depth at the wire.


The cups are tall despite me ordering reduced cup height - maybe they didn't do it? I'm not sure. My tall roots are accommodated well, but I would definitely not recommend this bra to someone with short roots even with the alteration.


The bra gives me a fairly rounded, quite minimised side profile. I definitely prefer my boobs to be projected outwards as I find it more comfortable over time, but I don't dislike the shape this bra gives me.

I would say this bra would fit someone with average horizontal fullness, tall roots, someone who does not require a huge amount of depth at the wire, and above average overall projection.

Bratabase Measurements:

 
As this bra is a longline, the gore height's measurement isnt truly accurate. From the bottom of the cups, the gore is 8.7cm tall. 

Overall:

I think this bra is great fun, and I could even see someone wearing it with a jacket as a crop top/lingerie as outerwear thing. It's great, and I feel awesome whenever I wear it (that is, until the band starts digging in!).

Have you ever tried a Comexim longline? What did you think?

06 May, 2017

How to Take the Best Bra Fit Pictures (& Imgur Privacy Guide)

Note: This blog post has images with text on them, so I've uploaded a text-only version here that should be compatible with text to speech readers.

Angles

 

Make sure you're taking these pictures with neutral posture, as that's how fit is judged! If there is a difference in fit on each breast, be sure to take photos of each side.

1. The Diagonal Shot


A diagonally framed image of someone wearing a bra, labelled with the fit aspects visible at this angle.
This is my new CHP Koktajl in case you were wondering

18 April, 2017

Bra Science - 16 Signs You're Wearing a Parachute Bra


Since people loved my 11 Signs You're Wearing a Boob Hat post, I have decided to write one about the opposite syndrome: The Parachute Bra.

Parachute bras are worn by people who have realised that the "plus 4" method of measuring people is a terrible system, but they go too far the other way - wearing too small bands and too large cups to compensate. I call them parachute bras because the cups billow in the wind, and the band is tight around you like a harness. Some people call this "reverse letterphobia" but I've chosen a different name because I feel that reverse letterphobia is a little bit.. judgey (and my name is catchier ngl).

Why do people do this? They may be very afraid of the too loose bands they were wearing in the past, they may want to be a smaller band and larger cup than they are because of a lack of body confidence, or they may just not quite know how a bra should fit. They may also have a projected shape and size up to get the depth they need in too shallow bras, instead of trying bras better for their shape.

When a band is too small, the wires get warped, pulling the cups wider. This means that there is less outwards depth in the cups, making them appear too small. So you size up in the cups until the outwards depth is right - the bra looks like it fits! However, in reality, the band is too small and the cup is too large.

So here are the symptoms of this phenomenon:

Edited note: Just like on a page about a medical issue, I haven't written much about the other causes of these symptoms here. If only one or a few of these symptoms apply to you, you probably are not wearing a parachute bra, other fit issues may be at play. 

Your band may be too small if...


22 March, 2017

Bra Science: How Band Size Changes with Cup Size - Cleo by Panache


Just when  you thought bra fitting couldn't get any more complicated, it turns out that a 30 often isn't the same as a 30.

It's commonly known that people with larger cup sizes tend to choose smaller bands over those with smaller cup sizes. But is this an organic decision or influenced by changing band lengths with cup sizes?

I collected Bratabase data on the stretched and unstretched band lengths in a couple of band sizes of Cleo bras - the ones with the most data. The results were pretty interesting!

Line chart showing Cleo's stretched band lengths in D-J cups in 28, 30 and 32 bands

01 March, 2017

Longline Giving Me a Hard Time - Freya Pandora Review in 28G


I adore how this bra looks, on the stock photos, and, to an extent, irl. It looks pretty basic from the front but it has some stunning design features that I will delve into later. However, in true Freya fashion, this bra only goes up to a 28G so it really doesn't fit me, which makes me sad.


Onto the review...

11 February, 2017

Take a Bow - Cleo Della Review in 28G

I so wanted this bra to work. After the unprecedented success of Cleo Blake, I've been super willing to try more Cleos. Sadly, it just wasn't to be.