Thursday 8 December 2011

Brands In Focus: Curvy Kate!

For the first of my occasional Brands In Focus series, I'm looking at the relatively new brand for the bigger bust; Curvy Kate!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm a big fan of this particular brand, which I only recently discovered this year by taking part in their Star In A Bra competition. More about that later. 

Admittedly I only have 'real life' experience of two Curvy Kate styles, Thrill Me and Tease Me, but boy do I adore them!

Firstly, Thrill Me, a balcony bra with soft satin cups and oodles of detailing from Curvy Kate's Showgirl collection. Curvy Kate always seem to choose beautiful colours and contrasting trims. I have four Thrill Me's so far, a collection I'm hoping to add to. The uplift you get with this style is spectacular, often giving good cleavage too, although I don't tend to get this for some reason! The only problem I have with the Thrill Me bra is that the sizes aren't exactly spot on; back down, 2 cups up for me. I usually wear a 30G, and in the Thrill Me bra I wear a 28H. With the shorts, I tend to buy a 14 as the 16's are too large in the butt. The 16's are perfect on the waist though, so this is also a little niggle I have with the Thrill Me. The shorts have a sheer back, with ruffles at the top, trimmed with contrasting thread. I also LOVE the fact that they have suspenders attached. Anyway, on to the photos...Ahhhh, the ruffles, the colours, the bows, the lacy trim...LUSH!

Next, my other Curvy Kate favourite again from their Showgirl collection, Tease Me! Deliciously burlesque, this Balcony bra set is sure to wow whoever you're trying to impress. The Tease Me is available in a variety of colours, but only with a black overlay at the minute, something which will be thrown out of the window at Curvy Kate's HQ for their Spring/summer collection, with pretty spring inspired pastels. The basic structure of the cups is the same as the Thrill Me, thus gives the same shape. Again, Curvy Kate have paid a great amount of attention to detail, with bows, ribbons and ruffles. The shorts fit slightly differently in the Tease Me, which suits me down to the ground to be honest! The 16's are perfect on me, as with the thong. Again the shorts have attached suspenders and a sheer back with a row of ruffles, but no contrasting trim this time. I have to say, the Tease Me is a knockout set. I love it! Take a look...

So my love of Curvy Kate came earlier this year when I discovered they were running their annual Star In A Bra competition. Admittedly I didn't know a lot about the brand, just that their bras cost more than I liked to pay back then. I entered the competition on a whim, and incredibly got through to the top 10, which involved me travelling down to London for a photoshoot and leaving with a goodie bag! It all seems like a very unreal, distant memory, but I'm so glad I entered or I would never have discovered this fabulous brand, or made fabulous friends along the way. Since then I've been involved in a few photo shoots for my local newspaper, The Sentinel, and a local magazine, The North Staffordshire Magazine, and I hope they continue to consider me for any future features they may want to run. My next feature with them was shot last Thursday and will be in this week's Sentinel Magazine which comes with the Saturday Newspaper, so if you're from Staffordshire, look out for it!

Aside from the super sexy styles above, Curvy Kate also do a huge range of unpadded bras in cups D-K, backs 28-40. I was lucky enough at the Star In A Bra photoshoot to try out the Lottie, which hadn't yet been released at the time. The Lottie was the 2010 Create A Curvy Kate winner for De Montford University, another competition run by Curvy Kate. I LOVE how Curvy Kate involve their customers so much, it really helps me and others warm to the brand. Here's me in the Lottie, photographed by the fantastic Alison Webster. I'm sure you'll agree the colours and fit are stunning!

Ladies, if you're a D-K cup, you really should give Curvy Kate a try. Check the store locator to see where you can buy their fabulous lingerie. Go on, treat yourself ;)

Gorgeous by Debehams, a mini moan about size discrepancies...

A quick one this time. I bobbed into Debenhams (again) to buy the Gossard Ooh La La set from my previous post and tried two bras from Debenhams own 'Gorgeous' range. Now in my last post, you'll remember that I found the backs too small, and the straps too long more often than not. Aside from the luxurious satin and lace bras, Gorgeous also produce a more everyday range. Now this is where things get complicated! See, the backs are very small and the cups also run around a size smaller too in my experience. 

Below is the white floral balcony bra in a size 28G. The back was nice and snug but the cups far too small. As this is the biggest cup they do in a 28 band, my hopes of getting something in a shop were seemingly dwindling by the day....

