22/04/2014

Arabel

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Arabel has been on my radar for a while now, in the past i've found their whimsical designs attractive if a tad too girly for me at times but i was pleasantly surprised to see that since i last checked in with them, Arabel seem to have matured as a brand and have expanded their ranges to include some terribly beautiful pieces, including a darling lace bra that claims to be suitable for petite ladies and comes in those often overlooked small band/small cup sizes. 
These Painted Lady knickers are available with a variety of different coloured butterfly embellishments but i was immediately drawn to the white on white version. Currently i'm going through a massive white lingerie phase and i just knew these would be perfect for me.
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I go about life without using public toilets so i'm always desperate for a wee when i get into my apartment building and therefore i've developed the terribly unladylike habit of opening all my post on the toilet. So when i say i wee'ed myself in excitement when i saw these in the flesh for the first time, you know i'm being literal here. I had the immediate desire to buy a pair for my mother but then i saw the price (£60) and thought she probably wouldn't appreciate them enough for me to splurge.
I'm not a huge fan of 3D embellishments and surprisingly even less of butterflies. When i was a young child my bedroom was covered in them: butterfly paintings on the walls, butterfly magnets on the radiator, butterfly broaches on the curtains and bed canopy, butterflies everywhere, so to me they are an infantile symbol but guh, i love these knickers. I think this love has a lot to do with the fluidity throughout the design. The choice of Chiffon fabric with that vertical ruching and the flared hem coupled with the placement of the butterflies over one hip that are almost animated on their journey to the centre of the bum. Yup, it's a mature and exceptionally classy take on my childhood mascot. They're just so perfect for lazing around in my little monochrome world on a sunny weekend (or tuesday)
I was sent these knickers in a size 6-8 and the fit is spot on. As the bulk of the knickers is mostly free size, the only fit issue would be with the waistband, which you can see (can you see?) doesn't dig in and sits quite nicely. My only niggle is with the construction as, as the fabric is ruched around the waist elastic without any stitches to hold it in place, the elastic twists out of place in multiple points along the waistband and is a bugger to untwist and get to lie flat. But other than that the construction is really perfect and although the nature of this piece is to look delicate, i don't feel like it would be very easy to put a hole in the fabric or pull a butterfly off them. They didn't come with any care advice but i hand washed them before i shot these photos and there were no disasters however i certainly wouldn't throw them in the washing machine with my everyday knickers. 
I'm overall incredibly impressed with the craftsmanship and the subtle beauty of these sweet little knickers and i'm definitely going to pop over to Arabel more often, and keep an eye on this little brands development. I can foresee a very happy love affair between me and them if this is the quality and style of lingerie they keep producing.

If you're interested in owning any Arabel for yourself and supporting an independent, UK brand then you can make that a reality here.

17/04/2014

Karolina Laskowska

I do love Karolina Laskowska, both as a person and a designer. She embodies everything i admire in a person, being hardworking (Karolina is a student alongside running her own lingerie business) and exceedingly intelligent and thoughtful. Someone i feel i could have a great deal of scintillating conversation with, without even broaching the subject of lingerie (because sometimes we lingerie bloggers do deviate from thinking, and speaking, about lingerie 24/7). And naturally she embodies everything i admire in a designer too. I think i probably first discovered her harnesses through Toots early last year and i've kept up with her life and work ever since.
Karolina Laskowska lingerie has been featured on this blog once before, with her Fundraiser knickers (I would link to the post but i try not to re-live the photography on my early-ish reviews), which unfortunately met an untimely end in the paws of a pompom loving foster cat. So they live on in my lingerie drawer but alas never get worn and i've been biding my time before i could expand my collection to include pieces that didn't have big rips in them. Karolina got in touch and offered to send me a pair of her Ume high waisted knickers to review and i gleefully accepted. I was completely not expecting such a generous package to appear in my building foyer.
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Before she sent out the package, Karolina had a little freak out that the Ume knickers she had left, in a size small, were going to be far too large for me. And i must admit, i had the exact same freakout when i saw them for the first time. But as usual, i completely underestimated the size of my hips and general lower body area and the fit is great. Karolina, however, generously included not one, not two, not even three, but four extra pieces from her collections "just in case." 
When i opened the package, i'd just got in from a long day at work dealing with an influx of rather unpleasant customers (they all seem to come out of the woodwork at the same time), so i was overwhelmed at the sheer generosity and it really lightened my mood. 

