Friday, January 8, 2016

Bra Review: Scantilly Surrender

So far, I LOVE Scantilly. The quality is about as good as it gets (before you start spending $$, for example, on luxe brands such as Empreinte). The bras are sexy, lovely, comfortable, supportive and, the two styles I've tried so far (this Surrender and Peek A Boo), provide great shape and uplift. Lest you are under any illusions, my bra rating standards are very high. I'm not overselling this. If you're on the fence, and you seem to be within the size and shape parameters, click buy.

The bra in question today is the Surrender. Initially I bought it in my "regular" bra size and - as with every other Curvy Kate (same parent company as Scantilly) and each Scantilly bra I've tried - it was too shallow by a cup size. I returned it for one cup size up and the fit is fantastic. The band is true to size but on the snug side. By snug, I don't mean "Cleo snug" (which is basically a band size smaller than whatever the tag says). This is a true 32 (which stretches to 32.5") but has great firmness due to the recovery properties of the mesh. It's also a 3x3 hook. So it's more supportive and comfortable than any Cleo you'll find (not that I feel that Cleo bras fall short in support).

A couple of other sizing deets:
  • The wires are a smidge wider than those I regularly wear (6.75" from tip to tip) but that's because the gore is lower than those I generally wear (2.5"). It's more or less a plunge but the support provided by the upper cup - which looks delicate but is sturdy - and the strapping above the upper cup imply that it would likely be suitable for breasts that are on the softer side. Note: My breast tissue isn't particularly soft so this is my intuition. YMMV. The wire shape is not as "U" as I usually wear - the outer wires splay out slightly at the top but it's not a problem for me. Perhaps I'm experiencing shape changes in that area? If yes, they're not observable but brands that use slightly wider wires are working better for me now than they ever did before.
  • In a cup size up, this bra provides a LOT of centre-cup projection for a gore that tacks beautifully. It's also got a lot of lower cup projection (almost too much for me). The shape is seriously front and centre. Essentially, the style caters to an even breast that's full all over. 
  • This cut isn't balconette (it's more of a full plunge) so the wires aren't set particularly wide (as can be the case with serious balconettes and demi-cup bras). So if your shoulders are proportionately narrow, it's a good option.
  • A brief word about the thong undies: Size down! I often wear an XL in thongs because, as you know, I hate grippy undies. But these are very loose. I returned the L for a M and it's like an L, IMO. Scantilly is making good use of the stretch satin that defines the Peek A Boo sling. It's the fabric used to form the waistband of the thong. It's about an inch wide so this isn't, by design, of a grippy predisposition. The eyelash and embroidered elements on the upper cup of the bra are reproduced on the (minimal) thong and the impact is lovely.
  • The upper cup does not have any stretch but the decorative strap above the upper cup is made of that black stretch satin (see above) and it does stretch / is proportionately long. That's good news if you have tall roots, quite a bit of upper cup fullness or you happen to be tall. If you have short roots or you're short, you may find that they gape or hang. You can fix easily this by undoing the seam at the top outer cup and shortening the span. For me, it's not necessary but if the above-upper cup straps were any longer, it would be.
But how about some photos before we talk about the set itself?

You can see the peach embroidery and eyelash lace motif repeated on the upper cup and undies...

This may give you a sense of the gore height (low-ish) and that upper cup strap decorative detail.

Can you see how delicate it looks? It's actually rather firm fabric. It is totally see-through. You can get a sense of the degree of centre-cup depth from this photo. I'm pulling that cup straight up, not out.

You can see that the undies aren't exactly "full". This is a minimal thong. The blush coloured circular metal hardware on the bra (where the straps meet the upper cup - see first photo) is duplicated at the sides of the front panel on the undies (where the triangle of fabric meets the side strap). It's a bit of toughness on an otherwise delicate design.
While I bought this set for a certain application, I sense I'm going to wear it all the time. It's totally comfortable, supportive and entirely sexy. The only thing I need to determine is how observable the decorative strap may be under clothing. While I have no issues with seams or nipples showing through, BDSM design elements (however demure) are not something I'm inclined to promote in the workplace. On the weekends? I'm down with that.

You may recall, at first I considered buying the basque version of this set. I opted not to because, really, it's impractical. (Yeah, I know. On rereading that sentence, it does sound a bit absurd.) Now I think I may have to get that version too! Note to reader: I will exercise restraint because there are too many new things to explore. This ain't the only pretty bra in town.

On the topic of how it looks: It's less full-seeming and more plungey on me (than on the model). But then her body is different than mine. This design is an exercise in soft and hard. The lace and peach embroidery are very delicate. The pink gold hardware and decorative strap are hard. The satin accents allow disparate elements to cohere. The fabric is entirely transparent, as you can see.

This set is analogous to a complicated glass of wine. It isn't easy which is just what makes it fun. Every sip promotes a new awareness on the tongue, a new subnote. There's a lot to get with here and it is in no way boring. I feel it's a good design for women of all ages. There are youthful elements but also very sophisticated ones.

You do need to own it though. If you're not into lingerie as art this set could seem contrived or intimidating. For me, though, it's a daily basic! So you see it takes all types.

But what about you? What are your feelings about the look of this set (or the feel, if you've bought it)? Let's talk!


  1. Not sure how this great review got past me, but I've been waffling about giving the line a go. If you've tried Curvy Kate plunges (which I liked, for their cup depth, though they run a cup size smaller than their other styles for me) how do you find the Scantilly sizing to compare?

  2. Thanks! I've never tried a CK plunge but I'm going to experiment more with this brand. Since they changed their grading, I think the product is better for narrow set, projected boobs - though I agree that 1 size up from regular is de rigeur. I wonder if I'd have to go up 2 cup sizes for a CK vs the balconettes? I think Scantilly is sized just like CK. It's all too shallow for size but fine in a cup up.