Japanese Lingerie Review: Body Rescue x Shirohato Antique Rose High-Sided Demi Bra and Panties

Note: This lingerie was purchased for me by The Lingerie Addict. All opinions are my own.

Body Rescue x Shirohato. Japanese Lingerie.

Body Rescue x Shirohato Antique Rose High Sided Demi Bra, $26 and Panty, $12

One of my first lingerie shopping experiences was at Kaori’s Closet Tokyo in NYC. A sweet little boutique on Houston, Kaori’s Closet offered fancifully-decorated Japanese lingerie, otherwise unavailable in the US, and pretty loungewear from international indie lines.



With bras covered in engineered floral embroidery, 3D lace appliques, textured elastics, and perfectly-placed rhinestones, the shop was overtly girly and definitely over-the-top.

Compared to the t-shirt bras I was used to seeing at places like Aerie and Victoria’s Secret, it was heaven. This lingerie was as twee as the clothing I wore everyday. In other words, it was my ideal store.

Kaori's Closet Tokyo in NYC. Japanese Lingerie.

Japanese lingerie sets at now defunct boutique Kaori’s Closet Tokyo in NYC. Photo by Cora Harrington.

Aside from being gloriously-designed and over-embellished, Japanese bras are known for their extreme push-up qualities. These are the bras I wore when my cup size shrank during half-marathon training and I felt self-conscious. The globular, round breast shape, popular with American push-up bras, isn’t what you’ll get with Japanese bras.

The look is more front facing, sort of like an inverted triangle, with most of the support coming from the lower outside corners of your breasts. This gives a narrow silhouette with no tissue spilling off to the sides. You’ll often find multiple layers of permanent and removable padding in core sizes. In bigger sizes, you’ll get hyper-projection and strong structure on the outer sides of cups (and usually removable pads, too).

Basically, if you want a bra that makes your boobs look like a literal flower garden and gives you tons of cleavage in a regular t-shirt, Japanese lingerie is the lingerie for you!

I didn’t know ready-to-wear lingerie could look like this and I certainly didn’t know lingerie like this could fit me. But surprisingly, the first bra I purchased at Kaori’s Closet was an 80G, or a 36F/36DDD in US sizes. It’s woefully too big on me now, but it was a shocking revelation I could actually fit into these super-fancy Japanese bras.

A through C cups definitely have more variety available to them in the Japanese bra market, but bigger cups aren’t totally left out like I expected! So I became a regular, and Kaori’s Closet later became she and reverie‘s first stockist in NYC.

Kaori's Closet. Japanese Lingerie.

My very first bra purchase from Kaori’s Closet, covered in bows, lace, and bow-shaped lace. This is probably my most favorite pink bra.

When the shop closed a few years ago, I was heartbroken. I spent $250 on $1000 worth of clearance lingerie and said my goodbyes. I know how hard it is to shop online from Japan when you’re in the States so I assumed I wouldn’t be able to find the over-the-top styles I had grown to love anywhere on the internet. I figured that was it for my Japanese lingerie collection.

After a few years, while growing restless and bored with the lingerie industry, I knew there had to be a way to get my frilly, embellished, fancy push-up fix in the States. There are a few little boutiques online that appear to purchase cheap Japanese bras at retail price and resell them in the US. But their sizes are limited and they’re more expensive than originally intended. Instead, I tried shopping with Shirohato, an online Japanese lingerie store with a half-way decent international site.

From higher-end bras over $100 to shockingly cheap $12 bra-and-panty sets and from Wacoal’s decorative Japanese-market-only styles to brands you’ve never heard of, all in a wide range of sizes, Shirohato seemed almost too good to be true.

Body Rescue x Shirohato. Japanese Lingerie.

Body Rescue x Shirohato Antique Rose High Sided Demi Bra, $26 and Panty, $12. Photo by Hannah Rimm

I fell in love with this rose-embroidered demi bra. I’m a sucker for anything with pink roses, so of course I had to order.

The ordering process is easy. The international shipping is fast. And everything comes in a cute pink shopping bag, as if you just popped down to your local boutique to pick up some pretty new lingerie! Shirohato even accepts returns, although you have to pay return shipping to Japan on anything you don’t want.

Body Rescue x Shirohato Antique Rose High Sided Demi Bra and Panty. Japanese Lingerie.

Body Rescue x Shirohato Antique Rose High Sided Demi Bra and Panty. Photo by Hannah Rims

Sizing

My typical size is 32G. According to Shirohato’s sizing chart, my measurements are closest to size F80. This translates to a 36DD, my sister size. I usually would never buy a 36DD in a bra I expect to actually support me, but since I know Japanese clothing runs much smaller than American clothing with the same letter sizes, I decided to trust the chart.

I’m glad I did. I could have gone down a size in the band, but because of the wide band and the “smoothing” aspects of this bra (more on that later), I think this size is pretty much perfect.

I later purchased a bra from Shirohato in my usual size (32G, or H70) and the band is much snugger than I prefer. Overall, my advice is pick a size in accordance to your measurements on the size chart, at least for your first purchase, and go from there.

For the bottoms, I ordered a size LL. I usually wear between a Medium and a Large and definitely would not go below a size LL in these (or any panties from a Japanese brand, to be honest). The size chart is right yet again.

