Bolero Beachwear DD+ Hanky Dress Review (and a special discount for you!)

For ladies with larger busts, finding a proper fit in a dress can be a difficult task.  Its frustrating to see a pretty dress on a store rack but, if you are like me, you quickly assess it for stretch and usually then just walk away.  Clothing designed especially to accommodate larger breasts can be daunting to source out and so I am pleased today to bring you a new dress review from Bolero Beachwear!

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A few months ago, we interviewed Bolero’s owner Patricia McCaw and that interview was featured in our Retailer Spotlight which you can read HERE.

Bolero offers a fun and fashionable line of unique, high quality DD+  dresses and tops which are manufactured ethically in the United States, where the Company is based.  Supporting a woman-owned business and ethical manufacturing is something we can all get behind, isn’t it?!   I was kindly sent the Style #12 Hanky Dress in size X-Small in the DD+ line, in the blue peacock colourway (this dress can also be ordered in black & white, purple or turquoise peacock prints).   The Bolero website picture below shows the black and white version.

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To give you a little bit of background info, I asked Bolero’s owner Patricia what her inspiration was in designing this dress:

This style was inspired by a hanky dress that I made for myself years ago and every time I wore it, I got so many compliments and people asking me where can they get it?

I  realized that was just the perfect dress for events and parties and so I designed a hanky dress especially for our line.  Since so many women prefer sleeves, I added the sexy peekaboo sleeves thinking that would  be perfect for any season.

When I received the peacock print material, it was like the fabric was talking to me and telling me it wanted to be a hanky dress 🙂  The movement of the dress, the fit, the sheer trim at the bottom, the lined top, all was technically designed to fit and flatter our busty and curvy customers with love<3

Close Up of Fabric (at hem of skirt):

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I love the ‘cold shoulder’ trend but one thing I typically have trouble with is that my bra straps always seem to end up exposed and I really detest that look.  This dress thankfully was thoughtfully designed and the fabric lays perfectly over my bra straps (for reference, in my pictures I am wearing my Ewa Michalak S Kleks bra under my Bolero hanky dress).

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I also adore the asymmetrical handkerchief hem on the skirt.  This cut gives a very flattering drape over the hips.  The flared skirt is perfect for a twirl on the dance floor, or just a sexy swish as you walk!

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The fabric content on this dress is 90% polyester and 10% spandex, making it easy care –  completely wrinkle free and quick drying.

 This dress will make a great travel-friendly holiday dress but alas, I am currently in cold Canada, in the dead of winter, in a deep freeze 😦  Still, I thought to myself – I bet this pretty little piece could easily be styled into something perfectly suitable for a day in the Great White North, no? Yes!

I decided to play up the black in the dress pattern for my winter look, and to play up the white and silvery sequins in the dress fabric for my summer look.

Winter Styling:

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I’ve easily given the dress a completely different look by covering the top with a simple black sweater and tall black boots.  The sweater is from Canadian company Rickis (no longer available) but I’ve found a very similar one HERE.   A black cardigan or blazer would be great options too.   My black suede Cole Haan boots are from a past season but I’ve found a similar pair HERE.  In keeping with playing up the black, I’ve accessorized with my beautiful black pearl  choker (similar one HERE).

Now lets take a look at how I’d wear the dress if I was somewhere with better weather than Canada has right now . . . say for example the Caribbean!  Fingers crossed for a holiday soon!!!

Summer Styling:

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For this look, I’ve simply added a pair of strappy silver wedges (similar style HERE), a white gold multi-strand necklace (similar style HERE), and my Raymond Wiel Jasmine watch.   A white or silver/grey shawl or cardigan would be a nice addition for cooler evenings.

Its worth noting that Bolero will happily customize their dresses.  By emailing with instructions / questions,  skirts can be made shorter or longer and tops can be adjusted for proportion.  You will find that they really love to hear from potential customers and get as much information as they can before they ship orders out.

