Wednesday 23 November 2011

Supermodel Smalls - The By Caprice 'Audrey'

  Most people will know Caprice Bourret for her career as a model, actress and TV personality. In 1996, California-born Caprice moved to the UK to pursue her modelling career and just six months later, she found herself catapulted into the public eye as the infamous 'Wonderbra girl'. Since then, Caprice has appeared on over 300 magazine covers (including Vogue, GQ, Maxim and FHM) and has fronted an array of campaign advertisements for companies such as M&S, Pantene and Littlewoods. She has also appeared on TV shows, in movies and West End productions and has even released her own single!

   As if that was not enough, the leggy blonde decided to make her mark in the business world in 2000, establishing a licence deal with Debenhams for the creation of her own lingerie line. After seeing her lingerie collection grow rapidly in popularity, Caprice took the leap and invested her own money into the line. She bought back the licence from Debenhams in 2006, and thus, 'By Caprice Lingerie' was born! 

   Since its creation, Caprice has worked intently to develop her brand, adding 'By Caprice Swim' in 2007, 'By Caprice Sleep' and 'Glam by Caprice' (clothing) in 2008 and 'By Caprice Bedding' in 2010. As founder, Designer and CEO of her brand, Caprice has control over all aspects of her business - from designing, to modelling, to marketing. She takes particular pride in going by her instincts and what her customers want, rather than what trends dictate as fashionable. Caprice asserts that her motivation is to make 'ladies feel beautiful, confident, sexy and feminine'. 

   With this in mind, I was very keen to try 'By Caprice' lingerie for myself. The range currently goes from back sizes 30-38 and from cup sizes A-G. Although no 28 inch backs are available in the the range, I was interested to try a 30 back, to see how it fitted. My set of choice was the beautiful lacy 'Audrey' bra from Caprice's current collection. The 'By Caprice' team recommended that I tried a 30FF, rather than a 30F, sending me the 'Audrey' in the teal and black combination (along with the matching lace shorties in a size medium). 

(By Caprice, 'Audrey' - bra: £28 and shorties: £18)

   The By Caprice 'Audrey' bra is a black underwired moulded plunge, with teal scalloped lace overlay. In real life, the teal is more rich in colour than in the promotional pictures and I instantly fell in love with the seductive boudoir styling!

   The bra features dainty black bows at the bottom of the straps and the 'pièce de résistance' is definitely the decorative criss-cross ribbon detailing at the centre of the cups. Although the ribbons that hang down from the centre bow are quite long, they add to the bra's glamorous appeal - reminding me very much of the lace-up ribbons on a basque or corset! The straps are also beautifully decorated, providing a welcome change to the plain straps on most bras. With black and teal mesh frills, the 'Audrey' straps are definitely a feature to be seen! 

(Make a fashion statement by wearing a top that gives a cheeky peek of your straps!)

   With regard to the fit of the bra, I am very glad that I opted for the 30FF, rather than the 30F size equivalent to my usual 28FF size. The 30FF was the correct size for me in the cups and the band felt ok (but a tad loose) in a 30 back. The main issue for me was that the centre gore did not sit completely flush against my chest and for that reason, I would really love for 'By Caprice' to include 28 backs! 

   The 'Audrey' gives a lovely rounded shape under clothes and the boost of the inbuilt foam padding gives a natural-looking lift, without squishing the breasts together and making you look as if you've had a boob job! It is generally quite rare for padded bras to be offered in larger cup sizes, so I am thankful to 'By Caprice' for recognising that every girl appreciates a cleavage enhancer now and again!

   The matching teal and black lace shorties are also very pretty, featuring a floral-patterned scalloped design in semi-sheer lace:     

   The back of the shorties are very more ways than one! I got a size medium (which is to fit a 10-12), but I must warn that they do come up quite small! The cut of the shorties is definitely not for the faint-hearted, as they give quite risqué coverage to your derrière..perhaps not for everyday wear, but certainly perfect for the bedroom! They also boast a stunning V-shaped cut-out detail at the top, which gives a racy flash of skin, alongside elasticated criss-cross ribbons, which compliment the similar motif on the bra. 

