A Comexim fit odyssey, Part II: Victoria 3HC, 65HH Review

A month has passed and my long-awaited Comexim order has finally arrived. You can read more about my ordering experience and communication with Anna from Comexim in Part I. Spoiler alert: the bra doesn’t fit. Part II of this fit odyssey will try to work out why it doesn’t work for me and where to go from here. In this review, I’ll discuss some of my expectations about the bra, including the alterations and modifications that I ordered, and what I received.

comexim-victoria2hc
Comexim Victoria Half Cup (2HC)

After the Comexim Sonia half cup was discontinued, I looked at every style on the Comexim website before deciding on Victoria. Victoria is offered in a single-seam half cut (2HC) as standard, but I requested that it be altered into a two-seam half cup (3HC). Generally speaking, 3HCs are less shallow. I opted to have the straps moved inwards 2cm, a fairly common alteration. I also sent a special request to Anna to have the eyelash lace that normally lines the top edge of the cup on Victoria removed. There was no fit-related reason for this; I just really don’t like eyelash lace. Lastly, I requested a specific appearance for the way the lace covered the seams. More on these alterations later. But first, let’s take a look at Victoria.

 

Victoria

Victoria lives up to Comexim’s reputation for unique and beautifully crafted bras. I have never been a frills and lace kind of girl (okay, that may be changing with my newfound love of bras and lingerie), but Victoria is something to behold. I love the deep navy lace overlay against the creamy beige backing. It’s just enough contrast while the color choices are smart and elegant. The lace lies flat and is unobtrusive. Finally, a bra that is gorgeous and lacy without announcing it through my shirt. A fairly large bow adorns the gore along with a silver tone diamante “C” charm.

The ribbon trim that tops the cups (sans eyelash lace) is a great understated detail. I much prefer the clean lines this provides over the heavier trim, but Victoria is pretty either way. I’m not a huge fan of the beige plastic adjusters on the straps. I think navy on navy might have looked more luxe, but it’s a very minor detail that I can only pick on because the rest of the bra is so stunning. The straps are a very soft and comfortable material and fully adjustable.

The eyelash lace was removed from the top of the cups as requested, but it still appears on the wings, where the lace overlay wraps partly around. I am surprised at how much I love that the lace continues onto the band.

The band material is also very stretchy. It arrived with 4 columns of 3 hooks. The entire bra is amazingly lightweight. It’s also well made. Everything is sewn evenly and with precision. The only aspect of the bra that I was slightly disappointed with in terms of appearance and materials was the interior of the cup. Based on everything I had heard and read about Comexim bras, I was expecting the material to feel like it was woven from an ethereal cloud by tiny weightless elves. Instead, the foam is thin, but rather firm and rough on the inside.

Alterations

The bra came with overlapping gore wires even though I didn’t ask for it. I’m perfectly okay with that, but it was something I hadn’t considered or factored in when ordering. It may or may not have had a positive or negative impact on my fit with this bra. I think it’s most likely a good thing as I do get some trouble with most bras having too wide a gore. Without looking at it, I couldn’t “feel” that the gore was much narrower, but it’s certainly the narrowest of the bras that I own. I also did not request 4×3 hook closures. Personally, I typically prefer bras with only 2 rows of hooks, especially because I tend to hook unevenly for my rib flare and find that easier to manage with 2 hooks. However, the 3 rows are set quite close together and it does give additional support.

As for the alterations that I requested, they all seem to have been done. Obviously it was made into a 3HC. The eyelash lace was removed from the top of the cup. The seam pattern in the lace overlay was modified according to my specifications (note how they don’t reach all the way to the cup edge on top).

victoria-front1

The final alteration, which I can’t confirm, was my request to have the straps moved in by 2cm. I assume that it was done only because all of the other alterations were done without issue. However, the straps sit very similarly to those of my Freya and Fantasie half cups and strap gap was not entirely eliminated for me (which is why I chose this alteration), so the jury is out on whether it was done and/or whether it helped. It is one of the frustrating aspects of ordering customizations from Comexim. You’re never quite sure what you’re getting.

