Time for another review from the vault! We shared some snaps of these beautiful bralettes on our Instagram when we first got them last year, and, you know, life happened, so we’ve only just got round to the review itself! Fortunately in that time, I got a new image editor so I’ve managed to lighten some of these photos which turned out to be way too underexposed when I took them off the camera – silver linings and all that!
If you haven’t heard of Impish Lee, where have you been? We featured them in a Brand Spotlight back in 2016 where we gave examples of how you can use their custom design tool to create your very own set of lingerie and discussed their vast sizing range which currently goes from a US size 0 to 32 and bra sizes from 28-44 A-J. When they offered for us to really try out their customising tool by creating our own sets, we most definitely weren’t going to say no!
We decided to choose matching bralettes, in colours that appealed to each of us, which we were more than able to do thanks to the fully customisable aspect of the site, with matching shorts, one pair high waisted, one low waisted, so that they would suit each of our tastes but so that we could compare the fit and shape on each of our own sizes. In fact, we were really excited to see both how a bra sized bralette in our individual sizes would fit us!
AD/ Impish Lee provided us with a discount code to review a custom longline bralette ($108) and shorts ($72-78) set, but duties and taxes were paid by us.
Big Cup – Longline Bralette in a 28J with High Waisted Shorts
We talked a lot more here about the huge benefits of Impish Lee’s customising tool and how it can help with sustainable manufacturing practices since everything is custom made to order, but I also want to add how much fun this tool is. It reminds me of those fun doll dress up games you used to play on the internet back in the early days of the web, but even better – at the end of this one, you get to keep the fantasy lingerie set you’ve designed! It made for a very fun evening where we designed multiple sets between us before narrowing it down to our favourites.
I decided to go for a ballet inspired lingerie set (you know how obsessed I am with this!) with a mixture of different pale pink and dusty rose shades, but with a pop of bolder brighter fuchsia pink on the velvet waistband. It was very simple to design on the screen – matching up the different shades using their tool – and here’s how it turned out in person compared to what I designed:
Opening the package, I was SO pleased with how the set looked – it was just how I envisioned!
Char and I both decided to go with mesh fabrics all over after falling in love with Char’s simple but effective Lara Intimates Crop Top. I was interested to see how this trendy but stretchy fabric would fit my larger cup size, and I’m pleased to say it works excellently.
In terms of general fit, the 28J is very good. Their sizing system makes this the equivalent of a UK 28GG – and before now, I’d never seen a bralette sized like this. I’ve since tried the ASOS Rita bralette in a 30G – this had a good level of coverage and adequate lift, but not a huge amount of support. In contrast, the Impish Lee bralette felt extremely secure – I think this is thanks to a lovely tight longline band and a sturdy power net mesh, plus the fact that the cups are lined with a mesh in your choice of nude fabrics – there are a choice of 4 different linings to suit your skin tone. It has far more support than any other bralette I’ve tried to date and acts a lot better as a proper bra than any other too.
I have a couple of very small niggles with this bralette – the first is that it’s a little bit of a struggle to get it on! As the bralette doesn’t have any band fastenings, it needs to be pulled over your head, shoulders and breasts – and with a tight 28 band, this is quite a feat! I have to do a good amount of twisting and tugging to get it over my sizeable chest, but if that’s what it takes to get a secure bra band on a bralette, I’ll take it!
My other tiny niggle is that I’d say the cups in the triangle bralette are ever-so-slightly on the smaller side for me – you can see in these photos that it digs in just a little on the edge of my larger breast. I generally find that triangle bra shapes with a single vertical seam can have this effect on my larger cup size where I’m fuller in the centre. It does have a very good level of coverage though at the outer edges, which seems to be unusual in triangle bralettes above a certain size – I usually find myself spilling at the edges of triangle shapes, but this has edges that extend further under the arms than most.
As you can see in the first couple of photos (with both of us), I do experience a bit of rolling on the band if I’m particularly active or moving around a lot – the photos we take require a lot of arm flailing and running back and forth from a camera on self-timer! The band doesn’t have any boning, so while it fits well and is very comfortable, it means my somewhat flared ribcage flips it up occasionally. This is a common issue for me with longlines – while I absolutely adore them, if they’re not boned, they’ll roll! You can see an example here of two longlines on me comparing where the band is boned and doesn’t roll/flip and one where the band isn’t and won’t stay in place!
