Karlee Smith- Body Love Snap Bra 

When I heard that I had the opportunity to review a Karlee Smith bra I was really excited. I was even more excited that I got to decide which bra I wanted to review. I immediately began browsing through the website to decide. You see, I had a specific set of things I wanted this bra to be able to do for me, some pretty high expectations. I didn’t expect the choice to be so hard! I did not expect to have color options that included patterned fabric. Zippered front closures but also velcro or snap adjusting straps? In the end I went with the Body Love Snap Bra in grey. I have so many reasons for this, all of which I will get to, I promise!

20 weeks pregnant

The biggest reason that I selected a post op bra was because I wanted something that would stretch to accommodate expanding boobs. I was looking for something to be super supportive but flexible.  You see, I wanted this bra to act as a maternity bra. I am happy to report that this bra has seen me from the first trimester of sore pregnancy boobs to a slowly expanding belly and breasts at 20 weeks.

Bra on initial try on

The Karlee Smith website advertises this bra as a full support option for breast augmentation, reduction, mastectomy, or lift patients. It has a 1.5″ wide band below the breasts which is an ideal feature for me. The fabric content is listed on the website as a nylon/lyrca with “all-over, 4 way stretch, body-wicking moisture control fiber blend”. Trust me when I say I have put the stretch and moisture wicking to the test! 

Here is a list of tests that I have put the Body Love Snap Bra through:

Several 48 hour wear tests.

2+ miles of walking in 90 degree heat.

Low impact stretching and weight lifting.

Nightly use as a sleep bra.

Overall grade has been an A for all of these activities!

Initial try on

I’m not sure if you can see the differences in fit between the initial try on and 20 weeks pregnant, but I can. When I first received the bra I was worried that it would not stretch well around what should be growing boobs. Honestly, I was skeptical that it would fit at all since I have large implants.  When I looked at the fit guide I was surprised to see that it is based on your underbust measurement and the standard matrix sizing (like 32DD).  I was skeptical, very skeptical.  So I went to the “Sexy Fit Calculator Bra Guide” to see what it had to say. Again, the band size was listed as 28-32″ for a small (I am between 26-27″ usually) and up to a 32DD.  Well if a DD is a 5 inch difference, 32 plus 5 is 37, which is what my fullest bust measurement is. So I figured the bra should stretch to fit around a 37″ chest. I decided to take my chances and go for it in a size small.

I’ll be honest here, having larger implants (700cc) I wasn’t expecting it to fit. I have not found a single post op bra that fit me both in the band and around the bust. The one provided from both of my surgeries was sized by band size and always much too large under the bust to fit. I came home from my second surgery in a 36 band bra that just wasn’t going to work. I ended up wearing this weird stacked bra contraption with my post op bra under another bra that was small enough to fit in the band and I just left the top hooks open. It was hot and horrible. Not to mention how often the snaps buckled under pressure and burst open. So when this bra fit, was supportive under my breasts, and stayed zipped all night long I was pretty stinking happy.

Bra Details

Here you have the size tag with washing instructions and fabric content. I bit the bullet for you guys and tossed mine in washing machine and line dried it. I figured it would come out all pilly and a mess. No pilling, some color transfer over to the white. I’m satisfied with that!

The snaps allow me to give some different levels of compression as well as allow for growing room. I do have to have the straps snapped when I put it on, it is easier for comfort.  My favorite feature on this bra is the hook and eye at the bottom. I love the fact that I can quickly hook it and then go about zipping. When you are talking about a bra that is designed with some compression that means you’ll have pressure on the zipper as it goes up. The hook and eye allows me to focus on the zipper (using both hands if I need to) and not hold the bottom closed. Post op bra genius right there!

My old sleep bra😦

Here you have a visual comparison with what I was wearing for a sleep bra previously. This is just a mass produced, superstore available Hanes bralette. There just isn’t much out there for use as a sleep bra.  You can see the huge differences here. More coverage with out being dowdy, thicker straps, back support, side support, wider underband. I’ll be dropping all of these suckers in the rag pile. No need for these anymore!

Initial try on

On to my only complaint, but it is a small one. Nipple coverage. If you were anything like me, early post op you had majorly sensitive nipples that were on GO all the time. The fabric layers are too thin to hide nipples, as is the case with every other post op or sleep bra I have tried. The difference is definitely in the fabric. Even super sensitive pregnancy nipples are happy in this fabric, so while the headlights may be on, they are at least comfortable.

I also want to use this picture to point out the nice even band placement around my ribcage. Also the front is not super high coverage. The adjustable snap straps can be seen through a super thin t-shirt, but the edge seams are invisible. Which brings me to my final point about this bra as a post op bra, seams and digging. There are two seams on the side of the bra under your arms, nothing on the breast. When you have breast swelling you will not have a digging seam on super sensitive breasts. No irritation from seams is a huge plus in my book.

