I included this in my Full-Bust Holiday picks, and about three days later realized I really, really, really wanted it. I “needed” a new black lace bra, I wanted a new balconette bra that gave a rounded shape and good support, and I adored the bright kelly/emerald green. So Christmas present to me!
This is only the second Bravissimo own-brand bra I’ve kept, but I’ve been pretty consistently impressed with the quality of the Bravissimo label, even while I’ve struggled to figure out the fit. The lace is already comfortable, and I imagine it will soften even further with wear. There is a lush, puffy bow (hence the “beau” in the name) between the cups, the straps are fully adjustable, and my size closes with three sets of three hooks and eyes, which I’m coming to realize is just so dang COMFORTABLE. The details continue on to the adorable briefs, which are topped with a matching bow at the back. I tried on a Boudoir Beau set when the style was first introduced a few years ago, and my recollection was that the material was a little stretchy and flimsy. That is not the case at all now: I feel comfortable and firmly supported, and the band has so far retained its support through a month of wears and washing. Note that in certain cup sizes the top of the cup is not sheer lace as pictured on the catalogue model; it’s lined with a black mesh panel for extra support.
That green, y’all. I used to have a shirtdress that color that made me feel like the prettiest girl in the world. I love, love, love that green. I want a ballgown with a bustle and train in that color green. When I win an Oscar/Nobel Prize for Boobular Goodness, I will wear said ballgown. I was a little disappointed to see that in my size the proportion of black-to-green is much larger than it appears on the model. The top part of the cup kind of takes over, especially taking into account the mesh panel, which gives wonderful support but severely cuts down on the delicacy and frilliness of the style. For some, that might be a good thing, but for me, it was a bit of a bummer.
I am so, so, so glad to have this bra in my current rotation. The shape is rounded, but not as orb-like as the perfect spheres my beloved Cleo bras give me. It’s a bit more natural shape, but no less uplifted. Cheryl over at Invest in Your Chest had a great post up recently (“Getting to the Root of the Problem“) examining how differently-constructed fit, and she pointed out the difference between bras that really lift from the root of the breast versus encircling and cradling the breast without a ton of lift. To me, the Boudoir Beau lifts and supports as beautifully as the more dramatic root-lifting bras, yet offers the more natural look of a traditional balconette bra. And it is indeed a balconette: the center wire comes up quite a bit higher than a plunge bra would, so it’s not for every neckline. After my good luck with the fit of the Lola Luxe Basque, I ordered the same size here (same band as what I wear in Panache/Cleo/Fantasie, but one cup size larger). I was worried I might find the band a bit loose, but it runs very true-to-size, which is good news for women who prefer firm bands.
I ordered the matching briefs (thongs are stupid and I hate them for all-day wear), but, having learned my lesson with the Lola Luxe, I ordered the next size down (same size as Freya, one size down from Cleo), and they fit like a dream. I can’t be certain, but I think when I tried the Boudoir Beau set a few years ago the briefs lacked the top back panel they have now, and as such were ludicrously, ridiculously low-cut and uncomfortable. The problem is fixed now, and I think the horizontal seam standing out against the sheer fabric is rather sexy!
I haven’t had this set very long, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s extremely comfortable for all-day wear, gives me a flattering shape under clothes, requires little-to-no adjusting throughout the day, and, despite the seams and lace on the cup, has a pretty low profile under knit tops. My breasts are fairly full on both top and bottom, and the cup shape, center gore width, and wire placement feel like they were made for me. I am crossing my fingers for a pretty new color in Bravissimo’s early Spring collection (launching next week!). While not an absolute bargain, the price is beyond reasonable, working out to around $46.00 for the bra and $20.00 for the briefs. Considering that many full-bust boutiques in NYC have told me that I should be spending $200/bra (LUDICROUS HIGHWAY ROBBERY), I am more than happy to pay full-price for such a great bra. Highly recommended, more like this please!