This is one of my favorite full-bust lingerie designs from the last couple of years: the Danielle longline collection by Parfait. Julia Lambert (my twin sister’s blog alias, for those of you who are new) reviewed the original Dusty Rose collection, and at the time I desperately wanted to be able to try it for myself. Once I was able to fit into Parfait’s D-G size range, Danielle zoomed to the top of my wishlist, and because I am a lucky duck, a friend of mine gave me this set as a gift earlier this year! I’m so happy to finally get to share my thoughts on this beautiful set.
[Note: I received this set as a gift. Affinitas/Parfait is unaffiliated with this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Danielle is part of Parfait’s Modern Vintage collection, and that’s such an apt description of the set: the gleaming satin, the richly textured rose-patterned lace, the longline style of the bra, and the contrast button details all evoke lingerie and garments from decades past. There’s a sense of romance and timelessness about the set that you don’t always get in some other contemporary full-bust lingerie (I’m thinking especially of how whimsical/ditsy floral prints, or retro pin-up kitsch, can sometimes dominate the market).
The Danielle collection includes two bra styles and two knicker styles; I received the longline bra and the shortie. The longline bra (Parfait weirdly calls this an unlined bralette on their website; this bra is … kind of exactly the opposite of an unlined bralette) features rigid molded cups covered with beautiful peacock blue poly satin. This color is RIGHT. UP. MY. ALLEY. Ughhhh it’s so beautiful. The cups are trimmed with fixed vertical pleats, and a bold rose-patterned net lace edges the top of the cup and the front legline on the knicker. Both shortie and bra feature three black satin-covered buttons in place of the expected (and overdone) bows. The longline band fastens with six rows of three columns of hooks and eyes. The band extends two inches (five centimeters) below the deepest point of the underwire, and there is flexible vertical boning below the center of the cups, under the arm, and where the straps meet the back of the band for extra support and to keep the band lying smoothly against the body. The straps are partially adjustable, thanks to a pretty split-strap detail in front. The shortie features the same all-over peacock blue stretch satin, with pleat details and lace on the front, echoing that on the cups, and elasticated legline and waistband in the back.
I’d heard from several folks, Julia Lambert among them, that Parfait’s longline bands run quite firm. At the time I received this set my best size in Parfait was 34G; I’m wearing Danielle in a 36FF. This was a good decision– between the firmness of the band and the structure provided by the boning, I wouldn’t have wanted to go much smaller. My belly is thicker than my underbust, and if I’d gone for a smaller band size I would have been uncomfortably squeezed. The cups are technically the correct cup volume (all my breast tissue is inside the wire, the center gore tacks gently against my sternum, and I don’t get any pillowing or overflow at the top of the cups (well, at first– more in a bit), but they’re not quite the right shape for me. One of the reasons I chose to pair Parfait’s new longline style Elissa with my Fairy Tales by Angela Friedman corset, apart from the fact that it was white and pretty, was the fact that it was a longline bra with non-padded, non-molded cups. Molded cups just tend not to suit my body very well, and in the picture above you can really see how the cup is kind of pulling my breast tissue out to the sides of my body. The cups are the right size, but they’re not a great fit, and I don’t quite feel like I’m really settled comfortably in the bra.
My shortie is a size Large, and the fit feels consistent with my other Parfait knickers. While there’s also a beautiful high-waist knicker available that dials the vintage-romance factor up to 11, I’ve come to realize that I don’t always love high-waisted knickers on me, particularly when paired with a longline style bra. I’m short-waisted, so I prefer a lower-rise style to visually elongate my torso. “But Sweets,” you say, “aren’t you always complaining about knickers rising too low for you because you’re tall?” Yes, I am, but there is a SWEET SPOT, and it’s somewhere between “navel” and “falling off”, and these knickers totally hit it (I realize I covered up the rise with a corset, sorry about that, but you can kind of see in the second photo a little peek of skin at my hips between the bottom of the corset and the top of the knickers). They’re great. And bless the elasticated legline that helps them actually sit on my body rather than slide around uselessly.
I’ll come right out and say it: this isn’t an everyday set for me. It’s not a workhorse set for long work days, for days when I’m dashing around town running errands, or (especially) long, hot days. It covers more skin than my regular bras do, and it’s more rigid: the cups are stiff and don’t breathe, and the boning in the band provides a lot more structure than many of us are used to. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, I don’t really feel like my breasts are contained in the cups, so I kind of have to be wary of too much movement, lest my boobs start to spill out of the cups. That being said, I have worn this set to work, out to dinner, over to friends’ houses, to the movies, and more, and I found it perfectly wearable. I especially like to wear it on days when I’m getting a little more dressed up than usual– it really helps to bring a sense of occasion, even if the day is an ordinary one. Sometimes if I’m sitting for a long time the boning will dig into my squishy bits, but in general (and to my surprise) I often forget the boning is even there.
Honestly, even though I provided plenty of criticisms above? This set is pretty spectacular. Parfait makes some great everyday, basic, functional bras at a lower price point than their competitors, but they’ve released a few collections that are true standouts. Both Danielle and Charlotte became instant icons when they were released; you can’t really mistake them for any other full bust brand. I can’t think of another set like this on the market right now, and I’ve loved each of the colors that have been released so far (I think Peacock Blue and Dusty Rose have been my favorites). I feel absolutely gorgeous whenever I wear it, which is surprisingly frequently given my antipathy towards molded cup bras. If you’ve been looking for a longline bra, or you want a wonderfully wearable boudoir set, this is the one for you.
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Longline Bra and Shortie: Danielle by Parfait, 30-40 D-G (UK), XS-XXL, $56/$30. Parfait uses UK sizing, so the cup size progression goes D, DD, E, F, FF, G. The Danielle longline bra is available at HerRoom, Amazon, and Large Cup Lingerie.
Corset: Night Garden Ribbon Corset in Black Dahlia by Evgenia Lingerie, S-L, $176. Also featured in the Stars in Her Eyes editorial. Black-and-white version available exclusively at Dollhouse Bettie here.
Hold Ups: Kix’ies Lois Black Backseam Thigh Highs, A, B, C, D, $22, via A Sophisticated Pair. You may notice that I immediately got a run in this brand-new pair as I was putting them on for the shoot; I hope this was an anomaly (my first pair of Kix’ies lasted for well over a year). These also came up much shorter than the first pair I ever tried; next time I may try a different size to see if I can get a little more length.
Peacock Fan: (I honestly have no idea where/when I bought mine) similar: Dollhouse Bettie
Photos: Studio Rezin