I’ve been meaning to get round to this review for quite a while, and it’s a bit less relevant now it’s been so long as I ordered all these items in the summer sale, but I’m sharing my thoughts here anyway. Unfortunately Bravissimo seem to be fast removing 28 bands from their collections, nightwear in particular, so if you like their nightwear and you need a 28, you may want to snap up some of the older styles from the website or places like eBay before they’re gone forever.
I tried four styles in a 28F-G, which in theory should fit a 28F, 28FF or 28G. This multi sizing means it’s unlikely that the integral soft bra will fit perfectly, but as it’s nightwear this is less important and it’s designed to be supportive for the full range of cup sizes. As I’m on the upper end of the range, I expected to have some trouble with the sizing.
First up is the Moulin Rose Nightdress, which matches the Moulin Rose bra. Full price this was £45, but I paid £22.50 in the sale, and at the time of writing it’s still available at this price in a number of sizes (including all the 28 backs).
||The bra section
||Tricksy buttons at the back
This was worse than I ever imagined it could be. Many of the reviews mentioned the buttons at the back and how they made the nightdress very difficult to get on. This was completely true, and the worst thing about it was that there was no way of getting it on without undoing them! Even if you had a partner to help you out (and let’s face it, who wants nightwear they can only get into with someone else’s help?) the buttons are still very difficult to undo.
Once I actually had it on, it was too small in the bust and too large in the body. It was incredibly unflattering. I can only imagine that the model on the website was mercilessly pinned into it as she looks great! I’m always suspicious of this when the back view isn’t shown. Additional to the cups being too small, the band was extremely loose and provided no support. It really offered no advantages over a regular nightdress to me.
In terms of appearance, I found the colour to be quite odd and it didn’t suit me at all. As a serial pink-hater I wasn’t a fan of the velvet ribbon trim under the bust, and I didn’t feel it really went with the pale appearance of the rest of the nightdress. The final nail in the coffin was the quality, which felt very poor. This is backed up in some of the reviews on the Bravissimo website.
Next up is the Berry Lace Nightdress, originally £38 and reduced to £26 in the sale. All 28 backs are still available at the time of writing, but no others. This nightdress has reappeared in a gorgeous purpley-blue and also in black this season, but starting at a 30 back.
I liked this nightdress a lot better than the previous one. It had some definition at the waist, and whilst it was still a little too large for me (which is fair enough, I don’t exactly fit into the size range) it showed off my shape much better. Some might not be a fan of the jersey used, as it’s quite clingy, but it’s very soft and comfortable to wear.
My problem with this one was in the bust. It wasn’t a bad fit overall, but the seams across the chest (seen in the middle picture) cut in to create a weird lumpy shape. I’m not sure if this would have been fixed by going up a bust size - I suspect not as I didn’t feel like lack of space was an issue overall – or whether it would have softened up in the wash. Overall, I was happy enough to consider keeping this one as it was so comfy, but I was dissuaded by the pink-y tone to it. If the new colours this season had come in a 28, I definitely would have purchased the purpley-blue one.
I had high hopes for the Blue Satin Nightdress as the colours were more like my usual palette, and the lace detailing over the bust looked really classy online. Originally £45, this was £22.50 in the sale and at the time of writing is still available in 28D-E, 28 & 30GG-H.
Unfortunately it shared the shape of the Moulin Rose nightdress and was far too large for me overall. The bust shape on this was slightly better, but on me the lace detailing finished on the bust rather than under, contributing to the poor shape. I also couldn’t shorten the straps enough to feel well supported, so it felt more like it was just covering me. However, it did avoid the pointy shape the other two nightdresses gave me, so it had potential.
The quality also looked poor on this considering the high starting price (£45). I was hardly expecting it to turn up wrinkle-free, but it was so creased I got the impression it would spend most of its life looking this way. I appreciate this is the kind of nightwear you’d expect to take a bit more care of than your £5 Primark sets, but I hate ironing at the best of times!
Finally, the one success of my nightwear adventures, the Black Capped Sleeve Top. Only the 28D-E is still in stock in the black, but the pink has all the 28 backs still available for £22, down from £30. A top in what appears to be the same style (I haven’t tried it) made it into the new nightwear collection in basic black and white – available in a 28 back, huzzah!
Apologies for the filthy mirror in these shots! This top fit me wonderfully – the band was actually pretty tight and the body fit me really nicely without showing all my lumps and bumps. The low back is my favourite thing about it and it was a nice surprise as Bravissimo rarely show you any pictures of the back of their nightwear.
As seems to be the case more often than not in the soft nightwear cups, I got a pretty pointy shape, but this has softened up somewhat with wear. It’s not a massively big issue for me anyway, as it’s preferable to the no bra look. The cups on this were a bit small, and my boobs were smooshed together in the middle. It’s pretty hard to avoid this without an underwire, but it means these tops aren’t great for wearing in the summer. Adding to this is the nylon fabric, which isn’t exactly breathable and is the only real downside of the top for me. It’s a shame the bra section is made like this, as the rest of the fabric is soft and breathable. The top left edge of the bra cups also makes me a bit itchy, presumably because of the nylon, no matter what I wash it in.
I get the most wear out of this top as loungewear. It looks like a nice little top, not pyjamas, so I feel happy walking round the house (I share with three other ladies) in it on a lazy Sunday, or in the evenings when I want to get out of my bra. Generally I prefer not to sleep in anything restrictive, so this top is exactly what I was looking for. In time I think I’ll need to tighten the band, but I’m happy with it at the moment as I don’t want this top as tight as I’d wear a bra.
Overall, I don’t think Bravissimo nightwear is really for me. I feel a lot of it is overpriced for what it is, but their attempt to make something sexy and supportive will appeal to a lot of fuller-busted ladies. It’s also good to see something like this with an actual soft-cup bra integrated, as many retailers put in an elastic ‘shelf’ which provides only light support for smaller busts. Of course, many women (myself included) prefer to sleep without a bra, regardless of their size, and I think this is an issue where comfort really is paramount. For those who really need the support (especially those above an H cup, which is the largest size Bravissimo offer), finding a well-fitting soft cup bra, or using a very comfy old bra, may be a better option.