Like I said above, I put this bra through the wringer. I was skeptical and had low expectations with high hopes. I was not disappointed by anything other than the fact that I had my surgery before I was introduced to the Karlee Smith brand and I put up with horrible post op bra solutions. I will continue to wear this bra through pregnancy and either come back and update this post or write a follow up to let you know how it continues to function as a maternity bra. It is by far better than what I used through my first pregnancy, so I have high hopes!

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Review – Karlee Smith Body Love Front Close Sport Bra “Get Fit” with new boobs

Karlee Smith is a company specializing in post operative bras and sports bras especially for women who have had breast surgeries, including augmentation surgery.  If you missed my Retailer Spotlight on  Karlee Smith, you can check that out HERE.  The company graciously offered to send me and three of my co-bloggers a bra of our choice to review.  You can check out my co-blogger Yoomee’s  review of the Karlee Smith  Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice Bra HERE.  Be sure to subscribe to our blog so that you won’t miss the remainder of the reviews to come!

In addition to their line of sports bras, Karlee Smith also offers a line of surgical recovery bras which contain some very  impressive features which you can read about HERE.    Either of the lines would make a fabulous recovery bra and either could be continued to be used long after recovery is complete. I wish I had known about this company back when I had my own surgery.

After some consideration, I chose the Body Love Front Close Sport Bra in pink pin stripe “pink love exclusive”.  This bra features an anti-microbial finish which is an exclusive finish, formulated to absorb moisture and odour.  The fabric is wickable, formulated to adapt to the wearer’s personal body temperature, assuring 24-hour comfort.

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This particular bra is available in just three sizes, Small, Medium and Large which gave me cause for concern as I typically wear a 30G UK which is obviously small in the band, but comparatively large in the cup.  After reading the Section on How to Measure and Find Your Perfect Bra Size it became apparent that you only need to know your under bust measurement.  My under bust measures 27 inches and so I went with the smallest size, being the Small (28 – 32 inch band size) and crossed my fingers.

I didn’t have long to keep my fingers crossed because my bra arrived at my doorstep incredibly quickly, especially as Karlee Smith is an American company and I am in Canada.

The fabric of this bra is very soft and lightweight. The fabric composition is 88% nylon, 12% spandex.    It is completely seamless and wire-free and features a 1.5″ soft bottom elastic band which keeps the bra firmly in place.

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The comfort level of this bra is unsurpassed.  It feels really good!  I feel so free and breezy in it!  The band feels good and doesn’t move around.  I found the zip front closure easy to do up and undo.  I found it easiest to do up when I leaned over.  This put my boobs in a nice forward position.  I could feel light compression in the boob area of the bra and this helped to keep me in position throughout the day.  Butt crack style boob cleavage was present and you could absolutely wear this as a super light and comfy cleavage bra.

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In the interests of disclosure,  prior to my implant surgery I was not flat chested – rather I had sad old deflated flapjack style boobs with plenty of natural hang.  Any upper fullness I once had, had long  left me, probably around the same time that my sanity left me and the first of what would ultimately be four offspring began to arrive.  I am a blend of natural tissue and fantastic plastic.  My implants are 370g Inspira SRF and we will never know really what size I was pre-op because I never knew how to measure properly.  Although I had a crescent lift done with my implants, I still have significant hang.  You know when you see articles asking if you can pass ‘the pencil test’?  Never mind that.  I can jam a stapler under there and it’ll stay put.

I suspect that because of the above, I still experienced fairly significant bounce on significant impact (jogging, zumba etc.) while wearing this bra.  Possibly if it was offered in size XS then there might have been enough compression to better control my bounce.  It does work well for me for lower impact workouts, weight room days, as a lounge bra, a casual wear bra and a sleep bra (yes I wear a sleep bra every night).  On low impact gym days this bra  feels  comfy, cool and amazing compared to my armour-like, sweaty, heavy-duty sport bra collection.   In addition to the uses outlined herein, this bra could also be an excellent choice for women who suffer from hormonal sensitivity, costochondritis, chronic pain and a myriad of other issues.

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The Karlee Smith Body Love Front Close Sport Bra retails for $90 USD and can be ordered through their web page.  Some surgeons provide a Karlee Smith recovery bra to their breast augmentation patients.  If you have a surgery booked, you should ask your PS if he or she carries  KS recovery bras.

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Feeling Fine in Lilly & Lime!

 

Lilly & Lime is a new swimwear company specializing in D cup and up.  The company is owned by two women who had struggled themselves to find attractive bikinis to fit their own D+ busts, and the idea to design their own line was borne.  You can read all about them in our Spotlight story HERE.

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When the owners of Lilly & Lime contacted our blog group and asked if we would be interested in reviewing their swimwear, I headed over to their website and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.  Lilly & Lime offers three different styles of swim tops sized from  UK 28D up to 38HH as well as three different cuts of swim bottoms, sized from UK 8 up to 18.  A very impressive and difficult size range for sure!

