Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DDatelier Review: Safari and Lisbon Sheath Dresses

I have a confession to make: I've never really been one for dresses. In fact, a full disclosure - at the moment, I own a grand total of 3 dresses: one stretchy JC Penney dress from the Junior's section, a black dress from Target, and a recently-acquired green stretchy dress (that I actually really love with a waist belt) from Nordstrom Rack. Truth be told, dresses scare me a bit, and this - combined with the fact that it's hard for me to find one that fits, let alone one I feel is my style and that I'm comfortable in - has made it so that I rarely even think about wearing them.

Because of my general disinterest in dresses, I've always felt a bit "behind" in terms of fashion, especially compared to the many other fashion and bra bloggers who love wearing them. To my credit, I've been making very gradual and tentative movements towards trying more things out. I was able to try on a bunch of things of Miss Shapen's when we were at Curve last week, and it further solidified my resolve to once and for all again dive into the world of figuring out dresses! I took a leap a few days ago and ordered both a BiuBiu Honeypool Dress (aka "The Star Trek Dress", which is on clearout sale at this very moment!) and an Urkye Kiecka Tubowa (also on sale!), so it'll be interesting to review those at some point in the near future.

But on to the main subject of this post! Last month, when I was in the throes of trying to better understand the world of dresses, I contacted bust-friendly clothing company DDatelier about sizing questions that I and a few readers have had. I mentioned the possibility of doing a blog review, and they graciously offered to send me two pieces for review purposes.

There was some discussion about what size that I should choose. The DDatelier sizing system has body/waist sizes of 65-80 and uses letters D, F, H to basically indicate "curvy, really curvy, super curvy". Evidently my measurements given (37/27/36, 28H) indicated about a size 75D on the size chart, but based on my blog pictures, they said that they would recommend a 75F. I asked if perhaps a 70F would be a better choice as I was concerned about the 75 being roomy in the waist, and they agreed that a 70F would be a good choice based on my height (5'4).

The first dress provided was the Brown Safari Dress.
List Price: Currently on sale for €36.00 ($48.15)
Material: 98% cotton, 2% elastane
Size: 70F

The Safari dress is a nice dark brown color, with snap-buttons down to about belly-button area. I had never tried a dress quite like this one before, but I found that the style really grew on me. I liked the fact that the dress looks very appropriate for the office, but that I also looked (in the words of a fellow blogger) "pretty badass" in it with my short pixie-punk haircut. Also, the husband thinks it's sexy, so there's that.


The size of 70F seemed almost right for me in this dress. I'm not used to form-fitting clothing that isn't pretty stretchy, so the entire dress felt rather snug to me at first. After wearing it for a bit, though, I decided that it really was mostly just a little small in the bust area. You can see that I get a slight bit of gaping in the front buttons. However, I will add that if I was wearing a bra that was a little more "uplifting" - I tend to have trouble finding a bra that really "holds 'em up" due to my shape - the fact that my bustline would sit a bit higher might make the top portion a little less tight. It's something I'll try to experiment with, anyway. I think this dress would work best with a really good, uplifting, low plunge bra that creates some nice cleavage.


I felt the dress was fairly flattering overall, but it didn't really highlight my figure as much as I might've hoped. The way the buttons sat down the front also seemed to create the illusion of a slight "pooch" on my lower stomach where I don't actually have one.


The dress looks nice from the back (although the butt pocket is a bit random!), but I found the shoulders/upper arm area somewhat tight. The above picture shows the highest I can raise my arms. I don't think this is necessarily a size problem, but rather just the way the dress is cut. It doesn't make the dress unwearable by any means, but I wouldn't be able, for example, to lift things and put them on a higher shelf very easily while wearing the Safari.

Although the dress has belt-loops, it doesn't come with a belt. The site notes that the Safari would "look great with a waist-cinching belt". So, although I didn't have a belt thin enough to fit through the loops, I improvised with a black waist belt:


I think it works, but would be interested to see it how a thinner belt would look as well. Belts and dresses in general are a little tricky on me because of my "figure 8" shape (more on this in the future!) and my higher-set and not-as-well-defined hips. But all things considered, I found the dress very workable.

Overall, the Safari is an interesting, fairly practical (I totally spelled that as piratical at first, which I suppose also could work...) dress that I feel suits my personal style pretty well (which is saying a lot for a dress). It's not "fussy", and I like that. It would've been nice to try out a 70H to see if that helped the bust/shoulder tightness - or possibly a 75F, especially if the whole dress tends to shrink in the wash, but I'd be a bit concerned that it would be a little roomy overall and still not a great fit in the bust, which is sort of not the point of getting a bust-friendly dress! It's not a perfect piece for me, but I would be comfortable wearing this to an office setting or just out and around as a slightly-dressed-up casual look.


