Friday, April 12, 2013

Ewa Michalak CH Toffik Review

It's rare that I actually purchase a brand-new bra, but when The Big Bra Bar announced that they were having a massive clear-out sale, I jumped at the chance to snag a 28H Ewa Michalak Toffik bra in the CH style. Normally this bra would be a custom order for me through Ewa Michalak (base bra price + custom size fee + Paypal fees + shipping from Poland would come out to at least $60), but the sale price on the BBB + shipping from the UK made my total cost for the bra about $36. Yay for bargains!

Before the CH Toffik, the only other Ewa Michalak bras I'd tried were my two in the PL(plunge) style, both 30H's altered down to be 28HH's. The CH, on the other hand, is a "halfcup" style. I find the site descriptions of the differences in styles a bit confusing, but basically, the the PL bras have more of the "plunging" shape and construction, while the CH bras have vertical seams and more forward/open cups.  Because the CH cups are more open on top, it's generally fairly flexible in regards to what breast shapes it'll work for, i.e. full-on-bottom or full-on-top.

PL Style (image from Ewa Michalak)

CH Style (image from Ewa Michalak)

On to the review! First off, this is just a lovely and well-constructed bra (as EM bras generally are!). It still manages to feel delicate even in the larger cup sizes.

CH Toffik 60(28)H

Ewa Michalak bands tend to be notoriously random in regards to how tight they run; however, I've personally found so far that they run on the tight side. The 28H CH Toffik was no exception for me; while I could hook it on the loosest hook when I got it, I prefer to wear it with an extender currently until I get a few wears/washes in and the band stretches a bit.

The tops of the cups are more open than the PL style, giving a rather different shape than what I'm used to - the classic Polish-brand "cakes on a plate" look (for more on Polish bra construction, see Miss Underpinning's interesting post on the subject). For a girl that's used to PL/plunge styles, I was pleasantly surprised! Definitely some extra lift going on with this bra. The front profile shape I get is a tiny bit wider than the more close-set look I get with plunge styles, but not in a bad way at all.

Sizewise, I'd say the cups are just a little small for me (especially when I have the band and straps fastened firmly and my boobs have "settled" into the cups); a 28HH might've been better. Still, the 28H is totally workable. To top it off, the bra material is really comfy (a biggie for me as I have sensitive skin). And, although the color isn't really close to my skin tone, it's still quite usable as a basic "nude" bra.

The PL, CH, and strapless Toffik bras are available from Ewa Michalak's site; if you don't see your size listed in the drop-down, you can always request a custom order. For a description of the various EM styles, see Curvy Wordy's helpful post.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Small Breasted Blogger Plea [Guest Post by Tatiana]

Today's guest post is by the lovely Tatiana of DrivenbyTatiana. After seeing the recent post on Musings on Bra Blogging, she decided to share her thoughts on what she thinks is needed in the Bra Blogging world.

As per my usual relationship with the internet, I stumbled into lingerie blogging clicking random links that led to one site after another, when I noticed a very peculiar theme: everyone had large breasts.

The few small breasted bloggers I did discover had gone months without writing anything. On top of that, their sites seemed less tended to, social media a ghost town.

I found it difficult to connect with these full bust blogs and their owners - every time they'd post a review of a lingerie brand, I'd wonder if that bra came in a smaller size. I'm much more interested in what it means to grow up small-breasted, to live in a world where people constantly think you're a kid (when I was sixteen, someone said I looked nine).

Because breasts are intimately linked with how we talk about womanhood, an oft heard complaint - in my life and others - is being perceived as child-like (in terms of how your body looks, not the actual energy you're giving off). It encapsulates this feeling that you're not growing, that there's more waiting to do, that you haven't arrived.

As I grew up and attempted to find some solace in my own thin, curve-less body, many of the attempts people made to reconcile their feelings weren't interesting to me. I didn't want to describe myself as fey-like, I don't enjoy sports so being small never helped me, and I still have back pain from poor posture.

There seemed no decent answers to my incessant questionings: how does one come to terms with having small breasts?

My goal isn't to love my body per se; having an entire lifetime of being made fun of because my body wasn't developing has certainly left its mark. So I sought out the help of small breasted bloggers, to read their stories so I could finally put much of emotional past where it belonged - in the past.

But there aren't any small breasted bloggers. Not really.

I scowled, throwing an internal fit, wondering why all the prolific bloggers were well endowed.

Where are the stories of people with bodies like mine? Aren't there any boutiques especially for A cups and smaller? Or is there just the one or two that every body knows? Why aren't more people talking about this? How do I get the conversation going?

So here I am, imploring small breasted bloggers to create more content, more often.

We need more stories for women, so ashamed of how small they are, that they rarely leave the house.

We need more stories for women who seek alternative methods (ie BRAVA, herbal remedies) in an attempt to increase their cup size.

We need stories for women who break down in tears when they go to bra section of a store because you feel inept, like you don't belong.

As both a blogger and someone who is small breasted, I want to see more conversation intersecting the relationships to our bodies, the clothes we wear and what it all means.

So, small breasted [lingerie] bloggers, PLEASE BLOG MORE.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Announcing the [Expanded] Bra Band Project Website!

Well, I'm pleased to finally reveal the mysterious "project" that I've been preoccupied with recently:

The [Expanded] Bra Band Project Website!