The Ume Knickers are made from vintage Kimono silk so vary from pair to pair but the fundamentals of the design make me weak at the knees. I love that the back is sheer mesh but most of all i love that the front and back panel connect via little pearlescent buttons down both sides, that can be undone. This, although very beautiful, is also absolutely practical and a very clever design feature as the kimono silk has no stretch and the sheer mesh has stretch in all directions. So to keep the high waisted shape and allow ease to put on or remove the knickers, there needs to be some way to increase the girth of the waistband. Now i hate the colour purple, like if Mimi Holliday were offering free Bisou Bisou sets and they were purple, i wouldn't partake and if Agent Provocateur offered to send me something and it was purple, i'd politely refuse. My dislike of the colour goes beyond a minor niggle in aesthetic taste, it is a deep rooted issue. So when i say it took me a good day to realise these knickers were purple then it means i must genuinely love them. It's not often i'm able to overlook such a major problem so y'know, kudos to Karolina for putting purple in my presence and not having me recoil in horror, but do the exact opposite. 

The Klara Garter is what my wardrobe has been missing. I've been searching for a leg garter that doesn't slip down my leg with the slightest movement, for quite some time. The fully adjustable nature of this one and the gold hardware (ohhh is there anything better than gold hardware? I think not) make it a winner in my eyes. Granted my thighs are the meatiest part of my body and my biggest problem area so whilst i might not feel comfortable wearing this garter whilst bare legged, i rarely go bare legged for confidence reasons anyway so i am looking forward to wearing this over my usual 40 denier tights and avoiding looking like my leg should be hanging in your local butcher shop.

The Lidia and Kordelia (not pictured) Harnesses are equally as lovely as the Klara Garter and all three are made out of high quality satin elastic and so there's no rubbing in uncomfortable places. Yet again they are adjustable, so can be worn as loose or as tight as you want and fasten in the back much like a bra with three rows of hooks. My plans for all white outfits featuring black harnesses just got a lot more exciting. 

The last piece gifted to me was a pair of Ume Pasties. Made from a similar vintage silk kimono fabric, these pasties are in my favourite light pink shade and adorned with such beautiful flowers. Unfortunately as i overexpose my photos so i don't have to spend forever editing my skin, they don't show up well in these and my attempts at taking better shots were thwarted by kittens freshly awoken from a nap (so more destructive than usual). I'm also terrible at getting pasties to stick which is mostly due to the shape of my chest, what with my nipples being a good 50% of my actual tit, but also because double sided sticky tape and i don't often get along together. Pasties on the whole, however, are not best suited to those who don't have their mass distributed evenly directly around the nipple because they just kind of hang on for dear life and don't have much to adhere to. I'm also, personally, not a fan of pasties because i feel they make me look completely flat chested, which ultimately makes me feel the opposite of sexy and alluring, but these are so pretty they were worth rescuing from the mouth of one of my little monsters and shall hopefully get some use if i ever manage to trick another man into my bedroom on the long term... 

There are only a few pieces of the Ume collection in select sizes left so if they or anything in this post has taken your fancy then you can purchase your own here.
*These pieces were sent to me free of charge for the purposes of a review. All opinions are most definitely my own and Karolina is definitely the most generous person i've ever come across.

p.s. I've started shooting my blog photos in portrait, rather than landscape, if you hadn't already noticed. I've been worried that the photos would be unpleasantly "in your face" but I actually think blog posts look better this way however i'd really value your thoughts, as a reader how are they for you? 

