CHARNOS LINGERIE | The Everyday Luxury of Zara
So I’m a perfectionist. If it isn’t ‘just right’ it isn’t good enough, and that applies whether I’m painting my nails, hanging out the washing or securing a symmetrical nappy. And I’m just as anal about my lingerie – if the fit isn’t spot on, it’s out of here.
A knock on effect of my bra fit perfectionism means I don’t have an awful lot of wearable bras. I have many bras, just few I’d consider a ‘go-to’ bra with decent enough fit. Either I’m getting older (and grumpier) or my body has developed lingerie aversion, refusing to get along with any underwire or woven mesh that goes near it. My perfectionism has led me to impatience; I want the best, I want it all, and I want it yesterday. And these days few can make the mark.
Charnos is a long standing brand known for traditional quality. It’s a brand of lingerie I’ve worn occasionally (their Cocoon thermals a lot), because I know that whilst they’re not the trendiest, you can generally expect a decent fit. Sometimes what works is in the finer detail.
Charnos’ Zara was a collection I initially overlooked as I tend to gravitate toward more colourful designs. But when I figured a good staple white set would actually be worth looking into, I realised Zara offered much of what appeals to me. It’s delicate but structured, with strong emphasis on modern fabrication and a minimal centre front.
[ Charnos sent me the Zara balcony bra (32GG / RRP £30) and the matching short (14 / RRP £14), in Ivory ]
Zara is a totally wearable style that boasts exceptional fit and a heavy dose of pretty detailing. The soft handle fabric sees luscious lace and a diamond patterned mesh combine to create a flirty and feminine look that’s thoroughly modern. In a balcony style with unpadded, wired cups, fully adjustable broad shoulder straps for maximum comfort and a solid three hook extender, Zara offers everyday reliability that looks and feels that little bit special.
The most noticeable design feature of Zara is the contoured centre front, which maintains a fluid shape around your ribcage, ensuring the most comfortable fit. Since becoming a little, let’s say, fleshier around my middle, I’ve found some bras with the elastic running across the front can dig in. Zara thankfully doesn’t. Instead, the slim front band softly wraps around your curves, ensuring the wiring stays in it’s rightful place and you get a good, reliable foundation.
While Zara’s sizing excludes 30 bands (unlike Suzette, Superfit and Sienna that do cater for the smaller framed) it still offers a broad range through bands 32-42 and cup sizes C-J, making it one of the most inclusive collections for the fuller busted.
On this occasion, where I often plump for 30 bands, I’ve found a 32 band just right; the 32GG size is snug enough in the band so to give me that firm hold, and together with the GG cup gives me just the right capacity for it to fit well.
The only thought I’ve had is the wonder if my first choice of a 30 band existed, would the 30H (the 32GG is it’s sister size) fit me even better? Sometimes I feel like the 32 is possibly a little too broad, as the straps can sit wide apart on my shoulders, and the bra cup subsequently too close to the curve of my armpit. The 32GG is comfortably wearable, but this is a genuine niggle.
The co-ordinating short style knickers are too beautiful to brand ‘everyday’. They’re completely gorgeous, and when paired as the set, really make Zara such a stand out lingerie design.
Again featuring that modern, textured mesh as the main body of the brief, it’s the flurry of soft lace, raw cut with a seam-free edge, that intensifies the femininity of the style. The cut – sitting low on the hip – is ultra wearable while maintaining a feel of luxury.
The size 16 is far too big for me, so I overshot on that one. My figure seems to be continually changing; one minute I need a 16, the next it’s back to a 14. But Zara’s sizing is especially generous, so I’d recommend going with the size smaller if you’re stuck between sizes. I can tell though, that the fabric feels amazing. It’s a beautiful mix of ultra comfy and a little bit sexy, because the lace really is stunning. It doesn’t look cheap like some laces can, and it’s so soft against the skin – it’s quite delicious!
I’ve been wearing my Charnos Zara bra for quite some time now. In fact, it became my summer go-to bra because it feels so breathable and as natural as you can get while wearing underwear. It’s lovely and light, and my boobs don’t stick together in a sweaty mess (sorry, but saying how it is). I may not attract so readily to neutral colours but ivory Zara has become my perfect, easy to wear essential.
What does your everyday favourite look like?