I was very tempted to choose a high waisted and fitted pencil skirt as the bottom half of my lingerie set, but I decided the shorts might be more versatile in the long run. These are designed with the same sheer mesh fabrics as the bralette, however, unlike the bralette, the shorts are unlined meaning that they’re more see through.
I chose the shorts in a size 8 (US) which equates to a UK size 12 and is my usual size for bottoms. These are a good fit for me, although I’d say they run ever so slightly smaller – my waist measures smaller than this size, but the velvet waistband laid comfortably against it rather than being too big. The rest of the shorts fits smoothly against my hips and thighs, finishing with a lettuce edge hem to give it an almost “frilly” look.
Overall, I’m a big fan of this set and of Impish Lee in general. As I said before, I adore the freedom of being able to design your set entirely to your own desires. Their good size range plus the fact that this bralette fits me better than any other I’ve tried so far makes it a complete winner in my book. Now I’m just sad that I can’t currently wear it at 36 weeks pregnant…although I have spotted a very tempting customisable nursing bralette style on their Instagram recently!
Little Cup – Longline Bralette in a 30D with Tap Shorts
Sian and I had the MOST fun designing these sets, which I like to think are on just the right side of matchy matchy! We’re both big fans of Lara Intimates, and my mesh crop top from them is my go-to comfort bra. So when Impish Lee offered us the chance to design our own sets, we both leapt at the mesh as soon as we saw it!
I don’t see much green lingerie on the market, especially in more olive or khaki tones, but these are colours that I absolutely love. I also think that they can look great against a very variety of different skin tones. I wanted to go with an olive green for the majority of the set, and accented that with brown / golden fabrics to achieve a pretty neutral, natural look overall. And I LOVE how it turned out! The colours pair perfectly together, and although the little pop of velvet on the tap shorts was my slightly risky choice, I think it works really well. It transforms the bottoms from underwear into slightly more versatile lounge / pyjama style shorts. I was only disappointed, in terms of customisation, by the limited choice of colour for the straps. I went for the black option, which does tone fairly well, but would have loved a brown to go better with the rest of the design.
In terms of fit, my 30D Bralette is pretty much perfect – although I have to echo Sian’s sentiments on the on / off struggle! It’s not a particularly elegant wriggle to get into this baby. I think over time it has got a little stretchier, but certainly in the beginning I was almost afraid I would tear it when putting it on and taking it off. Having said that, the bralette shows absolutely no signs of wear and tear, even after months of pretty consistent usage and washing. The fabrics and craftsmanship in the garment are clearly excellent!
Unlike Sian, I actually find the cups a pretty perfect fit (once I’ve got it on!). There isn’t any gaping or cutting in, and I find the lower cut of the Bralette on the cups to be a particularly good fit for me. Whilst I do have to make sure the band is pulled as far down as possible once on, I don’t experience any flipping up or folding in, like I have done in other styles. I find the band itself sits just below my ribcage, and once I’ve wriggled it into the right spots, it sits there nice and snugly for the rest of the day.
For the shorts, I chose a size 8 US, which equates to my usual UK size 12. They’re a great fit, and I love the casual vintage vibe in this design. Part of me does slightly regret not choosing a less sheer fabric for the bottoms, as I’d love to be able to wear these as PJs – and they’re just on the inappropriate side of sheer!
What I definitely notice above and beyond other brands, especially those who offer customisable options, is the finish on this set. There isn’t a single stray thread or seam out of place; the attention to detail in the finish of the garments is fantastic. You certainly get value for money in terms of quality; I’d expect this set to last me many years to come. Even though (and maybe I shouldn’t admit this!) I’ve been washing it in the machine in my normal load (although I do at least use a delicates bag!)
My only regret is that I played it pretty safe and didn’t choose any crazy metallic or sequin styles…but then again, there’s always birthdays, right?!