NAS Round 2: Bra Reviews

Joy, this one is for you! 

For others -- Joy had mentioned that her standby favourite bras were not on sale this year and could I say something about the ones I chose. So here's the scoop (ah...so to speak...)

First, for reference, I am a really small size. 30D or 30C, depending. Which means my choices are automatically quite limited. My girls are self-supporting but not terribly full on top and although technically I could probably get away with a bralette, I feel better with an underwire bra. Also, I am widely spaced, which limits my choices still more. Oh! And I like my bras to be a little bit pretty.  (Sorry if that is TMI). 

I made my choices after carefully reading reviews and taking a close look at the design details of the various options in my size. And lo and behold, I got lucky! 

I ordered and kept the following: 

Simone Perele "Caressence 3D" in the larger of my sizes. This was not part of the NAS but my size happened to be available on sale in a fun colour  (fuchsia!!) and I know it fits because I already own one. This is a lovely bra, extremely well made and comfortable. I am just on the edge of being big enough for it. (It does not come in a smaller size). When  new, it fits perfectly.

(I'm actually thinking about making a strap alteration to my older one to deal with the stretch...the rest of the bra is still in fabulous shape. The straps look good but there is more give in them, if you know what I mean...has anybody done this?) 

Wacoal "La Femme". This one is snug in the band, which is perfect for me. (I'm probably actually a 29, but that's not easy to find, to say the least.) I ordered the larger of my sizes and it's perfect. Not padded, just molded. 

Natori Feathers: Again in my larger size. This one is very comfortable now but I am wondering how supportive it will be over time. It gets rave reviews, though, so I decided to give it a go. 

Betsy Johnson Stocking Stripe: Ordered the smaller of my two sizes in pink. After I had already made the order, Elle mentioned that the pink was too pink. She's right -- it's kind of bubblegum. But weirdly enough, I like it. :)  If I'm going to be a tomboy on top, I can still be a girly-girl underneath, right?  This one is just on the verge of being too small for me but the cup design means that there is no unseemly spillage and it is super comfortable and lightweight. 

I also ordered but returned the Calvin Klein "Seductive Comfort." The larger of my two sizes was actually too small in this. There was padding in it, which I didn't care for. The band wouldn't stay flush with my chest and I was getting cup spillage (a novelty for me, let me tell you!!) 

I also bought some undies. Natori to go with the bra, and some DKNY "Fusion" briefs in colours to go with some of the other things. Plus a few Shimera tank tops. 

I feel very well supported!  :) And how good it felt to toss the old worn out bras!! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

38 Comments

  • marianna replied 6 years ago

    Great review. I also purchased and wear the Wacoal La Femme and can vouch for its quality and longevity.

  • E replied 6 years ago

    Oh yay! I actually already ordered the Natori Feathers in 3 sizes to see if I can finally find a bra that works. Your report makes me hopeful. :)

  • Mo replied 6 years ago

    I've tried many of these, and have looked at the others debating whether to buy!  I think Joy has my Caressence that was half a size off for me.  
    I also find Calvin is weirdly sized lately.  Used to be I could do 32C with them or 30D but these days a 32D barely fits.  Their size charts back this up.  As 27 or 28 underbust, they put me in a 32 in their brand.  
    Not on this list, but a great buy for me lately, was Felina Body Luxe strapless in 32C.  I returned a Chantelle the Nordie's lady put me in for this one.  $60 less.   

  • kellygirl replied 6 years ago

    This is a great review! I'm wide set too and rather flat chested so you've given me some great ideas. Thanks for doing the research!

  • Lisa replied 6 years ago

    Excellent review.  I replenish my bras, undies and PJs every year at NAS.  The Chantelle t-shirt bras are my go to (I'm a 32C) bra.  And the Felina undies in the boyshort are my favorite full coverage undies as they fit my pear shape bottom  better than boyshorts usually do.  While the hanky panky thongs are my favorite thong style.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Lisa, thanks for that. I wish the Chantelle came in my size. They make a lovely bra! 

    Kelly, hope it helps!

    Mo, that's so interesting about your experience with Calvin Klein. And it's always great to get another recommendation!

    E, I hope the Feathers works for you. I think there is a reasonable chance that it will. 

    Marianna, great to know you like that Wacoal! 

