Big Bust Celebration Wrap-Up to Come

I hope our posts have been useful this month. In the weeks ahead, we’ll create a page with links to all the posts we’ve written on the subject, plus our favorites from other bloggers. Speaking of other bloggers, be sure to check out Wide Curves’ Lauren Ralph Lauren finds. I’m looking forward to her upcoming posts on her strapless/multiway bra search, too.

Tomorrow begins Swimsuit Month here at Hourglassy!

Off the Rack ~ Longline Bra reviews: Passionata Bloom & Claudette Dessous

The last time I wrote about a longline bra was the unsuccessful Freya Piper nearly two years ago. Though that one didn’t work out, I’ve since been on the hunt for a better longline. I really love the way they look, and I very much appreciate how well a longline band stays in place. You can sister size up one, if not two, bands and it still won’t ride up since it’s so wide. This is great for me, because there are a lot more 30 and 32 band longlines out there than there are 28s.

This week I’m reviewing the Passionata Bloom longline and the Claudette Dessous longline. Disclosure: The Claudette was purchased with my own money, but the Passionata bra was received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

First a thank you to both Bare Necessities and Passionata for getting the Bloom to me. BN was out of only my size in this bra, so I emailed them to ask if it was a size they simply didn’t offer, or if it was sold out, would they be getting more? The answer was yes, it’s a size they offer, but it was in fact sold out. But they offered to contact the manufacturer to get me one to review. Then when Darlene and I toured the Passionata/Chantelle showroom, they mentioned that it was on its way, and later even followed up once it shipped. So thanks to both companies, because I definitely need this gorgeous bra in my life!

So here is an aaaaaadorable overall photo of Bloom:

bloom_bra_hipster_lifestyle

And a clearer manufacturer’s photo of a bustier model:

Bloom_bustier_bra

On the Passionata website, Bloom is listed as a longline, but on most sites that sell it, it’s listed as a demi. I would argue that it’s somewhere in between. The band is only a fraction longer than usual in front, but is significantly longer than average in back, with five rows of hooks and eyes (and four columns!). So it looks pretty standard from the front, but comes up high in back.

This bra is offered in 30 bands, but it stops at G cup (French, so the equivalent of UK F) instead of H (UK FF), so I had to sister size twice from UK 28G to 32F (i.e. I got the listed size of French 32G). As I’m wearing it on the tightest setting, a 30 definitely would have been ideal, but as I stated above, the width still keeps it from riding up, and the gore even tacks (though less firmly than it would in a tighter band).

So here are some detail shots:

The inside of the bra.

The inside of the bra.

Of course I have to make note of the teeny tiny bow on the care tag. Such a cute detail!

Of course I have to make note of the teeny tiny bow on the care tag. Such a cute detail!

A closeup of the ever-so-slightly longer than usual band from the inside.

A closeup of the ever-so-slightly longer than usual band from the inside.

The many hooks and eyes make me wish all bras had four columns.

The many hooks and eyes make me wish all bras had four columns.

And finally, the amaaaaazing bright colors.

And finally, the amaaaaazing bright colors.

As for fit, I find it to be really comfortable and have a nice shape. The cups seem deeper at the base than my molded Starlight bra was, which is great for me. The wires are sufficiently close together at the gore for my relatively close-set breasts, and as I mentioned above, the gore tacks well despite the technically-too-big band.

The cups are made up of two layers—a super sheer mesh balconnet shape underneath triangular stretch lace side slings that meet the straps. The layers are attached along a single vertical seam over the nipple, so the lace doesn’t flap around like the Figleaves Paige and Lulu Tout Amelie.

Finally, a feature I really like is the ultra-soft and ultra-wide neon pink elastic at the top of the band. It is so comfortable. It’s also used as the waistband for the matching panties, but I really wish Passionata would use it on the bottom of a bra band too.

Here are some detail shots of the bra on me:

A closeup of the “long” line.

A closeup of the “long” line.

The back, with its wonderful pink elastic trim.

The back, with its wonderful pink elastic trim.

The bra under a camisole.

The bra under a camisole.

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Now, I do have two minor complaints. First, I kind of wish the band was longer in front. This short length tends to bunch up. Although unlike Freya’s Piper, the short band means there’s less fabric to scrunch up and it’s not painful—but it’s a bit annoying. Here’s a comparison of when I first put it on, and then after a bunch of movement:

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The second complaint is that although I like the look of the tall back, the extra height means that the cups come up rather high under the arm, and have a tendency to rub my armpit:

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Thankfully, the fabric is soft enough that again it doesn’t hurt, but again it’s a minor annoyance. In the end, though, I would definitely buy this bra again. It’s just so beautiful! I wish I could wear it as a shirt.

The next bra I’ll discuss is the Claudette Dessous longline, which I bought on flash sale site Zulily.com. I have a few Dessous bras, each bought from a different season, and they all fit or feel slightly different. The neon green one from their very first collection is shallow, small in the cup, big in the band, and the fabric is quite stiff. The orange with pink trim, from the successive season, fits closer to true to size, and is still stiff. The camouflage with neon lime trim from Spring 2013 is very much true to size and the fabric is softer. And finally, the “concrete and hot coral” longline I’ve got here is the softest fabric yet!

My first Dessous was 30G (UK) since they didn’t offer 28 bands at the time. And since the cups ran small, I stuck with 30G even once they started offering 28 because they topped out at G. At the moment, I’m in between 28G and GG anyhow, so I figured a slightly too big cup would be better than slightly too small. My camouflage Dessous is quite large in the cups, enough that I could probably have gotten away with a 28G, but the longline 30G is definitely correct in the cups.

