Parfait Charlotte Reviewed
Sometimes padded bras make me feel kind of like this:
I find that, generally speaking, my boobs prefer the feeling of unlined bras. I’ve had nice fits with Ewa Michalak padded styles, as well as Masquerade’s Amor bra (aka the comfiest molded bra I’ve ever worn), but that’s been the limit of my success in the world of padded bras. I was resigned to the idea that Charlotte wouldn’t suit me. I’d try it on, take some pictures, write a review and promptly return it. Imagine my surprise when I put it on, and never wanted to take it off.
Charlotte has been described as “sexy scaffolding” in the blogging world, and I think that’s a fairly apt term. This bra features some thick heavy duty straps, side boning, a side support sling, and wide band with three hook and eye closures- a rarity in my size. Yet despite this fairly intense hardware, it manages to look beautiful and streamlined. The padding is fairly light and very comparable to Ewa Michalak PL bras, and the cut of the bra is an interesting hybrid between a plunge and half cup. If you’ve been looking for a completely unique padded bra to add to your lingerie wardrobe, I suggest checking out Charlotte.
Charlotte has some fairly tall cups, and is also quite shallow toward the centre gore. I think these two characteristics could make Charlotte a tricky fit for petite women, women with fullness toward the centre of their chest, or a combination of both. In my case, I do get some spillage toward the centre, but due to the cup height I definitely could not size up. Ultimately, the spillage doesn’t bother me and does not create any funny lines under clothing, so I’m very happy with this size. The cup height and side support actually make this bra feel wonderfully stable despite how much the tops of my breasts are showing. I wore it to work and could have sworn I was wearing something much more full coverage just due to how strapped in I felt.
Charlotte gives me one if my favourite shapes, which I like to describe as “pointed yet not.” It has a hint of that more retro pointed shape, but rounds out enough to also lend itself to a more modern silhouette. It’s a versatile shape that looks great under a variety of my clothing. Despite how much I love this bra, it does have a couple drawbacks for me. One being that the straps are very long! I need to tighten them all the way up to my shoulders to get a decent amount of tension, much like I need to with all of my Freya bras. So if you find Freya’s straps are usually too long for you, you may have the same issue in the Charlotte. My other little caveat is that this bra tries to wiggle its way down my ribcage a bit after a few hours of wear, hence the importance of tightening the straps properly in this style. This means I may have to readjust a couple times a day, but I’m not bothered to do so if a bra is this comfortable and attractive.
As many involved in the lingerie world will know, Parfait recently updated Charlotte and also expanded to 28 bands and K cups (thank you!). This Charlotte is one of those updated styles, and I think it does run pretty true to size in my size range now, whereas before I had heard it ran a cup and band size small. The band feels like a fairly normal 28 to me in relation to Panache, but firm compared Freya. There are some who report that it still feels firm, but I think it’s more that the band is quite thick, which may give the illusion that it’s firmer. However, I can only speak for my size range, so if you’re interested in this bra but find yourself in a larger band and cup size, I suggest checking out this review from The Full Figured Chest who has her Charlotte in a 34J (and looks smashing in it!).
For more information on the Charlotte in an array of sizes, here are some more reviews you can check out:
By Baby’s Rules (before size expansion/update)
Invest In Your Chest (before size expansion/update)
Busts 4 Justice (before size expansion/update)
Can you comment on how the cup and side height compare to the cup and side height of the Panache Sport? Side height is one reason I’ve been hesitant to try the Charlotte. Wings and wires poking me in the arm or armpit would be a dealbreaker for me.
Hey Tori! The cups are almost exactly as tall as my Panache Sports bra in a 28FF, but much, much more shallow and low cut. My Panache sports bra is currently too big for me, whereas this bra fits like a charm. Hope that helps!
I too figured this would be a “love the bra, hate the fit.” I was so, so happy when I found that wasn’t so.
Tori, for what it’s worth, I don’t have a problem with the wing/wire height, and I have a pretty short shoulder-to-boob area. But i do get some rubbing from where the top of the cup meets the strap. The edge is pretty thick there and its back just a smidgen too far.
Hello, you said the bra is shallow towards the centre? Is it, overall, shallow? I was wondering how narrow the wires were cos I don’t get a long with anything wider than a Freya balconette.
I really like your blog. 🙂
I find the wires narrower than my Freya balcony bras, but fairly comparable. The wires are definitely taller than a Freya though!
I have a hard time identifying shallow cups to be perfectly honest, but man have reported that they find the bra shallow in general. I’ll bet some of the other reviewers of this bra could answer that question more effectively for you 🙂 Hope that helps!
I’m jealous! I really thought this bra would be perfect on me but it was just the worst. Wires on breast tissue, orange in a glass effect, rolling band, and straps I had to constantly fix. It was one of the most uncomfortable bras I’ve ever owned, including the ones I had when I thought the +4 method was legitimate.
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Does it not feel too tight in the band? It seems so from the front view picture. I can’t decide on orderig the right band size that would fit me, so I am wondering.
Hi Lisa! I can guarantee you that the band does not feel at all too tight on me 🙂 Do you prefer firm or loose bands? I’d say this bra is pretty in line with Panache as far as the firmness of the band goes (I find Panache fairly firm). If you like a firm band I’d stick with your normal band size, but if you feel comfy in looser bands sizing up might be a good idea.
Hi Windie, how does this compare to Ewa Michalak CHP bras? Your shape has changed but are you still full on bottom? >< Thanks~!
Hey Vanille! I find this pretty different from a CHP bra. CHPs have more depth, whereas this bra is quite shallow, especially at the centre. The cups are much taller in the Charlotte than a CHP bra on the sides, though the wires are comparably narrow. The shape in a CHP is more spherical, this has a slight point to it. Hope that helps! I am honestly in a state of confusion about my shape. I’m not super full on bottom, but I’m definitely not full on top. I’d say I’m more even, veering toward full on bottom.
I also happen to own some PLs and I really enjoy the shape as well 😀 I’m so torn when it comes to bras. It seems like Ewa bras only work for me on the most part. 😦 I had really bad “orange in a glass” with Tutti Rouge since I have narrow projection and fullness at the bottom. ):
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