I just read a blog post about how the “Belle” is celebrating its tenth birthday. I could cry at the fact that this monstrosity has been in production for so long, when bras that are actually attractive often get discontinued after just a few seasons. (At least there’s eBay.)
It’s appropriate for this to be the first bra featured on this blog, because it was actually the first bra I ever tried on in a real size. After a few years of bewilderedly cramming my boobs into 34DDs, my best friend dragged me to a specialty shop where they fitted me into a much smaller back and much bigger cup and my life was changed, blah blah. Unfortunately, the first bra they fit me in was the “Belle” and I nearly ran out of the store because of it. It gives the dreaded “torpedo boob” look, visually increases the size of your chest by 8000%, and covers EVERYTHING, including a lot of your shoulders. It might not surprise you to learn that this wasn’t what I was looking for at age 17, especially coming straight from Victoria’s Secret bras, which, while abysmally small on me, at least gave me a rounded shape.
Here’s the thing about shape with non-molded bras:
Basically, the strap needs to attach to a section that hits the bottom of the boob to get any uplift. A bra that has the third construction is going to do little more than conform to the shape your boobs have when you aren’t wearing a bra, which is why these bras usually look so dowdy on anything above a G cup.
Mysteriously, the “Belle” has an almost cult-like following. The reviews on Bravissimo are glowing and I think it has one of the highest average ratings of any bra they sell. I can only assume its devoted fans were fitted into it, own 9 of it, and have never tried anything more flattering. That, or these people are looking for something much different from what I look for in a bra. After all, Fantasie really caters to an older set, as evidenced by their refusal to offer anything below a 30 back.