Monday 26 August 2013

Curvy Kate "Desire" Multiway Bra Review

Due to the miserable lack of options for multiway bras above a G cup, I was understandably excited to see Curvy Kate coming out with a bra that can be worn as a halter or cross-back. When I found the Desire for sale cheaply in a 28J, I decided to try it out.

I knew I would need an extender with the 28 back as I am more like a 30HH or 32H in Curvy Kate now. Even with an extender, this is a small 28 band.

The bra doesn't come with an additional strap to become the halter strap. Rather, the normal straps are long enough so that one can be made into a halter strap. Although I worried the straps were too easily adjustable and thus would slide out of shape, I didn't find that to be a problem.

The bra is very low in the armpits, which I know some of you will like, and others will dislike.

Beyond these factors, though, I'm very sorry to say that the Desire is disastrous. And not just disastrous on me; the bra itself has a MAJOR issue that will need to be corrected before this bra can be remotely marketable.

You can see from the front that the bra looks to be a pretty good fit. The gore is nice and low but lies flat.

The issue arises when you look at the side view. Somehow the foam in the padding is distorted. It squishes in about an inch from the top edge, and then flares out. Even with my aggressive upper fullness, my boobs can't fill that huge flare at the top when they are being squished in just an inch underneath.

Indicating the place where the foam squishes inward

A better view of the edge flaring out

The best photo I captured of the overall distorted shape
I'm pretty baffled by this shape snafu. I'm sure this is not how Curvy Kate INTENDED for the cups to be shaped, because this is not a shape that will work for anyone. Check out another review of this bra from a blogger with a completely different shape to witness how problematic this issue is. It also suggests that I didn't just get a 'dud', but rather than this is a persistent issue--at least in the upper cup size range. I'm really hopeful that Curvy Kate will take quick steps to resolve this. As is, I can't even re-sell the bra in good conscience because I very much doubt it will work for anyone. Instead, I'm going to try to do some alterations on the bra to make it work. I still really want a halter bra just to have the pressure moved to a different place on my shoulders on some days, and I'm wondering if taking a dart in the top of the cup could help with the shape. I'll update when I've figured something out.

Has anyone else tried this bra? Has anyone tried it and NOT had this issue? Let us know in the comments.

Monday 19 August 2013

Freya "Patsy" Padded Half Cup (H-cup!) Review

I'm back :)

Freya recently made a (very quiet) decision to extend the sizes of their padded half-cup bras to H (previously they only went to G). I was thrilled to hear this, because the vertical-seam design of the padded half-cups is perfect for giving a round shape. Since Freya's balconettes tend to give a pointy shape on lots of people, I was happy to see them giving more attention to a better seam structure. Unfortunately, Miss Underpinnings recently reported that (after only about a week of these bras being available in H-cups) they're already limiting the number of bras that will have this extended size range for next season. Boo, Freya. Don't be frightened of adding a mere TWO cup sizes to a successful shape. We want these bras and we will buy them if you make them. I'm hoping my review can highlight the fact that these bras are here, they work, and they're great! If we all go and buy one, maybe Freya will see that there is indeed demand for this shape up to H cups. That's my shameless plug.

To start with, I've always loved the design of the Patsy but never bought the unpadded balconette because it's famous for giving a very pointy shape. I always lusted after the half-cup, but wasn't sure if I could take in a 34G to make it work. I love the new "Ballet Pink" color, the first to go to H, and couldn't buy it fast enough. I decided in the end to get a 32H instead of a 30H, because I was afraid these would run a little small in the cups. (The band doesn't matter much to me because I've recently gained weight and a 32 band is fine for me now, though I've preferred a 30 in the past.)

I was right that the cups run a little small, and the 32H was perfect for me in the cups. I'd recommend going up a cup size if you have a lot of upper volume or if you are usually between sizes. For those with lower fullness who are consistently the same cup size, normal cup size should be okay. 

The gore on this bra does NOT lay flat on me. This is not ideal, but also not unexpected as Freya is not known to have the strongest wires. I don't mind very much because my boobs are firm enough to not slip around, and in some ways it actually makes the bra more comfortable. However, if you are a perfectionist about gores lying flat, or if you have boobs that tend to spill over into the middle, the gore in these higher cup sizes may be an issue to be aware of.

The shape from the side is stellar, exactly what I look for. The Patsy (and by extension, the Freya padded half-cup shape in general) gives a bit more lift than Cleo's Juna-based half-cups or Curvy Kate's Showgirl half-cups. It is less low-slung than those and consequently a little less minimizing, but still holds everything closer to home than most balconettes do.

As you can see, the underwires are a little less wide than many British bras in this size range. They're not as narrow as most Polish bras, though.

The padding is thin, which I'm glad about. However, when combined with the patterned mesh overlay, it's also a little 'rustle-y'.

I love how the pattern is continued on the straps and around the entire band. It's such a cute bra, just the thing I've been hoping to own for years.

As you can see from the above photo, the apex this bra gives me is a bit low (which matches my natural apex, actually, but looks slightly different from the visual apex I get in Cleo bras). This supports my theory that the Patsy half-cup may actually work for both upper AND lower fullness. Half-cups often work only for those with upper fullness and gape on those with lower fullness, but I feel that the Patsy could work well for both. For those without upper fullness, the shape will curve back in where the bra ends, giving an uplifted round shape. For those with upper fullness, the shape ends up being a little longer and lower--actually mimicking the real shape of full-on-top boobs. I'm kind of into this.

One more note about this bra, though. It is VERY shallow. Those who have a lot of projection and need deep cups will not find this bra serves them well.

If anyone else has tried the Patsy half-cup up to H, or even in the previously existing lower sizes, let us know in the comments if it worked for your shape!