April 13, 2017

Easter's Golden Egg: Waking Up With Venus' Darcy Set


What’s that? A break in the radio silence?  After being unemployed for two months and bill catch-up for the two months after that, I finally have a job where I don’t have to exist teetering on the edge of empty bank account five days after payday. I now can- and will- indulge in my vices with only minimal guilt.

Wondering about that extra tiny body up there in this very goofy set of photos?
One thing I find tough with lingerie reviews is the sheer diversity of body types – one person can tell me how something fits for them, but I often wish I could see sets on a wide selection of body types, like how Ewa Michelak does.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole crew willing to investigate and finance lingerie with me, aside from the lovely ladies of the internet, but I have recruited my bff into our first matching set. Hopefully one of many. And while these shots might not be my best work, it was definitely the most fun shoot I've had for the blog so far. 

So how did Darcy and I meet? Came across this set on Insta, felt immediate butterflies. Came across a discount code, begging ensued, it got ugly, and then everything got real cute. A month or so later, we welcomed Darcy into the family.

A pastel shaded skirted brief?? Fabric described as "wet-look"?? This set has a great balance of a few different elements - the cuteness of pink ruffles and lavender, the toughness and weight of the wet look, the comfort of the seamed bralette, the class of the high waist and rosettes  – bringing together one pretty solid aesthetic.  Plus, you know I’m a buttsucker for anything with rosettes.

All items were made according to my measurements done back in January. At the time I advised for the bralette that I was a 30GG, because I figured I would be by the time it got there.  I may have some qualms with this bralette in terms of fit but they are meek and meager in comparison to how cute and comfy it is. The lavender base is trimmed with the baby pink elastic around the edges, with pink stitching about the band. The straps are two strands of pink satin elastic, with sliding adjusters in the front. Personally I prefer to adjust in the rear, but I can’t hate on anyone for that. 

On the face of the bralette are two vertical seams to provide some lift and shape. These don’t do anything for me, since they’re really the only structural seam on the bra besides where the pieces are sewn together.  In fact, the top of the seam creates almost a corner, which pokes out. Luckily, the darling little rosette at the center top pokes out further as camoflouge. Mainly I don't understand the placement of these seams; they seem too close to the center to do anything. First I thought that was just on the size of mine, but upon viewing my pal's, hers are also awkwardly centered. 

The only real fit issue I have with this bralette is that I wish there were just a little bit more space in the cup. I've gone down in size a bit since January, which is the first time that happened without a knife and stitches involved. I've actually gotten quite into a new lifting routine, which was some of the inspiration for this shoot..if you want to call this visual product inspired. Anyways, the point being - there should be room enough for me in there. Unfortunately, after wearing for about ten minutes or so, I end up with a quad boob spilling out. Although in this case, I guess it's only a double boob, since bralettes give uniboob, and.......

The high waist ruffle brief is my favorite – but only in theory.  The brief is made of that wet-look fabric as well, basically meaning it’s a little heavier weight and has a sort of deep sheen to it. Lavender fabric makes up most of it, with the pink elastic around the legs, and one pleated ruffles attached to the waist. Being that they’re all the same fabric, the ruffles are a little weighty, but thick enough to hold their own without drooping. They’re sewn into pleats right along the waistband, which makes the band feel a little thick and heavy duty. Elastic runs around the interior of the waistband and leg holes as well.

For briefs that were also done to custom measurements, I was honestly a little disappointed by the fit of these. I have only lost weight since I ordered these, but they still fit pretty tight, and there’s nothing that kills ~feelin myself~ vibes more than a waist that cuts in and thighs bulging out. To be fair, they don’t look as tight as they feel, and I believe part of that feeling comes from the amount of fabric sewn into the waistband restricting how much give the elastic actually has. Espeically since the bralette band doesn’t feel nearly so stiff. However, these look a lot better than they feel. The ruffle helps to disguise any digging, and I think it’s mostly the pressure of the band I feel, as opposed to actual tightness. However, I can't wear these for more than a few hours without feeling pretty uncomfortable. 

