Retailer Spotlight: Bolero Beachwear

I recently had the opportunity to be in contact with Patricia McCaw, the owner of Bolero Beachwear, a bust-friendly U.S. based clothing company located in Florida.  Although the company’s name would suggest that they only offer beachwear, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they specialize in not just beach cover ups, but also a wide variety of clothing especially designed for women with large busts (DD and up).

When I asked Patricia if she would be interested in speaking with me and allowing our blog to spotlight her company, she graciously agreed to not only allow us to spotlight Bolero, but to also send a few of her most popular dresses to our bloggers so that we could give our own thoughts on her clothing (reviews coming soon)!  After speaking with her over the phone, a few of the things that jumped out and really impressed me was her absolute passion for what she does, the fact that all of her clothing is made here in the U.S.A., and how open she is to feedback by her customers 🙂  It was a delight speaking with Patricia and getting to know her and her company, and I am so excited to share this with our readers!

How did Bolero Beachwear come to be?

I was a designer for a company manufacturing beach cover-ups when the economy took a turn for the worse and it closed. As one door closed, another opened when I decided to start manufacturing my own line of beach beachwear dresses and cover-ups. I started selling in the retail market because after all, my designs were selling successfully in department stores, mail orders and small boutiques all over the country while working in the previous company which I worked for several years.

Can you tell us about how you came to focus on designing clothing to fit a fuller bust?

When asking one of my customers, a boutique owner who really knows and understands about proper bra fit, what was her favorite Bolero style, I was puzzled by her response! She said, there are some dresses that she loved, but unfortunately, she could not wear them because of her large breast size! She said she would wear a larger size just to accommodate her bust, but the excess material everywhere, especially in the armholes, resulted in a non-flattering look, sometimes even looking like a tent or a boxy silhouette. She is a fit woman with nice body and would love to show off her waistband and her curves. That is when I got the idea that I could manufacture dresses for women with fuller busts.

What type of research went into creating clothing that would fit a variety of full bust sizes while still providing a flattering fit through the rest of the body?

First, let me tell you that I love being a Fashion Designer. I went to fashion school in Fort Lauderdale and one of my favorite’s subjects (areas) was Pattern-making. Most of the other students were intimidated in Pattern-making class, but not me, I loved it! Just to think in rulers, inches, math when a quarter of an inch is important to make a good pattern. Some of my classmates where terrified while is I was fascinated in understanding how the standard for the industry works; sizing, and what is takes to make a final garment with great fit! So when I started brainstorming my busty-friendly styles, I visited lingerie stores, asked questions, bought many size bras, but also, researching on the internet, getting books about bras, constructions, everything! And one very important source of inspiration and learning was reading blogs like yours, who caters to full-busted women. And, because I was working with stretch materials, vibrant colors, making clothes for vacation, I decided to combine the best from both worlds, technically developing comfortable clothes with great fit on your chest area so you feel like you are on vacation on any day you wear Bolero!

What makes your products stand out from other full bust brands?

We use wrinkle resistant and stretchable fabrics that fit and flatter beautifully. Our pieces really are easy care and travel-friendly. We do not mass produce which means paying more attention to the construction, most of your dresses and tops are lined in the bust area to smooth out any lines. We are small enough to customize orders such as adding length to dresses for taller women or visa-versa for more petite women without charging extra.

How long has Bolero Beachwear been in business?

Bolero Beachwear has been in business now for 6 years.

Where are your products manufactured?

In Florida USA by a wonderful team.

What are the pros and cons of manufacturing in the USA?

Pros:

 Providing jobs for everyone involved in the process of making our clothes: fabric and trim suppliers, sewers, office assistant, the hang- and labels maker, the photographer, the models, the web designer, etc.

 Being able to have close control over the production, quality and quantities. You have more control over the quality, if anything happen, and there is always something, I am able to correct it right away.

 Providing work for American women working under ethical conditions.

