Image courtesy of Curvy Kate
I was dying to try this one out as it's mainly black and I almost always take a black bikini on holiday with me. I was therefore absolutely thrilled when the wonderful people at Curvy Kate were kind enough to send me one to try out as part of my prize for winning their 'Name The Bra' competition.
The set is gorgeous – a black bikini offset with deep pink piping and edging and gorgeous feature heart-shaped buttons which are so cute.
I tried the top in 32J and the shorts in size 20 as I always size up in bikini bottoms to minimise the amount that they cut in.
When I first put the bikini top on I must admit I was disappointed at the east/west appearance it gave my boobs. It also made them very triangular from above, which is something I am not used to after wearing Ewa Michalak bras, as they give me a very rounded up-front appearance. The look was much more noticeable in this bikini top than with the other CK bikinis I tried.
However, when I tried the top on for the second time, I felt this look was not as extreme as I'd first thought so I took it away on holiday with me. Unfortunately, I should have paid more attention to my first impressions as when I wore the top during my recent holiday to Spain I felt it did not fit me as well as the other two Curvy Kate bikinis I was road testing. The shape was definitely all wrong for me but the support was good.
The straps are fully adjustable but for me they were still way too long even when they were adjusted as far as they would go. I also found that there was some adjuster slippage during wear so I had to keep tightening the straps, which was frustrating. The other thing I found was where the straps were doubled over, instead of the top layer sitting on the bottom layer, it would sometimes move over so I ended up with wider tan lines along the straps than I ought to have had. Again, as with the Caribbean Curves bikini top, I would have unstitched them and made them shorter myself, had I had time to do so before my holiday.
The wires in the cups were a bit too short so the central gore fabric curled over slightly. I managed to partially solve this by pushing the wire ends into this section but that meant the underarm area would sometimes curl out. I find this issue with a lot of Bravissimo own brand bras but the 2012 swimwear is the first time I have known of it in CK items.
The back band was initially nice and firm but somehow I felt I had to keep adjusting where it sat during the day. The pink edging along the bottom of the band had a habit of turning up so I felt I had to keep fiddling with it so it sat correctly. On reflection, I think I would have done better with a 30 band.
The band fastens with a regular bikini clasp which stayed secure all day, although it did tend to turn on its side due to not being stitched firmly enough in place. However, I really loved the fact that there was only a minimal amount of material in the back section of the bikini top, meaning that my tan lines were less than with bikinis I have tried in the past.
I found this bikini top came up rather high under my arms and it dug in - both the wires and the boning poked me somewhat. It wasn't so bad that I never wore the top again but it's something I noticed every time I had it on.
The shorts...hmm. I had been warned by the lovely staff at Curvy Kate that their bikini bottoms ran large but I went with the 20 in these and ended up regretting it. Walking from my room to the pool on the first day I wore this set was an uncomfortable experience as the shorts rode up my backside almost straight away so I had to fiddle about with them when I got to my destination. During my first dip in the pool I found the outer layer of material was quite a bit bigger than the one underneath and this resulted in the shorts feeling much too big for me. After my second swim I discovered I could hold the bottom edge of the shorts away from my backside, which wasn't a great look so after this I wore some plain black bikini briefs with the top instead.
The good thing about the shorts is that they had a higher rise than the Caribbean Curves shorts (perhaps because they are a size bigger, however), which meant I felt more comfortable in them in that respect. Width-wise I think I would have done best with a size 16 in the shorts but I fear the rise would have been revealingly low!!
As I've said before, I really hope that Curvy Kate will offer some straightforward briefs to match their bikinis next summer – even if they were in plain colours to mix and match that would be fine. There is a tie side briefs option available for the Bondi Breeze but I don't get on with this style of briefs at all as I prefer some coverage at the sides.
Overall this is a great looking bikini that would suit anyone who likes the fit of Curvy Kate's bras. It's ideal for those who have wider set boobs who like wider wires and shallower cups, but my advice is to size down in the cups and shorts (I haven't tried the tie side briefs so can't comment on them) in order to get the best fit.