I’m continuing to work through the backlog of items I’ve been sent to review – mostly swimwear – and today I will be reviewing the Curvy Kate Starry Eyed Bikini.
Image courtesy of Curvy Kate
I was on the lookout for bikinis back in March this year as I was soon to set off on holiday to the Caribbean for a fortnight in April and I needed to refill my swimwear wardrobe. Naturally one of the first brands I checked out was Curvy Kate as they make lingerie and swimwear up to a K cup – perfect for someone busty like me. The Starry Eyed Bikini stood out immediately and I was thrilled when the lovely team at CK sent me the Padded Bikini Top (£17.95, UK sizes 30-40 D-K) in 34K and the Adjustable Short (£9.95, UK sizes 8-22) in 22.
Before I go into detail about the bikini, I want to cover off sizing. I ummed and ahhed about what size to get in both the bikini top and the bottoms. I currently wear 34L in Ewa Michalak bras so I knew going for the 34K in the Starry Eyed bikini would be a bit of a gamble but I think in the end it wasn’t too bad a fit. Yes, you can see me quadboobing in some of the pics, but this is less noticable when I am lying on a sun lounger or swimming in the sea or pool. The 22 bottoms are definitely too big, though. They are baggy, even when the sides are gathered at their tightest, and when I wore them in the pool I nearly lost them on several occasions! I opted for the 22s as I tend to find CK bottoms run small and have a very low rise, but in this instance I would recommend that you go for your normal size and possibly even size down.
The bikini top is based on Curvy Kate’s highly successful Daily Boost bra, so it’s a lightly padded style with a layer of foam, which is overlaid by a subtle and pretty flamingo pink fabric that is covered with rows of tiny black stars. From a distance they almost look like polka dots but upon closer inspection the star shape becomes apparent. As you can see from the stock photo, the central gore is adorned with a black tie with silver metal stars on the ends of the strings; unfortunately mine fell off my bikini on the first wear and it’s still hiding somewhere in the bottom of my beach bag! I meant to sew it back on for these photos but completely forgot, oops. The straps and central gore are plain black, and the starry fabric continues all the way round to the back of the band.
Fitwise the 34K is a cup or two small for me, but as K is the largest Curvy Kate offer I think this is a happy medium as the band is a good fit. I tend to size down in the cup for swimwear anyway as pool water and sea water can change the shape and fit of a bikini top and I’d rather be wearing something that is a bit too small and will provide support than one that ends up on the baggy side. The 34 band felt snug when I first tried it on at home but after a day’s wear on holiday it soon loosened a little and was very comfortable to wear. The band fastens with a large black bikini clasp.
I am really impressed with the changes CK have made to their cups over the past year or so. The wires are narrower and the cups deeper, which means the fit is much better than it used to be. Earlier Curvy Kate bras and bikinis would push my boobs east/west towards my armpits, but now they are held much more on the front of my body, where they should be. The wires are still a bit too wide for my boobs, and the cups are shallower than I would like, but things are definitely going in the right direction. I know there are some women out there who don’t want the brand to change their wires and cup depth but at the higher end of the cup scale I feel that this is something that needed to happen in order for CK to continue its success. I think the issue was less pronounced for smaller cups, so I would assume that the changes in the lower and mid sizes were less noticeable than with the larger cups.
The cups of the Starry Eyed Padded Bikini match my description above; they are somewhat too shallow for me but it’s bearable. The three part construction means there is reasonable projection – if they were four part that would be amazing! The central gore lies flat against my sternum and although the cups give me a bit of quadboob it isn’t a dealbreaker. The bikini’s wires are wider than I would like, but not so much that they reach my back. I did find that the ends of the wires dug in quite a lot under my arms so a design change I would ask CK to incorporate is putting some sort of seal over the ends of the wires to stop them poking so sharply, as well as perhaps some extra padding in the ends of the wire channels.
The straps are fully adjustable and are very comfortable to wear. I would however prefer them to be thicker as it would stop them twisting and provide extra support, especially for us larger boobed ladies. I found that the straps have stretched out with wear so they are now even thinner than when they started – again, this is not a problem for me but simply an observation.
I always dither over my decision as to which bikini bottoms to go for as Curvy Kate don’t often have a high waisted option (see the Luau Love for an exception to this rule!). On this occasion I opted for the Adjustable Shorts and I’m glad I did as they are great. I just wish I’d gone for the 20 or even the 18 as the 22 are so baggy on me. I didn’t really think too much of it when I tried them on at home but once they were wet in the pool on holiday and weighed down by the water they didn’t want to stay put!! Awkward. I therefore didn’t wear them after the first day and instead paired the top with a pair of plain black bikini bottoms from M&Co (review here), which were a snugger and more secure fit, thank goodness. However, the CK bottoms are fantastic in the right size, so please don’t think I am criticising the style. The cut is great – it isn’t too low at the front and there is plenty of backside coverage. You can adjust the width of the sides thanks to the ruching feature, which, in the right size, can help to disguise lumps and bumps if wished.
All in all this is a lovely bikini – I just need to get the bottoms in a different size! If you’re hunting for swimwear for a winter getaway this is a terrific option that will keep you looking stylish in the sun.
Do you own any Curvy Kate swimwear? Let me know!