Friday, October 5, 2012

Lingerie Shop Along: Part and Parcel (A)

I was going to wait till every parcel had arrived to write this. I was going to entice you with my parcel-joy, my anticipation (the before) and then the outcome of the trying on (the after). But, having received 2 parcels (a bit less than half of my full batch of goodies) today, and having tried them on before writing about the anticipation part (what? I have impulse-control issues), I'm going to give the account in phases.

So far I've received (see photos in this post):
  • The extra undies to complement sets I already own (Freya Lacey thong and Miss Mandalay Paris thong)
  • The wild card purchases: Royce soft cup lounge bra and the Panache Cami
On Receiving the Parcels:
  • First off, know that most of the lingerie vendors (all that I've tried) send their wares discreetly-packaged.
  • Of course, lying here feeling miserable, getting these parcels was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. In truth, my fave thing about online shopping is getting presents by mail. Weird how what I love and loathe about online shopping both concern shipping.
  • I ripped open the box (Figleaves) and plastic envelope (LCL) with abandon, but being careful not to harm anything.
  • First thought on the undies: Yeehaw! These are perfect. 
  • First thought on Royce bra: Um, it comes in a box. That can't be good. And the size on the box is not the size I ordered (30 back size vs 32). Remember, a smaller back size also means a smaller cup size.
  • First thought on Panache cami: This thing is freakin' huge.
The Try On:
  • Freya Lacey: Awesome fit. Cute as can be. The end.
  • Miss Mandalay Paris: Now, there wasn't such an element of surprise with the Freya undies, but I could only source the Miss Mandalay thong in XL. Usually I order thongs in UK brands in a size L because I don't like it when they dig in. I prefer slightly large over fitted. In other styles of underwear, I tend order a medium unless I read that the sizes fit very large or very small. Anyway you slice it, XL ain't my size. But Miss Mandalay undies do fit small so I took a chance. The outcome: Excellent fit. All round success.
  • Royce Bra: I thought I was ordering the 32. Alas, I clicked on the 30. May I suggest you triple check your check-out queue before pressing buy? OK, when I put on a snug 30" band size, I understand how people say they feel constricted by their bras. Keep in mind my under bust size is 29.5". Technically, by "new standards", I should be wearing a 30 back. But this one, particularly, is EXTRA tight. Though I have some 30s (looser band models), in general I prefer a snug 32. I want to be able to fit 2 fingers under the back band and still feel like I can breathe in. (Katy: There you go. I'm not as hardcore as everyone says I am :-)) Furthermore, the cup size, in a 30 band, is equivalent to one size smaller than the 32. Between these 2 things, the bra is definitely too small. But there's a real silver lining. In the right size, I can tell it will be a) very comfortable and b) quite uplifting. It may not even squash boobs together the way other unwired bras tend to (to be seen).  At the bottom of this post you'll see my next steps.
  • Panache Cami: Ha! OMG, what a disaster. Laughable disaster. Irritating, to be sure, but not unhappy-making. First off, all of the cups of this cami are mega-padded. Like, good luck finding your boobs in there. Secondly, the band and cups are INSANELY big. Like, I'd need to go down a back size (to a 30) and down 2 cup sizes to approximate fit. And then this thing would still be padded to hell. How do I know? Cuz after trying it on, I used the online chat feature on Figleaves (something I've done before with success) to ask all kinds of questions about both items (Royce bra and Panache cami), to determine how best to proceed.
The Outcome

Overall, with items received so far, this hasn't worked out too terribly. The undies are a win. The wild card purchases will require me to return those items at my own cost (and the cami is bulky, so it may cost more than usual). The Royce bra, I'll exchange for one in the 32, the cami for a refund.

I learned that the padded bra cami is NOT for me. I don't like padding, especially puff-ball padding. I think the sizing is really off. The cami itself was a dull black thing I could get anywhere.

I'm optimistic about the Royce. I can tell it will be comfortable in the right size. Furthermore, I asked the online chat SA about differences in sizes between one cup and the next and determined that I really can't size up a cup in this (on top of the size up that the 32 back will provide). It's so supportive I can easily wear it out (though it's cotton-ness would make it a bit sticky under some clothes). It gives a nice shape on the pointy end of the spectrum (the one I prefer). It's not ugly - nor is it fabulous. It's just what it proclaims to be.

