Masquerade Rhea: A Surprising Success

As many of you know, I haven’t had much luck with half cup bras. A while ago I was at my friend’s house (she just started a lingerie blog by the way, so check it out! and we were trying on a couple of each other’s bras for size reference (she’s a 30E, I’m a 28F, it works out nicely!). I decided to try on her Masquerade Rhea in a 30DD, and BOY did it do some crazy lifting action. It was definitely at least a cup size too small, but I loved that it took my fuller on bottom breasts and transformed them into a really round, lifted shape. Did I mention how much LIFT I got? Yup? Okay, just checking.

Masquerade Rhea in 28F, ice blue and fawn colour. The shape I get from this bra kind of reminds me of “tavern wenches.” You know, the really pushed up heaving bossom? Yeah. Tavern wenches.

The materials this bra is made of are excellent. The inside of the bra feels very soft and cottony, and despite its luxurious appearance reminds me of t-shirt material. The outside of the bra is a smooth,` satiny fabric, and secretly when no one is around I may reach up my shirt and touch it. It’s that damn soft. While I love the look of the lace at the top of the cups it is quite thick, so I can’t wear it with all my clothing. This isn’t really a problem for me because it’s more of a “once in a while” bra anyway. The shape is pretty much the opposite of understated, but I still like it a lot. I just save it for the days when I wake up and think “today I feel like having boobs!”

Rhea. Nice view of the lace detail. Aren’t those colours awesome?

The straps are only partly adjustable, which turned out to be fine for me. They’re made of a pretty stiff material, so I only need to tighten them about half way since they don’t stretch very much. The band is probably my least favourite part about this bra. Why couldn’t it just be thicker? If the band were a bit thicker this would probably be one of my comfiest bras. It also has a bit of an upward angle, so sometimes it can feel as though it’s riding up even when it’s not. Bras I hate writes about this general phenomenon with Panache bras. I’m not too familiar with it since I don’t wear a whole lot of Panache, but if you want to know more just head to her blog!

Side view! I’m kind of amazed that my boobs managed to get up that high, and also that they actually fill out the imaginary top half of the bra all on their own.

My afore mentioned friend, who goes by R.K, and I have a bit of a debate going on about this bra. I think the underwires are somewhat wide, while she feels they’re narrower. I think this disagreement comes from the fact that narrow underwires work well for me, while she prefers wider. So to her, Rhea isn’t all that wide because she’s probably used to even wider underwires, and to me it’s wider than what I’m used to since I frequently wear Freya, who are known for their narrow underwires. Regardless, it’s one of her favourite bras and I love it as well. It works for both of us despite our different preferences in underwires.

The band is nice and snug for a 28, but why can’t it just be a bit wider?

I definitely suggest sizing up in the cup with this bra if you’re quite full on top. I feel like I’m close to the edge of fitting the cups in the Rhea despite my lack of fullness on top. If you want to read a review of the Rhea from someone who is full on top for reference, then once again, head over to Bras I hate’s blog.

I think next time I buy a padded bra (it’s like a special event, given how much I loved unlined) it will be a Miss Mandalay. I’m so curious to see what they’re like after reading Undressed to Impress review of the Vava bra. She found the shape to have quite a bit less oomph than little ol’ Rhea here. Based on her photos of the bra in a 28G, I think it could be the padded bra I’ve been waiting for: A nice, subtle shape that rounds everything out (and keeps you warm in the colder months!).

I managed to find my Rhea on ebay for $24 including shipping. I still see this colour pop up a lot, so if you’re interested in getting one for yourself I’d check ebay before you buy it at full price from a boutique/online shop. Do any of you have any bras that seem to be an exception to every lingerie preference you have? Rhea and I shouldn’t really love each other since she’s padded and anything but subtle, but we do!