  All in all, I was very pleased with my first experience of 'By Caprice' lingerie. The 'Audrey' set is a lovely boudoir piece that is sure to seduce anyone lucky enough to see it! Its teal lace, corset ribbon detailing and unusual frilled bra straps show great attention to detail and make the wearer feel oh so glamorous and sexy! I also liked the shape of the cups and the fact that the bra offers a little bit of 'oomph', with its inbuilt padding!

  'By Caprice' is indeed carving a place in the lingerie retail world, offering glamorous designs at very reasonable prices. 'By Caprice' is available to buy from Littlewoods, amongst other online retails (such as Debenhams, Figleaves, New Look and ASOS).

To find out more about 'By Caprice' and the ranges, visit:

Kitty xo

Saturday 19 November 2011

Pretty in pink: Cleo by Panache 'Lucy' bra

   One of the first brands for larger busts that I fell in love with was Panache and their 'Cleo' range. Cleo made its debut in 2009 and since then, it has attracted a loyal customer base of lingerie-loving fashionistas. Cleo is rather like Panache Superbra's trend-conscious younger sister, providing great support in colourful and pretty designs, from a 28 band and up to a J cup! 

  As I'm sure many lingeristas will agree, it is always exciting to come across your favourite brands at discounted prices, so I was really happy to find the gorgeous and girly Cleo 'Lucy' bra on sale for £16.95 on notnaked

  I ordered my usual 28FF size and was amazed to receive confirmation that my item had been dispatched the very same day. The package arrived a matter of a day later too! 

   As you can see from the picture, the Cleo 'Lucy' is a non-padded underwired balconette with a three sectioned cup and fully adjustable shoulder straps. This pink beauty is primarily made of doubled-lined mesh, with single mesh panels along the top of the cups. The benefit of having two layers of mesh on the cups, is the added support and superior shape that it gives. Unlike some mesh bras (which can give a slightly pointy look), the 'Lucy' lends to a lovely rounded, yet natural shape. 

   Having semi-sheer cups stops you from feeling too exposed, but at the same time, gives a tantalising hint of what is underneath! The sheer mesh panels along the top of the cups feature a white embroidered Picot trim, alongside openwork floral embroidery - detailing which is complimented by small floral motifs, scattered intermittently across the cups. This girly and feminine bra is finished off by a vibrant pink and white bow at the centre gore. Despite the shocking pink colour of this bra, it works well under most tops and the embroidery does not show through either.

(Detail of the 'Lucy', showing intricate embroidery detailing and sheer panels.)

   Size-wise, the 'Lucy' fits well and feels very comfortable - the under-band feels very snug, which is something that I love about Panache bras and the centre gore sits flush against the chest without digging in. An unpadded bra that gives a nice rounded and uplifted shape is hard to come by, so I was impressed with the shape that the 'Lucy' gives. 

   The only issue that I had with the 'Lucy' bra, was the slight wrinkling that I got along the sheer mesh panels at the top, despite the cup size being correct. Ladies who are 'fuller on top' will probably not experience this, but it is worth mentioning for those who find this a common occurrence in unpadded styles. 

  The Cleo 'Lucy' is a great everyday bra and its vibrant pink shade and floral detailing are sure to make you feel every bit the girly girl! Above all, I am pleased with the firmness of the band and the lovely shape and support that the 'Lucy' provides. Thanks to Panache, this bra will definitely have you feeling pretty in pink!

Kitty xo

Thursday 17 November 2011

Panache Spring/Summer 2012 Press Launch

  Since its creation by Anthony Power in 1982, British brand, Panache, has grown from a small business into one of the leading names of the D+ lingerie market. Fit, support, comfort and quality are paramount to Panache's ideals - a philosophy that remains key to its global success. 