CONS:

 It is more expensive to manufacture, for example having to order minimum quantities for supplies increases the price.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I find inspiration all the time and everywhere! I love clothes design and am always looking for ideas. Walking in town on the street, driving, talking to someone, watching a movie, listening a song, reading and many times while I’m dancing! I can picture elements to make a beautiful dress to wear every day and to dance too.

How often does your company come out with new designs?

Very often but not as often as I would like. As a creative person, I love to make new things all the time but the logical and practical part of me, or the business side, force me to narrow down what can go to production. There is a lot of work involved before a garment is available on the website. The silhouette is part of it, but it’s just one of the components. The fabric selection, the photos, the editing, making sure the suppliers will deliver the materials so we don’t offer something that is not going to be ready is so important.

Are there plans to add any new products and if so, what and when?

I try to have new styles of dresses available every three months or so. And now, we are starting to produce busty friendly tops and matching/contrasting bottoms. I am always looking for ways to transition our existing styles with the time and season by providing accessories such as belts and scarves.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I enjoy the process of creating new things, the selection of materials, the construction and interacting with people who share that feeling. When I see the final product and a flattering fit it is an amazing feeling! But I think one of the most incredible and rewarding feelings comes from receiving a Thank you email, a note and sometimes receiving a card in the mail is WOW feeling! But I will say, knowing that guys, husbands or boyfriends, love to see their women in Bolero clothes is one the best compliments.

Where can our readers purchase your products?

Online at http://www.bolerobeachwear.com. Our website and our email are always open to receive not only orders but to any questions. Because our Bust-friendly styles are for a specific body type they do not always look as nice on the hanger as they look on a real person.

As you can see from our interview with Patricia, she truly loves what she does and it clearly shows in the beauty and quality of her clothing.  Over the next few months several of our bloggers will be posting their reviews of the dresses they received from Bolero so we hope you stay tuned!

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Lovin’ my Lilly & Lime!)

Several months back An Enhanced Experience was approached by an Australia-based swimwear company, Lilly & Lime who cater to those of us women with fuller busts, asking if we would be interested in trying out and reviewing their suits .  After checking out their website as well as learning more about their company (read their company Spotlight HERE),  several of us decided to jump on the opportunity!  My fellow bloggers MsDizz and Jelz have already posted their reviews (HERE and HERE) and now it’s my opportunity to let you all know my thoughts 🙂

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First off, the packaging when I received my suit was absolutely adorable!  It came in a cute (and functional) tote, which I thought was a very nice touch.  The suit that they picked out for me was their Floral Full Cup top in size 30GG and Floral Basic Brief in size 8 (which is a US size 4).  The design is beautiful with bright blues, corals, and oranges, and looks almost like the pattern was painted on in watercolors.  The material is sturdy and feels very well made, not at all flimsy and cheap, and the top comes with removable pads as well.  As far as quality goes, I am very impressed!

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To be honest, when I first examined the top I was a bit concerned that the wires were very wide.  As any of our loyal readers know, we love our narrow wires!  And when I tried the top on for the first time, as I suspected, the wires are quite wide in comparison to the bras that I am used to wearing.  However, since this is a swimsuit and not something I would be wearing under clothes all day, the wide wires really don’t bother me at all.  Plus, they are not super firm so I don’t feel any digging in my armpits.  I also love the clasp in the back.  When you close it, you can feel it snap into place so there is no fear of it coming undone!   I do however think that I will get a size 28 band next time, since once suits get wet they tend to stretch just a little and a 30 band is already on the looser side for me.

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The bottoms are just as they are called, basic briefs which I love!  They cover just enough, but aren’t too full coverage with the waist band sitting a little below the navel. I ordered these in a size 8 (US size 4) but after trying them on I felt like they were a bit on the small side for me so I ended up ordering a size 10.  However, the 10 didn’t arrive before I left for my honeymoon, and I couldn’t imagine not taking this suit with me to Mexico so I ended up taking the 8s, which actually ended up fitting pretty well!  I really do love these bottoms, and don’t have anything but great things to say about them.

