Curvy Kate‘s Showgirl cuts are some of their most popular pieces, combining gorgeous designs with amazing cakes-on-a-plate style cleavage. Until recently, most of Curvy Kate’s Showgirl cuts were only available in 28-30 D-J and corresponding sister sizes, and the small cups and loose bands meant the actual size range was smaller than it seemed at face value. Of course, this didn’t stop me from stuffing myself into them, but I wished the size range could increase. So, I was happy to see that Curvy Kate have been gradually increasing their range of styles and sizes, as well as altering their sizing with customer feedback. In SS14, they introduced a few padded half-cups styles covering 28-38 D-J: the Carmen longline, the Ritzy half-cup, and the Ritzy babydoll. This review is of the Ritzy bra, though the babydoll should fit similarly.
My current usual size is 30K in most brands, with a 14 in briefs. As my usual size wasn’t available, and knowing CK briefs often run small, I opted for a 32J bra and 16 briefs. I found some of the previous half-cups, such as the Tease Me or Thrill Me, to run roughly 1 bandsize big and at least 2 cups small. However, I found the Ritzy to be fairly true-to-size – it seemed to be about 1 cup small for me, and the three-hook band felt only slightly loose. I believe a 30K would be the best size for me, but the 32J fit much better than expected. I initially thought that the Ritzy only had two vertical panels, compared to the Tease Me and Thrill Me’s three panels, but this is just the fabric panels on the outside – if you look at the inside, you can see it is made with three vertical panels. Before I realised this, I expected there to be less uplift than I’d had in the aforementioned bras, but I was pleasantly surprised to find this was not the case.
I’ll start with the appearance of the set, and as with most things I pick to review, I am quite a fan! All things pink, pastel and floral can be expected in Spring/Summer collections, so this bold menswear inspired piece is an unexpected change. The design is straightforward but striking, featuring a black base with almond pinstripes. It keeps some “feminine” aspects, such as the black lace across the cups and a small bow on the centre, but it remains one of the more interesting pieces I’ve seen this season. The briefs feature the same pinstriped fabric at the front, with a sheer black back and a small keyhole detail. I usually find CK briefs to run small, but these seemed to border on being slightly big, so I am wondering if they have also brought their brief sizing more in line with other brands.
The bra has a black padded base with the overlaid pinstriped fabric. The outer layer of fabric is decorative and can move around slightly, which is why there are some wrinkles towards the centre. The main fit issue I had was how shallow this bra is at the bottom – there was about an inch of space that my breasts could not get into, due to me having more lower fullness than the bra allows. While this does mean the bra isn’t exactly a perfect fit on me, it does push my breasts up more, creating the most Marie Antoinette style cleavage I have ever had. Combined with the too-small cups, it does border on giving me pushed-against-a-window squareness towards the centre, but I don’t think it’s really noticeable to anyone other than myself. The shallow bottom and open top lead me to think this would be best suited to full-on-top breasts, and likely tall-shallow shapes.
The bra is fairly shallow all over – I would say it’s slightly deeper than my 30J Tease Mes or Thrill Mes, but I’m not sure how much of this difference is due to the change in size. Combined with the fact that it has narrower wires than I was expecting (I would describe them as mid-width), it seems to me that most of this bra’s volume is vertical. The wires are shorter than the wire channels, so roughly the top inch of the gore is fabric only, and did not sit flat on me, allowing my boobs to fall slightly more towards the middle at the top. This looks worse than it actually is in the full-length pictures due to my pose – the close-up above is more accurate. I also found the wired part of the gore sat away by about half a cm anyway, though I think this would be improved in a cup up. I usually get gapping near the straps of most bras, which is somewhat exacerbated in this bra due to the straps being wide-set at the front. I also have fairly narrow shoulders, so wideset straps tend to rub the front of my arm, though this may not be as much of a problem for those with broad shoulders.
The bra is fairly tall at the underarm, which means it does rub me a bit throughout the day, so it may not be the best choice for those who are high-set or short-rooted. However, those who struggle with escaping sideboob and need taller sides will likely get along with it much better. I expected that the two vertical panels would give a distinct vertical “line”, but I found the shape to be very rounded from every angle. The left photograph is directly side on, whereas the right photograph was taken closer to my back (more to the left), so you can see the impressive shape it gives. I thought the shape would either really minimised or somewhat square, but I found it to be extremely uplifted and youthful, with a clear rounded apex.
I wasn’t sure if the shape was visible from the bra alone, so this is the bra under an Urkye top. I think the uplifted and rounded shape is very clear in these! In terms of support, the upper parts of my breasts are uncovered, so I get a fair amount of jiggle on top – not necessarily the kind of bra you want to be wearing to run for a bus! It’s probably not the most practical bra, and it’s not the kind of bra to wear if you want to minimise to downplay your bust, but for impressive shape and cleavage, it’s my current go-to.
