Remember last March (hey, it’s almost to the day!) when I reviewed Bosom Galore’s Classique bra? Bosom Galore were a company that I followed right from the get go, loving their ethos, luxury appeal and designs. Later in the year, they decided to launch Katherine Hamilton as their premium brand and are currently in the process of releasing their first collection under the new name.
I really loved their previous collection from Bosom Galore, and the Classique is still on regular rotation in my bradrobe. One minor issue, that I didn’t in fact pick up on at the time, was that the wires were quite wide on the bra. I noticed the bra was quite shallow and ended up choosing a cup size up from my usual at a 30GG to compensate for this. It’s only recently I’ve started to notice wires that are too wide for me – I think my breast root may have slightly changed shape becoming narrower (does this happen?!) as I’ve got an old Avocado bra that was far too narrow for me that now fits absolutely perfectly. Anyway, several other customers did note that they were finding the wires too wide, so in their new KH collection, Katy ordered bespoke narrower wires and produced deeper cups. A very exciting development!
I’ve been talking to Katy on and off during the development process, and actually got a sneak peek at the Louise back when it was in its early stages, so I knew it was one I just HAD to try at some point. Katy then recently asked me if I’d be willing to fit test a couple of the bras for her, as we knew how my size worked in her previous Bosom Galore ones – of course, I jumped at the chance to do so!
The sets arrived in a very fancy box, wrapped in tissue paper and beautifully packaged. I’d been asked to try the 30G in the bras as they’d noted that these sample sizes had fit a bit differently to what they were expecting on their models and wanted to see if I was experiencing the same. I also tried out the size 12 in the briefs and a medium in the suspender.
The two sets I received were the Louise and the Sophia. As I mentioned, these were samples and I can’t yet comment on the Louise as it’s not in its final stages yet so subject to more change (and I don’t want to send out a review of an unfinished design), but I wanted to give you a quick look at the Sophia set and how it worked for me.
Appearance & Shape
(Remember to bear in mind that these are sample pieces for fit testing, so they have tags attached and I wore beige underwear under the briefs as they were to be returned to Katherine Hamilton after evaluating them! The photos are also not particularly “inspired” ones as they’re simply the ones I took to send to Katy to show fit.)
First things first, I was dying to try the Louise and hadn’t been massively bothered about the Sophia beforehand. All that actually changed when I tried the two sets on and decided the Sophia was actually the one for me rather than the Louise – weird how that happens sometimes, isn’t it?! I fell for the dainty lace and the high waisted briefs which just worked so well together. It has a pretty vintage feel to it overall that’s grown up and elegant which really appeals to me at the moment as a slightly more elevated version of an everyday bra. They describe it as timeless that combines traditional and luxury, and I definitely have to agree with that.
The cup is a very interesting one as I haven’t tried one like it before: it’s non padded with a lace overlay, but also has a silk sling, described by Katherine Hamilton as a silk quarter cup to promote forward projection. I was initially a little confused by the look of it in the preview pictures but in real life realised that huge benefits this has in terms of support, comfort and shape. If you like a rounded look but not achieved by foam padding or molding, this is the bra for you. It does as it says and pulls tissue in from the sides and forwards, much like Polish bras do (although I can’t make this claim too strongly as I haven’t tried a Polish style like this).
The bra is a balconette style and very typical of this with the high gore that matches the level of the top of the cups. It fastens with 3 sets of 3 hooks at the back in a 30G and has half adjustable straps. I do need to add though that the version of the straps I’m wearing here is ever so slightly different to what the final piece will have – I have these tightened as far as they’ll go and mentioned to Katy that other customers might need them tighter (as I’m quite average in strap length), and she let me know there is an updated version: in the final version the straps have greater extendibility; they’ve moved the metal ring to the apex of the wing and then joined the front frigid strap to the elasticated back strap enabling the strap to be adjusted to a greater extent.
