In the run up to a iviery big day (my wedding, eek!), I mentioned that I’d be doing a few bridal and wedding related posts, including reviews, guides and wish lists. So here is the first of these, a review of a “solution” bra for under The Dress.
As you might expect, I’m keeping my dress something of a secret; the other half has only been told that it’s lime green with an orange trim ;D In actual fact, I won’t be wearing a bra under my dress. I had my fitting a couple of weeks ago and they’re going to be sewing cups into my dress, but I may have these removed as the bodice has boning. Considering that I’d worried quite a bit before finding a wedding dress that I’d be limited in my choice thanks to my small band, large bust size, I was really surprised by this!
Nevertheless, the vast majority of wedding dresses often need some sort of solution lingerie underneath, whether that’s a simple strapless bra, a backless one, a stick-on bra, or even simply shape wear knickers or bodies.
So first up, I’m reviewing the Vivisence Kate Backless bra. I was sent this by Other Eden to review. Other Eden are an online brand that were new to us, but who offer a number of lesser known European brands; Vivisence is their own brand. The Vivisence Kate bra is currently available in sizes 32 C-F, 34 A-F, 36 B-E and 38 B-D for £15.90 to £16.49, depending on size.
Shape & Appearance
First up, the obvious! This is a beige bra that acts as a nude shade on my skin tone (it is also available in white or black). What makes it so unique is the fact that it doesn’t have a band like a normal bra – instead, the wings narrow under the arm to the point at which they attach to a long strap at the back. These straps wrap around the body from either side, crossing over low at the back and fastening at the front with a small plastic clip. The straps are also removable at the wings.
In addition to this, the shoulder straps are detachable at the front and back, meaning they can be worn crossed at the back (or the front, I presume actually!). Technically you could remove these and wear it strapless, I guess, but I’m not entirely sure it would stay in place at all!
The cups are foam and made up of two parts, with a single seam horizontally across the middle of the cup. It also came with removable foam pads which I removed immediately due to the size (more on this in a second!). The shape for me, even without the pads, is very pushed up, with a “buttcrack” cleavage (as I hesitate to call it!).
It also has a plunging neckline with a small and low gore, not often seen in fuller bust sizes. The gore is topped with a small matching ribbon bow.
Size, fit & comfort
When I was asked to pick something to review from Other Eden, I initially went to filter their options by my usual 28GG/30G size (65G in most European brands). As I wasn’t quite sure on the fit of several of the brands they stock, I asked the advice of the company what size would be best based on my measurements – with my current 69cm underbust, 94cm full bust, I was suggested 32F/G in most of their models. To be honest, I was hesitant because it sounds a way off my usual size, but I decided to go with it, especially since the bra I really wanted to try – the Vivisence Kate – had the 32F as the largest cup size/smallest band size combo!
While this bra fits me well enough, it’s not an ideal fit. The cups with the removable pads were definitely too small, but with the pads removed, they fit much better. They are still on the small side, as you can see from the slight overspill and the gore not sitting entirely flat, so I think I could do with going up a cup size in this one, but for a “solution” bra, it works really well for me.
As an explanation, being a more unusual bra size, I fully understand that I’m not going to ever get a bra that’s strapless or has straps in unusual places (ie. low back) to fit me perfectly as traditional bras have been designed so carefully to distribute weight, give support and create the shape we look for – moving the straps or removing them entirely will only compromise that fit. So getting something that fits as well as this in a solution bra is a surprise for me!
The band size is more difficult to judge as the straps are fully adjustable over the shoulders and around the body. This means that I could pull them quite tight in order to get the bra to fit my waist which is comparatively much smaller than the rest of my body.
It does feel a little odd to have your bra fastened around your waist, but it’s definitely a very good solution for those low back wedding dresses and other clothes. I’ve worn it with a low backed top already and found it comfortable. The only tiny issue I could point out (aside from the size not being perfect) is that the fastening at the front is made out of clear plastic, so I wonder how well it will stand up to the test of time. Although to be fair, a solution bra like this most likely wouldn’t get a lot of wear.
And one final point – it wasn’t until I wrote this review that I went back to look at the price and was really surprised to see it’s below £20. I can barely find a normal bra in my size range at this price anywhere, let alone a solution one! For the price, I think this is a really reasonable solution bra option. I’d definitely like to try out other Vivisence bras now in a slightly better size to see how well they’d work for me, as they all seem to be around £20 – very affordable!