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!
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.
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.
Local Bellefleur Lingerie carried this set which I’d been so curious about. I tried it on in the store and cackled bringing it home. I’ve enjoyed wearing it for two months and am happy to report that it works for me, but it’s not for everyone.
Four-section mesh underwire bra with side support. All of the mesh is non-stretch. Straps are ???? Two hooks in 32G.
A 32G does fit me tightly, but a 34FF would better (my rib cage is 33.4″ and not very fluffy), so the bra seems reasonably true to size. The bra’s a bit tight when I first put it on and stretches during the day: if you like your bands snug *and* are between band sizes get the smaller. The cups are wide and the wires come up decently high. The top of the cup is not stretchy at all and fits my shallow profile with a little extra room. I would not recommend this bra for those who are full on top, and even fullness people may want to size up in the cup.
I am really excited about this bra because it’s mesh without being lacy. The embroidery is a kind of Swiss art deco leaf pattern that feels sophisticated and sleek, not overdone. It’s an instant classic in black and a beige they unfortunately label ‘nude’. It’s a great non-drab staple to have, and the briefs (which ran on the smaller end) are lovely too.
Last Thoughts For Now
Like Panache’s Jasmine? This has a similar construction but fits differently: the Jasmine is deeper and narrower in the cups, and the Dahlia has wires a smidge longer. I did bend the wires a bit for comfort. I think this is more of Panache’s stereotypical fit.
I’ve been slacking on blogging the past few months, and it seems that trend is going to continue. I’ll try to post monthly, but probably only check my blogroll weekly, because otherwise it dominates my headspace and I’d like to learn other things, like singing and some new computer skills!
I’ve also found my fitting a mostly solved problem these days! There are so many options out there and some of them work for me, accessible in the US! I have lots of bras that are in the middle of their life cycle with no more room in my drawer, so it will be slow going for bra reviews. I tend to buy several of a model at a time now, for time constraints. I am retiring my beloved Panache Porcelain Plunge soon because it’s more than a year old and I’ve worn it consistently. Few other bras have stayed a good fit for so long!
That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped buying things, though: I have a Panache Dahlia review drafted for you all, I bought a silk robe, and I have a Freya sport top which is basically the bra with a built mesh shirt on top of it. I’ll probably spring for a Cleo Neve to replace my Porcelain Plunge. If I continue to gain latissimus dorsi mass, I am sure I’ll need to replace even more.
Thank you for visiting, thank you for reading. I hope this year finds you and yours well.
I’ve hit the point where most of my 32 bands need extenders (my ribcage is now 33.5″ and not squishy), so I’d bought the Deco Honeys and a Panache unpadded Dahlia to ‘tide me over’ until I figured out a consistent size. This has caused me a large amount of brainhurt for some reason I couldn’t fathom for a while until I figured out that I was upset about needing extenders with glamorous bra sets in styles that don’t exist anymore. For example, the Masquerade Delphi in sepia, and the Rhea in mulberry. They just don’t feel ‘replaceable’, have plenty of life left in the elastic, but wearing an extender just feels a bit of a mood-bummer. I actually went and ordered a larger Fauve Bronte in spice while I still could.
Tighter bras can interfere with singing- I took a few singing lessons with a bra I knew was too tight and I could definitely tell the difference. None of my sports bras fit anymore, either. I actually don’t have the correct extenders for them (regular fabric extenders feel like an odd choice), so I’ve been doing my weightlifting and biking in regular bras. While this is nowhere near high-impact, it’s suboptimal. There’s the typical ‘what if my size changes more’ fear that is stopping me from replacing them yet. It’s more fear of having too many bras- I don’t want to turn into some kind of bra hoarder. Now you know more about my neuroses! To purge that thought I sold off some older bras and will list a few more (Masquerade Amor berry, Freya Deco Wireless). We will see what people actually want. It’s worth it to not need an extender for any bra I can replace.
It’s been a heck of a few weeks dealing with some mental and physical health issues (nothing that time and adjusted medication hasn’t cured) and I’m back in the swing of things. I was dithering on whether to post this now or later because I didn’t take photos before I left for San Francisco. After my trip I’ll ideally take some photos of the bras in question and post them instead of stock photography. It’s been a request from some commenters, and although I find dealing with images cumbersome, it seems genuinely helpful to readers. I do also recommend anyone who wants to see how bras look on actual humans go to bratabase.
Freya’s current moneymaker is the Deco line- they have Decos for many purposes, including a day at work, a day at work with pinstripes, going to a club, going to the disco, going to the zoo, being a bridesmaid, being a bridesmaid with a dress that the bride selected months ago for you that doesn’t quite fit anymore, lounging about at home, and in the future, for those who really like UC Santa Barbara’s campus.
