Despite the difficulties this year has brought to the fashion industry as a whole, it's been an exciting time for lingerie. Several new brands have caught my attention this year. Brands that are continuing to produce new and innovative designs despite the economic uncertainties of the moment. I learnt of new Italian luxury lingerie brand Elena Di Cuori at the beginning of the year and was immediately smitten with their bespoke embroidery and elegant designs. The brand was kind enough to offer me a discount on my first purchase with them and let me tell you I spent a long time deciding which set to buy!
The two sets that caught my eye were the Anastasia set and the Irina set. The former for the simple elegance that makes it ideal as everyday pieces and the latter for my love of halter neck bras and the versatility they possess. Ultimately I decided to add the Irina set to my collection.
The Irina bra is a halter neck style that fastens with a hook and eye to the band and a love heart clasp at the neck. The style particularly caught my eye as it is the only halter neck the brand offers that is open at the chest. The scalloped edging of each cup is a wonderful detail that allows this style to work really well with outerwear. The rest of the edges of the bra are bound in silk for a lovely soft finish. In a welcome change, all of the hardware used on this piece is silver. While I love the look of gold hardware I wear far more silver jewellery so silver hardware is a thumbs up in my book. The matching Irina Slip, as named on the website, is a Brazilian cut brief which frames the bum nicely. The gusset is completely closed and lined with cotton. At the front, the brief features an asymmetric design with one side finished with the scalloped edge and the other bound in silk. The leg edges are also bound in silk while the back of the brief features the scalloped edging again.
The brand's current size offering is on the narrow side with bras available in 3 / 5 different sizes, based on band size, and bottoms and suspenders available in 5 different sizes. While this can seem like a very small size range it can be extremely difficult for small brands to offer the size ranges larger, high street brands do when not knowing the demand for their product in different sizes. If you're currently sized out of the brand I'd definitely recommend keeping your eye on them as they grow to see if they add new sizes. The sizes are first and foremost in Italian, but the brand does break down what EU and UK size this translates to if you are unsure. If you require any sizing help, the brand themselves are helpful and can provide recommendations based on your measurements. I ordered size IT 2 in the Irina bra on their recommendation after I reached out unsure of which size to buy. Currently, I wear a size 30DD bra and find the size 2 is wearable fit. While I could ideally do with slightly bigger wires to fit the full root of my breast, the cup depth works very well. There is no spillage in the centre of the bra and the neck edge does not dig in at all. I do however find the band of the size 2 to be much too big. I had expected this as the brand states the size fits a UK34, two band sizes larger than I would usually wear. As this set is one I would reserve for special occasions, date nights etc., the band does not bother me hugely as I have found it be perfectly comfortable to wear for a few hours at a time. For the matching bottoms, I initially ordered a size IT 2 (UK 12) based on the model images featured on the website. When they arrived I found them to be slightly on the larger side, particularly in the gusset area. During this try on the size and composition label also fell off (I will touch on this later!) I mentioned this to the brand and they were kind enough to send me a size IT 1 (UK 10) knicker free of charge, which is a much better fit for me. I feel more secure and comfortable in a smaller size, especially for extended wear. For reference, I currently wear a UK 6/8 on the bottom.
For a new brand, and at the price point they are selling at, I am incredibly impressed with the quality of all the pieces I received. The embroidery used on both the bra and the knicker is very well made, each motif is perfectly uniform with virtually no stray threads. The case is much the same in the construction of both pieces. The stitches are beautifully uniform and neatly applied, with very few untrimmed threads. As previously mentioned, the tags fell out of one of the briefs when I tried the piece on. This is due to the brand currently hand stitching these labels to each garment. For those of you who prefer to remove branded labels from your lingerie, this is perfect as they are easily removable without damaging the rest of the garment. Personally, I like to keep the labels intact as so to remember the sizing of the pieces I have ordered. Currently, I have only washed the briefs once but they are holding up very well. As always I only wash my high-end lingerie by hand in luke-warm water and with delicate washing detergent before allowing them to air dry flat.
One of the main reasons I chose the Irina set was the bras potential for outerwear looks. Halter style bras are some of my favourites for incorporating into looks as they can provide subtle accents or act as the star of the show. Due to the sheer nature of this design, it will be more suited to subtle accents and will work perfectly worn underneath a suit jacket or crisp shirt to add an extra dimension. If you're interested in seeing this piece styled head over to my Instagram where I'll be posting a few different looks with this bra over the next few weeks.
All in all, I am extremely happy with my purchase from Elena Di Cuori and I can definitely see myself returning in the future to make further purchases. I am intrigued to see where the brand will take it's designs next and if new embroideries will be introduced. I'm already in love with their new release for their Ginevra bodysuit in bright red, and would love to see more of their current designs in different colour variations!