I wanted something lighter weight than the Comfort Revolutions that provide heavier support (with less comfy straps). But more substantial than the ultra-minimal Bali sleep bra. Because cleavage. I needed something light & soft that I wouldn't mind wearing early in the morning, and again for hours of late evening socializing until bedtime.
Leading Lady is a brand I'd never tried, but their bralette looked promising. I first opted to try the bralette in a 3x (in blue), the size that corresponded to my bust measurement. I then tried a size down (in grey), to compare the support:
ComfortFabric. Wonderful! Very soft cotton. I really did not expect that at this price point ($15); I was braced for cardboardy cheap cotton along the lines of Hanes sports bras. But this fabric has a very soft hand and moderate stretch.
Straps. Regular, adjustable bra straps. They are center-pull. More comfy than the rolled & doubled straps of my Bali Comfort Revolution.
Band. More snug than I expected, which is a nice surprise, since I ordered by my boob size, expecting I'd have to put up with a very loose band. But nope. It's a bit too loose for me, but not unwearable. It is not, however, the usual deep knit-fabric band found on bralettes like these. It is actually just an band of covered elastic. So you don't get that wide, anchored effect, but you also don't get any annoying roll up or dig in.
Cups. Well, there actually aren't any. But there is shirring at the bottom and of course, stretch, so no uniboober look. The cup capacity was much bigger than I'd expected, and without the usual intense flattening of these styles.
Neckline. The lace is completely non-irritating, and the high neckline was perfect with my deep V-neck pj tops. Complete cleavage coverage, and the narrow band of lace looks like a pretty cami peaking above. It does come up quite high.
CompromisesSupport. Um, well, yeahhhh. There isn't much of that, especially in the larger size.
I did find that it was enough for gentle containment under loose pj's; definitely better than nothing. The lack of compression or uplift meant no crazy cleavage.
The support was significantly better in the size down, because I got a bit more compression-effect, and the band was basically a normal 38 in the 2x size.
However, I also got less comfort. In this size, I was more aware of the edging around the arm/sides and band, and just the general - though mild - compressed feeling.
Band. Also, some may prefer the more secure anchoring of a knit-in deep band. It was not uncomfy, but doesn't add much support. It does have 4 hooks, so I think they missed an opportunity by using such a thin elastic band. Just a 2-inch band of elastic would have really increased the anchoring and support.
When Do I Wear It?When I don't want to go totally braless (as I normally would, say, like now, when I am just sitting on my sofa in jammies drinking coffee), but I want to be absolutely comfortable, and will not be leaving the house, I choose the 3X. So, for early a.m./late p.m. when I have houseguests, or PMS time. Also for reading in the garden in my bathrobe. (Something about that combination of activities virtually ensures that the Fed Ex guy will show up and I'll have to sign for a package over the garden gate.) If I want more support and to be able to mayyyybe even leave the house for a quick errand, I'll opt for the 2X
Size: 2X or 3X (cups run large)
The cup capacity and stretchy material mean the larger size is more than I need, but very comfy.