Lingerie Review: Bracli Pearl Thongs, Babydoll and Corset
Disclosure: I received this lingerie from Bracli for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Editor's Note: Below images may be NSFW.
The pearl thong is a notorious piece of lingerie. Designed primarily for stimulation, rather than comfort or style, it seemingly represents the more sex-focused side of the lingerie industry. People (always men, in my experience) would call the lingerie store I used to work at asking if we carried pearl thongs. They're mostly marketed as gifts, rather than something a lingerie-wearer would purchase for themselves. In my opinion, it's the epitome of the male gaze in lingerie: overtly sexual marketing and designed entirely for sexual purposes - without the wearer's comfort in mind.
So when Bracli reached out to TLA for a review, I was hesitantly excited. Unlike other lingerie items I've reviewed, there's nothing subtle or cheeky about this underwear. See, I prefer to examine the industry from the perspective of more fashion-oriented people. Bracli comes from the angle of pure sex.
I asked some of my friends for their opinions on the pearl thong. Those who tried it expressed a range of feelings, from "They're OK I guess," to, "They're the worst things I've ever worn." One even threw up her hands in disgust when I mentioned the brand name. TLA has even reviewed the Bracli thong before, with mixed feelings.
Yet I was intrigued. I love the soft sheen and retro vibes of pearls, whether they're sewn onto a garment or clasped around one's neck. Pearls are elegant and romantic, and I feel their classic beauty is a perfect fit for the lingerie industry. But would I love wearing pearl panties as much as I love wearing pearl jewelry?
Bracli sent me an assortment of items: the classic Paris Double Pearl Thong, Bracli & G Thong, Pearl Satin Babydoll, and Bracli & G-Corset, all in size Large (their size chart isn't particularly precise, but I typically wear a dress size 10/12 and a size Large in most lingerie). I looked forward to reviewing this product from the point of view of a woman who loves lingerie - not just as sexy time apparel, but as fashion.
Each item comes in its own small black box, which makes them perfect for gift-giving. The items also arrived perfumed. The scent is not particularly strong or pleasant, so I wasn't sure if it was the smell of the factory or of perfume until I double-checked the website. I was glad the fragrance dissipated quickly as I prefer my lingerie to smell like my own perfume, if anything.
Many reviews talk about how these pearls are real, but they are not. Pearls of Majorca are heavy, seamless glass pearls handmade in Spain to look like fine cultured pearls. This is a good thing. fine faux pearls are smoother and easier to clean than natural pearls, and are less likely to absorb sweat, fragrance, and other fluids (as the case may be). Plus, Pearls of Majorca are beautiful and super-lustrous. They're nicer than my vintage glass pearl necklace, and rounder than any real pearls I could ever afford.
The Pearl Satin Babydoll isn't crafted from satin as the name implies, but from lace and polyester chiffon. It features an empire waist, tulip hem, and pearl straps matching the pearl string on the thongs. I received a size Large and was excited to find the lace cups actually fit me. Usually I find myself falling out of triangle cups, but this style is super stretchy and surprisingly comfortable.
Unfortunately, I didn't like the tulip skirt. The shortest point of the hem hit me right between my hip and high hip (instead of one or the other), and the longest point went past my fingertips. At 5'5" and with long legs, clothing is rarely this disproportional on me, but the Pearl Satin Babydoll is clearly meant for someone quite tall. The shape is unbalanced and the style is very dated, reminding me of early-2000s Frederick's of Hollywood.
Bracli is located in Spain and manufactures their garments there, which I appreciate. However, that doesn't justify the price. The construction is nice, but not exceptionally so, and the style and fabric are unremarkable for a babydoll over $100.
The Bracli & G-Corset isn't actually a corset, but rather a snug chemise made of sheer stretch material that provides no shaping. The cups are a little far-set, turning the attention to your cleavage and keeping your breasts from spilling out the sides. Again, I was surprised the cups fit me at all, but this garment is exceptionally stretchy.
Like the babydoll, the detachable garter straps on this corset might be a good length on someone very tall, but they reach almost to my knees, even at their tightest adjustment. Plus, the fabric loops that each garter hooks onto are much skinnier than the hooks themselves. This seems like thoughtless design for a high-end garment, and it means the hooks slide around and detach far too easily. Again, I found this style to be rather dated, and not particularly well-crafted for the price.
Overall, Bracli's loungewear is unremarkable and a little expensive for what you get. If you're interested in a pearl thong as part of an ensemble, I recommend pairing it with something else for a more luxe feel.
The thongs are carefully made with the same soft, stretchy lace featured on the loungewear. The lace could be of higher quality, or at least heavier; as it stands, the pearls feel too weighty compared to the lace - another instance of imbalance. But the pearl strands are knotted, like a fine necklace, to guarantee they won't slide around and pinch your skin or break mid-wear. That aspect, at least, is incredibly luxurious.
Now it's time for some real talk.
I like how these thongs look when lying flat. However, as a squishy lady, this thong does not look the same on me as it does on the model. The "Bracli Girls" (NSFW video) are all very tall, very lean, and not very jiggly. I'm...uhh, none of those things. That means the soft, stretchy lace lays flat and fits nicely, but the string of pearls pushes into my skin, giving me the most ridiculous camel toe I have ever seen.
Physically, the double pearl thong feels like, well, two strings of beads against your labia. It's not particularly titillating, but it's not awful either. Everyone's anatomy is different, but unless you're constantly crossing and uncrossing your legs at dinner, you probably won't feel much more than pressure, for better or worse.
I put on the double strand thong, sat down to do some work at my desk at home, and got very uncomfortable after a few minutes. I can't imagine being in public and not being able to readjust the pearl strands so they aren't digging into your sensitive tissues. Those reviews discussing multiple public orgasms? I don't know about that. This is definitely a "date piece," something you wear for a few hours and take off.
And the Bracli & G thong, which is meant to untie so you can insert the pearl string directly into your body? Knotting up the pearl strand and inserting it after wearing it as a regular thong, as shown in their NSFW animated instructional video, sounds like an unsanitary recipe for disaster. I don't want to give myself vaginitis in the name of lingerie blogging (sorry, not sorry), so I didn't test out that situation.
The video also implies you can have penetrative sex while having this knotted pearl strand inside of you. I honestly can't imagine it being pleasurable or even comfortable after trying the G thong alone. Again, it feels like exactly what it is - a knotted strand of glass pearls inside of you. Standing up and sitting down has to be done rather carefully, so the pearl knot doesn't pinch or rub uncomfortably. After trying the Bracli & G, I'd rather buy an actual sex toy designed to complement my anatomy, rather than knotting a strand of beads and hoping it'll feel nice.
Overall, Bracli's sexiness comes from the idea of pearl thongs being sexy. They're titillating because of their notoriety and implications, rather than their actual functionality. The glass pearls are beautiful and rival my nicest vintage pieces, but I find the loungewear to be less than impressive. The thongs aren't super functional for anything in particular, whether you're in the bedroom, on a date, or just wearing them for fun. Bracli thongs make a nice "Sexy" (with-a capital-S) gift, but their novelty runs out quickly.
So let me ask you, dear readers, would you be interested in trying the Bracli pearl thong?