All in all it’s a stunning bra, and while it might not be the most supportive bra in my wardrobe, it definitely has a place. It isn’t my personal idea of an everyday bra, but due to my current lack of decently fitting bras, it’s ended up in regular rotation anyway. If you want lots of uplift and a round shape, and don’t mind wide-set straps or a bit of jiggle, I would say this bra is worth trying in your usual Curvy Kate size.
The Ritzy bra is available in sizes 28-38 D-J (£30), with matching brief or thong available in sizes 8-20 (£16 and £15 respectively).
Item provided for review by Curvy Kate Lingerie. Though this set was received free of charge, this is not a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own.
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Thanks for this review!
I’ve also gotten along really well with the Curvy Kate Showgirl sets so this gives me hope that I might be able to pull it off in a 34J. For me the high underwires underneath the arms are a god-send and the tall cups+shallowness actually works really well on getting uplift on a long torso. Long story short, I need to try this bra. 😉
In a review that Laura (their blond model) did of the Carmen, she said they have adjusted their undies sizing, iirc.
Shave your armpits! That is nasty and takes away from the beauty of the lingerie.
I write here in my own time, using my own money, to help people, and to let people see what lingerie looks like on an everyday, unedited woman. I do not write here to be pretty for you or for anyone else, and I do not owe you anything. Not my writing, not my pictures, and definitely not attractiveness. It is very entitled of you to come here and act as though I should care about your opinions, and that I should change myself based on your preferences.
Let me put it like this: Your problems with my body are not my problems. They are your problems. If you don’t like what you see, leave.
So, I saw the picture and did a double take – “Is that armpit hair?!” I don’t know when or why you decided (or as sometimes happens to me – let it happen bc I was sidetracked by way to many other things) to let it go, but good on you for being willing to put it out there. I don’t think that it makes you or the lingerie any less attractive! As a woman who is naturally hairy with super fair skin and practically black hair, a shave doesn’t even last the day! I love that there seems to be a movement towards body hair being natural ; I hope that it will one day be considered normal. Seeing armpit hair and bush in more images (blogs and advertisements) gives hope that it will truly be accepted eventually. Thanks!
Anna, thanks so much for sharing these pictures! I personally don’t prefer to shave my underarms because of severe irritation I get and a host of other problems so I only do it when I feel the need. But honestly this hairless culture only came about in the last century and it’s pretty weird how people feel the nerve to tell others that showing off their natural selves somehow takes away from their own beauty! Hopefully we’ll get away from this mentality where others feel the need to tell others to do with their bodies because they themselves have fallen prey to whatever society has deemed as “beautiful” at this point in time.
I absolutely agree with everything you’ve said. Thank you so much for commenting ♥
I think you look gorgeous – I fail to see how something perfectly natural would detract from your attractiveness! Thanks for the wonderful thorough reviews you do & your promotion of positive body image – it’s much appreciated!
It looks great on you! I’m curious as to why you think it’s a size small in the cups?
The only reason I don’t have overspill is because my breasts are pushing the cups away, so the gore is floating. If I press the gore flat (how it should fit), there is noticeable quadboob.
So there ARE some +DD bras that actually give some cleavage!!!
Thank you so much, I was starting to get depressed!
Interesting to see that they’ve sister sized it up. As with Cleo, I wonder why not just do a JJ and K cup?
While I’m here, I wanted to say if you were still looking 30KKs the Panache Floris would be a good bet. I would wear a 30L/32KK and I was able to actually try it in the 30K and the 32K fit me. It is a bit tough on FoT beasts but not terrible and it is similar to the Cleo Meg and the projection reminds me a bit of the Jasmine.
To be fair, their previous size range was up to a 30J and sister sizes, so I’m not complaining when they’ve really made quite a big size expansion. Everything up to a J is better than before – hopefully they’ll just keep expanding
I’ve been really wishing to try the Floris for a while! I’m back around 30K territory at the moment, so I think 30JJ would probably be my best Floris size. I just don’t seem to be able to find it anywhere risk free (i.e. free shipping and returns). Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try it soon, if it really is a Cleo cut in larger cups, I’m sure I’ll be very happy!
I’m glad you’re back down to a K cup. Life is so much easier there, even though it’s of course still pretty tough. Yes I’d say that a 30JJ would be good then. It runs so big in the cup, it’s kind of ridiculous. If you had Amazon Prime you could get it free shipping, free returns which is what I did. http://www.amazon.com/Panache-Womens-Floris-Balconnet-Print/dp/B00D1N7KA6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397157119&sr=8-1&keywords=floris+bra
Right now it’s full price, but actually when I ordered my first one, it was $30ish bucks. Amazon seems to raise and lower the price on their bras, maybe based on how it’s selling. I think you might like it if you can get your hands on it!
Definitely easier finding bras at the moment! I’ve seen the Floris is on Amazon.com, but for some reason it’s not on the UK site at all :/ I saw it was cheaper on .com before, was almost tempted to order it, but the postage would have brought it back up to most UK store prices. I’ll have to keep looking! I think only Bravissimo really has the Floris in the full size range here, pretty weird.
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