Back details. Photo by Hannah Rimm

Shaping

Body Rescue is a Japanese line of shapewear. In collaboration with Shirohato, Body Rescue created this bra with high sides, extra layers of mesh on the back band, and U-back straps that give a smooth silhouette.

True to its design, I don’t get the “back fat” lines that so many people complain about. Bras always push against my squishy back. Although I couldn’t care less about it (honestly, Body Rescue, I don’t think my body needs “rescuing”?), this bra would totally be good for you if you do.

The slings on the back band are smoothing and nothing rode up during the day, or needed any major adjusting. The cups are structured enough to give the upside-down-triangle shape I love from Japanese bras, without extra padding.

The cups fit the same way as most of my other Japanese bras: average cup volume, and maybe a tiny bit shallow. Because the shape aims to push your breasts forward, if you’re very front-facing, you might find yourself falling out of this bra.

Body Rescue x Shirohato bra. Japanese Lingerie.

Interior details of this Body Rescue x Shirohato bra. Nice stitching and an extra-wide, stretchy sling. Photo by Hannah Rimm.

Quality vs. Cost

Honestly, I don’t know how this bra is priced so low. The materials aren’t luxury-quality by any means, but they’re perfectly acceptable for a fashionable piece. Like most of my Japanese bras, this one is lined with a cotton woven material, so it’s super comfortable and avoids the cheap feel of synthetic linings budget bras often use. This feels like a $45 bra to me, not a $26 bra.

Seriously. It’s $26! That is so affordable for any bra, much less a fuller-bust bra. On top of all their other unique qualities, so many bras available on Shirohato are $30 or less, and sometimes include matching panties. It makes paying for international shipping feel much friendlier than usual.

Body Rescue x Shirohato Antique Rose High Sided Demi Bra and Panty. Japanese Lingerie.

Body Rescue x Shirohato Antique Rose High Sided Demi Bra and Panty. Photo by Hannah Rimm.

Final thoughts

It felt like a giant exhale when I received this bra set and it fit exactly how I hoped it would.

After my package came, I immediately ordered two more lingerie sets from Shirohato. In fact, I kept getting distracted and going shopping on the website while I was writing this damn review! I’m so happy to have found a replacement for Kaori’s Closet, full of styles that come in my size, at prices that are downright ridiculous.

Do you like the over-the-top styles available from Japanese lingerie lines? Would you wear lingerie like this?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


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.

9 Comments on this post

  1. Laura says:

    Just placed an order out of sheer curiosity — went by their size chart as best I could. My ribcage falls between the two measurements, so I tried each — one with the smaller band, one with the larger. I think they’ll both work, but we’ll see! Thanks for the review!

  2. Chloë Boulez says:

    Question: am I correct in seeing that there are no visual design elements on the back side of the pieces? This is a personal pet peeve of mine, and sadly this seems to be the case with many Japanese designs I’ve seen.

  3. Apo says:

    I really don’t like to bring criticism to such a bubbly and bright article that made so many people enthusiastic, however I cannot help feeling that we should think twice before buying these products. A quick search on shirohato’s website led me to believe that they don’t try to have any control about the working conditions in the factory’s of the brands they source from ( correct me if I’m wrong).
    I really understand the appeal of buying cheap and creative lingerie and the feeling that more worker-friendly and enviromentaly conscious underwear is expensive, not always inclusive and not as creative. I certainly did feel that way for a long time.
    However this last year I’ve been working in Cambodia, one of the Japanese economical partners. In this country a lot of cheap chinese,japanese and korean products are produced in truly horrifying conditions. I’m not saying it’s always the case but it’s what happens most of the time. I saw a lot of similar products beeing produced in these factories and they will always be tied for me to all the young girls I met that worked there and often have nothing in their life except working in the factories and are payed quite poorly for it ( admittely there has been progress in that area in Cambodia).
    I cannot say that I am sure this is the case for these products but they certainly don’t seem to make good working conditions their prioritie.

  4. Megumi Badillo says:

    This was a wonderful giddy review for me. I was rather bummed when the website I would purchase Japanese lingerie on closed down last year and didn’t know where to go from there. But since I read this review I have been perusing the Shirohato website and cannot wait to make my first purchase!!

  5. Nita says:

    These are so beautiful! I especially love the Wacoal Salute-series. Do you think the sizing would be the same as in Wacoals other lines, like Embrace Lace sold in the West?

  6. Ash says:

    So, I got really excited reading this, when I realized that they actually made Japanese bras that could fit me. I immediately went and ordered the black/purple version of the one you reviewed and am so excited to try it! I’ve been feeling kind of lackluster about lingerie currently; my body dysphoria has been acting up and it’s just been… weird. I’ve also gained some weight, so I’m sure that’s not helping. But measuring and sizing myself into a different size chart somehow kept me from feeling negatively about that, since I have no idea what C85 means in US/UK sizes. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention, I’d love to see more of this!

  7. Becca says:

    If I ever become a straight size (non plus) I will buy these bras…if I have to have wires then I deserve pretty floral delights.
    And the roses set in the review is to die for !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *