BRA REVIEW: Va Bien Ultra Lift Convertible Bra
I couldn’t wait to try the Va Bien Ultra Lift convertible bra. I’ve been looking for a strapless that doesn’t have quite as much coverage as my trusty Fantasie, which always seems to peep out the top of strapless dresses. The Ultra Lift has awesome sounding “droop-proof” technology, described on the Va Bien website as “Three Magic Fingers molded between thin layers of foam, giving you revolutionary support with comfort where you need it.” Hats off to Va Bien for creating a super interesting entry in the DD+ strapless market–we don’t have too many options out there right now!
So, would all that technology really do the job?
This being my first Va Bien bra, I started with a 32H and a 32I based on the brand comparison chart at Herroom.com. The I cup looked like it would be comparable to the Freya G cup, but I threw in an H for good measure after reading some sites’ fit tips saying the cup ran big. The bra comes in sizes 32C-I, 34B-I, 36B-I, 38B-H, 40B-G, 42B-F, 44B-E, and 46B-D in nude and black and can be worn strapless, halter, crisscross or regular style.
When I pulled this out of the box, I noticed the lift of the bra right away. Instead of the more rounded shape of my Fantasie, the cup of the Va Bien sits at a much more pronounced angle and comes to a point 3/4 of the way up the cup. It really does look like a feat of engineering:
From the underside of the bra you can see the grippy elastic band along both the bottom and top of the band. The band fit extremely snug on the last set of hooks and didn’t move a millimeter while I bounced around in it. You are really strapped down in this bra. Since the 32 back fit so tightly for my 30.5″ ribcage, I think this band runs on the small side even taking into consideration the tight fit you need for a strapless:
The noticeable white shiny spots aren’t a result of the flash; that’s where the three “Magic Fingers” all point to. The cup has just a hint of indentation there — it looked like where you should be placing your nipples in the bra:
When you press on the cups you can feel the “fingers,” which are very thin but firm. I didn’t feel them when I put the bra on, though. Here’s where each of the 3 are located:
The Va Bien cups look much larger than my Fantasie. When I unwrapped this I actually thought I’d ordered too big!:
Especially when you compare them on top of each other:
Despite appearances, the cups were way too small for me! The Ultra Lift technology actually worked TOO well in my case, pushing my breasts up out of the cup: about 1/3 of my breasts spilled out over the top, with the cup cutting into the tissue on both the top and the side of my breasts to give me a nasty case of quadra-boob. At the same time, my breasts didn’t totally fill out the bottom of the cup because the tissue was pushed up so dramatically.
Curious to see if I could get a better cup fit, I decided to order a size 34H and 34I (which theoretically should be a bigger cup than the 32I). Sadly, I still experienced the same fitting issues even with the cups on the 34I.
As much as I hoped it would, this bra doesn’t work for me. I think the Ultra Lift gives too much lift for my fuller-on-top breast tissue. In my perfect world, the top of the cup would have a more open contour to give room for all that tissue the bra’s just pushed up so nicely. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem anywhere for it to go except right out the top!
I do think if your breast tissue is fuller on the bottom, or you like the fit of molded cup bras like the Freya Deco, this will probably fit much differently and you may fare better than I did.
While the quality of this bra is excellent, the fit is small in band and cup. Sizing is tricky, and the style is not going to work for everyone. The band is comfortable for a strapless and stays in place. Try this on in person if you can!