As for the views of my tiny counterpart, here are the main highlights:
  • "10/10 bralette cute as fuck". The bralette is definitely both of our favorite parts. That little fuckin rosette is great when using as a layering piece, and it's overall very comfy.
  • "would never buy panties again". Where mine are borderline too small, hers allow for ample diaper booty. Not a deal breaker, but not ideal.
  • "already coming undone - and I handwash like an angel". After her first wear stitching on the front, right hand side of the waist started to unravel. 


For overall impressions of this set and this brand, I still feel pretty great about it. It's a very unique set, handmade, at unbeatable price point. Sometimes, I feel like my reviews come off as brutally harsh, and I don't mean them to at all! Small designers like these are great for broadening a collection when you don't have the big bucks to spend on a diverse collection.  Because, let's face it - you're not going to find anything this cute on the rack at Victoria's Secret. And I've suffered far worse discomfort for beauty. This set was well worth the funds and the short wait time.

Most of all, I look forward to what else comes from Lindsey and her brand! 

December 23, 2016

Comfy Christmas: Ohh Lulu 'True North' Set

December is almost at a close already, which is fine with me. It's my least favorite month second to January (because fuck cold) because fuck the cold. But December carries a lot of familial obligation with it, and family tends to lead a bitter taste in my mouth.  In fact I don't think I cared much for Christmas until my partner and I moved in together and I didn't have to go home for the holidays anymore. 
This particular December had both sides of the coin: I left my job as a bra fitter, which is bittersweet to say the least, and left myself without an income for the holidays - but without a lot of stress as well. As much as I miss my customers, educating folks on the truths and lies of lingerie, and having something to do a few days a week, I won't miss being undervalued in an environment that I have devoted myself to for the last year and a half. My best friend, who was also my manager, has moved into my house - that one is simply sweet, except for bathroom traffic. I also finished Gilmore Girls and the Office this month so...While I may not be paid, that was a lot like a job as well. And to save the best for last?? I gained a good ten pounds out of nowhere, despite all my gym efforts, and don't fit in to half of my bottoms, as if it isn't bad enough to outgrow my bras and button-down tops every six months. 
I wanted something really good for my Christmas lingerie; something comfy and maybe a little cutesy, something completely different from anything I have, but nothing too sexy or form-fitting since I'll hate myself in it and my shape will be changing soon. I don't remember how I stumbled across this - probably in a fog of Treeline cheese and pita chips and the Gilmore drama - but I wanted it as soon as I saw it.  Ohhh Lulu is a brand that I've looked at every few months for a few years now, and never died over anything...until now.  I love mesh as an accent to other patterns, almost as much as I love plaid. There's something so cozy chic about it, makes you wanna drink hot cocoa by the fire and knit something naughty. It's the first time I've squealed over lingerie in a while, I'm happy to admit. 

Naturally, being myself, I found this in December instead of in October, when I should have been searching for Christmas lingerie. Because all Ohhh Lulu items are handmade, I was worried it wouldn't come in time for Christmas. I messaged Sarah in a frenzy of brattiness, and she was kind enough to rush it for me. Far, far too kind, in fact, because I ended up getting it to me a full week before Christmas. I am eternally grateful, and so happy, because I had an opportunity to test-drive it and give it a wash before reviewing it. Spoiler alert: I've been test-driving it for like three days straight and it won't stop anytime soon. 

This set is handmade to my measurements and bra size and holy shit it shows. It straight-up feels like I'm wearing nothing in this set. The mesh is standard black, soft tight-knit mesh with great stretch, and the fabric is a soft jersey. (Was hoping for flannel underwear, not gonna lie #lumberjackhoe)


Check out those marks from my too-tight clothes! Nice! 
These briefs are a dream. I gave Sarah my measurements for my waist and hip, and she made these the perfect amount of tight to stay up, and loose enough to not cut in. A full mesh back with a plaid jersey piece in the front that goes through the gusset, lined with soft satin elastic. I'm not lying or exaggerating when I say I can't feel these when I'm wearing them - I want these in every pattern. 
Speaking of which, all these patterns are available for purchase in a separate Etsy shop, and although I haven't dusted off my sewing machine in a good year or three, this may be the perfect occasion to do so. 

