Loveday London Luxury Lingerie Review: 'Titania' Bra & Ouvert Thong
Disclosure: This lingerie set was purchased by The Lingerie Addict for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Editor's Note: Our second review of Loveday London was published in response to comments made by the brand after our first review, which can be found here.
Why We're Reviewing Loveday London a Second Time
Earlier this year, I reviewed the ‘Oncilla’ set by Loveday London. The lingerie was originally purchased at a sample sale, in good faith that the pieces were simply end of line styles (i.e. leftover from a previous season), rather than seconds or samples. All the garments were presented with their original swingtags, size/care labels, and price tags which detailed both the retail price and the new discounted sale price.
The term ‘sample sale’ is somewhat of a misnomer. Although you usually can find samples (the test garments created for brands before a collection is put into production in a factory), often these sales are used to clear leftover stock from previous seasons and seconds (a.k.a. faulty) garments. Under UK consumer law, faults in such styles must be displayed clearly to consumers.
A fellow attendee of the sample sale, who asked to remain anonymous due to an employment conflict, recalled their experience shopping at the Loveday London stall:
'Every item that I looked at was tagged with at least swingtags that had pricing on. Every product appeared finished. I remembered I was surprised about the sale price (which also had the original RRP crossed out) of a garment because it was so low. I was told the item only fit a certain bodyshape, hence the low price. I purchased two items that had swingtags, which appear to be finished garments’.
Loveday London contacted The Lingerie Addict regarding the previous review, stating in a public comment:
‘We would like to remind you that not all items for sale at these events accurately represent the fit or quality of our final products. Sets are offered at up to 80% off for this reason.
Had we known you were planning to review our whole brand on this particular discounted set, we would have advised you to contact us in advance to discuss your concerns and views.’
Under UK law (the country where the garments were purchased), it is not enough to simply discount an item and consider flaws to be covered by this, especially when it has the original price attached (implying that the piece itself was originally sold for this price).
Additionally, it is against TLA’s review policies to ever contact a brand prior to a review. The point of a review is to give an accurate, unbiased consumer view of the product.
Whilst I can accept that the items in question were indeed seconds (owing to the numerous faults found with their construction), the claim that the set was either a sample or a second implies deeply unethical selling practices.
By not appropriately labeling its products, the brand does not make it clear to consumers what they are really purchasing. A product should be clearly presented as either faulty or as discounted end-of-line.
How I Approach Lingerie Reviews
My approach to lingerie reviews is a little different than the average blogger's. To start, my experience in the lingerie industry gives me a much more in-depth perspective on lingerie construction and fit.
I have a 3 year lingerie degree under my belt, which taught me how to pattern cut and sew lingerie. I ran an award-winning luxury lingerie brand for over 5 years, where I both sewed products myself and oversaw factory production runs, ensuring my garments were made to a high and exacting standard.
For nearly a decade I have studied vintage and antique lingerie, developing a wealth of knowledge which culminated in the opening of The Underpinnings Museum, an online museum dedicated to the study of lingerie history.
All these experiences have resulted in a stringent approach to reviewing modern underwear. I examine the quality of materials and stitching up close, and have exacting standards of what consumers should expect at particular price points. This is not borne of any desire to punish lingerie brands, but rather to give our readers as accurate and informed a perspective as possible.
With that in mind, I was asked by The Lingerie Addict to review another set from the brand. The set in this review has been purchased directly from a stockist of the brand, and is therefore irrefutably ‘representative’ of the brand’s products.
Purchasing and Price Details
For this review, the ‘Titania’ balconette bra and ouvert thong were purchased from the brand’s Spring Summer 2017 collection.
The bra originally retailed at £140 ($180) and the thong at £70 ($90). Both pieces were available in size S/M/L (with the bra band adjustable through several band sizes). Although the range is now largely sold out, you may still find the odd piece at one of the label's stockists.
The set is based around a pale pink foiled leather (with leather being one of the brand’s design signatures) and corded pale pink embroidered tulle (though this is described as a 'blush corded lace' on the brand’s website).
It’s a common mistake, but an embroidery is differently made to a true lace (although they can look similar). Lace is created by the individual threads being twisted together to create a pattern, whilst an embroidery is a pattern sewn into an existing fabric.
Stitching and Construction Notes on the Bra
The bra is simply constructed, with cups made of a single layer of embroidered tulle, shaped with a single dart in each. The cups have a balconette shape, with a straight scalloped edge cup across the neckline and a strap apex before the underarm.
The bra cradle and decorative underwire channel overlay are both constructed with metallic leather on the exterior. The bra’s centre gore is an interesting design detail, with the underwires extending beyond its finish for a cut out shape between the two bra cups. The interior of the cradle is lined with sheer nylon, with plush casing for the underwire.
The side seams are encased in bone channels with small plastic boned to maintain vertical tension. Both the underarm edges and underband are trimmed with a picot edge elastic.
The shoulder straps are split into a front half of foiled metallic leather, trimmed with a small pink satin bow at the strap apex, and adjustable strapping at the back of the garment.
The bra’s ‘wings’ use a signature brand design and are made entirely of adjustable strapping, allowing the garment to fit multiple band sizes.
The strapping is a pale pink with a picot edge and a plush back, with rose gold toned rings and sliders. The bra fastens with a pale pink hook and eye fastening at the centre back.
