Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Actual Pepperberry Reviews ;)

All right! Here comes the actual reviews of the things I told you I got from Pepperberry!

Crepe Button Detail Dress PD116 / Russet / 18 Super Curvy
I do think this dress looks like it could be rather matronly, and a lot of people probably won’t like it for that – but it also has sort of a country-vibe that I thought looked rather cute, plus it looked very comfortable. So I gave it a shot.
When I tried it on, I was really surprised by how much I liked it!

 As you can see, it has a little zipper in the side that makes the fitted part slip over your boobies, and it’s quite easy to work, and is nicely concealed still when it’s worn. This is 100% viscose, which truly is a wonderful fabric – I should know by now that whenever I think “Oh, this feels lovely, I wonder what it is”, then it’s probably viscose
It had room for my lower half, but without adding volume to it, so it gave a very nice ‘natural’ silhouette. And as far as the top half goes, it was a pretty good fit too! If I pulled my arms back or something like that, it did feel a little tight, but nothing that would make me worry about the buttons or anything.
The underbust is highlighted with a wider panel that is more fitted than the rest of the dress, which looks quite lovely. As you can see that it is actually possible to place it much in the way I explained I wanted it – though it was a bit looser than what would be ideal, and combined that the top part was a bit smaller than ideal, it had a tendency to ride up the boob a little. But nothing too bad, if it scored high on all other accounts, I would look past that!

As for the style, I definitely got that country feel that I liked it for, and I felt so very comfortable in it.
In fact, I had decided I would definitely keep it.
But, then I remembered the price: Originally, it had been £69, but I got it on sale for £41 – which is still a lot! So I took a second look at it, and tried to picture how much value I would get for that.
I’m not much of a dress-girl, though I do throw on a short jersey pencil-skirt under a tunic every once in a while as my everyday wear, but I felt like this dress wasn't really something I’d wear to uni – I think the long sleeves has a tendency to throw off the casual-ness. It isn't a sexy/young/smart dress either, so I wouldn't wear it to clubs or parties of that sort. And it isn't really formal enough to wear to a wedding etc. (for my personal style, anyways) – So I was left with very few options to actually wear it. Which is not a deal breaker, if there is a great piece you want to wear, you can make the occasion. But, now the situation looked like a) not enough occasions to wear it b) not a perfect fit and c) overpriced.
If just one of those factors had been a little better, I would have kept it, but in the end, I decided not to.

Leaf Print Tie Side Tunic PD114 / Navy Print / 18 Super Curvy
I had looked very much forward to this one, as it seemed very useful as everyday wear for me. But, oh, I was sourly disappointed!

The fit is completely off! I have located the problem to be that the neckline is super tight – if you compare with the profile shot in the previous dress, you can see that my boobs start to curve out pretty high up – higher than this neckline. But here, the neckline lays completely flat, forcing my boobs to only take up the space between neckline and empire-cut, which just won’t do! I measured, there are only 18cm there, and I then measured my boobs in similar way:

I remeasured, since I'm holding it a little high here
And they measured 27cm! So naturally, the empire-tie was sitting on top of my boobs, making the rest of the top stick out from my body as you see. You should definitely size up in the curvy-ness of this! It’s too bad, as I really think I could have gotten some use out of this – the length (though shorter on me, due to a bit extra vertical length, and a lot more horizontal :b ) makes it appropriate for leggings, and could therefore be used as a little casual party dress, and also as a comfy top over jeans. A shame that it won’t be for me!

Bead Embellished Tunic PT113 / Ivory / 18 Super Curvy
Oh my goodness, this is so my style. Well, white is not so much my preferred color, but the shape, the style, ahh, I loved it. 

Isn’t it lovely? The fitted underbust is the tightest and widest of them all (which is a good thing!) and the neck-line is so super flattering. I love the small knots for buttons, and the material (100% cotton) feels so right for the style. It seems pretty sturdy, but still sheer (but still could be done with a nude bra) and lightweight. Sigh. The bottom hem is a little more fitted than the rest of the body, which I was surprised by actually liking – it skimmed quite nicely over my rounder lower belly.

Ok, wake-up call, because I didn’t actually keep this top. It’s too small. You can see the wrinkles by the buttons and generally on the top half of my boobs that it is straining, meaning that the otherwise pretty tight underbust was forced up on my boobs a bit. But the arms were the true deal breaker: You can really see that they are tight, and I had to unbutton them to move my arms properly (unfortunately, I also loved the look of the rolled up sleeve – it was pretty hard to part with this top!).
Added to that comes that it bagged weirdly on the back of my shoulders
Such a shame, as I sure would have loved this! Had there been a size 20SC (or SDC), then I’d be willing to pay full price, even!