After putting on this wire-free bra, I don't know why I've ever been wearing a wire. I guess for the shaping and support, but this is the best bra for being unemployed and laying around the house and leaving only for tiny errands. Although I've definitely worn this out for a whole day, and I don't care about jiggle anymore. 
This was made to my measurements as well and I can't say enough about how well this thing fits. My tissue fits in the cup perfectly, and because it's a flexible fabric I'm confident that I could probably make this work through at least a 30GG if not a 30H, since I'll probably get there within a year or two. The band is loose enough that it feels like it's floating off my body - in a good way - and snug enough that I get decent support without it riding up my back crazy far. The straps are satin elastic as well, and fully adjustable if I wanted to hike these puppies up real far.

The cup construction is sort of a three-part: one vertical seam straight up the middle, with a seam going between the mesh and the jersey. Really, shapewise, it's more of a two-part, with a sort of retro feel. There's also a seam in between the two cups for some separation, as the cups are somewhat pocketed. It doesn't give mush separation, but enough for me! A satin elastic lines the top of the bra, from back hook to back hook, cinching the top in and keeping it close to my body with enough softness that I don't spill out.  The band is an elastic with a soft lined inside, about half an inch wide, stitched all the way to the hooks in the back. I think the only thing I would change, if anything, would be to use a firmer elastic, but it would only be so I can wear this every day of my life in every situation. 

As far as the shape it gives, it's obviously nothing like a bra - but it gives me good enough lift and control to get through my day. It definitely lets me have more of my splayed, wide-set natural shape, but let's be real, I have no one to impress anymore.

I've only washed this set once so far, in cold water on the delicate cycle in a lingerie bag, but it doesn't show any wear whatsoever. I didn't expect it to, and honestly I hope nothing would be effected by just one wash. It looks just as good as new. And I'm so glad, because I intend on wearing it into the ground. 

Merry Holidays! Hopefully you will be as lucky to find something as good as me in this set underneath your tree this year. Or under your menorah? Or maybe even under your back porch. Rest easy, eat sweets and veggies, and pet your dogs.

December 14, 2016

Playtime: Scantilly's Unleash Set

It was a long journey that brought me and this set together, across an ocean (twice) and across two months' time. Finally, sometime in mid-November, Unleash made it to my door in the proper size. And now it's probably available in the US! Enjoy, fuckers. I've been hungering after this set since seeing the preview pix from tradeshows months ago. Pleather bra? Hello? Fuck me up. Half cup style? I'll fuck you up.  It's got buckles, rose gold buckles, and cut outs and mesh...maybe dreams could really come true.

Despite the fact that I'd heard Curvy Kate runs shallow, I went against my better judgement and ordered my typical size, 30G.  You may think my nipples are jumping out of this one, but you should have seen the G. It was like a quarter cup. I exchanged it for the 30GG, and the jury's still out on how I feel on it. Let's weight the pro's and con's.  
Pro's: Look at these tiddies. This bra gives such an amazing lift. I feel like a German beer maid dominatrix, with boobs to my chin. It's firm but flexible, and that buckle on the front? Actually adjustable! And unforgettably, it's fake leather, which agrees with me in any and all shapes of clothing. 
Con's: I truly can't find anything to wear this under. My areolas are visible maybe 60% of the time, and while my boobs are so beautiful in it, having highly accentuated breasts is harder for me to deal with than I thought, especially since they just...keep....growing....