The second dress DDatelier sent for me to try was the Lisbon Sheath in Cyan.
List Price: Currently on sale for €49.00 ($65.53)
Material: 62% cotton, 33% polyester, 5% spandex
Size: 70F

This dress is another that would be great for office wear, and the greyish blue color is lovely. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the dress over my shoulders/bust. I gave it to a friend of mine in the 30E/28F range who agreed to try it out, and she ended up loving it:


She found the dress flattering and comfortable. It's a little roomy on her, but she prefers a dress that isn't too clingy. Based on both of our experiences, I'd estimate that the dress would probably work well for up to about the 28G/30FF range (possibly a size or two bigger depending on individual shape, etc).


My friend's overall shape works well with this dress, although I suspect that even in the right size, it wouldn't work nearly as well on my body type because of my short torso/high hipline. Since my shape seems to be more uncommon, I feel this dress would be a solid choice for most.


Overall, I really appreciated getting a chance to finally try out DDatelier for myself. It's great to see another company out there that provides a variety of options for busty ladies, and I especially appreciate that the size guide allows for waist sizes down to about 22-23", as women in this range - particularly bustier women - often have a terribly difficult time finding anything that flatters and fits.

Although the sizing will of course vary based on everyone's individual shape and preference as well as raw measurements, I think that I personally might feel more comfortable in a 70H in some dresses like the Safari (or a 75F - I just would be concerned it would make the dress too roomy overall), and might be able to do maybe a 75F on other dresses that are very form-fitting. I'm sure some dresses that are a bit more forgiving/open in the top area could also work well for me in a 70F. Bottom line, I think it comes down to preference; I like clothing to be fitted at the waist but not constricting elsewhere, and I think that balance will perhaps be reflected in various sizes depending on the dress. Although the site page notes that "DDatelier sizes are based on bra sizes UK 30-38 D-G", I think it's evident from my experience and other reviews I've read that the pieces can work beautifully for women even well outside this range.

Currently, other DDatelier pieces that are catching my eye include the Mimosa Dress and the Floral Print Tunic Shirt (I must be in a "light and flowy" mood). What do you think about DDatelier?


Interested in more DDatelier reviews? Take a look at the following:
Amazonia (70F) from WeirdlyShaped&WellPhotographed
DD Atelier Review from Thin and Curvy
Diva Dress (75D in 75F) from Hourglassy
Wrap Tie Top (80D) and Graphite Dress (80F) from CurvyWordy
Diva Dress and Floret Blouse (70F) from Miss Underpinnings

Monday, August 26, 2013

Urkye Review: Kopertówka Shirt

The other week, bust-friendly Polish clothing company Urkye kindly offered to send me one of their newer styles of shirts, the Kopertówka, to try out. As Urkye has been one of my go-to places in terms of shirts for quite a while now, I was thrilled! (note blog policy)

It was mentioned that the Kopertówka tended to run roomy in the bust and I could probably get away with a 36o/oo rather than my usual size of 36oo/ooo, but since I've been feeling that the 36's have been seeming a bit roomy on me in general, I decided to try out a 34oo/ooo this time around.

The Kopertówka comes in a variety of vibrant colors - red, green, lime, purple, and gray. I decided to go with zielona (green).

It even looks good on the hanger!
List Price: 79zl ($25)
Material: 95% viscose, 5% lycra
Size: 34oo/ooo

Unlike previous Urkye offerings, the Kopertówka shirt has an extra layer on the front as well as fabric gathering on one side. At first, I was a little confused about how to adjust the "layers", and thus ended up with a look that didn't seem quite right:

A little off, somehow...

But then I took another look at the model on the site and realized how the shirt was supposed to look! A bit of readjusting later:

Aha!
Much more flattering! The color itself is really nice, as well - it's a bit deeper than is shown in most of my pictures (the closest would be the one of the shirt on the hanger). I'm thinking I need more green shirts in my life.

I get a very slight bit of the usual gathering from "extra fabric" at the narrowest point of my back due to my shape and curve, but not enough to bother me.


Because the shirt is effectively two layers thick in front, the shirt seems like it would be ideal for the days that are just starting to get a bit chilly. I also found the shirt gave a somewhat more minimizing profile than many other Urkye shirts - see side views:

Arms down vs. arms raised

Although the 34oo/ooo technically fits me and is definitely long enough (I find too-short shirts that ride up especially annoying on me), I think that in general I prefer the looser fit of my usual 36oo/ooo just as a personal preference. Despite that, I'll definitely be getting a lot of use out of this shirt!

More examples of the Kopertówka

Urkye's Facebook page has an album of a customer in 42oo/ooo


Thinking about giving the Kopertówka a try? Urkye is offering Boosaurus readers an extra 10% off of the Kopertówka shirt from now through September 8 with the discount code Boo10. [note: this code works for ALL colors of the Kopertówka!]

In addition, Urkye is holding a sale (with most items anywhere from 10-40% off) through the end of August, so this week is a great time to try things out! And in mid-September, Urkye is set to come out with a long-sleeved version of the Kopertówka. I'm thinking it's one I'll definitely want to be adding to my wardrobe.

What do you think of the Kopertówka?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CurveNV Overview

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to get to attend the Curve Expo (a semi-annual buyer/seller geared lingerie convention) in Las Vegas (CurveNV). All sorts of lingerie brands attend Curve, and for press/bloggers like myself, it's a great place to get a "first look" at upcoming lines, designs, and trends, as well as get a chance to talk in person with brands.

The New York Curve show (CurveNY) is traditionally larger, longer, and more well-attended by brands, buyers, and press than the one held in Las Vegas, but CurveNV definitely had a good mix of brands and was a great place to go and "dip my toes in". Several of the bloggers who attended the recent Curve Expo in New York have great series of overview posts on their experiences there - give Sweet Nothings, Miss Underpinnings, and The Lingerie Lesbian a read to find out more about CurveNY!

Miss Shapen from Weirdly Shaped & Well Photographed and I were the only two bloggers ("Press") to attend CurveNV, and we spent the two days dashing about, making appointments, snapping pictures when we were allowed, talking to brands, and just taking it all in! A spotlight post or two are in the works, but in the meantime, here are a just a few quick pictures of some of the brands we got a chance to talk to while at Curve NV.

Parfait by Affinitas/Affinitas

Of course, we had to seek out and see for ourselves the upcoming new color (Wild Pink) for Parfait's Charlotte bra. Bright pinks seem to be a very "in" color currently in general; the Wild Pink Charlotte set in particular is lovely and bold without being overly bright.

I also managed to get a very quick snapshot of the ethereal Alexis Babydoll, which is set to be available in the newly-expanded size range of 30-40 D-K. Exciting stuff!

Affinitas also had some lovely offerings for the A-DD crowd.


Body Hush

Shapewear-specific booths abounded at Curve, and a lady from BodyHush was kind enough to model a lovely set of their Glamor Lace line for us. I'm not really one for shapewear, but the pieces from BodyHush were very comfortable-looking!


Contorno

New brand Contorno not only had some really neat vintage/corset-inspired shapewear, but also some lovely little bra and panty sets! At this point I believe they only cater to the A-DD size range, but they seemed very open to possible future expansion.


Empreinte

Tried-and-true brand Empreinte did not disappoint with its beautiful offerings. As a high-end lingerie line, their pieces are on the pricier side and their pieces are stocked in smaller stores and boutiques (such as Intimacy and Jenette Bras). Their designs are light and sophisticated-looking, and the bra shape works well for those who need deeper cups/narrower wires. If I had all the money in the world, much of it would go to Empreinte purchases, even though I'm not quite in their size range. *want*


Erica M

Brand Erica M had an amazing booth with still more amazing pieces, from stockings to delicate bodysuits. Miss Shapen and I were entranced!


Eucalan

Sadly, I didn't manage to snap a photo of Eucalan's super cute booth, but they were nice enough to give me some samples of their lingerie wash, including their new Wrapture scent. Can't wait to try it out!


Karen Luu

Miss Shapen modeling a super cute robe
Karen Luu had THE SOFTEST EVER bathrobes! Miss Shapen and I were enamored and couldn't stop feeling the robes. The owner herself was very sweet.

Besides robes, the Karen Luu booth also displayed some baby items (towels, blankets, mini-robes) and lavender eye masks and sachets.


Nude Barre

Nude Barre's slogan is "Nude comes in all shades", and they provide a wide variety of "nude" colors for their tights in a variety of types (nude fishnets! sparkly tights!). Apparently their "guava jelly" shade would work well for me.


Panache

We had a great chat with a rep from Panache, and learned that they're coming out with a tankini and swimsuit (both based off the popular Panache Sport bra) next season. Hooray!


Sunday Intimates

After hearing about the brand-new Sunday Intimates from bloggers who'd attended CurveNY, we just had to check out all their lovely things! I came away completely enamoured with their line, which is set to be available in the (are you sitting down?) 28-34 D-H size range! Very impressive for a start-up company. Also, they had *the cutest* robes and lounge sets:

Hopefully we'll be hearing and seeing more from Sunday Intimates in the very near future!


