Last week, I wrote about a cotton bra from Kalyani (now Faubourg 183) that turned out to be unsuccessful. This week I’ll follow up with another cotton bra from Bestform (formerly Vanity Fair). Unfortunately, this one wasn’t successful either.
The particular bra is the Bestform “Rich Cotton” balconette. Here’s the photo from Figleaves.com (from which I purchased it):
I didn’t have very high hopes for this garment, since it has a large number of reviews but a rating of only 3.5 stars out of 5. But like I said last week, for $20 and 60% cotton, I definitely had to try it anyways. Plus, it looks really nice in the photo. The bit of mesh at the top of the cups and the little buttons on the center gore give it a bit of interest instead of being totally plain.
So first impressions: very high quality. The cups are a nice, heavy cotton. The wings are also quite substantial—a somewhat heavy, smooth polyester blend. The mesh at the top of the cups is soft, not scratchy.
Second impression: The band fits true to size. This is actually unfortunate for me, because I ordered a 30 since they don’t make 28s. But it wasn’t so loose that it was unwearable, so I still would’ve kept it if the cups were right. Too bad the fit was terrible! I do have to start with the caveat that I gained enough weight over the holidays to bump me up a cup size (but not a band size…go figure), and I ordered this in my usual size instead of taking that weight gain into account (oops!), so I was actually trying on one cup size too small. However, that being said, the shape was still just bizarre. It wasn’t just pointy, it was square. Here is a crude drawing of the profile it created:
Taking into account the fact that I wasn’t wearing the correct size, I still think it would’ve had a squarish-shape due to the somewhat low placement of the horizontal seam. It’s just weird. I’ve never had a bra give me this shape before, correct sizing or otherwise.
Now, every woman’s breasts are a different shape, and some boobs are more malleable than others, and, as such, can fit into pointier styles. But for me, that is not the case. Even though the cups were one size small, I wasn’t even filling them in all the way. There was a pocket of empty space along the horizontal seam. This is actually something that is mentioned in some of the reviews on Figleaves, so again I don’t think it’s purely due to me trying the wrong size. And a pocket of empty space equals visible seams under clothes! So it’s another no-go. The search for the perfect full-busted cotton bra continues…
Too-small seamed bras often give me that squarish shape. If the cups were the right size for you, I’m guessing they’d be pretty triangular, but since they’re two small, your breast pushes the apex down and another angle is created at the top. The empty space can be a symptom of a bra being too small, too, but I have a feeling this bra wouldn’t give you a good shape in the correct size either.
I’ve heard some molded Ewa Michalak bras are lined in cotton. Or do you want a cotton bra for breathability? Synthetic mesh should keep you just as cool and dry. I think cotton bras are hard to find because it’s just not a good material choice for bras–it stretches out as you wear it and shrinks when you wash it, that can’t give good support.
I agree, the appropriate cup size would make a world of difference. But since other reviewers listed the same problem of empty space inside the seam, I think it’s just not the right shape for me regardless…and I also didn’t really feel like dealing with a cross-continental exchange 😛
I’m less concerned with breathability and more just find it strange that big-busted bras with any cotton content are such an anomaly. In general, I prefer natural fibers for as much of my clothing as possible. Since cotton stretches more than synthetic fabrics, a cotton BLEND is definitely best. Shrinking doesn’t really factor in either because I don’t use hot water or the dryer for washing lingerie.
How did you find the wires of that bra? Not too narrow? You could experiment with other bras from that brand some more if the wire width was good on you.
Ha! I NEVER find wires to be too narrow! Almost every brand in existence has way too wide wires for my shape. Bestform was actually a pretty good fit in that department, but I probably wouldn’t try this brand again anyways since it doesn’t come in a 28 band and the 30 felt true-to-size. I only tried this particular bra because it was cotton.