I decided to ask for my swim top to be sent in size 30G.  For reference, I wear a 30GG in Ewa Michalak S styles and I have a Panache 5021 sports bra in 30G.   I chose the 30G because I felt reasonably sure that it would be a snug fit in the cups.  When it comes to swimwear tops, I’d rather err on the side of possibly choosing slightly too small as opposed to slightly too large.  I asked for the bottoms to be sent in UK  size 8, which is a US size 4.  You can view their size chart HERE.  Lilly & Lime made the style choices as to what they sent to each of us, although we had made suggestions to them.

My package arrived quickly and I have to say that when it comes to making a great first impression, Lilly & Lime hit it out of the ballpark.   My suit was prettily wrapped in lime tissue, an adorable tote bag was also included, along with a lovely hand written card.  I was delighted to see that I had been sent the Nectarine halter and matching full briefs, which had been my top choice, although I do like all of the other styles and colours as well, and I absolutely love how the entire collection can be mixed and matched.

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In person, I think this suit is even nicer than it appears on the web site.  The colour is vivid and bright, the fabric feels high quality, everything is fully lined and the stitch work is impeccable. I adore the little metal suit tags with the LL logo.  Both the wires and the gore are slightly wide but as this is a swim top and not a bra I have no problem with that.  The projection is excellent and the cup depth accommodates my high profile implants well.  This 30″  band measures approximately 24.5″  unstretched and approximately 31″ stretched.   I found it a comfortable fit on my 27″ rib cage.

The suit fits me just as I had hoped it would.    This is my first decent fitting halter style suit and I’m pretty excited about that.  I love that this is a halter because it looks totally like a swimsuit and nothing like a bra, yet I still get great shape and support.  My boobs are not self-supporting and the cups do a good job on providing shape and structure.

 The top provides me with the perfect amount of coverage.  There isn’t oodles of butt-crack cleavage on display but I still get a very feminine, attractive shape, along with having zero fear of any type of dreaded bikini wardrobe malfunction.   No nervous checks or adjustments required!  The height of the full brief bottoms is perfect for me, as is the coverage.  I’ll be 49 in a couple of weeks and each to their own but I just don’t feel comfortable in skimpy bottoms anymore.   I feel completely secure in this suit, but still sexy, for an old girl.😉

My 14 year old daughter agreed to be my photographer in exchange for a cold bottle of root beer and a pack of sugar-free gum and we headed off to the beach for a quick photo session.  The backdrop is picturesque Lake Erie, one of North America’s Great Lakes, and these pictures show why I’m so in love with this suit.  The cut, colour and fit are flattering and fabulous.

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In order to provide you with a thorough review I have taken this suit through the paces.  It has been to the beach, to the pool, through the wash and worn with the pads in and the pads out.

Each time I’ve worn it, I I’ve felt no discomfort to my neck from the halter straps.  It holds up great while in the water and I didn’t notice any stretching, shifting or any other issue.  It washes well and there has been no colour bleeding or fading.  The clasp locks and unlocks properly.

Now lets take a peek at the inside of the swim top:

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Removable foam pads:

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I prefer the top with the pads in.  The pads gave me a more slightly more structured shape.  I would rather that the cups had a sewn in foam lining instead of the removable pads because if you look close enough, you can see the pad edges through the cups.  I don’t think anyone would notice this though, unless they were up close and staring perhaps.

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This swim top can certainly be worn with the pads out if you prefer.

With the pads out and sopping wet from swimming as shown below, even in a slightly chilly pool you can’t see any evidence of chill due to that full lining😉

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Lilly & Lime is based in Australia, but in these days of global marketing where on-line buying is the norm, international buying is no longer difficult or unusual by any stretch.  My suit retails for $80.00 AUD for the top and $30.00 AUD  for the bottoms and I felt that this was a fair price for a good fitting, quality and cute swimsuit.  You can use the currency converter on the site or if your country’s conversion isn’t shown, use an on-line currency converter such as  THIS one at xe.com to convert the cost into your own currency (for my fellow Canucks, AUS money is generally similar in value to ours). Free international shipping is offered for all purchases over $100 AUD, so if you buy a full suit, you don’t pay shipping.

Congratulations to Lilly & Lime on nailing it with an excellent first collection.  I can’t wait to see what you do next!

 

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Ewa Michalak’s S, SM and SF Styles – Battle of the Bras

With the recent debut of the new SF style (review HERE) from Ewa Michalak, we thought it would be helpful to our readers if we did a comparison of the S, SM and SF styles for you. Although all three styles are similar, they have distinct differences that I will point out that make each one unique and might have you favoring one over the others.

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S Kwaity

 I’d like to first do a short recap the three styles for you, starting with the classic S style. The S is a lightly padded balconette with a higher gore and comes with removable push-up pads to give you that extra oomph and/or help with asymmetry correction.

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SM Amorek

Next is the SM, which is an unlined balconette with a higher gore and cups made of a stable (non-stretchy) material, typically lace or mesh. This style does not come with removable push-up pads.

