Karlee Smith- Body Love Snap Bra 

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

20 weeks pregnant

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

Bra on initial try on

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

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

Several 48 hour wear tests.

2+ miles of walking in 90 degree heat.

Low impact stretching and weight lifting.

Nightly use as a sleep bra.

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

Initial try on

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

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

Bra Details

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

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

My old sleep bra 😦

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

Initial try on

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

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

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

Advertisements

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.

Body-Love-Front-Close-Sport-Bra-Pink-Pin-Stripes-by-Karlee-Smith-570x708

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.

collage-2016-07-10

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.

014

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.

087

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.

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!

Screenshot 2016-06-23 at 8.29.56 PM

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!

Screenshot 2016-06-23 at 8.57.45 PM

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!

image2 (20)

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.

image3 (8)

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!

image1 (37)

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 – 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.

body-love-sports-bra-white-model-background-570x708

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!

***

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

 

 

SM Triumf a Nude Necessity

Where do I begin….well there was a long time in my life that I only wore nude or black bras with the most padding I could possibly find to help even out my figure.  I’ve always been extra small on top and after nursing 4 kiddos I was very deflated and lacked fullness.  Couple that with larger hips and I was left feeling disproportionate  until I had my breast augmentation.  I recently went through revision surgery and now I am very happy with my new proportions and I love wearing unlined bras for the first time in my life, no more thick  padding for me!  So my Polish bra obsession kicked in and I will admit that I need to have every shade of the rainbow and I also swore to never look for a beige bra again.  I often find myself matching my vibrant, colorful sets to whichever top I’ve chosen that day,  a beautiful red strap peeking out of a red blouse is fine with me 🙂  Alas there are times when those brilliant pops of color just won’t work under a white tee-shirt or light blouse and not having a completely nude bra just won’t suffice.  Just as I started my search Ewa Michalak released the gorgeous SM Triumf  (an unlined balconette style) and immediately knew I had to add it to my colorful collection.  Little did I know just how stunning this bra would be in person and you just can’t beat the trademark Ewa Michalak fit.  Narrow wires and great projection. are perfect for my augmented breasts and with it hitting 115 where I live in the summer months an unlined bra is a necessity!

The floral patterned lace of Triumf is intricate, but not too delicate and it is the perfect shade to completely disappear under a white top on my complexion.

1464475094518(1)

The gore is narrow and the wires overlap slightly so it’s a wonderful fit for my very close set breasts.  I’ve noticed that Triumf along with a few other SM styles I’ve tried have a firmer band and the wires feel stronger,  I’m not sure if it’s literally a stronger wire or if it just feels that way since it’s an unlined bra lacking padding.  It’s as if there is wonderful support with an almost airy,  freeing feeling since there isn’t extra fabric and I absolutely love the lightness!  I get a nice lifted round shape with forward projection that looks great under a fitted tee-shirt so it is exactly what I needed for my collection, a very un-boring nude bra with a subtle sexiness.

1464474817567

I ordered SM Triumf in a 65gg after reading that the unlined styles by Ewa Michalak ran on the firm side and I found this to be very true as I stated previously.  It’s a perfect fit on the loosest hooks for my 26.5 underbust.  The 65gg has a 3 hook closure for added band support and in my experience I prefer the extra stability and comfort it provides.

1464502497473The cups are a strong non-stretch lace and where the cup meets the strap the lace is doubled-up I assume for strength so the lace won’t tear.  The band itself is a satiny, stretchy material that is soft and luxurious.  Ewa Michalak never disappoints when it comes to adding the perfect little extra touches on her bras… from the tiny bow and round crystal gore detail to the scalloped lace edging on the tops of the cups,  this nude bra is a stunner.

1464475038872(1)

In my pictures it may seem as if it’s cutting in a bit when in actuality that’s just my relaxed skin after 4 pregnancies,  I call it my bra roll,  in a grumbled voice of course.  The bra sits nicely in my crease and the gore tacks well, although after a few hours the gore sort of folds to the right or left over itself since my breasts sit so close together.  It’s not uncomfortable and I’m not sure if it’s just an augmented breast issue but I could see others experiencing the same thing if they are very center heavy.  The cups are the perfect depth and filled nicely.

20160506_091306

I’m thrilled to have another well-fitting work of “bra art” by Ewa Michalak in a nude shade and just in time as we’ve had a few 100 degree days already!  Have you tried Triumf?  I would love to hear your thoughts and if you’ve been eyeing this beauty I suggest adding it to your collection,  you won’t be disappointed.

Full Busted – or just Busted?