Size and Fit

I had waited over a year to finally get my hands on a Comexim bra to try on. I spent a few weeks prior to my order narrowing down my size using Bratabase measurements and the help of many generous bloggers and bra fit experts. I arrived at a 65HH being my most likely fit at my current UK size of 28G/30FF. This was the moment of truth!

Alas, the bra is too small in both the cups and the band for me. I am disappointed, but I plan on re-ordering in another size to try again. This is a testament to how much I like the design of the bra despite being disappointed with the fit. I’ll go through some of the fit aspects in more detail.

Band

victoria-tagMy first thought when putting it on was: wow, that’s tight.Β Really tight. Then: Had I put on 20 pounds since I ordered this bra? Finally: why can’t I breathe?! Okay, I never actually cut off my oxygen supply, but the band was uncomfortably tight.

The cups also felt small, but the band was so unreasonably tight that I believe it further distorted the cups so that they felt even wider and shallower. I attempted to try the bra on upside down and backwards, a trick for assessing if a band is too tight or if it simply feels too tight because the cups don’t have enough volume. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fasten the band at the front because I had trouble getting it over my ribs. So I determined that the band was really too tight, despite whatever was going on with the cups.

For reference, a Comexim 65 is generally seen as equivalent to a UK 30. (65 bands in Comexim are listed/converted as 30s on Bratabase, Wellfitting, etc.). I hardly wear 30 bands anymore in most brands because they are too loose and I have to start them on the second or third hook. My comfortable underbust measurement is 28-28.5″. Given that Comexim is known to run small in the band, I didn’t hesitate to size up to a 65/30 due to my bony ribs. When I took the bra off and measured it, the band length was 20″ and it stretched to a mere 25″, with the wires distorting by 26″. I think that is more in line with a 55!

To run one size small is within the margin of error, but two entire band sizes? I am beginning to wonder, however, if the received wisdom on Comexim band sizing is correct or, better to say, if it is as correct now as it once was. I have heard reports of Comexim bands now fitting more closely to the size chart on their website, i.e. their actual cm measurements, meaning that a 65 band is only meant to stretch to 65 cm or 25.5 inches. This matches the band fit of my bra.

However, itΒ  does not correspond to how they are listed on Bratabase. I don’t mean just the index sizes, but user-entered data from people measuring their actual Comexim bras. I commonly see 65 bands stretching to around 29 inches. So is my Victoria “right” or “wrong”? I don’t have enough data to assess this. It could just be that there are wild variations in the sizing of handmade bras. Either way, my conclusion on Comexim sizing based on this order and reports from others is that it is a bit of a crapshoot.

Cups

victoria-full-interiorThe cups on my 65HH Victoria measure 5.4″ wide, 9.2″ deep (at the deepest point just below the edge of the cup; my first measurement was 9″) and just over 6″ tall. I apparently have narrow roots, at least as far as bras go, because I don’t feel that they look all that narrow on my frame. The cup width is okay. It’s only 1/10 of an inch narrower than my Freya Deco Vibe and Freya Patsy half cup, both of which are a little wide. So the 3HC is just average for me and I could probably technically go narrower, but it’s not bothersome.

The cup height is probably my max. It is definitely a closed on top style, which should work for me now. I got a little bit of my usual strap gap (high set and short roots are the worst combination, ugh) despite requesting that the straps be moved in an extra 2cm to mitigate this. The cup edges beyond the straps got perilously close to my armpits, something I was hoping would not happen with Comexim. I have no way of knowing for sure if the straps were moved in, but I’m guessing that they were.

I wouldn’t recommend Victoria for FoT or tall-rooted shapes due the closed cup edge. That said, the cups were also too shallow on me which is affecting my overall judgement of the fit.

