I was delighted to receive a pink-wrapped box in the mail unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I opened it to find the “Betty” set by Tutti Rouge, the line’s beautiful second style from their Spring/Summer 2013 debut collection. Furthermore, the Tutti team had clearly read my review of their first style, Liliana, because they sent Betty in one cup size larger, after I’d reported I found Liliana to run small. I couldn’t wait to get it home to take a look.
I have to give Tutti Rouge props for their incredibly beautiful aesthetics. Both Liliana and Betty are bras that sound like they’d be on my “meh” list: padded, one in pink lace, one in pale yellow/ivory satin, and both with shallower profiles. I tend to gravitate towards non-padded, darker bras with deeper profiles, yet I have found both Liliana and Betty incredibly flattering, looking at the colors and materials alone.
Betty is smooth and satiny with an enlarged, abstract floral print (poppies, maybe?) and delicate, ruffly lace trim. A bright pink bow perches between the cups of the bra and at the center waist of the briefs, which feature pretty overlapping panels at the hips. They remind me a little of the swags over the skirt of Cinderella’s ballgown from the Disney film. It’s a very romantic, girly, yet still sophisticated design choice that pays off beautifully. The briefs also feature a cheeky cutout at the back, a design detail I haven’t seen before from a full-bust brand. I found them to run slightly larger than Liliana’s or Panache’s briefs tend to run, so if you’re between sizes you might consider sizing down. I prefer a slightly looser fit/deeper cut with my briefs, so I loved this size for me.
I am very fair-skinned with very dark hair, and I avoid white, neutrals, and pastels like the plague, for fear of LOOKING like I have the plague, so I was apprehensive about how this would look. I was pleasantly surprised! The color warmed and flattered my pale skin, and I felt very pretty wearing it– it’s rather like what Marie Antoinette might wear were she transported to 2013. And was on a secretary’s budget, instead of a queen’s. And wore full-bust bras. Ahem, moving on …
Speaking of Marie Antoinette, HELLO BOSOM. As you can see from the rear-view photo above, Betty is a lightly padded half-cup bra with a single vertical seam. The shape is very similar to Cleo’s “Juna” and related bras, in that it really lifts the breasts up and “presents” them; the tops of the cups are very open. It’s a bra that would work really well under a top with a low, straight-across or square neckline.
Size-wise, Betty’s cups are better for me than Liliana’s, even though padded half-cups tend not to work for me in general. Liliana was so shallow I wound up purchasing the bra a full two cup sizes bigger than my “regular” size. The Betty set I received from Tutti Rouge is one cup size larger than my usual size, and I found the cups to run much deeper than Liliana’s, with more forward projection. I’d definitely recommend Betty over Liliana for women with close-set, deep breasts.
What about the band? Liliana was a little snug, so did Betty fit better? Well…
YIKES, THE BAND RAN SMALL. I mean, good gravy, this sucker is tight. I followed Erica’s example (more below) by lining up the wires on two different bras and then comparing the band length, starting with my two Tutti Rouge bras. I’d say the band on my Betty sample is definitely a full size small, and it might even compare to some bras a full two band sizes smaller. For further illustration, here’s Betty compared to my Starburst bra by Bravissimo:
These three bras (Liliana, Betty, and Starburst) all list the same band size on the tags, and the wires line up almost perfectly each time, but the bands are drastically different. There’s no way I can wear Betty without an extender. I was feeling confident about recommending that folks size up in the band, and that women who are interested in 26 or small 28 bands try this style, and then I started reading other bloggers’ reviews:
It’s always good to remember that advice like “runs small” or “runs large” is relative: a bra style may run larger in one set of sizes, but smaller in another set. That being said, so many varying reports about the fit from bloggers of different shapes and sizes point to some sort of quality/consistency control issue that seems to have affected Betty. This being Tutti Rouge’s debut season and only their second style released, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Tutti Rouge’s bras are bad, but I would advise customers trying the early styles to be willing to try multiple sizes, and also to report any fit issues through reviews and social media. Hopefully these kinks will disappear in future seasons, and customers will be able to get a more consistent idea of which shapes and sizes work best for them.
Overall, Betty is a strong second offering from this new brand. As lovely as she is, she hasn’t changed my mind about padded or half-cup bras: they’re never going to be my first choice. I don’t feel secure, anchored, or really contained in padded bras, and I’m always worried about wobbling or spilling over the top edge of the cup. I don’t get as round a shape in padded half-cups as I do in non-padded plunges or balconettes, which are my go-to styles. I’m also not sure how much wear Betty will really get, for fear that the dyes in the darker clothes I wear might dull her shine.
Aesthetically, however, Tutti Rouge continues to thrill, and I am looking forward to trying one of the non-padded styles once they’re released. The attention to detail, the thoughtful designs, the flattering colors, luxe-feeling materials, and the playful accessories make Tutti Rouge one of the most exciting brands I’ve tried this year. I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of their website, just so we can get a closer look at what the rest of the season has in store.
Tutti Rouge provided this set for review. All opinions are my own.