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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Close Up of Fabric (at hem of skirt):

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

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

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

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

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

Winter Styling:

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

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

Summer Styling:

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Caring for your Delicates / Soak Wash Lingerie Wash Review

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

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

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

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Images courtesy of Soak

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Poshmark.com link

Sweetcouch link

eBay link

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays from MsDizz and I!

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling Fine in Lilly & Lime!

 

Lilly & Lime is a new swimwear company specializing in D cup and up.  The company is owned by two women who had struggled themselves to find attractive bikinis to fit their own D+ busts, and the idea to design their own line was borne.  You can read all about them in our Spotlight story HERE.

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When the owners of Lilly & Lime contacted our blog group and asked if we would be interested in reviewing their swimwear, I headed over to their website and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.  Lilly & Lime offers three different styles of swim tops sized from  UK 28D up to 38HH as well as three different cuts of swim bottoms, sized from UK 8 up to 18.  A very impressive and difficult size range for sure!

I decided to ask for my swim top to be sent in size 30G.  For reference, I wear a 30GG in Ewa Michalak S styles and I have a Panache 5021 sports bra in 30G.   I chose the 30G because I felt reasonably sure that it would be a snug fit in the cups.  When it comes to swimwear tops, I’d rather err on the side of possibly choosing slightly too small as opposed to slightly too large.  I asked for the bottoms to be sent in UK  size 8, which is a US size 4.  You can view their size chart HERE.  Lilly & Lime made the style choices as to what they sent to each of us, although we had made suggestions to them.

My package arrived quickly and I have to say that when it comes to making a great first impression, Lilly & Lime hit it out of the ballpark.   My suit was prettily wrapped in lime tissue, an adorable tote bag was also included, along with a lovely hand written card.  I was delighted to see that I had been sent the Nectarine halter and matching full briefs, which had been my top choice, although I do like all of the other styles and colours as well, and I absolutely love how the entire collection can be mixed and matched.

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In person, I think this suit is even nicer than it appears on the web site.  The colour is vivid and bright, the fabric feels high quality, everything is fully lined and the stitch work is impeccable. I adore the little metal suit tags with the LL logo.  Both the wires and the gore are slightly wide but as this is a swim top and not a bra I have no problem with that.  The projection is excellent and the cup depth accommodates my high profile implants well.  This 30″  band measures approximately 24.5″  unstretched and approximately 31″ stretched.   I found it a comfortable fit on my 27″ rib cage.

The suit fits me just as I had hoped it would.    This is my first decent fitting halter style suit and I’m pretty excited about that.  I love that this is a halter because it looks totally like a swimsuit and nothing like a bra, yet I still get great shape and support.  My boobs are not self-supporting and the cups do a good job on providing shape and structure.

 The top provides me with the perfect amount of coverage.  There isn’t oodles of butt-crack cleavage on display but I still get a very feminine, attractive shape, along with having zero fear of any type of dreaded bikini wardrobe malfunction.   No nervous checks or adjustments required!  The height of the full brief bottoms is perfect for me, as is the coverage.  I’ll be 49 in a couple of weeks and each to their own but I just don’t feel comfortable in skimpy bottoms anymore.   I feel completely secure in this suit, but still sexy, for an old girl. 😉

My 14 year old daughter agreed to be my photographer in exchange for a cold bottle of root beer and a pack of sugar-free gum and we headed off to the beach for a quick photo session.  The backdrop is picturesque Lake Erie, one of North America’s Great Lakes, and these pictures show why I’m so in love with this suit.  The cut, colour and fit are flattering and fabulous.

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In order to provide you with a thorough review I have taken this suit through the paces.  It has been to the beach, to the pool, through the wash and worn with the pads in and the pads out.

Each time I’ve worn it, I I’ve felt no discomfort to my neck from the halter straps.  It holds up great while in the water and I didn’t notice any stretching, shifting or any other issue.  It washes well and there has been no colour bleeding or fading.  The clasp locks and unlocks properly.

