Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Pepperberry blazer: Not worth it for me

I bought the Lightweight Blazer from Pepperberry - I need a light summer jacket, and I've always wanted a blazer that fit, so I even broke my principle of only buying sales items at Pepperberry!

It seemed to be more generous over the hips than a lot of other blazers, and I liked the casual look of the denim-color and floral lining. Plus, I really liked the matching top, so I figured that I could potentially buy that later:

So, I ordered it besides the price-tag of £65 is more than I'd like to pay...

When it arrived, I immediatly noted 2 things: It was quite wrinkled, suggesting it would need to be ironed all the time, and, the fabric felt cheap. Heavy fabrics do tend to feel better, so I understand that this will feel quite different, seeing as they were quite serious about the lightweigh-ness of it. But still, it feels more like a double-layer of cheap sheets, rather than a nice summer blazer - for a blazer, I expected something a bit more structured and polished. I would still love if it fit nicely, though!

Well, it didn't. I was still unsure whether I would keep it or not when I took these pictures, but looking at it here, tells me that it just didn't fit me very well. The many folds around the buttons and bust reveals the bad fit in that area.
Additionally, it was very big in other places - my waist (which, is not suprising, since that would technically make me a size 16, rather than the size 18SC I have here) and back. My back seems to be narrower than my front (which you could all see in my full-body pic in an earlier review), and I've even heard recently that sometimes plus-sizes gets more fabric added on the back than on the front when scaling up, so this may be the case here: Maybe with the lapels and everything, the scalaing up didn't quite go so well.
It's also quite large on my arms, which certainly is new to me! My limbs are so big (In fact, I've had measured that they make up more than half of my total body weight!), that I often size up because of them. Of course a blazer should not have tight sleeves, but it did feel a bit weird that they were so loose. I guess since they are made to be able to rolled up to mid-arm, they couldn't taper in at the end, but seeing as they had buttons there anyways, it wouldn't be difficult to just unbotton those when rolling up to a wider part of the arm.
Speaking of the sleeves, though, I appriciate their lenght: Since the lining really is the nice detail here, it's great that they can be rolled up once to show that, while still being full lenght.
Other things that worked well was my hips: I judged right, when I figured it would be able to handle my bottom half, and it does so nicely - it doesn't even part at the front when I'm standing normally! This is really quite rare for me, so that's deffinitely a plus!

So, all in all, my sizing advice would be to go for a smaller waist size, to get the back and sleeves more fitted - and if you normally size up for hips, don't worry!
But, I would advice against buying it at full price - at least for my wallet, this would need to be way, way cheaper for the quality and price to match!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Plus size ladies: How big are your thighs?

I hope some of you will do me the favor of answering this quick survey, asking for you height, weight, and thigh measurement, and jeans-size :)


Why I'm curious:
When buying tights, it bothers me that they size chart is often based on height and weight (even rarely including hip-measurement) With such diversity in bodies, I feel like this can't possible be accurate size-advice. And I've seen the inaccurcy on my own body too: I know my thighs are proportionally larger than so many other women, so I always make sure to buy at least a size larger than recommended - yet, they are still too small.

For my last 2 tight purchase, I've payed extra attention to how I matched their sizing chart:

I bought pairs from WeLoveColors: I weigh 225lbs, and I'm almost 5'9", so their 3X size ought to be enough - I could even have had 35lbs more on a 2" shorter body (thus, you'd expect the body to be wider), and my hip measurement of 49" was also within the limit - I opted for the 4X, though, which ought to fit someone who is 105lbs heavier than me while being 3" shorter - additionally, the hip-measurement is for "over 50" - they don't state how much 'over', but their other sizes can accomodate a difference between 8"-10", so I'd think these were up to 58"ish, which is much larger than me.

But, you guessed it, when they arrived, they were too small at the thigh.

I also purchased from Evans - their sizing chart puts me in a 'size 2', which is for 49"-55" hips (so I'm the smallest hip they are made for), a height of 5'7"-5'10" (So I'm smack in the middle). Yet again, I opt for a larger size, which is made for hips up to 62" (they even recommend that if you are under 5'4", you should take the smaller size, even if your hip still measures 62")

Yet, again, too small: I couldn't even get them over my knee!

