My first Comexim order: A fit odyssey, Part I

Well, I did it. I finally ordered my first Comexim bra! I wasn’t planning on blogging anything about Comexim until my order arrives (hopefully in about 3-4 weeks). I definitely don’t want to “jinx” it. Since it has taken me a long, long time to place my order, I thought it would be helpful for myself and for others if I record the various stages of my Comexim journey. It has taken quite a few hurdles for me to get as far as placing an order: figuring out the styles, guesstimating my size, opting for alterations, worrying about the language barrier, and committing to spend $40 and over a month waiting for a bra that could easily not fit. I see questions about these same issues popping up all the time, and it’s no small feat trying to figure it out alone. Here’s how it has gone for me so far.

About Comexim

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Comexim Joy Longline, comexim.pl

Comexim is well-known in the lingerie community and especially in bra fitting circles. It is a small, Polish company that makes underwear and swimwear to order. Apart from offering an amazingly wide range of band and cup sizes (an equivalent of UK sizes 26-40 B-KK, plus custom orders beyond that range), they also take requests for alterations, such as reduced cups, adjusted gore height, gore width, and strap placement. The bras are highly recommended for their narrow wires and deep cups, as opposed to wide and shallow cups which are far more common among UK and US brands. This is great news for narrow and projected breast types like mine. Their prices are also very reasonable, ranging from around $30-45 per bra including international shipping.

Comexim sizing uses a slightly different cup progression from UK brands as well as centimeters for measuring, so converting from UK/US size to Comexim size can be tricky. The owner, Anna, has a wonderful reputation for being delightfully accommodating and extremely nice, but Polish is her main language of communication. There have been reports of requests being “lost in translation”, but I think this happens less now than in the past.

People have been recommending Comexim to me since I discovered my “true” bra size in 2014. At that time, I was very new to bra fitting and not confident enough to order from Poland. The whole Polish translation thing worried me a little, but mainly I wasn’t even really sure of my UK size. As I’ve become more knowledgeable of my size (rarely owning a bra that I would say 100% “fits”), I’ve learned that it actually varies a lot by brand. For this reason, I’m still not confident that I ordered the right Comexim size this time. Time will tell!

If ordering from Poland isn’t for you, or you find the rest of this post super confusing, there are luckily some North American online retailers that stock Comexim bras at a markup with better returns policies, including Zathiya and Wellfitting in the US and Bra Obsessed in Canada. I have heard great things about Jaimie from Bra Obsessed from people who have ordered. All three retailers will advise you on sizing. And I have personally found Zathiya to be helpful over social media. They’re very accommodating and always seem to have the bras I want, sadly when I don’t have the cash at hand, so I personally haven’t placed an order with them yet. Zathiya will also cover the cost of one return and one exchange shipping per order, which is great to mitigate the cost of returns to Poland from the US. (Sound good? Get 10% off your first Zathiya order with this link.)

Comexim Bras

The most popular bra types I see being ordered from Comexim are their lightly padded plunges and half cups. The latter can have either 1 or 2 vertical seams. There are currently 33 plunge bras listed on the Comexim website, and 9 half cups (2- and 3-seam combined). It is possible to ask via email if a bra listed as a plunge can be made into one of the other cuts. For the record, Comexim also makes unlined/balcony styles that have far fewer reviews and measurements available. I may blog about that in a future post, but I rarely wear unlined bras, which is why I am not considering them here.

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Comexim Patricia Plunge Bra

Comparing the aforementioned cuts, as I understand it, the plunges have the narrowest wires and potentially deepest cups. They are deeper at the apex, which is higher up in a plunge than in a half cup. That can give a slightly pointed, uplifted look for some. Like all plunges, the cups are also taller while the gore is lower. But remember, a lot of this can be altered by request. Conversely, the single-seam, 2-piece half cups, often abbreviated “2HC”, are the widest and shallowest, though still moderately narrow by UK bra standards. Finally, the two-seam, three-part half cup known as the “3HC” has become something of a holy grail to a lot of bra seekers for its narrow wires and ample depth or projection at the underwire. The half cups are more open on top than plunges, but I am not sure how open on top they are compared to other brands’ half cups, which is something I hope to find out. They give a more rounded, minimized shape as half cups tend to do.

