I didn’t always have big boobs. For most of my 20s, they were fairly modest. I put little money or thought into bras — they all fit me pretty well, with no real need for an underwire. Then, as my 30s approached, fluctuating weight and hormones landed me with a couple of sandbags attached to my chest. I jumped three cup sizes within a couple of years. They looked nice (and, as I like to wear loose fitting clothes, everything still fitted fine), but carrying my new boobs around all day became a chore. I thought the answer lay in scaffolding, but some of the bras I tried made the situation, if anything, worse. Wired and unwired, elaborate and utilitarian; even expensive ones (over the £40 mark) couldn’t stop me from either flopping about, or feeling like I was being manhandled by a sadistic Victorian corset maker.
However, I had help at hand. My sister — who has been large-titted since hitting puberty — is my big-boob mentor (she’s a 34FF to my 36E). Recently, she discovered the Fantasie Illusion Side Support Bra while taking a gamble and deviating from her commitment to expensive bras. She was shopping online at Bare Necessities, and while adding a £100 Prima Donna bra to her cart, spied the Fantasie Illusion. At £32, she thought it might make for a useful backup bra. When it arrived, she was agog at its comfort (we are both used to bras that need breaking in), and texted me immediately.
It’s now the only bra I’ve tried that I can wear for a full day without ending up in genuine pain. I’ve bought a second one since, and am considering a third. My sister is now on her fourth and yes, this bra is underwired. Many lingerie brands show off their unwired pieces, as if they’re the answer to something. But — as I’ve discovered from the Fantasie Illusion — in a decent bra, the underwire shouldn’t be an issue. You barely know it’s there. Plus, while unwired bras tend to mush the boobs together into one homogenous balcony of tit, wired ones emphasise each individual boob, giving a far better shape.
Finally, a lot of high-quality bras are grand, lacy, Rococo monstrosities. Which is lovely if that’s your thing, but — as someone not very femme — I was desperate to find a good bra in a more chill, minimalist style. The Fantasie has a couple of little embellishments, but it’s more Marie Kondo than Marie Antoinette. It doesn’t show up under a T-shirt, nor under a buttoned-up shirt. I can even work out in it comfortably, which is a completely unexpected bonus. Put simply: Think of the person you trust most in the world, and imagine them holding your boobs in place for you (except it’s not at all weird). That’s the Fantasie Illusion. It’s a mensch of a bra.
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