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Archive for the category “Brands”

Lepel Fiore

Let’s get back to bra things!

I haven’t bought anything new for a while because my current drawer, with my staples like CK Romances and Cleo Lucys, have been taking good care of me. But because of some of them falling apart, lots of them getting discolored, and me just also wanting some shiny new playthings, I hopped back onto ebay to see what was going on.

Hey… where’d all the Lucy’s go?????

When did Freya come out with all this stuff???

Who’s this Lepel character and why’s she all over the place?

I clearly have not kept up.

I vaguely remember seeing Lepel during my last stage of bra-buying, but wasn’t it all non-professional photos on mannequins?

This time around, they were professional stock photos, models and all,61mEp8Qc-EL._UX385_ and sold by one of my usual ebay stores (shout-out to the ever-reliable Belle Lingerie!) so I grabbed a nice black padded Fiore balcony.

It’s good.

Really, it’s good.

It’s comfortable and supportive, and simple enough to be a reliable day-to-day bra, while detailed enough to work with slightly fancier occasions.

There’s a small, barely visible stretch of rubber elastic along the top of the cup, but it doesn’t push down aDSC00519t all.

I’m relieved that it’s solid black. I’ve been snipping off the colorful little decorations at the top of the cup of almost all my bras lately, and it’s great that I don’t have to worry about that here.

One caveat is that the straps are a little too far apart, but not unbearably so.

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The caveat is so negligible, in fact, that I went and bought two more Fiores (a red-and-black, and a blue, full-cup, both unpadded and just as comfortable). Yeah, it’s a good bra. I usually don’t like full-cup, either, but they feel great.

I should have gone with my normal 28GG, though. I bought all of these in 30G, feeling like I’d gained weight and needed the extra length in the band. Nope.

This is probably why I found it, actually. I went back to search 28GGs, and well, hello again Freya!

I guess the selection for my actual size hasn’t really changed.

 

Happy New Year, and best wishes for all of us!

Being Active (Panache Sports Review)

I keep saying to myself, to my friends, and to my family: Korea has changed me! Korea is changing me!

Who is this person I’ve become, and what kind of life is this that I’m living now?

And it’s not at all bad. I’m LOVING the drastically different direction that my life has taken.

I’m much more social than I’ve ever been. I’m more direct. I’m trying to become more knowledgeable about beauty and fashion, working on my appearance and prettying up for work and hanging out.

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No, that’s not me. I do have this lip product though and have enough of an opinion about it to review it later.

Another thing is that I’ve become much more active.

I don’t want to say that I was necessarily inactive before. I spend a lot of time sitting around but through my life, I’ve usually been involved in some kind of sport a few hours a week.

Right now, though, I’m practicing martial arts every weeknight, and I play a somewhat rough game of Ultimate Frisbee (which I’ve fallen completely and utterly in love with) every weekend.

It’s not much considering many people do the equivalent of my weekly exertions on a daily basis, but it’s a lot more, and a lot more consistent, than what I’ve done before. And I love it! I don’t put every ounce of strength into it because I do need to keep an able body with workable muscles and joints for work but I go at these things hard enough to feel it really good. And does it feel good! Plus, I’ve met, and I keep meeting, really great people.

But, you know. Bras.

The normal underwired ones (say, Cleo Lucy, CK Romance, CK Emily) actually work totally fine. I do regularly use these for exercise. However, when I foresee a tougher workout, and for Ultimate Frisbee when I’m sprinting and leaping and crashing into people, I definitely prefer my sports bra.

I prefer it so much that I have several of the same one.

And that same one would be… the Panache Sport!

Yes, it’s a bra review. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I really like the Panache Sport (clearly) but one thing I didn’t know when I first tried it is that it seems to run large in the cups. The 28GG that I started out with was pretty uncomfortable. Once I sized down to 28G, though, we were best friends!

It’s quite pricey, and I don’t imagine that people are super comfortable with selling/buying used sports bras, but I definitely recommend it! I’ve bought mine from a few sources: ebay, zulily, and largecuplingerie.

