I wrote a massive, and I do mean massive, review last night for this bra. I knew that my phone was low on battery power, so I plugged it into the backup battery I had. Little did I know that the backup battery was also low on juice, and I was nearly done with my review and my phone died. I was so engrossed with finishing the review, that I didn’t see the battery power begin declining once the backup was done. And everything was lost, as I had been typing in the site as I always do, but hadn’t thought about copying the text at “save points” in case something happened. So here I am again, trying to see what I can recall from last night.
Warning: this is going to be long. Like really really really long. For the tldr, skip way to the bottom. Like WAAAY to the bottom. Sorry...
This review begins with teenage Calluna, in the early 90s, shopping for bras at Victoria’s Secret with my bestie, as you did. I think that this may very well have been the peak, or start of the peak when VS was really popular with teenage girls. Like any and all 5’ tall 100 lb girls, I was put into a 34A/B (*snort* because you all know it is true). I remember having this beautiful white eyelet bra, one of my first underwire bras. I don’t know why I remember that one, but I do. I think that my friend might have also had the same, or she had really liked it. Anyway, I’d often complain about the straps slipping from my shoulders and would be told it was because I was so petite. Later I would be remeasured and told that I was a 32 band. Think that I listened? Ha ha, you’re right, I didn’t. I think that for me, the idea of a 34A/B seemed hugely normal for someone like me that was hugely abnormal in my eyes. I have a lazy eye for a start, and at the time, I’d already had 2 surgeries as a kid and my muscles grew and my eye would go out again. As mentioned, I was tiny. I still am tiny. And I look young. Nobody believes that I’m 44. I have size 4.5 feet that come with their own set of problems, my ears were huge and stuck out so much that my parents opted for me to have surgery, and I was very smart in class (except for math). Socially, a bit awkward too. I was so very abnormal on so many levels, that fitting what seemed to be a normal size was a comfort, so being told that I was not what I thought in my mind was normal went in and out of my ears so fast. At the time, I had very little knowledge about bras or even the social myths and misconceptions or anything about size.
I do recall that sometime after high school, I would submit and accept my 32 fate, and would you know it, my straps felt better and slipped less. I was still tightening them a lot.
At one point, I went on the pill, and every underwire bra irritated the crap out of me, and I lived in that kind of pullover lounge bra that had the wide elastic band at the bottom and was ribbed like a tank top on top. It was also VS. I eventually realized that I it looked crap under clothes and I was starting my first office job that was business casual and so I found some wireless bras that worked. I can’t recall if this is when I adopted the 32 bands or if it was pre pill, but that’s not important.
One day I realized that my 32C Chantelle wireless bra was not fitting anymore. I consulted with my best friend (different one from high school) because frankly, she has a much larger chest than I do, and we’re super close and have no TMI issues. I mean, we met in the IUD Divas group on live journal and discussed our insertions which were both the same day. So yeah, discussing the plastic T in your uterus is pretty open and revealing. She gave me so many resources. I learned about Fig Leaves, Bare Necessities, and Bravissimo, along with the basics of bra fitting via the sites and her. I ordered the first round of bras, took pics with my phone and emailed, and she suggested I try one size higher...32DD. That seemed to work, and I had two Fantastie bras and a Panache Tango Plunge which I ended up getting in a 32E. I actually have the two bras from Fantasie still, and I even have one in my bras here (Rimini), but mostly because I wanted to add data. I have not worn them a decade, but have put them on over the years as my weight has shifted and affected my size...I used them to gage size. I later got a Freya Pollyanna which I liked even more. I still have that too, and I used it for data here as well when I first started. I got rid of the Panache plunge, because gorgeous as it was being a Bravissimo exclusive colourway option, it was a love hate relationship. It took a while to readjust to wearing underwire...I weaned slowly. The Fantasie bras were more comfortable than the department store ones.
And thus began my long affair with 32DD and feeling like I was more educated on bras than the average person. At one point, I tried a t shirt bra at Gap Body after resisting them (I don’t remember why), and realized I was getting a nice shape, and while I still wore my Fantasies and Freya, I was beginning to realize that I had a bit of a pointy shape.
I started to wear molded cups, even with a few size fluctuations. I was now in Canada and La Senza was my go to, and once I sized out of the Cotton ones, I switched to the So Free Lightly Lined Balconette. I’ve had soo many of them over the last several years. At some point around 2014/2015, I am trying bras at the newly discovered specialist shop and told on more than one occasion that I should be wearing 30s, but of course you know that I resisted. Right? https://d28qt14g3opchh.cloudfront.net/smileys/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" /> I’d admitted that the 32s from La Senza were feeling a bit loose and stretched out fast, but 30s felt too tight and I didn’t want to use any extenders.