When I first tried it on, I fully swooped & scooped and I spilled way over the top. The cups felt shallower than I expected. There was some gaping towards the gore. With a less aggressive s&s, it appears to fit my smaller side well except for some cutting in on top, but my larger side overflows and pushes the gore to one side. I tried using an extender to rectify the tight band which undoubtedly makes the cups feel shallower. When I did this, my boobs settled a little better into the cups, still with some quadboob happening. Paradoxically, with the extender, the cup edges near to the gore gape/stick out even more although the gore still tacks and the rest of the cup edge lies flat or even cuts in. I’ve tried troubleshooting this issue without much luck and think that it’s just a case of too small/shallow cups.

Gore

As mentioned above, the bra arrived with an overlapping gore without my requesting it. It tacked okay even at 3″ high, which was a relief to me because I know a lot of people have issues with Comexim gores only soft-tacking, especially with center fullness. I didn’t think twice about the overlap once the bra was on, and I think it’s an alteration that I would request in future as I often have trouble with gores pushing my breasts apart. The only problem I had was a slight shifting of the gore to one side because the cups didn’t quite fit and my larger side was causing some distortion.

victoria-gore-front

Comfort

I can’t really effectively rate the total comfort of a bra whose band is nearly 4 inches too tight with cups too small, so I’ll assess what I feel I can. Although the band is too tight, it seems to stretch and give easily. The wings are made of a fine fabric that I think would be very comfortable in the right length for me. The straps are fully adjustable, very soft, and I instantaneously loved them.

The firmness of the cups surprised me. When wearing, I don’t notice it. I just thought they were going to be softly padded rather than firm (nearly molded in feel). Everyone comments on how Comexim bras are soft, like fluffy snuggles for the boobs, but mine doesn’t feel quite so soft to the touch. It’s like a cross between felt and cardboard. It has a sort of unfinished feel to the inside that contrasts with the lovely attention to detail on the rest of the bra. Others might not feel the same about the cup interior as me, but I am sensitive to materials.

The overall light weight of the bra is something I really like and I can see myself getting used to. Compared to my armor-like Decos, it’s a breath of fresh air. If there is one good reason to stock my bradrobe with only Comexim, it’s that. And the prettiness.

Quality

You can see right away the exquisite handiwork that has gone into constructing this bra. From the fabric choices all the way to the construction and stitching, it’s beautiful. I have only tried it on, but I think the quality is there and this is a bra that will last a long time … as long as nothing snags on the lace, including its own hooks!

Fit Summary and Next Steps

I was hoping for a bra epiphany with Victoria. As it is, I don’t see much difference between the fit of this Comexim two-seam half cup and other vertical seam half cups from other brands. In terms of the cup width, depth and strap placement, everything feels more or less the same. Shape-wise, Victoria is more closed on top and shallower overall, but offers more projection at the wire when compared with a Freya or Fantasie half cup. My boobs are happier with this additional space near the wire, but – at least in 65HH – they miss some space at the apex.

After trying on Victoria, I got really confused on where to go next. I’m not sure if I should size up in the band and cup or just the cup, mostly because I have no way of knowing if my 65 was anomalously tight or is the new standard for band sizes. A 70/32 seems like a risk for my 28.5″ ribcage. With a better-fitting band, I will probably still need to size up in the cup to fit my larger side. I might try cookie pockets to be safe. I am waiting to hear back from Anna at Comexim before deciding on re-ordering a 65J or 70HH.

The 3HC is definitely a favorite for good reasons. It is short roots and FoB friendly and relatively narrow. The ability to customize the fit with alterations is excellent, albeit potentially unreliable. I think it’s safe to say that it is rare to get a perfect Comexim fit on the first try. That said, I am glad that I opted for just one bra (I don’t have an endless budget) and a series of alterations that I wanted rather than order the stock model first as is often recommended. Sometimes you have to trust your instincts.

I’ll post Part III if and when my Victoria replacement arrives.