The list wasn't helpful. Let's move on to the technicals. I would say this bra fits shallow for sure, and to size up one cup size at least, if you have any fullness on top. I had the pleasure of talking with a Curvy Kate rep a short while ago (and tried on so many samples ohhh my god I am dying for next season holy shit) and when we discussed this bra, he said that the look I have in in, the titty-bubble, soft pillow-top, almost X-rated look, is what they were going for with this style. It is supposed to be Renaissance Fair Maiden-esque. I wonder sometimes if I'd be happier in an H cup, but while I might be more covered, it would bring the wires way far back for one thing, and for another? That's just not what this is meant to be. 
On a personal note, I need everything Curvy Kate. That brand was made for these boobs. 
As far as comfort, be forwarned: the cup is soft on the inside and firm enough to hold well, but the beautiful landscape comes at the cost of very high wires on the side. The go almost straight into my armpit, pushing all that tissue forward for a beautiful visual. It has gotten more comfortable over time, as I can now wear it for more than four hours without screaming, but pretty hurts, right? And you don't buy a set like this for practicality. I found the band to run pretty true, maybe a touch on the loose side.
 
It wasn't just the bra I had to exchange. Originally I ordered the high waist brief in a Large, because while I'm usually more of a Medium, this soft body (especially lately) never minds having a little extra room.  Wrong choice. The Large was massive on my, almost baggy through-out, and with so much extra fabric around the hips that it was almost like wings.  They were cut for a truly curvy body. So if you're between sizes and don't have hips twice as wide as your waist, size down! Even in the Medium I have a little extra space, and my hips are almost nine inches wider than my waist. And this buckle is adjustable as well, so you can loosen up for extra space if you want it. 
The brief has a front panel of the fake leather, with the rest being black mesh. Around the waist is just a simple flat piece of elastic, not the softest but it does the job just fine. The mesh around the butt is double-layered, making it into an opaque, peache-esque shape, with a folded edge to avoid VPL. These undies go up my ass, but probably because the behind is still a little roomy for me.

 I feel like I've been selling myself this set as I've been writing this review and to be quite honest, it's working. When I first bought this set I think I wanted the wrong things out of it - I expected to be able to wear it all the time, ride it into the ground - that's just not what this set is ever going to be for me, especially being someone who isn't necessarily comfortable with having a full bust. This set is a pop-off-that-turtleneck, check out what's under this bathrobe, unwrap me under the Christmas tree, kind of thing. Maybe even good to wear a leash with.

October 25, 2016

Basics: Fantasie Grace Balcony

 Halloween is only six days ahead, and trust and believe I have the perfect set for it - it's in the UK as we speak, tied up in the middle of an exchange that I'm sure will span more than a month.  Oh, how I wish I could open a store that stocked all my favorite brands from around the world, so I wouldn't be at the hands of the world postal services when it came to trying things on. I'm sure I could have improvised something for the holiday, but the pain is crushing and it keeps me from improvising anything worth sharing. Instead, enjoy some autumnal tones. Who needs a Pagan holiday anyways?


Fantasie's Grace Balcony is not quite like any bra I've put on before, let alone any balcony style.  Balcony bras tend to have high wires in the center, as well as a cup that is mostly straight across the chest.  Apparently Fantasie isn't making a new balcony bras this upcoming season outside of a re-coloration of this, but from what I hear it used to be a staple style for them. One folks would go crazy for. And with the vintage-reminiscent style and amazing shape, I get that. This bra is completely outside of anything I'd normally wear, but I'm never looking back.


Grace is a simple cup with two main parts, one part swooping sateen fabric (with one seam running through) and the other lovely embroidered mesh.  That swooping part ain't no joke. It has no flex, pushing my meat so up and in it almost comes to a point - almost - and leaves me with some of the best side-support and lift I've seen in awhile. Fantasie is a brand that has wider wires, which means it works amazing for me.  However, wider wires generally mean less projection, so I was surprised to find something that has lift and control while still comfortably encasing my breast root. These wires are much taller than styles I more typically do, which bugged me the first few days I wore it. They pressed into my chest so hard a tiny bit of flesh hung over them. After a few days of breaking in, we all good. 
Some folks would probably hate the shape this bra gives. In fact, some do, and I've seen it - they hate the coverage, and the more coney shape. I actually find it pretty minimizing, since it pulls in from the side so much. It also spread the breasts apart a nice amount, with a gentle slope, which looks really nice under knits or bigger tops because of more breast definition. 
I got this in my now typical 30G, and find it to run true in both the cup and band. It is a touch on the shallow side, so if you're very full on top I'd probably size up to be safe.

