Friday 30 November 2012

A curvy girl's guide to work fashion: Review of the Moda jersey dress by George at Asda

   When it comes to fashion, I love nothing more than to get dressed up and experiment with my style. One of the most exciting things for me to buy is a new 'party' dress, but special occasion dresses are not something that I can wear on an everyday basis and are most certainly not appropriate work-wear!

   My gripe with work wear is that it tends to lack excitement and it is too easy to fall into the rut of a black pencil skirt/ black trousers and a blouse. As a girl with a 28FF/G bust, fitted blouses and shirts can be a nightmare to find and my highstreet blouse purchases tend to be oversized. 

   What I look for in workwear is something that is stylish but easy to throw on in the morning - there is nothing better than looking professional and feeling comfortable without having to make too much effort!

   Bring on George at Asda! I stumbled upon George at Asda clothing by complete chance - I had never bought clothes from a supermarket before, but when I spotted the Moda mono print jersey wrap dress for £16 on my weekly shop, it looked perfect for filling my workwear wardrobe gap!

Unfortunately my size was not available in store, so I went online and ordered a size 10. (Due to the stretchy nature of the fabric, I thought that it would be more likely that it would fit me given that I had not tried it on before buying..)

   As you can see, the Moda jersey dress is a wrap/ cross-over style dress that features a bold monochrome dogtooth print, giving it a great deal of scope for dressing up or down according to preference. It also boasts a 'V' shaped neckline, ruched sleeves and a pleated waistband to add interest and flatter curves.

   Fit-wise, I found that the size 10 came up quite generous and I think a size 8 (if it came in this size) would have been my 'ideal' fit. That said, even in the size 10 it looks and feels lovely on and I am thrilled with the length of the dress, which comes to just above the knee on my 5ft10" frame. The dress has a 97% viscose and 3% elastane fabric content, making it incredibly soft to the touch and the material drapes nicely over my bust and hips. 

   One of the great things about this dress is its wrap-over style, which really flatters a larger bust and curves. The 'wrap-over' meets at a fixed waist seam, so the dress stays in place all day without revealing too much flesh or shifting with a freak gust of wind. I am also very impressed with the amount of space at the bust - there is plenty of room for a bigger bust and it will certainly accomodate for a chest much larger than mine too. (Caroline from Curvy Wordy also sang its praises after I recommended it to her and her 30KK bust looks fantastic in this dress!)

   In the pictures above, you can see that the dress displays a fairly modest amount of cleavage, but for work I tend to pop a black camisole/vest top underneath as in the picture below. Due to the dress being slightly too big for me, I also add a belt to emphasise my waist and give a more 'hourglass' look. 

   Thick black tights with this dress are ideal for keeping me warm in the chilly weather, but in the warmer months of the year, I would be happy to go bare-legged or wear nude tights with this dress. I am also wearing black patent shoes (from Dorothy Perkins) and a set of pearls in the picture above, which lend to a sophisticated and polished finished outfit! 

   Whilst the look that I have talked about here is quite a conservative work/ everyday look, it would be easy to add colour to this outfit with bold accessories and a dramatic lip colour - perfect for taking you from office to bar!

   All in all, I am pleased with my first supermarket clothing purchase. The only real criticism that I have of this dress is that the fabric is quite thin, so you may need to be a bit careful to avoid snagging it on things - I have found that after wearing it a few times, the fabric at the waist band has frayed a little and has created a small hole (which is ok if you're a dab hand at sewing), but for £16, I can't complain too much..

  I would definitely buy more dresses from Asda in future and I am excited to have found such a bust-friendly dress on the highstreet at such a bargainous price! Although the dogtooth jersey dress has since sold out, Asda have an identical Moda floral jersey wrap dress in stock at the moment in a blossom print, available in sizes 10-24. I hope that Asda will bring out more of these wrap dresses in different prints in future as I would love to buy some others for my work wardrobe..

To shop more of Asda's clothing range, click here. (There is also FREE delivery available on all orders over £40 until 8th Dec))

Kitty xo

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Loungewear for the fuller bust: Freya 'Marina' Pyjamas Review

   As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, it really feels as though we have hit the cold Winter months...which also means that the Christmas season is drawing ever nearer! Before I get prematurely carried away with festive images of mince pies, mulled wine and Xmas turkey, Winter is also a great time to snuggle up in the warmth and recharge your batteries in good company. 

   One of my Winter weather (and lazy weekend) luxuries is relaxing at home in my PJ's, but it is not always easy to find pyjamas that are comfy, stylish AND support a larger bust. A little while ago I discovered Freya's loungewear collections thanks to Lazeme. Freya's lounge collections feature dual sized garments that come in clothing sizes (XS-XL) as well as bust sizes (B-DD or E-G). The support takes the form of an integral chest panel which provides support to a range of bust sizes.

