Saturday, August 31, 2019

ComfyCurvy is now ComfyCurvyReviews

Yes, I realize my blog has outgrown this platform. I finally had to grit my teeth and migrate it over to Wordpress. 

I'll pause while you picture it: me, sipping coffee in my jim-jams, cursing a blue streak (over several weekends) as I accept the reality that, yes, Wordpress is approximately 1,000 times more complicated than Blogger. 

Actual photo of me last weekend:
Image result for crying victorian cartoon woman

Then I switched to wine and things went much more smoothly. 
Ah, there we go:

Image result for victorian cartoon woman drinking

Blog posts should redirect. Theoretically. But I am leaving this site up because, who knows. 

I will be posting new content here: ComfyCurvyReviews

Do come join me, with or without wine.

                                                           ~ ComfyCurvy

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Brand Breakdown: What Does Gorsenia Offer?

Gorsenia is a Polish brand that is easily available on eBay and Amazon. 

Where the Brand Excels:


  • Beauty. All of their styles - even the plain neutrals - are stunning. Lace and satin, in beautiful colors, with embroidered details on the straps.




  • Designed for Full-on-Tops! This remains the only brand I've found that is actually meant for a full-on-top shape. There is always plenty of room in the upper cup, and the shape I get is always rounded. This is no small thing. 
      I love the shape of every Gorsenia I own:

  • Pricepoint.  Generally between $25 - $35.
  • Well Made.  Quality of materials is high. Stitching and construction is consistently good.
  • Sizing.  Very consistent, European sizing. No double letter cups. 

What's Not So Great About the Brand:

Comfort.  Yeah, unfortunately, after I found the wondrous Solange 3 years ago, Gorsenia redesigned all of their larger cup offerings with industrial features like: more rigid wires, heavier duty side stays, power-mesh bands, and wider -but less stretchy/soft straps. All of which are enemies of comfort. Bummer.

This is pretty much where I parted ways with the brand. Comfort before Beauty for me. Always. But if you are in the smaller band sizes, say, under a 36, and in the mid cup size range, E-F, the original, more comfy construction is still there for you.

No Stretch in the Cup. This is particularly annoying. Even though the cups are cut for full-on-top shapes, the addition of stretch lace, rather than rigid, would make it friendly for other shapes as well. Plus, stretch always adds comfort to the cup via the ability to adjust to slight changes in weight or PMS swelling. 

Variety in Cup Shape.  Yeah, there just....isn't any. The seamed bras are all the same: 3-part, seamed, full cup. The 1/2 cups are all the very projected, yet still shallow, cakes on a plate shape. And there is a semi-padded style (padded bottom cup and sheer tulle upper cup) that are also the same, slightly less rounded shape. 

Who Will Gorsenia Work For?

Full-on-top shapes. The brand rules supreme there - and there is basically no competition anyway, since so few brands cater to this shape. 

Balanced shapes. You'll likely get a bit of gapping and unfilled upper cup in the seamed styles, but the 1/2 cups, with their unusual projection & non-wide wires, may be your holy grail. I explain the unique shape here

Full-on-bottoms: I would only recommend the 1/2 cups. You will be swimming in the upper cup of the seamed styles.

Finally, Lovers of Medium-Narrow Wires. If you need wide or shallow cups, Gorsenia is not your brand. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Review: Delimira Soft Cup Wirefree Sleep Comfort Bra

As always, Delimira needs some help naming their bras. I shall call this one 'Olivia'. Because she has a demure and pretty vibe and just looks like an Olivia to me. 

 Beauty

Olivia comes in a couple of pastels, plus neutrals. This is a crossover style and compares very favorably to similar versions by Wacoal and Kindred Bravely that I reviewed previously. In fact, Olivia is a far superior choice, at a lower price. Better fabric, better band, far better straps. 


Comfort & Fit

Fabric.  Silky nylon with a high level of spandex: 23% to be exact. Handy tip: If the spandex percentage is 20% or higher, this is always a great sign when you are looking for a stretchy, yet supportive, fabric that will fit like a second skin. 