Am I utterly thrilled with these outcomes to date? No. It's pretty unusual for me to buy 2 items and have to send them both back. But I acknowledged, before I purchased, that each was a long shot, so I was mentally prepared. They might both have been dead losses. As it is, when the new Royce is delivered (no charge for re-shipping new size), I will have a new sort of bra to entertain myself with (and to help others when they ask me for reviews).

Now this leads me to a slight concern about certain items in my next order. I ordered the Gem bra and my staple one cup size larger than I usually do (re: rationale from this post). It appears I may not be in the cup-size up-size category, despite my original thoughts. I may just have ordered a couple of small-fitting bras recently, in my regular size. The Fantasie beige bra is, apparently, a very large fit in the cups. I may well have bought my previous versions with this knowledge. This time I was so concerned not to order too small, that I may have overdone it. On the other hand, the Gem bra is a new Freya offering, and the bras that recently fit me, IMO, too snugly at the underarms, were both new Freyas. So maybe that'll work out alright. Worst case scenario, I send them back for new sizes. Not that it's fun, or terribly efficient, but it's all part of the adventure. Let's see how it plays out...

So, has anyone received her orders yet? Thoughts or feelings about my experience? Let's talk


  1. I haven't gotten mine yet, and with the holiday weekend, it might be Tuesday. Grrr! But, that's how it goes sometimes.

    I'm bummed to hear about the cami, I was kind of hoping it would be awesome...or at least as awesome as a cami with a bra built in can be. Although, I don't mind padding, so I might still like it. I am definitely intrigued by the underwire-less bra, since I hate underwires and would prefer to wear bras without them most of the time. Especially if they don't smoosh my boobs.

  2. Your two day shipping experience has me eagerly awaiting my parcel.

    I am sorry you had to experience it, but the term "laughable disaster" if genius. I'm not a fan of padding either. A moulded cup is fine, but added padding? I've got enough going on without it.

    1. Sometimes that's how it goes. I'd totally avoid that product. I guess it might work for someone, but no one with my shape.

  3. I'm torn about those moulded T-shirt bras that have padding. The only reason I wear one is not just for the smoothness under t-shirts and fitted smooth fabrics, it's because they obscure any "headlights" I might get during the day. How do you handle that problem with non-padded t-shirt bras? Just curious... Thank! Susie

    1. I was reading about this on the Butterfly Collection blog. It's not something I've used but it was something I tucked away to remember if the issue ever ah, arose... I know hormones have changed my nipple shape briefly at so it may be something I will need.
      She wrote about it here:
      And sells them here:

  4. Ugh - the internet actually ate my comment. On my own blog! The nerve. Anyway, thanks for info Sera. Susie: I don't much care about nipples showing so I don't do anything to avoid it. However, there are nipple shields that don't add bulk and take care of the problem, like the ones Sera suggests. Let us know how they work for you.

  5. I made an order for 3 bras. I couldn't pass up the code and I just sold something so I have money in my PayPal. I bought a Freya (my first from this line) few months ago based on your post about LCL. Yay!

  6. My order arrived today. Goodness the bra set is beautiful, exactly what I want in lingerie, beautiful, practical, colorful, lacey but not itchy. But. But :( it doesn't fit. The bra is close but not quite (if I tried in on in a store I'd pass it up forlornly) , as it I suspect my breast volume changes... so do I wait until a fuller time or call uncle and send it back?

    1. Remind me of which set you bought. And how is it not fitting (feel free to email me). Maybe we can figure out a way to find another gorgeous set to work (or this one in a diff size).

  7. To meet you halfway: I received my LCL order today and it turns out that a 32 in Freya is waaaaaayy too loose on me. (As compared to the 32 in Chantelle/Change brand, which are tight tight tight.)

    My money is on us liking the same degree of tightness, lol.

    PS - finally got around to reading that butterfly blog post about people who need looser bands and I actually think that explains a lot for me. I'm not muscular on top but I guess I am lean, relatively speaking, and it's totally the "wires tight against my rib bones" pain that I'm complaining about (in addition to the more general, uncomfortable tight band thing).

    Now to figure out what size to exchange these freyas for. I ordered 32FF. They're much too loose around, the wire is a smidge too wide, and there's lots of gaping at the top. My instinct says just to order down one band size but keep the cup size the same (in order to slightly reduce the width/volume of the cups)... would you agree?

    1. OK, I'm thrilled to hear this! We may well like the same degree of firmness :-) I agree with your assessment that the 32F is a good idea. Unless there's a lot of gaping on the 32FF in which case the 30F might work.

