Bravissimo, light of my life, the store that taught me about full-bust sizing and that pretty bras over a D-cup exist, recently introduced the first ever basque that goes up to a (UK) K-cup. The Lola Luxe Basque appeared for the first time last winter in a pretty black/teal colorway (select sizes still available) to very positive reviews, and Bravissimo released what I presume is the continuity version this Fall in a basic-but-sexy black. Bravissimo really listened to the enthusiastic customer feedback by reintroducing the style, and they also adjusted the design so that the suspenders are now detachable, which was one of the sole customer complaints about the original version. I was glad to see that the basque was here to stay, but the black didn’t really grab my attention.
For winter, however, Bravissimo has released a lovely Blackberry shade with hot pink trim, and somehow the basque and matching brief found their way into an exchange order I placed with Pepperberry, Bravissimo’s full-bust clothing company (reviews, glowing, are forthcoming).
Bravissimo accidentally sent my exchange order to my apartment instead of my usual shipping address, which meant that even though it arrived Wednesday, I couldn’t pick it up until Saturday. I’m always nervous about ordering new items from overseas and having to guess my sizes, so by the time I got the box home Saturday morning after an hour-long wait at the post office my anticipation was at a fever pitch. It was handsomely rewarded.
In a nutshell, I think Bravissimo knocked it out of the park on this one. The quality, fit, comfort, shape, style, and color are all perfect, and I don’t say that lightly. I wasn’t sure about the berry/pink combination in the catalogue shot, but I love it in person. The shade is incredibly flattering to my coloring (very pale skin, almost-black hair). It’s dark and elegant while still being warm and sensual. After reading reviews on the Bravissimo website, I ordered my usual band size, but I went up a cup size from what I normally wear in, say, Freya or Panache. I suspect I might be in-between sizes in this item, as the cups are ever-so-slightly roomy, but I’d rather they were roomy than ever-so-slightly small. The fit through the body is outstanding. There is no digging or pinching, and it provides a gorgeously smooth line across the back, which is great for clinging dresses. The only other basque I’ve ever worn is Masquerade’s older Antoinette basque (reviewed here), and while I love it, I think the Lola Luxe improves on it in two important ways.
First, the suspenders. There is something so womanly, sophisticated, and sexy about a complete lingerie ensemble. A basque feels glamorous and grown-up, and stockings really complete the look (tights would just look kind of strange worn over or under it). Secondly, the cut of the Lola Luxe is much more hourglass-friendly than the Antoinette, which is cut straight across the bottom. Lola has a curved hem that cuts up higher in the rear and over the hips to allow for a figure’s curves without digging into them. The bones are softer and more flexible than the Antoinette’s, and they seem to retain their shape better (in the Antoinette, I’ve found that if the bones bend when I move, they tend to stay bent and dig into me). In Lola Luxe, the bones pop back into place much more readily, and the unlined mesh bodice smooths and gently shapes. If I had to choose a piece of shapewear for a full-busted lady, I’d recommend this in a heartbeat. A smooth line under clothes that makes me feel fabulously pretty (and really surprisingly comfortable) instead of smooshed and squished? Absolutely.
In the briefs, I also chose a size up from what I wear in Freya, which I think may have been a mistake. They are just a bit loose, but not enough that I think they’ll fall off. If push comes to shove I’ll take the side seams in a bit, but I was pleased to notice that they’re cut a bit higher than some of Bravissimo’s earliest own-brand briefs were, a welcome improvement.
Overall, I’m thrilled to add this staggeringly pretty piece to my lingerie wardrobe. The fit and shape of the cups is lovely and natural without being too “pointy”, the basque itself is comfortable and flattering, the detachable suspenders allow me to wear it with or without stockings as I choose, and it doubles as shapewear if I’m looking for a smooth silhouette under clinging clothes. Aesthetically, I really, really dig how feminine it is without being precious or froofy. There’s nothing wrong with froofy (see: Froofy robe, my unending quest for), of course, but I like that this piece is sexy without jumping immediately to black, light pink, or red. The bow embroidery recalls the satin ribbons laced through undergarments in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, and of course the lovely hourglass shape it provides makes me feel like some Victorian grande dame. Maybe one who wore dresses like this (House of Worth, naturally, c. 1880s).
If you’re a full-bust lady who wants the look of a corset with the comfort and support of a bra, Lola is for you. I know I’ll be wearing it under some of my holiday outfits soon!
Lola Luxe by Bravissimo (exclusive)
Available in sizes 30-38 DD-K (UK sizing) £50.00 (about $80 USD)
Brief, Thong available in sizes S-2XL £14.00-16.00 (about $22-25 USD)