Abstract: An inexplicably expensive fabric cup bra that causes serious torpedo-boob.
Background: Fantasie is a UK brand owned by the same company that owns Freya. Their bras have a more mature and sophisticated bent, and the prices tend to be higher. I’ve been meaning to try out their Elodie bra for a long time because it has side slings on the cups and boning on the band, a feature I’m very fond of for the added support it gives. The size range of this bra is 30-38 D-J, 40 DD-G, and 42 DD-F in the continuity colors black, white, and nude, while the seasonal colors seem to stop at an H cup. I purchased it online earlier this year, in black, in sizes 32FF and 30G, for the normal retail price. Both were returned.
Sizing: The sizing of the bra is a bit strange. My ‘calculator size’ is 32FF, but I didn’t even come close to filling out the cups of the 32FF Elodie bra. They were far too big. The cups of the 30G, however, were a touch too small and gave me some slight double-boob. This is odd because the two are supposedly ‘sister sizes’ and so should, in theory, have identical (or near-identical) cup volumes, with the only difference being the tightness of the band. This was not the case with the Elodie.
One possible explanation could be that Fantasie treats the double-letter cup sizes as ‘half-sizes’, meaning that changing one band size should be accompanied by changing two cup sizes, and thus that 30GG is the proper sister size of 32FF. Or maybe the sizing is just plain weird. Either could be true, really. Anyway, I found the 30 band to be a much better fit for my 32″ ribcage than the 32 band, which was too loose. If you buy this bra, you should probably go down one band size and up one or two cup sizes.
Comfort: Undetermined, because I tried it on only briefly.
Shape: Extremely pointy, without much uplift. This bra has horizontal seams going straight across the middle of the cups, a construction that pretty much guarantees a low and pointy shape. (It looks to me to have a similar cut to the Freya Active soft cup sports bra and the slightly frightening-looking Triumph “Doreen” bra.) Completely the opposite of the rounded, uplifted shape that I prefer. The shape was the main reason I decided against keeping the bra. One good point (pun not intended) is that the side slings do what they’re supposed to: they center the breasts and create a forward-facing upfront shape — it’s just not a very nice-looking forward-facing upfront shape.
Support: Based on its side support construction and wide straps, I had high hopes for the bra in this category. I actually did find it decently supportive for the one minute or so during which I tried it on and moved around a bit. Since I didn’t keep the bra, though, I don’t know how good the long-term support is.
Quality: The fabric, though thin, looks and feels quite nice and smooth, and as far as I can tell, everything has been sewn and finished properly. The construction is sound. £38 is a very high price for a bra, though, and even considering the luxurious fabric I really don’t know why it costs that much.
Appearance: Underwhelming. It looks pretty in product photos, but person it’s not very impressive. I thought the embroidery looked a bit old-fashioned, but then again, maybe the classical look is what Fantasie was aiming for with this bra. The neckline is of medium height, about the same as Freya’s fabric cup balcony bras, higher than their padded half-cups but definitely lower than a sports bra. It certainly wouldn’t show up above the neckline of any top that I would wear out in public.
Conclusions: Between the price, the pointiness, and the old-fashioned appearance, this bra was definitely not a keeper for me. Maybe side support together with fabric cups just aren’t a good recipe for a rounded, lifted shape.