Ages ago when I visited the Curves Expo in NYC, I saw the gorgeous Floris on a model and was intrigued by the shape and fit, and I had high hopes the style would suit the needs of some of our customers.
Sizing & Fit: Unfailingly, I wear a 30HH in Panache bras, and the Floris is no exception. The band feels comfortably snug and firm on the loosest set of hooks while the cup has no gaping or overflow. When I saw the Floris on the model, I was struck by the similarities in shape to the Jasmine/Envy without utilizing a stretch lace. As much as certain customers prefer the stretch and contouring of lace, I have others who want a firmer fabric at the top of the cup. Like the Jasmine/Envy lovers, these women still want a bra with side support and forward projection, and Floris appeared a good compromise.
I have spoken at length recently regarding my newly acquired devotion to both the original Comexim Linea Artisana as well as their collaboration with Anna Pardal, but I have been remiss in actually writing reviews of their products. Georgia was one of my original free samples to demonstrate the quality and aesthetic of a Linea Artisana bra, and it ultimately became a personal favorite:
Sizing & Fit: I quickly discovered that both Linea Artisana and Anna Pardal employ tighter bands and slightly smaller cups than my former go-to Cleo. My usual 30HH was all kinds of small, so I settled on 32HH as my ideal size for the brand. In Georgia, this size fit perfectly, leaving me to believe there is consistency in sizing across the two lines. The band was comfortably snug on the loosest set of hooks when I received it although it has stretched a little faster over time, and the cups had no overflow or gaping at the top.
Georgia utilizes the same lightly padded three section cup design as the Anna Pardal Emmeline, and the high, rounded profile offers superb forward projection for the fuller bust. One of the reasons I love Comexim and Anna Pardal is their use of narrow, low underwires. Fuller-bust brands often assume we all need or want underwires to touch underneath the arms or center gores wide and tall enough to lift and separate breasts into their own galaxies. For some women, this design works exceptionally well, but for others, especially those with close set breasts like myself, it is a form of torture. The shape and lowness of the underwires and cups on Georgia feels comfortable, even after long days at the shop.
Bust-friendly lingerie is not exactly easy to find. Whether it’s showy adult costumes or upscale designer pieces, the emphasis trends toward the Small-Medium-Large trinity which leaves those of us with fuller busts or curvy lower halves feeling ostracized. Tia Lyn hopes to change this with her gorgeous, vintage-inspired slips, chemises, and camisoles. At the Curves Expo, I had the pleasure of meeting Tia myself, and she is a delightful, friendly person who emanates passion for her work.
Recently, fuller-bust brands like Curvy Kate and Elomi have been expanding to include babydolls, camisoles, and bustiers as part of their collections, most of which are available in bra sizes and contain what is essentially a built-in underwired bra. While I am not opposed to owning an underwire lingerie piece, I love the idea of something wireless, particularly because it’s more comfortable for lounging or sleeping. Enter the Tia Lyn collections. Most of the pieces are rated up to a UK G cup with some of the models at the show boasting an H cup. Naturally, the higher the cup size, the less support provided, but I could not help myself from trying the line, especially when I saw the teal and chocolate 9401 Chemise and 9301 Camisole from her Core collection.
In for a penny in for a pound, right? I had to add these adorable 9601 Hipster panties to the mix:
Since reviewing three items can easily lead to confusion, I am going to address each piece individually rather than utilize my typical format; however, I do want to note that I ordered all of these items in size “Medium.” Let’s begin with my favorite piece: the Chemise! First, I adore the word “chemise.” Just saying it makes me feel sophisticated, but wearing one is even better. The Tia Lyn Chemise uses a single hook-and-eye closure in the back as well as some added structure in the front to provide support for fuller busts. Ornate chocolate lace with the hint of copper adorns the upper portion with strategic cut-outs and sheer panels adding an understated dose of sexy. The inlaid teal and chocolate roses contrast perfectly for a traditional vintage vibe. On the lower half, a dreamy satin fabric in vivid teal pops against the brown accents to create a luxurious color palette.
My customers and I often engage in conversations that run the gamut from bras to baseball, and prior to my trip to Curves, one of the comments I heard frequently centered on the dearth of quality, tasteful lingerie in our area. Adult shops often sell over-priced outfits in a pitiable range of sizes, most of which are not conducive to ladies with fuller figures or fuller busts. As a result, I came prepared to scope out the offerings at Curves, and iCollection was one of the many manufacturers which impressed me. I already reviewed their satin robes, but today I want to focus on a more traditional lingerie piece: the corset!
Like my customers, I have tried corsets in adult stores before and been disappointed by the sizing as well as how the cheap, flexible boning would create awkward bumps along the ribcage and stomach. Nothing deflates feeling sexy faster than giant, oddly placed lumps on your stomach. Consequently, I went into the review skeptical of whether I would like the product.
