Faustine's Foundations

I bought and returned the Masquerade Angie. The band is not as tight as other Masquerade bands, but I’d need to go up a cup size (from 34FF). It was quite pretty with a lovely shape, but a bit lacy for me. Did not order an exchange because of that.

I also bought and returned the Panache Talullah bikini. The fit was amazingly accurate in 34FF and the shape flattering, but the color was much duller and purple dominated (instead of rainbows) than I had anticipated. Ergo, since I don’t truly need a swimsuit I’m sending it back.

I got fit for the orange Maddie at a San Francisco Nordstrom. Go up a band and a cup for this one, I think…36FF was the closest fit for me and there might be a teensy bit of overspill. Took it home with me. Still testing it!

I also found that Fantasie’s Susanna fits me surprisingly well in 34FF. It doesn’t feel as deep a cup as most Fantasie bras. I didn’t purchase it due to being uninspired by the pattern.

I ordered this top from Large Cup Lingerie on account of my previous Freya Sport biting the dust after doing a great deal of hard work over a year, and my size change. I was curious as to how it worked and it was discounted.

Construction

Moisture-wicking close-fitting fabric tank over the traditional seamed two-part cup Freya Sport bra. Interestingly, the shoulders are adjustable length in that they have rows of hooks like a back band. Three rows of three hooks in the back.

Fit

Band’s true to size. Cups are true to size, slightly wrinkly at the apex for me as per usual with Freya bras. The cups are wider than most Freya cups (consistent with the Freya Sport bra).

Looks

Well, I didn’t buy this to look sleek. The tank is not very flattering to my ribcage flare or my stomach fluff rolls. I also get the hilaribad unnatural-for-me almost-torpedo shape I’ve gotten from Freya Sport bras before. I look in the mirror and am a bit skeptical that those are my breasts. Those who have a more projected shape or are naturally fuller at the apices may not get the same issue since the tissue won’t be fighting the fabric. It definitely gets the job done at the gym, holding everything in place and the breathable fabric means I don’t need a Shamwow if I overdo it. It’s a bit hazardous to wash because of the eleventy billion hooks and eyes on the straps and band (it’s supposedly machine washable). I could wash it by hand, but I have to squeeze it for ten minutes to get enough water out if I want to use it the next day. If you like the Freya Sport Underwire seamed bra, this seems like a logical extension.

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I think I will be buying Panache bras until they no longer come in my size, they go out of business, or I die. They often have at least a few bras that fit my shape well: full on bottom, soft, shallow, splayed, wider root. However, their deliveries often seem to be late to stores (compared to anticipated day out), and I’m not a huge fan of their fashion orders having such a narrow window so far ahead of delivery date. When your size changes before you get the new bra, well, that doesn’t encourage preordering. I haven’t found any other brand that compares in fit for me, though.

Panache Superbra

I’ve had more luck with their basics than anywhere else except Freya’s Deco. There’s enough variety here to fit most people, but here are the standouts for me in style and personal taste:

Jasmine

Ivory floral looks intriguing, it’s the first Jasmine print I’ve liked in a while. What’s more, it’s coordinated with a purple lace. If Freya did this it would be called ‘quirky’. I find it unusual and attractive. Jasmine is a bit too projected for my shape to feel supported properly on top, but the bra is popular with many because it’s so forgiving on top and supportive on the bottom.

Clara

Turkish Delight? Turkish delight (or lokum) is traditionally more of a pastel color on the outside and the inside can be colored, but I haven’t seen this color before. Regardless, it’s some awesome purples with an attractive cut involving the forgiving stretch lace.

Dahlia

Dahlia

A continuity style which I love and should buy in my new size goshdarnit.

Porcelain Plunge

A great basic in a better size range than the regular Porcelain. I know it’s due to be redesigned, so it’s worth grabbing more if it currently works for you.

 

Cleo

Normally Cleo is too projected for me, with full cups I can’t fill. Then there’s terrifying-to-me lace in places I didn’t know you could stick it. Lace ruffles? Great googly moogly. However, I have found that their molded cups do work for me.

Neve

Pink is my meh, but that big bold floral is fun without necessarily being teenage. I’ve recently found that Neve fits me, and it’s my competitor to Deco for ‘plunge that fits’ with occasional colors I like. I need to go up a band and cup size for it, though (36FF, when I wear a 34FF in many bras). Also, no lace edging at all! No bows! Just a button!

Maddie

I adore orange. Don’t adore animal print, but for sheer orangeness in my size, this can’t be beat. I know I have to go up at least a cup size with regular Maddie, we’ll see how this fits. I haven’t seen it for sale anywhere, though. Waiting waiting.

Marcie

I also love yellow. This is a wonderful cheery color the Lucy came in last year or the year before, can’t remember. I can’t fit in the Marcie myself and it’s not my style, but if you want to have some brights under your clothes, Marcie has deeper cups and wires that aren’t very long.

Masquerade

The past few seasons I have been unimpressed by most of Masquerade, feeling it rehashed and a bit too Old Europe for my tastes. However, they deliver wonderful shapes in tasty fabric at a price point below Fauve (and in more extended sizes). So I’ll keep watching and waiting, while commenting on what I like this season.

Rhea

Oh, I wish they made Rhea in fashion colors again. You can’t go wrong with black, but it feels too safe. Also, please expand your size range I know many women would love it. If we keep on saying it it could happen?

Utopia

Finally, a strapless bra that isn’t neutral. Topaz tone and vertical seams. If I ever wore strapless, this would be a definite buy.

Swim

I need an excuse to buy this new bikini. However, Seattle is not a constant-beach place. Maybe if I’m stubborn enough?

