This Season’s Favorite Full Bust Finds from Big Bust Standbys

After confessing to you last week that I’m going through a frumpy phase, I’ve become more obsessed with boots than boobs in my attempt to remedy my shoe situation. I’ve wasted hours looking for the perfect pair (scroll to the end of today’s post to see my favorites) because I’m caught up in the myth that a single item of clothing is the answer to all my problems. Fortunately, reader comments to last week’s post have broadened my perspective, and I want to try pendants, patterned tights, stacked bracelets and grouped brooches–just as soon as I have the right shoes.

High quality boots, like winter coats, are a big ticket item for me. They should last for years, which makes spending $300-$500 on them justified. However, preparing to spend that much money on a single item also makes me giddy–like I’ve just stepped into a department store with a gift card and can choose to get something I need or something I love. If I didn’t have to be so practical and could purchase anything I wanted from big bust friendly stores this season, here are the top two items I would choose.

Perfectionist Dress in Stretch Silk Satin from Saint Bustier

Saint Bustier Perfectionist Dress

I love the lines, the draping, the sheen and the seams of this dress that fits up to a G cup. If I worked in an office during the day and had holiday parties ahead of me in the evenings, I could completely justify spending $275 on it. Lately Saint Bustier has seemed overrun with form-fitting Miranda, Nigella and Paloma dresses and a large contingent of knot-ties and wraps. However, there are a few original options sprinkled in the mix that make it worth visiting again. Do you have any favorites from their current offerings? If so, I’d love for you to share links to them in the comments.

Quilted Leather Jacket from Pepperberry

Pepperberry black leather jacket

Based on the early positive reviews by three customers who wear super curvy, I have a feeling this is a jacket that I’m really going to regret not finding the funds for. Three years ago, Tina wrote about the challenges of finding a bust-friendly leather jacket, especially in a timeless style with a little edge from Pepperberry (I’m sorry that most of the photos in the linked post have been deleted, but Tina’s Pepperberry example at the bottom remains). If this year’s jacket zips over the boobs without flattening the quilting at the bust line, then it’s as good as a new pair of boots.


Speaking of boots, here are the two pairs I’ve fallen in love with.

John Fluevog Sherry Boots

fluevog boots

Ultimately, I decided I need something a little less memorable since I’ll be wearing the same pair over and over again. But even hidden beneath pants, these boots looked amazing.

fluevog boots with pants

Zarah Boots from Apia and AutoGrafNewYork

This pair has the “classic with a twist” look that I’m looking for, and the size 39 that I found at Eneslow were the last available pair in that size in the United States. Not only are these handcrafted Italian boots amazing, but so is the story of the designer behind them.

Apia Zarah Stretch Leather Boots

I was so disappointed to discover that I need a slightly wider toe box than these offer!




Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Freya Minx Bra

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a straightforward bra review, but I’m excited to introduce you to the Freya Minx, especially after I gushed about the design during the Curve Expo this past March.

To be honest, I like the “Tabasco” colorway better in both name and aesthetics, but the leopard and lavender color is currently on sale for 60% off at, so that’s what I ended up buying.

Still, while I tend to avoid realistic leopard in favor of more unusual shades like monochrome or neon, the pairing of it with the cool-hued lavender is most unexpected in the best of ways, and adds a sense of modernity. It also helps that Freya did a nice job with the lookbook photography:

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 8.18.15 PM

Some details that I highlighted in the Curve post:

The whole set.

The whole set.

The single-hook band closure.

The single-hook band closure.

Keyhole opening on the gore.

Keyhole opening on the gore.

Thinner straps (3mm smaller than the half-cup strap on the right and 7mm smaller than the GG-K balcony version, according to the lookbook).

Thinner straps (3mm smaller than the half-cup strap on the right and 7mm smaller than the GG-K balcony version, according to the lookbook).

I bought this bra in 28G, the same size I always buy from Freya.

Now, the delicate sheer fabric, thinner straps, and single hook had me a little worried about fit. Would this bra really be able to handle a pair of G cups? Happily, the answer is definitely yes!

