Claudette Dessous review- two takes

Claudette Encore buys are not returnable, so I took a chance on ordering the Dessous in two colorways: Cyber Yellow with Navy and Navy with Limeade. The Dessous aesthetic is very simple and two-tone, so I’ve always been intrigued, but I had heard that the sizing is all over the place, even from color to color. I ordered down a band size and up a cup size.

Construction

Three-part full coverage cut-sew bra. The bottom part of the cup joins the shoulder strap, making it a balcony. The cups have a big upper section, covering a lot in the middle. All of the cup seems to be made of the same material. Three hooks in the leotard back with fully adjustable straps.

claudette_yellow_front claudette_yellow_back

claudette_yellow_side2 claudette_yellow_side

Fit

A 34G is probably the best fit I can get. The band is still quite stretchy so I started on the middle row of hooks in the navy cup bra. Definitely go down at least one band size in this generation! The cups may run a bit small, especially if you have more projection or upper fullness. The cut of the cups make this bra work best for average separation between the breasts. The front of the band has a tendency to flip up on me, as you can see in the photos.

 claudette_blue_front claudette_blue_back claudette_blue_side claudette_blue_side2

Looks

The cups are separated less than I am, so you can see the creases in the photos. The shape is pretty natural and relaxed. The cups are, as mentioned, very full coverage. Yellow does not stand out on my skin tone, but you know what? I like it anyway, because it reminds me of the eighties and rebelliousness in leg warmers. It’s also one of my few bras I can wear under lighter-colored shirts.

I kept one of them and donated the other because the blue’s band was a bit stretchier. It doesn’t flatter me the best in terms of the cut, but it’s so comfortable and I wear it more often than I thought I would.  If I see the orange and purple color on zulily again I’ll go for it. The sizing may be different, though.

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Curvy Kate Dita review

For many years, all-over sheer bras stopped at a G. I remember the Arabella, Lyla, and Ooh La La styles by Freya added lining to the bottom of the cup in GG+ sizes. What’s the point, I heard, of buying a sheer bra only to have it not actually be sheer all over? Freya believes that making the bottom portion of the cup double lined adds structural integrity. Its current Siren and upcoming Vixen have this issue as well.

Enter Curvy Kate, who said said eff that noise we can be all-over sheer at any size. Over Christmas the Dita and Bardot lines debuted, and they’re set to continue into fall. Next spring Bardot gets a non-black color and Dita has redesigned embroidery to become Cabaret. I’d never wanted an all-over sheer bra before, but the lines looked so smart! The metallic embroidery on Dita was too much a lure for me, and I bought it because I thought it would run large (I don’t recall why I thought that, but it was true).

Construction

Three-part cut-sew plunge bra. The fabric is a sheer black mesh but for the seams and some embroidery on the top part of the cup. In 34FF there are three hooks in the closure (yaaaaay). Fully adjustable straps.

dita_frontdita_back

Fit

Once upon a time the complaint about lots of CK bras was that the cups were always wide as soup tureens and the shape too shallow. CK has redone the fit on several old items and used different dimensions on new ones. My prior unpadded Curvy Kate bra was Emily, which had wraparound wires and a shallow profile. With Dita this is not the case: the wires feel on the medium to narrow side in 34FF. If anything, the cups are a little too deep for me, giving some wrinkling and pulling on the fabric in various places. The cups seem on the generous side in this size.

dita_side dita_side2

Looks

These photos were taken from slightly below, so the angle is a bit awkward. The band is stressed because I’m wearing an extender, and the photo is also blurry. The side view also shows a little of my other breast. I thought I’d rather get you suboptimal photos than wait any longer for another photo session.The wrinkles I get in the cup show more prominently in the mirror than in these photos except when I’m lifting my arms.

The shape I get from this bra is slightly lifted and vertically compressed, which I’m cool with. The sheer black works well for me, but the top panel of the bra may dominate the look with its embroidery (I never thought I would say that I could do with less shiny!) depending on how full you are on the bottom. The shiny embroidery is not just silver, it’s a lovely iridescent.

The plunge cut is great if you’re just looking for something under a low-cut top without emphasizing cleavage. This keeps the breasts pretty separate and doesn’t push them up. Tall or full-on-top breasts may have issues with the fit or need to go up a size, and I don’t think I’d recommend this bra if you’re very shallow or close set, since there’s lots of space at the gore. So this bra seems best for projected separate medium-width breasts.