Flash forward to two years ago...October 2016. It’s our 20th wedding anniversary, and we’re headed to England. Our honeymoon was there, and it seemed only natural to go back for this. And you all know what this meant. BRAVISSIMO!!! My plan was to visit as many as I could. Screw the rest of the vacation, I wanted to go to Bra Mecca on pilgrimage.
Thanks for putting your stores close to Bravissimo stores so that hubby can be babysat while I try bras. Lol!
Anyway, I got to TWO different Bravissimo stores...Birmingham and Oxford Street (?) and had tried to get to more. At the Birmingham shop, I went in hoping to try a Freya Patsy Half Cup. Asked for a 32DD. Tried it and it was huge. Like, it was just ginormous! Everywhere. Seriously. Band and cups. I tried a 30E and 30DD...the former was gapping a bit, but the latter was too small. I wanted it so much but I was not having luck with the fit.
After trying on different bras and then explaining what I liked about the one I was wearing, I was brought a 30E Lepel Lilly. She had said that it was a stretchier band and people were sizing down which was why the 30E sister size. I really liked it...the shape was good, and I absolutely loved the bird print. I’m also a sucker for navy blue. The strap had a weird thing about it but it was discounted as a result, so then I called my hubby to come meet me to buy the set for me. Matching briefs, oh yeah! I was ecstatic and over the moon! For whatever reason, the 30 bands felt fine at this point. Maybe because they ran big? The Lilly was a little bit tight, but I was able to manage.
Later in the trip, at the other store, they had no 32DDs in anything I wanted, but as I was just scouting out sizes and fits of the bras and clothes for potential web orders back home, I opted to try a few 32Es. At first I thought that they were too large. And then I was reminded to swoop and scoop from the fitter, which I had not done in ages! Surprise! The 32Es fit. Well sorta. I had some shape issues going on (I’m looking at you Envy and Jasmine!) but this is when I fell in love with Marcie. Only I was pretty broke upon returning home after such an expensive trip, and I never had a chance to get it...I was relegated to only buying the La Senza ones on major clearance. But Marcie would pop in my head periodically.
I bet you are all wondering where this is all leading, but it is leading somewhere, I promise. I swear.
Flash forward to the beginning of the year, maaaaybe the tippy toe end of last year. I co-admin a group on Facebook thats focus is wavy hair (we’re the hair type that no one knows how to handle because it’s not straight, exhibits elements of curly hair, but isn’t inherently curly either). We often allow the occasional off topic post and someone was asking about bras and that opened up the rabbit hole and so many people commented. I think that she was looking for places to buy and suggestions. I think that it had 200-300 comments. Now at this point, I’ve been in 32DD mostly, and feeling like I was pretty educated on bras and sizes and fits. Only a bunch of really smart and intelligent ladies piped up and brought up things like A Bra That Fits, this site, Polish bras (say whaat?), breast shape, and so on. Suddenly, I felt very very dumb about bras and boobs.
After reading a ton of the links and guides and getting totally lost and confused even further from figuring out my breasts, lcl0706 came to my rescue. She helped me out and was soooooo instrumental in my learning and understanding what my breast shape was and what the characteristics were, as well as what I needed to look for in a bra that would fit. I’m hugely grateful for all her help answering my questions, often more than once. We determined that we were actually pretty close in size and shape, so that when she sold her crimson Ellace, she offered it to me first. In trying to figure out whether or not it would fit, she told me to get my best fitting bra and she taught me how to measure that bra over Facebook messenger as she was measuring the Ellace. We determined that it would probably fit and that it might be a little small so she included an extender. Anyway, along the way, she was suggesting that I try Polish bras because they had been her best fit. If I wanted basketball boobs and a molded cup, I really needed to go Polish to obtain the depth at the wire that I needed. What did I do? Naturally, as has been shown is my nature over decades, I was resistant! To be fair, it was a lot of unknowns on my end, and ordering cheap UK bras from Amazon was hitting the right buttons at the time, but spoiler alert: she was totally right about Ewas and Comexim being best for me. But in the meantime, I was working with the UK brands because they were more accessible to me, and less mysterious and unknown. Among one of the many discussions, she had said that the ones that fit her best (aside from Polish) was Curvy Kate Ellace and a few Cleos. She’d said that Cleo Lily was amazing and although it is discontinued, should I ever find it somewhere in my size, that I should snap it up, because it’s become one of the mythical unicorn bras. She thought it would give me a great shape and lift and so on the way it did for her. It’s everything that I needed and was looking for. I saw the reviews on her blog and I just about died when I saw the parrot print. I swooned! Well, try as I might, I could not find my size anywhere. I checked eBay regularly. At one point I found a 32E parrot print on braswap for a good price, but the band was super stretched out to over 32” iirc. So I passed on it with hopes of finding one a bit closer to my size. Nope nopity nope. I waited and watched and searched and mythical unicorn bra was indeed mythical unicorn bra.
