Thursday 8 December 2011

Review: Bravissimo's Current Offerings

The last time I went into Bravissimo, I tried on their Demi Diva and Parisian Plume bras, which I reviewed here. I also tried out several other bras, some I liked and some I hated. For anyone actually near enough a Bravissimo to go in, I would really recommending making the trip and trying things on there, but for those of you who are forced to order online, I hope it will be helpful to see how these bras compare, at least on my shape.

Bravissimo Bubbles Bra

This is literally the only bra I’ve ever found that made my boobs look like elf shoes. I’ve seen round, I’ve seen droopy, I’ve seen pointy, but I’ve never seen this. This… is an elf shoe.

I also found the pattern to be very ugly in person—like something they’d use as a border around the pages in an 8th grade chemistry textbook. I know some people like it, but it really turned me off. Also, the fabric is really stiff, sort of like the fabric used to make waterproof backpacks.

The good things about this bra? It gets mostly good reviews on the website so I know the shape works well for some people (NOT for my full on top shape) and the pattern is continued on the straps, which is cute, especially if you like colorful stuff. Here's what it looks like on their website... SO different from how it looked in real life.

Bravissimo Bettie Mae Bra

I was pretty impressed by this one. I feel like it’s Bravissimo’s answer to the Freya Deco, but this one comes in a MUCH better range of sizes:

Deco size range

Bettie Mae size range 
I love the fact that the H-J cups are selling out fastest--maybe this will prove to Freya that people wearing these sizes can and do wear plunge bras successfully! 

The fit was good on me—I didn’t have any cutting in, although I was worried it might begin to cut in throughout the day as the velvet ribbon is fairly stiff. It’s also different from the Deco in that it’s not really molded, just padded. Like the Curvy Kate Thrill Me and Tease Me bras, the padding is soft and thin and can be folded like a non-padded bra. Personally I prefer this to the stiff molding in the Deco, so if you, too, are a little freaked out by bras that stand up on their own, this might be a good alternative. My only complaint was that it felt a little weak as I am so used to nonpadded bras with no stretch and this one is a little more forgiving. I think people who like padded/molded bras will love this, though.

I also think this orangey coral shade is an odd one to start with, but I suspect this bra will prove popular enough to be made in other colors later.

Miss Mandalay Vava Bra

Photo on Bravissimo's website
Wow, this ran smaller than anything, ever! I tried it on in a 30HH as there’s no 28J. I would have needed a 30K or something to get my boobs halfway into this one.

On me! Yikes!
It’s very, very stiff and non-forgiving—the opposite of the Betty Mae. If you like the colors and pattern of this one, size up a cup size or two if you can. Otherwise, skip it!

Bravissimo Alana Bra

Ah, the ubiquitous basic bra that fails heinously on me. I haven’t really seen many reviews of this on blogs, but there are tons of positive reviews on the website and it’s their best-selling bra. I can see why—it comes in lots of colors, it’s simple but not boring, and once you know your size in it, you can just buy the new color every season. Honestly, I’ve always dreamed of being able to get a good fit in a big-shot continuity style like this. Unfortunately, the Alana is a no-go for my boobs, and I suspect others with a full-on-top shape will also struggle with it. The upper section is just SO TIGHT!

To be able to fit into this bra, your entire breast needs to be mobile and cooperative enough to be completely INSIDE the bra—it is meant to support the top as well as the bottom. I suspect that’s why they say on the website that the cups run slightly small—because the cut requires people with fuller boobs to size up to avoid massive quadraboob. Because of my shape, I usually need cups that go partway up the breast and rest gently against my boobs. The Alana hopes to serve a larger role in wrangling my boobs. That’s sadly never going to work for me. I technically could size up to get a better fit, but the Alana only goes up to a J in a 28 band, even though it goes up to an L in other band sizes… fail. So if the supposedly ubiquitous Alana is no good on you, don’t feel bad, it doesn’t work for me either.

Bravissimo Boudoir Beau

Since most of Bravissimo’s own-brand bras are modeled after the Alana, I never expect any of them to fit. But, SURPRISE! The Boudoir Beau fits amazingly in my normal size, 28J. I didn’t even need to size up!

Best of all, it gives a really round shape. 

I also find this bra very beautiful. The lace overlay is something that’s easy to find in smaller bras but very rare in larger cups. Although it did cover a lot of my chest, I thought it still looked good. I like red with gray, too. If the Alana fails on you, try this one! You might have better luck—the top section is a lot more stretchy and forgiving. In fact, as I recall, the Boudoir Beau actually predates the Alana. 

