Faustine's Foundations

I’d heard that Fauve and Masquerade are being discontinued by Spring 2015. I wasn’t quite sure how and what to believe there or exactly what was going on, but I thought I’d buy myself a black Rhea just in case…and sure enough, the style was listed as Discontinued on HerRoom, as were other Masquerade styles. Several other sites are running low on stock.

I should also add that I tried on the Orla and found it ran a band size small and at least one cup size small. Scooping in a 34G left me with overspill, so I’d need two cup sizes up. Otherwise it seemed suited to me, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about the color.

Panache Black is apparently a follow-up to Masquerade and I’m guessing will contain very few styles. Maybe they’ll reissue the Rhea, maybe they won’t. On the chance that they won’t, I bought a Rhea from Amazon and will buy an Amor in my current band size shortly. Zulily even had a few Masquerade styles like Harem and Athena for sale yesterday. So, long story short is buy Masquerade while you can. My assumption is that luxury full-bust lingerie is difficult to sell, so there’s risk in producing a lot of styles. I know I have a hard time spending $90 on a bra plus $35 on the brief unless the bra blows my mind.

I thought I’d shout out to my favorite Masquerade styles over the years:

Delphi

Dreamy vertical seam shape, I had the graphite version and missed out on the black (more fool me), but it was also offered in white-and-berry.

Rhea

I’m still not sure whether this bra technically works for me because I’m bottom-heavy, and it probably doesn’t quite get two-cakes-on-a-plate, but I love the way it looks on me. My favorite version was the mulberry and graphite color.

Amor

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This bra works for most shapes, I believe. Subtle, sophisticated, rich colors. I think this is the best use of shiny and matte I’ve seen together.

 

Many Masquerade styles seemed too lacy or fussy for me, but sometimes they hit the nail on the head. Dear readers, what have been your favorite Masquerade styles over the years?

Boudoir photo shoots seem to be all the rage these days. On one hand, it would be a fun look in the future at who I was in my thirties. However, thinking about it, I realize that none of my personas, even fantasy ones, seem to have anything to do with the boudoir aesthetics I’ve seen in any other shoot. My bedroom is not really a boudoir. I wouldn’t be expressing myself, I’d be acting.

This is my idea of an excellent chair.

I wear makeup once or twice a year. Once on Halloween, the second time maybe if I’m attending a formal wedding. My hair at most a few inches long and kind of spiky. I am figuratively allergic to lace. I don’t strive for soft, sultry, or sensual. I am a woman who would only choose to have born later than she was, not in any past time in history. What I want to have photographed and expressed, what parts of myself I can see exaggerating, are action cyberpunk and stark postmodernism. Me in a robe and bright colors sitting on an IKEA Vilmar, or in a duster wearing a longline and leggings underneath, but not intended to be seductive.

I am not sure how this post ended up showcasing IKEA chairs, but there you have it.

Are there postmodern or sci-fi lingerie photographers out there? Or am I getting the wrong idea of boudoir shoots from the brocade/sheer curtains, soft lighting, and plush bedlinens I’ve seen?

Panache camis were on closeout in a khaki color. I was curious to have a cami with support for even more layering options, or to lounge around the house in.

Construction:

Cotton fabric over a bra section. The bra is made of heavy shaped foam ‘cups’ with underwires and two part seams at six o’clock and eight o’clock. By part seams, I mean they go part of the way to the center of the cup. Haven’t seen anything like that before. The back is a two hook and eye band closure under the cami.

Fit:

Wow, this cami is short. I am five foot eight (173CM) and it doesn’t hit most of my pants. As for the bra part, I felt like the band ran a tad loose, but a 34FF fit in the cup, a bit generously. If you’re between cup sizes I’d take the lower. It’s not as supportive as most of my bras, but it’s fine for walking and biking.

Looks:

Simple color with a rounded but not very lifted shape.

Overall, it’s a nice option to have in my drawer. If you have a long torso it’ll show some skin at the waist. It’s also not the most supportive out there, but works for most days.

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I tried Panache Clara on and found the following:

The cups are pretty wide. It’s a full cup bra so I felt quite scaffolded. The very bottom of the cup is super shallow. I have some wrinkling at the bottom, and I’m told this is common (you can even see it a bit in the model photo). I also had to go up a cup size. It did fit, and gave me a shape similar to Andorra. The bra felt more supportive than Jasmine, as the stretch lace section is smaller.

Ultimately I’m returning it because I felt it wasn’t very me- the extra scalloping on the bottom of the band was not my bag and all the lace was far more Old Europe than I’d thought. The color was a bit more pinkish than I’d anticipated for Turkish Delight. It did fit well, though!

I was terrified that Panache would cancel this Maddie like it has been canceling so many styles I found intriguing. So terrified that I snapped one up immediately after the lady at Nordstrom fitted me. To my surprise, it’s at many online outlets (Bare Necessities, Breakout Bras, Nordstrom online, Amazon). They’re starting to put it on sale since it’s a fashion style.

