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Harlow and Fox Eleanor Bra and Panty Review

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Bra and Panty Set

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Full Cup Bra and Panty Set - photo via Harlow and Fox

Disclosure: Harlow & Fox sent me this lingerie for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I've been so excited to review Harlow & Fox and can't believe it has taken me so long! I'd read about the brand on TLA and was intrigued. Then, I was introduced at February market and I was in love. My full bust ladies understand the unique struggles that sometimes come with being a "non-average" size. While it has definitely improved over the years (thanks to sites like TLA), there are still some gaps between what's in my size and what I desire. One of those desires is absolutely opulent, deliciously exquisite, full bust lingerie. While we've gotten more traction on swim and everyday pretties, I've seen fewer options in the high end, luxury market.

Full cup ladies, we are in luck! Harlow & Fox is the brainchild of Leanna Williams, the talented founder and creative director of this incredible brand based in the UK. I had the pleasure of meeting Leanna and seeing the designs up close back in February, and was seriously impressed! Not only has she crafted an aesthetically pleasing collection highlighting her attention to detail, but also a thoughtfully constructed collection that fits a full bust.

Harlow and Fox Packaging

Harlow and Fox Packaging

I had the opportunity to try one of the styles, Eleanor, for myself to learn more about its fit and wearability. The set is so luxurious! But even before that, the packaging is so luscious! A beautiful black box with the gold label imprinted on the top. Inside, the set nestled between layers of soft tissue paper. This was beyond packaging -- this was an experience! I was inclined to save the set for a special occasion. But isn't every day a special occasion?! So, I decided to give it a whirl on a regular weekday. Given that the matching panty I received was full bottom and wasn't conducive to my outfit that day, I decided to give that a try the next time.

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Bra and Panty Set in Mink

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Bra and Panty Set in Mink

From my conversation with Leanna, I knew that the brand was graded from other full cup lines I was familiar with wearing, so choosing my ideal size was simple. The fit was very similar to that of my Freya and Fantasie bras, so I chose the 32FF in the balcony style. (The full range for the style is 30-38 DD-G.) In my years of full bust bra shopping, I’ve discovered that this silhouette is best for me.

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Bra Power Mesh

The cups were adequately sized and held all of my breast tissue without spillage over the top, which could have been possible given the top half of the cup is made of exquisite eyelash lace, so this was definitely a plus! The lace laid flat against my skin for a smooth look. The support was also created by a three-part cup, power mesh on the wing, and well-placed underwires. Because of these supports, the bra is able to have straps that are only modestly thick, which is important since the straps should not have to carry all the weight of the breasts. It also creates a more visually appealing look.

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Bra Three Part Cup Detailing

I was most surprised and delighted by the wearability of the bra. Even after a full day with lots of movement, I never felt any uncomfortable pulls, tugs, or pokes. There was no readjusting for the bra to stay in place. Beyond the fit, the silk of the bra is so incredibly smooth against the skin which made for an all around pleasant experience!

Beyond the fit, the general appearance of the bra is feminine and beautiful. The mink color is universally flattering for a multitude of skin tones. Pearl droplets create a romantic look.

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Panty Key Hole Detailing

Harlow and Fox Eleanor Panty Key Hole Detailing

The matching panty, available in sizes XS-XL, is true to size. I chose the medium. It's comfortable, but the brief I had chosen was not practical under all clothes, especially if you are like me and particular about VPL. However, my favorite element of the bottom is the cheeky, key hole back. The epitome of fun and flirty!

I would recommend this set to any full cupped woman looking for a little luxury who has the money to do so. I know for many of our readers this set would be cost-prohibitive, given the price tag of $284 USD for the bra and $160 USD for the panty. I envision it being a special splurge for a boudoir photo shoot. Or, in the ivory for a wedding trousseau. You do get what you pay for as far as quality of the fabrics, structure and support of the bra, and overall look.

Check out this set and the other fancies on the Harlow & Fox website and let us know what your favorites are!