The brief is a very classic, basic cut. Briefs aren't my favorite thing in the world, to be honest. They tend to look great in the front, and then horrendous in the back, and my dear Grace, you are no exception. I love the mesh lace on the hips, and where the rise hits me. However, flip me over, and it all goes to shit. Because my ass is less than ample, the back comes up high on me, and does nothing for my stupidly short torso. I'm also widest right above my hips, and anything that has a rise that caps that spare tire off does nothing but highlight it, turning my backside into one wide lumpy blackberry. This picture was the only rear I could deal with.
Despite my tirade for the back part, these briefs are actually one of my favorite pairs of panties right now. They're really soft and silky, and stay up without cutting in. I have these briefs in a Large, and I wouldn't have them any other way.
Maybe I'll have a change of heart and quit sulking in time for next Monday, or maybe the Post will do what it SHOULD and bring me my beautiful perfect Halloween set.  In the meantime, I'll be carving pumpkins and turning heads in this set. It's been in my regular rotation since I got it in September, and I'm so thrilled I tried something new.

September 5, 2016

Freya Fancies: A Two-Part Review

 The past two months have been a whirlwind in the lives of these new homeowners! We've been redoing our living room and discovering a lot of sweet, lazy little surprises the previous owners left behind. Such tasteless, negligent folks they were. For reference, check out this wall color! Just....to die for. However, the light up here is dreamy, and there's plenty of open space. So expect some green photos until we muster up the time and energy to change it.
My lingerie purchases have been along the same vein (lazy and convenient), especially since I have just tipped over the edge into a G cup. I'm pretty bummed on it. A lot of brands that expand to larger cup sizes stop around a G cup, from what I've seen; at least the lower cost ones do. I'm hoping I can stave off future growth. 

Padded half-cup styles are one of those styles I don't see super super often in the full-bust-small-band options above a G cup, so I'll probably be making the most of them this winter. Although I generally am not a fan of padding, the soft yet decisive lift that a they give allows me to make the most of my bust when not trying to hide it, and none of the bulkiness that I often feel within a padded t-shirt bra style. I've had a few over the past year, none of which fit me properly now, and loved the sensual, classy look they give. 
The Freya Fancies Longline is a padded half-cup style, along the lines of the Patsy longline of the past. I actually have a Patsy that I inherited over the past year, but one of these things is not like the other. I, along with a few others, have found that the Fancies does not offer me the same look that I've come to expect from a half-cup style. While it has great lift and the classic rounded shape, I expect a half-cup to give me a full-to-the-brim look, showcasing the goods in a perfectly presentational manner; this just seems to flatten the top of my breast down. 
I purchased this bra in a 30G, my usual size. My first instinct would be that perhaps the cup is a little roomy for me, that maybe I have not truly become the G I think I am? But through trial, I am sure that's not the case. So, then, perhaps this runs full? Perhaps. Although I find the wires are fitting me well, and I don't have any space in the cups. One of my pals has this in a 28GG and feels the same issue. I honestly think this may just be a bit more coverage than what I'm used to in some other half-cup styles. I feel that generally they cut straight across just a touch more instead of cutting across the breast at an angle, with the vertical seams coming up a little higher, and the top of the cup being a little narrower. It just seems like the apex of the cup sits lower than usual.
I'll leave it an unsolved mystery for now. 
As for fit, I have no complaints. I fill out the cup evenly, and the band feels like most Freya bands - just a touch on the loose side. This has five hooks, but only two rows, which is a bummer if this is a style you'd wear the shit out of. However, I find that pretty typical of most longline styles. Fully adjustable straps, as it should. 
I do wish that Freya would include some boning on the sides of their longlines, as Cleo does, because without it, anybody who has a soft body (hi!!!!!) will feel the joyous feeling of the longline part rolling straight up. When I wear this, in fact, it stays like that most of the day, because I can't be bothered to reach up and fix it every time I walk across a room. There is elastic around the bottom to try and help with this, which may work for folks with a longer torso. It has gotten better as I've broken it in some.
Even though I'm making it sound like I hate this bra, I don't!! It's really cute. I tried it on originally in black, and all of a sudden was ordering one for myself, but trying to branch out into more color. These pictures don't do the shade of red justice: it's a bright, almost organgy, screaming red, a really fun color that I think would flatter loads of people. The cup and band are laid over with floral lace of the same color in the front, giving it a more delicate classy flair, with a polka-dotted bow in the middle. The back of the bra is a classic red mesh. 
This fun lil thing is available up to an H cup! It's a fun piece of lingerie, and I don't yet regret it!

