Hello everyone! Originally, I hoped to review the Fit Fully Yours Maxine a couple years ago when I was still wearing a UK 30H and consequently purchased the bra in size North American 32J (UK 32GG). However, before I found time to prepare the necessary materials, my size changed, and the bra I purchased no longer fit. No big deal, right? I moved on to other items with the intention of circling back to Maxine soon. Eventually, I repurchased the bra in a 34J (UK 34GG) and added the review back in the queue. Spoiler alert: My weight continued to roller coaster, by which I mean it went up at a sharp incline while I looked down at my scale screaming “Whyyyyyyyy?” Last fall, I not only repurchased Maxine for the third time, a 36J (UK 36GG), but I also decided to test the style in the store and gauge customer feedback. Sometime around November, I took pictures and shot a video only for them to mysteriously vanish and need to be redone a few weeks ago. Persistence is a virtue in my book, and I am extraordinarily pleased to finally present the review.
In all size iterations, I found the band on Maxine to be rather firm, and I usually prefer to size up once in Fit Fully Yours. The brand uses firmer materials and a tighter cut than competitors Panache, Curvy Kate, or Freya. The band on my 36J fits comfortably snug on the loosest set of hooks, and the cup size seems correct too. As I mentioned, molded cups, especially those employing more rigid foam like Maxine, often create fit problems because . . . well, they’re molded! This is because they may not be your molds. Molded cups often make no concessions to your shape and tissue type, and if your breasts are not similar to the shape of the molded cup, the fit problems worsen. One way to improve fit is to use a softer, more flexible material like memory foam or spacer fabric, but some people prefer to heavier, less flexible foam for more lift and better nipple coverage.
In the 36J, I do not have significant gaping or overflow, and if I press the apex of the cup, I feel my tissue fully filling it. When I tried the 36I, I experienced overflow at the top and the cup pressed harder into my breast. Near the center gore on the 36J, the cup buckles and gapes, which I have seen occur several times in the fitting room. Moving up the lipped edge of the cup, the contouring improves before reaching the strap where it once again has extra space. The cups are too tall and too rigid to achieve a good fit on my shape.
However, Maxine is not without some positive fit features including a narrow center gore and U-shaped underwires which encapsulate tissue and gently bring it forward for a rounded, lifted profile. Most molded cups exploit an average or wider center and sometimes feature underwires which rest too far back on the ribs. As a result, the center may not tack fully, and the extra space on the side between breast tissue and underwire can cause folding or wrinkling. Because my shape is narrower anyway, I do experience the latter to a minor extent, but nowhere near as much as other styles. Furthermore, the height on the sides of the wire and cup is not overly tall to create chafing or discomfort.
Maxine also sports lightly padded, wide straps to cushion the shoulder at the expense of full adjustability. I’ve said it before and will say it until I retire (probably after then too): Full-bust bras need a fully-adjustable strap. I know, I know. Some people beg for wide or padded straps, but for too many people, the lack of full adjustability means the straps never tighten or loosen enough for a comfortable fit. While the materials on the Maxine straps are restricted-stretch, which can help alleviate problems related to long straps, I still have clients who would have achieved a better fit if we could tighten the strap more.
In the fitting room, Maxine is truly a love-it-or-hate it bra, and I’ve since learned that applies to retailers too. In my experience, customers either become Maxine devotees, purchasing the bra in all of its many available colors, or scrunch up their noses and outright reject it. There are few people in the middle. There are a lot of good things going on with Maxine. The shape manages to balance projection with a mildly minimizing profile—something Serena Lace, another Fit Fully Yours bra, also accomplishes. Restricted stretch wings anchor firmly to lift the bust, and all of the materials are top notch quality. Whether Maxine works for you boils down to whether the taller, more rigid cups fit okay.
Many of Fit Full Yours’ bras start at $60 and go as high as $89, making them a quality oriented brand, but I also think it is necessary to evaluate whether you gain added value for the higher price. As of writing, I have yet to discover a style in which fit Fit Fully Yours used inferior materials. Everything from the meticulous way the underwire channels are sewn to the light padding on the straps to the fabrics on the cups and wings befits the $80 price tag. While $80 may seem expensive, it’s commensurate with the molded cup offerings of many UK brands. Freya’s Deco Vibe is $69, Curvy Kate’s Smoothie is $70, and Elomi’s Amelia and Panache’s Sasha are both $78. While the cost of bras really deserves a separate blog post, suffice it to say bras are expensive to design and produce, especially molded cup styles in large size ranges. My experience with Fit Full Yours, Maxine included, has always been positive. They aim to create styles which fit, wear well, and really last.
On the aesthetic front, can I also just say I am in love with this color? The first two versions I purchased where in the bilberry which reads like a rich navy, but the silver is divine. It’s hard to find metallic inspired lingerie in fuller-bust, and I think the luxurious shine is a subtle way of dabbling with your inner diva. Maxine also sports a beautiful embroidered lace on the straps which makes them more stylish and less matronly than most wide straps, and the threading really pops without creating issues under thin knits. Furthermore, if you are of the pale persuasion, like myself, it can function as a perfect alternative to oh-so-boring-beige as your flesh-tone bra.
Lastly, I want to close with a little tease of the future. I saw samples earlier this year of a new style which I am likening to Maxine 2.0 as it shares but also modifies (for the better!) some of the features on the classic Maxine. When it releases, I will be sure to buy myself one . . . hopefully, only one.