***

Bonus: Unboxing

It’s important to me that my lingerie purchases are packaged carefully for international transit. I have received way too many damaged bras. When I saw that my tracking number from Poland was marked “envelope”, I got worried, but my bra arrived safe and sound in a small cardboard box. In fact, it was a very small box. I thought that I had made some grave sizing error when I saw it. But when I opened the box, the bra had been folder in half with one cup tucked into another and slipped into a clear plastic bag. I never invert my cups on my molded bras, but it unfurled okay and just had a few creases in the foam that have loosened out. I thought it might be useful to show this step here since I never saw this on a blog review, but there’s not too much to say about it, really. I’m pretty sure that an order of more than one bra would come stacked together and in a larger box rather than folded in half.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “A Comexim fit odyssey, Part II: Victoria 3HC, 65HH Review

  1. When I ordered 3 bras from Ewa, they came folded together, and I *think* my first Comexim came like that as well. Like all bra were folded inside themselves, and then placed all together in a small box. My Wellfitting order (3 bras), and my braobsessed order had the bras laid flat.
    I do think you should try a 70HH. My ribcage is 28/28.5 (btt is 26.5) and I have a 70 band that fits perfectly. And I reordered my tropical garden as a 70 band.

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    1. We have pretty much the same UB measurements (28-28.5/26.25 btt) so it’s good to hear your opinion/experience. Maybe I’ll try 70HH. Was your tropical garden a plunge or half cup? Do you think there’s a difference in band sizing between them? I’m going back and forth on adding a plunge to my order.

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      1. Both of my tropical garden bras are plunges. I have a 3HC on the way.
        I don’t know if there will be a difference in size between half cup and plunges

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  2. I has have the same issue with small Comexim band and small cups, but now I know what is the problem and is the same issues that you have.

    The guilty is the 4×3 (in my case 3×3 or 4×2) row of hooks, this extra hooks (which I asked for) reduced the band 2″ aprox., the band have the same leght that a regular band but they stretch a LOT less, in my case 60H extend to 25″ or less, I need a band that extend to 26 1/2 min. (I have 26 ribcage), I usually wear 28FF in other brands. And the issue with the cups is because when you request to move the straps (which I’m pretty sure you got too, according with the photos, and with the straps moved they are similar to Freya and Fauve half cups, without I think they are more close to EM straps) the cups get reduced, probably the projection is a bit affected too, but 3HC don’t have too much apex projection in general which is perfect for me.

    I got five bras 3HC too small in the cups and the band (I wear it anyway with an extensor because they are COMFY, the more comfy bras I ever have and a tried a lot of brands).

    Now I ordered 2 new 3HC in 65H (with 4×3 because I have ribflares and scoliosis and a wider band is a lot more comfy for me) I hope this time fit!, but according with your measures they will.

    By the way, I have a Victoria with the eyelash and is invisible under clothes, however I can’t wear cups with ribbons like your bra because they are too close on top, maybe is your case too?

    Ah!, when you order more bras they send a taller and narrow box and they put the bras one over the other (is still a small box), at least my package was that way.

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    1. That’s really interesting, thank you! I wondered if the hooks had anything to do with it. I didn’t request that alteration and wouldn’t have if I knew it affected the band fit. If it were a UK or US retailer, I would return it.

      I thought the Victoria with the eyelash lace still had the ribbon, but also had lace over it? Anyway, I am okay with the cup being closed on top. I think it’s more my asymmetry that can give me issues. I used to be FoT, but I’m not any more.

      So I actually like the idea of 4×2 or 4×3. I guess I should specify in my next order and, in that case, go with the 70.

      I hope your new order fits!

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  3. Maybe Victoria in 65HH came with 4×3 by default?, I know that 60H come with regular 2 hook rows, but maybe some sizes come with more rows, the photo in the site I think that shows 3 rows of hooks.

    Yes, the original Victoria have a ribbon at the border but is more thin and over the ribbon is the eyelash, which in my bra is very subtle, like 1cm of eyelash over the cups.

    I hope this time I have ordered my size right!

    By the way, of all my five Comexim bras, Victoria is one of the smallest.

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