Bravissimo’s latest Autumn/Winter collection has had me intrigued with quite a few interesting new styles. Since my last trip to Brav was quite a while ago, I decided to pop into store this weekend to try on a few of my favourite styles from the collection.
First up was the Panache Idina Moulded bra. I’ve seen the balconette version of this in store before, but it didn’t come in a 28 back and I’m not a big fan of unpadded bras so I passed it up, despite liking the design. The moulded version very much reminded me of my beloved but sadly no more PL Black from Ewa Michalak in terms of styling, so I was keen to try it out.
The 28G was a good fit on me – the same size I wear in the Masquerade Amor (the only other moulded style I’ve tried from Panache). I was pleasantly surprised by the wires – they weren’t horrendously wide (as I expect from Panache) and felt very wearable. The band was firm and felt comfortable on the second hook (bearing in mind my 26″ underbust measurement). The overall shape was rounded, but I felt like something odd happened at the top of the cup. The pictures below don’t capture it and it’s quite hard to describe, but I felt like there was just a bit of shape incompatibility at the top. It didn’t quite feel like overspill, but it didn’t feel like there was quite enough space at the top and the shape wasn’t quite there for me as a result. I think this problem could have been avoided with a slightly lower cut cup, which would have left the shape feeling more open at the top.
Looks-wise, it was very pretty and definitely one to consider if you’re looking for the smooth shape of a moulded cup but want something a bit prettier than your average t-shirt bra.
Next up was the Curvy Kate Flaunt. This is based on the traditional CK plunge shape seen in the Tempt Me and Wild bras, so I knew straight away it wasn’t going to be compatible with my shape. However, I absolutely adore anything peacock-related (or pavonine, if you will) so I had to try it out.
I asked to try on the 28GG in this style, as this is my best fit in the Tempt Me bra, and didn’t realise until after I’d tried it on that I’d actually been given the 28G. I actually quite enjoyed the fit of the 28G – the straps weren’t too wide-set (as is the case for me on the 28GG) and I got some excellent cleavage from it! The centre gore did not lie flat, however, as the cups were far too shallow for me. The band is also incredibly stretchy, and the 28 was too loose for me on the tightest hooks. I’m still almost certainly going to buy this bra though, because the design is just amazing. Since it’s so wildly impractical for me I’m tempted to go for the cleavage-tastic 28G.
Next up was the style I was most excited to try – the Satine basque. I’m a big fan of the Satine bra, as it’s so very comfortable on me. I like the plunge style as I find balconette wires uncomfortable due to my close-set shape, and the cups are cotton-lined so they’re great even on a hot summer’s day. My only complaint is that the band is a bit too loose for me in the 28, so I was worried this would leave the basque feeling too loose for me in the body.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover the basque was a really good fit for me on the second row of hooks. It definitely feels slightly tighter than the standard bra – for reference, my waist is 25.5″ at the moment. The basque has boning down the front and sides to help pull everything in, and I felt comfortable and supported by it. The Satine bra used to have an issue with the thin layer of padding not lying flat within the fabric on some of the bras, and I’m pleased to see that the issue appears to have been fixed on the basques (at least, I didn’t notice it on any that were out on the shop floor). An added feature that’s great to see on the basque is multiway straps, making the basque more versatile. The suspenders are also detachable.
The basque felt a good length on me, and I can see it working for a number of different heights as it’s not too long. However, I think women with a larger waist to high hip ratio than myself might struggle with the sizing, as it was snug on me all over. It’s also worth noting that the back sat quite low on me – although perhaps something that could be altered with a different strap length – and as a result I got a bit of back bulge at the top.
Overall I really liked the basque and probably would have bought it if I liked the pattern more than I did. It’s a subtle purpley-grey colour that looks different depending on the level of light so I can see it appealing to a lot of women, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s £59 price tag really made me feel like I needed to love it to buy it. In terms of sizing, I tried the 28G, which is the same size I wear in the Satine bra, and the fit was spot on. I hope Bravissimo will keep manufacturing this style in a 28 next season (unlike the Lola basque) as I’d snap it up in a heartbeat in a less fussy design.
The final item I tried was the new Cleo Marcie Babydoll. My initial desire to try this style faded when I saw the open back design and ultimately I was won over by the floatier Curvy Kate Lola more than the Cleo Marcie. However, I was still keen to try it out and thought I might as well while I was there.
I tried the babydoll in a 28G – the same size I know fits me in the Marcie bra. In general, I felt the fit was very similar but the cups ran a touch smaller than the red colourway from a couple of seasons ago. This felt to me like the difference black dye can make to bras and to me it didn’t feel enough different to need to size up. Some women have reported that it fits more like the turquoise colourway of the bra, but I haven’t tried this one so can’t comment. The back is firm, as in the bra, and you may need to size up if you’re between sizes or like a looser band. The rounded shape was the same as I’ve come to expect from the Marcie bra and overall I felt it was a very good fit. (The cups weren’t actually wrinkling as you see in the first photo – this was just from lifting my arm to take the photo.)
As I expected, I wasn’t particularly keen on the straighter style of the mesh section or the open back. However, the back does come completely open when you undo it, so it’s a good option if you have larger hips or worry about getting into this sort of garment. I also think the polka dots keep the babydoll feeling younger and more accessible than the Curvy Kate Lola, and it’s quite fun as well as sexy. Overall, it wasn’t one for me due to the firm wires used in the Marcie styles which I find dig in.
Overall, I’m really impressed with these new styles – it’s particularly great to see basques and babydolls becoming more mainstream in the fuller bust market. Have you tried any of these styles? Let me know what you thought in the comments!