Another bra review this week. This is one I purchased, not a find from the busty swap. It’s the Parfait by Affinitas Celine “wired” bra.
You may remember Celine from the February 2013 CurvExpo. Looking back, it was the one item I said I absolutely planned on buying. As such, I’m really glad that it (mostly) fits well.
It used to be that only Parfait’s padded/molded bras worked on me and the cut-and-sew ones I tried were just awful—completely unwearable. The cups were tiny and oddly shallow, like they were designed for flat breasts with no projection at all.
But the last few molded Parfaits I’ve tried have been similarly unwearable. The wires have been too wide, the cups too rigid and shallow, the gore not tacking at all. I’m still willing to try others, since I know all Parfait’s designs fit differently, but for the time being I think I’ve had enough.
Now it seems the wired ones are fitting me better. Luckily, in this case I actually prefer the look of the wired Celine over the molded one. The sheer lace is much more delicate and I like the triangular shape of the cups effected by the side slings.
As for fit, well there are some good and some not-so-good features on me.
The good: The cups are almost deep enough. There’s just a small amount of unfilled fabric at the base of the cup and the underwires are sitting where they should. Additionally, the gore tacks perfectly. In my experience this is something of an anomaly in Parfait bras, so I’m only too happy to report it. I feel really locked in. The wires are also a little more narrow than I usually find Parfait bras to run.
As for the bad, while those wires are comfortably narrow, they’re simply too long. The outside curves out at a much wider circumference than the inside half of the wires and they would be a lot better if they stopped an inch or inch and a half sooner than they do. The first few times I wore the bra, before it had broken in a bit, the wire on the right side uncomfortably poked me near the armpit all day and left me with a painful, almost raw, red mark when I finally took it off (kind of like a rug burn).
Those extra long outside wires also mean that the wings are quite tall. At the spot where the wire ends, it’s 10.5 centimeters. I measured a bunch of my Freya bras and they’re generally about 8.5 centimeters at the same spot, and the spot where the underwire ends on those is further toward the front (meaning less threat of peeking out of a sleeveless top or rubbing in my armpit when I move my arms around).
The last not-so-good feature before I finish up with a couple more good ones is that the band fits true to size. You’d think this was a good thing, except for the fact that I’m a size 28 and I purchased a 30G since Celine doesn’t come in 28. Parfait bands have always run small (and of course the cups run a size small as well). But this time I have to close it on the tightest hook right off the bat, and it still rides up a tiny bit in the center of the band. This was the same case in the new Charlotte, which does come in 28. So my guess is that starting with the Autumn/Winter 2013/14 collection, all the bands are perhaps running truer to size, if a little tight.
A maybe good/maybe bad thing, depending on your shape, is that while this bra gives excellent support, it doesn’t provide much lift. It’s not saggy by any means, but it’s certainly lacking oomph. Compounding this is the fact that it gives a somewhat east-west profile. But I feel that these issues are right for some ladies and wrong for others, so I hesitate to qualify them as “good” or “bad.”
To end on a positive note, three more good things about this bra are that (1) the lace on the cups is stretchy and even uses a stretchy clear strip along the edge of the lace to hold its shape, so there’s no digging in from a seam or a ribbon, making this a good choice for full-on-top breasts. (2) You gotta love those side slings. Even though they don’t stop the east-west look from happening, they contribute greatly to the “locked in” feeling I described above. And (3) the straps are a normal width apart in front (which for my narrow frame usually means they’re nearly falling off my shoulders), but they’re very close together in the back. Not as close as a racerback or anything, but I feel totally secure and have no desire to pull on the straps throughout the day.
Now that I’ve worn it a few times, it’s a very comfortable bra and will be great for days when I don’t want such a boobalicious profile.