Comexim Juliette and Green Velvet

This probably isn’t a surprise, but I love Comexim. I still occasionally try bras from other brands, but my boobs are actually happy with Comexim. So of course I’m thrilled to own what I consider to be some of the most gorgeous bras that Comexim has made: Iris, Juliette, and Green Velvet. After a bit of recent weight loss, I’m again closer to a 28 band than a 30/32. My 65K Comexim Iris (which was pretty snug for a while) is now comfortable… and my 65K Green Velvet (which was comfortably snug when I bought it) is now better on the middle or tightest hooks. The bands have relaxed slightly, but bras that were too tight (and left unworn in my drawer) are now comfortable, so it is a real size change. My Comexim size/customizations: 65K with the wires of a 60L (narrower) and reduced gore and cups. I will sometimes try a slightly different size (without the narrower wires and reduced gore and cups) if my “usual” isn’t available (buying secondhand, etc)… and I also take bratabase info into account, so if the band seems to run very snug, I’ll order a 70J and if it runs loose, I’ll consider a 60L. Onto the bras:

Juliette:

I lusted after this bra for ages, but by the time I was confident enough to place an order with Comexim, it was sold out. Luckily, I found someone selling their 70K Juliette.

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Fit: Not only could I not get my usual customizations, the bra was a 70K rather than a 65K, which would normally be too big in both cups and band. But thanks to some extraordinarily tight fabric, the band is extremely snug… it’s actually tighter than either of my 65 Comexim bands. The cups are slightly too big, but my cup size fluctuates and I have cookies if needed. Basically, I can put it on and it will hold up my boobs- it’s an okay fit.

juliettefront

Without cookies, here’s the slight gap:

juliettegap juliettegore

Snug band with pretty stiff fabric, but I’ve only worn it twice, so it should relax a bit:

julietteside Size Consistency: Weirdly tight band- fits like a tight 28 rather than a 32. Cups are what I expected.

Comfort: This isn’t the softest fabric, but it gives great support.

Looks: This bra is why I fell in love with Comexim. I’d be happier if it were lower-cut, but c’est la vie. I may try to alter it, but I also don’t mind having a few high-cut bras.

Shape: Not quite as nice as my reduced cup/gore 65Ks, but the difference is minimal. Basically, if this were the right size and height, it’d look spectacular. As-is, it’s still pretty darn great.

Overall: I’m just sad it’s discontinued!

Green Velvet:

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Fit: As I mentioned earlier, this band was a bit looser and softer than my 65K Iris. The cups are great, but the band is a little loose on me. As great as this looks on me, I could not manage to get a good photo of the front view. Sorry….

greenfrontOn the tightest hooks:

greenside2 greenside

Size Consistency: The band runs a bit looser than some others. I’d call this a fair 30/32 band.

Comfort: Soft and comfy. The fabrics feel wonderful against my skin, and the elastic seems relatively soft.

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Looks: While Juliette is the reason I fell in love with Comexim, Green Velvet stole first place. It is so much nicer in person than any photo can show. The fabric is rich and saturated with colour, while still a dark forest green. The velvet floral patterns catch the light nicely, and the little velvet bows have a slightly olive hue. I was worried that I might regret this purchase, but after seeing it in person, I definitely don’t.

Shape: Thanks to the customizations, this is another true plunge! This has a tiny bit less lift than my Iris, but that may be due to a) the looser band and b) the looser straps. For some reason, I’ve tightened the straps on my Iris, but not on my Green Velvet… I may try to amend both.

Overall:  New favourite. Juliette and Iris, I still love you dearly… but Green Velvet is my favourite now.

Alterations: how to deal with awkwardly wide gores

So I managed to find time to fiddle with the gore on my Chantelle Icone. I removed the awkward strip of fabric that was holding the cups together, and sewed the underwires directly to each other. To deal with the awkwardness of the resulting band line (or lack thereof), I reattached the strip of fabric lower down.

It’s a quick post, and the photos aren’t great, but they do show the alteration. The results (before/padding removed/gore altered):

Before:

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Padding removed:

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Gore altered:IconeGore

Before:

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Padding removed:

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Gore altered:

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Before:

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Padding removed:

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Gore altered:

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Now if only I can find some navy or purple mesh… I might even make an inner sling! But even without that addition, this bra feels stable enough to wear out, and it no longer looks dumpy from the front. Success!

