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Lingerie Review: b’tempt’d by Wacoal Ciao Bella Bra Set

Note: I purchased this lingerie with my own money. Wacoal is unaffiliated with this review.

the lingerie addict wacoal b.tempt'd ciao bella 4

I’m trying to catch up on lingerie reviews so I can get on to some new things, and this photoset was one of the ones that was waiting in my DropBox. Though I’m not the biggest Valentine’s Day fan, this is the time of year that people are thinking of pink and red lingerie, so it felt appropriate to go ahead and finish writing my review of Wacoal’s b.tempt’d Ciao Bella Balconette Bra and Tanga set this week. As the note at the top of the post says, this is not a review sample; I bought it for myself sometime last year as part of my commitment to add some color to my lingerie wardrobe (I failed and am now back to all black everything, but at least I tried, right?).

b.tempt’d by Wacoal is Wacoal’s equivalent of a ‘Juniors’ section, similar to how the labels Pink by Victoria’s Secret and Josie by Natori are also meant to be for a younger demographic. As a marketing strategy, it’s brilliant because you’re able to build brand affinity at a relatively early age, and, hopefully, become someone’s bra brand of choice for the rest of their life. In practical terms, a sub-brand targeted towards younger people affects factors like price point, fabric choice, and silhouette. Full price, this bra set (i.e. both bra and panty) retails for under $60. If you’re willing to buy last season’s colors and manage to catch a sale, you can probably get this for under $40. That’s not a bad value, especially for what I believe is a very pretty bra set.

the lingerie addict wacoal b.tempt'd ciao bella 3

I purchased the bra in a size 32D and the panty in a size Large. I honestly have no idea why I sister-sized down; I must have been an experimenting mood. The bra is in a balconette style (think an almost 18th-century neckline) with foam-lined contour cups and lace overlay. The cups are underwired, but have no padding, so you’re not going to get the kind of lift or ‘oomph’ you’d get from a push-up style. The wings are mesh (a fishnet style mesh in the fashion color on the outside with a beige mesh lining the inside), and hook-and-eye closures are two rows and three columns. The tanga panty is a cheeky style. On me, it looked a lot like a wide side thong – not very much coverage in the back.

In terms of materials, everything felt appropriate for the price point. Nothing was scratchy or itchy or felt cheap to the touch. I wouldn’t expect French Chantilly lace, but the value/price equation (especially considering how accessible this set is and frequently it’s on sale), felt right on the nose to me. Both pieces are made of nylon/spandex, with the bra cup lining being made of polyester.

the lingerie addict wacoal b.tempt'd ciao bella 2

In terms of fit, I would say this bra runs small…and not just because I sister sized down. I felt like the breast tissue on the sides especially (right near my armpit) was not contained, and the cups themselves seemed to give me just a little bit of quadboobing on the front. I didn’t necessarily feel unsupported, but there was definitely the sense that I was outside the boundaries of whoever this bra was meant to fit. I can’t say I’m surprised since this is a junior’s range, but you may want to sister size up, especially if you tend to be between sizes. Continuing on, I’m not sure how to best describe the band. It didn’t feel tight or dig in (just slightly snug in fact…almost like my 34s), but it also felt like I was pushing the limits of the band…like just a couple more wears would permanently stretch out the elastic. Even so, if you have a heavier bust, you may want to opt for the tighter band, especially since the thin spaghetti straps will dig into your shoulders if the weight of your bust pulls the bra down. Since this is a balconette style, I’d say it’s best suited for shallower shapes. I also think of myself has having widely spaced breasts (I can rest four fingers flat between them), and I thought this bra worked nicely for that as well.