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11 Comments on this post

  1. jessa says:

    To both Gabi and Leanna, in fairness I was making a comparison between Harlow and Fox and high quality pieces from other small designers – and I specifically commented on the panties rather than the bras because I know full bust sizing causes some issues both with production and with a smaller market. I would absolutely expect Harlow and Fox to price their bras higher than Freya and Masquerade.

    However, I think when you look at a price point of Harlow and Fox pair of silk panties vs the price point of a pair of silk panties from someone like Ayten Gasson, it becomes more difficult to see where the cost difference is coming from. Both are small brands based in the UK and pay UK VAT, both use high quality silks and lace – in addition I believe that Ayten Gasson is made by hand, and she has tweaked sizing for me at no extra cost, things which add value to the brand in my opinion. I don’t know whether that these are things that Harlow and Fox do, but if they are, they are still charging more than twice the price for the same type of item.
    I haven’t seen the Harlow and Fox pieces up close, and perhaps the quality really is that much better, but what I’ve seen online has not yet convinced me.

    As far as the bras go, if you consider brands like Fleur and Mimi Holliday which cater for
    similar size ranges and are also both based in the UK, there is a big price difference. A bra from Fleur costs roughly 2/3 what is quoted above from H & F(some cost more, some less, I went by one in the middle) – and that’s pretty significant when that difference comes to about $100. Mimi Holliday is priced at about 1/3 of H & F, which is interesting because the style of the H & F bras look similar to the old Mimis, which were really wonderful for full busts. Mimi Holliday is aimed at a middle market, so it may the case that they do not use the highest grade materials, but I’ve had a lot of Mimi, the fabrics are always beautiful and they have lasted very well for me. So what is it about the H & F that makes it worth triple the cost – I’m not trying to be facetious here, I’d love to hear more about this. Fleur are absolutely a luxury brand and appear to use very high quality materials – but I am looking at the websites, maybe in person the H & F materials look better. These brands are larger, but they are both relatively young brands (about 15 and 10 years old respectively)

    Apart from that, the sets for me do not induce the wow/I must have that /I would sell my mother for that feeling that I expect at that price point. They are pretty and look comfortable, but they don’t induce lust in me like certain Fleur and Mimi Holliday collections have been known to do. That may be to do with my age, I expect the intended market is somewhat older than me (I’m in my mid-twenties), but I do have a different reaction to the H & F robes – they are exceptional and thus for me justify an exceptional price tag – although they do seem more in keeping with the prices charged by similar brands considering the fabric used in a full length piece. I like the collections, I would definitely wear them, and I would buy them at a lower price point assuming they are comfortable and fit well – and every review certainly does say that – but personally I don’t see myself buying them unless I won the lottery and money was no object.

    By all means, convince me. Size-wise I am in your market, age-wise I expect to be wearing lingerie for many years to come, and financially I could afford it if I chose to work in the private sector after I graduate next month. I love lingerie and beautiful fabrics. I am open to being convinced – I haven’t made up my mind either way – but what I’ve seen so far of H & F hasn’t done it for me.

    • Hi Jessa!

      Ah, I see what you mean with small independent comparison instead of larger full bust comparison, I think I got the wrong end of what you were meaning.. and thanks for your thoughtful response as well!

      I can’t speak for the other brands as to how they reach their pricing, as there could be all kinds of factors I’m not aware of, and everyone has different considerations with how they cost and price their ranges.

      Also, just to clarify, I wouldn’t want to suggest that any are better/worse quality than any others, as there can be a magnificent quality piece in a style that quite simply just costs less to make, which will still come in at a lower price than one which could be of equal “quality” – but just happen to be more costly in terms of the number of seams, or the method of construction.

      I can only really try to explain what adds cost into our products – I’ll use the briefs as an example as that’s what we were comparing. In our Eleanor briefs in the review for example, there’s a double lined central panel in the front, which means the satin surface is both next to the skin and on the outside, which adds both material and labour costs; French and bagged out seaming to hide any raw edges, placements of the lace to ensure they are positioned correctly each time (which often isn’t needed with laces without such prominent scallop edging as a design feature) a hand-stitched pearl ornament and a keyhole cutout in the back, edged with silk binding. It all adds up to 11 individual pieces to cut out and sew together, which makes it a more costly item to produce than, for example, briefs with a plain one-piece front and back. It doesn’t mean either one is “better” than the other, just that they’re different items with different methods of making them.

