Lingerie Review: Trusst Lingerie Suzanne Bra

Disclosure: I received this bra from Trusst Lingerie for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

"The Suzanne" from Trusst Lingerie

“The Suzanne” from Trusst Lingerie

Trusst Lingerie launched on Kickstarter in the Spring of 2015 and met its goal in 5 days. The bra is designed to “actually support” full-bust women by using an alternative to the underwire: a 3D-printed bra core called the BAST, which stands for Breast Advanced Support Technology.



Trusst says their BAST is more supportive and more comfortable than a traditional underwire by reducing shoulder strain and, according to their website, “eliminating the pinching, poking, and discomfort commonly associated with underwires.” The ultimate goal? Creating a bra for women who hate underwire bras and find them uncomfortable. I was super excited for the opportunity to review Trusst as I have a lot of varied thoughts on this concept.

Preceding Thoughts

Let me start this review by saying, although I am entirely qualified to wear and review this bra as a full-bust-bra-wearing individual, I am not in the target market for this bra at allHere’s why:

  1. I love bras. I love shopping for bras. I love wearing bras. I love underwires, in fact. I love how they make my boobs feel like they aren’t actually 8 inches bigger than my ribcage. I love how they look under clothes. I mean, I don’t sleep in them, and I am often very happy to take them off at the end of the day. But I do love them.
  2. I don’t find bras uncomfortable, if they fit correctly.
  3. I don’t prefer contour/foam cup bras, especially full cup styles. I don’t really like the round shape they provide. All of Trusst’s bras are contour bras.
  4. I don’t need to wear t-shirt bras, so I don’t buy them. All of Trusst’s bras are t-shirt bras.
  5. I am a lingerie industry professional. Trusst’s entire concept is based on disrupting the lingerie industry by outsiders who don’t have lingerie or apparel manufacturing backgrounds. Which is great. I do think the industry needs to be shaken up in many many areas, and an underwire alternative is wonderful. Yet, contrary to what’s implied, I don’t think being an “outsider” in any industry gives you a step up on “disrupting” it. So, since I’m steeped in this industry every working day of my life, I am not a part of the ideal target market.
  6. Most of all, as someone who pays part of her rent by fitting women into underwire brasI can solve nearly all the problems that Trusst wants to fix for women simply by re-fitting them into another size. That isn’t necessarily the case for all cup sizes, but if you wear between an E and J cup (the sizes Trusst manufactures), and the straps are digging into your shoulders, the underwire is digging in under your arms, you think your posture is poor/your back hurts/your breasts aren’t lifted, it’s not because of underwires. It’s very likely because the size you’re wearing isn’t the best size for your body. So, to be 100% honest, before I received this set, it was my opinion that Trusst didn’t do their research and is marketing towards consumer ignorance, like much of the rest of lingerie industry.
A diagram about the problems with underwire bras and the solutions that Trusst aim to provide. The bit about how "current bras rely heavily on support from shoulder straps" is misinformation; the same 80% of weight that Trusst says they support is the same percentage that underwires are said to support, in a well-fitted bra.

A diagram describing alleged problems with underwire bras and the solutions that Trusst aims to provide. The bit about how “current bras rely heavily on support from shoulder straps” is quite simply misinformation. The same 80% of weight that Trusst says they support is about the same, if not a smaller, percentage that underwires are said to support in a well-fitted underwire bra.

Regardless of all this, I was truly hoping to be surprised and excited by this cool technological innovation, something that is genuinely rare in the lingerie industry (and, let’s be honest, the apparel industry as a whole – it’s all very old-fashioned). Perhaps it might solve fit issues for people who haven’t been able to be fitted or who don’t like the feel of underwires. I was looking forward to experiencing it.

The individuals behind Trusst are super helpful and friendly. I typically wear a size 32G, but they suggested using their fit calculator, because Trusst bras are sized differently from other brands. My body fluctuates a lot, but that day I measured as a 41″ bust and a 33″ ribcage, so the Trusst calculator put me in a 34G. When I let them know, they suggested trying my usual sister size, 34F, so that’s what I ordered. They were very supportive (no pun intended), and I do recommend talking to their fit specialists before ordering a Trusst bra.

