In my quest to own 7 everyday bras, I finally used my La Petite Coquette store credit a few weeks ago and experienced yet another bout of buyer’s remorse afterward. Can you tell which bra is my newest and least favorite based on the profiles below?

From left to right, they are the (a) Wacoal Alluring in 36G, (b) Chantelle Rive Gauche in 34H, (c) Prima Donna Madison in 36H, and (d) Empreinte Kaela in 34G.

And the answer is . . . (b)!

When I tried this on in the dressing room, I thought it was amazing.  In my excitement at finding such a pretty everyday bra that seemed to fit so well, I forgot to check my profile.  Don’t let this happen to you, ladies.  A pretty bra that seems to fit (my Rive Gauche tacks perfectly in the center with no bulge at the top or sides) must be accompanied by good lift!

After spending time in my Alluring and Kaela lately, the Rive Gauche was, literally, a letdown.  Perhaps it’s all the elasticity in the Rive Gauche’s lace and straps.  The Alluring and Kaela have no extra stretch whatsoever.  I’m also not a fan of the way the fabric at the bottom of the Rive Gauche curls under the underwire instead of lying flat.  And when I lift my arms, the bra lifts from the base of my breasts . . . does this mean the cups are too shallow?

Given my experience, I was surprised to find very few negative reviews of this bra on Herroom.  Here are the four that shared my opinion:

“Not supportive enough. Doesn’t lift the breast – hangs too low even with strap adjustments.”

“The band ran big for me and the cup was small. I wear 32-34 H in other brands so it surprised me the cup was not by any means adequate.”

“The material and straps have too much give. Even with the three part construction, there’s not enough lift or shaping.”

“The softness and stretchiness will be appreciated by many wearers — for me, I suppose a more rigid construction is best.”

But now I’m kicking myself for straying from my original 7 bra shopping list!  And I just re-read my own post about Chantelle last March.  I should have gone for the Icone or the Cachemire, both of which have deeper cups than the Rive Gauche.  Arrgh!  I also forgot that I wanted the Prima Donna Madison in 36G this time around.  No wonder the 34H wasn’t right when I tried it that day.  My fitter suggested I try a 34I, but I knew that wouldn’t work either.

Which brings me to a conclusion that I’m finally coming to terms with:  La Petite Coquette is not a good place to shop for bras if you are big-breasted.  Yes, they have a few bras in D+ sizes, but not enough for their fitters to give you the options that you need. Perhaps if they had enough options, their fitters would have a better understanding of the nuances of fit.  After four bouts of buyer’s remorse at this store, (see here, here and here), I’d like to say that they’d be fine if you lived in a small town with few options, but I don’t even believe that anymore.  If you lived in a small town where La Petite Coquette was your only option, you’d be better off making an annual trip to a store farther away that has a reputation for consistently accurate fittings.

The other day I was talking about bra sizes with the two large-busted, slightly plus-sized women behind the counter at a picture framing shop.  One had just been fitted at La Petite Coquette for her wedding.  She’d wanted pretty, sexy bras, but her fitter had told her that none were available in her size.  Can you say TRAGIC?

If I someday hear that La Petite Coquette has updated their approach to the full-busted market, I will be glad to give them another try.  Until then, I’ll keep looking for stores that score high in all three of my criteria for One of the Good Ones.

And from now on, I’ll remember to check my profile before purchasing any bra!!