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Curve NY: Curvy Kate Autumn/Winter 2013

Daily Boost in Mocha
I never imagined I'd write these words: The upcoming collection from Curvy Kate is charmingly quiet and subtle. It's not boring by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a side of this company that I'm not sure we've seen before. Their Showgirl range -- the Tease Me, Tempt Me, etc. -- have been the company's pillars from its conception so it's fascinating to see the brand temporarily back away from their building blocks. It's a great question for the company to ask itself: Under all the frilly and dramatic sets, who's the real Curvy Kate?

Gia in Plum/Black
To kick it off, let's begin with the fashion offerings from Curvy Kate's basics range. In this arena, I think other brands should sit up and take note. Their seasonal colors are either right on trend or ahead of the hot shades for next season. I think they do a splendid job reinventing their classic shapes and the designs are comfortably in line with one another. In the current range, the Curvy Kate ladies told me that their seafoam bras were selling like hotcakes. I don't doubt it as pistachio colors seem to be a huge trend for Spring in fashion more generally and their bras looked new with the unusual color.

One of my personal favorites would have to be the Gia in Plum/Black above. While I never felt it looked like it online, I found the Gia to be an extremely sexy set. I'm a big believer in "suggested sex appeal" and for everyday, I like my underpinnings to feel seductive and slightly modest all at once. I know, it's a big order! But rather than outright revealing the goods, the diamond patterned semi-sheer top cup winks to the the body beneath it.  

Princess in Scarlet/Chilli
Oh heavens, the Princess. I have an unbreakable weak spot for this line and I'll never quit her! The top of the cup is a little shallow so most ladies seem to need to size up there. As the Curvy Kate ladies said themselves, it's also a "relaxed" shape which I took to mean a more "natural" feeling during wear. But I will say this, I've never seen a Princess I didn't want to buy. The contrasting reds above look ultra luxurious and totally dissimilar to the lilac colorway currently on the market. I'll be scooping this one up!

Portia in Watermelon/Plum
Do you want to know the greatest thing I heard at Curve? The Portia bra "gift wraps the bust line". Genius, right?! I would've never thought to put it that way, but it's true. It makes your boobs into presents!

Romance in Plum/Watermelon
I've been itching to try the Romance since I heard from a former Star in a Bra contestant that it was her favorite line from the Curvy Kate photo shoot. When I saw it for the first time at Curve, I was hooked by the dramatic ornamentation. They should rename the Romance... wouldn't the "Queen" or the "Empress" be more appropriate? 

Daisy Chain in Black
I might be mistaken, but I do believe the Daisy Chain will be Curvy Kate's first official cut & sew plunge bra. If I'm wrong, don't hesitate to tell me in the comments too! I didn't read the catalog's description carefully until I got home so I could be lying. For someone whose tits don't always play nice in balcony bras, an unpadded plunge is always welcome news! The center gore and strap detail here are genius because the swirl of reddish tones on top of the black is bewitching.

Rosie in Scarlet Print
Of course, floral prints have been around for awhile and I know that many full bust ladies would like to see the trend subside or retire indefinitely. I understand that too, I'd also like to see more unusual patterns myself. However, the flowers for Autumn/Winter 2013 were something else entirely. They weren't sweet or romantic, like we'll see for the current season. They were aggressive, coquettish, and after the delicate blooms we're accustomed to lately, like a swift punch to the face. More like the way floral prints looked on Amy Winehouse or how they translate on a pair of classic Doc Marten boots.

Almost every full bust brand showed one, but the Rosie was one of my absolute favorites. Curvy Kate constructed the Rosie on the Lottie base and deliberately left the top panel less decorative than their other lines. It's a smart move, as the flowers & bows confidently speak for themselves.

Daisy Chain in Biscotti
The Dreamcatcher is a new continuity line and it's meant to replace the Emily, which has been discontinued. The company received feedback that the Emily was too "mature" aesthetically and to lighten up for this collection, they created the swirling geometric goodness above.  It'll arrive in beige and black, with a petrol/scarlet fashion option a few months later. I think the Dreamcatcher looks so authentically Curvy Kate-ish that it almost seems as if it's not an entirely new group. I imagine an introduction like that, which doesn't seem like an epic unveiling, must be pretty hard to pull off, but the Dreamcatcher seamlessly falls in place with the brand as a whole.