Originally, I anticipated the corsets would reflect band measurement as the sizes ran 32, 34, 36, 38, etc., but I discovered the sizing is closer to your bust measurement. For the review, I tried both a 38 and 40. The 38 cinched my waist significantly more, but my breast tissue pushed upward in a way that Renaissance barmaids would love. However, the incredible cleavage was a bit too much for me to post on the blog, and I feel like it would limit the wear of the corset. Ultimately, I loved the fit of the 40 more because I could wear it alone or as part of a regular outfit.
As with the Cleo Millie review, I originally tested the Curvy Kate daisy Chain a couple months ago, but I wanted to proceed with my review because the style is the predecessor to the upcoming Dare and Firecracker styles releasing later this year:
Size & Fit: Depending on the width and shallowness of the design, I wear between a 30HH or 30J in Curvy Kate bras, and since the Daisy Chain has a low center gore, I opted to try the 30HH first. Usually, the wide, shallow shape wreaks havoc on my naturally close set breasts, and I was more than a little skeptical when I ordered the style. However, the fit was surprisingly good. The band was quite firm on the loosest set of hooks and did not feel like it would stretch out easily. On my larger side, I had a slight overflow toward the center when I moved but not enough to justify the J cup.
Curvy Kate has been undergoing fit improvements over the last several seasons based on customer and retailer feedback, and one of the things I noticed instantly about Daisy Chain was the vast improvement on the width of the underwire and center gore. It was definitely narrower and felt much more comfortable, particularly on the side. Furthermore, the side of the cup did not pull uncomfortably into my underarm as has happened frequently in the past with CK bras. The space I usually have at the bottom of the cup was also lessened with this design too.
Daisy Chain also sports a plunge shape, and the low center gore felt amazing. When I first tested Daisy Chain, I realized how much I wanted bras with lower center gores that did not rest on my breast tissue. In many ways, the improved, comfortable fit of Daisy Chain set the stage for my later romance with Comexim. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the design of Daisy Chain, and this was the first style from Curvy Kate since the Tease Me was discontinued that got me excited about the fit potential. However, the profile was a little pointier on me than I prefer, and I didn’t find it as flattering under my clothes. I’m not sure if the style produces the same effect across breast shapes or sizes though. If you love the pointed or bullet-shaped bras, this could be worth considering. [Read more...]
I am constantly recommending the Natori Bliss girl hipster series both on the blog as well as in the shop, and today I wanted to share a comprehensive video discussion of the cotton, mesh, and lace versions. Recently, they have expanded to other styles within the Bliss series which I will review in the future, but anyone looking for a quality, comfy everyday panty should consider Natori. All of the gorgeous colors also make them a great “faux-match” option for cute bras too.
Originally, I tested the Cleo Millie shortly before I left for the Curves Expo in New York, which was only four months ago. *casts a sheepish look at the rest of the Internet* Between managing the store, catching up from Curves, and a few personal health hiccups, I accrued a lengthy backlog of items to review, but I am determined to post information on everything. Interestingly, when I first recorded the video review for the Millie, I had not heard from Comexim or Anna Pardal about their desire to export to the US; as a result, I will pretend Cleo is still my favorite brand and judge accordingly.
Size & Fit: I ordered my standard 30H in the Millie, and the fit was not as perfect as with the other Cleo bras I owned. The band felt firm but comfortable on the loosest set of hooks; however, I struggled with the cup size. One side fit fairly well, but the other had slight overflow without a full scoop. However, the more bothersome issue was a strange indention where the flimsy mesh fabric met the patterned lower cup and created lumps under my tops. Upon further inspection, I think the issue results from the significantly lighter mesh contrasting sharply with the firmer fabric on the lower cup. My breast tissue is what I’d call “average” in terms of firmness, and I think women with really firm tissue would not experience this problem.
Furthermore, the underwires are comparable to other Cleo unpadded styles like Marcie or Lily, meaning they are narrow in the center and on the sides. Women with close-set breasts will certainly appreciate the narrowness and added depth to the cup. Likewise, the silhouette is rounded, lifted, and forward—perhaps a little too forward. Thus far, I have never worn a bra with such extreme forward projection, bordering on the old 1950s bullet bras, and I was not as enthusiastic about the profile. I wavered on keeping Millie because I wondered if washing the stiffer lower cup would ease some of the projection, but given the issues with the top of the cup, I thought it was best to pass on the style. [Read more...]
My name is Debbie and I am one of the co-owners of A Sophisticated Pair. Erica is my niece and Jason is my BiL. If you have had the opportunity to stop in and see us at the store on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday, you have probably been greeted by me. I’m going out of my comfort zone a little by taking on a product review of Comexim’s Arizona.
A few weeks ago, we received our samples from Comexim and they are all absolutely gorgeous. The Arizona stood out to me the most and I was delighted that it happened to be in my size, 32F. I tried it on and loved the fit so much that I decided to do a review based on my opinion of it.
Color: Red with black embroidery. Red satin bows adorn the center gore and straps.
Fit: Comexim runs tight in the band and slightly small in the cups, however, as I mentioned, the 32F fits me perfectly with no adjustments. The cups are lightly padded, and the interior cup is lined in a cotton like fabric. Yes I said cotton! The wings are slightly wider which provides wonderful comfort and support. The fully adjustable straps allow for greater range of customization. The underwires are narrow and low (especially on the sides). The Arizona bra has a low plunging neckline with a low center gore. It tacks beautifully and lifts my girls where they should be.
Overall Opinion: The Arizona is an definite “eye catcher”. The color, bows and embroidery just add to the beauty of this bra. Comexim bras normally run tight in the band and the cups are usually 1-2 sizes too small in my usual size. We often recommend sizing up one or two sister sizes. But, as I said, this one fit me perfect. I love bras that make me gasp with joy when I look in the mirror and this one definitely had me saying, “WOW!” I’m going to have to give this an A+ for fit, support, comfort, and beauty.
Saturdays at the store have been incredibly busy since the start of the new year, and frequently, our multitasking skills are stretched to the max with a customer in every fitting room and, on one occasion, a time-pressed customer trying on bras in the bathroom. While the extra business bodes well for the future of the shop, the downside is I must often work through a queue of fit and sizing questions while customers wait patiently. To add a personal touch to our service, we purchased 3/4 Length Satin Robes from iCollection in a radiant purple to hang in the fitting rooms for customers to use during an appointment. Having never owned a satin robe, I purchased one for myself because they looked soft and comfortable.
My harried morning routine consists of groggily hitting the snooze button three times—the magic number for me to roll out of bed with only moderate crankiness—and hopping into the shower. When I finish, I select my lingerie for the day and throw on a robe to wear while I eat breakfast, fix my hair, and apply my makeup. Until recently, I wore a faded blue, partially-bleached, towel-textured robe with fraying embroidered moons that I received as a high school graduation gift . . . back in 2002. While the softness and coziness of my worn out robe cannot be topped, I feel quite glamorous sashaying about my bathroom in this little satin number. The lovely purple color is energizing for the morning, and the luxurious feel of the fabric makes everyday seem special.
Comexim has always been a brand I admired from afar because, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I was a chicken about placing an international order for bras I had never tried with a sizing system that made my brain hurt. Instead, I contented myself with reading reviews from fellow bra bloggers and fantasizing about the day Comexim decided to export to the US. Well, in the middle of my trip to the Curves Expo in New York, the fantasy came true. Anna Pardal and their collaborator Comexim sent me an email saying they wanted to begin selling their products here in the US and asked if I would be interested in including them in my store. Spoiler Alert: I jumped at the chance! Comexim and Anna Pardal sent me two samples each which I will be reviewing eventually, but I want to start with the Anna Pardal Emmeline because that is what we ultimately ordered for the store. (Note: If you want more information on Anna Pardal, please read these posts: Comexim and Comexim Follow-Up.)
Sizing: Since I was reticent about ordering from Comexim directly, I have no idea how their sizing works. For the export process, all of the Comexim sizes are being converted to the standard UK sizing system employed by brands like Freya, Elomi, and Curvy Kate. As a result, I will be focusing my review on the UK size because I can speak to it with more confidence. If you have questions, you can email me, and I will pass them on to Anna.
Before I delve into my personal experiences with sizing, I want to note I support Comexim and Anna Pardal’s decision to covert the Polish/European sizing into the more common UK. I have just gotten many of my customers warmed up to UK sizing, smaller bands, and cups that go past a DD. If I had to explain they needed a 70 band and a K cup, there would be way more friction in the fitting room! With the US market still on a learning curve, I think converting to the UK system will make the lives of both fitters and customers easier.
After some experimentation, I discovered my Comexim size is a 32HH which fits beautifully. The band is comfortably snug on the loosest hooks, and I do not have any gaping or overflow with the cup. Ordinarily, I wear a 30H in Cleo or a 30HH in Panache and Curvy Kate, so the band does run quite firm. Most of my customers have needed to size up at least one band size, but if you find yourself between two, then you may want to size up from the larger. For example, a woman wearing between a 32 and a 34 should try a 36. The cup also runs about a size small from the Panache Superbra brand— my new base line for establishing which size to test in Comexim or Anna Pardal. [Read more...]