Split Sleeve Chiffon Top PT108 / Cream / 18 Super Curvy
Ok, I just said I didn’t prefer white tops, and yet here’s another (and quite lovely too!). Though I must say, this delicate chiffon would be reserved for fancy occasions for me, and thus I wish it had been darker, to work better for evenings.
This one is most definitely sheer, but it comes with a nice little cami:

I quite like this little top – it’s super soft (so of course, it’s viscose again!), and a lovely cream color. I like the fact that you can see even on such a simple garment that Pepperberry really do keep boobs in mind – the straps are fully adjustable, and you can see the side seam that allows the boob room is much longer than on standard sized strappy tops: Pepperberry could have easily ‘cheated out’ by just getting a very stretchy standard top, but they made the fit throughout
So, here it is in its entirety:

You can sort of see that yes, it is again riding up a bit in the front – too small boob space and too large empire, but again, not too bad. The tie-around had four small hoops to put the band through, but since I wanted to have it seem a bit lower, I left it out of those, and it still looked quite good, as the hoops are quite discrete (in fact, they are rather difficult to even see, aren’t they?)

I think the slit sleeves are quite well done too – I was worried that it would look like a cape from my armpit to my wrist, but it is truly only my elbow that sticks out, which is a rather good look, I think. The slit only goes from mid-upper-arm, then it is closed at mid-lower arm and then finally has the little clothed button at the wrist (which is rather tight btw. I think a lot of people would have to unbutton them to get over their hands).

The lower half on this was the most fitted of the tops, and in the end, that’s what meant I didn’t keep it – though it was quite flattering to have it that fitted, the non-stretchy material also meant that this would be the type of top where I’d have to worry about what to wear on my bottom half – as you may have noticed in some of my previous posts, all my jeans are quite bulky in the waist-area, and there just wouldn’t be room for that extra bulk on this top (I’m wearing leggings here). So, getting down-votes due to color as well as combination-options, was enough for me to send it back.

¾ Sleeve Slub Lace Top PT104 / Burnt Red / 18 Really/Super Curvy
I love these burnt/earthy colors! And again, this is so very much my style, very casual, a bit of a country vibe
And here’s how it fit:

I don’t think this is supposed to be a very fitted top – I think it’s a flattering alternative for “jeans and a T-shirt”-look for the busty. The fact that it didn’t have zippers or anything also made the fit much different – the empire was definitely the loosest of them all. Surprisingly it wasn’t that small in the bust though- being a combi of ‘really curvy’ and ‘super curvy’, I had thought the fit would have been smaller, but it didn’t seem to be. So, for sizing on this, I’d probably suggest going down a body-size, and keep it on the smaller of your curvy-sizes.
It’s quite stretchy, with 35% elastane, and 65% viscose (ahh, nice and soft) and it has sort of mottled pattern which nicely softened the color.
The sleeves are perfect for me – just the right length, a little longer than my elbow, so they look good when pushed up an inch, and they are stretchy enough that it’s completely comfortable, but fitted enough not to add anything to my large arms!
I had a bit of think about how I felt about the way the wrap over was done – it looks a bit like they made it a bit too wide, and decided to pin it, but on further thinking, I think it’s done quite nice: Had it wrapped much further over, the non-stretchy decorated hem would have gone across the boob, thus likely to sit and look weird. But had they not stitched it, it would be very low and wide cut. So I think was a nice solution.

Speaking of low cut – this is pretty cleavagy for some (you’ll need a plunge bra). I rather like a bit of d├ęcolletage, but I snapped some pictures of  likely positions that would expose most cleavage (aka. sitting, arms forward, leaning moderately over, seen from a higher angle – as when working on a computer, writing at a desk etc.) vs. least cleavage (aka. standing straight, arms down side, from a normal angle)– I found it a good balance for my taste!

All in all, this top didn’t have many down-points – the fit isn’t figure-hugging, no, but I don’t think it’s meant to. I like (and need) super casual tops too, and thus this fits the bill. So this had the honor of staying with me, yay! I’ve worn it out a few times already, and gotten compliments, so I’d say it is quite flattering even in all its casual-ness!

Slub Scoop Neck Top FK14 / Scarlet / 18 Really/Super Curvy
This top caught my eye due to the nice square-ish neckline, a very flattering shape on me, and the long sleeves – it’s so darn cold here! So I hoped this warm color would do as an everyday top:

But oh, the fit is off: Much like the Side Tie Leaf top, the neckline seemed oddly tight! You can see how it cuts into my upper-boob, pushing them down, flattened! This didn't have an empire cut of any kind, so it didn't look as disastrous, as they actually had room when pushed lower, but still quite an awful fit: I’d get better from standard sized!
Naturally, this meant it was going off the list of things to be considered for me, but I still made some notes on it:
The sleeves were a bit tight too – the thick cotton didn't have so much give, so I’d suggest sizing up if you think you may be in the upper range of your size.
The waist is defined by a small gathering on the back, which unfortunately doesn't show up on my pictures, due to the back of the shoulders being so loose, it bags over it. Nor is this detail mentioned on the site, even though this could be a pretty crucial point for a lot of people to either convince them of getting it, or for them to decide not to.
It was very generous on waist and hips too – in fact, it felt just like a large standard size.