Smoothie in Blush
Now, it's padded time. The Smoothie, which has been out for some time now, has been changed slightly. Curvy Kate has realigned the cups to push from the sides so the breasts sit in a more anchored, forward facing direction.  I've been waiting to try it so I'm glad some of the kinks have been worked out. The Smoothie will be available this season in a hot pink and there will not be a fashion colorway for Autumn/Winter 2013. 

Starlet in Petrol
The Starlet's arrival is the primary reason Curvy Kate has decided to run the Smoothie as a basic. It's on the same base as the Smoothie and features a few glamorous touches. Like the Maddie bra from Cleo, the Starlet's patterned cups are meant to add visual interest without telegraphing under a shirt. While Maddie's done up with subtle pinstripes, the Starlet has a shimmer of diamond jacquard throughout. The briefs are high waisted and feature power mesh side panels which are intended to gently shape those lady lumps. Starlet will be available first in black, then the Petrol above.

Desire in Black
I'm extremely curious about the Desire. I've never tried a multiway bra and find myself skeptical at the prospect of it's success on my G cups. However it's also a set that's received a lot of buzz, within the lingerie blogosphere, for it's tremendous fit.  Have I piqued your interest yet? Get this -- Apparently in France, it's been a runaway bestseller for Curvy Kate. It's out on ASOS already, but many of their sizes are sold out. It should become more widely available in the next few months, so if you've tried it or eventually test it out, please let me know! 

Lola Chemise in Black/Almond

I'd like you all to meet Lola. She's Curvy Kate's first babydoll and she'll be available through sizes 28-40 D-K. The group will include a padded balcony bra, based on the Daily Boost, and a bottom they're calling a "luxury throng" which looks killer. Is it me or is the Lola vampy and menswear-inspired all at once? The tuxedo panel on the end of the chemise, the dusky swirls, and unadorned sheer body fabric remind me of Katharine Hepburn somehow.

Some side notes...

1. The Daily Boost in Mocha, pictured at the very top of the post, is currently listed as fashion. Curvy Kate would love to see this color succeed and become a continuity option. They're also dependent on the market forces so if buyers and boutique owners don't pick it up then it'll disappear after AW 13. Personally, I'd think that would be a travesty since there is an incomprehensible number of pale beige bras on the market, with few other neutrals represented. If you'd like to know more about my stance, I wrote a post on it entitled "There is No One Shade of Nude and 20 Neutral Bras to Prove It" and the Mocha Daily Boost is included on that list.

2. The Curvy Kate gals tipped me off to the future of the Showgirl line. During the current season and AW 13, it's essentially being absorbed into the brand as a whole and the marked distinction between their 'wearable' and 'special' lines will disappear. However, the Showgirl vibe will not vanish completely! It's simply receiving a makeover and rumor has it, those boudoir-ready sets will be back in action for Spring/Summer 2014.

**I've held back the dorkiness long enough: "May I have your attention please? Will the real Curvy Kate please stand up? I repeat, will the real Curvy Kate please stand up?"

Well, those are my thoughts on this refined and elegant showing from Curvy Kate. How do you feel about this direction for the brand?

16 Comments

  1. I feel quite alone in that I do not like Curvy Kate at all. I'm quite interested in the Smoothie, but no Curvy Kate bra I've ever tried has worked on my boobs (I've tried the Showgirl range and most of the normal ones) so I doubt the Smoothie would either. I don't like the look of CK bras and the Princess especially is a dislike of mine.

    Don't get me wrong: I fully support CK as a brand, and I know that some people just adore CK like nothing else. It just happens to tick all of the "bad" boxes in my personal checklist, except for sizes (which you didn't mention, was that on purpose?).

    That being said, I like that blush colored Smoothie. I would be quite happy to get my paws on that. And I really do hope that the Daily Boost in Mocha gets a lot of support, because differently colored "nude" bras can only be a good thing.

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    1. Huh, that's fascinating. I've started to notice that Curvy Kate inspires two distinct responses. They seem to have their die-hard fans or people who haven't found them to be all they're cracked up to be. For me, I'd say I'm on the fence. Are they the best brand for me? No, but I'm not sure I've found that "perfect" brand. Every company I've tried has their weaknesses and strengths in about equal measure. Their aesthetic? I suppose I just jive it. The embroidery, fun details, etc. all appeal to me each season, but it is always a help to see the collection from a different perspective.

