Tuesday 29 October 2013

Fantasie 'Esme' Review

The Fantasie Esme’s claim to fame is its ‘center-pull straps’—essentially, the location of the straps has been modified so they are closer together in the back. This is useful for women with narrow shoulders who find straps usually slide off. It’s also a nice alternative to having straps sit in the exact same place every day. The Esme is also part of a small group of molded Fantasie bras which are, in my opinion, rather underrated and under-reviewed. So when I got a chance to try the Esme in a store, I snapped a couple photos so I could review it.

Like the Fantasie Smoothing (4520), the Esme is MOLDED but NOT PADDED. The concept of this confused me before I had tried it, but it essentially just means that the fabric itself has been molded into a seamless shape. A molded AND padded bra would have foam as well as fabric molded into the shape; however, although they’re often synonymous, padding doesn’t need to be part of a molded bra.

I tried the Esme in a 30H. I’d say it runs fairly true to size, though a little larger in the cups than Bravissimo balconettes.

Like the Smoothing 4520, it came up a little bit higher than I’d like in the cups (which was the ultimate reason I didn’t buy it). I tend to wear some fairly low-cut tops, though, so if you wear tops with more coverage, this won’t be an issue. It also won’t be an issue if you’re considering this bra, as I was, as something to wear under button-down shirts for work.

I loved the feeling of the modified straps. Since most straps sit in the same tender groove on my shoulders, I loved the fact that these were pulled in closer to my neck. This is what it looked like from the back:

The shape from the side was quite good:

 I often have a knee-jerk fear that Fantasie bras will be pointy, but frankly this is undeserved. Though they do still produce some clunkers like the Belle full-cup, they also make a lot of really nice basic bras that give nice shapes. The Esme is similar to the unpadded Smoothing 4520 in its somewhat minimized, nicely rounded shape. The padded Smoothing T-Shirt Bra (4510) gives a different, but still lovely, shape—perky and projected. Another benefit of these bras is that they reliably come out in basic colors. I know, it seems odd that I get excited by boring black and beige bras, but I feel like a lot of brands have gone too far in the other direction, while Fantasie still understands that plenty of customers need something practical or have simple tastes.

If you’re looking for a seamless bra, and especially if you have problems with wide straps falling off your shoulders, give the Esme a try. It’s one of Fantasie’s ‘good ones.’


  1. Great post. I agree with you, Esme is underrated without any reason. I've the Esme in black and it's comfortable with its more centered straps and especially with his thin fabric on hot summer days. It's furthermore invisible under clothing. On the top of the cups it makes some small wrinkles on my breasts, but is not a problem for me. I think, the Esme is a good all-day bra.

  2. Yay! I get a bit more green than I normally like, but Esme is my go to bra for under light colored button downs. I actually prefer it over Deco. Esme looks almost boring under clothing, but that's better than the Deco excessive porn star boob look - and yes, I'm wearing the right cup size. With Esme, I can wear normal store button downs, in my beloved vertical seam bras and anything that gives me purple shape, I have to go up two sizes or buy specialty shirts. So, I might own oh 7 Esme.

  3. I've been using this bra for years as a daily minimizing bra, that's the way it works for me. I like the way the straps are located, it's reliable as a work bra, I don't need to pull the straps at all during the day, as my job is very physical and I move, bend and lift things all the time. Love the way it looks under relaxed, a bit boyish button shirts, this bra is the only way I can wear that kind of clothes with my hour glass figure. It's definately not sexy or even pretty, at least on me, it looks very different on me than on you, but it's the only bra that I can forget my big bust with. I'd like to find some other bra that fits like this one also, but search continues:)

  4. Also good if you like as little forward projection as possible. I have full-on-the-bottom boobs and found it hideously flattening and splaying, but if you have the opposite shape and get cleavage in everything, it might be a good one.

    1. I'm full on bottom, and while this is not at all sexy, it's not bad. On me. But, I also think how a bra wears is more than top vs bottom fullness. I'm central full, so plunges stand no chance ever. I don't migrate to the side due to scar tissue, which gives me some cheating room. My tissue is dense and heavy, can self support to some extent (my mother and sister without reductions and who wear bad fitting bras can also self support, so it's lucky genes for me), yet the tissue is fairly willing to move to a degree.

      This bra isn't cleavage central. That's why I have Decos and vertical seamed bras. It's not my absolute favorite shape, as I don't like pointy at all. It fits like a full cup on me, so I get minor gapping and I really want more lift, but more lift means new shirts, and the gaps are concealed by my shirts. But, it's comfortable - so it fits right - and it's serviceable. Because, try as I may, deep purple with black lace overlay, corset laced sides and ornate cup decor in a vertically seamed bra doesn't work under white and I can't button a large shirt and XL is iffy. I'm a small to medium, XL means I'm wearing a tent and look like a flying squirrel.

      Plus, holding my breasts in a different position with the straps in a good inch - which greatly helps my issue on full cups not giving any lift - some days is more comfortable.

  5. I have just found the esme, although gives me a great shape at the front, pulls in between my shoulder blades & gives me alot of back fat (when compared to my usual bras). My husband pointed this out & he's right. I have quite broad shoulders, so this bra is probably best for women with narrow shoulders.

  6. I'm very happy with my Esme in red, for me is the ideal "semi" sporting bras, the bras I chose in days spent strolling in the park , it is not a t shirt bra since isn't padded but looks
    good under polo shirt.
    I would like to choose from a richest range of colors, at least pale blue / ocean blue

  7. And would you believe the Esme has vanished from most stores looks like Fantasie are discontinuing it or stocks have run out :( its THE most comfortable bra I have sick of padded pusher uppers with straps that keep sliding off. Really frustrating.

  8. I know you wrote this review a couple of years ago, but Esme was favourite smooth cup ba, and has since been discontinued. Are you able to suggest any suitable alternatives (narrow shoulders, full cups)? Thanks so much x