This is a more common feature of European brands such as Anita and Chantelle, and far less common in UK brands, which usually rely on stiff, non-stretchy fabric for support. You'll generally see spandex levels of under 10% in UK brands, and very often, zero of it is in the cup. 

The (very few) seams are well-done; very flat and non-irritating.
Cups.  The usual generous capacity I would expect from this brand. Unlike most crossover styles I've tried, Olivia's cups are expecting some actual projection and, happily, have the depth to accommodate it. There is a just-right amount of separation.

The high-spandex content of the cups means that different shapes will not experience gapping or cutting in. Instead, you will get a shape that conforms to your shape, and a very soothing gentle contained feeling.

Straps. Very well-designed. They are wide and form a continuous piece, part of both cup and band. This adds a lot of support and stability, distributing the weight evenly, while not needing a thick or tight band to do so. They are not adjustable, but I don't think that matters. Again, due to the spandex content, they easily stretched enough for me, a tall person, yet provided a lot of stable support. I doubt you'd have any difficulty even if you are petite. 

Band.  Also very well-designed. Nice and minimal, so there is no constrictive feeling and no rolling up. It is soft and flat and does run a little on the snug side, but is true to size. On the low side; always a plus.

Shape.  While termed a 'sleep bra' - and you could certainly use it as such - I would consider Olivia a moderately supportive bralette. She actually gives a bit more lift than the Bali Comfort Revolution that I wear so often as a comfort go-to:

When Do I Wear It?

Weekends and after work; during times of size fluctuation or swelling. Pretty much any time I would wear my Bali bralettes, but want to opt for a thinner, silkier fabric and/or a prettier aesthetic. Great for travel because the fabric dries very quickly. You can definitely wear Olivia out of the house if you are OK with a soft, natural shape that is still supported and gently contained. Which, clearly, I am. 

Size.  40 F/G. Consistent with Delimira's usual sizing. My usual size in the brand is a 40F, which equates to a 40G (UK) or a 40H (US/Euro). This style comes in combined sizes and there is leeway due to the fabric and style. 

Pricepoint: under $20

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Review: Tutti Rouge Eve Fuller Bust Bralette

I have a lot of love for Tutti Rouge's design aesthetic of frothy confections and whimsical touches. Who doesn't love their now-iconic heart-shaped strap adjustors? But I no longer wear my Tuttis due to the discomfort of the rigid wires and the aggressively tacking gores. 

But I was tempted by this bralette and curious as to what kind of support it might give. 

Beauty


Oh, Tutti, you heartbreaker. 

Eve is gorgeous and opulent. A baroque lace pattern with a sheer tulle overlay. With polka dots. That's right. Only Tutti Rouge can combine lace and polka dots and not have it look over the top.

But is she wearable? Here we go:

Comfort & Fit

Band. There really isn't one, just a deep strip of lace that is elasticized at the top; that provides your minimal baseline support.

Cups.  There is true support here. The soft lace, combined with the mesh overlay, actually gives moderate lift due to its not-very-stretchy effect. The deep-V shape provides a lot of separation -it is holding my relatively close-set boobs further apart than they naturally sit. 

This means you won't get any smooshed together cleavage or sticky boob-sweat, so yay for that. It also means that, unless you are wide-set, you are going to slowly migrate to the center and have to redistribute your boobs repeatedly.

Straps. A regular bra strap with the wider panel of mesh layered over it in front. They are comfy and this combination does increase the support, which is welcome as there is no real band to distribute the weight. I am less enamored of the hybrid harness/cross-back style. It's tough to get a pic of it, but if you ignore the glare & the toothbrush reflection, this gives you some idea:

It is not uncomfy per se, but it makes it needlessly difficult to get into the bralette, as there is no clasp. You really need to have it perfectly aligned before pulling it over your head, as if a strap is tangled, you have zero hope of straightening it out once on. You will have to pull it off and start over. 

Shape. Round, wide, minimized, and surprisingly contained. You can definitely wear the Eve bralette out of the house. I did and found her supportive enough to stand in for a bra. 

