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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

 

 

Panache Sports Vest review

Hello lovely readers!  I have a new review for you today, but I wanted to start with a bit of chit chat.

I’m sure that everyone seen the latest Spring offerings from Ewa Michalak.   Personally, I’ve placed an order for the gorgeous Ewa Michalak Opium set in S cut.  I think it will be the perfect Spring bra.  I’m so in love with the poppy printed fabric and the pink trim.  It is a rare thing when Ewa Michalak releases swimwear and so I’ve also ordered the new  Saint Tropez bikini, although to be honest, I’m really on the fence with how I feel about those high waisted bottoms.  I wish there had been options, but I still went ahead and ordered, so we shall see!   Speaking of swimwear, if you are subscribed to her email updates you will have seen that Bra Obsessed will be releasing two Comexim bikinis which are exclusive to Bra Obsessed and I’ve chosen the nautical bikini.  Can’t wait!  When my order comes in, I’m going to drive out to Bra Obsessed to collect my goodies in person, so stay tuned for that as a future post.  I’ve also recently returned from a Caribbean holiday where I put my last season’s Comexim bikinis to the test and I will report on that in another post.  So lots to look forward to.

But before I have to  review  bikinis for you, I’ve been at least trying to make an effort to get to the gym more often.  And that means sports bras.  I don’t have a huge inventory of sports bras but I thought it would be good to review what I do have, starting with my most recent purchase, the Panache Sports Vest.  I saw this one for a steal of a deal on eBay and grabbed it up in 30G.  The link to the  seller I used can be found HERE  in case you are interested in scooping one up for yourself.  I have used this seller, NatureFigures, in the past and have had no issues at all. Here is a stock picture of the item:

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This item also is available in a bright coral/pink colourway but I felt that the black would go better with my selection of black yoga pants 😉

I liked the idea of the bra being built right into the tank top because I often struggle with finding the right match of gym top / bra so that I don’t get bra straps etc. showing out in the open.  I’m kind of fussy about that and I prefer to have my bra hidden, so this seemed like a great solution.  You can see in the picture below that it has a regular hook and eye bra closure.

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The hook and eye bra closure is completely hidden by the back of the top that sits on top of it.

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I had thought that the built-in bra was the exact same as the very popular 5021 Panache seamed model, which I own and I know it fits well, so this purchase seemed like a no-brainer.   You can see how my 5021 fits me in the photo below.

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However, I was surprised to see, on closer examination, that the bra is actually a seamless bra as you can see in the photo below where I’ve put the vest on and then pulled up the vest to reveal the  built-in bra.

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The thing I find unusual about the construction of this bra is that the cups continue long after the centre gore construction ends.  In the photo below, you can see the bra inside out.

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In the picture below, my finger is touching the point at which the wires end.

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While the cups seem to fit me properly and snugly everywhere else, I do have a bit of emptiness right in that upper inner boob part, above where those wires end, which you can hopefully see back in that first picture where I am showing the bra on me.  I would think most women would experience this same issue.  Although this gap must mean a compromise of support in that exact area, at least it is a small area and you can’t see this issue with the vest pulled down over top of the bra.  I’ll add a few shots of other angles of the bra on me.  First is a side view, followed by a bottoms up.  You can see in the side view that the bra gives a somewhat natural shape as opposed to a very rounded shape as I would have expected in  a seamless cup:

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The shoulder straps contain a hook at the back, enabling you to wear the vest as a racer back, which will give some extra support and stability.

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It was a slight struggle to put this sport vest on and I had to do it up with the closure at the front and then carefully wiggle it around to the back.  I did think that the act of putting it on constituted a workout in itself, however, in pursuit of a fair review, I continued on to the gym.

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Once at the gym, I joined into a rather intense Cardio Kick-Box class, for which I lasted approximately a third of the class before I thought I was actually going to throw up or pass out or possibly both, and so, in the interests of safety and preserving what little dignity I had left, I sat out in the hall and waited for the beginner Zumba class to start.    I did survive the entire 40 minute Zumba class and so I can safely tell you that the bra did its job quite well.  I felt as secure and bounce-free in it as I do in my Panache 5021, which is my favourite work horse gym bra.

As for the outer appearance of it as a work out top, it is a clingy spandex fabric.  It can accentuate tummy trouble.  I felt that it had a bit of a swimsuit look to it.  In fact, I’m sure it could do double duty as a tankini top if you are interested in using it for that purpose.    I felt that the colourful side panels drew attention to my chest, and made me look extra boobalicious which made me feel a bit self-conscious.  Because the fabric is a clingy synthetic, it did get sweat soaked quite quickly.

