Big Bust Everyday Bra and Swimsuit Shopping: The Elomi Report

One day you think your bra will never die, and the next day it’s sliding around on the tightest hook. By the time we landed in Florida last month, my beige Fantasie 4520 had literally let me down. It wasn’t very imaginative of me, but I planned to stock up on $50 black and beige replacements the next day at Sea Cup and Up. Unfortunately, Sea Cup and Up didn’t carry my standby style. Fortunately, this gave me a chance to try other everyday bras.

I ended up purchasing the Elomi Rita. Before she handed it to me in the dressing room, Cheryl, the owner of Sea Cup and Up, warned me that it was an ugly bra. It’s funny, though, because when I have a choice of pretty, non-beige bras, I don’t mind choosing an ugly beige one.

elomi rita

I chose this beige bra for the following reasons:

  1. Center pull straps–I like that I don’t have to pull the straps in a diagonal line from the outer edge of my breasts to the center of my shoulders to keep them from falling off.
  2. Three-part construction. And the seams are barely visible from beneath a tee shirt.
  3. Perfectly tacking center gore. Ever since some of you told me that you would never compromise on a center gore that tacks, I have been on the lookout for a bra that will do this for me, while also meeting the other four requirements.
  4. Convertible to a racerback!

j clip convertible racer back

 

There was only one other flaw with this 34GG bra besides its boring look. It had too much room at the bottom of the cup, and the underwire extended far past my breast tissue on the side. I kept the bra with its tags on for a week while I tried to overlook these issues, and I took these before-and-after photos with my worn out Fantasie 4520 to convince myself to tear the tags off and just wear it already! The left photos are the Fantasie 4520, and the right photos are the Elomi Rita.

fantasie 4520 elomi rita side comparison

 elomi comparison front

 It’s a nice difference, but it wasn’t enough of a difference to get me to accept the extra cup space that I knew would drive me crazy over time. So I exchanged it for the Elomi Isis Swim Bra (in 36GG) and Briefs.

36GG bikini by the beach

Readers, I failed to follow my own advice to avoid black unless it “looks amazing on you or you absolutely can’t find anything else in your size”. I really wanted the navy set so that I could wear the bottoms with the Panache Nancy in 36H (below), but Sea Cup only carried them in black and purple.

panache nancy front

I seriously considered the purple because I loved the idea of this Elomi Madeira Ruched Tankini top. Look how my boobs fit exactly into the spaces they’re supposed to without any boob bifurcation!!! But something about the overall look said “matronly” to me, so I passed on the purple.

elomi swim top shirred

Because the Elomi swim separates are so expensive, I agonized over whether to order the navy online (and on sale!), give in and get the purple, or settle on the black. After studying all the other bikinis and tankinis on the beach, I realized that there were a ton of colorful options that would match the black bottoms, including the ruched version of this Elomi Flora Flared Tankini top that I tried on at the store. Ignore the shorts if you can–I would love this as a dress if it were longer! The center drawstring lets you create a higher or deeper neckline.

elomi swim top flora flouncy

I’ve since ordered the Elomi Flora Ruched Tankini top and several other non-Elomi tankini options from Bare Necessities, as well as the Freya Madame Butterfly bikini top from Town Shop that I told you about before. I’ll be trying them on with the Isis briefs and taking pictures soon.

For now, let me tell you what I think of the Elomi Isis Swim Bra and Briefs. I love them. When I first walked to the beach in them, I wondered if I would feel exposed, but I didn’t. I felt perfectly at ease walking in front of sunbathers, but the main thing is, I felt comfortable simply walking . . . and swimming . . . and making sand castles . . . and bending over to pick up seashells without spilling out.

The 36 band is snug on me (bikinis are one area where I don’t want to go too snug, even if I can fasten it, because I don’t want to make my extra cushioning any more obvious), the center gore tacks perfectly, there’s excellent lift and support, and there’s no hint of quadraboob. It being Elomi, of course there’s the issue of extra space in the bottom of the cup, which makes me wonder if I could have done just as well with the Panache Isobel that I wrote about earlier for $30 less from Figleaves.

extra room under Elomi swim bra cup

Both have three-part cups, inner mesh for added support, and a simple clasp in back, although the Elomi has a leotard back, which has its advantages, although I’m not sure $30 worth of advantages.

