A lot of my reviews end up focusing on bras that don’t quite fit, which is unsurprising because 1) hardly anything ever fits me and 2) as soon as I find a bra that fits great, my size seems to change and I have to start all over again. Finding that perfect fit is simply too elusive! But today I’d like to review a bra that actually fit: my first Comexim plunge bra, the surprising Elena.
I call Elena surprising for a few reasons. First, she was the first Comexim plunge that I ordered – somewhat impulsively – in a size that I didn’t expect to fit, but it did. Comexim “plunges” don’t come with super low gores as standard. I had been told this time and again, but the idea of a “plunge” possibly working for my close-set, very soft boobs seemed farcical at the time. I resisted buying one for a long time because of it. Fast forward and Elena miraculously became my first well-fitting Comexim and a near perfect fit in general. What also surprised me about Elena is how I underestimated her as a plain beige bra, but she turned out to be quite charming.
Here’s a little bit of backstory. I ordered Elena from Erica at A Sophisticated Pair. If you haven’t heard of Erica or her shop, where have you been?! She is one of my favorite shop owners and lingerie industry people in general. Her blog and review videos are great; she’s super accommodating and helpful at every turn; incredibly knowledgeable about bras and fitting; participates in social media; and offers Comexim (standard or custom) bras for customers in the US. I love supporting small and local lingerie shops where I can. Erica makes that easy by being so awesome in every way. I also like to geek out over her shop stats blog post series every year. But I digress.
I discovered that Erica had an Elena plunge in stock in size 30G. I had just placed a Comexim order directly from Poland only a couple of days before I saw it (that Comexim order included my ill-fated Irish Coffee in 65J) and really couldn’t afford another bra. I had also just struck out with my 65HH (30G equivalent) Victoria 3HC that was too tight and shallow, but had only ever tried that one bra from the brand and was still totally unsure of my Comexim size.
I debated and then tentatively wrote to Erica to ask if she could give me some size advice. She went above and beyond and measured the bra for me – cup depth, width, height, everything. How super cool is that? Only it sounded like it wouldn’t fit because it seemed much smaller than my best fitting bras at the time, so I restrained myself and passed on it. With a couple of Comexims on the way, I didn’t need another mystery bra, let alone a plunge cut that I had never tried. Nope, no way. I patted myself on the back for controlling my impulse buying and bra addiction.
A couple of days later, I wrote back to Erica and said I’d take it. What? I tried. Don’t judge me.
Soon after, Erica informed me that the measurements she had provided likely seemed small because the size on the tag wasn’t 30G as listed, but a 28G. Uh oh. My 30G Victoria had been so small in the cup and tight in the band that I honestly didn’t expect it to fit at all. Erica offered to take it back if it didn’t fit, which I think is also amazingly generous customer service. So I decided to try it anyway just to see what the plunge cut was like and without getting my hopes up.
Then Elena arrived.
How pretty is this bra? As someone who cringes with pain in memory of all the basic, nude minimizer bras I stuffed my boobs into as a teenager and well into my 20s, I never thought I’d see a beige bra and think “ooh, pretty!”. But there’s something about the cool beige tone of Elena and the understated but delightful details that really make this bra stand out to me. I am so incredibly pale-skinned that it even passes as a nude on me.
The front of the cups is simple and unadorned. At first glance, the only decorations are the tiny flat ribbon bows at the strap attachments and on the gore. However, you need to take a closer look to appreciate finer details like the embroidery around the wire channels and along the seam on the wings. I love how this frames the cups and gives a little something special.
The straps on Elena are also more ornate and decorated, contrasting with the simple lines of the rest of the bra. All in all I find this attention to detail quite stunning since so many other attempts at a solid cream or beige bra leave something wanting, in my opinion.
I was so excited to find that this bra was amazingly lightweight. Everyone raves about the cloud-like construction of Comexim bras, but my first Victoria was made of a rather thin, stiff foam. Elena felt super soft in comparison. That said, the outer fabric has a matte, semi-textured finish to the touch. In comparison to some other Comexim models I would acquire in the future, I would say Elena is a tiny bit stiffer than some other super soft ones I’ve worn, but the foam itself is softer on the inner cup and lightly compressible.
Size and Fit
When I first held Elena in my hands, I thought it would never fit on my boobs. The cups looked so tiny to me, mostly, I think, because it had the narrowest wires of any bra I had tried up until that point. Which is the whole reason why I gravitate towards Comexim. Today, I can probably comfortably wear a bra with a 4.5″ cup width, so narrow wires are great for me. At 5.3″, Elena measured up the narrowest and deepest (9.1″) cup I’d tried in my then size (28G). I still wear my Elena even though I’m more of a 28FF now. The wires are technically too wide for me, with 4.9″-5″ being satisfactory at the moment, yet they don’t cause me any discomfort.
The band runs a little tight for a 28″/60, stretching to more like 27.25″ before the wires start to distort. At the time, I was measuring about 27.5 for my tight UB, so I started out wearing it with a couple of hooks on an extender. Elena not only has a snug band, but the material itself is not very stretchy, so it really wasn’t wearable for me without an extender because it would pinch on my flared ribs. Since losing more weight, I no longer have this issue.