As far as the panties, there’s not as much to say. They technically fit, but if you have a larger bottom, expect a lot of cheek. I’d like to see a true boyshort or brief to go with this, but I also understand the tanga choice since this is meant to be one of b.tempt’d’s flirtier offerings. There is no kind of lining under the lace of the panty, just that all-important cotton gusset. I suppose what I’m saying is that it’s a nice matching piece, but there’s nothing especially newsworthy here.

the lingerie addict wacoal b.tempt'd ciao bella 1

Overall, I think this set is a great value for the money, though it may take some trial and error to find your best size. Because of the lace and the cut, I don’t really think of this as an everyday bra or a t-shirt bra, but I do think it’s a fantastically accessible “sexy” lingerie set that can be worn beyond the boudoir. It’s also available in new colors every season, which is a definite perk if you happen to fall in love with it. In sum, I’d say this is a bra set worth trying, especially if you have a smaller budget.

Have you ever worn the b.tempt’d brand? What did you think of them?

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Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

7 Comments on this post

  1. YQ says:

    Ooh, this bra looks like a good one for me to try on. I technically measure as a 28C, but I think 30B may be my ideal size. I have a shallow shape, and my breasts are wide set. (Or maybe they just seem wide set because it’s hard for me to tell where my breast tissue ends and begins, with my size.) Would you suggest 30B or 30C for me?

    One more concern I have is that balconettes tend to have wires that go higher up. I have a protruding sternum (I may have mild pectus arcuatum). This means that when I have tried bras with higher gores, they poke into my sternum (ouch!). Will this bra have that issue? Thanks!

  2. Jo says:

    Just bought the wire free push up by b temptd and love it, then bough the matching bralettes in the Seamless style and the hipster panties too. Love them getting rid of my other stuff and restocking with this line.

  3. Julie Brazeau says:

    Thank you for such an amazing and clear review. Somehow my kids have caused the last 2 of my “good bras” to break. Yep I’m blaming them! A VS one split in half after only 2 months (seriously, and I’ve found they only last me a max of 3mo before a wire pokes out anyway). The last target one had the wire break. Ouch. I used to wear this brand and have been searching for real reviews. So glad I found you!

  4. Kat says:

    I own this bra in two colors (and one of the panties) and fit a 32DD, while I’m usually a 32D (including other Wacoal bras). I will say that for my figure this is easily the most flattering bra I have ever tried on– it offers plenty of lift and keeps me well contained. My size is difficult to find in stores, however, and I’ve had little luck finding other bras that are similarly flattering but contrast with any of the shortcomings of this one– high gore (not good for low-cut outfits), wide-set straps (slide down my shoulders), and textured materials (show through plain/thin tops).
    Can you, as a connoisseur familiar with the fit of this bra, recommend any others of any brand that have a similar fit? (That would be a fantastic reference website all on its own– cross referencing bras that have shared characteristics!) Thanks for your advice if you can offer any!

    • Cora Cora says:

      Hi! I’ll have to think over the rest of your inquiry (it feels a bit like flipping through my mental rolodex of bras), but if you’re looking for something a bit more standardized/already available, maybe try Bratabase? A big part of what they’re about is making cross-referenced recommendations. Let me know what you think!

  5. Katelyn Cochran says:

    I am smaller, a 30 C, and work in the lingerie department at Nordstrom. I just purchased the Ciao Bella set, so I can’t review that. But, I do have to say Wacoal’s b.tempt’d bralettes are great! Sexy and comfortable. The Lace Kiss is my favorite for everyday, a night out, and for sleeping in. Thanks for such a fabulous blog. I just discovered it and you are now my homepage on my browser for work research.

  6. I have the same set in a different colorway and I found it to be true to size for me. These things vary a lot based on build though, so it’s not surprising that your experience was different! I’ve found the bra especially comfortable, and even for hours and hours of wear at a time.

    I really love this set and I would probably swear by this brand if not for the fact that the lace on the knickers began to rip after a few wearings. Sigh. (As I’m someone who hand washes – and carefully! – I think this is an unfortunate sign for the quality!) So beware, friends, and don’t expect the bottoms to last too long. I haven’t had any wear problems with the bra yet, so it’s probably just the nature of the lace on the bottoms stretching over the hips and wearing out more quickly. Just my experiences to add on! xoxo-

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