After 3.5 hours of sleep, I hauled my butt out of my comfortable hotel bed to visit Diane’s Lingerie in Vancouver, British Columbia yesterday. I had been eager to visit Diane’s Lingerie since they carry Prima Donna bras – a brand I like but have no experience with. My visit was oriented around establishing what my size in Prima Donna is, as I wanted to buy the Prima Donna Aurora Plunge Bra as mentioned in my wishlist.
I could not find any of the Aurora plunges in store, but I did find the First Lady style, which looks pretty close. I also tried on a couple other things – here is a rundown of how each item fit.
Prima Donna First Lady Full Cup – 36E
I did not actually mean to try this bra on as it is the full cup version, but when I pointed to the plunge, I was given the full cup. This bra is my ‘regular’ bra size for the most part. The fabric was soft but the fit issues were endless. First, the cups are pretty deep and rounded so there was excess fabric between the bottom of my breasts and the wires. The wires were not touching the bottom of my breasts. Oddly enough, parts of the cup felt like a fine fit – where my breasts were fuller and at the top. However, the apex was a disaster with so much extra fabric gathering at the middle seam. The top of the cup was nice on my one breast but a little loose on my other. I also did not like the ‘east-west’ direction of my breasts in this cup. So, I again asked for a 36E in the plunge.
Prima Donna First Lady Plunge – 34E
This is not the size I asked for, but it was the ‘closest’ size they had in stock. This is, essentially, one band size down AND one cup size down (as my sister size would be a 34F). I was not impressed as this is a) the bra I asked for the first time and b) if they did not have my size they could have just said so. However, I tried it. The cut is substantially better on my body (yay plunges) and offers nice shape to my breasts. The cup fit was also better but I do not know if that is due to style (full cup vs. plunge) or size. After adjusting, the sales woman declared the Prima Donna plunge 34E cup a perfect fit. I have to disagree with her here. While the cups are very nice, there is still a space at the base of my breasts before the wires. Moreover, there was tissue spilling out the top outside of each cup – under my arms – as the sides of the cup felt like they were cutting into my body. You can see excess tissue on the one side in the middle picture. That is because my breasts felt like they were being strangled and upper side breast tissue had nowhere to go as there was no room left in the cups. The band was also uncomfortably tight, which probably means this bra runs true to size. I measure a natural 36″ so a 34″ band on me is nightmarish uncomfortable. Oddly enough, there was still some excess fabric on my smaller breast from where my upper breast was not projected enough. Overall, I would say the Prima Donna bras have a very closed in top, but they are also very projected and have a deep sloping cup that is not very compatible with breasts that have a ‘shelf-like’ projection.
Chantelle C Chic 3-Part Plunge Bra – 36E
The attendant noted that I was not too impressed with the fit if the Prima Donna bras. She assumed that I was just looking for a blue bra, so she recommended this Chantelle bra. Admittedly, I cringed. My previous experience with Chantelle was not pleasant – an ugly beige bra that was so scratchy it drove me wild. Fit wise, this bra was superior to my efforts with Prima Donna. However, there were a couple issues. The wire does not rest against the bottom of my breast in this bra either but it does come close. The seam – especially on the left cup of the Chantelle – was cutting into my breast tissue. Projection issue I assume. In addition, the material was horrible. I do not know how people make and sell bras that are so darn itchy! The second this bra touched my skin I wanted to get it off ASAP. I know I have sensitive skin, but this is a rare reaction. I own and have tried many bra brands without having this issue. Even cheaper bras, like those made by La Senza and La Vie En Rose (and VS) are not that abrasive for the most part. I did like how the Chantelle bra nearly gave me cleavage and it offered a really beautiful shape to my breasts. The colour is also gorgeous on pale skin like mine.
Hanky Panky Signature Lace Camisole – Large
Last of all, I tried on the Hanky Panky Signature Lace Camisole – size large. As with most Hanky Panky products, there is plenty of stretch so fit is rarely an issue. I found the large offered enough room for my bust without being too clingy. I prefer more formfitting tops, but you could easily buy this top in a size up for a looser fit. I liked the colour and I liked the fit. However, I wish the lace were not floral.
As I am being more ‘picky’ with my lingerie purchases of late, I walked out of Diane’s Lingerie with nothing. Even if my budget would suffice $168, neither of the Prima Donna bras fit well enough that I would purchase it. I am also not satisfied. I wanted to try on the Prima Donna plunge in a 36E to see how it fits. I am still not convinced that the style won’t work for me (specifically the plunge) in my usual size. I do know the wires are a bit too ‘curvy’ for my breast shape but I am still curious how bad that would be in the plunge. While the Chantelle fit best of the three, the material continues to be a ‘no way in hell’.
Lastly, a note on service. I happen to be one of those introverted little butterflies (especially on 3.5 hrs sleep) that wants to be left alone with my bras. However, if you like very attentive fitters who are there every few minutes to help you, make suggestions, and give feedback – then you should enjoy Diane’s Lingerie. I recommend them for larger bust lingerie if you are visiting Vancouver (or live there).
Song of the Day: Do I Wanna Know? ~ by ~ Arctic Monkeys