This Fall season, I have decided to go back to basics. Whether it comes to my everyday life, or to my social media presence, I realize that when you are lost, there is nothing better than to stop, take a breath and start from the beginning. As Summer is gone in Montreal, we have to adapt to the reality of another cold half of the year, and it helps to have reliable basic options for days when you just need comfort and reassurance.
[Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with Understance. USE WEN15 for a discount on their website! Though I was compensated for my work, all thoughts and opinions are my own. ]
Well-fitting, comfortable and reliable lingerie is honestly a good start for tough winter days. Personally, the pandemic made me not want to feel stabbed by any underwire. If it is not comfortable, I won’t wear it. That is really how I feel these days.
When Understance reached out to me and offered that I tried their new products, I was interested in seeing what their construction would be, as a young brand carrying such a wide size range and variety of products.
The Canadian brand has been consistently widening its size range and now offers bras in sizes 28-48, A-J. I received their Harper bra in sizes 30G and 28H (note that the brand doesn’t use double letters like British brands). The Darby brief was sent in size Small.
[As you can see, in this size the underband and sides of the bra sit smoothly over my body]
Harper is a lightly padded bra. However, the “padded part” is really a thin one. It’s hard to call it a padded cup really, as it isn’t meant to add any volume and it doesn’t shape the breast very drastically. Interestingly, the padded part is made of 3 parts, sewn at the top with an additional mesh panel that creates a criss-cross look over the chest.
The padded part of the cup feels very soft and light and the wires are both narrower and shorter than those of North American bras I have seen in the past. I can tell that the brand took comfort and shape into consideration here, and it worked.
My first thought about this bra was that it was pleasant to wear. My second thought was that I wasn’t used to having the gore sit so low when the bra isn’t a plunge, per se.
My breasts are very close set, so this bra creates lots of cleavage for me. Now the overall fit in this size really works for me, as the 30 band seems accurately sized, and sits very nicely against my skin without being too loose or tight at the loosest setting.
The construction of the bra showed real attention to fit and comfortable wearability. There is an interesting detail where the straps meet the bra band. The metallic link is made in a heart shape so that the straps can be oriented inward and won’t fall off the wearer’s shoulders. Also, the band features a laser cut fabric under the arm which helps with making the bra fit smoothly.
The brand sent me a Harper bra in size 28H, as an alternative to the 30G. As you know, sister sizing means that cup volume remains the same, while a band size will differ. Because of that, the fit will still be slightly different from one sister size to another.
For example, a 28 band will push the bra cup closer to the body than a 30 band would with the same cup volume. With this bra, this means a less projected cup. It is because a 28 band is shorter, and that impacts where the wires and cups really sit on the body.
I feel that the cleavage I got from the 28H was more significant than the 30G’s. It doesn’t show much in pictures, but ultimately the 28H felt smaller on me than the 30G, both in the cups and band (as is to be expected).
Because my underbust measurement is actually 28, it isn’t an issue, and both bras are wearable comfortably, but I definitely prefer the 30G because my preference is to not feel the bra at all.
THE DARBY BRIEF in size Small
With both bras, I received a Darby brief. I went for my usual size Small, as the size chart recommended for my measurements. One thing I noticed with Understance is that they do not make lingerie sets, but rather bras and briefs that can be mixed and matched. Some bras seem to be made with the briefs in mind but some briefs are also plain and made to work with most of their bras.
You know I like a matching set, so Harper and Darby were sent to me as sets, and I think they work very well together. The Darby brief has a lovely seamless feel, as the brand used flat lace and finishes. I found that it was a bit tighter on the hips than I usually like but I imagine some people would enjoy a firm fit in this area. It matches the Petal, Eva and Harper bra and is a very comfortable pair of underwear. Darby is a mid-rise panty and honestly perfect for every day wear.
In a nutshell, the Understance Harper and Darby set is the kind you can easily put on under your Fall/Winter outfits. They are pratical, well-fitting and comfy. The wires of the bra might be a bit surprising for people who are used to firmer more “tacking” wires, as those don’t necessarily touch the sternum firmly, but the construction of the bra is taking this into consideration.
I am pleasantly surprised by this brand, and I love that they serve the North American market primarily. We definitely need more fit and comfort-focused brands that carry small bands (28) and deep cups.
I also put my measurements into their fitting tool and it was pretty accurate. I love seeing the industry improve and grow. It had been a while since I tried a new brand that worked for me. It is also one of the most affordable brands I have seen offer this kind of size range in Canada. Harper retails for 65 CAD and Darby for 22 CAD, which is less than 90$ for a matching lingerie set at full price.
What do you think of bras with flexible wires? Do you prefer a firm or soft fit?