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Retro Pinup Review: Madame X by Dita Von Teese Lingerie


"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

The current collection from Dita Von Teese's Von Follies has a lot of really winning pieces, but I have to say that this set from Madam X is certainly my favorite. I had the opportunity to special order several pieces via Dark Garden, including the much-vaunted (and much-wanted) Her Sexellency Dress, but I kind of wish I could wear Madam X everyday. I got the wire-free bra and full brief, to satisfy my ongoing obsession with both bralettes and high waisted panties.


"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

Fit and Sizing

I have to admit, my one major frustration with the Von Follies line is that the sizing seems to be really inconsistent, at least in the bras. I got four bra styles in my special order (including the Her Sexellency dress), and the trend seemed to be that the smaller the cup design, the smaller the cup fit. Not knowing what to expect at the time of the order, I had ordered everything in a 32B, though I was either a smidge smaller then or hadn't yet realized I had actually graduated from a 30C to a 30D. The quarter cup styles were laughably (or cry-ably, if you will) small --- I had to go up to a 32D in the one I was able to exchange. A friend and I ordered two very similar bras from the same group, in the same size. Hers was the demi-cup and mine the quarter cup, and though her demi fit her pretty well, my quarter cup was very small on her as well, so it's definitely not just me. Thankfully, one of the charms of bralette styles (there are so many!) is that they are more forgiving with cup sizes, and I am quite happy in the 32B for the Madam X soft cup bra. With no underwire, framing the breast tissue isn't a concern, and the cup depth is quite comfortable.

The panties I received were a size 12 UK, and a fairly good fit. (I have a 26" waist and 38" hips, which makes me about a 2/4 American.) At first I thought they were a little loose, but I actually prefer a bit of wearing ease in my panties because I hate the look and feel of elastic cutting in. Still, given the opportunity to try them on before purchasing, I maybe would have gone with the 10. If you're used to American sizing, I would definitely recommend going up at least three sizes.


"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

Madam X Wire-Free Bra

This bra is called the wire-free, wireless, non-underwire, or soft cup bra (and so on) depending on the retailer. It does have a light piece of boning on the side of the cup but it is very unobtrusive. The wide strap detail anchors the center front a bit as well as looking amazing peeking out from a scoop neckline. The lace part of the cup is an elastic lace with subtle purple detailing, and a very narrow elastic discreetly tacked just inside the scalloped edge to help hold it flush against the top of the breast. The princess line of the cup has a faggoting detail (a peek-a-boo ladder-like stitch joining the two sides), which reveals --- on me at least --- that the princess line really is right on the apex.


"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

The lower part of the cup looks like a wide satin elastic because of its tidy parallel stitching, but is actually a satin-faced lightweight bra pad. This is presumably largely responsible for the amazing support and shape provided by this bra. I am really impressed with its profile under shirts and the feeling of security provided. I will say that the band does seem to be rather stretchy --- I wear it on the tightest hook (since it's technically too large a band for me already) and it still has plenty of give, sufficient for me to hold it several inches away from my back. Aesthetically, though, I love the square-back shape designed by the intersection of strap, band, and wing. The wing (constructed from double layer mesh) is also a really great height, and sits flush against the body.


"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

Madam X Full Brief

As I mentioned, I felt I could've gone either way (10 or 12) with the sizing on this piece. The strap detailing at the waist is highly adjustable, which lends a certain flexibility --- I had to tighten the straps considerably to fit my waist. The lace panels have the same narrow elastic reinforcement below the scallops featured on the bra, so this is where I would have been concerned about the smaller size dimpling my hip line. The gusset is cotton, with the seaming bagged and hidden. The back of the panty is stretch mesh, with a gathering seam down the center back. The legline elastic is pretty perfect --- I particularly loathe a constricting legline.

"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

At the end of the day, I love these panties.  They have a lot of visual interest and detailing, but the overall design feels harmonious, not conflicted. The topstitched satin insets nod nicely to the bra, but both pieces are classic and versatile enough to be able to pair with other styles you may already own.  If you're a bit shy of high-waisted styles, the low-rise version is pretty cute too (and retailers seem to be less intimidated by it --- it's easier to find).


"Madam X" set from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

What do you think about Madam X from Von Follies by Dita Von Teese?


