Celebrity-designed (or endorsed) lingerie collections can be an opportunity to introduce new customers to the lingerie industry, so when I first heard that Britney Spears was launching her own label, I was intrigued. I was also apprehensive. Celebrity lingerie lines can ALSO be really hit or miss: they tend to attract a lot of press and attention disproportionate to the actual merit of the designs. Was this line going to offer “lingerie” in generic sizes S, M, and L that looked more like dance or clubwear? Would there be any D+ bra sizes? What would the quality be like? Was this going to be generic beige/black/red t-shirt bras, or would there be any standout designs? When I met with the brand rep back at Curve in August, I was pleasantly surprised.
On the one hand, the collection didn’t really feel like “Britney” to me: the designs (at least when it comes to the lingerie) are very classic, very vintage-inspired, and even (dare I say it) a little safe. On the other hand, it was apparent that a lot of thought and energy had gone into the collections (unlike the dire and dull Halle Berry/Scandale collaboration, which is admittedly at a lower price point, but still: eesh and yawn). Each color story features multiple shapes of bras and knickers, to accommodate different shapes and tastes, there are beautiful coordinating nightwear options, and lots of pieces feature little extra touches, like detachable suspenders or keyholes at the back of the waistline. Even better, pieces are available in band sizes from 30-42, and some bras are available up to a European J-cup (which roughly translates to a UK GG-cup). While this doesn’t cover the full range of sizes in the full-bust category, this is the only celebrity lingerie line I can think of with offerings for A-GG cups. With a great size range at a moderate price point ($40-55 for a bra, with a bridal kimono topping out at around $99), I thought this line could be a great point of entry for women who are new to fuller cup bras and aren’t ready to commit to paying $70-80/bra for one of the main UK brands.
When the collection launched on Bare Necessities, I knew there was only one style I wanted to try: the strappy black “Anemone” cage bra and matching brief. Full-bust women have clamored for strappy and cage elements for several seasons now, and I couldn’t wait to get to try the trend out for myself. Thanks, Britney!
Note: I purchased this set from Bare Necessities (since they seem to have the full size range in stock, unlike The Intimate Britney Spears’ official site) under my real name with my own money. The Intimate Britney Spears and Bare Necessities are unaffiliated with this review.
Anemone features seamed cups that are lightly foam-lined in the bottom two sections, with an overlay of black geometric-patterned stretch lace that extends to form the upper cup. Slender black elastic strap elements extend from the center gore and center of the cup to connect to the strap with a silver hardware element. The slightly thicker-than-usual straps are partially adjustable (which I know can cause fit issues for some women, but which didn’t affect me), and the band fastens in back with two rows of three columns of hooks and eyes.
The coordinating low-rise bikini brief is sheer black mesh, featuring a lace panel at the center front and a small strap/hardware detail at the center back.
Right off the bat I have to pick a few design nits: something about the proportions of this set feels really off to me. Maybe the design didn’t scale up well to the larger cup sizes, maybe the knickers are small because the designer wanted this set to be super revealing, but the set as a whole feels a little like a rough draft to me. The elastic strap elements on the bra seem too thin; a thicker strap would really up the wow factor and provide some balance to the solid black cup. Furthermore, with the thick shoulder straps, solid opaque cup, and rigid silver hardware, the bra has an interestingly industrial/retro look. A high-waist knicker, cage-back brief, or dressed up boy short would have complemented the bra so much better; this bikini brief, while lovely, feels too wispy, spare, and delicate for the more aggressive bra. I styled the set with my Fantasie Samantha garter belt in an attempt to add some additional heft and interest, and also to provide a little more coverage (see my notes on fit below). If Bare Necessities had stocked the hipster (available on The Intimate Britney Spears official site), I would have purchased that instead in a heartbeat.
I tend to use this lovely chart from Ali Cudby as my starting point whenever I’m trying a new brand. It’s not universally accurate, since every brand does their own thing (for example, Maison Lejaby runs quite full, so I find their (French) G-cups closer to UK G or GG cups, depending on band size), but it’s generally useful to get started with a new brand. I’m between two sizes in UK brands, so I tried the two corresponding European sizes. While the larger size was a close fit, I still found the cups to run a little shallow and small, especially since the band runs a little loose. While the stretch lace top cup is accommodating of fuller breast tissue, I feel like I can see a little pillowing over the padded part of the cup. Furthermore, I usually need a lot of depth near the center gore (which bras like the Jasmine and Envy styles from Panache and the Marcie style from Cleo offer), as my breasts are very full with a lot of projection. Anemone is very shallow near the center gore, which prevents it from sinking in between my breasts and sitting flush against my chest wall. Unfortunately one size larger wasn’t available, so I’m making do and hoping that my size might change again in the next month or two.
I was curious to see how the strappy elements would fit, and to my surprise they’re really quite nice! I worried there would be strange digging or squeezing, but nope: just a flirty, flattering frame. I’d love to wear this out one evening with the straps peeking out over my neckline.
I ordered the briefs in what seems to be my standard size, and WOW- they are low-rise. They are super, SUPER low-rise. I mentioned in my preview of Angela Friedman’s A/W 2014 knickers that I often find bikini briefs too low-cut on account of my height, and these are no exception. They’re comfy as far as they go, as they’re made of sheer stretch mesh, and they fit with no digging or pinching. But if the higher-rise hipster option had been available when I placed my order, I would have vastly preferred it.
This will probably be more of a boudoir/special occasion set rather than an everyday set for me. I hadn’t realized there was padding in the cups before I ordered (because I didn’t read the description closely enough, so that’s my bad), and in general I strongly prefer unlined fabric cups. Moreover, because the shallowness of the cups and the looseness of the band prevent the wires from feeling really anchored and secure against my ribcage, this isn’t going to be a bra for all-day wear. I also feel like I’d spend the day worried about the briefs falling off, which is never fun.
I’m moderately pleased with The Intimate Britney Spears. The brand isn’t trying to be the next cute full-bust brand (like Tutti Rouge), or the next affordably sexy It brand (like L’Agent by Agent Provocateur), or the next basics-only brand; instead, it seems poised to offer pretty, approachable lingerie in core sizes, with a few collections open to the lower end of the full bust and full-figure spectrum. I could even see this becoming a real lifestyle brand for some women, since the slightly lower price point might open up the possibility of investing in coordinating bras, nightwear, and swimwear in one fell swoop. I personally hope there will be some adjustments to bring the fit in line with some competitor’s offerings, and I’d like to see an uptick in the sophistication and nuances of the designs, but considering how low my expectations were when I first heard about it, The Intimate Britney Spears is off to a good, if fairly safe and quiet, start.
Has anyone else placed an order yet? I’m really interested to hear what you think, and how you found the fit in your size range!
Anemone 3/4 Cage Bra ($49) is available in sizes 30-34 C-J, 36 C-I, 38 C-H, 40 C-G, 42 D-F.
Anemone Bikini Brief ($22) is available in sizes XXS-XXXL.
Coordinating hipster, non-padded bra, seamless pushup underwired bra, triangle bra, hipster thong, long nightgown, chemise, and bustier also available at The Intimate Britney Spears official site.
The Intimate Britney Spears uses European cup sizes, so the cup size progression goes like this: C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J. If you’re used to UK cup sizes (from brands like Freya, Panache, or Curvy Kate), these sizes are roughly equivalent to C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG.
Photography by Lydia Hudgens