 

My co-bloggers and I recently had a lively discussion over what each of our definitions of full busted was and whether or not we considered our own selves to be full busted.

Personally, being in the 30G / GG UK range, I just don’t consider myself to be full busted.  I wear ‘full busted’ bras and swimwear,  but I feel that is only in the sense of the bra cups being larger in contrast with the bands being smaller.  That plus (in my area) anything below a 32 band is available only in a specialty shop.   Sure, G for Ginormous and all that, but on a 30 band? Its not all that and a bag of chips if you ask me.

According to this article from Medical Daily, the average American woman wears a bra size of 34DD.    If you sister sized me into a 34 band (I realize that wouldn’t fit, but just for argument’s sake…), I’d be not much over that average size.

According to Wikepedia, the definition of a full bust is having a cup size of at least C.  I have a question for Wikepedia.  C what?  C28?  C48?   There is a difference and the difference is real.  Real big.

So if we go with 34DD as the average size, then are most women full busted?

To me, I equate being truly full busted with having difficulty in finding clothing that fits properly, with having back pain, with struggling to find a bra that offers adequate support, coverage and comfort, having shoulder straps that dig in painfully due to breast weight.   My issues are limited  to occasionally struggling to find fitted dresses that fit properly.  The small band / larger cup bras and swimsuits are out there and easy enough to obtain so I don’t count bra / sport bra / swimsuit issues.  Back pain?  Never.   My issues sounds pretty petty, don’t they?

I’ve asked a few of my co-bloggers to tell us their thoughts…

Baby:  

I view full busted as more along the lines of proportion. The bust being fuller in size compared to hips and shoulders, not necessarily just the ribcage/band measurement. I fit the definition of full busted but I actually feel I am in proportion with my hips and shoulders.
That said, I do have some problems finding clothing but nothing extreme that I can’t get around by ordering online.

Yoomee:

I more look at the “big picture” when I think about bust size and if I would consider someone (including myself) full busted.  Purely looking at the numbers (proportion and cup size), I would be considered full busted. My bust is wider than my waist and hips and I wear a GG to H cup, though my band is 28-30.  However, I personally don’t think I look like I have humongous boobs at all. I also think there is a difference in the appearance of “big boobs” if you look at most natural breasts compared to enhanced.  In comparison, I think my boobs look very comparable to natural DDs. So am I full busted?  Yes. Do I perceive myself as full busted?  Not really. 

img_2892

Treschic:

I agree that breast size is relative to the body they belong to.  I am 5’9 and almost 200 lbs, I’ve been called ‘statuesque’, ‘amazonian’, and ‘big boned’ but the reality is I’m a big girl 🙂 I was a 36B prior to my surgery, and received 800cc implants.  On a smaller woman, 800ccs can look huge, but in my opinion I just look well proportioned.  I now wear a 36Gish UK, which most would consider full busted, and I suppose I am, but I don’t have any problems finding clothes or bras.  I think a lot of that is due to the fact that, unlike many of my fellow bloggers here at AEE, I don’t wear a small band.  I also wore a larger clothing size prior to my augmentation, so all my clothes still fit fine…better even!  

IMG_6966
This photo shows how angles play a big part in how big they look.
FullSizeRender
In proportion to my whole body, I think my boobs look very average sized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanzilove:

The terms “full busted” and “projection” seem to get thrown around quite loosely. I agree with my fellow bloggers and their opinions on being full busted. I am a 36I US. I am what most women would consider to be full busted. Do I have problems finding clothes that fit properly? No. Are my breasts constantly exposed because my tops are too tight or too small? No. Don’t get me wrong. There are some things that just wont work. Some things will not fit well and won’t look good but these things are easily replaced with other styles. Like my fellow blogger Treschic, I am not a smaller band size. I wear an average band size. My bust size is pretty consistent with the rest of me. I do have a smaller waist, but I have hips and booty. Definitely curvy.

Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. My daughter measures at a UK 28FF. Is she full busted? My opinion, and hers: absolutely not. She is tall and thin. That still doesn’t put her in the “full busted” category as far as we are concerned. She can wear whatever she wants; string bikinis, bralettes, etc. She doesn’t experience back pain or limitations because of her bust size. She is comfortable with her natural size and doesn’t feel the need to exaggerate it, or play up the fact that she is a 28 FF. She considers herself normal. No one stares at her, no one asks her about her “huge boobs”.

***

We’d love to know what you think?  What is your definition of full busted?  What do you think the definition should be?

Until next time,

Jelz and the AEE team

 

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!

image1 (30)
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!

image1 (32)

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!

image1 (31)

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.

image2 (17)

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.

image1 (33)

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!

