Review: Miss Mandalay “Paige” Balconette Bra

Abstract: This wasn’t the best match for my boobs, but it’s a pretty bra that gives a natural and rounded (not pointy!) shape. I have to admit, I don’t really understand why it costs as much as it does.

Background: The Paige is a sheer mesh balconette bra with a size range of 28–38 D–H, excluding 38H. It seems like the continuity color is white with black trim, with the other colorways being seasonal, but I’m not completely sure about that. In June, ordered a 30FF and a 30G, both in coral, online at the normal retail price. The 30G was too big, so I sent it back. I liked the 30FF enough to keep it, but I don’t wear it very often anymore due to some fit and comfort issues that didn’t become apparent until later.

Sizing: I ordered 30s instead of 32s based on the measurements for the Paige that I’d seen on Bratabase, and the bands on the bras were nice and tight — so tight, in fact, that I couldn’t do them up on my 30½” ribcage without an extender. I didn’t measure the 30G, but my 30FF, when it was brand new, stretched to exactly 30″.

When I used an extender, the cups of the 30G weren’t completely filled and had obvious empty space, while the 30FF seemed just right for a bust measurement of 39″. Overall, I’d say this bra runs true to size. Hooray!

Fit: My boobs sit nicely in the cups of the 30FF when I put it on, but after a few hours they try to escape over the top and out the middle, creating a double-boob look. This bra is cut with lots of space on the outer half of the breast and less space on the inner half near the breastbone. The ribbon trim on the cups is fairly tight, so this may not be the best bra for full-on-top boobs.

The center gore height is average and the straps are half-adjustable. Being a classic balconette, the straps are quite wide-set and spend most of their time lodged in my armpits. Extenders do alter strap positions, though, so this may not be a problem for you if you wear this bra without an extender.

Miss Mandalay "Paige" Balconette Bra

Image source: photographed by me.

Comfort: I found the bra stabby at the center gore and itchy in the surrounding area, near the center of my chest. This has improved only slightly after a month or so of breaking in the bra. I don’t much like how the straps rub against my arms, either. On the plus side, the light mesh fabric is great for hot weather.

Shape of the Miss Mandalay "Paige" bra

Shape: Good centering, low uplift, moderate rounding. It isn’t pointy at all, and it makes my boobs look much smaller than they look in a Cleo or Ewa Michalak bra. I would call this a relaxed, natural shape that doesn’t call attention to a large bust. I generally favor the lifted-to-the-sky, two-grapefruits-attached-to-my-chest look, so this isn’t my favorite shape, but it could be good for occasions or outfits that call for less obvious boobage.

Support: Surprisingly good. I think this is because it holds your boobs closer into your chest rather than projecting them outward, decreasing bounce during normal day-to-day activities.

Quality: At £36 (or £40 for the white/black color), the Paige has a higher price point than bras from Freya, Panache, Curvy Kate, and the like. To be honest, though, I’m not seeing any corresponding increase in quality. The band is sturdier and less flimsy than a Freya band, but that’s about it, as far as I can tell. It’s only been a month, so right now it’s too early to comment on long-term durability.

Miss Mandalay "Paige" Balconette Bra

Image source: photographed by me.

Appearance: It’s quite a lovely-looking bra. Though the coral color looks really bright in my photos for some reason, it actually works well as a neutral and could be a good alternative to beige or tan if you’re looking for a nude bra. The contrasting crochet ribbon trim lends some individuality and is a nice finishing touch.

Conclusions: I think the Paige would work well for you if your boobs are full on the bottom and you’re looking for a more natural ‘your boobs, but better’ kind of shape. For me, it’s a serviceable bra, not my favorite. The fit and shape aren’t quite right for me, but I don’t really like it enough to try again with a 32 band.

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1 comment
  1. bzealot said:

    I’ve been wanting to try MM for a while. I like that shape, and your comments are very helpful for me, because I have about the same size as you.

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