Luxury Lingerie Review: Andres Sarda 'Wasabi' Demi-Bra & High-Waist Brief
Disclosure: I bought this lingerie with my own money. All opinions are my own.
Andres Sarda is one of those labels I’ve seen in a lot of luxury lingerie shops, but it's never really caught my attention. The designs always looked pretty enough and the products well-made, but not particularly boundary pushing or exciting.
Andres Sarda founded his eponymous lingerie brand in Barcelona, Spain in 1962; the family has a history of lace mantilla manufacturing. Sarda's daughter Núria continues to oversee design. However, in 2008 the label was acquired by multinational group Van De Velde (which also owns the labels Marie Jo and Prima Donna, in addition to the boutique chain Rigby & Peller).
The ‘Wasabi’ collection is one of the few recent designs from the label that actually caught my eye. I loved the details of the demi-bra and high-waist brief: the combination of graphic cut outs, layered sheer fabric and sporty lace mesh. These designs consider the whole body with interesting back and side details (which seems to be surprisingly rare, even in luxury lingerie these days).
The demi-bra was originally available in bra sizes 32B/34B/36B and retailed at 110 euros ($135). The high waisted knickers were originally available in dress sizes EU 34-44 (approximately XXS-XL) and also retailed at 110 euros ($135). Both pieces were available in black and red, and the Wasabi range also included 4 underwired bra shapes, two other brief options, a thong and a basque.
The range is from a past season, but you can still find the odd piece on sale and in outlets. Unfortunately there are no similar designs available in the current Andres Sarda ranges. I can only assume that these styles didn't sell well enough to warrant repeating.
I found the set on eBay for a steal, so bought slightly different sizes to what I would normally take. I purchased the briefs in a size S/EU 38 and the bra in a 34B (I usually wear a size EU 40 in knickers and a 30D/32C bra).
Fabric and Construction Quality:
The stitching of both garments is mostly good, with largely clean and accurate stitching. Both garments were made in Tunisia. The knickers are made entirely of stretchy graphic mesh, with a cotton lined gusset and raw edges and seams encased in a stretchy foldover elastic.
The centre back waist of the knickers can be opened with a red enamelled hook, which is covered on the exterior with a grosgrain bow. Unfortunately, the hook is much wider than the elastic loop it goes through, so it has a tendency to twist when under tension. Four loops are stitched to the knicker leg interiors for detachable suspender straps.
The bra is mostly neatly sewn, with zigzagged foldover elastic encasing raw fabric edges and making up the bra gore and wings. The cups are constructed with an inner cup of stretchy mesh with a rigid tulle lining, and an exterior mesh sling.
Unfortunately, the mesh lining hasn’t been entirely neatly inserted, and has ruched unevenly into the underwire seam. Fortunately, it's not visible from the exterior of the garment, but does indicate a lack of attention to detail. The underwires are encased in a plush casing, and the shoulder straps are adjustable with red enamelled components.
The bra is embellished with grosgrain ribbons at the centre front and cup apexes, and fastens with a single hook and eye at the centre back. The shoulder straps are all stitched with a lockstitch rather than a bartack or zigzag stitch. Consequently they don’t feel particularly sturdy, and I am worried the straps may start to fray or unravel with continued wear and washing.
There’s very little fabric to the bra and the original labels were very long and unsightly, so it was interesting to see the label had sewn them looped around a strap for easy removal rather than sewn into the garment.
This set doesn’t feel luxurious in the slightest. The fabric and trims don’t feel like they’re particularly high quality, especially up close. They’re exceptionally stretchy and I suspect this set wouldn’t last long with extended wear. Even if the set is only intended for boudoir wear, at $270 for the set, I’d expect better quality.
Because I bought the wrong sizes, I anticipated fit issues. I was expecting the bra to be too big and the knickers too small, so I was surprised to find the bra was too small and the knickers actually fit! The fabric is really stretchy, so the high-waisted briefs are basically perfect for my pear shaped figure.
There’s enough elastication to cinch them in at my waist, but they are stretchy enough that they don’t cut in at the legs. They’re comfortable enough to wear every day. The knickers originally came with four detachable suspender straps.
Unfortunately, because the knicker waist is so stretchy, the suspenders are pretty pointless. Putting them under any tension just pulls the knickers down the body. Although the knickers appear as a brief cut, the gusset has a very narrow thong shape.
This demi-cup bra style was originally sold only in increments of B cup (32B/34B/36B), so I suspect the designer was expecting the stretchiness of the elastic and ‘boudoir’ style to make up for any fit flaws. However, the ‘cage’ bra wings are cut exceptionally tight, and pinch in even on my smaller ribcage (measuring 27 inches under the bust). If the wings were made of a lightweight stretch mesh, this would be less of an issue. But the cut outs between the straps means any excess flesh is going to be displaced in a way that isn’t particularly comfortable, in my opinion.
Unfortunately the cup is also cut smaller than expected. I wasn’t expecting any support or coverage, but the elasticated neckline means the cup slightly cuts into the bust on my figure. It’s fine for the boudoir, but it means my breasts need to be carefully arranged into the cup. Any movement and they fall straight out! I suspect I would have a better fit all around with the bra by sizing up to a 36B.
Overall, the Wasabi set was a disappointing buy. I’m relieved I didn’t pay the retail price. Although it’s a fun piece to wear in the bedroom, it doesn’t really offer much value for the cost, in my eyes. The design is interesting, but not interesting enough to make up for the poor quality of the materials or the fit.
Lingerie Addicts: have you any of you tried Andres Sarda?