Fantasie Allegra vertical seam bra review

When I first saw the design for Allegra more than a year ago, I thought that it was an old Fauve design they were integrating into Fantasie, reminiscent of both Chloe and Delphine. Sheer cups, intricate embroidery, and jewel colors. The art nouveau design charmed me, and I bought a black one from Nordstrom a while back.

Construction

Three-part cut-sew bra: one seam goes right up the middle of the cup, and the other is for the side support panels! Fantasie loves its side support panels. Full band with a bit of an arch for higher tummies. Three rows of two hooks in the back. Fully-adjustable straps with little details so the straps don’t slip. Those details also make it a pain to adjust their length.

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Fit

The band may be a bit generous, or stretches out rather quickly. After a few months I’m on the tightest hooks in a 36F, but I sometimes wear a 34. Even when the band felt tight at the beginning of the wear, it would ride up pretty quickly at the back. It may just be angled that way, because I couldn’t fit more than two fingers in.

The cups are also a little generous, since I wear between a 36F and FF these days. The top seam is elastic and cuts back into the chest, making this a suboptimal solution for tall or full-on-top breasts if they’re not firm. You can also see that the cups are more close-set than I am, so if you have splayed breasts you will see some of the breast crease.

The side support was a good idea on their part because it brings tissue in to fill the projection in front, so somewhat shallow shapes can still fill the bra out. If you have very shallow breasts this may not work for you. I have some trouble filling out the bottom of the cup.

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Looks

I like the design. The vertical seam may be a bit over-emphasized aesthetically, but I guess that’s how they get the support. The shape is rounded but not hoisted. The design looks sophisticated and can appeal to a wide age range. I assume that’s what makes it sell well, as Nordstrom carries it in black and used to in rouge (Nordstrom is probably the biggest purveyor of F+ bras in the US).

The size range on this Allegra is limited to 30-36 D-G and 38 D-FF, but it’s wider than Eveden’s other vertical-seam bra, the Freya Starlet. The four-part cup construction is more classical Fantasie and has a larger size range, sacrificing the all-over sheerness, but if you want the Swiss embroidery in swirls, that’s where you go. It’ll be out in blue this fall.

I haven’t tried any of the bottoms, I match this with my array of black underpants. The Fantasie Allegra Vertical Seam was a good everyday bra for me, lightweight but not the most supportive. It’s currently a bit loose on me, so I’m giving it a rest until/if my back muscles get bigger and buffer.

Experiences with Eveden

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.

Fauve Bronte Review

I said to myself when I moved and got a raise that I could treat myself to a ‘frivolous’ bra. A bra I wouldn’t wear too often, that I found beautiful and fun and orange. Wait, orange? Yes! It was time for the Fauve Bronte I had lusted after. Figleaves had a generic coupon, so I bought the set at less than I was cringing at. I haven’t worn it a ton, so this review may get updated.

Construction

Padded longline bra. Two vertical seams in each cup for shaping, and. Five hooks in the back. Took a bit for me to figure out how to do it up correctly, but I definitely feel supported. There’s a lace edging at the bottom of the band which unsurprisingly tends to flip up. If that bothers you or you’d need to readjust, I wouldn’t recommend this or a number of frilly longline bras that the Eveden brands put out, like Freya Secret Garden and Just Flew In.

Fit

Not what I was expecting. Namely, those are some wide wires/cups! Perhaps it’s because it’s a longline? I measured each cup as 6.1 inches wide. That’s half a foot, and if you have narrow breasts, I don’t expect you and this bra to get on- it would be an easy armpit poke.

In the back the band tends to ride down. Is that a function of it being a longline bra? Or of my torso being larger up top? I haven’t had the opportunity to stretch it out, and it does compress me at present. It does feel pretty true to size. The strap placement seems fine to me.

The cups seem to run about average if your breasts are wider and small if you have narrower/deeper breasts and work with soft tissue, no spilling in the middle. There’s a bit of overflow on the top of the cup sometimes in my monthly cycle, but this is the end of the size range, and one cup up would probably be too much.

Looks

The embellishment is a bit over the top, but there’s a great deal of attention to detail here. Grayish cream lace frippery everywhere! Vines, I think. There are bows on bows. The bow at the center even has little teardrop fake crystals hanging from it! Not usually my style. But orange satin. There you go. I wonder if one day I should remove the lace on the bottom.

Happy Surprise

I was set to be saddened by this bra, but it actually fits a lot better than most of my current drawer (especially once I break in that band! They don’t make extenders in five hooks yet!). Wide cups that fit, supportive band, shiny orange satin, and I think I look pretty smashing in it. It’s like orange and cream frozen dessert. Nom nom nom.

The Fauve Bronte is set to come out in more colorways this fall. I do quite like the green (chocolate mint chip?), but this will always hold a special place in my heart, my sunshine in Seattle!

Other reviews: Two Cakes on a Plate

New fitting issues

I’ve lived in Seattle for two months, gained some weight, lost some of it, and may have had tissue come from my armpits. I am popping out of my 30GG bras and some of my 32G bras. I finally put my Decos in storage because they required adjusting all the time.