That just about sums up everything I tried on--unfortunately, a lot of the bras they sell don't come in my size or a close size. I was still pleased to have a few successes, though.


  1. I laughed at your elf shoe comment! I suspect that if the fabric on that bra wasn't so stiff, it would give a really good, natural shape.

    The Boudoir Beau looks great, I love the natural shape. And it looks really supportive! And I saw that the Fannie Mae's wires didn't go all the way around to your back, that has to be a nice change.

    I love that you post reviews like this, because I for one have no chance to visit a Bravissimo in the near future.

  2. Agreed on the stiff fabric--it's sort of standing up on its own at that pointy bit.
    Actually most of Bravissimo's bras have reasonable-width underwires, which is a nice change and a relief. I didn't take a side photo in the Alana, but you can see in the Boudoir Beau the wires are not too wide.
    Glad the review was helpful! :)

  3. It's nice to see how these bras actually look! Was the Bettie Mae somewhat loose in the band for you? Maybe it's just me, but it looks like the bra may be slipping down a bit on you. That could just be the way it's designed to look, though.

    I tried on the Boudoir Beau when I was at Bravissimo, and I agree, it's a very pretty and even comfy bra. I didn't end up getting it because I really just needed a "wear every day" bra, but I'm keeping it in mind for future purposes!

  4. I found an elf shoe bra recently, too, but I only just now got the words for it from you! I think it was the Freya Lyla 4302.

    I just tweeted links to this post and your Victoria's Secret fashion show post, which I loved. Are you on twitter under a different name? Would love to follow you there!

  5. I'm a die hard bravissimo fan. I feel that I owe them in a way, because if it wasn't for them, I'm not sure that my bra size would be available at all. I love every bra of their own brand that I've tried and I appreciate that most of their bra are available up till a K cup. I do have to go up a cup in the Alana (which I'll keep buying until they stop producing it) but it was the first bra I had which scored so high on being comfortable/giving a good shape/being pretty at the same time. I also like the Dotty spot and Flirty frills bra. Those two, especially the Dotty spot, give a pointier shape, but I don't care. At least, it's nice and upfront, not the horrible side cones. You make me wanna try the Boudoir beau on my next London stay!

  6. Darlene, thank you! I have been resisting Twitter, I know I should think about getting an account though.

    tongueincheck, I'm so jealous that you can fit in the Alana! I did try the Dotty Spot a while back, without my camera, and agreed that though it was a little pointier, it was a good kind of pointy--sort of 'retro' as it is marketed, and looked very attractive. Definitely give the Boudoir Beau a try!

  7. Christine, I didn't notice the band being loose. I think the bra itself just sits a bit low--looking at the side photo, I notice that the band is not riding up at all, but rather sitting a bit below where my bra bands usually fall. I'm guessing this is meant to improve the fit--since it's a plunge bra, it can be a harder fit if it pushes the boobs up to give tons of cleavage. Just a theory, but I think you're right that it sits a bit lower!

  8. I've not tried Bravissimo's own brand. How would you compare it to Freya size-wise? Tighter in the band or cup...? I've been reluctant to try them after my disastrous Flirtelle encounter - I ordered my usual Freya size, & literally could not even get my boobs into it. It ran so much smaller, I didn't even know where to begin.I would've had to go up at least 2 cup sizes, & maybe a band size too. I'm wondering if I'd have the same sizing issue with Bravissimo's range.

  9. So did you buy the Boudoir Beau? I love reading your in-store reviews, because there's so much suspense! Since the Boudoir Beau looks so great on you AND looks pretty, I hope you took it home. That, to me, is like a happy ending to a fairy tale. I hadn't heard of Bravissimo, a brand I haven't seen in the U.S. I just checked their website, and they don't have any stores here. Since I live in a major metropolitan area, I have the luxury of shopping for bras in person, but even in the Bay Area, it's a challenge.

  10. I would love to know how the Bravissimo bras come up after a days wear, I am a similar size to you, 30J, and normally love Freya, hate Panache for the fits? I tried a boudoir when they first came out and found it rubbed in the same places as a panache, but only more so - so have avoided anything bravissimo own brand ever since. However seeing as they are stocking less of the Freya each season, I'm finding increasingly difficult to get anything. Thinking of giving them another try, but don't want another expensive mistake!

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