08/08/2015

Clementine Lingerie

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I've recently been receiving a lot of hits from a reddit discussion about an article in which the author claims the strappy lingerie trend is on it's way out. Apparently my post on the Creepyyeha Ravish Me set epitomises this trend, hence the traffic. However the strappy lingerie trend will never die for me. I adore it and when i find good pieces, they become a staple part of my wardrobe, making appearances as outerwear just as frequently as they are as underwear. However i am mildly fatigued by the influx of the same, uninspired designs coming from both independent brands and from large companies, so i've only recently purchased a few pieces from independent designers (read: Creepyyeha and Hopeless who are both killer at innovative, unique designs and keeping this trend alive), choosing to stick with my faithful Agent Provocateur instead. Enter Clementine Lingerie.
 I've recently been ALL about contour graduates. Coming from an education in the academic sciences, i can only assume that art based degrees are all about originality and innovation (those Fleur of England bralette knock offs aren't going to impress anyone there) so it stands to reason that contour graduates are churning out the freshest designs in their final undergrad collections and hopefully in their own storefronts afterwards. So i was pretty thrilled to find Clementine Lingerie (not to be confused with a few other lingerie brands with the word Clementine in their name), a UK based, recent graduate making designs and shapes that were truly exciting to me. At the time of my purchase, only three other sales had been made and Clementine had only been open for a few months.
I quickly identified three pieces that were an immediate lust at first sight and set about contacting the designer about sizing. The listings stated that they came in very particular sizes but upon enquiring i found that she will happily make each piece according to your measurements so I gave the designer my underbust, waist and hip measurements for these pieces. Not only that but the time it took to make and dispatch three pieces was about a week, so exceptionally quick considering. The wait times for any store offering custom pieces will increase depending on the volume of orders the store has to process at that time but it's nice to know that Clementine Lingerie works quickly and efficiently on each piece.

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The Cut Out Wired bra caught my attention as the lace reminded me of the Agent Provocateur Sandra but with a completely unique shape. The bra is a halterneck that doesn't unfasten, and so needs to be put over the head, and has three rows of hooks to fasten the band. The cups are constructed from two separate pieces of lace, one overlaying the other. The bulk of my breast mass sits in the bottom layer of lace that is slightly more taught and provides most of the support. Anyone with fuller or more top heavy breasts may find that some of their mass sits in the top layer of lace too and maybe might be more accustomed to a more supportive garment (although if you've tried on AP Annoushka, Cassia or Gloria and been okay with the support them you'll be fine with this! And yes, all my references do seem to come back to AP). If you're a sticker for symmetry then the point where the straps from the lower layer of lace, meet in the middle of the bust, might drive you mad as all that hardware in one place does tend to clash and look a bit off centre. As a wholly asymmetrical being, this does not concern me but i know a few people who it might. All the elastic used is satin and so there's absolutely no rubbing or chafing with prolonged wear, thank god. Did i ever tell you about the time i ended up with lesions on my neck from a harness that didn't use elastic with a satin finish? It was grizzly.
There are two minor niggles with the bra, that really don't matter much to me but may to others. One is that the hook and eye closure on the band is actually backwards. Conventionally the hooks lie on the right wing of the band, and the eyes on the left. On both my pieces from Clementine this was reversed and oh boy, am i not dextrous enough to be able to do that behind my back. It's certainly a little more challenging putting this bra on, but it might actually be beneficial to people who are left handed. The other niggle is the underwires on the cups run a little too high on the outside for me. I've had to do a little gentle bending to make it sit more comfortably but with repeated wear this will sort it's self out. It might just be a case of my bra size being too small for the size of underwire used, or that i have a particularly firm, protruding ribcage.  
As i'm becoming a stickler for matching sets, i had to get the Lace Cut Out knickers too since both used the same lace and had such interesting cut-out features. I also asked for the hardware to match on both pieces just to make doubly sure i could wear them as a set. All the straps are fully adjustable using sliders so there's very little chance that you'd ever have fit issues with either of these pieces. The top layer of lace, with a scalloped hem, used to shape the bra cups mirrors the lace design on the knickers that have this triangular panel on both the front and back so they are the perfect accompaniment for each other.
The construction on both pieces is almost flawless, with the odd piece of thread coming lose from me vigorously adjusting some straps, and the sheer amount of design that has gone into putting all the components together, and having them work harmoniously is so impressive from such a new designer. 


