Review: Tutti Rouge Nichole

The Sweet Nothings Holiday Edit- The Nutcracker. Lingerie by Tutti Rouge, Dita Von Teese, Kiss Me Deadly, photo by Lydia Hudgens.

Wearing Tutti Rouge’s F/W 2014 “Kitty” collection in the Nutcracker-themed editorial

Tutti Rouge has been such a bright, sunny presence in the full-bust lingerie world ever since their launch in 2013. Compared to industry stalwarts like Fantasie, Tutti Rouge’s designs have a more “youthful” bent. Alternately sweet, cute, and kitschy, the collections are fun and colorful, and the size range impressive for such a young brand: 28-38 D-J, plus one style in 40-44 D-F. In 2013 I reviewed two bras from their debut season, and while I thought there was room for improvement in the fit, I was really impressed with the care that went into the small details, like signature heart-shaped strap adjusters and creative coordinating knickers. I was thrilled to feature Fall/Winter 2014’s satin Kitty collection in the Sugar-Plum-Fairy-themed holiday editorial, but I’ve been REALLY eager to try out a non-padded style. While most of the Tutti Rouge collections featured padding, I usually prefer non-padded bras for comfort. I was therefore delighted when Tutti Rouge offered to send me the lovely mint-green Nichole collection to review.

Sweet Nothings reviews Tutti Rouge Nichole in Minty Green. Photo: Studio Rezin

[Disclosure: I received this set free of charge from Tutti Rouge for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Appearance

Nichole is a balconette bra with a classic three-part cup shape crafted from sheer non-stretch mesh (and note: it’s VERY sheer; I’m wearing nippies for these pictures). The soft Minty Green colorway is new for Spring/Summer 2015; continuity colors (Crème and Noir/Sugar) are also available. The two bottom panels are double-lined for added support and stability. The top edge of the cup is trimmed with pretty ivory lace, while the wire channels are trimmed with a cool ribbon-threaded lace. There are white bows at each strap and a multicolor floral-print bow with a signature Tutti Rouge heart at the center gore. The powermesh band fastens in back with three rows and three columns of hooks-and-eyes, and the straps are fully adjustable (complete with heart-shaped adjusters).

Sweet Nothings reviews Tutti Rouge Nichole in Minty Green. Photo: Studio Rezin

The matching shorts are lined in the center panel and completely sheer over the hips and rear. They feature the same ribbon-threaded lace and floral bow, with a matching lace detail at the center back. While the rise in the front is quite low and consistent with a classic bikini brief, the shorts offer much more coverage over the sides and back. The edges of the legline are elasticized for a close fit.

Fit

While I requested my current “usual” size of 32H for the bra, unfortunately that size was sold out. The Tutti Rouge team suggested that Nichole runs a bit large in the band and that I might be able to wear a 30HH, the sister size to my usual 32H. I was pretty skeptical– I’ve never been able to fasten a 30 band in my life. To my surprise, they were right! The band fastens (firmly) on the loosest set of hooks, so if you’re in between band sizes I STRONGLY recommend sizing down in this particular style. The cup volume feels very true to size: all of my breast tissue is contained in the cups with no wrinkling or digging, and the center gore tacks (VERY) firmly against my sternum (more on this later). The cups remind me a lot of some of Cleo’s styles, like Marcie or Lily, which offer lots of round projection in an unpadded frame.

Sweet Nothings reviews Tutti Rouge Nichole in Minty Green. Photo: Studio Rezin

A few notes: the cups are DEEP, which is fantastic for people like me who want bras with lots of projection. They are also fairly tall at the sides and a bit wider than I need, so if tall/wide wires are a fit issue for you, I’d be advised that this style might not be the best one for you. As with many balconette bras the straps are also fairly wide set, so if you have narrow or sloping shoulders, caveat emptor. I was worried the cups would dig into my underarms or show under sleeveless tops, but so far, while I can’t wear this bra with every sleeveless thing I own, it does still work under some outfits. I’ve learned over time that I tend to get a great fit from bras where the outer bottom panel connects directly to the strap: this seems to both draw breast tissue in from the sides of the body as well as lift the breasts vertically.

For the shorts I gambled and requested a Large instead of an Extra Large. I was worried they’d come up a little small, but to my surprise, they feel great! I’ve been complaining on here a lot lately about low-rise knickers that feel like they’re falling off and/or that wiggle around throughout the day, but these stay put and feel wonderful.

Sweet Nothings reviews Tutti Rouge Nichole in Minty Green. Photo: Studio Rezin

Comfort

I really like how light this whole set feels: the mesh is so sheer and the projection and lift it provides are so good that I’m hoping it will become one of my go-to summer sets. That being said, I encountered an issue I’ve never faced before, though I know others have: the center gore is TACKING AS HARD AS IT CAN. Good gravy, I have never worn a bra that pushed so firmly against my sternum. In theory, this is a really good thing for fit: when the wires of your bra are anchored against your ribcage (instead of standing away from the body or resting on breast tissue), the bra does a much better job of keeping your breasts lifted and supported. However, the first time I put this bra on I could only wear it for about five minutes– the gore was actually painful. The good news is that all it took was me forcibly bending the wires outward to make the bra wearable (for me). The bad news is that for those of you who have experienced sore or bruised sternums in other bras (I’m thinking again of Cleo’s non-padded bras) might encounter the same issues here.

