Tuesday 7 November 2017

Peggy Sue Pinup Perfection with PhotoStoke

*All photography in this post is used with permission of Photo Stoke. Please do not share without permission. Thank you.*

I was recently taken aback by a message I received via Instagram (@lecurvykitten) when I was contacted by a local professional photographer, Louise, of Photo Stoke Studios, who was looking for a fan of the pinup look to shoot as practise for her newly launched Peggy Sue Pin Up makeover shoots.

I was primarily flattered to receive such an offer but then my insecurities and introverted thoughts crept in and told me not to answer, that I'm not a model and don't deserve such opportunities. Thankfully I squashed those little demons under my leopard print heels and replied.

Louise informed me that everything would be taken care of, including hair, make up, outfits and accessories and all I needed to do was turn up! She said I could bring my own outfits if I wanted to, and since I have a lot of vintage reproduction attire, I chose to do that.

With a huge bagful of clothes, petticoats, shoes and accessories I was greeted by Louise, who introduced me to her my hair and make up artist for the day, who soon got to work curling and pinning my hair up. We then moved on to make up and my look was ready.

With the help of Louise, I picked out what I'd be wearing for each set, and after slipping into my first outfit, I was shown into the studio.

Photo Stoke Studios has 4 vintage backdrops; a lounge room, Las Vegas, a retro American car and a classic 50's diner. There are also a plethora of genuine and reproduction vintage props to shoot with, such as a hairdryer, telephone, radio and the obligatory milkshake!

It didn't take me long to get into the swing of things as Louise has a great personality and knows what she's looking for in her shots. We both worked together to come up with poses and expressions and I hope I helped her as much as she helped me.

Based in the heart of Stoke On Trent, there's excellent access from Shropshire, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Chester, Derby and Nottingham to name but a few places. Photo Stoke is a short taxi ride from Stoke On Trent train station which has a taxi rank right outside.

I'm sure Photo Stoke's Peggy Sue Pin Up makeover shoots will be a roaring success. If you're a vintage aficionado, new to the vintage scene or just love the pinup style, then get in touch with Louise at Photo Stoke and book a shoot! 

With Christmas fast approaching, you can even buy vouchers online to treat the pinup in your life, or for yourself of course!

Photo Stoke offers a number of shoot packages and if pinup isn't your thing, they also do makeovers and mini makeovers (6-16 years), boudoir, bump to baby, newborn, family shoots, fairy and elf toddler shoots and my personal favourite, pet shoots! Check out their website for more information and contact details.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday 7 February 2017

The Long Awaited Louise

*Voucher code at the end of the post!*

Back in summer last year, Katy of Katherine Hamilton Intimates contacted me asking if I'd like to review a set. Naturally I said yes as I'd had my eye on the Louise set for a while. Due to production issues, the launch of the set was put back until December which was when I received my set. I thought the week before Christmas was a little too late to blog about a potential Christmas gift so here we are, ready for Valentine's Day instead!

Katherine Hamilton Intimates is a new brand in the high end of the fuller bust market. Boasting luxury fabrics, custom underwires, attention to fit under the arms and most importantly research into common issues in fit, I'm looking forward to seeing how this more customer fit focused brand grows.

Originally from a background in psychology and mental health, Katy found her passion for lingerie working for Bosom Galore, another luxury fuller bust brand. Following this, she developed her own designs based on customer feedback and issues concerning 'off the rack' underwires. After research she was able to create 2 core designs; 3 piece padded and 3-piece unpadded, using her bespoke narrow underwires and deeper cups designed for full coverage and support. 

For me personally, the fact that Katy researched the fit of large cups with small bands was a winner, as a lot of brands simply size down the bands without altering the wires used, meaning I often have problems with wires sitting in and sometimes behind my armpit!

From their Debut 2016/17 range, Louise is a classic black lightly padded balcony bra with added edgy non-removable harness style straps, playfully hinting at a subtle,yet seductive bondage style. The cups are made up of 3 pieces with Katherine Hamilton's custom wires, giving forward projection and a great shape. The Louise knicker I chose obviously matches the bra perfectly with its strappy detailing and soft black fabric. The set arrived wrapped in black tissue paper, beautifully packaged in a branded box with paperwork in an envelope, giving a real sense of luxury.

I was advised to try the 30H as their bands are quite snug, but on arrival, I found it was too big so I exchanged for the 28H, which is a perfect fit. The knickers are a size 14 and fit me beautifully.