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The Harness Soft Cup Bodysuit was a complete, "I don't need this, nor should I be spending any more money, but I have to own it now I know it exists." But i wasn't 100% sure what to expect as the photos in the listing all show pieces with slightly different hardware. But i was pleasantly surprised and pretty pleased to see mine with GIANT silver hardware contrasting against the delicate paisley lace and the overall feminine shapes of the bodysuit. If there's one thing i love more than strappy lingerie, it's giant 'in your face' hardware. The top of the bodysuit comprises of a halterneck that doesn't unfasten, like the bra,  and two un-wired bra cups with a lace overlay. This overlay is sewn to the cups but hangs down freely over the top of the rib cage. The cups are slightly too large for me, but can be super easily rectified with a couple of basic stitches (in fact for the purposes of these photos, i had the small bit of excess fabric just tucked under the bottom of the cups. So definitely not a problem). 
The bottom of the bodysuit is shaped just like the knickers, with two triangular panels of lace held together with adjustable leg straps. There is no fastening at the gusset however, so for the purpose of bodily excretions, one would have to remove the halter strap, undo the bra strap, loosen the waist elastic and pull it down. So maybe not great for long periods of use but i can totally get why it would be hard to put in poppers or a fastening on such delicate lace (oh and both the knickers and the bodysuit are lined with a cotton gusset for vagina happiness, if you own a vagina that is).
As with the bra and knickers, all the straps are adjustable, even the one running down the middle of the torso, so a good fit for all torso shapes and sizes is almost guaranteed if you ask for it to be made to your measurements. I'm currently trying to lean up a bit so i'm very happy that these pieces are wearable through all my weight fluctuations. 

Unfortunately Clementine Lingerie is closed for 3 months as the designer is away so the timing of this review is poor (i swear, she went away before my lingerie had arrived, i'm not just sitting in my clubhouse feeling superior) but this blog needed a bit of love and it's rare nowadays that i'm so inspired by lingerie i feel the need to bash out a review post haste. If you're interested in Clementine Lingerie's designs, and want to own some yourself, then be sure to favourite her Etsy shop here and sign up for email notifications for when she gets back. I'm really hoping that she gets the support she needs from customers to continue designing and producing lingerie that i can then add to my collection.

24/06/2015

Creepyyeha Ravish me + an update

Wow so this has been a long time coming. In the past few months i've worked my arse off. Most of my time was pretty much solely dedicated to writing my 16,658 word dissertation which finished off both 9 months of Supernova research and my entire Masters degree. On top of that i'm still working my retail job and i had a whole bunch of other deadlines. Oh and i also managed to pick up a man and start a new relationship. So i've been ridiculously busy and the 5 or so hours it takes to put together a blog post was just not available to me. I should have a few posts lined up for the next few weeks and i certainly have a lot more time on my hands now.  So hopefully we can all become reacquainted again!
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If you're not familiar with Creepyyeha, she's someone you'll want to be familiar with. A particularly inspiring and exciting individual in the lingerie community, she designs and hand makes impressive pieces and curates a completely divine online presence. I follow her work pretty closely and she's one of my favourite independent designers.
Over a year ago i bought this exact same set for Amélie because we'd both agreed we couldn't live without it. And then it took me a whole damn year to buy one for myself. How's that for procrastination? A major source of my reluctance came from the price, it doesn't come cheap. The Ravish Me set costs $200 or around £130 (not including international shipping which takes it up to £150-ish). An amount of money i personally am happy to drop on something so frivolous (obviously) but not an amount of money i often have as disposable income, especially since i've bought two now! 
I was expecting a relatively lengthy wait for my items, airmail from the US usually adds 2 weeks to any shipping and obviously each item is made to order so a timescale on the order of a month was what i was expecting. It did end up taking 2 months, there seemed to be some personal issues and a hiatus that wasn't communicated to customers so if i'd have been paying attention (i wasn't, i actually forgot i'd sleepily bought it in my high stress epoch) i might have been concerned. But hey ho, life happens and i'm relatively patient in some regards.
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So the price, albeit high, reflects in the quality of the pieces. Whilst they come in standard sizing (although she's happy to make any items to custom measurements) every part of the open bra and garter you could possibly want to be adjustable, is. I picked up them both in an XS and they fit me perfectly. I have a 27" underbust and a 23" waist so it's rare i find items that fit comfortably and well.
The elastic used is soft and prolonged wear doesn't cause chafing. I've owned harnesses where i've legitimately ended up with visible and lasting friction burns. So it's pleasing to me that i can wear these pieces all day and not lose chunks of skin. 
Overall i find the garter the most versatile and exciting part of this set. Whilst i love owning matching pieces and the open cup bra is beautifully constructed and designed, i will get a lot more everyday wear out of the garter. The nature of the leg straps and the thick band at the waist means that gravity doesn't take it's inevitable toll and pull the whole thing down. It stays exactly where it is, all day. However, if you do intend to wear a piece like this on the regular, it's imperative you wear your knickers over it (not under it as i did for these photos and for a 2nd date...) because it will make weeing a nightmare if you don't. 
I would prefer another two straps on this suspender, to hold at the back, as the two in this design do only hold a stocking up at the front and slightly to one side so a good 60% of the stocking is unattached. Because of this i tend to wear hold ups with this piece for that extra security. 
To me, this piece is definitely a worthwhile investment and so far i've managed to pair it with a multitude of different lingerie and it always just adds that extra something special. Not to mention i can now wear stockings without having to pull the waistband up every two minutes. It's become a staple piece of my everyday lingerie wardrobe and i'd definitely urge anyone who has been on the fence about picking up a Ravish Me set, to really consider it. And then we can all be twins, of course.

