Off the Rack ~ Lise Charmel “Guipure Charming” Demi Bra Review

As part of the last Curve Expo, Darlene and I were invited to a Lingerie Française meetup at Ladurée SoHo. We got to meet a bunch of fellow bloggers as well as brand ambassadors for several French lingerie brands, all while enjoying a cute French meal followed by all the sweets we could eat.

Naturally, I dressed to match the dessert (this is the Lindy Bop “Vanessa” Wiggle Dress in size UK 12/ US Medium).

Naturally, I dressed to match the dessert (this is the Lindy Bop “Vanessa” Wiggle Dress in size UK 12/ US Medium).

Om nom nom!

Om nom nom!

A bonus of the evening was the goodie bags we received, which included an invitation to try a Lise Charmel lingerie set. Since I’ve never tried French lingerie, I was really excited to have this opportunity, especially after chatting with the Lise Charmel rep at dinner, to whom I even spoke a little French.

Disclosure: These items were received as review samples. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

I was unsure on sizing since, like most French lingerie, Lise Charmel bras start at 30 band and use a single-letter cup schema that stops at G or, rarely, H (which is about a UK FF). But I was advised that French bras offer much more projection in the bottom of the cup, and that the difference between each letter is bigger than the difference between UK cup sizes, so a French 30G should fit if I’m normally a UK 28G, so that’s what I went with.

The set I received is the “Guipure Charming” demi bra and shorty-style bikini in blush pink. It features a sheer lacey mesh base with allover embroidery that resembles tattooing on the body. A two-part cup, the bottom half is lined in light tulle, and there’s a tulle side sling as well. The embroidery features tiny touches of white and there’s a sparkly Swarovski crystal charm in the gore. Finally, the straps are half-adjustable, with the front side splitting into two and featuring a piece of embroidery to match. The band back is solid, stretchy, unlined fabric.

guipure_charming3-crop

The bra is really beautiful, and the embroidery is surprisingly smooth and soft, and doesn’t show through fabric except maybe the wispiest of tee shirts. This shade of blush pink works as a perfect nude against my pale skin tone. And while the mesh/tulle base looks and feels deliciously delicate, the bra actually gives excellent support.

The bra gives a very natural, almost minimized shape. I think I look much smaller in it under my clothes than, say, a Cleo unlined. The shape is rounded on the bottom half and a little sloped and pointy on the upper half. Additionally, the wires are only a little wider than I need and the projection at the base of the cup is just about spot-on.

This photo of the beige color from Amazon is a pretty accurate representation of the shape.

This photo of the beige color from Amazon is a pretty accurate representation of the shape.

Unfortunately, the sizing really isn’t right for me. For one thing, the band is too big and stretchy on me. On the tightest setting, I can still pull it away from my body significantly. Then the cups are too small, with a little pillowing on my smaller boob, and a full cup size too small on my bigger boob, resulting in quad boob. Seems like what I would really need is a band down and a cup up, which would be 28I (remember that with sister-sizing, one band down but the same cup volume would be 28H).

To be fair, I’m more often a 28GG these days than 28G, so I knew 30G might be a bit small in the cups if it was recommended for a true UK 28G.

The bra overall.

The bra overall.

Look how delicate the fabric is on the upper portion of the cup under the embroidery. Yet still strong, somehow!

Look how delicate the fabric is on the upper portion of the cup under the embroidery. Yet still strong, somehow!

Here, you can see the difference between the upper cup (left side of the seam) and the tulle-lined lower cup (right side).

Here, you can see the difference between the upper cup (left side of the seam) and the tulle-lined lower cup (right side).

The strap decoration.

The strap decoration.

The soft, stretchy band.

The soft, stretchy band.

The interior construction, including side sling.

The interior construction, including side sling.

The crystal-adorned gore.

The crystal-adorned gore.

A closeup of the embroidery.

A closeup of the embroidery.

And another closeup because it’s so dang pretty.

And another closeup because it’s so dang pretty.

Sadly, I don’t know of any French brands that offer size 28I (though Passionata does do 30H in some models). In fact, with the gorgeous details and amazing quality, I would definitely consider French brands in 30H if it was a bra that I really loved and the cups fit well. But Lisa Charmel’s 30-bands stop at G (though they do have 32H in 3-part full cup styles), so I’m out of luck in this case.

As for the panties, with most brands I’m in between medium and large, but I absolutely hate underwear that digs into my muffin tops or doesn’t have enough cheek coverage, so I guessed on a large this time. It looked enormous when I unwrapped it, but then it fit pretty okay while on. The elastic at the waistband is tight enough to grip my body without falling or shifting around, but it doesn’t dig in. Unfortunately for me, though, there is nowhere near enough fabric in the back. The moment I take a step, the panties ride straight up my butt and give a horrible, uncomfortable wedgie. So I can’t really recommend these for the more voluptuously gifted in rear.

img_4830

img_4831

 

Save

Save

Comments

  1. Does the band ride up? Just asking because higher-end French brands use a better quality of materials so you often get bands that can be pulled out quite far manually, but fit firm on the body. I haven’t tried a Lise Charmel in almost 20 years though, so it could definitely be too big, I can’t say. Lejaby Elixir has very small-running bands so a 30 (French 80) band would likely fit you nicely in that brand if you usually wear a 28! Some of their models fit very big in the cup.