The Yellow Bra!

Panache Cleo Marcie Balconette Bra

Ever since seeing Lena Dunham in that bold, unashamed yellow Zac Posen dress I have entered a phase of intense yellow craving. Despite my vampire pale complexion I suddenly decided I desperately need that yellow dress as well as some bright yellow sunglasses, a yellow backpack and of course yellow oxford shoes. With heart full of sorrow I have to admit to currently owning none of these.

You can therefore imagine my excitement when I saw the SS14 preview for Cleo, a brand I have previously somehow… omitted. Not on purpose, it had a bit to do with my disappointment with Freya (which I would consider the equivalent of Cleo in the Eveden world) and their poor fabrics, as well as with Cleo’s slightly too girly designs. However even overlooking the colour (which let me assure you is VERY DIFFICULT!), I am incredibly pleased with the fit and design of the bra and satisfied with the material. Continue reading

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The Ultimate Strapless by Wonderbra

Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless

1-Wonderbra While physics has always been an elusive subject for me, the many lessons on gravity provided ground for some serious doubt regarding the words strapless, well supported and my boobs in the same sentence. Hell, even paragraph!

IMGP9745 For a long time, even after my bra enlightenment (doesn’t make the gals any lighter though, does it..?!) I simply disregarded the strapless bra along with the strapless dress, narrow strapped dress or anything sleeveless really, in general. For my graduation however I began to hunt for this device, which should basically be able to defy the law of physics!

I devoured Cheryl’s brilliantly written IIYC post on different strapless bras and decided to purchase Panache Evie in the bridal (aka less boring) version. It ended up unused for the celebration itself but worked more or less okay (complete review here). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA While it didn’t bend any laws, it held well enough for me to keep looking. My second attempt, the Freya Taylor Strapless was a disaster – partially damaged by the shipping perhaps, it folded completely underneath the weight of my zeppelins!

Then a rumour began to spread through the community, after Wonderbra decided to expand the size range of the Ultimate Strapless up to a G cup. Some pretty impressive marketing behind that name, huh?

Construction, Design and Size Range

The construction of the bra seemed to prevent the disaster of the Taylor – not unlike a corset, the bra has plastic lining inside in the shape of fingers, holding up the bust. The plastic is sturdy, takes most of the weight and provides support and shape.

306_default_716 At the same time, as it is Wonderbra, it has some pretty impressive cleavage! The wide elastic band really works more as a strap holding the bra to your body rather than support – and is lined with silicone to minimize the bra slipping down your ribcage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I was not joking when I called it a device. It looks massive in the G cup and a little scary until you put it on. However the contraption works well and molds to the body so it is pretty much invisible under clothes.

It might be also useful to point out that unlike many strapless bras, this one doesn’t offer the option of convertible or classic attached straps – it is ultimately strapless.The bra now comes in 30-38 A-G, in three basic block colours (black, white, beige) and three lace colourways (black, creme and red).

Reviews

After reading many reviews on Figleaves, the review at B4J and FFFB’s post with commentary by Sophie Morgan, who is basically my size (and who sister-sized) I decided to take a chance on a strapless bra just outside of my size range. Many of the reviews on Figleaves suggest the band is extra tight. I would be cautious with stating this. The band is definitely not loose or stretchy however I would say it is fairly true to size. As I am now more in the 30H territory, I had to sister size quite far and purchased a 34G. The cup size is exactly true to size and fit well. To hold the weight properly I believe the band is made firm but I wouldn’t size up!

Fit

My first attempt was a fail as it was to be expected – the band was so loose it just slid down. I thought I would have to take the band in but then inspiration hit me like a Bludger! I combined the strapless with my What Katie Did corset to tighten the band and provide extra support in the back …and MAGIC HAPPENED!

The Zeppelins floated proudly, displaying my, ehm qualities and the whole ensemble was (while clashing in colours) very comfortable! As I had to upsize with the band due to cup limitations (G cup), I cannot comment on how well the band sits when sized properly, but for longer wear I believe many would appreciate the extra support of the corset which stops the bra from sliding down your ribcage. As I stated above, the cups are absolutely true to size and fit well. Unlike my other attempts, this combination provided great support and shape, which didn’t waver over time or with movement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Luckily my skin doesn’t have any problem with the silicone stripes – quite a few of the comments at B4J warned about the new silicone Wonderbra has been using recently!

Look Under Clothes

Curiously enough, the bra looks quite similar to Deco under clothes – smooth, round and upheld, perhaps a bit wider. When worn with the PUG Monica Dress for which it was originally purchased, it gives an option of ample cleavage without the “spilled boob look”.

Teamed with the corset, it supports me so well I might use it for options with straps where I need subtle cleavage, too. And finally, I can say hello to halter neck (so flattering for an hourglass figure), strapless dresses and sheer shoulder tops!

