[Hey lovely readers… I hope you are ready because while I am drowning under school responsabilities, I have things to say today so this post might get a little longer than my usual (already long) reviews. If you are only here for the fit information, you might want to go directly after the 10th picture. ]
Do you remember when I said that I wanted to buy more wisely, stop giving my money to fast fashion and to only buy lingerie that would crush my heart? I was really sincere, y’all. Because of that I didn’t buy so much lingerie/clothing in the past 10 months. Also, 90% of my purchases were either vintage or from indie brands. I improved my whole wardrobe, with more eco-friendly clothing and put more thoughts in my choices. I am willing to buy less often but more unique pieces, that very often are quite out of my reach.
Anyway, let’s get to the point. 2 years ago, I bought my first Playful Promises bra in a G cup and although the fit wasn’t perfect, it was good enough to lead me to buy a second one. However, when I tried a third bra from this brand, I realized that some of their ranges were more well-thoughts than others and that my breasts would probably never be a good fit for their bras. I was strongly hoping to see improvement in the fit with the time going, but I decided to be more careful and stopped buying from them for some time. Eventually, the brand came out with designs that were so unusual in my size range that I fell in love again and wanted to give them another chance. I even tried their sister brand Wolf and Whistle on Asos, but this was a huge disaster. I guess it was a sign but I didn’t listen.
So last month, during the boxing day, I saw the set I wanted to buy for so long for half its price and in my size. I also saw another set that I wasn’t willing to buy at first but that looked just so pretty on everybody that I finally got convinced that it could suit me too. Well I had this feeling that I was taking a risk considering my experience with Wolf and Whistle but for some reasons (let say, the amount of time spent scrolling my Instagram feed and seeing tones of women in Playful Promises lingerie saying how happy they were with their new bras) I have been weak and bought the two sets that had got my attention since their release: the Karine and Major Velvet Tassle sets.
You must know that I am not writing this review in order to put down a small business. I really love Playful promises aesthetic and I will probably still buy their loungewear if it really appeals to me. It is amazing that a lingerie brand is willing to make these fun designs available to more people and I hope they keep trying to improve themselves in the future. At the end of the day, lingerie is not the easy part of fashion. But I have to admit that the bigger the brand is growing the more it appears as fast fashion to me, and this comes with a lot of issues that are hard to ignore. That said, I think the bras I have bought are worth the price I paid for them. I got two sets for about 80 USD (plus customs and shipping) and this is cheap. Now if you ask me, I won’t be repeating this experience because, and this is a personal opinion, while designs are getting better for the sight, the fit seems to get worst and worst. The consistency of the first full bust collection is nowhere to be found. At that point of my lingerie journey I’d rather pay 160 usd on a set and get a perfect fitting-perfect looking set even if that means that I will only get 4 sets every year (and you might agree that it is more than sufficient when you only have 2 boobs and a bum).
Now I know 160 dollars seem to be expensive, I am not saying that everybody should spend that much. Actually, Avocado lingerie makes excellent full-bust lingerie for less than that, and you also have Panache and other great and affordable lingerie brands out there. You can also buy your lingerie on discount lingerie websites like Belle-lingerie or Dessus-Dessous and save A LOT on great products like Empreinte lingerie or PrimaDonna. Also if you need advices on where to find great pieces at an affordable price, always feel free to contact me. I know the struggle is real. I am still a student with a pretty low salary, but I know I can’t complain since I don’t have kids or any big financial responsibilities (except paying my tuition and my rent) so it is easier for me to treat myself to some lingerie than it is for a lot of other people. Also, I don’t mind eating less, lol. Waw, I am so talkative. Let’s review these sets, shall we?
So I ordered both sets in size 32G and Small/UK10 (Note that I am usually a 30G-30GG and UK10/US6). I had asked around and got mixed reviews of the velvet set. Some people said it ran big and other said it was super shallow. Now I understand that everybody was quite right in a certain way. And I think I can apply this to both bras.
The velvet, which is my favorite and the best fitting of the two sets, is a padded bra that could easily be confused with a solution bra, structure wise. It indeed features removable straps and its shape is compatible with a lot strapless clothes. Aesthetically, this bra is very pretty. First, it is burgundy and gold which is an ultimate win for me at the moment. The tassels are probably my favorite thing about this bra but the buttons on the gore are also a big part of why I got this bra, I love old military clothing. It is also covered with velvet which makes it warm and soft, and I love the way it catches the light. The ensemble has an amazing burlesque vibe and those details put this bra on another level considering how hard it is to find this type of design even on Etsy in a G cup. I mean, when you buy a Batman print bra, you don’t really expect it to fit properly, you just want a Batman print bra, well in that referential I think I needed to get at least once in my life, a super fun unpractical bra and I got it with this Peek & Beau bra. I am actually still happy that I got it.
[In the picture above I am showing how the bra would probably fit if the gore was in contact with the skin of my thorax.]