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It’s very durable and very comfortable. The material is sturdy and the cups are thick. The bra tacks all around each breast, so you have encapsulation preventing bounce rather than compression (+10 for comfort). In order to provide the encapsulation, though, the bra comes up rather high, so if your workout top is a normal tank or tee, there’s a good chance it’ll show. For martial arts, I usually have a higher-neck tee over the bra and then my uniform. But, since it comes in fun colors (I actually don’t have a black one… if I decide I need another, I guess I’m going for black!) showing really doesn’t matter in any other situation.

As for washing–I do wash it after every wear. Since I wear it for more hardcore sessions, it’s usually soaked in sweat (it and my first top), so there’s no way I’d put it back on later. Same method as other bras, though. Handwash, soak and scrub the wires especially, press water out, let out to dry.

There is a J-hook to connect the straps in the back but I’ve been happy with the standard formation.

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I went hiking and outdoor climbing yesterday (for the first time, and I had an absolute blast!!) and decided to try the J-hook but I had to undo it and go back to standard straps before I even left the house. Even with the straps lengthened all the way, it was simply much too tight for me.

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Mini-review: Cleo Marcie

I actually tried this and sent it back already, so I’m writing this a bit from memory. Basically, it didn’t fit. (But still less that $30 on Amazon!)

From Amazon.com

Since I love the Lucy (so much that I picked up another one somewhere; now I have both the navy and the pink, and it sounds like there are two new colors coming out soon!) and not so much the Marcie, it sounds like I’m a basic full-on-bottom shape. There are ways of distinguishing shape such as, for example, actually looking at the shape of your breast, but I’m shape-challenged and don’t figure those things out easily. This “full-on-tops often prefer Marcie and Lucy is a similar bra for full-on-bottoms” system is a safe one for me.

I had a lot of loose cup material floating around; essentially the top third of the cup was not being filled. It didn’t feel like the kind of fit that could have been improved by going down a cup, though. It was nowhere near as bad a fit as the Meg from once upon a time, though. The Meg was terrible for me, but the Marcie was just a little bad. Bad enough to not want to keep at this point, since I have enough well-fitting bras to do laundry at a reasonable pace, but not more than just a little bad.

Here are some other reviews from Undiegamer, Bras I Hate & Love, Two Cakes on a Plate, Invest in Your Chest, and here is its Bratabase page.

Bloggy update: I’ve made some changes to the About page and plumped up the Resources page. Yay!

Review: zulily

Zulily, like Totsy, is a flash sale site targeted at new families looking to outfit their babies, selves and home. Thanks to reddit lurkingtimes, I was alerted to (another) Affinitas sale and thought I’d try this one out since I like my first two Parfait bras so much.

I ordered the Donna, and, as the site is designed to encourage you to do, wandered into some other sales and bought a few items from another event.

Timeline:

  1. Ordered on Jan 23.
  2. Both events ended Jan 25.
  3. Event 1 (not Affinitas) shipped to zulily on Jan 31.
  4. Event 2 (Affinitas) shipped to zulily on Feb 1.
  5. Event 2 shipped to me on Feb 2.
  6. Event 1 shipped to me on Feb 4.
  7. Event 2 arrived on Feb 5.
  8. Event 1 arrived on Feb 7.

Some brief comments about the Donna:

Again, a 30-band. This is MUCH looser than the Kimberly and the Honey. The Donna might be a true 30. The cups are still molded but not nearly as thick as the Kimberly/Honey bras. The top of the cups don’t seem to come up as high. It’s a good solid-color bra. Yay for finally getting a plain solid black bra! Boo for it being loose in the band! If I don’t get much wear out of it, I may just try to pass it on to someone who actually needs a 30G.

Spoke Too Soon

Either that or I jinxed myself last time by saying that the eczema hadn’t come back since the first time. That’s right, she’s made a second appearance! Far from full-blown; it’s a mild outbreak (for now. *knocks on wood*). But it’s itchy and uncomfortable and not very pretty and more than enough to send me into a flying panic.

I have to say, though, I think that blogging here has done wonders for my self-perception and confidence. Yay, right?

