Comexim and Anna Pardal are my two personal reigning favorite bras not only because they consistently fit my shape better than any other manufacturer but also because they are willing to go above and beyond in the service to their customers, specifically through the use of customizable alterations to their bra designs. Because the alterations process is challenging and risky, I wrote a comprehensive guide a couple weeks ago to open a dialog about which alterations are available and how they can improve the fit problems experienced by certain customers. If you missed this post, I highly encourage you to read it as well as any of the other Anna Pardal or Comexim product reviews I wrote before going any further with today’s article. Rather than reviewing the Anna Pardal Felicity in the traditional sense, I am instead focusing on the alterations performed to this bra and how they change the fit. Reading the alterations post and a previous review or two will provide a better context for the comparisons.
Comexim and Anna Pardal offer consumers several different bra shapes, including a longline, a half-cup, and the classic plunge shape, and both brands are discussing adding more styles in the future. The Felicity falls into the classic plunge category defined by a three-section lightly padded cup, a low center gore, narrow underwires, and deeply projected cups which create a lifted, rounded profile. From reading prior reviews (you did do this, right?), you’ll know the classic shape fits me well with only the occasional issues with soft tacking or gaping near the straps. In fact, I specifically requested alterations for the sole purpose of writing the alterations guide rather than to improve the fit for myself, but I was excited to see if the the shape I had grown to love and view as a favorite would still be so even with a few revisions and tweaks. What alterations were performed on Felicity? Anna sent me Felicity with the gore and cup height reduced and the straps moved inward by 2cm, which she notes is a very commonly requested combination.
Sizing & Fit: In all of my Anna Pardal and Comexim bras, I wear a UK 32HH (70L in their original sizing), which is one cup size and one band size larger than my standard UK size. Lately, I have experienced a weight roller coaster, and while I am losing weight, I measure 31″ snugly with easily compressible tissue around my ribcage. Most 30 bands fit fine with the occasional need for a 32, making Felicity run true-to-size in the band. One of the concerns raised by reducing the cup height is the need to size up in the cup to compensate, and I personally found this to be unnecessary. When Comexim reduces the cup height, they make a triangular cut across the upper section of the cup, removing less from the middle and more toward the strap, thus not reducing the overall depth at the center by much. However, if you have a lot of heavy, center fullness, you may need a larger cup size.
In my experience, the strap area of the cup proves to be the most problematic area in higher cup sizes as well as for women with less upper fullness and/or a shorter vertical breast shape. One of the design changes Comexim and Anna Pardal may make in the future is to reduce the overall cup height of the original pattern for higher cup sizes, and I think this is a wise decision. Typically, I only experienced a minor gaping at the top near the strap, but reducing the cup made the fit absolutely perfect. The cup contours beautifully to me without any extra space. One small alteration corrected what I had dismissed as a fit quibble and made me fall even more in love with the shape.
Likewise, moving the straps inward by 2cm was another alteration I did not think I needed given my linebacker worthy shoulders, but not only does the strap placement feel even more comfortable but it allowed for a better fit at the top of the cup. On my alterations post, some proposed alterations to the bra frames received backlash because they were not universally needed or liked, but I do not foresee how the small move to the straps would create problems for anyone, especially given how necessary it is for others. Once I wore the modified Felicity, I realized I always wear my bra straps at a slight angle and have done so for years. It never bothered me, but now I am completely spoiled. In the future, I will only order Comexim/Anna Pardal bras with a reduced cup and the straps moved inward because of how much the fit improved.
Moving onto the lowered gore, I found the gore tacked firmer than my other Comexim and Anna Pardal bras, but the neckline is obviously lower now too with more cleavage. While I love having the option of moving the gore and find the tacking is improved, I know I would only want one or two bras with this modification, simply because I move and bend over so much in my daily job. I would love to have a mix of gore heights I can rely on based on whether the day is usually busy or slower, and I love how both brands offer me that option.
Materials & Design: I want to preface this section by saying that as of the time of posting, Felicity has not released yet and is not available for order. Anna Pardal is working on securing the fabric, and I may have to update this piece later on with any changes. Having said that, Felicity is absolutely gorgeous. The deep plum lace on the lighter beige background looks beautiful across skin tones, and I adore the contrasting green ribbon. Green is my favorite color, and I have been craving green bras for a while now. The use of such a vivid, verdant shade against the darker plum creates a lush contrast which I would love to see carried onto the straps. However, I did read some people prefer the ribbon to be black for a more elegant, understated combination, but the green sells the bra to me.
True to their roots, Anna Pardal only uses high quality materials. Embellished fully-adjustable straps allow you to customize fit while three hook-and-eye closures provide comfortable back support. Lovely lace wings with restricted stretch anchor to the body to lift the weight of the bust without the threat of wearing out quickly. I can personally attest to the quality of Anna Pardal as all of the bras I ordered last year are still in my rotation despite Fifi and Emmeline receiving more than 200 wears each. They are nearly ready for retirement, but like the champs they are, both bras helped me through a year of weight gain and loss as well as chronic illness. You get what you pay for with this line, and to be cliche, the bras are worth every penny.
Final Thoughts: If you have experienced any fit issues with Anna Pardal or Comexim, consider altering the bras to resolve those problems. Overall, I am incredibly impressed both with the tweaks performed to the bra as well as with the over quality and design of Felicity itself. Hopefully, these will be ready to ship soon.
For more information, feel free to check out the video below: