When Curvy Kate announced they would be making a molded foam cup bra, especially one available up to a J cup in select band sizes, the lingerie world and blogosphere erupted in a frenzy of excitement. Anyone who wears a G+ cup knows the fabled wear-under-anything tee shirt bra can be an elusive, borderline mythical bra to find, and as someone who is often sized out of what’s available, I knew I had to test the Smoothie!
Sizing: From reading early reviews, I heard the Smoothie was more generous in the cup and band than other Curvy Kate offerings. Usually, I need a 30HH or J, but for the Smoothie, I gambled on the 28J which turned out to be the correct size. However, I did not find the band to be especially generous, and if it weren’t for recent weight loss around the torso which puts me closer to a 29″ ribcage, the 28 would have been too tight for comfort. In fact, the band feels quite firm without the stretch I expect from Curvy Kate designs, and I would liken the 28 on the Smoothie to the 30 band on my recently reviewed Panache Jasmine. Aside from the band, the cup size was perfect with no gaping or spillage at the top or sides.
Fit: Let me preface my fit observations with a statement: I have a love/hate relationship with Curvy Kate. Specifically, I adore their designs and the fresh perspective they bring to lingerie; however, outside of the “Tease Me”, I struggle to find a comfortable fit. The bras are often wider set than I need, and the cups near the center tend to be too shallow for my breast tissue. Furthermore, the straps are situated too close to the shoulder while the underwires wrap around my body uncomfortably. These fit issues combine to pull the side of the cup close to my armpit area which results in chafing and discomfort throughout the day. Though it pains me to report it, I experienced all of these problems with the Smoothie. For illustration, I created a side comparison of the Curvy Kate Smoothie in 28J, the Panache Jasmine in 30HH, and the Freya Gem in 28HH to demonstrate how each bra fits my body.
However, I did enjoy the nice compromise on the height of the center gore which sits low enough to keep the chest open and less covered but not low enough to feel like your breasts are not secure in the bra.
Materials & Design: Per usual, the materials Curvy Kate selected are high quality and comfortable. The fabric on the interior of the cup is smooth, and I love how they elected to add some fun to the design with a leopard print fabric on the exterior. As mentioned, the wings of the bra are firm and offer excellent side support and anchorage. I also like that they opted for a fully-adjustable strap to customize the fit, and the foam in the cup is thick enough to provide nipple protection and smoothing without being too rigid so as to prevent a comfortable fit.
I did find that the foam could not withstand the weight of my breasts though. In the photos, you may notice a considerable space at the bottom of the cup where my breast tissue does not seem to fill out the cup properly. This is an optical illusion as I can feel the breast tissue there at the bottom. However, my breasts are closer set and rather heavy which is buckling the foam to create a shadow. If the straps were inset more, the problem may be alleviated because it would provide the foam with extra support.
Other Comments: The gorgeous Lauren Colfer (below) has more cleavage in this bra, and the fab blogger for Bras I Hate & Love (who is wearing the same size as me in her pics) also had more of a rounded look. I wonder if a smaller cup size would have helped me create something similar. I’m disinclined to test this theory though because I’ve found with Curvy Kate if I go smaller in the cup, the underwires fit better but I have some serious spillage near the center gore where I have a lot more breast tissue. Nevertheless, while the fit of the bra is not perfect for my body, there are plenty of women who can not only wear Curvy Kate but prefer the fit the brand offers. Taking aside my personal issues, I like the design choices Curvy Kate made, especially the printed fabric and the moderate height of the center gore. If you love Curvy Kate’s other styles, I highly recommend adding the Smoothie to your arsenal!