  8. Oh what I meant was actually to go with the 30FF... as it will tighten the band and reduce the volume of the cup (as if I wanted the cup to stay the same I'd have to go up a cup when going down a band?) Basically I want to make both the band size and the cup size one smaller. (I think.) Sound right?

  9. Man, I'm so not feeling well. I totally understand that's what you meant, what with the band being too loose. Yes, I agree.

    1. Well, the bad news is that they're sold out of my size in every single style I want. Oh well, I guess it ultimately cost less than gas/parking for an in person shopping trip and now I know my Freya size for the future...

    2. You can't catch a break :-) It's really good to know your Freya size. It's going to come in very handy - though do keep in mind that Freya has a few different fits so read a few reviews to ensure you're buying one that's like the one you tried this time. Which one was it that you bought?

  10. As a new reader, this is just in time for me to play along :)

    In the past 2 months I've ordered 4 bras online.

    (This is a blatant lie. In the past 2 months I've ordered 10 bras online, if I include the sports bra and the bikini. It's just that 6 of them were Freyas and a Fantasie, which I was able to try on in a store beforehand, so I'm not including them).

    Each of the 4 is from a different brand, all of which are new to me.

    1. Affinitas Parfait Charlotte- fits like a glove, looks good, a bit bulkier than I usually like, but definitely a win.

    2. Panache Cleo Meg- I knew from reading reviews that the fit was going to be tricky, but I love the look of it, and I got a deal I couldn't refuse. My breasts have never felt so lifted, but support isn't great and there's a funny side silhouette, which a smaller cup might have fixed, but then again it may have made it worse. It looks fine under clothes, is extremely comfortable, and is really, really cute, so all in all it's a win.

    3. Ewa Michalak PL Perelka- So, so pretty. So, so comfortable. Fits, lifts, rounds, I wish I could wear it forever. HUGE win.

    4. Miss Mandalay Suzie- Hasn't arrived yet. I fear I may have ordered a cup size up from what I need, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    If the 4th bra fits, does that mean I have a knack for this online bra buying business, or am I just lucky? (And have I just jinxed myself)?

    1. Gotta love a woman who lies about her recent online bra purchases - and then thinks better of it :-)

      Which Freyas and Fantasie did you buy? I always love to hear about those brands.

      I have found that Cleo isn't great for support, but those styles are so adorable.

      I haven't taken the Ewa M plunge (pun intended) because I've heard the sizing can be very tricky (and the returns even more so). Also, I've heard that the styles really give a rounded and extreme silhouette. Not generally my thing, though people sure do love that brand.

      I don't think you've jinxed yourself. :-) If you do this often enough, and take enough risks, you'll purchase things that don't work on an occasional basis. Sometimes, the fit goddess will smile on you, other times, not so much.

      I've been ordering online for a number of years and I have good phases and less good phases (in terms of the fit of the things I receive). But I always learn from the purchase. Even if I don't save as much as I might have if the first item had fit, I can often find success with one re-ship. And, if I learn that an item is just a no-go, well at least I've learned what doesn't work.

      I don't mind the full process, though of course I prefer when things succeed without a hitch.

      In the meanwhile, good for you! Enjoy the roll you're on.

  11. Returns aren't really an option (traceable shipping is really expensive), so I do as much research as possible before ordering, and accept that if it doesn't work I'll either have to find a purpose for it (round the house bra?) or find someone else who can use it. On average I can get 2 bras online for the price of one locally, and Eveden brands are the only ones available anyway, so the benefits far outweigh the risks.

    I've recently received:

    Freya Lindy Hop Bikini- love.

    Freya Active Underwired Sports Bra- If I judged this on fit and looks it would be a fail, but I'm judging it on function, so it's perfect.

    Freya Jolie- I tried it on in white and ordered in pink, and it's definitely smaller. Anyway, it works with some outfits and for what I paid I can't call it a complete failure.

    Freya Piper Longline- love.

    Freya Ashlee Plunge- love.

    Fantasie Smoothing 4520- love.

    The only thing I know about my next bra: it will be black.

    1. Great bikini. And I love the Piper and the Fantasie smoothing. I've heard the Jolie fits small (that one doesn't thrill me for some reason I can't pinpoint). And I can't say that Freya sports bra is anything other than hideous, though people swear by it. Panache just released a sports bra that's much more attractive - and equally supportive seeming. The Ashlee is a molded cup so it's not my scene (these never fit me), though - if one were to fit, I suspect it would be this one. It doesn't seem overly padded or molded, like it might have a bit of give.