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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lady Marlene Bra Review

In the interests of finding a good vintage-shaped longline bra that also provides adequate support to the waist, I came across this one and thought it deserved some blog-time. 'Came Across' is actually a stretch of a statement, since actually Katherine, the extraordinary designer of Whirling Turban dresses, is the one who referred me to it.

The problem with the Goddess Bra I have been using is that it comes up pretty high on my chest, which means my Whirling Turban pieces as well as many of my vintage tops fall a bit below the bra line and it peeks a bit. :( I have edited this out of many photos but you can see the bra in some of my Viva photos, for sure. So I opted to find a black bra, but also a slightly different style.

Before purchasing the Lady Marlene, the Goddess Longline bra with a Rago Waist Nipper over the top of it has served me really well. The bra provides the clean vintage line without that signature padding prevalent in so many of today's modern bras, and the waist nipper gives me a lot of great definition at the waist. I discuss the pairing of these two items in more detail in this video:


But again, the height of the Goddess sometimes presents a problem, so Katherine suggested the Lady Marlene in Black to see how it suited me. The style number she recommended was the 986, as unfortunately not all the longline bras from this company are created 'equally'.

The 986, unfortunately, is DIFFICULT to come by. It seems to have been discontinued so is really only available at a limited number of boutiques and sellers on Ebay. The Ebay sellers I checked had it in my size, but not in the right color. I finally found it through the following shop, which I had not heard of previously, and so although I was worried about ordering from a company with which I was unfamiliar, I went ahead and splurged on the bra.

I paid a pretty good price of 69.99, and the bra arrived quickly and was indeed a new item with tags.


At first glance, the bra looked different than the photos I'd seen. There is no 'nude' lining or sheer effect on the one I received,which I'll admit disappointed me a bit since it's the prettiest thing about the design, in my opinion.

That said, it looked very true to the photo otherwise and all the seams, garters, and closures were excellent quality.

The cups are not set extremely close together, which might be a problem if your breasts are situated that way, but since mine are more spaced out, the cup design was perfect. The elastic panels at the waist seemed very resilient, as if they would hold the mid-section in place much better than Spanx or the like. The zipper is placed OVER a set of hook and eye closures, so there is extra security as well as integrity to this portion of the bra, a key factor for front-closure bras or bustiers. The length is much longer than my vintage longline or Goddess bra, which both cut off at my true waist, and truly does mimic the look and length, at first inspection, of my Goddess coupled with the Rago I mentioned previously.


To my satisfaction, the bra fit exactly as it should and has a lovely supportive shape that is perfect for strapless or backless vintage designs. It has a smooth look beneath clothes, the closures hold up excellently after hours of wear, and the garter straps are of the same quality as my Rago items... another plus! I always have to fill out cups without padding (these cups are lined, but not padded) using silicone enhancers, and this is true of the Lady Marlene as well. But I feel very supported in this bra and in my opinion, it's an extremely attractive option for vintage clothing!!

My only complaint with this bra is that, although the elastic panels at the sides hold me in nicely and give me a very smooth line beneath clothing (much better than Spanx), the waist is not the best for definition. So my Goddess/ Rago combo is still the best for items that fall at my true waist and which can make me look a little thick in the middle if I don't help them along.

All in all, if you can find one, I say snap it up! It's a worthy investment for fitted bombshell styles and better than any other bra I've seen for low-backed gowns and tops.

More later, Dearies!!