Reviews: Agent Provocateur, Parfait, Gossard, with special guest star Julia Lambert

Julia Lambert would like it known that my blog is a bad influence.  That being said, she’s gotten some wildly pretty lingerie since I started writing it, so without further ado, I give you the lovely Miss Julia Lambert!

HELLO, darlings.

Sweets’ blog IS a terrible influence!  However, she escapes all of the blame for this, as I admit at long last that I need new bras.  I didn’t actually want to BUY new stuff.  I have beautiful things that I bought relatively recently, certainly within the last year, and they’re in fine shape.  But…well, I first noticed it in dance class: I was falling out of them.  “Weird,” I thought, “I must be…dancing differently?”  I’m sad to say that it took until I was reaching down to pick up my purse and falling out that I admitted I had a new size on my hands.  And I’m a devoted reader of this blog.  File this under “do as I say and not as I do.”

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Julia Lambert’s new collection: Agent Provocateur, Gossard, and Parfait

So I bought really pretty things that also fit.  I’m thrilled.

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Close-up on the pretty lace and suspenders on the “Ooh-La-La” Corselette.

First up: the Gossard corselette from Bravissimo.  I dunno, y’all.  It was pretty and on sale?  I had paid my bills and wanted something fancy for fancy times?  This little number is bra-sized, has a black band with a pink satin bow at the waist, and garter hooks with pink ribbons for stockings (Remember when Sweets explained stockings?  Yes?)  Well, my goodness.  When it arrived I squealed in delight: Black lace over a rosy peachy pink lining, with bows and things!  I love vintage dresses, and I have a velvet winter party dress that I will absolutely wear this under.  The color combination is gorgeous.  If you’re an underwear-as-outwear type, wear it with a pencil skirt and a fitted jacket.  You know, for when you need to stop the proverbial traffic with your bad self.  As Sweets explained in the lingerie dictionary, a “corselette” seems to be a bra/basque hybrid that extends down over this hips with garter straps.  It’s very elegant.  I feel smokin’ in it.  For interested parties, I wouldn’t call this particular corselette a shaper or support garment.  It does indeed cover the torso, but this one seems more for looks that shaping.  For looks, though, WELL, my dears.  “But Miss Lambert,” you say, “I thought you needed practical things?”  “But but but!” say I!  “It’s convertible, with wide straps and easy-to-alter hooks to change the straps. It also holds stockings up!  What, are you supposed to hold them up with your hands all day?  Ha!”

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Close-up of the evil hook-and-eye.

When I opened it, I thought, “Zipper!  Excellent.  No long rows of impossible hooks!”  Well…true, but I confess that the few hooks there are take a bit of work.  Three hooks close the internal bra band, and one closes the the top of the zipper.  All of the closures are on the left side of the garment instead of the back.  This is…hard.  “But!” says Miss Lambert.  “Were bras easy to hook the first time you started wearing them?  No, lovelies, but now you can get those suckers on like a champ!”  However, one hook in particular was a nasty bastard, hence the swearing.  It was the hook at the top of the zipper, sewn on the inside of the corselette.  It poked.  Ouches.  Long-term wear would not have been fun.  Fortunately, this is a really easy fix, as you can see in the photo above.  I popped the hook off with a seam ripper and moved it to the outside of the garment.  Now the zipper stays closed, but doesn’t poke me.
Gossard’s “Ooh La La” corselette from Bravissimo comes in black and ivory in a pretty wide range of full-bust sizes (30-38 D-G, UK), but, since it’s on sale, availability might be limited.  There should be some new ones in from this brand, though, so if you need a fancy, sort-of-practical-but-really-who-are-you-kidding-you-just-want-something-froofy piece, Julia Lambert likes hers a lot!
Onwards!  I really like what I’ve seen from Parfait by Affinitas, one of the rare American companies making fun and pretty lingerie in full-bust sizes.  They use UK sizing, so remember to check the size chart (Sweets has one here) to be sure you’re getting the right size.  This is the “Charlotte” set in red and black with a bikini and high waist brief.  It’s slamming.  I feel reborn having bras that fit properly!
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“Charlotte” by Parfait, with matching bikini and high-waisted brief.

I purchased this set from HerRoom, and received excellent customer service, shipping times, selection, and prices.  However, I’m afraid I won’t be making any further purchases from that site.  They have a very strange sizing system they’re trying to implement in which the cup size is indicated by one million Ds following the band measurement, and I’d rather just have one or two letters to keep track of, thank you.  But worse, the language they use on their site reinforces the idea that breasts of various sizes and shapes are “problems” that can be “corrected” by purchasing their lingerie.  This language hits women with chests both large and small with judgmental ideas about our bodies and ourselves.  For these reasons, I won’t purchase from them anymore.

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Details of the bra. Just fabulous.

