Monday, 30 November 2015

Playful Promises Juliet Review

***Disclaimer: This lingerie set was sent to me free of charge. This in no way affects my opinions and/or views expressed in this blogpost.

A moment of silent reverence please, to the lingerie goddesses for bestowing this beauty among us. Or at least, to the team over at Playful Promises. Yes, it's here: from the second I heard whispers about their 28-36" DD-G collection I was on the edge of my seat. So I was jumping up and down shouting excited when Anna emailed and offered me a set to review. A quick perusal over what was on offer left me with only one real choice. I mean, they're all gorgeous but Juliet is just on another level in my opinion. This bra is the kind of design I would never have believed I could find in a fuller bust range. It is pure architectural, minimalist, sexy goodness.

That's right I said sexy. An important message I will happily argue with others over is that lingerie is not implicitly sexual. Society has needlessly fetishised it leading some to see it as having no function other than to turn men on *cough* patriarchy *cough*. But whatever, f*ck men! This makes me feel sexy. I feel powerful and confident while I'm wearing this set, and those are not emotions easy to come by for me nowadays.

I'm currently hovering between bra sizes but decided to risk it and go down to a 28G for this bra, while sticking to a size small (which is a UK 10) for the pants and girdle rather than my usual 8 because of their high waist. I'm really happy with the fit of the bra, although I could most likely comfortably have gone up a cup size (which would have involved going for a 30G because of the size range). Instead I get a nice level of compression and support. I would compare the shape it gives me to the Pour Moi 'Addicted' bra, if anyone happens to own that as well. My low density, bottom heavy breasts experience a little bit of cutting in which I suspect is unavoidable for my particular breast type in such shallow cups, but it's minimal and doesn't bother me.

In terms of the brief, it's made from such a soft, pliant mesh which means that I could probably have gone for it in an XS. I went up a size to avoid them being overly tight around my midsection but they're stretchy enough to be quite generous with the sizing. The roll on girdle, on the other hand, is made from a sturdier mesh like the bra. I assume this is to provide adequate support and a little bit of shaping in the case of the girdle. Because of its stronger material I'm definitely happy with my choice of a size S.

I actually wasn't expecting to be sent the girdle as well as the bra (with included harness) and the briefs, so I feel very grateful and spoilt by the lovely Playful Promises team. I really love how the girdle and briefs have been elevated from just basic black mesh pieces by that cut out design on the back. At the same time, I adore how easy it is to mix and match this set with other black pieces. I feel like this bra was made to be matched with Hopeless Lingerie pieces and I've really been enjoying experimenting with different combinations so far.

Although I feel the set can look a bit busy on me with the harness included (because of my short stature), I think it's so brilliant that Playful have included the harness with the bra while not attaching it. This allows it to be used with other sets or even as outerwear. The harness is fully adjustable around the waist and neck and has an almost plush underside so it is comfortable against the skin.

While the girdle suspender straps are not adjustable, they're not overly long so I didn't have much issue with them. The sturdy clips keep my stockings in place all day long, and the high waist ensures it doesn't slip down at all. I'm going to take this moment to comment on the fact that I have never owned a roll on girdle before and therefore hadn't discovered how much easier they are to go to the bathroom while wearing than regular girdles. It's so nice to just be able to yank it down without thinking twice! Then it's just a quick stocking readjust before heading back out into the big bad world.

This set is definitely worth the money for it's versatility and gorgeous design but if you're a bit more budget conscious then I think the bra is an excellent investment piece in itself. It'll match with any black lingerie while bringing an extra edge to any outfit. It may not be the most practical piece of lingerie in the world, but it sure is gorgeous. So if you're looking to treat yourself along with your friends and family this festive season, Juliet gets my vote.

Thanks for reading. x

Friday, 13 November 2015

Lollypop Nursing Bra Review

My 13th blog post going up on Friday 13th... oooooh! Sorry it's been a while, I underestimated how hard it would be to get pictures taken once British winter rolled in and the skies turned to a permanent grey. However it was getting to the point where I really needed to get something out there because I have a lot of reviews that I want to share with you lovely readers. So kicking it off I have my final nursing bra review. I weaned my son a few weeks ago (a story for another post, perhaps) so I am officially bidding adieu to nursing bras for now. And honestly, this bra was one of the only reasons I stuck it out for the last few weeks.

Because look at it, look at it. Is this not the most beautiful nursing bra you've ever seen?! I actually bought this many months ago from Cache Coeur, a French lingerie brand specialising in maternity and nursing styles. When I made it past the year mark with breastfeeding, something I had never previously expected to do, I decided to treat myself to a new bra. It was a hard decision to choose between the Lollypop design in bright pink, or the Magic bra in that gorgeous soft cloud colour. Lollypop ended up winning out because pink and also, its shape reminds me of some Chantal Thomass designs. Must be something about the French.

I struggled with deciding on a size to order because just before ordering I had a bad experience trying to figure out my European size for a Kris Line nursing bra. Also, for the life of me I could not find a size guide on the Cache Couer site. Eventually I ended up googling it which took me to this page on their site which includes a calculator. I inputed my size and it put me in a US 32D. Which 1) is not my size and 2) is completely useless when ordering from a site which uses EU bra sizes. I decided to risk it and order a 70H which should be the same as a UK 32G. I was then wearing my 30GG panache nursing bras and couldn't get a smaller back size than 70.

When it arrived it was far too big and the label actually stated that their 70H was equivalent to a UK 32H. So I emailed customer service and they told me to exchange it for a 70G. Long story short: I got the bra but not before weeks went by. I had to email them reminding them about the exchange after which they promptly sent the new bra out. Even then I could probably have sized down another cup size, and I definitely could now that I'm wearing between a 28G/30FF. But that is one of the wonders of wireless nursing bras! They are really flexible on sizing. Cache Coeur's in particular are made of material with a minimal of 15% elastin in the cups to allow it to stretch as you grow throughout pregnancy and nursing. There are also 4 rows of hooks in the back for extra adjusting. I wear mine on the tightest but would ideally have it a bit snugger as I prefer a super tight bra band.

One of the things which attracted me to Cache Coeur as a nursing lingerie brand was their incorporation of magnetic clips. Although these take a bit of getting used to, I found them much more secure compared to my other nursing bras which had a habit of occasionally un-hooking themselves throughout the day. Another innovation of this brand is a microfiber lining of the cup allowing the fabric to dry faster than normal if any leakages occur. This is something which I unexpectedly got to test out as I didn't realise you can start leaking again during weaning.

Which brings me to the main perk of this bra. Let's face it, it doesn't matter how pretty or scientifically enhanced a nursing bra is if it's not going to be comfortable. And this bra is so comfortable. I spent a good week being tender and engorged while weaning and this bra was so lovely to wear throughout that period. It's got just the right amount of stretch and the fabric is super breathable. Also, for a wireless bra it really does give excellent support which I think is in large part due to it's lightly molded cups incorporated with boning on either side.

And it's just. so. cute. The lace, the adorable little matching shorts (which I bought in a size S, by the way), the little bow on the gore which resembles a tiny frilly pom pom... I really just love it so much. So I'll be sad to put this away in my maternity stash, but I know that Cache Coeur will be my first stop for nursing bras if I ever get pregnant again.

Thanks for reading. x