Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bra Review: Empreinte Emily (Balconette Cut)

I'm not a serious art person. I mean, I have a subscription to the AGO and I go to see the latest exhibits that I hear about, but it's no true fixation. Having said this, what I would give to have a ticket to England in the next five weeks to see Dismaland. The distopian grandeur! And it's mere miles away from where I went to boarding school (a place I do intend to revisit soon - like if the British pound ever goes below 2 dollars CDN). If only Banksy could have been a little less secret-agent spy (yeah, I know that's not his thing) - or this installation a little more local. No question, it's dark - and not for kids - but I love art that hurts a little, that pushes the boundaries. Not to mention art that can be followed by an awesome (and not distopian) tasting menu at a boutique hotel. Please UK readers, go see it and tell us what it's like.

On a totally different note, you may be pleased to know that the substance of this post is not about the distopian but about the happy collusion of right place, right time and right size...

Sometimes the bra goddess smiles upon you, and happily that's what happened to me a couple of days ago... My Empreinte Emily balconette arrived, not quickly, mind you (so my anticipation was all amped up), and it is a thing of beauty that fits perfectly.

Sure, I do this online bra buying thing routinely. And I do know how my core brands tend to fit in their various styles. Having said this, the Emily is an Empreinte style I've never seen, either in store or online. I think it must be discontinued. On my seemingly-endless quest for replacement black bras, it was one of the options I discovered.

Sidebar: On the topic of restocking the black bra hole in my wardrobe, I'm happy to say that the drought is done. Between the Freya Rio, the Prima Donna Divine and this Empreinte Emily - not to mention that my Roxane will last for a while yet, as I won't need to wear it 3 times a week - I've got an array of daily options to meet all of my needs in black. Best thing is that 2 of these bras are replaceable, should I choose to repurchase them. Yeah, I know, a woman with 30 bras that fit (some of them basics, some of them colours) should probably not freak out when she's down to 1 daily black bra (I do have a couple that I wear infrequently), but I take this seriously, people. I need to be ready for anything.

Back to the Emily: I couldn't find a decent pic of it online. I believe there's a full-cup version as well as the balconette. As with all the Empreinte full-cups, it looks matronly to me so I can't recommend it. It's amazing what a difference there is, IMO, between the full and balconette styles of the same bra. I have reasonably short breast roots, which is why a balconette is inevitably my best fit. Thing is, Empreinte is not skimpy. Its balconettes are on the fuller side, IMO, when it comes to cup height. So the full cups are seriously too much bra for me.

See how the lace makes up a good portion of the bra cup. That upper cup is of a different shape and at a different angle (slightly) than the other Empreintes I've tried.

Looks delicate. Wears hard.
You can see the close-setness of the gore. Also, it's pretty apparent from this shot that the balconette does not veer into demi-cup territory. It's, in my perspective, a "full balconette" - the kind the UK manufacturers love to produce...
Photographing black bras is challenging. I don't know how doing it on a black table can yield a better result than on a pale wood floor, but there you go... The fabric is quite lovely, especially the satin band. I don't love that appliqued florette at the gore. I sense I'll be removing it.
This bra is definitely a basic. What do I mean by that? Well, it isn't sheer or all lace. It's discreet under clothing (re: seams, shape and fabric). While it's a terrific fit: it gives great lift, projection and support while also being extremely comfortable - it's not the sexiest bra I own. Please don't misunderstand, it's a really nice undergarment and those with a different definition of "sexy bra" might find rather hot. To me, it's an elegant basic.

Unsurprisingly, since it fits perfectly, it conforms to all of my best measurements from cup width (6"), depth (11.5"), strap width (0.6"), wing height (4") to my preferred snug but not tight band (stretches MAX to 33" but more easily to 32") with 3 hooks and eyes. 

Band: The band fabric is ridiculously comfortable. The stretch satin is so soft - but firm and with excellent recovery.

Straps:The straps are embroidered for an interesting nuance. They're very strong, as always and, again, crazy comfortable. (See a theme here?)

Cups: The lace upper cup is of a slightly different shape than my other 3-cup Empreintes and attaches to the strap at a slightly different angle than most of my other bras (Empreinte or no). It gives it a lot of curve over the upper bust, while preserving centre cup depth. The end result is very flattering decollete. 

I don't know that you'll be able to find this style, but if you can - and Empreinte is your thing - snap it up. I'm sure you won't regret it...


  1. I love your bra reviews. Is this what calls the Empreinte Emily Demi Bra (8102)? Oddly, Bratabase doesn't have the full cup Emily listed at all. Good to know your model is cut for upper and center fullness. According to one reviewer, Empreinte is making fewer unlined, seamed, deep styles in favor of seamless, shallower cuts. Buy them while you can! In fact, if Empreinte worked for me, I'd be buying backups. Like you, I get anxious about possible bra shortages. I may or may not have more well fitting bras than you...

  2. Thanks Anon! It is what they call the Demi bra - in French, Empreinte refers to this style as a soutien gorge rather than a balconette. So I think it may have been translated as a demi rather than a balconette. Trust me, it's a balconette. And I think I may have been the reviewer who's spoken about the Empreinte change in styles - I think i"m the only one who consistently writes about this brand! But if there's someone else out there, send me a link! And about the bra shortages - glad to know I'm not the only one who gets anxious :-)