Monday, May 21, 2012

Curvy Kate: Criss Cross, Princess, Emily, and Angel

Since my size has changed as of late, I've been buying a bunch of gently-used, cheap bras from some friends/fellow bra-lovers in order to help determine my exact size in different brands. I recommend this "buy a bunch of cheap bras in a small range of sizes" method (from ebay, Bratabase, friends, online communities, etc) if you've changed sizes or are trying to determine your size - it's cost effective and you get to try on a much greater variety of bras than you would if you had to buy new! I now have several bras that fit me (and quite a few to re-home!) and have learned a lot about how different brands and particular bras fit.

You might remember that I didn't have the greatest luck the first time I tried Curvy Kate bras (especially since I was still trying to fit into 28GG's). Armed with a better idea of my current starting size, here's the Curvy Kate bras I tried out these most recent rounds:

Criss Cross: 28H (pink) and 28HH (Blue and Purple)

This bra isn't perfect for me, but I LOVE the colors and feel of the fabric, so I think I'll probably be keeping at least two of these anyway. The bands on both these sizes are too big/stretchy for me, but not unwearably so (they do ride up a bit in the back). The 28H cups are as little too small (the wire looks fine on the side, but I get a bit of overspill in the tops of the cup); however, the 28HH cups are too big - but in a "the wires stretch too far under the armpits" rather than a "wrinkly in the top part of the cups" kind of way. If only going up a cup size in this bra meant more "forward" space rather than wider wires! Oddly, the cups of the purple bra seem to be bigger/wider than the blue one, so I may keep the blue and not the purple (though I love the color!).
I don't think I'll go out of my way to buy this particular bra again since it doesn't suit me that well, though I would recommend it to others - maybe it would suit someone who needs wider wires/a bit shallower cups.

Princess: 28H (red) and 28HH (blue)

The Princess has seemed to be the best-fitting CK bra for me that I've tried so far. While the 28H is wearable, it's small in the cup for me (the top cuts in). The 28HH is much better, although the wires are a little on the wide side and the top cuts in very slightly. I'd even look into trying out the 28J if I came across it - a good rule-of-thumb when trying on a bra style is to keep going up in cup size until it's obviously too big.

Emily: 28H

The band in the Emily was very tight for me (I had trouble getting it on, and tried it out with an extender as well), and even then I could tell that the cups were too large - but this time, in more of a "looseness in the front/top of the cups" rather than a too-wide wires way. I could deal with the tightness of the bra by wearing an extender until it loosened a bit, but the wrinkling in the cups makes this a bra I'll probably forgo to keep.

Angel: 28HH, center gore taken in

When I tried the Angel before in a 28GG, I felt that the cups were too small, but I really didn't like the spread-out look I got (and it made it harder to tell what the true fit was for me). This 28HH bra, on the other hand, has been altered to have the center gore brought in, giving the bra a much better shape for me!
However, bringing the center gore in will often make the cups of a bra bigger/roomier, and the cups on this 28HH are thus too big for me. I'm definitely willing try this bra again in a 28H (or even a 28GG) with the gore brought in, though.
(I'm also interested in trying the Portia bra again - probably in a 28HH-J since the 28GG was so ridiculously small.)

So, when comparing just 4 (similar-looking) bras within one brand and in the same 1-2 sizes: One has a band that's too big/wires too wide, one fits well in the larger of my two sizes, one has a band that's too tight, and one would fit in a smaller size with the center gore brought in!

There's some "in general" principles and facts that can be taken from this (that the Emily runs larger in the cup than the Princess, for example, and the band of the CrissCross runs stretchy/large), but just because I found the bands tight or loose in some of these, or the wires wide, doesn't mean that everyone else will for their particular body/breast shape.Bratabase is a great resource for checking out what other women have to say about the fit of different bras. For example, these entries have comparisons of lots of different Curvy Kate bras (for the same user). However, the only true way to tell if a bra will work for you is to try it on for yourself!

