Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gail Carriger Talks Bra Shopping ~ Panche, Curvy Kate, Ewa Michalak

I finished my latest manuscript and handed it in. Hooray!

So I spoiled myself by making a pilgrimage to Revelation Fit, a swanky new bra shop in Oakland. If you happen to be local and struggle to fit the a Rack like mine (smaller ribs, bigger bust) this is the shop for you. The shop is a one woman operation with only two changing rooms and is run classy boutique style. That is, she measures you properly, and then brings a selection to try on. She takes a look at you in the different makers and different styles and then brings you a new selection. As a result the process does take some time so I would suggest calling ahead and trying to go in when she isn't likely to be too busy.

She carries many of the usual suspects (Panche, Elomi etc) in a wide range of sizes and, most excitingly Ewa Michalak.

I've heard rumors of this Polish designer from various busty European bloggers for years, but no one carries them here in the USA (so far as I know). Until now. Ewa Michalak specializes in one specific modern cut (read: round shape) bra: demi coverage, very pretty lacy but miraculously seamless to the outside world. Best thing about the one I tried on? Lightly padded removable inserts, in case one boob is bigger than the other. These are smart well thought out bras.

From Their Website

I bought one in red with black dots, and yes it does look like I have massive ladybug boobs. And boy are they crazy up-lifted. In addition, I purchased a sport bra and a retro shaped bra by Panache. I also tried on, for the first time, Curvy Kate.

In the past I've been buying 30H. Not so much, as it turns out.

The Ewa Michalak I bought was a 70K (32K), but I think a 65K (30K) would fit me better. So when Revelation gets the next shipment in I am going back to try for a nude colored T-shirt bra, the ever illusive. 

The Panache Women's Underwired Sports Bra only went up to a 30H and that fit me, but quite tight. I love that is has this hook on the back to convert the straps. I don't mind the tighter fit because of the uplift and minimization. I'd buy it in nude for t-shirts, but they don't make it that color. Read this bra designers, no one should ever want or wear a white bra. It's always visible under everything, particularly in photos. No really, trust me. You think not? Take a flash picture of yourself.

The Panache Tango fit me best in a 28JJ. I really like it and the shape it gave. I will invest in this bra in the nude as well, when my current nude dies on me. But I might try the J for slightly more support. I don't have a picture for you because on the web it's only shown on small boobs, but this blogger kind of shows the amazing vintage uplift. It's not exactly comfortable, and the seams are visible, but what is does is amazing.

The Curvy Kate Princess in a 30JJ. The store only had it in white, and I just don't wear white foundation garments. (No one should.) I'll see what she gets in next time I visit for this designer and go from there. This wouldn't really serve as a work horse bra, too lacy and delicate, so I need to have a reason before I invest in this brand.

Anyway, there you have it, various bra makers, various bra sizes, just goes to show how important it is to go in and try stuff on.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.


  1. I disagree on the white bra. Most of mine are white and I have a hard time finding them! My rack is not quite as extensive as yours, but is of the larger variety. I find in most stores ANY selection in larger sizes is nonexistent!

  2. For a sports Bra try to see if you can get your paws on an Anita Extreme. I LOVE them.

  3. Well I know what I'm doing next time I go to Oakland...I've been dying to try Ewa Michalak for YEARS.

    Also, I will vouch for Curvy Kate. I have the Gia and it is incredibly well constructed but still looks femme and delicate and gorgeous. I bought it for a sexy night out bra but it's so supportive and well made that it's in my normal bra rotation for day wear. I just bought the daily boost bra too, and I pretty much love it already except for the white trim. Why they put white highly visible trim on what would otherwise be a damn good nude t-shirt bra I will never know, but it give great lift and my cleavage looks fantastic.

  4. Curvy Kate bras are AWESOME. I bought one as a cute to wear to try out, I'm a 30 F, it was on clearance on her room, figured what the Hell, it's adorable, even if it doesn't fit cn wear it for show.
    It's one of my best and favorite bras. Built like iron, looks so cute and lacy would have never expected to hold up the amazing way it does.

    I wish there was a store where I live that carried REAL sizes and not Victoria secret sizes ugh

  5. I am not endowed with an abundant "double frontage with a view" however, I am tall and lanky, which makes finding a decent fitting bra a real challenge. Cups are usually too close together giving the "uni-boob" look, or the straps do not extend enough to avoid turning the bra into a necklace as it inches up over my petite chest. Finding the right bra is heaven. Congratulations.


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