I admit, I have a line up of about 10-12 different online lingerie stores strategically placed on the toolbar of my browser. This is so I have easy access as I do my rounds to see when I can snag new season offerings, or an amazing sale price, or when I’m simply stalking bras that I’m too poor to send to my doorstep. These stores include the usual – Figleaves, Barenecessities, and Herroom (I’m biased towards U.S. shipping, of course!), but has branched out to include some smaller online boutiques. I recently found out about a store called Get Bras, which has lingerie and swimwear from a ton of full bust brands like Freya, Panache, Fantasie, Elomi, Curvy Kate (the usual suspects), appears to be based out of San Diego (U.S. Shipping!), and has lots of new season offerings, as well as older styles at great prices. Shipping is $5 flat under $70, and free over $70 – not bad!
Notably, Get Bras has the new Freya Deco swimsuit, and this amazing swim top that I had no clue about and am now terribly attracted to…but when the folks over there offered to send me something, I had to go with the gorgeous Fantasie Ivana balcony in Rosewood (new colorway for the Spring/Summer season) because apparently I can’t get enough of Fantasie lately! This is my fourth in four months…
I had a teensy bit of trepidation trying the Ivana balcony because I had never tried a Fantasie unlined balcony before. I love the padded half cups (Ivana and Mae), and had luck with the vertical seam unlined Allegra. Fantasie’s side support bras also fit well, but offered more coverage than I preferred. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect with the balcony style.
Well, let us take a look:
I’m wearing my usual Fantasie size, 30FF, and the matching briefs in size small. A closer look at the bra:
Yeah, I’m pretty much amazed at the beauty of this thing. The colors you are seeing are this very light pink/blush/rose/what-have-you and… Brown! I have never had a lingerie piece with brown as a key color, and I’m now a big fan (great for warmer skin tones!). The light pink and the brown are an alluring, luxurious, sophisticated combination. I don’t think I have ever felt this fancy before, to be honest (the first matching set ever thing probably helps… Hehe).
So the beauty of this set is an A+ for me. It is exactly my taste. How about the fit, however?
Well, it’s no Cleo balconnette, for sure. The shape offered is more natural, and less “boobs up and in your face”. But this may have been because I have a bit of a shape incompatibility with the bra. The bra is rather closed on top, and has a firm elastic lining the tops’ edges to prevent gaping (which I’m sure some people will love), so my boobs are separated from where they want to be (near each other!), and are not allowed to expand upwards. That is, the bra is not great for boobs that are full on top or have a lot of inner fullness. But if you’re fuller on bottom, or perhaps more even, Ivana could work quite nicely for you.
Looking at the photos, you may think that the bra doesn’t look all too wrong on me. And you’re right – because I did a quick fix. With my fingers, I gently tugged on the embroidery near the tops of the cups, to make room for my upper fullness. This helped a lot! It nearly solved the problem, I’d say. I’ll probably stretch it even more, and would wager that over time the embroidery will loosen up on its own as well. So maybe my full on top boobs aren’t too out of luck. Take away: if you have a bra that you own that is not allowing for upper fullness, stretch that baby out! I have heard of people removing the elastic from the tops of the cups as well (which is possible in this case, and I’m considering it!).
In the photo below, you can see the slightly east-west, minimizing look on the top created by the bra, with minimal cleavage. With my shape and size this bra is definitely one of my most full coverage bras. But because it’s so different from my other bras (and let’s be real because it’s simply gorg…) I find it particularly special and attractive.
Below, a look at the side silhouette, and the wires. Again, a more natural profile, but not too pointy. The wires are a little wider than I need, but not the worst offender. They come up high but do not hurt or poke. The materials of the bra make it comfortable in all of the potentially troublesome spots. The band is riding up a teeny bit (I have it on the second hooks), but that is because Fantasie 30 bands run large.
The briefs are comfy and do not cut in in an unflattering way. They are a fairly modest cut, and I might prefer (read: my husband prefers) a little less coverage in the back. But gosh are they intricate and pretty, and a worthy match for the bra.
I think this bra is going to be amazing when I start teaching back up at the university next month. Since I’ve been going for more and more modest professional looks over the past year, I think Fantasie Ivana could be a way for me to feel super sexy and sophisticated under my clothes, while allowing my boobs to look reasonably minimized and/or de-cleavagized under work shirts. Below, you can see the nice shape under a T-shirt, and there’s very little of anything showing through.
Fantasie Ivana will come out again in both the balcony and padded half cup in the approaching Autumn/Winter season, but this time in a cool silver colorway (although I would simply die if it were gold instead!)
(Note: Although the lingerie set above was gifted to me, all opinions on the blog are entirely my own).