So this is another “Bra that doesn’t fit” technically…I tend to be doing this more recently, oops! I know I’m a stickler for bra fit, but I’m also all about believing that people should be comfortable in their bras and wearing something they love. So sometimes that means that I’m happier to sister size and get something I really like the look of rather than leave it behind, so kill me!
I purchased this bra from Debenhams shortly before Christmas. Ben and I had been to various shops, and I was in one of those moods where I wanted to buy something, and usually that something constitutes bras. Our most local Debenhams isn’t a big one so it doesn’t stock a large range of bras or sizes. I’ve never seen a 28 band in there, so although Debenhams sells them online and in some stores, I’ve never actually bought one in store. On this trip, I spotted a few 30 bands (and there’s a review of one of these to come too!), but the majority were in smaller cup sizes than I need.
The Gorgeous range at Debenhams has never really caught my eye before recently. I’ve owned a few of their bras before but never posted about them as they were really very basic ones – like day to day wear, but not particularly pretty or notable. But this trip was different – various styles caught my eye! I tried on several and ended up buying 2 – the one I mentioned before, then this beautiful black lace “balcony” bra.
Appearance & Shape
Is it just me, or is this bra quite beautiful?! I lightened the picture above so that you could see the detail slightly more, but the cups are non padded and unlined, made of a soft tulle in 3 cup pieces with a layer of delicate lace sandwiched between the tulle. The fabrics are very soft and delicate, and I love the fact that you’re getting a good sheer material in a DD+ cup, which can be difficult to find.
The bra is described as a balcony bra, but to be honest, I would call this a plunge. The cups angle more sharply down towards the gore than a balcony normally would, and the gore isn’t as tall as balcony would be. I also like the fact that the bottom of the gore comes up in a triangle along the band – this shape in the band is known as a gothic arch (something I want to learn to sew next!).
The uplift effect in the bra is quite small due to the soft cups and 3 part shape, but it works well enough for me. It’s quite a natural shape, but slightly rounded with no pointed apex at all.
The bra fastens at the back with three sets of two hooks. The straps are picot elastic, as is the band elastic, and they’re fully adjustable. It’s also got a little bow on the gore, but to be honest, I would be happy with this style without the bow as I find the sheer cup material a nice, simple design that doesn’t need more than the lace that’s “inside” the cups. In fact, I may even remove it and use it for sewing!
Size, fit & comfort
As I said, technically this bra doesn’t really fit. It’s a 32F, when my usual size is a 28GG/30G. This means that it’s around 2 band sizes larger than I usually wear and a cup size smaller. I chose it because it was PRETTY, on sale and the only nearby size they had to mine. The band is definitely too big, as you can see by the fact that I’m fastening it on the tightest hooks and it’s still riding up a bit (it gets progressively worse over the day too as the elastic stretches out). But luckily the cups fit quite well. I think because the band is a little big, it gives me some leeway in the cups too, and it’s also helped by the fact that the top cup edge is quite open – it doesn’t have an elastic edge, it’s simply the cup material folded over on itself to almost create a “lining”.
I find that I need to tighten the straps on this bra quite a bit more than I normally would on my bras, perhaps they’re made longer as the band size increases?! It’s probably also due to the fact the band is pulling upwards slightly, so there’s less strap needed. As you can see though, they do slightly dig at my shoulders as they’re taking more weight than the straps normally should do since the band isn’t doing as much work.
I mentioned the gothic arch in the gore above – what this means is that instead of one long strip of elastic across the band, it’s separated into two pieces which cross over underneath the gore. Not only does this look pretty (in my opinion, it gives a bra less of a “fuller busted scaffolding” look, and more of a bandless and dainty bra look), but it also makes it a lot more comfortable for me as it sits higher on my rib cage and doesn’t dig in at all – as I have a flared rib cage, this can help a lot!
I’m not wearing matching knickers with this – they’re just this old lace pair from F&F. I discovered these a few years ago then bought them in various colours – I find them to be a flattering fit on me and are super comfortable, as well as matching with almost anything. I pretty much wear them with anything that isn’t a matching set, or just anything in general, even if it does have a matching part because I’m lazy like that!
So you can buy the Gorgeous DD+ Black Lace Balcony bra at Debenhams for £22.50. It’s available in sizes 30-40, DD-H, although some of those are now out of stock.