Please keep in mind that this is a very experimentally designed bra and many of the standard bra fitting rules seem a but bent in order to understand how it was expected to work.
In depth analysis of the Braologie bra
A little while a go Braologie, a new company in the bra manufacturing market, contacted me and asked if I would test their products.
It was after this heated debate in the fitting section (yes, I know how funny this sounds) where I disagreed with some points they were making and they were determined to prove me wrong.
I didn't agree with their claim that breasts should be pushed as high up and together as possible and remain concentrated on chest.
In other words, Braologie claimed that only the green shape gives proper support to breasts, and any other shape would in the long run still cause sagging, whilst the green shape in the long run will cause the least damage to the breast tissue and prevent sagging.
Even if this were true (and I had to admit it does sound logical that pushing boobs as high up would in the long run do a better job than keeping them halfway to the ground), I didn't think it was humanly possible to lift my boobs so high up and keep them concentrated on my small frame. I wear 28J-30K depending on the brand, and if they managed to do that I would probably be suffocated by my very own breasts. I mean a push-up in my size? Come one. Still, they wanted to try and so did I.
The other issue we disagreed about were the gores. After our discussion I went thoroughly through their web site and objected that even in the illustrations their center gores were sitting on the breast tissue – which is, as you all know, a sign of an ill fitting bra. I argued that this could, in the long run, possibly cause even more damage to the breast tissue than letting boobs get saggy.
They were very confident about their product and stated that their bra could cause no such thing and added that it was constructed to improve posture and keep boobs healthy and happy. I had to see from myself. I filled out their form, sent them my pictures fully clothed and in 30J Panache Jasmine.
They were very polite and helpful and I was pleased with the results – Braologie's team found my Jasmine to be one of the best fitting bras they got to analyze. However they said that Jasmine was allowing too much tissue going outside my frame (sagging alert!) and that I should be in a wider band with more coverage under arms to prevent back fluff bulges, or as they called it – my back becoming wider above the band. With the wider band I definitely agreed with.
And then came the Braologie bra… It was WAY too small, but I am so impressed with the construction, support and comfort of the bra that this will turn out to be a very looong review and I will get very technical on your lovely little derrières.
The vertical boning
This thing is almost like a hybrid between a corset and a bra. Boning is everywhere but it's light and very flexible so you don't even feel it while wearing a bra.
If you look closely, you will find vertical boning in three places:
- The usual side boning seam on the side wings, where the band starts under your arm
- In the vertical seam across the cups. You can only feel it with your fingers, it disappears behind the lace and it's on the front of the cup so your boobs would never know it
- In the removable padding – it really pushes and holds the boob up and there's no chance of the cup collapsing near the wires effect some of us have experienced with molded or padded bras.
The side support
You will also find horizontal boning, the most impressive part of the bra, the most innovative way of creating side support.
Now, side support panels or 4-cup bras have been around for some time now – the idea is to make the boobs go front and center, as opposed to having boobs under your armpits.
More and more bra models are coming out whit side support and I applaud for the effort – women who are into bra fitting are also a very picky bunch, and most of us despise the dreaded east-west look that makes us seem larger than we are.
The green shape that creates a smoother, sleeker and leaner silhouette from the front however is very hard to achieve with larger cup sizes. Even with side support it turns out to be somewhere between purple and green shape.
Andorra features something I would call a "side sling" – it's a piece of fabric attached in the inner part of the cup, at the side. It is there to prevent boobs going too east-west. It does push the boob ever so slightly to the center, but some of us have wider, deeper, more stubborn boobs that this kind of side support does nothing for.
The Jasmine on the other hand has built in side support – it's a 4 part cup and the panel attached to the strap also creates pushing in effect and this one will handle stubborn boobs way better than the sling.
Now, you can also get the greenish shape from some regular three part cups (hi Cleo), but just like on Jasmine, all the pushing in is created with outer part of the cup and the strap working together. This means that you will have to tighten the straps to get more lift and "pushing in" effect from the bra, which sort of goes against the whole straps should carry only 10% of the weight policy.
Now, what Braologie did with side support is just pure genius. First, they added side slings like on the Andorra, but placed outside the cup. This prevents the cutting in and bulging some women had with Andorras sling. The outside sling is also MUCH sturdier and frames both cups going even below them, creating the push up and push in effect at the same time.
They also added horizontal boning to the side support system. This means that the construction of a bra doesn't rely on straps pulling the side of the cup up and boobs in – boobs are directed inward with boning. You don't feel strain on your shoulders or strain in the cup fabric, it's the boning that is taking the beating while creating a perfect green shape. Yes, even in larger sizes. Work of a genius I tell you.
The wires and the floating gore
Now, as the whole construction of the bra is made to lift, push up and push in, wires don't do as much work as one would expect. They are what one could call flimsy, but wires don't really need to be any sturdier in this type of construction, so they don't feel like knight's armor, in fact, you almost can't feel them at all.
You can hear them if you listen hard enough though, squeaky little devils they are. They are also quite narrow, as one would expect from a bra that is designed to push the breasts in.
The center gore does not lay flat between breasts, not just because the bra is too small. It wasn't designed to lay flat. Now I've heard some brands make floating gores, but this is my first experience with them.
It made sense when I came to think about it - with a bra that pushes the boobs so close together any kind of gore except for this superlow floater would be pure torture. I must say I was a firm believer in gores laying flat, and in my case – the higher the better. Even though they are uncomfortable for my close set breasts, I felt they provided more stability. In this case, you don't need that sort of stability because the boobs aren't meant to be separated, so they give each other stability by leaning on each other. If that makes any sense.
