A few years ago, back when I first discovered a better bra size than me for the 34Ds I was wearing, I got the chance to review the Charlotte bra in red from Affinitas by Parfait in a 30F. At the time, 30F was the size I wore most as I hadn’t yet discovered 28 bands and my cup size was slightly smaller than it is now. It was a little large in the band though, and ever so slightly too small in the cup – I wore it and loved it, but eventually passed it on to a better home as I discovered I was better in 28Gs. Then Charley reviewed the beautiful Charlotte bra in peach, and I was very jealous of the gorgeous vintage style, but the lovely Cha at Large Cup Lingerie then offered to send me my own version of the Charlotte in the icy blue I loved – I couldn’t say no! Since I’d first tried the bra though, there was something new: they now offered 28 bands and up to K cups. So I was able to get a better fitting band and size up a little in the cups.
Oh and before we get properly started, we keep forgetting to mention – we’ve been nominated in the Esty Lingerie Awards for Best Reviews! If you think we are the best, vote for us here (please!) and check out all the other blogs too 🙂
Appearance & Shape
The appearance and shape of the Charlotte bra really is iconic by now, isn’t it?! Almost every lingerie blogger out there has reviewed this bra or tried it at some point, and it’s been well shared throughout the community too. Those bold black trimmings, rounded cups and big bows definitely do have a retro and pin up feel which I love in my every day clothing too, and on top of that, I’ve got the matching high waisted knickers too. As you can see, the cups are lightly padded and are a very round, shallow shape (I’ll touch on this more in a minute).
While I think the bra looks gorgeous, I do have a couple of criticisms, the first being that this bra is massive, as in the straps, the band, the wires – they all just seem big! It wasn’t at all like this in my 30F Charlotte, so I can only guess that going up above the G cups (maybe H?), the construction changes. This is completely understandable as many larger sizes need more support, but for me, I found it felt as though it was taking over and swallowing my frame as I don’t need all the extra support. The straps are a lot wider than any of my other bras, it has 4 hooks in the back (which admittedly I quite like), and the band and wings are very wide and tall – see the back view for more – it just seems like a very typical large bust “hoick them up and strap them down” kind of contraption. My other criticism is that there are some places where a little more attention to detail would make a bit of a difference, for example, look closely at the black line detail on the gore – it’s slightly wonky (and that’s not just me, I promise!).
Nevertheless, it’s still a very pretty bra and unlike most others out there at the moment, so I do like the look of it.
Sizing, Fit & Comfort
So the previous version of this I owned was a 30F – the band was slightly big and the cups were verging on the small side. At the time I would have been better in a 28G, so a cup size up and band size down from what I was wearing. I’ve now increased in cup size, and my usual size is a 28GG, but if the cups are shallow, I tend to size up to a 28H. I remembered from previous experience that the cups of the Charlotte were most definitely shallow, so 28H it was. The fit is good but not great. The band is spot on really, loose enough to be comfortable but firm enough to be very supportive, but the cups are a slight shape mismatch for me, still being fairly shallow with quite a closed top meaning that I can end up with it sliding down and quadboobing just a little. I do find that the gore doesn’t quite lay flat, but I feel that moving up a cup size would mean the cups would end up a little too big volume wise – I think it won’t lay flat as it sits fairly high up and is quite wide, so it’s trying to sit on breast tissue rather than on my breastbone.
Comfort-wise, the fit is comfortable, but I’m not so sure on the giant-ness of the bra as a whole – it’s mostly the wings that I find slightly irritating as they come up high under the arm and I can just generally feel the bra a lot of the time. The wires are fairly average and still seem comfortable, so I think it really is just the size of the band, wings and straps. The number of hooks definitely help comfort-wise though.
I had a very difficult decision deciding between the normal briefs and high waisted but ultimately decided to go with the vintage vibe and go for the high waisted. They’re a size 10 and lovely and comfortable, only problem is that you can’t wear low rise trousers with them as they come over the top, and they seem to make tights slide down due to the satiny fabric – oops! Nevertheless, they look really lovely paired with the bra.
The Affinitas by Parfait bra is available in several colours: ice blue, peach, red, dusty rose, wild pink and purple, all of which are available at Large Cup Lingerie (who I will always recommend!). It’s also available at a few retailers including Her Room, Amazon and Lazeme for around £30.
You can also read reviews from several other lingerie bloggers of the Charlotte bra including Boosaurus (also 28H), Miss Underpinnings (28G), Fuller Figure Fuller Bust (36H), Bras and Body Image (32K), Invest In Your Chest, The Full Figured Chest (34J), Quest for the Perfect Bra (30H), A Sophisticated Pair (30J), Petite & Plentiful (28E), Sweet Nothings NYC and Lingerie Detective (36E).