Masquerade Rhea

This is my first Masquerade bra- I’ve been pretty gaga about their designs (lots of pretty molded cups) for a good while, but didn’t want to break the bank until I felt like treating myself when Figleaves had a sale.

Fit:

Wow, the band is tight!  Order up a band size and down a cup size!  A 32, which is my regular band size, fit, but I could not take a deep breath without it hurting.  This band hasn’t stretched after several months yet.  At first I wasn’t sure if the cups fit properly (the top is pretty open), but after doing the scoop-and-set the lift was pretty divine, with a beautiful round shape (I attribute this to the vertical seams).  I have some migrated breast tissue (to the sides), so I needed to adjust that every so often.

The straps felt on the loose end, but there wasn’t much stretch to them, if that makes any sense- I had the bra adjusted to almost the shortest strap length.  They are also pretty far apart, so if your shoulders are narrow, be advised.  The center gore on this bra comes up high, so it can be problematic for some sternums and won’t work with deep v-neck tops.  Additionally, it’s wide (like most Panache bras), so if you have close-set breasts it won’t work as well.

The shorts run from 8-18 and are a bit on the large side, and the bra runs 28-36 D-H, 38 D-GG.

Looks:

     

The design is comparable to the Curvy Kate Tease Me- a more horizontal cut at the top with some ribbon/embroidery that shows through some tops.  I find the Tease Me a bit more showgirl/flirty and the Rhea a bit more sophisticated, but the Tease Me is a lot nicer on one’s wallet, especially at Brastop.  The Rhea currently comes in Black and Antique, which are mostly one color, but my set was in mulberry/slate, a lovely contrast colorway.  There are also sets on eBay in cream/pink.  If they come out with more contrasting colorways I will snap those up- the detail work is superb and the fabric looks amazing (cotton lined on the inside).

Verdict:

This isn’t a t-shirt bra, and after about eight hours it gets a bit uncomfortable.  That said, it’s my favorite when I’m not wearing a t-shirt- it makes me feel very glamorous.  Up goes my front!  May not be for you if you have close-set or narrow breasts, or have had wires dig into your sternum.  I recommend converting to a bigger band, as noted earlier.

When a few washes don’t do the trick?

I’ve owned the Freya Taylor for several months now, which is like the Deco, but the fabric is stiffer- stiffer to the point where it does not conform to the shape of my breasts, and I get a little extra air in one place and quadra-boob in another.  I don’t have this issue with the Deco.

Does anyone have any ideas as to, er, softening the fabric on the cups?  I know that fabric softener is bad for elastic…

Panache Porcelain Review

Here’s my Bratabase review:

This bra is highly modest- molded and covers quite a bit solidly. The nude color is lighter than my skin tone, but it’s still better than white under thin tops. This makes a great t-shirt bra, it does disappear under clothes if it fits you. No cleavage, just a smooth transition. Doesn’t really lift the front much, but does round everything out. If you want a more ‘natural’ shape I’d steer clear.

As for the fit, it works excellently on my bottom-heavy and separate breasts. The straps are quite far apart so you may want to fasten them tight- I have 44″ shoulders and the straps were slipping off quite a bit before I tightened them up! Furthermore, the underwires are long and go around further and up to your armpits, which could be a problem if you are rather petite or have narrow breasts.

The band is looser than other Panache bras I’ve tried- a 32FF in the Freya Deco (Pistachio) was way too tight, but the 32G here is comfortably tight! If you are between cup sizes go up one, as this model is known to run small in the cup.

Many photos of this bra show some cleavage, which you won’t get if you are shallow profiled:

Other comments:

As mentioned earlier, doesn’t really lift much.  The band is not continuous, so it could probably be more supportive.  Unfortunately, this bra only goes from D-G.  The Plunge version, which I haven’t tried, goes up to an H, but I don’t know how that fits.  I’m definitely curious, though! I wear this bra as an everyday bra, since it’s comfortable and doesn’t show through my tight-fitting tank tops (I have two in nude, which is lighter than my skin, and have ordered one in black).  Not sure how this bra would work with a full-on-top shape.