It isn't often I'll find a new brand that gets the fit of a bra spot on for me, but the Louise is perfect. I tend to wear a Curvy Kate Smoothie on a daily basis nowadays since I outgrew my all-time favourite Freya Deco, but I can confidently say that my Louise bra fits well enough for me to add to my daily collection with a fit not dissimilar to the aforementioned Curvy Kate Smoothie. The fabric is so soft and comfortable against the skin and it....it just fits!

I feel I should rave about the fabric. According to the website, the Louise set is made from Charmeuse, a 85% Polyamide and 15% elastane mix, which feels lovely to wear.

I have a few minor criticisms with this bra (none with the knickers, I LOVE them!) and they are that I'd have preferred a fully adjustable strap as I'm of quite a petite build so this is often an issue I have. Thankfully Katy informs me that they will be introducing a custom service for strap length soon. My other small gripe is that there seems to be something making me itch in the hook/eye panel to the back of the bra. I can't for the life of me figure out what it is, but it's mildly annoying all the same! Lastly, I'd have preferred the harness type straps to come from the top of the central gore rather than the sides, but I suspect this is more about my own breast fullness (or lack thereof), rather than the bra itself.

Louise retails at £78.00 for the bra (Sizes 26DD-HH, 28-32 D-HH, 34 D-H and 36D-G) and £38.00 for the knicker (sizes 6-16) and is available from Katherine Hamilton Intimates

Use code VALENTINE2017 for £15 off, valid until February 15th 2017, cannot be used with other offers or gift vouchers.

Find Katherine Hamilton Intimates on Twitter and Instagram @khintimates and on Facebook here.

Friday 2 December 2016

Timeless Trends Emerald Cincher of DREAMS!!

Ever since I heard that the all-knowing corsetry goddess Lucy's Corsetry helped design a range for American corsetry brand Timeless Trends last year, I've been coveting one of their gorgeous Emerald waist cinchers. I mean, c'mon, LOOK AT IT!

I almost peed myself with joy when they contacted me asking if I'd like to choose a corset to review, so naturally I went with the Emerald waist cincher ($89) that I've wanting for aaaaaages. I ordered a 20" for my 26.5" waist, the same size I wear in What Katie Did and Orchard Corset styles.

When the cincher arrived I was delighted! It was so pretty with its brocade panels and green ribbon lacing the back. I tried it on but I had a HUGE gap in the back, and because this corset doesn't have a modesty panel, you get the bunched up skin in the back if you're wearing it as underwear, which I don't personally like. Despite this, since its an hourglass cut, the corset gave me a great shape and really nipped in my waist without too much bulge underneath as it's cut for bigger hips. I wasn't happy with the gap though so I exchanged for a 22" and to be honest, there's not a *lot* of difference between the two, as seen in the following two photos. I think I could easily wear anything from a 20"-24" with varying gaps at the back of course. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it gives more options if sizes are out of stock!



So, let's talk more about the shape. I'm what you would call an 'extreme hourglass' as my hips are over 10" bigger than my waist, so finding off the rack (OTR) corsets to fit well can be quite tricky. Thankfully more and more corset makers are becoming aware of this and Timeless Trends offer one of, if not THE best range for an hourglass shape.

This corset is classed as a cincher, but for those with shorter torsos like myself, it works well as a standard underbust corset. The front busk measures 8.25", side length 6.25", back 9.5", meaning it is nice and short, allowing more feedom of movement than a regular length underbust corset, ideal for everyday waist training. It is not recommended to wear this shape if you happen to have a bit of a tum and it won't cover your 'pooch', but can be worn by those with short or tall torsos, and of course, anything in between.

The corset ties at the back with matching emerald green ribbon and doesn't have a modesty panel as mentioned previously. It has alternating panels of emerald green satin and Asian inspired emerald and gold brocade, which looks stunning both as an accent to an outfit or with lingerie. I had a bit of fun when shooting this corset and teamed it up with a vintage kimono I picked up on Etsy and also a Frida Kahlo inspired look with a vintage embroidered top and red swing skirt.

Having worn this corset for a day I must admit it did cause a bit of discomfort in the form of long lasting (4 days!) redness on my skin at the top and bottom of the corset. Yes, it's my own stupid fault for not wearing a corset liner, I know! I'm wondering if the fabric contains something that I have a slight allergy to perhaps, but with this being said, it's no reason not to buy this beautiful piece, as corsets aren't really meant to be worn against bare skin anyway.

