OBVIOUSLY I was going to buy this one the minute it was released. How could I not? Do you see my site artwork up there in the header? It’s LIKE THIS LINGERIE WAS MADE JUST FOR ME.
Note: I purchased this set with my own money under my real name. Bravissimo is unaffiliated with this review.
Lola Luxe is Bravissimo’s first in-house basque design, and it’s been a winner pretty much from the start. It’s available in black and ivory as continuity colors, with this season’s scarlet introduced as a fashion color (I reviewed the blackberry version here, currently available in the sale section). The lower cup and front part of the body are made of a sturdy layer of semi-opaque solid mesh, while the back panels are powermesh to provide support and flexibility. The cups follow Bravissimo’s classic three-part balconette shape, with a vertical seam in the lower cup and a sheer mesh upper cup. The sheer mesh features elegant chain-link embroidery, topped with pretty swags of embroidered bows in a subtly contrasting raspberry pink. Scarlet satin bows trim the straps, center gore, and waist of the matching briefs, and the fully adjustable straps are covered with elasticated satin, creating a pretty ruffled effect.
The body of the basque closes with three columns of twelve rows of hooks and eyes. Six soft, flexible bones (two in the front, two at the sides, two in the back) provide support and light shaping, and the four suspenders are adjustable and detachable.
The matching bikini brief is trimmed with the same pretty embroidery. Since the seat is made of the folded opaque mesh, there’s no elastic to dig in at the hips or rear.
I find Bravissimo’s in-house brand to run a little loose in the band, so I went with my smaller size. I usually do the opposite and size up in the band for basques, since my waist is thicker than my underbust, but with Lola Luxe I strongly, strongly recommend sticking with your usual band size, or even sizing down if your waist is small. The cups, on the other hand, run a smidge small. Sorry to kill the mood, but Real Talk: I was both ill and time-of-the-month bloated when I photographed this set, and I really noticed that my larger breast was not happy that day. A few weeks later, the fit is better, but the cups still run small compared to Panache and Eveden, at least in my size. If you’re between cup sizes, I’d say definitely go with your larger size, as there’s no stretch lace in the cup to help “fudge” the fit.
Bravissimo’s balconette bras do feature higher center gores than some other brands, so while it doesn’t bother me, and doesn’t show under many of my work clothes (including some V-necks), it’s something to be keep in mind if lower gores are a fit priority for you.
Bravissimo’s briefs fit comparably to Eveden, which means that when I’m between sizes, I go with my smaller size. Since they’re a true bikini brief, I (as usual) find them a little low-cut for my height, but I don’t imagine that will bother everyone. I have to say, the folded-edge legline is never my favorite cut. I strongly prefer briefs with either a stretch lace back or an elasticated legline. I have a pretty flat rear, so with no elastic to “grip”, it’s easier for the brief to slide and wiggle around. Again, these are nitpicky details that are fairly personal to my body, so your mileage may vary.
Basques can be tricky. The body can be too tight and squish you uncomfortably, or alternatively it can be too loose and try to slide down your body. Basques also sometimes shift around more than a bra does, because your spine, you know, shifts around. Some brands use bones that bend and dig into you, or that poke into your belly or hips. Lola Luxe doesn’t do ANY of those things. It’s one of the most comfortable full-body pieces I’ve ever worn. I love that the sides curve up to accommodate the curve of the hip, I love how it nips me in at the waist without compressing or poking, and I love how flexible the bones are, such that they don’t poke me in the side. As this isn’t a corset, you most likely won’t get significant waist reduction, but I do get about 1/4-1/2 an inch of reduction at my natural waist, as well as an overall streamlined effect.
This seems like as good a place as any to bring up the evergreen do-I-wear-my-underwear-under-or-over-my-suspenders question, and the answer is that you can do whatever you want! Life is a rich tapestry!
The argument for wearing undies over the straps is that then you can easily slide your knickers on and off without unfastening your stockings, and the argument for wearing undies under the straps is that some people prefer the look (it won’t hide fancier suspender belts from view, for example) and don’t mind re-hooking their stockings. I generally prefer to wear my knickers over my suspenders for the sake of convenience, but I will note that with this basque sometimes my belly pooches out further than my hips, which means the suspenders lift the waistband of the brief away from my body, which in turn means that the brief moves around throughout the day. I might experiment with wearing the knickers under the suspenders in the future, just for kicks.
This basque is pretty amazing, in my book. In terms of comfort, aesthetics, and size range, there’s simply nothing else like it on the market. I’d actually love to see Bravissimo use Lola Luxe as a template for a non-padded G+ longline bra, since that’s a product I’m always squawking about wanting and yet I remain CRUELLY unheard. Can you imagine if this winter’s Can Can set had featured a longline bra with that suspender belt? DREAMY. Regardless: A+, might size up in the cups next time, love the color, can take or leave the briefs honestly, will probably buy again let’s be real, Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow, everyone, and cheery red lingerie for all!
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Basque and brief: Lola Luxe Scarlet by Bravissimo (£50 and £16, respectively). Basque available in sizes 30-38 F-K, brief and thong (£14) available in sizes S-2XL. Lola Luxe is exclusive to Bravissimo. Bravissimo is a UK company, so the cup size progression goes F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K.
Stockings: Jessica Color Top Sheer Sandalfoot Stockings via Stockingirl ($30.99). Available in white or beige with red, teal, yellow, silver, or burgundy tops, in sizes Small-Extra Large. [Mini-review: y’all, don’t take away my lingerie-lover card, but I think I’m just not that into nylon stockings. These are my second pair, and they came up SHORT– thank goodness the basque’s suspenders adjusted far enough. Admittedly I’m 5’10” and all my height is in my legs, but next time I’m going for stretch stockings instead.]
Photos: Lydia Hudgens