I decided to do something a little different on the Lingerie Detective, and I hope you like. Once in a blue moon or two I venture into a physical lingerie boutique to ogle bras, underwear, and whatnot. I then try on a bunch of bras and take pictures for reference. I figured those pictures might be helpful to other women who are wading through the bra world – so here goes. These photos are only taken on my iPhone, so the quality is so-so and there is pretty much zero staging. As to be expected, the lighting in most fitting rooms is crap.
Close To You – Parksville, BC
This weekend I finally capitalized upon the opportunity to check out one of the few ‘local-ish’ lingerie stores that caters to larger busted women. I was not planning to buy anything so I avoided the sales people like the plague. I hate to take up anyone’s valuable time when I am just browsing. The sales section was glorious with substantial discounts on bras and a special ‘buy two sale bras, get the third free’ on top of the sale price. Close to You is not only a lingerie boutique, but they also sell women’s fashion, shoes, and more. I was primarily interested in trying on some Freya bras as I had a bad fit experience with the brand many years ago and I wanted to be updated on compatibility.
1. The Freya Totally Tartan is my sister size (38D) – up one band and down one cup size – for the same volume. To wear the bra comfortably, I had to have it on the tightest hook, so already there was no room for shrinkage. However, the cups were decently compatible – I was shocked. I had wrinkling on the top of the green portion. The bra allowed for great projection but did nothing to center my breasts. I think the gore is too wide as well.
2. The Prima Donna Satin Boudoir (36E) is the best fitting of all the bras I tried on – I ended up trying it on twice. There was only the tiniest bit of wrinkling and the cups totally encapsulated my breasts. The bra offered good support and was very comfortable. The band runs average if not a tad loose – which my body was welcoming that day. I also like how the straps are closer to my core. I tried my shirt on overtop and it gave a very nice shape. However, I find the print underwhelming (hello old china?). If I am going to wear something that full coverage, I do not want it to be matronly!
3. The Freya Deco Flamingo is just a fantastically kooky print that I had to try on. It was not in stock in my size, so I went for a cup size down to 36D. Ya, right. You know, I often look at my breasts and go – there is no way these are a 36E – but then when I try on bras I am constantly reminded that projection does NOT equal volume. It is hard to see from this photo, but I had tissue escaping out the sides AND the top of the cup is pressing into my breast tissue. This isn’t even with a full scoop and shove – if I had done that then I would have been all over the place.
4. Here we are with the Freya Totally Tartan again. This time it is in my usual bra size. You can see that the fit is less ‘splayed’ – that my breasts are closer together. The gore appears to be a tad higher (or am I imagining it) and the wrinkling of the green portion seems worse. Now, that I consider odd because – volume for volume – a 36E and a 38D are the same cup. This most certainly was a far better shape with my breasts but the cups started to gape at the top if I even leaned a tiny bit.
5. I am not positive of the brand but I THINK this is Chantelle. I tried it on JUST because it was my size (36E) and I have not yet determined the fit of this bra. I am really not trying here, I think this is the ugliest bra ever and I didn’t even bother to put the bra on properly (scoop – swoosh – etc). The material was terribly scratchy and the cups are too deep for my breast shape (as you can see by the empty space at the bottom of the cup).
6. Regrettably, I did not look past the size on this tag so I do not even have an idea who makes it. This is a fun little bustier I found in 36D that can be worn strapless and comes with attachable straps. The quality was pretty good and the fit around was snug but wearable – even on my figure. I was surprised I got all the hook-and-eye things done up in the back, but it fit! The bust was a failure. While it had a built in wired bra, my breasts just floated inside the top. The cups on it were so shallow that I would be surprised if the average 36D would find any support whatsoever. I do love how well it matched my leggings though!
I also tried on another bra but I tore it off about halfway through putting it on. It was the Chantelle Tamaris Seamless Lace Bra in black. The material was so stiff, itchy, and irritating that I could not stand it for another moment on my body. The bra also did not look promising: the cups are very wide and extremely tall. Wide I can handle, but with a short breast root, tall bras do not work on me.
Overall, this was a fine expedition and I was happy to find a (single) bra that fit really well and was actually a good price (was $136 – on sale for $59.99). However, the print just was not doing anything for me and I am trying to abide by a “love it or leave it” policy. I just didn’t love it!
How have your change room expeditions gone lately?