Project: removing the padding from a bra

Remember this bra? I mentioned it a while back. It’s the Chantelle Icone push-up bra in Iris- one of the most beautiful pieces of lingerie I’ve ever seen.

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I worked hard to find this bra. I hunted it down, had a retailer from France order it direct from Chantelle for me, and payed way more than I should have for it. It was a 36DD (back when I was wearing 32Fs) and I thought I could make it work. Of course, as luck would have it, it never really fit me. I took the cookies out, but it was still too small for me to actually wear.

And so it languished in my drawer for a while… I took the band in (sloppily) and made it into a 28G(ish). Still too small for my breasts (which were still growing), I stubbornly kept it around.

I was a little sad to find it when I was unpacking a few weeks ago. It hadn’t been worn in ages, and it was miles too small… it was 4-5 cups too small and the band felt tight (partially due to the cups being too small). Since I was going to have to throw it away, I decided to experiment a bit. I wasn’t sure whether it was possible (or worthwhile) to remove the padding from the bra, but I figured that I had nothing to lose, and quite a bit to gain.

Here are some before photos:

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The horrific overspill:iconebefore1

And the total lack of support (my breasts are barely even in the cups):iconebefore2iconebefore3

And it was fairly successful! I don’t get much support, and it looks odd from the front… but it’s no longer cutting in, and it’s definitely wearable as boudoir lingerie. Here are some after photos:

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No more overspill!

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Still not great from the front, though…

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How did I do it? I didn’t manage to get any photographs of the process, so I’ll try to describe it clearly. 

Step 1: Pick out stitching that holds the lace overlay to the foam along the top and sides of the cup. The elastic bits on the sides will have to come apart in order to separate the lace from the foam. You can resew this later.

Step 2: Cut (very, very carefully) the foam as close to the underwires as possible, being sure to avoid cutting the lace.

Step 3: Fold the lace back into the elastic part at the sides of the cup and, using a loose zig-zag stitch, sew the lace back to the elastic.

Step 4: Feel brilliant. And thrifty!

Anyway, I’m happy I didn’t have to part with it, but it’s still not great on me. If I get around to it, I’m considering taking out the bit of fabric between the cups and sewing the underwires together, which will make the cups a bit more stable. I am also considering finding a fabric to create an inner “sling” with, which would help give the bra a bit more structural support.

A Review of Parfait’s Recent Size Expansion – 30H Charlotte!

So it’s no secret that I love Parfait. I’ve gushed about their bras more than a few times here… even though they didn’t really fit. I sent a request (or 5) to the company to expand their size range and crossed my fingers. Other bloggers and customers did the same.

While I was hoping that the Casey (like the Deco, but better) would be the first bra available in larger cup sizes, I’m not at all disappointed that the Charlotte was first in line, along with the Alexis babydoll and Sophia bra. I’d been wanting to try the Charlotte for ages, but had heard that the cups ran small, so even a 32G (my usual trying-to-make-parfait-work size) wouldn’t have worked. Thus, I was very excited to hear that Parfait was going to expand the size range of the Charlotte to 28-40 D-K!

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(Sorry for the not-great photo… I’m currently staying in a friend’s dorm room!)

When Parfait asked me to review the Charlotte, I had no idea what size to order. I heard that the bra (after working out the new sizes) now ran true to size, so I thought I’d try ordering my current average size: 30H. And I’m happy to say that that was the right call! The 30H fits quite well. There is some space in the bottom of the cup, as well as some overspill at the top, but a 30HH wouldn’t really fix that, as the issue is with cup-depth.

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Speaking of which, the underwires on this bra are narrow and the cups are deeper than other US and UK brands. I could have used a bit more depth toward the center of the bra (right around the gore), but this is probably the deepest-cupped non-Polish bra I’ve seen!

The band has 4 rows of hooks and is extremely supportive. It runs slightly snug (my ribcage is 28.5 inches and the 30 fits well) and is supportive enough that I could probably hack the straps off this bra and wear it as a strapless (with some minor adjustments to the top of the cup).