Panache offer great fit from AA-KK across five different collections, each geared towards a slightly different customer base: 

Panache Superbra - The brand's core collection that focuses on providing classic, pretty and well-fitting staples.
Cleo by Panache - Aimed at a younger audience, Cleo is fun and edgy, providing a great fit and fashionable designs.
Masquerade - Panache's higher-end collection that features dramatic and glamorous lingerie and bedroom wear in luxurious designs and fabrics.
Atlantis - A collection from AA-E that focuses on creating uplift and the appearance of a bigger bust with cleavage-boosting padded bras. 
Panache Swimwear - An extension of Panache Superbra, providing well-fitting, supportive and fashionable swimwear for the bigger busted woman.

  I have worn Panache for a while now and am a big fan of Cleo and Masquerade in particular, so I was naturally very excited to be invited to Panache's Spring/Summer 2012 press launch, hosted by Instinct PR. The event was held at the Sanctum Hotel in Soho and took place in one of the suites, giving the launch a glamorous boudoir atmosphere. 

  On arriving, the Instinct PR team welcomed me with an overview of the brand and invited me to be fitted into their best-selling 'Tango' bra, which currently goes up to a K cup. The 'Tango' is a staple from the Superbra collection and comes in both a plunge and balconette. It is completely unpadded and follows the natural shape of the breasts, whilst the Austrian leaf embroidery design on the cups keeps the bra from looking plain. The fitter was fantastic and fitted me as a 28FF in a matter of a minute!  

  The exciting news is that this year the 'Tango' celebrates its 10th anniversary and to honour the occasion, Panache has brought out two stunning, limited edition styles...

The gorgeous, peachy-coral toned 'Tutti Frutti', with raspberry, purple and pink tinged leaf embroidery: 

and the luxurious 'Ocean blue' bra, which boasts satin along the straps and under-band and features a ribbon and diamanté embellishment at the centre of the cups: 

  This brings me to talk about the Panache Superbra collection as a whole... 


  The Panache Superbra Spring/Summer 2012 collection builds on classic Panache shapes, seeing updates to their best selling styles, as well as the introduction of an array of vibrant new colours and patterns. The Superbra collection is awash with rich blues, burnt yellows and oranges, berry, aqua, peach, violet and fuchsia hues, whilst designs range from plain delicate lace to leaf and floral embroidery, through to graphic print feather and mosaic patterning. This collection combines superb fit and ultimate comfort with sophisticated, yet fashionable styling.

The 'Carmel' is a gorgeous new addition to the collection - the rich blue is set off beautifully by the burnt yellow-orange hibiscus detailing, which really gives this piece an exotic feel:

I loved the 'Ariza' - an intense violet hue complimented by pops of aqua and orange floral detailing: 

The moulded 'Porcelain Viva' bra comes in bright fuchsia for S/S12 - an eye-catching fashion colour that provides variation to the standard black, white and nude basic shades: 

The  'Fern' balconette channels Gaudi-esque geometric mosaic patterning, with a quirky colour palette of pinks, oranges and greys: 

The 'Paloma' boasts an eye-catching graphic feather print pattern in burnt orange, black, white and grey:

The lacey 'Andorra' is the epitome of simple sophistication, whilst its berry hue gives it a feel of luxury..

whilst the 'Eden' adds a tropical vibe with flashes of orange and floral motifs against a berry backdrop:

The girly new 'Lorna' bra drew many a gasp when it was revealed that this red, pink, grey and white floral and lace number was a maternity bra! 

I also thought that the current 'Sophie' maternity bra was really boudoir and sexy - Good on Panache for providing such lovely maternity bras for yummy mummys!

Panache Superbra new season styles alongside old favourites: 


  After much anticipation, the new Panache Sports bra has arrived! The new sports bra is the brainchild of Panache's head designer, Clare Fallon and is the product of 3 years of careful development and extensive testing by Progressive Sports Technologies in Loughborough. During this period, 3D motion and biomechanical tracking techniques were used to measure the effects of the sports bra on breast bounce. Panache are delighted with their new sports bra offering and say that it reduces bounce by 83%, compared to 65% by its competitors. The Panache sports bra works by encapsulating rather than compressing the breasts, providing superior comfort and support to the wearer. Catering to sizes from D-H and at a very reasonable £35, this bra is perfect for larger busted ladies who want to exercise and banish the bounce! I was very excited to finally see the new Panache Sports bra in the flesh:

  What is also amazing about this sports bra, is that Panache have even introduced some fashion colours into the range - the purple, pink and grey version looks great, as well as providing the support you need for exercising! The Panache sports bra definitely deserves a blog review in future...


