Luxury Lingerie Review: Studio Pia Petra Silk Bralette & Waist Thong

by Estelle Puleston
Studio Pia Petra Amber silk lingerie set flatlay

Disclosure: I purchased this lingerie set myself.

Whew, here’s a review I am late to publishing! I started the first draft of this article last June, shortly after I’d purchased this Petra set, and then life just got in the way. This unfortunately means that it’s no longer available in this particular colour directly from Studio Pia (though at the time of writing, there are still limited sizes available from stockists here, here and here), but it also means I can give you a more thorough review since I’ve worn it regularly for close to a year now.

Studio Pia was launched in 2017 by Pia Harpur, and I was an instant admirer of the brand. It’s unsurprisingly really, considering she’d previously worked at one of my all-time favourite lingerie labels, Bordelle. Right from Studio Pia’s debut collection, the brand’s now-signature elements were present: bespoke embroideries, cruelty-free peace silk, and the silk-wrapped straps with gold-plated hardware that allow for a highly adjustable fit.

Studio Pia Petra luxury silk lingerie set back, showing silk-encased straps

Also available from day one was the Petra collection (or at least some of it – more shapes have been added over the years) but I didn’t pay it much attention for the longest time. While there are many things that make Studio Pia so special, I think most fans of the brand would agree that very top of that list is its highly-creative embroideries. As new Petra colourways came and went, every time a new Studio Pia collection landed, it was really the embroideries I’d be obsessing over – everything from jewels to hands to snakes and chains.

But clearly, not everyone felt the same way; Petra stuck around, so it’s obviously been selling! And somewhere along the line, I found myself becoming drawn to it too. Maybe I’m just becoming more practical with age, with smooth silk seeming like a more wearable choice than textured embroidery to go under clothing. Whatever the reason, when Studio Pia ran a sale last May, it was the Petra bralette and high-waisted ‘waist thong’ set in colour Amber that I most wanted to add to my lingerie collection.

At full price, the Petra bralette retails for £180 and the Petra waist thong for £220. I only paid about a quarter of that, plus customs duty, so it’s well worth watching out for sales if Studio Pia is out of your budget.

Studio Pia Petra bralette close up
The double silk layer of the cups.

Design & construction

There’s no doubt about it: the Petra set is a piece of luxury. Not only are the bra and thong made from silk satin, but they’re lined with it too. Twice the amount of silk will naturally push up the price, but the payoff is that it makes the garments feel sturdier and more substantial.

In some places the edges are created by simply folding the silk over, while in others the layers are sewn together with the stitches sandwiched between them, hidden from view. Known as bagging out, this is a luxury seaming technique which creates an extremely clean, neat-looking finish.

The back of the set closes with a series of double straps which, as I mentioned, are fully encased in silk and are all adjustable via 24k gold-plated hardware. It’s a wonderfully sumptuous touch, but it does mean the straps are fairly bulky and you can’t just pull the slider along the strap like you can with a plain elastic one. You have to gently feed one side of the strap through the slider first to fully loosen it or else you risk damaging the delicate silk (don’t ask me how I know…). This makes adjusting the straps a bit fiddly and time-consuming, but the silver lining is that once you’ve got them how you want them, they’ll stay firmly put! I haven’t had to re-adjust these straps even once over the past eleven months.

Studio Pia Petra bralette, close up of silk-wrapped straps and gold-plated hardware

At the centre of each of these double strap details is a Studio Pia-branded clasp, also gold-plated, which is yet another deluxe touch. I’ve found this particular style of clasp to sometimes prove challenging to fasten when I can’t see what I’m doing – not a problem for the bra since I can spin it, but I do have to fasten the two thong clasps behind my back. A little annoying for going to the bathroom, but otherwise I do love these clasps for what they add to the set visually.

One other thing to note on the subject of straps is that the bralette ones are detachable at the back, so you can cross them over if you want to. The thong’s legline straps are also partially detachable, though I’m not really sure why.

