After trying at least a dozen Fantasie unpadded styles, I decided to give some of their padded half cups a go. The Fantasie website recommends their padded half cups for people like me with asymmetry, but up until now I haven't been able to find one of these styles in my size on Amazon as it is my go-to source for trying out returnable bras. I found two padded half cups in my size on eBay though, and decided to just go for them. Marianna has been on my Amazon wishlist forever, so I was thrilled to find one in my size for a decent ... price, though it was listed as NWOT. Unfortunately, both of these styles were very poor fits on me and had similar issues.
Both Mae and Marianna's cups are constructed as 3HC and are the wrong shape for me, and the main problem is that the cups are designed to be very wide and somewhat outer-full. I found that both bras had wires that are short and narrow for the cups, but the cup fabric is very wide, so at least 1/2" of empty cup wraps under my armpit. While I have a lot of side tissue, the location of the underwire is simply ridiculous. The measurements of the two bras are very similar, and it appears that they share the same wires. My problem with these wires is that they are very hard, but they also flex too much horizontally, so when you wear the band snug, the wires become distorted and dig into the sternum and sides. The hardness of the wires prevents them from curving in to follow the ribcage. The wires on this particular bra are actually shaped too narrow despite having wide cups, so even though they flex out, they still pinch on both ends, and the skewing is so bad that the top of the gore tacks while the bottom floats. Unfortunately, the wires make both of these bras incredibly uncomfortable on me.
In addition, the lined cups are very soft and feel like they are made from batting rather than foam, as there is no shape or structure to the cup material. This means the cups are soft and flexible, but it means they are also too flexible. Unless you have plenty of tissue in that area, the straps will pull on the fabric at that point and cause a pull line to distort the cup. While Mae and Marianna measure very similarly, I found this problem to be much more obvious on Marianna than Mae, probably because Mae's cups feel more roomy on me. With the band worn snugly, Marianna's cups are actually a bit small on me despite the width issue. I am having a hard time figuring out what shape this suits, although you will need outer fullness and firm tissue to avoid the strap pulling issue.
This style's band is made from powermesh, and is less firm than Mae's stretch satin band, so it feels like the average Fantasie 30 band that is too large on me. There is a gentle leotard back so it should be easy enough to shorten the band. Although I prefer a truly snug band, any tighter would cause the wires to distort further, so you will want to be careful when selecting bands in this style.
In terms of styling, I thought this looked much prettier in pictures than it did in person. The color I had my eye on is Latte, the neutral with ivory lace. However, I have the silver colorway, which is actually a dark cool pewter grey. The body is made from silky microfiber, with ivory floral lace overlay on the cups and cradle. I think that a tonal color selection would have looked nicer than this color combination. The straps have a scalloped edge and no additional detailing at the front of the straps except tiny grey bows. The center gore is another bow with a small bezel diamante charm. A nice looking and elegant design, but not as luxe as I had imagined.
Based on my experiences with these two padded half cups, I think I'll be sticking with Fantasie's unlined styles from now on. Unfortunately due to the short cup height, I can't even "hack" these with foam pads as I usually can for bras that have fit issues.
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Updated on May 20, 2020 Flag this