I had such a wonderful experience with the Dollhouse Bettie Zingara Bodysuit that I was eager to try the brand again. I do not own any white/ivory sets – nor have I for over 10 years. Thus, I ventured into the great colour abyss to purchase the Dollhouse Bettie Juliet Ivory Lace Underwire Bra and matching Dollhouse Bettie Juliet Ivory Lace Mini Skirt Pantie Slip. I bought the set in my usual size: 36DD (US) and size large underwear. I was skeptical about the underwear fit as I fall outside the recommended measurements.
Fabric is one place that Dollhouse Bettie really shines. Their lace is extremely soft to the touch. The fabric graces your skin – envelopes your body – and leaves it with nothing but the kiss of lace. A lighter thread is used around the edges of the lace pattern to give the lace a ‘sheen’ – in many ways it seems to be almost glowing. While the set was listed as ivory, it looks quite white to me – and I am pleased. Underneath the lace ‘mini slip’ of the panties, there is a semi-sheer soft mesh pantie. I do experience some slight irritation at the horizontal seam that connects the lace slip to the pantie and to the waistband. However, it is very slight and only when I am very sensitive. With gentle washing, the irritation may go away.
While I am pretty sick of floral lace patterns, this set has more vines and leaves than flowers – I am placated. I would love to see a white version of the Zingara fabric in an underwire bra and pantie combo as the pattern of the Zingara is a bit more my style.
Hold your horses my lovelies, we are getting into some troubled waters here. I will split fit into two sections: first the Juliet underwire bra and then the Juliet mini slip pantie.
Dollhouse Bettie Juliet Ivory Lace Underwire Bra
Sigh, as much as I love this bra – the fit left me wanting to beat my head against the wall in frustration. In fact, when a friend of mine asked me how my new lingerie set fit, I told him “I don’t want to talk about it!” So now, let us talk.
At first appearance, the bra looks to fit okay. All my tissue is encases in the cups, the shoulder straps are well in on my body, and there is no fabric gaping at the top – a common problem for me. While the cups could accommodate a more full on top breast (or full all around) – they certainly do not shun my side/bottom heavy breasts. Stretch lace is a beautiful thing. The cups are not without problems though. The wires are much shorter than the wire channels. Instead of staying up at the gore, they wiggle down so there is an inch (and a bit more) of fabric in the middle that then turns out as there is no wire in there keeping it tacted to my skin. Looking down, this is not visually pleasing as I see the inside – empty – wire channels. I can push the wires back up – but the always slide down.
The wires also will touch my skin at the top of the gore and at the top of the sides, but everywhere else they will not even touch down on my skin. The gap is one finger’s width to nearly two finger’s width at the worst. It isn’t like my breast tissue is under the wires – there is nothing under the wires! They are floating away from my body with no intent of touching down. Bra science 101 – if the wires aren’t under your breasts and against your skin then your breasts are not getting the support they need. Predictably, more pressure is put on my shoulders and the band rides up in the back.
I am NOT a bra fit expert – but I think this is a band issue. I own 20 or so 36DD / DDD / E bras and have never had a bra band ride up on me. I have had them too tight – unbearably tight – but never loose until this bra. The first time I put the Juliet bra on; I had to fasten it on the tightest hooks. Even then, give this underwire bra one minute and the back band has ridden up an inch or so. The band is too big! Miles too big! I could fit a baby’s head between the back of the band and my body! In fact, I can take the bra on and off of me, on the tightest hooks, without undoing the bra. With the bra so big, there is so little support. The bra just… lightly wraps around my body and will not stay in place.
Dollhouse Bettie Juliet Ivory Lace Mini Skirt Pantie Slip
I was most concerned about the fit of the mini skirt pantie slip as my measurements fall outside Dollhouse Bettie’s size chart. A large is a 40 – 41″ hip and the Juliet mini slip does not come in an XL. Happily, the panties totally fit my ample 46″ hips! Thank you stretch lace and mesh! Even more impressive, the mesh pantie does not ride up or into my ass. The fabric simply stays put. The slip part graces my hips and falls over my ass with just a peak of cheek underneath. When I sit, the waist band does roll down a bit in the front – only in the front – but that is due to the pressure of my pudgy tummy on the band. The underwear fit is a complete success! For those who fall within the recommended sizes, I might suggest you even size down as the Juliet lace panties have a very generous fit.
The bra is an excellent design for my body. The straps are like a shoulder bra – closer set – which is perfect for my narrow décolletage area. I also really like the way the bra looks overall, before I put it on and see the fit issues. The panties – I initially hated. I thought they made me look fat(-er). I also have not worn a matching white set of anything for ages, so there was a bit of shock. Now I like the pantie skirt – but I find it best paired with another colour (thus the sweater!). Alone with the bra is just too much. My favourite way to wear the set is with an open, brightly coloured sweater. It really makes the Juliet set pop. I also think the pantie slip design is BRILLIANT. It is the best thing to wear under skirts as it keeps the fabric flowing around my body instead of trying to ride up my ass. Truly wonderful for anyone who wears dresses or skirts frequently.
So, what is a girl to do with a gorgeous bra that does not fit? I bought this bra and the matching slip with the coupon code for 25% off the bra (with matching pantie purchase). That means, this set is final sale. I am looking into modifications at a local tailor, as I am inept with a sewing machine. I do not know much about bra construction – but here are a few fixes I think might solve my problems.
- Move the wires up into the front wire channels – up against the centre gore – and then place a stitch into the channels on each side to keep the wire from moving back towards my armpits. I think this should keep the wires in place in the channels.
- Get the band taken in. I have never had a bra band taken in – and I am not sure if my tailor has ever done it – but the band needs to be shortened. I am thinking about one inch off each side of the back clasp but more may be needed.
- Consult. This may be a final sale item – and that is fine – but I plan to consult Dollhouse Bettie on how safely to modify the bra. Their customer service has been excellent in the past so I will ask them for any advice (thread, where to take in, etc) before I take the bra in for alterations.
Unless the Juliet line – or perhaps this bra – is an anomaly, I am sized out of Dollhouse Bettie bras. With such a generous band, I would need to sister size: down one band size and up one cup size. Unfortunately, DD is the largest cup size that Dollhouse Bettie makes. I do find the cups also quite generous – so I may risk a 34DD in the future just because I love Dollhouse Bettie’s designs, fabrics, and ethos.