However, please check out Parfait’s selection elsewhere!  I love that this photograph shows the slightly oversized black bows at the center of the bra and on the knickers.  I feel like the cutest little thing ever in my red bra with the big black bow (don undies, sashay, repeat).  For this bra, I’d heard it was recommended to size up in the band, since it runs small.  I think I could have purchased my regular band/cup size, honestly, but the “sister size” (up one band size and down a cup size) fits just fine.  I like it so much I didn’t want to let it go once I tried it on, even for a slightly “more perfect” fit!  One other fitting note, though, since some of you might be affected: this bra seems to ride a little high close to the armpit in the front, and it’s possible that if you’re smaller busted than I the wire could poke you.  I don’t want you to get poked!  Julia Lambert cares.
Um…so…I now admit that the red-and-black satin set appears to be the most “practical” of my recent purchases.  I may be single handedly changing the definition of that word.  You’ll agree when you see the last thing I got.
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The gorgeous delivery box. A+, AP.

Apparently Agent Provocateur, maker of terribly hot but obscenely expensive lingerie, has flash sales once or twice a year that are ridiculous, but make such things accessible to your average lady.  They sell $250-$300 bras (dear lord, no thank you) for around $30-$40 during these sales.  And, again, I paid all my bills!  And needed new things!  So…I bought something I didn’t need because it was fancy and attainable.

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I mean, don’t we all want to live in a world where we have sumptuous lingerie delivered to us in elegant pink boxes with black bows? I do. The guys in the mail room at the office would have a field day.

Sweets will be relieved but disappointed to hear that this pink box was delivered nestled inside a regular box.  I, too, receive packages at my office and would not like to be exposed to comment.  That said, I DECLARE that’s gorgeous packaging!

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Ugh. Pretty. Like, Marie Antoinette levels of pretty.

Sweets helped talk me into keeping this lovely Francoise bra and suspender belt.  Again, we have pink with black lace, which looks gorgeous on me, a beautiful shape on the black lace line around the top, delicate lace, and immaculate construction.  You can kind of see at the side of the cup that the side band has boning stitched in for support.  Love.

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Yep.

Like I said, I needed a little encouragement to let myself keep it.  Once again, I purchased my sister size (up one band and down one cup) because AP doesn’t actually make my true size.  It’s not perfect, but it’s so pretty, flattering, and honestly sexy (and, you guys, so marked down) that I’m keeping it.  I would have liked to have purchased knickers as well, but, as happens with flash sales, they had all been whisked out of stock before I arrived.  I didn’t own any suspender-like item, though, and this Francoise suspender, which was also part of the flash sale, seems like the perfect one to choose!  I particularly like the little eyelash edge on the black lace.
*     *     *     *     *
Sweets and I frequently discuss lingerie, how it makes us feel, and choosing it, and she was a valuable confidante which I was trying to pick out some pretty things for myself.  Her kind and compassionate view of women and our understanding of our bodies gave me permission to get myself something pretty just because it makes me happy.  (I don’t mean she’s all “buy all the things whenever you want!”  But it is really ok to get yourself something that makes you happy, whether it’s underwear, nice wine, books, new running shoes, plants, or something else.  It’s ok to get yourself a present that improves your well being).  Sweets has talked about the power of lingerie, even when it’s a secret, which I love: I can be elegant and beautiful, even when my outerwear needs to tell a different story.  Like, when I’d like to be the greatest actress in England in the 1930s, married to Jeremy Irons and plotting revenge on stupid young lovers who scorn me, but I have to dress like a paralegal in Chicago.  Like those times.

Brava Miss Lambert!

I hope you enjoyed seeing these pieces, hearing about the fit and design, and hearing about my shopping experiences.  If possible, I prefer to shop locally, but availability in my size, except for Nordstrom, is a little limited, so these purchases were all made online.  I’ll let you know the next time I find something lovely in-store!  If you have questions about the pieces I purchased, please email Sweets and she’ll pass it along to me!  Finally, have a beer and think of me, Miss Lambert, and don’t ever let contemptible people cheapen your gifts.  (P.S. if you haven’t seen Being Julia, please do so immediately).

*I (Sweets) am neck-deep in a major work project this week.  This post has been pre-scheduled, and my response times may be slow. 

5 Comments on Reviews: Agent Provocateur, Parfait, Gossard, with special guest star Julia Lambert

  1. Holly Jackson
    November 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm (6 years ago)

    That AP set is so damn pretty! I’m so jealous that you could find a size that worked for you. Bravissimo has been hitting it out of the park with their basques lately. I got my Lola Luxe Basque yesterday and wish I could fit into their other options. That Gossard will be out in red soon!

    Reply
    • Sweets
      November 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm (6 years ago)

      Oh I really really really really want to try the Lola Luxe! Do you think you’ll review it? Would love to know your thoughts!

      Reply
  2. Julia Lambert
    June 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm (6 years ago)

    Update on the Gossard corselette: still incredibly flattering, but Kiss Me Deadly has ruined all other garter clips for me forever. These garter clips are, sadly, no bueno. I hate them. They fail to hold stockings. It makes wearing the corselette not fun. I’m working on replacing them with clips I ordered from What Katie Did, but still. Bummer.

    Reply

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Reviews: Agent Provocateur, Parfait, Gossard, with special guest star Julia Lambert

  1. […] that sassy piece of lacy loveliness Julia Lambert reviewed?  Try it in […]

  2. […] bras.  One set came as a gift from Sweets, and one set came from Parfait for review. I reviewed Parfait’s Charlotte bra previously, which has grown more comfortable and fit even better over time, and is definitely an all-time […]

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