So, this was what I got from Pepperberry this time around! Hit and miss, though mostly ‘miss’ and ‘almost’.
I've made two more purchases  as my exchange order that I am now waiting to arrive:

Cross Front Jersey Dress PD124 / Bottle Green /
18 Really/Super Curvy
Stripe Tie Back Top PT128 / Heather/Grey / 18 Really/Super Curvy

Hope it works out!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Trying out Pepperbery!

I recently made a big order at the Pepperberry sale! I have only tried two pieces before (one reviewed here), but have heard in various reviews that they are a bit hit and miss.
Looking at the size chart, I could predict some issues right off the bat:
Standing up, with an Ewa Michalak bra, my full bust measurement is 121cm-123cm, which only the 18SDC can account for. Unfortunately, the choices of SDC are very limited (as in, there are 4 for 18SDC), so that wasn’t a real option for me, thus I had to stick with 18 Super Curvy.
Had my boobs fitted better into the size chart, I may have considered alternatives to the size 18: A lot of Pepperberry’s tops are fitted for an empire cut, and thus fitted more at the underbust rather than at the true waist. So though my waist of about 90cm/35.5" fits size 16/18, my underbust is about 85cm/33.5" loosely, and could therefore be 14/16. 
Now that I've tried a handful of PB tops, I think I would recommend others to go by the loose underbust, at least if they want a similar fit to what I seek:

I think it look’s best if the dress is fitted just under the boobs, and all the way to the waist. But, I am not all that smooth going from  my under bust to my waist, so I've tweaked my perception of a good fit a bit.

I’ve tried to illustrate below:

First, you see a simple paint version of my profile: Boobs, empire line, roll and then the rest of me. On the next doodle, you see how a high, fitted empire cut would look on me – it would be squeezed in between my boobs and that darn roll. I don’t think that ‘sharp angle’ would look good at all.
Next up, you see how most of the Pepperberry things seemed to fit me, to various degrees – the empire was still the aprox. same height, but instead of being at my breast root-to-underbust, it was at mid-underboob to top-belly. Which just made me look much more straight figured in profile than I am, both my shrinking my boobs, and adding to my underbust.
The last doodle is how I would prefer the fit to be - a pretty fitted, low-ish empire cut (actually, this height empire cut is what I often get if I buy regular sizes dresses with drop-waist! A little trick! ;) ) As you can see, this would indeed need a lot of boob-room, more than what I can fill, but never the less, that’s what I would want if I got to be super picky!
But, I don't think I get to be particular picky this time around!

Which brings us to the next issue – my bottom half! Which measures 125cm, so that is nowhere to be found in the size chart, which isn’t too odd since it’s aimed at ‘top heavy’. So this definitely ruled out sizing down, and also meant I had to look out for things less fitted at the bottom – hence why I was mostly looking at empire cuts!

Pepperberry has the option to search by shape, which they have 
labeled “Straight”, “balanced” and “shaped” – which roughly translates as “Straight”, “hourglass” and “pear” – though note that because boobs are accounted for in the curvy sizes, these body shapes refers to shoulders, waist and hips.  According to this, I was “shaped”. Filtering by shape, size, and curviness should then ideally mean I could just drop all the things I liked from that list into my shopping cart. But I wouldn’t quite say so – I am certain that a lot of the items suggested would definitely not fit a large bottom:
3% elastane, 0% and 1%. So it's not because they can even stretch that much!
So, I filtered by price instead (as it really indeed is very expensive!) and kept a critical eye on the shapes.

I chose these:
Crepe Button Detail Dress PD116 / Russet / 18 Super Curvy

Split Sleeve Chiffon Top PT108 / Cream / 18 Super Curvy

Slub Scoop Neck Top FK14 / Scarlet / 18 Really/Super Curvy

Leaf Print Tie Side Tunic PD114 / Navy Print / 18 Super Curvy

Bead Embellished Tunic PT113 / Ivory / 18 Super Curvy

¾ Sleeve Slub Lace Top PT104 / Burnt Red / 18 Really/Super Curvy
In the end, I only kept one! But, that is mostly due to the price. Some of these items had minor issues (a bit off on fit / not a lot of occasions to wear it) but nothing deal-breaking: But, when they cost the price of a luxery item, I think they should be held to a little higher standard, and I would therefor not keep something that I didn't feel like I would get my full moneys worth of use in. 

