I’m trying very hard to save money for my trip to London (aka magical lingerie wonderland, or so I’ve been told) next month, but since the fabulous blue “Roxie” camisole set from full-bust fave Curvy Kate made an appearance on my list of favorite styles for Fall/Winter 2014, I knew it was only a matter of time before my willpower failed. [Note: I purchased this set under my real name with my own money. Curvy Kate is unaffiliated with this review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Ooooh, this color. This color, y’all. It is so good. It is dreamy.
Ahem. Roxie is a four-part padded plunge shape that closes (in my size, at least) with three rows of three columns of hooks-and-eyes. The attached skirt falls to the high hip, leading retailers to call it either a babydoll, a camisole, or a camidoll. The skirt is open in back, so you can put it on like you would a regular bra, without worrying about having to step into the skirt or pull it over your head. The shorter length allows the pretty matching lace-trimmed shorts to peek out.
The shorts and bra cups feature an unusual textured blue-on-white (“Night/Silver”) pattern that reminds me a little of herringbone and which evolves into a delicate, broderie/eyelet-like pattern along the neckline. The fully adjustable straps, floating mesh skirt, and lace trim (at the legline of the shorts and decorating the back of the skirt below the band) are all the same luscious cobalt blue. Both the camisole and the shorts feature flat white tuxedo bows at the center at the center gore and waist, respectively. The collection also includes a padded plunge bra (minus the skirt) and coordinating thong.
Roxie is an interesting combination of a few different cup styles: while the cups feature two vertical seams in the bottom of the cup with one curving diagonal seam running across the cup, each individual cup section is rigid, like you’d expect to see in a padded or molded bra cup. By stitching individual molded sections together, it allows for a cup that’s deeper (and available in larger sizes) than most molded cup bras. It’s an improvement over previous Curvy Kate molded plunge bras like Tempt Me, which I found to be extremely shallow as well as far too tall at the sides.
The matching shorts feature an all-mesh back with a single vertical seam, trimmed with lace at the back of the waist. The legline features blue stretch lace, and the front of the shorts features the same blue-on-white pattern as the bra cups.
Curvy Kate has done a really admirable job of painstakingly adjusting their fit from season to season in response to customer feedback, which means that, whereas I found AW13’s Portia quite loose in the band, AW14’s Roxie feels wonderfully firm and supportive when fastened on the loosest hooks. I also found the cups true to size, although since this is SUCH a plunging shape, I find that the center gore doesn’t (and can’t, really) tack as firmly as the gore of a balconette bra. Because the gore is so short (and the cups a little stiff and shallow), my boobs can’t quite settle in the bottom of the cup, so the top of the gore is standing loosely against my chest wall, while there’s clearly some extra/empty space in the bottom of the cup. This is a common fit issue with molded and padded bras, especially if your individual breast shape doesn’t match the mold perfectly.
I knew my size had been changing in the last few months, but I didn’t realize when I ordered Roxie just how soon it would change again. Between the time I ordered the set and the time we photographed it (less than a month), I went down a cup size. To some extent this is a good thing—I often prefer a more generous cup in padded bras. Furthermore, Roxie is shallower than Curvy Kate’s non-padded plunge bras, and since I usually need deep cups, the larger cup size works for me there. However, this bra is cut to give SERIOUS cleavage, and with a cup that’s slightly too big, I feel a little droopy, like my boobs are falling down in the cups. The cups are very open, and they gape a little at the top where I don’t quite have enough breast tissue to fill them out. So, my take: this bra runs true to size in both band and cup, though due to the nature of the shape and materials, you may find the cups a little shallow. I’d be interested to try this in my new size to see which fit issues might be corrected.
After my experience with the pretty pink Daisy Chain set earlier this year, and in light of my changing size, I ordered the matching shorts one size down, and they are a perfect fit! The legline features soft stretch lace, so it doesn’t dig in uncomfortably, and the waist rises to my personal sweet spot, below my navel but a little higher than a classic bikini. Love these shorts!
I have a nit to pick, so I’ll get it out of the way first: the closure needs a little more fabric on either end. I’m explaining this badly, but when the band is stretched around my body there isn’t enough fabric at the ends to protect my skin from the metal hooks and eyes, and they start to dig into the center of my back and irritate after a while. An extra half-inch of fabric extending past the final column of hooks and eyes would solve this problem in an instant.
I find the wire placement, the strap tension, and most other technical components quite comfortable. I adore the overall look of the set. It’s in one of my favorite colors. The construction is solid, with no stray threads or other imperfections. But am I comfortable in it?
I’ll be honest: I’m not. I prefer unlined (not-padded/not-molded) bras, and I knew going in I was going to have to compromise on that front, but I hadn’t realized how VERY rigid and unforgiving the cups would be. I feel like I have to hold myself very still and perfectly upright to avoid falling out of the cups (which, in fairness, is an issue that a better size might help to correct). I was hoping I’d feel like lounging around or vamping it up in this set, but it’s hard to do that when you feel like you can’t relax, lest your boobs fall out.
More than that, though, I don’t feel like this style is very “me”. I thought it would be! It ticks so many boxes for me: great color, great attention to detail, and a flirty little skirt (I’m an inveterate twirler). When it comes down to it, though, I just don’t find super-cleavage-y bras very comfortable to wear, both in terms of the support they offer and in terms of the shape and silhouette I like. This is a really personal preference—I know that there are lots and lots of full-bust and full-figure women who do seek out dramatic lift, plunging necklines, and firm, rigid cups, and who look and feel wonderful in them. I personally feel self-conscious: I already attract attention because of my height and my stature, and I feel a bit weird with so. much. boob. being out and about at other people’s eye level.
I love so much about this set: the color is a dream, I get a kick out of the short, sassy skirt, and dang the shorts are comfy. If the bra part were a different shape, we’d be in business. Sadly, I’m probably going to try to find a new home for this one (if you’re interested in this one and want some more information about price/size, please feel free to email me (sweetnothingnyc[at]gmail[dot]com). Meanwhile, I’ll hold out for next Spring’s beautiful sheer Bardot babydoll.
Roxie is available in the following sizes:
Plunge Bra and Plunge Camisole: 28-30 D-J, 32 D-HH, 34 D-H, 36 D-GG, 38 D-G
Thong and Short: Sizes 8-20 (UK); 4-16 (US)
Curvy Kate is an English brand, so note that the cup sizes follow the UK size progression:
D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J.
Photos: Lydia Hudgens.