Review: House Of Satin Vintage Bra, Shaping Brief & Nightgown
Disclosure: This lingerie was purchased by The Lingerie Addict for the purpose of review.
I’m fully prepared to put my hands up and admit that I’m a bit of a lingerie snob. Generally speaking, only the luxury side of the industry ever attracts my attention. It’s the exquisite fabrics and attention to detail that I love about lingerie, and they’re features that tend to be entirely lacking in the more budget markets. Consequently, I don’t really pay attention to budget lingerie. It doesn’t interest me. However, when Cora suggested I review some pieces from House of Satin, they immediately grabbed my attention. Not because of any kind of exceptional design or fabrics, though; it’s the fact that all of their pieces are made in the UK and all cost below £25. I couldn’t begin to fathom how this was even possible. Manufacturing in the UK is unavoidably expensive, so how could a brand be keeping their prices this low?
I purchased the black satin full coverage bra in a 32C for £9.95 (available in sizes 32A-44F, quite frankly a phenomenal size range at this price point), the black satin control briefs in a S for £9.75 (available in sizes S-XL), and the black satin and lace knee length nightdress in a S for £12 (available in sizes S-L). All of House of Satin’s offerings are a fairly generic vintage-inspired fare: two-piece pointed cup bras, girdles, shaping briefs, suspender belts and a scattering of basic sleepwear.
The first comment to make about the ‘House of Satin’ experience is that the website doesn’t make for pleasant shopping. The product photography is about as poor as it can get; grainy images of the pieces on mannequins, often only with single views or in totally different colours to the product actually being sold. Thankfully, all of the black satin pieces appeared to have some form of accurately represented imagery (even if it was only from a front view); I figured these were the safest styles to order for a representative view of the products. I also found it interesting to note all of the bra styles are listed as made to order with a turnaround time of three days. Making to order is a comparatively expensive form of manufacturing which just makes the low cost of these products all the more perplexing.
My order arrived within a couple of days in inconspicuous packaging with each garment individually poly-bagged. The bra and knickers contain labels stating ‘Vixen Vintage’ while the nightgown is unbranded. All of the pieces have labels stating they’ve been made either in England or the UK. They are all made of a polyester black satin; although not the worst quality that I’ve ever seen, it does feel cheap and snags easily. The bra uses the satin on the cups and cradle, with a powernet wing and knit cup lining. The cup is comprised of two parts with a horizontal seam, resulting in the typically vintage pointy cup shape. All the cup seams are finished with a nylon tape, while the top and bottom edges are covered in a plush backed picot edge elastic. Shoulder straps are made of a fairly wide patterned elastic with a frilled edge and black plastic rings and adjusters. The bra fastens with two rows and three columns of hooks and eyes. Both bra and knickers are embellished with small satin bows. The stitching is largely accurate and well executed. However, the stitch length is fairly long (typical on cheaper products, though it can adversely affect a garment’s longevity as the stitching is more likely to break). The overbust seam of the bra may have been stretched out during production, as there are unattractive ripples that don’t even disappear when the garment’s being worn and filled out.
The knickers have a rigid contoured satin panel across the stomach, with the rest of the knicker body composed of a heavy duty powernet with a centre back seam. The gusset is lined in cotton. A thin lace trim edges the satin panel and a heavy plush backed elastic finishes the leg and waist edges. The knickers aren’t quite as well made as the bra – although the stitching is largely accurate, the leg elastic has been poorly applied, resulting in unattractive rippling and bulging.
The night gown is about as basic as such a garment can be. It’s composed of two flat panels of satin with a scratchy scalloped lace overlay on the bust. There are no darts or any other kind of shaping around the bust. The top edge and shoulder straps are made of a wide black satin binding, with the satin under the lace overlay finished with an overlock stitch (one of the cheapest methods of finishing in the industry). The shoulder straps are non-adjustable. The bottom edge of the night gown has been finished with a narrow overlock stitch, which gives it a lightly fluted effect. Stitching is fairly accurate, but there are several areas where the stitching hasn’t been correctly finished and the threads are starting to unravel.
The fit of each garment is generally okay, though nothing particularly remarkable or flattering. The bra fits as the majority of horizontally seamed soft cup bras do. The cups give quite a lot of projection, with a pointed bust shape. The band is comfortably tight and the cup linings are soft against the skin. The knickers are a little bit too small for me. I had gone by the website’s sizing information and ordered them by my waist size; they fit well on the waist, but are almost painfully tight on the leg edges, particularly around the crotch. They certainly have some effective smoothing and shaping power, but I did not find them comfortable in the slightest. I would advise anyone with an hourglass or pear-shaped figure to size up on this style. There’s not a lot that can be said about the fit of the nightgown. The patterning and construction of the garment mean there’s no real shaping or fit to the garments – they’re literally just two pieces of fabric draped across the body. As I’m fairly small-busted this isn’t particularly noticeable on the front, but would cause some issues on someone bustier.
I’m admittedly still a little baffled by just how low their prices are for UK manufacturing. Even with the cheap fabrics, simple shapes and inexpensive construction methods, there’s no way I can view this lingerie as being profitable. It appears these pieces are being sold at either wholesale or cost, which makes me wonder what kind of business House of Satin really is. Either they haven’t quite figured out how business works in the long term, or they’re a clearance operation for some long-dead vintage stock.
When I ordered these pieces, I didn’t have particularly high expectations. The price point is so exceptionally low that there’s simply no way you’d be purchasing exceptional-quality lingerie. Nevertheless, the products themselves are of a higher standard than I’d anticipated. They’re not something I’d want to add to my personal wardrobe, but for around £10 apiece you really can’t complain. If I were looking for vintage-inspired lingerie I’d still turn to brands like Kiss Me Deadly and What Katie Did first (neither of which are brands I consider particularly expensive), but if you’re on a very tight budget, House of Satin may be worth a look. Just remember to have reasonable expectations of what you’ll get out of the product!
Readers: what do you think of House of Satin’s wares? What do you expect at this sort of price point?