Compromises

Straps.  Yeah, they look cool, but the annoyance factor is high. It often takes me two tries to get into the thing. A set of hooks in the back would have improved the whole experience. 

Comfort.  I was ready to take Eve off after about 4 hours. No specific areas of discomfort, except that section of the strap/upper cup that runs close to the armpit. This is really just an ever-present element of UK bra design and I'm not here for it. 

When Do I Wear It?

When I'm feeling that Beauty is more of a priority than Comfort. So, weekend sexy times, basically. Or date night out. Which works out nicely, since you're going to want some assistance in removing Eve. Because crazy straps.

Size. 42F (UK) Tutti bands run quite snug, so this fits me like a 40G, which is my actual size these days. It equates to a US 40H. 

Pricepoint. Regular price on ASOS is $19.50, which is a bargain for the brand. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Review: ASOS Design bralettes

Yes, I know I said I didn't believe there was any better large-bust bralette out there than Bali's Comfort Revolution - and that's still true in terms of support and pure comfort. But there are prettier bralettes out there, and they have their place. Plus, who am I kidding, what would I do with my spare time if my quest for holy grail bra/lettes ever succeeds?

So I decided to try ASOS' house brand. They also carry a lot of well-known UK brands. They unhelpfully (for anyone who understands UK sizing) convert the sizes into US...so you have to convert it right back if you're used to UK sizes - as most of us with big boobs are. 

ASOS DESIGN Fuller Bust Microfibre triangle bra


Despite the name, this is not a bra - it's a bralette. And it's barely that, more of a boob sling. That's not necessarily a bad thing when you want barely there, minimal support. It's very similar to a skimpy bikini top, especially the 'band'; we'll get to that.

Beauty.  
Very pretty, with sleek, clean lines. The cups are matte and the straps have a textured sheen. And it comes in multiple hues, including a range of skin tones. That's right: not just a single 'skin tone' option, but black, white, golden, chestnut and beige. Serious props to ASOS for this.

This color way is called -very strangely, if you ask me - Rust. Yeah. Something that puts you in mind of an old jalopy would not be my first choice, and clearly, it's a creamy muted coral. Which, coincidentally, would've been a much better name. Just sayin. 

Comfort & Fit. 
Cups. The microfiber cups are mesh-lined and actually provide some support. Yes, I would've preferred the silky fabric next to my skin, but it's still softish, so a decent trade-off. The triangle cut means there is minimal coverage on the inner cup. This causes two interesting effects: lots of cleavage, and lots of separation. Most bralettes have the opposite effect and tend to create a smooshed boob-loaf. Here, the vertical seam and wide-open center actually keeps my fairly close-set boobs totally separate. So that alone creates comfort. Because of this feature, plus the far more flattering style, I'd usually opt for this over the Breast Nest if I wanted to embrace that 'free range' feeling.


Band.  Yeah, the 'band' design is pretty silly. Literally a very thin - perhaps 3/4 or 1" elastic band with a 2-hook closure. That's it. They missed an opportunity to use a 2" microfiber-covered band that would have been comfy and increased support greatly. As it is, it's still surprisingly comfy-is, but wow, is it ever minimal. Here, let me magnify, in case you blinked and missed it:

This is it. Your entire 'band'. And very quickly, either one or both of these two things is going to happen. Your fluffy bits will roll it up until it practically disappears into said fluff, or, the weight of your boobs will drag it upward like this:


Do I care about this? Eh, not so much. This is that boob-sling effect I mentioned, and because it's not actually transferring much weight to the straps, it's not causing discomfort. And the shape I'm getting is all I need or want under pj's, for example. Is it ideal? No, of course not. Is it wearable? Sure, if it's comfy and if all you are looking for is gentle support in your own living room. I did actually wear it to the store today, under a loose dark sweater, and it was fine for that purpose. But normally, I wouldn't wear it out of the house/garden. 
Size: US 38I (UK 38G)

ASOS DESIGN Fuller Bust Roxy lace triangle bra




The only difference in these two styles is the fabric. This one is called, imaginatively, 'Red'. The mesh-lined lace is medium-soft. The lace edging did not irritate my skin, but is not as comfy as the microfiber style. 
Size: 40H (UK 40FF) 

When Do I Wear Them?

