First up is the first bralette I tried. The cups were too small and folded at the bottom. My boobs were creeping into the band-space. It was very comfortable but provided minimal shaping and support. It's hard to see in the photos but you can see the lack of shape in the front shot and the quadboob in the angle.
I had a lot of issues tonight taking photos for some reason, so I might try to take more tomorrow when there is daylight. Here's the second bralette and the one I ultimately bought. All these photos are taken pre-band shortening, but I found that that just made the bralette fit even better.
No idea why the lighting is so bad. Here you can see the gentle shaping the bra gives. It's east-westy but still lifted and round. The gore is super wide but oddly enough that doesn't really cause a problem.
I keep forgetting that this is a bralette. I mean, the shape and support is gentler then my bras but I still get a phenomenal shape from it. The top layer is shifty-you can slide it around to best suit you like I had to. I wish I could do the straps tighter because they are rather stretchy but then I get quad. They aren't that bad at the length they are though and definitely still wearable.
I love the look the two layers give and how it hints at being sheer and naughty but still manages to hide my nipples. This bralette is very armpit friendly. The wings are low and the straps are close set. There is the boning on the side as I mentioned but as of my brief try ons it wasn't too noticeable.
Have I mentioned how much I love this shape? The edges have some sort of binding on them that might dig in and cause quad. It happened to me but I was able to scooch things around. For this reason, I do not recommend this bra to any one who is very full on top. The cups are narrow and deep which is perfect for me.
The material the band is made up of is very very stretchy. I already took it in using the Skeptical Bra Blog's tutorial and when I get around to it I plan to reinforce my handsewing with machine sewing. This band originally stretched to 35.5 inches: it now stretches to 30.5. Originally the bralette felt very shifty and insecure down near the bottom/outside of the wires but now it feels so much better and more secure after the alteration. There was no significant/noticeable effect on the cup fit but the straps are now closer together in the back so I need to angle them farther in on the front which works fine for me. I also stupidly snipped the mesh while trying to cut those tags out so hopefully my repair holds well.
So this is how my boobs normally look in a bra. I wear almost exclusively Ewa Michalak so I have prominent, in your face boobage 99% of the time.
The bralette, on the other hand, provides a softer less pronounced fit. It's still round but more out to the sides and minimized from the side. It almost hides under my tanks too-better then Ewa's do anyway.
Cup construction-two layers, triangle shaped with a single seam.
I am so pleased with this bralette and I'm glad I was able to get it to work for me! I wish that Forever 21 carried it in other colours because I would so buy them all. Now that I now some bralettes/sml sized items work for me I won't be scared off next time. I hope this holds up to wear and wash: the quality is expected for the price ($15) so I'll be treating this gently.