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I’m in love with the fabric and design- I chose dusty rose and I’m glad I did. I don’t usually like pink, but the rose color is muted and looks great with my pale yellowish skin. It’s really sophisticated and, wow, I want it to be seen! I’d consider wearing it under a sheer lace top.

Wow, this bra…

Good job, Parfait! I’m really excited to see the more bras in the extended size range!

Curvy Kate Entice, take 3

Okay, so I really wanted this to work. So when I saw a 30H on zulily, I jumped at it. I originally wanted a 30HH, but the 30H was the closest thing available.

The 30H was miles better than the 28HH… and the band was better than the 28J. While I could successfully stuff myself into the cups, moving did make me pop out quite a bit… so I think a 30HH would have been optimal.

Here’s how it looked:

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Not bad, eh?

Look, here’s a photo of me with 4 fingers under the band. (Seriously, if you are going to send me snarky comments about how my bands are too small, please don’t waste your breath or my time. I’m obviously only going to wear what I’m comfortable in.)

30HHband

Except that playing with the band revealed that the cups were actually still too small. I totally popped out.. and did not settle back in. :/ The cups are definitely too shallow for my shape- you can see some empty space at the bottom and I definitely feel like my boobs are being smashed against my chest. (EM bras, by contrast, fit me really well. I guess I just need deep cups.)

30HHoverflow

I think I’ll probably end up wearing it anyway… I just won’t move too much. I may try to alter the gore (which also adds space to the cups!), which could help things.

Claudette En Dentelle: when sister sizing doesn’t work out

I wear a 28HH or 30GG… or 30H… and sometimes a 30HH. Also occasionally a 28H or a 28J. And I’ve found a few 32G bras that I can wear on the tightest hooks (though I should really just alter them), like the Parfait Casey.

So when Claudette showed up on zulily, I thought I’d see if I could make a 32G work. Claudette only goes up to a G cup and I really, really love the En Dentelle collection. I decided to go for it, and then had to make the extremely difficult decision between violet and green. I went for green, since I rarely see green bras and have enough purple things to last a lifetime (that’s what happen when purple is your college colour).

claudette intense green

Wow, this has to be the most beautiful set I’ve ever seen. But the band is clearly too big for the model. :/

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See? Gorgeous.

In person, the lace is just as lovely and delicate. The colours are a bit less vibrant, but it’s still clearly green.claudette32Gclaudetteclaudettegreenclaudettepanty

How did it fit? Not so well. :/

It gives my breasts a weird tear-drop “natural” shape that makes me feel saggy and totally unsupported. And the band, predictably, is way too loose. (And the cup fit is much worse when it’s on the tightest hooks!)

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From the front, it’s really East-West. It felt like the cups were pulling my breasts down and out… which is exactly the opposite of what I want a bra to do.claudetteshape

Part of it was that the cup was too small. But it was only a size (or two) too small. I think the underwires were also extremely flimsy. Look how easily I can pull it away:claudettegore1

And even without my pulling on it, it doesn’t come close to sitting nicely against my sternum.claudettegore

Since I bought a sister-size, I feel unfair reviewing this fully. I really, really wanted this to work out, since it’s such a lovely bra. Maybe Claudette will consider adding more sizes?

FYI: I’m selling it here. If you need a 32G, this is an amazingly gorgeous set…

Tutti Rouge Betty Review!

Disclaimer: Tutti Rouge provided the items for this review. 

When I heard about Tutti Rouge a few months ago, I was extremely excited to see cute and youthful styles available in a much needed size range (28-38 DD-HH (sometimes J)). I was obviously ecstatic when they offered to send me the Betty bra and panties to review. I had originally asked for a 28HH, but I’d been more of a 30GG lately, so I changed it to a 30GG.

The package arrived beautifully wrapped. The lingerie inside was even more lovely!

TRBetty

My photos didn’t manage to capture the wonderful amount of effort put into the detail and construction of the bra. The bra feel really well-made and the cute heart-shaped adjusters made me giggle. I had been skeptical of all things pink, but the pink bow works pretty well with the creme-coloured satin. And the fabric is amazingly soft!

