Last week, I posted a glowing review to the new Anna Pardal Hibiscus Longline in the classic plunge shape, and today I want to compare and review a longline with the three-section half-cup design, similar to the Doyenne on the website. The sample I received is for the as yet unreleased Anna Pardal Rosa, which I am told should be on the website soon.
After shooting the videos, I compared Hibiscus and Rosa and realized why Rosa fits so much tighter: the firm, heavy fabric on the center panel extends all the way around the wing. With Hibiscus, the heavier fabric is limited to the front panel and then transitions to a standard and thus more flexible powernet mesh. Rosa is not uncomfortable to wear, and I have done so at the shop once or twice . . . but only on days I am feeling especially svelte and plan my meals carefully.
As with Hibiscus, the longline portion of the bra is incredible. I won’t rehash my gush-fest over the longline again, but I will note the band stays put and feels comfortable all while eschewing the traditional boning. To be necessarily redundant: It’s incredible! My analytical tendencies kicked in over the weekend, and I believe the overall improved fit here originates with the length of Anna Pardal and Comexim longlines. My Curvy Kate Carmen barely extends more than an inch past the underwire, but as you can see from the photos and video, these hit me at my natural waist. The overall effect not only improves my posture and the overall support of the bra but it also smooths my sides and back for a slimmer silhouette. Comexim and Anna Pardal seriously knocked the ball out of the park on their longline!
In the past, I have steadfastly ordered the classic plunge shape, sometimes with modifications, because half-cups tend to utilize wider, shallower designs which are at odds with my close-set heavy tissue. As a result, I went into the review expecting shape problems but also sizing issues. I realized after I requested the 34H size that the half-cup bras often require sizing up for a good fit, and when I fully scoop the breast tissue, there is overflow toward the front. The center gore does not fully tack either, and if I press it inward, I wonder if a 34J would not have been even better because the overflow becomes more severe. As expected, the center and bottom cups are more shallow than I need, but I am still getting impressive support and lift here. The comfort level of the bra was nice too, but throughout the day, I did need to periodically adjust myself. My heavier center tissue wanted to push the cups down further or to spill out the center.
With these critiques in mind, if you experience fit problems with the plunge shape because of the depth, narrowness, or cup height, consider the half-cup style instead. The comfort and support are lovely and have worked well on special order, particularly for those in the D-G cup size range. With a few tweaks, I think the three-section half-cup could work for fuller-busts too—a common request I have fielded lately.
Materials & Design: Because of Anna Pardal’s commitment to quality, I am never disappointed in her use of materials. The lightly padded cup provides firm support without becoming too rigid, and all of the fabrics resting against skin are non-abrasive to prevent irritation. Fully-adjustable straps allow you to improve the fit of the cups, and two columns of six hook-and-eye closures offer flexibility for when the band looses elasticity. Of course, the heavier, restricted-stretch fabric extending onto the wings makes this situation unlikely for some time, and even the slightly stretchier Hibiscus shows no signs of breaking down quickly.
One of the reasons I am excited to see Rosa debut on the website is because it is a personal favorite for me. Anna Pardal often releases collections with sophisticated combinations of neutral colors, relying on textural laces and unique prints to craft a luxurious design, but the feisty Rosa is a fearless, bright beacon in the collection. Hot pink and black never fail to look sharp together, and I love the contrast piping and black floral lace at the top of the cup. Instead of the typical rose print complete with color or ornate details, Anna Pardal subtly nods to the bloom using a light-reflecting monotone print which showcases the curves and contours rather than the precise details. The smooth fabric shines more in person than on film, but I love how Rosa showcases how successfully Anna Pardal transitions a classic lingerie staple into something slightly different.
Overall Grade: B for me, A for shallower breast types
Wait, what’s this? The review hasn’t ended yet? . . .
Hopefully, you have visited the revamped Anna Pardal website already, and I am sure you noted the Rosa will retail in the $80-$90 ballpark (what’s up with me and baseball metaphors today?). One of the blog posts I have brewing for the future is a frank discussion of lingerie quality and pricing, and Anna Pardal is a prime example I will be using. Yes, you will pay about $20 more than a Freya Longline, but the quality of materials far exceeds many fuller-bust options. The price tag also grants you access to a design team which is constantly evolving to improve the fit across all sizes as well as one which offers custom alterations. Sometimes, the price tag comes from the name on the tag. In the case of Anna Pardal, you pay more because the product costs more to make and is an all-around better piece. It may be an investment piece, but it’s something that will last you.
And this leads me to our BONUS!
At the same time Anna Pardal sent me Rosa, Comexim sent over a sample of their longline bra. Since mine is not available, I think they may have used scrap fabric, but I want to briefly compare them. For starters, the band on the Comexim 34H is loose. I would have needed the 32 for a comfortable fit as I needed to wear this one on the tightest set of hooks. The cups are also a size small like Rosa, but the fit on the Anna Pardal is better. The half-cup shape and I do battle throughout the day as I mentioned above, but it’s nowhere near the kind of battle I have with Comexim. I pushed the entire bra so far down at one point that I was concerned I was going to have a nip slip pop up. The longline part is still great, but you can tell there is a difference here in materials. The fabrics feel thinner, a little stretchier, and more on par with what I’ve come to expect from the brand. Now, don’t get me wrong. I freakin’ love Comexim, and I plan on stocking one of their half-cups or longlines in the shop in the coming months because the fit is still lovely and the price point is a nice counter to Anna Pardal. But, I wanted to emphasize why it is you would spend about $56 on this longline and $86 on the Anna Pardal. There is definitely a quality difference here that accounts for the price shift.