Following up on my Curve Expo coverage, here comes Curve Part II. Again, these are the Spring/Summer 2016 collections. Unless otherwise noted, everything you see below will be released for sale around March–May 2016. This week I’m discussing our favorite brands: Claudette, Curvy Kate, Eveden, Panache, Parfait, and Tutti Rouge.
All brands here use UK sizing.
It’s always a pleasure chatting with the Claudette ladies. They’re so open about their product and the business overall. Darlene and I learned all kinds of interesting things about what the brand is up to lately.
For example, some American consumers may have noticed that Claudette shows up on flash sale site Zulily fairly regularly. Turns out this is a great way to be introduced to new customers. Zulily has thousands of subscribers, so by selling a few items on there, a brand is basically getting free marketing. The Claudette items on Zulily and other flash sites are typically three seasons old so as not to cut into the business of brick-and-mortar retailers.
Along those lines, earlier this year Claudette also introduced their own sale site for discontinued styles, Claudette Encore. This site offers strictly items from past seasons that brick-and-mortar retailers are no longer carrying, at prices as low as $9.99. The most recent season you’ll find on there is Spring/Summer 2013, but there are bras going all the way back to their very first collection (yes, the neons!).
Encore has proven a great success! Apparently some customers have been buying a few bras in different sizes, then coming back and buying every single bra available in their final size. Additionally, for retailers who don’t want to carry the smaller bands and bigger cups because they think there’s no demand for it, Claudette can now point to Encore’s sales to prove just how much demand there is.
Alright, enough talk! Let’s see what’s new for next year:
Refreshingly, all of Claudette’s bras come in the same size range, which includes 32/34A, 32–38B, 30–38C, and 28–38 D–G, with all bottoms in XS–XL.
Another brand whose team is very accommodating to press and so pleasant to work with! This year CK showed us a few highlights that they’re most excited for. The theme is bright, sherbet colors while still presenting a slightly more mature look. Perfect for my stage of life! I still love eye-searingly bright colors but don’t necessarily want my lingerie to look like it came from the juniors’ section.
(Note that some of these items are not the model’s actual size; any gaping or fit issues you may see are a result of that, not a standard feature.)
Curvy Kate is also introducing four new babydolls, including one based on the classic Tease Me bra.
The Scantilly boudoir-inspired collection has been selling really well, and I’m excited to see that CK is introducing some color into it, including light pink, dark leopard, and a gorgeous bright red.
We didn’t take a look at that much of CK’s new swimwear, but I did absolutely love the Siren one-piece bathing suit on the model. It can be worn strapless, and the sides have adjustable ties so you can bring the coverage down, or tighten the strings for a higher leg cut. It also comes in a bandeau bikini top and a padded plunge top, with shorts or low-rise briefs. This photo, for once, is color-accurate:
Speaking of swimwear, as of next season CK will be replacing all elastane content with lycra instead, as it lasts longer over time. Additionally, after complaining about the non-lined butts in their bottoms in our June swim coverage, Darlene and I asked about it and were told it’s a deliberate choice, as it keeps the fabric lighter when it gets wet and you don’t get droopy butt.
Oh boy, here comes a big one. As usual, I was interested in tons of what Freya and Fantasie are selling. A couple news bites to share: Eveden will be eliminating the word “nude” from its lexicon and making a push for more skin tones. Additionally, I notice in the lookbook that the padded longlines are going up to HH cups and the regular padded half-cups are up to H. Yay! I can finally buy one in the proper size of 28GG!
Moving from Freya to Fantasie:
Next up, swimwear. There are sooooo many ones I love:
Lastly, I have a couple sports items to share. I’m a Panache sports bra gal all the way, but the new colors of Freya’s two sports bra styles have me wondering if I ought to try something new:
Get ready for another massive set of photos, because here comes Panache!
Once again I’m a huge fan of the new Panache Sport colors, and once again I was told there are no plans to turn this sports bra into a bikini. I just don’t understand why not!! All they’d have to do is use different exterior fabric. All the construction would stay exactly the same. This black one would make an awesome swim option:
Moving on to the Panache Superbra line…
Panache Black is introducing some lovely colors this season, including dark red and two shades of blue. They’re also introducing “more luxurious” fabrics like satin.
Next up is Cleo, one of my top brands. This season, they’re going for less cutesy and more “fashion.” Like Curvy Kate’s similar statement, this is music to my ears. Of course, the bra I will absolutely be buying is still pretty girly…
Finally, we have swimwear. Panache Superbra is offering a selection of great nauticals, and Cleo features some really fun prints and colors.
After the massive Eveden and Panache coverage, I’m ready for a smaller collection! This season, Parfait has expanded their sizing yet again. No additional large cups, sadly, but they have added cups down to a C (previously they started at D), bands up to 44 (previously 40), and panties up to 4XL (previously 2XL) in Carole, Casey, Charlotte, and Jeanie. It seems like Parfait is really embracing the plus-size market with these additions.
They’re also adding three new styles—the Darlene, Penelope, and Lucie.
The last brand I have to show you is Tutti Rouge. I still haven’t tried their bras myself, but I’m impressed with their styles and innovation every season. The current lookbook has a little “Which Tutti Are You?” chart in it explaining which styles are great for shallow busts, amazing uplift, fabulous forward projection, or major cleavage. For my full-on-bottom and moderately full-on-top shape, I would reach for the “fabulous forward projection” or “major cleavage” and avoid the other two. The recommendations are: