As fall has finally rolled into the Bay Area, ending a long summer of sunshine and unusually warm weather, all I want to do is wear dark sultry colors and autumnal prints under my clothing. Gossard's AW15 collection has been one of my favorites for this season. The pieces are interesting, seductive and offer a fantastic array of colors, fabrics and patterns. To me, it seems very grown up and lacks the unsavory girly bubblegum prints that usually turn me off from other UK brands. My first encounter with Gossard started with the VIP Retrolution line, which I adored, and since then I've also tried pieces from the Phoebe and Egoboost collections. I was really excited when a brand representative named Laura contacted me back in September to offer me a set of my choice to review.
I was torn on which set to choose because many of my favorite bras from the fall collection only went up to an E cup in a 30 band, but Laura suggested the VIP Iris in a 30E and matching coordinates in XS. Since sometimes Gossard cups run large and the bands run small, I figured I had a good chance of success with Iris.
The Iris plunge is a padded 3-part cup with a sheer mesh top section. The print is a lovely black satin with a delicate white and rose pink floral print. The back of the bra is a strappy triangle-shaped band with a single row of hooks and eyes, a Gossard signature style. The matching waspie and panties are just as lovely, made of matching printed satin and mesh. The fabric does not stretch much and holds its shape very well.
When I first put on the set, I noticed that the bra gives me fantastic cleavage. The 30E fit me really well. The cups are shallow but because the top edge is made of a stretchy mesh, I was able to get a close-together pushed up look without any unflattering lines or fabric cutting in. The 30 band only stretched to about 29 inches so if you are in between band sizes, I would suggest sizing up. For me, the bra fits well on the tightest hook as I'm a true 26 band and normally wear 28s.
The waspie fit me on the tightest row of hooks as well, but I suspect it sits much lower on me than it's supposed to. If I could size down, I think it would sit higher on my waist and not cover so much of my lower body. Because the waspie is a little big on me in the XS, I did not get much waist cinching or smoothing from it, but that's not through any fault of the garment. It's a sturdy piece and would definitely offer some gentle shaping the correct size. Additionally, because I'm very petite, the suspender straps hang down lower than I'd like and don't keep my stockings up as high, but on a woman of average height, this shoudln't be a problem. I paired the Iris waspie with my Secrets in Lace Dana sheer heel nylons.
The only item from the Iris set that did not fit me at all was the panties. The XS bottoms fit simialrly to a M or large S in other brands. They were about 2 inches larger in the waist than my Cleo or Freya panties in XS (UK 6-8). I'd say these would probably fit a UK 10 woman, but they are fairly low rise so they might reveal more than desired. I did not wear them in the pictures but I've laid them out to show you how pretty they are! The Iris panties feature the satin material in the front and a sheer mesh back with a bit of gathering near the top.
The Iris set feels high quality to the touch and looks beautiful on the body. At about £106 (or $160) for the set, it's certainly not cheap but the craftsmanship is impressive for the price range. The fit of the bra was excellent and Gossard 30 bands are great options for women who usually need 28 bands in other brands. However, I would recommend the waspie to women of average or tall height and for everyone else to size down in the panties if possible.
I'm dying to try a few other pieces from Gossard's current collection. Desire and Graphic Floral are my other favorites from AW15.
By the way, I asked my new roommate to take photos of me today and I think she did a spectacular job! I'm pretty excited to work with her and hopefully we will both learn something new from this experience.