I never really considered this brand before, mentally lumping it in with old school stand-bys like Playtex or Goddess. However, the concept of their 'Wonderwire' intrigued me. And I needed a non-cleavage inducing plunge bra - with less wide-set straps - for a specific blouse.
So I gave the Elegance a try:
BeautySubtly pretty. The deep mulberry shade is unusual and a welcome change from the ubiquitous red option. The top section reminds me of a velvet cut-out effect, letting a little skin peek through and making the bra appear lacy and light, while still being completely opaque. Although in larger sizes, that is unfortunately not apparent and it just looks like very plain, opaque lace. It's also a lot fuller coverage in my size. The eyelet lace effect along the edge makes the style appear a little less plain, while lying completely flat. The design is undetectable under clothing.
Although it did make for fabulous whale-watching on the water yesterday. We saw a huge pod of orcas, of which I have no pics because I had zero chill and never put down the binoculars (which were hardly needed) as the whales came so close to our boat.
Fabric. Very soft and smooth against the skin. No complaints there.
Straps. Deeply padded, and set quite close-in. Zero shoulder pressure.
Wires. Nice. The Wonderwire is a softer, flexible wire encased in a thin layer of padded foam. (Just let that sink in a moment....the wire...is...cushioned.) Medium width and height, they do not wing back a'la Panache or Freya, but have a nice wide curve at the base and then go straight up. That equals no armpit-stabbing issues. There's also a forward-shaping seam.
Band. I have not worn a front-close bra since the mid-80s when I wore a 36D (in reality, I was around a 34F). Surprisingly, it worked for me size-wise. The band runs snug - Glamorise very much uses the +4 system, so a 40 fits like a 36. There is no adjustability however, which is why front-clasps are rarely seen, especially in larger cup sizes. Though there is certainly a need, especially for those with arthritis or tendinitis. If you've had either of these, you'll know that having multiple band settings is way down your list, certainly behind actually being able to put on a bra by yourself.
Gore. Which in this style is the clasp itself. It is actually tacking. I would have preferred the bra to cut away here and form more of a V-neckline, but the tops of the wires instead come up higher to form a keyhole shape. This does allow for closer set boobs, as the wire tips float at bit and seem to just be there as an overflow guard.
Underband. Unfortunately, this is where the bra fails for me, comfort-wise. There isn't any underband. The cup is a bandless style, i.e., there is no band beneath the cup. I prefer some underband, as it helps to spread the pressure. Without it, as here, I sometimes get discomfort as the weight of my boobs is fully on the base of the underwire itself. Even when the band is snug, as it is here, and the cup size is correct, and there are padded, wide straps, I often find this an uncomfy design.
Cups. They are not particularly full-on-top friendly, though they do have stretch so I experience no cutting in. It's more of a locked and loaded style, so there's no jiggle.
Shape. Pointy. Not my fave. I had hope of a slightly rounded shape because the cups have a single diagonal seam, which can give a better shape than a horizontal one. However, the seam is too low across the inner cup to achieve this. Instead, as is often seen, as the cup size increases the top of cup gets disproportionately larger. I'm not sure of the theory there, as I can't imagine this would suit the more common full-on-bottom shape either.
But it results in a pointy profile which, oddly, cannot be seen in the side pic.
But is verrrry visible under clothing:
When Do I Wear It?
When I need a plunge shape and won't be sitting a great deal so the no underband/digging issue won't be as much of an issue. Also, if I have another bout of rotator cuff tendinitis where moving my shoulder is painful, the front-hook would be totally worth it.
I do think the cushioned Wonderwire - and the fact that the wires are not wide - shows great promise for comfort. I'd certainly be willing to try other styles. With an underband. Although I really wish there was a more rounded shape option.
Size: 40G (US sizing) As with many US brands, the band runs tight and the cup generous.