Karlee Smith- Body Love Snap Bra 

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

20 weeks pregnant

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

Bra on initial try on

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

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

Several 48 hour wear tests.

2+ miles of walking in 90 degree heat.

Low impact stretching and weight lifting.

Nightly use as a sleep bra.

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

Initial try on

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

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

Bra Details

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

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

My old sleep bra 😦

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

Initial try on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 – 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!