ASOS Full Bust Swim Reviews – 2016

Last Spring I was eager to find my first swim tops that fit. In fact, my very first blog reviews were swim tops!  I was eager, however, to not spend a ton of money on them, and specifically, not spend a ton of money trying them on. When I discovered that ASOS has its own comparably inexpensive line of DD+ swim tops, some of which are UK DD-G starting at a 30 band, and that ASOS has free shipping (I think with an order over $40), free returns, and a student discount, I ordered a whole bunch of tops to try. I wrote about my successes and failures here and here

While some of their tops in my size 30G (or if you are on the US page it will convert to US sizes – in my case 30I) were far too shallow (and I’ve heard similar complaints from many people), there were two tops that stood out, and were great fits on me.  One was the FULLER BUST Miami Palm Print Longline Bikini Top in size US 30I, which fit perfectly except for a gore which did not completely tack:

  

The other was the now discontinued “Mix and Match D+ Plunge Halter Bikini top” – which for some reason I was fitting into US sizes 30H and 30I.

  

 I was so upset to not find this top in new colors and patterns this year. ASOS, this is the least shallow of all your options! It’s, at least, amazing for inner and upper fullness. In retrospect I do regret not keeping the white version, above (though I did keep two other colors).

All of my ASOS tops were $30-$40 full price (and sales made them even cheaper), and they held up well on a beach vacation where I was playing in rough waves and doing a terrible job body boarding. 

So that’s a recap of my success last year buying from ASOS.

A few observations about ASOS’ swim line this year:

1. If you want one in a full bust size, you really have to watch their New Arrivals like a hawk. They tend to go quickly, especially the attractive ones.

2. The fuller bust line is very inventive and fashion forward. There are all sorts of trendy styles – crop top versions, bondage inspired versions, wrap details, use of mesh, even a top or two with sleeves. There are also a ton which, at first glance, are hideous to me. I didn’t think I was going to buy any this year looking at the offerings in February and March, but ASOS keeps rolling out new ones continuously. Seriously, I don’t know when or if they will ever stop. So keep your eye on it if you’re in the size range, and maybe you’ll eventually see one you fancy!

3. I am even more convinced this year that you probably want to size up in the cup with ASOS, if you can. They seem to run even smaller in the cup, unfortunately. 

4. You may want to avoid the models that say “hidden underwire” in their names if you are projected. I tried a bunch of them last year and found them very shallow (though of course they may have changed the fit). Any of the non-underwire tops are also very shallow (you’ll see one below).

5. ASOS still has the helpful “catwalk” videos of most of their offerings- click Catwalk right below the item photos. This is amazing. I love seeing the product in real life without the threat of Photoshop, in motion, and from all angles before I buy. 

Ok, onto 3 brief reviews! I’ll begin with 2 that didn’t work, and end with 1 I really love. 

First, the ASOS FULLER BUST Mix and Match Mesh Insert T Back Plunge Bikini Top DD-G which retails at $31. This one is getting low on sizes, but I just sent a 30I back to them in the mail, so I assume that 30I will eventually pop back up again! There is also a more recent colorway of this one as well that is white with a navy stripe.

This top has lightly moulded cups, a cool T back, and its halter has mesh between the two straps on each side – which I thought was pretty spiffy.  I really like the look of this top, so I was disappointed with the 30I was slightly too small and/or shallow. It really was close though:

   
    
 

(Sorry for the awful photo of the back, above. The back is really cool though!)

You can see that I’m falling out of the cups a bit. But the 30 band is nice and firm. I would recommend the 30I/30G size in this style if you are normally a UK 30F-30FF (or its 28 band counterparts).

Next is a terrible fail: the ASOS FULLER BUST Mix and Match Crochet Lace Scallop Strappy Triangle Wrap Bikini Top DD-G in Rust and size 30I. Sigh. I should have known a string top had an unlikely chance of working out! 

   
    
 

See, very shallow in the middle area. If you’re 30G/30I this actually might work for you, but only if you are more shallow inside and on top (less upper and inner fullness). It’s worth noting that the strings are not very supportive.  If you want to feel more contained and supported an actual underwire is your best bet. 

Finally, the one that I love! This swim crop top popped up about a week ago and I immediately grabbed it. It ticked all my boxes – interesting, flattering color for me, cool matching bottoms, cheap ($30!), and looked like it just might work shapewise. Fortunately at the time of this blog post’s publication it still has most of its sizes in stock, but many say “low in stock.”

This top is called the “ASOS FULLER BUST Exclusive Cut Out Halter Crop Bikini Top DD-G” and I was surprised to see that it was non-padded! A non-padded longline bikini top! I was hoping I would have as much success as I did with my padded longline from last year. 