As far as sizing goes, I would say this runs true to size for an Extra Small, and would fit well for those in  the approximate size 2 to 4 range.  I’ m currently wearing a 30GG UK bra and there wouldn’t be too much more bust room in the XS size.   I’ve packed on some extra pounds (blame a combination of menopause / Christmas indulging / laziness) and am currently around 130 lbs and I’m 5’4″.   I think the length of this dress is perfect for me but next time I order, I will choose a Small as the Extra Small is slightly snug at this weight.  Either that or go back to the gym and quit eating junk food! 😛

Be sure to check out the DD+ line on Bolero’s website.  I bet you’ll find something you like!  And, especially for our AEE readers, Bolero has kindly provided a discount code!  Use code ENHANCED15 when you place an order and enjoy 15% off!   Bolero Beachwear dresses can be purchased online through the Bolero website HERE or at select retailers.  Don’t forget to like Bolero’s Facebook page as well so you can keep abreast 🙂 of new styles and info!

 

 

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Caring for your Delicates / Soak Wash Lingerie Wash Review

Here at AEE we certainly don’t mind spending a small fortune on beautiful bras and panties.  Because we’re worth it!  Our lingerie is an investment which protects our investments!  But what about when it comes to taking care of our beautiful underpinnings?  Do you know how to properly launder your delicate bras and panties?

I have to admit that until recently, more often than not I had been machine washing mine, and with regular detergent 😦 Granted, I was using the Delicate cycle and washing only my bras in that load.  However, that was not the best way to care for my coveted collection of lingerie; regular laundry detergent is  harsh on delicate fabrics, using the machine  is not energy efficient at all, and frankly, it wasn’t very convenient as I needed to wait until I had a reasonable amount of dirty sets to warrant starting a load.

When Soak kindly offered to send me some of their products  I was excited to try a better way than what I had been doing.

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Images courtesy of Soak

 

Soak has a fabulous website with so much great information!  I read with interest the section entitled Soak School where you can learn all sorts of uses for your Soak Wash as well as laundering tips.

I am very pleased to tell you that Soak is a Canadian company and its products are made right here in Canada.   Don’t fear if you are not in Canada, as they are very widely available at retailers worldwide (check for availability near you HERE), and you can also order on-line.  If you are in Canada, Soak is widely available at Sears.  I checked.  Its there.  😉

To hand wash your lingerie using Soak Wash, you simply add about a capful of Soak into your wash basin, swish it around a bit and let it soak for 15 minutes or so.  The detergent particles will grab onto the dirt particles in your lingerie, pull them out, attach them to the water and remove them from your lingerie. Although Soak is a no rinse product, they do recommend that you rinse your lingerie and this is simply because your lingerie sits right against your most sensitive bits.  Disclosure:  lazy me tried both rinsing and not rinsing and had no adverse reaction to not rinsing (your experience may vary).  The no rinse feature is very helpful when washing bulkier items for example a favourite hand knit blanket so that there is much less wear and tear on the item you are washing since you have avoided all of that plunging and squeezing from trying to get rids of the excess suds with traditional detergents.  If you are really anti-hand washing, you can also use Soak in your machine.

I’ve been using my kitchen sink and washing several bras at a time using a capful of Soak each time.

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This is has been such an incredibly hot summer that I have been using only my unlined bras in an effort to dress as lightly as possibly.  However, I ‘only’ own 7 or so of this style and so I run out fairly quickly.  I don’t wear my bras more than once between washes even in the winter and certainly not in this hot, sweaty weather we’ve been having .  I have found that by quickly hand washing a few bras every couple of nights, I’ve been able to keep a fresh, clean supply at all times.  Its been really nice, and not a lot of work at all! Honestly! I’ve also been hand washing my sport bra rotation and having less excuses not to hit the gym 😉

After I wash my bras, I’ve actually been putting them in my salad spinner to spin out the majority of the water and this has been working really well for me.  I then hang them by their gores on my wooden drying rack and the next morning, they are dry, fresh and ready to wear again.