The Little Bra Company
Check it out - a babydoll based off TLBC's popular Lucia bra! How neat is that? And it even comes in a variety of colors:

Great news for petite-busted ladies who want a babydoll that offers the support and structure of a well-fitting bra!


Eveden Fit School/Workshop
Eveden hosted their famed Fit School (geared towards store owners/fitters), which was quite educational to attend. Many of the bra store owners in attendance didn't know a whole lot about proper bra fitting techniques, and Fit Specialist Freddy Zappe enthusiastically worked with them and went over the basics of proper fitting. It was a good overview for me as well as a chance to learn tips about how a fitter can best interact with and help customers. I definitely recommend attending an Eveden Fit Seminar and/or Workshop should you get a chance.


There were certainly LOADS more brands at Curve, but hopefully I've been able to give a sense of what we were able to see while there. I hope to do a Spotlight post or two on certain brands in the upcoming weeks; in the meantime, let me know if you have any questions or were curious about anything regarding Curve, upcoming trends, or the brands mentioned!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Little Bra Company Review

A few months ago, I contacted The Little Bra Company - a brand that offers a lovely array of bras in the size ranges of 28-38 A, 28-36 B, and 28-34 C - about putting together a review post. They graciously agreed to send an array of sizes and styles for my two reviewers to try out. Both reviewers, "Beth" and "Claire", had struggled for years with finding bras that fit their petite frames well. In participating in this review, not only did they get a chance to try on some truly lovely bras cut specifically with their frames in mind, they were able to figure out and wear their correct sizes for the first time!

Each bra comes with a tag that illustrates how to correctly adjust your breasts into a bra once it's on - a great touch!


Beth: 32A to 30C

Previously, Beth had worn bras in size 32A but found them to seem too loose; she had never known that smaller band sizes were an option. Of the bras she sampled from The Little Bra Company (TLBC), Beth found that her best fits were those in the range of 30C. In general, she preferred the bras in the mix she tried that did not have a lot of additional padding, as they seemed to cause a “muffin top” effect that did not feel natural to her.

Beth's favorite bra was the lightly-padded Ethel Midnight Blue in 30C. The tapering straps were supportive, yet comfortable, and she fancied the fact that when she leaned over she felt that her breasts were well contained. The band was comfortable on her sides, and while it was smaller all around than she was accustomed to, the band did not cut into her skin or cause discomfort.


Beth also really loved the feature of the removable pads in the Ethel - she had struggled for years with asymmetrical breasts and was now able to solve the issue by removing one of the pads.


Ethel, 32C (top) & 28C (bottom)

Beth also favored the popular Lucia bra in 30C for its cut and coverage; she appreciated the feel of the bra and natural-looking cleavage that it gave.


Lucia, 30C
Lucia, 30B

The Esther bra stood out to both Beth and Claire for its comfort and pretty details, but both reviewers found it to seem too small in the cup (giving "muffin top cleavage") in 30C. They both would've loved to try this bra in a cup size up had it existed, but it may have been that the style and cleavage this bra gave just wasn't for them.

Esther, 30C


Claire: 32B to 30C/28D

The other lovely and intrepid reviewer, Claire, had been wearing a 32B. However, upon trying on the smaller band sizes, she realized how lacking her past size choice had been! Of the bras that Claire sampled, she found that her best fit was tied, depending on the style, between 28C and 30C

Claire expressed that it was incredible to feel the support of truly well-fitted bra. Previously, she had dealt with being very self-conscious of her more shallow breasts and had never really found a bra that complimented what nature had given her. However, she felt that the Ethel, Erin, and Lucia styles did just that! 

Claire loved the color, cut, and cleavage effect she got from the Ethel. Claire seemed to be between sizes in this bra; the 30C cups provided good fit and coverage, but she found that the 28C band fit her well. It seems that a 28D would've been her ideal size in this bra. Despite the slight smallness of the cup in the 28C, the Ethel is too lovely to not showcase!


Ethel in 28C

Another bra that Claire liked and found to be a close fit was the Erin in 28C. Claire appreciated the look of the bra and the push-up effect created by the Erin, but she preferred more coverage than the 28C in this bra gave. Claire may have done best in a 28D if the bra had been made in this size.

Erin, 28C

Claire's favorite bra overall was the Lucia in 30C. She loved everything about it - from the color to the way that band was supportive yet breathable. She expressed that it was wonderful to wear a “not too padded” bra that still enabled a more natural cleavage to occur. 




Lucia, 30C

Overall, after the experience of trying on high quality, more tailored bras with elegant detail, Claire, in her own words, "realizes that the right bra can bolster confidence and an appreciation for the body she was born with."


