More than anything else, we love finding exciting new brands with innovative designs and an interesting story to tell you about. Lara Intimates, based in Soho in London, is all of that and more—and we can’t wait to share their GORGEOUS lingerie with you!
Char was lucky enough to coincidentally be in London when one of Lara’s ‘fitting parties’ was going on, so she popped by to check it out…you might have seen her Instagram stories! (Follow us on Instagram here if you missed out but want to see more in future – we also shared “behind the scenes” BCLC photoshoot shots last week!) With a glass of wine in hand and some beautiful lingerie to try on, she found out all about the founders behind the brand, what they’re trying to do differently, and how these lovely pieces fit.
Please excuse the quality of some of the images, they were taken on a phone.
Lara Intimates was born earlier in 2017, after its co-founders met whilst studying at London College of Fashion. They’ve formed Lara with some incredible ethics at its heart (ethics very close to our own heart!!): true fit and sustainability. All of their pieces are made onsite, at their Soho studio (which, incidentally, you have to walk through a busy pub to get to….love it!!) This means zero wastage; they even claim that due to their amazing cutting techniques, it’ll probably take up to a year for any of their ‘waste’ fabric from patterns to have enough to make into a new garment. Considering that almost 10% of all fabric used in the fashion industry ends up as waste, rather than in a garment, we think Lara’s practice is INCREDIBLE.
All the fabric used in their lingerie is reclaimed fabric that comes as waste from larger factories, which would otherwise have ended up in landfill. Crazy, considering it’s some of the most beautiful, soft fabric we’ve seen in a collection. Interesting side note, though; when I was touring the studio I found out that the pieces made in black are slightly less soft than the others. Why? Because the black has been dyed: the fabrics which now make up Lara’s black collection were originally the funky colours that no one wanted!! So why not give a funky, reclaimed fabric a home and adopt a black garment!!
Lara’s other great love is a true fit. As soon as we heard this, we were like—yep, this brand’s for us! They try really hard to provide the perfect fit for their customers (more on why this is so important in their garments, especially, later in the review), and so host fitting parties at their studio, and also feature a pretty handy online calculator on their site. If possible, I’d recommend paying them a visit to find your true fit before ordering: if nothing else, you’ll meet some brilliant women and get a cheeky glass of wine to boot!
Review: Crop Top in 30
As soon as I saw the designs on the website, I was totally in love. These classic but innovative styles are so interesting, wearable, and gorgeous: it was so hard to pick a piece! I ended up, initially, asking to try to the Coral bra in blue, but after visiting the studio ended up settling on the Crop Top in grey. I’m a big fan of crop tops, given my 30Ds don’t always need an underwired level of support, and I’m a huge fan of a comfortable lounging piece. I’m always on the lookout for something that can effectively combine comfort and style, and Lara’s crop top does all of that and more. Probably my current favourite piece: certainly my most worn, for this fortnight, at least!
Sizing, Fit and Comfort
So I was measured in-house at one of Lara Intimate’s fitting parties, using the same calculator that they feature online to calculate your size. To find your size, it’s a classic case of measuring underbust and overbust, and then inputting those numbers. Voila! Your bra size is spit out.
Now, obviously, at this point most women exclaim: a 30D? Surely not! I’ve been wearing a 34B all of my life!
Obviously, I had said revelation a few years ago now, so I’m smug in the knowledge that I’m pretty au fait on my measurements and how they translate into a bra size.
Interestingly, my measurements popped me out at a 30DD according to the Lara fit scale. At this point, I did give a little warning. My measurements can be a little deceptive. Yes, I often ‘technically’ measure in at a DD or D cup size, but in fit that isn’t actually always the best. From years of experience (of having my own boobs), I think this is probably due to the fact that I have fairly ‘shallow’ breast tissue, and am heavier beneath: meaning that especially full cup styles are difficult for me to fill—no matter what the boob calculator says! But I dutifully tried a 30DD which, to everyone’s surprise (apart from me), didn’t fit, and wrinkled over the cups.
Here’s why it’s so important to calculate correctly when ordering from Lara: the fabric and design. They’re supremely beautiful, but you’ve got nowhere to hide with that sheer fabric, soft cup style, and intricate layered designs. If you don’t fill the cups, they’ll wrinkle. If you’re too big for the cups, the ‘banding’ (not the band, I mean the banding / lines on the cups themselves) will dig in and cause some quad-boobing.
After a couple of trials, we settled on a 30D for me in Lara Intimates, my usual size.
And here’s where it gets even MORE interesting, or complicated! The crop top is only measured in band sizes rather than cups – ie. 28, 30, 32. When my beautiful crop top popped up in the post, it was a 30 band, as discussed. The crop tops aren’t made according to cup size, only band size. And unfortunately, I think the 28 would probably have fit me better! Although this bra dos technically fit, there isn’t much mileage for me in the band. I’m already on the tightest setting on the hooks and eyes, and there is PLENTY of give in that band. It’s perfectly comfortable, but if you’re looking for an extra level of support, I would think carefully about what band size you wear, and if you find yourself in-between sizes or, like me, you sometimes measure in at a 28 but prefer the comfort of a 30, then size down in this style. There is plenty of elasticity to see you through.
Beautifully comfortable, but if I was ordering again, I’d go for the size 28 in this style.
And just to note, I did try on other styles whilst at the studio, and found that my usual 30D was perfect in those designs. I especially loved their underwired option (who’da thunk it?!).
The crop top I tried on in their Soho Studio: pictured here in a 28 band, which actually fit better!
The Delilah underwired bra in a 30D: the perfect fit!
Shape & Appearance
Quite a few of Lara’s designs feature this sort of ‘bra within a bra’ look, and I love that! I’ve never seen anything quite like it in terms of design or execution, and the overall effect is understand, sophisticated, and truly stylish. Both of the styles pictured above can peek out of lower cut clothing, and they give a stunning extra detail to an outfit. Love love love.
The bra literally functions as two bras in one; there’s no skimping here! Although I do frequently attempt to put it on inside out…but I guess that’s maybe a testament to how beautifully made it is, that I often mistake the inside for the out?! Anyway, it’s that layering that provides enough support and coverage, and gives the lovely dual neckline. It almost looks athletic to me, but in a ‘I’m sporty, but definitely not off to play sports’ kind of way. If that makes any sense to anyone. I also love the way it looks from the back. That is, it’s backless. I’m a big fan of most backless garments, and I really love how elegantly this is executed in the design. One of those times when you just want to kiss your fingers and take your hat off to the designer.
As you can probably tell from all the photos, I’m a big fan of their grey, but I did try on other colours! The grey is a gorgeous muted graphite, almost verging on blue. A really lovely shade. And worthwhile repeating, here, just how soft this fabric is. It’s so wearable, you could accidentally wear it to bed and not even notice…
After our huge Instagram dump on the day I visited their studio, we had some questions about the bras ‘minimising’ capabilities. I’m not a huge expert on minimisers, but I can say that do notice some minimising qualities going on here—for my breast type, at least. It certainly doesn’t ‘boost’ or ‘pad’, and obviously there’s no cleavage.