....however, I also picked up this pink striped balcony bra in a 30GG to try, and it turned out that the back was pretty much the SAME as the 28 above!! Unfortunately the cups are a little on the small side, giving a slight 4-boob situation. I will try the 30H as soon as I can, but I think we have a success story here.

So, the moral of the story is; Don't just assume you're one size in all brands/shops/styles. ALWAYS try bras on as different brands/styles will fit differently. For example, I wear a 28H in Curvy Kate's Thrill/Tease Me, a 30G in 30G in some Gorgeous, and 32G in La Senza bikinis! 

Happy Shopping! x

Thursday 1 December 2011

To every cloud there's a silver lining...

Today I did another photo shoot for the local paper. This time it was all about bargain partywear. Not just any bargain partywear, but PRIMARK partywear! I had great fun posing with the mannequins in the entrance and ended up buying one of the dresses I wore, a leopard print skater dress for just £10. Apparently they couldn't give it to me, even though I was doing a piece basically advertising for them! If you're local to Staffordshire, I think it's going to be in the Sentinel Saturday Magazine in 2 weeks. 

After my shoot I went on a typical bra hunting expedition in the very few shops Hanley has to offer. First up, as usual, Debenhams!

I was excited to find the Freya Taylor in my 'Deco size' of a 30G, which makes a change as they never usually stock Deco's or any variant in a 30G. I've heard the Taylor runs a little small in the cup and that's not incorrect! The back was tighter than a normal Deco too, which was perfect. The cups were small, but apparently they loosen up pretty quickly. I must admit, I fell in love with this when I first saw it online, but having seen it in person, I'm not so sure. I would have preferred Freya to have used a black velvet ribbon as opposed to brown. Other than that, the styling is gorgeous.

The next brand I tried was Gossard, purely because they are half price at the moment in Debenhams admittedly! Firstly we have the Beau bra. Pretty and a nice fit, although if you're a 28 back or above a G cup, you're sized out of this. I found I had to wear it on it's tightest hooks, which can only mean one thing; I need a refit. I also found my usual problem in that the straps were too long.

Next I tried the Ooh La La range; plunge bra and suspender belt. I was instantly drawn to the vintage styling of this range, but why Gossard decided to make the straps so thin is anyone's guess. I would like to say this set was perfect, but it wasn't. The cups weren't quite right, although I can't quite put my finger on what exactly is wrong. Maybe if it was a balcony bra it would be perfect. I love the structure of this set, lots of detail, and I love the mix of powermesh and stretch lace together. The suspender belt is a small, and sits high on the waist. It's so beautiful and I would have bought this if it had fitted. I'm sure you'll agree that it's a very striking set.

Now onto Debenhams' own brand for the fuller bust; Gorgeous. I was delighted to find this sexy longline bra in my size! For once, the purple straps weren't too long, but the cups were a little on the small side, giving me a bit of side boob, as shown in the second photo. I loved the ruffled edge and black on black polka dot fabric, and the longline style made a nice change from usual bras. Debenhams are known for being hit and miss with regards to back bands, and this one was nice and snug, ideal for me. It's a shame they stop at a G cup, I'd like to see this available in further cup sizes like other bras in the Gorgeous range.

Next up, This pretty green silk mix balcony bra. I love the gorgeous pintuck detail and lace edging on this, but again the straps were too long and the back slightly too large. Again, a fitting is in order, and again, this bra doesn't come in a 28 back.

This next one was a nice idea, an unusual snake/croc print, but the fit was not nice! Very much 'down and out'. Not recommended!

Next up, a limited edition for the festive season. Navy lace with a gold metallic thread, this is a very pretty choice, nice in the cup and in the back (if you're a 30 or larger), and a limited edition, so snap it up!

I promise there aren't too many more! This was perhaps the best of the Debenhams bunch, a memory foam (yes, you heard right!) steel blue t-shirt bra. Both comfortable and functional, and with the potiential for cleavage (with a little adjustment), this bra comes in a few different colours. Finally, a bra I'd recommend!

After my epic session in Debenhams, I toddled off to Marks and Spencer and was rather underwhelmed to only find 3 bras in my size, one of which I've reviewed in a previous blog. I was delighted to find this eye-catching black sequinned design in a 30G, although I'm also aware that a 30G can sometimes mean a 28F with the odd sizing in M&S. I wasn't far wrong...Check out my four boobs! I'd need at least a 30H in M&S sizes, something that is only a far distant dream. SORT YOUR SIZING SYSTEM!!