When I just want very light support and gentle, minimal containment. And I want something a lot prettier than my ultra-comfy Bali bralettes. So, ideal for weekend lounging and sexy times. While Mr. ComfyCurvy is politely neutral on the beauty quotient of Bali, his response to ASOS was "I'm here for it." So there you have it.

Sizing  The sizing is specific, not S-XL ranges. Bands don't run snug (I still have a hard time calling these 'bands') and I would say sister-sizing downward will work better than upward. I did get a more secure fit with the 38I than the 40H. The cups are not especially generous and are not meant to give much side coverage. The mesh lining means they are not overly stretchy. If you're full-on-bottom, no need to size up. Again, let the triangle bikini look set your expectations here. 

Pricepoint  I bought them on sale for $13 each on ASOS US website. Other colors are $19. The quality is pretty decent, too. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

How Should Bras Fit?

There is a lot of info out there on 'proper' bra fit, and a couple of different schools of thought. But there is general consensus on a few points: bands should be snug, cups fully encasing the boobs, not too much weight on the straps. From there, opinions diverge: high vs. low wires, wide-set vs. close-in straps, tacking of gores, Euro vs. UK vs. US cup shapes.

My opinion is: if it's not comfortable, then it is not 'proper' fit. Even if it looks perfect and meets all fit criteria. Yes, I know this is a minority opinion. 

The purpose of bras -and beliefs about the way they should fit- has changed over the decades. And centuries. But, with the exception of the 1950s, bras were mainly meant to make women more comfortable. And that didn't always mean support, so much as protection from rougher fabrics and a little bounce/flop reduction. Let's take a short walk through the last century to see what I mean.

I remember my grandmother talking about what bras were like in the 1920s, when she was a young woman, and probably around a 34B/32C. They were like a loose bralette-cami, and served more as a liner under a dress, to protect the skin and give you a smoother look; "lift" or separation was definitely not a goal. Something like this would be what she would have chosen to wear under a dress:

For a little more support, she described a crop-top style that she would wear if she was going to be more active, such as dancing or a lot of walking:
nowthatslingerie.com
Cue the '40s and onward and Nana embraced the 'cross-your-heart' style and pretty much wore it for the last half-century of her life, into the mid-1980s. 
Though I very much doubt she would have worn any color but white: too racy, plus she was of the generation that believed Clorox could kill all the ills of the world. And I'm fairly certain she never wore an underwire in her whole long life. She probably considered it a pointless invention, like the cordless phone. Bras were simply not much of an issue for her, at her time in history: all she expected was a slight amount of support and separation; lift and shape were simply not a priority as we view it today, when clothing itself provided the shape and involved non-stretch heavier fabrics, shaped with princess seams or darts.

Next, cue the 1970s. My mother, around a 36DD (we see bust sizes begin to increase generationally at this point) absolutely loved the minimalist, seamless, sheer, front-hook styles of that era. I never saw her wear anything else until the late-80s. Every single bra my conservative-with-4-kids mom wore looked very much like the current Gossard Glossies bra, and that's what my friends' moms all wore, too:

Nobody cared about nipple show-through during that time (that freak-out would begin in the '80s) and everybody was just happy about the sheer lightweight nature of bras. T-shirt and foam bras weren't a thing yet. And still, nobody cared much about lift. I wore these styles from ages 13-16 when I was a 34D and they were pretty comfy. 

In the '80s things shifted, with push-up coming onto the scene and more padding, but the styles were still similar to the above, but in thicker, opaque silky nylon; but still seamless, with very centered straps. Nana switched to the lace-edged, triangle soft cup style, still with the front-hooks; there were a plethora of these in the '80s:
Image result for soft cup lace triangle front-hook bras
Alibabaexpress
By the '90s, Victoria's Secret was on the scene and the foam dome culture shift was in full swing. Here is when I started to find bra shopping torturous and was no longer able to find a comfy fit for my full-on-top 36G's. I did what most women that size do: try to make a 38D work, because it's in the matrix of what is available and with firm, young boobs the size mismatch isn't as apparent. I had a lot of bras like this into the late-90s:


