I think I’ve finally developed enough courage to write my first bad review of a bra for my blog. I must preface this by saying that I love Curvy Kate as a brand, but their bras just stopped working for me after I grew out of the 36JJ Gia (that I absolutely loved). I tried the Princess bra in a 36K and somehow ended up with two different colorways that fit completely differently. I figured they were just too small for me, so I ordered the Curvy Kate Romance in a 38K (36KK equivalent) because I saw it cheap on the Uplift liquidation sale and decided to try it out since it had received favorable reviews by a few blogs I read. I kind of wish I hadn’t, because I should have learned my lesson from the Princess bra. For reference I am currently measuring a 36L.
To begin, the Romance is a 3 piece balconette with one horizontal seam and one vertical seam. The top section is sheer and oversized compared to how the bra looks in the smaller sizes (their model wears a 30GG). In the Gia, this oversized top section wasn’t a problem becasue the bottom section of the cup was actually strong enough to hold up my breasts while the top section served as a way to shape my breasts. In the Romance, this oversized top section let me down immensely. Because of the way the top section has a horizontal seam with a vertical seam under it, it’s forcing my breast into this strange box-like shape. Looking down from the top, my breast looks like a sideways Rubix cube jutting out from my chest. The seam placement is also causing weird lumps and bumps in the shape of my breast, an effect that I don’t think I could fully capture on camera.
Interestingly enough, this bra does not look terribly bad from the front. It looks relatively normal despite being maybe one or two cup sizes too small. As I continue to wear the bra and my breasts sag below the band, it’s more apparent that this bra isn’t large enough for me in the bottom of the cup, and the top section of the cup is too large. I’m not entirely sure why Curvy Kate keeps this feature as a design choice in their largest cup sizes, because larger cup sizes are the ones that benefit more from a reinforced bottom cup. Unfortunately, it seems like each of their unpadded balconettes (including the redesigned ones) have this design flaw that prevents very large busted women from wearing them due to a lack of support. I’m not sure how their model that wears a 32JJ manages to get such a pleasant shape, although if you see her wear the Curvy Kate Princess you can start to see where the cup isn’t supporting her like it should.
The wires on this bra are nearly spot on in width, and come up very low under my armpits, which is always a great feature in a full bust brand. The gore is very narrow and low and does not tack, but I’m not sure if that’s from the bra being too small or the wires being so weak that my breasts are pulling the bra down. I’d love these wires if they weren’t so soft, becasue they fit me very well but provide little to no lift and my breasts start to rest on top of them rather than the wires lifting my breasts. The straps are thin and fully adjustable, which is usually an awesome feature in any bra, but they’re too stretchy to really do anything for me and don’t adjust short enough for my combination of being short with high set breasts and short roots. The band is obviously too big at a 38, but on the tightest hooks it feels snug and comfortable without digging in or rubbing weird.
If I hoist this bra up in my inframammary fold and imitate a stronger and sturdier top section (by pulling it taught) I get a decent looking shape that’s round with a slight point. All the weird lumpy bumps also disappear. This tells me that Curvy Kate is just not using strong enough materials to support a heavy bust in the upper end of their size range, and if they used a stronger fabric for the bottom cup and decreased the amount of top cup, it might provide an excellent fit and shape for the fuller bust.
Appearance wise, this bra is wonderful like most Curvy Kate offerings. They truly are making unique bra designs and popularizing them. If they could improve their materials, their scaling, and their sizing I believe Curvy Kate would be a force to be reckoned with. They are still a new brand and are working out the kinks in their bra construction, so hopefully if enough of us make it clear that the top section is too big and flimsy they’ll take notice and make it closer in proportion to the smaller cup sizes.
All in all, this bra looks amazing in the smaller end of the size range. Judging by photos on Bratabase, this bra works best for women in cup sizes GG and smaller, and an H cup is where the top section rapidly increases. I would only recommend Curvy Kate’s unpadded styles to women under an H cup unless you know the oversized top section works for your breast shape. Keep in mind that this bra can run a cup or two small. If you decide to try this bra on a gamble, make sure you can get it with free returns just in case. Make sure you double check measurements before making a purchase. I’m providing the measurements of this bra compared to the Panache Ariza in the same size; you can see this bra runs smaller.
Appearance: 7 out of 10
Fit: 2 out of 10
Comfort: 6 out of 10
Quality: 4 out of 10
Overall: 4.75 out of 10