Fancies Bralette

The longline is part of a whole collection released by Freya, which includes a plnuge bra, a brazillian brief, a short, that longline, a chemise, and this bralette. It's about time bralettes exist for bigger busted ladies without being custom made! I've seen these puppies accommodate a 32J, so there's no limit to their power.
I wear a lot of Calvin Klein bralettes, because I'm into the whole athleisure thing that's big right now, and thus wasn't really in the market for a bralette when the Fancies came out. However, they sold out of my work the same day they came in, and were backordered for months, so....once I saw this Lime Punch color, I figured I'd give it a go. Anything in the realm of mustard yellow/baby poop green is something I can't help but jump on. 
These really are a piece of ingenious construction, and here's why: selective flexibility. While the mesh of the cups has a good amount of stretch to it, and can move with you, the band and the seam across the top of the cup don't have a whole lot of wiggle room. This means you can squeeze more into the cup while still maintaining decent support. Of course, this is no going-out bra support (not that that's stopped me), but it keeps you controlled well enough. It's great for laying around the house, which is one of my favorite pastimes. Also makes for a great sleeping bra. It's such a relief to have a bralette that doesn't snag on my piercing in the middle of the night. I'm also not above wearing it as a shirt over top of a bra. 
The cup is mesh, with one line of rouching in the middle that helps pull tissue in from the sides ever so slightly, and carries another polka-dotted bow. The fabric is lightly rouched along the band as well, where the fabric gets pulled into the seam, which gives tissue a little more direction than it often has in bralettes or compression-style bras. Lace comes across the top of the cup to conceal any spills and give a little extra daintiness and coverage. It also has a lace band bit attached to the band that comes down the torso. Usually things like this bug me, because they tend to roll up a lot (see: Longline), but because this has so much flex to it, it hangs just right down my soft lil bod. It's loose, even.


Straps are adjustable on this baby as well, which can give a little more control if you're the real deal small-band-big-cup kinda person. I saw a Small on a 28G the other day and she hated how baggy the lace was on her, even though she was teetering on popping out of the top. It's definitely not a solution for everybody, but it's a big step in the right direction for mass-produced lingerie. This bralette is available from a XS-XL. And I can go ahead and let ya'll know this coming out in so many good colors in the spring, many of which I'll probably snatch up in a spending fit.  
I own this in a Medium and it is both comfy, edgy, and just a lil bit dainty. 

I'm kind of into Freya having a collection of styles that are basics, but in a bunch of colors, if that makes sense. The frames they've picked for this collection are all pretty strong. I'll probably be trying that plunge out pretty soon, because word on the street is, my favorite color is on the horizon. Chemises are a current obsession of mine as well lately, so stay tuned! I may just review the whole goddamn thing. 