I LOVE the shorts. I love them. In the past I’ve found that Tutti Rouge’s knickers feature extremely narrow gussets, but since the shorts fit so securely on my body, I don’t experience any discomfort. True, I wouldn’t mind if the rise in front were a little higher, but hello, I always think that, so I’m not going to ding Tutti Rouge for making knickers that fall in line with what every other brand is doing.

Sweet Nothings reviews Tutti Rouge Nichole in Minty Green. Photo: Studio Rezin

Overall

In spite of wearing a new-to-me size and having to give this bra bit more of a break in period than some others, I really like this set! The mint green is a new color for my lingerie drawer; while I generally avoid pastels, there’s a retro, almost-kitsch charm to this set that really appeals to me, especially for summer. G+ bras with this sort of delicacy and whimsy are hard to come by, and while you may need to branch out from your “usual” size to find your best fit, I think the Tutti team have done a great job. I look forward to seeing this style develop (and hopefully get the few minor fit issues worked out) for many seasons to come.

UPDATE: Tutti Rouge is offering FREE worldwide shipping until May 18! Use code ‘SUNDANCE’ at their Big Cartel store for free shipping on all Tutti Rouge collections.

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Bra and Short: Nichole in Minty Green by Tutti Rouge. Available in sizes 28-38 D-HH (£29.50), XS-XL (£15.50). Nichole is also available in Hot Papaya, Purple Haze, Noir/Sugar, Crème, Powder Blue, and Sugar Pink. Note: Tutti Rouge is a UK company, so the cup size progression is D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH.

Photography: Studio Rezin

13 Comments on Review: Tutti Rouge Nichole

  1. Erica of A Sophisticated Pair
    May 14, 2015 at 11:29 am (4 years ago)

    First, I would be remiss if I didn’t say you like you stepped off of the silvers screen in these photos. You look so classy and elegant!

    Second, I had the same issues with my Nichole with regard to the high sides and super tack. The only time I had a piece press so hard was my Panache tankini, which ultimately bruised me. I thought about bending the wires, but the side really clips my arm painfully. Having said that, the forward projection, lift, and shape are wonderful! I just wish it was a little more comfortable. 🙁

    Reply
    • Sweets
      May 14, 2015 at 2:19 pm (4 years ago)

      Tutti Rouge has historically been so, so good about fit adjustments; I hope they’ll continue to tweak this one. I’d also be really curious to hear if things are any different in the D-FF cup sizes.

      Reply
  2. jessa
    May 14, 2015 at 12:47 pm (4 years ago)

    This set looks wonderful on you!

    Reply
    • Sweets
      May 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you, jessa!

      Reply
  3. PersephoneUnderground
    May 14, 2015 at 12:51 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, this set sounds & looks awesome- thank you for the review!

    This looks like my second-favorite type of style next to a cupcake-pan-style balconette. Unpadded but with wires (I hate when I ask for unpadded cups and get shown bras without wires, that’s not what I meant! We need a more precise term here… cut-and-sew seems to get me wireless bras too), deep cups, projection- thank you! Drooling, totally. And not terribly priced either- nice.

    Did you find the top part was smooth, or did it dig in or gap/wrinkle? It looks lovely in the pics! I tend to not fill out the third/top part in 3-part-cup bras, so I wonder if you think that would be a problem in this one for me and others who are more full on the bottom or run into that issue?

    Reply
    • Sweets
      May 14, 2015 at 2:28 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Re: cups, hmmm, that’s a good question. I’m pretty full all over, so some bras (like Freya’s plunge/balcony styles) don’t do so well for me in my size because there’s not enough room in the top of the cup. On the other hand, I’m pretty full on bottom too. I’d say this one isn’t QUITE as open on top as Cleo’s Marcie, but it’s still pretty roomy. It usually feels a little wrinkly right when I put it on, and then my breast tissue kind of settles into the cup. Does that help at all? I’m sorry if that’s a waffly answer.

      Reply
      • PersephoneUnderground
        May 14, 2015 at 3:08 pm (4 years ago)

        That gives me some idea, thanks. I can extrapolate from that how it might fit on me, so the detail is actually really useful, not waffly at all.

        Thanks again!

        (Quick thing- I think you have a typo at the very bottom of the article. You say it is available in 38-38 D-HH. Did you mean 28-38? Not a big deal, but thought you might want to edit it for clarity’s sake. Please don’t take this as criticism, though, I love your writing!)

        Reply
        • Sweets
          May 14, 2015 at 3:20 pm (4 years ago)

          ARGHHH There is nary a thing, NOT A SINGLE THING, that I have published on the internet today that has been sans typo. It’s been humbling. Thank you very much for pointing it out– fixed!

          Reply
  4. Emma
    May 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm (4 years ago)

    I reviewed this set on Bratabase when it came out in the purple haze colourway. I usually wear a 30F but have a 30E in Nichole which is still a little deep for me. I found the band super-stretchy and loose, and the gore: MY LORD! It drew blood the first time I wore it, sooo painful. Interesting that although we are at different ends of the cup spectrum we found the bra to be extremely similar! Might have to sell my Nichole on though as it is NOT the bra for me despite it’s beauty…

    Reply
  5. anjili
    May 15, 2015 at 12:10 am (4 years ago)

    You look AMAZING. Legs for days, and that face…..

    Reply
  6. Laurie
    May 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm (4 years ago)

    Your body is kick ass!!! Just sayin 🙂

    Reply
  7. Laurie
    May 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm (4 years ago)

    …and you have legs like Marilyn.

    Reply
  8. Rachelle
    May 15, 2015 at 11:30 pm (4 years ago)

    1) That mint is gorgeous on you 2) I want those shoes!

    Reply

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