After writing about my desire for a cotton bra in a couple posts now, I finally found one! Unfortunately, however, the Kalyani “Natural Charm” was a resounding FAILURE.
Here’s a picture of the garment from Brastop.com, from which I ordered it:
This bra is currently on sale for only 8.95 GBP (less than $14 USD). So cheap! It’s available in gray, black, and white, and cup sizes up to K, even in the 28 band (miracle find!). I tried searching the internet for reviews of this bra to get an idea of the fit, but didn’t really find anything. The mere four reviews on Brastop were all positive, and listed it as “true to fit.” So I threw the dice and ordered my usual 28FF.
When it arrived, my first impression was very positive. Though the fabric content lists the cotton as only 18%, it felt nice and soft. And the seams going up the center of the cup were barely visible, so there should be no seam show-through. I was also pleased to see that the band was made of the same fabric as the cups; I hate it when solid cups have a sheer mesh band. Additionally, the entire bra was lined with a soft, fine mesh. As cotton has a tendency to stretch out more and faster than acrylic fabrics, I think this mesh would really help keep the stretching out to a minimum.
Then I tried it on, and was thoroughly disappointed. The cups were at least two sizes too small! And the neckline was much more of a balconette than it looks in the photo. The cups were almost completely horizontal across my boobs. Brastop describes it as a balconette, so I wasn’t expecting severe triangle-shaped cups or anything—but the photo led me to believe the straps would attach at least a little higher than the center gore. With such gentle seams giving it structure in the front, I’m not sure how much support the shape would have given even if the cups were big enough.
I really wanted to exchange it for a bigger cup size, but Brastop didn’t have any of the colors available in 28GG, which is what I’m pretty sure I would need. And I can’t seem to find any other stores that sell this model, or any Kalyani bras for that matter.
A few days after I sent back the Kalyani order, however, I received a Figleaves sale email, and when I clicked through to the 28FF and 30F options, I found another cotton bra: the Bestform (formerly Vanity Fair) “Rich Cotton” balconette (in 30F only, no 28 bands). Now, the reviews for this one are decidedly mixed, with only 3.5 out of 5 stars, and repeated comments that state the seams are visible under clothing and it gives a pointy shape. But for $20 and 60% cotton—sixty percent!—I couldn’t help myself. I ordered one in each color (black and white) just in case it actually works for me. I’ll post a review as soon as they arrive in the mail.