The Majestic Lady Grey by Comexim

Hi ladies! It literally feels like forever since I’ve written a review for you all, but since buying a new home last fall I’ve not been able to keep up on my usual bra purchasing habits and therefore have not really had anything to write about. However, I am happy to say that along with this bra I also have a couple more on the way so I’m hoping to get some good reviews out for your reading pleasure!

Lady Grey is a bra that was originally made by Anna Pardal and first became available last summer. When it was first released, it had a satin ribbon edging that lined the tops of the cups (as seen below in this picture of Gogobee), but I believe that it caused some fitting issues so they later decided to remove that detail from the newer Lady Greys they made.

 

When this bra originally came out and several of our AEE ladies purchased it, I was obsessed immediately. But due to the ribbon issues I had heard about and the fact that I was still unsure about purchasing an Anna Pardal because of the heftier price tag than Comexim or Ewa Michalak, I held off. Then when we heard the sad news that Anna Pardal was closing its doors, I immediately fell into a regret spiral for not purchasing it when I could.  Luckily, shortly after hearing about AP, we heard the great news that Comexim (who had been producing the bras for AP) would continue to make them while they had the materials to do so.  I was elated and swore that I wouldn’t let this beauty get away from me a second time!

image2 (14)

As any of you who are regular readers of our blog know, we are huge fans of Jaimie at Bra Obsessed.  Though I have always been a “direct buy” kind of girl, purchasing my bras directly through Comexim and Ewa Michalak, this time I decided to try a retailer and reached out to Jaimie.  She was so sweet and wonderful to work with.  Given that the last bra I ordered from AP was a 30GG, I decided to stick with that size for my Lady Grey, ordering a standard plunge with no alterations.   Then I waited…and let me tell you, after being on a bra-buying dry spell for the last few months, I forgot how excruciating it is waiting for my bras to come in!  But finally it did come.  As I say with almost every bra I purchase, Lady Grey is even more beautiful and luxurious in person than in the pictures.  Not to say anything negative at all about my other Polish bras, but the AP bras definitely have a high quality luxury look and feel to them that is quite stunning.  

image1 (24)

The first thing I noticed when I put on Lady Grey was how nice and firm the band and straps were.  It felt very secure and supportive without feeling constricting or uncomfortable.  I thought I had died and gone to Polish bra heaven!  But then upon further inspection of the fit, I noticed that there was a slight pointiness at the apex of the bra, where it wasn’t laying flat against my breasts.  My first thought was that the size might be slightly too big and that my breasts were not fully filling the cups.  I immediately sent the picture to my fellow AEE girls for their thoughts, and it was very clear to them that the cup was actually too small and that I needed to order the next size up, a 30H.  Over the next couple of hours I did that back and forth thing, trying to decide if I should just settle for a bra that was a little too small instead of having to send this bra back and wait for another one to be made (did I mention how much I hate waiting for bras 😉 ?), but in the end I decided that the girls were right and I needed to send it back.  Now one of the greatest perks about ordering through Bra Obsessed (and something I had never been able to experience before) is how easy exchanges and returns are.  I emailed Jaimie that night and asked if she happened to have a 30H in stock, and to my great joy, she did!  She mailed it out to me the very next day and I sent her back my too-small bra.  Easy peasy!

Now, have you ever had a time where you thought something fit fine…until you tried on anther size that fit you perfectly, and it was only then that you realized how poorly the original size fit?  That was basically my experience when my 30H came in.  The 30H did come with a couple alterations, with the straps moved in 3 cm and pockets added into the cups, but no alterations to the actual cups.  Below I have a comparison picture of Lady Grey in 30GG (bottom) and in 30H (top).  As you can see in the 30GG, the apex is too low (causing the pointiness), and the cups are too narrow which push my breasts in too much.  Though the gore is 1.75 cm taller in the bigger size, it is still low enough that the gore is comfortable and the wires don’t sit on my breast tissue at all. It was also a blessing in disguise that this bra already had the straps moved in, since I think that with the larger sized cup, the straps might have been too wide otherwise.

IMG_2251

I have worn Lady Grey both on the weekend and at work, wanting to try it out when I’m running around doing different activities as well as when I’m sitting at my desk job, just to try out it’s comfort level and I’d have to say that this in my top 2 or 3 most comfortable bras I own.  There are a couple of very specific reasons why I say this.  The first is that the band stays put.  I have a few bras that no matter how tight I make the band, because of the material it seems that the band likes to creep up throughout the day and I have to adjust it down.  This band is firm, yet very comfortable and it doesn’t move up my back even when I’m moving around a lot.  The second reason is that the gore is very comfortable.  I find that with most of my bras, by the end of a long day I can feel the gore starting to dig in a bit. I wore this bra for about 8 hours the first day and 10 hours the second and I felt no digging at all.  Overall I am so glad that I was able to purchase this gorgeous bra, and even happier that I didn’t settle for an “almost fitting” size and was able to get one that fit perfectly!

