The Bravissimo Etta Longline has been on my must-have list for months. I mentioned it briefly in my Bravissimo store review, but now I want to give a more detailed review of one of my favorite bras that got away. There will also be a bonus mini review of the Bravissimo Satine plunge, the cut on which the Etta longline is based, so read on!
I’ve spoken before about my love for Bravissimo, a real-life, brick-and-mortar retail store specializing in fuller bust (DD+) bras and lingerie. Every time I’m in the UK, I try to visit a Bravissimo, and for longer stays I try to triangulate my location as near to one as possible for repeat visits. I just love being able to try on a variety of bras and sizes in person without the hassle of endless mail orders. In addition to a variety of popular UK brands, Bravissimo also carries bras and clothing in their own house brand(s). Reviews of these can be few and far between. Not knowing much about their cuts prevents me from ordering them without trying them on. I previously tried only 2 other Bravissimo brand bras that I can specifically remember, the Boudoir Beau and Purity plunge, neither of which worked for me.
For my most recent visit, however, I had one Bravissimo bra at the top of my list: the Etta Longline. This smooth satin, pale blue floral darling caught my eye in the AW16 previews and I was super excited to get to try her. I made my trip to Bravissimo on this occasion specifically to look for a longline replacement for my failed Freya Fancies, but mainly to get a good look at Etta.
In person, Etta does not disappoint. The muted pastel blue fabric – bordering on a pale mint green depending on the light – has a delightfully supple satin finish. The floral print full of blue, purple and pink buds is clean and crisp, yet has a watercolor feel to it. This season there is also a new Etta in a blush colorway that is a pale pink beneath with a true aquarelle wash of pastels making it perfect for Springtime. I really like the watercolor feeling to them both, but remain partial to the floral print that I’m reviewing here.
The bra has a smooth and high-quality feeling to the materials. The cups are lightly padded and seamed in a three-part plunge, and the interior is lined with soft cotton. There is a sewn edge, like a thin piping, along the cup edge as well which makes it a little more closed on top. While the seamed cup is reminiscent of a balconette, the gore is a true low plunge adorned with a simple and understated flat bow.
The band features a continuity of the same satin floral print down the front and a matching solid pastel mesh at the wings/back. There is a thin trim along the bottom of the longline band, but the entire thing is soft and comfortable and doesn’t have any boning or anything to dig or cut in. Up to GG cups it has a 5 hook closure (increasing to 6 hooks after that). As someone who generally can’t hook my bras from behind, I have been surprised to find that longlines are an exception to this rule and I have no trouble with those extra hooks. Like the Freya Fancies, it’s not what I would consider a true “long” line, more of like a mid-line, with just about an inch or so of fabric beneath the underwire.
The straps are smooth, fairly stretchy and easy to adjust. One notable feature that I didn’t realize before trying it on is that the straps are detachable and convertible. I wouldn’t recommend wearing it strapless, but you can convert it to a racer back for versatility. The new blush colorway, however, doesn’t have fully detachable straps; instead, it comes with racerback conversion only. To be honest, I don’t like the appearance of the front strap area when detachable, so I think it was a good idea to ditch that feature, whether it was actually done for aesthetic reasons or not.
Sorry that I don’t have any detailed item photos or measurements like I usually add in my reviews since I only got to try it on in-store, but I do have some hastily snapped dressing room photos below.
Size & Fit
As I mentioned in my review of my trip to Bravissimo, I went into the store explaining to the fitter that all of my 28G bras had gotten too big and that I wanted to try a 28FF in everything. To my dismay, she brought me Etta in a 28G to start with. I tried it on anyway, but it’s obviously too big. I got a lot of empty space, especially at the tops and sides of the cups. Still, within the first few seconds of putting it on, I really liked it.
It’s so pretty! I love the delicate feminine feel that is embodied wholly in the print, fabric and the colors. It’s not missing anything by lacking extra bows or adornments.
One of the issues I had with the Fancies longline is that the wires distorted easily when on, causing the gore to dig in. Etta feels much more stably anchored to my body, even with the slight dip in my rib cage beneath the gore and my rib flares at the sides. I believe the wires are firmer for this reason. You can see the horizontal wrinkling between the center gore wires where it’s tacking on empty space. Yet it doesn’t feel like the bra is fighting with my body like the Fancies. The band feels comfortably snug and true-to-size for a 28.
The cups are very supple and accommodating. The satin finish and cotton lining make them softer to the touch than most of my other bras, akin to the Evollove balconette I reviewed previously. The seams lie fairly flat and are hardly noticeable under a shirt. I don’t know if it would truly qualify as a t-shirt bra, but I have become a little more accepting of slight seams being visible through my shirt when a bra is really comfortable and gives an otherwise good shape.
The top, diagonally seamed part of the cup lies flat against the bust, which is a huge plus for me. This is in contrast to another similarly cut bra, the Curvy Kate Arizona/Daily Dream where, on my short and projected boobs, the top section sticks out with in-cup quadboob. I get that problem a lot, so when it doesn’t happen, it’s a relief.
With any plunge or balconette cup where the sides come up high, I am bound to get a little bit of “strap gap” due to my short roots. I get this with Etta and all other plunges, but it’s unavoidable for me.