   
    
   

As you can see, this whole set worked out beautifully for me! The wires aren’t too wide and the stretch swim fabric accommodates my upper and inner fullness. The shape is also fairly contained and minimizing especially from the side view. This makes me think that if you are very projected (or not as soft and “mashable” as I am) you may find the bottom of the cups in this size are not sufficiently projected. 

My only gripe is that the cups maybe could be a teensy bit bigger for me. I can’t go up a cup size without going up to the 32 band, however. I do hope ASOS will continue expanding their size range in the future. But for now, I’m quite happy with this top. I’m actually in the market for bathing suits this year specifically because I’ll be honeymooning at a tropical resort in about a month! This set is equally sexy and flattering – pretty much exactly the sort of thing I’m looking for. 

Let me know if you have further questions about these items, since I was indeed pretty brief. Next week I’ll be reviewing more swim tops from other full bust brands!

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Review: The Extra Strength Strap Saver

Today’s review is a review of the nifty, handy bra accessory – the Strap Saver! I’ve mentioned the Strap Saver several times on my blog but have never fully reviewed the product yet. Today, in particular, I’m reviewing the latest iteration of the product, the Extra Strength version. Strap Saver’s Shari  kindly sent me the product to review because she noticed I liked the original (regular strength) version so much. 

While both versions of the Strap Saver are made out of stainless steel, the Extra Strength version uses a thicker stainless steel for more sturdy support. This new version was conceived and created upon hearing some reports that the regular strengths would bend out of shape if they were holding up too much weight. You can read about it here. The new wisdom is the following:

Use Regular Strap Savers for bras & bathing suits up to a size 40DD, tank tops & light dresses

Use Extra-Strength Strap Savers for bras & bathing suits size 40DDD & larger, sports bras & heavy dresses

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s see how this thing works!

Once upon a time, I learned that I could only buy bras with fully adjustable straps. I have a short upper torso, and high set breasts, so in order to get lift I need some short straps! Most straps that are only partially adjustable do not adjust short enough for me. I would have to avoid buying many lovely bras because of this precise reason. 

When I bought my Ewa Michalak CHP Lawenda, I had forgotten to perform my usual strap inquiry. Oh no! When I received the Lawenda, I was horrified to see the following:

  

I hoped that despite the fact they were only partially adjustable, they would still be short enough for me. But they were not. Adjusted all the way, the bra has very minimal lift, and the tops of the cup gape:

   
 

If the straps were shortened to their ideal length for me, I could achieve more lift and no gaping, like this:

  

Now, crafty people might just go ahead and sew the straps shorter. My friends, I have an irrational fear regarding hand-altering bras. I just can’t picture myself shortening straps and sewing them back up successfully. Now, I do aim to try one day. But that day has not yet come. The Strap Saver is for people like me – a cheap, handy, reversible, non-sewing solution to the problem of straps of an unfortunate length. 

And note: the Strap Saver is not just for shortening partially adjustable straps, but can also be used to shorten bra straps that have become too long and stretched out from being worn. So, it can give added life to a beloved old bra, too.

Strap Savers come in a little pink bag. The bag is a great idea, because then you won’t lose the tiny products. 

   
 

They also come with 2 clear sets of instructions, 1 for if your straps have a metal slider, and one for if they do not. There are also instructional videos on the Strap Saver website. 

  

The Extra Strengths are made of a sturdy metal. Here is a comparison photo with the Regular version, with the Extra Strength on the right:

  

Here’s how to put them on. First you adjust the strap as long as it will go:

  

Then you pull the strap through the adjuster, forming a loop, pulling it through the amount you would like to shorten it (the bigger the loop you make, the shorter the strap will be!). 

  

Then you put the top of the loop and the bra strap through the wider part of the Strap Saver:

  

And the final step is to carefully hook the narrower part of the Strap Saver onto the bra strap. This is the hardest part, in my opinion. The metal is so sturdy that you have to try hard to squeeze the strap into it! But, it works, and when it’s in place it’s obviously not going anywhere. 

  

Then you do the other strap. 

And now Lawenda is lifted high to the sky:

  

From the back, the metal clips are somewhat visible, but they do not look offensively obtrusive. The shortened part is also going to be thicker/more bulky than the rest of the strap.

   
 

Do I notice much of a difference between the Regular and Extra Strength versions? Since I’m a UK 30G, the Regular version should be enough to hold my weight without distortion, and I have found that to be the case (if I am sister sizing down from a 40DDD correctly, I would require the Extra Strength if I were a UK 30H). However, I do like that the Extra Strength provides the assurance of extra security, and obviously some ladies are going to need it. I think it’s pretty cool that Shari and her team created the Extra Stength version after listening to feedback about their initial product. 