      Our ranges are a different but I’m sure still complementary style to all of the designers you mention, which is why the lingerie world is so great, there’s always something different to choose from! So even if it’s just the robes you love right now, maybe in future seasons there will be a H&F lingerie set that gives you that “wow” factor, or maybe it just won’t ever be to your personal style, but robes are always great with mixing and matching with other brands that suit your style better, so you could always pair a lingerie set from another designer with a robe from H&F, or another way round, until you have your ultimate combination!

      Otherwise, if you’re nearby a stockist do pop in and see the pieces up close, it is very hard to convey in images what they look like in reality – and hope you might give us a try in the future!

  2. Krista says:

    Thanks for sharing! And yes, those robes were indeed divine, jessa! anon, there are plenty of luxurious things for all sizes, so keep reading!

  3. jessa says:

    So pretty, but so expensive. If I was going to spend this much money, I think I might want something with a bit more of a wow factor, you know? This is a lovely classic set but it’s not really directional. I do wonder at that price tag – you can get high quality silk panties from small designers for far less than $160. That said, given infinite money I’d be all over the cream version. And the Viola. AND ALL OF THE ROBES!

    • Gaby says:

      Hi Jessa! Just wanted to give a little industry perspective on why these bras cost so much (I’m not from Harlow & Fox but know how these things work!)

      Firstly making bras is incredibly time consuming – and seamstresses are paid by the hour. On average I would estimate a bra like this would take around 2 hours to sew. Thats labour per bra. Added to that you have materials. Silk is expensive, and high quality elastics and findings (the little rings and slides) are also expensive. They are likely metal and not plastic. The underwires themselves are also expensive – and small brands don’t have the luxury of being able to buy in bulk and getting price cuts bigger brands do. So you might be paying $3 for a set of underwires. (Big brands might pay 50 cents or less). Then there is thread, machine costs and various other overheads that have to be costed into every product in order to keep your business running.

      After considering all of that – you then have to think about the expertise and time involved in creating the pattern in the first place – and then grading that pattern into all the sizes they offer. Full bust bras are just about one of the most difficult and time consuming things to make in the fashion and clothing industry. There is just so much to consider in terms of fit and functionality – let alone something beautiful as well!

      On top of that – you have website costs, photoshoots, models, packaging… it really never ends! Again, all these things need to be considered into the costing of your products.

      I hope that helps explain a little bit about where the money goes – I know from experience how difficult this area of lingerie is from a production perspective as I am trying to do it myself!

      I do believe supporting independent brands is worth every penny, and talking about why things cost what they do is really important as well!

      • Cora says:

        Thanks for sharing this, Gaby!

      • Thanks so much for this explanation Gaby – I couldn’t have put it better myself!

        It is always difficult to convey the cost of creating something, when so many aspects go into it. In addition to everything above, there’s also the issues of tax and currency conversions to take on board – we are based in the UK, and 20% of all of our final price goes straight on VAT, so from a £95 pair of briefs, we will actually only ever receive £79.17 of it. This won’t affect international customers buying VAT free directly, but for retailers abroad, they need to include the cost of shipping the product over, and any import taxes and duties levied by their own customs, which of course can’t be absorbed by the retailer, otherwise they would never stay in business. Plus, currency conversions will fluctuate the price of buying abroad as it is – all of our payments are taken in £GBP, and unfortunately the dollar exchange rate right now is really not working out well for anyone in the US buying from here. I actually was approached by a freelance journalist recently looking to write an article on the very subject of the cost of creating lingerie, so I will share the link once it’s out there as I think it’s definitely a fascinating subject to share, and one which can help to explain why some things need to cost what they do.

        On a different note, thanks so much for such kind words Krista! I’m so happy you loved the set, and thank you for such a detailed and thorough review!

  4. anon says:

    I’m not full busted, but if I were and I won the lotto, I would be ALL up in these.

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