   I first set eye on the Freya 'Marina' lounge sets (the pyjamas and chemise) at the Eveden A/W 2012 press day and the print and colours really stood out to me. Whilst I loved the 'Marina' chemise (which is the same in style as the 'Gracie' chemise that I reviewed), I feel that nighties are best suited to the warmer months of the year. Thanks to Lazeme, I was excited to be able to try out the 'Marina' pyjama set, which is sure to keep me feeling warm, comfy and stylish this Winter:

   True to form, my Lazeme loungewear arrived beautifully packaged and presented like a gift. It is always fantastic when companies pay attention to detail like this and it makes the customer feel very special!

   The Freya Lounge 'Marina' pyjamas consist of a long sleeve top and ribbon tie pyjama trousers, both of which boast a unique brushstroke print in a vibrant colour palette of purple, teal, blue, grey and black. As you can see from the picture below, the pattern resembles a leafy floral print, giving this set an Autumnal vibe!

   What is lovely about this set is that the trouser bottoms have an all-over brushstroke pattern, whereas the long sleeve top is predominantly black but features a printed hem, neckline and cuffs. The black top adds great contrast to the set and breaks up what could otherwise be quite a 'busy' pattern. I also love the rich purple satin bow on the adjustable gathered trouser band, which adds a stylish finish to the set!

   One of the key features of the 'Marina' lounge set is the top, which has a built-in secret cotton support panel. I got this top in a size XS E-G, which roughly equates to a size 8 with an E-G bust. I often wear a size 10 in tops, so I feel that the sizing is towards the generous side in Freya's lounge tops.

   The bottom edging of the support panel is elastic and whilst the panel detail is not as 'heavy duty' as a built-in bra, it does give light support to the wearer. As around a 28FF-G cup (28FF in most Freya lingerie), I really enjoyed having that bit of extra support from my nightwear and it is certainly nice to lounge around in pyjamas and feel comfortable without a bra on.

   My one criticism of the support panel is that it is verging on being too small for me in the bust. It provides good support when I lounge around the house in it, but after wearing it to bed for the night, I do find that the band rides up and sits slightly on the bottom of my breast tissue by morning. I feel that this is something to bear in mind if you are on the upper end of the E-G bust range.

   Never-the-less, the 'Marina' lounge set looks lovely on and is incredibly soft against the skin and comfortable to wear. The cut of the scoop neck top is flattering and the top is additionally a decent length to ensure that it does not ride up with movement. The arms and bust are more fitted and the fabric falls nicely over the stomach.

   I was also really impressed with the trousers as I often have problems with the length, being 5ft10! I got a size Small (roughly a UK10) which I wear on my hips and they drape beautifully to my ankles. The trousers are extremely soft and comfortable and I would quite happily live in them if I could! The gathered adjustable waist-band and ribbon tie is also an elegant and practical touch.

   I really like the 'Marina' loungewear set - the pattern is unusual and effortlessly chic, whilst the fabric is very soft with a good amount of stretch. What is also great about this pyjama set is that you could mix and match the top or bottoms with a different lounge set, like the Freya 'Gracie' in black:

   As I mentioned earlier, the only thing that this set could benefit from is slightly more room in the bust -perhaps Freya could experiment with a GG+ support panel option for the future too?

   There is nothing better than cosying up this Winter in comfy loungewear that packs a fashion punch. At £30 for the 'Marina' top and £30 for the 'Marina' trousers, this is a great quality set from Freya that will see you through the cold Winter months. Nightwear makes for a great Christmas present too and coupled with Lazeme's gift wrapping presentation, the recipient will certainly be in for a luxurious treat!

To see Lazeme's full range of sleep and loungewear products, click here.

Kitty xo

Friday 9 November 2012

My first Ewa Michalak (Effuniak) review - PL Violet

   Ewa Michalak (Effuniak) is a brand that I have wanted to review ever since I discovered it about a year ago. Ewa Michalak is a Polish lingerie company that offers bras in an extensive range of sizes; from a 30 (European: 65) band to a 46 (European: 105) band, with AA-O cups (back size dependent)! It is possible to order custom size bras, including back sizes 24 (50), 26 (55) and 28 (60), which is fantastic news as sub 28 bands are next to non-existent in most other lingerie brands. 