Stitching and Construction Notes on the Thong
The thong has a very skimpy cut, with the scalloped edge of the embroidery panelled in a way that leaves the front of the garment completely open. Picot edge elastic extends out to form the leg edges on either side of the ‘ouvert’ cut out. Pale pink stretch mesh makes up the back and side panels of the thong, with a panel of metallic leather at the centre back.
The waist edge is trimmed with the same picot edge elastic as the legs. There's a big variance in weight between the different fabrics used in the thong: the leather and embroidery are very heavy, whilst the stretch mesh and elastic are very lightweight. Consequently, off the body, the thong has a tendency to curl up on itself as the different fabric tensions fight against each other. It's not visible when worn, thankfully.
The stitching on the thong isn’t quite as clean and accurate as on the bra. The overlocked side seams don’t quite match up, and the top stitching has noticeably different lengths on the left and right sides of the garment.
The squared off leather panel at the centre back of the garment has been quite neatly inserted (angular garment panels can be particularly challenging to sew), but the top stitching isn’t entirely accurate and the interior overlock stitch hasn’t been secured so is starting to unravel.
The ‘ouvert’ cut out at the front of the garment is framed by plain knicker elastic. Although there’s nothing explicitly wrong with leaving the elastic plain here, the stitching at the edge of the embroidered panels extends out just beyond the fabric, leaving a slightly unsightly area of distorted stitching on the plain elastic.
The seam allowances also haven't been trimmed back as much as they should have, and there are areas on the interior of the garment where raw fabric edges are extending beyond the elastic trim.
Leather and Fabric Quality
For a brand that places itself at the luxury end of the market, the fabrics leave something to be desired. The aforementioned embroidery (incorrectly described as lace) is nice, but just doesn’t feel as luxurious or intricate as a true corded lace.
I’m not an expert, but the leather used in these pieces also does not feel like it's a particularly high quality. The garments have barely been worn, but already the metallic coating is starting to split, leaving tiny hairline cracks on both the bra and thong.
This wouldn’t normally be an issue, except that the reverse of the leather is an unpleasant shade of dirty yellow-green. Suffice to say, it’s quite incongruous with the soft pinks of the rest of this set.
However, these cracks are particularly disappointing to see on the outside of the garments. As these garments are still essentially brand new, I suspect with extended wear and washing this problem will only get worse.
Both garments were made in the UK. The stitching on the bra is overall accurate, with an appropriate stitching length on the leather and no visible mistakes or unpickings. The cup darts are overlocked and top stitched, and elastic is applied with a 3 point zigzag stitch. The elastic strapping details and bone/wire channels are all finished with a secure bartack stitch.
The only area of construction I would take exception to is the finishing of the leather straps and decorative channels. Finished edges have simply been folded to the interior of the garment, bartacked over and left raw. It feels a little ill-considered, especially with the yellow leather lining so visible as a consequence.
Lingerie is an area of fashion which is all about the details, and the joy of a truly luxurious piece of lingerie is when it looks as good on the inside as on the outside.
Sizing, Fit, and Flaws
One of the first things I noticed about the bra when I took it out of the parcel was a major technical flaw; something I was quite shocked by, and shouldn’t have been signed off for a production run.
The underwire is too short for its channel by over 3.5cm (typically an acceptable amount of tolerance for an underwire is only 1cm). That’s a lot of space in a small garment and means the bra is either going to collapse on itself at the centre front or the underarm, depending on where the underwire shifts during wear.
Since my last review my body shape has changed a little, so I chose to order slightly different sizes. I’m increasingly wearing size 32B/30C compared to my previously usual 32C/30D.
In the previous review, I tried a size M bra (recommended by the brand for sizes 32D/34C/36B). This time I decided to try a size S, recommended by the brand for size 32C/34B/36A. I opted for size L for the thong, in line with my previous purchase. I usually wear a size UK 10-12, but the brand recommends the L for a UK 12-14.
As before, both garments come up small. The thong is a little easier to fit, as it uses very stretchy mesh and elastic. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel it’s a little tight, and I could have done with a XL. The ouvert cut out is very revealing. This definitely isn’t a knicker style for the faint-hearted!
Despite my change in bust shape, the bra does come up very small. The cups are very shallow, and although the single dart for shaping does give a nice rounded shape with a slightly pointed bust, there simply isn’t enough volume in the cups. During wear, I’d find my breast tissue constantly shifting out of the cup and spilling over the neckline.
However, the fit is definitely an improvement on the Oncilla bra I reviewed. The shifting of the shoulder strap to the cup rather than the underarm gives a dramatic improvement on lift and cup security, and the cup no longer collapses in on itself.
The wire profile and shape is a good fit and true to size. Unfortunately, the discrepancy between the wire length and channel does cause the fit problems noted in the first paragraph of this section.
The adjustable underband design has a lot of open space, which unfortunately means any soft flesh on your back gets very squashed and constricted. My underbust measures 27" , and I've found I have to wear the bra on nearly its loosest setting. I am curious as to how this bra would fit on a 36 band size, which is supposedly within this bra's size range.
Final Thoughts on Loveday London
Overall, my experience with Loveday London has been somewhat disappointing. My initial experience of the ‘Oncilla’ range left me thinking that the brand had a lot of potential and just needed to tweak a few details. However, the Titania set has left me thinking the label has some major quality control issues.
If I’d purchased this set for myself, I would have sent it back immediately. The serious technical flaws combined with the lack of attention to detail make me wary about trying this brand again.
Readers: What are your thoughts on Loveday London after this second review?