[Bluebella generously provided this piece for review. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
While the full-bust lingerie market is vastly larger and more accessible than it was when I first started hunting for beautiful, well-fitting bras in D+ sizes back in, oh, 2008, the UK lingerie world remains years ahead of the US lingerie world. Victoria’s Secret, whose cup size range maxes out at a DDD, dominates something like 60% of the US lingerie market, and most American department stores stop their inventory around an E or F cup, so full-bust consumers have to turn to specialty shops or the internet to meet their lingerie needs. Meanwhile, across the pond, major UK department stores like Debenhams have their own in-house D+ brands in addition to stocking the big D-K brands like Freya, Fantasie, Panache, and Curvy Kate, and full-bust retailer Bravissimo has over 20 separate locations across the UK. Most full-bust luxury brands, like Harlow & Fox, All Undone, and Katherine Hamilton are based in the UK (or in France, like Empreinte, Lise Charmel, and Simone Perele). Even core-sized UK brands offer full-bust styles, including the super-popular Bluebella, makers of stylish boudoir lingerie and loungewear. I reviewed one of Bluebella’s D+ bra styles last year, and I was delighted when they reached out recently to offer a new piece to try. With a new US storefront (that unhappily labels sizes with “US” sizes, which I loathe, because it’s confusing to folks who are used to UK full-bust brands) as well as US stockists like Nordstrom, Bare Necessities, and Trashy Diva, it felt like a great time to take a look at another style from Bluebella’s D-G offerings.
The Delta collection is all about graphic black strapping. The bra, harness, and brief feature cut-outs and cage details, and the bodysuit retains the same low-cut cup + cage detail of the bra, with the addition of a fully sheer stretch mesh body. Though the cup is a three-part cut-and-sew pattern like many full-cup and balconette bras, it’s cut quite low, such that it feels almost like a half-cup. Narrow elastic straps extend from the center gore and outer edge of the cup to connect to the straps at the shoulder, framing the top of the breasts. The straps are partially adjustable and feature gold-toned hardware. The band is continuous and features rigid mesh for stability around the cups, extending as far as the side stays under the arm. From that point, the band transitions into four parallel elastic straps, fastening with a traditional bra clasp with three rows and three columns of hooks and eyes. The bodysuit is entirely open at the back and dips low, with a slightly cheeky cut through the seat. The gusset is lined with cotton for comfort, and a single dark raspberry grosgrain tuxedo bow trims the center gore.
Since Bluebella stops at a G cup, I usually have to fudge a little to get a good fit. At the time I received this sample in late 2016, I wore a 32GG in most UK brands, so I requested a 34G, reasoning that not only would this give me the correct cup volume, it would also provide a slightly more generous fit through the waist and hips. When these photos were taken, post-injury and post-holiday and also mid-period (so fun wheeee!), I was wearing a 32H, and as such the cups are a bit smaller than they were when I first tried on the bodysuit.
Even though the fit in the cups is a bit small for me right now, I think you’ll have great luck ordering your usual size. If, like me, you’re a little full in the cup, the top of the cup is so open it gives you some flexibility. Bear in mind that this isn’t the sort of style that will give you a lot of lift and shaping; the structure is too open to do the same kind of work that, say, the Panache Envy bra would do. This is a piece that prioritizes fashion over fit, but it’s still well designed to accommodate and gently support fuller busts, and if you’re looking for a more editorial or boudoir piece, this is just the ticket!
Can I just say, astonishingly comfortable? As I mentioned, you won’t get a ton of lift or stability from the bra part, since the straps are slim and the cup is cut low, and yes, if you have a squishy back like I do then the elastics may dig in a little, but the mesh of the body portion is wonderfully stretchy, so there’s flexibility if you have a long torso or a fuller tummy. I’m really self-conscious about my back, so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel wearing something that left me so exposed, but the piece is so light and breathable that it feels really great to wear. The mesh is very soft and flexible, so you won’t get any kind of hold or shaping through the body, but it also adapts really well to different body shapes. It’s worth noting that this piece does not fasten at the crotch, so you’ll have to get entirely undressed if you’re visiting the restroom. I’m fine with that, honestly, since I sometimes find fastenings between the legs both uncomfortable and somewhat precarious.
This is the kind of boudoir lingerie for fuller busts that I couldn’t have even imagined back in 2008, and I’d love to see the size range extended even further (this is a blatantly selfish desire, since I personally am currently just outside the size range). The price point is a tiny bit higher (literally by like $4) than I would normally expect considering the lightweight, somewhat flimsy nature of the materials, but I can’t deny that it’s an incredibly striking piece in a size range that hasn’t yet been oversaturated with strappy, domme-y lingerie. It’s also worth noting that it would work really well as a layering piece, with the shoulder straps peeking out from an open-neck top. I’ve been very pleased with the Bluebella styles I’ve tried so far, and while they haven’t introduced new styles to the MORE sub-brand since their launch, I’m really hoping they’ll consider expanding or innovating in this range the same way they do their core-size collections.
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Bodysuit: Delta Body by MORE by Bluebella (c/o). $72, 32-38 DD-G. Bluebella uses UK cup sizes, so the cup size progression is DD, E, F, FF, G (or, in the sizes on their US site, DD, DDD, G, H, I). Also available at Bare Necessities and Figleaves.
Holdups: Bluebella (old).
Robe: Short Sheer Dressing Robe by Dottie’s Delights
Photos: Michi Rezin