When launching a new product or brand in the store, I prefer if I can see samples to determine quality, fit, and materials, especially if those samples are in a size I can try myself. However, given my current size of UK 32H, my ability to try before buying is somewhat limited, but Polish manufacturer Samanta—in addition to molded cups, push-ups, and delightful vertical seam half-cups—makes a few bras designed to fit larger sizes. Since shipping from Poland can be pricey, I was thrilled when Sweet Nothings sent me two of the Samanta bras she reviewed on her blog as gifts. Since we’re size twinsies, it was a fabulous, risk-free way to determine if the designs and products met my exacting standards. As a result, today I will be reviewing the A925 model from the Mintaka collection with a second review of the A111 coming later this week. (Note: If you have not already done so, I highly recommend you read the Prelude to a Product Review post I wrote last week as it covers information on Samanta’s brand strategy, sizing, and pricing that I will not be covering in today’s review.)
Sizing & Fit: The A925 is one of Samanta’s two semi-soft bras which utilize a lightly padded two-section lower cup and a traditional sheer embroidered upper cup. Most UK companies bypass the idea of two fabric textures in a bra, favoring instead either a totally padded or non-padded design. Outside of the Tutti Rouge Liliana, I am hard pressed to think of many semi-soft designs from UK companies. I heard from Jackie Keto, owner of Her Underthings in New York, that bands for Samanta ran firm, and I tend to agree. Sweets sent me a 70K (roughly equivalent to a UK 32H) which fits well. Since the bra is lightly used, I can’t be sure how much it has stretched, but I am wearing the band on the loosest setting comfortably. In fact, the bra has that wonderful “broken in” feeling without compromising on support or lift. The cups are perfect with no gaping, wrinkling, or overflow, leading me to believe this is size I would order for the future.
Like other Polish companies, Samanta uses a narrower underwire and more projected cup which is perfect for close set and narrow rooted breasts. Samanta is wider than Comexim (although almost everything is), and I do have a small amount of space on the side of the cup. Keep in mind I have almost no side breast tissue, but I do not mind if the underwire extends further than I need provided everything feels comfortable. The center gore is narrow as well and offers a fair amount of projection. Given the shape, I think the A925 would be a nice alternative for people who either need slightly wider underwires than Comexim and/or prefer a bra with more coverage.
Despite the narrow gore and deep cups, the center gore tacks well at the bottom and then soft tacks toward the top. As I have become more familiar with Polish and European lingerie brands, I have learned the hard “UK tack” is not universally popular, and I know I have personally experienced bruising and tenderness from heavy gauge wires, especially those in fuller coverage styles like this one. As a result, when a bra soft tacks near the top, I typically evaluate whether this quibble impacts anything else about the fit, shape, or aesthetic of the bra. For the A925, the soft tacking does not negatively impact anything about the bra nor does it compromise the lift and separation. My breasts remain fully separated in the cups, regardless of how much moving or bending I perform. Furthermore, because the gore height and coverage is higher (Samanta specifically states the bra is designed to cover 80% of the bust), the soft tacking actually prevents the bra from digging into any tissue.
The padding in the cup combined with the vertical seaming directly underneath the heaviest part of the bust offers excellent support, so much so I hardly feel any weight on my shoulders, and the underwire and cup shape works to pull breast tissue inward for a rounded, forward profile. Sweets told me this was her favorite, and it’s easy to see why. The bra is really comfortable and does not dig or pinch anywhere. Even though the sides were slightly wide, the general depth allows me to fully fill out the cup, and a lowered arm prevents chaffing or rubbing.
Each wing utilizes a side stay to shore up the two hook-and-eye closures in the back. Ordinarily, I prefer at least three hooks because of the added support and smoothing, but the combination of a wider wing and side stays improves the A925’s ability to anchor to the body and disperse the weight of the bust. I didn’t even realize it was only two hooks at first! On the flip side, side stays are a design feature which can provoke some strong feelings, but they are easy to remove from a bra. I, personally, like a side stay for the added support, but I also stand more than I sit, which could impact my feelings.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t criticize the bra for one thing. The strap placement is too wide, causing me to angle the straps inward more rather than wearing them as intended. The bra remains comfortable, and the lift and shaping is not compromised. If I place the straps where it feels like they should be worn, they are on the tips of my shoulders . . . and I am a broad shouldered person! People with narrow or sloped shoulders may not be able to wear the bra at all for this reason.
Materials & Design: On the video, I said I wasn’t sure which of the three Samanta price point collections Mintaka fell within, but I have since learned the bra is part of their Pret-a-Porter collection, which is on par with Panache Superbra and Freya (roughly $62-$70 per bra). The quality really shines through in the design decisions, the materials, and the thoughtful details. Restricted stretch straps (I do prefer fully-adjustable in fuller-bust lines) do not dig in and feature a lovely embroidery and texture in the front. The wings are smooth and soft, and the padding in the bottom cup is the perfect amount to lift tissue without feeling too heavy or thick.
The opulent purple base is complimented by contrasting gold embroidery as well as subtle purple threading which offers a sense of depth without detracting from the flattering purple/yellow juxtaposition. On the lower cup, the embroidery consists of small flowers and vines, but the upper cup reminds me of a circus because of the Ferris wheel shapes. Samanta also includes their name written in lace on the wing of their bras for a cute way of branding the item. I also love the semi-soft idea. I mentioned above how this design is not as prevalent, but I think the way it combines two cup types together is smart and interesting. The lower cup can provide nipple protection for anyone afraid to go totally sheer while the upper cup still offers a peek-a-boo quality as well as the fit flexibility of something less padded. I’d love to see more companies adopting this idea in the future!
I have been wearing the bra for a few weeks now, and it’s definitely prevalent in my rotation. I didn’t think I’d really find anything that I’d want to wear as much as my Comexims, but Samanta definitely won me over with the comfort, support, and shape!