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Comexim Beauty Half Cup (3HC)

[Edit: I couldn’t find a good side-by-side comparison between the shape of a half cup and plunge, until now! Check out this post by Nádia from My Fashion Insider to see the side profile comparison of a Comexim Sonia plunge vs. Irish Coffee 3HC.]

I notoriously fall out of plunges and find all cups too tall thanks to my short roots, but I do need at least moderate projection, so the 3HC seems like a perfect fit for me. This may turn out to be incorrect depending on how my order goes. (A friendly reminder that this is an ongoing saga and subject to change!)

Because of Comexim’s wide-ranging alteration options, maybe a plunge with reduced cup height, raised gore, and straps moved in 2cm, would be a better fit… It is precisely all these great customization options that can make choosing a bra from Comexim so overwhelming.

A lot of people advise ordering a “standard” cut of your chosen bra first, so you can test the default configuration and assess whether or not you need any alterations. That’s sound advice. Alterations are free, but you won’t be able to return the bra to Comexim if it comes altered. All things to consider. Personally, I am pretty certain that I’ll need to minimally have the straps moved in because I’m petite, short-rooted, and get the dreaded “strap gap” with virtually every bra no matter the cut. I also much prefer the shape of a 3HC – more like the half cups I’m familiar with already – and find the plunges to have a rather high apex that might not agree with me.

Getting Somewhere

I’ve known that I wanted to try a Comexim bra for a long time, but I didn’t get serious about it until about 3 months ago. I had started replacing most of my bras due to weightloss, and none of my old standbys were quite right anymore. When my trusty Freya Patsy half cup stopped fitting me as well as it used to, I finally decided the time was right. I needed a new, lightweight half cup for the summer months and there were no sub-$20 bargains to tide me over. Now that I wear a 28-band, even Nordstrom is a bra desert.

For a couple of months, whenever I would see reviews on blogs, Reddit and Bratabase, I would look at all the photos and check all the measurements to try and eyeball my size. It seemed like every cut and style and fabric and pattern was an exception to the rule and I didn’t get very far on measurements alone. How were people ordering bras that fit them so well?!

Initially, I tentatively reached out to the bra-fitting community for sizing advice here and there. I picked up information a little at a time just from reading lots and lots of reviews. Mostly I would ask people who looked a similar size to me what size their fitting Comexim bra felt equivalent to in UK sizes. Since a 28G could be anything from a 60HH, 60J, 65H, 65HH, 65J to70H, depending on the cut and how tight the band ran, I tried to triangulate the results to divine a magically fitting bra. Meanwhile, 28G is only my UK size in certain bras, not all. A tight 28 band is torture on my ribs; a band that stretches more than 30″ isn’t ideal, either.

Since “What’s my Comexim size?” wasn’t getting me anywhere, I realized that I should start with the bra I wanted the most. For me, Sonia was the prettiest bra on offer. I determined that she would be my first Comexim attempt.

Admittedly, It took me a while to really commit to ordering. Why was I so reluctant? Figuring out the sizing was one thing, and cash flow was another. Both of these hurdles took some time. But, ultimately, I was able to make the leap from confused and overwhelmed to willing to take the chance with one important step: I resigned myself to the fact that my first order just might not fit. That’s it. If it doesn’t fit, I’ll just have to sell it on, cut my losses and maybe try again. I will simply never figure out the perfect bra size, cut, fit or material without trying.