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As I had mentioned, I took this suit with me on my honeymoon to Mexico and I loved wearing it!  The bright colors are gorgeous, and I never had to worry about my boobs popping out either ;).  My husband loves it as well and complemented it often!  It wore well in the water and unlike some suits made with thinner material, even when wet it stayed in place and didn’t start “sagging” at all.   Overall, I am very impressed with this suit and it is one of the first ones I grab out of my suit drawer!  If you have struggled with finding a bikini that will accommodate a larger bust, or are just looking for one that is sexy and fun (not always easy to do in the big bust market), I would highly suggest checking out Lilly & Lime!

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!

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.

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!

Ewa Michalak’s BM Naomi

In my continued quest to try every style of Ewa Michalak bra that is available in my size, as well as stock up on more summer, boob-sweat minimizing bras, I decided that the next style I had to try was the BM.  Like the SM style, the BM is an unlined balconette; and when I saw the new BM Naomi debut a couple of months ago, I knew that was the one for me!  

Bra BM Naomi
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I ordered Naomi, along with the gorgeous S Opium (click HERE for review) from the lovely Jaimie at Bra Obsessed and was thrilled when I got it in the mail the other day!  Although it may look like just a plain brown bra on the website, like pretty much every Ewa bra, it is quite stunning in person.  A big surprise was that there is quite a purple undertone to this bra, with the band being only a shade or two off from the color of my S Glamour (click HERE for review) with a shiny satin look and feel.  On my 65GG, the band has the usual four rows of 3 hooks and eyes and is on the looser side with me being able to stretch it to about 32 inches before much wire distortion occurs, so if you like a firm band you may want to size down in this one.   TIP: Remember that when you size down in band, you will want to size up in cup to keep the same cup size. The band also is reinforced with a black mesh lining on the inner side for extra comfort and a more luxurious feel. The straps have a shiny satin sheen as well, and are fully adjustable for your comfort preference.  

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The cups of the BM Naomi are made up of three-parts made of a stretchy floral lace in a deeper brown, but still with a purple undertone.  The bottom parts of the cup are lined with black mesh that comes up the side to meet the straps.  This mesh lining helps with the structure of the bra since the lace has stretch to it and keeps your breasts feeling secure and supported.  In typical Ewa fashion, no bra would be complete without it’s beautiful details and Naomi is no exception.  This bra has matching polka dot bows at the gore and straps making it both fun and flirty 😉

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Now that we are done with the technical stuff, let me tell you how it feels 🙂  The first thing I noticed when I put Naomi on was how incredibly comfortable it is.  The stretch of the lace molded perfectly to my boobs and the band made me feel very supported (even though I had to wear it on the third tightest row of hooks). I was also very pleased that it wore extremely smoothly under shirts and I didn’t notice any lines showing through at all.  I have tan skin (I am currently somewhere between the color of Triumf and Naomi), and get fairly dark in the summer months, so Naomi is a perfect “nude” bra for me.  One thing I noticed the first day I wore it was that for some reason the bra made my boobs itch just a little bit.  But when I wore it a second time I didn’t notice it anymore, so I’m not quite sure what that was about!

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I can honestly say I don’t really have anything negative to say about this bra, and I’d even venture to say that I find it more comfortable than either of the SMs I currently own (Triumf and Amorek), though they are very comfortable as well.  For those of you ladies who have more (or all) natural breast tissue and have some natural sag or hang, I have heard that the BM is a bit more minimizing than the SM style, which could be a positive or a negative depending on the look you are going for.  For me, who has very little natural tissue and zero sag or hang, I don’t see much of a difference between the two styles as far as the look.  It is definitely not going to give you the BAM! look that the S style does, but if you are looking for a light, airy, comfortable and supportive bra, this might be just the one for you!

