Lingerie Review: Chantelle 'Palais Royal' Demi Bra & Hipster
Note: This bra set was a personal purchase made with my own money. Chantelle Intimates is unaffiliated with this review.
Chantelle is one of those brands that I didn't really pay attention to for a long time, and that I've only recently come around to being interested in. I can't pinpoint the exact moment in my lingerie journey where I thought, "Ehhhh... this brand isn't for me," but looking back, I imagine it had something to do with all the French-style lace and embroidery. I was a diehard, black microfiber t-shirt bra fan for years, and it's only lately that my bra wardrobe has consisted mostly of unlined, unpadded, cut and sewn bras.
I was first attracted to the Chantelle 'Palais Royal' style due to the sheer mesh background (shocking, I know), but I fell in love with it because of the embroidery, which is even more complex up close. It comes across as very luxe and opulent, and the navy accents in particular add an unexpected element of dimension and shadow. This looks like a special occasion bra, but it's available at a price point comparable to other department store bras.... particularly if, like me, you shop the sales. I purchased the brassiere in size 34C and the panty in size L, my usual and preferred sizes.
As I mentioned above, my first impression of this bra is that it is, quite simply, beautiful. I will say the mesh didn't feel quite as I expected. It's not stiff or scratchy (common complaints for mesh), just perhaps not as texturally fine to the touch as I anticipated for a bra that retails around $90. However, that slight (very slight) mismatch between my expectation and reality is neither here nor there; it could very well be a side effect of needing a specialized material to support the embroidery. The fabric is truly perfectly adequate. As you can see in the pictures, this is very definitely a demi cup; I feel like it pretty much bisects my chest.
Regarding fit, I'd like to discuss the panties first. These were incredibly comfortable. The back of the knicker (as well as the wings of the bra) uses a pointelle mesh, and I was able to wear these panties all day without any riding, bunching, or discomfort. In fact, I'd even venture to say they're generously sized --- about on par with Simone Perele's boyshorts if you're familiar with their fit. I can't speak to whether or not they show through clothing as I only wore with them jeans, but as you can see in the pictures, the seams and edges are not invisible, so I'd keep that in mind.
Regarding the bra, I'd say my review is a bit more nuanced. It fulfilled all my relevant criteria for good fit (gore tacked, wires enclosed the breast tissue, band parallel to the floor), and I felt supported. However, I did have three mild pressure points that grew gradually more irksome throughout the day. In sequence, the first was on my sternum where the inner curve of the underwires tacked, followed by a second one the outer curve of the underwire (right around where the cup meets the wing), and ending with a third one at the bottom of the cup near my inframammary fold. I wouldn't categorize any of these as major flaws (I wore the bra all day multiple times, which is my preference for reviews), but I do wonder if perhaps the wire shape isn't an ideal fit for my breasts. I've become a lot more interested in how underwires interact with bone and muscle, but I don't yet have the vocabulary to describe exactly what's happening... nor does anyone else I know of seem to be having these particular issues with their wires.
Overall, I'd say I'm happy with this bra set, but I don't know if I'd necessarily purchase it at full price. There's nothing wrong with it; there are just other bras I like at comparable (or lower) price points a bit more. But I'd definitely add the Chantelle Palais Royal to the list of styles to try, especially if you're new to lingerie and/or looking for something a bit different from the norm.
Have any of you tried Chantelle lingerie? And what do you think of the Palais Royal? And while we're at it, what are your expectations for a $90 bra? Please share in the comments!