Now lets take a peek at the inside of the swim top:

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Removable foam pads:

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I prefer the top with the pads in.  The pads gave me a more slightly more structured shape.  I would rather that the cups had a sewn in foam lining instead of the removable pads because if you look close enough, you can see the pad edges through the cups.  I don’t think anyone would notice this though, unless they were up close and staring perhaps.

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This swim top can certainly be worn with the pads out if you prefer.

With the pads out and sopping wet from swimming as shown below, even in a slightly chilly pool you can’t see any evidence of chill due to that full lining 😉

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Lilly & Lime is based in Australia, but in these days of global marketing where on-line buying is the norm, international buying is no longer difficult or unusual by any stretch.  My suit retails for $80.00 AUD for the top and $30.00 AUD  for the bottoms and I felt that this was a fair price for a good fitting, quality and cute swimsuit.  You can use the currency converter on the site or if your country’s conversion isn’t shown, use an on-line currency converter such as  THIS one at xe.com to convert the cost into your own currency (for my fellow Canucks, AUS money is generally similar in value to ours). Free international shipping is offered for all purchases over $100 AUD, so if you buy a full suit, you don’t pay shipping.

Congratulations to Lilly & Lime on nailing it with an excellent first collection.  I can’t wait to see what you do next!

 

Ewa Michalak’s S, SM and SF Styles – Battle of the Bras

With the recent debut of the new SF style (review HERE) from Ewa Michalak, we thought it would be helpful to our readers if we did a comparison of the S, SM and SF styles for you. Although all three styles are similar, they have distinct differences that I will point out that make each one unique and might have you favoring one over the others.

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S Kwaity

 I’d like to first do a short recap the three styles for you, starting with the classic S style. The S is a lightly padded balconette with a higher gore and comes with removable push-up pads to give you that extra oomph and/or help with asymmetry correction.

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SM Amorek

Next is the SM, which is an unlined balconette with a higher gore and cups made of a stable (non-stretchy) material, typically lace or mesh. This style does not come with removable push-up pads.

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SF Gladzioch bez

Lastly we will recap the SF, or Semi-soFt style which the most recent style debuted in the EM line. The SF is a good compromise between the S and SM, being a semi-padded bra with the same high gore as the other two. Like the SM, this style doesn’t come with removable push-up pads. The bottom of the cups are made of a stable (non-stretchy) material while the top of the cups is made of a double layer of elastic tulle, allowing for more stretch and forgiveness up top.

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Now that you know the basics of each style, I’d like to get into comparing the three for you.  Let’s start with their similarities. All three styles come with three or four rows of two or three hook and eyes (depending on size of the bra) as well as fully adjustable straps. They also all are designed in a way that pulls your breasts forward to create maximum cleavage. Due to the medium-to-high gore on these styles (3″ tall on my 65GGs), they are well suited for softer breasts that tend to fall in the center when wearing a bra with a low gore such as the PL style, or if you have wide cleavage and want to pull your breasts closer. The down-side to the higher gore is that these styles can be difficult for women with very close-set breasts, as the gore can tend to sit on the tissue (or implant). Lastly, the cup height is mid-level which makes this an ideal bra to wear with a medium neckline, but may be difficult with a lower cut top.