Marianne Faulkner

Marianne Faulkner is the designer of Pop Antique, a clothing and corsetry line specializing in sustainable materials and comfortable curves. She is based in San Francisco where she earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University, and has been a columnist at The Lingerie Addict since 2011.

21 Comments on this post

  1. Gaby says:

    Absolutely adore this review, thank you SO much for posting it. I’m a true 34D and will try to order the 36C and keep my fingers crossed. Where did you find the high waisted brief that matches? I have been searching the internet high and low and can’t seem to find it anywhere! ):

  2. Megan says:

    Hello, I was wondering if you’d suggest this bralette to someone who’s a very small A cup? I have a hard time filling in bras so im not sure if this would work for me. I absolutely love the design though!

  3. Claire says:

    Sorry my message was not very precise and contained spelling mistakes. I meant to say that Dita, on the pictures, probably wears a size 6 prototype, not a size 8. And although I wear the size 8 low on the hips (where the hips are wider), it sometimes manages to slip down, so it’s a bit annoying and not as pretty imho as a real high-waisted belt. The absolutely huge bra is the balconette style. I think the Von Follies/Dita Von Teese Collection is well designed, but it is too expensive given the lack of choice customers get when it comes to sizes.

    • Cora says:

      Eh, we’re very forgiving of spelling mistakes here. :-)

      I’m truly awful at guessing people’s sizes online, but I will say that garter belts are meant to be worn at the waist, not the hips. If you’re wearing them at the widest part of your hips, there’s nothing left to keep them up and in place since your body narrows from that point down. Wearing a garter belt fitted for your waist helps to make sure it can’t slip past your hips.

      Re: sizing, I know for a fact that the DvT range offers more sizes than are currently being sold in stores. It’s just that most retailers aren’t picking up the full range. This is actually a fairly common problem in the lingerie industry – a brand has the capacity to produce one range of sizes, but the market only places orders for a smaller range. The lack of size options isn’t always the designer’s fault.

  4. Claire says:

    I bought the very pretty “Lace and fishnet” set and was disappointed by the sizing. The brief is ok, although slightly big. I took the low rise brief and it’s so big it looks like a high rise, but it’s rather pretty and very comfortable too. The suspender belt is very big. I got it in the smallest available size – an 8/38, and a 6 would have been much better. It sits very low on the hips, it’s not as pretty as the picture with Dita – she wears it as a high waist suspender belt aand I suspect it’s a size 8 prototype. Also I wear it low on the hips, it sometimes slips down. The retailer told me Von Follies didn’t make a smaller size for the Lace and fishnet style. It’s a pity, really. The matching bra was absolutely huge. I got a 32B – again, the smallest available size – and it actually fitted like a 32D. I gave it to a friend whose size really is 32D. A little disappointed on the whole…

    • Cora says:

      I actually tried this style too from ASOS (the original peach/black colorway), and I didn’t have these sizing issues. I ordered a 34C bra and size L panty and thought they fit true to size. I didn’t order a garter belt though as I tend to prefer 6 strap garters and I have a several of those that are working well already. I wound up sending the set back, not because of fit issues, but because I just didn’t think it was unique enough to keep.

      At any rate, I’m not sharing that to discount your experience (I’m glad you shared it!), just to offer another perspective on some of the fit inconsistencies I’m hearing.

  5. Meg says:

    Try in Australia – they have a great Dita range on their website and the blue star lift has just been released! Ive got the black one already and can’t wait for the blue.. so sexy and it gives a such a great shape

  6. Honey! says:

    I absolutely adore this bra and ordered it after your review! I already own the Madame X Longline Bra from and found it fit pretty tts. I just discovered Bloomingdales is carrying her line but they only list it as Dita Von Teese, with no mention of Von Follies. They seem to be slightly cheaper than but have a smaller selection. They’re running out of sizes in this particular bra but they said they should have a restock soon and to keep checking back. Thanks for the great review and the beautiful pics!

    • Marianne says:

      I think Bloomingdales only just started selling the line – just a month ago or two ago, Dark Garden in San Francisco was one of very few brick and mortar locations carrying Von Follies in the US, and the only retail location in San Francisco for sure. Since the Bloomingdales pickup, I think they rebranded the line a bit, thus the change from Von Follies to Dita Von Teese.