20/03/2015

Sugar Lace Lingerie

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Does anyone remember my extended hiatus last summer (y'know when i somehow got my favourite lens stuck on my camera and had to wait 2 months to get it removed)? Well if you hadn't run for the hills over my inactivity, you'll have vague recollection of this post wherein i introduced Sugar Lace Lingerie and made some vague comments about pieces i'd seen on her instagram that i was obsessed with. Well look! I finally own those pieces and my gosh, they were worth the wait. 
Something that really really attracted me to Sugar Lace's designs is their originality. To be frank, there's only so many sheer triangle bralettes with floral applique feature that a girl can see. Everyone seems to be doing the same thing, be it taking inspiration from Fleur of England's bralettes or Agent Provocateur's Annoushka and it's getting a little old. I feel like independent designers doing something truly interesting that i (personally) haven't seen before are far and few between. So seeing this design crop up and go through development was a really exciting experience for me.

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The Peach Dream bralette and matching knickers are now available for sale and Sugar Lace were kind enough to offer to send me them to write a review on and it was definitely a high point in my blogging career. This set lives up to the hype that i gave it and on top of all of that, it photographs beautifully, both laid flat and worn. 

I gave Sugar Lace my bra size (28C/30B) and dress size (UK4/6) and she sent me both pieces in an XS.
The fit, for me, is perfect. The knickers sit so nice and comfortably, none of the elastic digs in and the cut is super flattering on my bottom heavy frame. I'm usually not a fan of full bum knickers because i feel they just cut my arse in half and make me look flat/unappealing but the sheer fabric and the slight high rise of the legs appeases me and whilst from behind will never be my best angle, i feel cute in these and my bum feels cute in these.
The bandeau bra measures approx 23.5" and stretches up to 31.5" around the band so the stretch around my 27" underbust gives me a firm, secure fit. The cup size is also just right for small busts, i'm not swimming in them and the padding gives the perfect shape. Sugar Lace mentions that orders are best completed with a note stating your bra size but i would hazard a guess that if you happen to lie in the small band/large cup or large band/small cup you might have fit issues with the cups on this bandeau style. Although personally, i find that bandeaus are the most forgiving and flattering of all styles for smaller busts so, i'm biased towards myself and my babes and i ain't even going to attempt to think about or discuss the fit issues larger busts might have. 

The construction is f.l.a.w.l.e.s.s. Not a single ruffle or thread out of place. The embellishments are firmly sewed into place and the marriage of peach and baby blue needs to happen far more often: a match made in lingerie heaven. The halterneck ribbon is doubled up for a little extra support, and extra long so you could easily cut it to your desired length (remember to cut across the ribbon at an angle to stop it fraying) or just tie an oversized bow. I am not good at tying bows behind my back so be thankful my hair covers my poor attempt. I will practice. The ribbon itself is made from a soft, non starchy satin material with the only downside being that it does tend to crease slightly, as with all ribbons of this nature. I think i'd like to see this design with a much thicker ribbon, just mostly out of personal preference but i can easily source one in the right colour from a haberdashery and try that out myself as the ribbon is looped through clear hooks that detach from the bra to leave it strapless.