Receiving the Bra

When I answered the door three days later on Saturday morning with bedhead and wearing a Harlow and Fox silk robe, I was stoked. It was the FedEx delivery person with a package! A package that said “TRUSST LINGERIE” in huge letters across the top and their tagline, “Supporting the World’s Favorite Assets” on the side.

Outside of the Trusst shipping box. Wish I had taken a better photo but I was surprised/excited/eating breakfast.

Outside of the Trusst shipping box. Wish I had taken a better photo but I was surprised/excited/eating breakfast, so here it is on my dining table.

Now, I work in lingerie. I wear sheer clothes all the time to show it off, and if you google my name, you can find photos of me wearing it. But this made me a little uncomfortable. If it said “Trusst Lingerie” in small letters on the return address label? Sure. If it just said “TRUSST” with the cheeky non-specific motto? Sure! But even I don’t want my neighbors or delivery people to know that I am ordering lingerie, especially with details on the box about what it’s meant to do, and especially because many people see the word “lingerie” and think “erotic.” I must have looked a sight receiving my underwear package while basically wearing my underwear.

Inside the Trusst box. Photo by Quinne Myers

Inside the Trusst box. Photo by Quinne Myers

I took a (very scientific Facebook) poll and more of my (very liberal feminist) bra-wearing friends said they were offended by the motto objectifying women’s bodies than the fact that the box alluded to what was inside. Regardless, when I imagine a non-lingerie-addicted person buying this very basic, comfortable, everyday t-shirt bra, and picking up this box from their foyer or their post office or even their workplace…I’m cringing. I appreciate the super-sharp work they’ve done with their branding, but I believe discreet packaging is important in general.

First Thoughts

The first thing I notice out of the box: the Trusst Suzanne is the biggest bra I’ve ever owned in my size. The support structure, which contains cushioning for comfort, adds an inch of thickness to the bottom of the cup, so it looks like a push-up bra. Not only that, but the hardware and straps are huge too. I’m sure this is great for sizes like 36J, but for a 34F (the second-to-smallest cup size they make), it’s unnecessary. Usually, lingerie companies use smaller hardware for smaller sizes, and I wonder why Trusst doesn’t.

The Suzanne bra by Trusst. Photo by Hannah Rimm

The Suzanne bra by Trusst. Photo by Hannah Rimm

The second thing I notice: this bra is…not my thing, aesthetically. I know I have weird taste, but from a general design point-of-view, I just don’t understand it. If it was entirely black with tonal black lace, OK, that’s a pretty, simple, basic bra. But it’s lined with heather grey jersey knit that shows beneath black lace, and it has powder-coated lavender hardware, including a logo charm on the front.

Like I said earlier, I am 1000% aware that I am not the exact target customer for this bra. If a sporty “athleisure” look is what this bra was going for, I’d get that, too. But for a bra described as having “the comfort and versatility of a t-shirt bra, with a hint of lace to make it feel special,” I’m confused. And not in a good, artistic way.

Inside of The Suzanne bra by Trusst. Photo by Hannah Rimm

Inside of The Suzanne bra by Trusst. Photo by Hannah Rimm

The third thing I notice is that it’s quite well-made. They clearly took the hints from prototype reviews written by other bra bloggers. It’s not couture-level or anything, but any errors wouldn’t be noticed by 99% of customers and aren’t worth mentioning here.

The top-stitching is even and the whole thing looks sturdy as hell. For an $88 bra from a small company, I’m very impressed. If I saw this bra hanging in a lingerie boutique, I wouldn’t question it for a second. Lots of bra-wearers will love the U-back straps, and the cut-and-sew style seaming is a nice touch, even though it’s just for looks rather than support (the inside of the bra is all one piece – more on that later).

Fitting

So I put the bra on and notice the gore doesn’t tack against my sternum. Trusst’s FAQ says this is normal and fine. Unlike an underwire, the BAST will support your breasts even if the gore does not tack. That’s really great, especially for people whose breasts project a lot or who never have gores sit flush against their sternums. However, my breasts are pretty balanced, and that’s a problem I almost never have, so this (along with other signifiers, like a tiny bit of spillage) indicated to me that the cups were too small. Therefore, my breasts were pushing the gore away from my body. Plus, the support structure was digging into my breast tissue and just generally kind of uncomfortable.

