Itâ€™s a miracle. After three years of knowing my correct size (and a dozen with the wrong sizesâ€¦), I have finally found my perfect bra brandâ€”and itâ€™s both American and reasonably priced! Itâ€™s the Parfait by Affinitas line (which you may remember from Darleneâ€™s coverage of their big-busted camisoles).
I first fell in love with the red and black Charlotte when I saw it on a couple sites around Christmastime. But I was hesitant to try a new brand; I guess I prefer to stick with bras that I know fit, rather than take the time or money testing the unknown. But then Hautelook.com had a sale on Affinitas bras, offering them for up to 60% off (or $18 a pop!), so I couldnâ€™t resist.
And now Iâ€™m kicking myself for not ordering the entire stock! Here are the two I did purchase:
The Parfait Bess
The Parfait Tanya
I spent Tuesday wearing a scratchy bra with too-wide wires that dug into my ribs and rubbed my armpits raw. I also received my Hautelook package that same day, and when I tried on the new bras that night, it was a revelation. Apologies for the hyperboleâ€¦but compared to the one Iâ€™d been wearing all day, these felt like being caressed with a silken cloud. The fabric is so smooth, the wires are the perfect (narrow) radius, the horizontal seams sit at the nipple instead of below, and the cups are (for once) deep enough at the base. Not to mention the fact that they are beautiful: the color is more vibrant than pictured above and the details are charming. I adore the pleats on the Bess. It takes what could have been a boring pink staple and makes it modern and unique.
And get this: the regular prices are only $40-$45. Amazing! And according to their websiteâ€™s store locator, there are lots of online retailers, as well as brick and mortar stores, that carry them. So if you live in the U.S. and near a city, you may even be able to try one on in person.
The two bras I selected are both described as â€œpadded,â€ but theyâ€™re not so much padded as simply molded. The fabric is only moderately thick and somewhat stiff, with a flattering perky, round shape without â€œpush-up.â€ Many of the â€œpaddedâ€ designs also come in whatâ€™s called a â€œwiredâ€ version, which looks to be a thinner, non-molded fabric. So if you prefer soft cups, theyâ€™ve got you covered.
As for sizing, this line runs both a band and a cup size small. Every review I found online said as much, so thatâ€™s what I tried, and itâ€™s perfect. And thank goodness for that, because Iâ€™m a 28 and these are not made below a 30 band. (The full range is 30-40 D-G.)
Even Freya, which has been my go-to brand ever since I figured out my real size, doesnâ€™t fit quite as well as Affinitas. Iâ€™m not a huge fan of Freyaâ€™s ratio of sheer mesh to opaque fabric (I would prefer more of the opaque), and find that the horizontal seam tends to sit just below the nipple, but I feel more supported when itâ€™s level or just above. The base of Freya cups are also just a touch shallow on me.
If I could afford to replace my entire bra collection with Affinitas choices, I would!