Tuesday 23 April 2013

Freya "Cha Cha" Bikini Review

I'm a person who is very picky about what kind of swimwear I like, but one thing I've long been obsessed with is white bikinis. Something about Ursula Andress in "Dr. No"--

As a side note, Ursula Andress is my celebrity torso double as well as my bikini idol. Like me, she has a short torso that's kind of flattened in the front and smaller from the side. But anyway...

Freya's Cha Cha bikini appealed to me for "Dr. No" reasons and their bikinis are often quite wonderful in terms of shape. You might remember my success with their unpadded plunge bikini shape (seen in my review of the Siren bikini). The Padded Sweetheart cut of the Cha Cha and several other of their bikinis, meanwhile, is one I hadn't tried before.

But vertical seams always indicate a round shape, so I decided to give it a try.

YUP! Round shape. I ordered it in a 32GG. As with the plunge Siren bikini, I find myself wondering if I could just barely manage to size down in the cups (so a 32G or 30GG), because these bikini shapes both run a little bigger than Freya's or Panache's balconette bras or balconette bikinis. The 32GG isn't too big for me, but has the slightest bit of empty space in the apex, down the center seam. I think I could also squeeze into a cup size smaller and just have a bit more cleavage.

The cut of the cups is great for my full-on-top shape. Those with less volume there might want to try a smaller size if you're in between sizes to prevent gapping on the top edge. It does, however, have a little bit of stretch in it.

The padding is very thin and unobtrusive, which is good--less "squeezing out the boobs" action after getting out of the water than with a thicker padding...at least, I hope.

The band is, of course, a little loose on me (more so than the Siren) and rides up a bit.

It's a sister size from my normal size of 30H, so this is to be expected. However, I actually prefer this for swimwear because I don't like to have the band cutting in too much, for reasons of pure vanity.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the matching bottoms anywhere for under $25. I'm obsessive about having matching bikini tops and bottoms, but not $25 worth of obsessive, so I launched a months-long search of the internet to find something cheaper that would go with it. I got lucky on ASOS, finding this bikini short on sale for $6.65. I got a size 6. Here's the full set:

I was really happy with how well the patterns matched on the Freya Cha Cha and ASOS bottoms:

The success of this bikini is making me excited for summer--so close and yet it still feels so far!

Do you have a 'bikini idol'? Ever found a swimsuit that lets you walk in her shoes?

Wednesday 17 April 2013

A Quick Note About Buying Bras From ASOS

Hey, ladies. Sorry for the severe lack of posing lately. Don't worry, there are lots of posts coming up soon.

I recently noticed that ASOS (a UK retailer) has a US site, which offers free shipping and free returns. Combine this with the fact that they sell Panache, Cleo, and Freya bras and swimwear, and this is really good news for busty US shoppers on a budget. The best part is that their prices are low, not marked up past the normal UK prices. Plus, they have good sales.

So what's the downside? Well, the US ASOS site has decided to use a whacked-out version of "US Sizing" which makes it very difficult to tell what size you're actually ordering. This is a strange marketing decision, because the US size marked on the tags of Panache and Freya bras is the same as the UK size. After all, there really is no such thing as standard US bra sizing past DD!

But fear not, I've spent a bit of time examining the sizing system they use and I'm pretty sure I've cracked it. Here's the conversion. (Note: I had the HH=L and J=M messed up at first, it's corrected now!)

The band sizes are the same as the UK sizes. So if I'm trying to buy a 30H Cleo bra, I would buy a 30K on the US ASOS site. If you're looking for a 32E, you would buy a 32DDD/F from ASOS. If you want a 36F, buy a 36G from ASOS. Yeah, it's a little confusing, but if it gets you the bra you need at a price you can afford, then I'll still call it a win.