Pretty Bras for Big Breasts: My Fave Fauve

My sister, who requires that I post at least a picture or a quote every day, is currently in Tokyo visiting her precious little grandchildren, so she probably won’t even appreciate these pictures. But here is my favorite Fauve bra for Spring/Summer 2014. With the silver embroidery, it looks amazingly elegant and beautiful in person.

big bust fauve fave blue

I still own my Fauve Lucia, even though it’s now a cup size too small. I confirmed this when I wore it to Freddy’s Eveden Fit School at CurveNY last week, but oh the compliments I got on it during my fitting!

It actually raised an interesting dilemma that some bra fitters face. I was being used for practice by a woman who sells bras in Vermont and was having difficulty fitting her customers into a certain Elomi style. Even though the Vermont seller appreciated having a live model in front of her, she was actually frustrated by my Fauve. Here’s why: none of her customers walk into her store wearing such a pretty bra that is even close to their actual size. Located two hours from any other lingerie store, the customers who come to her for a fitting are wearing stretched out old Balis and Maidenforms in 38DD’s. Freddy advised her to do whatever she could to make the customer’s original bra work before coming up with the first size to try, even if it mean tying the band in a knot in back to make it tight enough! Stories like these make me so appreciate the bra fitters who are doing their best, day in and day out, to put women in the right size.

Let’s finish today with a little more eye candy from Fauve to help erase the nightmare of stretched-out beige 38DD’s that I just put in your brain.

What’s your favorite?

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The sheer Chloe only goes to F, but the balconey goes to G/GG.

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fauve yellow

Living My Large Bust Ballerina Fantasy through Lingerie

Thank you for the great ideas you’ve given Leila for her next Fit Picky Full Bust Alterations post. She’s currently swamped with packing for a huge move, so she’ll publish her next full bust alteration post in September. Instead of Leila coming to Hourglassy this month, why don’t you go to Three Dresses Project to read about her recent bra-fitting adventure since losing 30 pounds, or her fall sewing inspirations? I would love it if she made 2013 her coat year.

Leila’s absence gives me an excuse to share pretty pictures with you from Curve NY, the lingerie trade show that ended yesterday. Here is one of the prettiest things that I have ever seen, from a new company called Monette.

big busts can wear the Monette silk skirt

Seeing this skirt reminded me of  my little girl ballerina dreams, the flowy tulle skirt with the Jaci Fredenburg corset that I wrote about in 2009, and Degas’ Little Dancer of Fourteen Years.

large bust ballerina dreams

Does the matching bra come in large cup sizes? Of course not–the brand is French after all–but as the rep rightly reminded me, the skirt fits ALL cup sizes.

Fortunately, there are beautiful large cup options available if we want to match a bra with a flowy bottom, including a new startup called Sunday Intimates. Founded by two friends from L.A. who wear sizes 30FF and 28G, their brand is designed for small bands (28-34) and large cups (British sizes D-H). You’ll read more about Sunday Intimates from the other full-bust bloggers who fell in love with them, but for now I want to introduce you to their Dottie bra and briefs in their signature “Sunday Nude” and navy.

big bust dottie in sunday nude and navy

Doesn’t the thought of pairing the Sunday Intimates Dottie in Sunday Nude with the Monette skirt make you very happy?

big bust dottie with silk tulle skirt

Pretty Bras for Big Breasts: Crème Bralée

Let’s begin with the most important question: How’s the fit?

Answer: American (32-46 C-G). For those of you who wear up to an F cup in the British brands, you have another beautiful option. For those of us who wear above a British F cup, there’s a chance that the Crème Bralée G cup will fit some of us because I read a comment in an online forum that Creme Bralee’s cups run large. Unfortunately, the two 36G bras that I ordered weren’t large enough for me. For a detailed review of the actual bras that I tried, scroll to the bottom of this post (where you’ll also find a 20% discount code!). For the short story: the bands were great, but the cups were two inches too shallow for me.

Outside of being sized out of Crème Bralée, there are a lot of things I like about the brand.

First, of course, is all the prettiness. The model in the photo below is wearing the Marlena bra in 32DD, and I love the gathers along the cup seams (you can see them better if you zoom in to the photo on their website).

pretty big breast bras from creme bralee

The hot pink Amanda clamshell bra is much more vivid in person and on their website than in my photo above, and this brings me to Crème Bralée’s bold use of color. They choose colors meant to look good on everyone, and they try them out on a variety of skin tones, including that of their Asian-American designer Liz (below left) and their African-American assistant designer Khaaliqa (below right), each of whom I met at the Crème Bralée launch event a few weeks ago.

Creme Bralee designers

Second, I admire the passion of the people behind this brand. It all began with Meryl, their vice-president, who has been at the company for 31 years. Until she stepped in, the 63-year-old parent company, Q-T Intimates, was purely “a white bra company”. Then Meryl introduced a red bra into their lineup, and it became a bestseller. She wanted to add large bust sizes years ago, but she couldn’t get buyers to pay attention.