Extra-Strength Strap Savers come in ¾” and 1” and are currently offered in Metallic, but more colors are coming soon. They are the same price as regular Strap Savers – $15 for the first pair, $10 for each additional pair with free standard shipping in the US and just $2 additional to anywhere else in the world. You can grab yours here!

Fantasie Francesca Longline in 30G

I apologize, friends, for taking a few weeks off. Entirely unintentional. Work was getting the best of me! (Or worst of me??)

I have lots of things to review for you, of course. The first is the dramatic Fantasie Francesca longline, which is from last season, and which is likely on sale if you can find it now! I ended up buying it for about $60 in February. Expensive, but a big improvement over its whopping U.S. retail price of around $100. Whoa there, Fantasie!

I had been obsessed with this longline ever since I first glimpsed it in the season previews. It took forever for me to finally get my hands on it though.  I think I was unconsciously testing how long I could go without having it. At one point, I think I even felt peace about NOT getting this bra! Victory for my wallet! Alas, the victory was short-lived.

Here is Francesca:

   

Appearance wise, just ravishing. I love the blue and black, the curly lace along the cups, and the embroidered leaves and the fan- like design. Are they fans? I honestly have no idea – but it seems antique and I like it! I also love that the longline part is a see-through mesh.


 
Though I must say that for a $100 retail bra, the back of the bra is very disappointing. Totally black, totally plain. What’s with that?

   

I had great hopes regarding the fit of this bra. I am a big fan of Fantasie’s other padded half cups, Mae and Ivana. I was hoping Francesca would fit like Ivana with a longline tacked on! 
  

But that is not quite the case. The difference in fit may be in part due to the fact that I went up a cup size in Francesca, but I don’t think that’s all of it. I think the bra is generally wider and more shallow. 

  

While the actual numerical width of the wires (measured from top of wire straight across to top of the gore) aren’t all too different from my Comexim halfcup in a comparable size, I have realized that how wide a bra feels has other factors that contribute to it. One of those factors is how wide the entire cup is, from top to bottom. It may, for example, be wide if you measure starting at the top of the wire, but as the wire travels towards the bottom of the cups it narrows quickly. Comexim halfcups do so more than this Fantasie halfcup. The bottom of the cups for Francesca are wider. 
  

Another factor that contributes to a bra feeling wide is how wide the central gore is. If a central gore is wider, a bra with wires of a certain measurement will have its side wires end closer to your underarms (and hence may go further from where your root ends), than a bra with the same wire width measurement and a narrower gore. For this very reason – width of gore – Francesca’s wires end up being further from the sides of my roots than Comexim’s comparably wide wires. In the photo above, you can definitely see the width of the gore of Francesca. 

  

So, the bra is a bit wide for me, but the more essential problem for me is the bra’s shallowness. Apparently it’s hard to make a non-shallow longline? Comexim longlines tend to end up that way too!
  

You can see in the photo above that there is empty space at the bottom of the cup, because the bottom is too shallow for my boobs to fit down there. 

  

You can also see from the side view how the wires are pretty wide across most of the cup. Also, how the band rides up in back a little. Standard loose Fantasie 30 band! The slight riding up of a longline band doesn’t bother me as much as a regular band would, however.  The wider band is pretty sturdy, and the bra doesn’t feel like it is going anywhere!
  

Despite these fit problems, Francesca won over my heart, and she’s here to stay. 

  

The cups fit rather nicely, I generally like how my boobs look in it, and I think Francesca is rather unique!

Though I don’t have a photo today, I might also comment on Francesca under a shirt. Under a tighter, thinner shirt, you will of course have some obvious vertical seams showing in the front, and the thick longline band is actually more evident than I want it to be in the back (probably only because I am not used to seeing longline bands through a shirt!). As far as silhouette goes, because the bra is shallower, the side view is minimal (although round, as the photos show), and the front view is wider (more hourglassy). 
  

The bra is actually fairly comfortable. Longlines take a bit to get used to (they aren’t everyday type bras for me, but more for something a little sweet and special), but nothing is poking oddly in this one. The band wrinkles a little when moving around (as evident in the above photo) but it doesn’t flip up. 

 

The lighting in the above photo really brings out the colors and textures. Quite lovely!

Give Francesca a try if you can find one at a good price – especially if you’re not too projected or if you’re slightly wide-set. I didn’t mention above, but it should be fairly evident from the pictures that there is some good room for upper fullness/tall roots at the top of the cups. Fantasie halfcups (and most halfcups, for that matter) are pretty good for that!