  • Beth replied 6 years ago

    Great review, Suz! You hit the jackpot with fun undies. :) 

    I tried two NAS bras on this year. I'm a 32D and like to keep the girls locked and loaded so to speak. :)

    The Natori Feathers bra in navy was absolutely beautiful and fit like a dream, but just wasn't supportive enough for my preference, with quite a bit of bounce. I think it's because I'm slightly full on top and the bra has a very deep plunge. It killed me to send it back as it was so pretty, but I decided the jiggle factor would make me nuts. If you don't mind some movement or are a smaller size, this is a fantastic option.

    I also tried the Chantelle C-Chic Sexy bra in the watermelon color. It provided more control, but ran a cup size small, and by the time I received it in the mail, the 32DD size was sold out. It's a very pretty bra, with good support and seaming and the quality was equivalent to other Chantelle bras I've had.

  • Gigi replied 6 years ago

    I'm with Kelly—sounds like our busts our similar, so this thread will be helpful when my current bras bite the dust. :)

    I have never done a strap alteration, but it sounds like a good idea. That bra costs enough that you would still come out quite a bit ahead financially over buying a new one, I'm guessing.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Yes, Gigi. I agree. If the strap alteration would give it a few months more, it would be worth it. My current bra is a year and a half old already and I've worn it a lot, but I think there might be more life in it yet! 

    Beth, that's a great review. I think the Feathers runs on the small side and I agree it's not super supportive -- that's probably what makes it so comfortable, LOL!  I'm hoping it will be enough for me, but we'll see. 

    I love the Chantelle -- so pretty. I think Sveta is trying it. I didn't think it would fit me because of the band size. 

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    I have the SP (the first photo) in the rose - I love it on me too & I'm of the larger variety cup sizes :) :) 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Caro, I think it's a really lovely design that I can see working on all types of shapes. Also the fabric is more forgiving and adaptable than typical "molded" bras. I like that about it. 

  • Mona replied 6 years ago

    Out of curiosity Suz, how long did you use your first SP bra before the elastic got loose? It is one of the more pricey options and I think it should last longer than others.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Mona, I used it for about a year, in rotation with two others. I think the issue is that I am just BARELY able to fit it in the first place -- I need to have the straps adjusted almost to their tightest setting or I'm not able to fill the top of the cups. (The band is not super tight on me, either, but it is fine.) Someone who was either larger breasted or TALLER than I am (or both) would have room to play with, with the straps. The way the cups work, they sort of magically expand to fit your size. But I'm already that size, if you know what I mean. Expansion is not a good idea in my case!! 

    I honestly think this bra is well worth the price (especially the sale price) for anybody who is a bit larger than I am, and obviously I thought it was worth it for me, too, because I bought another. The comfort combined with support is amazing on it. 

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Suz ,thank you for this valuable information. I'm also a 30D with a 29" actual under bust measurement and small enough not to need support. I do have a couple of the Betsy Johnson Stocking Stripe bras in a flesh tone and black. They are comfortable but the little bows show on me with sleeveless tops because the straps seem especially wide set, so I wear them more in winter. I returned one of these once because it was a nude-pink with black bows and the bows showed through light colored tops that I wanted to wear with the bra.
    I did buy a Simon Perele bra from Mo but it was a 30DD and I didn't fill it out. I ended up passing it on to a friend's daughter who fits it perfectly and loves it.
    I've yet to catch a sale on these with a 30D size.
    Maybe I'll try the Natori Feathers. I have a different Natori style from the Rack in a pretty coral. It's a 32C and fits ok on the tightest hooks, but will be too big soon.
    I'm sorry about the Calvin Klein sizing. That explains why the last one I bought didn't fit although my usual size. I thought it was because it was strapless.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Oh oh...I have a Calvin Klein strapless in my cart. I really need a strapless bra!! Have you found one that works for you, Joy

    The Natori is nice but does not provide a ton of support, as Beth said. I almost think I'm on the verge of not fitting it (in my larger size) but we'll see how things go. I have to admit it is really comfortable. 

    That is interesting about the bows on the Betsy. I was wearing a sleeveless top yesterday and they didn't show -- but the armhole was cut quite high. I seem to do well with a fairly wide set strap -- that was one feature I actually looked for. The Simone Perele straps are not quite wide enough for me and the spacing in front is on the edge of being too narrow, also -- I can just get away with it. I may try another style of theirs to see if I can find a better fit from the company. 

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for the review , Suz! As you already know I am on the market for bras complete with new fitting. This information is very helpful because I am afraid I am going to be a size close to yours (now I am 34C and swimming in them so I suspect 34B or 32C  or B will be my new one). Unfortunately this will just cross a threshold into "smaller" size which si not always available from all brands! :-( 
    Also you description of your "girls" is pretty much fits mine so I am going to try all your selections if they are available in the store.
    Who know, we maybe twins once again  - this time "down under"! :-)

  • Diana replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for the review! I'm always looking for good wide-set bras. I've tried a lot of bras lately that technically fit but were...ah... A bit TOO supportive for me (as in, they gave a very locked-and-loaded, pointy look). I really like the look of the Betsy. Maybe I'll check it out.

    Here's one that's pretty and worked well for my wide set shape (and did NOT make me look pointy). The cup runs small so I went up one cup size (band is true though).

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    That one is super pretty, Diana, thank you!! 

    Sveta, I wonder if you will need to go down in band size, too? I did....

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    Yes, this is what I suspect too. I was wearing 34C before so very well may be 32C (I hope) or even 32B now ( :-( )  - desperately need that fitting!
    BTW, this post is very dangerous to read at work! :-)

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Ooooh. Great undies capsule, Suz. It's SUCH a good feeling to wear fabulous bras and knickers. I love it. Thanks for the reviews. Here are some of my faves. 

    Enjoy your pretty new undies. xo

  • kellygirl replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, Diana. It's funny because I picked up a strapless bra by tempt'd by Wacoal. I had been looking with no avail and happened onto this brand in TJMaxx. I had zero hope that it would be fit but I tried it any way and guess what? It fit. I was floored. Now, I'm tempted to try their bras with straps. 

  • Mo replied 6 years ago

    Kelly, I have some B'tempt'd B'wowed push up bras. I have 30D and 30DD because I am of course between sizes as always.  They have encased underwires and laser cut edges like the iBras did.  Convertible straps, too.  Very comfy.  But the bands do stretch out after a bit.  http://www.herroom.com/b-tempt.....tm_medium=

  • Diana replied 6 years ago

    Kelly, you know it's funny.  I have never been able to fit into normal Wacoal bras, so I suspect the b'tmpted line may be cut to different fit models or something. 

    And is it just me, or have American bras really improved lately?  For a long time, I only bought French bras, which are lovely but very expensive and hard to find in the US (Chantelles never worked for me and that's really the only French brand you can regularly get here).  But lately I have had some luck with American brands again.  And I'm lucky to be an extremely standard size, but I've noticed a lot more extended sizes recently too, at least online. 

  • kkards replied 6 years ago

    another vote for the Betsey Johnson bra's (i'm also a 30D), super comfortable. to Joy's point---those pink bows, for me, they where super annoying. i actualy to a seam ripper to the bra's to take them off (sown to well to just use scissors)

  • E replied 6 years ago

    *impatiently checks tracking number*

    2 more days before my Nordstrom package arrives...

    The Feathers bra discussion has me more and more hopeful! I often have an issue in that the bottom of the bra first perfectly, but the top has too much fabric, so I'm getting very excited.

    Also bookmarking this thread as reference for future bra shopping attempts!

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Suz, the strapless bra ( comes with optional straps) that the Nordstrorm fitter found for me is Le Mystere, an underwire molded cup. It is stretched out some and needs replacing. I can't read the size on the tag. It seems like the SA told me that one buys strapless in a different size.
    I found that I do have what I think is the Natori Feathers in bright red from the Rack and the 30D fits well. There is no style name on the tag.
    I have thought of taking the bows off the Betsy Johnson bras but decided that I bought them in the first place to have something pretty, less plain. So hard to find in 30D.

  • kellygirl replied 6 years ago

    Just chiming back in to let you know that I had a successful bra shopping day. I ended up with the Betsey Johnson and the Natori Jaquard. They didn't have the Wacoal 'Ciao Bella'  in stock but I think I'm going to order it to try. I seem to be on a roll :) The Natori Feathers was a little too closely set for me but I tried!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Kelly, that's fantastic!! So glad you got some! That Betsy Johnson seems to be quite a good fit for its price! And I'm tempted to try the Jacquard underwire by Natori next time, too. 