Soak generously sent me a bottle of Soak Wash to test in each of their five scents, well four scents really because unscented isn’t really a scent.  There is definitely a scent for everyone (or unscented obviously if you don’t care for scent or have sensitivities).  Here are the scents, starting with my personal favourite:  Lacey (combines spring blossoms with sweet bergamot), Yuzu  (a citrus / eucalyptus blend), Celebration (my daughter’s favourite) (sweet smelling and  inspired by the essence of Red Tea), Fig (described as being ripened with sweet fig and lychee and crowned by dandelions), and of course Scentless, which naturally smells . . . scentless.   The scents all smelled light and pretty in my opinion.  I thought that Celebration and Yuzu were the strongest smelling of the lot but each one, on my dried bras, left only a very, very light smell after they had dried.  These scents are more to be enjoyed as you are doing your hand washing, and then are designed to fade away so that they don’t overpower, or compete with your own perfume.

Since all Soak products are made in a stringently regulated Health Canada Skincare certified facility and are very gentle, I have even tested my Soak Wash on my poodle!

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 She was lovely and soft and sweet after I was done with her.  My daughter had amassed a few very special autographed t-shirts this Summer and so I’ve been hand washing those for her in Soak also.  I’ve also used Soak Wash to wash my makeup brushes.

In addition to the Soak Wash, I also received a bottle of their Handmaid Hand Cream in the scent Fig (all scents outlined above are also available in the Handmaid hand cream).

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 I use hand cream fairly obsessively, even in Summer so I was very pleased to receive this item.  I could instantly feel that there was shea butter in the hand cream.  It was moisturizing, not sticky (a pet peeve of mine) and what I really appreciated was that it dried quickly and left no slippery feel on my hands so that I could get back to my exciting (I’m kidding) office job without delay.

I was also lucky enough to be sent a bottle of Flatter Smoothing Spray in the scent Yuzu.

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Flatter works as an ironing aid to relax wrinkles.  Ironing, frankly isn’t exactly my favourite chore so anything that helps is appreciated.  It did indeed work very well to relax wrinkles and I loved the light scent it left. Flatter also leaves fabric static free so this will be fantastic to have on hand during the winter months.

I was very surprised at the variety of products that Soak sells.  You seriously must check out their ‘Soak Box’ gift sets for some really great and unique gift ideas!

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Isn’t that pretty?  That set sells for $59 CAD and includes a bottle of the Soak Wash, the Handmaid hand cream, a lacy thong and a bottle of Essie nail polish.  Love it!

The full size Soak Wash (375 mL) retails for $16 CAD and lasts for up to 75 loads so it will last you a good, long time.  90mL travel size bottles retail for  $10 CAD each and last for 18+ washes.  The travel bottles are a great way to try a few different scents and see which one you like best.

After trying my Soak products for the last few weeks, I can whole-heartedly recommend them.  If you don’t already use Soak, I hope you’ll give it a try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beach days and Holidays Styling with MsDizz, featuring the Comexim / Bra Obsessed Harbour Bikini!

Summer is drawing to a close in my part of the world and soon I will be packing away my swimwear and having it on standby for its next appearance:  winter vacation!  Or should I say vacation from winter!  Is there anything better than miles of white sand, blue water and sunshine when you’ve just left the North Pole behind?  No!  There isn’t!    Of course it is important to look good while you’re heading off to the beach, to the buffet, bellying up to the bar, or whatever your day brings, and that is why today our lovely blogger MsDizz has kindly volunteered to show us her own stylish solution for covering up and coordinating with the Comexim / Bra Obsessed exclusive Harbour bikini (reviewed previously HERE) .  If you picked this one up already, then you already know its a great suit and if you didn’t, it is still available through Bra Obsessed.

In the picture below, MsDizz is wearing a Gottex Blush Sail Away Jersey over her Harbour bikini, for a beautifully coordinated look.