And I even had one of the old Body by Victoria styles that was very comfy: lined in super-thin foam, including the wires, with laser-cut band. It didn't fit especially well in a 38DD but it was so comfy I wore it for years - even through 20-lb weight fluctuations. Looking at old photos of me in the bra, I'm surprised that it looks as good as it does under clothing. Like here, a dozen years and 40 lbs ago. 
I didn't yet care about bras. Why? Because I was not uncomfortable. Yet. When I finally had to toss out that old VS bra because the elastic was literally shot, I was living on the edge of the wilderness and very quickly realized I was in bra purgatory. And so began my now decade-long obsession with finding comfy bras that fit. By my definition. I'll go off about that more later.

After feeling pretty much alone in caring far more about comfort than the (pretty historically recent view of) fit, it is really gratifying to see what an article in a UK paper referred to as a 'revolt against VS' in favor of 'athleisure' i.e. bralettes. It is literally a return to the '70s in terms of prioritizing comfort above firm support - and then some. The current movement is bringing along the beauty, too. And I'm here for it!

Things are moving away from this kind of rigid, encased containment:
Image result for panache sculptresse
Panache
And a lot more in this direction:
Cosabella

However. I have seen a lot of near (and not-so-near) misses in terms of executing the comfort part in large cup sizes. There are some truly great options -as there have always been- for bras & bralettes for the 32A-36C crowd. But I really welcome the support for embracing our natural shapes (heh, see what I did there) and insisting bras are for our comfort, not our containment. 

Bottom line: If it is not comfy, then that simply is not proper fit. And perhaps it's our definition of 'fit' that needs to change. It really doesn't matter if your side-boob is not fully encased in a tall harsh wire, if it's not comfy; that is not proper fit for you. If a tight band hoists your boobs an inch higher, but doesn't feel good cutting into your flesh - again, that's not proper fit, regardless of what the tape measure says, or what current ideas on proper fit may be. Feel free to rebel and define what fit means to you. Decide what you want your bra to do for you: gentle support, bounce control, total separation, barely there softness? They're all valid goals and you get to choose which is important to you. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Reviews: 3 Options from Leading Lady

Based on how useful and comfy I have found my Leading Lady cami-bralettes - which, naturally, now appear to be discontinued - I tried three more styles: a T-shirt bra, a long(ish)line bralette, and a sleep bralette. Let's see how they worked out for me:

Brigitte Molded Padded Seamless Underwire

Beauty.  Lots of pretty colors and patterns. I opted for Classic Cranberry, a juicy jewel tone with a subtle pattern. 

Fit & Comfort. What in the actual...?! Just no.....oh dear, no, no, no. I was not expecting this bizarre shape. It is both shallow AND pointy. I can't imagine how they accomplished this. Or...why they even tried to. The majority of the depth is way over at the outside of the cups, practically halfway around your back, with virtually none at the center of bottom. The gore is around 4" from my chest. A larger cup would not help since it would be up to my eyebrows, and still wouldn't have any depth. I can't assess comfort because the shape mismatch is so extreme.


I don't think this is a full-on-top issue, since most full-on-bottom shapes will not have the extremely shallow and side-weighted shape the cups demand. Perhaps the bra scales better in smaller sizes, who knows. But with the ultra-pointy silhouette, i.e. boob tent creator, I'd give this one a hard pass. 

Greta Wirefree Bralette

Greta had real potential, ruined by what, for me, is a fatal flaw - but may not be for you. 

Beauty. I find this sleek and pretty in the color way Modern Violet.

Comfort. Wonderful soft modal fabric, which is the gold standard for sensitive skin. The deep band is also soft and stretchy; in smaller cup sizes it gives more of a longline effect. The darted seams are actually non-irritating.

Fit. The cups have a lot of depth and capacity. The size range is impressively large, from S-5X. This is a 3X which equates to 38F-40H (US). Lots of stretch to accommodate different shapes.

Love the low sides! They taper away almost to the band in back, while still giving coverage where you actually need it. There is a very decent amount of lift and a nice rounded shape with some separation, too.