Maybe not the greatest set for everyday wear during the winter months but come summer (if that happens at all) it'll be such a comfortable and pretty statement piece to wear under sheer clothing or deep cut vests. I am already eyeing up the other sheer coloured fabrics that are appearing in Sugar Lace's etsy store and thinking about starting a small collection. Watch this space.

*Items were provided free of charge for the purpose of a review. All opinions and writings are most definitely my own. No one could be quite as obnoxious and opinionated as i.

13/03/2015

Brands for Small Busts: Bluebella Take 2

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So after my last post on Bluebella wherein i maybe, possibly, slightly bemoaned the time constraints that their e-voucher had, i was contacted by Bluebella themselves and offered a very generous offer as a gesture of goodwill over my little gripe. I was given the chance to receive a piece from their, at the time, newly released 50 shades of Grey line. As i'm anti everything that franchise is and stands for, i had to begrudgingly decline even though there were some pieces i adored (i am stubborn and very outspoken in my opinions so even in the face of incredible lingerie, i shockingly stick to my guns). Instead i was allowed to pick anything from their other collections and i just about blew up in happiness. 
The item i picked was, at the time, out of stock in my size and seemingly very popular so i was asked to pick a backup piece instead. Lo and behold, a few days later on a day/week when i was having the worst time, both my chosen pieces arrived with a sweet little note. Needless to say, it really made my week (and possibly my month). 
I cannot stress how incredible Bluebellas customer relations/service is and how thankful i am to have been afforded this generosity. I was in no way asked to review these pieces but due to this being my newest, and current favourite brand for small busts, i really wanted to share some more of their designs with you. 

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First up, the Julianna slip (it's a chemise on the website(?) but i wouldn't call it one) in a UK 8. A sheer lace piece with a scalloped hem that reaches mid-thigh, is a halterneck and has a deep scoop back. Yup, it ticks all the boxes alright. I would say it fits pretty true to size, slightly large on me as i'm a UK 6 but i prefer styles like this to be slightly looser for comfort. The lace is quite starchy and rigid so has a tendency to ride up/bunch in strange ways occasionally but this does mean that the slip retains it's shape really well, especially with the scoop back. 
I really do adore this slip, i'm on a bit of a boudoir wear kick at the moment but it seems such a shame to reserve this purely for myself. I think at some point i'll have to wear it over a bandeau bodycon for a night out.

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Of course the biggest reason for this post, and the set i fell in love with even though it was sold out in my size; Nova.
A little bit of backstory, i've been enamoured with the idea of ouvert bras ever since the launching of a particular UK brand (not naming any names but i'm sure the more seasoned of us lingerie obsessives will know who i'm talking about) happened to lead me to an ouvert bra that i coveted so hard, it was painful. Even now the product page of this bra states that due to the ouvert design, they would be unable to make it in "certain sizes" and so i resigned myself to the notion that us sub 32B ladies would just have to go without and almost convinced myself that yes, maybe an ouvert bra would never actually be able to fit us anyway. 
And then along came the Nova bra available down to a 30B. Surely it wouldn't fit me though right? Often bras aren't graded properly for small band/small cup sizes and it would gape somewhere because our unique fit issues had not been considered, right? Oh oh no my child, Bluebella have done something magical and shown all those high end designers and brands who continuously make strappy, architectural pieces but refuse to go sub 32B/C, that these styles can be graded for the small busted. And i'd just like to applaud them for trying and succeeding.
Nova fits me like a dream (for reference, i'm a true 28C but wear a 30B most of the time), my breast mass fits nicely in the cups and the applique does sit level with my nipples. I get a really lovely rounded elevation (this nicely flattens my natural, and hated, pointy shape) and the straps sit close enough to my armpits (i usually have a problem with the straps lying too far inwards in this size so i am super pleased at the width of this bra). One thing i would mention is that the three strap design of the shoulder strap is quite delicate and i managed to snap one the first time i tried this on. It was easily remedied with a few little stitches but it's always good to remember to not be as heavy handed and clumsy as a sodding newborn lamb (pun intended).
The Nova thong in a UK8 is just as open and daring as the bra, with matching applique panel just about covering a tiny slither. The big downside with this one is that it runs huge, and not around the hips. Around the hips (i'm 32") i would say this is a tad large on me but certainly not uncomfortably so, nor impractically so. No, the thong runs large from front to back (we're talking 17' and for the purpose of these photos i actually had a good wedge of thong fastened in a hair bobble at the back), like i'm pretty sure no one has a vagina/arse crack that long (never taken a moment to consider if this is a variable length though). It's so easily remedied due to the strappy nature of this design but if you're not comfortable cutting bits of your lingerie and reattaching them at a shortened length, then maybe try the Nova brief