July 10, 2016

Chantelle's High Impact Sports Bra VS Panache's Underwire Sports Bra

A year ago this Independence Day, I was trouncing about a wedding weekend in patriotic lingerie. This year? I painted a bedroom and sat grumpy in a pair of VS Pink flag undies to take these pictures. Buying a house will change a gal. Wanton spending? Hobbies? Free time? Nope, nope, and nope. Between preparing this house into a home, working, and an internship, I feel like I haven't breathed in ages. Can we talk about this lighting though? I took these shots at sundown! Bless this house.
 Now, speaking of breathing: Exercise! Another friend I haven't had time for! Since this bra and I haven't been able to spend as much time together lately as I would like, I'm hoping to introduce it to some other folks. Meet Chantelle's Sports Bra. I'll go out on a limb and say I prefer this over the Panache Underwired Sports Bra, which is a huge fan favorite. I won't be doing a full comprehensive review of it, but you can find plenty out there--I would link some, but there are too many blogs to choose from. Work the Googles.
Underwire in a sports bra isn't essential, and while it may seem uncomfortable to some, I'll probably never go back. After experiencing running while pregnant wearing a compression bra, I finally felt what was happening, and had flashacks to the first moment of my budding pubescence where I realized I couldn't run without a bra on. Compression sports bras don't do much for you, and here's why: When you exercise with a compression bra on, especially one that you have too much tissue for(which is usually any tissue), your breasts bounce. Not only do they bounce, but the movement is in a figure eight, and as one breast unit. The uni-boob. We've all been there. That bouncing is painful, of course, but it's also doing long-term damage to the ligaments that help keep the breasts lifted. It moves like a rubber band with each bounce, and as time goes on, that elastic is going to run out. Bra-sized, full-support sports bras offer separation. And that separation is critical to keeping everything where it's supposed to be.  If you haven't gotten yourself a proper sports bra, I'd go get fitted for one stat. Especially if you're one of those fiends stacking sports bras and regular bras every time you exercise. 
~Anyways~

 Support:
Both the Chantelle and the Panache do a great job of support for medium-to-high-impact exercise.  The wires encapsulate the breast tissue fully, coming up under the arms as well as to the top of the gore. It's very important that this wire be as flat as possible on the sternum, to maintain that separation. This may be an issue for some who are more full in the center, but most who are in the size range should be fine. Panache's only edge here is it's extended size range (UK sizing): B-J cups, 28-38 bands. Chantelle (Euro sizing) serves: D-H cups, 30-42 bands.

Shape:
  While both give a really good, round, controlled, two-boob shape, one definitely lifts more than the other. Panache, as it does with most of it's bras, really lifts up from the bottom and brings in from the sides. The result is a perky, projected shape that flatters most, if not all.  While Chantelle definitely still lifts, the pull in from the sides and bottom is not as strong.  Personally, I'm not wearing my sports bra for gorgeous breast shape, so this doesn't bother me. 

Construction:
As can be seen, they both have about the same pattern. Foam-lined cups, with mesh in a wishbone shape, and a tall underwire. That wire is fully padded and encased, to prevent too much rub or dig. A solid, padded band runs underneath the wire, for added cushion and anchoring to the body. The fabric on the cups on both are more smooth and firm, although the cups on the Chantelle definitely have more flexibility.  Both feature wide, cushioned straps with an an adjustable j-hook option for those who want racerback. They also absorb stink at the same rate, and hold it an equally long time...ugh.
 Fit:
Where the greatest differences lie, naturally...The biggest difference in the fit of these should come as no surprise, if you're familiar with the two brands. If not? Read on.
Panache is a very firm brand in basically all of it's styles. As much as I love their designs, it's not a brand that works too well for me, simply because of the way their wires are shaped. Panache uses very firm wires in more of a tight U shape. This is great for forward projection! But not so great if your breast tissue expands more out to the sides, as mine do post-reduction. I have a very wide shape, so these wires can not only be a little uncomfy, but also make the cup feel small to me. I often have to size up in Panache. I have this bra in a 32F, but it's from last summer when I was more of a 30F (what a time to be alive!!!!), so spillage at the sides definitely occurs.
Chantelle uses wires of a thinner gauge, that are generally more flexible and comfortable for folks who can be more sensitive to the pressure of underwire. The shape of their wire has a much more open mouth, allowing it to encompass more tissue on me. I have two Chantelle's in 32G (which is the equivalent size to UK 32F). These wires also mean that I can still fit this bra pretty well, despite being more of a UK 30G now. 
Both bras run snug, as most sports bras I've encountered do, so I recommend sizing up in the band.  These 32 bands are killer to break in. Depending on breast shape, these bras can run a bit full, moreso with Panache than Chantelle. If your shape is anything but full all over, and after taking into account your breast shape versus the wire shape on each, I would perhaps size down in the cup. Better yet, try both.
Overall though, I prefer the Chantelle Sport because it just feels better for me. And of course, it feels better for me because it's a better fit for me; but I also prefer that flexibility, that less heavyweight battle armor feel that the Panache can have. My tits don't feel rock-hard fake in this sports bra. I can sacrifice a lil bit of forward projection for a lil bit of comfort, especially when it's for activities that make me wanna diiiiiie.
 