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SF Gladzioch bez

Lastly we will recap the SF, or Semi-soFt style which the most recent style debuted in the EM line. The SF is a good compromise between the S and SM, being a semi-padded bra with the same high gore as the other two. Like the SM, this style doesn’t come with removable push-up pads. The bottom of the cups are made of a stable (non-stretchy) material while the top of the cups is made of a double layer of elastic tulle, allowing for more stretch and forgiveness up top.

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Now that you know the basics of each style, I’d like to get into comparing the three for you.  Let’s start with their similarities. All three styles come with three or four rows of two or three hook and eyes (depending on size of the bra) as well as fully adjustable straps. They also all are designed in a way that pulls your breasts forward to create maximum cleavage. Due to the medium-to-high gore on these styles (3″ tall on my 65GGs), they are well suited for softer breasts that tend to fall in the center when wearing a bra with a low gore such as the PL style, or if you have wide cleavage and want to pull your breasts closer. The down-side to the higher gore is that these styles can be difficult for women with very close-set breasts, as the gore can tend to sit on the tissue (or implant). Lastly, the cup height is mid-level which makes this an ideal bra to wear with a medium neckline, but may be difficult with a lower cut top.

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Since we have covered the general style and similarities of these three bras lets move on to what makes them so different, and that really is their cups.  Aside from the classic S style being the only one of the three that comes with pockets for removable pads or “cookies”, it also has light padding sewn into the cup.  The positives: it gives you a little extra oomph without feeling like you are wearing a really padded bra; it covers your nips for modesty (no nipping out in this bra); and the lining is very soft against your skin.  The negatives: in warmer weather this bra can be a little hot, creating the dreaded boob sweat we all hate; and if you already feel like your breasts are big enough, the padding on this bra may not be something you are looking for.  The cups of the SM style are pretty much the exact opposite of the S.  This style does not come with removable pads and is constructed of very thin and shear material.  The positives: this bra is a godsend in warm weather, as the cup material is light and airy; and although it pulls your breasts front-and-center, with no padding it doesn’t add any extra bulk to your boobs.  The negatives: if you are more modest (or your office seems to always be frigidly cold like mine is), this bra is going to have you nipping out a bit; and since this bra has no padding or cookies, the sizing is not very forgiving so you will need to have your size down and may not work well if you have a lot of asymmetry.  Last is the SF, which really seems to marry the S and SM together.  Like the SM, this style does not come with removable pads, however the cup is made with a slightly thicker material so it is not sheer.  Also, if you love the shape that the S style gives you but you find that the top of the cups are too closed off, the SF is a great alternative since the tulle at the top allows for more FoT breasts without creating that “muffin top” look that the S style can sometimes make.  The positives: if you like the modesty of the S style but don’t want a padded bra, this is a great compromise; and if you need more room at the top of your cup, this is a great style.  The negatives: like with the SM, since there is no padding, you really need to know your sizing.  NOTE: Another difference I noticed with the SF is that the cups are more full coverage on this bra than on the S or SM styles.

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As far as which is the best style?  I really don’t think any of them are the “best”, as I think that they all serve a purpose, and in my opinion all deserve a spot in your wardrobe:)  Personally, I prefer the S style and wear that the majority of the time.  However, on super hot days I will chose between the SM and the SF, and which one I choose is 100% dependent on if I am going to work or not.  As I mentioned earlier, my office building is always freezing and I hate worrying about if my nips are showing, so if I’m going to work then I will wear the SF.  But if it is hot out and I am going to be outside, I almost always reach for my SM.  A small little side note about the SM style for those of you who are also enhanced like me: since I have very little natural tissue and no hang, my breasts do not fill out the very bottom of my cups (a very common thing among implanted ladies).  Though this happens in all my bras, since the SM is sheer it is the only bra where I actually see that gap.  It’s not a big deal, but it did worry me the first time I tried the SM, until I found out this is normal.

If you haven’t tried any of these styles before, my suggestion is always to start with the classic S style first and really get your sizing down.  Once you know what size you are in Ewa Michalak, then branch out to the other styles.  As a quick tip, the SM and the SF do seem to typically run a little big in the cups (or seem that way since there isn’t any padding to fill the cup out a bit), so I might suggest getting a cup size smaller in these styles😉  I hope you have enjoyed this review and please let us know if you have any questions!

Ewa Michalak BM Tajemniczy Ogród – Romance in the ‘Secret Garden’

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Photo from the Ewa Michalak website.
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Photo from the Ewa Michalak website.

My love affair with Ewa Michalak began as soon as I was cleared to wear wired bras after my surgery and it was  the stuff of well fitting bra dreams!  As a true Polish bra junkie, I don’t just check her site, but also follow her Instagram.  When I saw teaser pictures of her new collection that included this floral beauty, I quickly alerted the rest of the AEE team and we all started plotting our future orders.  The BM style was one I hadn’t tried and to be honest, it didn’t tempt me as much as the other styles.  The BM Tajemniczy Ogród however, is a whole different story.

