You may remember my first foray into bridal lingerie shopping, the Masquerade Hestia Basque, which I purchased before selecting a dress. I wore it to my dress shopping appointments and found it pretty comfortable, but ultimately problematic, for the dresses I was choosing.

Last time, I mentioned that the Hestia gives great shaping around your waist, but that it is not the kind of shapewear that sucks you in like Spanx. In fact, my little Buddha belly was actually pushing the bottom of the basque out and away from my body. As such, when I tried a dress without much structure in the bodice, you could see the bottom edge of the basque pushing out. This means I would need to wear Spanx under the basque if I wanted a smooth line.

Additionally, since the Hestia has a balconette shape going straight across your boobs, anything with a deep V in front didn’t work very well with it. Sometimes the basque would be peeking out of the neckline, and with a lower sweetheart neck, it didn’t line up with the shape of the cut and made the dress bodice sit strangely on my chest.

And since the Hestia sits at the same height in back as a regular bra, you can’t wear it with anything even a little low-backed. Here is a picture of what ended up being my second choice dress:

Click to see bigger.
Click to see bigger.

Note that I hate the way this ad is styled. It was not that low in back and definitely not that tight around the knees. I don’t want to steal someone else’s photo, so here’s a link to a real person in the dress, and here’s a link to a photo better representing where the dress was situated on my back. (I don’t have a photo of myself because the particular shop—a warehouse-style operation—only allowed customers to take a photo of the dress they were going to buy.)

In that second photo to which I’ve linked, you can see a black bra peeking out of the girl’s back. That’s basically how much of Hestia was peeking out on me as well. This dress also badly demonstrated the lack-of-structure tummy situation.

I didn’t even wear the Hestia to try on the dress I ultimately ended up buying because I got up too late in the morning to have my fiance do up the basque for me, and you literally cannot get it on by yourself. Then I went straight to the salon after work. But it wouldn’t have worked either. Here’s a terrible quality cell phone photo (of me in it this time!):

wedding dress

Love it! It made my boobs look awesome. With so much structure in the bodice and the higher waist, the Hestia tummy thing would not have been an issue. However, I think it would have created an issue with the way the dress’s cups sit on me. Because they overlap, they sort of tuck into the center of your cleavage. With Hestia’s straight-across shape, I don’t think the dress would have tucked in as well. Further, the back of the dress is just a little too low for a normal bra band. Here’s a shot of it over the Freya Deco strapless:

photo 6

I knew that low-backed bustiers exist and I loved the dress so much, I was sure I could figure something out. Since this dress’s boob cups are separate pieces, it was able to be ordered with an expanded cup and raised neckline (for extra money, of course, boooooo). So I know the bust is going to have the best structure possible for me and the waist will be tight enough. This means I could probably get away with buying a bustier from a standard-size brand (in, say, 34DDD/E) and alter it down a couple band sizes, since the dress will be helping a lot in lifting the load.

However, I ended up not needing to do that because I remembered the low-backed bustier from Le Mystere that I had seen at CurvExpo way back in February 2012. A French brand, I had to try two sizes to find the right fit, and the band sizing is craaaaaazy. But it’s an amazing piece of engineering and works perfectly. This bra is going to open up a whole new world of clothes choices for me, even after the wedding. Back interest, here I come!!

Come back next week for the full review of Le Mystere’s Soiree Low-Back Bustier.