The Elena I ordered from Erica was a standard plunge with no alterations. The only alteration I have consistently ordered on every bra I got directly from Anna at Comexim is the overlapping gore. Elena is the only Comexim I own without this alteration. When I first got Elena and was a full 28G, this meant that the gore didn’t always lie flat due to my asymmetry and extreme center fullness. My larger side would push the gore outwards. Most of the fullness of my breasts is towards the center gore with comparatively little (next to nothing) at the outside, which is why I think narrower wires are even more important for me.
I was kind of worried that Elena’s gore would never fully tack on me. However, I noticed that once the bra had broken in a bit, the gore was sitting very well. For the first few wears, I would just adjust myself into the cups and then when I noticed the gore twisting out, push it down to a gentle tack with my finger and it would pretty much stay down the rest of the time. I blame my asymmetry for shifting it to one side.
A brief interlude to quickly review the construction of this bra and how it affects fit. All Comexim plunges, including Elena, feature a lightly padded 3-part cup. The seam pattern is reminiscent of a balconnette. The standard gore height of a “plunge” in this size range is just shy of 3″, so it’s not a deep plunge. (However, Comexim will customize most aspects of their bras as they are hand-made to order, something I went over in an earlier post and won’t repeat all the details here.)
Comexim’s plunge style is the one that I believed to be the most common cut when I first learned about the brand a couple of years ago. This is because most of the bra stock photos on their website depicted the standard plunge, although the Comexim 3HC (or 3-part half cup) has been getting a ton of love by bra fit bloggers recently. The main difference between the cuts for me is in how they accommodate breast shapes.
The standard plunge, in general, has a narrower cup/wire width and deeper apex, but somewhat less room at the wire. The cups can be too tall for short roots. The 3HC, on the other hand, is said to have tons of space for bottom fullness at the wire and shorter cups. On me, however, Comexim half cups (2HC and 3HC versions) lack the apex projection I need, so I have to size up for more room in the cup and then the wires become too wide.
I tried a 3HC first and found that it didn’t work for me, whereas it turns out that the plunge accommodates my shape better in general. I qualify that statement because since first getting Elena, I have tried (and own) many more Comexim plunges and believe that requesting some key additional alterations will help me to get a better fit in the future. At the time of my purchase of Elena, however, the fit was nearly spot-on.
The cups felt amazingly supportive as soon as I put them on. Under clothes, Elena gives a rounded, uplifted profile with a slight peak at the apex. Although I could do with a little more space at the wire to accommodate my bottom fullness, Comexim plunges are some of the only bras that don’t sacrifice space at the apex. They also accommodate my profound center fullness very well. That said, even when I was filling out the size 28G more than I do today, the cups were too tall for my very short roots. I get empty space at the top of the cups, especially towards the outside near where the straps attach (“strap gap” to the extreme). As I have lost weight, the gaping up top has increased, and once my breasts settle into the cups, I get a bubble of empty space there.
I more recently ordered some new Comexim plunges in size 60H to try and remedy this problem, but it didn’t really work and I still get strap gap, indicating that the best route forward in future will be to request reduced cups on my next order.
Since I ended up reviewing this bra much later than I intended to and have lost nearly a full cup size since I got it, I am not going to put any fit pictures in as the gaping is more exaggerated now. The depth of Elena still feels good to me and I still wear it regardless of the empty space on top. If I had an unlimited budget, I would re-order Elena in a size 60HH with reduced cup height and straps moved in 2cm, plus my favorite alteration, the overlapping gore wires. Narrower gores make my close-set, center-full boobs happy! 🙂
One of my favorite things about Elena (and all of my Comexims, really) is that the bra hardly weighs anything. This makes it really nice to wear. That narrow wires give me great freedom of movement and no rubbing in the underarm area. When it was in my rotation with a couple of Freya Decos, the difference was extremely noticeable: a weightless cloud supporting my boobs.
However, in comparison with my later purchases from Comexim, the materials are slightly more rough, firm and textured than some of the others styles that use more smooth and supple fabrics. Similarly, the embroidery on the straps makes them a little rough on my skin. When adjusted, the details on the straps actually continue onto the side that touches the shoulder. My skin is super sensitive, so I end up with red impressions in the curly shape of the embroidery, even though I’ve never had red marks on my shoulders from a bra before. I was a little bummed to see the same straps on my Ingrid plunge that I received more recently. I prefer soft, smooth straps and may request them in future.
Again, the band is rather stiff and firm, so that doesn’t make for the most comfortable fit, especially with it running just a bit tight for my ribcage, although the measurements point to it being relatively true-to-size (unlike my Victoria 65/30 that had a 26″ stretched band!). The wires are also the firmest of all my Comexims, or perhaps the wire channels are just thicker. And where I get gaping at the top of the cup, I can feel a little rubbing when I move since the material isn’t flush against my skin. This would be remedied with a lowered cup more suited to my very short roots, I am pretty sure.
I can’t fault Elena for quality. If I had to nitpick anything, I would say that the horizontal seam is more obvious on Elena than on other Comexims that I’ve tried since. The seam is less flat and more in-set (like a shallow channel), so it will show more through thin or tight knits. I don’t necessarily consider this a quality fault, just an aspect of the bra worth noting.
What I like most about Elena are the understated, refined details and the simplicity. I love owning a “nude” bra that feels sophisticated and feminine, not utilitarian. I like that there are no adornments on the cups and that all the hardware perfectly matches the color of the fabric. There is literally nothing I would change about the design of this bra and I would happily buy more simple, solid colors bras with a matte finish from Comexim. I think the same bra would look amazing in lavender or gray.