As I’ve gotten older (I’ll be thirty-one in August), my tissue has gotten even softer and I require a slightly higher center gore and longer wires. It can be a bit frustrating to see lots of lingerie targeted to younger women with firm busts (as assumed from the promotional material).

I’ve mostly given up on Cleo. I’ve tried on the Marcie, Bella, Maddie, Rihanna, Juna, and Melissa, and I just did not feel very secure in them. The bands were tight enough, though. What gave? My guess is that the underwires are shorter on the sides and that they may be not quite as robustly constructed (hah!). Sizing’s also a bit tricky. I barely overspilled a Marcie in 32G but a 32GG was far too large. I love the cut of the Maddie but I felt pretty insecure if I walked at a quick pace or went up and down the stairs. Seattle’s got many hills and my building has a bunch of stairs, so it did not really work out.

I’ve also given up on my beloved Decos. The fabric buckling at the bottom is still there and I pop out of the top of a 30GG. That’s the end of their size range. I could try a 32GG, but the band feels quite loose and I’m leery of shortening/altering it myself. This leaves me with the Porcelain Plunge for tight tanks, since most of my other bras show through. I’m been trying to find shirts that aren’t quite as faithful to bra detailing that I still find flattering.

So I still have plenty of bras, but I feel dissatisfied. The Amors buckle a bit at the bottom. The Confetti,Porcelain, and CHP Stalowka are just a bit too small on top some days. The CH Onyx is usually too big and EM bras feel a bit too narrow in the cup. Going up a cup size often is too much volume. Perhaps I’m just extra finicky these days?

My dream bra is a smooth molded cup with enough room in the bottom that I don’t spill out of and otherwise feels secure. I might give Maddie another shot, otherwise it’s the Porcelain for now. I felt a bit droopy in the Fantasie Rebecca when I tried it on, but perhaps I should give it another try.

Anyway, that’s today’s rumbling and grumbling. I hope to provide some useful reviews within the month: Cleo Rihanna and Fauve Bronte. Yes, the Bronte fits. No, it’s not very practical and the bottom of the frilly band rolls up. However, it’s orange and pretty and MINE.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Relocation present(s) to me!

I feel a bit odd about this, but I’m ordering bras from ASOS to essentially check the fit. If I turn out to love them I’ll keep them, but otherwise they’re getting returned. I wonder how retailers feel about this? I ordered a Cleo Maddie, a Masquerade Amor, and a Cleo Juna. Since ASOS has free shipping both ways the only risk is a package getting lost, and that’s a risk I’ve decided to take because I have a new job!

I’m moving to Seattle next month to be with my partner- I was unwilling to move before I found a job offer that I wanted there. I’m excited about my new coworkers and the city. I’ll recoup the moving costs very quickly, especially since I have over three weeks stored vacation which I’ll get an immediate payout for. So I decided to treat myself to some more bras! I’m not in need now, but four of my everyday bras are ten months old (the newest one I wear regularly is four months), so they are going to lose elasticity in the coming months. I’m curious about the fit of the abovementioned bras, so I’ll try them on and see how they work.

fauve bronte photo

I’m most stoked about the Amor because of its clean design, but once I move I am going to try the Fauve Bronte. I’ve never worn a Fauve, and they stop at G in padded cups, and could be a tricky fit. But my favorite color is orange, so the padded longline will be mine if it fits. Oh yes. Lace, maybe, but the orange is so vibrant!

Possibly interesting bras for fall (a wish list addendum)

I currently have around seven non-sports bras and want to acquire a few more. I’ll probably make an Ewa Michalak order, and I posted a previous wish list, but here are a few more bras that caught my eye this season.

Cleo Karen

do you like stars?

I don’t like pink or lace, but I do love stars. This looks like good fun! I haven’t seen this for sale anywhere, but I adore a t-shirt bra with a continuous band. Cleo is known to give a good shape, and the wires are on average supposedly shorter than Panache’s.

Freya Deco Soft Cup

Freya have figured out that lots of women, self included, adore the Deco line. They’re starting a shapewear line for it, introducing more crazy colors and prints (which fit differently sometimes, grrr…). I’ve never worn a soft cup bra, so I’m curious as to how they can shape, and it sounds like good loungewear to me. It only comes C-G, sadly, so we will see if the band runs too loose to wear a 32G.

Fantasie Rebecca

Purple fashion!

Spacer foam is a nice light foam that molds well to body shape. I haven’t really found a spacer foam bra in my size yet. This purple looks very plum-like to me, but I haven’t seen it live. Fantasie tends to run a bit full in the cup for my shallow profile. I don’t know if spacer foam would mitigate that at all. Must try on to find out. I hear that one should size down in the cup, does anyone have corroboration for this?

Fauve Dominique

Vertical seams tend to give me a better shape. Abstract flowers = yes. I’m not sure what the second layer of fabric (the patterned one) is on black satin, but I think it’s worth a look. I’d ditch the bows, but I like how the bottom of the band is very well demarcated.

Claudette Dessous Sucre

orange orange!

I have a favorite color, and it’s neon orange. For that I’d overlook the mesh structure. However, I think I’m just barely sized out because the cups apparently run small and don’t go past a G. If Claudette ever make this bra in a 32GG I’m on it!