Off the Rack ~ Freya “Pinup” Longline Bustier Reviewed

I’ve mentioned the Freya “Pinup” set twice before, most recently when I attended an Eveden marketing event a year ago. In that post, I called it the “standout” piece of the season. Then I sort of forgot about it…until it appeared in a Zulily sale a month ago! I snagged the longline strapless bustier and the high-waisted panties for a steal.

Lately, I’ve been wearing a 28GG or 30G pretty consistently. In fact, Freya is the lone holdout among brands that still fit me in 28G, but even then, it depends on the cut. For example, my Freya Hero and the Deco still fit at 28G, but the Deco strapless requires a cup size up. For the Pinup, I went with 30G (it doesn’t come in 28GG, and I often size up in the band with strapless bras anyway since they tend to run tighter to stay up). Luckily, 30G was the right size.

I originally purchased this set thinking it would be more of a “boudoir” piece, but after I got a nasty sunburn on my first beach day of the season (despite reapplying sunblock!), I couldn’t bear bra straps, and ended up wearing the Pinup bustier several times in one week. It turns out to be the most comfortable strapless bra I’ve ever tried!

The bustier features relatively stiff molded cups, mesh band and wings, semi-shiny black trim, side-stays, two pieces of boning on the front, two strips of silicon at the top of the band, removable straps with two attachment positions on cup and band, and five rows of two columns of hook-and-eyes.

On my long torso, the high-waisted panties (which I bought in size medium) just barely reach my belly button, so they’re not terribly vintage-looking. They’re more like granny-panties, but of course that wouldn’t be the case for a more petite wearer. Additionally, they don’t fully cover my backside, which is another common feature for me. However, for once in my life they don’t ride up into my buttcrack with every step, so they’re still pretty comfy.

IMG_5203 [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Kinga “Nati I” Bra Reviewed

US flash sale site Zulily.com often has sales on British and Polish big-bust brands, including Panache, Cleo, Freya, Fantasie, Kris Line, and Kinga.

I tried two Kris Line bras from the site a while back, and was not successful. But I wasn’t deterred, so I recently tried another Polish brand through the site, Kinga.

Kinga starts at band size 30/65, uses European cup scheme (so no double-letters), and goes up to K-cups depending on the model.

Zulily had two cage bras available, the Nati I and Nati II. Nati I has less coverage and stops at cup size H, which is about a UK FF (Polish D = UK D, E = DD, F = E, G = F, H = FF). These days, I mostly wear UK 28GG or 30G, which would be a Euro 30I. But Nati II was already sold out of that size, so I gambled and tried the Nati I in 30H (30FF), since I can still get away with 28G/30FF in some brands.

Sadly, the Nati I is too small in the cup for me. When you look at the manufacturer photo, the cage straps on my cleavage are located where the cup edge rests on the model. There’s also plenty of escaping tissue on the sides. It’s very clearly too small all over. Though, impressively, there’s no quad-boob! The band stretches from 23″ to 30″, so I’d say it’s a little small compared to most 30 bands, but not by much. It certainly works well for my 29″ underbust.

I think I would fit quite nicely into the Nati II in 30I, but there don’t seem to be any US retailers carrying the brand other than Zulily. So hopefully Zulily will restock sizes and have another Kinga sale at some point because I really want this bra in my life!

The Nati I bra

The Nati I bra

The Nati II bra

The Nati II bra

Aside from the fact that this bra is not my size, I have lots of positive things to note. [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Retrospec’d “Norma Jean” Dress

This week I’m revisiting a brand I raved about a year ago, the Australian vintage reproduction label Retrospec’d.

Last time, I tried the Elizabeth dress, which featured a cross-over neckline that was surprisingly boob-friendly. I really liked the quality and fit, so I’ve been eager to try another style. I settled on the Norma Jean dress, but at the time wasn’t really interested in any of the available prints. They were all super feminine florals, and I’m just not much of a florals gal.

Eventually, they released a few graphic prints, as well as a black and white stripe with realistic yellow roses floating on it. And I do mean “floating”—there are shadows behind each flower to make it look like they’re resting above the fabric.

At 37”-29”-41”, I was unsure of sizing because my bust falls in sizes UK/Aus 12 and 14, but my waist falls in 10 (even though my waist is usually size 12), so I hesitated on ordering from Australia. Then one day, the dress disappeared from the Retrospec’d site! I knew it couldn’t have sold out completely, because I’d been keeping an eye on it for months and none of the sizes had yet sold out. Resigned to the idea of ordering my second favorite print, I waited until the $150 (or Australian $195) dress was within my budget.

But then I received an e-newsletter from Unique-Vintage.com, and there was the dress! I guess they sent all the remaining stock to UV. This was great for two reasons: 1) I could try size 10 knowing I could exchange it if necessary, with no international shipping; and 2) I could wait until UV had a coupon or sale, and get it for a better price. Two weeks later, they had a 20% off code for Memorial Day weekend, and I took the plunge!

(Note that UV translated the sizes to American, so to get the Australian 10, I ordered size 6 from UV.)

IMG_5018

IMG_5005 [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Miss Candyfloss “Sia-Katalin” Tuxedo Dress

Just time for a quick dress review this week. It’s another Miss Candyfloss frock, this time with a very different neckline than any I’ve reviewed before.

As usual, my measurements are 37”-29”-41” and height 5’6”, with bra size 28G – 30G (UK) depending on brand. I bought my usual Medium here.

This is the “Sia-Katalin” dress. MCF produced several of these tuxedo-style dresses this season, including navy/red, red/red stripe, navy/white/navy pinstripe, navy pinstripe/pale blue, and black pinstripe/white. To be honest, I wasn’t really into the look until I saw this bright teal/light pink colorway, and then I was smitten. Teal and pink is one of my favorite color combinations and it’s rare to find them in one garment.

In this case, my photos are a little dull, but MCF’s photos are more saturated than the fabric is in reality. So imagine the color is somewhere in between. Additionally, while the manufacturer photo shows a pink belt, it actually comes with a teal one. I personally prefer the pink one, but it’s not really a big deal. Plus, how hard can it be to find a pink belt if I really want one?

971li-tealpink-front

IMG_4996 [Read more…]