02/04/2014

Hopeless Lingerie

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I adore Hopeless Lingerie and i have done for what feels like very a long time. My lingerie arsenal is stuffed with frills, lace, colour and an all manner of embellishments. This is what i'm drawn to when i'm shopping for something new but my love of all things minimal and my desire to live in a minimal environment and champion a minimal wardrobe makes Hopeless' designs so appealing. Season after season they churn out a select few pieces that are classy, black and most importantly, manage to retain a completely unique feel. Anyone who is a repeat offender here at oflambsandlace knows i've been gushing over Hopeless on the regular since Day One so it probably comes as a surprise that it's taken me this long to actually own something of theirs. Honestly, i consider the prices for the pieces to be reasonable, if a little generous considering the work that goes into handmaking every piece and sourcing such high quality fabrics, but it's the international shipping and inevitable customs fees (thank you UK border agency for charging me two hours wage just for "handling") that has always put Hopeless just out of my price range and pushed them to the back of my mind (Sad to say my mind is often filled with big UK based companies such as Damaris and Agent Provocateur). 
Gabrielle the founder, designer and hand maker of Hopeless Lingerie contacted me and offered me a $100 gift voucher in January and i almost choked on the cake bar(s) i was stuffing my face with. Dreams do come true and all that trite. Naturally deciding what to purchase and how much of my own funds i could contribute took me hours but i eventually settled on two pieces that i felt would provide an inclusive example of all the garments available and that i would be very happy to own.
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My tough deliberations brought the Eva Harness and Donna Knickers in an XS and XXS respectively, to my front door. For reference, the smallest part of my waist (which happens to fall on my ribcage believe it or not) is approximately 24 inches and my hips measure approximately 32 inches and both these garments fit perfectly.

I always knew i wanted to own a Hopeless harness and whilst there were some cheaper options, i was really drawn to the Eva and so that was my main splurge. Although there are only five horizontal straps, this harness is really reminiscent of the rib cage and appeals to my great love of skeletal anatomy. I have big plans for all white outfits featuring this gem once spring or summer make an appearance. The elastic Hopeless use is like no elastic i've ever come across before, and as someone who has been dragged from haberdashery to haberdashery as a child, i'd like to think that's saying something. Whilst it stretches like regular elastic, the finish on it is smooth and comfortable, with no stiff edges to dig in or chafe. All the straps, both the horizontal and neck, are fully adjustable up to a point (this point denoted by what size you chose to purchase) and so there's really very little chance of having any fit issues.

I wanted to try out a pair of knickers from Hopeless to complete this review but at the time of purchase (mid january) i was pretty much down to no jobs (i now work two) so it put some of the more adventurous knickers out of my budget and i opted for something simple. And yes, they are very simple but boy, do they put so many other knickers to shame. The "bamboo jersey" is definitely a fabric worthy of spending all day touching my arse and it's breathable which i consider to be one of the most important criteria for knickers. I'm also not sure what this witch craft is but, although being elasticated at the waist and legs, these knickers don't dig into any of my softer bits, at all. They just rest very comfortably against the body and it's pleasant to see that my muffin top seems to have retired from making an appearance. I would happily bin all my cheap everyday knickers and fill my lingerie drawer with Donnas because, whilst they may be plain, they're intelligently designed and have such a lovely shape that give me that nice ping of body confidence.

I always expected quality from Gabrielle and Hopeless Lingerie but i really am blown away. They produce a great selection of exciting harnesses and designs but the real hero of these are the slightly simpler pieces, the basics. Basics i can feel attractive in, even sexy, that are durable, breathable and practical (and black, lets not forget how much i love black).  
Something to keep in mind if you are thinking of placing an order (and i hope you are) is that all pieces are handmade by Gabrielle and her select few assistants so the wait time is a couple of months, especially since Hopeless Lingerie has become everyone's sweetheart and they must be constantly receiving orders. Personally, i don't have a problem waiting that time for something i know is going to be of good quality but plan ahead if you're making a purchase and need it by a certain time, you will be bottom of the queue once your order is placed. 
 If my gushy, excitable review has swayed you and you're planning on giving your arse and other body parts a treat then you can do so at the Hopeless Lingerie webstore
But remember, non AUS residents, budget for customs fees so you don't get caught short.