Briefs Naomi
Stock photo -Naomi Brief
Thong Naomi
Stock photo – Naomi Thong

Lastly, if you are looking to make this bra into a set, Ewa offers both the Naomi brief (for you ladies who are on #TeamFullBum) as well as the Naomi thong (for girls on #TeamButtCrack 😉 ).  I, unfortunately had to pass on the undies this time around as my wallet was already screaming in protest!  I hope you enjoyed this review and please stay tuned, our summer review line up is just warming up 🙂

Is Ewa’s New Semi-soFt Right for You?

As anyone who loves Polish lingerie knows, Ewa Michalak is not just known for the gorgeous look of her bras, but also for designing different styles to accommodate the many types of breasts there are.  Unlike most lingerie companies that might have a few different styles and then scale their sizes, Ewa currently offers about 13 different styles of bras to accommodate almost any type of boobs, from small to big, close-set to wide, FoT or FoB, firm or soft.  The most recent style that Ewa has designed is the SF, which stands for Semi-soFt.  As soon as this new style was posted on the Ewa Michalak Facebook page I was immediately intrigued.  And when she offered to send me the SF Gladzioch bez set (including the Bibi bezowa Perla thong) as a gift so that I could wear and review it for our readers, I was beyond thankful, as I know that many of our readers are just as curious about this new style as I was!   Note: Although this bra was gifted for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own and given with full honesty and disclosure.

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Upon first glance of the SF Gladzioch bez, you’re probably thinking what I was thinking, which is that it definitely lacks the pizzazz that Ewa bras are known for, looking more like a plain nude bra.  However, when you see it in person it’s hard not to appreciate the simple elegance that it exudes.  The four-part cup is made of a shiny nude fabric on the bottom 3-parts, and a double layer of elastic tulle on the top.  And no Ewa bra would be complete without the signature details that make her bras so fun and special; in keeping with simple elegance there are small buttons placed at the gore and straps.  It actually reminds me of an elegant, understated wedding gown with the shiny satin and tulle…though that might just be because I’m getting married soon and I have wedding dresses on the brain 😉 !  So although this may not be as “fun” as many of the other bras that have recently been released, please make no mistake that this is still a gorgeous Ewa bra!

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According to the description of the SF on the Ewa Michalak website, this bra is meant for those who want more structure than an unlined bra provides, but don’t like the bulkiness of a padded bra, and I’d have to say that that description is pretty much spot on.  The SF is like the child  of the S and SM styles if they had a baby 🙂  The material on the bottom 3-parts of the cup is on the stiffer side, so it gives great structure and support without being bulky at all.  The tulle at the top of the cups allows for more coverage but because it is a very stretchy material, it doesn’t give you a closed in feeling like the S style can have. I actually think this would be a great style for women who have quite a bit of projection and/or are very FoT, especially if you want more coverage than a CHP provides without getting the “muffin top” that the S can give.  The band on this bra is very firm, so I would recommend considering sizing up if you usual size is already on the firm side.  

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Upon trying the SF on, I was glad I chose to get a 65GG, which is the size I wear in the SM and BM styles (I’m in between a 65GG and 65H in the S style). This bra has a ton of projection so you’ll want to consider sizing down for this one, as it does not come with cookie pockets to help fill you out. The fit is very similar to the S style and gives a lot of BAM, which I love!  As I mentioned previously, the band is very firm (the firmest out of any of the 65s I own) and the gore gives me a very hard tack like my unlined bras do. I was worried that the stiff material might be scratchy or uncomfortable, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was quite comfortable and didn’t bother me at all.

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I wore the SF for a full day, which is about 12 hours and here are my honest pros and cons. The pros are that I loved the shape it gave me and the fact that I felt very supported but not too warm (as my S styles can be in the hotter months of summer). And I do enjoy the very firm band and fully adjustable straps for comfort as well. I have a couple of cons though that I thought were worth mentioning as well. The first was that although I believe it is mentioned in the description as something that just naturally happens and is not a fault in the product, I didn’t really like that the tulle seemed to gather or wrinkle throughout the day. This may not happen if you have more projection to keep the material more taut, but I did notice it happened to me since the elastic tulle is very stretchy. I didn’t seem to notice it through my shirt, but when I peeked in under my shirt I saw it and would smooth it out. The second is more of a personal preference in that the gore has such a hard tack that by the end of the day I did feel it quite a bit. Nothing horrible, but more noticeable than I’d like. However, I notice that with my SM styles as well so if you like the fit and feel of the SM, I don’t think this is something you’d mind at all. 