The band was too big for me and stayed put only on the tightest set of hooks. That said, I wish all the bands were made like this and from this material. I think it's some sort of thick powernet, you know, that wonderful material the most compressive shapewear is made of. This means there will be no bulging anywhere, just a smooth back. Now, I would like even higher side wings from my dream bra, but this do just fine and I do appreciate 4 hook fastening, you really can feel the difference in stability. Five hooks with higher wings would be perfect, but as it is, it's best band I've tried so far.
Now, a special feature of the band is at the front, that added side support system going under the cups. This makes the band more stable under bust. And you know that annoying, if not painful feeling you get when a band curls up in front under the wires and sharp edges tear your skin so much so you'd like to rip the bra off and break free?
Well, the band also does curl up on this one, BUT only the added support part curls and somehow creates extra padding on the wires. So when the front of the band does curl up, it becomes even more comfortable!!! I know, it's sounds like I'm writing a letter from lalaland, but I swear it's mindblowingly comfortable. I was even thinking I could sleep in this bra but decided against it because I will give the bra away.
The straps are fully adjustable and identical to the straps of Panache Andorra in width. They are a bit thicker (but still unpadded) and less stretchy as well.
In my size, I would ideally want wider and padded straps, like the ones on Freya Antoinette or Ewa Michalak's comfort straps on Onyks and Lila, but fully adjustable. And while I'm dreaming, I would like the straps to be adjusted sliding from front to back, not back to front – because more often than not the plastic slider ends right on top of my shoulders or on the collar bone which is not exactly comfortable. But I digress…
However, the straps on the Braologie bra don't seem to be a problem, the whole bra construction is so supportive and lifting from the bottom that there is not much strain on the straps. The curve of the armhole and connection to the straps is in a centered place so this would be suitable for all of us having the "are too far apart" strap issue on so many bras. I think bra manufacturers could really learn from this construction – they've managed to give centered straps without compromising the lift and support.
Fit & Shape
As you can see, the bra is indecently small on me. My boyfriend, however, urged me to keep it. What is it with men and overspill? Excuse my French, what is it with men and Christina Hendricks Cleavage? The band was also too big on me.
Braologie's team was really surprised how off the fit was. They are now trying to figure out if my bras are really that much bigger than the ones they've sent me or if there's so much more tissue on the top when the boob is properly lifted. They are making me another bra.
BUT. The bra really did what they have said it would do: Pushed up, pushed in, lifted and concentrated. Tissue outside the frame next to none. I must say, I am a big fan of this shape from the front. I look at least 5 kg lighter. I wonder if this would be compromised in a bigger size?
Ignoring the overspill that takes the word quad boob to the next level, the shape from the side I wasn't so keen on. It does come off quite pointy. And as some of you have noticed in the Before/After pictures on the Braologie site, even in the right size it is somehow downward drooping pointy.
This is probably due to keeping the tissue that high up, it makes everyone look full on top and thus downward pointing.
But where does the pointy cup shape come from? At first I thought the boning in the vertical seam was to blame, but then I realized the deepest (pointiest) point of the cup isn't where the seam is, it’s a few centimeters more to the center, making the boobs even more centered and, well, pointy. As for myself, I could live with that less than perfect profile if I got that superb lift and no armpit boobage. If they can make it work in my size, and they said they'll try again and send me another bra.
And the cleavage… Braologie is an Asian company, and when I realized that I thought they were only out to create cleavage even on the smallest of boobies. Now that I've tried their products, I do believe it is not the goal, but merely a side effect of their bra fitting policy. They truly are firstly and mainly about PROPPER SUPPORT.
I do however think this sort of bra would probably work best in smaller sizes and with breasts more shallow than mine, or at least less full on top. But I am a challenge for any bra.
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to sleep in it. I kept searching for the wires with my fingers to make sure they were there, I couldn't feel any boning in the bra. The cup interior is lined with cotton, need I say more?
I thought all this smashing the boobs together would be uncomfortable. Actually I didn't mind it at all and I loved that there was no gore poking me. I grew so accustomed to that feeling that it became nomal for me. This is a revelation.
I do have to say, I would probably hate this bra in the summer. It's so heavy duty, and the mere thought of sweaty cleavage if off-putting to say the least.
What surprised me the most is that I couldn't feel any weight on my chest. And in my size, you can feel the Gravity working against you in anything, but with this one I felt like I left my boobs in my other bra.
So I did an experiment, you should try this at home too if you have heavy boobs. I putt on one of my Panache Jasmines and with my hands I slightly pushed the boobs in and up from the sides to make "the green shape, like Braologie bra does. I couldn't feel the weight of the breast anymore. IT IS all about the lift. And the lift should come FROM THE CUPS, not the band, not the wires and most certainly not the straps.
For this I would probably even accept the Bravissimo's Dotty Spot profile I hate so much, let alone Braologie's perky pointy close to the chest profile.
This is a heavy duty bra. The cups do seem smaller then they are because of the ingenious side support system, however the wide, comfortable band makes it – well, not so delicate. The combination of the black lace and the shiny powernet gives it a bit of glam, however up close you can see the lace is not of the expensive kind. But with the cleavage it creates, I doubt that anyone will be inspecting the lace.
That said, the lace does lay flat and it doesn't show much under tops AND no seams are visible because the lace is actually covering the seams! The only thing that can show in very clingy otfits is the side support seam, however, being on the side id doesn't draw too much attention. And! There is no way you would get the "headlights" situation in this heavily padded bra.
I desperately want this bra in the right size. It makes me feel like I have no boobs. Like the Enell sports, but with less compression. And it makes me look skinny. Room for improvement:
- Wider straps
- Rounder shape from the side
- A lighter version for the summer
Please check out the measurements and if you think it could fit you contact me through Bratabase as soon as possible. You only have to promise if it doesn't fit, you will GIVE IT AWAY to another Bratabase member that wants to give it a go.