22/03/2014

dMondaine Shapewear

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Recently i've found shapewear has become a desirable garment but if you'd have asked me three years ago if i ever thought at twenty years old i'd feel the need to wear shapewear, i'd have said a flat no. Surprise surprise, bodies mature. Three years ago i was still rocking a concave stomach, however now, like the vast majority of women, i carry a layer of fat on my stomach. It's not a great amount of fat, but it is present and when coupled with my poor posture (many years of ballroom dancing and now i can't seem to break the habit of arching my back, all day, every day) my protruding stomach is greatly noticeable. Obviously this is most noticeable to me. We're all hypersensitive to changes in the structure of our bodies and we all also view our bodies from an unfortunate angle so i'm anticipating the "You don't have a tummy"/"You don't need shapewear"/"You're making others feel bad" comments and that's understandable but what's worth remembering when you read this review, is that what's important to me is how i view myself, in my natural, non-posed posture, in my daily, non-static environments. So whilst i work on adding some muscle tone to my stomach and whilst i struggle through a bout of terrible, spontaneous bloating on the regular, i've been on the look out for something that's just going to smooth everything down and do a wee bit of sucking in so i don't feel absolutely ghastly when i catch myself in the mirror thirty times an hour, at work.
When dMondaine contacted me i had the initial "who are dMondaine and what do they do?" moment that i have with a lot of companies that contact me. After clicking through to their webstore i had a little hallelujah moment. Granted there is a decent amount of beige going on, the seemingly "go to" colour for shapewear (many companies operate under the assumption that beige is an appropriate nude colour for all women. I'm sure if we all compared colour charts against our skin many of us would find much more suitable shades, other than beige. Especially those with darker skintones) and one colour i absolutely dread, the actual garments completely redeem themselves. It's a great sign that style has not been compromised for functionality when my first initial thoughts are how amazing ALL the slip dresses would look belted, with a chunky knit cardigan and in my everyday wardrobe. So much so that i can't help but feel like all of my little black dresses (and i only own little black dresses) are inferior in comparison to their Rita slip
Needless to say, i was impressed and i'm still impressed.
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dMondaine were kind enough to send me their Bridget and Lana in a size small.
Naturally i was super excited when i arrived home the other day and found these waiting for me, clothes *were* removed as soon as i was safely past the threshold. 
However when i first saw the Lana kickers, i was crestfallen, especially after spying the small on the label. They were tiny, i was pretty convinced they'd never get passed my bum and if they did, well the next time i was desperate for the loo i would be in danger of not being able to pull them down in time (i am an old lady when it comes to bladder control, yes). I was ecstatically proven wrong though. Obviously, if you hadn't already clocked from the photos adorning this post, the knickers fit. And comfortably. Usually in high waisted knickers, to keep the shape there's only limited stretch and in one direction so getting them on and off is a bit of a faff. With these, there's stretch in all directions and once on, nothing feels too tight or digs in. And yet, they are shapewear and they do indeed give shape. The diamond design on the front, whilst fabulously geometrical, subtly pulls in my lower stomach and disguises the part of my body i feel needs it the most. 
The Bridget bra is adorable. I love the sling shape of the cups and the fact that there's no underwire only a band of elastic and yet i get a nice lift that, if i had a larger chest, would most definitely be the makings of some cleavage. The design of the cups and the fabric used means that it fits my 30B chest with all the fabric lying flush against skin but i'm damn sure it would also fit a larger chest, there's room in here but not in an uncomfortable, it doesn't fit kind of way. This seems to be the nature of the design, the cups seem to be suited to hold many sizes that fall within the Small, Medium and Large range. 
I think the reason i'm so impressed with dMondaine is that they managed to break every negative i'd associated with shapewear. Their garments are stylish, unique, comfortable, well fitting and are suitable for small busts. Not to mention the Lana knickers give me a little bit more confidence in my side profile, which was my ultimate goal.

If you'd like to invest in your own dMondaine lingerie or read about the technology they've employed in their designs you can do so on their website here.
Has anyone else considered or owned shapewear and did it help boost your confidence?
*These items were sent to me free of charge to review. All opinions are my own, i am genuinely very impressed. 

