Remember how in January of 2013 I was unbelievably excited about the launch of Tutti Rouge? A lot of that excitement was because at the time, it felt like Freya, Fantasie, and Panache (and increasingly, Curvy Kate) were the only players in the full-bust game, and then along came this unabashedly cute, almost kitschy, independent brand with a strongly personal aesthetic and a frankly amazing size range. The last few years have seen the launch of a few new mid-market “big brands”, like Curvy Kate and Parfait, but it’s also seen the launch of smaller, indie brands like Claudette and Tutti Rouge. We’re at the point where there are now lots and lots of options for people who wear D-GG sizes and are shopping in the $50-70 range (although there are still size gaps, of course). With more mid-market options than ever before, I remember thinking at the time, what next?
Then suddenly 2014 came, and All Undone and Harlow & Fox burst onto the scene with a level of sophistication and luxury the full-bust customer previously couldn’t access. Unlike the French full-bust luxury brands like Empreinte or Maison Lejaby (Maison Lejaby don’t be sad you know I love you), All Undone and Harlow & Fox feel fresh, sensual, luxurious, and truly special. Their resounding success seems to have kicked open the door for independent full-bust designers, at least in the UK and Australia. All of the brands featured here use UK cup sizing conventions, so the cup size progression goes B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH. Without further ado, making their debut in 2015:
That leather bra, you guys. That (faux) leather-up-to-an-HH-cup-bra, you guys. Swoon.
Blue Reign is currently a one-woman operation based in London, with the aim of providing sexy, modern, powerful designs to women who wear a wide range of sizes, including petite, core, and full-bust sizes. In addition to this stunning Dynasty lingerie set, the debut collection includes some gorgeous sheer loungewear, a coordinating Dynasty sleep mask, and a “Forget Romeo” accessories set which includes a collared harness, nipple pasties, and eye mask. I didn’t know how badly I wanted a quilted leather bra until I saw this set. Stunning.
How did they do it? Right around the time I started to think “you know, I’m 30 now, my tastes are changing, and I might be outgrowing some of the cutesy brands I used to love, like Cleo and Curvy Kate”, then Curvy Kate goes and introduces a VERY GROWN UP INDEED new brand called Scantilly, specializing in elegant boudoir lingerie for the full-bust customer.
Think strappy details, sheer black mesh, keyhole center gores, and ouvert knickers. The sneak peeks I’ve seen so far have looked GORGEOUS, and if there isn’t any Scantilly for me to see at Curve next week I will be cranky.
[Can I be obnoxious for a second though? I loathe the bit on their website where they say “a fearless new collection for the curvaceous female in D to H cups”. Bleah. Y’all. Come on. Don’t call women “females”. It’s weird and rude and creepy and, most of all, grammatically odd. “A fearless new collection for the curvaceous woman in D to H cups.” I fixed it for you!]
Ije Nwandu, founder of Scarletta, contacted me 2 weeks ago to introduce her Autumn 2015 collection, and I was SO glad she did. First there’s the incredible size range (30-40 DD-H), and then there are the designs themselves.
Ije’s collection uses colors reflecting her African heritage, and the designs hit a really sweet spot for me in their mix of contemporary pops of color and streamlined shapes, combined with classic details like suspenders and eyelash lace.
Scarletta offers bras and basques in band sizes from 30-40 and cup sizes DD-H with accessories in sizes S-XXL, in prices around £30-60 for bra-sized pieces, making this collection one of the most accessible in terms of price (comparable to Bravissimo‘s in-house designs) and size range. I’m frankly blown away by the whole collection, and I can’t wait to see more when the full range launches in July!
Bosom Galore, like All Undone and Harlow & Fox, offers made-in-the-UK luxury lingerie in full-bust sizes, with an emphasis on smaller band sizes. The brand launches with two beautiful silk collections with band sizes from 26-34 and cup sizes from E-H. The designs are elegant, classic, and sensual, with two pretty colors in gleaming silk.
I know there are full-bust women who find some 28 bands too big, so I’ll be very interested to hear how Bosom Galore’s 26 bands work for them. Bosom Galore is currently offering limited-time lower introductory prices (£69-72 for bras, £36-38 for knickers) on all pre-orders, so if you know you want to try this brand, now is the time to buy!
Adina Reay is another new British luxury brand, with bras in sizes 32-36 DD-G. The designs remind me a little of Prima Donna, with their classic lace and mesh, but the use of silk and the occasional bold color make them feel more vibrant and contemporary. One of the standout pieces, to me, is the lovely Jean, in magenta with an unusual racer-back closure.
Adina Reay includes true luxury elements, like bespoke embroidery, cutaway center gores, sheer tulle and silk satin details.
Prices range from £90-130 for bra-sized pieces and £40-60 for accessories, putting this collection into the same luxury level as Fleur of England, but sized for full busts. The Jo knicker, above, even reminds me a little of some of Fleur’s innovative tulle knickers! Gorgeous.
Adina Reay launched in January at the Lingerie Edit, and the full collection appears to be available to purchase now!
Maraki Intimates appears to still be in the early launch phases, and as such, I don’t have a lot of firm information to go on. There doesn’t appear to be an official e-commerce site yet (the one they have seems to be a placeholder), and there are conflicting press releases out about everything from launch date to size range, and my email inquiries went unanswered, but much of what I’ve seen on Instagram and Pinterest from this new Australian brand looks incredibly fun and wholly original in the full-bust market.
One press release reports that the size range will cover 8-14 DD-G (30-36 DD-G to those of us used to UK sizes, and I think some Australian brands skip FF, but I’m not 100% sure), with accessories in sizes S, M, L. Maraki Intimates’ first collection includes a bra, suspender knicker, nightdress, fringed kimono, and silk blouse.
I just…much like with Blue Reign, I did not know how badly I needed a sequined bra until I saw it.
There’s a chance we’ll hear more soon, so keep your eyes on Instagram for updates!
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I am so, so, SO thrilled to see so many new designers entering the full-bust market, all with different size ranges, design points of view, and price points. However, notice anything? They’re all based in the UK (or Australia, for Maraki Intimates). The USA remains WOEFULLY behind in terms of innovations for this demographic. I’d love to be able to run a round-up of USA-based indie full-bust brands, but as far as I know there are zero factories and workshops with the technical skills and materials to manufacture DD+ bras in this country.
Which brand excites you the most? Have you heard of any new full-bust brands I missed? Please let me know!