As a store owner, a bra fitter, and a lingerie enthusiast, I am always seeking out new brands and products both for myself and for my customers. Exploring the marketplace for hidden gems can lead to a creative inventory assortment which distinguishes a small business from a big box competitor, and with bras, new brands and products can not only offer the chance to find more innovative solutions to customer requests but can also allow for a wonderful relationship with a vendor you respect. With this sentiment in mind, I was speaking with a sales representative for another company we offer who also happens to work with Fit Fully Yours, and she raved about the fit and the quality of the line. Furthermore, she noted Fit Fully Yours values retail partners by protecting territories, handling orders swiftly, and ensuring their products are not discounted or sent to outlet stores. Since most of my readers are regular consumers, the latter endorsements are probably irrelevant, but as a tired, overworked entrepreneur, I am more likely to dedicate a chunk of our budget to a company that makes things easier on me. Of course, no matter how great a company can be to work with, their products’ fit and quality must be top notch for our customers, and so I ordered a few for myself, including the Nicole See-Thru Lace!
Sizing & Fit: Because Fit Fully Yours is a North American company, the sizing is not going to be the same as a brand like Panache, and you will need to know your equivalent US/Canadian size in order to purchase the bra. On account of weight gain, my bra size is currently a US 30L to 32K (UK 30HH to 32H) which is not offered in the Nicole, and I opted instead to order the 32J (UK 32GG), expecting the size to not fit perfectly. However, the 32J fits comfortably tight on the loosest hooks, and the cup has no gaping, wrinkling, or overflow. In fact, the size fits beautifully, and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself within the Nicole size range. Because the band and fabric fit firmer, anyone between sizes may benefit from sizing up like I did, and I do think the cup shape is slightly more generous than some of the UK bras I tried recently.
Because I have tried on a considerable number of bras as well as fit thousands of people, it’s hard when I write these reviews or evaluate a new product to not draw comparisons, and with the Nicole, I am reminded of the Panache Superbra line. The center gore of Nicole uses a medium, slightly splayed width, but the cup depth is enough to not press my tissue toward the side. Overall, the coverage falls in the flattering “moderate” zone with enough height to provide hold and support without treading into turtleneck territory. Furthermore, the bottom of the cup offers enough space for my tissue to rest comfortably, but the wire shape is too wide on the sides, creating extra space between tissue and underwire.
I have mentioned before a common side effect of a wide bra frame on a narrow-rooted person, like me, is the area of the cup near the arms clips into the delicate skin, sometimes causing welts or abrasions. The underwires can also stab or poke, but Nicole deftly eschews both issues for a lovely, comfortable fit. To encourage a rounded, lifted shape, Nicole features an interior side panel made from a lightly padded foam and covered in soft fabric. Usually, brands either include an interior side sling made from a 2-ply mesh or swap out the sling entirely for a fourth panel as part of the cup design, but Fit Fully Yours instead used this firmer but still softly textured piece. Side panels and slings function by supporting side breast tissue and bringing it forward into the cup, and while a nice feature in theory, they sometimes fall short in practice. Depending on the shape of the bra, the shape of the breasts, and the denseness of the tissue, the side panel may not be sturdy enough to offer much in the way of support and projection. With the light foam pad of the Nicole, the cups sport an extra stability component to fully maximize the use of the side sling.
Materials & Design: For next year, I have a post brewing about how I judge quality as it deserves a lengthier discussion, but suffice it to say, part of my analysis centers on a comparative mix of what I tested personally, what I have seen in person, and what feedback I have read or heard about the construction and longevity. These elements materialize into a difficult-to-quantify internal metric for whether I think a product is of “good” quality and matches the retail price. Nicole starts at $69, but the design is so well-executed, thoughtful, and precise the bra could easily retail higher.
The powernet wings anchor on the sides for smoothing and hold, and the fabric feels as though it will maintain shape overtime without stretching too quickly. A 2-ply mesh lower cup gives an added boost to the lift and shape, and fully-adjustable straps allow maximum customization. The straps themselves are slightly stretchier, and I know some shoppers prefer a heavier, restricted-stretch strap. Personally, I have no preference, but I wanted to note this in the review.
Providing a peek-a-boo quality, the top of the cup uses a sheer mesh and allows the ornate, intricate embroidery to shine. Despite the details across the breadth of the cup and cradle, the Nicole offers discretion under clothing as the embroidery is fairly flat. From an aesthetic perspective, I am shocked by how much I love this bra. Brown (or something in the brown/beige family) is probably my least favorite color, and if you noticed what I wear or review, the color schemes center on black, white, gray, and navy. However, with my anti-brown caveat in place, I must admit the rich, smooth chocolate allows the vibrancy of the turquoise embroidery to pop for an elegant, almost Southwest-inspired design.
In the fashion world, turquoise and chocolate are a more common and even classic pairing, but in lingerie, these colors are a little more rare, especially together. There’s something refreshingly different about the Nicole and how it bucks the popular trend of dark blues and purples. Darker skin tones may find the chocolate mesh blends to give the embroidery a tattoo-like quality, and even on my pale skin, I love the contrast and look, so much so I considered keeping the bra for myself. The only reason I opted against it was my weight transition. I am losing weight and am following my own advice of not overbuying during this time. That said, depending on where my size and body lands in the next six months, I would certainly consider picking this back up!