NOTE: Due to needing the larger cup size, I decided to remeasure my breast depth (it had been a while since I’ve done this). I’ve had my implants for 14 months and have had a 10.5″ depth since about 3 months post op, but it appears they have settled a bit more and now am measuring at 10.75″ (left) and 11″ (right). So it looks like I’ll be needing to size up in all my future bra purchases.  Oh darn…I guess I need some new bras 😉

 

 

 

Baby’s story

Today marks the 7 year anniversary of my first breast augmentation. It seems fitting that I use this date to share the story behind my choice, even as I am still working on understanding it completely.
**trigger warning- I’ll be talking about sexual assault (not rape) and the effects on me. Additionally I’ll be talking about my own body, using terms that I felt at the time. My words toward my own body are just that, my own for me. They are in no way meant to be taken as a statement towards someone else’s body.

Pre surgery, no bra

 

I’ll start by talking a bit about me and then go on to what changed. I was your average petite girl through school. By the time of my high school graduation, I was 5’1.5″ and 94lbs. In some ways I was an early bloomer; puberty started and appeared to end early. Breast buds started in elementary school but never passed that stage. I kept a boyish figure until my early 20’s, then I got a bit of curve to my hips.

Pre surgery, padded bikini top

 

Through school I dealt with the normal comments. “Itty bitty titty committee.” “Why do you bother wearing a bra?” And many more that were much more hurtful that I won’t put into writing. It was during this time that I had a life changing event. (*here’s where the talk about sexual assault starts, just a fair warning.) At the ripe age of 16, dating what was maybe the third person I had dated, I experienced a sexual assault. I was fortunate that it did not progress, but it left me feeling completely disassociated with my breasts. It was focused on my breasts alone.  My words of rejection were not respected. Being only 16 I handled it in the best way I knew how. I told my parents a partial truth and shoved it all aside in the deepest parts of my mind. Little did I know just how much I pushed aside and how this would change my views of my body.

Pre surgery, padded 32AA bra, empty gapping cups.

 

Years later I met the man that I would marry. Along with this came my first positive experiences toward sex and my own sexuality. My ideas about sex changed drastically and quickly, but there was a part still hidden deeply. I can’t express in words what I felt towards my breasts; but it was expressed in an extreme show of modesty, the fear of being seen or touched. I still struggle with modesty and feeling comfortable today.

My feelings of modesty and protection towards my breasts was something my husband respected, but questioned at the same time. It wasn’t until years later, after my first breast augmentation, that I told him some details of what happened to me.

After my first surgery, 397cc mod+

 

While in the military, my path crossed with someone who planned on having their breast augmentation after we returned from deployment. Following on her research I really started to consider it for me. I had initially discounted the idea of surgery as being too painful. However, after a stomach surgery with a long recovery I decided a beast augmentation couldn’t hold a candle on that and it would be worth it to love my breasts. That’s where I made a mistake. I knew I wanted to have a breast augmentation, but I hadn’t come to terms with the why behind the want and why I didn’t love my breasts.

After surgery, with complications

 

Having my surgery was good for me in a few ways. I went for an average implant size in a moderate plus profile. All was good until a few months in and  then it wasn’t. My left breast started bottoming out (settling too low) and the right healed in a way that left it oval shaped instead of round. I was going to need a second surgery. This time I spent a lot more time researching what look I wanted, for me.

The happiest I had been my first implants

With the need to revise in front of me I spent a lot of time looking at different augmented breasts, sizes and shapes. I decided to go with a uhp silicone implant to get the look and size that I wanted. Just three months after my revision I got pregnant. Planned, but earlier than expected. The changes of healing, pregnancy, and breastfeeding all worked to change my relationship with my breasts. I felt like the size was me. Breastfeeding gave them a purpose, pushed me to expose myself at home (an environment I am comfortable in), and forced me to associate with my breasts in a way I hadn’t before. Weaning took this purpose away and left an emptiness.

And today. And I love them.

