We interrupt your normal broadcast for a review of one of my favorite bras of all time. Yes, of all time. Enter the Avocado Ce Soir bra. A dear, sweet friend of mine gave me this a couple months ago as a surprise. I had no idea what to expect, so when I opened the package, I squealed with glee and danced around my bedroom whilst exclaiming “I have a strappy bra now!” Avocado has been another Polish import on my radar for some time, but as their pricing and quality tends toward luxury bridge (think $78+), I never took the plunge. As a result, not only was the gift exceptionally thoughtful and kind but also a risk-free way to survey the brand for the shop.
At the moment, my size fluctuates between a UK 34GG and 34H with the occasional need of a 36 band depending on the materials and cut. The Avocado Ce Soir is a 75J or UK 34GG which fits fairly well. My tissue completely fills up the cup without overflow except for slight verging during certain times of the month. Because of the innate stretch to the fabric, the cups accommodate these changes without losing shape, and the firm band closes on the loosest set of hooks but feels more comfortable with a 1/2″ extender. Gauging the sizing is a challenge with my weight gains and losses, but I think the cups run slightly generous while the band runs tighter.
On the sides and back, the Ce Soir features a restricted stretch but ultra smooth fabric to anchor comfortably for added support and control. Furthermore, the moderate coverage in the front keeps tissue contained, making the bra a practical workhorse even for people with more active jobs. Fully-adjustable back straps give maximum flexibility for fit, and the discreet, tight sewing on the seams minimize any lines under even thinner knits.
This is all well and good, but what about the design, right? What about the gorgeousness? What about those straps?! BDSM elements like harnesses, metal hardware, and strappy necklines show no signs of slowing down as a must-have lingerie trend. At first, like many trends, the bondage look began with smaller brands, typically high quality indies with high concepts but small size ranges. This is understandable as it takes a lot of work and money to develop trends across a broad size range, and for smaller brands, focusing on a tight range of sizes minimizes expenses and risk. As the trend became firmly rooted in the lingerie industry through the influence of bloggers, magazines, and other media savvy people, it also trickled down to your average consumer . . . most of whom wears a DD+. Consequently, there was almost a year where people like moi lusted after the trend with no real options available.
Why such a long time for a trend clearly on the rise? Because designing bras takes time. A lot of time. And a lot of experience. And also a lot of time. Why I mention this will become clear later in the review. When these options were finally coming to market, many of them were in mainstream sizes like A-DD cups, then slowly expanding up to F, and now we have options as high as a JJ. Of course, the bigger the size range, the higher the price. Elomi’s Soraya and Nicole designs retail for nearly $70 and were built on an existing frame (their successful plunge), use standard cup and wing fabrics, and have exactly two stationary straps going across each breast. When I posted pictures on Facebook, feedback was mixed with some believing the trend was either too daring to be practical or that the straps themselves would never sit flat on curvy figures or softer tissue. That’s fair. Cheaper versions of the harness trend have ended in some pretty awful tragedies.
However, the Ce Soir succeeds on every level. The straps attach at the top of the divider between the lower and upper cup and then extend onto an elastic neckline. The straps themselves stretch without flipping or rolling, and the thin elastic neckline itself unties to give the wearer options in how high or low the straps sit. A pleasant side effect of this design decision is the fit can be adjusted to suit longer or shorter vertical roots and torso length without sacrificing the aesthetic. Furthermore, the straps slide on the elastic, meaning you can adjust for your shape.
Technical details aside, let’s just all agree that this bra is hot. I-feel-like-a-bad-ass hot. Every time I wear the Ce Soir, I am emotionally ready to tackle whatever obstacles come my way. I love everything about it. The superb fit, beautiful shape, and high quality materials lend the same functionality as an everyday bra while the edgy design takes the concept to a new level. This is a bra that is meant to show. You don’t wear the Ce Soir under a turtleneck. Okay, you can if you want, but I prefer it underneath an open neck where the straps coming up look like part of the top. In a perfect twist of fate, the Ce Soir perfectly matches almost all my Bolero dresses.
Given the $100 retail price, the Ce Soir is officially the most expensive bra I have ever owned or reviewed, which naturally begs the question: Does the price befit the value? In my opinion, yes. One of the reasons I painstakingly went through the discussion on the trend evolution and added design costs was to provide context for the bra’s final price. With lingerie, the tendency can be to examine cost in terms of materials, fit, and maybe design as an afterthought. After all, you can feel the materials and see the fit, but with the design, it’s easy to miss many subtle details even for experts. For example, Karolina Laskowska told me today that most harness or strap designs use a bartack stitch for security. Now, I have no idea what that is (remember, I can’t even sew on buttons!), but apparently it’s one of the slower stitches to make and must be done correctly.
With the Ce Soir, the materials are already a high quality which reflects in the fit and comfort. This bra required no break-in period and is super comfortable for all day wear, due in large part to thoughtful touches like stretch near the arms, light weight fabrics, and smooth but sturdy wings. I’ve also been wearing and washing this bras for about two months now and it still looks brand new. Higher quality lines, like Avocado, often last longer giving you an excellent cost-per-wear. Factoring the time to create a well-fitting, trendy bra across 28-42 bands and up to UK GG cups, a $100 retail is totally appropriate.
As a side note, this is the kind of piece I would love to carry in the shop. I’m obviously bound by what sells, and y’all love your t-shirt bras . . . but there’s such a big world of beautiful lingerie out there that we really don’t get to explore. It was truly sweet of my friend to give me an opportunity to metaphorically travel to another place with the Ce Soir.
Overall Grade: A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++