Now, to end, a pleasant surprise. A VERY pleasant surprise. A M&S bra that FITS! It's A 30G  tight in the back, more like a 28. The cups are perfect too! Not to mention it's polka dot and red <3 The only reason I didn't buy this is because I already have lots of bras that I'm still to wear. If you're still sceptical about M&S bras I suggest you try this one. You may be surprised.

You may have noticed that I've not put any prices up this time. This is because there are so many offers and pre-christmas sales around at the moment, so you may find a bargain ;)

As always, thanks for reading x

Thursday 24 November 2011

Curvy Kate Thrills Me again....

So after a very long wait, I was finally able to get my free Curvy Kate set for making it into the top 10 of their Star In A Bra competition earlier this year (see my past blogs for further reading). I chose, after much deliberation, the Thrill Me in Grape/Jade. 

As soon as I opened the package and unwrapped the hot pink tissue paper Kimberly had wrapped it in, I was in love! It's rich jewel colours and pretty trims make you feel like you're getting a real treat!

As usual with Curvy Kate's showgirl range, you need to go down a back size and up 2-3 cup sizes, so I ordered a 28H, which is a perfect fit. The Thrill Me shorts are a firm favourite of mine. I adore the ruffles, trim and the suspenders. Sadly I'm not quite as happy with the fit. I feel the waistline could be an inch or so bigger, with sizing more consistent to the Tease Me. I ordered a size 14 because I know the 16 is too big on the butt, from previous encounters. I'll probably end up getting the thong too, the set is too hard to resist!

The Thrill Me is also available in Jade/Fuchsia, which is divine, and is on my Christmas list ;)

Both colours and more can be purchased here at

Thanks for reading!
K x

Monday 31 October 2011

Bikini Bonanza! Time to wind down for a few weeks...

So in a few days time I will be jetting off to the Maldives for 10 nights at the Iru Fushi resort!! Eeek!

In preparation, while everyone else is thinking about thick coats and scarves, I'm digging out the 10 bikinis I've collected over the summer. This what I'll be taking with me...

I'll start off with my favourite, the Kostium-w-Grochy-gora from Ewa Michalak. I was initially quite wary of ordering from a non-English speaking company (damn my terrible British attitude), but it turned out that the people at Polish company Ewa Michalak got it spot on, coming up with my 'usual' bra size of 30G. Be warned, they have a strange way of getting your measurements, involving you bending over and measuring around your hanging boobs, but it turns out the sizing was spot one, in this bikini at least. I have no idea how much this cost, but it was more than it does now, as it appears to be on offer at the moment. The bottoms I got in a 14 and a 16 to be safe. The 16's fit better, but the 14's aren't unwearable by no means. I adore this style, from the polka dots to the red ruffles, the structure of the cups and the amazing cleavage it gives, but my favourite thing it the back of the bottoms. SO cute!! Another useful design feature is the bra fastener, which is covered up by two lengths of fabric to tie. It has 3 rows of 2 hooks, just like a normal bra. I just LOVE this! Enough of my rambling, here are the photos:

Now for the mother of all big busted brands; Freya! I have 2 Freya bikinis packed, the purple Eclipse and the tattoo-ish print Ritual, both of which are old stock and may be difficult to find, hence no link! I searched for months for the ritual top in my size! So both are unpadded, nicely structured cups that feel supportive and trouble free, which is ideal if you're planning on doing anything more than lying on a sun lounger. The Eclipse has a cute heart detail on the strap and the waistband of the shorts, which is a nice bit of detailing on an otherwise plain bikini. As with most Freya bikinis, the bottoms come in various shapes, shorts, briefs, fold down briefs...Take your pick! The Ritual top is a 30G, bottoms a L, and the Eclipse is a 28GG (I think) and bottoms M. I'd recommend Freya bikinis whole heartedly. The only thing that lets them down a little for me is the patterns, but that's a personal thing. I do, however, LOVE the Ritual! Here we go, Ritual on the right, Eclipse on the left.

And here we come to a 'meh' bikini, by Lepel. I got this from an outlet and haven't seen it online, so it must be pretty old. It's completely the wrong size, but it was very cheap (£7 or something for the set) so I bought it and threw it straight on my 'to be altered' pile. This is a 32G. I don't really have much to say about this one, I just bought it because it was there! It's not great but buying the wrong size rarely works out!