Translated to mean ‘Secret Garden,’ this style is a beautiful floral print accented with soft pink lace and tulle.  It has such a fairytale romance feel to it, reminding me of the classic novel by the same name.  I always loved that whimsical story and I knew this was the one BM style I needed in my life.  The unlined cups are constructed of a satiny floral fabric printed with flowers in dusty pinks and purples.  The tops of the cups feature a soft pink stretch tulle that is forgiving to asymmetrical breasts. IMG_7788

A note on fit:  The BM style is known to run on the bigger side, and although I ordered this one in an 80GG, a full cup size smaller than my usual 80H, it’s sadly still too big in the cups.  So, I would order this in at least 1 cup down, depending on how you run in Ewa bra sizes.  I am what I would consider an 80GG1/2.  In the Padded styles, the H is best, but even my 80H SM styles are a tad roomy.  Personally, I’d rather have that bit of roominess instead of potentially having the wires digging in, so I will stick with them, but If I order another BM I will probably size down 2 cups.  I imagine the stretch fabric at the top of all BM bras will accommodate that nicely.  For another opinion on the BM style, check out my fellow blogger Yoomee’s review of the BM Naomi hereIMG_7787

 

As always, I ordered the matching thong in a size 42 and it is just exquisite.  The sides and back are made of a double layer of that pink stretch tulle with cute pink bows accenting the front and back.  As with all of my Ewa Michalak thongs, it is so well constructed and comfortable.

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At the moment, this beautiful romantic bra is on sale for 30 PLN off the original price.  I don’t know how long that will last, so I’d suggest you snag yours fast!

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Review: The Dark & Mysterious Ewa Michalak S Kleks

I remember the day that I spotted BM Kleks on the Ewa Michalak website.

It is described on the site as follows:

What’s left after Ink run out in the inkwell? – blot of ink => Kleks 😉
Do you happen to like dark-coloured underwear but feel fed up with black bras? …so there’s a bra ideal for you.
Bra made of fine elastic lace in deep navy blue with black knitwear underlayer will definitely meet your expectations.

Kleks

I was intrigued.  That colour!  That perfect, mysterious shade of midnight blue.  As dark as the night sky, as deep as the darkest secret.  I was hooked.   I wanted it.  Except that Kleks is currently offered in BM style only.  The BM style, in case you don’t know, is an unpadded balconette bra with stretch lace on the top section of the cups.  If you are unfamiliar with the various styles, click HERE and read our blog post on this subject.  I have a thing for S and SM style bras, but I don’t have a thing for BM style bras.  So, I tried to just not look at the BM Kleks but oh that colour!  As dark as my very heart!  It was calling me.  I needed it.   So I did what any reasonable woman would do.  I wrote to Kaska who takes care of emails at Ewa Michalak and I begged to have Kleks made as an S style  ….and my wish was granted!  Note:  style change requests are at the sole discretion of Ewa Michalak, cost an additional 40 PLN and will make the item a final sale (not returnable).  

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You might notice that the stock picture of this bra in BM style shows bows on the shoulder straps and mine has only the bow at the gore.  They are described on the site as ‘bows with bijou pendants just like stars in cloudy sky brighten this murky colour.’  I wanted those shoulder stars so I was a bit sad to see that they had not been included on my S Kleks, but beggars can’t always be choosers and when you deviate from the original, sometimes there can be changes.  I will try to survive without my shoulder stars.

My custom S Kleks is in size 30GG.  The cups fit me well and in typical fashion for S style in that size.  The band measures approximately 25 inches unstretched and approximately 30 inches stretched without cup distortion and feels comfortable on my 27″ rib cage.  I will say though that I can stretch it to 32 without much trouble although there was wire distortion present.  Ladies who like their bands extra firm may want to take that into consideration.

If you read my blog posts regularly you will know that I am a sucker for a matching set.  I only like full brief style panties and I really prefer elastic around the leg band.  That style has been in short supply lately in the newest EM offerings but I have to admit that the appearance of these panties with the black tulle peeking out from beneath the blue lace is pretty much to die for. I ordered the Klek full briefs in my usual size 36.  They fit well and I love this look, even though it isn’t my top style for comfort.

Here is the stock picture:

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And here is a close-up of mine.  See what I mean about that black tulle peeking out from under that navy lace?  Just beautiful.  <3

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Kleks is a welcome addition to my collection with its unexpected and unusual dark colour combination.  I do adore it, even without all of its stars, and am looking forward to wearing it once the weather cools.  (In hot weather, I prefer the cooler, unlined SM style bras).

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At time of writing, Kleks is still available on the Ewa Michalak site as a BM style bra.  The matching panties are currently available as well, offered in both full brief and thong styles.  Have you made this pretty set part of your collection?