Sweat happy, dudes.

May 31, 2016

Basics: Tutti Rouge Fifi

I bought this bra entirely on accident. Any lingerie lover will understand. My partner and I were on our way back from a funeral out of town, and this shop (not being local to me) was on the way. I had seen this bra posted up on their Insta and wanted to stop by, just out of curiosity, to size up my work's competition, to see how they were doing....purely innocent....My partner stood outside with our dog while I "popped in real quick", and the second I saw this on the mannequin, I requested it. The sales gal put me in their fitting room with a 32F and a 30G. The second I had it on, the bra and I connected. We tried to pretend the spark wasn't there, and tried to pretend we wouldn't leave together. I tried on some other things out of curiosity, to distract myself. But in the end I obviously gave in.

A few things baffled me about this shopping experience. First, why was I not brought the 30FF, as requested? At first I thought Tutti went by a different size scheme, but a little sleuthing told me it did not. The 30G fits me pretty well, but as can be seen, it is a little too big in the cup for me, with the top of the cup flapping a bit in the breeze. Second, why?????? panties???? why???? The matching brief for this set is perfection, as I tried it on in both a Small and Large, only to find out I needed a Medium and they hadn't gotten any in shipment?? I left determined to track these down. Even on their website, they've got every size but Medium. Here I am, several months later, briefless and sad. So if anybody's got the hookup for the Fifi brief in Scarlet in a medium, hit a girl up. I'm dyin' here.

Okay, but like, I love this bra?? I got it back in February, and with a whirlwind of shit happening combined with wanting to do some thorough reviewing, this fell on the backburner. Also, forgive the pix, I did not take them, but I soon will be moving into a house that doesn't always look like it's raining even when it's sunny, and will be able to do much better.  I love this bra. Balconette styles with a strong vertical seam always make me happy, and toss a little side support in there? Fifi has a nice mesh side support sling that works hard. Some balconettes can give more of a, shall we say, presentational look to them I feel like, but Fifi gives such a some, quiet, round, yet flattering shape. In terms of fit, I'd say it fits maybe a little on the shallow side, since I can confidently get away with the 30G, and I seem to be hovering in between FF and G these days. It will probs fit me perfectly in like three months, if things keep on keepin on.
Just like me, Fifi is both hardworking and gorgeous. The cup is a red dotted mesh, with lace layered over at the top of the cup. I feel like the real perfection in this bra is in the details, like the yellow and leopard print bows, the heart shaped adjuster, and the little ruffle that runs along the band. With my round lil tummy, that ruffle doesn't usually show, since it gets bent upward to blend in with the bra. I actually wet and flattened it back down for these pictures. One day this summer, when all my body fat melts away, I'll be able to showcase all my ruffles.
So, I love this bra. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants something that looks a little different, a little edgy, without being a bra that makes your titties big and loud. I honestly find this bra to be almost minimizing. And can I just say, what a joy it is to be back in the breast size where the shape of the bra matters? I am just so, so thrilled.