Well that’s all and good, you say, but this cup size is not GG+. How does this bra work in larger cup sizes? Unfortunately I can’t find any reviews on Dita in GG+ (there are pictures for someone in 30GG), but Becky Magson has reviewed the Bardot in 30H, which is their all-over sheer balcony bra.

It’s quite comfortable, lightweight, and I find it aesthetically appealing. It’s also more supportive than I would have guessed, jumping up and down produces surprisingly little bounce. Top marks to Curvy Kate for making an all-over sheer in GG+, I just wish I knew if it worked in larger cups so I could tell you more!

Coffee and Chocolate Pairing

In honor of the name Dita’s German origins, let’s go with a Ritter Sport.

These are very sweet, and I always run the risk of eating the whole bar at a time. Hasselnuss!

Did you know Melitta is a German company? Their founder invented the drip brew paper filter that I and many others use daily. I used to have a coffee maker by them which I left in NJ, and I often use the paper filters they make. I can’t speak to their coffee products, but they now make coffee suitable for Keurig machines.

If any German readers have a coffee brand they prefer, please let me know! I love to try new coffees.

The Middle Class, Buying Habits, and ‘Luxury’ Lingerie

I see the term luxury tossed around for pretty much everything these days, as has The Lingerie Addict. Figleaves calls its vast library of clothes and foundations luxury, when they carry some low-cost brands. Huh? What does that mean, I asked?

Economically speaking, luxury goods are high markup and high prestige. The designer label is important. Some of them are veblem goods, meaning that demand for them is proportional to a high price, which contradicts the law of demand. Humans have funny psychology concerning prestige, exclusivity, and quality, and how they relate to our self-worth. Conspicuous consumption is desired or commended in many social circles or circumstances no matter our income bracket. In the United States, both ‘luxury’ and ‘middle class’ have become stretchy terms. Several models agree that ‘middle class’ means at least some level of college. I’ve heard the term apply to adults whose personal income is anywhere between $30,000 to $200,000 annually. Cost of living varies widely across the country, but I think the idea is to indicate some financial security. However, there are many smart, college educated people working full-time or more and living month-to-month.

The Baby Boomers (and probably earlier Americans) that had lived in the United States for more than a generation tended to have material goods of consistent grade. If you had hand-me-down furniture, chances were you didn’t eat out much unless it was fast food, wore hand-me-down clothing, went to public schools, and if you had a car, drove a small Chevy, GM, or Ford (before the nineties Japanese cars had high tariffs) and kept it until it stopped working. If you were ‘comfortable’, you probably had had decent quality furniture, some technological gadgets, maybe some music or dance lessons or sports for the kids, a mid-size or minivan, and went out to dinner once a week. If you were more than comfortable, my impression is everything in your house was supposed to be expensive unless it had sentimental value.

Today, many young people are opting to ‘trade up.’ Within our budgets, we choose what’s emotionally important to us and invest proportionally more in that good or service and cut on other things. A well-to-do person can have a smartphone, a Roomba, a semi-pro camera, two computers and a tablet, a big entertainment center…and IKEA furniture and no pants that cost more than $30. Another person might take singing lessons, nice audio speakers for the home, $80 bras, and share a place with many roommates, get $20 haircuts, and always brew their own coffee which they bought at the grocery store instead of stopping in a coffee shop.

This applies to lingerie buying as well. You can buy Parfait by Affinitas, Lepel, Pour Moi? and sale lingerie most of the time (or just not have a ton of bras) to save for one Angela Friedman or Christine (often considered luxury) piece. Or like the person above, spend money on pricier bras and have roommates who may hate you. Many people who wear lingerie are on a budget. I tend to buy big brand bras, underpants from $8-20, and simple chemises, pajamas, and loungewear. I go for variety rather than mega high end garments in my bra drawer. (One could argue that the Masquerade bras are high end, but $80 rather than $60 does not seem to be super luxe to me compared to La Perla, Agent Provocateur, Lise Charmel…)

Photography by Matjaz Tancic
Photography by Matjaz Tancic

This year was the first time I indulged in made-to-measure (often considered a luxury) lingerie: pieces from Pillowbook: two dudou, a pair of pants, and slip. I’m super impressed and love the results (more on that in future posts). However, I feel like buying luxury/couture will not become a regular habit. I’m not a fashionista and regular offerings from the Eveden group, Panache, Parfait, Hanky Panky, Wacoal, and Josie satisfy me most of the time.

What are your priorities when buying lingerie? Do you get a few expensive items, or a larger quantity of economical ones? Do you put aside money in case something you dream of comes to light, or is there a special something you’re saving up for?