Yup, you read right! The Bra Band Project, formerly just a Flickr album that showed examples of women who wear bra sizes in 24-30 bands, is now a full-on website, where users of all band sizes can submit their own properly-fitted photos! The hope is to create/expand a resource that shows examples of what correctly-fitted bra sizes actually look like in "real life".

On this new site, users are now able to:
-Search for examples of bra sizes by band and/or cup size
-Include "show sister sizes" when searching for a specific size
-Login using an existing account (google, wordpress, etc)
-Submit own photo(s) directly through the site
-Search through various resources (including bra stores)

Keep in mind that the site is newly-launched, and thus it's very much in the "beginning stages". We definitely plan to tweak/improve/work on the site as a whole over the next while (improvements to layout, etc). Your feedback and suggestions are always appreciated! What would you like to see on the site?

Also, you'll notice that the sizes that are currently up are fairly limited; they're mostly ones that have been pulled over from the old Flickr album (that is, 24-30 bands). So, we need your submissions! (pictures are completely anonymous, and can either be of you clothes or in a bra) This resource is only as good as the submissions it gets!

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear them! Comment below or shoot over an email at brabandproject(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Urkye Review: Twister shirt

For the third item of my most recent Urkye order, I decided to get something a bit more casual and went for the recently-released Twister shirt in morski (sea).

List Price: 75zl ($23.03)
Material: 92% cotton, 8% elastane
Size: 36oo/ooo

Twister 36oo/ooo

It was a little hard to get the color of the shirt to show up in pictures - the real color is a tad lighter/brighter than is shown. Very bright and cheerful! The twist embellishment in the back is a fun and interesting touch.

Although the shape is somewhat similar, the material of the Twister is thinner and stretchier than the older Francuski shirts, which is a good thing for the upcoming summer months. Sizewise, I found that the shirt seemed to run a little big, so those who are on the outer edges (or even outside) of Urkye's size chart may still find that this shirt works well for them. You can also see that the shirt is more than long enough for me, so those who are taller and/or have longer torsos should be safe with this shirt.

Overall, I was quite sad to hear that the Francuski shirts (my favorite from Urkye so far) won't be restocked, but the Twister is another solid offering (coming also in red, beige, and black) and a great Spring shirt. Let's Twist! ;) (couldn't resist)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Urkye Review: Rohe and Kontrast dress shirts

I snapped up a few Urkye shirts recently, so it's time for another review!

The two shirts I'm focusing on reviewing today are both button up/dress shirts. I'm sure many of you can sympathize when I say that I can never find button-up shirts in stores that fit well. They either a) gape in the buttons (if they button up at all), or b) button over the bust, but are so huge everywhere else that they're useless.

Spoiler alert: I experienced neither of these issues with the two shirts I ordered!

The first shirt I got was Urkye's new Rohe long-sleeved dress shirt in brazowe (brown).
List Price: 109zl ($33.53)
Material: 80% cotton, 10% polyester, 10% lycra
Size: 36ooo
Rohe 36ooo
Look, ma, no gaping buttons! (yes, I realize I'm wearing jean shorts with a nice top... sorry) The top is a great fit overall for me; the only caveat was that the sleeves felt a little long (I have the left sleeve looking at the picture buttoned at the wrist, and the right unbuttoned). However, the sleeves are also meant to be worn rolled up, and I think I preferred that look:

The look of the shirt becomes a bit more casual, but still nice.The side and back views:

The back view shows that I get my usual wrinkling of fabric in the back near my narrowest point due to the sharp curve I have there, but I've come to expect this, and it doesn't bother me at all here. Others probably wouldn't experience this "extra fabric" look.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the Rohe shirt, and am considering getting it in another color or two. I felt very "put together" and professional when wearing it. It's strange to have a well-fitting, long-sleeved button-up shirt as a part of my wardrobe again!
(Tip: if you're interested in the Rohe, Urkye is having a sale on all long-sleeved shirts from April 1-April 7; the Rohe is listed for 89zl/$27.37 instead of the usual price)

The second shirt I picked up this order was a Kontrast in bialy (white), with no extra black piping on the sleeves. I already own and have done a review on the Kontrast shirt in fuchsia in the same size.
List Price: 99zl ($30.45)
Material: 62% cotton, 35% nylon, 3% spandex
Size: 36ooo

 (The button in the middle not being buttoned all the way is my oversight, not an indication of the shirt being too small in the bust!) 

Again, I get a great fit from the Kontrast. I do wish the sleeves were a tad less poofy, but careful ironing would probably make them stand out a little less.

Back and Side Views:

I'm wearing my "nude" Deco bra with this shirt. Like most other white dress shirts I've seen, this one is somewhat see-through; I'd feel more comfortable wearing it with a white cami underneath, especially in a professional setting.

Bottom line? I'm very happy with my new shirts! I love that full-bust companies like Urkye, Biu Biu, Campbell & Kate, etc, are taking the needs of busty women into account with business/business-casual clothing. I'm slowly bust but surely building up a strong wardrobe of clothes that actually fit me well - and that's an awesome feeling.

What do you think of the options available to busty women today? Have you tried out any button-up shirts/business attire clothing from any of the various full-bust companies out there? Would you?