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This romper is sold out at many locations but I did manage to scour a few sources that still have it available (and at steeply discounted prices!) so that you might snag one up for yourself:

Poshmark.com link

Sweetcouch link

eBay link

No outfit is complete without a great bag.  MsDizz is carrying the Michael Kors Jet Set Saffiano Leather Stripe Tote.  This bag is sold out but I did find it on Poshmark HERE.  There were also several listed on eBay such as THIS ONE.  Another, similar choice would be the  Tommy Hilfiger Adrianna Ribbon tote which I found  on Amazon HERE and one on eBay HERE.

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You could complete this outfit with a pair of classic and comfy white birkenstocks:

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And of course a great pair of sunnies.  This pair of Rayban wayfarers would be perfect.

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Seems like we’ve done your beach wardrobe planning for you.  Now all you have to do is choose your destination!  😉

Happy Holidays from MsDizz and I!

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P.S. – if you own this suit, what do you pair it with? Or if you are considering picking it up, what would you add to complete the outfit?  Let us know!

 

 

 

 

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.

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!

 

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.

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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.  ❤

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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?

 

Retailer Spotlight – Karlee Smith Post-Op and Sports Bras

While browsing on-line for products that might be of interest to both my fellow bloggers and our readers, I recently stumbled upon the Karlee Smith company.  I was intrigued to see that this company specializes in medical grade post-operative and sports bras for women who have undergone surgical procedures for breast augmentation, reduction, lift, mastectomy / lumpectomy etc.

Now when you hear the words ‘medical grade’ you probably don’t  think ‘attractive and sexy’ but that is exactly what Karlee Smith has been able to do – deliver a unique and superior quality product which not only assists in post-operative healing, but at the same time allows the wearer to look and feel sexy.

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Furthermore, the Karlee Smith bras can be used long after the healing period is over, but we will get into that in our upcoming reviews because Karlee Smith was kind enough to send four of the AEE bloggers (including myself) our choice of one of their bras each to test out and review for our readers!

Before we get to those reviews, I would like to give our readers an opportunity to get to know more about the Karlee Smith brand and its products via the following interview.

What influenced Karlee to get into the post op and sports bra industry?

Visionary Designer and Brand Owner Karlee Smith started the brand after a personal experience when her surgeon sent her home in a bra that fell apart after one wash and made her feel ugly while wearing it.  At the time she was working for Victoria’s Secret and could not imagine why there were not better and more stylish bra options for women to wear “post-surgery.”

How did the Karlee Smith brand come to be?

Karlee started the brand after she had a personal breast surgery experience that influenced her passion for women to feel sexier after surgery.  She started her own line after leaving Victoria’s Secret because they didn’t see how “post-op” bras could be sexy.  So she developed the brand and made a “new niche” in the market that has dramatically changed the way women feel in their most intimate moments after breast surgery.

From the brand’s original ideas and design concepts through to actually creating apparel garments that are both surgeon and patient approved must have involved a tremendous amount of research.  Tell us about that process?

According to the Karlee Smith design team, there is a lot of research when selecting the fabrics to ensure the best medical properties and the best quality to match our brand expectations for our customers as well as FDA standards.  We spend a lot of time doing fit testing, product research, patient surveys, QA testing, and working with surgeons to improve our bras as well as design new innovations.

What makes Karlee Smith bras stand out from other post op bras and sports bras?

Our sport bras and post op bras are all front closure which as you can probably tell it is difficult to find many front close bras that fit well.  Not to mention, the majority of front close sport bras usually have wires or padding or something making them not so comfortable for all day wear or use after you just had a breast procedure.  Our bras are always tested on women who have had breast surgery.  This process plus our fit models keep our standards high when it comes to making the best bras.  Karlee Smith bras are most loved by women with or without implants.

How long has Karlee been designing post op and sports bras?

Our company is only a few years old, but Karlee, our designer & owner, has been in the fashion industry since she was 16.  She has a lot of experience.  She has worked with some great bra designers at brands like VF Corp., Fruit of the Loom and Victoria’s Secret just to name a few.

Where does Karlee find inspiration for the brand’s designs?

