About convertible bras, clear straps, shopping from Debenhams, and a review of the Debenhams Five Way bra.
I ordered the Debenhams Cream Five Way Convertible Bra out of sheer curiosity, wondering whether it will offer a solution for plunging necklines and backless pieces that I collect but don't wear. I was ordering a couple of items from Debenhams and I decided to throw this bra in as well and see if it works for me.
The Debenhams Cream Five Way Convertible bra comes in nude and black, I got the nude one is 30DD for 21,20€. The bra comes with normal and clear straps, and a clear band and low-back band.
Here are the ways that the bra can be worn:
Whether this bra is useful depends on your opinion of clear silicone bra straps. Personally I find them tacky, because to my eye they are very obvious. However this is just my personal opinion, so feel free to like the look of clear straps.
The Debenhams Cream Five Way Convertible bra doesn't have a full band, just a small piece with hook eyes on both ends. To this you attach either the clear band, or the convertible low-back band.
Both bands are meant for backless dresses. The convertible band is meant to be wrapped around the torso twice, it stays hidden when worn under backless tops and dresses. The convertible band also has loops for the bra straps. It worked quite well for me even though it could be a bit snugger, offering moderate support (enough to feel comfortable, not enough to jump around in). A problem is that it creates flesh rolls around the tummy if you have fat in that area. If you're planning on wearing snug clothes I'd suggest layering some kind of shapewear over it to smooth things out.
The clear band is visible under a low back, but more discreet than a normal band would be (especially with the ugly closure). However it is way too loose to offer any support. The 30 band I had was more like a 34. Other than that it looks ok, and doesn't draw too much attention to itself.
The cups are connected in the front with a small clear piece of band, which is much sturdier than the silicone shoulder straps and will hopefully last a longer time. However it also spaces the cups a bit wide apart, which could be an issue if your breasts are close together. The cups could be lower-coverage in my opinion, because the way things are you can only wear narrower V-necks with this bra.
Now on to the generals: the cups are made of thin, stiff foam. The underwires are very soft and bendy, so if the band were tighter it would pull the underwires more open (wider). This would distort the fit of the cups and make them shallower.
Underwire length 21cm, width 13,5cm.
The shoulder straps are narrow, and adjustable on the whole length. The convertible low-back band is made of a nicely soft fabric.
My verdict:I ended up returning this bra as the band is much too loose for me. If it were the right size I'd probably still return it, as I do not like the look of clear straps and band. I will definitely be buying just a low-back convertible band and wearing it with my other bras.
Should you get a convertible bra?Almost all of the ways the Debenhams Cream Five Way Convertible bra can be worn can be done with a strapless bra (that you probably already own), if you buy clear straps and a convertible low-back band. The only thing that your strapless cannot mimic is the clear band. However if you do want to try out the Debenhams Cream Five Way Convertible, I'd definitely recommend going up two band sizes (don't forget to go up two cup sizes, as cup size is proportional to band size).
Review: Shopping at DebenhamsI wanted to mention Debenhams: I have bought several items from the site and am very satisfied with the service. The international shipping charges are reasonable, and returns are for free. Payment via Paypal is possible, and when I returned some items my money was refunded quickly. I shopped through their German website, but the items are shipped from the UK and took around 1-2 weeks to arrive to Germany. My only complaint is that the offer on the German site is much smaller than that on the UK site (of course I could also buy from the UK site, but only some of the products have international shipping).
Stay tuned for a the reviews I've got lined up,including the Freya Deco and it's rival Affinitas Jeanie; the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless, and more!
Do you own some kind of a convertible bra or a low-back convertible band? Would you recommend it? Also, has anyone recommend a good adhesive bra?