Hopeless Lingerie for All Sizes: A Custom Plus Size Lingerie Review
Note: These products were purchased for me by The Lingerie Addict. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Since writing for The Lingerie Addict, I’ve frequently mentioned my annoyance with the lack of aesthetic variation in plus size lingerie. The selection of trendy or unique off-the-rack pieces is slowly improving from major brands like Torrid and Cacique, but not as quickly as I (or others) would like.
In my custom lingerie reviews - like this one of Toru & Naoko - I hope to provide some insight into the custom ordering process as well as spotlight brands genuinely catering to a wide range of sizes.
About the Brand:
While TLA has previously featured Hopeless, I rediscovered the Australia-based brand while on my never-ending quest for food-printed clothing items in size fat, like the burger set above. What I appreciate about the brand, which describes its overall aesthetic as dark, modern and romantic, is the option for custom ordering.
Since placing a few custom orders, I'm now more comfortable with the ordering process for pieces unavailable off-the-rack in plus size. However, this was my first time trying something more substantial than simple bralettes and panties with the selection of the wrap top.
As I’ve previously written, pieces like these aren’t going to replace your more supportive bras or shapewear undies (if those are of value to you), but they are stylish and sexy. At home, they make me feel special in a way an oversized tee and sweatpants don’t.
As seen above, every product page provides direction on custom ordering. I followed the prompt and sent an email with my sizing information (dress and bra sizes, not measurements) along with the items I wanted customized.
I ultimately ended up purchasing all four pieces from my inquiry: The Mina bralette in a burger print (no longer available, $111.74 USD), the Jeanne knickers in a burger print (no longer available in the burger print, $48.42 USD), the Christie wrap top ($134.09 USD) and the Jeanne knickers in red bamboo ($40.97 USD).
There was a surcharge on each piece for the sizing adjustment, ranging from $9 AUD ($6.70 USD) for the knickers to $42 AUD ($31.24 USD) for the wrap top. Prices and invoicing are done in AUD, which can be beneficial if you are ordering from the U.S., as the USD is currently very strong against the AUD.
I corresponded about my order with the brand's designer, Gabrielle. As I’ve previously mentioned, my raw measurements have produced garments too large for me, so I was concerned about that in this instance.
When I mentioned this to Gabrielle, she requested additional measurement information. I sent over my raw measurements as well as those of a sleeve, bra, and panties I already own for comparison. I also mentioned I sometimes struggle with high waisted underwear not being long enough. She was kind enough to add extra length to my high waisted knickers to make sure they were long enough to be just that - high waisted. I’m learning more about my body through the process of custom ordering. Interestingly enough, I’ve found the numbers may not tell the full story about what a body needs, especially for lingerie.
Ultimately, it took about 10 emails, over a three week period, to have the fit part of my order sorted. Part of that time was spent waiting in the queue for my order to be produced. I initiated the process mid-February and had the pieces in hand by the first week of April. I think this is a completely acceptable timeframe given my delay in sending over measurements, plus production and transit from Australia to Texas.
Product & Fit:
In general, all four pieces were well-constructed with no loose threads or weak hardware upon initial inspection. Both the cotton and the bamboo jersey have pleasant stretch to them, while still feeling substantial. Each set has been washed twice, once by hand, and once in my washing machine, on gentle, in a delicates bag. The pieces still look great post-air dry. The print and color of the fabrics are still rich and the jersey and cotton do not look dull.
I was extremely excited to try the burger set as kitschy food prints are hard to find in plus size apparel and nearly non-existent in plus size lingerie! The material feels pleasant to the touch. It's also a bit sheer, but that may have more to do with the color of my skin rather than the actual nature of the fabric. It also is slightly thin, though that could be compared to thicker pieces from other brands.
While the cups are big enough, they aren't quite deep enough to cover more intimate areas, like the areola and nipple. This isn’t inherently a dealbreaker, but not something I feel comfortable showing on the Internet, which is why I chose to wear a bralette underneath the top.
Strangely enough, both the top and bottom of this set are slightly too big. It wasn't enough of an issue to change my feelings on the set or bring to the designer's attention, but the underwear and bralette both feel a bit loose. I felt the need to wear something more supportive underneath, especially in photos. Upon reflection, I do tend to size down in pieces like these when I’m purchasing off the rack for a more secure fit, so raw measurements wouldn’t reflect that.
After spending more time in the pieces, I do wish the adjustable straps of the bralette were able to be tightened even further than the allowed. That aside, this is a solid attempt at fit for a body outside the off-the-rack size range for this brand.
The red bamboo jersey set is legitimately one of the softest things I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting on my body! The fabric feels breathable and smooth. Hopeless officially calls the rich berry color of this fabric, red. It's not quite jewel toned, but not exactly fire engine red either. Since I’ve ordered, these pieces have become available in a dusky pink color which would have been my go-to, but I was excited to try a new color.
The Christie wrap top fits well through the arms and bust, but I wish the wrap around detail was just a touch longer. I am able to get it around my mid-section when it's loosened to the maximum, but I think this is a case of measurements not telling the full story. My body doesn’t “go in” at the place where this feature wraps around the torso, but rather goes out. If I was hourglass or pear shaped, I think the fit of this feature would have been spot on.
I still love the top because I think it’s incredibly sexy. I could see myself wearing this piece out, over a dress, or with a high waisted skirt. Because the knicker half of this set is the same style as the previous one, it is also slightly too large. I’m considering a dryer run on low in an attempt to shrink them slightly, but they are well-constructed and adequately high-waisted (a rarity, given my body shape).
I would definitely give Hopeless another go, especially as a way to treat myself, as the price point of these pieces are splurge-worthy for many people. I would communicate with the designer to offer feedback on fit to further refine my future purchases. My top two tips for ordering custom pieces from Hopeless Lingerie (or any brand for that matter) would be:
- In addition to your body’s measurements, provide the designer with information about clothing sizes, including measurements from a brand that fits you well.
- Give information beyond the numbers - I will make sure to note I have a hanging tummy and thick midsection for any future orders.
The aesthetic of the brand is dark and sultry without feeling obvious and it’s exciting to know that pieces like this can be made in my size. While I do wish it was possible to see the pieces on a wider variety of body shapes and sizes, I'm beginning to have a deeper appreciation for brands prioritizing availability of product over lip service to diversity in imagery.
Would you give Hopeless a try? How do you feel about ordering custom pieces?