If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I’ve consistently had problems with Curvy Kate pretty much ever since I started blogging. I loved their Gia bra, and their sister brand Flirtelle makes beautiful padded bras that fit me like a glove. I’ve been sitting on a post for the past few months that’s going to discuss why I’ve chosen to boycott Curvy Kate, but I’ve noticed that whenever someone criticizes anything about their brand they get defensive and ask the person if they’ve tried their newer cuts. So before I release that post, I am posting a review of one of their newer cuts that’s proven to be extremely popular. It’s the Curvy Kate Ellace in 40JJ.
I did purchase this with my own money, although I purchased it from its previous owner instead of through the company or one of their authorized retailers because I no longer support them. I kept an open mind while trying and reviewing this bra, so I will be fair and won’t just bash it just because I don’t like the brand. This is a negative review, so if you don’t like that sort of thing I wouldn’t read this review.
The Ellace is constructed of three parts, one of them being a stretch lace panel. This bra is the first time that Curvy Kate has used stretch lace in one of their bras. They consider it a balconette, and it shares a construction with the Bardot cut (minus the stretch lace, of course.) The band has 3 hooks, and the straps are thin compared to other bras in this size range. The mesh making up the cups is the thinnest in my collection, and it’s completely see through when held up to the light.
The stretch lace on the top of the cups is also used on the wing of the bra, which looks really nice and gives it more detail than just being a “black bra.” The champagne accents are really nice, and since they blend into my skin tone (which you can’t see due to the flash), it gives the bra a much daintier appearance. I do love that the lace isn’t your normal floral. It’s very different and gives the bra a different appearance than anything else in my collection. Overall it’s a very cohesive and aesthetically pleasing design, much like most other Curvy Kate bras.
There’s pros and cons with the fit, so I’ll break it up into sections.
Cups: The cups are an okay volume for me, but I could stand to go up one more cup to get an ideal volume for me. Despite that, I love the soft hills style cleavage it gives me and don’t want to try the next size because I know it’ll go away with a larger cup. The fact that the cups are low cut makes it ideal for wearing under V necks or tank tops.
While the top section still makes up a huge proportion of the cup, the fact that it’s stretchy makes it suit my breast shape a lot better than their older cuts without stretch lace. I do however wish that the stretch lace took up less of the cup, and I wish the lace was double lined for more stability. Every time I put this bra on I have to be very careful to not rip the lace entirely because the little holes in the lace are like magnets for my fingernails.
Some reviews have indicated that the little strip of elastic under the stretch lace can dig in and cause in-cup quadboob. I can definitely feel a little bit more tension there, but it doesn’t cause any visible fit issues for me personally. I can imagine it causing more problems if you’re very full on top. I’m full on top with short roots, so I’m functionally full on bottom.
Straps: The straps are horrible. There’s no way around it. They’re incredibly thin, and do nothing but twist around and roll off my shoulders completely. They’re super stretchy which makes them dig into my shoulders and cause huge grooves. It’s not comfortable at all and I have to use a bra strap holder if I want to wear this bra for more than a few minutes without pain. If I don’t do that, my back and shoulders will ache all day. I don’t think a bra in this size range should have straps this narrow. It might look daintier and some people find it more aesthetically pleasing, but the fact of the matter is that larger busts need more support and stronger materials.
Band: The band is just okay in my opinion. A lot of people will like how it’s a lot more low cut than other bras, but because I’m plus sized I’d prefer a taller wing. I get a slight bit of muffin top over the edge of the band. The tightness is pretty good. It’s comfortable on the tightest set of hooks. It measures 39.5 inches for me, so it’s a bit snug for a 40 band. It’s much better than my 36K CK Princess bras that measured almost 40 inches stretched after maybe 5 wears. Because the band is so thin, it fights with my fat and looks really weird from the back.
Wires: The wires are definitely much more narrow than they used to be, which makes them too narrow for me. It measures a full inch narrower than my 36K Princess. They also stop at an awkward length that makes them poke into me all day long. The gore is really short. Not enough to call it a plunge, but enough to differentiate it from other bras. Curvy Kate still uses slightly soft wires, which are great in super supportive bras but can tend to let you down if the rest of the construction isn’t rounded out very well. The gore does tack surprisingly well.
Shape: The shape is great. I’m in love with the way this bra looks on me. It gives me a round and projected shape that’s ever so slightly splayed. What it does it make me look incredibly busty. It seems like there’s either the bras that make you look thinner because it makes your boobs super narrow and projected, or the bras that make you look a lot more hourglassy because they hold your breasts further apart. I love the happy medium this bra managed to achieve. I’m also happy to report that the upside down seven shape is gone because of the stretch lace, which confirms my suspicion that the upside down seven shape was caused by the top section.
In summary: They’ve definitely improved the way their bras fit, but I still think they fit much better on smaller busts. I think Curvy Kate should experiment with a stronger construction for the largest sizes they make because the stretchy and thin straps and low cut band and gore make me lose a lot of support that the cups can’t make up for because they’re too thin and flimsy. If you’re around a HH or smaller, feel free to try this out. But if you’re past a J cup I’d only try it with free returns. This is one of those bras that looks beautiful but feels like a torture device and I can’t recommend it to anyone in my size range.
Appearance: 8 out of 10
Fit: 4 out of 10
Comfort: 4 out of 10
Quality: 4 out of 10
Shape: 8 out of 10
Overall: 5.6 out of 10