Lingerie Review: Uye Surana Claire Bralette, Panty and Cami
This lingerie was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
Uye Surana is an independent brand from NYC with a commitment to ethical manufacturing, supportive bralets and gorgeous textiles. Their products are all sewn in-house in small quantities, and Surana's designs offer a refreshing take on the overdone strappy trend. Delicate lace trims and plays on transparency/opacity make the aesthetic look fresh and appealing. The brand also has some gorgeous colourways and textiles on offer (including hand-floral-dyed silk). I’ve been wanting to try Uye Surana for a while, so felt pretty lucky when I offered some of their products to review. I chose the Claire bralet, panty and a Deep-V Layering cami.
The Claire bralet is $92 and is available in standard sizes 28B-G, 30A-G, 32A-F, 34A-DD, 36A-D, 38B-C. Custom sizing is available and there is an extensive size chart to work out your bra size in the brand (which is a little different to the bra fit methods that most brands use). Instead of using the 'plus four' method, your band size is your literal underbust measurement to ensure a firm fit.
The matching Claire panty is $60 and available in sizes XS-XL. The Deep V Layering cami is $59 and available in sizes XS-XL. It is worth noting that some sizes are made to order so there may wait times involved. Check that the garment in question is in the 'ready to ship' section if you need it in a hurry. I received all pieces in the plain black colourway, with my usual 30D bra size (sized up from Uye Surana's recommendation, as I prefer not to wear tight bras), size M knickers and a size S cami.
My first impression of the garments was extremely positive; the photos on Uye Surana’s website don’t really do the level of detail and complexity in these designs justice. The Claire set is a feast of textures: opaque silk is contrasted with sheer stretch mesh and delicate eyelash lace. Trims vary between sleek satin strapping to delicate frilled elastics and ornate stretch lace. The layering cami is a much simpler garment, comprised of stretch mesh trimmed with silk satin. Its sleek minimalism provides a lovely contrast to the complexity of the lingerie set.
The bralet has surprisingly complex construction for the price point. The ‘base’ of the garment is stretch mesh, onto which silk panels and shaped lace trims have been appliquéd. The strappy detailing is formed largely by satin elastic strapping and a stretch lace trim, with a cage effect mesh bone channel at the side seam providing much-needed vertical support. Shoulder straps are adjustable with silver-toned components and the bralet closes at the centre back with 3 columns of 2 rows of hooks and eyes.
The knickers feature the same fabrics, with a main body of soft, sheer, stretch mesh. The front panel has a V of appliquéd silk and eyelash lace. Soft elastic and stretch lace trim the legs, with the same elastic at the waist. The centre back has a dramatic cut out strappy detail with satin elastic and lace. The gusset is lined with cotton. Finally, the layering cami is an altogether simpler affair: a flat bust of stretch mesh is bound in stretch silk, with a wide ruched silk underband encasing elastic. It closes with black hooks and eyes, which can be worn at the front or back depending on your styling preference.
I was impressed with the quality of construction given the price point and complexity of these garments. The stitching is neat, secure and accurate throughout. There’s definitely more of an individually handmade feel to these garments rather than something industrially-produced.
There are a lot of stitch operations to these pieces, and it’s clear that a lot of care and time has been taken over them. The choice of stitches is carefully considered throughout, particularly with regards to the use of zigzag for firmer elastics and delicate 3-point for soft elastics and appliqués. My only real criticism would be the use of French seams (a type of seam where the fabric is completely enclosed, normally considered a high-end and more expensive finishing) on stretch fabrics. It feels inappropriately bulky on the centre-back seam of the knickers, particularly where the elastic trims meet.
The fit of the bralet and cami are exceptional. A good fit from the cami is perhaps less exceptional given how little structure the piece has, but for the bralet I was seriously impressed.
Strappy designs without adjustability can often cause unsightly bulging on fleshy areas around the ribcage and underarms but this just isn’t an issue with this bralet (though I have to wonder if this could be attributed to me sizing up in the band as the fit is still firm). It’s surprisingly supportive for a bralet, giving good lift and a lovely rounded shape; the cut, strategic side boning and combination of trims works exceptionally well. It’s not only one of the most comfortable bralets I’ve ever worn, but it’s also a wonderfully striking design. Since receiving it, I’ve been wearing it in combination with the cami as a piece of outerwear. I feel that secure in it.
The cami is just an excellent layering piece, perfect for wearing over bras for more coverage or just a more interesting neckline. It works great as a piece of unsupportive loungewear too.
Unfortunately, the knicker fit just doesn’t work for me. They’re cut a little tight on the hips, but that can be forgiven given how stretchy the mesh and elastic trims are. The combination of super-stretchy mesh, wide gusset and how far back the liner causes an issue; the fabric between the legs contorts, giving the impression of a ‘bulge’ beneath where there is none.
Knicker fit aside, I have to admit that I’m pretty enamoured with Uye Surana’s offerings. The Clare bralet is truly one the best bralets I’ve ever had the opportunity to try and it’s pretty much cemented my desire to buy many more from this brand. The ‘Olivia’ and ‘Harmony’ styles are pretty high up on my lust list right now.
Readers: How do you feel about bralets? Would you ever feel secure enough to wear one as outerwear?