Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: Natori + Envious Plunge

Now here is the bra I really thought I'd be wearing with the velvet plunge dress in Vegas. I expected Natori would be my best shot at a lightweight, non-padded, comfy plunge style. And I was pleased they finally added a plunge style at all in larger cup sizes. 


Envious is really pretty in a non-fussy way. Baroque embroidery in matte gold. A sleek and minimal frame. True, the gore seemed a bit wide which gave me slight pause...and...

Yeah. Waaaaay too small. In every way. Bummer.

Fit & Shape

Cups. Seriously lacking in capacity. They run a good cup size smaller than other styles in the brand - maybe 2. And the lace fabric of the upper cup is surprisingly low on stretch. A feature that would have really improved the fit and made up for the frankly underwhelming cup capacity. 

I'm surprised the bra looks as good as it does in this pic. What it doesn't show is just how compressed it felt on my body and the sensation of cutting in is a dealbreaker for me. If not for that, I would have tried to make this work.

Gore.  It does run wide. If the band wasn't so small, this would be a prime candidate for taking in the gore 1/2", to tip the cups and make them slightly more open on top. 

Band.  Incredibly tight. Runs a full size small. It fit like a tight 36. The fabric was nice however and very stable.

Wires.  The usual Natori wires: medium-narrow, not too high; on the flexible side, but very stable. Pretty ideal for me.

Shape.  Rounded and compact.
The look and shape of the bra remind me a great deal of Chantelle C Chic Plunge, which gives a great shape, though it is non-stretch and has the folded-ruffle effect straps which look great, but cut in uncomfortably. (That bra also runs incredibly small.) I was hoping for that same shape and minimal 'not a lotta bra' feel in the Natori Envious.

When Do I Wear It?

Well, if I could crowbar my way to a decent fit, this would be an everyday go-to. Beautiful enough for occasions, but very practical for me. I love the lightweight fabric, the compact rounded shape, the low gore, and the whole 'less bra' feel of the frame. There would be compromises - mainly the too-wide gore and the upper cup fabric having less stretch than is ideal for me - but overall, this is the style of bra I keep searching for. And failing to find.

I am becoming rather exasperated with Natori's inconsistent sizing issues. The first 4 styles I tried were very consistent, the last 3...not so much. There are enough wins for me to keep the brand as a favorite, but they really have some work to do on quality control for sizing.

Size:  38H
Note: I am very tempted to try again, especially as there is a sale on the style. My guess is that just bumping up to a 40 may not be enough to offset how small this style runs, since it's undersized in both cup and band. I may try bumping up 2 band sizes, which seems extreme, but I just hate to give up on this style.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sometimes there is a need for butt-crack cleavage

I am normally not going for more cleavage. My boobs are fairly close-set and also high-set, with tissue beginning 2" below my collar bone. Cleavage is something I'm often looking to minimize. And when I do go for that look, I prefer cakes-on-a-plate, Marie Antoinette style cleavage. Or what my BF-now-husband refers to as "wench boobs".

However. Eloped to Vegas. I think there's some kind of city ordinance that requires butt-crack cleavage. And the Kiyonna dress I found (gloriously on sale at 1/2 price) was a wrap style with a deep V-neckline. Luckily it was also in stretch velvet, a very forgiving fabric. But there was no way around it. I needed a plunge bra with a very low gore - & a shape that embraced deep cleavage.

In the end, after failing to find a less-padded alternative, I fell back on my Parfait Affinitas Casey. The front view was more important than the less perfect side shape, which I discuss here:   

It worked out pretty well, although the padding of Casey did stretch the stretch velvet to its limits, so I had the seamstress add a tiny snap to the wrap neckline. To avoid any, uh, wardrobe malfunctions.


It was actually fairly comfy through sitting at dinner afterward. And I had an awful cold, which makes my sensitive skin even more so, and the soft fabric of the Casey did not irritate me. 

To round out the evening, Elvis was wearing red and matched my flowers.
He also appeared to really approve of my neckline.