As soon as Parfait announced they would be expanding their traditional 30-40 UK D-G line to include 28 bands and GG-K cups in select styles, lingerie lovers everywhere squealed with delight and waited on bated breath for the debut. Given how much I have enjoyed Parfait’s playful designs from afar, I naturally ordered both a Charlotte and a Sophia for myself. Today, I’ll be reviewing the Charlotte in the gorgeous dusty rose color, but the bra is also available in red, peach, and an upcoming hot pink.
Sizing: At the start of the year, I began an herbal supplement regiment which had the unintended side effect of changing my breast size and shape. In the last several months, I gained half a cup size and increased the firmness of my tissue, thus changing the styles which worked for me and what size I needed. Originally, I ordered the 30HH but ultimately needed to bump up to the 30J instead. While the J cup is better, I still have a slight overflow toward the center, especially during certain times of the month. Since the bra is more affordable, I may buy a second one in the JJ cup too. Even though the cup runs small, the band is true to size and sports firm and supportive wings that provide impressive side support and anchorage.
Fit: The fit on the Charlotte is unlike any other bra I have tried in that the cups are rather tall but quite shallow, and the underwires are narrow although not as narrow as the Cleo Marcie or Zia. Furthermore, the neckline features a v-shape that borders somewhere between a balcony and plunge bra, and I find the style gives me light cleavage toward the center and a rounded profile from the side.
Originally, I intended to use the Charlotte as a replacement for my ill-fitting Deco, and I find it serves its purpose. The center gore could withstand being lower, and women hoping this bra will have a shorter gore need to look elsewhere. Mine sits about a 1/4″ below my Marcie and Zia bras. However, I find the design works well as an everyday bra too, in part due to the high comfort level. Keep in mind that I am over 5’6″ and have a long torso, and as a result, the tall underwires and sides do not bother me and actually feel quite supportive. Women who are petite, short-waisted, or have high set breasts may experience fit issues because of the height, especially if they need J+ cup sizes.
Finally, because of the shallow design, I have a finger width’s amount of space at the bottom of the cup, but given the $38 price, the fit quibble was not enough to deter me from keeping the Charlotte and wearing it often. In fact, the first day I wore it was a hectic day at the store, and I never once felt any discomfort or pain.
Materials: With a significantly lower price point than most of my bras, I was skeptical about the quality of materials, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sturdiness and durability of both the fabric and hardware. Lightly padded and flexible cups allow the design to contour better to breast tissue, and the cotton-like fabric lining the cup is dreamy. Contrast side panel on the exterior adds to the forward projection while providing an aesthetic pop to the design. Moreover, the straps are fully-adjustable but roughly an inch in width, which helps disperse the weight on the shoulder but could be a turn-off for some women. Cup size does not impact the width either as even the 28GG sports a wide strap. Finally, my favorite feature of the bra is the wide wings with side stays and four hook-and-eye closures in the back. The added width and hooks improve the side support of the bra and diffuse the weight of the breasts across a larger surface area, simultaneously alleviating pressure on the back and improving posture. Other fuller-bust companies, please take note!
Design: As I mentioned, the Charlotte teeters between a padded balcony/half-cup style and a v-shaped plunge, and I like the compromise because it creates sexy cleavage and an open neckline but not at the cost of separation, support, or containment. The dusty rose color is more saturated than the promotional shots and acts as a pseudo-neutral on my skin tone. Black contrast piping complete the vintage ambiance, but I would love to see a basic version of the bra too for a smoother profile under clothes.
Other Comments: Considering the new styles are Parfait’s first foray into GG+ sizing, I have to applaud their solid effort. In the future, the height of the cups and sides as well as the center gore could be lowered, and the cups could definitely be deeper too. As it is, I feel like there are going to be a lot of women unable to wear the bra because of the tall, shallow design. On the positive side, the underwire placement is wonderful, and the flexible padding gives more leeway with cup size and fit. Check out the video below for more information!
Overall Grade: A for Effort, B for Execution