So, why oh why didn't this work for me? The straps. For some reason they decided to try to get fancy and make them an X-shape. 


Yeahhh, a really bad design move, especially for non-adjustable straps. It was the main complaint mentioned in reviews. Though I did not find them too tight, I found the place just endlessly uncomfortable. And awkward. I was constantly aware of them and hated the feel of them creeping ever more toward my neck. There is just no way to fix this, short of cutting the straps and reattaching them in a more sane configuration. Which is a real shame, as Greta is a stellar bralette in every other way. Bummer.

Bamboo Crossover Sleep Bra

This one was almost a keeper.

Comfort.  Bamboo is right up there with modal for sensitive skin nirvana. Once I had turned it inside-out so the seams and elastic would not annoy my sensitive skin, of course. This is something I have to do routinely, and was expecting. It's definitely comfy enough to sleep in.

Fit.  You can probably already see the issue coming.....Yeah, even though there is nice cup capacity on the sides:


There simply wasn't enough cup capacity in the front and center. Sadly, this style tops out at a 2X, and I really needed a size up. I thought about keeping it anyway, but I knew that the cutting in, especially on my larger side, would drive me nuts over time. Not to mention the annoyance that boobs tumbling out would cause if I actually tried to sleep in it. 


I actually liked the style and have no real complaints about the design. The drawback of reduced size capacity that always accompanies a crossover style are balanced by it being super easy to step into, as there are no hooks. Because Leading Lady bands run on the snug side, I think this size could work for you if you're between, say, a 36E-40F (US) especially if you're full-on-bottom.

Who Will These Work For?

I'd honestly just give all their wired styles a miss. It's just not worth the trial and error to -possibly- find that one style that doesn't have that truly bizarre shallow yet pointy cup shape. 

But the bralettes are actually worth a look. If you're petite, or actually like racerback or X-back styles, then Greta would be a great, very comfy option for you. And one of the few available in a truly large cup, smaller band size range - and at a decent price point. The Bamboo Crossover is a nice sleep bra option in you're in the size range. It's unfortunate they discontinued the highly practical and comfy cotton cami-bra style, but I will keep an eye out for new styles from the brand, in case they come out with something similar.

Price: All styles were around $30.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review: Delimira Women's Comfort No Padding Wire Free Seamless Bra (Bali Comfort Revolution bralette)

Yes, I am still happily on my Delimira kick. That's because I've been pleased with every bra I've tried from the brand. The consistency in sizing, the crazy low price point - which does not correlation to the fairly high quality - and the unexpected fact that their generic versions of famous bras are often better made and more comfy than the original? Well, color me impressed. 

When I saw that Delimira makes a version of the epic level comfy Bali Comfort Revolution? The bralette that I have bought many times, that remains the most comfy, supportive -enough to wear out of the house, even- bralette I've found in my long searching. Yeah, I had to try that. 

And I was not disappointed.

Beauty

 Plain and sleek neutrals.
Black & gray or black & beige; those are your choices.

Everyone reading knows my thoughts on beige, so here's the gray:

 Comfort & Fit

Fabric: Thick, ultra soft, comfy, stretchy nylon/spandex.

Cups.   As with the original Bali, they expand a good deal and the XL can handle a G-cup and even an H, though you'll have more cleavage. I think they are slightly more supportive than the original as they are slightly less stretchy - in a good way - resulting in your boobs being held closer to your chest. The effect is a slightly minimized, very rounded shape with impressive bounce reduction. The cups do not encourage a uniboob and there's some slight separation, which is a big plus. I'd wear this out of the house in a heartbeat.



Band.  Stretchy, snug and stable, with 3 hooks. I find those pull-over styles frustrating to contort myself into, so I love that this has regular hooks. And the padded clasp of the Bali remains! In fact, they've gone one better and padded it with memory foam, which is a more dense and deliciously pillowy foam. Win! (The actual Balis I've bought on Amazon are sometimes inexplicably missing the padded foam in the clasp, which makes them likely 'imperfect' 2nd's.) One more reason to opt for this high quality generic over the original.