The profile is just like most of Freya’s other half-lace plunge balcony bras—well lifted, yet natural with just the slightest pointiness. The keyhole doesn’t affect the structure at all, since the wires are still in their traditional position.

As for the band, it remains just as supportive as your conventional two-hook option from Freya. In fact, I found it tighter than usual, though it loosened up after I wore it several days in a row. The support is due in large part to a piece of vertical boning where the band splits. The boning is quite strong yet surprisingly bouncy. If I fold it in half, it springs right back into position, and it doesn’t dig in or feel uncomfortable at all.

I quite like the single hook in back as well because it doesn’t dig into me if I sit in a hard chair, which is often an issue even in my best-fitting bras. Apparently I have a sensitive spine?

I also like the fabric. The leopard portion has a little more give in all directions than other Freyas I own. The lace is quite thin without any mesh liner, making it flexible and able to mold to any shape. However, the elastic at the edge of the lace does dig in a little, so this may not be the best design for someone especially full-on-top.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about is that the straps seem unusually stiff. As mentioned above, I wore the bra for several days in a row when I first got it to loosen up the band. But even after all that, the straps still seem weirdly stiff and unyielding. Further, they attach a little far out to the sides in back for my narrow shoulders. They feel close to sliding off my shoulders and I find myself pulling on them throughout the day. Unfortunately, due to the unique band structure, I can’t unsew the straps and move them over, so there’s really no escaping it. But other than that, I’m very pleased with this purchase!


F Cup Fashion Followup with Veka & Samantha

How appropriate that Leah wrote about her Urkye tops on Friday because I’ve wanted to share photos of my own purple Veka top, but I didn’t have enough to say for an entire writeup. Now it’s simply a matter of adding my average-to-short-waisted experience hers.

Before I say anything else, I have to warn you that I am going through a frumpy phase, so please don’t judge the top and dress by how I have or haven’t styled them. I blame my shoes for everything, but I welcome gentle suggestions for how to extricate myself from my current rut.

Here is the violet Veka. What I have since learned is that Urkye will actually shorten the length of their tops for you for free if you request this when you place your order! This is my first time to order from Urkye, but now that I know how a 42 1/2 top looks on me,  I’ll ask them to trim off three inches next time.

urkye purple top front

I’m showing you two profile pictures, the first wearing my Freya Rio in 32F, and the second wearing my Empreinte Grace in 32F. I adore the Empreinte Grace bra and promise to write about it soon.

purple urkye top side view Freya profile

purple Urkye top side with Empreinte Grace profile

I appreciate that the front center panel of this top is a double layer of fabric, especially since, as Leah noted, the fabric is a bit thin. The photo of my back (wearing the Freya Rio) shows how it clings more than skims my middle. Leah liked the narrowed waist on her Veka, but a wider waist in back might be more flattering for me–or I should simply wear my Fraulein Annie Falling in Love cinching panty, which I wore under the Samantha that I show you further down.

purple Urkye top back

In the end, I think my Urkye Veka makes a very nice basic top. It fits my bust perfectly, and the color is a treat. However, there’s something intangible that keeps it from being a “wow” top on me. If I can figure out how to turn it into a “wow”, I’ll let you know!

Yesterday I was all set to wear all black to church when I remembered my new turquoise Samantha in 36D that arrived last week. I tore off the tags and pulled it over my head and felt amazing. Like the Veka, it could stand to be hemmed–in this case to the narrowest point on my legs, but I was too in love with the color to wait.

dd atelier samantha shortened

I already told you that Olga takes pride in the quality fabrics that she uses, and the substantial-feeling knit of this dress is luxurious. It drapes beautifully and skims nicely.  I’ve only worn it for five hours so far, so I can’t yet comment on pilling–I was just happy to make it through a potluck without dripping anything on it!

The perfect fit at my bust and waist is accomplished through princess seams and two additional waist darts in front. There are two slightly longer waist darts in back.

dd atelier samantha front

I have deep pockets!

dd atelier samantha side

(I’m wearing my Empreinte Grace again in these photos.)

dd atelier samantha back

I tried a red bead necklace with this dress, but it looked too cluttered. I tried pearls, but they looked too conservative. I feel like a scarf would hide the streamlined bodice and neckline that I like. Perhaps a brooch is in order?!

