Once the Retrolution debuted, I was curious. Increasingly, brands are coupling their bras with shapewear or high waisted bottoms (See: Fantasie, Parfait). However, I think Gossard took it to the next level with their straightforwardly old school waist cincher. It's one of my great white whales: a glamorous shapewear item -- with garters! -- that matches a full bust bra. It's a bold move and definitely gets my stamp of approval. But, more to the point, the Gossard Half Padded intrigued me with it's shape. In the last few months, I've been obsessed with this particular type of bra, a demi with a horizontal seam from the bottom and an unseamed/seemingly unseamed top cup. These bras are much more common in the straight size market. Huit makes gorgeous ones and Wacoal unveiled their Retro Chic Demi last year, which follows along the same lines.
Unfortunately, these bras are tricky for the full bust market. They're great for forward projection and a "natural" breast appearance, i.e. cradled below and contained from above with a subtle angle. Imagine the Curvy Kate Lottie had a baby and it was a demi style with a seam that stopped around the nipple. With this strange image in mind, the biggest challenge they throw down for the DD+ group is the construction. They rely on minimal seam structure to offer a medium lift and a delicate "wear sensation". You don't feel like you're wearing "a lot of bra" while the garment is still shaping your boobs. But, as we all know, full busts definitely benefit from those helpful seams. From my research, I'd say the Claudette En Dentelle Demi and the Midnight Grace Gigi are the closest full bust options available. While I adore both these bras, they don't love me back. So my hunt continued and I had my eyes set on the Retrolution.
And I lucked out. The Retrolution provides me with exactly that old fashioned, vaguely 'two-part' demi I was looking for. I attribute my success with this bra, as opposed to the ones mentioned above, to a few fit factors. First of all, the band on this bra is FIRM. It was easily the firmest of the Gossard bras I sampled and runs along the lines of a 29" band. Secondly, the straps and construction are strong, while continuing to provide a delicate physicality. Although you wouldn't immediately guess it, the bra has an easy, comfortable feeling to it. The "less construction-still lifting" problem I mentioned above is resolved by the bra's padded bottom section, soft and flexible top cup and an interior side sling. Finally, I'm very happy with the fit. It was an epic match for my 28/30" band issue and my smallish Gs. Warning: I'd size UP in the cup, if you've been wearing a consistent size in the Eveden/Panache brands.
I've been raving about the design of this bra for awhile now and gave it several accolades in the past few weeks so I'll try to keep my enthusiasm in check. I know it's beating a dead horse, but pretty neutrals -- especially beige ones -- are hard to come by and I think the Blush shade is one of those diamonds in the rough. Like my semi-unrequited love of Chantelle designs, I think this style succeeds because there are multiple subtle details that are integrated into a lovely 'whole'. The pointed straps, the faintest hint of shimmer throughout the padded section, and the soft, intricate material on the upper half of the bra come together to make a gorgeous design. Message to Gossard: I'd definitely buy this bra in fashion colorways and reincarnations! Give your Retrolution designer/design team a raise. They knocked this one out of the park.
Who Would Like This Bra: My retro-loving pin-up style sisters, anyone on the 28/30" cusp, small G cups, ladies inclined towards soft, feminine textures, & gals looking to add an eccentric element to their lingerie drawer.
Who Would Not Like This Bra: Die-hard Cleo fans or anyone who goes for maximum uplift/circular shape, anyone on the cusp of Gossard's size range (G/GG cup girls), DD+ gals looking for some sexy pushed-together cleave.
***This bra was sent to me by the lovely people at Gossard and the gift did not sway or influence my opinion in any way. All the ravings, lingerie theories, and effusive mutterings are entirely my own.***