The word “luxury” can take different meaning for every individual. In fact, it is a relative concept depending on where you come from, what you’ve seen, and what are your expectations.
In the lingerie industry I have heard this word quite often to describe products from 35 to +1500£. I personally associate this word with excellent craftsmanship and good quality and/or hard to find/produce material. To me, it also means consistency and reliability.
[Harlow & Fox generously provided this set for the purpose of a review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.]
Sometimes, I feel like a brilliant original design (on the paper) takes the form of a very cheap looking product with a high price tag, and sometimes, simplicity and quality equal to a less expensive price tag. It seems hard to judge the worth of a product when you have to take in consideration so many factors such has personal investment, intellectual work, craftsmanship and engineering behind it. One might judge that his product worth 45£ while someone else would judge the same item as a 30£ one. Nevertheless for each customer, what is important is how satisfied he/she is with the way this money is gone and this is also very personal.
I used to pay between 60 and 85 euros for bras as a teen before I discovered that I could get bras in my size for half this price, but of course you can’t really expect the same thing for 40€. You might get a better fit though, depending on the brand. It is not necessarily disappointing. My very wish since I started my lingerie journey was to find a company that would sell breathtaking designs without compromising on the fit, and quality of its garments. Well, I have discovered a few companies that fit in this description so far. Let say that they’re not cheap, but I swear, they rarely (never) disappoint. Today I am happy to introduce a set from a brand that might match this description. Although this is the first set I own from them, I know I am getting another one as soon as I can. This is definitely worth waiting and saving for a few months.
To be honest Harlow and Fox, is the type of luxury brand that feels quite out of reach at first sight for a 22yo student. This brand’s designs look sumptuous and totally decadent, featuring a crazy amount of silk (I mean, 95-100% silk satin) and the most gorgeous embroideries. Their designs are made in the UK and manufactured in Romania.
When I discovered this brand four years ago, I had never seen full-bust bras featuring such delicate material. However, I was concerned about the fit since I couldn’t imagine how a silky bra would support my breasts so I thought I would never be able to look good in their bras and finally put this idea aside. Guys, I was so wrong!
I can’t stress enough how happy I am for the opportunity of working with such an amazing brand. I am so impressed with their efficiency and how smooth everything went for this partnership. I swear they just got a future customer.
I had a really hard time picking one set between all these beauties! I finally chose the new Serena colorway, which looked so different from everything I already own, with the hope to put my hands on other treasures later this year (my birthday is next month y’all). So I initially received the Serena bra in 32G, the brief in Small and suspender in XS. The 32G was too big for me in the band and the cup so we exchanged it for a 30G which is a pretty perfect fit. Note that I am a full on bottom/sides 30GG and a UK10.
I received this set in a beautiful gift box featuring a gold branded wax seal, as well has a small bottle of washing agent for silk and viscose. You must know that silk is a natural fibre and requires special care in order to keep its shine. Shampoo or your usual clothing wash wouldn’t do a good job on silk and you actually need to be a little bit more delicate than usual (don’t twist or rub your silk garments).
I must say, the first thing that attracted me in Serena was this glorious Italian embroidery. I am crazy about it. I love it in every colorway but I found it captivating in Violet. The colour is so bold and regal! It adds contrast to the set and results in a gorgeous tattoo effect on the skin. I also love the construction of the set itself.
Actually the cups are made from a stretchy embroidered mesh lined with two different unstretchy nets, and feature two layers of silk as side supports on each side. Even more dreamy, a very thoughtful construction in order to provide support, lift and durability.
The lower part of the cup is lined with a very firm net which prevents the embroidered mesh from stretching out and somehow pushes the breast up. The upper part is lined twice. The first layer after the embroidery is a breathable but also very firm net, and the second is a little trapeze made of the same firm mesh I described for the lower part of the cup. This little trapeze doesn’t cover the entirety of the upper section. It seems to make a link between the silk and the lower part. Probably to give stability to the whole construction. The first upper layer is a folded net and is sewed to the diagonal seam of the cup but not to the top edge. This, in my opinion, gives some flexibility to the top of the cup. (Hope this is clear enough…)
This construction is very compatible to my breasts shape since I am full on bottom and sides, it doesn’t cut in and encapsulates my chest perfectly. Leanna Williams, Harlow and Fox creative director told me that the sizing is quite consistent so I must be able to wear a 30G instead of my usual 30GG in all of their styles. That said, if you are fuller on top, you should probably stick up to your usual size to avoid quadboobs.
The straps are made of silk and are delightfully wide and soft. I just want to touch them constantly. They are half-adjustable but short enough for me so I don’t need to tighten them so much to be comfortable. The gore tacks perfectly and stays in place through the day. I love that this bra doesn’t move from my inframammary fold, I never have to adjust it.
The band, just like the straps is made of silk, which means that it isn’t likely to stretch out so quickly. I wear it at the loosest set of hooks and it is a little bit tight, though not uncomfortable. I found a significant difference between the 32 and the 30 band as I had to use the tighter set of hooks in the 32 one and it was still too loose for my taste. This really depends if you prefer a comfy fit or a tighter fit, because anyway, I think your band is likely to remain the same way with the time going. It also features three sets of 2 hooks and eyes, which is enough for me but is to consider for people who prefer wider bands.
The coordinates are absolutely everything in this set. While I was hesitating between all the Harlow and Fox collections, what totally sold Serena to me was the deep suspender. I ADORE deep suspenders. How can you say no to a garment made to cover your belly and back with a precious embroidery, mesh or lace (and accidentally helps your stockings to stay up)? I really don’t know. I wear dresses just for the chance to wear suspenders.
The Serena suspender features 6 silk covered straps and beautiful gold hardware. Since I fit in a XS, I think this brand runs a little bit bigger than other UK brands. This suspender feels a little bit like shapewear on me but the net used to line the embroidered mesh is quite soft and comfortable. I really love those 6 straps. Not because I don’t trust 4 straps suspenders (I actually do) but because they add something to the ensemble. The attention to detail is incredible. The stitching is so neat and discrete! My only complaint is that it is a little bit more difficult than usual to move the suspenders sliders due to the thickness of the straps.
The brief in a size Small fits me very well and is comfortable. The gusset is made of silk and lined in the inside with cotton, which is great. I think cotton is still my favourite fibre when it comes to gusset. It is the perfect rise in my opinion but note that there is more room in the front part than you’ll see in most briefs. I actually love that this brief doesn’t cut into my bum. There is a large key hole featuring a precious little pearl at its apex which is a nice and unusual touch (you can easily see it on the brand website.) As for the rest of the set, the finishes are on point. Did you notice these silk covered edges around the legs and keyhole? They are a great reminder of the cup edges and make the whole set look very refined.
Now I get that people might judge my opinion as biased since I receive free garments, but I am honestly impressed and I think this set is totally worth the price. Based on my personal customer experience, this price is close to most full-bust luxury brand average price and the quality is definitely in my top 3 of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The designer clearly put a lot of thoughts into every garments. I think that longevity-wise this set is one of the best I have encountered with also a perfect fit and a breathtaking beauty. What else could you ask for?
This year, I am willing to spend my money in a smarter way and on garments that I am truly in love with instead of just experimenting or feeding my cravings for new stuff and I see Harlow & Fox as a very worthy investment. I’ll try to review some other sets in the future so you can see if I keep the same opinion about their products when I spend my hard-earned money on it. :p