Many thanks to The Little Bra Company for providing such a great variety of bras for my reviewers to try out, and to Beth and Claire for sharing their thoughts! Even though the bras from TLBC are not in my size range, I was impressed at the quality and loveliness of the various styles. It's great to see a company dedicated to providing elegant, sexy, "grown up" styles within the petite size ranges that can be very difficult to find (notably 28-30 A-C). Also, I appreciate that there are bra choices available for a range of styles (including multiway and strapless) and various levels of padding.

In regards to sizing of the bras in general, the stretched band measurements on the whole corresponded to the given band size (i.e., a 28C had a band that stretched to 28"). It seemed that the cups of some of the bras ran on the small side, so keep this in mind when ordering (i.e. if you generally wear a 30B, you may find a good fit in a 30C for TLBC in some styles, and vice versa). And while The Little Bra Company isn't particularly known for having styles that cater to more shallow shapes, there are still a few styles that are worth checking out.

Have you (or anyone you know) ever tried out bras from The Little Bra Company?

For other TLBC bra reviews, check out these posts from Invest in Your Chest and 32AAbra.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Parfait by Affinitas Charlotte Bra Review

Have you heard the oh so exciting news yet? Due to high customer demand, Parfait by Affinitas, who previously offered pieces in the range of 30-40 D-G, has announced the expansion of their size range in a few select pieces for Fall 2013!

The Sophia Wire Bra (in Black, Pearl White, and European Nude) and the Alexis Babydoll (in Ivory and Black) are set to be offered in the 30-40 D-K range. A babydoll for G+ cups? Yes, please!!

image from Parfait press release

And, in even more amazing news, the Charlotte Padded Bra is now available in the 28-40 D-K range! The new size range is offered in previous colorways (Peach/Black, Red/Black, Dusty Rose) as well as a new Wild Pink (see below). Be still, my heart!

image from Parfait press release


When I was offered a piece for review purposes, I jumped at the chance to try a long-coveted Charlotte set in Red/Black. I selected my usual size of 28H to review and could barely contain my excitement until it arrived!

*Swoon*


Sizing

While older cuts of the Charlotte were known to run quite a bit small in the band and cup, this new line runs much truer to size.

I found the band to be true to size - my 28 band measures 28" stretched. The 28H cups were maybe a cup small for me, so I'd recommend sizing up, especially if you're between sizes (I seem to be bordering on 28HH in general these days). The slight smallness of the cups in no way will prevent me from wearing this bra to death, though - this is one bra where cups that are a bit small serve to give a little extra "oomph"!

The briefs I tried ran perhaps a bit snug as there wasn't a big amount of stretch to them, but I found them comfy and flattering.



A high-waisted brief version is also available.


Appearance/Shape

The Charlotte has an amazingly solid construction. This thing is like (sexy) scaffolding for the boobs! Slight overall padding and side slings help push everything up and forward and hold it there. I have a somewhat bottom-heavy shape, and I've never gotten this kind of cleavage-uplift combo in a bra, ever.


The bra gives a rounded, upfront look, while the cups themselves have a slightly shallow, somewhat visually squarish shape to them.


 However, I didn't find that the shape appeared pointy underneath shirts.


The Charlotte has 4 hooks in the band for GG+ cups, which adds to the solid, structured look and makes the bra almost reminiscent of a longline. I did find that the combination of the structured band and the 4 hooks gave me some upper-back-pudge, but I'm guessing it would be a bit less in the right cup size.


I was surprised at first by how thick the straps were, but my opinion is that the strap thickness really fits with the whole look of the bra. It's definitely more of a "hold 'em up and make sure they don't go anywhere!" piece rather than a dainty one.


After waiting and hoping for what felt like forever, I'm so pleased to finally be able to wear the lovely Charlotte in my size. The bra's unique shape, striking colorways, structured comfort, and major uplift make it an all-around winner in my book. Major kudos to Parfait for taking customer feedback into account and expanding the size range! And, according to the press release, "Parfait plans on rolling out additional styles in expanded sizes in future seasons" - so stay tuned!


Can't wait to get your hands on the Charlotte? At the moment you can find it in select colors and sizes at Beautyfull Bras (or on their Ebay store), as well as at LargeCupLingerie.

Other reviews:
TheFullFiguredChest (34J)
Quest for the Perfect Bra (30H)
A Sophisticated Pair (30J)
Bras and Body Image (32K)
Miss Underpinnings (28G)
Petite & Plentiful (28E)

Although this set was provided to me free of charge for review purposes, this in no way affects my review - all thoughts and opinions are my own.