[Avocado Lingerie generously provided this set for review. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Avocado has been killing it lately. I love almost every set from the Intimacy No. 2 collection, which I covered here back in March, but I couldn’t deny that the standout set, the one people could not stop talking to me about, was the stunning, strappy, Ce Soir range, available in both black and ivory. The lingerie industry as a whole is still all-in on strappy design elements, but I’ve never, ever seen the trend rendered like this. When the lovely Anna at Avocado offered to send me a set from the new collections to review, Ce Soir was my hands-down first choice.
Is it weird to say that this set makes perfect sense to me for a Spring collection, because it reminds me of a garden trellis? I need someone to wear this set with roses or jasmine threaded through the straps in an editorial immediately, please.
As with many strappy full-bust bras (for another example, check out my review of Scantilly lingerie), this set features a “base layer” of a classic, supportive seamed bra, with the strappy element layered on top. Ce Soir is a three-part balconette bra with a vertical seam between the two lower cup panels and a sheer, stretch mesh upper panel separated from the bottom of the cup with a horizontal seam. The lower cup panels are made of a stretch lace with a textured, geometric pattern. The black shoulder straps are solid and fully adjustable, and the black powermesh band fastens with three rows and three columns of hooks and eyes. There are vertical pieces of flexible boning (stays) placed in the band under the arms for stability.
The bra’s decorative strap elements radiate from the horizontal seam and the shoulder straps to connect to a narrow elastic cord, threaded through loops at the end of each strap. It works almost like a necklace– you can put the bra on as you would normally, then slip the elastic cord over your head and adjust to meet your fit and comfort needs. I love how the solid straps look against the sheer mesh and lace– all the different textures enhance the layered effect, making this a visually dense and striking set that belies its lightness and ease of wear.
The matching hipster briefs have panels of geometric stretch lace over the hips, while the center front panel and rear are made of semi-opaque stretch black mesh. The strapping details of the bra are echoed at the back of the waist, with elastic cord threaded through three short straps, connected to a slightly wider elastic strap. Both the bra and briefs feature subtle silver charms at the center gore and waistband, respectively.
I’ve had the chance to try several Avocado styles now, and I’ve discovered that while most fit consistently, there are a few that seem to come up generous in the cup, and Ce Soir is one of those collections. When I last reviewed Avocado’s Jewel collection, I was wearing a 32GG and took a 75H; now that I’m wearing a 32H in UK sizes, my Jewel bra is too small in the cups. I requested a 75J in Ce Soir, but Anna wisely also sent me a 75H to try, and the 75H wound up being a perfect fit. If you already know your Avocado size, I strongly recommend going down one cup size for Ce Soir. In addition, the briefs come up more generously than some of the others I’ve tried– in Jewel I wore an XL, but in Ce Soir the Large fits well (which corresponds to the brief size I wear in UK full-bust brands like Freya, Panache, and Bravissimo). Avocado’s bands have consistently been both a little smaller and a little firmer for me than some UK brands, so I wear a 75, the equivalent of a 34, rather than a 70, or my usual 32.
Ce Soir fastens firmly on the loosest set of hooks, the wires at the center gore rest firmly against my ribcage, and the cups sit smoothly across my breast tissue without wrinkling or digging in. The shape is a touch wider and shallower than my body shape, but it’s not uncomfortable, and the flexible materials give me a little wiggle room in terms of shape match. That same softness and flexibility of materials mean that I don’t get a super projected shape with tons of lift (you’ll also notice there’s no side panel, so it’s not designed to pull breast tissue from the sides of the body towards the center of the body). Instead, I get comfortable, gentle shaping and lift. I was worried that the straps might wrinkle or pull on different body shapes, but the genius of the elastic “necklace” style means that each wearer can adjust the straps to fit their bodies. I only get a little wrinkling on the very center strap, and it’s not enough to bother me.
The briefs are genuinely super comfy on me. I love cuts that have elastic on the legs and waistband, because I feel like they sit more securely on my body without, ahem, wandering into places I do not want them to wander. I’ll note again here that I took a smaller size in the Ce Soir briefs than I do in other Avocado styles; I’d recommend going for your usual UK size if you’re already wearing brands like Freya, Fantasie, Panache, etc.
This set is genuinely comfy, y’all, and it’s extra comfy considering how fancy it looks. The light, sheer materials feel like a soft dream against my skin, and the generous stretch of the fabrics means that the cups and briefs offer a little wiggle room if your size fluctuates. If you’re someone who needs rigid cups or a ton of aggressive shaping and stability to feel comfortable, this may not be the bra for you, or you might be happiest saving it for special occasions. I wanted to see how it held up for a full day’s wear, so I stealth-wore this set to work one day with a high-necked shirt and scarf. I was concerned that the elastic cord around the neck might rub or irritate my skin during long-term wear, but I was pleasantly surprised by how little I noticed it. It did loosen a little throughout the day, so I had to re-tie it a few times, and if you’re hypersensitive it may be more of an issue for you, but I felt great wearing this set all day, even while doing some unexpected heavy lifting in a server room.
Dang, this set is incredible. As I’m reflecting back on the last five years of blogging, I could never, NEVER in my wildest dreams have imagined a lingerie set that looks like this in my size range. I mean, seriously, I was so happy just to see floral prints and polka dots the first time I saw Bravissimo I almost cried; if this set had been around then I might have died. I want to get a black top with a nice deep scooped neckline so I can show this off when I go out. Hats off to the Avocado team for developing such a unique and fit-friendly take on the strapping trend, and perfectly executing some sophisticated texture play. This is a set that packs a showstopping punch without sacrificing comfort and wearability. I’ve seen the black version look stunning on so many lingerie aficionados (check out Erica on Instagram and gorgeous Wen’s review for more), and I’m dying to see the ivory version start popping up too. This is more of a luxury set than some of the other items I’ve reviewed, but in my opinion the price is worth it: soft, comfortable materials, sophisticated attention to detail, creative potential problem-solving, and an overall elegant design point of view make this set an absolute winner.
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Bra and Brief: Ce Soir by Avocado Lingerie (c/o). Bra (83,72€) available in band sizes 60-95 (roughly 28-42, although I find the bands snug, so I’d say 26-40) and cup sizes C-L, depending on band size. Brief (36,12€) available in sizes XS-XXL. Avocado uses European cup size conventions, and the cup size progression is C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L.
Garters: FYI by Dani Read via Bluestockings Boutique
Stockings: Fiore (c/o)
Photos: Michi Rezin