 

Ewa Michalak SM Różowa Mgiełka Babydoll 

Hi everyone! I am super excited to bring you a review of the Ewa Michalak SM Różowa Mgiełka Babydoll and matching full bottom brief. I originally ordered this through Bra Obsessed as a special order. At the time it was not available and there were not plans for production. Well now this beautiful fabric has the entire line ready for purchase! Babydoll, SM bra, 3DM bra, full briefs, and thong. 

It does not get any more girly than this babydoll. To be honest, when I first took it out of the box I thought it was just too much. It has ruffles and poof to spare! But once on, my thoughts changed. It works for me, but I know it will be just too much for some.

Like I said, this is made with a very feminine look in mind. Ruffles on the top of the cups (these are not on the bra), the ruffled bottom that is made in proportion to bandsize, embroidered straps, and little pink bows. It has a set of four hooks and eyes, a nice and firm band. The ribbon is two sections, connected at the seams at the back, and runs the length of the front to the babydoll when tied.  

I found the fit to be standard for an SM in the cups. Obviously the volume was fine for me in a 60H but there is no way for my implants to settle into the lower portion of my  cups. The band is great on me, a nice 60 but not too tight. The bottom starts to flair immediately, good for my currently growing and pregnant belly. This wasn’t what I was looking for when I first purchased it, I thought the flair accentuated the slight belly round I had. Something to consider for you and your body shape.

I was concerned about the ruffled edges on the top of the cups. Looking at how ruffled the bottom was I was expecting so much more ruffle power. The fullness of the top is not nearly to the level of the ruffles on the bottom hem, something I was very happy to see. 

Matching bottoms are very sheer, with the section below the ruffles being a tulle that is more sheer than the remaining fabric of the panties. The same detailing used on the babydoll is continued to the bottoms. The lace used on the waist band is the lace used to line the top edge of the SM and 3DM bra. There is a small section of ruffles on the back of the bottom, with more found on the thong. It’s important to note that the bra does not have the ruffles, so keep that in mind when choosing the style of your bottoms. And of course the little pink bows continue to both bottoms. 

A note on color, I have yellow undertones to my skin. It’s more apparent in the photos than in person, the pink actually goes very well with the yellow tones. I have to be careful with pinks, some pink tones just do not work well for me. 

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Feeling Fab in Lilly & Lime!

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Something I didn’t realize when deciding to get larger implants was how it would affect swim suit shopping.  It’s truly a pain!!  I was already wearing my proper fitting bras but when wearing swimwear you are very exposed and there’s always a chance of something showing that you would rather keep covered.  Showing off copious amounts of cleavage can be a bit awkward in public, especially when I’m with my 2 youngest kiddos and they are boys!  Suffice to say it’s been a struggle trying to find a cute and modest swim top as I prefer bikinis and triangle tops are much too revealing unless I’m staying in my own pool and not allowing visitors.  I have also struggled with very, very close set breasts so I was doubtful that anything other than a low plunge would work.  In fact, at first I told my fellow bloggers that I shouldn’t even try the suit for fear of it not working for my shape but boy am I glad I did after all (hint…I love it!).   I was kindly gifted the Stripe Balconette and the matching Stripe Hipster Tie Bottom by Lilly and Lime, a new Australian based swimwear company specializing in swimwear for D cup and up.  I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my package to find a very cute tote with my bikini inside, a special touch by the company that stood out to me.  I was even happier once I tried on my suit and my doubts soon faded as I finally found a modest and super cute bikini top that I can proudly wear in public.

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I was sent the Stripe Balconette style in a 30GG which is my UK size and it’s the size I usually wear in Ewa Michalak unlined styles as well (this might help my fellow Polish bra junkies out there..wink…wink!).  The Balconette is the only style that has the option to be worn with or without straps which are fully adjustable.  For fun you could even cross the straps in the back!  As for fit…The band has a plastic clasp closure and is rather loose so I would definitely prefer a 28H so I could safely and securely wear it as the strapless option to avoid those extra tan lines.  The cups fit almost perfectly with nice projection and I would say they are comparable to my other 30GG bras but I would prefer the wires to be just a bit narrower.  The cups are lined with foam and there are no removable pads making it a stiff fit at first but the longer I had the top on the more it molded to my breasts and I must add that when the top is wet it kept it’s shape nicely.  I’m  also happy to report that my breasts were nicely separated  and the gore was actually comfortable!  This really shocked me as I have a very difficult time with high gores and this one is pretty wide too …good thing I didn’t judge it until I tried it :)  The wires are on the softer side so that probably contributes to the comfort, a huge bonus since that’s just as important as being cute for me.  As for support, I can’t accurately comment since the band is too loose for me to properly judge.  The bottoms are very cheeky for me;  I received a size 12 in the Stripe Hipster Tie bottom,  I usually wear a large or size 8 in US sizes.