Straps.  As with the Bali, this is my sole quibble with this otherwise divinely comfy bralette. They are wide-ish and overall comfy, but have the rolled elastic edging which I don't care for, but again, it's a small quibble.

Price.  The Bali Comfort Revolution goes for $35 full price. 
Brace yourself: a 2-pack of the Delimira version? $19


When Do I Wear It?

All day every weekend. To work when I'm feeling under the weather or experiencing PMS swelling which causes sensitivity to wires. I actually do wear this bralette under formfitting Tshirts; the thick, substantial fabric gives more nippie coverage than you'd expect and a natural, rounded shape. Also, the very rounded shape avoids boob-tenting under looser draping tops. The one time I wouldn't choose this one is with something that requires a high bustline, such as an empire waist dress, since you need some lift for that to fit properly. While I prefer to sleep free range, you could definitely sleep in this if you're so inclined; the padded clasp ensures no hooks will dig in and the 2nd skin stretch will allow it move with you.

Size: XL. Like all Delimira (save the Wacoal Awareness version that runs small) this runs large. The XL fits me just like the XXL in Bali's original version. 

Rough guide:  the XL should work fine for 38F-42GG, the L for 34E-36G, etc.
There's quite a bit of leeway in sizing.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Review: Delimira Seamless Soft Wirefree No Padding bra (Wacoal Awareness)

And my Delimira kick continues. Btw, I only noticed that 2nd 'i' a few months ago; before then, my brain had missed the first 'i' and my earlier reviews note 'Delmira'. Anyhoo. This is another bra with a hilariously literal name. 

But I recognized the style immediately: it is a very beloved bra by Wacoal called Awareness which comes in neutral colors and also a pretty jacquard print. Allow me to demonstrate my Generation X trivia brain: about 15 years ago, Whoopi Goldberg called it the most comfy bra ever. No, I cannot explain why that stuck in my brain. 

Beauty


Delimira's version of Awareness comes only in basics -white, beige & black- in the plain fabric version. Wacoal's version is $60 and Delimira's is $15 and I find them almost equivalent in quality. So there's that. This is a very plain style that disappears under pretty much any fabric. There is a very narrow mesh strip down the center that is meant to provide some ventilation and breaks up the look of what otherwise resembles a crop top style.


Comfort

Very, very high. This is the most comfy wire-free bra I've tried in a long time. And it is a bra, rather than a bralette, though there is some overlap in those categories. 

BandWonderful. They solved the problem I often have with wire-free bras which is that the underband is either rough or constrictive. Not so here. The underband beneath the cups is quite narrow and it has stretch, so is not at all constrictive. But the best thing? It is lined with a soft fabric. No rough elastic edging or rigid fabric. This simple thing equates to a huge comfort upgrade. 


Oh, but that's not all. The band is also low, so no cutting in when sitting and no chafing during range of motion. And even better: it is not made of crappy mesh. Nope. It's kind of a unique fabric, a textured, slightly open-weave microfiber that is soft and breathable. 

Cups.  They are double-layer and provide support without a lot of bounce. Just as the Wacoal does, these do run small and shallow. They are not designed for a lot of projection. If you are full-on-bottom, this likely won't present any problems and I doubt you would experience any gaping as the fabric has good stretch and will conform to your shape. I could actually use a cup up, but that will also result in less lift. 

Straps.  Wider in the front, and no ring connectors. Very comfy and supportive.

Compromises

Shape.  You are not going to get any separation, which is just how wire-free bras roll. If you hate the feeling of your boobs being pressed against each other, my fave hack is to take one of those tiny, soft microfiber squares that are used to clean glasses, and tuck it right between your boobs. Feels soothing and eliminates that sticky, smooshed feel.

I do get a soft, natural shape that is slightly minimized, and with minimal lift.

Here it is under a thin, drapey knit.

And for comparison, here is Delimira 'Ethel', the cotton bralette with projection, which gives a better shape, but I find to be a lot less comfy.

When Do I Wear It?