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Since we have covered the general style and similarities of these three bras lets move on to what makes them so different, and that really is their cups.  Aside from the classic S style being the only one of the three that comes with pockets for removable pads or “cookies”, it also has light padding sewn into the cup.  The positives: it gives you a little extra oomph without feeling like you are wearing a really padded bra; it covers your nips for modesty (no nipping out in this bra); and the lining is very soft against your skin.  The negatives: in warmer weather this bra can be a little hot, creating the dreaded boob sweat we all hate; and if you already feel like your breasts are big enough, the padding on this bra may not be something you are looking for.  The cups of the SM style are pretty much the exact opposite of the S.  This style does not come with removable pads and is constructed of very thin and shear material.  The positives: this bra is a godsend in warm weather, as the cup material is light and airy; and although it pulls your breasts front-and-center, with no padding it doesn’t add any extra bulk to your boobs.  The negatives: if you are more modest (or your office seems to always be frigidly cold like mine is), this bra is going to have you nipping out a bit; and since this bra has no padding or cookies, the sizing is not very forgiving so you will need to have your size down and may not work well if you have a lot of asymmetry.  Last is the SF, which really seems to marry the S and SM together.  Like the SM, this style does not come with removable pads, however the cup is made with a slightly thicker material so it is not sheer.  Also, if you love the shape that the S style gives you but you find that the top of the cups are too closed off, the SF is a great alternative since the tulle at the top allows for more FoT breasts without creating that “muffin top” look that the S style can sometimes make.  The positives: if you like the modesty of the S style but don’t want a padded bra, this is a great compromise; and if you need more room at the top of your cup, this is a great style.  The negatives: like with the SM, since there is no padding, you really need to know your sizing.  NOTE: Another difference I noticed with the SF is that the cups are more full coverage on this bra than on the S or SM styles.

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As far as which is the best style?  I really don’t think any of them are the “best”, as I think that they all serve a purpose, and in my opinion all deserve a spot in your wardrobe 🙂  Personally, I prefer the S style and wear that the majority of the time.  However, on super hot days I will chose between the SM and the SF, and which one I choose is 100% dependent on if I am going to work or not.  As I mentioned earlier, my office building is always freezing and I hate worrying about if my nips are showing, so if I’m going to work then I will wear the SF.  But if it is hot out and I am going to be outside, I almost always reach for my SM.  A small little side note about the SM style for those of you who are also enhanced like me: since I have very little natural tissue and no hang, my breasts do not fill out the very bottom of my cups (a very common thing among implanted ladies).  Though this happens in all my bras, since the SM is sheer it is the only bra where I actually see that gap.  It’s not a big deal, but it did worry me the first time I tried the SM, until I found out this is normal.

If you haven’t tried any of these styles before, my suggestion is always to start with the classic S style first and really get your sizing down.  Once you know what size you are in Ewa Michalak, then branch out to the other styles.  As a quick tip, the SM and the SF do seem to typically run a little big in the cups (or seem that way since there isn’t any padding to fill the cup out a bit), so I might suggest getting a cup size smaller in these styles 😉  I hope you have enjoyed this review and please let us know if you have any questions!

Review: The Dark & Mysterious Ewa Michalak S Kleks

I remember the day that I spotted BM Kleks on the Ewa Michalak website.

It is described on the site as follows:

What’s left after Ink run out in the inkwell? – blot of ink => Kleks 😉
Do you happen to like dark-coloured underwear but feel fed up with black bras? …so there’s a bra ideal for you.
Bra made of fine elastic lace in deep navy blue with black knitwear underlayer will definitely meet your expectations.

Kleks

I was intrigued.  That colour!  That perfect, mysterious shade of midnight blue.  As dark as the night sky, as deep as the darkest secret.  I was hooked.   I wanted it.  Except that Kleks is currently offered in BM style only.  The BM style, in case you don’t know, is an unpadded balconette bra with stretch lace on the top section of the cups.  If you are unfamiliar with the various styles, click HERE and read our blog post on this subject.  I have a thing for S and SM style bras, but I don’t have a thing for BM style bras.  So, I tried to just not look at the BM Kleks but oh that colour!  As dark as my very heart!  It was calling me.  I needed it.   So I did what any reasonable woman would do.  I wrote to Kaska who takes care of emails at Ewa Michalak and I begged to have Kleks made as an S style  ….and my wish was granted!  Note:  style change requests are at the sole discretion of Ewa Michalak, cost an additional 40 PLN and will make the item a final sale (not returnable).  

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You might notice that the stock picture of this bra in BM style shows bows on the shoulder straps and mine has only the bow at the gore.  They are described on the site as ‘bows with bijou pendants just like stars in cloudy sky brighten this murky colour.’  I wanted those shoulder stars so I was a bit sad to see that they had not been included on my S Kleks, but beggars can’t always be choosers and when you deviate from the original, sometimes there can be changes.  I will try to survive without my shoulder stars.