I am so pleased, as i've said before, that Bluebella are designing mature and exciting lingerie without excluding some of the smallest sizes. It's something reassuring considering the influx of brands that are moving away from producing bras for small busts due to the ever growing and lucrative full bust audience. We have a very small voice and it's often silenced by the quick blow of our needs supposedly just not being widespread enough to make our sizes an economically viable venture. So having young brands, from very early on in their lifetimes, recognising us and catering to us as just a part of their wider audience (and not some special niche who need beige push up bras) means a great deal and i will continue to support Bluebella. Hopefully they will also be able to continue to support us in return.

06/02/2015

Roufe

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I've had Roufe on my etsy favourites list for what feels like ages. At the beginning of January I was browsing through, well everywhere, looking for something to treat myself too as an after exam incentive. Roufe popped up on my activity feed (a feature I do love on etsy) and I figured it was high time to get properly acquainted. Being the spoilt brat I am, I couldn't just buy myself one piece, so I opted for a bodysuit and a full set instead. All of Roufe's pieces are handmade in your choice of colour and so there is a delay for production. That being said, I purchased on the 11th January and these pieces arrived on the 3rd February so the wait was not excessive at all! They came in a plain white envelope and were packed between a piece of cardboard. There was no invoice or message in the package, just the lingerie. So it lacks a bit of a personal touch but is perfectly inconspicuous and could be sent as a gift (although don't do what my friends/family do to me and not tell me they've got me something and then just send you a moonpie or a book. It can be a tad unnerving).

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So firstly i picked out the Cotton Jersey set. I wasn't a fan of the colours depicted in the listing so I inquired, in my checkout notes, if the set could be made in my team colours. I think my phrasing was mostly blue and white and I linked to a photo to clarify the shade of blue. From then on I received no correspondence back so assumed this was perfectly fine. Unfortunately when this arrived, it was pretty far from my team colours, which you can see clearly in the scarf i'm holding. I think my exact thoughts were, "nailed it" in a rather amused and sarcastic manner. I wasn't sure when ordering if the light blue or turquoise was going to be the closest to my colours so I opted to let the designer make that call, and obviously royal blue is rather far from powder blue. So big lesson learnt, specify exactly what colour fabric you want from the options given. I'm easy going, so whilst the colour wasn't ideal, I recognised that it wasn't a big deal (oh y'know just wearing Chelsea's colours, not like that's particularly unpleasant at this moment in time) and got over it. Unfortunately though, I don't like anything else about the top to this set either. It just looks horrendous and baggy on me (I wear a 28C/30B and measure ~27 inches underbust and ~29 inches overbust for reference), I bought a small (Roufe state that this will fit a US 2-6) and assumed from the product photos that it was going to be a set that fit quite tight and the fabric would stretch to accommodate. Didn't expect a baggy fit in the slightest. I also feel like the white panel in the centre sits much higher than on the version shown and frankly this is not flattering on small busts. I will be passing this on because it's not something i could even sleep comfortably. So any Chelsea fans with larger tits want a free top? 
The knickers are cute and comfortable. I doubt they're ever going to sit on my hips the way they do on the model (I don't know what deity gave her those hips but I would like to get me some please) but the construction is much better and i am always in need of super soft, comfortable knickers to lounge around in. 