As a company, we attend many fashion shows, trade events (both fashion & medical), travel, and use customer feedback to influence our ideas for the next season or new concepts.

What makes Karlee stand out from other designers?

Our designer, Karlee, is incredibly talented when it comes to picking the perfect styles, silhouettes, and accents on the bras.  It is medical and athletic wear which she reminds us how most people do not consider sexy but we must!  This is what makes her so different.  She knows the importance of making women feel and look sexy all day long even if it is in their workout or lounge wear!  We also have the most innovative designs, fabric, style, comfort, and support in a bra for the medical market who cater to women recovering after surgery.

How often does your company come out with new designs?

We are always improving the quality of our existing bras and generally launch new concepts as we see fit.

Do you have any plans to introduce any other designs in the future?

Yes, the company has plans to expand our product line and launch updates to existing bras.

What is special about the company and the Karlee Smith brand?

The Karlee Smith brand is always fun, exciting, innovative and evolving.  There are so many days that new ideas and things spring up that keep the job a surprise.  Outside of medical and our sport bras, we have other fashion design collaboration projects we get to work on which are always super involved and entertaining.  We are also working on some cool things for retail spaces (both medical and fashion) which is interesting.  Every day there is something new and we love to keep our customers happy.  It is always refreshing getting emails or reading reviews from all the women that support us and love our bras!

What is the best thing about the post op and sports bra industry?

We strive to design bras that women LOVE to wear all day not just post-op or in the gym.  We design bras that make them feel supported and sexy all day long while lounging or even while at work.  The athletic and medical markets are unique and both offer us the ability to be innovative when bringing something new to the market.

Where can our readers purchase your bras?

Our bras can be found online at karleesmith.com or through the patient’s plastic surgeon.  If their surgeon does not provide them with a Karlee Smith bra after their surgery then they can ask their surgeon for a coupon code unique to their surgeon provided by us and if their surgeon is registered with us they will be able to purchase their first bra at  karleesmith.com using this discount from their surgeon.

What is the best way for potential new customers to find or contact you with any questions they may have regarding Karlee Smith bras?

For questions regarding our bras, the fit, or ordering, they can visit us online, call us at 888-640-0942 or email customercare@karleesmith.com.  We would be delighted to hear from you!

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Be sure to stay tuned for our Karlee Smith reviews coming soon on the AEE blog.   You won’t want to miss them!

 

 

Insider’s Scoop – Ewa Michalak Fairytale Purple!

Hey Ewa Michalak lovers! I have a bit of fun insider’s exclusive information for you today!   I bet you are wondering about the beauty in this picture and I’m not going to keep you suffering.  Allow us to present to you the ultra exclusive  to Bra Obsessed Ewa Michalak FairyTale Purple!

Only 13 have been made so far.  Mine and MsDizz’s, Yoomee’s is in the mail on its way to her, and ten other people in the world currently have one.  This gorgeous bra is a true exclusive to Bra Obsessed.  It will not be released by Ewa Michalak at any time in the future.  Would you like to have one too?  Then I have great news for you!  I’ve just heard that up to 20 more sets can be made with this special fabric.

Standard cut on Fairytale Purple is PL style.  MsDizz is modelling her PL for you in size 30H (65H) below.

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For an additional $15 CAD you can request it in S style which is what I did.  I am modelling my S in size 30GG (65GG) below.

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Take a look at these gorgeous details:

I love a bit of contrasting colour on the straps.

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Its purple.  Need I say more?

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The lace overlay goes all the way around the back of the band.  Unexpected and pretty!

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My 30 (65) band measures approximately 23.5″ unstretched and approximately 31″ stretched before I notice any significant wire distortion.  MsDizz also noticed that her band felt loose so you may want to consider sizing down in the band on this one.  Tip:  Remember that if you size down in the band, you need to size up in the cup to compensate.  For example going from a 65GG, to get the same volume in a 60 band you would increase the cup one size up and order 60H.