Now she and Liz visit Europe and Montreal to scout out the trends for their large bust brand, and Liz was very excited to showcase some of their upcoming designs. If they would expand these upcoming designs to cup sizes beyond their current range, I would be thrilled.

Here’s my favorite. It reminds me of something that would come from Aubade or La Perla.

big bust bra in aubade like design

Bows anyone?

rare bows for big busts

This is such an elegant way to add embellishments while maintaining a smooth look under knits.

A pretty embellished aqua bra for big busts

In determining the direction for their brand, I bet you can guess the deciding factor: whether or not to show nipple. Wouldn’t you love to have been in their conference room while they debated this? Ultimately, they decided to keep nipples hidden in order to go in a “sophisticated sexy” direction.

As neither Meryl nor Liz are large-busted, this makes Khaaliqa’s input extremely important. During the design stage, Khaaliqa is constantly asked,“Would a big girl wear that?”, and she constantly answers, “Of course! Confidence doesn’t depend on size!”

Finally, I like the Crème Bralée prices. For my review, I purchased the two most expensive bras, which came to $36 each after the DDD+ surcharge. (Speaking of the surcharge, it didn’t actually bother me until it came time to pay it. Crème Bralée could give a more big-bust friendly impression if they spread the extra cost among all their sizes.) Under $50 is the price I would expect to pay for a Curvy Kate bra in a customs-less and duty-free world.

Right now, Crème Bralée seems to occupy a similar space as Whimsy by Lunaire and Cacique. I hope the design team’s vision will extend to a British JJ because I would love to see Fussy Busty in one of their designs. Gorgeous designs in truly large bust sizes for less than $50 would be a dream come true for American D+ consumers.

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I wanted to try the Bettina in Capri after Liz told me it was their bestseller. The contoured cups were far too shallow on me, and this made me sad because everything else was right about this bra: the band was snug on the loosest hook, the underwires ended where they are supposed to at the side of my breast tissue, and there was no extra space at the bottom of the cups. I so wish I could have everything about this bra in a deeper cup.

Bettina 1

Here are some of the design details that I didn’t notice at the launch event. First, the center gore is actually a sweet black lace.

great black lace center gore for big bust bra

Second, the side bands are in a sheer black stretch lace.

sheer lace band for bettina big bust bra

I had higher hopes that the Colette would fit since it is a two-part cut and sew bra. I could see its mauve color being a happy basic for me (similar to what Claudette offers), but it was not to be. My breasts were less flattened in the Colette, but the cups were still too shallow. Like the Bettina, the band was snug on the loosest hooks, the wires ended exactly at the end of my side breast tissue, and there was no empty space at the bottom of the cup.

Colette 36G from Creme Bralee

I liked the pleated straps a lot, even though that limits our ability to adjust them.

Colette pretty bra for big breasts pleated straps

I also liked the sparkling glass bead at the center gore.

colette center charm on big bust bra

However, I was surprised to find raw edges where the bands attach to the leotard straps. Hopefully this is a production issue that they will address in future runs–unless it’s one of the reasons the price is so low. Interestingly, Colette only has two hooks per column, but the Bettina has three.

big bust bra Colette unfinished seam

If Crème Bralée was designed to fit your bust size, it will fit your wallet size even better with this 20% discount code until June 30: CBLAUNCH20. It applies to all Crème Bralée styles, there’s no minimum order, and it has a one-time use limit per customer. (By the way, if you order matching panties, do NOT open them until you’re sure the bra fits because Crème Bralée will not accept returns of any opened panties.) There’s even a free shipping option!

Another Fiona: Reader K Also Reviews the 30G

Somehow in the shipping of the Parfait bras to Leah (Fiona and Arabella) and my niece (the Fiona) for their reviews, I ended up with an extra Fiona in 30G. Happily, Reader K entered the giveaway and asked for a Fiona in 30G, so she won something right away! Even better, she’s written her own review, so you’ll get another perspective of the fit of a 30G on someone with a different shape from Leah.

Appearance: 10/10
To start off, the bra is quite pretty. The fabric is a really soft, silky champagne colored satin with brownish maroon lace along the top of the cups. Parfait adds to the glamor of this bra with a small sequined charm at the gore. I like that the cups are lightly lined and are very soft and flexible. The band is mesh and clasps with 3 hook and eye closures. Overall, the Fiona is a beautiful bra that looks like it it is sewn to last!

30G Parfait Fiona reviewed

Fit: 8/10
I waited until I had worn this bra a few times just so I could give a more accurate review! I normally wear a 28G but decided to try the Fiona in a 30G since their sizes start at a 30 band and I read online that Parfait’s bands run tight. The 30G turned out to be a good fit. I gave the Fiona an 8/10 in the fit department for two reasons. Firstly, the straps aren’t fully adjustable. If you’re a short gal like me this can be a problem when the bra begins to stretch (thankfully, I have a little sewing know-how and a good tailor for when I get in over my head). Secondly, the cups are just a hair shallow and wide on me, though not by much. The bra is very comfortable to wear and has earned a spot in my normal rotation!