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The Strappy Monokini, however, is a completely different story. As with before, i picked this out in a size small and went with a custom colour-way. I was completely torn between white middle panel with black straps or black middle panel with white straps. I ended up going with the former and this time i am so not disappointed. 
As far as construction goes, seams are kept to a minimum and a lot of the edges are just cut away and not hemmed. All of Roufe's pieces are made from Jersey material so they're guaranteed to be super soft and comfortable, that's a given. It also means that unhemmed edges will curl up slightly as opposed to fray. Where there are seams, they're nicely done and hardly noticeable, although on the blue set above, in particular the top, the seams appear to have been done with a little less care and overall i'd say the construction quality was a bit lower in those pieces than in the bodysuit.
The fit is much better. Around my hips (~32 inches) it is perfect, above my waist (~23-27 inches) the straps get a little loose but it's not really noticeable. The ruching at the bust is beyond flattering for smaller busts and it fits like a dream. I would say that if you are fuller busted or carry more of your breast mass up top then you might want to size up as this probably won't give you enough coverage. The straps are placed quite wide, I consider myself to be pretty broad shouldered for my frame and even I find them sitting a little too close for comfort to my arms and occasionally one will slip down. So if you have slim shoulders, this is also something to consider. The back of the bodysuit or "monokini" plunges down to just above where my hair stops and the coverage on the booty is most definitely akin to a thong but it's not tight or restricting. The material is thin, but not sheer, even in white! 
I really do love this piece and i'm very tempted to go back and pick one up with a black middle panel and white straps, just to complete my collection. I've also got my eye on a few other pieces but I might avoid all tops since they run a little too large for small busts. 
I'm a big fan of Roufe because they're doing something different and at an affordable price. Attractive and innovative lingerie is usually difficult to make completely comfortable so anyone who manages to achieve both of these things with jersey fabric definitely gets my approval!

02/02/2015

Ludique Lustful

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I've had my eye on the Ludique Lustful since it appeared online. It was everything i'd ever dreamt of, white, bondage inspired and with little smatterings of delicate lace. When i first stumbled upon this design, promptly texted it to Amelié, and full on swooned, i just didn't have the cash to spend. Unfortunately Lustful doesn't come cheap, with her combined constituents: bra, knickers, suspender belt, totalling £184 (or $277). So i waited and saved up (hahaha who am i kidding, i'm terrible at saving, i just got lucky with a bursary). But when i came to actually seriously consider getting Lustful for myself, i realised that no where on the Ludique site was there any kind of size chart and all their pieces came in the generic Small, Medium, Large. So i wussed out, knowing that, with my small bust and small waist, at least two of the pieces were probably going to be way too large. I was half hoping someone else would take up the challenge and do a review of the fit but by January 2015, there was no Ludique on the horizon of any of the lingerie blogs. 
So i started 2015 whining religiously, every damn day, about how terrible both the Agent Provocateur and Mimi Holliday sales were. And when my student loan went in, well i had all this disposable income but nothing to spend it on (just to clarify, my student loan covers my rent, bills and a small portion of my food. However with that covered, i can use my work wages on ALL THE LINGERIE). D of Anteocularis (a new and great lingerie blog you should all follow) was particularly supportive during this difficult period and kept me going by directing me towards Brigade Mondaine, a french lingerie boutique having a rather heart racing sale. And of course, this would be a pointless anecdote if said sale hadn't included all three constituents of Lustful, available in in the smallest size. So without much hesitation, i snapped her up for somewhere around £120 including a ridiculous shipping fee and prayed with all my little Lamb's heart that it would fit.
(and hey, she's still available in the sale if you're wondering: bra, knickers, suspender belt).
At the time of writing this review, there is a basic size guide on the website (although this has been added prior to the garments going live back in early Autumn (?)) and so i'll refer all my fit comments to the sizes provided there.
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_MG_9202I picked up all three pieces in the "small" option. 
For the bra, "small" means suitable for A/B cups according to Ludique, which is a bit misleading for those who aren't familiar with how cup sizes scale with band sizes (Here is a pretty easy to follow article if you haven't already been introduced to this concept). This bra uses lacing up the back as a fastening and when fully laced together (how i, and the model on Ludique, wear our bra) the band measures 30" (inches) and stretches to approx 33-34.  The front lacing and open cup style means that a varying range of cup sizes are accommodated but i imagine anything above a 34B would require a size up. Now onto the information that is actually relative to small busts in the small cup/small band category. I measure to be about a 28C although have only ever worn 30Bs. I have to keep the front and back laced up fully (and tie the excess string around my neck like a choker) for this to fit. However, as you can see, the elastic with the eyelets isn't always ready to play ball and lay flat, preferring to buckle a little. I also find that the band and thus the cup structure rides up and moves around. This is a problem that commonly occurs when a band is too large (I measure approx 27" around my underbust for reference) but could also possibly be an issue with my lack of breast mass. I'm sure someone with slightly more breast would employ the force of gravity to keep things relatively in place (although i'm no expert on having breasts larger than my own so it's just an assumption).
The suspender belt in a "small" is supposed to be suitable for those who measure approximately 26" around their waist and approximately 36" around their hips. It measures 26" inches around the waistband, stretches up to 32" and the fit is completely unadjustable. In short, this suspender belt is legions too big for me. I'm 23" around my waist, which is where i prefer to wear my suspender belts (i know many like to wear theirs lower on their hips but i'm all about the high-waist look). This piece doesn't sit flat, sits close to my hips and buckles so the lacing detail is lost. Luckily, through some sheer wizardry, the design of the piece means that it does stay in place. I mean i can never wear this under clothes because of the amount it bulges outwards but it does stay on and look pretty cute. So as someone who isn't afraid to have lingerie that is completely impractical and only suitable for a boudoir occasion, i'm disappointed, maybe even borderline heartbroken but not regretting my purchase.  
The thong also claims to fit the same measurements 26" waist, 36" hips. This piece is adjustable, it has what i can only call bra strap sliders on both of the sides. But in actual fact this measures 30" and stretches up to 38" when the knickers have been adjusted to their largest size. And at its smallest, measures 22" and stretches to 26". As someone who has 32" hips, i'm screaming at you to size up if you want to purchase one for yourself. If i'd have seen the measurements given by Ludique for this piece i might have reconsidered my purchase on the grounds that the suspender belt would be way too large (correct!) and the thong equally way too large (Incorrect!). I have to wear this thong at it's largest and even when i do, unfortunately it digs into my hips and gives me that trussed meat kind of look. Less than flattering. I wish so much that i could magic it larger so that it didn't fill me with self loathing every time i wore it. Everything else about this set makes me feel amazing and want to stalk around like the ice queen i am, but that skin bulge is rather excessive (and yes i am soft around the hips, i carry some mass there, but i have other elastic/strappy styles that don't highlight the issue quite as obviously).

