When I reviewed the Tutti Rouge Liliana last week, I mentioned the obscene amount of lapsed time between trying the brands offerings, and when I saw Nichole, I felt the tinglings of longing in the lingerie chamber of my heart. Liliana was a necessity to test because I wanted to see how the design changed from the Tutti Rouge launch in 2013, but Nichole was a newer style with a gorgeous aesthetic which spoke to my personal craving. Not to mention, early feedback emphasized the use of a narrow center gore, deep cups, and a rounded, forward profile—basically three components all of my favorite bras possess.
The cup size for Nichole was initially perfect on my larger side but gaped slightly on the smaller; however, the issues were not noticeable under my tops. As I lost weight, the cups became too large. Based on my experiences, I contemplated retrying the bra in a 30HH or 28J depending on whether the band was representative of the style as a whole. Sizing aside, the reviews were accurate in describing the cups as deep and the gore as narrow, thus offering excellent forward projection, incredible lift, and a rounded profile. Nichole creates an overall look comparable to Comexim, Anna Pardal, and Cleo Marcie.
Given how much I enjoy the shape, I know some of you will question why I did not reorder Nichole in another size for the review. While the cups are deep toward the center, they are also wider on the side, and the bra uses heavy, tall underwires. Many small band/large cup bras fall victim to this issue, and the result is a cup which pulls sharply into my arm, creating welts and red marks. Of course, it occurred to me that a smaller cup may fix the height issue too, and I had not ruled out revisiting the bra. Oh, except for that tacking. Did I not mention that? Ordinarily, tacking, i.e., the act of the underwire sitting flat against the sternum, is a good thing. Tacking separates the breasts and can often provide better support. Nichole does not have ordinary tacking. It has SUPER TACKING! Nay—BORE INTO MY STERNUM AND LEAVE MARKS TACKING! I have only ever experienced this phenomenon once before in a Panache tankini, which I mistakenly thought would be fine. It was terribly uncomfortable, so I tried bending the wires. Nothing helped, and I ultimately cut them out entirely. Hard tacking like this hurts me, but I was hopeful that perhaps it was a defect. I have heard from other people who experienced the same issue though, so I will not be retrying this style.
Materials & Design: I feel a little bad harping on the tacking problem because I otherwise love this bra! The three-section cups are made from a lightweight, breathable mesh, and while the wings are stretchy, I do like how they smooth the sides without feeling binding either. It is a 100F outside right now while I sit in the confines of my air-conditioned store, and any southern east cost readers will tell you we only ever have high heat with high humidity too. You can drown while breathing today. A bra as lightweight as Nichole can be amazing for times like this because the fabrics keep you cool while still providing support. Fully-adjustable straps are wonderful, and I cannot fault the quality of materials.
Aesthetically, Nichole ticks off every box in my “Erica’s Cravings in a Bra List.” Lately, I want to see bras which use minimalistic details to create sophisticated and fun designs—a description Nichole completely embodies. First, the pomegranate color feels richer and deeper in person than the pictures, and the color is a little unusual for a lingerie market dominated by true reds, hot pinks, purples, and lately, all manner of blue. The knotted embroidery along the underwire eschews the traditional floral temptation as well as the overly simple plain black fabric in favor of geometric uniqueness. The lace embroidery at the top completes the contrast, and the leopard print bow at the center is a fun final touch. I really wanted to try the white version because the crispness of a black and white juxtaposition speaks to me, but I live in dark colors (yes, even on days like today). Color bleed is a problem people! Regrettably I erred on the side of practicality, but I still love it! Sweet Nothings also reviewed the bra in the mint color which is frothy and gorgeous too. It really upset me that I had issues here because this bra is something I would buy in multiples.
Final Thoughts: I am not sure whether the tacking problem is only cup-size specific or not, but I know it was enough to cause red marks after a short time. Keep this in mind if you are ordering it!