I’ve been doing some highly un-glamorous (mostly by coach) globetrotting the past few weeks which has, sadly, left me no time for lingerie shopping! Thankfully, before I went I made an order from the Asos sale and three new sets were waiting for me on my return. Since Asos offer free worldwide delivery and free returns but rarely sell 28 backs, I usually use them to gauge the fit of new styles but return most of what I buy. This time I tried two Miss Mandalay sets and one Gossard set and I ended up surprising myself by keeping one of the three.
The Miss Mandalay Vava is a lightly padded half cup bra. The cup is made up of two pieces joined by a vertical seam and I was hoping this would give me a good rounded shape. It’s available in three colours of leopard print: traditional brown, green and grey. The green and grey are exclusive to Bravissimo, selling for £35, while the brown is £42, which I think is a little steep. This bra was on sale at Asos and I paid a much more reasonable £21, with the matching shorts down from £26 to £13. The bra is available in sizes 28-38 D-H, with 28-36HH also available from Bravissimo. The matching thong or shorts come in sizes XS to XL. The bra has semi-adjustable straps and two hooks in all sizes.
I find leopard print can often look tacky, but this bra certainly doesn’t. The pattern is muted and looks quite classy, finished off with a rosebud and bow in the centre and a small chiffon ruffle along the band. The matching brief is similar in style but sheer. The fabric of the bra is a soft microfibre that’s sure not to irritate.
I find Miss Mandalay comes up small in the cup, and I wear a 28G in the unpadded styles (I am a 28FF/28G depending on the bra). I ordered the 30FF in this style and it was an OK fit – a little bit small but not enough that I’d want to go up a cup size. As usual, the band was snug and I felt my 25″ underbust would have been quite at home in the 28. The knickers fit well in XS (please ignore the muffin-top look in the picture above – my hips just go in there for some reason so everything which sits there looks like it’s too small!).
I wasn’t overly impressed with the shape I got from this bra. It was quite rounded but I didn’t get any lift. I also had a bit of an east-west look going on (which I didn’t manage to photograph).
It’s a comfortable and pretty bra, and a good way to try out leopard print if you’re not sure you’re a fan. However, I feel like the full-bust engineering you get with my favourite half cups, like the CK Thrill Me and the Masquerade Rhea, was lacking here. At £42 it’s also quite a bit more expensive than the Thrill Me or Rhea, and for me it wouldn’t have been worth the extra cost.