Trying it on, though, was a mess. My ribcage is currently 29 inches, so a 30 should fit easily… and I should be able to at least fasten a 28. Not so with this bra. I could barely get the 30 to fasten… and then it felt like it was suffocating me. (It was okay with an extender, though.) Unstretched, the band measured 22 inches. Fully stretched, it only made it to 28 inches, which makes it a tight 28 or a loose 26 band… not a 30 band.

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The cups were also way too small, but that may be partially due to the cups becoming part of the band (as well as my needing a larger cup in general). Given this, it’s hard for me to estimate how the cups fit. I think a 32GG or 32H would fit me, though.

bettyside2  bettycup

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The shape of the bra also isn’t quite right for me: the cups are shallow and wide (like most UK brands)… but a looser band would definitely alleviate some of the flattening!

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(FYI: The panties run a bit large. I normally wear a medium, but I really should have asked for a small! They are lovely and comfy, though! There is an adorable keyhole with a bow in the back… )

But since the band ran so small, I wondered if perhaps Tutti Rouge might be a good solution for my friend who needs a 24/26 band. I had her try on my 30GG and the band fit pretty well on the tightest hooks. The cups were a bit big on her, but I’d guess that the Betty would fit her in a 28GG. For the record, she really loves the bra!

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I’m really hoping that, instead of simply making their bands bigger, Tutti Rouge simply relabels them. The size range could be 24-34 (maybe 26-36)… and, with the styles that Tutti Rouge offers, would be a perfect fit for that demographic. (See that pun there?)

Anyway, the bra is exceptionally well made and really, really lovely. My fingers are crossed that the sizing issues are sorted out soon, because I’m really excited to see more of what Tutti Rouge has to offer!

Great news: Parfait is expanding their size range!

Remember how I fell in love with Parfait? And how I’ve been hoping that they’d expand their size range? Well, the other day, I got an email from RichPR (the PR company that Parfait works through) announcing the size expansion for their A/W 2013 collection! They’ve added GG-K cups and are testing the new sizes in 3 styles: Charlotte Padded Bra (28 band available), Alexis Babydoll, and Sophia Wire Bra. The new sizes will be available starting in August!

I’ve contacted Parfait a few times about expanding their size range… and I know I’m not the only one. It looks like Parfait has heard out pleas! While I would have loved the expansion to start with adding a few more cups sizes in the Deco-rivaling-Casey bra, D-K is quite an impressive jump from D-G and the options sound great. I don’t know if the new Charlotte bras will continue to run extremely tight in the band, but even a slightly tight Parfait 28 would be good news for the 26-band-needing crowd! (I’ll be sure to update on band tightness one I try one.) And a babydoll in a K cup? Awesome. And they are planning to expand the size ranges of other styles in coming seasons!

Charlotte Padded Bra: 28-40 D-K (Peach/Black, Red/Black, Dusty Rose, and Wild Pink (new colourway))

Charlotte Padded Bra & Bikini in Wild Pink_Parfait

Alexis Babydoll: 30-40 D-K (Ivory, Black)

Alexis Babydoll in Black_Parfait

Sophia Wire Bra: 30-40 D-K (Black, Pearl White, European Nude)Sophia Wire Bra & High Waist Brief in European Nude_Parfait

“We have heard and listened to the growing feedback from our dedicated fanbase for expanding sizing, and are so pleased to be able to meet their wishes after extensive research, development and fit testing. As a brand committed to providing full bust women worldwide the best in quality, fit and style, we couldn’t be happier to announce that expanded cup sizes are here!” –Keng Zhang, President, Parfait by Affinitas

Since I’ve been lusting after the Charlotte Padded Bra for ages, but was very sized out, as the old model ran very small in band and cups, I’ll be trying the Charlotte Padded Bra in a 30H (I’m usually a 28HH or 30GG) and my fingers are crossed that it works out. I’ll be sure to update once I’ve tried it! (And my fingers are still crossed that they come out with larger cup sizes in the Casey soon!)

Curvy Kate Tease Me take 2!

I fell in love with the Tease Me in powder blue, but, sadly, only managed to get one in a 28H… which was too small. I wore it a lot, until my breasts grew again. It’s now miles too small, and has been languishing in my drawer, waiting for my boobs to shrink again.

