Sunday, September 25, 2016

New Bras!

Hey - I've not been giving the lingerie much thought lately. (Honestly, I just hope it's clean these days. And matching. After all, I'm not a savage! :-)) Nonetheless, the bras - they find me! I have 2 new styles to tell you about - one that I am addicted to and the other I've just ordered online (after waiting MONTHS for it to become available)...

The Bra I Love Most Right Now: Sculptresse Chi Chi in Black and Taupe (Sadly the fashion patterns are hideous.)

For starters, my bra-fitting friend extraordinaire (formerly known as Veronica) is actually named Sam and she has opened her own shop in the east end. Alas, I'm about as far from the east end as can be (actually and spiritually - there's a divide, people!) so I see her entirely too infrequently. The boutique (called Broad Lingerie) is rather new and already developing a cult following. What I'd recommend - if you're making a pilgrimage from far away - is that you give her a call to ensure that she's got good stock in your size range. New business owners need to be prudent about overstocking and Sam's offerings are very popular. Trust me, there is no better fitter in this city and I know practically all of them. She's friendly, absurdly knowledgeable, respectful, collegial. She knows all the bras and, over 15 years, has seen pretty much everything. She understands that finding a bra that fits is about the wearer's interpretation fit as much as anything else. When you work with Sam, you have a partner in fitting - and I cannot say enough about how I appreciate that.

So, Sam ordered me the Chi Chi, in black, as a lovely gift, and I LOVED it so much, I  made her sell me the one she'd brought in for herself, in taupe!* Remember, she and I are boob twins (even though our body shapes and heights are completely different). I wear these bras at least twice a week and often more. They wear excellently, the ultra-soft but strong band is a joy. They provide AMAZING support and lift and that boobs on a plate shape I love. The upper lace is stretchy, like the Panache Jasmine's - but happily less flimsy - and the proportions of lace to firm under cup are better, IMO, in the Chi Chi because there's less lace and more non-stretch, under cup lift. It's also really comfortable. Though Panache wires are the firmest you'll find (and some people find them painful), I believe the brand has modified construction to ensure that said wires are more comfortably inset into the newer styles (Floris is another example of this.)

This bra will accommodate many different shapes but probably caters most to the evenly projected client. The stock photo, above, gives the impression that it's wider at the under arm than it actually is...

Until very recently, Chi Chi was made exclusively with the plus-sized wearer in mind. While this brand continues to make terrific bras for women in the 36-46 band with ample cup needs (up to HH), it recently started to make a couple of the styles in a 34 band. And those bands are quite firm. So, I can wear this in a 34 band and it fits fantastically.

Moreover, I can assure you that it is excellent for people with heavy or dense projected breasts. Though it looks very elegant and sexy (if not Cleo-style youthful), if you're an ample-chested woman - plus-size or no - and your breasts are heavy - this engineering is up to it.** Sam and I concur that this is as close to an Empreinte fit you'll find without going there. And this bra is infinitely more affordable and easier to size into (given that there are way more sizes to choose from and those sizes are more incremental than Empreinte's).

Cleo By Panache Piper Longline - Unlined / Unpadded

Photo courtesy of Dreams And Underthings - check out the review!
I've been waiting for this style for, oh, ever. A longline in a small-band / large cup proportion without any freakin' padding. I hate padded or molded bras, as you know, so I've got no longlines to speak of. I have no idea why every other longline on the market, which caters to this size range, provides only padded options. I really hope this works for me size- and shape-wise, in this phenomenal cobalt colourway, because there are actually no other offerings to try! Plus it's gorgeous, don't you agree?

There are few reviews at this point because it's just come out but, fear not, I will let you know what I discover. I am concerned that the wires will be too short for the channels (as the review linked to, above, indicates) and that the boning is plastic (which I find suboptimal from a support perspective). I also worry - quite legitimately - that the length will not work for me. I'm short in the waist and ever less narrow from my real waist to my hips. (That zone may have the same general proportions but it's inches larger than it used to be.) I'm concerned that this band will flip up if it cuts in at the wrong spot - especially with plastic boning.

Mind you, that eyelash lace at the hem is absurdly gorgeous so I have to try...

Today's questions: Have you tried either of these bras? If yes, whatcha think? If no, are you tempted? Do you think padded longlines are an affront? Would you never wear a seamed/unlined longline cuz you only love padding? Let's talk!

*Don't worry - Sam stocks both of these bras in store. 

** This bra, while it would work on a woman of any age, is particularly suited to the woman of a certain age. Breasts tend to become fuller and heavier at this time of life - especially if one has started off with proportionately large breasts - and good engineering is SO important to ensure maximum lift. It also caters to those with moderate monthly size fluctuations and to those who require more outer cup support, for example, if one's weight has shifted to the outer torso (as it may, in middle age). One other thing, just to clarify: Genetics-depending, dense or heavy breasts can still hold their own. When I say heavy, it's not a synonym for sagging or deflated. This bra is particularly good for those of us with self-supported fullness who need a lot of immediate centre- and lower-cup projection.


  1. I'm waiting for reviews on the Piper---would love to know how you find the fit!

    1. I'm really trying not to get my hopes up because that can only lead to serious disappointment. But let's just say I've been waiting for this with great anticipation for a long time.

  2. Yay, more bra reviews! I'm kind of puzzled by how you find these center gores comfortable, though. In fact, several of your most recent bra reviews were for bras whose gores looked kind of high. I thought you had the same problem I do, very close set breasts?

    1. My breasts are very close set (a thumb's width between them) but I find, as long as the cups have immediate projection at the centre - and are adequately deep - it's not a deal breaker for me. I can generally get a firm tack with a gore that's up to 3.5" high. Occasionally there's the slightest bit of gore on tissue at the left side but not often. I just wear the bras in a larger size and, due to my projection needs, that works.

      I think many people need more overall and immediate depth when the gore doesn't tack. There are some for whom the breasts are so close together that a tall gore doesn't have a chance, but in my experience those people are less common than those wearing cups that are slightly too shallow than required.

    2. Oh, and I can't wear styles with gores that are wider than 0.7" at the top.

    3. Your center gore issue is different than mine, then. I have not even a pinky's width space between the boobs. A gore higher than 1.5" will be on breast tissue. I don't have problems with gores tacking, just the discomfort and, later, bruising. I guess I should be grateful I have average projection for a 30F and can deal with plunge bras' frequently average to shallow depth near the center gore. [Sigh] To think men believe bras are only about slapping on a foam T-shirt bra and smushing the girls together!

  3. That blue one looks lovely! I adore the look of longlines but haven't found them to work particularly well on me---my waist is short, too, and my ribcage flares out, which makes them want to roll up. I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to change out plastic boning for steel, if you didn't mind a small patch on the inside...

    I'm one of those who is a devotee of padding; if it's not padded I don't really see the point of wearing it---I'd just as soon go without. ;) But of course I'm rather on the smaller end of the cup-sizes. ;)