Farewell Fauve

Fauve Bronte Longline BraLast week, Wacoal Eveden fans received a quiet farewell from Freya and Fantasie’s sister brand Fauve. Fauve is no more, and fans are asked to turn to Fantasie or Wacoal for their luxe lingerie needs.

I’m a little sad about this passing. If Fauve were a sister, she was more sophisticated and more glamorous than the other brands could hope to be. Sumptuous designs and fabrics, beautiful styles; Fauve had a grown-up elegance I am definitely yet to achieve.

She wasn’t perfect though. Although she looked stunning (I maintain that Fauve’s Bronte – above – is one of the most beautiful creations ever committed to G-Cup), her sizing could be inconsistent and she never braved it past a G Cup. If Fauve’s dissolution means Fauve style luxury up to a K cup (as promised by the e-mail) then that is one fantastic silver lining.

We can hope. I’ve not yet tried Wacoal (it is very high on my list to explore) but I’m very curious about how this will steer the previously inconsistent Fantasie. It’s veered from frumpy to fantastic and back again, often murderously high on my (yes, this again) bony sternum. And stranger for a brand hoping to pick up where another luxe one left off, the latest of theirs I’ve tried (Melissa in Black, review coming this week) is… well, it feels a bit cheap and scratchy.

We can but wait and see. In the meantime, I’m crossing everything. And pausing for a moment to reflect on Bronte: the most perfect bra I never owned. If Wacoal or Fantasie could successfully re-animate her, they’d have me for life.

 

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New Year Firecracker: Curvy Kate plunge bra reviewed

Curvy Kate Firecracker Plunge Bra

A perfect fit is much more nuanced than a letter and a number. Being full up top or full up bottom, having wide set breasts or ones that sit close together – these are all perfectly normal variations that will mean your perfect fit is different from someone else with the same bra size. For me, it’s the shape of my rib cage. It’s bony and it flares at the bottom.

This is not something you would notice, or not something that remotely bothers me. It just is. And specifically, it is the reason that many balconette bras don’t work for me. It’s a bummer because I love balconette styles, but anything with too tall a centre gore won’t sit properly on my sternum and after a few short minutes of wear I’m tearing it from my body.

Which is why Curvy Kate’s Firecracker leaped off the screen and in to my basket. It’s a deep, deep plunge bra – but with a lace detail and shape that makes it for everyday that for show-stopping cleavage moments.

In my usual 30G I found it fractionally big in the cup which made the lace baggy, but after adjusting the straps it wasn’t really noticeable. The 3-hook back was nice and firm. My only gripe was the feel of it. CK describe the cup as being “laminated for firm support”, which it certainly does give – but it feels a little plasticky with it. I also struggle with the matching undercracker options – I love a frill as much as the next girl, but I also need knickers that don’t give me VPL at 20 paces.

On balance, though it’s not for me Firecracker really is a really good bra – it gives a flattering, subtle cleavage with a great, comfortable support. It’s also dirt cheap over on Brastop right now, if you’re looking for a bargain…

More of this shape in future, Curvy Kate!

 

Photo borrowed from Brastop.com

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Do you need the bionic bra?

A team in Australia have been busy creating a tech solution to an extremely common problem: having boobs while exercising. In the future, instead of risking pain and long term damage to breast tissue, your “Bionic Bra” would use smart technological to adapt to movement in real time to deliver the support you need. Clever concept.

Although, here’s the thing. There are already sports bras on the market that can deliver the support you need – even for intensive exercise – and even for large breasts. Trust me, I’m a G-Cup. I used to exercise in two bras and a support top to try and keep things in place – and still something with repetitive bouncing like running would be impossible for me. Then I found Freya’s Underwired Active bra (still my favourite, although there are multiple options on the high-street now) and my life changed.

The trick? The technology? The science? The right bra in the right size. It’s that simple.

