[Disclosure: Samanta generously provided this set for review. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
I’ve written about Samanta, the family-owned Polish lingerie company producing a huge collection of colorful, elegant lingerie in a wide range of sizes, previously on the blog, but unfortunately at the time it was really hard for American consumers to actually purchase Samanta lingerie for themselves. At February’s Curve trade show I was therefore pleased to learn that Samanta had partnered with Milltex, a distributor who also works with brands like Charnos and Lepel/Audelle. This means that it is now much easier for American retailers to stock Samanta for their customers. Since Samanta is about to become more readily available to American consumers like me, I’m really pleased to revisit the brand, and especially to review one of my favorite designs from Samanta’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection, the Hypnose collection.
Hypnose is an absolute stunner of a set: the bra features brilliant sheer blue tulle festooned with swags of regal gold and red embroidery. I’m wearing the A922 cut, designed for fuller bust sizes. The cups are classic three-part cups with vertical seams in the bottom and a diagonal seam connecting directly to the strap. There’s an internal side sling crafted of the same blue tulle to help draw breast tissue in from the sides of the body and forward. The bottom two sections of the cups are lined with an additional layer of tulle for support, and the top edge of the cup features a thin strip of elastic for stability. I particularly like how the embroidery continues past the top edge with gently scalloped detailing. There’s a small gold bow with a dangling gold ‘S’ charm at the center gore. The band is crafted of opaque cerulean powermesh and features light boning (or stays) under the arms for additional support and stability (the band is tulle between the underwire and the stay, and it turns to powermesh after the stay and around to the back). The band fastens with three columns and two rows of hooks and eyes. The embroidered straps are partially adjustable, and the front section of each strap is padded for comfort.
The coordinating boxer features front panels of blue tulle with more embroidery motifs and another gold bow and ‘S’ charm, while the legline and rear are blue powermesh. The gusset is lined with cotton for comfort, there’s a vertical backseam, and the leg edge is folded for a smooth, no-dig look under clothing.
I kinda liked this set when I saw it in the press materials, but I honestly wasn’t prepared for how much I’d like it in person. I thought the primary colors of red/yellow (gold)/blue would read a little loud and cheesy for my tastes, and I was incorrect, friends, because instead I think it looks grand and regal and lovely. This is a really unusual color scheme for lingerie, which tends towards black/red/pink/white, and Samanta absolutely knocked it out of the park– I feel like a queen wearing this set.
I’m waffling between 32GG and 32H in most UK brands at the moment, and I took a 70I in Hypnose. We tend to translate European I-cups as UK G-cups, but since many brands grade their sizes differently, international conversion charts can really only be a guide. After my previous experiences with Samanta, I knew the A922 ran a bit more generous in the cup than some other styles. I suspected 70I would be the best size in this style, rather than a 70J, and I was right! The band fastens firmly yet comfortably on the loosest hooks, and all of my breast tissue fits well inside the cup with no wrinkling or digging in the cup. There is one photo below where it looks a little like my breast tissue is pillowing up over the cup edge, and this, sadly, is just the nature of working fast in the studio. I’m concentrating on making hair/makeup changes, picking jewelry/shoes, posing, and my face, and Michi is concentrating on lighting and angles and making me look pretty, and sometimes we don’t realize “oh, hey, you’re not really settled in the cup like you should be” until after we’ve finished shooting. In real life and in everyday wear, this size is a great fit for me. I will note that Samanta bras are NOT designed to tack firmly the way many UK bras do– the center gore floats slightly off my sternum, rather than anchoring firmly. As in my earlier reviews, I do find the straps a little short and widely-placed for my body.
I’m wearing a size XL in the boxers. In most UK brands I wear a Large, so I do find that Samanta briefs come up a bit smaller than some other brands. The rise is a nice mid-rise that doesn’t roll down under my belly, and the legline is gentle and doesn’t dig into your thigh.
As pretty as this set is, it’s actually not one of my go-tos for long days with lots of activity. The tulle is a little more delicate than the all-over dense lace of the Kirk A922 I reviewed last year, and I don’t feel like it’s quite as stable, nor do I feel like I’m getting quite as much lift and shaping as I did in the Kirk. The floating gore is a bit bothersome to me– I generally feel most comfortable if my underwires are firmly anchored against my rib cage, but that’s a personal preference, and I know some full-bust folks struggle with gores that tack too firmly. I find that the bottom edge of the band tends to flip up under the underwires, which can rub against sensitive skin, and which makes me duck into the restroom to make adjustments throughout the day. Finally, stays are really good at keeping your band smooth and at shaping tissue, but I don’t like them for long-term wear, as they tend to dig a bit (this wouldn’t be an airplane bra, for example). All that said, I do love sheer tulle bras, as they feel so lovely and light and breathable. I am not a heat-and-humidity girl, so as soon as the temperatures climb the thought of wearing a padded or molded bra fills me with dread.
The boxer is COMFY, oh gosh. I really love this particular rise, as it’s not super-high-waisted but I also don’t feel like my belly is hanging out. While I like elasticated leglines because I feel like briefs aren’t as likely to wriggle around, I know some people strongly disklike them, and I think this particular cut will work well if you want a smoother, softer edge.
Having now worn several sets myself, in addition to previewing Spring/Summer 2016 and Autumn/Winter 2016 styles during the last market week, Samanta is a brand that comes to the American market with a lot of strengths. Samanta especially shines when it comes to the details: by offering multiple bra and knicker shapes within each collection, customers who love a particular colorway can pick the shapes that suit them best, and the embroidery, trims, details, and especially color stories are real standouts in an increasingly vibrant full-bust lingerie market. Hypnose really won me over in person, and I’m particularly excited for some of the Fall/Winter styles (one of my favorites, a deep green daisy-patterned bra, looks like it might make its way to A Sophisticated Pair as well!). While the bras aren’t quite the perfect match for my body, they’re extremely well made– you won’t find the issues that plague some brands expanding into fuller cup sizes, like too-wide or too-tall cups, shallowness, or low-gauge underwires. If you’re looking for cups that offer a full, rounded shape in bold, elegant colors with gorgeous attention to detail, I highly recommend trying Samanta.
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Bra and Short: Hypnose (A922 and D300) by Samanta (c/o). Available in band sizes 60-95 and cup sizes D-K (all sizes EU), depending on band size. EU and UK residents can order directly from the Samanta website. If you’re based in North America, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order directly through the company, and you can also tell your favorite local boutique that you’re interested in buying Samanta. Samanta now has a US distributor, and A Sophisticated Pair recently began carrying their first style, Intensa Fluo in the A225 and A211 cuts!
Photos: Studio Rezin