[Bluebella generously provided the Artemis set for review. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
A few seasons after their initial DD-G launch, Bluebella has debuted some lovely new collections for their MORE fuller bust range. The MORE range retains the feel of Bluebella’s core ranges while incorporating design elements that add structure and support for a heavier bust. For example, the MORE Calypso bra and harness brief call to mind Bluebella’s signature Nova collection or the Heidi range, while in the MORE Artemis range I see echos of a previous Bluebella eyelash lace collection, Peyton. The MORE styles feature deeper back bands, more structured cups, wider elastic straps, and sturdier materials, so while they do look different from their core-sized counterparts, they’re designed to offer the shape and support fuller-bust people tend to prefer.
While Bluebella first piqued my interest with some strappy, barely-there styles (which you can see in my earlier reviews of Asteria and Delta), I was interested in trying Artemis, a more classic style with traditionally sweet elements like eyelash lace applique and trim and a matching deep suspender brief. I’ve gained a little weight since I last reviewed Bluebella and have to cheat a little to get into their size range, so I was also hoping the plunge cup shape would be a little more forgiving of a more ample bosom. Ahem.
Artemis is crafted of sheer black mesh with eyelash lace applique along the plunging neckline, vertical cup seam, and center front panel of the briefs. The briefs are stretchy, while the bra cups are made of a more rigid mesh for stability. The three-part cup includes a vertical seam in the bottom separating two bottom sections and a diagonal seam cutting across to bisect the upper and lower sections of the cup. The bra band is continuous but swoops high up over the tummy, has vertical boning under the arms, and fastens with three columns and rows of hooks and eyes. The black straps have gold colored hardware and are fully adjustable, and a black grosgrain bow trims the center gore. The matching high-waist briefs are fully sheer with a cotton-lined gusset and feature four detachable, adjustable suspenders.
As I mentioned earlier, I was hoping the more open plunge shape of the cup would be a little more forgiving of my new size than a full cup bra would be. I currently wear a UK 32H (US 32K), so I opted to try a UK 34G (US 34I– Bluebella’s US site relabels all their sizes, a practice I loathe but I’m fighting a losing battle on that front). I chose a size UK16/XL for the briefs.
The band feels a bit smaller than some of my other bras, so I’m glad I went for a 34, which fastens firmly yet comfortably on the loosest hooks. The cups are, clearly, too small for me. I was counting on perhaps some stretch lace or stretch mesh in the top of the cup, but because the whole cup is pretty rigid there isn’t as much wiggle room in terms of fit. I constantly feel like I’m at risk of spilling out of the cups, and the gore doesn’t quite lie flush against my sternum. If I were 1-2 cup sizes smaller though, it would be a different story, so apart from a slightly firm band I think this style runs true to size. The shape is slightly shallow, which also complicates the fit for me personally, as I prefer a more projected, rounded shape.
The briefs fit well in a size XL, although they’re so stretchy that I don’t wear them with the suspenders often, as I’m worried they’ll pull down. I do love that there’s a high-waist brief option, as many bikini-style briefs roll uncomfortably under my belly and slip down my hips.
Again, it’s important to bear in mind that I’m cheating on the fit, so I can’t expect the same level of comfort from this bra that I’d get from a bra that was a cup size larger. That said, there are a few points of construction that I want to flag, as some people either really love them or hate them. The straps are quite stretchy and a little narrow for a full-bust bra, which is great for someone who wants something that looks more like a core-size style, but they may dig in a bit for someone at the top of the size range. The all-over mesh in the bra is relatively soft, but it is more rigid than I’d expected, and so won’t be terribly accommodating of size fluctuations. The wires come up a bit high under the arms, which, coupled with the vertical boning, can dig uncomfortably. I don’t normally mind boning in the band, but I got home after wearing this bra all day wanting to take a seam ripper to the band to yank the boning out, so if that’s a fit concern for you, take note! I will say that I wear the briefs all the time– they’re light, soft, and comfy, and they pair nicely with my other black lingerie.
Bluebella’s MORE collection is lovely, but for my money, after trying three styles, it still feels a bit like an afterthought compared to their core-sized collections (with one exception: the Asteria collection was unmatched in the full-bust market when it was released and remains one of the more striking full-bust collections I can think of over the last couple of years). At full price this bra retails for $62 in the US (it’s currently on sale for less than $20!), and when I compare it to similar price points from the major full-bust bra brands, I don’t think the quality justifies the price. Bluebella makes pretty matching sets for both every day and the boudoir, but with so many of the mainstays like Curvy Kate, Freya, Bravissimo, and Elomi dipping their toes in more fashion-focused, strappy/sultry waters, I’m not sure Bluebella is going to be the top choice for the fit-focused customer.
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Bra and Suspender Brief: Artemis by MORE by Blueballa (c/o). Available in 30-38 DD-G (UK) / DD-I (US) and sizes 8-18 (UK) / 4-14 (US). All-black version here, and a version with pale rose mesh and black lace available here. This set is currently on sale!
Corset: Mae by What Katie Did, reviewed here.