I'm a huge fan of this corset and can't wait to break it in as I think it may well end up being a favourite in my collection. I highly recommend taking a look at Timeless Trends as they've been working with some big names in the world of corsetry, and this can only mean even greater things are to come!

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your patience with my LONG waits between posts! 

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Summery Stripes with Lilly & Lime

Sadly I've not been fortunate enough to have had a lovely beach holiday for a number of years now, so when Lilly & Lime asked me to review a bikini of theirs I agreed with a heavy heart. Poor me, I know!
Lilly & Lime are an Australian specialist D cup and up swimwear brand, launched in January 2016 and based upon an idea the two busty founders Emma and Ashleigh had during a champagne fuelled night out!

I'm a huge fan of nautical stripes so naturally I opted for the Blue & White striped full cup bikini top in my current size of 28H and Blue & White striped hipster tie bottoms in a size 14. I really wanted to try the balconette shape as I feel it would work better on me, but the striped bikini wasn't available in my size. Emma from Lilly & Lime was most helpful when it came to fit advice and suggested their sizes are similar to those of Curvy Kate and Panache, which I found particularly useful to know when shopping newly discovered brands.

The full cup bikini top has fully adjustable straps (a godsend!) and the band size is fixed, fastening with a white plastic clip at the back. The cups have non-removable pads and it is made from a double layered stretch swimwear fabric. I must admit I was slightly underwhelmed with this bikini top. Although it offers support and a good size range, I'd ideally like something a bit more...wow! Admittedly this is probably due to my choice of the full cup and my 34 year old boobs (that have seen better days!), so I am just speaking for myself here. One thing I would LOVE to have seen is a narrower gore. I just think it's a touch too wide for my liking and tends to flatten my boobs a little. If these are things that bother you, the balconette shape does seem to have a bit more of a wow factor and I kind of wish I'd made my decision based on shape rather than pattern so you might want to bear this in mind when shopping with Lilly & Lime

As for fit, it seems pretty darn good on first impressions, maybe a tiny bit small in the cup but not enough to warrant going up a cup. The band is nice and snug and I'd suggest going up a band size if you're on the upper end of your usual band measurement. My underbust measures 27" so the 28" is perfect on me.

Yes, I have cellulite, I'm a human.

The tie side bottoms are lovely! I LOVE tie sides, mainly because they give you the option of loosening them off if you're feeling a bit bloated and you don't need to worry about the sizing too much either. Again they're made from a double layer stretch swimwear fabric and the fit is spot on!

The Lilly & Lime bikini top range comes in band sizes 28-38 and cup sizes F-HH. Bottoms come in sizes 8-18 and run in UK sizes. Currently Lilly & Lime are producing bikinis in two colours (nectarine and black) and three prints (floral, chevron and stripe). Go forth and shop!

Thanks for reading ,
Le Curvy Kitten 

Friday 13 May 2016

What's the (Corset) Story, Morning Glory?

So, Slightly confusing title. I thought it would be a good idea but then I couldn't get it to work, ok?? Don't judge!

After looking back at last year's review of the black underbust corset with hip panels and realising how well it fitted I decided I wanted to try the overbust version, and when the folks from Corset Story (AKA Corsets UK) offered I willingly accepted!

I originally wanted the plain satin version but it was out of stock in my size (22" for Corset Story corsets, usually 20" elsewhere) so I chose the black brocade overbust with hip panels (£69 at the time of publishing) instead. I'd intended to use it as a base for my Columbia costume when I see The Rocky Horror Show in May, but on arrival I realised it was too pretty for that, so I might have to rethink my plans!

As always, Corset Story provide a swing tag with a bit of blurb on their corset construction along with a sample of their spiral steel boning, which I think is a nice touch. The outer fabric is a decadent black brocade which doesn't photograph especially well but in person is divine!

With my awkward measurements I was concerned about the corset not fitting well enough in the bust but for a relatively inexpensive off the rack (OTR) I'm happy to report its pretty damn good! Its not bang on as you'd expect but it's close enough! .The hip panels, as I found with the underbust last year, help make this corset an excellent fit on me and give a nice gentle curve whilst still being shaped enough to give that Jessica Rabbit style nipped in waist I'm always looking for in corsets. 