Have you found that you need to wear different sizes within the same brand (or even in different colors of the same bra)? How do you deal with a size change/figuring out your size if you can't shop for bras in stores?


  1. As there are no shops here in Hannover that sell bras in my size (usually 36K/38JJ) I have to buy bras on the internet. If I'm not sure how wide the wires and the band will be I usually order 2 or 3 sizes in comparision.
    In my opinion, the Curvy Kate Emily seems to be bigger because the top of the cup is very open. The CK Princess has a satin ribbon on top of the cup which seems tight to me so I have to go up a cupsize.

    1. Oh, and I also noticed the size and shape of a bra could differ between the different colours of the same bra. It has happened to my very often that black bras run smaller than their coloured fellows.

    2. Yes, I think you're right about the Emily vs the Princess... the Princess is quite "closed" on top due to the seam/ribbon so there's not much extra room there, esp. for someone who's full on top! I'm still curious as to how a 28J would work for me.

      I've heard that the dye used can even affect the fit of bras, and that black is known for running smaller! Although, oddly, I've found that the black Deco seems to run a little larger than the nude and blue Decos, at least. I guess there are always exceptions to rules!

    3. Yes, I've found that different color Decos have different sizing, which drives me a bit nuts- can't just order and know it'll fit!

      I've found the CK underwires are a bit wide (to underarm) and shallow for me, the opposite of Freya. I'm going to try sizing down to a 30 band in bras that run loose, so will see what they have at Nordstrom and then start looking online for secondhand stuff...

    4. faustineli, I've noticed that issue with CK myself, although it's definitely not as bad as Panache for me (most Panache bras I've tried are unwearable for me, whereas even though the CK wires are a bit wider than I like on the Princess, for example, the cups and shape are just better overall). I'd like to try a few more styles of CK before I completely make a judgement on them, but for now I think that it's a workable brand for me, though not the most ideal.

      I think Freya's wires are better for me, but I haven't had a chance to try any Freyas in a 28H except for the Rio, which runs tight in the band and larger in the cup and thus didn't work for me. Ewa Michalak is probably my ideal wire-wise.

  2. How did you find the Angel's band to fit? I have a customer who wears a 30 band in the Angel, and she wants to know if she should still be a 30 in a Freya style. I've found the bands to be comparable to Freya in most of the CK I've tried, but I have no experience with the Angel.

    1. I wish I could give a better answer, but since the cups were too big, I don't feel I can be too accurate! If I had to give an answer, I would say that the band feels a little firmer than most of the Freyas I've tried, but not by a huge amount. I generally have found Freyas 28 bands to be too big/stretchy for me, but the Angel didn't give me that impression right away.

    2. If the Angel fits like Portia and Emily, I'd say that your customer should be a 28 or smaller in Freya. I agree with Christine that Freya is rather big/stretchy in comparison to Curvy Kate.

      My point of reference: I can wear the Portia and Emily at the biggest hook in a 28, but need to modify my 28 Freyas to be tighter because the tightest hook isn't enough.

    3. Thanks ladies! I will pass on this information and let her know.

  3. I'm different in Curvy Kate bras; I'm a 28G in Angel and a 28GG in the showgirl Tempt Me. I'd heard to size down in the band and up in the cup with any of the showgirl bras which I originally took into consideration with Tease Me in 28H which was too big in the cup. The Tease Me I wanted (emerald) was unavailable in most sizes everywhere so I also got it in 30F which fits better than the 28H. I'd say my 'base size' of 28FF would be best in that bra. I usually go for sizes around my 28FF based on reviews of girls with this size and hope for the best :) xx

  4. I'm going to try Princess in blue in sizes 28H and 28HH, but this post made me think if I also should try 28J. How tight is the band?

    1. If you're generally a 28H, I would at least try the HH as well! The way it fits really depends on your shape, though - the wires are a bit wide, and if you have top-heavy breasts, the top fabric will tend to cut in a bit more, making it so you may have to size up again.
      I found the band to be about standard; you could check the stats of it on Bratabase if you want the minute details :)