Size, fit & comfort
I tried the Katherine Hamilton Sophia bra in a 30G, the briefs and high waisted briefs in a size 12, and the suspender belt in a medium. I was asked to try the 30G sample size as I sit between a 28GG and a 30G. They were concerned that some samples (ie. the Louise) were coming up a little tight and wanted some comparison. I found that the Sophia was a spot on 30 band. Initially I tried it on and photographed it on the loosest hooks, but it was ever so slightly too big on me, so I tightened it for the remaining photos and day to day I would probably wear it on the tightest hooks if I owned the 30G. This is about right considering my usual 27″ underbust measurement. For my best band fit, I would wear a 28GG.
The cups were spot on for a 30G on me too, as well as for my shape. They fit smoothly and comfortably with no gaping, wrinkling or digging in anywhere. I’d say they’re definitely a good bet for even to full on top shapes as the lace is quite open at the top. Speaking of lace, it’s lovely quality and not at all scratchy.
And the bit you’re probably looking for: the wires and cup depth! Yes, I can confirm that the bespoke wires are most definitely narrower than Bosom Galore’s previous bras, and quite definitely narrower than most other UK brands. They were only a smidgen away from being as narrow as my 65G Ewa Michalak bras, and far narrower than my 30G Tutti Rouge Nichole which I measured them up against. I didn’t take measurements, but if needed/wanted I will be receiving this bra in June when it is released and can do so then 🙂 The cups definitely had more depth than my Bosom Galore Classique, but not too much for me that they were gaping/wrinkling anywhere.
Also note that Katherine Hamilton are currently the only UK brand to offer 26 bands, and one of the only brands I can think of to offer 26 bands without them being custom made – yay! I know there’s a big drive for these sizes out there, so it’s great that there’s a company out there willing to take the leap of faith and offer them, so if you need the size and are able to buy it, I strongly recommend you to do so. I know they are a little more expensive as a luxury brand, but I’d find them to be worth it.
And a final note on fitting – despite usually taking a size 10 in briefs, and previously taking a size 10 in the Bosom Galore Classique briefs, I actually found the size 12 were a good fit for me in the Sophia, both normal and high waisted. I’d definitely say they run a little on the small side because of this. I found the suspender a strange one to fit on me, because of my shape. I have a high, short waist that dips in to almost 26″ at its smallest, but immediately gives way to my hips which are around 38.5/39″ at the fullest point. In fact, just an inch below my narrowest waist point, my hip shelf measures around 34″ – that’s a quick change! It makes it difficult for me to fit more modern styled suspender belts which are narrower and designed to sit lower down. If I wear one where it’s “supposed” to be, ie. mid hip, so above where a low rise brief would sit, but below my waist, it either digs in or slides straight up to my waist where it hangs there – and that’s what I experienced with this one – so it’s a little odd in terms of fitting for me. That’s nothing against the suspender belt in the slightest – it’s gorgeous, lovely quality and matches the rest of the set perfectly. It’s just my body that doesn’t agree with it – I need wider/deeper ones such as the What Katie Did Harlow to fit my shape.
You will very soon be able to purchase the Sophia set – they will begin taking orders in a week’s time, for delivery in 8-10 weeks! You can currently sign up to be notified once they are taking orders by selecting your size and entering your email address. I strongly suggest you do so if you’re interested in the set because, as an independent brand, Katherine Hamilton cannot order or hold a huge amount of stock, so by pre-ordering or registering your size, you’ll be able to get hold of it.
The Sophia set is available to buy via the Katherine Hamilton site. The Sophia bra is available in sizes 26-36 D-HH for £98, the Sophia Knicker in sizes 6 to 16 for £52, the Sophia High Waist Brief in sizes 6 to 16 for £64 and the Sophia Suspender Belt in sizes small, medium and large for £82.
Also note that the current prices on the site include VAT, but customers outside the EU will not have to pay this, so will be charged less than this. The new prices without VAT will be shown on the site once they start taking pre-orders next week.