Friday, 18 November 2011

Bravissimo's Lola Luxe Basque and My No-Good Day

So there’s this thing that happens to me a lot. I go into a shop. I try on a bunch of things that make me look weird and feel like crap. Then I’ll manage to find one thing that makes me look good. Filled with gratitude and relief, I’ll buy this one item at any price, without even considering whether I really want or need it.

It happened to me the first time I went to Bravissimo, when I bought the only thing that fit me, the Panache Melody. It’s a comfortable bra and gives good shape under clothes, but frankly I think it looks extremely hideous on me. The worst part? I could have bought three bras I’d really love on for the price of this one mediocre bra at Bravissimo.

Yesterday, I went to Bravissimo again, because I wanted to try on the Lola Luxe basque

I’ve never seen a basque that came in a 28J before and the whole idea kind of excited me; it seemed sexy and fun. But I couldn’t really think of anything that I would USE a basque for. So when I went to try it on, I really just wanted to satisfy my curiosity, and see if it was any good.

Well, it IS good! It’s great. It looked awesome on me. I felt awesome. I reminded myself I didn’t need to own it, snapped a few photos, and went to try on the rest of the bras they brought me.

Some were okay. Most were quite hideous. I’ll share my feelings on those bras in later posts.

My disgust with how I looked in the hideous bras made me reconsider the Lola Luxe basque. I felt so pretty when I had it on! It made me feel good! I needed to feel good! I brought it out to the women working in the dressing rooms and said “I really like this, but I just don’t know when I would wear it.” Partly, I wanted them to talk me out of it. But partly, I wanted them to REALLY TALK ME INTO IT—make me realize how many uses I could get out of the product, inspire me. They didn’t really do that. They said stuff about how some people use it as shapewear, how I could wear it under a shirt, how it would last for years. I tuned them out. I figured at this point it would be rude to refuse to buy it. I bought it.

On my budget, this basque is NOT something that I can comfortably afford. So instead of feeling happy, like I’d treated myself to something luxurious, I felt stressed out, desperate to reassure myself that I hadn’t stupidly wasted my money. At the same time, I wanted to think of a reason to keep it, because I wish I had the sort of budget that would allow me to own this just because it looked good on me, and for no reason other than that.

Instead I keep trying to think of practical uses for it. I thought it might be good under tight shirts because it wouldn’t leave any bulges from the back band. Nope—the boning shows under shirts. Then, in a fit of insanity, I decided to CUT THE BONING OUT. I tried it on again with a shirt. The channels where the boning went showed up just as much as they had before. What’s more, the non-removable suspender clips hang down far enough to show under the skirts I wear, and they look lumpy because ALL MY CLOTHES ARE TIGHT.

I started to really, really regret cutting the boning out. If I hadn’t cut it, if I could just have thought ahead a little, and been sensible, I could have just returned the basque, admitted my mistake, and saved myself the money I couldn’t afford to spend. But once again I thought it would be rude and awkward, that they’d be sad if I returned it, that they’d go out of business because of customers like me. GO OUT OF BUSINESS?? Bravissimo is a HUGE company. I’m too used to tiny boutiques in America that actually WILL go out of business if their customers are too finicky.

Now I’m being forced to face the fact that I can’t return the basque. I own it forever now. And I can’t wear it under my clothes; I can’t wear it to class. I still don’t know when I could wear it, and it’s really difficult for me to get used to the idea of owning a product with such limited uses. But that’s what I’m going to have to do. I’m feeling grumpy, annoyed with myself. The basque does look good on me. I felt so good that first time I saw myself in it. Now I just feel guilty when I put it on. I’ve shoved it into a dark corner of my closet until a time when I’m ready to face owning it. 


  1. Ugh, I know the feeling of going into a store and hating every bra I try on. I recently took a trip to the UK and went to a Bravissimo store. I thought I would find loads of bras that fit me (they don't sell 28 bands in any store I know of in the US), but I only walked away with one bra that I was satisfied with the fit. The rest... didn't work. Very frustrating.

    I also know the feeling of guilt after spending money on bras. It's hard to get over that. But you know what? We need bras! And I've got to say, the basque looks d@mn good on you. If I was able to find it in my size, I'm pretty sure I'd buy it too even though I have no real practical purpose for it.

    I'm not sure I have any real advice - just commiseration. It's hard to stay positive, and even not second-guess yourself.

  2. that Basquè is Great on You, You look like a Curvy Goddess of Beauty!
    so . . .be Positive, Smile and change your No-good day into a Great-day !
    You're right: feel Happy, like You have treated yourself to something Luxurious. It's OK.
    Be Happy,Be Bold, be Luxurious, be Busty and Enjoy the Life!
    Ciao dall'Italia
    the Italian Artist who celebrate Busty Women in Art & Fashion

  3. Christine--Seems like the Bravissimo problem is pretty widespread then! They just do not have that many options in a 28 band, and since most of them are their own brand, it can be kind of a crapshoot.
    I know there are a few shops in the US that have 28 bands in big cups, the only one I've ever been to is Zoe and Co. They have one shop in Westerly, RI, and another in Concord, NH (no, not Concord MA, yes it's a bit random). I first got fitted in the Westerly store, they are very helpful and nice, but I found once I went down to a 28 band they really had nothing I wanted--there was a little more choice in the Concord store but still not great in 28. I have heard though that they recently started stocking Curvy Kate, so there might be better options now, if you find yourself near those stores.

    Aureart, you are too kind! You're right, it is necessary to treat oneself to a little unnecessary luxury once in awhile. I am actually wearing the basque right now with a dress and it is very supportive and comfortable so I am feeling good about it. I will find ways to wear it and do another post on that later :)

  4. May I suggest sleeping in it/ using it as loungewear? I have a cami from M&S that is basically a bra with a band + fabric below that makes a good alternative to a bra for sleeping in. Isn't the basque without the boning kinda similar?

  5. So far that's the best use I've found for it, but it's also been great for the days when my back hurts, as it gives more support and pinches less. It's also very warm. In fact, I think I may do an updated/more detailed review post where I talk about some of this!

  6. I'd like to see an updated review on the basque. The back supportive nature of it is extremely practical. I've never read reduced back pain and pinching as a reason to buy a basque.

    You look FANTASTIC in it. The other thing is, you may one day have clothes that reveal less of the structure of your bras/basques. For example, you may get a job that requires it. When I had to wear tailored skirts, buttondown shirts, and other sober clothes, it always felt good when I made the effort to wear something pretty underneath. Anyway, great review!

  7. I am considering the basque, but I am in doubt if I should size up in the band, since my hips are very large too, so in order for it to have enough room in the body? How did you find it? You seem to be curvier than those modeling the basque online, but it fits you beautifully :)

    1. I found the hips pretty roomy. Although the basque fit tightly around my back, it was somewhat loose in the lower section. So I think if you go by your back size, you should find that you have enough room. If you're worried, you can buy a back size up and fasten the top part on the tightest hooks, and the bottom part on looser hooks.

    2. I decided to take it in my usual size, 34J, and wow, super loose! And also super short... How tall are you? It didn't even cover my belly button, and I'm 5'8"... So no reason to worry if it will fit my hips!
      Also, I think they've changed it a bit since you tried it, for instance, you can take of the suspender straps now.
      I liked it very very much, though, so I will get it in 32JJ :)

  8. you look way better than their model!your body is curvier(bigger breasts and thinner waist).the model looks uglier than you.