Tutti Rouge has taken brave steps in their first collection by producing a half padded balconette, which are not commonly found on the British market, but are overwhelmingly popular in Poland. Dahlia and Kris Line, the brands who have the best reputations for this style, aren't readily available in the United States; the former does not have any presence here and the latter has a minimal one, with stockists that prefer their soft cups. Conversely, Tutti Rouge operates their own website and counts Bravissimo as one of their stockists so their decision to experiment with this shape was very, very exciting and guaranteed a market advantage. But Tutti Rouge has just released their debut collection and they're bound to experience growing pains. I think the Birds of a Feather's fit may be one of those uncomfortable transitions:
Like the Liliana and the Betty that I reviewed in June, I tried a 28G and the band was tight. If you're someone that wants a comfortable fit from the get-go, I'd order a band size up. Although I "feel" it when I first put it on, it wouldn't deter me from ordering this size again. I prefer firmer bands and I've noticed that my other Tutti bras open up after the first few wears. The cups passed all the fit requirements (the lace lay flat without spillover or gaping, the wires encapsulated all of my tissue, etc.) except for one glaring inconsistency...
As you can see from the photographs, the Birds of a Feather is reinforced at the bottom and looser on top which creates a slightly angled look. The bra's side panels were a little high on my body, which is a frequent occurrence in British bras, but the appearance and third panel weren't restrictive or distracting during wear. I wore this set under a 1940s belted day dress and I didn't feel overly self conscious.
The Birds of a Feather set is gorgeous -- the color of the lace is insanely flattering and the pink sparrows flying through dot outlined clouds is downright adorable. I liked the broader neckline, continuous strap construction and the wonderfully unique bottoms. Tutti Rouge sets are an amazing steal for the price and designer Jessica Prebble's attention to detail is awe inspiring. Of the Spring/Summer 2014 collections I saw, Tutti Rouge's was one of the strongest and I'm looking forward to seeing the revised fit of the Liliana next year. I applaud them for trying this tricky shape and I hope they make a "deeper bottomed, narrower sided" version in the future. And yes, I know how weird that sounds! :)
-If you enjoyed the older Curvy Kate Princess fit or Claudette's En Dentelle, then I'd wager you'd fit nicely into the Birds of a Feather. In silhouette, it also looks a little like the Gossard Retrolution Half Padded.
-Tutti Rouge's matching undies are rumored to run generously so I strongly recommend sizing down, if you can.
-The entire Spring/Summer 2013 collection is available on their website and ASOS Marketplace, while the Betty and Liliana are the only two sets sold through Bravissimo.