06/03/2014

Brands for Small Busts: Mimi Holliday by Damaris

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Okay so a full week and a couple of days after the fact, i've finally made good on my promise of a post introducing Mimi Holliday as a brand for small busts. As usual (do all my posts start with an apology of sorts? I feel like they probably do) i've been incredibly busy but only actually getting a fraction of what i'm supposed to be doing, done. So this is not the only thing i've been neglecting but my excuses are like so:
I was waiting on a package from Mimi that would validate some of my points in this post but, through no fault of Mimi Holliday, this took a lot longer than i anticipated and i also wanted some sort of cover photo for the post but just could not muster the motivation to get it shot (and naturally in the weeks its taken me, the weather has turned and so these photos aren't cohesive in either lighting or editing, but for once i do not care). 
Naturally, one of the things i love about Mimi Holliday by Damaris is their vast ranges of sizes. Not many of their current bras are available in the 28AA, A, B or 30As that are so uncommon but i've seen more than enough examples of these sizes from their past collections so i assume they crop up relatively regularly. It's refreshing seeing a brand continuously creating for not only the very small busted, but also the larger busted and everything in between, of course. As a 30B, my size is pretty commonly found within their ranges so i've pretty much bought out everything in the sale i could get my hands on in my size (as you'll read later, my actual size and the size i prefer to wear in Mimi are different). However i've found a serious case of vanity sizing and unsuitability for small busts throughout their styles so i though i'd share my knowledge in the hopes that, if any of you are thinking of buying you will be able to find a fit comfortable for you first time around. 
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Not Pictured is the "Coquette non-padded Shoulder Bra" in a 30B that was sent back almost immediately but of which the fit will still be discussed.
First things first, when buying a bra in this style, a little bit of thought towards the shape needs to happen. The bra i chose to send back, from the Coquette style had such a high apex and full cups that, although tagged as a 30B, it would have been better suited to a 32 C/D. There was no way my shallow or otherwise known as bottom heavy bust was going to fill out more than a 1/3 of that fabric and since i'd bought it full price, i was lucky enough to be able to send it back. 
The other two bras have exactly the same fit even though they are a cup size apart. The bands run very large and i find these most comfortable when worn on the tightest hook so a band size down from your usual is probably the best option. Due to the nature of the cups, they also run large and yet again, if i were to purchase another Shoulder Bra, i'd want to size down in the cup (although this isn't an option as they don't seem to offer an A cup below a 32 band in any of these styles). Luckily allover lace cups with a high apex don't gape and often the excess room/fabric isn't immediately apparent or at all uncomfortable.
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The "Bisou Bisou fully padded Plunge Bras" are currently my favourite bras (with the exception of my Ultimo bras) and i'm now the owner of four: the Bisou Bisou Cherie pictured), Pearl, Frost (worn in cover photo) and L'Amour but i've also got my eye on the Rose if it ever drops to sale price in the future.
Something i noted in my full review of the Bisou Bisou Cherie set is that although i purchased my usual size of a 30B, i felt a 28B would be a better fit as the band seems to run large across all Mimi styles. Cue my impulse purchase of the Bisou Bisou Frost and L'Amour in a 28B. And it turns out i was right, going down a band size was a good idea, the 28B fits like a true 30B and having spoken to a close friend who wears a 30FF (when not pregnant) and owns the same set, i can safely say she also felt like the band runs a size too large. It's also worth noting that she drew my attention to something i hadn't picked up on in my review for the Cherie set; these bras fasten with only one row of hooks in the back and so are not suitable for regular, all day wear for those who have a large bust and put more strain on their bras. This is something i'd never considered to mention as it's not a problem for small busts but is something i intend to check and include in future reviews anyway.
As for the fit, when wearing the right size, there's no "plunge" action, it's a pipe dream for me as i just don't have enough mass at the top and centre of my bust to get that shape whilst still encasing my nipples, but these do give a nice shape regardless. One thing to note is that due to the nature of "padded plunge" bras, your nipples will sit very close to the top of the cups, it's not something i personally find uncomfortable but i know isn't ideal for everyone. 
Something i can safely say is that there's none of the dreaded gaping for me, in fact there's very little room in the cups at all. I wore my Bisou Bisou L'Amour to work, where i usually stuff my locker key into the side of my bra and they were pretty touch and go all day. So great for my bust, but not so much for my ingenius locker key storage.

Mimi Holliday most definitely doesn't have perfect sizing (i have testimony as to a balcony bra in a 32A fitting someone who usually wears a 28/30A) but it's so rare to see a brand continuously flying the flag for very small busts. If you are planning on buying from Mimi Holliday's full price range then know that my experience with their returns was very positive and i got my money back almost as soon as my item arrived back with them. If you want to buy from Mimi Holliday's 60% off sale, in which items cannot be returned unless they are truly faulty, then i would always suggest going down a band size if possible, double checking the shape of the bra is compatible with the shape of your bust and weighing up the risk (currently most bras are around £22 right now so for me that isn't a huge risk as if i do end up with an unwearable size, there's always ebay, friends i can gift to or failing that, i'm lucky to work two jobs and know i can make that money back in one day, but take into account how big a risk it is for you and whether it's worth it).
If anyone reading this has any Mimi Holliday in their collection then please do comment with the item you have and how you find it fits so we can build up a nice little resource for the small busted (and large busted) who are thinking of purchasing something.

