03 September, 2017

Comfortably Stylish - A Short Review of Urkye Koalicja Serca+Granat in 34OO/OOO


I have real difficulty finding clothes that fit me due to my bust/waist sizes, so I often look at bust friendly brands as a potential solution. Unfortunately, my personal style is brightly coloured/patterned, interesting clothes and most of these brands deal in basiscs so I always leave the websites empty handed and disappointed. My perspective is: I can buy a T shirt from H&M for £3.99, I'm not concerned much about the fit. What I can't do is buy a nice dress or an interestingly designed shirt that actually sits well on me.

Urkye doesn't seem to me to be much different from other full bust brands, both in size range (it only goes up to a 44 waist size, which I believe corresponds to a UK 16, so no plus size range here) and in design. However, one dress stood out to me, and I decided to give it a try.


Success! A dress that fits me well and I enjoy wearing! The dress didn't take too long to arrive (in the UK), either, considering it came from Poland. For reference, I usually wear a 6/8 in waist sizes but have to size up multiple times to get a good fit in the bust (I usually don't though because I end up with badly fitting shoulders).

I have edited the colour of this image slightly to better portray the colours, however the other pictures are much more accurate.

This dress has a blue heart design on blue stretch cotton, and a dark blue cotton stretch skirt. While it's a little tame for my tastes, the dress is well made and the fabric is quite high quality -it's thick and opaque, though it's not sticky or hot.


It fits very well, though I would prefer it to be slightly snugger around my waist and a tiny bit larger in the bust - it doesn't look like a bad fit though, so it's all right. It fits well across my shoulders and the sleeves aren't too tight (something I struggle with in many clothes).


The dress is well sewn with neat seams inside and out. I like how the boat neck doesn't show my bra straps, most dresses would. It's not something I care about particularly but I think it does elevate an outfit.


The skirt is just a bit too long for my preference, coming in at an inch or so below my knee (I'm about 5'3 for reference), and I intend to get it hemmed.

You can see the slight bagginess around my back/waist, with adjustment it goes away mostly but not entirely.
All in all, I definitely believe this dress was worth its price, and I would absolutely buy again from Urkye if they had more garments that suited my taste!


18 July, 2017

Why I love FUNderwear (and how to get hold of it in extended sizes)


Lots of people use lingerie as a way of expressing their sexuality. And that's great - power to them. This post is not negatively framing those people's choices in any way, but about my alternative perspective.

Three pairs of underpants, two with Disney designs on them, one with a dinosaur print, laid out on a bed.
Apologies for the poor photo, my phone is broken so I had to make do with an old camera.

Ever since I went through puberty I have been told that my body, and other womens' bodies, are
inherently sexual, just because they exist in the "female" subcategory. A man can make jokes about nudity, his genitals, even masturbation and they are generally well received because the context of these remarks is humorous. If a woman tries the same thing, the reception is never quite the same because people will always colour her comments with sexuality. Of course, the level of this will depend on the woman's race, age, gender expression, size, whether they're disabled or not, trans status, and multiple other things. But it never goes away entirely.

28 June, 2017

Dishearteningly Dear - All Undone Lottie Review in 28GG


Ever since I found out about All Undone I have fallen in love with their aesthetic. The sleek lines, bright colours and high quality materials have put them at the top of my wishlist for years. One thing held me back though - whenever the bras were reduced in price to within my budget, they were made nonreturnable. I did some research and found out that this is against the law in the UK (where the company is based), so I contacted them about it and they updated their policy. Great!

James Van Der Beek's sad face pasted over a picture of me in the Lottie

Unfortunately the Lottie is a major disappointment. I got it for £31.60 plus shipping from their sale, its usual price is a whopping £79!

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!

Image of me wearing the Graffiti, taken at a 45 degree angle

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:

 

Image of me wearing the Graffiti from the front
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.

Close up shot of the cup of the Graffiti, showing the bright and detailed print

Close up on the clock shaped charm on the Graffiti's gore

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

The Graffiti laid out on a bed, the front of the bra is visible.

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? 

Close up shot of the Graffiti's straps

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:


Shot of me wearing the Graffiti from the back.

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.

Shot of me wearing the Graffiti from the top, so the gore float is visible

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.

Side on shot of me indicating how low the wires sit on the Graffiti, I can fit two fingers between the wire and my IMF

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.

Shot of me wearing the Graffiti, also at a 45 degree angle

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.

Side view of me wearing the Graffiti, showing a fairly rounded profile

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.


16 January, 2017

Bra Science — 11 Signs You May be Wearing a Boob Hat


Do you feel unsupported by your bra? That it squashes your boobs down instead of lifting them up? Or maybe you feel that your bra is just a useless garment altogether, costing quite a bit of money considering it just doesn't really do anything? You may be wearing... a boob hat.

Many people who wear bras know some of the signs of poor fit – most recognise that spillage out of a bra isn’t right, and the same goes for gapping. Some know that the gore should lie flat against the sternum, and that the band shouldn’t ride up (or ride down). Few know anything more detailed than that.

So from this lack of detailed knowledge a phenomenon appears: the boob hat. The boob hat is something I describe as a bra that kinda looks like it fits to an inexperienced eye, but in reality it doesn’t. It simply sits/floats around the boobs, not containing or supporting them fully (if at all), potentially squishing them down, hence the name.

So how can you avoid falling into this trap? Here are eleven common symptoms of the dreaded boob hat, from least obvious to most obvious:

1. Vertical cleavage folds.


A bra/boob hat with obvious vertical cleavage folds