I (along with many, many others) have long written that the standard fitting methods employed by many bra fitters (especially in high street stores) are inadequate for women with a certain volume of breast. Standard fitting finds your back size by adding 4/5 inches to your ‘true’ back measurement. And this method serves a lot of women just fine. But as you approach a DD cup, the weight of your breasts increases. It is just physics that you need a stronger counter-weight to hold that weight up. 80% of that strength comes from the band of your bra. If it’s not firmly strapped to your back, how can it hold up the weight of your breasts? If it’s not properly anchored, how is it going to be able to support you during vigorous exercise?

Try this quick test: take off your shirt and look at how your bra is fitting after at least 30 minutes of wear. Are the shoulders digging in? Is the back riding up? If so, you probably need a stronger anchor – so you need a smaller back size*.

I’m all for engineers experimenting with wearable tech – enhancing our lives and experiences with clever hacks that make things work better. But on this count – instead of holding our breaths for a bionic miracle – wouldn’t it just be easier if we all had access to better bra fitting?

* Note – if you’re sizing down in the back, you need to remember to size up in the front to get equivalent volume. Click here for more info about sister sizing.

Source: Lingerie Insight 

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Midnight Grace’s Monroe bikini reviewed

Midnight Grace Monroe Bikini

So readers may remember me mentioning last year that I’d gotten in to a bit of a lingerie funk and I needed to get out of it. Well, I’m totally getting round to that. Except… well, I got distracted by a bikini first. As I write, heavy winds are blowing rain inside through the walls but goddam it I can hug a radiator and pretend I’m in Mexico.

I’ve always had a bit of a Minnie Mouse fixation, and so this Monroe halter bikini from Figleaves’ own Midnight Grace had me at first sight… even before I’d clocked the amazing high-waisted matching bottoms. This was my bikini! This was my year!

Midnight Grace Monroe Bikini

Well, almost. Underwired, padded and very structured the Monroe should – on paper – be a great and supportive bikini. But something has gone very wrong. The cups are a very strange shape: virtually flattened on the side – and so there’s just no room for your boobs. Speaking of Minnie Mouse, my boobs were pressed in to giant Disney mouse ears, balancing precariously over a misshapen and unsteady cup. My chest looked mangled. My face looked extremely disappointed.

It’s a great style and the bottoms are amazing, but the fit is all over the shop. Actually, the photo itself should have given me a clue: look closely at the top picture and at just how much retouching has gone in to make that cleavage look ‘normal’ when the centre gore is sitting away from the body and to one side!

My 30G felt more like a 30F, maybe even 30E – so consider sizing up (way up) if you want to try it out. We’re heading in to a whole new season for swimwear though… much better to wait for something more special to come along.

Midnight Grace’s Monroe Underwired Padded Halter Bikini is available from Figleaves in sizes 30-38 D-GG.

Images borrowed from Figleaves.

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Best sports bra ever finally takes gold.

Freya Lingerie Sports BraMega and totally overdue congratulations to my partners-in-bounce Freya for finally taking the first prize for their sports bras in the UK Lingerie Insight awards.

Freya’s underwired sports bras (moulded and non-moulded) are the only ones I trust to keep me supported and cushioned when I run/jump/climb trees. Sadly, a Figleaves shipping cock up means I’ve been making do with Panache’s much hyped but hopelessly incompatible with me sports bra for nearly two months now*. In fact, I write this message fresh from a Nike Training Club session in aforementioned nemesis. As if a drill called “stretch and burn” wasn’t painful enough…

I digress. I love these bras, Freya Active deserve huge recognition and possibly a Nobel prize for physics for getting me and G-Unit in to fitness. I have two replacements on their way, to be paired with these ultra rad Nike flash running leggings to get me back out on the road over Christmas.

Nike_Flash_Allyson_Felix_1_original

Freya Active forever!

*I’m not entirely sure why I am so incompatible with Panache’s sports bras. After extensive evaluation (and some tears) I think it’s too big for my torso. Even when I play with sizes, it comes up extremely high and cuts in to my under-arm muscles. Evil creation.

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