I love that season after season, Olga keeps bringing us beautiful pieces to fit our big busts. In this season of browns, greys, burgundies and blacks, I’m especially thrilled that she has offered turquoise.

Off the Rack ~ Reviewing Urkye Long-Sleeve Tops “Lodka” and “Veka”

This week I’m reviewing two new long-sleeved tops from Polish big bust brand Urkye. I bought them with my exclusive 30% off coupon that I received at Hourglassy’s Big Bust Clothing Swap last month, plus my 4% returning customer discount, so they only ended up costing about $63 including shipping. Additionally, the shirts were delivered in a mere two weeks! If you like any of them, I’d suggest buying your own right away, because some of the sizes have already sold out.

My measurements are 37” bust and 29” waist, and I bought all these shirts in 38 o/oo. This is the size I always buy from Urkye (unless I want something to fit extra tight or show extra cleavage, in which case I sister-size to 36 oo/ooo). So far, everything I’ve ever ordered in this size has fit consistently.

For those who aren’t familiar with Urkye’s sizing, it works the same as other big bust brands such as the British Pepperberry or Polish BiuBiu—you use your waist measurement to determine the number and your bust measurement to choose from three curvy levels (in Urkye’s case, o, oo, and ooo) for tailored items or two curvy levels (o/oo and oo/ooo) for stretch items. You can find the size chart here, and you can see a list of the Urkye models’ measurements and sizes here, which makes it even easier to figure out the best fit for you.

First up is the Lodka, which Google Translate tells me means “boat.” This makes sense, since it features a boat-neck neckline. It also has two seams up the front and back to give it shaping. It’s a slightly thicker and heavier knit, perfect for fall and winter.

Sometimes the colors on Urkye’s website look quite different from the color of the fabric in real life, and this top is no exception. However, there’s something especially funny going on with this particular photo. The online image looks like a dusty, almost denim blue. But when I saved the photo to my computer, the saved file looked much more teal. In real life, the shirt is teal. Here is a comparison, with a screen shot from the website on the left and the saved photo file on the right:

blue combo

Anyhow, here’s how it looks on me:




I love the seams, as I think they give this plain shirt just a tiny bit of extra interest (as well as creating the excellent fit, of course). I also think the sleeves are the perfect length, reaching just past my wrist, and the perfect level of tightness, just loose enough that they don’t bunch up or feel restrictive. The neckline sits on my shoulders a little funny, so that the trim lifts up and off my body somewhat, but I’ve had this effect with other shirts before too. I think the shirt is simply cut for slightly differently shaped shoulders than mine. It’s a small enough detail that I don’t physically feel it and really don’t care. In fact, I like this shirt so much that I just ordered it in two more colors!

Much to my satisfaction, the Lodka is quite long. With my extra-long torso, this is a rarity indeed. I’m wearing mid-rise jeans here, and to help show the length further, in this photo I’m pointing to my belly button:


Next up is the Veka top, which doesn’t seem to have a translation. It’s a V-neck with princess seams and three-quarter sleeves. I bought it in purple and green. This time, the colors on the website are actually quite accurate, and didn’t change when I saved the image file:



The purple is actually more color-accurate in the manufacturer image than my photo this time:




Though it’s the same 92% cotton, 8% elastane as the Lodka, the Veka is a thinner, smoother material, excellent for layering. I wore it tucked into a high-waisted skirt earlier this week and didn’t feel any extra bulk. The princess seams are, of course, ideal for boobs, and once again the sleeves are not too tight. The fabric does feel a little clingier overall than the Lodka, but I attribute that to its thinner texture. This time, the shoulders sit flush with my body as well.

Finally, another belly button photo for length demonstration (it’s the same length as Lodka), followed by the green top on me, looking slightly more neon in my photos than it is in real life:




Lastly, I just have to point out one more thing that I really love about these tops: They have a substantial waist! Check out these photos, and marvel at how much they flare out at the bottom. I hate it when shirts are super tight across my hips and baggy at the waist, but these tops accommodate my bottom-half curves as well as my top half. This means no bagging, bunching, or riding up.