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I am an older mom of four and I nervously told my fellow bloggers that I didn’t think there was any way on Earth I could wear these cheeky bottoms after seeing pictures of other,  much younger girls in them.  Guess what …shocked again,  they look pretty decent and the ties are just the right fun touch.  I would still prefer more coverage in public and definitely in the waves but for floating in my pool they are perfect.  The fabric is very high quality, nicely lined and there’s a very cute Lilly and Lime signature metal tag detail that I love!  The stripes are a vibrant purple/blue shade and white…very hip and fun and for a twist this pattern would look super cute interchanged with either the Nectarine top or bottom.

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Overall I am ecstatic about this new suit,  I feel young and confident in it…nothing could be better then that right?!  I look forward to more from Lilly and Lime!  There aren’t many larger cup options in swimwear so I am thrilled to find this new choice…super cute vibrant prints and high quality!  A huge Thanks to Lilly and Lime for this beautiful bikini!  My Stripe Bikini was graciously provided for review by Lilly and Lime.  All opinions are my own. Peace!:)

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Karlee Smith Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice Review

In our never-ending quest to find bust-friendly clothing, my fellow blogger Jelz ran across a sports bra company that we hadn’t heard of before called Karlee Smith. Karlee Smith is a unique company as it not only offers, but caters to augmented women! They sell a variety of high quality sports bras as well as recovery/compression bras for women who have had breast augmentation, reduction, mastectomy and/or breast lift surgeries.  To read a full feature of this company, click HERE.   When Jelz reached out to them, they graciously offered to send several of us one of their bras to try out and review, and I just so happened to be one of those lucky bloggers!

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When browsing their website, www.karleesmith.com you will see that they currently offer two different types of bras, Post Op and Sports. Although my post-op days are far behind me, I actually ended up choosing the Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice bra which is in their post-op collection because 1) it was such a pretty bra; and 2) the description stated that along with post operative wear it can be used for yoga, Pilates and lounging. Unlike some of my fellow bloggers who may need a more high-impact sports bra for working out, I typically engage in more low-impact activities that don’t require as much support so this bra seemed ideal for what I needed!

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The ordering process for my new bra was very straightforward on their website; however the sizing did perplex me just a bit mainly because of its simplicity. Their bras are all sized solely based on band size (small 28”-32”, medium 34”-36”, and large 38”-40”) which seems easy enough; I wear a 28”-30” bra band so I’d be a small. My concern was that when I went to their fit guide to confirm I was ordering the right size, it states ‘small fits women who wear the traditional bra size 32B/C/D/DD through 34A/B’. My UK bra size is 30GG which converts to a US 30J, so even if I sister-sized I’d be at least a few cups too big for the small but I knew that the medium would not give me the support I needed under my bust. I actually felt a bit deflated for a few minutes because I thought that this bra wouldn’t work for me. But after some discussion with the other bloggers who were ordering their sports bras as well (and reading through the return/exchange policy on the website), I decided to cross my fingers and took a leap of faith and ordered the small. I placed my order on a Thursday afternoon and with priority shipping in the U.S. my package was waiting in my mailbox the following Monday!

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Upon opening the package, the first thing I noticed (after how cute the pattern was) was how lightweight the material is.  This may not be a positive for all women, since light material can mean less support, but for me it was fantastic!  Since I don’t do any heavy exercising (mainly just power walking) having a light-weight bra that doesn’t create a lot of boob-sweat is A+ in my book.  The bra is 88% nylon and 12% spandex and a lime green with little magenta dots and a flower pattern accented with a white band and straps.  The band is about 1 1/4 inches wide and stretches to about 36 inches, though still feels fairly snug on my 27 inch rib cage.  My fears of the small size not fitting my boobs was (thankfully) completely unfounded, as the bra fit perfectly.  From the top of the cup to the top of the band is 6 inches, but stretches very well and has a double layer of material for extra support.  This sports/recovery/compression bra has a zippered front as well as a small hook closure at the middle behind the zipper.  Now you might be wondering why it’s called ‘Snap Me Twice’, and that is due to the 2 rows of snaps at the straps, which allows you to adjust them a bit depending on comfort.  For me, the tighter row has worked the best.  I also appreciate how sleek the snaps are and the straps are still very smooth under a shirt.

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As far as comfort goes, I’d have to give this bra an A+.  It really is the most comfortable sports bra I own.  It fits me perfectly and supports my breasts without squeezing them at all.  The entire bra feels snug, but not constricting and I have found myself reaching for it every day when I get home from work!  I don’t sleep in a bra every night, but I do on occasion and have slept in this one and was very comfortable in it. The only complaint I have about the construction of the bra (and it is pretty minor), is that there is a flap of material behind the zipper and when it is zipped up, the top of the flap peaks out the top.  It really is just an aesthetics thing, but I do notice it and so in full disclosure I thought I’d point it out.  Other than that, I’d have to say that I really do love this bra!