In other news: I have been spending way too much time and money on ebay lately, but I’ll justify my splurges this year with the facts that I’ve gotten good quality stuff (upgrading my clothing with nicer blouses) that should last me relatively forever (yay awesome CDs and comic books, and for not having to pay rent yet).

Also, I finally scored a Deco! I’m really excited, although I feel really bad for the person I outbid.

Review: Contact with Affinitas

The night I received and tried on the Affinitas bras, I emailed Affinitas with a comment and two questions: First, oh wow thank you because these are amazing; second, since the Honey’s straps are removable and interchangeable, was the bra at all functional as a strapless; and third, would they please ever ever expand to making 28 bands because despite my feverish love for these two 30-back bras they’d fit me much better if in 28.

Of course, my language was slightly more formal and less stream-of-consciousness than that.

I thought my email was appropriately enthusiastic and friendly while polite and professional. I have to admit, though, that I was slightly disappointed with the reply–with the content a bit, but mostly with the writer.

First, from a professional point of view, the English was too imperfect. There were some very basic grammar errors that really should not happen in professional dialogue; yes, I’m sometimes particularly strict about language due to my field but these were things that bare-bones spellcheckers would have caught. Also, there was no punctuation. I’m okay with this in blogs, IMs, and text messages, but not in emails and printed material.

From a customer’s point of view, I didn’t read any friendliness in the reply. I was thanked (which is good) “for [my] interest” (which I think is bad; interest and interesting are in my opinion the most semantically and sentimentally empty words possible in professional and educational dialogue [unless interest refers to political ambitions in which case it is pretty heavy]); dude, I told you that I bought your product, please acknowledge my support and message with sincere thought), and my questions were curtly answered with a minimal number of words. I didn’t sense any reflection of my enthusiasm or any original enthusiasm from the representative for her own company.

To be fair, I’ve been pretty deeply imbued with fuzzy warm attitudes online and should not have assumed a company representative to be as friendly and inviting. Objectively, the representative answered my questions precisely (sorry guys, no 28 in sight; AT ALL. And no on Honey being strapless-able). Anyone else have experience talking to Affinitas or other brands?

Review: Parfait by Affinitas, Kimberly and Honey

Totsy

Remember that Totsy sale and how I wanted to try Affinitas despite their bands ending at 30? I went through with it, received the bras and have introduced them into my rotation.

So, I should really be a 28-only now but the Totsy sale put these gems up for about $18 each, which is even cheaper than typical cheap bras, and with free shipping (first purchase deal). It was a pretty low-risk gamble and I’m so glad I took it.

First Impressions

I got the package about a month after my order. My first reaction upon unwrapping the bras: “Oh dude these cups are HUGE.”

Then I tried them on: “Oh dude these cups FIT. What’s going on?”

And then… I caught a glance at one of the tags and was promptly struck speechless.

Affinitas

Affinitas is rumored to run one band size small and one cup size small, which is theoretically perfect for me because those are the exact dimensions and directions by which I size out of their range. However, I find that the bras are a bit more true to size. The 30 band is tighter than other 30 bands but is nowhere near a 28, and an ever-so-slightly larger cup would not be amiss. I’d say that my bras run about half a size out in those directions. The bra bands are okay for now, but they’ll stretch very quickly, and I expect (with a sad sad face) that they’ll be too loose sooner than usual. So at the moment, they’re both under special treatment in that I wear them as a deliberate pampering factor 🙂

The Honey and Kimberly have, to my delight, three hooks. They are also thickly lined (or lightly padded) and molded, which I didn’t realize I liked so much. They feel so soft and smooth, and they’re supportive without being scratchy, which is something that grumps me out about wearing unlined bras all the time.

Another thing I noticed, this time about both of these Affinitas bras; they’re squeaky! I haven’t found this problem with any other bras before, and it’s not so much loud and disruptive but startling and slightly annoying. Also, I’m a little sensitive to these raw *eeeeek*ish sounds (like scratching and styrofoam) so I pick up on these a bit more than other people might. I wonder why they’re squeaking at all.

