Disclaimer: This set was bought with my own money and neither Belle et Bonbon nor Coco de Mer requested a review.
Belle et Bonbon is a British-made, independent, luxury lingerie brand with a penchant for exquisite lace. They won the 2014 UK Lingerie Awards for both the Independent Brand of the Year and Boudoir Brand of the Year categories.
I picked up this Emilia set on sale at Coco de Mer in their January sale, and though this is a review of the lingerie itself I also want to point out how impressed I was with Coco de Mer’s delivery speed – I placed my order after 8pm on a Saturday and it arrived Monday morning. I don’t even know how that is possible with Royal Mail, and this was a free postage service!
Similar to what Agent Provocateur did with hook-and-eyes on their Jena set, the Belle et Bonbon Emilia takes the functional suspender grip and turns it into a decorative element – and not a suspender strap in sight! There are suspender grips on either side of the knickers and at the front and back of the bra straps, giving you the option to wear them straight rather than crossed over at the back.
The lingerie is made from a combination of stretch-nylon mesh and a beautiful lilac lace with gold thread running through it, which looks great against the gold-tone hardware. The knickers also feature a lovely spiral-beaded button at the back to keep the set looking lovely from all angles.
I don’t have much to say here except that it’s very well made – the fabrics are lovely and soft, the quality of the sewing is good and the hardware is made from thick metal which feels sturdy and durable.
I bought the bra in a 32DD, a sister size up from my usual 30E since it starts at a 32-band, and the knickers in a Small which equates to a UK 8-10. The knickers and the bra band both fit true to size, and the bra cups fits insofar as they’re the perfect size, however I was surprised at how little support the bra offers despite being underwired.
I couldn’t decide whether to mention this as a fit issue or a construction one, but I think it’s down to the fact that the mesh and lace-insert of the cups essentially form one, unseamed piece of fabric, whereas most underwired bras have at least one seam for contouring and support. The bra offers no uplift, much like a bralet, and I also felt like the straps were really pulling on the narrow tops of the cups like they couldn’t hold the weight. It’s a style that’s better suited to smaller and lighter cup sizes, unless of course you don’t mind the lack of support.
Both pieces are hand-wash only and I would advise washing them alone to avoid anything snagging on the lace, which has a very open weave so is pretty delicate.
Value for Money
Originally this set cost £184, but I was lucky enough to pick it up on sale for £55.20 and found it to be great value for money – it’s a unique design with a very luxurious-looking lace. If I’d paid full price I think I would have returned it due to not liking the fit so much, but at this price I’m more than happy with it.
Would I recommend it?
As mentioned, I’d only recommend this for smaller cup sizes (roughly 32C/34B or below) unless you don’t have an issue with the complete lack of support, in which case go for it because it’s beautiful!
Only the knickers are still in stock which can be bought here in sizes S-L, however Belle et Bonbon’s Johanna bra and stunning Clarabelle bra are both identical except for the fabrics. I like them equally as much, the Emilia just happened to be the one available in my size. They’re also both on sale too!
What do you think of the Emilia bra set? Have you bought anything by Belle et Bonbon?