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The Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice bra runs at a retail price if $92 USD, and I’ll be honest and say that when I first saw the price on the website I thought I’d never spend $92 on any sports bra!  However, after thinking about it I’ve realized a couple things.  First is that this is not just a sports bra, but also a post-op/compression bra.  I’m past my post-op days but I can safely say that I would have chosen this over the ugly, ill-fitting post-op bra that cost me $40 that my surgeon gave me after my augmentation any day!  And second, I have about 4 or 5 sports bras that don’t fit me nearly as well or as comfortably that I’ve paid $20-$30 each for.  So in retrospect, I think I’d rather have a couple of these than a bunch of cheaper ones that I don’t like wearing!  I hope you enjoyed this review, and if you are in the market for a sports bra or post-op/compression bra I’d highly urge you to check out Karlee Smith and see if one of their bras might work for you!

*My Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice bra was graciously provided for review by Karlee Smith.  All opinions are my own.

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Retailer Spotlight – Lilly & Lime Swimwear

A couple of months ago my fellow bloggers and I were approached by  new Australia-based swimwear company Lilly & Lime to see if we would like to try out their suits and review them for our readers.  After doing some initial research on the company and finding out that they cater to fuller busted women (D cup and above), we were intrigued and excited to give their suits a try.  Since this company is very new, we thought that it would be beneficial to both review their swimwear as well as dedicate a Retailer Spotlight to them so that our readers can learn not only about the brand, but the two women behind it.

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When you first visit the Lilly & Lime website, you will notice how fun and youthful their swimsuits are.  They use bright solids and patterns that are easily mix-and-matchable and offer three of styles of tops, all meant to support larger busts.  I was quite impressed with their range of sizes as well with tops offered from a 28D all the way to a 38HH (U.K.).  They also offer three styles of bottoms with sizes ranging from 8 – 18, also in U.K. sizing.

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Over the next couple of months each of the bloggers at AEE will be posting our individual reviews and thoughts about the Lilly & Lime swimsuits that have been gifted to us, but before that here is your opportunity to learn more about the company and it’s owners Emma and Ash via my interview with Emma.

What influenced you to get into the retail lingerie/swimsuit business?

My business partner, Ash and I have both struggled our whole lives to find bikinis that we liked and that fitted us. So lack of choice was really the great motivator for us.

How did Lilly & Lime come to be?

We were at a Hens night a few years ago and discussing, over a few glasses of bubbly, how hard it was to find bikinis and so we decided to look into it a little bit more and start our own brand. Needless to say we had no idea what we were getting into and how hard it is to build a good bikini/bra in bigger sizes. It has taken us over three years to perfect the styles and fit. Luckily we have worked with some great technical people along the way who have guided us and become part of the L&L team. 

How long has Lilly & Lime been open?

We have officially be open for two months. Yay happy dance. 

Do you have a storefront, or are you strictly online?

We only sell online at www.lillyandlime.com .

How do you find the majority of your customers?

Currently our customers are finding us through Google, social media and word of mouth which is fantastic. We are launching some marketing campaigns in the next few weeks to broaden our customer base.

What is the best way for potential new customers to find or contact you?

Our site www.lillyandlime.com or lillyandlimeswimwear on Facebook and Instagram.

What makes you stand out from other swimsuit retailers?

We have a youthful, fun feeling about our prints but we take the fit of our bikinis very seriously. We are a new brand so we are constantly working with feedback we get from customers on what we can do to improve the fit and shopping experience. We really do want to make the best fitting bikinis for bigger busts in the world!

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Hands down it has to be happy customers. We recently had a customer who had been battling to find a bikini top that fitted her for years, she bought ours and sent us a message saying it was the best fitting bikini she has ever owned. That was an amazing feeling.

What is your favorite thing about the swimsuit industry?

We love bikinis, Summer, the beach and swimming so it doesn’t feel like hard work. The industry is fun and I don’t think people take themselves too seriously. At the end of the day we are selling a product that most people take on holiday with them or associate with Summer and good times and that in itself is a really nice thing.

What is the most common question that your customers ask regarding fitting?

“I am not sure what size to buy.” And our answer is always to be professionally fitted. We can give many tips on how the bikini should fit but there is no substitute for that one on one service.

Do you have your own personal favorite suit?

For me (Emma), I love to mix and match our colours and prints.  I love the Balconette stripe top with the Hipster Tie bottoms in nectarine.  Ash – I love the underwire halter and also the hipster ties – stripe and floral are my favs!!!  Also a big fan of mix and match!

Do you have any hot, up and coming tips or advice for our readers?

The range is great for mixing and matching styles and colours so when you are looking to buy a bikini buy colours that work well together. Essentially you can buy two bikinis but end up with 4 different options for wearing them.

What would you like our readers to know about you and your company?

We have FREE shipping worldwide, we also accept returns and will do exchanges so you can find the size that’s best for you.  Our prices are in AUD$ on the site so for most other currencies that works in your favour and the bikinis are a lot more affordable than you think.  We are happy to help customers with any fit advice, questions and any feedback that you have for is is always welcome.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Lilly & Lime and please stay tuned for our blogger reviews!