Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Reviews: A Couple of Hail Mary Buys That Worked Out Fairly Well

These are bras that I bought in a desperate attempt to find soft fabric that didn't irritate my skin the way that the mesh fabric used by brands such as Freya and Cleo often can, especially their bands. And I was pleasantly surprised. Neither is a good technical fit, but I have found myself reaching for them under certain tops, and on certain kind of work days.

The Intimate Britney Spears Begonia Balconnette

Yeah I know. But I learned that her line is based on the Change of Scandinavia line, which is decent quality, and uses a high stretch, supportive microfiber fabric. The brand goes up to a European I-cup, which is about a UK G cup, and a US H/I. Keep in mind these are the equivalents that I have found to be the case for me. YMMV. I actually quite like the look of the bra: clean-lined, with subtle polka dots on the top mesh, and low key lace; the rich charcoal color is a really welcome alternative to black.

Comfort Profile:
  • That buttery microfiber fabric I'm always going on about. Sense a comfort theme here? 
  • Narrow wires, with a U-shape. They do come up fairly high, but do not stab the armpit because of this.
  • The shape is quite rounded and lifted due to the 3-part seams, which are not irritating. It is not specifically full-on-top friendly, but it accommodates my upper fullness quite well and does not cause double-bubble.

Cup depth.  It is quite shallow, especially near the gore, which is not a match for my own moderately projected shape. Naturally, the gore does not tack, and floats about an inch.

Straps.  This is the bra's biggest negative for me. The straps are fairly thin, not in width but actual thickness; they are also not 'restricted stretch', which allows them to take more weight than they should and cut in after a few hours. 

Band.  It actually runs a little loose, so because I have to sister-size to wiggle into the upper cup range, it means I am wearing this on the middle hooks to start. 

When Do I Wear It?  At work, when I want to wear a knit top that does not have a lot of boob room, and I need a rounded, slightly minimized shape and profile. Also, when I will be sitting a lot and the strap issue will be less of a factor. Also, I bought this bra on 50% markdown from Bare Necessities, for around $30; I definitely would not pay full price for it. If you like the fit the Change brand version it is based on is called the Shaper.
Size: 40H

Maidenform Comfort Devotion

I purchased this one from amazon, and did not expect much as I am not at all in this brand's size range. The DDD is a newer size option for them. At the time, I was experiencing increased tenderness and swelling at PMS time, and so I was looking for something that could accommodate that, and not cause irritation.

Comfort Profile:
  • Say it with me: buttery soft microfiber fabric. Both cup and band are made of this smooth, oh-so-soft, forms a second skin, fabric.
  • The cup is slightly triangular in shape, not really full-on-top friendly, but stretchy and accommodating
  • Wires are low and very soft & flexible, more just a suggestion really. 
  • Band runs snug and is comfortable.
  • Shape is rounded and compact. 

Wires.  The downside of the softness and flexibility is that they actually can flip outward slightly, poking into the inner arm flesh a bit.  

Tacking.  Hahaha. Not even a little bit. This is the least tacking bra I wear.

Straps.  On the thin side.  They do dig a bit after a full day of wear, but they are center-pull so this is not a huge drawback.

Hooks.  This is a snug 40 that fits like a Fantasie 38 - which is a snug 38. I wear it on the loosest hooks. And unfortunately, the soft, lightly padded hook closer does not extend enough to cover the actual hooks themselves. So on the loosest hooks, I feel a scratchiness that is the main negative of this bra for me.  

When Do I Wear It?  Weekends, mostly. Nonactive ones. Running to the store; Netflixing; Puttering. I have also found it useful under work clothes with non-generous bust room. 
Size: 40DDD  

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