My custom S Kleks is in size 30GG.  The cups fit me well and in typical fashion for S style in that size.  The band measures approximately 25 inches unstretched and approximately 30 inches stretched without cup distortion and feels comfortable on my 27″ rib cage.  I will say though that I can stretch it to 32 without much trouble although there was wire distortion present.  Ladies who like their bands extra firm may want to take that into consideration.

If you read my blog posts regularly you will know that I am a sucker for a matching set.  I only like full brief style panties and I really prefer elastic around the leg band.  That style has been in short supply lately in the newest EM offerings but I have to admit that the appearance of these panties with the black tulle peeking out from beneath the blue lace is pretty much to die for. I ordered the Klek full briefs in my usual size 36.  They fit well and I love this look, even though it isn’t my top style for comfort.

Here is the stock picture:

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And here is a close-up of mine.  See what I mean about that black tulle peeking out from under that navy lace?  Just beautiful.  ❤

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Kleks is a welcome addition to my collection with its unexpected and unusual dark colour combination.  I do adore it, even without all of its stars, and am looking forward to wearing it once the weather cools.  (In hot weather, I prefer the cooler, unlined SM style bras).

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At time of writing, Kleks is still available on the Ewa Michalak site as a BM style bra.  The matching panties are currently available as well, offered in both full brief and thong styles.  Have you made this pretty set part of your collection?

 

Karlee Smith Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice Review

In our never-ending quest to find bust-friendly clothing, my fellow blogger Jelz ran across a sports bra company that we hadn’t heard of before called Karlee Smith. Karlee Smith is a unique company as it not only offers, but caters to augmented women! They sell a variety of high quality sports bras as well as recovery/compression bras for women who have had breast augmentation, reduction, mastectomy and/or breast lift surgeries.  To read a full feature of this company, click HERE.   When Jelz reached out to them, they graciously offered to send several of us one of their bras to try out and review, and I just so happened to be one of those lucky bloggers!

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When browsing their website, www.karleesmith.com you will see that they currently offer two different types of bras, Post Op and Sports. Although my post-op days are far behind me, I actually ended up choosing the Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice bra which is in their post-op collection because 1) it was such a pretty bra; and 2) the description stated that along with post operative wear it can be used for yoga, Pilates and lounging. Unlike some of my fellow bloggers who may need a more high-impact sports bra for working out, I typically engage in more low-impact activities that don’t require as much support so this bra seemed ideal for what I needed!

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The ordering process for my new bra was very straightforward on their website; however the sizing did perplex me just a bit mainly because of its simplicity. Their bras are all sized solely based on band size (small 28”-32”, medium 34”-36”, and large 38”-40”) which seems easy enough; I wear a 28”-30” bra band so I’d be a small. My concern was that when I went to their fit guide to confirm I was ordering the right size, it states ‘small fits women who wear the traditional bra size 32B/C/D/DD through 34A/B’. My UK bra size is 30GG which converts to a US 30J, so even if I sister-sized I’d be at least a few cups too big for the small but I knew that the medium would not give me the support I needed under my bust. I actually felt a bit deflated for a few minutes because I thought that this bra wouldn’t work for me. But after some discussion with the other bloggers who were ordering their sports bras as well (and reading through the return/exchange policy on the website), I decided to cross my fingers and took a leap of faith and ordered the small. I placed my order on a Thursday afternoon and with priority shipping in the U.S. my package was waiting in my mailbox the following Monday!