As for the briefs, they balance my top, and they contain everything that I want contained. There is one construction feature that irks me considerably, however: the end of the elastic band is not sewn completely to the left side seam as it is on the right. This causes the elastic to roll a bit, but more than that, it concerns me that the bottoms will not last very long. I actually exchanged my first set of briefs for a new pair, and before leaving the store carefully felt the elastic to make sure it was connected. All seemed fine. Then I put them on and felt the same issue–an almost loose end of elastic on the left side. Did Sea Cup and Up receive a faulty lot, or are all Isis briefs constructed this way? I couldn’t be bothered to return them so close to our departure, but I am not impressed. It would be great if Elomi would respond with an explanation.

Finally, I bet you’ve wondered the same thing I did: can the Isis Swim Bra be used as an everyday bra??? Answer: Yes, with qualifications.

I wore it under this top and black camisole for an entire day.

elomi swim bra under top front

elomi swim bra under top

As you can see, it performed beautifully, although minus the layers, the cup seams are highly visible. I discovered this when I tried on a thin tee shirt while shopping.

As for comfort, it was a dream until about 6:00 p.m. That’s when began to feel oppressed by the layers and couldn’t wait to take it off. (I was in air conditioning, so it had nothing to do with Florida’s heat.) I felt lifted and supported until the very end, but I realized it wouldn’t be a good idea to treat this as an everyday bra every day because there are no hooks in back to make it tighter when the band inevitably stretches after frequent use.

But for pulling a dress over it and running to the grocery store directly from the beach? I couldn’t ask for anything better. Whenever I’ve run to the store in my saggy Panache Geneva tankini, I’ve felt gross. When I went grocery shopping in my Elomi Isis, I blended in with the rest of the shoppers, whether they came from the beach or the office.

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How many of you wear or have worn Elomi? It was fun to discover that SweetNothings is also exploring Elomi bras, and you can get another perspective on Elomi’s swim pieces from FussyBustyshe got the blue swim bra and briefs so that she could wear the adorable flared Regatta over it.

Comments

  1. My Elomi Rita is my favorite bra right now! I really want it in pink and the red that is coming out in September. I have yet to try any of their swimwear, but it’s on my list.

    • Darlene C. says:

      Would love to hear how you like their swimwear once you try it. And I’m also curious as to whether the Rita underwire is wide on you as well. If it is, and you like it anyways, then I may talk myself into a regular Elomi bra someday soon.

  2. Elomi doesn’t really love me. I had a full cup bra that was comfy enough, but far too much bra for me and my short torso and high set breasts. At the time i was wearing 36G, and i found the fit necessicitated going up a cup. The band is also super stretchy.

    I recently got an Elomi plunge balconette on clearance for $30. The plunge is minimal, and the gore is a bit wide for me. Akin to Panache. The fit is OK, but it is super comfy. I started on the middle hook, but I really need a 32 in Elomi. Which does not exist. After about a month, I’m at the last hook. I have officially sized out.

    • Darlene C. says:

      I’m finally catching up on comments, Jame. Thanks for sharing your experience with this brand! Too bad their bras don’t come in 32. Do you do better in Fantasie and Freya instead?

  3. I’ve been a big fan of Elomi bras since I was first fitted – I’m a fuller figured woman (38 G/40 FF) so I find their fits just about perfect on my frame. I have so many of their bras, it’s crazy.

    I also have the black Isis convertible swim bra, the hi-waist swim brief, and the bandeau tankini. I really do love their swim line – but I also thought the purple was a bit matronly. The newer stuff in navy is a lot cuter, and the stuff coming out this fall is adorable.

    • Darlene C. says:

      I think a sneak peek of their new stuff on Sevenlies is in order.
      You’re really lucky to have a go-to brand you can depend upon that offers so many options,.