For a while Decos didn’t fit me well. I went to a 30 band size and the band was pulled tight enough that the bottom of the cups collapsed under the weight of my breasts, resulting in a too-small cup and orange-in-glass effect. However, with my muscle gain, I fit nicely into a 32G in some Decos. There’s a bit of variance between the models. Since my tissue is soft, the cups that have an extra lining at top (Flamingo, upcoming blue color, Spotlight) cut in. Sizing up with those feels a bit big, though.
The Deco Honey is a lacy take on the Deco which I wouldn’t go for except (1) fewer bows and (2) lovely color choice. I obtained a Firecracker Red, which is vibrant and a bit orangey, and an Iris purple. I’m talking about the plunge version, as the half-cup is not made in my size.
Molded plunge, so the gore is quite low and also on the wider side. The cups seem of average width, but since they are not close together it’s can go around one’s sides. The cups are slightly shallow on the bottom and pretty open on top.
Band runs on the looser side. If you’re between sizes or like a tighter band, take the lower. Cups can run from true-to-size to a bit generous, depending on what kind of profile one has. Very shallow breasts may have trouble with the bottom of the cup, and close-set ones with the overall width of the bra. Very soft breasts may spill in the middle- mine will after six or so hours and then I need to readjust.
Voom! Up we go! There’s some cleavage, but of a pushed up rather than pushed together variety (the model’s results aren’t representative). Gives a round and lifted shape from the front and side. The colors are quite vivid. The bows on the regular Deco are gone- nothing at the straps, and two smart buttons at the gore. However, the straps are satin instead of embroidered stretchy stuff and edged in lace to prevent slippage. The wings are covered in a lace mesh with little diamonds in it.
This bra makes money for good reasons: it disappears under clothes and gives a shape desirable to many. A good number of stores carry it, so it’s easier to try on and see if it works for you. It’s out in a nice dark green now. This is an oft-reviewed bra, but I thought it worth it to note the differences in the Honey model.
I was thinking of what I look for when I shop, and what I’ve discovered about various brands. I’m starting a series on Experiences With _____, which will give a general idea of what I’ve found and can hopefully be a starting point for anyone getting acquainted with the world of DD+ bras.
I’m not young at heart, and I also don’t have a ‘youthful’ profile. My tissue is not firm and will spill towards the center or out the sides if given a chance. It’s kinda wide and bottom heavy and there’s a lot of space between my breasts, so if I want cleavage I need to bring out the big guns. I also don’t have a lot of forward projection.
In any case, let’s go through what I’ve experienced with the Eveden Group of bras:
Eveden is Goddess, Elomi, Freya, Fauve, and Fantasie. Goddess and Elomi are out of my size range, so I don’t feel much qualified to comment except that I adore the shiny fabric on many Elomi bras. Fauve is Eveden’s luxury brand, with a pretty limited size range (up to GG in unpadded bras, up to G in padded, 30-38?). I’ve only tried the Bronte longline, which I’m told doesn’t fit like others.
Fantasie generally markets to women from twenty-five to forty, I think. The designs are utilitarian (lots of basic/function bras) to feminine, with lace and darker or pastel colors. The cups tend to run very full in almost all the bras I’ve tried (Ava, Jana, t-shirt unmolded, t-shirt molded, Susanna), and that doesn’t work well with shallow profiles. Many of us get shallower as we get older, so I’m not sure how much of the older market they work for. None of the basics or molded cup bras work for me, and the fabric-and-lace bras aren’t really my style but fit a bit better. The wires are about average in the bras I’ve tried, and the bands tend to run true to size.
The exception here is Rebecca, an amazingly forgiving bra that may be full but will mold to your shape instead of the other way around. I can see myself happily buying this bra or its descendants when I am seventy.
Freya is a brand targeted for younger customers. The models look younger, and there are more bright colors and whimsical prints.
The Freya bras I’ve tried (Deco, unpadded balconettes, unpadded plunges, and padded half-cups) feel like they have loose bands or are very stretchy. Freya consistently stocks those four shapes in different colors and prints, and sometimes there’s something else (this season’s Marvel looks like an actual new cut). I have trouble filling out the apices of the cups for the unpadded bras, so the cups are too deep for me.
Deco is Freya’s cash machine, and it comes out in eleventy billion colors and prints. Not all of them are alike, though! Some of them have detailing on the top of the cup that makes the cups ever so slightly smaller (Deco Flamingo, Spotlight, Taylor, Ashlee, the new fashion colors). It doesn’t work well for very shallow shapes or very soft tissue, and I’m surprised it actually does work well for me.
Freya also has a Sport line, of which I’ve only tried the underwired unpadded bra. It definitely does the heavy lifting, but it gives me a very pointed and projected shape, due to the cup construction and flat horizontal seam. Again, the cups are deeper towards the apex, so I can get some cutting in at the top and have wrinkling in the center of the cup.
My basic understanding of the brands is currently that Freya bands run loose, and most Fantasie and Freya bras have deeper cups than fit me flatteringly. However, the Rebecca and Deco seem to be an exception and will always be in my drawer.