As for the design/quality/construction: can you saw f.l.a.w.l.e.s.s. Because that's what it is. I am in love. The elastic is firm and sturdy but not abrasive. It doesn't rub or cause discomfort (even on the places where it massively digs in, ahem, my hips) and let's be real, it looks incredible. The entire aesthetic points to delicacy and in some ways it's easy to be fearful of putting your fingers through the lace or pulling too hard on the laces. But i actually find the whole set to be really rather sturdy, definitely not something that you could easily break.
Even with some of the obvious fit issues, i still look pretty amazing and i do not regret my purchase.
 At all. 
However, i might have felt differently if i'd paid full price. Unfortunately the standard sizing, vague fit recommendations and ultimately the fit issues all three pieces have will make me think twice about buying another Ludique set. Not because i don't love Lustful but because i work hard for my disposable income and i'm not sure if i can personally justify the price with the fit issues. There have been rumblings that Ludique will custom make pieces to your measurements (this has been done for a well known independent lingerie designer) but i can find no trace of this on their website (aside from the very lovely gesture of making the Lustful bra sturdier for larger busts that need more support) and so i cannot verify whether this is correct information and whether this custom service would come with an extra charge. 

I'm sorry this a completely mixed review, i am very much the kind of person who does not equate fit issues with a poor product. I am aware that certain parts of my body are either not recognised to be normal at all (i promise, puberty and i did make ourself acquainted) or just not within the modal range of sizes that sell the best. So i can be both blown away and slightly disappointed at the same time. I have been slightly extra thorough and maybe a little harsh in mentioning all the fit issues this time, purely because, at the time of writing this review, it will only be the second of its kind, and the first for the Lustful set. So i wanted to be as informative as possible. For now i'm happy to own one of my dream sets and i might be able to haphazardly alter at least the suspender belt to fit my waist, although i'll have to consult with my mother first on how reducing the diameter of the waist band will affect the whole shape of the garment...
I would advise that if you are looking to purchase a Lustful set for yourself then to consider the measurements and the fit issues i've raised today before you make your purchase. Ludique create such beautiful lingerie and maybe one day they will be able to expand their size range or offer a more upfront bespoke service to ensure a custom fit. But for now i really hope this helps some of you who are on the fence. 

