Curvy Kate Emily Bra and Briefs in black and grape/black

I recently had my first foray into the world of Curvy Kate bras when I tried their Showgirl styles.  These bras were beautifully made, incredibly sexy and elegant…but sadly too small in the cup for me.  Ever the resolute soul, I decided to try some of their standard range to see if they fitted me better.

First up is the Emily.

Images courtesy of Curvy Kate

Such a pretty bra!  And the grape/black is a truly beautiful colour and even better in real life – perhaps slightly more pinky than this stock photo suggests.

When my bras arrived, I was impressed with the softness of the lace and the quality of materials used – it’s a very tactile style.  The cups are completely unpadded and have double lining on the lower half for extra support.  Purple sheer mesh is embroidered with delicate purple and black stitching and it’s clear to see that great effort has gone into the design of this bra.

There are cute little bows on the central gore and at the point where the straps meet the cups.  The straps are fully adjustable, are thinner than the old Freyas I used to wear and have limited stretch.  The band is not particularly stretchy and has three rows of three hooks.

Sadly, the Emily was not a good fit on me.  I ordered a range of sizes from Debenhams but unfortunately none were quite right.

First, the 32JJ black:

This was the best fit of all the sizes I tried in this style but sadly it was still a little too small in the cup.  

Unfortunately when I ordered from Debenhams not every size I wanted to try was in stock (ideally I would have gone for the 32K next) so instead I tried the 30K black:

The band on this one was definitely too small for me and interestingly so was the cup, despite this being in theory the same volume cup as the 32JJ.

Not wishing to be defeated, I tried the purple, first of all in 30K:

It fitted fairly similarly to the 30K black, so again it was too tight in the band and too small in the cup.  However, overall the 30K black was a snugger fit than the purple, which I often find with black items of clothing.  I once read somewhere online that it’s something to do with the dye used that makes black fabrics tighter than that of other colours.

Finally, I tried the 32K purple:

Hmm.  This fitted better but gave me a slightly ‘square’ shape from the side, which I wasn’t keen on.  But the colour!!!

I found with all these sizes that the wires went much too far around my sides and I was left with empty space at the side of the cups.  Somehow this seemed to pull on the part of the cup that was at the front, giving the resulting odd shape that can be seen in most of the pictures above.  I fear that Curvy Kate’s wires may be too wide for me, like Panache and Cleo are.  It makes me very sad to think there could be yet another brand that does not suit me…but I won’t give up just yet!

I won’t be keeping any of the Emily bras as I think I need to try the 34 band.  I am hoping that with a slightly looser band there will be less stretch across the cup and therefore the bra will give a better fit.  I don’t think the 34 will be too loose a band for me as the 30 was definitely too tight and the 32 was fairly snug.  I will update as soon as I have further news.

Despite the fact I haven’t found my correct size yet, this is a truly beautiful bra and I would highly recommend it to those who prefer their wires to be on the wider side.



  1. Bras I Hate
    17 January 2012 / 11:21

    Sorry you've been struggling with the sizes in these, it was the same way for me when I was first trying Curvy Kate. Everything seemed to give a bad shape and I thought the brand wasn't for me.I was able to figure it out when I went up several cup sizes from what I thought I should be wearing. I think you might have luck with that too. Does it come in a 32KK or does it stop at K? Otherwise maybe a 34K. The goal is to be able to have enough extra room in the cup that you can then shorten the strap a LOT to get a nice rounded shape. I actually found that I could wear a J, JJ, or K in Curvy Kate and they all seem to "fit" (perhaps why it is so difficult to find the right size) but the shape got better as I sized up more and more, limited only by the amount I could shorten the strap.

    • CurvyWordy
      19 January 2012 / 20:43

      I will definitely try it in a 34 something. CK stop at a K cup otherwise like you suggest I would definitely have tried a 32KK, although I would have been concerned this would have had even wider cups, which seems to be a big problem for me. It's interesting to hear that you can fit into a range of cup sizes in CKs – I guess it's always worth trying every bra in different sizes to find the best fit!

