Monday, 2 July 2012

Masquerade "Delphi" Review

You might remember the photos from my last trip toBravissimo, when I tried on the Masquerade Rhea in a 30H and fell in love. The shape was absolutely stellar but unfortunately I couldn’t stomach the high price. So I scoured the internet for a 30H Rhea at a lower price. I guess I was asking for a miracle because I couldn’t find any lower-price Rheas in that size. So I broadened my scope and looked for other Masquerade bras with a similar construction, and I happened upon the Delphi in 30H on on sale for about half price.

I don’t think the Delphi is even close to as cute as the Rhea—I mean, why would you take a satin bra and then cover it with mesh on the cups?—but the shape and support are the same.

 The most interesting feature of this bra is the straps. They are very thick in all directions. I knew they widened at the top, but I had always pictured it being a thin layer of fabric that was sort of gathered at the cups and spread out at the top of the shoulders. Instead, these straps are made of a very thick foam. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it’s impossible to wear this bra with a sleeveless or strappy top, as I do with most of my other bras. But on the other hand, the wide foamy straps are a miracle when it comes to comfort. I wore this bra for 48 hours straight on an assortment of delayed international flights and it didn’t hurt me at all. I don’t know if Masquerade designed the Delphi with air travel in mind, but it certainly works for that.

The cups on the Delphi, like the cups on the Rhea, have a three-section vertical-seam construction.

This construction is awesome for giving a super-lifted, rounded shape. It also gives lots of openness at the top of the cup which is great for full-on-top boobs. It’s the same construction used in the Curvy Kate Showgirl bras, but the Rhea and Delphi have more openness at the bottom of the cups whereas the Showgirl bras are very flat there. That’s the reason a lot of people need to size up in the Showgirl range. I perfectly fit a 30H in the Rhea/Delphi but a 30HH is a tiny bit small on me in the Showgirl bras. So I would say that Masquerade definitely runs a little bigger in the cups than Showgirl. (I wear a 30GG Freya Deco, but that is a completely different cup shape so not as useful in comparison.)

Although the three-section vertical-seam construction leads to a really round shape, it also has one pitfall that I have noticed—it tends to make my boobs really center-heavy in a way that they usually aren’t. This makes sense if you think about where the lift is coming from. In a 3-piece balconette construction, the strap connects to the section that starts in the middle of the cup, so the pull comes across the cups and pulls the boobs both up and out.

But in the vertical-seam construction, the lift comes more from the outer section which pulls straight up, so the boobs are pressed more towards the center.

I suppose this would be great if you are looking for increased cleavage, but I personally find it annoying because it’s not just the cleavage, but the whole boob that ends up in the middle. It makes otherwise modest clothing a lot more showy and so I always have to be aware of what clothes I wear with the Delphi (as I do with the Showgirl bras). It is a minor annoyance in an otherwise great bra and seam construction. There is no such thing as a perfect bra and every bra comes with compromises. With the Delphi, the compromises are relatively minor.


  1. Do you think this means that it would make breasts that are already full in the middle look like basket balls?
    Those straps look comfy as hell and they're actually pretty too.

  2. Oh my god, that's just a divine bra and it looks amazing on you! The fit looks perfect. I'd love to own this kind of bra but unfortunately I haven't found one in my size. The Showgirls stop at 38G (too small cup) and I'm afraid Masquarade's biggest 38 bands would never fit me as I've heard they run tight.

    But I'm happy for you. :-) I also love the straps, very stylish,luxurious and comfy looking!

    1. Hi,
      I just wanted to let you know that the Masquerade Delphi seems to run pretty true to size. Yes, the 34H (my size) is a little tight in the band brand new, but it will stretch. I've only had one Masquerade bra (the Anise - bright coral!) that was not the right band size (I had to go up to 36 and down to GG) and it still hasn't stretched out to be a 36. I got the 36GG Rhea (because of the Anise) and I need to alter it because it stretched too much. Figleaves, right now, has the Delphi in the nude/raspberry in 38GG right now, on sale, although only 1 in stock. And, they have a pretty easy return policy (I had to return the Masquerade Lula Mae in 34H, as the cup was actually too big?!)

      Good luck!

  3. I don't think a typical balconette construction pulls the boobs out- I don't see how it possibly could. Nothing is attached to the boobs, nothing *can* pull them in any direction.

    It pulls the side of the cup upward, which pushes the breasts inward. That is basically the whole point of that construction.

    You can see this in action, sort of, if you make a sling out of a towel and put a tennis ball in the sling. Pull up on the left end of the sling, and the ball will roll toward the right end. It is the same with a breast in a bra.

    What you are experiencing is just that the outer section on this bra is cut smaller, less roomy, so it pushes the breasts toward the center.

  4. oh lord those straps look comfortable

  5. I literally just got this bra and am planning a review too! It looks so much better on you than me! Unfortunately I'm somewhat between sizes at the moment and I just can't get it right with the Rhea and Delphi, but persevere anyway because they're so lovely.

    I have the newer sort-of-nude one and the straps seem to be a bit different. They are still wide, but just satin, no foam. They're still very comfortable though. I just hate that they're not fully-adjustable. Yet another bra I'll be shortening the straps on!

  6. Interesting. My Delphi has only one vertical seam, and the straps are satin instead of foam, but it is the same color...

  7. I just want to whine a little and ask when you're going to post again? I check back everyday and miss your reviews.

    1. Ha ha, I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile :( SOON! I PROMISE! I've just been really busy lately. I have a ton of posts planned. I'll try to do one tonight.

  8. Hi, thank you for you wonderful and helpful blog! It helped me a lot finding bras, as I am French and there is NO shop here for big breasts / small backs.
    I bought the Delphi corset, it is absolutely beautiful. I took an H for my 30I as I have already made the mistake of buying the Amira one size up for the back and an H too, it is too large in the back and still a bit big in the cup.
    The straps are really comfortable. I think i'll try the Rhea too as soon as I can find a sale somewhere.
    Though, the whalebones of the corset are a bit too smooth and they tend to produce a big stomach effect, I might have to change them for metal ones or tougher ones

  9. I own several of these bras (ebay, all less than £20!) i love the shape it gives me (38gg) the support it gives, and the compliments i recieve on my impressive "shelf". The only way i could see it giving less of a tight cleavage, were if the bones in the middle of the bra were to have a wider piece of fabric, to seperate to boobs a bit. I agree about the straps. Very comfy, but not too classy with strappy tops as they remind me of rucksack straps. I find the widest part of the strap on a couple of mine have crumpled and dont lay flat. Am very interested to try the Rhea bra you mentioned. Thank you for such a detailed review xx