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All in all though, I thought it worked pretty well, looked fairly decent and has made a good addition to my sport bra collection.  What do you think of the Panache Sports Vest?  And I’d love to know what your favourite sports bra is!

The Panache Sports Bra Review

I always thought a sports bra would be the easiest type of bra to find after having my BA. But as it turns out, this may not actually be the case. I try to exercise every day and have been making do with a cheap sports bra I bought from Kmart (an Aussie budget department store) in a 12DD (34DD). I usually wear a 6HH (28HH). Yeah. Clearly it’s time for an upgrade. So I looked to my much appreciated email pen-pal at Brava Lingerie, Becky, to see what she could recommend in my size. I was presented with three potential options and decided to go with the Panache Sports Bra, which through Brava costs AUD$79.95 and comes in a huge variety of colours – some of which you can see modelled here by the lovely Jelz (30G) and Baby (28H & 28GG) respectively.

 

 

 

I am a sucker for anything coral and so I fell in love with the coral/grey colour and as there were no 6 (28) bands in stock, I opted for an 8H (30H). The 8H however was far too roomy. It fit over my boobs but felt like a lot of bra, and not exactly supportive. I had since conferred with my fellow bloggers and discovered the sizing can be a little off in this range. So thanks to Brava’s free and easy return/exchange system, I was able to swap out my 8H for an 8GG with no problems. It arrived beautifully wrapped as always 🙂

 

But also as always, it didn’t stay that way for long 😉

  

I really do love the coral and grey combo of this bra. It’s bright and fun but still says “let’s get sweaty”. The material is pleasantly soft and extremely comfortable, and is punctuated by breathable fabric along both of the straps and the length of the centre gore. For a sports bra, it’s actually very pretty. I was also excited to note the J hook located on the left strap. It’s always handy to have the option to go racerback.

 

My first moment of terror came when I really looked at the gore. It is wide, high and appears pretty unforgiving for a close set gal like me. The idea I presume is to provide solid separation and therefore maximum support while working out. Which would be fantastic, if it fit.

It actually is a decent fit. It looks awesome on (if I do say so myself) and unlike the H cups which swam on me, the GG’s give the perfect amount of encapsulation.

  

I was very impressed with the side profile. You wouldn’t have to worry about this looking pointy or squashy under a top, it gives a great round and uplifted shape.

The band is snug but not as snug as I would like, which I should have expected as it is a band size up from what I normally wear. But being a sports bra I thought this might not matter. However it seems I was wrong, as to get the firm feeling I like I’ve already got this on the second set of hooks (of which there are 3 in total).

  

So it all seems to be going rather well so far, don’t you think? Well so did I, until I looked directly down. And shock horror, the gore floats. It doesn’t even come close to tacking between my close set cleavage. I can almost see the bra trying to come in at that point, but it just cant do it, so instead I can see right through to my toes. Sadface 😦

I could just deal with it and wear it anyway. It’s still a great bra in my opinion but I just don’t think it works for me. I could always try a 6GG or H perhaps and see if the tighter band helps pull everything in. But after more chatter with my blogging buddies I don’t think so. They have reported the same issue with the floating gore in a variety of sizes. This is a real shame, but one which I think is just an anatomy thing and not an actual fault of the bra itself. This bra would most likely be perfect for ladies who are not so narrow, projected and close set. Which means for me that the sports bra quest will continue – watch this space for more adventures to come! 🙂

An Enhanced Experience – from us to you

Welcome!
We are a group of eight diverse women representing three countries (and many States), namely America, Canada and Australia. We represent a wide variety of shapes and sizes; wearing band sizes 26 through 38 and cup sizes F through N. We range in age from early 20s through late 40s. We all have different needs, wants and expectations in our bra and lingerie wardrobes, which brings our individual wealth of unique experiences to share, and that is what sets us apart from other lingerie blogs.

A little bit about us:
We met on an online breast augmentation forum, sharing our post-augmentation bra purchasing successes and failures. That’s right, we are all enhanced. Our reasons for having breast surgery are just as diverse as we are. We were a support group for each other, offering an encouraging word, advice and insight for one another through our bra ups and downs. Whether you are enhanced or not, considering implants or not, we hope you will find our blog to be an excellent resource for information on bra fitting, bra purchasing, bust friendly clothing and so much more. Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog! Please come back often and see what we are up to and working on. We will be doing reviews, features, interviews and more!

~ The Enhanced Experience Team