  7. Erika Grace says:

    I just found this blog due to Dita Von Teese linking it on Facebook! I LOVE it! I once tried to make a similar blog, but found it hard as I’m a student and can’t buy all the lingerie I want to review so I’m delighted to see someone else has done it! I’m a huge fan of lingerie and usually I save my lingerie spree for the Agent Provocateur winter and summer sales! I otherwise write a blog about my journey becoming an opera singer at please check it out if you have the chance! I look forward to following your posts! xx Erika Grace

  8. I myself am a self proclaimed Von Follies addict!! Sadly I can not afford every piece but when I can I splurge on a piece.
    The Madame X is my favourite set, I got the wire, non wire, pant and thong for this set (would love the high waisted brief but would have to order from the US :( )
    Its so flattering, alluring and always makes me feel incredible. I also have the black Her Sexcellence dress as soon as it came out last year but have yet to wear it.

    The only set so far to let me down was the Savour Faire (sp?) It arrived and for the money felt cheap and did nothing for my figure I was more than disappointed as I own Her Sexcellence in red, black and peach (in both normal overwire and longline) with all suspender belts and matching thongs & high waisted briefs. Leading Lady in pink and the original black and pink. Mancatcher in pink.
    And recently Starlift in Magenta

    I would love Frivolitease and starlift in blue but sadly ASOS and Debenhams do not stock them. As far as sizing concerned I fit my normal size perfectly in all styles, & unlike some understand Dita does offer the FULL range of sizes but its what retailers pick up and they only pick up what they will most commonly sell.

    Miss. VV

    • Ana says:

      It is very annoying that retailers limit size ranges so much, it defeats the purpose of the brands offering a wide array of sizes when they never reach the customer. I do understand the economics of it, specially in small boutiques, but ASOS, for example, it’s a big company and they could easily stock more sizes, and yet they choose not to do so, even in full bust brands like Freya, Panache, Curvy Kate and Miss Mandalay. But then they have petite ad plus sizes in clothing and I wonder what foundations do they expect those customers to wear…

      Anyway, what a great collection you have :) Her Sexellency dress looks great to wear under clothes.

    • Kata says:

      Do you happen to have the Savoir Faire suspender belt? I’v been drooling over the Chartreuse set, but I’m wondering if the belt is sturdy and good for everyday wear. I can only afford few pieces, so if the set isn’t as good quality as the others, I think I’d rather grab Her Sexellency or Madame X.
      Unfortunately it’s very hard to find any of the suspender belts and high wasted panties in size 36, from retailers that ship to my country. Though it helps choosing what to get by limiting the choices…

      • Marianne says:

        That chartreuse is absolutely stunning! Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the suspender belts from Von Follies. If there’s interest, I can pick one up to review in the next collection, though. I will say I’ve been impressed with the quality of the line in general (except for the inconsistent fit) and I believe Dita was aiming to make the sort of lingerie she would want to wear.

      • Linh says:

        I have a Sheer Witchery suspender belt and it is GREAT. Sturdy, gorgeous, but definitely does the job of holding my stockings up all day. I also have the suspender belt in Screen Queen but have not given that an all day test yet.

  9. Ana says:

    I’ve been drooling over every release in Dita’s lingerie line, but have to confess that Madame X is also my dream everyday lingerie, oh how wonderful it would be having six strap suspenders that perfectly match my bra and panties, or a slip with a built in bra… I was so excited when she said there would be a nice size range, but unfortunately there isn’t (or retailers didn’t pick it up?), it would be great if I could make some of the bras work, but being a 28F/FF the chances are slim and given the sizes vary a lot it only makes it harder.
    I’m generally not a fan of bralettes, don’t appreciate the lack of support, but now I’m very curious about this one, it looks like a good option for sleeping if I can make one of the sizes work.

    • Marianne says:

      The size range available varies from style to style (for example, the overwire styles only go to a C cup, I believe), and, as you and Miss Von Vamp below both surmised, the full size range for any style may not get picked up by retailers. To my knowledge none of the styles are available in a band smaller than 32, but even though the band on this one has a lot of give, it’s also constructed in a way that would probably be fairly easy to have taken in.

      • Ana says:

        Exactly, that was what I thought yesterday, if only I could fit the cups I would be able to reduce the band.

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