Overview

The Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless really lives up to its name. Luckily, when teamed with a corset it is available beyond the G cup advertised and basically becomes an overbust extension of the corset. While I cannot judge how well the bra works on its own when sized properly, with my What Katie Did under bust it was the very best strapless contraption that I have ever warn!

Have you tried the Ultimate Strapless? Does it work as well on its own? Have you experienced any marks from the silicon stripes? Let me know below!

Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless

Available in sizes 30-38 A-G

Retails at £34:00 for the plain and £36.00 for the lace bra

Panache Evie Bridal

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For my graduation I was hunting for a dress that would be a) big enough to fit my boobs, b) small enough in the waist for me to not look pregnant and c) not custom made as I assumed (correctly) I wouldn’t get that much use out of a full ball gown dress. Shockingly I did randomly find such dress, which (almost) fit all those criteria. All I needed was a strapless bra as the dress had very thin bejewelled straps. The thus the hunt began…

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Design & Construction

I strongly dislike the fact most strapless bras are incredibly plain and bordering on ugly. I was therefore happy to find the Bridal version of Evie by Panache. The colour of the bra is ivory rather than white, which gives the bra elegance and class. I can imagine it as perfect bridal lingerie set! You don’t want to feel embarrassed when you take off your wedding dress!

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The cups have a three-panel construction with the top section covered in flat lace. They are moulded from a stiff but comfy material, which doesn’t irritate the skin and feels very gentle and breathable. The bra also has silicon stripes running both on the upper and lower section of the bra, which should provide uplift and prevent slipping – they don’t seem to do much work though.

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The cut itself doesn’t offer much (if any) cleavage – the top of the cups is very flat and encapsulates each boob fully. The lack of arched cups (such as the Deco strapless) makes it therefore ideal for strapless dresses, as the bra won’t peek out. On the other hand the very (very) high centre gore will struggle with any sort of dipping cleavage. The bra feels high quality and well constructed with thoughtful details. There is a charming little bow with a tiny pearl adorning the centre gore and the lace is repeated on the band in the back.

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Although the bra is marketed as a strapless, it has detachable fully adjustable straps. They have the same ivory colour as the bra. For my taste they are a bit too simple (the bra is so precious they look a little out of place) but for the purpose of the bra being fully convertible they function very well!

Reviews

As Cheryl pointed out in her short review back when I had bought Evie, the bra has very mixed reviews. Some people find it offers very little support, others swear by it. Most reviews (as well as me) find it true to size. The band is firm, but not firm enough to size up! I find the moulded cups give my gals shape and constrict movement without flattening them down but don’t offer much uplift.

Further reviews:

http://www.beckybedbug.com/2013/06/review-panache-evie-bridal-lingerie.html

http://sophisticatedpair.com/blog/?p=1762

Fit

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Evie feels quite comfortable with the centre gore being slightly too high for me. The underwires are wide (as typical for Panache), very stiff but do not come up very high in the armpit area, which makes them comfy and practical for dresses. My main problem would be the lack of uplift – the bra looks beautiful and gives a nice rounded shape but doesn’t actually offer much support. My breasts are quite bottom heavy and soft – it is possible someone with more natural uplift would find this bra ideal. My shape also makes me feel like the bra is constantly sliding down my body a bit (even when it only does a tiny little tad). There is enough support in term of encapsulation but in my case the gals are nowhere near as supported as with a normal well-fitted bra.

The difference is best shown when I put the bra on with and without the detachable straps. The bra really sits much better WITH THE STRAPS, which sort of defeats the purpose of it being strapless – rather making it a great multi-way bra.

While one could argue this can be expected from a strapless in this size, my experience with the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless disputes such myth!

Look Under Clothes

While the cups are seamed, the bra looks sleek under clothes. The lace on top of the cup is flat and unless the material is very thin (like flimsy cotton or silk) in my experience it is never visible under clothes. The ivory works great for any sort of light colour over it (and even dark if you make sure it won’t peek out with a few stitches).

I have already mentioned the cut of the bra is perfect for dresses with classic flat strapless top section and doesn’t work with much cleavage. There is also quite a lot of forward projection, which means the bra doesn’t flatten (and therefore decrease) the space needed for the bust. In the convertible mode it can be applied for halter neck or one shoulder, which makes it very versatile!

Panties and the Rest

To match the set I purchased a brief in M. It sports the same lace and bow with a pearl as the bra and a little peekaboo in the back. It is very pretty and feels quite bridal. I found it ran a bit small (especially compared to Freya for example!) – I would have definitely preferred L. Panache also offers a thong and a basque with suspenders and plastic boning.