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Upon opening the package, the first thing I noticed (after how cute the pattern was) was how lightweight the material is.  This may not be a positive for all women, since light material can mean less support, but for me it was fantastic!  Since I don’t do any heavy exercising (mainly just power walking) having a light-weight bra that doesn’t create a lot of boob-sweat is A+ in my book.  The bra is 88% nylon and 12% spandex and a lime green with little magenta dots and a flower pattern accented with a white band and straps.  The band is about 1 1/4 inches wide and stretches to about 36 inches, though still feels fairly snug on my 27 inch rib cage.  My fears of the small size not fitting my boobs was (thankfully) completely unfounded, as the bra fit perfectly.  From the top of the cup to the top of the band is 6 inches, but stretches very well and has a double layer of material for extra support.  This sports/recovery/compression bra has a zippered front as well as a small hook closure at the middle behind the zipper.  Now you might be wondering why it’s called ‘Snap Me Twice’, and that is due to the 2 rows of snaps at the straps, which allows you to adjust them a bit depending on comfort.  For me, the tighter row has worked the best.  I also appreciate how sleek the snaps are and the straps are still very smooth under a shirt.

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As far as comfort goes, I’d have to give this bra an A+.  It really is the most comfortable sports bra I own.  It fits me perfectly and supports my breasts without squeezing them at all.  The entire bra feels snug, but not constricting and I have found myself reaching for it every day when I get home from work!  I don’t sleep in a bra every night, but I do on occasion and have slept in this one and was very comfortable in it. The only complaint I have about the construction of the bra (and it is pretty minor), is that there is a flap of material behind the zipper and when it is zipped up, the top of the flap peaks out the top.  It really is just an aesthetics thing, but I do notice it and so in full disclosure I thought I’d point it out.  Other than that, I’d have to say that I really do love this bra!

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The Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice bra runs at a retail price if $92 USD, and I’ll be honest and say that when I first saw the price on the website I thought I’d never spend $92 on any sports bra!  However, after thinking about it I’ve realized a couple things.  First is that this is not just a sports bra, but also a post-op/compression bra.  I’m past my post-op days but I can safely say that I would have chosen this over the ugly, ill-fitting post-op bra that cost me $40 that my surgeon gave me after my augmentation any day!  And second, I have about 4 or 5 sports bras that don’t fit me nearly as well or as comfortably that I’ve paid $20-$30 each for.  So in retrospect, I think I’d rather have a couple of these than a bunch of cheaper ones that I don’t like wearing!  I hope you enjoyed this review, and if you are in the market for a sports bra or post-op/compression bra I’d highly urge you to check out Karlee Smith and see if one of their bras might work for you!

*My Sexy Lady Snap Me Twice bra was graciously provided for review by Karlee Smith.  All opinions are my own.

Retailer Spotlight – Lilly & Lime Swimwear

A couple of months ago my fellow bloggers and I were approached by  new Australia-based swimwear company Lilly & Lime to see if we would like to try out their suits and review them for our readers.  After doing some initial research on the company and finding out that they cater to fuller busted women (D cup and above), we were intrigued and excited to give their suits a try.  Since this company is very new, we thought that it would be beneficial to both review their swimwear as well as dedicate a Retailer Spotlight to them so that our readers can learn not only about the brand, but the two women behind it.

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When you first visit the Lilly & Lime website, you will notice how fun and youthful their swimsuits are.  They use bright solids and patterns that are easily mix-and-matchable and offer three of styles of tops, all meant to support larger busts.  I was quite impressed with their range of sizes as well with tops offered from a 28D all the way to a 38HH (U.K.).  They also offer three styles of bottoms with sizes ranging from 8 – 18, also in U.K. sizing.

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Stock Photo

Over the next couple of months each of the bloggers at AEE will be posting our individual reviews and thoughts about the Lilly & Lime swimsuits that have been gifted to us, but before that here is your opportunity to learn more about the company and it’s owners Emma and Ash via my interview with Emma.

What influenced you to get into the retail lingerie/swimsuit business?

My business partner, Ash and I have both struggled our whole lives to find bikinis that we liked and that fitted us. So lack of choice was really the great motivator for us.

How did Lilly & Lime come to be?

We were at a Hens night a few years ago and discussing, over a few glasses of bubbly, how hard it was to find bikinis and so we decided to look into it a little bit more and start our own brand. Needless to say we had no idea what we were getting into and how hard it is to build a good bikini/bra in bigger sizes. It has taken us over three years to perfect the styles and fit. Luckily we have worked with some great technical people along the way who have guided us and become part of the L&L team. 