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As mentioned, to go along with the SF Gladzioch bez, I was also gifted the Bibi bezowa Perla thong.  These I got in a size 36, which I was a little worried would be too big, since my Amorek thong in the same size was a little on the loose side.  But those extra few pounds I have put on over the past few months must have filled in the space because the 36s were a perfect fit and the perfect complement to my new SF.  I especially love the little pearl accent on the back!  I must admit that I’m not a fan of all of Ewa’s thongs, as I feel some are a bit on the high-waisted side, with the band sitting at my navel.  But these fit just the way I like, with the band resting about an inch or two below.  The lace is very soft and as with the SF Gladzioch bez, they have a very bridal feel to them.  So much so that I may actually wear these on my wedding day 🙂

Overall, I really liked the SF and it’s a style I’d definitely purchase again once there are some fun colors and patterns to choose from!  If you enjoy the SM style and want a bit more structure or more modesty, I think this is a style you should strongly consider 🙂

 

Ewa Michalak – SM Amorek

The SM style bra from Ewa Michalak has been one that I’ve honestly been a bit scared of since I first fell in love with Polish bras.  It’s a style that I’ve always thought was beautiful and sexy but never thought I’d buy since it is an unlined balconette, and I’ve never thought unlined bras did much for my bust.  But since my upgrade, I’ve felt more comfortable with my breast size so I decided to try it out.  The first SM I tried, the SM Wrozka was a complete flop (in my opinion).  The gore dug unrelentingly at my chest and made it impossible to wear for more than an hour or two and scared me away from the SM style for a whole year!  But with summer quickly approaching, and all the other AEE gals raving about how amazing the SM is (especially in the summer heat), I cautiously decided to give it another try.

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Hearts added for modesty:)

 

In my direct order, along with S Glamour (review HERE) I ordered two SM style bras, the SM Triumph and the SM Amorek.  Amorek is a bra I had been admiring from afar for quite some time, ever since fellow AEE blogger, Baby had purchased it.  Amorek is the type of lingerie that screams Valentines Day, but really is perfect for any time you want to feel very pretty and girly.  The bra has pink mesh cups accented with cherry red satin ribbon across the 3-part cup and matching red scalloped lace across the top. The gore is accented with a small red heart, and there are red bows were the pink mesh meets the red straps.  The mesh cups do not have any design to them, so they are very see through, a huge plus in my hubby’s opinion 😉

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Hearts added for modesty:)

As far as sizing goes, I was a little torn on what to order.  As I mentioned in a recent post, I am a 65GG 1/2, but I’ve been told that with some SM bras you want to size down (depending on if the cup ran big or not and due to the fact that the bra is unlined).  The SM cups do not have any stretch to them and obviously don’t come with the removable “cookies” that the lined Ewa bras do, so making sure that you get the right size is very important since you don’t have as much wiggle room as you do with lined bras.  After getting some guidance from my fellow bloggers, I ended up ordering a 65GG and it is a perfect fit.  As you may notice in the pictures above, there is a small amount of empty fabric under my breasts, right above the wire.  This is something that is very normal for enhanced breasts, especially if you don’t have much natural tissue.  My breasts don’t have any natural “hang” that would typically fill this space.