Studio Pia lingerie, gold-plated clasp detail

Fit & comfort

Both the Petra bralette and high-waisted Petra thong come in sizes XS to L, covering UK 4-18 / US 0-12. I went with my usual size XS for the thong, and a size M for the bralette. The brand’s size chart states that M fits a UK 12-14 and ‘C-D’ cups (and an L, ‘D-DD’ cups); the cup size recommendations are pretty meaningless to be honest without accompanying band sizes. I wear a UK 6 and 30DD and picked an M as it’s usually what I need to have enough room in the cups in bralettes, although sometimes the band ends up being too loose.

Luckily, that’s not an issue with Petra. While I did need to make the bra band as short as it would go, once done it was snug enough to stay horizontal. Would I have ideally liked it a little firmer? Sure. But since this is a bralette which isn’t something you buy for totally secure support, I’m perfectly happy with the fit. And the cups feel like exactly the right size! I think they’d work for a cup size down too (smaller than that, and there’d be gapping/wrinkling) and there’s definitely enough stretch to fit a cup size larger; the fabric, by the way, is 95% silk and 5% elastane, so that adds to the flexibility. With the band also able to be extended by about 4 inches, this is clearly going to fit a wide range of bra sizes.

Naturally, the size XS thong is much more snug on my body. In fact, I had to extend the waist straps on this one to their maximum length and it still feels firm, but not uncomfortably so. I actually really like the fit since, with its wide waistband elastic that hits me right at my natural waistline, it has a gentle cinching-in effect that I appreciate. The leg straps are, like everything else, adjustable so you can tweak the fit there too.

As for comfort, you really can’t go wrong with smooth silk satin. It’s incredibly soft against the skin, and feels cool to the touch which is great in summer! The thong’s gusset is lined with cotton, and where all of the straps join to the silk panels there is a velvety plush backing. On the bra, there is also flexible boning here to add more strength, but it’s not something you notice while wearing it. Nothing pinches, nothing pokes in… while I wouldn’t go as far as to say you’ll feel like you’re not even wearing it (there are a lot of straps after all!), I’ve found this set to be pretty comfortable.

Studio Pia Petra bralette interior details
Bra interior – notice the plush texture of the boning channel along the edge.

Washing & care

All Studio Pia lingerie is hand wash only due to its delicate nature. But although delicate, the design feels sturdily-made too and I’m happy to say that it’s still in near-flawless condition after close to a year of regular wear and laundering.

The silk does get a bit wrinkled after washing; the garment tags say not to iron, whereas the care guide on Studio Pia’s website says you can iron their silks on a low heat setting and with a few precautions. I’ve not really been bothered by the wrinkling because it’s less visible once the set is stretched out on the body, but I did give them a slight iron (through a thin cloth) to take these photos and that was fine.

Silk is also notorious for not being colourfast, and that’s certainly the case here. I made the mistake of washing the set in the same basin as one of my cream-coloured Panache Clara bras when I was in a rush, and the Panache bra is now a shade darker than the matching thong. So be diligent about washing the Petra set separately or only with identical colours!

Studio Pia Petra silk bralette as outerwear with sheer Sister Jane blouse
Styling the Petra bralette as (sort of) outerwear.

Final thoughts

Lately, Studio Pia seems to be undergoing a major upheaval. I’ve read rumours that the brand is being taken in a new direction, I don’t know if that’s true but it has announced the end to a number of its most iconic collections including Soraya, Liana and the other entirely-silk satin range, Clea (which, by the way, is also perfect for mixing and matching with Petra).

As for Petra, all of the pieces currently on the site are heavily discounted, however I’ve not heard anything about this range leaving too. I hope it’s staying because I can totally see the appeal now – I’d love to add this to my collection in a few more colours! Either way, whether it’ll be coming out in new colours or not, now is definitely a great time to purchase.

As someone who may only recently have become a customer but has adored this brand since its very beginning, I’m very curious to see whatever’s coming next to replace those discontinued Studio Pia classics!

What do you think of Studio Pia’s all-silk Petra range compared to their embroidered collections? Are you a fan of this brand too?

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