Edit: MariĆ«lle my darling detective and fellow small busted blogger, extraordinaire, did something clever (no doubt) and came across testament that as of SS13, Mimi Holliday increased their cup sizes (so a 28B would fit like a 28C) as they were receiving many complaints that their cups came up small.  So this is something to keep in mind and although i personally, have found that going down a band size works well for me, if you have the option of going down a cup size (which i do not) then that might be an option for you too. 

22/02/2014

Mimi Holliday: Bisou Bisou Cherie

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If you have an aversion to, or fear of, split ends then you might want to navigate away from this post. I have a good 8 inches of them and they're making a pretty intense appearance in these photos. You have been warned.

I've been on a bit of a Mimi Holliday by Damaris kick lately. I do have a great love of edgy and sculptural lingerie but when confronted by pages and pages of very feminine colours, delicate laces and oh my, the bows, i just cannot resist. So my arsenal has been steadily growing and when feeling super down a couple of weeks ago, this Bisou Bisou Cherie set ended up, somehow, on it's way to me. I'm not usually a lover of hot pink but i was powerless to the steady influx of Valentines paraphernalia and i'm not regretting this new colour edition to my collection because just look at that beautiful lace. 
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As with all Mimi Holliday designs, the style options for both the bra and knickers is seemingly endless and i'm sure i'm not the only indoctrinated 90's kid who has gotta catch em all moments in these situations. But three bras and five knickers is a little excessive, not to mention completely out of my budget, so i settled nicely on these two (i'm sure you can imagine my utter devastation when i discovered the matching suspender belt was out of stock in my size though).
The "Padded Super Plunge Bra" which does nothing of the sort, unless you're like the poor model and are crammed into a bra three times too small for you, came in my happy size of 30B. I think any promises of plunging cleavage can be thoroughly ruled out when you have a small bust and to be frank, i'm just pleased that the cups don't gape. As with all my Mimi Holliday bras, the band runs a little large and i find it most comfortable to have it fastened on the second tightest hook. There's no gaping in the cups but due to the "plunge" nature of the design, my nipples are scarily close to making a bid for freedom if i do the proper swoop and scoop. If it were available i might consider sizing down to a 30A to get a bit more lift and shape but i am happy with the overall fit of the 30B.
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The "Lace and Silk Bow Back Thong" was only available in a S so i risked it. The fit isn't completely perfect but honestly, i'm not a lover of very tight underwear as i like a bit of room to move so i reckon the XS would have been just that little bit too small on me. I'm also now training to become more adept at tying neat bows behind my back as the bow isn't sewn together and the ribbons must be tied by hand.  So i doubt i'll ever get that photoshoot perfection shown in Mimi's product photos but it's actually better this way round as i have control over how tight the bow is.

You can shop for your own Bisou Bisou Cherie set here whilst it's on sale but be warned, sale purchases cannot be returned and certain styles in Mimi Holliday lingerie suffer from a serious case of vanity sizing. If you'd like to learn more about the suitability of Mimi Holliday lingerie for small busts before splurging, then keep an eye out for my next post (i'm thinking it should go live around tuesday/wednesday).