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There are definitely pros and cons to the SM style (and this bra in particular), especially if you are a die hard S style girl like me. First, let’s go over the pros. The SM’s mesh cups are extremely light and breathable and I’m excited to wear this in the summer, as it’s going to greatly minimize the dreaded summer boob sweat 😉  The band is fairly firm and the straps are fully adjustable. The gore on this bra seems slightly lower than my S styles so it tacks very well and doesn’t cut into my cleavage at all. Also, because of the way the cup is cut and sewn into the straps, this bra gives great support even though the material is very thin. Lastly, because the SM is cut like the S (lined balconette version), it still pulls your breasts front and center giving great cleavage :). Now on to the cons. There are only two, and they aren’t big enough to stop me from wearing this beauty, but I feel like it wouldn’t be an accurate review if I didn’t mention them.  Both cons have to do with the ribbon that lines the seams of the cup, and I suppose you could lump them both into one, but I will speak of them individually. The first is that the bra doesn’t lay completely smooth under shirts, as the ribbon that lines the seams does show unless you are wearing a medium to thick material or one with lots of pattern. The second is that the ribbon sticks up at my nipples in a way that under certain shirts it appears that my nipples are always hard!  As shown in the picture above, when I am wearing the blue shirt that is made with thin material, you can see the seams very clearly; though in the black shirt with a medium weight material, you don’t see the seams (or nipples) much at all.  Neither con are very significant in my book, and certainly won’t stop me from wearing this bra!

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As soon as Jelz (our resident “matching sets” girl) found out I was purchasing Amorek, she badgered me into getting the matching Amorek thong as well 😉 And since she’s never steered me wrong with the undies I can pass on and the ones I absolutely must buy, it was no surprise when I got them I was so glad that I did!  They are so cute and girly and really are the perfect complement to the bra.    I purchased these in a 36 (8) which is my usual Ewa undies size, but in my opinion they run a little big and could have easily fit in a size down.

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As you can see in this picture, this really is a bra where you want to make it a set.  I have been extremely impressed with the SM Amorek and it has encouraged me to add more SMs to my collection.  If you are looking for a light summer bra, but want one with some fun and girly attitude, I definitely think this is the one for you!  Please make sure to stay tuned, as I am awaiting the arrival of the beautiful BM Naomi and will be posting a review on it as well as a comparison of the differences between the SM and BM styles 🙂

Ewa Michalak – S Glamour

G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS, ooh flossy flossy!  Come on ladies, you know the song!  That is what plays in my head when I look at this bra.  But to be completely honest, the first time I saw the new Ewa Michalak S Glamour, I wasn’t over the moon in love with it.  I thought it was pretty, but it seemed very similar to the S Paris Paris I already own (review HERE).  But then, as I was building my list of bras I was going to purchase on my next order, I couldn’t help but to keep being drawn back to it.  I mean lets be honest, it’s gorgeous!  So after much internal debate, I decided that it had to go on the list.  I have worn Paris so much that it’s starting to look a bit worn anyway, so what the heck.

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As some of you may know (based on my lack of reviews), it’s been a stretch since I have purchased any bras, so this time I kinda went crazy!  Between my direct order with Ewa Michalak and two orders through Jaimie at Bra Obsessed, I ordered 7 bras and two undies to make matching sets.  I had heard rumors that Ewa was a bit backed up with orders and that my direct order with her (which included S Glamour, SM Triumph and the SM Amorek with matching thong) might take longer than usual.  I was a little bummed, but have come to accept that waiting is just part of the price you pay when you are a Polish bra junkie like me!  Because I was expecting to wait quite a while, I was thrilled when I got my shipping notice only a few days longer than what my orders usually take (it was about 2 1/2 weeks for production rather than the usual 10-14 days).  Eight days after my bras shipped, they arrived and boy was I excited!  The moment I took Glamour out of the box, I was thanking the bra Gods that I had ordered this one.  It is stunning, I mean seriously magnificent! Every detail on this bra is on point, from the bow accent at the gore with delicate little pink pom poms at the ends, to the luxurious lace that covers the cups, to the shimmery pink satin ribbon. The name suits this bra perfectly, as it is truly glamorous.

