Spring is quite possibly my favourite time of year, not least because I can’t wait for the snow to disappear! And while it’s not quite here yet, lots of lingerie brands are now releasing their Spring/Summer collections, which is good enough for me!
Bravissimo released their Early Spring collection just a week or two ago, and there are definitely some gems in there. Sadly for me, a grand total of 2 Bravissimo’s-own styles were available in my usual size of 30JJ: an ivory Lola Luxe basque, and the new Darling Heart bra, neither of which quite appealed to me. Sizing down to a 30J, however, there were three bras that caught my eye, and which just might work!
The first bra I had to try out was the Betsy Bow in a 30J, which is based on the older Primrose style. For some reason, Bravissimo have cut the size range down for this bra: instead of the usual 28DD-J, 30-38DD-K, it is available in 28F-H, 30DD-J, 32-38DD-K. I really don’t know why they’ve done this, and I’m definitely not the only person upset about it. Personally, I think this is one of the most beautiful bras they’ve released in a long time, so I’m very sad to have been sized out! So, I thought I might as well try it out in the closest available size…
Sadly, I just can’t quite squeeze myself into it! Though I can often size down in half-cups or plunges, balconette styles are nowhere near as forgiving! The Primrose, which it is based on, ran about a cup small, so it was always going to be a long shot!
It is between 1-2 cups small for me – I’m leaning towards it being fairly true to size, though those between sizes may need to size up. The band is nice and firm, the straps fully adjustable, and it sports a sturdy three hooks and eyes. I’m also happy to see that the additional lining is a very subtle, non-contrasting colour! I really wish it had the usual size range, as I seriously do love this bra. The shell colour, the polka dots, the profile, the little purple bows, it’s adorable and vintage-esque at the same time! But, and it’s a heartbreaking “but”, it’s just not going to happen for me.
The next bra I tried out was the Purity in a 30J, Bravissimo’s offering to the moulded t-shirt bra market. Going up to a J cup for 28-36 bands, it’s definitely worth a try for anyone sized out of the Deco, Smoothie etc ranges.
This is a bra that, though it looks good from the front, just wouldn’t quite work on me. Though Brav staff have reported that it runs large in the cups, it’s definitely at least one cup too small for me. Combined with what seems to be a shape mismatch, I don’t think it’s meant to be! I found I had spilling towards the centre, and a huge amount for spilling at the sides (see below) - I would say it runs true to size to a cup small, at least in the black. The cup also seemed to buckle at the bottom from the weight of my breasts, though obviously it was made for someone smaller.
The band felt nice and firm, the straps are fully adjustable, and it has three sets of hooks and eyes. The wires seem wider than on any of my other Bravissimo bras (even the JJ/K ones), which explains why most of my boobs seemed to be in my armpits. In terms of shape, on me it gave a very round, very flattened, wider look. It’s a world away from the narrow, upfront, naturally rounded shape I normally get from Bravissimo! Obviously, the shape is not quite me, but those that favour a minimised, smaller-from-the-side look will love it. I thought the armpits and the central gore were fairly low, though obviously not as low as a plunge. Saying that, I did get a decent cleavage, most likely due to the small cups! The cups are constructed of a standard, somewhat rigid foam material (less rigid than the Smoothie), and seem like they would be fairly full coverage in a better fitting size. So, alas, another bra that didn’t fit me! I was starting to lose hope…
The last bra I tried was the Paradiso Plume in a 30J, a half cup bra in a vibrant feather print.
Does my face say it all? I think my face says it all I can’t even remember what I was going to write now, I’m in another world staring at its loveliness! This is the first of Bravissimo’s half-cups to go up to a J cup, and I’m so pleased it’s this one. It’s obviously slightly small in the cup, but this is going to have to be another one of those I-really-shouldn’t-but-just-look-at-it cases. I mean, look at it! I love the tiny bows going up the straps, the adventurous print, the bright pink lace, aagh! I want to marry this bra! And I love the colour scheme, it reminds me of liquorice allsorts! I’m sorry, I just can’t stop gushing about this bra!
Onto the specifics! In terms of sizing, considering how much overspill I have, I think it’s true to size in the cup – definitely a good thing, as apparently the half-cups have been getting smaller over the past few seasons. It has four part vertical cup construction, which seems really supportive and uplifting, and fully adjustable straps. It’s quite low cut, which should be great for low, straight necklines, though some may not like quite how horizontally the cups are cut! As with the other two, I found it nice and firm in the back, and it also has a three hook fastening. On me it gives a very rounded shape, with some forward projection (obviously most of them is pushed skywards)! I thought it brought my breasts nicely forwards and upwards, no armpit spillage in sight, and giving a fabulous Marie Antoinette cleavage. The wires could be a hair narrower, but they’re fairly standard width for Bravissimo! And, for the last time…Just look at it!!!
Looking at some of the other new items (i.e. the ones I have no chance of fitting into!), I’m loving the cream lace colourway of the Moulin Rose (DD-HH), the vibrant red Satine (DD-J), and the “ditsy star print” Starburst (DD-J)! There are definitely some stunning designs, and I love that Bravissimo are always developing new cuts and trying to provide the essentials for full-busted women. But please, Bravissimo, please don’t start cutting down your size range! The women wearing 30 bands and below with J+ cups are quite possibly the ones who find it hardest to find bras – I find myself increasingly wearing slightly loose bands for this reason. Not to mention the sub-28 band and K+ women, who no doubt have it much harder than I do. I admire your dedication to bringing out new styles, but please don’t forget the women who need it most. If anything, size ranges should be expanding – please don’t start going backwards!