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