I wanted to give it a try in a better size, though, so I recently acquired a used 28HH (sadly not blue) Tease Me. It still cuts in slightly, but the lace at the top does a good job of hiding it, and I think the 28HH works pretty well for me. I got the matching garter shorts (not used), too!

teaseme28hh

Front (not the best front photo… sorry!)

TeaseMe28HHfront

You can see the overflow here:

TeaseMe28HHside

And the shorts! The ruffle is really cute, though somewhat impractical.

TeaseMe28HHandShorts

Comfort: Quite comfy. Some people use this as a sleep bra… I’m not sure it’s that comfy, but it definitely is one of the more comfortable bras I’ve owned.

Looks: Gorgeous. This is my favourite Curvy Kate style. I just wish it were the powder blue one…

Shape: The shape is great. Very lifted and rounded. The cups are a little far apart and wide for me, though.

Overall: I think the 28HH works pretty well on me. I’m vaguely considering altering the gore so as to bring the cups closer together (underwires always manage to sit on my tissue!), but it’s okay as-is, so I may let laziness get the better of me. Anyway, it’s a really lovely style. Curvy Kate has discontinued the Showgirls line so they can make the sizing more consistent, but I really, really hope they bring back this style when they launch a new line of sexy bras. :)

(FYI: I’m still hoping to come across a 28HH, 28J, 30H, or 30HH powder blue Tease Me.)

Bra shops in Ireland

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I recently returned from Ireland with my choir. (Couldn’t resist including a photo of the gorgeous scenery!) The trip was fun! I didn’t have a lot of free time, but, since I am always interested in seeing the bra stores available in cities, I did make sure to check out the shops.

Dublin: I saw a few things listed, but only had time to check out one place. I decided to check out Bramora and I am really glad I did! I’ll be writing a review of the shop in a separate post.

Galway: There were a few places in the city and I managed to check out 3: Elegant Undies, La Femme (by Anthony Ryans), and Change Lingerie.

  • Elegant Undies– bands start at 30 (even though most of the bands they carry start at 28 bands) and cups only up to G (the person helping me did find one 30GG, though). I didn’t get any weird looks when I asked for a 28HH or 30GG, which is a giant plus. Not sure of fitting abilities, since I didn’t have time to get fitted. I tried on the Panache sports bra in a 30G, which was too small in the cup) and they suggested I try a 32G, since the band ran tight anyway. The 32G felt alright, but I think I’d want it in a 30H (with extender) or 32GG.  The shop was small, but they did have a decent selection of bikinis. Oh, it’s also in a mall, which is kind of interesting.
  • La Femme– similar size range (though they did have a few larger cups). I tried on the Wonderbra strapless bra in a 32G (hoping the band ran small), but the cups were too small and the band was loose even on the tightest hooks. The fitter said I could get away with it if I needed a strapless, but stressed that it was my body and I should wear what I feel comfortable in.
  • Change Lingerie– this is up there in my top 3 worst experiences in lingerie stores. I walked in and asked if they had anything in a 30GG, but the person working there would not let me try on bras before she “fitted” me. She “fitted” me as a 36G (EU sizing… like a UK 36F). Curiously, she measured me with my bra and clothing on and I never even felt the measuring tape touch my ribcage. When I mentioned that I was currently wearing a UK 28H, she said that it was “impossible” because I am a 36G. When I asked if she would just bring me bras in a 30 band to try on, she refused. She brought me a few 32Gs and 34Gs (all way too small in the cup, since she’d measured me as a 36G) and claimed that the cups fit wrong because the band was too tight. I explained that it would be impossible for me to fasten a 28 band if I really needed a 36 and finally convinced her to bring me 32s in larger cup sizes. (She brought some 34s, too.) The 32H was too loose even on the tightest hooks and too small in the cup. I gave up and left. This is really odd, since their website uses +0 sizing method and asks for a tight underbust measurement. According to the website, I need a 65J… which is a 30J… which the fitter would not let me try on.

Whoo. Sorry about that long-winded rant about Change Lingerie. It’s a shame- the bras are cute and the website seems to have decent information on fit. Anyway, if you can make it to Dublin, check out Bramora! If you can only get to Galway, I’d recommend Elegant Undies or La Femme, but the selection is limited.