Fast forward and I've rarely worn Wacoal in the intervening years. Partly because their aesthetic is well, utilitarian, but mainly because I'd thought I was sized out. The BodySuede stops at a DD. I did not yet know the magic of sister-sizing, or the fact that Wacoal uses an older system where the band sizes run much smaller so there's a lot of room to size up. Anyhoo, I decided to give the brand another try.
Hahahaha! Yeah, I had to give up on that one immediately.
And plainer than plain.
Here is where I was glad I stuck it out. Because this ugly beast is COMFY.
Wires. Ahhhhh. They are everything I remembered and have hoped for ever since. They are indeed wrapped in foam. Let's all just pause a moment and imagine that: a soft cloud of actual foam is encircling those wires. Those foam-wrapped wires are then sandwiched between the layers of microfiber cup fabric. The inside of the bra looks just like the outside: no harsh, scratchy underwire casing ever touches your skin. They are medium in width.
Cups. Composed of two (quite thick) seamless layers of stretchy microfiber. This makes for a fair amount of opaque coverage and a very secure, no-bounce fit.
Band. Quite tall and deep. While the outer layer is the same fabric as the cups, the inner layer is a very soft mesh. It does not irritate my skin and means the band will remain stable and not stretch out quickly.
Straps. Very center-pull. Zero chance of shoulder slip or dig if you are narrow-shouldered. Soft, medium width, and restricted stretch.
Shape. Round, and a bit minimized. A lot like the Fantasie Esme, actually.
It doesn't flatten, but rather doesn't have a lot of depth in the inner cups so it holds the boobs quite close to the chest and arranges things in a compact way. The wires are not wide at all, but actually medium-to-narrow in width.
The cups are not particularly full-on-top friendly in shape and don't have as much depth as I need near the gore which is floating about 1/2" at the top.
The appearance of loose wrinkling is due to the wires being sandwiched between the two layers of cup fabric. There is no empty space. Likewise with the area beneath wire. That's just caused by the hidden channel beneath.
And, as mentioned before, the Dual Control - like its name - will never be accused of being pretty.
When Do I Wear It?
When Comfort is queen. And I'm not wearing a wide or deep neckline; the straps will show on even a slightly open neckline. Totally workable as a T-shirt bra; the double-layer fabric gives more coverage than you'd expect. (Keep in mind I'm taking pics in a 64F house in Alaska). I would definitely wear this for travel: on a long plane trip, digging wires make me miserable, as does the sticky lack of separation of a soft-cup. The Dual Control solves both problems, and in comparison with my other top comfort choices, gives a much better shape than the Anita Twin, and better coverage than the Natori Satin Fleur.
Wacoal very much uses the old +4 sizing system. They are in no way kidding when they tell you to add 4" to your measured band size. The 42 fits like a 38 - just like the 38 I wore 15 years ago fit like a 34. The 42DDD fits me like a UK 38GG or a US 38I, and I'm wearing the band on the loosest hook. E.g. a UK 32G would fit quite well into a 36DD in this brand.