Looking Sexy in Parfait’s Alexis

As I mentioned in my last post, Parfait have recently expanded three of their bras up to a K cup for AW13: the Charlotte, Sophia, and Alexis babydoll. I have reviewed the Charlotte here, but I was also lucky enough to get my hands on the Alexis babydoll. This is the first babydoll to be made up to a UK K-cup, so I was very excited to try it out.

Parfait Alexis Black 30K Full

The Alexis now comes in a size range of 30-40 D-K, and is currently available in both Black and Ivory. I received this in my current usual size of a 30K. I didn’t get the matching briefs with this, but there is both a bikini brief and an unbelievably stunning high-waist brief available if you do decide to get the whole set. I found the babydoll to be a good length on me – just long enough to add mystery, but short enough to be flirty. The keyhole back gives a peek of skin, while the neckline of the bra gives somewhere between a plunge and Marie Antoinette style cleavage. I am sure some women will want a babydoll for bedroom attire, so I was quite happy to see the cleavage I got from this.

The cup construction of the Alexis is not something that I would have ever expected. Most full-bust bras are constructed with multiple panels, but the Alexis seems to just be one piece of sturdy black lace, with a dart at the bottom to shape the cup. This results in a rounded lower cup with a flatter section at the top. I was surprised at the fairly round shape this cup construction gave me, which I think is down to the inner side-support sling. It seems as though the sling (which joins the bottom of the cup to the strap) is giving most of the lift and support in this bra. The sling is made with a lightly padded material, whereas the cup itself is completely unpadded, which gives the bra a very sexy appearance. The straps and band are made of a standard black elastic, while the wings and front of the band are layered with a black shine satin, similar to the kind used in the Charlotte.

Parfait Alexis Black 30K Close1

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the sizing of this piece quite right for me. While I usually wear a 30K at the moment, I believe I would need at least one cup up and at least one band size down in this, so I think this fits more like a loose-banded 32J (or a Panache 32HH). It is definitely loose for a 30 band, stretching to almost exactly 33 inches, making it one of the loosest 30 bands I’ve ever tried. Though the cups might not look too small in these pictures, I should point out that I didn’t fully scoop, as scooping properly resulted in significant overspill. This means that I would probably need more like a 28L, but as this set doesn’t go below a 30 band or above a K cup, my best option would probably be altering a 32K. Unlike the Charlotte, which I found supportive despite the 32 band, this band rides up even on the tightest hooks. I would say the cups run similarly to the Charlotte but the band is looser, so this 30K fits perhaps like a 32JJ Charlotte would. The cups seem to have the same sort of depth distribution, so they are too shallow in the centre for me and slightly too tall around the strap.

The wires measure as mid-width, but due to them not stretching with the band they are quite narrow when on, making them a good width for me. I have the same problem I had with the Charlotte of the sides and gore being too tall for me, with the wings measuring at 13.2cm and the gore at 11.7cm. With the Charlotte, I found that I had empty space at the bottom of the cup which I thought was due to my arms pushing the cups down, but I don’t seem to have that problem in this bra. What I did notice is that the wires themselves are shorter than the wire channels by about 2cm, so you can move the wires either more towards the gore or the sides. Due to the unpadded material this means the excess material can be folded down, effectively lowering the height. I have fewer issues with high sides than high gores (due to being close-set), so I pushed the wires into the sides after taking these pictures, which made the gore a fairly reasonable height for me. You could also have the wires somewhere in the middle, giving an effective side height of 12cm and a gore of 11cm (both of which would be quite average measurements for most of my bras).

Parfait Alexis Black 30K Close2

This bra has a square back rather than the leotard back that most full-bust brands choose, something that is quite new to me but didn’t seem to give any problems. The straps seemed to be quite close-set at the back, but this might partially be due to me fastening the bra on the tightest hooks. It has a deep full-band, fastening with four sets of hooks and eyes, and the straps are wonderfully thick and supportive at 2.7cm. In terms of appearance, I think this piece drips glamour – there are some tiny details, like the crystal drops on the gore and the shine satin panels on the band, that just add a little bit more sophistication.

Despite the fit issues I have with this set, I am considering holding onto it, just because a babydoll around my size is such a welcome first (although I am looking forward to some of the other new babydolls popping up soon). I am hoping that the overspill will just look like mega-cleavage with some of my lower-cut/straighter necklines, and if it doesn’t I can always keep it as a bedroom set. It is possible that my experience isn’t quite the norm, so it may still be worth a try for those who who need 30 bands and/or J+ cups – I just wouldn’t be too hopeful. I imagine this will be a safer option for those who need at least a 32 band and at most a J cup, as there will be more space to play with the sizing. As far as I know, the expanded sizes of the Alexis aren’t being sold in the UK yet, something that will hopefully change soon! For those in the US, the Alexis babydoll is available from Beautyfull Bras for $59 (Black or Ivory).