    Joy, good thinking on the bows. You're so right -- it's not easy to find pretty at this size. It's not easy to find this size, period! 

  • kellygirl replied 6 years ago

    Thank you, Suz! Your review gave me confidence to give it a try. If you can order it from across the border, I can surely try locally! I also bought a strapless bra by CK. I tried a Chantelle which was great except that I couldn't fill it out properly. The CK fit is perfect but it doesn't feel as supportive as the Chantelle with the wider strap in the back. The SA assured me that it is a great fit at a great price point. I don't wear strapless often but I needed a nude one. 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Me, too! Well, I wonder if that one might work for me. I may just pop it in my bag to give it a try -- thank you for the recommendation! 

  • jackiec replied 6 years ago

    Still LOL about trying things on in a lumber yard :)

    Nice haul. I really don't think I could do bras online. Your comment knocked me off my chair when you said you're a really small size at a C or D. Ok I get that the band is on the smaller size, but some days I'd give my right eye to not be an AA or A....

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Jackie....as the band size goes down, the cup size goes down correspondingly. In other words, a C or D is not as big on a 30 band as it is on the 36 band...um...to say the least. It's really a lot smaller than you might expect! Like, um...a lot!! 

    Also...for years I had been wearing a 32 or even a 34 band in a B or an A. Little did I understand that this was a terrible fit for me. I might get away with it with a soft cup (no underwire) type of bra (although there's zero support for me in a band that size...all support would be coming from the straps.) But with underwires, the wires would not be in the right places. No wonder they hurt! 

  • Diana replied 6 years ago

    Just wanted to add my review of the Betsy Johnson stocking stripe bra. I ordered it after reading this thread. So, 2 days ago. It was waiting for me when I got home tonight. Fastest Nordstrom shipping ever! (it came from the Natick store apparently).

    So, the review. It is comfy, very lightweight and the cups are indeed wide set enough for me. I like that its convertible. However, I'm sending it back for a few reasons. First and most importantly, I can't shorten the straps enough. I am *extremely* short on top and therefore wear my bra straps very short. Because its convertible, the adjustable part of the strap only goes halfway up the back. The straps are also incredibly stretchy so I worry they will stretch more. I also think the band is too stretchy. It's way stretchier than my other bras. I could easily fit a band size down but then the cups would be too close together. And lastly, the material feels really odd, kind of rubbery. it's frankly kind of gross to touch, and I think clothes might cling.

  • Elly replied 6 years ago

    Suz--- If I am not mistaken Chantelle offers many styles in a 30 D or 30 C. They just aren't carried by Nordies, but I can readily buy them elsewhere in the states online.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Elly - thank you -- that is good to know. When I was fitted in Toronto they didn't have that band size either, but that doesn't mean it does not exist. I can look into it. The online ordering becomes pretty tricky if you aren't completely sure how a style fits, though -- unless you can find reviews. 

    Diana, thanks for adding your review. I do agree that the fabric of the Betsy Johnson feels a bit flimsy and weird. Totally hear you on that! LIke you, I was a bit repulsed by it also at the beginning. But then I put it on with a shirt and for some reason it felt okay. I think I might have been wowed by the overall comfort of the bra.  But I also agree that it feels as if it might stretch out faster than other bras I own. I figure it doesn't hurt to give it a try and see.

    I guess what I liked was the comfort (partially explained by high stretch) and also the fact that it felt light. And what I disliked was the fabric and the fact that it seemed light! So-- two sides of the same coin, maybe. 

  • Elly replied 6 years ago

    Suz-- you can always try a 32 c on and clip the band tighter in the  back then order your size-- I find with Chantelle bras that is one style in their sub-line fits, all the other similar cuts in that subline are the same. For example, I wear their C sexy Chic line and their memory foam and seamed bras both fit perfectly. I have a similar chest type but am 2-3 sizes bigger.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Elly, that is really helpful -- thank you. I will check it out. I love the quality of their bras.

  • jackiec replied 6 years ago

    Suz...aha...very helpful actually. I'd like to just have a bra that says I'm a C. I'd get a laugh out of that - maybe just a lil' old boost of confidence ;)
    My band circumference is pretty broad so I'm stuck with the wider band, smaller cup size. Oh well. As I age I'm more and more fine with it. Thanks for the helpful reviews though.

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