It might just be me who is build in such a way no tight-producer even thought of, but I still find it difficult to believe that they would fit the majority of people they say they do. Thus, I want to use this survey, to see just how different sized thighs we have, even if we fit the same criteria for hip and height/weight!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Hooray! Massive succes in Cleo Meg!

Well, well, well! I might have a winner!

I already owned a Cleo Olivia in 34HH - but even though Cleo's unpadded bras tend to run a bit large, an HH would no longer cut it:

But, recognizing this bra to be probably the best for my shape, I purchased a sibling of it - the Cleo Meg in a 34J:

I didn't think much of it, as I generally favour padded bras, plus I have a small gripe with especially Cleo... The seem to be overcompensating for the fact that there are many "grandma" bras for large cupped ladies - they are making "little sister" bras! Which is great too, but you know, if they were making bras for me, and me only, they would be different, hehe :b (They would probably all look like the Pananche Idina, which was my perfect combi of elegant and simple... *weeping over the fact that it stops at J*)
But, at least the Cleo Meg was better than the Olivia, which I felt managed to be massively boring and too silly for my taste - the only detailing it has, is the plain pink lace at the top of the cups - everything else is just the silly blue polka dot print.

Well, putting Meg to the test - I have to say, I've never had a better fit!

I've had it for a few weeks now, which has allowed me to try it both when my boobs are at their biggest and smallest, so I here present:

Biggest - you can see that it is struggeling a bit at the large boobed strap-area
(the smaller boob is less tight, but the gaping here is mainly caused by the position of my arm)
(Also, don't worry about the wire, I'm merely contributing data to a project at the university!)


When I'm at my smallest, it's such that I think "Well, it should definitely not be larger" and when I'm at my biggest I think "Eek, slightly too small" - thus, in conclusion, this will fit me great for like, 80% of the month - which is pretty great!

And look at that shape, eh? It's rounded, up-lifted, everything I could list! I'd say it's a good mix of Purple and green shape!
Sure, it's not the "impressive bossom" of an Ewa Michalak bra, but this is really great for everyday wear!

Looking at the measurements, I am also led to believe that the Meg really is great for me.
Namely, the depth - logically, this measurement of the bra should roughly match what your boob measured from cleavage to armpit. Yet, so far, all my bras has been miles smaller than this: My boob-perimeter has been between 17-18", whereas the bras I wear tend to be between 12½-15½". But then Vee of Bratabase posed an interesting theory: If we are to measure the breat perimeter, would it be more accurate if we lay on our backs, and just roll slightly to the side so that the boob is on the chest (rather than spread out to the sides, as they often do) and then measure from armpit to cleavage. When I measure in this way, I get just under 15½" - and guess what the depth of Meg is:

15.4"!!! Well, if that isn't perfect, I don't know what is!

On Bratabase, the Meg is listed as being the same shape as the Alexa (and thus Olivia etc), but I do notice some differences.
First up, it seems just slightly lower cut than Olivia - and mentioned, I have the Meg a cup size larger, and then we often see that the centergore is higher, but the oppesite seems to be the case here:

The smaller bra is a whole cm higher than the larger!
I did feel like the proportions of the stretchy vs. non-stretchy bits at the band was also done differently (as in, more non-stretchy on Meg) as well as improvement on seams, but it is difficult to compare an almost year-old bra with a brand new one.

Furthermore, even though it may seem only a matter of appearance, the top panel of Alexa/Olivia is plain, though with added lace on top of it. Whereas all Meg-versions has a small band of sheer contrasting fabric, meaning the top panel has actually been cut in 2. It might be minor, but I can't help but think it may have had a little bit to do with the way it fits:
BrasIHateAndLove also reviewed the Meg and while she of course had very different succes with it than me (being as she is deffinitely full on top, and I'm deffinitely full on bottom - in fact, it was due to the fact that we always had oppesite succes in bras that made me realize I must be the oppesite of her), but she noted that the meg seemed to be loose just above the seam - something that I also noted:

I don't know if the slightly different top-panel can be held accountable for this or not, but it's worth noting.
It could also be a result of recent tweaking of the design: Many have noted that the red Cleo Marcie seems to have a too tight seam, so perhaps this is a bit of an overcompensation of that?