Talullah

Wow. You can get it in tankini. You can get a high waisted brief. And all with those lovely colors. Where can I order this in the US?

 

That’s my current-season Panache roundup, excepting Sculptresse, which I don’t follow because I’m still sized out. What have you liked this season so far?

Blogging, I can’t quit you…

Or at least it seems that way! I love to read and write and gather data. I’m looking at my most-read posts and they seem to be Ewa Michalak and Masquerade. The Parfait Charlotte posts were pretty popular too (should I even bother reviewing a bra a third time, though this is the third size I’ve had?). Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll order again from EM because I’m quite shallow and their cups are deep. The good news is I’ve ordered the Masquerade Angie so should be able to review that. I spent some time neuroticizing about it, because I have a bunch of Masquerade bras. Unfortunately, they won’t fit anytime soon and some of them don’t fit even with an extender. I will work on finding better homes for those.

In progress for review: photos for Freya Active top, Cleo Neve.

I didn’t mention previously that I ordered through Beau T Full Bras and found the transaction pleasant. I ordered the Charlotte bandeau but it didn’t work for me, so I exchanged it for the padded. Email transactions were quick, and Rene was quick to notify me that she didn’t have my size immediately in stock for the exchange, but would get it to me next week (which she did). There’s a restocking fee with this store of 10% for returns (I didn’t see one for exchanges), and a shipping fee for initial orders and exchanges which is quite low for the US. If you’re looking for a Parfait by Affinitas gallery, they have an extensive catalog.

Amazon’s another source of bras for me now- with free shipping and returns for several bras, the only barrier to me trying more stuff is my annoyance at sending stuff back (repackaging and going to the PO which is a bit of a walk from work). I also feel far less weird about sending a bra back to Amazon than to a smaller retailer who needs to restock and evaluate with slimmer margin for error. My policy these days is to look for a smaller retailer if they have stuff I know I love or that I can try on in store, and look to the big distributors for purchases I am not sure will work.

Anyway, since I outgrew my Charlotte I ordered another one but had to futz with the size somewhat. Tried the balcony style but it didn’t fit my shape (was more projected), and am now happy in the 36G padded style. The cups are ever-so-slightly too tall, but it fits well on my shallow shape. No empty space at bottom or sides. I am happy that an American brand works for me, and will see about other colors once I break this one in. What if my back measurement grows more? I doubt it…

I also nabbed a Deco Honey in jade as it was being phased out. When I find a color I like in a shape I like, I take it. That’s my new philosophy. Also I finally found my proper Neve size since it runs tight and small, so there’s another awesome under-tank top option in lots of colors. I’m looking at amazing posts from Sweets and Miss Underpinnings and The Lingerie Lesbian for upcoming Autumn excitement. Time to update my Pinterest!

I’ve taken to wearing extenders for most all of my bras, especially the pretty ones. My band measurement keeps getting bigger, enough that some bras don’t fit me even with an extender (my Masquerade 32s are so sad cry cry cry lovely and not replaceable models). It’s a good thing I can do this for some, though, as my actual breast volume hasn’t changed. I’ve gained fluffiness and musculature and I feel so stupid for wanting to lose some of that so I could fit into old clothes. I’ve returned a bunch of bras, mailed some out as listed, and I’m tired of mailing out packages at the post office. But those are not extreme concerns in my life, and I’ll move on to what I’ve learned.

Extenders come in different sizes! I’ve ordered them in two-hook and four-hook, and they seem to come in three and five hooks as well. However, one ‘size’ doesn’t fit all: different bras have different amount of spacing between the hooks. I now have extenders in 3/8″, 1/2″, and 3/4″ and use them all. They don’t all fit perfectly, as I think some bras have 5/8″ between hooks. I’ve used Dritz, Maidenform, and Brah! extenders, and they do the job. They come in packs of black/white/beige, which seems boring for most of my lingerie. The Kloud, Bundle Monster, and Boolevard extenders come in more colors, but I’ve only seen options for ordering variety packs of twelve or so at a time, and they may not have the space between hooks that you need. These are the US options, anyway.

Extenders will have different tension than the rest of your bra band. Sometimes I find myself needing to adjust the band during the day. Additionally, since we have more hooks, they can dig in or feel funny across the back. I’m using them to extend the life or wearability of some of my bras as I slowly get bigger ones that fit. I’m reluctant to replace my entire wardrobe at once, it seems sad somehow…

I ordered these to try on. Neither worked for me, but here’s what I noticed!

Freya Marvel

Construction: Cut-sew bra with a vertical seam and a bit of side support (there’s a vertical seam near the side of the cup).

This gives a pretty minimized profile, I don’t have much projection myself so it works for that. However, I may have too little even for this. The 34FF came up a teensy bit small when I first put it on, so I assumed that after a few hours I’d be overflowing. The 34G is a little open at the top, but I experienced wrinkling at the apex of the cup. Both sizes hugged the top of the chest unevenly, so instead of a straight seam it appeared a bit oddly curved (this is true on many models I’ve seen wearing the bra). I do like what they’ve done with this bra, but I think it’s a bit incompatible with my bottom-heavy shallow breasts.

Fantasie Martina

Construction: 3 part-cut-sew bra. Vertical seam near strap for side support.

To my surprise, this didn’t fit me that badly. There’s some room in the middle or top of the cups which means it’s better suited for even fullness breasts. The reason I didn’t keep it was because the upper panel looked yucky on me and dominated the look. Since I’m fuller on the bottom, one doesn’t get to see as much of the bottom of the cup, which is a fun metallic bronze.

I’ve tried a few more things that didn’t fit as my back continues to gain muscle and fluff. Parfait and Cleo up next.

Bratabase!

Bratabase

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