EDIT: Ludique do indeed offer a free custom service on all of the pieces sold through their website if you want to ensure a perfect fit! So now there is no excuse to not buy yourself Lustful or all of their other lingerie...

27/01/2015

Brands for Small Busts: Bluebella

So over the festive season (which is decidedly unfestive for those of us who work in retail and have January exams) i managed to win a competition run by Bluebella. This was my entry and apparently me being a massive nerd actually worked in my favour for once. Sorry to everyone who isn't a massive nerd yo, it must suck to not be excited by theoretical AGN driven galaxy evolution. My prize was a lovely £100 voucher to spend on whatever i pleased in their online store. Weirdly though, i was given a very immediate deadline for my purchases, the email stated 7 days but when i actually placed the code through the website, i was told i only had 5 days to spend my voucher and it all had to be in one go. Since Bluebella are/were in the midst of their sale and some things were low in stock, i found this a bit inconvenient. I ended up panic buying a few pieces, with one being a size too large, because i didn't feel i could take the risk and wait to see if my size came back into stock. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth but it seemed like a very strange way to conduct the winnings of a giveaway. But i digress, most of us don't shop on deadlines and winning giveaways (or any stroke of luck) is so rare for me that it's not a legitimate complaint.
BLB-1
BLB-4I picked up the Vivienne Bra and Suspender in ivory and Basque in pink. Overall, i had to put a small amount of my own money towards this purchase but the £100 did cover most of it. There are various styles of Vivienne knicker but they were either a vile cut, sold out in the closest thing to my size (an 8 when i prefer to wear a 6, so naturally sizing up to a 10 would've been a bad idea) or not available in the colour-way i wanted. So i ended up going without in the hopes that i could pair something plain black/pink/ivory with these instead.

I picked up the Vivienne bra in a 30B, my usual size, although not my actual size (impossible to find 28C that isn't hideous) but i wouldn't say it runs true to size. The band measures 22" and stretches up to 29" and the cups fit large, although this could just be due to the nature of the high apex not being a style particularly flattering and suitable to small, shallow and wide-set busts. 
The basque i had to get in a 30C due to the time constraints and the 30Bs being completely sold out. It's exactly the same fit as the bra, measuring 22" and stretching to 29" and the cups were way too large for me. Luckily, i'm getting pretty adept at sewing darts into bras and so i was able to adjust this to a better fit. The actual basque has two columns of hook and eyes down the back and i would say fits a UK 6, possibly a UK 8 at a stretch. So not great for any girls out there who have small busts but are of a larger dress size further down their torso. Weirdly, the basque isn't quite long enough for my torso (and i would say i have a pretty average length torso, it just happens to look longer as my waist lies ridiculously high up). So those of you who do possess a long torso might want to pass on this one. Although i'm not an expert on basques (or anything for that matter).
The suspender belt i picked out in the smallest size, a 6-8, and the fit is pretty good actually. There's three rows of hooks at the fastening and so the size ranges from 22" to 30" when stretched fully. 

As all three pieces are from the same style, i can pretty much comment on the design and quality as a collective. All three are constructed from a relatively fine black mesh with large floral lace overlays . On both the basque and the bra, the lace covers the full cup however the mesh only covers the outer half. I find this a little strange as it means, due to the large seam down the middle, that the cups lack any structure. It's just billowing fabric, which is not flattering to the small bust as we need all the help we can when it comes to shape. Speaking personally, i'm more nipple than anything else so i either need a soft cup bra to be tight and flatten me out, or to have structure and provide shape. Otherwise i just look horrendously pointy and completely flattened on the outside of my breasts. The construction is fine, not exceptional but not bad either. There are a few loose threads and seams that haven't been finished properly but i'm pretty easy going with these sorts of things and they can either be carefully cut off or they lie on the inside of the garment so they don't show when worn. I do love the design, i wish the cups didn't increase in depth towards the outside as this is where i hold the least volume (this was left unaltered in the bra but remedied in the basque at the time of photographing this set) but this is definitely an issue with all things high apex not being compatible with my shape or size. 

Overall i'm pretty impressed with Bluebella and it's nice to see a new-ish brand offering 30 bands in some of the smaller cup sizes! I'm going to keep up with them as a brand and hopefully they continue to offer mature, exciting lingerie in sizes for those of us who are often left wanting.