Lingerie Review: Chantelle Opéra Chemise

by Estelle Puleston

Disclosure: This chemise was a personal gift (not from the brand).

I’m afraid I’ve been a terrible blogger and sat on this review for 8 months, so the chemise is now sold out on Chantelle’s website. It is however still available in black direct from Chantelle in the US, or in the Milk colour shown here at Nancy Meyer (USA), BHF Online (UK) and Selfridges (UK).

This was a Christmas gift from my in-laws. I’d pointed it out briefly to my fiancé whilst shopping in Spain – it was my favourite thing in the Chantelle boutique – and he must have been consulted for gift advice because a few days later there is was with my name on it. Yay!



The Opéra chemise is a slim-fitting style that hits about mid-thigh length, with a little slit at one side. It’s made from all-over French leavers lace – a really beautiful, large floral motif over most of the body with a scalloped trim at the hemline and a band of sheer net below the cups. The straps are made from frilled elastic and gold metal hardware.

Although a relatively simple design, it looks expensive thanks in no small part to the gorgeous lace but also the finishing touches – I particularly like the discreet ‘Chantelle’ plaque at the back, which is a detail you could only expect to find on a luxury product. A timeless, elegant piece which is exactly what Chantelle specialises in.

Verdict: 8 / 10



The main lace on the Opéra chemise is 84% nylon and 16% elastane, so it has plenty of stretch for a great fit. It’s also a quality lace in that it’s durable – even after 8 months, there’s not a single snag or bobble on it.

Verdict: 10 / 10



My chemise is labelled a size 1, I’m assuming that’s a Small as I can only find it in S-L online. Chantelle doesn’t give size advice for chemises/nightwear, but I’d say this is a UK 6-8.  I’m usually a UK 6 and it’s a body-skimming but not overly clingy fit on me.

If I’d been able to try this on in store I probably have sized up, compromising on a looser body fit for more room in the cups. Like on my mannequin, my boobs end up sitting in the mesh band below the cups rather than in the cups themselves. I’m hovering between a 30DD and 30E (or 32D and 32DD) nowadays, so think the size Small would fit as it’s intended to on a 30C/32B or smaller. Sadly I couldn’t get back to the shop to exchange it!

Verdict: 6 / 10



I’ve already mentioned that the leavers lace has held up incredibly well; the stitching is also still secure on all of the seams and decorative details. I’ve been hand-washing the chemise but the label says it can be machine-washed too – definitely use a mesh delicates bag if you’re going to do that though!

Overall I’m really impressed with how the Opéra chemise has lasted – it’s not just a timeless design in how it looks, but one you could feasibly be wearing a decade from now if you take good care of it.

Verdict: 10 / 10


Value for Money

The Opéra chemise originally cost $150 on Chantelle’s website (currently on sale for less) which is about £114 or 134€. UK stockists BHF Online and Selfridges are selling it for roughly 20% less than that though. If lace chemises are a staple of your nightwear wardrobe, this is one that’s worth splashing out for – divine lace, elegant style and a construction that’s built to last.

Verdict: 7 / 10


Final Thoughts

Honestly, this is a piece that’s grown on me. Due to the cup fit issue, if I’d tried it on in store I know I wouldn’t have bought it, especially not for £100ish. However having had it thrust on me (oh, woe is me!), I’ve been wearing it regardless and gradually I’ve stopped caring that the fit isn’t quite right for me. I just love the lace and the chic styling too much to leave it hidden in a drawer.

Chantelle is a company rich with heritage (it was founded in 1876), but I’d never really paid them much attention before I received this. I had them in the back of my mind as designers of high-quality but rather plain basics, like beige t-shirt bras. They do make that sort of stuff, but as I’ve come to realise they also have some lovely lacy bits and pieces too and are great for classic, elegant lingerie that won’t go out of style within a year or two. One I’ll be keeping an eye on in future collections for sure.

Are you a fan of Chantelle? What do you think of this Opéra chemise design and the lace it’s made from?

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Elisa V September 16, 2001 - 9:57 am

In my opinion, Chantelle doesn’t really stand out with groundbreaking or innovative designs, but rather with their classic shapes and sort of timelessly elegance.
I own one of their non-padded balcony bras (“Icone”) and I find it to be very comfortable. Regarding your cup issue: I do have the feeling their cups might come up a little bit small, at least in those balcony shapes. Nonetheless, I own the Icone bra for a longer time now and I held up really well!

Estelle September 16, 2001 - 9:22 pm

I haven’t tried any of their bras so can’t comment on whether they come up small or not. The cup fit on this chemise is a pretty standard thing for S/M/L sized nightwear with cups – brands tend to assume if you’re a size Small you’ll be around a 32B. I used to love La Senza because they offered the majority of their chemises/babydolls in two or three cup sizes per dress size e.g. ‘8A-C’ and ‘8D-E’.

Definitely agree about the styling though, what I’m seeing on their website is a lot of simple, classic silhouettes made in nice, equally classic fabrics 🙂

Emily Norris October 10, 2017 - 6:20 pm

I love Chantelle, but for their beige bras! I’m a 36DDDD & finding a comfortable bra that is still sexy-ish is *almost* impossible. The majority of bras in my size are utilitarian monsters that look like a hefty grandmother should be wearing them. IMO, Chantelle has perfectly blended functional and feminine with a quality that is unmatched (at least in my price range).

Estelle Puleston October 11, 2017 - 8:21 am

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with describing Chantelle as a perfect blend of functional and feminine 🙂

You may want to look into Polish lingerie brands, if you haven’t already. Many of them are full-bust specialists with a similar kind of aesthetic to Chantelle (classic shapes, lots of embroidery etc.). is one that I’ve just discovered this week for example.