 

Construction

Molded cup (thinner than Deco) with lace edging at the top. Inside of cups is also orange. Two hooks at back. The cups are somewhat wide, and the gore high and arched (good for rib or abdominal bones and fluff on bottom, but not so great for protruding sternums). Fully adjustable straps placed a bit on the wide side.

Fit

I found this bra to run quite small, and went up a band and cup size to 36FF, where I wear a 34FF in most Panache bras. For reference, I still wear a 34FF Deco Honey/Charm. It’s reasonably supportive, meaning I can run around some in it, but I wouldn’t play soccer (I’ve had World Cup Fever since 1994).

Looks

Now that’s orange. Orange with a darker orange shiny leopard print on it. I’m not normally one for prints, but if it’s in shiny orange, I’ll take it. The print doesn’t contrast. The lace makes it look a little more girly which clashes for me, but I will take it. I get a roundish shape with just a bit of cleavage- it’s more ‘relaxed’ than Deco or Neve. There’s also a fuschia bow on it.

This is currently the most cheerful bra I own. I am told the Maddie in solid colors does not work as well for full-on-bottom or shallow shapes (I vaguely remember trying it on, and the fit being similar to Maddie Animal, but I suggest you try for yourself if you can, as that’s a popular bra). More T-shirt bras in small band-larger cup sizes are welcome. This bra, along with Neve, is available in a 28 band. If you normally wear a 26 band, the 28 might work. I’m not completely sure, though, because sometimes band stretch differs across sizes.

I will also join the chorus asking for Cleo bras with three-hook closures. If you have either Maddie printed or non, how does it fit you?

Cleo’s basic t-shirt option was called the Jude, and seemed a bra that fit differently than anything else I knew. It cut in at the top for me, and there would be extra space in the apex of the molded cup. It had a very wide gore with this, so when it did work for people, it was one of the few that fit right.

I was not in that category, and I don’t historically fit in Cleo bras- I tend to spill out of the sides and be unable to fill the tops of the cups. However, I like their older sister brand Panache enough that I am always happy to give a new design a try. Neve seemed a bit shallower than Jude and doesn’t have lace layered on the cup that can show through shirts, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Construction

Molded plunge bra. This is generally my favorite type of style. Fully adjustable straps and two hooks in the back. High sides of the cup and the wires feel medium length, not as short as many Cleo bras, so I don’t fall out.  The band is quite arched and discontinuous, so it may be more forgiving of a high tummy or front ribcage flare. The gore felt medium width, seemingly (from measurements on Bratabase) closer set than Jude.

Fit

This is an overall shallow bra with medium-to wide cup, but does have enough room at the bottom of the cup to prevent the fabric buckling on me. I don’t recommend this if one is full on top or needs deep cups, since I filled out the cup thoroughly. The top of the cups were folding over outwards when I first got the bra, but after several washes there’s no issue.

Also, this bra runs small all over. I had to go up a cup and a band size, to 36FF. The band was quite tight on the first few wears. Not sure if that’s especially for the black version

I am really not sure how I am not falling out of the center of this bra. I have soft tissue and this is a deep plunge, so I would guess the situation could be precarious. There’s enough support somehow, somewhere that everything stays reasonably in place for the day.

Looks

I got this in black. Everything goes with black, right? There’s a decorative edging on the top of the cups that reminds me of the Josie Hippi briefs (which are much less expensive), so I wear those together sometimes. Another ornamental touch is a teardrop charm in the center. The straps have this cool slightly shiny checkered pattern that’s pretty subtle. Other than that it’s a basic. It gives a pretty round and separated shape. I got some cleavage towards the middle, not quite Deco level because the gore is wider.

Further notes

The specific bra I bought has an odd problem- the elastic sometimes squeaks! Not the wires or their casings, but the elastic in the back if I change posture or move my arms around a lot. I thought washing would take care of that, but it hasn’t eliminated the problem. It doesn’t interfere with anything else, though. I advise when you first try Neve on to roll your shoulders about to test that.

The price point is $55, the cheapest English t-shirt bra, but I can’t say how long it will last compared to other molded t-shirt bras. Size range is a little bigger than Deco: 28-38 D-H, but if it runs small in the cup in all bands, it only goes to GG. Yay for 28 bands! I don’t know if it also runs small at the smaller band sizes, but if so, it seems like an option for 26 backs.

This bra reminds me of my late great Panache Porcelain Plunge, although it doesn’t have the same structure at the bottom of the cup. It’s an excellent T-shirt bra and feels a bit different from Deco. Since they both work decently for me, I now have twice the fashion colors to choose from, although I find the current pink a little alarming. This season there’s a bright flower print and for fall we have the Neve Excite (which is horrific and I am probably getting despite some lace on the wings because it is so blinding), and a cobalt blue,  if this season’s cobalt Freya didn’t quite work for you. I’m really excited that I can wear some Cleo bras now!

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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.

Bratabase

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