To be blogging again feels amazing! Writing fulfills my soul, even if I am just chatting about bras, lingerie, and walking pneumonia. Today is all about the Samanta Desert A170 bra and how it relates to the ways European companies curtail their offerings for the North American market. Several months ago, Marzena of Samanta sent me the A170 to examine the fit because the bra specifically targets consumers wanting a minimizer. In the US, the term minimizer is fairly well known, and as the name implies these bras redistribute breast tissue to make the overall shape of the bust anywhere from 1″ to 3″ smaller than it is. Most accomplish this through the use of structured 2-ply fabric which helps compress while simultaneously shifting the bust vertically and horizontally across the chest.
Interestingly, many European lingerie manufacturers to do not use the term minimizer unless they are specifically tarketing American markets, and in some cases, they won’t make anything remotely close to them either. *cough* Comexim and Ewa Michalak *cough* If the manufacturer does offer a minimizing style, the brand may call it something like Simone Perele’s “Rigid Molded” style or may choose to eschew specific labels altogether. With Samanta, Marzena mentioned the A170 model was one they hoped to showcase to American consumers, and even though I’m not a minimizer fan, I was curious to see how it compared to existing powerhouses.
My weight has been on a steady incline for the last two years (something I plan to discuss in a future post), and I find myself firmly in the 34 (sometimes even 36) band territory now. At the time of the video and pictures, I was straddling 32 to 34 depending on tightness, and the 75J (UK 34GG) fit well in the band on the loosest set of hooks. The wings were soft and comfortable yet firmly anchored to my body; however, the cup was a size small. In 34 bands, I wore between a GG and H cup, and in the A170, I needed the UK H (Samanta K) cup. Compared to other frames like the A925 or the A111, the A170 model does run a full cup size small. When fully scooped, my breast tissue overflowed the top and created significant tacking issues.
In the past, I mentioned how Samanta does not deem tacking as essential as other companies, and I think the blogosphere and a lot of fit advice (mine included) swings hard toward tacking because that’s how we’ve been taught the bra should fit both by other fitters and by the brands. Sometimes it’s good to remember that not every culture or manufacturer approaches bra fitting the same way we do! That said, I think the A170 would actually tack well on customers with softer tissue or those with less center projection. I have a lot of dense tissue in the center, and under the best circumstances it will fight an underwire without enough immediate depth. When the wire is softer and the cup is shallower at the center gore, it ain’t gonna happen. Speaking of a softer wire, this can be a wonderful element for anyone with rib tenderness or who sometimes faces issues with underwires pressing too hard. Wacoal, for example, offers several excellent minimzers, but some customers find the heavier gauge wire too inflexible and rigid against the body. The A170 would give them the subdued profile without the pain.
The shape on the A170 is also quite shocking. It definitely minimizes the bust but manages to do so in a flattering way. I personally find most minimizers spread tissue across the chest away from the front and into the side of the arm (the tissue has to go somewhere, after all) for an overall mashed appearance. While the A170 does redistribute the tissue, the profile is wonderfully lifted and rounded too. It’s like they made some of my boobage disappear without sacrificing a natural rounded shape either. It certainly helped some of my tighter fitting dresses and tops close or sit better across the bust.
Like most Polish bras, the wires on the A170 are narrower although not incredibly so, and the overall height is lower to ensure better comfort on the side. Inset straps prevent slippage, especially on narrow or sloped shoulders, and are fully-adjustable with a cushioned thickness and smooth fabric. Lightweight two-ply mesh on the cups remains breathable and soft while slick fabric on the wings never rubs or chafes. Per usual, Samanta only uses the best materials with high quality craftsmanship.
For the bulk of the review, I’ve referred the bra primarily as the A170 due to Samanta’s brand structure (read more about that here). This A170 is from the Desert Collection, a soft neutral assortment in a sandy color with a unique flat-laying print reminiscent of sand dunes. One of my oft-repeated expressions is “You can only do so much with beige” usually when a client wants a smooth bra in a neutral color but laments the plainness. European manufacturers, to their credit, seem cognizant of the complaint and include thoughtful touches on some designs. In this case, the bra sports a lovely print on the cup, adorable square shaped bows, a lace applique on the center cradle, and a fancy S pendant dangling in the middle. All these details do not interfere with the bra’s ability to disappear underneath thinner tops but keep the aesthetic more interesting. The rich gold undertones to the sand color flatter a range of skin tones, and I prefer this to the standard yellow-beige a certain company uses *cough* Eveden *cough*. Overall, Samanta created a wonderful entry into the minimzer category—a practical, comfortable, well-fitted basic for anyone wanting less projection!