Next up, my favourite for designs, La Senza. I have a love/hate relationship with La Senza in that they make bikinis up to a GG cup but they are seriously hard to find in a 30 back, yet there is an abundance of larger back & larger cup sizes. Logic would suggest they make more of the sizes that sell out the fastest, and less of the ones that end up sat in the sale; eventually ending up in outlet stores on sale for a few pounds. Literally. I was lucky enough to stumble across an outlet/uber discount La Senza store in Birmingham over the summer and picked up the bright pink checked bikini below, in a 30GG! It cost £5 and I managed to find a pair of tie side briefs in a size 12 on Ebay too! The fit on the 30GG is PERFECT, I cannot stress this enough. I really don't like how bright the pink is but I'm willing to waive that minor issue. The other 2 in the photo below are 32G's, 16 bottoms, and have both had to be altered to make the back bands fit better. The tops cost £22 at full price, and the bottoms around £15. Aside from the sizes, my only other issue is their use of halter necks. Why? I'm guessing my neck will be hurting after a few hours of wearing these. Meh, a good excuse for a massage from my other half I think ;) All in all, La Senza do make beautiful bikinis but one thing to remember is that you'll probably need to go up a cup size as their cups run small.

Finally, I was browsing in a local charity shop and came across a rack of bras that looked suspiciously large. On closer inspection, there were bikini tops in my size for £3.49 each! I quickly snapped them up and enlisted the help of fellow curvy girls online to help me identify which brands and styles they were and where to find the matching bottoms. It turned out they were from Bravissimo and made by Faubourg and Miss Mandalay. I luckily managed to find the matching bottoms in the sale, so the total cost for both bikinis came to around £25 . The Faubourg 'Pretty Young Things' bikini was very loose in the band and needed quit a lot of alteration, and the underwires come up quite high in the centre too, kind of cutting into my boobs so the fit isn't ideal for me. The Miss Mandalay Gingham bikini, although very cute, isn't great, and certainly not worth paying full price for. It is effectively a bikini with a gingham overlay that's not been fitted onto the bra/briefs as well as it could have been, creating an excess of fabric in certain parts. Still, for a charity shop find, I can't complain!

So that's it my lovelies! I'll see you all soon xxx

Follow me on Twitter @kel_kitty

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Collectif FTW!

On my last visit to London with my boyfriend in July I discovered a lovely little shop called Collectif situated a stone's throw away from the Covent Garden Travelodge. I'd always dreamt of dressing like a pin up girl and really showing off my curves, and Collectif certainly delivered!

I tried on a number of dresses in various styles and found the Dolores style fitted the best in the bust. The top I'm wearing in this first photo is the Dolores Top Knot Seagull, £25. I also got this in blue, both in a size 8. It fits really nicely and goes with jeans, shorts or skirts.

The next is a Rhonda Dress Fiesta in black satin, £30. Again a size 8, this fitted a size smaller than the Dolores, so I recommend you size up in this. It's a lassic 1940's style and is gorgeous but satin just isn't for me.

Next up, the super sexy Regina Feral Fatal Dress in Leo £50. The size 8 ftted like a glove, but sadly didn't provide quite enough room in the boob department. The neckline is beautiful and I'm so sad it didn't quite fit. This print would look fabulous with red shoes, belt and bag. I love it!

Here we have a Dolores Polka Polka Fitted Dress in Navy £45, size 8. When I got home and looked at these photos again, I instantly regretted not buying it! It fitted beautifully, hugging every curve as though it was made for me. I did manage to pick one up on Ebay in black/white a few weeks later and I've worn it twice since, with plenty of compliments too!

Up next is the Regina Doll Mini Polka Polka Flared Dress in blue, £55, Size 8. Like the Leopard print Regina fitted dress, this didn't quite fit my bosoms at the top! The waist was a little snug too, so I can't help wondering if a size 10 would have fitted. This is by far my favourite of all their flared dresses. I just love how the sleeves are trimmed with white, making it look as though the top part is a separate bolero. On my next trip to London, I'll definately be trying this again in a size 10, and probably buying it even if it means a trip to the dressmakers to get it altered. 