All the damn time. To work and on weekends. Whenever I want to go wire-free, and when comfort matters to me more than shape, the not-Awareness is what I reach for. Particularly when I want slightly firmer support than a bralette gives.  The one time I would hesitate is under a snug, clingy T-shirt where shape will be in the spotlight. But then, that is the specific situation that T-shirt bras were made for.

Sizing.  After I sized up with Ethel-the-bralette, and it turned out there was no need, I stuck with my usual Delimira size of 40F. Hah - Psych! This turned out to the one time I actually do need to go up a cup, since this bra is so faithful to the Wacoal original, which only goes up to a DDD and definitely runs almost 2 cup sizes small. The good news is that while I am totally sized out of the Wacoal, that is not so with Delimira's version. 

In summary, if you are full-on-bottom, you will be fine with your usual size (for the brand). If you are balanced in shape, you may need to go up a cup, particularly in the black. If you are full-on-top, definitely go up a cup.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Brand Breakdown: What Does Delimira offer?

Where is Delimira made? Good question. No one seems to know; they're pretty mysterious. My best guess is India. 

 Where Does the Brand Excel?

Price point.  Below $20. That's in Hanes at Walmart territory, but with a far higher level of quality, not to mention size range. This is the brand I suggest you start with if you are on a tight budget, or have no idea what style you will like, or, alternatively, you do know what brands & style you want, but you want a cheaper version, or have been sized out. 

Sizing.  While the brand doesn't use either UK or Euro sizing, it's incredibly consistent. Once you know your size, it works all across the brand.

Choice!  They have a wide variety of styles, meant for a variety of shapes. Each one is a generic version of a popular bra from a US or UK brand - but in a bigger size range. So if there was a bra you wore & liked when you were still trying to cram yourself into the DD zone, you may find a version of it here, in higher cup sizes. Half the fun with Delimira is trying to identify which famous bra it is. There are a few I don't recognize, so it's like a fun puzzle.

Examples:   The 'Floral Lace Underwire' is based on the Lepel Fiore 
                  This one is also my favorite of the many Delimiras I've tried.

 

             
                 The 'Floral Sheer Unlined' is a version of the Panache Envy 
                                     It's more comfy than the brand name, too.
 
 And, the Bali Passion, here:



What Is the Brand Not So Good At?


Naming their bras. Heh. Like the name of this bralette  

They could at least give you a clue, like naming their version of the Envy 'Jealousy' or somesuch, to help you figure out what you're getting. But again, the puzzle is part of the fun.

Sizing.  This is both a plus and a minus: Delimira goes their own way and does not use either US or UK cup sizing. The good news: they are extremely consistent - far more so than the name brands; once you know your size, that's your size. Which is a huge advantage when buying online.

I give sizing advice in each of the reviews, but the general rule of thumb for finding your size in Delimira is this: bands are fairly true to size -keep in mind that I do not believe in the theory of tight bands; a properly fitting band for me is +2 inches added to my actual measurement. That said, the bands definitely don't run tight. Cups are generous and there are no double letters. Do not be put off by the smaller letter sizes.

If you are converting from your UK size: keep your band size and drop a full cup. E.g. 40G to 40F, or, 34H to 34G. For double letters, I would err on the smaller cup side, as they run so generous. 

If converting from your Euro size:  keep your band and drop 2 cup sizes, E.g. in my case, that means from a 40H to a 40F.

Who/What/Where Will Delimira Work For?

  •  Anyone on a limited budget. You can build a core bra-drobe: seamed, seamless, bralette, minimizer, very inexpensively. The bras are quite decent quality and hold up well. All of mine are still going strong 2+ years onward.
  • If you experience a lot of fluctuation in your size, due to weight or cycle changes, the extremely low price point makes it very practical to buy a bra you like in multiple sizes.
  • There is a style you like, in a brand you can't normally wear. I would never be able to tolerate the harsh, sky-high wires of Panache, but I love the subtle checkerboard and lace pattern of the Envy. Yahtzee! Delimira's version has lower, softer wires and is 1/4 the price.
  • If you hate dealing with the hassle of returns. Honestly, at this price, if you get lazy and forget to return it within the window....ehhh.