Overall, I do think they have some really, really lovely items, but I confirm a certain amount of inconsistency in sizing.

And that's all you're getting this time around! I promise to have a full review up within the next days :) 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Success in Biubiu!

Here we go with my newest Biubiu order!
With my last order, I learned that 44BBB might be too small, and that I really needed to keep my eyes out for stuff that would allow room for my bottom too!
Bring in the Oia and Vienna dresses: Perfect! 

Unfortunately, they weren’t any in 46BBB, so I would have to wait and see if they made some more: I decided that due to the extra pleats on the Oia, I would go for that one to make sure there was room for my hips. 

Just in time, as they brought out the Oia Charcoal

As you will notice, it has longer sleeves than the first Oia – some might find this good or bad. I generally really like sleeves, and will make this very useful as everyday wear, but I do feel a shorter sleeve could have lightened the look a bit – especially in a darker color like this, it can come off as being a very ‘serious’ dress.

 But let’s take a look:

 I’m very happy with it J I did actually also order it in 44BBB, and I can’t stop kicking myself that I didn’t take any pictures (it was during Christmas, and in a rush to go to the post office with all my packages, I packed that up too!), but, it being a bit tighter at my bust, pulled the back tighter and thus revealed back bulges – not too bad, but I have so many clothing items already, where I get self conscious about that, and where I need to think “oh, I can only wear it if it’s a standing-up party” or “only if I can find some shapewear” or “I just have to make sure it doesn’t cling right here” etc. so I didn’t want another dress like that: In the 46BBB, I can wear it without even thinking about what I have underneath, or how I stand or sit. Very relaxing.
Though it fits really well, it of course isn’t ‘as tailored’ – I do have some loose fabric at the sleeves in various ways, and I wish it was more fitted at the underbust where I am narrower than at my waist, but that’s if I have to be really nitpicking about the fit, because overall, it great! 

The skirt is very full as you can see, so there was no problem at all with my thighs and hips – this makes me think I could also go for the Vienna: it’s still a quite full skirt, but the Oia just has a bit more front-pleats. 

Due to the color, though I love gray, it can need to be spiced up a bit – as you can see here, I’ve paired it with my teal leggings, for a very simple way to spice it up – though I played around with it a bit, and here are some looks it could be styled as:
I think it works pretty good for both looks! (And yes, as Vee spotted at Bratabase, that is the Morticia corset from What Katie Did! It’s a 30” that unfortunately isn’t curvy enough for me – it’s closed at the top, and all open at the bottom)

The fabric feels really really comfortable and soft, and kind of ‘sturdy’ and heavy – the feel o f quality! And the construction cannot be faulted – the seams that run down the body are flat and smooth, and it doesn't cling at the wrong places, and the skirt falls wonderfully. If I was to critique one thing, it would be that it’s almost impossible to get into! The long, thin (nicely concealed) zipper is really difficult to work on my back by myself (as it requires the fabric to lay pretty flat to zip, and when I bend my arms backwards, it can't lay flat!), and I have had to ask my neighbor for help once! It’s a bit easier to take off, which is always a relief J And check it out, pockets!

It took me a while to see that they were there, and they aren’t so big that they add bulk, but enough to have somewhere you put your hands + some coins and a cellphone! 

Overall, I think I will get some good use of this dress :)

When making my order for the Oia, I also checked what else was available in 46BBB – And there we have Partimao! (comes in many colors, but only gray left in my size at the time!) 
The color really struck me – it’s gray, but a bit purple-ish, which I found interesting, and figured the wrinkled fabric would show off my shape, without showing too many bulges, so I put it in my shopping cart immediately: And I’m glad I did:
It did exactly what it said on the tin ;) I found it a bit short, though, which is (part of) why it doesn't look to have so many wrinkles as on the website: I’ve had to pull it down, thus straightening it out a bit, but it still works the purpose. 
I like the neckline too, as it can look a bit ‘off the shoulder’-ish, without actually revealing my bra straps.
I wish the back could also be wrinkly, because as I’ve mentioned before, the back view can really make it or break it for me! Luckily this looked pretty good, but it would have been even better had it been more wrinkled up – though that would take an entire different construction of the top: The wrinkles are due to the front piece being much longer than the back:

I love the sleeve length! I like a bit of arm coverage, but not so much that I feel ‘hidden away’ in my tops, so this is perfect J
And I have to say again, oh my, the fabric of this! I think Biubiu must make a lot of effort to find materials, because in my own experience, and in other reviews too, it’s always noteworthy how wonderful the fabrics feel!

So, all in all, I love this! My hopes is that Biubiu will make bigger stocks (they sell out so fast!) and make sure to include lots of 46BBB’s for me ;) And keep women who are curvy at both ends in mind! Because I really love the pieces they have there, but there are so many where I know my lower half wouldn't stand a chance :b