Size: Custom, XXS / Material: Mesh / Purchasable from: Hopeless Lingerie
Hopeless bralettes can be grouped into two main types: the ones with a thick elastic underband for additional support (i.e. Stella, Lucy, Elaine, Suzy) and the ones without (i.e. Delphine, Rosemary, Rachel). As an owner of 3/7 of the available bralette styles that fell into both categories, you get a pretty good idea of what to expect. Following some of the minor fit issues I had with my Lucy, with the band being much too loose even on the tightest hook, I decided to email Gaby for a custom sized Stella made with a shortened band. It turns out that when laid flat the XXS band measures at 22" and stretches up to 32" (measurements do not include +3" bra clasp), whereas my own underbust measurement was only 27". Gaby suggested that I could have Stella shortened to 20" with it stretching up to 30", and the cups would remain as an XXS, so this was the measurement we went with.
Upon receiving my custom Stella, the first things I noticed was that the halter was less straining on the neck in comparison to Lucy and that the band was incredibly snug on the first hook – something which literally never happens to me. Although this level of tightness is not something I'm used to it's actually a good thing; as the elasticity wears over time it means that my Stella won't become so loose it's rendered unwearable. One thing to keep in mind is that the band is responsible for providing 80% of the support for your bust. Therefore, as a girl with not only a small underbust but also a shallow bust (i.e. my breast tissue distribution is more even throughout the bust and I have little to no projection), to finally own a bra with a suitable band measurement meant that my breast tissue was actually being lifted and 'centralised', thus giving a well-rounded shape with some impressive cleavage. However, as I had requested for a shorter band, I didn't anticipate that this would affect the coverage of the soft cups. The tightened band ended up stretching the cups sideways and outwards, which meant that my nipples were always on the verge of falling out (evident in the above photo) despite shortening the halter-neck straps to try and remedy the problem. Fortunately this should not be an issue for most people, as I also had a standard XXS Stella on hand for comparison (my girl Laura and I made a group order so her items were also posted to me).
The second Hopeless piece I purchased this time round was the Kira leg harness in XXS. As the satin elastic straps are fully adjustable it fits perfect without any edges cutting in, which is one thing I'm usually worried about. Though not the most practical piece of lingerie, I purchased Kira with the intention of wearing it slightly lower down my waist/thighs so it peeks out from underneath a mini skirt and as a layering piece with other basics. As you can tell, Kira and Stella look amazing together and will work as fully functioning 'underwear as outerwear' pieces, voilà.