Now that I stated that I wasn’t expecting practicality from this bra, I must say that I was at least expecting a better fit. Alas, its structure seems to put all the weight on the wires. When I put it on, it is very comfy for a few hours but then it starts digging into my ribs and since the gore doesn’t even fake to tack against my sternum and sits on my breasts tissue, that means that only the lower part of the wires and the straps keeps things together. Well at least that is my interpretation of this issue. The cups are super shallow and the wires are medium width. In addiction to that, the bra has a tendency to go up as if it was trying to cover my breasts more and more but at the end it feels uncomfortable for my armpits. I tried to remove the straps but it really didn’t work without them.
The band feels very big for me and I wear it at the tightest hook. I would not wear it as an everyday bra for sure, but it could work well if I wanted to try lingerie as outerwear. I bought it for that purpose actually. I am certainly glad that it contains my breasts entirely and apart from the discomfort it is definitely wearable for me and provides a subtle cleavage without showing my nipples or letting my breasts escape. The straps are wide enough to be comfortable and don’t fall of my shoulders. I also like the way they look with the bra which is surprising because for usual strapless solutions I don’t see the point of making straps optional and think that they just make the bra look weird. But in that case they work well.
The brief is simply adorable and I don’t regret to have it in my collection. The size 10 fits me well and is very comfortable. The tassels are very fragile so you shouldn’t play too much with them I think. I lost one of them the first time I put the bra on, and I had worn it for like 30minutes. Maybe I am just very unlucky but I think this bra should be treated with much care.
About Karine… Guys I wanted to love this set. I even got through the very annoying new international shipping operator of the brand to get it complete. In fact, when I bought the Karine set on Playful Promises US website the suspender was out of stock in my size (I wear a US4/UK8 in their suspenders) so I found it on the UK website. It was very cheap (18 euros) so I thought at least customs wouldn’t charge me for this amount (as they actually never charge anybody for a 30 CAD purchase even coming from outside of North America). At least I thought if there were to be any fees, then it would never exceed 10dollars. I paid the 10 pounds (roughly 17 CAD) shipping cost and waited for my suspender to arrive. Well, it did arrive but before I could be delivered I received an email from a company names EZclear saying that I had to pay brokerage fees (not customs fees, they said that the customs fees on this order were less than 2 dollars actually) through paypal before I could get my package. Well, I did pay and they delivered the package the day after. Now the fees costed me 22.25$ for a 30$ + 17$ shipping purchase. So I was a little bit upset, but I knew this could happen since it was the second time this occurred to me since the brand stopped using Royal Mail. I am not going to complain about the fees, since apparently it is just the new way it is going to work with the international order on the UK website but I think it’s important to be aware of that. When you use the national post, you always have a chance to avoid additional fees, I think customs are too busy to stop on every packages, especially the smaller ones that are very cheap even if its merchandise, but when you use a service like Ezclear or DHL, well, everything is handle with more attention and obviously the company takes something from the customer if this fee is not already covered by the company itself. If I am wrong, I am open to a better explanation, though. Now I think I would not mind the fees if I liked the lingerie. (I paid customs on my 65USD order containing the sets without the suspender, and I genuinely didn’t mind because that was expected considering the price of the order. I take responsibility for my purchases like a honest “citizen” and I am ok with customs when I want to buy something outside of the country if they are reasonable compared to what the law allows me to expect. But anyway.) I truly think that if the Karine set fitted me well, I would be less annoyed by the Ezclear story honestly. I mean, it is easier to accept bad news when you get a great one at the same time and I love European lingerie, so I know what it is to pay customs.
So, I got the Karine bra in 32G, just like the Major bra, but the fit is just very different. I have been attracted by its color combination and beautiful eyelashes lace, I also adore the velvet bow in the middle of each pieces. But once the bra arrived I quickly realized that all those things wouldn’t be enough to make it look good on me.
I think this bra has been made with fuller on top breasts in mind and also lower situated breasts. I wanted to love it so bad really, but it is simply not for me. I had a terrible time trying to get good pictures of it but it was so annoying to wear and made me feel like my breasts were so extremely shallow and weird. It would even piss me off to take the pictures. I mean, I usually don’t struggle too much with my body image but that is mostly due to seeing myself in well-fitting bras that makes me feel good about my breasts even if when I am naked sometimes I am not ok with what I see. This bra did simply the opposite to me. I am now wondering if it is just me because so many people looked so great in it and seemed to get great cleavage too. But for me, this bra had a very bad support actually. The gore doesn’t tacks but that is mostly due to the band being so big and the cup being shallow but in a weird way. As if all the volume of my breasts was supposed to be at the side to fill it up. I also felt like it didn’t have enough projection to keep my breasts inside the lower part of the cup or wasn’t sturdy enough to keep its shape under my breast weight.
Actually, if I only walk around (and no need to be fast) my breasts end up outside of the cup in a very unflattering and uncomfortable way. I don’t even know what position I should take for my breasts to stay in the right place but the weird thing is that they are not too big for this bra. Simply not the right shape. I still have space but space I will never be able to fill. Basically this bra would be good for women with a lot of breasts tissue at the side but not much near to the gore and with a lot of upper fullness. I do have side heavy breasts but apparently not enough for this bra.