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Overview

The Evie Bridal bra was a first strapless in my size, which actually worked. Sort of. It goes up to a H cup and while it has a tight band, it comes true to size. It looks beautiful and extremely elegant. While I would probably not use it as a strapless again (the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless comes in a bridal crème option too), I do see it as a great a multi-way bra, which I do not have to feel embarrassed to (potentially) reveal.

Panache Evie Strapless Bridal

30-38 D-H

Retails at £35.00

 

 

 

 

Fauve Emmanuelle full cup

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From the years spent with my boobs (about a decade now), I learned they like to be supported and treated as individuals – that is they are not very fond of the monoboob I sported for most of my pre-enlightened teenage years. It goes beyond bad fitting though. Especially with a heavier top over, some of the Marie Antoinette cuts such as Tease me by Curvy Kate or my favourite Fauve Coco half cup can look a bit wider and shapeless even when fitted perfectly. The Emmanuelle full cup is the very opposite. It is a purple/bronze/dark salmon (is that even a colour?!) on black – to name just the combination I personally own –  testimony to the fact that full cup bras can be stunning and practical as they set the boobs apart, creating a clear, slim silhouette.

Shape

Fauve’s staple bra has two forms – a half cup going up to a G cup which I haven’t tried as of yet and a full cup up to GG, which has come to be my everyday bra. It is comfortable yet firm, contains the breast tissue everywhere and still looks fabulous, classy and far from boring. Its magic for me lies in the forward projection of the full cup cut – not entirely rounded but just projected enough to create the 50’s look under clothes; two boobs rather than a shelf. Unlike some other pointy bras (especially Freya in my experience) however, the solid material makes the shape still very natural.

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The bra itself consists of two firm panels and a non-stretchy top lace panel, with eye catching, (absolutely flat) embroidery over the whole cup. The firmness of the material as well as the fact it does not create any bulging under even the thinnest fabric makes it a perfect everyday, t-shirt bra! It does not have any further reinforced support in the elastic side panels but I have never felt anything but fully supported in this bra. One more point worth making, especially considering the price of the bra (retails at £54) – the band definitely does not stretch out much over time! On my older one, heavily worn for over 4 years (which I must admit I still wear), the band is still very firm, on the newer one even more so!

Fit

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With Fauve in general I find their cups a teeny weeny bit more generous than Freya. I own all my Emmanuelles in 30GG (rather than H). The band is true to size, quite firm and not particularly stretchy. While the straps are not exactly fully adjustable, their front slightly decorated part can be easily adjusted if needed. The central gore is medium high with the underwires sitting right next to each other (with a barely fitting central bow). This helps with forward rather than east west projection but might be uncomfortable for someone with a wider set bust. I feel the forward projection, lack of complete “globes” shape and clear separation (again helped by the very slightly pointy shape) cuts a much slimmer figure on me. At the same time, it is a warning for everyone who desires the perfect roundness of Deco! As I have mentioned, the bra is extremely good at containing all the flash (I have used it for sports as well – don’t hit me!) due to its high wings, which is another thing to keep in mind as for some people it can rub uncomfortably in the armpit area. However the fabric is firm yet soft so although it comes up fairly high on me too I have never experienced any problems with it.

Design

Although Fauve Emanuelle was my very first absolutely well fitting bra, being a 22-year-old young woman I do at times find myself a bit unsure with full cups. Are they attractive? I have been given a fair amount of cleavage – do I just want to hide it? Shouldn’t I like my own body enough to display my…assets with pride? I have come to view the full cup Emmanuelle as an endlessly practical yet beautiful choice. The art nouveau embroidery is gorgeous and while I am not entranced by all of the colourways (pink lipstick anyone?!?!), the absolute majority is simply stunning. The design is in fact quite simple, but sports little details such as a grown up “no shit” bow (never thought I would describe a bow like that!) or straps which are wide enough to offer comfortable support yet with a line in the middle making them optically slimmer. In the matching panties department I have tried a brief and a short (the latter being my preferred option due to less ruffling), but there is a thong available as well, always with the same striking embroidery on the front and delicate background colour material on the back.

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Emmanuelle has been a best seller for Fauve over the last few years and has come out in many colours. The last – the sunset (aka dark salmon in my colourbook) on black – is in stores at the moment, with the previous collections available on ebay and many on-line retailer sites in both full price and on discounts. As it is possibly my most favourite bra, I believe this review was to be written “now or never”. In SS14 season, it will be substituted by a very similarly cut Lavinia – from the pictures I assume the only tweak will be in the embroidery, which looks a bit more baroque/medieval to me.

 

Overview 

As I have been informed by Mr Fringster, Emmanuelle is not really a particularly sexy or playful bra (as it doesn’t really show or tease); rather it is classy, grown up, with a strong, independent woman feel to it. It is a bra you can trust in all situations – under clothes, without clothes on, when running for a bus, in a business meeting or simply on a day about.