All this sizing inconsistency makes it really hard to guess at your size when ordering from a non-refundable source like Zulily or the Claudette Encore sale section (for discontinued leftovers from past seasons), but I would say the longline fits true to size in the band and one size small in the cups.

Let’s get to some photos now, shall we?

dessous

The manufacturer photo looks more coral, but the pink trim is definitively neon pink in real life:

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The inside of the bra.

The inside of the bra.

A closeup of the boning below the underwire.

A closeup of the boning below the underwire.

Four rows and again four columns of hooks and eyes.

Four rows and again four columns of hooks and eyes.

As for the rest of fit, the cups are only the tiniest bit shallow on my full-on-bottom boobs. The boning makes the band come to a slight point where it’s attached:

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I’m wearing the band on the tightest setting since it’s a 30, but again it’s well anchored due to the width:

Check out that hot pink band!

Check out that hot pink band!

And the wires don’t come up too high on the sides, so there’s no rubbing:

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Again I have to reiterate how freaking soft the fabric is. This bra is so light and airy! It’s just perfect for summer. And the shape is quite round yet still natural looking:

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Note, however, that the horizontal seam does dig in a smidge and give a bit of a lumpy profile—I would guess as a side effect of the mesh being so soft and thin:

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After all this gushing about comfort and softness, though, I do have one big complaint. Once again the extended band is not long enough to stay down. The boning helps, but it’s still not long enough. In fact, when I wore this bra on a particularly active day, the boning actually curled into a C-shape (imagine the left side of the C being up against my ribs) and became very uncomfortable. I kept reaching up my shirt to try and fix it, but it wasn’t until I took the bra off that I realized how much it had bent. I easily bent the boning back to straight, but I certainly don’t expect it to stay that way.

Since the boning is my only complaint and I’m completely enamored with the fabric, I’ll definitely buy more Dessous bras in the future, but I’ll stick with the regular ones and skip the longlines.

 

Best Breasts Forward ~ Hot Mama

I’ve always been a “sweater”. When I was young it wasn’t a problem. Yes, it gets very hot in Michigan but there was always a lake nearby I could jump into and even as teenagers we never felt too cool for sprinklers, water guns or a homemade SlipNSlide. Growing up in Michigan, it was never as humid as it gets here in NYC. It is absolutely true what they say “It isn’t the heat, it’s the humidity that kills you.”

In the summer I become a different kind of “hot mama”. I swear it’s like my breasts are ginormous heat factories! No one can convince me there aren’t little men in there whose only job in the factory is to keep the furnaces going. Even after I get inside in the air conditioning, it takes me at least 15 minutes to cool off. I guess it takes the little men in the heat factories a while to get the message that the work whistle has sounded and it’s time to go home.

It starts from my breasts and radiates upwards to my neck and face and outward to my armpits, and I begin to sweat. All up under my boobs, on my face and under my pits. This. Is. Not. Sexy.

Let’s just be real. Unless you’re working out or having sex, sweating under your boobs feels nasty as hell! It also leaves awful marks on your clothes. Just wondering if anyone can see how much sweating works on my nerves, which makes me sweat more. I can almost picture my beautiful bra soaking it up. It makes me want to rush home and give my beauties a good wash while apologizing profusely for taking them out in the heat.

So what’s a busty gal to do? I can’t go braless and let them get a little air. I’ve tried the old school powder method but hate that when it mixes with the sweat, I’ve basically created the base for paper mâché!

I’ve decided to try Persper-eez Breast Sweat Pads. They are made for women that are a B cup or larger and have good reviews. I’ll let y’all know how they work out.image

In the meantime, I’m reaching out to my readers. What are your sweaty solutions?

Big Bust Celebration Dressing: Kris Line Has Your Back

Two years ago, this woman’s outfit made me wish for wide bra bands that are made to be seen. My idea was to create detachable panels that could cover the band, but none of you took me up on inventing it.

beige bra scoop back

It’s not just a wide band problem. This woman’s narrow band isn’t meant to be seen either.

bra band curse example

Then I found Kris Line’s visible bra back solution in their Spring/Summer 2015 look book–they moved the hooks and eyes of their Stella Deco Plunge Silicon bra to the side! Genious!

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This bra is scheduled to be available at the end of June, and it is supposed to come in white, beige, and black. There’s another color that looks like a pale grey in the book–I’ll update this post once I’ve confirmed.

As usual with Kris Line, it’s hard to find a U.S. retailer who carries the brand. Santa Bellman, the owner of La Bella Intimates in Winter Park, Florida, has told me that she can special order it for anyone who contacts her, but she suggested I contact the company directly for sizing help.  I sent my measurements in centimeters (101 cm over bust, 86 cm under bust) to a company rep and was told that I probably wear a 36DD. I’m not so sure about that.

To find my Kris Line size, I’m going to connect with Braology. If you live in or near New York City, why don’t you join me? They have just received several Kris Line sizing samples, and they have availability at two of their upcoming fitting parties tonight and June 6, as well as at a drop-in event they’re hosting from 11-6 in Manhattan next Saturday. I’ll probably go next Saturday afternoon. It’s not just the Stella bra back that’s motivating me–Braology is also taking pre-orders for Kris Line swimwear, including some of the pieces I gushed about last year.