Luxury Lingerie Review: Tisja Damen 'Myth' Bralette & Ouvert Briefs
Disclosure: I paid for the garments in this review with my own money. All opinions are my own.
I’ve been admiring the Tisja Damen brand for several years now. The Amsterdam-based label first made their mark on the lingerie map with their patchwork lace creations, later transitioning to delicate embroideries and daring cut out silhouettes. It’s firmly a luxury brand, using premium fabrics and European manufacturing, with an admirable commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental impact.
The label recently ran a sitewide sale, and I finally took the plunge. The sale included a mixture of samples and excess stock. I opted for the burgundy ‘Myth’ halter bralette and ouvert briefs. These pieces were available in a range of sizes and were not described as samples or inclusive of any flaws. Therefore, I have assumed that they are excess stock and representative of general brand quality.
I didn’t select any gift packaging, and the pieces arrived wrapped in tissue paper in a plain cardboard box. There were no swing tags attached to either garment.
The ‘Myth’ ouvert briefs retail for 109 euros ($130) and are available in sizes S-LL (LL being the brand's equivalent of XL). The halter bralette is no longer available through Tisja Damen directly. However, it can be found at some stockists, where it retails for 189 euros ($226) and is available in sizes S-L.
I purchased my regular size S in the bralette (I wear a 32C bra). My usual size M in the briefs (I wear a UK 12, a US 8), was sold out so I opted for the L, which the size chart recommended for a UK 14-18 (US 10-14). As I have a great deal with sewing experience, I assumed that the piece would be a little too big, and I’d easily be able to alter the garment to fit my body.
Fabrics and Construction
The ‘Myth’ range is crafted from a range of decorative elastic trims, gold toned components, and soft sheer mesh. I’m usually drawn to lingerie for the beautiful fabrics, and mesh doesn’t normally attract my attention as it’s so ubiquitous in lingerie design. In this instance, it was the unusual silhouette and graphic strapping that caught my eye.
Tisja Damen practices sustainable sourcing where possible. The site describes the mesh fabric as ‘produced with GRS-certified recycled materials including the only sustainable ROICA, to create this material with a new responsible and innovative approach to the planet and people’. The mesh is very soft against the skin, and has a good deal of stretch.
All of the fabrics, trims and threads are accurately colour matched. I’m particularly impressed by the application of trims in this design. Strappy lingerie has been such a huge trend for the last decade that it’s begun to feel boring and extremely watered down.
It’s difficult to find designs that still use these techniques yet feel fresh, but this label hits the nail on the head. Both the briefs and bralette incorporate a wider patterned strapping, narrow picot edge plush elastic, and a very narrow rouleau style strapping.
Overall the pieces are very well made, with clean and accurate stitching. I was particularly impressed by how the bust darts of the bralet are sewn. They are stitched an extremely narrow but neat zigzag, giving a very narrow finish. I've never see this kind of finishing in a seam before, and it has a much more beautiful effect on the body than a traditional overlocked seam would.
Unfortunately on the knicker hips, there are a couple of areas where the elastic folds with a lot of bulk, and the stitching here is starting to unravel. It feels like a bit of an oversight to not have reinforced the stitching in these particular areas, though they would be a relatively easy fix with some basic hand sewing skills. It's important to note that if this area of faulty stitching is not fixed, with continued wear the stitching would continue to unravel. Tisja Damen manufactures both in The Netherlands and Romania, but it is not clear where these exact pieces were made.
The bralette’s cut is unusual, and as such the fit is rather unlike anything I’ve seen in lingerie before. This style offers almost no support to the bust. Indeed, on my body, I found it actually pushed my bust downwards.
I have to admit I’ve rather internalized society’s messaging on the ideal bust shape being rounded and perky, so I don’t feel entirely comfortable with my body’s shape in this particular style. It does feel like a cut that was made for more self supporting breasts in mind. I don’t think I would be comfortable wearing this piece outside the bedroom.
The back comes down very low and fastens with a gold hook at the centre. The centre back straps are all adjustable, so can be altered to fit a range of body sizes. The shoulder straps, however, are very long. I have to wear them on their tightest setting, and I have quite a long torso. Thankfully, shortening shoulder straps is a relatively easy alteration if you have some basic sewing skills or access to a tailor or alteration service.
I was shocked to find that the briefs actually fit me…and even cut in very slightly at the hips and waist. When my order arrived, I had to go back to the Tisja Damen website to double check that I had in fact seen this size recommended up to a UK 18 (US 14)!
I have 36” hips and a 26” waist, and the elastics are already very firm on my body. While I do expect most luxury lingerie brands to come up a little small, this is the most egregious example I’ve experienced in my career. I have no idea if this is the standard fit for the brand or if it’s just this one style that comes up so small. However based on my experience, I do recommend going up by at least one size in this style.
Although the base mesh fabric is very stretchy, the accompanying elastic trims are extremely firm. I suspect that the strapping was originally intended to be used for bra shoulder strapping, as there is not much stretch. None of the straps on the briefs are adjustable, so it’s unsurprising that on some body shapes they will cut in. The gusset on the briefs is very narrow, giving the back of the briefs a very ‘cheeky’ cut.
Update 15th July 2021:
On June 29th 2021, the designer of this lingerie set commented on this, pointing out that the bra was being worn incorrectly. This was an honest mistake on my part. After I placed my order, but before I received it, the style was taken off the website. For lack of photos to refer to, I put the garment on in the most logical way. As this does not represent the product’s fit as intended by the designer, I have re-examined the bra when worn correctly.
The garment was designed to be worn with the shoulder straps crossing at the centre back. As the straps cannot be detached, dressing requires the bra to be pulled over the head. There’s some contorting involved in dressing so I found it a little challenging, and I imagine anyone with mobility challenges would require some assistance. It is not the most intuitive bra dressing experience, and I suspect that a design like this could benefit from some dressing instructions.
With the shoulder straps crossed, there is a little additional vertical lift to the bust, and my breasts do sit a little higher on my frame than they did with the straps uncrossed. The crossed shoulder straps also extra horizontal tension, which has the effect of pulling the breasts further into the underarm. Overall though, I found the difference in fit to be fairly negligible. As I noted earlier, it really is a style that is better suited for self supporting breasts.
Final Thoughts on Tisja Damen
For a first experience with Tisja Damen, I’d say that it overall skewed positively. The designs are fresh and innovative, and there’s a truly masterful application of trimming that I’ve seen few other designers even come close to.
Although I don’t like the bralet shape on my own body, this is entirely a matter of personal preference and I’ve seen the cut look phenomenal on others.
With that in mind, it’s difficult to look past the size inconsistency of the briefs. I just hope that this was a single style that came up this small. If not, then I will look to the brand to amend their size chart in the future. At the very least, I hope that they will consider adding in measurements. Dress sizes just don’t provide enough information when ordering at a distance.