      I support the CK as a brand too. Their marketing plan with Star in a Bra and the consistent way they represent their products is deeply, deeply admirable.

      In terms of size, I didn't leave it out on purpose? I included it on the babydoll because I thought everyone would be curious. Curvy Kate's aim to produce an inclusive size range is admirable and just like all the other full bust brands on the market, the road to get there is a bit bumpier than expected. Curvy Kate is often hailed for their sizes and they deserve it. They're honestly trying and who knows if other companies are! The flip side of that, I find, is that when those sizes don't deliver as anticipated, there's more backlash. They're concentrated on improving fit and making those sizes "work" better...but I'm not convinced it's an extra special selling point that should trump their other fine qualities. Well, at least from where I stand.

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    2. No, with the sizing I meant that you included sizing for the brands in your other posts, but that might have been just because the sizes changed. I wasn't sure if you'd forgotten to include sizes for these or had intentionally not included any except the Lola because the sizing hadn't changed. I wasn't implying anything bad about you, Cece! Or about your opinion of the CK sizing.

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    3. Kiwi, no totally my fault. This is a weird insecurity of mine -- I know a lot of bloggers include the complete size range on the bras they write about. I've always thought, "Oh should I be doing that too?". For my posts, I think it starts to look a little like bookkeeping and I end up staring at the catalog rather than actually writing anything. I freaked out over nothing. So, no worries! :)

      In terms of sizes, I've liked to include them when they're new or when you're more inclusive. Sometimes, people have asked in the comments about the sizes or when something will be coming out & I'm happy to help!

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    4. they're, not you're** (Silly blogger moment)

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    5. I think that Curvy Kate has lovers and haters simply because women have different breast shapes and while some brands like Freya and Panche are good about making something for everyone, Curvy Kate definitely builds their bras for a particular breast shape (pretty even, they're not really good for full on top or bottom). Personally, I would probably be happy owning nothing but Curvy Kate for...forever. But lots of women need something that's a slightly different shape, so they hate them. :)

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    6. I think that Curvy Kate has lovers and haters simply because women have different breast shapes and while some brands like Freya and Panche are good about making something for everyone, Curvy Kate definitely builds their bras for a particular breast shape (pretty even, they're not really good for full on top or bottom). Personally, I would probably be happy owning nothing but Curvy Kate for...forever. But lots of women need something that's a slightly different shape, so they hate them. :)

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  2. I've become addicted to commenting on your posts, so here I am again!

    I've given up on Curvy Kate's unpadded balconettes working for me, but I still love to see their new designs season after season. I have to say this season doesn't interest me quite as much as the last (current) season in terms of the colors. I love the seaform Portia and the gray/seafoam Romance that are out right now, and there's nothing that catches my attention quite so much in this collection.

    That being said, though, I'd love to try the Daisy Chain plunge to see how it works on me, and I'll probably struggle to resist the babydoll, of course!

    Also, in a twist of fate, I actually love the Rosie despite its floral print! I think it's something to do with the colors and the larger size and boldness of the print. It seems to be pretty similar to the Lottie in shape, so I know it's not going to work on me, but I'll just drool over others wearing it.

    I really hope the mocha Daily Boost succeeds! I think it's a gorgeous color and I can imagine it will be very popular, but I've been wrong before. Fingers crossed for that.

    I also noticed that the Showgirl lines had sort of been swallowed by the brand as a whole, but I think it could actually be a good thing. So many people wear the Showgirl bras as everyday bras, so it's good to see Curvy Kate responding to that and hopefully adding both fun and practical colors in some of those old cuts.

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    1. I'm glad you're addicted! You're another bra sister with a strong opinion which is great for me, since it makes me reconsider my own fierce decisions on lingerie. ;)

      I'm psyched for the Daisy Chain as well. I can see how the current season might overwhelm this one. When it was revealed, I thought the seafoam, lavender, and grey shades was breathtaking. I'd like to own every piece. I think by September though I'm sure I'll be begging for a red bra. I also think because the new styles are more subtle, they aren't as striking in photographs as SS 13.

      You love the Rosie! I cannot believe it. *Jaw dropped* No, totally kidding -- it's a VERY different type of floral print and it's a welcome change from all the pastel blossoming that's been around lately.