Then I spotted this one, right here in the listings, for $3. Wait...what? What? Really? Now this was at the time when I was starting to fit my Marcie better from weight gain and although it was the same size, it was a smaller cup depth (9.4 vs 9.8), and I worried about it not fitting. I wavered back and forth on it but decided to go for it, with the hopes that maybe I could at least wear it for low tide...but I was still super concerned with it likely not fitting in high tide. I knew that I had to at least try it, and if it was not going to fit, I would not be out a lot of money. And thus, my first package from Norway was sent.
Fun fact: my aunt sent me my grandma’s cameo brooch on November 5th from Texas, and this was sent out from Norway a week later on the 12th, yet I received both the same day. 🤔
I was super happy to see it. Not only did it have a super adorable small glass jar of Formosa Dong Ting oolong tea, a favourite of hers, but the bubble gum ice cream blue and cotton candy pink brightened my day as it was cold, grey, and rainy, and the bra was like a ray of sunshine. You can see the little jar of tea in one of the pics. It smells so amazing, and I am going to have some soon...
Now we can get to the proper review...
My shape tends to be narrowish and tallish roots, though they are vertically shallow or deflated and therefore are functionally short. My tissue is soft and malleable, pendulous, center full and close set, and even to fob vertical fullness. I’m still learning about my shape and suspect that it’s slightly changed from the beginning of the year.
The shape of this bra is amazing. So round! The band feels great on the loosest hooks*, and the cup height is great on my shorter roots. I spill a little at the center, but that’s pretty consistent with my bras in general right now. The material is soft and light and although I would prefer the parrot print, this one is super fun. I don’t even mind that it is a little bit cutesy and girly. Straps are thin and comfortable, as is the gore, which I was also nervous about after my experience with Marcie, and the wires are just at the edge of too wide. I can do narrower with my soft tissue, but this is as best I can tolerate.
With all the excitement of this getting this bra, I definitely have a few quibbles with the fit. The first is cup depth. I was worried about it when I got it, and I was right to be. I’m getting a little bit of cutting in at the top on my larger breast, and to a lesser extent on my smaller side. Loosening the straps seems to have helped a bit, but I still have minor quad boobs and some in cup quadding. It’s not *too* bad, but it’s not perfect. I’m also getting wrinkles near the the gore. I’m guessing not enough depth at the gore. On one side I have wrinkles in the fabric from where it attaches to the straps. It’s definitely not a problem from the band being too loose;not enough wire tension, as I have the same thing if I use the tightest hooks. I’m guessing it’s expecting more tissue to fill it out than I have there, given the center fullness. I have been wearing the bra today for the first time, but *while I was totally comfortable with the band on the loosest hooks, I could feel the bra wanting to slide down my rib cage out of my IMF. I could feel the gap between wire and boob. I moved the hooks in one to the middle and I think that was ok. I think that the bra in general is designed for projected breasts, but that maybe it’s a size issue more than shape that’s making it artificially too shallow for me. That maybe it’s because my boobs are fighting for space at the apex and pushing it down the same way it does in my 65F SM Wrozka. Given the minor quadding, center gore wrinkles, and this, I wonder if the 30FF were to be a better fit (were I ever to come across more mythical unicorns).
I also wonder if this means that the 28G/30FF Lucy/Kali would fit based on this one. The 28FF/30F depth is about the same as this, and it is more closed in on top.
Anyway, I very much like the bra, but being honest, it’s got a few flaws with the fit. I’m sure that it’s going to be ok for now, as long as I don’t grow anymore or try to wear it in high tide. But for now, it’s minor fit issues and nothing is major. If I lose weight, it’s probably going to work better.
I’d love to have some feedback on this.
If you read this whole thing, comment with “cotton candy pink” 😂
Updated on Nov 28, 2018