I am delighted to welcome my lovely twin, Julia Lambert! I’ve done everything in my power to make her as obsessed with lingerie as I am, and the good news is, it’s working! She recently tried a new style by Parfait, and shortly thereafter Parfait reached out to me to offer another set for review, as well as a giveaway to a lucky reader! So it’s a Parfait-palooza here today. I’ll turn things over to Julia Lambert for her thoughts, and provide more details on the giveaway in tomorrow’s post.
[Disclaimer: Julia Lambert received one set as a gift, from me, the Best Twin Sister in the World, and Parfait generously provided the second set for review. All opinions are her own.]
Hello, friends of Sweets! Julia Lambert here, to share and review two beautiful lingerie sets from Parfait by Affinitas. As a reminder, Parfait is the full-bust line (D-G) from Affinitas, one of the few full-bust lines from an American company that features stylish, youthful, and affordable bras. One set came as a gift from Sweets, and one set came from Parfait for review. I reviewed Parfait’s Charlotte bra previously, which has grown more comfortable and fit even better over time, and is definitely an all-time favorite. The other ladies in the dressing room for the last show I was in voted the Charlotte bra their favorite of all of my fancy delicates. I mean, it wasn’t an actual vote. That would have been weird. But the actress who played my mother did lean over and confide that she liked it!
I was able to put some of the fitting techniques, bra know-how, and general Sweets awesome-ness to very good use here, along with her help. I realized that, in spite of all my reading and excitement about lingerie and sizing, I still had questions when it came to trying new styles and fitting myself [as do we all- Editor]. Sweets’ input was invaluable.
As with the Charlotte, we found that the best fit was a band size bigger and a cup size smaller than I’d wear in Freya or Cleo. Sweets also taught me some things about fit and cut. If you’re a fellow full busted lady, you might know that, on the hanger, full busted bras can look HUGE. This one is no exception. Mom saw the Danielle in my suitcase when I was visiting and thought there was no way it would fit me. Add a longline to it, and you’re looking at a lot of undergarment– Danielle features three columns of six rows of hooks and eyes. It’s also girly. Really girly. Blush satin, big white lace. On the hanger, it’s a big old pink thing that calls to mind Victorian dolls I totally would have lusted after as a child.
The thing is, when it’s on…oh man. Banish the though of fussy faux-Victorian froof. It’s elegant, simple, flattering, and very feminine, but not at all mumsy. If you like the support of a firm band, this feels marvelous, but doesn’t pinch or compress. In addition, it’s beautifully and smartly built–Freya could take notes–so that the longline band doesn’t bunch or flip up around your ribcage. To match, I chose the shortie style knickers, and they are, as all Parfait knickers have been, incredibly comfortable and damn fine looking. The white covered buttons match the ones on the bra, and makes for quite the snappy outfit, even before putting on, you know, actual clothing.
The second Parfait set I tried, sent to Sweets for me to review, is the Madeline wire bra in black with the matching high waisted brief. I knew I liked Parfait’s padded bras, so I wanted a chance to try a non-molded, or “cut-and-sew” bra. In addition, this one just so happens to match my beautiful Jezebel longline knickers from Kiss Me Deadly, which, since their bras don’t fit me, and I’m a gal who likes her dainties to match, is the best.
The verdict: I love it, but it doesn’t fit right. But if you think I’m not going to alter it so it does, you’re silly.
So, after many fittings with Sweets conducted via FaceTime (thanks, Apple, for your helpful products), we figured out why this bra isn’t the best fit for me. Like the Charlotte and the Danielle, the band (featuring three columns of two rows of hooks and eyes) and cups fit just like they’re supposed to! However, there just isn’t any lift. It feels like a bra that leaves me in the same position I’d be if I wasn’t wearing one, more or less. The reason? Strap placement. The straps are set quite wide, and, while I think they look nice and sit prettily on my shoulders and neckline, they’re not positioned to lift enough tissue to get the fullest support. If I move them a little closer to the center of the cup, away from my armpit–just 3/4″ or so–I’ll likely get the lift I need to make this a perfectly fitting bra.
I’m a person who generally finds that molded or slightly padded bras are the easiest to get a good fit in, while Sweets prefers cut-and-sew. The nice thing about Parfait is that, if you fit in their D-G range, you can find bras in both styles in most of their designs! The Madeline comes in both padded and non-padded, and they offer both padded and not padded longline bras. If you prefer a cut-and-sew cup, check out the Arabella longlines! Parfait’s designs are creative, their bras are well-made, and the prices are very reasonable ($40-$55, on average). I’m thrilled to have this pretty pink set for when I want to feel fancy, and the wonderful black and blue lace combination of my Madeline set and the Kiss Me Deadly longline knickers.
I’m reading this unexpectedly, thrillingly fascinating book about perfume (Perfumes: the A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez), a subject about which I know very little. It’s oddly also about art, intellectual pursuits, and the sensory pleasures and richness of human life and experience. In the introduction, they write about perfume in a way that I think applies to so many other arts: music, theatre, painting, gardening, fine wine, cooking, dance, and others. Sanchez writes “The fact is that this stuff is worth loving. As with the tawdriest pop melody, there is base pleasure in perfume, in just about any perfume, even the cheapest and the most starved of ideas, that is better than no perfume at all. It decorates the day. It makes you feel as if the colors of the air have changed. It’s a substitute for having an orchestra follow you about playing the theme song of your choice…And it’s simply not true, as some people believe, that thinking about our pleasures ruins them. For example, few things are as wonderful as having a great meal and talking about it afterward, and remembering other great meals, and planning the next one…All pleasure is connected, and the endless ride we take between disappointment and satisfaction and back again is largely what keeps us interested in life. What more is there to talk about?”
For me, all pleasures are connected. The secret story that my lingerie tells: that I’m a fierce, powerful force and well-cared for creature underneath the polite and conscientious dress of an office employee. The feeling of nurturing and support I feel when I prepare and serve a good meal to friends, and we savor the pleasure of nice things together. The personal stories of dance that underlie my work in plays and films that lie centuries and lands away from the S Factor studio. Looking at paintings that recall walks in the woods and the heartache a mountain can give you. Books that remind you who you are, when you realize you’d forgotten. I think life is richer, deeper, more connected, and more joyful the more beauty, the more creativity, and the more passion we put into it. It sounds trivial, materialistic, consumerist, and frivolous, but you know what? Caring for my body and soul by putting the clothes I want to on my body, underneath the clothes I have to, is part of it.
Sweets here! Man, Julia Lambert’s the best. Please check back tomorrow for details on how you can win a new lingerie set courtesy of Affinitas and Parfait!