We all know the hassle of bra-shopping online, but my wornout bras have made me so desperate that I went ahead and ordered online, hoping that my knowledge of the different bra brands and my recent swimsuit shopping would cut down on the need for too many returns and exchanges. No such luck. Out of all the bras, there’s only one that I would purchase, and even its center gore doesn’t tack.
Here’s a rundown from my least favorite to my favorite, with the advantages and disadvantages of each in case you’re also in the market for an everyday beige or black bra.
6. Cleo Juna 36H
Truth be told, I only chose this one because of how cute it looked in strawberry, which wasn’t even available in my size.
I knew from past experience that Cleo bands run tight, and the 36 was perfect. Plus it tacked. But there was way too much room at the top of the cups. And it looks pretty boring in beige (although that wouldn’t have stopped me from keeping it if it fit). Next time I try a Cleo, it will be a 36G and 36GG.
5. Rosa Faia Twin Firm 36H
I knew from my Anita sports bra that these bands run snug, and again the 36 was perfect. In my past life, I would have thought this bra was perfect, too! It really is super comfortable, and I like that it has an inner sling to keep your breasts more centered, and I like its center pull straps that are wonderfully cushioned. But the shape reminded me too much of my days in the Wacoal Bodysuede seamless . . . pretty matronly.
4. Chantelle Orsay 3-Part Cup Bra in 34H
I didn’t know that Chantelle made this style of bra without any lace in the cups, and I had high hopes for some perky three-part liftedness under tee-shirts.
Since last year I managed to fit a 32H in Chantelle, and I know the French like their bras “comfortable”, I ordered the 34 here, and the band was just right, even snug. (There’s a chance I would have been happy in a 36G, but the happiness would have run out in 3 months when the band stretched.)
I really wanted this bra to be the one because the fabric was so soft and lustrous. The center gore was respectably close to my sternum and there wasn’t any quadraboob. However, there was some space in the cup beneath my left breast, and there was some wrinkling along the wire to the side of my right breast, and truth be told, it didn’t quite encapsulate all of my breast tissue beneath my arm.
And it was just so . . . beige. I loved the profile that this bra gave me, but staring at the bra itself head on in the mirror was almost depressing!
3. Amoena Mia Sophia Simplex in 36G
Ali Cudby reviewed Amoena Mia on Hourglassy two years ago, but I never felt compelled to try it until I saw the Sophia. The purple embroidered irises might defeat the purpose of a nude bra under some garments, but if it fit, the prettiness would be worth the sacrifice.
Besides its looks, I also wanted this bra to fit for its comfort. The panel that holds the hooks is actually cushioned, so there wouldn’t be any break-in time with the band. The 36, by the way, was pretty snug on me, so my impression is that the bands run true to size. Normally, I wouldn’t care about the Comfort+ technology that’s supposed to make it cooler, but after the past few scorching days, I’d really like to wear something like this on the subway.
If only I didn’t know about scoop and swoop because then this bra would have fit! Sadly, once I did everything necessary to settle myself into it, there was quadraboob. Then I examined the size tag attached to it and discovered that Amoena’s 36G is actually a British 36F. Fortunately, they offer it up to an American H cup, so I’ll try the 36H when I return this one to Town Shop tomorrow.
2. Freya Lacey in 36GG
I have loved the Freya Lacey from afar for a long time, but I’ve never found it in stores in my size. Here was my opportunity!
When I first tried this on, I thought Lacey and I were going to be living together happily ever after. The center gore tacked perfectly, the cup edges lay flat, my breast tissue was completely encapsulated, and . . . I could fasten it on the tightest hook. Bummer. I knew that Freya bands are generous, but from the way the Freya 36 band bikini tops fit me, I thought this size could work.
It actually took a couple of tries for me to conclude that this bra was too big in general, so I have high hopes for the 34GG or 34H. The lift in the 36GG wasn’t as high as I’d like (more the “natural” look that other bloggers have described), but I’m hoping it’ll be higher in the right size.
For more reviews of this bra, check out Curvy Wordy’s Lacy review and Bras and Body Image’s Lacy review.
1. Chantelle Cachemire in Ebony in 34H
It looks like I’ve come full circle since writing about the Cachemire last year. I thought I’d never get over the blue that got away, but this deep chocolate brown with metallic and navy embroidery is GORGEOUS.
There’s a smidgeon of space between my sternum and the center gore, and there’s a little extra space between the base of my boobs and the underwires, but there’s no bubbling over, and the underwire encapsulates everything on the sides. This bra makes everything look the way I like it too–lifted and forward with a high profile that isn’t too pointy.
The only drawback? It will definitely take some wearing in. Oh how I wish the fabric were soft and the hooks panel padded like the Amoena Mia Sophia. Instead, it’s a little scratchy in back, and I’m definitely aware of pressure from the underwires.
Even though I say I want a basic everyday bra, it looks like I want a basic everyday bra with a little something extra, as my top 3 choices show.Â I’m going to play around with the sizing in the Amoena Mia Sophia and the Freya Lacey, and I’m going to keep thinking about the Cachemire. And even though I’m desperate, I’ve actually been lucky enough to discover that my Fauve Lucia and my Prima Donna Deauville, each in 34G, are still able to support me through these lean times.
What do you look for in an everyday bra?