Matching panties or thongs are available.  Here are my panties:

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Note that they have the frilly, non-elastic finish on the bum.  Beautiful set / not my favourite style of panties but a girl has to do what a girl has to do to have the matching set.

Yoomee will show off hers when it arrives but we wanted to get this information to you today so that you don’t miss your opportunity to order this very special, extremely limited set.  You can place your order by emailing Bra Obsessed at bras@braobsessed.com.  Don’t forget to take a look on the Bra Obsessed site at the other two exclusive limited edition Ewa Michalak offerings, the Chalet and the Blekitek !

Ewa Michalak SM Malinowy – A Mix and Matchable Summer Staple

Last week I received a wonderful gift in my mail box.  The Ewa Michalak team had generously sent me the SM Malinowy set for review, and they could not have chosen better for me.  As I’ve mentioned in previous EM reviews, I like to rotate between my two favourite styles, the S and the SM.  On hot days, absolutely nothing beats the comfort of a light, cool and breezy SM for me.

Using Google Translate, the name Malinowy translates from Polish to English as Rasberry.  The colour is indeed a bright, fresh and fun pop of summery raspberry pink.  The gore, straps and even the sides of the band are adorned with little orange satin bows, which the Ewa Michalak site describes as coquettish.  Actually I think the entire set is quite coquettish!   The unlined, lacy cups of the Malinowy  are fairly sheer and I am wearing nipple petals underneath for modesty in these photos.  I received this bra in size 65G and this is a perfect fit for me.  After being worn and washed, this band measures approximately 24″ unstretched and  approximately 30″ stretched, before any cup distortion starts.  I am also pleased to be able to report that there was no bleeding of the colour when I washed this bra.

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A side view showing the fantastic rounded, lifted shape I get with SM . . . and check out those adorable little side bows – just a little bit of unexpected fun!

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While this bra is very pretty, it is also a very practical addition to your summer bradrobe.  Obviously it is very lightweight and a great summer colour, but there is another reason.  I had previously done a general  SM style review  and you can see there some photos of different styles that I own, but one thing I didn’t mention in that review was that some SM styles will contribute to a slightly smoother clothed appearance than others.  Malinowy is one of those bras that will give a very smooth clothed appearance. The reason for this is because  it is constructed with the seam bindings on the inside of the cups.  When you choose an SM with the seams bindings hidden in the backs of the cups, this allows the bra to appear as smooth  (hidden) as possible under clothing.  When you choose an SM with the seam bindings displayed at the front of the bra, you get a different aesthetic appearance (and I own and love that construction as well),  and those seams may be slightly more visible under clothing.  In my experience, all SM bras lay very smooth, but if I had to pick one, I would say that this particular construction offers the very smoothest clothed appearance.

A look at the seams in the insides of the cups:

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I received the  full brief panties for the SM Malinowy in my usual size 36 which make for an adorable set.  I do have to point out however, that these are not my favourite cut of full brief panties.   The finish at the  rear of the leg holes is frilly rather than elasticated.  My personal preference is for full elastic around the leg holes; otherwise, I seem to experience varying degrees of hitching.  These are not terrible hitch offenders and they stay put reasonably well, but this style is not the very best cut for me.  I do have several sets in transit which have similar styled panties so this is definitely not enough of a deterrent to stop me from having my full sets, but it is something that I noted.

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Earlier this Spring I had purchased the S Opium set and I mentioned in that review how the colours of that set coordinate perfectly with the SM Malinowy set so that you can mix and match between both sets.  The S Opium set is available with the panties only in brief style.  There is no thong available.  Personally, I believe that all thongs should be banned.   Why would you want to spend all day trying to pick a wedgie?   Butt floss I say!  However,  I must acknowledge, despite my own strong opinions on the subject, that there is a market for both styles.    If you yourself (for reasons unknown to me) prefer a thong and you wish to have S Opium as a set with a coordinating thong, then you can order the thong style panties from the SM Malinowy set and they will look perfect together.    Likewise, the full briefs from Opium pair perfectly with the SM Malinowy bra.