The straps are amazingly wide and silky, but since they are also too long for me, they don’t help much.
Honestly, if one of you want to recuperate this bra, I’ll send it to you for free if you pay for the 10 CAD$ shipping. I couldn’t even wear it for 2 hours but I guess some of you would see a nice bedroom bra in it. I personally don’t like keeping bras that I don’t wear and that don’t make me feel good in my home as it is just bad energy for me, lol. (Please don’t see this as me gifting you a shitty bra, I don’t think it is actually shitty, it is just shitty on my body. You could be lucky.)
The brief is pretty cute and very low rise. I found that they sewed the tag in a weird way as it is place in between the mesh and the hips elastic, which means that even if you cut it you will still see a white little thing on the back of your brief. This could be avoided by sewing it on the side of the brief I think (as you can see in my photo). This brief is a little bit small on my bum in a size UK 10/US6 and create VPL but I think it would be ok worn under a dress. I thought I would like this piece more than I actually do but maybe my opinion is biaised since I kind of hate the bra.
The suspender is nice looking too. Something I noticed with Playful Promises suspenders is that they run big. I could never wear a size UK8 in any other brand but I actually have to with their suspenders and I wish they had a size 6. I need to wear them at the tightest set of hooks and eyes (the only exception is the Cage collection from their Bettie Page range which run smaller and is one my favorite suspender belt so far). The Karine suspender is comfortable to wear in a size UK8/US4.
It is actually better than the Bettie Page Classic suspender I got recently (which broke the first time (and last time) I have ever worn it and actually ran so big that I would label it as a size UK 12 instead of 8). Yes, this suspender is nice looking and does its job well enough. I still need to wear very high stockings to prevent it from slipping along my body but I mean, it’s not the suspender fault if my legs are long and my hips are narrow. I am kind of sad that I bought the whole set since I am probably never going to wear the coordinates without the bra but with all the customs and brokerage fees I didn’t bother to pay the return shipping.
I hope this review isn’t too painful to read. Again, I am not trying to put anybody down with my words, and I really really wanted to love these sets. However this just made me sad and disappointed and I wanted to share it with you because it would not be fair to only talk about the things that worked, I think.
UPDATE: Karine review 32F
After reading my review Emma, Playful Promises founder and designer, contacted me as she thought I might have gone with the wrong sizes. She paid a lot of attention to my pictures and suggested that perhaps a 32F would work better for my breasts shape. She kindly offered to send me some 32F bras to try so that I could get a better fit.
Before starting this mini review I want to provide some measurements so that everybody can understand clearly what might have happened to me with the first bra in 32G. Note that there could be some slight “human error” in the sens that I have tried my best to take the measurements accurately but let say that there is a 0.5cm error margin.
Karine in 32G:
Cup width: 17cm
Band: unstretched : 66,4 cm – stretched: 74cm
Cup depth: 25cm
Wires length: 29cm
Cup separation: 2.3 cm
Cup height: 14cm(padded part) /18cm (padded part+lace)
Band: unstretcedh: 65cm – stretched: 70 cm
Cup width: 15.5cm
Cup depth: 22cm (only padded part) / 23cm (padded part+lace)
Wires length: 25cm
Cup separation: 2.1cm
Cup height: 13 cm (padded part) / 17cm (padded part+lace) (My bust radius is 13cm for your info)
So, here are my thoughts on the Karine in 32F…
_Interestingly, the band is tighter and the wires are narrower. Because of that, the gore tacks very well and the bra feels rather supportive.
_ My breasts are very full on side so the fuller one tends to escape a little bit on the side with this bra but nothing crazy either.
_ The shape is way better, I even get some cleavage and my breasts don’t go out of the cup when I walk.
_ The padded part of the cup is still too shallow to contain my breasts entirely but the lace now does the job pretty well and prevents them from going out uncomfortably.
_ As you can see from my first picture, the fit is not perfect as I get some bulging from my bigger breasts (hello quadboob!) but somehow it is wearable and I feel supported now that the gore tacks and the band is tighter.
_ I don’t experiment these awful gaps on the external side of the cup which made my breasts look so shallow and weird.
_ I actually feel way better wearing this bra and it is rather comfortable despite its shallowness.
_ This won’t become an actual everyday bra but it isn’t annoying to wear once you get used to the sensation that your nipples are showing.
_ I don’t hate it anymore, and I am actually glad I will get to wear my full set.
It is very interesting how sometimes the fit isn’t about the actual volume of the cup but more about their shape. I would say that this bra is more of a hybrid between a plunge and a half-cup bra. It would probably work better is my nipples were lower situated, or my breasts less projected. So not really the best match with me but I think Emma was right in her calculation since the fit is definitely improved. I would suggest you to talk to their costumer service before ordering a size if you have some doubts because, since the bra size you need can really vary depending on the cup shape with this brand. That said, I will come back soon with another Playful Promises review from a newer collection. I don’t know if I can say that the sizing is getting more consistent since I haven’t tried all of their bras but I also needed a 32F in this new style. (Note that my 30G/30GG bras still fit me.)
Sending you good vibes !