      We'll have to both cross our fingers for the Mocha Daily Boost. It's a pretty color, regardless of whether it'd work as a neutral for women who don't work with that pale beige business.

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  3. I'm really looking forward to try Desire (and I don't think that the fact that it's multiway weakens the construction, it may not work in halterneck as good as in regular/racerback, but I don't really like a lot of silicon that strapless require especially in summer, so for me it's better option).

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  4. When I first saw Curvy Kate back in 2011, I was smitten with their designs and fun branding, but over time, my enthusiasm has tempered a bit. I still love the brand, but I feel like they have more fit issues than some of the other companies out there. Spring was a great season for them, and I feel like fall is a bit too safe. They went in the direction of luxe sophistication, which is nice of course, but I don't feel like it's as fun or daring. Red, purple, and pink lingerie are practically staples, and you'll seem them season after season. But, seafoam green? Now, THAT is something unique. I'm glad to see them branching out to a darker shade of beige, and the babydoll is stunning though!

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    1. I'd agree with you, Erica. I think I remember a comment from you where you suggested that their bras aren't miracle successes on women that are G+? From then on, I think I understood a little better. I haven't had massive issues with them that are outside the norm, but I've also seen other women in their bras where the sizing isn't working AT ALL. From what I heard at the booth, CK is dedicated to fixing their fit issues.

      The SS 13 season is/was awesome, no doubt. I was drawn to AW 13 because for them, it was a safer/quieter collection. I don't think we've ever seen a group of designs like this from CK because they have such a reputation for bolder designs. If it was any other brand, I'd say it'd be too safe, but most other full bust brands play it safe all of the time. I have a feeling CK has had some growing pains and will come roaring back for SS 14. :)

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  5. Kate and I, let me tell you, we don't mix well.
    What CK does to my boobs is just plain mean. You know that upside down seven, pointing where east and west are? Yeah, well southeast and southwest to be precise.
    But I love this post. All bras on the same model? Genius. You can really see the difference in the construction the fit and shape that those bras give.
    And with no sugarcoating - no airbrushing and posing with your arms above your head to simulate lift that isn't there as seen too often on CK models.
    You can see Princess dragging her boobs down.
    You can see the same thing happening to rosie and that awkward boob fold near the gore that wouldn't be there if the bra wasn't traveling south.
    And to me, Desire looks more like a Disaster.
    I like her in Starlet and especially Gia. I have heard that bra is constructed differently from other CK unpadded balcony cuts and from the picture it certainly looks that way. It's compact, uplifted, centered and round.
    I might actually give it a shot :)

    Thank you SO much for this post :)
    Big fan ^^

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    1. Hahahaha! Bras can be mean, can't they? If Kate gave you south by southwest feeling in a bad way, cut her out. I've had my ups and downs with her too, but the Gia has held up for me. I take a 28GG in the Princess, Emily (R.I.P), & Lottie unfortunately, their wires bug me by the end of the day. The Gia 1) doesn't do that 2) has a great uplifted shape and 3) I took my more "industry standard" size of a 28G. I think you're barking up the right tree.

      Yeah, the brands are quick to remind me that I can use their promotional images and I don't *really* need to take my own pictures. It's a lovely offer and I like to take them up on it, if for whatever reason I didn't get a shot of something, but I also know their images are doctored up. I'm glad you like!

      I'm a big fan of yours, Vee! Any gal that wants to talk bras on Miss. Up. goes in the Cecily Hall of Fame. :)

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  6. Wow, the Daisy Chain makes me feel I might try Curvy Kate again. My boobs are too close-set for balconette bras so finding an unpadded bra is a lot of hassle for me but this might work..

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  7. I know this is an older post but hoping someone still looks at it. I am realztively new into ahving an interest in a well fitting bra. Basically because I was a 36DD forever and now being a 38F(ish) I can't find anything in stores that don't look like granny bras. So anyways it wasn't mentioned much on how this fits specifically what type of breasts. I have no idea what this whole root business means nor how to identify, but I thought maybe someone could help. So far I have tried and am returnring a Panache balconette. I think it fit okay, but I am not sure if I could wear balconette as I still felt my left breast was too off. I don't know really and its so expensive and time consuming to online shop and then return ones that don't fit well.... I wish there was an easier try on program. Anyways any help would be great.

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