The proviso is that this tale ends with a Poe-worthy twist (though one that may disappoint you).
The sub-story is that I bought 3 bras on Figleaves, one of which being the Plain, Beige bra that works. Once again I was charged 60 dollars by customs - because Figleaves feels compelled to ship in boxes that catch the eye. I did not receive any meaningful discount on any of these three bras - which cost me, to begin with, $150 CDN. That's on the high-end for online lingerie, that isn't high-end lingerie. By the time all was said and done, I'd paid $210 CDN for 3 bras, 2 of which were horrible (more to come on this) and have since been returned (at the cost of an additional 12 bucks). While I will get $100 refunded for the returned bras, I've basically spent $120 bucks on the world's most basic, beige bra. And, as you'll read momentarily, one which is readily found for 50 bucks online.
The upshot, my friends, is that I am done with Figleaves.
Please do not misunderstand, the company is entirely professional and correct. The client service is excellent. The stock is huge. If I lived in the UK, I'm sure my love would continue. But there is no benefit to me, with my considerable knowledge of online bra-sourcing, to pay top-dollar, shipping and then ridiculous customs. Yeah, I know that Customs finds you on occasion. But my odds with Figleaves (either because they have a lot of profile, or because of the boxes they use to ship) puts me - and I'd hazard to suggest the average Canadian purchaser - at a real disadvantage.
But moving on...
Here's what happened. I looked online and determined that the Fantasie Elodie and Vivienne might be solid options. (In the end, I don't know which of these was less suited to me. Both had textured fabric the likes of which you'd find on a sofa. The seams were outrageous by any standards. The colours were meh. The fit was fine except one of them (can't remember but I think it was the Vivienne) was only nominally supportive. They were both ugly. Interestingly, neither was basic enough that you could pair it with non-matched undies, without it seeming totally unmatched. In no universe would I wear either.)
Anyway, at the same time - for some bizarre reason I cannot explain - I felt compelled to reorder (for the 8000th time since it stopped fitting me) the original perfect plain, beige bra:
|Fantasie Smoothing Balconette (Style 4520)|
This bra is a challenge for many women because it requires a very specific sort of upper cup fullness (there being no seams though note that the fabric is not self-structured, it is floppy when unworn, like an unlined, seamed bra). Some women also feel that it doesn't provide enough side support.
Mind you, if it fits, it can be perfect because it really does disappear under all clothing and - despite the fact that I am totally unimpressed by the melon-round shape - it gives an awesome spherical look - and superior lift with support.
Well, I went back into my archives and realized that there was one potential size in which I hadn't yet ordered it - increased back size, increased cup size. (Note: While in the fall I was very much between cup sizes, at the moment I'm firmly into the larger of those two. And vis a vis band: While my back size seems to have gone down in many brands and styles, Fantasie definitely being one of them, this bra seems to fit quite firmly in the 32 band.)
People, this new size fit just about perfectly. Admittedly, when one has breasts of slightly different sizes, as most women do, this sort of bra is almost impossible. At least lined, molded bras (which I loathe and wouldn't wear for any reason) provide structure against the smaller breast (so you can't see wrinkling or shrinkage quite as readily under clothing). But it was back to the glory days for me!
If only it hadn't cost me $120 bucks (given that I've usually got it for under $50), it would have been perfect.
Of course, it is particularly anticlimactic to have spent hundreds of dollars sourcing a new, reliable standard only to return to the original but I am EXCEEDINGLY grateful that the original seems back to fitting me. I will admit that, on some level, this disturbs me no end, since I've seen this bra fit and then not fit, and there doesn't appear to be an alternative for me anywhere!?
So there you go. Thoughts or feelings??