When I first saw the Fantasie Susanna basque several months ago in the antique gold and black color palette, my heart fluttered with excitement and desire, and in December, I caved to my lingerie lust and ordered one as a Christmas treat. However, the basque was so popular, Fantasie completely sold out until the middle of February. Consequently, as I opened my UPS parcel last week, the anticipation mounted, and I hoped my expectations for how this piece would look and fit were not met, but exceeded.
Sizing: Since Fantasie does not make the Susanna basque in my usual 30H, I sized up to the 32GG. The basque reaches slightly below the top of my hip, thus allowing the added length to compensate for a lower band around the top. My gamble succeeded because the size works perfectly. In a few areas, the hook-and-eye closures could be tightened, but overall, I feel secure and comfortable in the 32 band. In fact, women needing 28 bands could easily wear this style without alterations—a nice bonus for customers traditionally sized out of the brand. Finally, the GG cup works well which I expected because 30H and 32GG are sister or equivalent sizes.
Fit: My softer breast tissue receives phenomenal lift and shaping from the Susanna, and I love the natural shape of the cups (although some may find they border too closely to pointy). Furthermore, the underwire in the center and on the sides is truer to what you would expect from Fantasie, meaning it strikes a nice balance between narrow and wide width. Even though the lace at the top is not as stretchy as perennial favorites like the Panache Andorra or Jasmine, the cup still contours well to my shape, and the lace embroidery detail does not cut into any breast tissue. In general, I feel like the cup shape is designed to be flexible for different breast shapes rather than cater to one in particular.
The bottom portion of the basque provides light to moderate hold in the midsection to create a smooth, shapely appearance. For reference, I have a naturally narrower waist than my hips and ribcage, but the design of the Susanna would work for women with straighter or slight apple figures as well. Women with more weight in the tummy may want to size up in the band for this style.
Materials: Because the Susanna basque retails for $115, I can safely say that it is not an inexpensive piece, and as a result, I expect to see from where the additional cost derives. In this case, I feel like the materials absorb the bulk of the expense. Starting with the shoulders, the straps are a perfect illustration of how you can utilize a fully-adjustable strap with some personality. Ruching along the strap and a small trim add a thoughtful design touch even if moving the straps is slightly more difficult.
On the top of the cup, Fantasie opted for a moderate stretch lace embroidery which does not feel scratchy or abrasive, and on the lower cup, the satiny gold lining underneath the stunning floral lace feels dreamy to the touch. Not to mention, because the satin has less give, the support and lift provided from the cup is impressive and prevents heavier breast tissue from weighing down the fabric.
Moving to the bottom of the basque, the same gold fabric lines the interior to provide added hold without sacrificing comfort. Most women consider their tummy to be a problem region, and the fabric coupled with the boning shapes and smooths the midsection without feeling binding. However, the back of the basque features a fine mesh which compares to a powernet wing for your body. Aside from providing fabulous smoothing and control, the mesh feels breathable and lightweight too. I imagine using the gold fabric for the entire torso section would feel too warm during longer periods of wear.
Design: The Fantasie Susanna Basque perfectly combines practicality with aesthetics by blending support and control with a hefty dose of vintage appeal. Antique gold linings contrast with black floral lace to create a glamorous, sexy, and distinctly grown-up piece which allows your beauty and confidence to shine. Instead of wearing traditional shapewear pieces like smoothing panties or shapers, try the Susanna to receive the same shaping and control but with an eye-catching design. Working equally well for the bedroom or for special occasions, the Susanna truly embodies traditional lingerie aesthetic with a modern twist.
Personal Caveat: On the right side only, the boning tends to stab me in the ribs a little whenever I sit or bend over. Removing the boning entirely would resolve this, but I wonder if the basque would stay put and not roll throughout the day. Moreover, the style is quite warm. In the 15 minutes I wore the basque for the accompanying video and pictures, I already broke a light sweat. My job involves moving, twisting, bending, and even running on a daily basis, and I am concerned that, as downright gorgeous as the Susanna is, I will not be able to wear except for special occasions.
Overall Grade: A