Review: Gossard Retrolution

I fell in love with the Gossard ‘Retrolution’ range as soon as I saw the photos accompanying Retro Chick’s review earlier this year. My lingerie holy grail is something with a lot of coverage for my bottom (and good wide suspender straps where required), but with a more modern plunge style bra. Much as I love vintage-style bras, they just don’t look as good under clothes as a moulded plunge bra does when you’re a rather pear-shaped UK size 14-16! The deep plunge in the ‘Retrolution’ range was especially tempting, as my short body means that quite a few dresses and tops end up with more plunging necklines than they ought to – the extra-low V means that it wouldn’t show under my more daring frocks. So, when Debenhams offered to send me something to review, I jumped at the chance of trying something from this range.

As the plunge bra was no longer available in my size (32E), I went for the slip instead. This is basically a corselette, renamed for the 21st century. The panty girdle in this range has been renamed too – it’s a waist cincher – so I guess the old fashioned names just aren’t considered as appealing to the mass market as they are to vintage lingerie enthusiasts. Naming conventions aside, I have to admit that I rarely opt for a corselette because I’m always a bit anxious as to whether the fabric will stretch over my bottom. After all, how do Gossard know what size to make the rest of it when the slips all come with bra sizes?

When the slip arrived, I was very impressed by the fabrics used, the strong construction and attention to detail. The beautiful blush coloured stretch lace, satin and powermesh fabrics were as soft as they were sturdy, the thick bra straps were fully adjustable, the suspender straps were removable and wonderfully wide, plus all the rose gold coloured clips and hooks were a really lovely touch. The smaller cup sizes apparently come with removable pads for extra boost, but I’m guessing Gossard figured that an E cup doesn’t need that, as my slip simply had a light foam padding all over the cup, much like most moulded bras. Enough to prevent nipple show, but not enough for additional cleavage. From what I’ve read in other reviews though, this additional padding sometimes proves to give a bit too much oomph anyway.

Trying on a corselette is always a bit of a tricky process. In order for the bottom part to have enough control once in place, getting the thing over your head and the bra cups into place can be somewhat challenging. This isn’t too bad first thing in the morning, but is definitely not something to be attempted after a meal or when in a rush! Once you’ve wiggled your way into it though, you won’t want to escape. The tulip-shaped tummy panel gave me a surprisingly good level of control, considering how soft the fabrics feel, and the satin side and back panels are delightfully strokable. The fully adjustable straps meant that I could perfectly tweak the fit at the top but, for shorties like me (I’m 5′ 4″), the unadjustable suspender straps on corselettes and girdles will never be quite right. Thankfully I have a stash of short stockings to assist with this problem, but the suspenders on this slip are removable if you really can’t find any stockings that work well for you. The colour is a lovely vintage-style shade (the top photo is a more accurate representation), not unlike the classic ‘tea rose’ used in the 30s and 40s. It’s a great neutral shade that will probably work well under most clothing.

I tried the slip under both form fitting and plunge style dresses where it gave a really lovely silhouette. There was not even any bra-show when I bent over in my most plunging 50’s style dress, which was very pleasing indeed. If you want to treat yourself, I suggest you get in there quick as the Gossard ‘Retrolution’ slip is now in the Debenhams sale (reduced to £55.20) along with the waist cincher (now £32.00), and half-padded bra (now £28.80) from the same range.

DISCLOSURE: I was sent a Gossard ‘Retrolution’ slip, free to review by Debenhams.