Speaking of the top-panel design, I think it is very very lovely! As I started out with saying, I really don't like the Olivia design - and while Meg is still a bit silly for my taste, I feel like it is done much more subtle and througout - if it wasn't for the crazy print, it would still be a very decorated bra. Instead of sewing additional lace on top of a plain bra (as with Olivia), thet have made the cup itself into a bit of lace, by making that little mesh panel with pink seams, and then small yellow arches to finish it off. And contrasting yellow loops all along the band. As well as yellow metal bits on the straps! Very very cute.

If I am to question something about the fit of Meg (and really, we are talking of details here), I am still undecided on how snug the band really is on me. I try to blame my indecision on the fact that it's my only 2-hooked bra, thus it is more difficult to compare the feel of the band with my 3-hooked bras.
I feel like Cleo runs big all over, though, in the band as well, and I can pull it out quite far rather easily:

But, it doesn't ride up, and it's deffinitely tacking, and looking at the pictures of the hooks, it certainly looks like they are tight, even though it doesn't feel as such as all (this might be bacause the wonderful wide seams, making no point take consideradbly more pressure than others).
So, the only thing where I feel I could improve with a slightly snugger band, is in terms of really holding in my scooped tissue - with rather tight bras, I only have to scoop once, maybe twice in the whole day, and then it just stays in: The tight band keeps the wires tacking at the armpits as well. But, here, I have to scoop rather often, unless I wear it on it's tightest setting, which I'd rather not for a brand new bra. It's good that it has an adequate width, then, or I would be scooping all day!

Speaking of tacking, this being my most tacking bra, which feels awesome and stable! But, that reveals another minir issue: There is only space for one wire between my boobs! So, the wire of my smaller, right boob sits nicely in the middle, whereas the left bigger boob gets a bit too friendly with the wire. You could see this clearly in Olivia:

and you can see it from the slight wire-imprint that I get in Meg:

The left side (in the picture) of the imprint is smack in the center of my cleavage: The right side is sitting on my boob

But, this is really minor!

So, all in all, this is by far my best fitting bra!
So that certainly confimrs BraIHateAndLove's suggetion that this will work for softer boobs, with less volume on top, which pretty accurately discribes my top-boobs. For the bottom, I'd say if you are more full-on-bottom than me, you might run into problems with this, as I felt like I was the most full-bottom it could take.

Now, I will keep an eye on who else this fits well, and take all their other bra suggestions as gospel :b

Monday, 6 May 2013

A few more Pepperberry items

I recently had a handful of bras I wanted to try from Bravissimo, and on a whim, I threw in a few Pepperberry pieces as well.

One of the items was Jaquard Floral Prom Dress:

 I do not have a straples bra that I'm satisfied with, but since I would plan to wear a shrug anyways, I figured this was worth a shot. The length and shape seemed ideal for my preferences and body, and I could see it as being a nice dress for restaurant visits and the like.
So here goes:

I would say, this probably would work quite well as a strapless: The body is boned, and is narrow in above the apex, making it unable to ride down.
On the downside, the body is way loose on me, meaning I had to tighten the waistband a lot, which seemed to work against the shape of the dress. To me, this was a dreal breaker. Additionally, it's too short: I always forget that I'm a bit taller than average, so when I see a dress that is as short as I want, I don't consider that it will not be that length on me.

Another thing I got was the Twist Strap Beach Dress:
This is actually not a Pepperberry item, but Bravisimo itself, in the same way that they have some strappy tops etc.
As you can see, we've got some serious problems. It cannot cover my bra at all. This is 'forgiven', seeing as it's probably not meant to be a proper dress, but more something to wear over your bikini when on the beach. But, that was not the intent I had for it, and it's therefor not really ideal for me. I am trying to figure what I could pair it with to make it wearable, as I have a very hot summer vacation coming up, and I would love a little dress like this.

Last item on my list is the previously reviewed Stripe Tie Back Top in the lighter color:

I've been using the darker one a lot recently, as it's a little hot to wear layers, but still too cold for short sleeves, so it nice to wear, so I'm happy to add the lighter (perhaps more summery) color to my collection.

So, that was some quick notes on my latest clothing haul!