Review: Gypsy by Rochella Lingerie

I first found out about Rochella at Moda in February 2016. I was about to leave when I spotted a rail with gorgeous lingerie in the kind of prints I always fall in love with. Pretty, feminine pink and lilac and blue florals, as well as some cute polka dots. I was even more excited to find out it was a new full bust labelling, catering to back sizes 32- 42 and cups D-J (not all cup sizes available in all band sizes). Rochella is a luxury line, and at a higher price point I was hesitant to buy a set, especially as they don’t do 30 backs. But when I was offered a set to review, I was more than happy to accept. 

Please note, I was sent this set free of charge and all opinions are my own. And boy, do I wish my opinions were different on this occasion. I was sent Gypsy in a 32GG – the “sister size” to my normal 30H. And while I’ve gone on and on about putting on weight and how that means things fit differently, I’m not entirely sure that’s a factor this time. I also received the matching suspender briefs in a 10/12. Let’s start with the details.

To look at, this set is so beautiful. The stretch satin fabric that makes up the majority of the cups is soft to the touch, and has a lovely silky shine to it. The colours are just gorgeous, and I think the contrast of soft pinks and black works really well. 


The inside is lined with a lavender-ish polyester fabric, and there is a cute little gold pendant on the centre wires stamped with the signature “R”. 


The briefs are nice and full, with sturdy detachable suspender straps included. The keyhole detail at the back of the briefs and the sheer mesh adds a little raciness to the daintiness of the floral print. 


Onto the fit…Ugh I hate to give a negative review but I have to be honest for the benefit of both potential customers and the brand. Rochella is still a relatively new brand, and feedback like this is really important to take on as they continue to learn and develop their product. The first thing I thought when I put the bra on was just how loose it was. Obviously I’m used to wearing 30 bands, but even on the tightest hook this felt like it just wasn’t supportive enough. This would lead me to believe that the bands are not totally true to size and someone who does wear a 32 normally may also find it loose. I know straps aren’t meant to do much of the holding, but these also felt rather loose, and almost flimsy. They are a tad too narrow for a full bust bra, and felt uncomfortable after a few hours wear. They also constantly twisted in on themselves as I moved around doing normal things. This is probably because they’re too thin. You can see below that I have them tightened practically all the way. If I wore this bra a lot, they would stretch out super quick and become useless pretty fast. 


The shape of the cups does little to redeem these issues. Because the bra is too loose and my bust is pulling it downwards, I get this weird sloping effect, combined with a pointy shape. Which is just not flattering at all, unfortunately. 


It looks great front on, but you can still see that my boobs are sitting a bit too low and the sloping effect is still kind of noticeable. 


Overall, the bra just doesn’t feel supportive enough. The fabric doesn’t seem sturdy enough to support bigger boobs, and I worry about how long it would be able to hold up. I hate saying all this, but I do think it’s important. If they ever make bras in a 30 band, I’d be very keen to try my true size to see if it is any better. 

The briefs were more of a success. They are really soft and comfortable, and don’t cut into my squishy hips (a problem I have even if I size up 3 sizes). However, the fabric again felt slightly flimsy. When I first tried them on, they felt tight, and I didn’t think I’d get them on without ripping them. There is a tightness under the soft band which feels really dodgy everytime I put them on, and I always let out a sigh of relief once I get them on safely. I do love the shape though, and find them really flattering. 


Again, I’m really disappointed with how this set turned out. But hopefully this feedback will be helpful and Rochella can take it on board as they go forward with their designs. 

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Review: Cantaloupe bikini by Meloncup Swimwear

Meloncup is the brainchild of Natalie McGann, a London College of Fashion graduate who wanted to create sleek and supportive cupsized swimwear for women in the DD+ size bracket. I’ve said before how I’m always excited to see new full bust lines being launched, but I was also encouraged to see that Natalie went through the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. I’ve also just done the course as I’m working to start my own business, and if any readers in the UK aged 18-30 are thinking of going self-employed, I would definitely recommend signing up for one of these courses. It’s so inspiring and motivating to see young women becoming their own bosses (cough cough, Nicole of MyMilla).

Natalie sent me the Cantaloupe bikini and high waisted pants in candy floss pink, which I was secretly hoping for after seeing a little sneak peek on Instagram. Y’all know I love a good pair of high waisted knickers. Because Meloncup only just launched, there had only been little glimpses of the line posted before the website went live, so it was exciting not knowing exactly what it would look like. I was really excited then to open it up and see the strappy details on the front and back of the bikini top. 


Strappy, harnessy, bondagey style deetz are the trendiest trend right now, but usually aren’t overly accessible in the full bust world. While smaller busts can generally get away with bras without the traditional hook and eye clasps and loadsa fun straps all over the show, bigger boobs just have to make do with bras with one extra strap. Or layer a body harness over a bra (which does look super cool). So I was pretty excited to see that this bikini didn’t have a normal clasped band, but rather a tie back with four strands from each side creating a striking cage look at the side where the wings of a band would be. I was excited, but also a wee bit concerned that this would not hold my 30H/HH (weight gain has me all over the place right now) boobers up properly. 

I tried putting the top on as I normally would and tying it up with my arms behind my back, but I just couldn’t get it tight enough to hold me up. I had to tie it at the front then twist it round and pull the straps up, which I hate doing cuz it will eventually mess the wires up and probably mean the top won’t last as long as it could. Or I could just make sure someone is around to help me and have them tie the back for me, in a pretty little bow! It works much better than I thought it would, but I think being such a Panache/Cleo fan means I find most other brands are never firm enough for me, which is just a matter of personal preference. It IS supportive enough to walk around in, which is all I would ever do in a bikini. I think I also have to accept the fact that, while cup sized swimwear is wonderful, it never feels quite like a firm bra, nor does it give me the narrow, upfront look I crave. Again, it’s personal preference. This is the shape from the front:


I mean, it looks really nice. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s a little lower and more east-west than I would like, but like I said that’s a thing I find with all bikinis I’ve tried and to be honest, I don’t think people are looking at me on the beach thinking “Jeez, I bet she’d get a better shape from a Cleo bra”. So it ain’t no thang. I’m still a very big fan of this bikini and the strappy back. 

Because the band is more adjustable than one that is for a particular measurement, it means the cups aren’t exactly right on me. There’s a little bit of bunching at the bottom of the cup, which is probably more to do with my boobs being too big, and sometimes the material around the wires flips up if I don’t tie it tight enough. Again, I can’t see it being a massive issue and it doesn’t affect the comfort or supportiveness of it. I should mention that the material is ridiculously soft and feels so good to wear. 

You can see that my boobs are sitting lower than a bra and my bigger boob is popping out a little. I did have the band tied super tight and the straps up quite high though as I like to feel really strapped in.

The level of adjustiveness (if that’s even a word) in these tops means the size guide is different, as one Meloncup size could cover more than one bra size. My bikini top is size “ravishing” and the pants are “beautiful”, which is funny because I am often told how ravishingly beautiful I am. So that worked out well. 

Overall, I am really impressed with the fit and quality of this bikini. It may not be for everyone as the tie back does mean a little less support, but it’s definitely worth a try as I was pleasantly surprised. It’s also nice to see swimwear options in plain colours, as I often find the go-to is either polka dots which bore me after a while, or OTT garish prints. Again, the feel of the material is so smooth, you’ll just wanna rub your boobs the whole time. I’m really excited to see this brand grow and develop, and I really hope you all give it a try!