Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Luxe, N by Natori. A favorite beauty/comfort combo.

You were probably wondering when I was going to get to the beauty part. Well, I have a huge array of bras that fall at all different points along the the (mostly separate) continuums of Comfort and Beauty. But a few bras intersect both. Natori is always a good bet for this.

The Luxe is sadly discontinued - but happily, still available at steep discounts. (The larger cup size range has been renamed Natori Plus, and the styles reworked, but from the one style I've tried, it seems the good features are intact.) I own Luxe in several colorways, including a subtle shell pink with cream, and the deep burgundy with silver detailing below, which is one of the most striking.


  • Band.  Really well constructed: wide, with 3 hooks, well-spaced; thick, flat elastic along the edges that does not dig; and a very soft mesh material. (If you've worn Freya, you will be annoyed all over again at the thought of their narrow, biting elastic, & how ridiculously unecessary it is.)
  • Underwires.  Softer and on the flexible side. A nice medium width, more narrow than Anita. They are covered in a soft felted casing. Not cushioned, but it almost feels like it, especially if you've had the displeasure of wanting to tear a Cleo from your bosom, which may have been heaving with righteous indignation at the time. Also nice and low. I am tall, but short-waisted and high set; chin-high Panache style wires make me incredibly cranky. 
  • Straps.  Not wide, but lined with a light whisper of foam. This feature was gone from the newer version I bought, which has regular straps, and I think is slightly the poorer for it.
  • Seams.  Very subtle and can't be felt against my skin. The disappear under most knits.
  • Support Sling.  A crescent, stretchy, fabric-covered, not stitched down, that lines the bottom rim of each cup.

Beauty (yay, a new category!)

  • Lustrous silver embroidery over a deep burgundy base. It's gorgeous. And not as delicate as it appears. I have machine washed this for over a year, as I do all my bras - contained in formed mesh bra bags (with a wire that holds the cup in shape), on the hand wash, double rinse cycle, in an LG front-loader. No pilling; no tears; band is holding its stretch nicely. 
  • There is an edging of soft lace along the front 1/2 of the straps. This has the nice bonus effect of making the bra appear to be a pretty camisole should the edge of a strap peek out. 
  • Low cut, an unusual plunge/balcony hybrid shape.
  • The shape it gives is round and compact


Cup size.  The cups run slightly small. The sizing is European/US, topping out at the usual H-cup. (UK FF) True to form, the band runs smaller, so I am able to sister size into this beauty. Ideally, I'd need one more cup size, but, it works for all but PMS swelling (I go up around 1/2 cup size) or real weight gain. I am barely fitting into this after a recent increase in my cup size of about 1/2 cup. (Who knew that would happen with impending perimenopause!? I for one was expecting some deflation! But no. Other women a few years down the road have reported the same.)

Cup shape.  It's definitely a shallow, more bottom full-friendly cup shape. But the very light, breathable and supportive soft mesh has stretch and give. It accommodates quite a bit, without showing double-bubble under clothing.

Tacking.  Nope. This floats about 1/2", which is acceptable to me. 
Wires.   I bend the wires slightly outward at the outer edges. I do this on many of my bras.  I have a steep taper to my torso. My above-bust measurement is a good 3-4 inches larger than my under-bust: a combo of muscle, tall roots, rib-cage shape, and extra fluffy bits. 
(Which also explains why that seemingly wacky above-bust measurement advocated by brands such as Victoria's Secret & Le Mystere can actually work. It basically adds +2 or +4 automatically.) 
Anyhoo, this greatly adds to the comfort and makes wires conform to my actual body, preventing that awful digging of wire tips.

When Do I Wear It?  Pretty much anytime. It's a great work bra, giving a low key shape and a lot of non-digging desk comfort. Ditto for weekends.
Size:  40H

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