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My Ewa bra size has been somewhat of a moving target.  I love the firmness of a 60 band (I have a 26″ underbust), but I have not found that the cups on my 60 band bras fit quite right, even when I size up in the cup.  So I have decided to stick with the 65 band for now.  As far as cup size, I typically order a GG even though I recently realized I really am more of a GG 1/2.  Because of this, I decided to order up a cup size and ordered S Glamour in a 65H.  I was actually quite nervous about sizing up in cup, since I have a phobia about getting bras that are too big, which I blame on being small busted for much of my life and all bras I liked seemed too big on me.   When I first put Glamour on, it seemed very big and I almost panicked.  But then after a little adjusting, it actually fit quite nicely 🙂  I will throw in a small disclaimer that I always take the pads out of my GG bras, and with this size H, I do have to wear the pads to get a proper fit (again, I’m a GG 1/2, not quite an H).  There is also the smallest bit of gap that occurs on the cup near the gore on the side of my smaller breast.  Such are the problems we have when we are in between sizes!  I also noticed that this bra’s band seems to be on the looser side, so if you are in between band sizes I’d definitely recommend the smaller band on this one.

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On to fit. As much as having a gorgeous bra to wear is awesome and all, the most important thing (to me at least) is how comfortable it is.  I wore this bra all day (about 12 hours) and I’ve gotta say, it is darn comfy!  When I first put it on and then put on my shirt, I will say that I was like “Dang, that’s a lot of boob!”  Not only does it give maximum cleavage (as the S style is known for), with the pads in it adds that extra oomph that sets it over the top. Definitely not a bra to wear if you are looking to minimize your assets!  When I wear a bra for the first time, I pay extra close attention to the fit and feel, and can say I was very happy with Glamour.  The straps are on the stretchy side, not super firm, but fully adjustable and didn’t slip at all throughout the day.  There was no digging or poking at the gore like some bras have, and I felt like it stayed in place with very minimal adjusting throughout the day. All of my bras are comfortable, but I do have the ones that I’m very happy to take off after a long day of work, this one I didn’t feel the need to remove immediately, which is a huge plus in my book!  Also, the seams were barely noticeable under my tight-fitting shirt, another huge plus!  I can safely say this bra will be added to my rotation and will be worn very regularly.

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Now to address  my original concern, which was the similarity between Glamour and Paris.  As you can see in the comparison picture below, yes they are similar, but I’d more say that Glamour is like Paris on steroids!  Where Paris is a dusty purple, the fabric in Glamour is actually gray with purple undertones and has more of a sheen to it.  Glamour also has the pink satin ribbon across the seam of the cup, on the gore, as well as sewn into the straps.  What really kicks Glamour up to a whole new level is the the lace overlay Ewa chose to use.  It is quite possibly some of the most beautiful lace I have ever seen.  Its a grayish pink with (what looks like) silver thread woven through it, which almost makes it sparkle.  I would definitely recommend this for any of you who wanted (but missed out on) Paris, anyone who loves gray bras, well heck, I’d recommend this to everyone!

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Glamour also has matching undies that you can purchase if you are a “sets” kinda girl. Unfortunately for me, they are only available in “full bums” and I’m a thong girl (or as the AEE ladies jokingly refer to it, “team butt crack” 😉 ).  Below are stock photos of the matching undies, which look just as beautiful as the bra.

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Glamour has quickly become one of (if not the) most beautiful bras I own. It’s subtle and elegant details coupled with the outstandingly craftsmanship and design that Ewa puts into all her undergarments really makes this bra a complete package winner in my book!  If you have been on the fence up until now, I’d encourage you to scoop Glamour up before its too late!

Comexim’s Garden of Eden

As any busty girl knows, finding a swimsuit that fits properly can be quite a struggle.  And then to find one that’s pretty as well?  Forget about it!  Prior to my “upgrade” a year ago, my 30DD boobs could fit into pretty much any suit I wanted (triangle and bandeau tops being my favorite 😉 ).  But once I had 30GG/H boobs, I found that swimsuit shopping became so frustrating that I didn’t even enjoy it.  Bandeau tops made me feel like my boobs were falling out the bottom, and triangle tops kind of fit, but aren’t very appropriate (or supportive) for a day at the pool with my kiddos.  So I was super excited when I found out that one of my favorite Polish bra companies, Comexim also made swimwear!

