Disclosure: This top was received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.
I’m so excited this week to share new clothing brand Embrago! Plus, we’re offering a giveaway to win your own Embrago top and a 15% off coupon for Hourglassy readers (more info at the end of this post).
Embrago is a woman-owned, USA-based clothing line that offers bra-free clothing “for the refined woman with curves.” These garments have built-in support for US DD-L cups without the use of underwire or conventional elastics. All the support comes from the fabrics and clever construction.
Founder Karen spent years researching, developing and testing designs and construction techniques, and producing prototypes until she got the design just right. Then it was another two years of sourcing fabric and auditioning producers to find one who could meet the brand’s exacting technical requirements. After landing on a woman-owned producer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Embrago has finally been brought to market—and I already can’t wait to see where this company goes next!
Karen explained to Hourglassy that she “continues to be astounded at how ‘invisible’ the larger-busted woman still is in fashion. How underrepresented…underserved…misunderstood. I really am on a mission here to give larger-busted women some dignity and compassion, so they (we!) don’t have to feel like large busts are some sort of fashion liability that have to be squeezed/ bound/ harnessed/ minimized to be considered presentable.”
Right now, the collection includes one top and two long dresses in black, but Karen hopes to add more styles and variations in the future, including various sleeve treatments and different dress styles and lengths. I personally think a little black dress is a total no-brainer!
Embrago offered to send Hourglassy a piece for review, and I selected the “Ultimate Top.” There are also long A-line and princess-seamed dresses available that utilize the same bodice construction, but I thought the top would be most versatile for my lifestyle.
Based on my measurements of 38”-29.5” and bra size UK 30G, I wasn’t sure whether to go for small or medium, so Embrago sent me both. I normally wear medium or large in off-the-rack brands, but occasionally go for small, depending on fabric and fit.
Both sizes fit pretty well, but I ultimately prefer the medium. Small felt a bit more secure for my boobs, but the armholes were too tight, and the torso of the medium was more comfortable. However, if you do size down, you get a cool edgy effect with the criss-cross straps whereby they cross further in on your sternum for a peek of skin, so I’ll probably hang on to the small for certain outfits anyway.
The Embrago top is made of a blend of organic cotton and spandex, with polyester panels strategically located in the gore, outer sides of the bust, and the back. It’s got plenty of stretch without being too thin or bouncy, and features clever seaming around and under the bust. All this adds up to a top that really does provide almost as much lift and support as an underwire bra—but it’s so much more comfortable. It’s a far cry from the shelf bras and boob-bifurcating elastic you get from typical “built-in bras” of traditional clothing brands!
This top is so easy to style, so I picked out three different outfits to photograph it—business, poofy pinup, and streetwear casual.
First is the business outfit, with a Collectif pencil skirt (size UK 12) and my favorite bust-friendly longline tuxedo blazer from Alice Fawke. Since the Ultimate Top is sleeveless, it’s super easy to layer and felt comfortable under the wool jacket even in warm weather.
Next, I put together some of my favorite pinup pieces, a gathered “Jenny” skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing (size medium), a cropped M.A.K. cardigan (medium), and Miss L Fire heels. I really enjoy the bit of monochrome texture of the Ultimate Top with this look. It gives just a bit more visual interest than a flat tee or tank.
Finally, I went for a sporty-chic streetwear look with Gymshark “Venture” joggers (size large…though I really should have stuck with my usual medium) and colorful Adidas high tops. I think this look in particular really underscores just how versatile this top is—it looks just as good with gym gear as it does with workplace formality!
Here are some closeup shots with a filter that makes the structure clearer:
Lastly, I didn’t only wear this top for a photoshoot. I also wore it for a full day of activity on multiple occasions. One Saturday, I wore it on a trip to visit friends in Hudson Valley, which included an hour-long train ride to get there, the inclusion of five children under the age of 5, a visit to a public farm, and an afternoon barbeque on a hot day.
By the end of the day, I had some substantial underboob sweat, but otherwise the top was still in perfect shape (no stretching out!) and my bust still looked and felt fully supported. I didn’t think about my boobs the whole day, which I think is the real sign of a comfortable, quality support garment of any kind. Here are some photos from the end of that day:
Finally, we come to the giveaway and coupon! Below, you’ll find a Rafflecopter widget with several ways to enter. You can tag Embrago and Hourglassy on Instagram once a day for extra entries, while the other entries are one-time-only. The contest will remain open through 11:59pm eastern on Tuesday, June 22, then a random winner will be chosen. Sorry, the giveaway is only open to US residents this go-round.
Even if you don’t win, you can take advantage of a 15% off coupon exclusively for Hourglassy readers! Simply enter the code RACK at checkout.
a Rafflecopter giveaway