Honey

This bra is a bit different from my recent preferences; I’ve realized that most of my bras are rather loud/dark colors. For some reason I’ve stayed away from muted and/or cute colors. Even for my Honey purchase I was hmming over the color, but I decided that I might as well splurge all the way through to the pastel color as well! Although now that I think about it, pastel colors seemed to be the only options. The only other color I remember is a pastel purple.

The one I bought is a really soft pink (soft but still having personality~) and it’s definitely my “cutest” color bra.

It has a nice thick lining (someday I will research and properly use the difference between lining and padding. Not today.) which I’ve really missed. The cups are totally comfortable and don’t show up at all under clothing.

The Honey is packaged with ruffled straps by default; that seems to be one of the highlighted features. However, I found the ruffles to be a little too thin and scratchy and rough for my taste. I would have preferred something thicker and softer and flowier. I’ve been wearing the bra with the alternate, ruffle-less straps that were provided.

(See the Affinitas general comment for band size comments.)

Here are some other opinions: Bratabase (only one review); one review on Amazon.com (sounds like I’m not the only one finding the default straps uncomfortable!); mixed reviews from Her Room customers; and a review of the babydoll version on Invest in Your Chest.

Kimberly

This bra may beat out the narue Princess in terms of my favorite bra, looks-wise. It looked great in pictures but is absolutely fantastic in (on?) person. I love how it looks so modern and classy. The stripes, the colors and design really work well together. Affinitas has someone genius in their midst.

The Kimberly came in two different styles: “Molded Padded Bra” (above) and “Balconet[te] Padded Bra” (below; seems to function also a strapless). Both colors were available in both styles, but the black one looks much sleeker and cooler to me. (This is where my mom scoffs at a bra-buying decision being made on account of how cool it looks.)

Regarding the past tense: The Kimberly is probably not being produced anymore. Its information is no longer accessible directly on the Affinitas website. If you found and followed my secret link in the preceding paragraph, you’ll notice that it’s in a directory named “_old”. So sad! I hope they put more products out along this trend.

(See the Affinitas general comment for band size comments.)

The dangling portrait (“cameo charm”) on the gore is pretty distinctive, but I honestly don’t notice or spaz over it as much as other reviewers.

Here are some other opinions: Bratabase page (they don’t seem to really like this); and Leah from Hourglassy (who actually tried both versions).

Verdict

Do I recommend Affinitas/Parfait by Affinitas? Absolutely, if you’re in their range! I vote that people wearing usual 28 bands won’t find the 30 tight enough, though. Best if you can try it on first, of course, since their sizing is under dispute by our population. Across the board they’re said to run tight and small; I’m finding them more true to size than not.

Stay tuned for yet another post about Affinitas; I wrote to them and received a reply from a representative, and would like to share my first experience with writing to a bra company!

Review: Freya Crystal Plunge

Hate to start out with bad news, but I feel that it’s important news and has a time and place up top.

Hearts and thoughts to the victims and their families in Connecticut, US, and Henan, China. For those who haven’t heard, there were two extreme cases of mass violence. Both took place in elementary schools. In both cases, the majority of the victims were young children. Gun violence in Connecticut, knife violence in Henan. I’m just hoping, for the US at least, that there’ll be some immediate action this time around.

Sorry for the sad start. Review!

There is another review on this same bra on undressedtoimpress here.

Apparently, this is basically another version of the much-loved Freya Deco (…which I do not have and have never seen. *sniffle*).

I bought this quite a while ago, so it’s a 30 band. I wanted to attribute my buying a plunge to it being “a while ago” but I kind of realized how much I don’t want/need/ever have use for a plunge bra because of the Crystal Plunge.

Feely-wise, it’s very comfortable, but I find the band really stretchy. The cups are super molded and would probably hold their shape if I found a truck to run them over with. I think this was also my first time with a molded bra so we’ll chalk up the “*slouch* hey what’s my bra doing?” to my inexperience. The color is really nice, kind of a dark teal with light blue dots. The outline and the straps have the reverse color scheme.