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Courtesy of Comexim’s Facebook page

 I started doing some research on Comexim suits last year, but to be honest I was in the middle of building up my bra collection and couldn’t bring myself to spend any of my limited bra funds on a suit quite yet.  Additionally, by the time I became serious about purchasing one it was already late summer/early fall and I figured by the time I got it, snow would be on the ground!  So I decided to wait until this year to make my first swimsuit purchase.  I checked out the Comexim site, and though I loved Pin Up Girl I was really hoping to get a new design for the new season, so I decided to wait and see what they would come out with.  And then there it was…in a Facebook post on Comexim’s page showing a model in a white bikini with a gorgeous floral pattern!

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From the moment I saw it, I was pretty much hooked and knew this was the suit I had been waiting for!  Now for the waiting game…checking Facebook and the Comexim site constantly, waiting for it to be released…waiting…and waiting…and waiting.  By the beginning of March I was getting frantic.  I knew that if I wanted a swimsuit before pool season, I needed to order it pronto.  Typically I’d just email Anna, the owner of Comexim and ask her (she is super sweet, and is always happy to answer questions), but since I was already in contact with Jaimie at Bra Obsessed, I decided to ask her.  Like a kick in the gut, Jaimie delivered the tragic news that Comexim had decided not to release this suit.  I was crushed.  As if Jaimie could literally see my heart breaking all the way from Canada, within hours she emailed me back and said that she spoke with Anna and though the suit would not be released on the Comexim site, she did have a limited amount of fabric left and would be happy to make me one!  Talk about turning a frown upside down 🙂  And as the flowers started to bloom and spring arrived, so did my gorgeous Garden of Eden!

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As I had mentioned earlier, I have never owned a Comexim suit before so I can’t speak for the design or details of previous suits in her collection.  But what I can say is that I was seriously impressed with this suit!  I was a little nervous that since this was a suit made by a company that primarily made bras, that the suit might look more like a bra than swimwear but it was not the case at all.  I purchased Garden of Eden in size 65J (my typical Comexim bra size) and I will say that is very true to size.  The material is very light weight and thin, but not see-through at all; and all of the details on it are on point.  The top is composed of a three-part cup that is lightly lined and the material gathers delicately towards the gore where a pretty lime green bow sits. The straps are adjustable with silver fixtures that match the silver clasp in the back.  Unlike their bras, the band is not adjustable so I would suggest going with a snugger band (since it will stretch a bit when wet as well).  The floral pattern looks very much like a water color painting, with beautiful bright and colorful flowers painted over a white canvas.

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For those who don’t like “matchy” suits, you could always buy your swimsuit bottom separately in either solid white or in any of the other numerous colors that are on the top.  But I decided to go for the whole enchilada and order the matching bottoms as well.  In my experience, Comexim bottoms typically run on the small side so although I wear size small, I always order a medium from Comexim.  The bottoms are in a standard bikini bottom style with white circle accents on each side that hold the front and back together.  I think they are beautiful but my one critique is that I wish the circles were in the same silver as the fixtures on the top, as I think it would tie the two pieces together better.

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Overall I am super impressed with my first Comexim swimsuit and am excited to purchase more!  The details, quality and craftsmanship are top notch.  To date I am only aware of a few Garden of Edens that have been purchased and have been told by Anna at Comexim that she is not sure how many more she would be able to make, since the fabric is very limited.  If you would like to try to get your hands on one, you can either email Anna directly at sklep@comexim.pl or by contacting Jaimie at Bra Obsessed.  Also, if you are unable to purchase Garden of Eden, or if you want to try a different Comexim suit for yourself, Bra Obsessed is currently offering three exclusive Comexim swimsuits shown below.  Please note: The black top will be in a plunge (and not the half cup shown in this photo) and the bottoms will be available in a cheeky thong or a full bottom. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you can all enjoy this upcoming summer with a beautiful and well-fitting swimsuit!