I’ve long been a fan of Heidi’s Klum’s lace numbers, although I’d never had a chance to try them until now. It’s always fun when a company gets in touch to say that they’re sending you a surprise, because otherwise (I’m in particular guilty of this!) there’s the tendency to pick out similar items over and over. Sian is really good at experimenting with new shapes and styles, but I find there’s always the temptation to go for something similar, because I’m always looking for the PERFECT version of a longed for look—the main offenders are usually: a good, staple, nude bra; the best strapless bra; and something that might eventually give that nice, natural looking cleavage. So, as I say, it’s actually a nice change to have something sent to us blind—it’s the only way to ensure I won’t fall back on those old choices I end up making over and over again!
Appearance & Shape
A red, lace soft cup would never have been top of my list of choices. Not because it isn’t a stunner to look at (it is), but I find myself with more problems with soft cups than the padded or moulded alternatives. Tending towards the shallow end of the breast spectrum, I find more problems with gaping in soft cups (but more on that when we get onto fit…) The bra is certainly gorgeous. Red lace has to be something of a classic when it comes to lingerie, and when it comes to this set, I really enjoy the more subtle tone of the colour. I’d describe it as more of a dusky rose hue than a scarlet, and I definitely don’t think the name suits the look of the bra itself! Chilli pepper / peach whip does not do justice to the subtle tone of red! There’s no orange undertone to it; it really reminds me of that dusky, deep rose of that classic Hollywood lipstick colour. The red lace overlays an ivory tulle which covers the full cup. It gives slightly more coverage, and also makes for a more comfortable fit. The gore is decorated with a simple, thin ribbon—or a ‘grape, satin bow’, more specifically. The straps deserve a mention here too—they certainly caused Sian to take a second look when we were doing the photos, “ooo, pretty! You should mention those.” So here I am, mentioning. The satin style material is ‘gathered’ along the front section of the strap, in a sort of ruched effect that actually puts me in mind of a ballerina (for some reason I can’t justify, but there we have it. Clearly ballerinas wear something to that effect and I can’t remember what it is right now!). Product descriptions often refer to this bra as ‘corsetry inspired’, and I would sort of agree with this, probably due to the multiple panels at the bottom with darker red trim marking the seams almost looks like the boning in a corset. What do you reckon?
I love the attention to detail with regards to the patterning of the lace (that top section of the cups is SO pretty!), and—my absolute favourite bit—underneath the wiring. I’m a big fan of longlines but don’t often find them comfortable for a full day, so I’m always on the lookout for bras that sort of mimic the effect of a longline look without actually being longline. The Sofia does exactly this. There is a good few centimetres of material beneath the wiring, and a small amount of scalloped lace peaks out at the very bottom. LOVE this!
Although officially termed a ‘balconette’, I’d expect much lower cups with far less coverage for something with this name. To be honest, I’d say this was more of a full cup—but that could be my mistake! Regardless, balconette or not, the cups provide rather a full coverage.
The shape when worn tends to almost a vintage, conical look—although nothing that extreme, obviously. I actually really like the look for something a little different! Underneath clothes you can’t really see much of a difference, but it’s certainly something different from the rounded look given by t-shirt bras, and the like. It doesn’t give any uplift on me, but certainly provides a lot of support in the underwiring—more so than I’ve had in other soft cups.
Sizing, Fit & Comfort
In a 30D, my normal size, this bra is pretty true to size. The band is on the tight side—I’ve also had it for a few months now, and I’m still on the loosest setting. So if you tend to be on the bigger end of your band size, I’d recommend sizing up. As I said before, I have more trouble fitting soft cups than moulded, and the cups here fit better than any I’ve tried before. I think this is probably down to the multiple panels on the underside of each cup, which gives a bit more flexibility when it comes to difference depths of curve in the breast. Although there is a small amount of gaping when it comes to the very tops of the cups, this is certainly much less than I’ve experienced in other soft cup bras. The wires go fairly wide, in a sweeping ‘U’ shape, and the one point of slight discomfort for me comes in the quite high gore. I’m not sure whether this comes from the band being tighter than I’m used to, or the height, but it does press in fairly close to the breastbone and, after a few hours of wear, can become a bit uncomfortable.
The genius comfort part of this bra comes from the underlay of the mesh material underneath the lace; although some people probably don’t find lace an irritating material, if you have sensitive skin like me, you’ll greatly appreciate the double layer! It’s also useful to note that, due to those fancy ruched details, the straps aren’t fully adjustable, and there are three sets of hooks on the band.
The Heidi Klum Intimates Sofia Balconette Bra Chili Pepper/Peach Whip is currently on sale (!) from Brastop.com for £29.95, with matching briefs at £18.95.
And check out the widget below for some more red, lace, soft cup options we are loving right now!