Thursday, April 21, 2011

Learning Lingerie: Taking the Plunge

Now that we know all about Balconnets, Demi Cups and Full Cup bras, it's time to talk the ultimate in low cut: the plunge bra!

Andres Sarda's Klein Non-Wire Plunge

The plunge bra does just what its name suggests by eliminating much of the center gore, making it perfect for use under low-cut clothing. What's really great about the plunge bra, though, is that it takes countless forms and works on a variety of body types.

For example, The Little Bra Company makes padded demi plunges which feature an open neckline and substantial boosting properties for girls on the smaller end of the spectrum. Other companies like Andres Sarda, even make styles like the Klein (shown above) in a non-wire plunge cut, perfect for girls in a B or C cup who don't want or need the lift of a padded/wired bra, but crave comfort coupled with a deep cut.

Prima Donna's Amazone Plunge

As a balconnet is not always a demi cup, the term "plunge" doesn't necessarily imply less overall coverage. For the girls who need a little more support, Prima Donna's plunge bra is actually technically a full cup. The Amazone (shown above, soon to arrive in store in Pandora Blue) is the perfect plunge for E to G cups -- it doesn't sacrifice support or coverage for the sake of the deep V style. In fact, they have all the lift and shaping of the balconnet and traditional full cup styles. That's why Prima Donna plunges have always been a customer favorite!

More extreme versions of the plunge cut feature a longline silhouette where the band (and thus, the plunging gore portion) extends vertically well past the usual measurements.

It's also important to note that while we may not carry each collection's version of a plunge in store, we can always order it for you! Almost every designer and collection has some iteration of a plunge bra, and we'd be happy to help you find the perfect one for you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Learning Lingerie: The Fabulous Full Cup

Now that the demi has had it's day, let's talk full cup bras. It stands to reason that if a demi is exactly that, a half cup, that a full should be, well, fuller! That was easy!

Full cup bras (whose cups encompass almost the entire, if not the entire, breast) are often associated with larger sizes, even though they're made in an impressive range, usually from B cup onwards. The correllation between fuller cups and larger sizes isn't without merit, though, because a fuller cut generally allows for more support.

Prima Donna Deauville in Cherry Punch

We'll give a deeper lesson on the mechanics of exactly how bras work at a later date, but for now let's do a mini one. A bra gains most of its support from the band. Because the cups of a fuller bra are larger, the band has to be wider in turn in order to accommodate them. Hence a wider band and more expansive cups mean deepened support, both for the breasts themselves and the wearer's back. These selling points are exactly why Prima Donna bras are cut so wide in the band - it's not an aesthetic choice, but one that makes the difference between comfort and the absence of it.

As mentioned before, full cup bras are not just for well-endowed ladies. Brands like Lejaby, Simone Perele and Huit all make versions of a full cup for modestly-busted girls. A common misconception is that just because a woman is a smaller cup size, she doesn't need a supportive bra. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Age, weight loss and simple genetics play a role in the 'perkiness' of a woman's bustline and sometimes, no matter what her size, she'll need a little help from a fuller cup.

If you haven't yet tried a full cup bra, give one a whirl next time you're at A La Folie. More coverage almost always means more comfort, and springing for a full cup doesn't mean eschewing style or sexiness. There are boatloads of gorgeous styles in our midst!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Learning Lingerie: A Discourse on the Demi

Going to a lingerie store and asking for a demi cup bra is much like walking into a grocery store and asking where the food is. That's not to say that a customer who requests a demi cup doesn't know what they're asking for -- it's just that a demi cup is a blanket term that does nothing more than describe the scope of coverage the bra offers.

Nina Ricci's Lettre d'Amour demi (which is also a balconnet)

The word "demi" is French for "half". So a demi cup bra is literally a half cup bra, and the term doesn't necessarily describe cut. Many refer to a balconnet bra as a demi cup and in fact many balconnet bras are demi cups, but there exist fuller-cut versions as well as smaller-cut versions.

A demi is best suited to petite to average figures (about A - D cup), and sometimes have padding or molding, depending on the chosen style. Our bustier customers are always looking for the white whale: the ultimate demi cup suited just for them. In general companies who cater towards larger busted women will not make demis for the simple reason that they do not do enough work to support a prominent bust. Chestier girls who wear demis often find that they wear out faster because they have more work to do.