Erin & Capucine, Two Pretty Busty Basics from Empreinte

The shape and lift of my Empreinte Grace is so perfect that I wondered if I could find a beige equivalent to wear under my white shirts. In the past, every time I wore my Empreinte Kaela or Wacoal Alluring, someone would take me aside and whisper, “I don’t know if you realize it, but I can see your bra.”

Consequently, for the longest time I depended on the very safe Fantasie 4510 or 4520 . . . until my breasts were no longer full enough on top for the 4510, and the 4520 became “too much bra”. I had high hopes for the Natori+Support Pure Alluring, but it failed to live up to my expectations.

When I began my search for a new basic beige, I discovered that Empreinte must be the only lingerie manufacturer in the world that doesn’t produce a basic beige bra. Their cut-and-sew bras are decorated with lace, and their molded bras are constructed of lace. The most basic bra I could find was the Capucine, a discontinued style on sale at Bare Necessities. With a Cyber Monday discount code, I captured the last remaining 32F for only $70.

capucine basic pic

Although it’s a 3-part cup, I learned at Curve on Sunday that Empreinte describes this particular style as a balconette because the neckline is lower than it is in their full cup style. Essentially, it’s a 3/4 cup bra. The seams up the front of the cups, together with the lower neckline across the top of the cups, give this bra a completely different shape from that of Empreinte’s molded full cup bras.

I had a heads up about the different shape from one of the Bare Necessities reviews: “The cup is a little strange at first. Once it was washed the cup relaxed and fit like a glove.” Here is the shape on me when I first put the Capucine on under a skin tight camisole–definitely more “pokey-pokey” than rounded.

Hourglassy 123

The shape above is never this pronounced under my regular clothing–including knits–and with washing and wear, it has become more relaxed. I LOVE the slimming effect that this bra gives by centering my breasts, and as much as I adore the rounded shape of the Grace, I look smaller in this cut-and-sew bra.

capucine compare with grace

Capucine on the left, Grace on the right.

The fit of this bra in 32F is perfect on me. The center gore tacks, the underwires are neither too wide nor too narrow, and there is NO extra space at the bottom of the cups. It’s wonderful to find that Empreinte bras are consistent in sizing across styles. The Capucine band felt slightly more relaxed than the Grace band, and after two weeks of wear I moved it to the middle column of hooks where I have stayed for the past few months.

After passing the fit test, the next big hurdle is the white shirt test.

capucine closer under white shirt-001

It passes: the lace is invisible, and the seams are only slightly visible where they intersect at the apex. I can definitely live with this.

Having found my new basic beige bra, I couldn’t wait to tell you all about it–but I hated to get you excited about a bra that is no longer available. I contacted Empreinte to find out if any of their current offerings were comparable to the Capucine, and they offered to send me the Erin in 32F in noisette to compare.

As soon as I opened the package, my heart sank. It was exquisite, even though it is far from the most intricate of Empreinte’s styles, but how could the lace not show up under my shirt? And the panel of tulle is so deep that I was sure my nipples would show through. Finally, what about the pale print on the bottom half of the cups?

empreinte erin closeup

Well, here is what it looks like under my shirt.

empreinte erin under white shirt-001

Surprisingly, it’s the lattice seam up the middle that is most visible. Otherwise, there is NO lace showing, NO pattern showing, and NO aureolae showing (they are are completely contained by the solid fabric at the bottom half of the cups).

This may not be the case for everyone, however. Here is what the Erin balconette looked like on the model at Curve on Sunday.

empreinte erin front view

I have only had time to wear this bra for one afternoon, but once again, the fit is consistent with the others except for some slight pillowing where the strip of fabric that stabilizes the top of the lace pulls across my breast tissue (theory #1: by centering the bust, a cut-and-sew gives you a lot more fullness on top; theory #2: this pillowing is more of an issue in 3/4 cup bras because the higher neckline of full cup bras does not cut across the breast tissue). It may relax more with wear. The shape is identical to the Capucine, but the band feels much more snug. I suspect this is because the bra came directly from the manufacturer and hasn’t been tried and returned by customers. Also, the fabric composition is slightly different. Finally, after wearing this bra for six hours, I felt a bit of the discomfort that comes from breaking in a new bra, but not enough to make me want to avoid wearing it again. The lift and support are phenomenal.

empreinte erin tulle center

Only as I prepared this post did I notice the sheer center composed of two layers of tulle.

If I wanted to avoid the lattice seams showing through my shirt, I could opt for the full cup style instead.

erin full cup on model

However, I love the lattice seams.

Besides, if someone tells me they can see my bra the next time I wear the Erin under one of my white shirts, I’m prepared with two possible responses. I could say, “Isn’t it pretty?” Or I could simply offer to show them the rest of it!

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Sizing: The balconette is available in a 30G. The full cup begins with a 32 band.

Comments

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous bras!! And I laughed at your theoretical responses. Haha! I am certain my bras show through shirts that I own, but no one has ever mentioned it. I think I will use one of those responses if I find myself in that situation 😉

  2. Gorgeous!
    i have also been looking for a tshirt bra. Just got the Panache Cari in 30G. Even has a j hook on the straps. Love it!

    • Good to know because I’m thinking of doing a roundup of readers’ favorite tee shirt bras. What do you like about the Cari?

  3. The first one looks like one of my standbys, Cleo’s Juna. Bratabase says the size range is 28D-F and 30-38 D-H, so it might work.