Since I'm short in the torso this corset is a touch on the longer side for me, but that's not to say it won't work on you. The modesty panel is a pesky little thing to straighten when you're lacing alone, so bear that in mind when you're thinking "WTF?" while looking at my pics! It laces up quite easily and the cords slide smoothly, but also have a bit of 'bite', meaning they don't slip much when you're lacing, which as some of you corset wearers may know, is a huge bonus, particularly when lacing alone.

Before this next picture I'll mention that yes, I'm aware that corsets should be laced evenly, meaning the back should be parallel but I have shoulder problems and was struggling to fully lace up on my own! Also, since I wouldn't be wearing an overbust for waist training I don't feel this is as important as it would be for an underbust.

This corset is well constructed and I'm surprised to find something OTR that fits so well. Given their low price point I'd recommend Corset Story to anyone wanting to dip their toes into the decadent pond of corsetry. Avoid cheap cylindrical corsets on eBay and start here! Keep your eyes peeled for offers over at Corset Story as they often have good deals and sales on!

As always, thanks for reading
Le Curvy Kitten

Friday 29 January 2016

Make your cleavage illegal with Tutti Rouge's Jessica

As always, apologise for the radio silence. You know how life gets in the way? Yeah, that. Coupled with the fact that it's January and that means we're all recovering after having had a few months run up to Christmas.

In early December Tutti Rouge so kindly offered me their new Jessica set to review. I'd been hotly anticipating it's release and subsequent #illegalcleavage social media campaign featuring curvy redhead Lucy V. I was delighted when I received the set through my door! I initially requested the bra in a 28GG and thong in a medium but on arrival I realised that I'd underestimated myself and needed a size up in both, so a 28H and large thong, which I'm happy to say, fit beautifully. The matching suspender belt is a small. So if you're between sizes in both bras and pants, you'd do better to size up as I did.

What sets the Jessica bra aside from anything else I've ever seen on the market (particularly in plus bust brands) is that the bra has pockets on the inside of the cups for its padding. Now, this may not seem that unusual but the bra is unpadded and the padding is made in a way to give you multiple options. The band is accurately sized and the cups, Although not particularly supportive on myself, as my boobs aren't all that perky, are made from a stretch mesh are accommodating for asymmetrical boobs. If you're a fan of unpadded AND padded bras, then Jessica is worth a try.

The pads, or 'cookies' as Tutti Rouge like to call them, are a rectangular-ish shaped pocket (so a double layer of padding) containing another smaller pad. The idea behind this is that you control how much cleavage you want with the added benefit of being able to even out asymmetrical boobs should you struggle with that. The cookie system gives you, if you're not taking into account any asymmetry, 4 different levels of padding; unpadded, small cookies, cookie pocket and cookie pocket with smaller cookies inside. Are you feeling the urge to eat a cookie yet...no, me neither... ;)

I love the idea of effectively customising an OTR bra yourself, and as I touched on before, if you have noticeable asymmetry then this bra if definitely worth trying out. I estimate I have a difference of half a cup maybe, so it's not all that noticeable once I'm wearing a bra.

The thong in a large is perfect on me, as long time readers know, I'm well blessed in the hip/butt department and I like to make sure I don't get any bulges so I usually size up on what's recommended on your average size chart. The suspender belt is a small and is a little on the large side if I'm being picky, but works out fine. I just wish I could buy suspender belts and pants in the same size! Damn curves! That said, I don't ever wear suspender belts for anything other than photoshoots anyway, so ignore my whinging!

As always with Tutti Rouge, it's the details that make the sets that bit different from other brands, such as the heart strap adjusters, which I bloody LOVE! The fabrics, trims and colours have all been chosen with great care and tie in beautifully with one another.

Since I always have to have something to moan about it would have to be the bulk and particularly the shape of the cookies. Once you have all of them fitted inside your bra you will be able to feel your arms rub against them once you start moving around. The other issue is the shape. provided you're not wearing something *too* tight fitting, you'll be okay, but when you wear this bra with a slinky bodycon dress there's a very real risk of the chunky non boob shaped cookies being visible. Personally I'd have made the cookies in the traditional 'chicken fillet' shape.

Anyway, Overall I love how this set looks and how versatile it is with its multiple looks. Have you tried the Jessica set yet? Is the concept of customising the level of padding something that makes you want to try it?

As always, thanks for reading x