does it live up to the hype?

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  • When you have a fuller bust, finding the best bra, which is not only supportive and comfortable, but also flattering and fashionable, can be a challenge.

    As a result, we’re always looking for a brilliant bra that ticks all of these boxes to add to our lingerie drawer and, recently, there’s one M&S design that has shoppers sharing their reviews more than most – the Louisa Lace Longline Bralette. We put it to the test…

    The verdict

    The thought of an unsupported bra might raise a red flag for those with fuller busts, but it seems many women – ourselves included – have found a winner in this bralette from M&S. The best news? Not only do these women with busts as big as 32K say they love it, the bralette costs less than a tenner!


    Best-suited to: Bigger busts who want some support

    Provides: Light support, day or night 

    w&h rating: 4/5

    Specifications

    • Available in size 6-22
    • No padding, no underwire 
    • No fastenings
    • Seamed cups 
    • Available in two shades: black and white 
    • Machine washable 
    • 87% polyamide, 13% elastane 
    • Made in China

    For

    • Super comfortable 
    • Low price point  
    • Flattering on the bust 

    Against

    • Small fit 
    • No fastenings means less flexibility on size

    First impressions – and can I wear the M&S Louisa Lace Longline Bralette like a normal bra?

    I always thought that bralettes provided minimum support, but trying M&S’s signature style, I soon changed my mind. While this bralette is recommended wholeheartedly for lounging and sleeping in, I’d also feel comfortable wearing this day to day with T-shirts, shirts or dresses; the seamed cups create a lovely shape, even for a bigger bust (if you’re unsure, we have a guide about bras vs bralettes). 

    It’s not padded, but it does have a firm waistband that provides some lift and support, as well as a pleasing, spherical shape. I’m a 32DD and would feel comfortable going about my daily business in this bra, even if that meant dashing for the bus.

    How comfortable is the M&S Louisa Lace Longline Bralette?

    Thanks to its lack of underwire and a ridged band, this bra is super comfortable and would also work well as a bra to sleep in. I really like the lacy fabric and the mesh lining makes for a comfy fit. It’s also unlikely to irritate the skin, meaning it would work well as a pregnancy bra.

    The thick chest band limits any pinching at the sides and across your chest, and the straps are an ordinary adjustable variety, so you can ensure they’re not too tight or falling loose, which can affect the bra’s fit. Top marks for comfort from me!

    What do the reviews say about the M&S Louisa Lace Longline Bralette?

    “I bought the white and the black bralette and was very impressed by the quality and style. The only niggle I had is that the straps are a tad short. After reading other reviews, I went up one size and am glad I did, but just felt the straps could have been longer. Apart from that, glad I purchased.”

    “I was not sure if these bralettes would have enough support for me, but they are fantastic – so comfy. After reading reviews, I went for a dress size larger and they are perfect. I would not wear them to go out under my best dresses, but for every day around the house they are great. I could not wait to get my bra off at the end of the day, but not any more! I have now converted my neighbour over to these and she is so grateful, so just try them. You won’t be sorry and you can always take them back if you are.”

    “I’ve been looking for a bra that was comfy around the band while giving me a nice shape. It’s easy to find one or the other but not both – either they gape at the top or the band hurts after a few hours. These do neither – they are like wearing a crop top. The material is really soft but looks so pretty. I’m about to look for other colours.”

    Is this M&S bralette true to size?

    One downside is that this bralette comes in dress sizes – 8,10, 12, 14 and so on – so it’s not as easy to find the right size. I’d recommend trying on a few sizes to get the right fit.

    I tried the bralette in my usual size and it was a little snug. After reading the reviews on the M&S website, I concluded I wasn’t alone, so I’d definitely opt for a size up with this bralette. There is no fastening, so you have to slip it on over your head. It has added stretch, which should make this a little easier, and once you have it on, simply adjust the straps as normal.

    What other bralettes are on offer at M&S?

    The Zebra Print Lace Trim Bralette is very similar and comes in a fun print. This bralette is also available in sizes 8 to 18 and also costs just £9.50. If you want to try a fuller cup, you could take a look at the Floral Lace Full Cup Bralette, available in sizes DD-GG. This is made using a super-sturdy fabric and will give even more support than the Louisa Lace Longline Bralette.

    You can shop the whole range of M&S bralettes here.

    M&S bralette floral lace

    Why are M&S bralettes so popular?

    Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design at M&S, reveals why she thinks bralettes are so popular.

    She says, “Lingerie has seen a real shift, with an increased focus on comfort and the natural female silhouette, explaining why the bralette, with its lightweight and delicate features, is becoming a go-to style for a lot of women.”

    M&S Louisa Lace Longline Bralette: the verdict

    We may have just found the perfect bralette – comfortable, yet supportive; elegant, yet sturdy. It’s a shame the Louise Lace Longline Bralette only comes in two colourways – we’d like to see more!

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