And here’s where we are now. After weaning I bought my first Polish bras in my new size, and took a look at myself. I wore the same bras in a different size while nursing, but things were different now. During this time my husband was gone for a deployment, it was just me and my own feelings about my body. I guess you could say I did a little bit of soul searching. After a year away, my husband came home. I’ve learned to appreciate a new side to these boobs, the TMI side. 😉 With the movement to normalize breasts, breastfeeding and free the female nipple, the idea of the sexuality of breasts is becoming taboo. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn to see and love them for my own sexuality. This slow process has helped me break the remnants and disassociation having my breasts assaulted left behind. I am happy with them now. I love them for what they are. I see their many purposes. I do wonder how the future will change my feelings. A breast augmentation isn’t a one time thing, I know at some point in my life I will have surgery on them again, and hopefully it is many years down the line. My current implants are 4 years old, have been through pregnancy, breastfeeding, weaning, weight gain, weight loss. They have plenty of time left!

Ugly Betties

Before my surgery, you would never hear me talking about bras, or at least not with happiness or excitement.  If I did mention them to anyone, it was to moan and complain about how much I hated them, and my boobs.  Nothing ever fit.  I always had empty, gaping cups, or an awful (to me) pointy shape if the bra wasn’t padded.  Even while breastfeeding my daughter, the only one of three children I could successfully breastfeed, my boobs were ugly pointy reminders that I was deformed.

I always knew I looked different from everyone else.  I didn’t look like my Mom or my sister, or any of my friends that changed in front of me, completely free of inhibitions because they looked ‘normal.’  It wasn’t until I tried to breastfeed my first baby that I came to learn that not only were they ugly, but they were also useless.  They couldn’t even do what boobs are designed for.  I had nightmares about what I would do in a zombie apocalypse if I couldn’t get formula and feed my baby.  One night, at about 2 a.m. in a sleep deprived stupor, I realized that the can of formula I had just bought that day was expired.  I immediately drove to the grocery store where I bought it and pounded on the door until a poor unsuspecting night stocker opened the door and took the brunt of my wrath.  Fearing for his life, he exchanged the can and backed away slowly before calling the police, I’m sure.  I cried like a baby when I got back into my car because I shouldn’t have to buy formula!  I read all the books, I made sure every nurse on the floor where I delivered knew not to give him a pacifier.  I fed all day and all night.  I fed him until I was bleeding, but he still screamed.  When I realized that despite all my efforts, I was  essentially starving my baby, I was devastated.  My body had betrayed me, and there was nothing I could do about it.  One day I was watching a show about plastic surgery and a woman was having a consultation for a breast augmentation.  I noticed right away that her boobs looked like mine!  When the doctor told her she had tuberous breasts, and that it was a congenital defect,  I immediately looked it up online.  What I found were dozens of other women with stories just like mine.  It was comforting but it also made me hate my breasts even more.  I always wanted surgery to make them look more normal, but now that I knew they were actually deformed?  The idea of slicing and dicing them appealed to me even more.  For years I pled with my husband to have the surgery.  He hated the idea and didn’t want to talk about it.  Money was always tight anyway, so it just wasn’t in the cards.  I had my 2nd baby, and I didn’t even try to breastfeed.  My mom urged me to just try, but I couldn’t even talk about it.  I had a form of post traumatic stress over it.  I could not go through it again.  Then of course, PPD kicked in and I felt like a criminal for not trying.  When we started talking about having a third baby, I decided I would try everything I could to breastfeed, even if it only met some of the baby’s needs.  Through a lot of research, lactation consultants, herbs and tears, I was able to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with my 3rd and last baby.  When she was done nursing at almost 2 years old, I decided I was going to finally have surgery to correct my ugly Betties.  By this time my husband was on board, and we had the money to do it.  It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.  Someday, if there’s interest, I’ll write a post in detail about the surgery process.

Fast forward to 3 months after surgery.  I met a group of women online that had an almost cult-like love of Polish bras.  Polish?!  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  If you size out of Victoria’s Secret which seems like the only place to buy bras (it’s not!) and you don’t want to wear something that looks like your ancestors who came through Ellis Island wore, you need a Polish bra.  They are a thing of beauty…and support!  They are beautiful, fit wonderfully (usually after some trial and error) and give amazing shape.  For some reason, a lot of bra makers think that if you’re larger than a D cup, you want to wear something called a “Minimizer.”  Um, nope!  I bought these bad boys, I want them on display!  I want cleavage and lift, and I want pretty colors, and fabrics!  Polish brands just get it.  They get that even women in a ‘N’ cup (yup, we’ve got one of those!) want a pretty bra, and they want it to fit without the cups coming up to their neck, or without wires wrapping around to their back.  If you’ve never heard of Polish bras, please do yourself and your boobs a favor and have a good look around here.  If you have heard of them, stay tuned for reviews of specific bras and brands and leave a comment about your favorites!

 

xo Treschic