Having both full sets as I do is a great way to be able to change things up with mixing and matching.  Check out this fantastic EM stock photo which actually shows how well the two sets coordinate together:

Opium Malinowy

Speaking of matching, I showed in my Opium review how I had coordinated my nails with Bio Seaweed Gel polish in 67 Passionfruit.

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That polish of course also matches Malinowy perfectly, but a new set surely deserves something new to match, does it not?  Which was exactly why I headed over to my local Chanel makeup counter and picked up this beautiful Rouge Coco Stylo stylo in the shade 208, Roman.  We all deserve to treat ourselves once in a while!

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* My SM Malinowy set was graciously provided for review by Ewa Michalak. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Ewa Michalak S Opium Review

I recently took a road trip out to visit Jaimie at Bra Obsessed and picked up just a couple of things 😉

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Jaimie had my change room ready to go before I had even arrived.  So much temptation!

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Her shop truly is a Polish bra lover’s paradise!

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Today I’m reviewing one of my purchases from that trip, the glorious Ewa Michalak S Opium.

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I knew from the moment I first saw this set that I MUST have it.  Sometimes with floral prints I can take them or I can leave them, but this one was different.  This one is like a gorgeous water colour painting of poppies, done in the prettiest muted shades of pinks, peaches and lavenders with pops of bright pink throughout.  This colour scheme (and those pretty pink straps) make it a perfect choice for Spring and Summer.

I purchased my S Opium set in size  65GG (30GG) for the bra, with the matching full briefs in size 36.  I have recently gone up a cup in my bra size due to some unfortunate weight gain that seems intent on sticking around.  The 65GG is a perfect fit and for the first time in my personal Polish bra wearing history, I am able to keep the cookies (pads) in!   This 65 band measures approximately 23 inches unstretched, and approximately 30″ stretched (without starting cup distortion) after several washes and wears.  The band has a fairly firm feel to it.

Ewa Michalak S style bras are a favourite of mine as they keep me well anchored and provide an amazing up front and center, lifted appearance.   I rotate between the lined S style and the unlined SM style, depending on the weather.

Even though S is best for me for the reasons outlined above, other ladies have their own cut preferences.  My co-blogger MsDizz for example does best in the PL style and was able (by special request) to order her Opium in PL directly through Ewa Michalak.  This option is at the discretion of Ewa Michalak, but  if you see a bra you love that is available only in a cut that isn’t perfect for you, it doesn’t hurt to write and ask.  Note though that this will make the item a final sale (not returnable) and it does cost an extra 40 PLN to have the style changed.  If ordering through Bra Obsessed, you can email and enquire about the availability and cost of other cuts (all returnable when ordered through Bra Obsessed).

MsDizz ordered her PL Opium in size 65H and is modelling it for us in the picture below, without the cookies in.

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The measurements for her 65H PL are approximately 23.5 inches unstretched and approximately 30.5 inches stretched and unlike me, she does not feel that the band is on the firm side.  Always interesting to have different perspectives and that is part of the beauty of having not just one but EIGHT bloggers here at An Enhanced Experience.

My co-blogger Tanzilove has Opium on order in CHP cut in size 80GG and she will be showing off her CHP Opium and giving her thoughts and opinions in an upcoming review.

I do love a matching set and these panties, worn with the bra, make for such a pretty, pulled together, flirty and fun look.   They are very comfortable and they don’t ride up during the day.  Here is a look at the panties, both front and back.

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Speaking of a pulled together look,  I decided to have my nails done to match, just for fun.  This is Bio Seaweed Gel polish in 67 Passionfruit.   A pretty pairing, don’t you think?

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I am expecting the SM Malinowy set very soon and that colour coordinates perfectly with Opium so that you can mix and match the bras and panty combinations between the two sets.

I think that deserves picking up something else to match!  A new lipstick perhaps?  Stay tuned for my Malinowy review to come soon and we’ll see what I can come up with.