The strap are very thick, and I guess the pattern pretties it up a bit, but I wouldn’t be comfortable having these show under my clothes. It might work for a very deliberate cutesy look. I don’t really do very deliberate cutesy looks, so I’ll defer definitive judgment to someone who does.

For fashion advice of the cute variety, I think whoever put this outfit together would give much better advice. Not that I know who that would be. And look, the pedals are peeking out of the piano. How adorable!

A VS Success Story?

A disclaimer, to prevent the post from getting too misleading from the beginning: I did not purchase any bras. Okey yes cool now?

I was at the mall today because Macy’s was having a good sale and I thought I’d give it another try. I’m notoriously horrible at shopping, but guess what? I did get stuff! My goal was tops because I need more than the two I’m rotating for work, so I tried a bunch on but no-go. However, I finally learned what I need for jeans! There are, in fact, not only “petite” jeans but also “petite short” jeans. One guess as to which of these two species fits, and is much harder to find. (Also: they can just make the crushing blow to my totally existent ego a bit more direct by saying “petite” and “petiter” or something… what’s with “petite short”?!) Still, I was able to buy three (three!!) pairs of jeans, at 50% off plus my coupon discount, that hopefully I’ll never have to hem or put painful darts in at the waist.

(Finally getting to the success story now)

Since I was at the mall anyway, I decided to drop into VS to use a $10 off coupon they’d sent me in the mail. The employees there, as I pointed out previously, are really friendly and offer to help all the time. I was there just to buy some comfy undies (I got a megaload of them for $15 with my coupon!) and–here is the “success”–when the salesperson asked if I wanted to get fitted, I (yes, me, the pushover!) told them that VS does not make bras in my bandsize. Here’s the conversation:

(prelude about clarifying no-minimum-y-ness for my coupon)
VS: When was the last time you got fitted?
A: It was a while ago, but I wear a 28 band. I don’t think Victoria’s Secret makes bras in that band…
VS: No, there aren’t any 28 bands. We can give you something else to try though. Are you looking for something specific? A push-up?
A: No, that’s okay, I was just going to look at the underwear.
VS: Okay. I’ll be around to check on you.

A few points:

  • This is the main pro of the conversation: the girl did not at all refute or ignore my being a 28 back or my remark that VS doesn’t make 28s.
  • Yeah, she did offer to put me in a non-28 band, but this, after all, is a business and she didn’t push too hard with something like “I’m sure we can find something that’ll fit”.
  • I actually split before she got around to “checking on me” but another point for good service and sweet personality.
  • I wonder what her response would’ve been if I’d told her my full bra size.
  • Dude the last thing I want is a push-up 😦

And then on my way home, I bought even more stuff. (Massive shopping points! This is good for me, kind of.) I found out that Rite-Aid had the N.Y.C. cosmetics I’ve been hurting for (the local CVSs don’t carry it and there are no local Kmarts) and I bought granola bars and bananas at Safeway. Mmm bananas…

Next post, either tomorrow or the day after, will be another review. Probably the Freya Crystal Plunge.

Review: Panache Harmony Balconette

This was one of the first 30 bands I bought for myself. The Harmony balconette is really touted as a great first well-fitting bra for beginners who have only just had their bra-piphany (oh yeah I just went there. Actually, I might have seen it somewhere else before.).

Strangely, it has some terrible reviews on Bravissimo. This and its out-of-stockness in my size make me sad.

I agree that it’s great to start out with. It’s really comfortable, it’s very normal (but still elegant), and the fact that it’s not molded will help along anyone who might be going “oh hold on that size looks terrifying!”. I also feel particularly secure in this bra, although I have no idea why. It’s not super snug, but it’s like someone sewed a sense of safeness into my bra. Maybe that’s the secret?

It comes in a couple of different colors. Mine is beige. I can’t find any mention of Harmony (balconette or full-cup) on Panache’s website, but there are still plenty around.

Here is a review of the same Harmony balconette from Bras I Hate. She says (and I believe her) that its design helps make breasts look more compact. The gist is that there are a few factors (breast shape, position, etc) that might send a few people away from the Harmony balconette but overall it’s a very very good bra.

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