   The eponymous designer, Ewa 'Effuniak' Michalak, is a lingerie industry expert, having worked as a lingerie designer for 15 years. Ewa prides herself on her company mission to provide affordable and attractive lingerie, dressing "every woman's [bust] beautifully, regardless of [her] size or shape". Ewa Michalak's bras cater to a wide spectrum of tastes and her collections boast plunge, half cup, maternity, strapless, soft cup and padded bras, as well as matching coordinates. (Additionally, the site has a small selection of swimwear.)

   One of the things that really excited me about EM bras was the fact that they offer something unique to the lingerie market - Ewa is not afraid to experiment with unusual colours, patterns or motifs and the level of detail on some of her bras is astonishing for the price. As you can see from the pictures below, Ewa also uses models of different sizes in the promotional pictures - something that is extremely refreshing to see:

   I will admit that the main reason for holding off on ordering directly from Ewa Michalak was because I was nervous of postage costs and losing money if I needed to return my order to Poland. Fortunately for me, I was able to purchase my first Ewa Michalak bra from an American friend in a 30FF (European: 65FF).

  Given that I had never tried an EM bra before and I had heard that the bands can sometimes run small, I thought that a 30FF would be a great place to start. (At present, I tend to fluctuate between a 28FF and 28G in other lingerie brands.)

   The bra in question is the 'PL Violet', a lightly padded plunge bra which I had previously admired on the Ewa Michalak site. The bra cups are white and feature a beautiful lavender lace overlay with pretty floral embroidery. The straps and middle of the cups are adorned with contrasting white bows and the white straps are accented by pinky/purple ruched ribbon detailing. As a fan of lace and plunge style bras, the 'PL Violet' seemed to be a combination that was too good to miss!

   It is quite difficult to capture the true colour of this bra in my photographs, but the most accurate colour representation would probably be that of the promotional picture (below):

      Aesthetically, this bra looks just as good in person. I was slightly worried that the violet shade might not suit my pale skin tone, but it actually looked very pretty indeed. I am also really impressed with the level of detail on this bra - the lace overlay is stunning and I love the slightly scalloped lace effect along the cups:

Whilst some manufacturers do not continue bra patterns along the bra wings, Ewa has made sure to keep the lace overlay running right along the back wings too, which is a nice touch:

   Having read many rave reviews in the lingerie blogosphere that praise the superior construction and fit of EM bras, I had high hopes for the 'PL Violet'. I must admit that when I first tried on this bra, I was astonished at just how tight the band was! 

   Although the label states that it is a 65FF (30FF), it felt much more like a very tight 28 back or even a 26 band. The band did not feel as if it had much stretch to it, so I decided that my best option would be to buy my first ever bra back extender, which I could wear until the band loosened enough for me to wear it comfortably. 

(This is a picture of the 'PL Violet' with a 30mm white bra back extender that I bought on Ebay for a few pounds!)

   Another issue that I had with this bra was that the straps were only partially adjustable (due to the ruched ribbon detail) and I needed to tighten them as tight as they would go straight away. I really needed more strap space, so I set about doing my first ever bra alteration. 

   I am by no means an adept seamstress, but I managed to shorten the straps quite easily by cutting out approximately half an inch of the ribbon strap section and then resewed the elasticated section to it. 

(The red box is where I cut out some of the strap fabric and resewed)

   After my strap alteration and after wearing this bra with an extender for several weeks to allow for the band to loosen, I was able to wear the 'PL Violet' comfortably and the fit was so much better on me. The band now feels firm but not suffocatingly tight and my only criticism is that the straps sometimes dig in to my shoulders after prolonged wear. 

   What I really love about this bra is the deep plunge, which is perfect for clothes with low necklines. The cups are very lightly padded with foam and the shape that it gives is rounded and uplifted, but still very natural. This style would be perfect for ladies with larger busts who want lovely cleavage and uplift, without the extra boost that moulded plunges sometimes give.

(The cups lend to a natural, rounded look even on my mannequin!)

   I am quite pleased with my first foray into Ewa Michalak bras and the 30FF 'PL Violet' was a great place to start. After doing further research online, I have found out that other people agree that the 'PL Violet' comes up tighter in the band than other EM styles, so I will probably stick to ordering a 30 band in future (28 backs are unfortunately classed as 'special requests' and have to be made up from scratch, so cannot be returned).

  Whilst I am still in the early stages of finding out what my Ewa sizes are (which can reportedly vary depending on the style of bra), I am very excited to buy more from this brand and aim to order directly from Poland next time around!

   The 'PL Violet' is currently on sale on the EM website (79 zloty = about £15) and is still available to buy in limited sizes. Click here.

   To find out more about Ewa Michalak, visit the official website here: (click the English language version for a translated webpage!)

Kitty xo