   Panache also offer cup-sized swimwear up to a K cup, for ultimate support and comfort by the pool and on the beach. Panache's Spring/Summer 2012 swimwear collection takes its inspiration from Africa and Tahiti and boasts a fabulous mix of eye-catching shades (from purple to orange to scarlet to turquoise), alongside fabulous geometric, tribal, nautical and vintage patterning.

One of my swimwear favourites was the Panache 'Sophia' - an innovative one shouldered vivid purple bandeau bikini. The knot details give this bikini a real sense of glamour and sophistication!

The Panache 'Veronica' comes in a sexy bandeau bikini and in an elegant strappy swimsuit, which has lovely ruching detail at the sides to flatter your curves. The scarlet red of the 'Veronica' just screams vintage pin-up!

Moving away from block colour, the Panache 'Suzette' has an eye-catching tribal leaf print that mixes rich purples with striking violet and coral-orange:

The Panache 'Natalie' bikini continues the use of geometric tribal print, but adds a quirky colour combination of turquoise, purple, aqua and scarlet:

The Panache 'Claudette' features a tropical flower and palm print, with two-toned combinations of black and white or red and white. This simple but dramatic graphic look will work for just about anyone:

Because no swimwear collection would be complete without a bit of nautical print, the 'Lucille' makes a come-back for S/S12 in navy and white with red detailing..fabulous!

Last but not least, one of the stand-out pieces of the collection was the Panache 'Page' halterneck bikini and retro swimsuit. The quirky nautical wave print, scarlet panels and white buttons give a real nod to 50s pin-up style!


  'Cleo' by Panache is a range that I am very familiar with, owning quite a few styles myself! I really liked the Spring/Summer collection, which delivers young, colourful and fashionable lingerie in eye-catching prints and bold colours. Cleo S/S12 is a real burst of paintbox brights - with hot pink, turquoise, orange, inky blue, violet, canary yellow, lime, red and baby blue. Along with the graphic prints, paisley patterning, zig-zag embroidery and lace trims, this range has something for a diverse range of tastes!

Continuing with Cleo's long-standing love for poppy print, the Cleo 'Chloe' bra is very feminine and pretty with its ditsy floral poppy and lavender print:  

modern twist on paisley print, the turquoise Cleo 'Alexa' bra is a real 'look at me' bra. The flashes of orange, lime, white and purple against the vivid turquoise base make it a knock-out piece. The delicate pink lace trim and bow at the centre of the cups add to its girly charm!

I love the Cleo 'Ellie' bra, which is a really playful and fun balconette that looks rather like a piece of abstract art! The multi-coloured watercolour pattern of inky blue, aqua and purple splotches looks fantastic with the hot pink lace trim. This beauty is bound to add some life to your underwear drawer!

The Cleo 'Rihanna' abstract design again has a very painterly quality to its print. The combination of white, red, black, peach and turquoise is very unusual, yet striking:

A new take on Cleo's popular 'Lucy' bra, this vibrant canary yellow version with pink ribbon motif just screams summer fun and would put a smile on anyone's face no matter what the weather! 

The Cleo 'Ariana' bra in 'samba' has a really exotic carnival feel, with its rainbow-coloured zig-zag embroidery:

Cleo's popular 'Jude' bra is updated in hot red with baby blue detailing for S/S12.. a great alternative to moulded t-shirt bras in basic colours:

As a fan of the Cleo 'Poppy' bra from last season, I was pleased to see that the Cleo 'Juna' bra is identical in design. Coming out in useful basic colours of black, nude and ivory, the 'Juna' will be great as an everyday bra, but will keep you feeling pretty with its decorative broderie anglaise trims!