How long has Lilly & Lime been open?

We have officially be open for two months. Yay happy dance. 

Do you have a storefront, or are you strictly online?

We only sell online at www.lillyandlime.com .

How do you find the majority of your customers?

Currently our customers are finding us through Google, social media and word of mouth which is fantastic. We are launching some marketing campaigns in the next few weeks to broaden our customer base.

What is the best way for potential new customers to find or contact you?

Our site www.lillyandlime.com or lillyandlimeswimwear on Facebook and Instagram.

What makes you stand out from other swimsuit retailers?

We have a youthful, fun feeling about our prints but we take the fit of our bikinis very seriously. We are a new brand so we are constantly working with feedback we get from customers on what we can do to improve the fit and shopping experience. We really do want to make the best fitting bikinis for bigger busts in the world!

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Hands down it has to be happy customers. We recently had a customer who had been battling to find a bikini top that fitted her for years, she bought ours and sent us a message saying it was the best fitting bikini she has ever owned. That was an amazing feeling.

What is your favorite thing about the swimsuit industry?

We love bikinis, Summer, the beach and swimming so it doesn’t feel like hard work. The industry is fun and I don’t think people take themselves too seriously. At the end of the day we are selling a product that most people take on holiday with them or associate with Summer and good times and that in itself is a really nice thing.

What is the most common question that your customers ask regarding fitting?

“I am not sure what size to buy.” And our answer is always to be professionally fitted. We can give many tips on how the bikini should fit but there is no substitute for that one on one service.

Do you have your own personal favorite suit?

For me (Emma), I love to mix and match our colours and prints.  I love the Balconette stripe top with the Hipster Tie bottoms in nectarine.  Ash – I love the underwire halter and also the hipster ties – stripe and floral are my favs!!!  Also a big fan of mix and match!

Do you have any hot, up and coming tips or advice for our readers?

The range is great for mixing and matching styles and colours so when you are looking to buy a bikini buy colours that work well together. Essentially you can buy two bikinis but end up with 4 different options for wearing them.

What would you like our readers to know about you and your company?

We have FREE shipping worldwide, we also accept returns and will do exchanges so you can find the size that’s best for you.  Our prices are in AUD$ on the site so for most other currencies that works in your favour and the bikinis are a lot more affordable than you think.  We are happy to help customers with any fit advice, questions and any feedback that you have for is is always welcome.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Lilly & Lime and please stay tuned for our blogger reviews!

CHP Summertime

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Today is all about Ewa Michalak’s CHP Summertime. This is a style that is offered by Bra Obsessed. Summertime is a revival of the original SM style. While I do love the SM, the CHP is my BAM bra. I absolutely love the lifted, rounded appearance that I get with CHPs.

While CHP Summertime is a padded bra, the colors and design give it the look of being light and airy. The warm tones perfectly reflect the season it is named after. It is a light caramel color, with mesh overlay in the same color on the cups. Three part vertical seams help create the amazing lift. The mesh has exquisite floral embroidery focused mainly along the tops of the cups, and also draping vertically down. The embroidery is satiny shades of peach flowers  and silvery white leaf designs. Because of the tones of this one, I think it would make a nice, spiced up version of a nude bra for some skin tones. When I first saw this bra online, I was afraid that the embroidery would be bulky under a top. Luckily, it’s relatively smooth.

The straps are fully adjustable and the clasp has four rows of three hook and eye closures. Even though the bow at the gore appears to be peach in the pictures, it is actually white, and looks great with the silvery white embroidered leaf detail. The cups are lined with soft cotton and have removable pads.

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I have gone through some recent size changes, and have gone up just about a cup size. I had ordered this before the increase in size, in an 80G, which was perfect for me in the CHP cut. Unfortunately, with the pads in now, as they are in the images, you can see some quadding. With the pads out it fits perfectly.

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This is another one that will be a great addition to your bradrobe, and not only for the summertime. 🙂

Until next time,

~Tanzilove