Friday, 1 February 2013

Ruffling with swimwear

Curvy Kate's Rio Ruffle, that is.

I dove into some CK swimwear for 2 reasons:

a) It will be summer at some point! And my swim-suit (seriously, the best swim-wear I've owned - cut "the cups" out though, but the straps are wide and asjustable with buttons, so it easily conceals a bra) needs to have a swim-bra under it.

b) I've recently had success with the Daily Boost (review to come), and had heard the swimwear was a similar shape.

Going by feedback on Bratabase, I went for a 34HH - a back-size larger than the Daily Boost, and 1-2 cups sizes smaller.

On a whim I decided to test out the matching bottoms too: As I've also mentioned at Bratabase, most matching sets probably won't do for my large bottom, but these came in a size 20, which I hoped would be enough.

Well, it was, technically - they fit really well, and I'd definitely take a size 20 again. But they are super low! Which I find quite odd - don't a lot of women want maybe a little more coverage on the beach?
I'm not going to show you, because I really felt very very exposed in them, but here, and illustration:
Blue is the Rio Ruffle bottoms
Green is the lowest I'd want to be seen in!
But besides that, they were super cute - maybe even verging on child-like - and felt like good quality - thick fabric, nice seams etc.

But how about the top then?
Well, the fit was ok:

It was a nudge small on my larger boob, but nothing I'd worry about in swim-wear, as it doesn't run the risk of looking bulgy under tops or anything :)

The band was quite nice and firm, and I'm really surprised how well it looked, considering it's such a thin band - I'd expect it to cut in a bit, and look bad, but I'm pleasantly surprised here!
I don't understand the clasp though - it seems most swim-bras aren't made with regular, adjustable backs, and that really bums me out - surely that will shorten the life of it? And as you can see, it has a tendency to twist, making the band even thinner. I don't get it.

Other features I really liked was the wires - the were very stable. But most of all (and I know some who will be very happy about this) they were quite square:

To the left, you see 2 examples of how so many wires look: Either they're quite round so they are slightly too narrow at the bottom of the root, and slightly too wide at the top - or, as is common with unstable wires, it will be a very long shape.
The the right you can kind of see the more square shape that this wire has (though of course the corner is round)
This is very nice shape for me! My breast is wider at the bottom, and so often this means I have to get a very wide cup, which is even wider at top, thus loosing some of the stability of the whole bra.

And since we are in this area, the wing with a good side boning is a wooping 14.75cm/5.8" tall - which again helps make up for the fact that the middle of the band is so narrow. It feels quite good and secure.

I can definitely see that it's based on the similar cup-shape as Daily Boost, which I am pleased by, because then I know CK's swimwear will work for me.

But this particulary one is going back.

I am honestly quite dissappointed, as it seems to be a question of quality - the cups are very stretchy, and thus don't give much shape, uplift of support. When I tried to tighten the straps to see if I could get the shape to, well, shape, they just stretched as well - they felt almost as snug when there were half tightened vs. completely tightened.

I get that, as a swim bra, the materials are going to be different, and I get that they may not be as firm in their support due to this... But if this loose, over-ly stretchy is the best they can do, then I'll much rather just get half the life-span out of a regular bra by swimming in that.

Now that I had already decided that I did not like this one, I felt like I saw more flaws - for example, it just doesn't seem as nicely finished off as so many other bras:
They are probably fine, but all those seams has an 'unfinished' look to me
And the part from clasp to strap is not extra enforced in any way...
You can also see here, where most D+ bras continue the straps into the clasp, this one has the band and strap completely separate, which I feel really doesn't do any one any favors.

And, well, if I get to be picky, I don't really get the ruffles - how are they supposed to sit? They sort of stick out weirdly :/ I wish they'd kept them more like the Thrill me or something to that effect.

So, all in all, Rio Ruffle was definitely going back! And quite frankly it makes me rather sad that it seemed so bad in design, honestly...
I hear that many of these things are because 'women don't want bikinis to look like bras' and I have to say... Who? And there are plenty of ways to make a bra look more like swim-wear that won't mean we have to sacrifice fit and support...

I mean, from where I'm looking, any of their sets could look beach-like: Just skip the sheer parts, and you're pretty much ready to go:
Curvy Kate Enchant
Enchant swim-edition?
Something I've wanted to see as swimwear, is the type where there's fabric on top of the cup that continues up to the strap, like you see here in a lace version - You see, there is an actual cup, but then it still looks like those triangle bikinis (though the gore should probably be higher...)
The Little Bra Company Lucia

Or a twisted overlay - would look very swim-wear like, not matter if there was a proper clasp at the back or not:
Honestly, I'm considering the Elomi Roxy as my bikini set:

If this set isn't so perfect you could weep... Then we have very different taste xD
I know it isn't meant for that, but isn't it just beautiful? I've mentioned often that I have a roll just underneath my bra which means I definitely wouldn't go out in a regular 2-piece anyways, but a long line, with a brief that comes up just where I said I wanted it? I'll sure consider it!

But anyways, back to now - CK has some swimtops from last season that are based on the same shape which occasionally pop up on brastop or thing like that, and they also have their promising current range, which I'm also very intersted in, so I'll keep searching!

Looking at it in a more positive light, I'm quite thrilled that I've gotten to that point in my bra-journey, where I get to be picky about quality and looks - just a few months ago, I would have had to hungrily accept anything that was close to fitting :b Nothing so  bad it isn't good for anything, eh? :)

1 comment:

  1. I also ordered this bathing suit from BraStop (it really was a steal) and I couldn't believe how indecently low the bikini bottoms were. I'm actually trying to sell the damn thing on eBay because I waited too long to send it back. I don't like it at all.

    And I agree, the Roxy would make an OUTSTANDING swimsuit. I'm sure it would hold up in the water anyways....