[I purchased this set under my real name with my own money. Playful Promises is not affiliated with this review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Playful Promises appears on my list of brands to watch in 2019 because of lingerie sets just like this one. This brand has added an astonishing number of sizes in just the last few years, bringing their signature blend of cheeky, flirty, and retro-future styles to even more people. Beginning this month, new fuller bust collections will consistently go up to a UK H cup/US K cup, which means farewell, all my money. Especially if those collections are anything like Ezmae, a striking rust-and-black set I impulse purchased the day it released earlier this year.
Ezmae is crafted from soft rust-colored stretch mesh overlaid with black stretch lace with a delicate eyelash edge. The cups of the bra, and the waist and legs of the matching brief, are finished with black stretch satin binding. The bra, at least in UK H-cups, features an unusual four-part shape, with a vertical seam running up from the bottom of the cup, a diagonal seam cutting across the cup to the strap, and a fourth panel running along the outer bottom edge of the cup. The continuous band has vertical boning under the arms for stability, and fastens with three rows and three columns of hooks and eyes. The wings are made of a double layer of mesh, and the black straps are fully adjustable, trimmed with small rust-colored satin bows.
The coordinating high-waist knickers rise to just below my navel and provide full coverage over my hips. The coverage is just sliiiiightly cheeky in the back, a bit more contemporary in shape than a true old-school full-coverage high-waist brief. The front panel, made of rust-colored satin, and mesh hips are overlaid with the same black stretch lace, while the seat is sheer and seamless. The gusset is satin, lined with black cotton for comfort and breathability.
Because my previous sets from Playful Promises have come up quite firm in the band, I ordered my sister size of 34GG/34J (I wear a 32H in most UK brands). However, I think the next time I try this style in particular, I will stick to my usual size: the band feels more in line with brands like Freya and Elomi, and as such I’m already wearing it on the middle or tightest hooks. The materials are a bit lighter and stretchier than those used by some plus size or full bust brands, so I don’t get aggressive lift, but the center gore rests well against my sternum, and I get a natural, gently rounded shape. This is the best-fitting full-bust bra I’ve yet tried from Playful Promises; fit elements seem refined and thoughtful, I don’t feel like I have to continually scoop and adjust throughout the day, and the size, both in terms of the band and in terms of cup shape and volume, is closely in line with the other major full-bust brands I wear. I’m really impressed, and I’m eager to try more sets from upcoming collections.
The briefs run a bit larger than some other Playful Promises collections (like Emelda or Adira). I took an XL/US 12, and I probably could have comfortably worn a Large. I tend to wear a Large in Freya/Elomi and an XL in Panache and Cleo, for reference.
This set is light and breathable, exactly what I want to wear as we head into the summer in New York City. I’m really into briefs that fully cover my belly and I cannot abide anything that approaches a thong, so these are an ideal style for me. I do find the bra’s shoulder straps a bit narrower than I like, and they can dig in a bit as the day goes on. Speaking of digging, I may eventually cave and remove the boning under the arms, because ouch: something about where it hits on my body feels a bit painful. For this reason, I haven’t set worn the set for a high-activity day, but for a regular day in the office or a day of relaxing at home, this set is a winner.
I am continually impressed with Playful Promises. Expanding size ranges is hard for any fashion business, but it’s especially hard for lingerie, and Playful have expanded not just once, but many times in the last five years alone. I’m really delighted with the Ezmae collection: it’s a totally wearable lingerie set that gives me the full-bust fit and shape I want, while losing none of Playful’s sexy-retro vibe. There are stunning collections in store for later this year, including on-trend celestial embroideries, dramatic loungewear fit for sweeping around castles holding a martini glass, even more collaborations with plus size influencers, and, somehow, Elizabethan-style ruffs that are sexy? I’m trying to be mindful of my spending in 2019, but there are many more Playful purchases in my future.
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Bra and Brief: Ezmae by Playful Promises, $58.50/$39. Available in sizes 30-38 DD-H (DD-K cups in US sizes), XS-XXL.
Robe: Kiss Me Deadly (sold out)
Photography: Sylvie Rosokoff