Item provided for review by Lingerie PR. Though I received this free of charge, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Feeling Peachy in Parfait’s Charlotte

Recently, the lingerie world has been buzzing after a certain announcement from Parfait by Affinitas. Until now they have stocked 30-40 D-G, but in June they announced that they would be expanding three styles up to a K cup for AW13: the Charlotte, Sophia, and Alexis babydoll. I was very excited by this announcement, and upon release was lucky enough to get my hands on two of them, the second of which I will be reviewing in a few days.

Parfait Charlotte 32K try on full

The first set I tried was the Charlotte Padded Plunge, which now comes in 28-40 D-K. This has been my dream set for a long time, so when I won a £50 LCL voucher in Fussy Busty‘s blogiversary giveaway, I immediately knew what to get! I seem to have settled at a 30K in most bras at the moment, but I had heard that the cups ran small, so I opted for a 32K. I’m currently a UK 14-16 with 42 inch hips. and I opted the matching high-waist briefs in size L. The briefs didn’t quite reach my natural waist, and were also a bit snug on my hips, so I could have done with a size up. As I had some money left from the voucher, I also got the red high-waist briefs in a size XL, which I found to be a much comfier fit.

The Charlotte has three-part cup construction with outer side-support panels, which is good to give an upfront and rounded shape. It is cut tall at the sides and comparatively low in the middle, so it’s something of a cross between a plunge and a balconette. I find it gives me a modest, “soft hills” sort of cleavage. The cups are a lightly padded, matte material, while the front of the band and side-support panels are a shine satin. I would describe the colour as a buttery pecan, so it’s a fairly good nude colour for pale, yellow-toned skin like mine. For those with pink-toned skin, there is also a dusty rose colourway that could work quite well. Black piping on bras is one of my favourite design features (so sophisticated!), so I think it goes without saying that I love the look of this bra. The straps and band elastic are black, which adds to the boudoir look, but it does mean it can’t be worn as a nude bra under light clothes. I feel it strikes the perfect balance of sexy and supportive to be worn as both a bedroom and everyday bra, and the colouring would work fine under most darker clothes.

Parfait Charlotte 32K try on close 1

Previous runs of this style were described as tight in the band, but I found mine to be fairly true to size, stretching to roughly 32.5 inches. Despite me usually wearing a 30 band, I still find this bra wearable – I think the stable four-hook band combined with my V shaped ribcage means the band rides up much less than the average 32 band would. I found the cup volume to be fairly good, so I would say that it runs about a cup small. The cups seem to be fairly mid-depth all over (neither deep nor shallow), which meant that I had slight overspill at the centre and slight gapping at the straps, due to me being centre-heavy, but it isn’t enough to make it unwearable. I would say this bra is best suited to those with either lower or even fullness. I am fairly close-set, so the moderately tall gore (11cm) doesn’t quite lie flat on me at the top. The wires measure as mid-width, but they didn’t distort when the band stretched, making them more narrow to mid-width when worn. I do personally prefer slightly narrower wires, but others will have different preferences, and they are by no means unwearable. My favourite thing about this bra has to be the super-thick comfort straps, which measure in at an impressive 2.7cm, compared to the standard width of 2cm. The thick straps are a very welcome change, providing much needed relief for my shoulders.

Parfait Charlotte 32K try on close 2

The main issues I had with this bra were the side height and cup height. The cup itself is quite tall around the strap, which I think emphasises the gapping I get. I think the issue that will affect most people is the side height, which is 14.2cm in this size. I would consider anything over 12cm to be quite tall; for comparison, most of my bras have a wing height of around 11cm, and the tallest wing height I’ve ever tried was 16cm (CK SS12 bikini in a 30K). So far everyone I know who has tried this bra has found the sides to be a problem, including myself.  Due to the comfortable padded material I didn’t find the sides to dig or rub, but I did find the height itself slightly uncomfortable. The height also meant that my arms pushed the cups down slightly when worn, so the cups do end up sitting about 1cm below my root. I think the height could be a dealbreaker for anyone with high-set breasts and/or a short root. I have considered altering the sides to be lower, but as the wires are also tall, I am not sure this would be possible without altering or replacing the actual wires.

Overall, the cup construction is outstandingly sturdy – it really is like sexy scaffolding, as it manages to be both a heavy lifter and a sultry set. I do wonder if this sort of construction would work well for a strapless, as even with the straps off, it is extremely supportive. All things considered I would say the Charlotte is fairly successful on me, but I really think it could work for a larger range of people if the centre was slightly deeper and the sides were slightly lowered. Despite the issues I found with the Charlotte, I think Parfait are a very promising company, and I hope they can take the feedback they’ve been given on board for their future collections. I really am so pleased to have more options around my size – now I just have to find it in red 😉

Read more reviews:
Sophisticated Pair (30J, Dusty Rose)
The Full Figured Chest (34J, Red)
Quest for the Perfect Bra (30H, Dusty Rose)
Boosaurus (28H, Red)

For those in the UK, the expanded sizes of the Parfait Charlotte are available from Large Cup Lingerie for £30 (peach colourway only). For those in the US, the Charlotte is available from Beautyfull Bras for $36 (all colours). The items in this review were purchased with a voucher to Large Cup Lingerie. Though most of the items were free, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.