I have a love-hate relationship with bras. Back in pre-child days, with my carefree firm and perky still twenty-something breasts I often scorned bra wearing, even with my not insubstantial 10D or 12C bust… those babies basically defied gravity and my only real issue was whether it was a cold day or not. Fast forward to my early thirties, post pregnancy and breastfeeding my daughter for two ad half years… well, we’re not even talking about the same pair here any more! My comfort zone has become the push up and gel enhanced wonder that takes the deflated balloons and gives them lift and substance. When I’m wearing my bra armour, they still look quite impressive! But basically, I take my boobs off at the end of the night. Or, to be perfectly honest, as soon as I get home… because I’ve always found bras to be quite restricting and uncomfortable.
I love the look of vintage undergarments… AND the sound of a bra that looked pinup and sexy but was also comfortable – as many of the vintage reproduction and bullet bra styles are sans underwire. However the thought of an unpadded and not super lifting bra also terrified me somewhat… I felt a little naked just thinking about loosing my breasts in so brazen a way! So it was with some trepidation that I began my exploration into the vintage repro bra…
First up is the Rago Style 2191 Satin & Lace Fashion Bra, in red and black. I purchased mine here, from Pinup Girl Clothing. I love all of my Rago shapewear, so I was quite optimistic that this was going to be a comfortable, quality and supportive garment.
And I was not disappointed! I really like this bra. It is very comfortable, gives good support and the black and red is very attractive. Combined with the girdle and stockings it gives a really great sexy retro look. I like how it gives a nice retro shape under clothing without being overly pointy. This is a good every day bra, however I wouldn’t wear it under anything with a lower neckline, as it is full coverage and although supportive, is hardly cleavage enhancing! And I like the girls to have a good boost under anything lower cut 🙂
Secrets and Lace has an amazing range of retro and vintage style lingerie, shapewear and of course – stockings. They also have some exclusive limited edition Rago items that aren’t available anywhere else! I was beyond excited to discover their Bettie Page collection – a glamorous range of vintage inspired lingerie, shapewear, stocking and night wear that you could see Bettie herself wearing! Of course, the collection features a lot of leopard! I decided to try the Bettie Leopard Plunge Bra and the Bettie Bullet Bra. Going by their size charts and self measuring, I would have been a 36D. However converting my size from NZ to US sizing I would go from a 10D/12C (I vary depending on the bra) to a 32D/34C. I decided to stick with the direct conversion my NZ size and ordered the Plunge Bra in a 34C and the Bullet Bra in both a 32D and 34C (in 2 different colours since they were on sale!)
I LOVE this bra. It is very comfortable, even with the underwire and has soft, wide supportive straps. The style is very low cut, but the peek-a-boo pink covers just enough to not be indecent! Even so, I don’t get a feeling of spilling out of the cups, it feels nice and firm on. For someone not used to wearing a vintage shaped bra yet, this style is the closest looking to a modern bra, especially under clothes, so I have been wearing this almost every day. It is very uplifting (and cleavage enhancing!) and I hardly notice the absence of the extra padding I am used to.
Now, onto the bullet bras. I actually couldn’t see much of a difference in the sizes, both fit well. Which makes sense, because of how bra sizing works, the 32D and 34C are the same cup size. The 34C I had to do up on the tightest hook at the back, the 32D the midde hook. I have seen many pictures of bullet bras on, but wearing one was quite a lot different than I expected. They are really pointy! I kind of expected more of a rounded cone, these really shape the breast into… well a “bullet” shape. Hmm makes sense I guess! There was a little gap where my boob didn’t quite squish into the end… I’m thinking this is where those bullet bra pads would be used. I really like how it looks from the front, the side view from my modern indoctrinated viewpoint is going to take some getting used to. So far, this is a style I would wear for photoshoot, but I haven’t been brave enough to wear one out under a sweater yet 🙂 I think it’s a style that will definitely grow on me, because the bras are just beautiful to look at as well as being very comfortable and supportive.
Lastly, I will look at the Dominique 7750 Longline Low Back Bra Bustier from Orchard Corset. This isn’t quite in the same category but since I had recently purchased this I thought I’d throw the review into this post! I have a dread of strapless bras… no matter how excellent they are, they can’t defy gravity. Even if it doesn’t fall “down”… when “up” is somewhere near my waist without the holding power of straps, it’s a little disheartening. I just don’t wear anything that requires a strapless bra, or I wear a bolero to cover my straps! However after reading a review of this bustier on one of my favourite blogs, Pinup Persuasion (link here), I thought this might just be the answer to my strapless woes and decided to give it a whirl.
I am fairly sure this is the right size for me, as it fits firmly around the back, and although there is a little extra room in the cups I think the smaller cup size would likely dig in to me. It definitely gives good lift and support, more than a strapless bra – although not as much as a bra with straps. I would wear a strapless dress with this – amazing! However I wouldn’t wear this if I had the option of wearing a bra with straps with my dress choice. There is a bit of a gap around the bottom on me, but I am used to the feeling of a firm fitting girdle now. I would wear a panty girdle underneath this for a special occasion. This would also take care of the slight “muffin” created at the bottom between the bustier and the underwear line. I like how the low back and plunge at the front mean it could be worn under a wide variety of different tops and dresses. All in all, I am very happy with this, and keen to once again get to delve into the world of strapless! Who would have thought!?
The girdle I am wearing in all of the above is the Rago longline open bottom girdle and the stocking are What Katy Did, purchased fro Rita Sue Clothing.
Hope you enjoyed this review!