So here's the one I bought from Collectif's Ebay shop for the bargain price of £10 due to it being a slight second. It's the Fitted Dolores Polka Dot in black/white and I adore it! Here I've teamed it up with a red belt from Primark, a red clutch bag from I have no idea where (I've had it ages!), and red and white shoes from Red Herring at Debenhams, which my boyfriend bought for me a few years ago. The Flower in my hair was from BHS.

My other purchase from Collectif was this amazing Jo Lucky Lady Cardigan, £30. I bought a Medium and it's so lusciously soft with some fantastic rockabilly embroidery detailing. Great to slip on to add that pin up touch to any outfit.

So the moral of the story is....SHOP WITH COLLECTIF!

Thanks for reading as always :)

Tuesday 20 September 2011

A win for crappy fitting bras! The M&S fail...tut

Just a quickie about Marks And Spencer's absolutely awful fitting bras. And I mean AWFUL. Firstly, there were 3 styles in my size, which  30G. Yes 3! So I tried them all...

This is a style I've battled with before, so I thought I'd try it again for the purpose of this blog. It's a very pretty padded plunge bra, withpeach polka dot lining inside the cups, and I really wanted it to work. The back band is fine, however, the cups are tiny, more like an F, giving me 4 boobs and even the dreaded side boob! Not good! However, if you're an F 
cup, remember to size up and you might be on to a winner!

I love the vintage look of this bra, but again the cups are too small, particularly on my bigger boob, as you can see. The band again was nice and snug, so stick with your usual back size but size up by one cup I'd estimate.

My third and final fail! Supposedly this is a push up for enhanced cleavage. Um....
As usual for me, the straps are far too long, and are not fully adjustable, which in turn makes the cups appear much too big. The back band is also very loose, so if this is a style you're keen on, try a back size down.

While I was trying these on, there was a teenage girl being fitting in the next cubicle. She measured up as a 28" underbust, and the fitter recommended a 28 or 30 back, in a D cup which is fine, and then went on to say that they didn't have anything in stock in that, so perhaps she ought to try a 32 back. Anything to get a sale. If I wasn't pushed for time, I would have waited around and handed her my magazine from Brastop! Speaking of Brastop, my next blog will be all about my massive £140 order from them!

When I handed the bras back to the lady at the desk, I mentioned to her that the fit on each one was different and subsequently awful! She went on to tell me that the inconsistency is due to the bras coming from different manufacturers. Where is the quality control? Where are the product testers? Where's the LOGIC in this?!

TTFN, thanks for reading :)

Thursday 16 June 2011

Outlet Action!

I went to Cheshire Oaks designer outlet just outside Chester a few weeks ago and here's how my day went:

First up, I went into the Karen Millen outlet and tried on 3 dresses and a trench coat, as seen in the follwing photo. It was a size 10, and a very heavy fabric. The wasist was too big as you can see, the sleeves too long

Karen Millen dress no.1:
Size 10, and beautifully designed and made. The issue here is pretty obvious: Hello bra!

Dress no.2:
Again in a size 10, Karen Millen really cater for curves! I'm convinced their mirrors distort you though. I look like ones of those controversial Pepperberry models! I LOVE this dress! It comes with a detachable necklace thingy too, which, as you can see in the picture, fastens like a halterneck.

Dress no.3:
This one's a size 8 and too small! I wouldn't be able to sit down in this! Still, it's a nice style; cowl neck and pencil skirt combo.

Onto the bras! The outlet store was full to the brim of Wonderbras and Shock Absorbers, not too many in my size, so here are the ones a found:

This was a struggle! I tried on 3 different sizes in this Shock Absorber. The 30G didn't have enough cup coverage, I think the one in the photo might be this size (see the sideboob?), the 30GG was too big on the back, and the 28H was again a little small in the cup and a little tight on the band. The benefit of this bra is that it just looks like a crop top, so you'd be able to go for a run/work out without a t-shirt. This is the best sports bra I've tried on so far.

This next one, another Shock Absorber in a 30G was truly horrific! Fembot alert! I hate the way the straps sit across the collarbone, and the way my boobs look like cones. AWFUL! It may work for smaller cup sizes though, and my boobs didn't move an inch.

Lastly, I tried this wonderbra, in a 30G. Band too stretchy and therefore unsupportive, cups too small and just...not right....And as usual, the straps are too long.

The moral of the story is: Take a trip to your local outlet village, it's always worth a rummage!