16/02/2014

Brands for Small Busts: Ultimo

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These four bras all have three things in common:
1. They're my favourites and out of my entire collection, they get the most wear.
2. They're all true to their size, a 30B and fit perfectly.
3. They're all from the UK brand Ultimo and were bought within the last two months.
In fact, before mid December my thoughts on Ultimo were less than kind. The name "Ultimo" for me brought about images of legions of 32 band bras with one common goal, unattainable cleavage. 
It wasn't until i was perusing Secret Sales (a website i adore due to their non stop lingerie sales, at the time of writing this you guys are missing out on Maison Close, but can look forward to Calvin Klein and Gossard in the next few days) and came across an Ultimo sale that i realised they had some pretty lovely designs and that some of their collections were available in a 30 band, starting at a B cup. So between then and now, i've bought every single Ultimo bra available in a 30B and i am beyond smitten.
One of the reasons i am reluctant to part with my money from stores such as The Little Bra Company  is that bras exclusively designed to fit small busts have a tendency to be either completely dull and uninspired or soft cup triangle bras. So this is one of the reasons i am beyond impressed, and a little obsessed, with Ultimo. All of the bras featured in todays post vary wildly in design and yet, although they are also all available in sizes up to a 38D, the appropriate construction changes have been made to ensure they fit their smallest sizes (i would really love to hear from someone who has tried the other sizes about how they fit and to see if this is the same for the larger end of the spectrum).
All these bras originally retailed for between £50 and £55 but are in the sale for less than £20 each. So limited sizes are available (30B available in all and 30C in most, which is great news for small busts)  but it's always worth checking out eBay if you're in desperate need of a particular size.
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The Bombshell bra  has moulded cups but no padding and gives me the kind of lift i've never achieved before. Cleavage, for me, is pretty unobtainable but this comes really close. It's become my go to bra for when i need a smooth silhouette under clothes or when i'm wearing a low cut top and want a little oomph. I really adore the art deco petal design on the cups and i'm debating whether or not to snag the last of the matching knickers in the sale, a debate i've been having for a while now.
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The Temptress bra is a quarter cup bra with a structured mesh overlay, or at least that's how i'm inclined to describe it. Not to generalise but i've found that most super small busts tend to be bottom heavy and so quarter/half cups give us great support and a lovely shape. The mesh overlay is just right as well (which is really impressive) and so there's no excess fabric. Overall it fits like a dream and the satin-esque band and minute details like the tassel and rhinestones (something i know many might find quite tacky but Ultimo seem to favour and the fifteen year old in me loves) give it a really interesting and dare i say it "expensive" look.
I have the full Temptress set, including suspender knickers and waspie (if you can call it that), and i am considering posting a full review soon if i can learn to love the photos i've taken (or find the energy to re-shoot).
U5
The Desire bra is my newest purchase, and one of my valentines day presents to myself. Believe it or not this is the bra i've always wanted but never owned. I love the chunky lace band and the allover lace cups. Unfortunately the cups are a tad too deep for my smaller breast and so the fit on this isn't as perfect as the others, but it's something that i'd usually expect from bras like this and so is only a small niggle. Even with this minor fit issue, i get a nice little lift and shape from this bra and i really do love wearing it.
I own the matching knickers to this and i can say they're just as beautiful and the cut is incredibly flattering, i'd like to say the dude thing (not quite Ram status) was also impressed but i don't even think he noticed (if anyone has any tips on how to go about making a lingerie connoisseur out of a man, then comment them down below. It's imperative i know this). The whole set is making me rethink why i don't own more black lace lingerie
U4
The Persuasion bra has maybe, possibly, changed my life. If you hadn't already noticed, it is quite similar to the Agent Provocateur Alina in colour and shape, although there are structural differences. Previously, i'd always, begrudgingly, assumed that very structural bras such as this one would be difficult (maybe impossible) to design to fit very small busts. It was always the excuse i, and many, cited for brands like AP not producing their very structural pieces in anything smaller than a 32B. But low and behold, this bra fits beautifully. The quarter cup yet again gives a great shape and support, the lace overlay is just enough to fit snugly against the centre of the breast, covering the nipple and the cutouts are perfectly positioned so theres no gaping anywhere. Aside from the beautiful blue based red colour (a colour i feel obliged to avoid most of the time due to sporting reasons) and the gorgeous chain detail edging the lace, there's just something very special about this piece and i am forever upset that i missed out on getting the matching knickers.

As of yet Ultimo don't offer any bras in 28 bands or in a 30A. I did email their customer services a while ago enquiring as to whether there were any immediate plans to expand their ranges to include these so i could relay accurate information onto you, but have received no reply. So i can't vouch for the customer service of this particular company as i am a little disgruntled at their non-reply (and i had given them a decent chunk of time before writing this). I'm also a little concerned as i bought all these bras in the sale and naturally, although my funds were happy for the discount, my brain and heart are anxious that this could mean Ultimo decide their 30 band sizes are not economically viable enough for them. I am over the moon with my little collection but still hoping that Ultimo releases more excitingly designed bras in 30 bands in the (near) future as, even if they haven't realised it themselves, they are really, tremendously, good at catering to the very small busted market.

*Just an fyi for full disclosure, if you click the link to Secret Sales and sign up, it does not benefit me in any way. However if you were to make a purchase then both you and i would receive a £10 e-voucher. I am not being paid to advertise this website nor am i using the e-voucher as an incentive. I genuinely do love the lingerie sales (from which i have purchased many times) they host and would like to share with my readers.*