With the 28G not working out, I asked the fitter to bring in a 28FF. I struggled to take badly lit dressing room photos while I waited (sorry about the weird lighting and shadows). Also the fitting room weirdly smelled like grilled meat that day (?), so it wasn’t the most fun to hang around it. She returned with a 28F, saying that they didn’t have any 28FFs in stock. At that point, I was ready to drop £34 on the bra without hesitation and was trying to convince myself to get the matching high-waisted briefs which are adorable and really make the set for me. I was really disappointed not to be able to try it in my size. I didn’t have a lot of time to get an order in before leaving the country and I knew I’d talk myself out of spending the money before I got around to doing so.
I tried the 28F just to confirm my suspicions that it would be too small in the cup. Here are some shots of the epic quadboobage that the 28F gave me:
You can see that the cup becomes too shallow for me, yet the cup height at the strap and the wire width are more suitable than the 28G. The cup width of a 28F with the cup depth of a 28FF is probably my ideal fit, if only!
In general with Etta, the cups/wires are technically too wide for me. I could go narrower, but the bra is comfortable nonetheless. As usual with me, there is extra space at the outside of the cup where I have comparatively little fullness. This, combined with a low, wide plunge, makes my boobs sit a little east-west rather than wholly upfront. I really do believe the 28FF would have been a perfect fit in terms of volume, but I never got to try it.
In summary, I have short, pendulous breasts that are fuller on the bottom and Etta worked for me. However, I did get some strap gap as per usual with plunges and I do think that there is scope for Etta to work for those who are more even and with taller roots than mine. But FoT/tall roots might get some cutting in where the cup closes off at the top.
To be honest, I was skeptical that a plunge cut would contain me since my pudding boobs slip out of nearly every one, but, even in a size too small, somehow Etta worked a similar magic to my Freya Deco Vibe. Perhaps it is that reinforced cup edge. The cups do sort of favor a more splayed look helped by the low, wide gore. My breasts are naturally close set on top and then more splayed towards the bottom. I have a lot of inner fullness that is not so evident in the photos because of this, but someone with more rounded breasts might get more oomph.
Lastly in terms of fit, I would be remiss not to mention that Etta has a lot in common with my go-to favorite bra, the Comexim plunge. The cut is not dissimilar: It’s a lightly padded 3-part cup. It is not that easy to compare them directly when I’ve only tried an Etta in one size too large and one too small, but my impression is that they are pretty similar. The lift and forward projection is a bit better with a Comexim plunge. Neither Etta nor Comexim plunges have a great deal of space at the bottom of the cup to accommodate lower fullness, and they work about the same for me in that regard. Ideally, I could use more space there, but it suffices. I believe that Etta has a rounder profile with less of a peak. It still accommodates my center fullness and apex projection well. It is perhaps just a little more minimized in that it holds the breasts closer to the body, at least with my pendulous, soft and full-on-bottom breasts. Etta’s more natural, less “peaky” shape may appeal to those who dislike the Comexim plunge profile.
Bonus review: Bravissimo Satine Plunge, 28FF
When the fitter told me that she couldn’t find an Etta in size 28FF, I could have cried. I had read that the Etta longline was based on the Bravissimo Satine plunge bra, a bestseller from their range. To look at, Etta is basically Satine with a longer band. The fitter even called it the Satine longline. So before I got dressed and headed out of the fitting room, I asked her to bring me a Satine plunge in size 28FF. At least I could confirm the fit in case I decided to place an order.
She brought me the Satine plunge in black, size 28FF, and the fit was surprisingly different from Etta. It looked nearly identical in construction, but it fit slightly smaller in the cup than the Etta that I had tried in 28F (!)
The cups were also just a bit bulkier and constricting in comparison with Etta which was lighter weight and more forgiving. I didn’t get the impression that this Satine would accommodate my soft, center-full tissue as well as Etta and definitely needed a 28G. I felt like the gore separated my tissue a bit too far in Satine compared with Etta. That said, Satine is also a beautiful bra. I recommend trying it in-store since it’s possible that each colorway fits that much differently. Etta still has one up on Satine for overall comfort, but Satine is offered in more colors and fashion patterns from season to season, so if it’s a good fit on you, you’ll never run out of options! I’ll certainly try Satine or a sister style again when I have more time.
I can’t reiterate enough that Etta is a supremely comfortable bra. The smooth satin feels luxurious and the cotton lining makes the cups totally cloud-like on the body. The band isn’t too tight or too loose, and it tapers well to accommodate the shape of my rib cage. The straps don’t pull or dig, and weren’t too wide set for me. Even where the wires are technically too wide for my very narrow roots, I can’t feel it when the bra is on. The low gore has some kind of magic because I didn’t spill out even after I gave the bra a little jump and bend over test, even in the two sizes I tried which were not right for me.
I don’t have any quality issues with this bra based on my dressing room trial. The only thing I would change about the design is the front strap attachments (I wouldn’t make them detachable), but they have already done this for the newest Etta colorway.
I don’t hesitate to recommend both Etta and Satine. They are great, well-made bras. Keeping in mind that at £34 Etta is priced with the most expensive of Comexim’s latest bras, I was sad to leave Bravissimo without the Etta set, even though my wallet wasn’t too broken up about it.
At the time of my visit, I had just changed sizes and didn’t really have a bra that fit in my new size. To be so close to the perfect longline was too much to take. The kicker is that I later learned that the fitter had simply overlooked the 28FF that was hanging right on the rack in plain view. Unfortunately my street parking meter (and my partner’s patience) had expired and I had to leave empty-handed. I did try some other bras on in that session and ended up ordering my first ever longline which will feature in another post here shortly. I liked it so much that I chose it over Etta as my first longline. Can you guess what it might be? 🙂