I asked Trusst to send me a cup size bigger (yes, the size their calculator fit me into, a 34G),  and this size felt MUCH better. To me, this indicates their calculator is pretty accurate. It also means the Trusst system won’t solve fit issues for people who haven’t or are unable to be fitted. If you buy a Trusst bra in a size that doesn’t fit, it still won’t be comfortable. 

Moving along, I put the size 34G on and look down and, honestly? I crack up laughing. My breasts look like they’re pointing sideways. The apex of each cup points outward instead of straight forward. My cleavage is a box.

BAST System Placement

Photo by Hannah Rimm

Photo by Hannah Rimm

Here’s what’s happening: the support structure is pushing my breasts up, but not forward at all. Projection is a huge desire for many full-bust people – to keep breast tissue away from the arms, to provide a more narrow silhouette, to keep cleavage from coming up to your chin, and yes, to keep your breasts pointing forward instead of downward – but this bra has none. Why? Because there is no structure on the sides of my breasts. The BAST’s plastic shape ends significantly lower than most underwires.

Here’s where the BAST ends. Photo by Hannah Rimm

On the one hand, that means the internal structure doesn’t go up high beneath your arms. I believe this was on purpose. Many bra-wearers complain about underwires digging into their armpits. This is also a common complaint from people with very sensitive skin or chronic pain problems, and at first glance, this bra could potentially solve that for them. But this is also a complaint I frequently hear from busty women who are wearing a size that doesn’t encase their entire breast; the wire digs into the tissue, causing discomfort under the arm. Trusst solved this problem by making their structure more shallow, and by using the rest of the cup to push your tissue forward…but it’s not very efficient.

Four-Part Cup (Real vs. Reproduction)

Photo by Hannah Rimm

On the left, the Panache Envy bra. On the right, The Suzanne by Trusst Lingerie. Photos by Hannah Rimm

This is where that 4-part cup could really help them out – if the cup was actually four parts. See the above photo of the Panache Envy bra in UK 32F on the left, compared to the Trusst Suzanne bra on the right. The Envy is one of my favorite everyday full-cup bras. It’s not a contour bra, but it’s supportive, simple, and looks great under a t-shirt, so it’s the bra I’ll use to compare the silhouette of a “traditional” full-bust underwire bra with the Trusst bra.

A 4-part cup like the one on the Envy has extra support from the side panel to act like a sling. It either continues up and turns into straps (like how the Suzanne appears) or is connected to the strap above the top of the cup so that the straps can help bring everything forward (like how the Panache Envy actually works).

Photos by Hannah Rimm

Photos by Hannah Rimm

From the outside of the Suzanne bra, it looks like the strap does exactly that, which would give it more support, like that side sling. However, the outer fabric shell is simply a design detail that’s sewn to look like a 4-part cup. Inside, the cup is one molded piece, and the actual strap is just sewn to the top of the cup.

Photos by Hannah Rimm

On the left, the Panache Envy bra. On the right, The Suzanne by Trusst Lingerie. Photos by Hannah Rimm

My profile silhouette is actually pretty similar to how I look in the Panache bra, which surprised me because of all of the extra material under my breasts. I prefer my shape in the Panache bra, but the Trusst bra doesn’t look nearly as bulky from the side as I expected when I opened the box. The engineering here is really cool!

Photos by Hannah Rimm

On the left, the Panache Envy bra. On the right, The Suzanne by Trusst Lingerie. Photos by Hannah Rimm

However, my shape from the front is much wider than in the traditional bra. If I cross my arms, I can feel my breasts underneath my biceps. This is sort of how I look in my sister size (like, the not-so-supportive size Victoria’s Secret fits me into, a 36DD). I look significantly bustier from the front.

I actually wore the Trusst bra to work at the lingerie boutique one day, and told my coworkers halfway through. Almost everyone said something like, “I was thinking your boobs looked huge today, but I wasn’t sure if I should say something!” Thanks, guys. Overall, the Trusst Suzanne gives me a shape I don’t really want my breasts to be, and makes me feel way more top-heavy than I actually am.

The Straps

Photo by Hannah Rimm

Photo by Hannah Rimm

The Suzanne has a convertible racer-back option, which is a nice detail and makes this bra more versatile. I like that it’s pretty high up on the back, so you can hook it yourself while you’re wearing it, which is really nice.

The thick padded straps definitely won’t dig into your shoulders. Digging straps are another problem many full-bust women have, but it’s very often solved with a bra fitting, especially within the sizes that Trusst manufactures. By wearing a smaller band size, the weight of your breasts is distributed around your torso, where it’s more comfortable – not on your shoulders.

One big goal of the BAST system is to put the weight of the breasts on your ribcage instead of your shoulders, but that’s exactly what an underwire bra should do too, so I’m not sure how that represents an innovation at all. The straps are there for more stability, not heavy-duty lift. Still, people with sensitive skin who hate how elastic feels on their shoulders will appreciate these straps. They’ll also appreciate how smooth the inner lining of the bra is.

On the note of sensitive skin, I thought the Trusst bra might remove the “red marks” bra-wearers get at the end of a long day, but when I took it off, I had the same red marks around my torso as I do from my normal wired bras – only bigger, because of the larger surface area this bra needs to use for support. The lining is smooth and the straps are padded, but the elastic and surface area of the BAST could still irritate sensitive skin.

Final Thoughts

Trusst Lingerie Suzanne Bra

Trusst Lingerie Suzanne Bra

Is this bra comfortable? Yes, it is.

Is it more comfortable than my other every-day full-bust bra? No, not particularly. It feels like “more bra” because, well, it is “more bra.” It makes me feel like I’m wearing a special device because my boobs are so big, which is something I don’t feel in my full bust underwire bras.

Is this a good “wireless” option? I wouldn’t recommend it. This Trusst bra has even more hardware inside it than an underwire bra.

Is it as comfortable as a purely wireless bra? No.

Does it support better than typical wireless bras? Yes, definitely. Plus, the seamless material inside is less irritating than seamed bras, and the t-shirt material is super comfortable.

So, let’s say you are already wearing a bra with an underwire that fits you perfectly. It is the best size for your shape, and it it is the most comfortable bra you’ve ever worn, but you still hate your bra. You hate feeling it on your body. You hate the straps. You hate the underwire. Should you try Trusst?

Sure! Why not? You might love it. But the thing is, sitting down at my desk, writing this in my Trusst bra? I can feel the support structure, just like I can feel an underwire.

My breasts feel like they are sitting on a little cushion-y pillow, but I can feel the BAST pushing against my ribcage, just like in a normal bra. Which is fine. But honestly, I don’t see the difference between how this bra feels, and how a well-fitting underwire bra feels. I really don’t think my full bust customers who hate their underwire bras would love this one instead.

At the end of the day, Trusst wants to solve bra problems that many people have, but they’re problems that are typically solved with a tape measure and a few test sizes of underwire bras. I wish I could say that this bra would be excellent for people who have very sensitive skin, or who really just hate underwires, but I don’t think they’d like this option, either. It feels pretty much the same as a comfortable underwire bra except, well, more bra.

If you’ve tried this bra and you love it, I think that’s wonderful and I’d love to hear other people’s experiences. From my point-of-view, some parts of this bra are lovely, and the people who work at Trusst are kind and truly want to help women, but my initial opinion unfortunately still stands: I think Trusst is inadvertently marketing towards consumer ignorance.

What do you think? Do underwire bras bother you? Would you try a Trusst bra?

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Quinne
Quinne Myers

Quinne Myers is based in Brooklyn, NY where she runs the ethically-made loungewear line, she and reverie. She is also a textile designer, a watercolor illustrator, a writer, and a consultant for the lingerie industry.

13 Comments on this post

  1. […] If you’d like to read some other perspectives, check out reviews by Quinne of The Lingerie Addict and Quirky & […]

  2. Piya Rawat says:

    Great fit! Bra shape gives a more pointed protruding look which is not to my liking so I returned unfortunately. Fantastie should offer more bras with a rounded shape like the discontinued Esme style.

  3. AMarie says:

    Maybe they think a t-shirt bra means it’s made out of t-shirt material? That’s the only way their description makes sense.