  If you are looking for luxury, Masquerade simply oozes glamour and sophistication, with its sumptuous fabrics, rich colours and exquisite detailing. Masquerade looks to combine a beautiful fit with a high-end feel, without the designer price tag! Masquerade Spring/Summer 2012 is heavily influenced by the arabian antiquities of Persia, Morocco and Egypt. The collection features ornate embroidery, floral lace overlay, satin jacquard, tassel and jewel motifs, alongside a colour palette of ivory, nude, antique golds, powder green, dusky lilac, raspberry and black.   

  The 'Rhea' bra in 'powder' was one of the first Masquerade bras that I ever tried on and I remain a fan to this day. The 'Rhea' has proved very popular with Masquerade fans, due to its vintage look and 'Marie-Antoinette' balconette design, which gives fantastic shape and uplift to a larger bust. For Spring/Summer, the 'Rhea' comes in an elegant dusky pink tone:

and classic black (guaranteed to look fantastic on everyone!):

The 'Rhea' features intricate lace embroidery and a ribbon and heart-shaped jewel at the centre of the cups, for added elegance!

One of my favourite styles was the stunning 'Amira' in 'Elderberry' - a dusky lilac-toned Boselli satin plunge bra, adorned with delicate ivory Guipure lace at the cups, centre gore and along the straps:

The 'Medina' continues the dusky lilac theme, but instead is contrasted with a rose print pattern of red, pink and green - truly exotic! 

The other plunge style from the collection is the powder green 'Illsa' in 'Waterlilly', which boasts an embroidered mosaic tile pattern on the cups: 

For S/S12, the 'Delphi' is updated in champagne nude satin, with white embroidered floral overlay and raspberry notes. Check out the gorgeous mesh-embroidered panels on the knickers too!

Another of my favourites has to be the 'Persia' in 'Damson'. Nude with lace overlay is a big trend for the coming seasons, so the 'Persia' is really on the mark. The 'Persia' bra has a Moroccan influence, with its nude base, overlaid with rich maroon lace. The combination of the satin band and straps with the intricate floral mosaic patterned lace is exquisite and the little tassel motif shows real attention to detail. This is one set that I absolutely must try! 

Another favourite is the satin, champagne coloured 'Capella' with black jacquard lace effect. Not only does this sweetheart moulded bra look divine, but the fit is also spot on! I recently tried this bra on in Bravissimo and fell in love with its beautiful fit and support. This set is sure to make you feel a million dollars!

The gold-nude 'Harem' is a really luxurious twist on the nude trend. With satin and lace panels, this set would be perfect for special occasion wear, as well as for every day luxury. The high-waisted lace panelled knickers are also a nod to the vintage style that is making a come back:  

As a bride-to-be, I was immensely excited by the luxurious ivory satin 'Deity' range (the body and plunge bra are pictured below).  It is so hard to come by beautiful bridal lingerie that is available in a 28 back, so I really struck gold with the 'Deity'. The body and high-waisted knickers look very vintage-inspired and the art-deco esque embroidery and zig zag stitching make the 'Deity' very classic and understated, yet still very seductive:

  All in all, I thought that the Panache Spring/Summer 2012 collections were incredibly strong and there really is something for everyone. Customers love to see their favourite bra styles reinvented in different colours and prints, so Panache really deliver from season to season, updating classics, whilst equally introducing exciting new styles. 

  My absolute favourite collection was Masquerade. There was not a single piece that I did not adore and with its indulgent fabrics and exotic colours, its lingerie seems too good to save for a special occasion! The difficulty will be choosing which to buy, as everything is so stunning!

  I also think that Panache should be commended for really pushing the boat out with the quirky colour combinations and prints of their Cleo range, which presents variation to typically floral-driven summer collections.

  Panache definitely spoil ladies with a larger bust for Spring/Summer 2012 and every collection embodies the chic style that their brand name suggests. Above all, what remains a constant, is Panache's flair for providing lingerie and swimwear that is pretty, supportive, well-fitting and comfortable. 

Fantastic collections by a fantastic brand!

Kitty xo