Challenge Accepted

Then I got serious. I re-measured myself so that I could really figure out the best size instead of guesstimating. This took accepting that my weightloss changed not only my size, but also my shape. It was with the help of some very generous redditors, Bratabase users and bloggers that finally I narrowed down enough data to make a more or less educated guess at my size for Sonia. With yet more help, I began finalizing which alterations to request (straps moved in for sure, but did I really need a narrower gore?) and how to translate them into Polish. I put Sonia in my cart in size 65HH.

Whew. Almost there. Just a couple more clicks …

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Sonia Half Cup by Comexim (discontinued May 2016)

And then the unthinkable happened! When I was finally ready to order, Sonia was gone :(. My own fault for hesitating for so long, of course. The fabric had been discontinued only a couple of days earlier. Heartbroken. I went from still being unsure about ordering at all, to being sad that I had lost my opportunity. The only other bra I had on my list was Dottie, and that fabric was gone, too!

I was devastated because I really didn’t want to order a bra in a pattern that I didn’t like, which I couldn’t justify on my tight budget. At the same time, I really would need a new bra soon. I also wanted the lightest weight material possible and all my research had turned up that Sonia was super soft. I didn’t feel confident picking any of the others. All the models fit a little differently. Would I have to start from scratch? The prospect was daunting all over again.

The sudden loss of Sonia forced my hand. I had waited too long and lost my chance, so I felt even more determined to put in an order in time for summer. I had received a lot of generous help from blogger behind The Photographer’s Brog. If you haven’t seen her Comexim collection, it’s spectacular. She has quite a few Comexim bras in a 3HC cut that appear as plunges or single-seam half cups on the Comexim site. One caught my eye from her reviews and I decided to go for the Victoria Half Cup with some alterations that I’ll share in my next post.

Part II of this Comexim review (forthcoming) will see if all my efforts were worth it …

 

Addendum: how I ordered

Since I see a lot of people asking this, I thought I should address it here. The few things I had read early on about ordering from Comexim implied that you had to email your order to Anna in Polish and she’d give payment instructions. Things seemed to have changed since then. Comexim has a very usable, English-language website. There is a place on the order form at checkout to add any special requests before you pay. That’s where I put my requests, in English and Polish. I got the Polish translations from the ABTF guide. One modification that I wanted was nowhere to be found in the guide, so I used Google translate for that and hoped for the best.

Needing to go above and beyond the usual alterations, I again followed the sound advice of The Photographer’s Brog and wrote to Anna directly. I wrote the email in simple English, then added a numbered list of the requested alterations to the bottom of the email in Polish. Anna wrote back confirming that all was understood and simply to enter the requests into the form at checkout. I later wrote to Anna again post-order with one more request which she again confirmed. IMO, if you send a follow-up email after ordering, it’s good practice to include your order number and details at the foot of the email as well.

Even though Comexim is apparently swamped with orders at the moment, both of my replies from Anna, while brief, came in less than 2 hours. That’s pretty impressive service. I also received an order confirmation from Comexim right away after submitting my payment, followed rapidly by a payment confirmation.

And now I wait.

 

Let me know in the comments if this post has been helpful!

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5 thoughts on “My first Comexim order: A fit odyssey, Part I

  1. I understand your fear and excitement! I’ve started ordering Comexim a few months ago and now I’m addicted! I remember waiting for my first bra, the Ingrid…I was crossing my fingers hard it would fit! And it did! ❤ I now have 3 Comexim plunges (including the gorgeous Sonia!) and 3HC…and I will be adding more friends to the collection soon enough!

    Hope your order is a success! 😀 Victoria is an amazing bra! The Photog's Brog also makes me lust over zilion bras each time I visit her blog! 😉

    kiss kiss
    Nádia
    My Fashion Insider

    Like

    1. Thanks for your comment, Nádia! I just saw your review of Irish Coffee in 3HC. It’s stunning. I love the ribbon hem on the cups. I wish I had thought to ask about that fabric – I thought it was long gone! Seeing the 65H on you I am hoping I got the right size and mine won’t be too big. Fingers crossed that my Victoria is perfect. Then I can confidently spend all my money on more Comexims. xD

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