Review: Playful Promises Frida & Magdalene Sets
Disclosure: I received these items free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
I have a lot of love for Playful Promises. Their campaigns are wonderfully cheeky and far as I’m concerned, they’re one of the few independent lingerie brands that are successfully and consistently producing fashion forward and high-quality pieces, at a price point low enough for the occasional guilt free lingerie treat. It’s a brand that features quite heavily in my everyday wardrobe. Suffice it to say, I was rather pleased to be given the opportunity to review their new Magdalene and Frida ranges!
Both the Magdalene and Frida ranges are based around similar garment shapes and feature striking digital prints. Magdalene is based on a colourfully kitschy incarnation of the Virgin Mary, whilst Frida features a darker print of lush florals and languorous snakes. The prints are offset with sheer meshes and wide fishnet overlays. The Magdalene range includes a longline bra (£40), harness knicker (£25) and strappy g-string (£15). The Frida range contains an additional bandeau bra (£25) and high-waisted brief (£20). Wired bras are available in sizes 32-36 A-DD, with knickers and soft bras available in sizes XS-XL. All pieces are made in China and I know that Playful Promises take exceptional care in ensuring their products are ethically manufactured.
I was sent all of the pieces in the current range; this review will be focusing on the Frida bandeau bra and high-waisted knicker and the Magdalene longline bra and harness knicker. There were no major differences in fit or quality between the shapes in the different prints. Although I was also sent the strappy thongs, I found these came up quite small and didn’t work with my body shape so I’ve chosen not to review them. I was sent the bras in size small and 32C respectively (I normally wear a 30D so sister sized up for this review) and the knickers in a size medium (I normally wear a UK 12).
One of my first impressions of the sets was that the polyester satin is of remarkably good quality; the digital print is bright and clear, whilst the satin is pleasantly soft and doesn’t pill or feel sweaty against the skin. I love how bold and geometric the oversized fishnet overlay is; the fact that it is lined with a sheer nylon mesh is a particularly nice touch, as it feels soft against the skin and helps smooth out the silhouette. The construction is consistently sturdy, with neat and accurate stitching. Seams tend to be finished with an overlock and elastic applied with a double zigzag stitch.
The Magdalene longline bra is made with lightly-padded foam cups with a satin overlay and fishnet detail on the side cradle. Light boning on the side seams provides support and prevents the bra from rolling down. Wings are made of black powernet and the bra closes with three columns of four wide hooks and eyes. Shoulder straps have a satin finish and are adjustable with black sliders.
I found the bra to fit true to size and to be very comfortable for a longline style bra. The wires enclose my breast tissue entirely and tack at the centre gore, whilst the cups provide a good lift and rounded shape. The side boning is lightweight and flexible and helps stop the bra from rolling up, as can often be a problem in longline styles. Although I didn’t find this shape as comfortable as other shorter-cradled bras, it still provided a good fit and lift – I only noticed the side boning after long periods of wear, particularly when slouching.
The harness knicker features a centre panel of placement-printed satin, framed by fishnet. The back of the knicker is in a soft stretch black powernet and the gusset lined with cotton jersey. The centre front of the knicker rises to a point, attached to a plush-backed satin elastic halter. Although it is called high-waisted, I found the knicker rose to just below my natural waist. They’re very comfortable and fit true to size. The elastic doesn’t cut in and has a lovely soft plush finish. The satin halter is created as a single loop with one black adjuster. It has to be loosened to slip over the head and re-tightened to fit; although it would be an easier dressing experience to see a hook closure, it doesn’t really cause any major fit issues, especially since the elastic has so much give to it. In addition, at such a low price point I feel that additional features such as hooks are asking for a little too much!
The Frida bandeau bra is a wireless piece, with a front panel of ruched single layer satin, sides of fishnet and mesh and powernet wings. The bra closes with three columns of two hooks and eyes. The centre front of the bra has a small strip of elasticated ruching to give the garment shaping, with a keyhole cutout by the bra band. The bottom of the satin panel is finished with a wide elastic band for support. There is a flexible plastic bone on either side of the bra wings to help prevent the bra from rolling down.
I found the bra fit relatively true to size, which unfortunately doesn’t quite work for my body shape. The bra relies almost entirely on the firmness of its band to stay up and to provide support; my ribcage is exceptionally narrow so the absence of shoulder straps meant the bra would start to slip down over extended periods. This isn’t a criticism of the bra itself; its within the nature of bandeau bras and just means that sizes 32C or 34B would be a better fit.
The Frida high-waisted knicker is essentially the same shape as the harness-knicker, just with a lower waistline and no strap attachments. I found the shape and construction were near identical. They also fit comfortably true to size. I am a little at odds with calling this style high-waisted for anyone without a short torso; on my body they sit a few inches below my natural waist, rising just up to my high hip.
Overall, I think the Frida and Magdalene ranges are a great addition to my lingerie wardrobe: they’re edgy designs, comfortable and of excellent quality. Their price point makes them a lot more affordable than many of the other ‘directional’ independent lingerie brands on the scene currently. From my experience, Playful Promises make great investment pieces; I still regularly wear sets I purchased several seasons ago and I have high hopes that these pieces will hold up just as well.
Readers: Have you ever tried Playful Promises? What do you think of these print designs?