  2. June
    17 January 2012 / 21:46

    I'm glad you reviewed Curvy Kate bras! I've been drooling over them for awhile but have been afraid to try them because of the width. However, it seems your experienced confirmed my fear that they probably won't work. 🙁

    • CurvyWordy
      19 January 2012 / 20:44

      Thanks June 🙂 I have discovered that CK bras are every bit as stunning in real life as they look in their pics but I have yet to find my true size in them. My quest will continue and, who knows, maybe I will find a better fit in the wires with the 34 back bras…

  3. Cheryl Warner
    16 March 2012 / 11:17

    This makes me so glad to be wide set – Curvy Kate fit me really well, as do Panache. How do you get on with Freya, Caroline? x

    • CurvyWordy
      16 March 2012 / 21:06

      Hi Cheryl, thanks for commenting :-)I used to wear Freya all the time but in what I now realise was completely the wrong size. I loved the Millie and Eleanor and wore them in a 36H or HH…now I know I should be wearing a firmer band I think I would be more likely to need a 32J or JJ, although I really ought to go and try some sizes in a store somewhere to find out! The Freyas I used to wear were always really nice though and the wires were just about narrow enough for me. However as it's been so long since I last tried a Freya I wonder if I would find them wide compared to my beloved Ewa Michalak bras with their narrow wires and deep cups x

  4. Anonymous
    27 March 2012 / 15:20

    This was my first Curvy Kate purchase. It just arrived yesterday. I got the Emily in the grape and black. It's not a bra I would wear for support while working out (duh!) but it sure it cute and it fit me pretty well…maybe a little on the small side but overall I was very happy! I ordered the 34F, which is what I was thinking my size would be….couldn't find any bras locally to confirm before purchasing, though. I normally wear a smooth bra so I don't show any lines, but this bra was for being sexy for my husband. He was smiling ear to ear. 🙂

    • CurvyWordy
      2 April 2012 / 00:19

      Hehe glad this bra was a hit with your husband ;-)Do try going up a cup next time as Curvy Kates can offer great support in the correct size.Thanks for your comment x

  5. Anonymous
    9 July 2012 / 16:03

    I ordered this bra online in 32J (purple) and tested it recently. I had a really similar experience with you! The bra gave me a really weird "square" shape that looked really odd with a t-shirt. The 32 band was perfect, but I'm not sure if I should try a bigger cup. It seemed that there was some empty space at the bottom of the cup – I don't know if my boobs are too top-heavy or something. It makes me sad to return this beautiful bra!Thank you for your reviews, they are really helpful and a joy to read 🙂

    • CurvyWordy
      9 July 2012 / 21:02

      I agree – such a beautiful bra – but sadly not one that works for me. The wide wires of Curvy Kates are not my friend and even if they did a cup size which was big enough I know it would be no good as it would only be spreading my boobs under my armpits. I just keep hoping and praying that one day Ewa Michalak or Comexim will extend their unpadded bras to my size ;-)And thank you so much for your kind words. It's great to know my blog is useful to you x

    • Anonymous
      21 July 2012 / 12:14

      Thank you for your answer! I think that the wide wires are the reason of my problem, too. I returned the bra and asked for a 32JJ – the square shape was the same. The shape might be a bit better if I took in the centre gore – it did wonders on the Princess bra at the blog "Bras I Hate". I've got no clue what my "real" Curvy Kate size should be 🙁 My 30J Tease Me is a bit small in the cups, so I'd probably need a 30JJ for the showgirl bras if such a size was produced. On the other hand, I got my first Ewa Michalak bra yesterday. It's a 75HH black PL Onyx and it's something I've never experienced before. I've never tried a padded bra before and the support is absolutely amazing. I think that I might need a tighter band as it's comfortable on the tightest and second-tightest hooks, but at the same time I don't want to send it away! It's so comfortable & supportive and gives an amazing cleavage. My boobs look perfectly round. I simply can't praise this bra too much.I'm not so sad about possibly returning Emily as I have the Onyx bra now 🙂

    • CurvyWordy
      21 July 2012 / 19:06

      Thanks for the update :-)I think I have to sadly face up to the fact that Curvy Kate bras do not work for me. I am keeping everything crossed that one day they will bring out a bra that is different to the rest and gives me the fit and shape I want…but for now they unfortunately do not suit me.However, like you, I feel like Ewa Michalak bras are made for me! They make me feel so happy and I was so thrilled to read how you adore them too. It's simply wonderful that a bra can make us this elated.If it's not too late, I would advise going down in the band. I totally understand that you don't want to let this one go but it will only stretch over time, which will be frustrating (I speak from experience!). Better to have a bra that fits you for the longer term, rather than the shorter. If you really can't bear to part with your 75HH, you could keep it, order a 70J and then sell the 75HH once the new one arrives. Bratabase is a great place for selling unwanted bras – and don't forget to add your measurements while you are there 😉

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