Lingerie Review: 'Nikkie' Bralette By Skivvies By For Love & Lemons
Note: This bralette was purchased by The Lingerie Addict for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
The modern day sheer-tulle-with-tattoo-lace trend can largely be attributed to Fleur of England. Whilst I'm hesitant to claim the brand invented it, they're almost certainly responsible for driving it to such widespread and recent popularity.
Fleur of England's take on the design is exquisite and luxe: custom-designed, intricate, guipure lace, delicately stitched to sheer tulle, with tiny silk binding, a silk band and delicate closures. Most of these bralettes cost around £95/$118.
Skivvies By For Love & Lemons has certainly capitalised on the tattoo lace trend. The bulk of the brand’s designs utilise the lace appliqué mesh technique with various strappy attachments.
However, For Love & Lemons is unique because it's a lifestyle brand with lingerie as just one of many product ranges. On their website you can also shop for womenswear, shoes, swimwear, knitwear, accessories and even toddler/babywear.
I purchased the Nikkie bralette in a size XS (I usually wear a 30D/32C). It originally retailed for 149 euros (approximately $160 USD) and was available in sizes XS-L. Although this design is now sold out, the lace appliqué cup style seems to have a permanent place in the ‘Skivvies’ collections.
Fabric, Construction and Fit:
The Nikkie bralette is simply constructed. The cups are made of of dark beige nylon tulle with an overlocked dart. The neck and underarm are edged in zigzagged grosgrain elastic. The base of each cup is coverlocked to a grosgrain underband. Guipure lace motifs are lockstitched to the cup. The rest of the strappy details are made of the same grosgrain elastic and are all bartacked to each other.
The shoulder straps are adjustable with gold toned sliders and rings. These components are of the flat variety that have been stamped from a sheet of metal, rather than taken from a 3D mould, the former being a cheaper method of production.
The bra fastens at the centre back with two gold toned hooks. The brand label is printed onto organza ribbon, with a white synthetic care label, and stitched into the underarm of the left cup. A gold branded charm is sewn to the centre back strap apex.
Small bows made of narrow grosgrain elastic are lockstitched to each cup apex and down the centre front of the elastic strapping detail.
The bralette was made in China, likely in a highly industrialised factory environment with a high turnover. The stitching operations throughout are very industrialised (e.g. the heavy use of bartack and overlock stitches) and it’s sadly apparent not much time or care has been dedicated to this garment.
The thread colour does not match any of the trims. Up close this is sorely evident, particularly in areas where the stitching is actually quite messy (such as where the garment labels have been applied).
The stitching of the lace appliqué is relatively accurate, but the fabric has been stretched during stitching because it lays in a rather lumpy manner. Around the strappy detailing, there are areas of unfinished elastic raw edges and loose threads throughout.
The elastic at the centre back closures is fraying badly within the ‘channels’ into which they’re stitched. Actually fastening the bra becomes somewhat of an ordeal - it keeps snagging on the loose threads.
The fit is pretty unremarkable on this bra, which is hardly surprising for a triangle bralette. It’s not particularly supportive and gives a natural looking bust shape. For a size XS, I’d say it comes up pretty large in the cup. I’m size 30D/32C, and if you’re a size 32B, you might find it comes up with room to spare.
The elastic used for the underband is a little problematic as it's so stretchy. I suspect it would stretch enough to accommodate up to a 36 band, but even on my narrow back it cuts in. This is coupled with the fact it has so much stretch it won't stay in place (the underband rides up towards my shoulder blades).
During wear, the underbust strappy detail does have a tendency to collapse in on itself and ride up. It’s not uncomfortable as such, but it doesn’t look great. I would think twice about wearing this bralet under anything sheer as it would mean readjusting the bralet constantly.
The garment brand label is incredibly itchy, with a sharp edge to the organza ribbon. This is a garment where removing the labels is a must as they're not only very uncomfortable, but also quite visible through the sheer cups.
The problem with this bralette is it's nothing exceptional. At best, it's average, if not disappointing. That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if the price wasn’t so inflated.
For this quality of product, I would easily expect to pay a fifth of the price. I would personally much rather spend less money (and get a product of better quality) on some of the indie designers I suspect inspired some of For Love & Lemons's designs: be that Fleur of England, Uye Surana or Tisja Damen. For Love & Lemons is a lifestyle label: when you’re buying the product, you’re buying the brand. It just feels like fast fashion without the low prices.
It takes a lot for a triangle bra to be worth 149 euros ($160) in my eyes. It needs exceptional materials, beautiful stitching, or exceptionally supportive fit. The Nikkie bralette by Skivvies by For Love & Lemons doesn’t even begin to come close. There’s nothing explicitly wrong with it; it’s just such a mediocre garment, I’m frankly incredulous it sells at all.
Readers: Have you ever tried For Love & Lemons? If you really like a design, does the price or quality matter?