This review is for the Chantelle Rive Gauche T-back Spacer Bra 70D, colour Cappuccino.
This was an impulse buy. I don't think I'd ever even have considered buying this bra had it not been for the fact that all my other bras (minus the lovely Rhea) are impossibly uncomfortable at the moment. The reason is that it's simply not my style: narrowly placed straps and racer backs make my already wide shoulders appear even wider. They're also not ideal for the wide-necked shirts I like to wear. Furthermore, higher centre gores and more horizontally cut cup edges (half cups) work better for my shape and give me a ... more fitting cleavage than deep plunges like this. Furthermore, this 70D should technically be too loose in the band, is slightly too small in the cup, and also in other respects is not a perfect fit. And yet I bought two ...
A front closing plunging racer back design with plain and seamless, soft, very slightly stretchy cups made out of ultralight foam-like 'spacer' knit. The back is made out of a super soft stretch lace backed with soft, sheer, stretch mesh. The thin, smooth straps are embellished with a contrasting running stitch detail. Silver coloured findings and front closing clasp with Chantelle logo. Small silver coloured tag on the right bottom side with Chantelle brand name. The whole appearance is simultaneously plain, somewhat utilitarian, yet somehow delicate, feminine and fresh as well -- in my opinion a successful yet difficult to describe blend, really.
This is my first experience with 'spacer' knit and like Vee ('boobies in clouds') I can only sing its praises. It's really quite miraculous stuff: super soft, ultralight and slightly stretchy, but at the same remarkably supportive. It gives a flattering, smooth shape without feeling bulky or stiff. Nipples might show through very slightly. I'm quite smitten with the stuff and I'll definitely stay on the lookout for more in this material.
I measure 27" underbust (tightly) so for all practical purposes I have no business donning a 70 band. I tried a Rive Gauche three-part cup some time ago and I was positively swimming in that band so I did not expect this one to come even close, especially since it's a non-adjustable front closing design. Truth be told, this band IS a tiny bit loose on me, but to my surprise it fits MUCH closer than any other 70 band I've tried and it doesn't noticeably ride up. It's not ideal (please please please expand your size range, Chantelle!), but it stays in place with wear and is definitely good enough for the 'around the house' purpose I had in mind and to cover for those days I simply cannot wear any other bra.
The cups are maybe (half?) a cup size too small, but the material is so forgiving that it's almost impossible to quadboob in this thing. The little bit there is on my larger side is not noticeable under clothes. A bigger problem is the 'centre gore', or what to call it: I have space between my breasts, but the cups on this bra are ever so slightly too far apart even for me. It doesn't help that the gore is very low either as my breasts like to spill towards the centre. The wires are the correct width for my shape, but in combination with the low, wide centre gore they do not quite enclose my breasts as they should at the centre front. Due to my breast size fluctuating throughout the day and the (too) loose band this part actually seems to float a bit occasionally but as nothing actually pinches or hurts I'm not too bothered by that. On 'fuller' moments I also get a bit 'orange-in-a-glass'. Again, this does not cause any discomfort so I'm not bothered by it.
Usually with cups that come up this high towards the straps I don't quite fill them out towards the top. However, this doesn't seem too much of an issue with this bra. IF there even is excess space there, thanks to the forgiving material it really is not noticeable. The armhole is slightly tight though -- it's simply cut too straight -- for my short upper torso and high-on-chest breasts, which is something I might try and change if I finds it bothers me more than it should.
The shape this bra gives me is actually quite good. It's nothing compared to the super rounded and lifted 'Regency' cleavage my beloved Rhea gives me but it's a separated, understated, and natural look that's perfect for 'around the house' and even though it's ever so slightly East-West it's not unflattering on my frame. Instead of 'up and out' this bra keeps my breasts close to my chest and more how and where they are naturally. The best thing, however, is that it really makes my breasts appear nice and round and anything but pointy which is one of their natural features I'm none too keen on. And the cups are just so soft! I keep touching them, because they just feel yummy!
For me this bra is a typical case of comfort over style -- or even fit. I would have liked to try it in 70E/32DD (how does the Chantelle sizing go?), but that size wasn't available and I'm thinking it would not solve the issues I have in this size: I personally think that the biggest problem is the centre gore, in combination with the deep plunge cut, which simply isn't ideal for my shape. Had the gore been narrower and the wires higher (and the band smaller ... 65E/30DD or 65F/30E might have been 'perfect' as far as it's possible for me to achieve perfection in this cut) this bra might have just as well been designed for me. Despite it's imperfections it felt so immensely comfortable that I had already decided to get it anyway when luck struck: it was on discount, 50% off! So I bought two and can now enjoy a bit of 'around the house' decadence in both Cappuccino and Black https://d28qt14g3opchh.cloudfront.net/smileys/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" />
I'm definitely going to try other Chantelle models as well. I've been in love with demi's like the Rive Gauche and C-Chic Sexy for some time already and now that I've first hand experienced the quality, comfort and shape of this bra I'll willingly take a too large band. If necessary I can always alter it down.
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Updated on Feb 03, 2013 Flag this