I recently wrote about a new DD+ brand Rochella which is a British middle-market brand with a good cause and a unique, more mature yet quirky aesthetics. I remember back in the day Miss Underpinnings used to talk about the lack of full-bust brands catering for the 30-something customer and I personally feel Rochella is the answer to that plea. The designs are suitable for any age but I think they do have more grown-up styles than eg Cleo and Curvy Kate, yet the styles are not “old” but a bit whimsical to maintain a fresh look. When interviewing the founder of the brand, Karen, she asked if I wanted to review one of her sets and of course I said yes! Today I am bringing you one of the first (if not the very first?) Rochella blog reviews out there, with their beautiful “Tattoo Butterfly” set.
The Design: I was instantly drawn to the Tattoo Butterfly set as it was something rather unique to me: I had never had a bra with butterflies on it and even though the idea sounded a bit juvenile to me, there is nothing too young and cute about this bra. The design is, in one word, STUNNING. I have actually always loved butterflies, I hate bugs in general, but I find butterflies to be the miracles of nature and each time I see one, it makes me so happy. Even though butterflies are usually depicted as super colourful with the shades of orange and yellow, I really enjoyed the teal and black combination of the set which makes it so much more sophisticated. Also the completely sheer upper panel of the bra is amazing, something not many brands have been brave enough to do.
The shape of the bra is something between the new Curvy Kate balconettes and perhaps a slight bit of Freya G+ balconettes. There is a tiny bit of point to the apex but there is still much more room at the top of the cup than eg with Freya. For a new brand, the shape is very good right from the start with enough uplift to avoid the downwards-7 effect, which can sometimes occur with three-part cup construction + the balconette style. The style is a true balconette but not a completely full-coverage one – this bra is very suitable for everyday wear and goes under most tops and dresses beautifully. I wear it regularly with my Pinup Girl Clothing peasant tops and the butterflies on the cup edge peek beautifully from the low neckline of the top.
The Fit: This is always the most interesting part of reviewing a new brand for you. When looking at the Rochella size chart, you can see that there are no 30 bands in sight, meaning I resulted in opting for my second most worn size, 32GG. I thought it might be a close shot as I am now leaning more towards 32 bands these days – however, British brands are infamous for being looser in the band than their Polish sisters. This was the case with Rochella as well; the 32 band was a size too big for me, but luckily it had four (!) sets of hooks and eyes to tighten it a bit. I am usually wearing it in the tightest or second tightest set of hooks, which is unfortunate as it shortens the lifespan of the bra a bit for me. The fit of the band is definitely on par with the likes of Curvy Kate and Freya, so if you are between band sizes, do size down.
The cups are a bit deeper than your usual British full-bust bra which is a huge upside for me personally – I find most British bras too shallow for my full bust and the Tattoo Butterfly fits me beautifully without any wrinkling at the bottom of the cups. Compared to its Polish counterparts the bra is not super forward-projecting but not as wide and splayed as eg Curvy Kate either. Also the wires are quite average in my opinion, the perfect medium between Polish and most British bras. The straps of the bra are quite long so take that into consideration if you are on the petite side! However, they are also fully-adjustable so there’s a lot of leeway to make them fit you the way you want.
Comfort: Overall the Rochella Tattoo Butterfly set is very comfortable – the materials feel high-quality (though I would be careful with the see-through mesh, it’s super thin and delicate!) and soft to touch. The outer layer is made of stretch satin and the lining out of polyester; I personally prefer cotton lining with my bras but I do feel this is another great option as I don’t feel it’s the kind of scratchy cheap polyester. The lining is a pretty lavender shade to show the support to gynaecology cancer survivors and sufferers – this makes sense as some of the profits go to a gynaecology cancer charity, which is awesome when we are talking about such a new brand.
The only thing that takes a bit away from the comfort factor of this set is that the straps are placed a bit too far apart for me and the cup edge comes up high enough in the armpit to chafe me while being more active. This has not prevented me from wearing this bra A LOT though, so I would say all in all the Rochella sets are not just pretty to look at, they are also quite comfy and very well-fitting. Also the panties get an A+ from me: I went for the size UK 10-12 and they fit me beautifully, I would even say they are one of my most flattering bottoms I own. The back of the briefs is made of super stretchy mesh so these are very butt-friendly and sexy at the same time.
The price point of Rochella is a bit higher than with most UK full-bust brands but that is kind of what the founder of the brand went for – better quality and a big size range (32-42 D-J) are key features with Rochella and I personally feel that £59 for a bra and £30 for the bottoms is a fair price for the pieces. Heck, the hardware on the front part of the straps is 18 ct gold! If you would like to give Rochella lingerie a try, I would suggest taking a look at their web shop, which you find here. They are also adding 30 bands this upcoming autumn so stay tuned for that if you are outside their size range at the moment! I am personally looking forward to trying something from the AW16 collection in 30H, which will be a sligthly better fit for me size-wise. xx