Oh Amelie, I’ve loved you so long.
Amelie is one of Miss Mandalay’s classic ranges (most of which I covered in this post), and it was one of the first really, really beautiful DD+ collections I ever saw, the day I discovered Bravissimo. I paired the phenomenal Paprika seasonal colorway with orange-and-chocolate cupcakes here, but I really lost my heart to the navy/black continuity colorway. As much as I love bright colors and whimsical prints in some of my lingerie, it can sometimes be hard to find full-bust bras that are feminine and lacy with the same level of sophistication as their core-size counterparts. Amelie reminds me of styles from Myla and even Agent Provocateur, at a fraction of these luxury labels’ prices. When my size changed and Amelie showed up in the Journelle sale at the same time, I jumped at the chance to add it to my collection.
[Note: I purchased this set with my own money under my real name. Miss Mandalay is unaffiliated with this review.]
Amelie is a non-padded seamed bra with a stretch lace upper cup and satin side slings. I LOVE this navy/black color combination– the sheer stretch lace looks so, so elegant with the gleaming, rich navy satin, and it feels more visually interesting and more sophisticated than the usual black + black. The bra closes with two rows of three columns of hooks and eyes and features unusually slim, fully adjustable straps. This is a full-bust bra that gives major shape and support with a surprisingly light, delicate feel.
The knickers feature the same sheer stretch lace across the front with a sheer stretch mesh back. The legline is trimmed with the same navy satin that makes up the side slings on the cup. Compared to most other full-bust brands’ knickers, hoo boy, these things are tiny. Not necessarily size-wise, but they are the skimpiest, lowest-cut knickers I’ve ever worn. I know some women dislike how full-coverage most full-bust brands’ knickers are, so these might be really welcome to you, but they definitely took some getting used to for me.
I. LOVE. THIS. BRA.
Ahem. Now that we have that out of the way, I found both band and cup to run fairly true to size. The band fastened firmly on the loosest set of hooks, and the cup volume feels right in line with other full-bust brands. The stretch lace at the top of the cup provides some flexibility for monthly size fluctuations, which is handy. One lovely thing to note is that the wires feel much, MUCH narrower in my size than Eveden’s or Panache’s, whose wires tend to get disproportionately wide in G+ sizes. I can usually fit 1-2 fingers between my breast and the spot where the underwire lies against my ribs, but in Amelie the wire lies right where my breast tissue begins. As a result, the fit feels really secure, and I don’t get the same red, sore spots under my arms where other underwires tend to dig in.
The bra gives me a shape I really like: very rounded, despite the single horizontal seam, thanks in part to the satin side slings, which really help pull breast tissue in from the sides of the body for an up-front, projected look.
I’m between brief sizes at the moment and took the slightly smaller size, because that’s what was available at Journelle. While they feel skimpy, as I mentioned above, they’re not actually too small, they’re just much lower-cut than I’m used to. My hips and rear are narrow in proportion to my bust, so your mileage may vary, but I found that I took the same size here that I do in the Eveden brands and Bravissimo.
The bra is just so wonderful. I rarely have to adjust it throughout the day, although occasionally I notice that the bottom of the cups are ever-so-slightly shallow, so there’s the tiniest bit of extra space. I usually prefer three rows of hooks and eyes, which give me a band that lies smoother against my slightly squishy middle, but I don’t mind two rows here. While the whole set is very comfortable, and I’d happily wear it any day of the week, its unusual delicacy and elegant sophistication make it feel like a special occasion set.
As the knickers provide much less coverage than I’m used to, I was worried I’d find them uncomfortable, especially if the waistband rolled under my belly or dug into my hips. To my surprise and delight, I don’t mind the low rise at all! The stretch lace + stretch mesh combo means I can get a firm fit that still allows for a range of motion, and the satin cuff detailing along the legline feels both flirty and elegant.
I really can’t recommend this set highly enough. While the price is a little higher than some other full-bust brands, the gorgeous design and phenomenal fit make it worth every penny. In fact, the next set I’ve got my eye on is the lovely sheer Layla from Miss Mandalay, now available in black. Furthermore, Miss Mandalay is an independent brand, and when I find an indie brand that not only makes beautifully crafted full-bust bras with great fit but ALSO gives me lingerie worthy of the Honourable Phryne Fisher? Yes, please take my money.
Amelie in Navy/Black is still available at the Miss Mandalay website, and some gorgeous new colors debuted this month. Check out the great all-black version with a coordinating suspender belt, as well as the vibrant new Ultra Violet colorway, now available at Journelle! Next Spring we’ll see the launch of a new continuity color in pretty Petal, a blush pink version that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Amelie is available in sizes 28-30 F-GG, 32-38 C-GG, with coordinating briefs and thongs in sizes XS-XL and suspenders in sizes S, M, L. Ultra Violet is also available up to an H cup in band sizes 28-36 (Miss Mandalay official site only). Miss Mandalay is a UK brand, so the cup size progression goes C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H.
All photos by Lydia Hudgens.