    And basically, this is a copy of those awful VS add 2 cup sizes bras. Except they removed the wires so you fall more to the sides. What a completely awful bra.

  4. Jess w says:

    I almost fit in their target market, I’m a 30H, i hate underwires and rarely feel comfortable in my bras. I feel your review was fair and you tested it even though you aren’t the market. The way it compared to your panache was terrible, even worse with clothes on!
    I dont feel like this bra is any different to the non wired crap in the high street. I’d much rather trust a non wired bra from a company like elomi/fantasie who know what they’re doing and aren’t trying to be cool or edgy.

  5. Rima Das says:

    Hi Quinne. I read the whole article.It’s wonderful and I just love it.The pictures explained a lot. Keep posting more. Cheers!

  6. Sarah B says:

    I am the target audience for this bra: G cup, hate wires, chronic back and rib pain, sensitive skin and twisted ribs. I have learned over 20 years of bra wearing, changing and augmenting that for a bra to deal with my problems it needs to be light and adjustable as hell (particularly the straps and back). Oh, and hard wearing. I’ve found ways round my bra problems, but they are not pretty or chic. However, they work, do not add bulk or weight and lessen the rubs and marks. The cut of the cup is essential. If I can work this out, sophisticated designers should, but they’ve got to work closely with the target audience and the entirety of the extant produce, not just one problem element. Also, terrible box.

  7. Ms. Pris says:

    I am a 34H or HH and I would not wear this bra. FOr many years I wore only wireless bras, and they were all bulky. I hated how the wide band would slip below my rib cage (because I am quite short and short-waisted) and dig into me, and I hated feeling encased in a heavy structure. This bra seems to have the same problem, it’s just too much bra. I hate contour bras in general.

    I also really like my breasts to be lifted, projected, and centered as much as possible/looks good. I really want my boobs to be in front of my chest, not in front of my arms. And my boobs are very deep, so I suspect they would fight with this bra.

    On top of that, I really hate marketing to consumer ignorance. It just makes me angry, for some reason.

  8. lia says:

    Hmm. I wasn’t overly impressed back when the prototype was reviewed on A Sophisticated Pair, and I can’t say I’m that enthused now either. Like you said, the problems they set out to fix could have been solved more simply with a good bra fitting. It doesn’t seem as if their target problems have been fixed by their bra either. That’s a lot of bra to end up in the same place. Fantastically detailed review!

  9. Catless says:

    It’s interesting to me that you used the Envy for comparison because Panache is a brand I’ve pretty much given up on because their underwires are too long and uncomfortable for me at UK 32GG/H. That being said, I’d rather have Panache or Cleo make a seamed bra with shorter and also padded underwires than the TRUSST bra – I just don’t like the design.
    I do see potential in TRUSST, but I agree that they should really fix their marketing and the motto on the box is just awful.

  10. Alison says:

    It looks quite a lot like the Panache sports bra! Just with a lower front.
    I also hate the company name.. conjuring up images of a truss doesn’t say lingerie to me!
    But it does look well made, and the sort of women who do prefer to wear a sports bra as an everyday bra may love this.

  11. Estelle says:

    Really interesting review. This reminds me in a way of Silent Assembly – with their nylon rib technology, the bra was *so* bulky compared to my usual underwires, and this Trusst one looks much, much bulkier! This looks like the kind of bra I would have loved in my teens when I wore mega-padded bras to make my boobs look bigger lol, but that’s not the point of this product.

    I don’t have an issue with the black/grey/lace design personally, I can see it appealing to some people. Agree about the packaging though, I buy a ton of lingerie and I don’t think anything has ever arrived with ‘LINGERIE’ splashed across the box! I thought the need for discreet packaging was a given in this industry.

  12. Thursday says:

    Up until this article, I hadn’t heard of this brand at all, so thanks for the very thorough review. I’m not the target market either (neither large bust, nor do I hate underwires), but I am always suspicious of “innovations” that work so hard to sell themselves. I feel like it takes an informed consumer to tell genuine technological innovation from marketing spin. This was a very interesting read. And I have to agree, as an avid lingerie shopper, I still very much prefer discreet packaging – save the branding and fancy packaging for inside the nondescript mailer!

  13. Rosie says:

    Very fair and helpful review

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