Wednesday 29 January 2014

Tutti Rouge "Betty" Review

Tutti Rouge's Betty bra is a fully padded half-cup with a single vertical seam. So far, it appears to be Tutti Rouge's most versatile cut, with the potential to work for many different shapes. It gives a very round, very compressed shape; as a result it is also slightly minimizing in terms of projection. It will tend to provide a lot of cleavage on most shapes.

In terms of sizing, the Betty runs the same as Tutti Rouge's other bras in the cup, which typically will mean 1 cup size up from what you need in other brands. It is MUCH tighter in the band than Tutti Rouge's other bras. I comfortably wear a 32HH in the Liliana as my everyday bra, but the 32 in the Betty feels more like a 28. I cannot even fasten it without an extender. Most people will probably want to size up in the band in this bra. Women looking for a small 28 band or a 26 band should take note of this option!

The details on the bra are gorgeous, with delicate lace edging the cups and a ruffle underneath. Tutti Rouge speaks to my personal aesthetic in a way that most bra brands don't. Even Cleo, my standby, has recently disappointed me by delving into a look I'd call "80s tropical nightclub chic as imagined by someone who has never been to a nightclub". (Sorry, Cleo. I still love you. I'm sure your next collection will be more to my taste.) Tutti Rouge's bras are consistently "that bra I always wished I could buy, but which never existed until now". I LOVE this exaggerated floral print, which totally turns the tired over-used floral concept on its head.

And I passionately love the shape:

The side-angle even better displays this miracle of bra engineering:

 The Betty's compact, rounded, cleavage-y shape is perfect for dresses and special occasions. Due to the lack of elastic in the band, I personally don't rely on this bra as an everyday staple, but lovers of firm bands can and will.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Tutti Rouge "Liliana" Review

Tutti Rouge's Liliana bra has filled a massive void in my life and I can't get enough. Here's the gang:

I know, I know, I have SO many of these. So what's the secret to my great love for the Liliana? Well, it's two-fold. First off, the Liliana is THE BRA that I have been lusting after for years in terms of appearance. It's the sort of bra I bought back when my size was common and I had options. The vanilla with pink ribbon, particularly, brings me back to a simpler time when finding a bra was never hard. The Liliana's existence gives me the option to actually buy the type of bra I want.


The second reason I love the Liliana is the shape. Specifically, the very minimized shape:

I have to wear scrubs at my job, and those who have worn them know that scrubs tend to be baggy and are not very bust-friendly. Despite this, I love the concept of scrubs because they are so egalitarian and simple. The Liliana bra gives me a way to make peace between the two opposing viewpoints.

For reference, this is what my scrub tops look like with a regular bra (Cleo Lucy in this case):

My boobs look nicely uplifted, but this also creates the issue where my whole body appears to be the width of my boobs. I know not everyone shares my feeling on this, but it makes me feel that my boobs are on show in a way I'm not comfortable with, as well as making me appear larger than I am.

Here is the same scrub top with the magical Liliana bra:

In this photo you can see that my boobs are not as lifted, but they are also less noticeable. The result is a more compact overall look. You still can't see my waist, but I look like anyone else in scrubs and feel much more comfortable.

In addition to being the best 'scrubs bra', the Liliana also has this effect under drapey tops and slightly baggy t-shirts that would otherwise be unflattering. It gives me the ability to wear outfits I would have previously not chosen.

On the other hand, the Liliana does NOT look very good under fitted dresses because it just doesn't lift the boobs high enough on my short torso. It has its roles and that is not one of them.

Now, you can see by my large collection that I find the Liliana bra essential for day-to-day life. And I am delighted to have access to it. But this also makes me feel a little nervous. In certain ways, leaning so heavily on the Liliana to minimize my boobs feels regressive. It feels like I am going back to a time in my life when I had very strict standards for which bras I felt comfortable in. I occasionally fear I am relapsing to that dislike of my boobs when I regret wearing a bra other than the Liliana because I've gotten used to a smaller look. In a way, bras that minimize the boobs can be a crutch--a substitute for accepting one's own body. That said, I would NEVER deny the necessity of such a bra for people who, like me, haven't always been psyched about having larger-than-average boobs.

In terms of sizing, the Liliana is fairly small in the band. I wear a 32HH and it fits similar to a standard 30 band, or maybe in between a tight 30 and a 32. I wear the same cup size in the Liliana as I do in all Tutti Rouge's bras--one cup size up from what I normally wear in other brands. However, the Liliana is more shallow, so some people might find they need to size up from their normal Tutti Rouge size. In fact, Tutti Rouge is now emailing customers who order the Liliana to inform them that it runs small. I don't necessarily agree that it is any smaller than their other bras, but it is certainly shallower, and therefore is not suited to anyone who needs deep cups.

On another note, when I ordered my most recent round of Lilianas, the wonderful people at Tutti Rouge included a HAND-WRITTEN NOTE and a FREE PAIR OF UNDERWEAR. I don't usually get so into specific companies, but I was very touched by this--particularly because I ordered incognito, so they did not know I am a blogger when they sent me free underwear. The pair they included was the Liliana Brazilian brief, and I can vouch for the fact that it is insanely comfortable. I wouldn't have ever thought to try it if it hadn't been free, but I recommend it to those who like matching sets.