Spring is around the corner and it’s the perfect time to write about blooming and excellent lingerie. The past two months have brought so many changes into my life and it’s been hard to keep up with everything. I have a lot of reviews to share with you as usual, but also opinion pieces and new projects… Anyway, today we’re reviewing the gorgeous Empreinte Ashley 3-pieces set.
[Disclosure: I received this lingerie as a gift from Empreinte lingerie. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos credit: Bruno Balmokoun]
Although you don’t know me like that, in real life, I am a very expressive person. I can barely lie to save my life and when I love something it shows. When I visited Empreinte booth last Summer, although I liked most of their designs, my eyes stopped for quite long on Ashley. It’s real and glossy embroidery was so different and vivid. It was the first time I heard of waxed embroidery and I loved the concept. This was easily my favorite style of their SS19 collection.
The brand offers 2 bras styles and 4 coordinates as often, but also a beautiful tank top. Bra sizes start at a UK 32C to a 40G for the “low-necked” balconnet and up to a 46G for the full-cup version. Coordinates go from XS to 4XL.
To create Ashley, the brand was inspired by lush British gardens and natural beauty. I love that they used a black canevas for this scene as the bra can easily find its place into everyday rotations but still has this joyful feel to it once you put it on. The embroidery is absolutely gorgeous and the lace used for the coordinating pieces for some reasons reminds me of tropical environments.
Fit and construction:
I received the low-necked balconnet in size 30F ( FR 75F) and brief in XS. Both sizes consistently fit me in this brand, but I have to say that this particular pattern works amazingly. I reviewed their Diane collection last year in the same size, but the bra was and still is on the smaller side compared to my other Empreinte bras.
Ashley is different from all the Empreinte bras I have tried, although it’s also a three-part cut-and-sew bra. It’s pattern is rather similar to the Apolline range but slightly different. I would say that Ashley is more forgiving to top fullness, while Apolline tends to cut a little in the upper breast tissue.
I have very full on bottom breasts and I think a lot of Empreinte bras are made for even to full on bottom breasts shape, so I am always lucky with their products. However, I did experience some issues with bras like Diane or Apolline in the past when I had gain a few kilos and my breasts got fuller on top. I think if you are full on top but wear similar British sizes than me, you should probably go up a size with Empreinte.
Now this bra is very supportive, the 2/3 bottom part of the cup is lined with a strong mesh and the band is made of strong but soft powermesh. The wires are narrow and the gore is a bit tall, but not uncomfortable.
The straps are wide, fully adjustable and textured. They remind me of the fence of a garden. The band is wide and feature side bones and 3 sets of three hooks and eyes. This is honestly and excellent full-bust bra.
I received the shorty, which is my favorite style of coordinate in this brand. It’s extremely comfy and just the perfect rise. Not too low, not too high. The back is made of high quality mesh folded to assure no VPL. While I love laser cut microfiber, I prefer folded mesh as I think it holds up better through time and wash. The embroidery is very well placed and the vegetation reminds me of Alice in Wonderland very talkative flowers.
The Ashley top
I received this top in size S, and was initially worried it wouldn’t fit my breasts but it dit!
This top is actually so pretty, I would rather wear it as outerwear than as a pyjama top.
It is overall very stretchy so despite only going up to a size Large, it might be stretchy enough to fit a size bigger. The Ashley top offers minimal support but feels very comfortable. I personally think it looks very flattering. I didn’t expect it to look good on me, braless, but I love it. Update: Note that it isn’t constructed in a way that is meant to provide support, it’s a rather loose piece.
The breasts part of this piece is layered with very soft and dense black mesh to avoid transparency, while the rest of it is fully sheer. As outerwear, I would wear it with a black strapless bra. I tried it with my Fantasy smoothing bra and it worked fine, although it would work even better if I had a more discreet strapless (I am definitely going to get one of those unpadded strapless bras!!).
My favorite part of this piece, you guessed it, is its embroidered racer back. When I saw it at Curve, I immediately knew I would want it in my wardrobe, so I felt so grateful and lucky when I discovered it in my PR package. This is the kind of luxury touch that it is so hard to find in ready-to-wear clothing and that is basically why I love styling lingerie as outerwear.
Now, if you would prefer this piece as nightwear, I have to say it would be just as worth it. I was never a girl to wear loose cami is sleepwear because for a long time I didn’t like how my breasts looked unsupported but this one is just so flattering and sensual. The contrast between the opaque breasts coverage and the sheer lace all over the tummy is beautiful and the back is just the cherry on top. A very big and tasteful cherry, may I say. The racer back idea also adds to the ensemble, although because of that, I wouldn’t wear the bra under the cami.
I honestly didn’t find any disadvantages to this set. Now it’s not the cheapest lingerie set. You’ll find the bra for 102 € on French websites and $ 200 CAD to $ 286 CAD on Canadian and US websites (don’t ask me why the 86$ difference). The top retails for 100 to 120 € depending on the website (I couldn’t find it on North American websites) and the coordinates for around 40-50€ – $ 100 CAD.
If I can give you an advice, some French websites like Dessus-Dessous will take in consideration wether you are a living in the EU or not and adjust the price according to that at check out. This can be an advantage considering that you might pay heavy custom duties when buying outside of North America.