Monday, June 18, 2007

Product Review: La Senza Itec Bra

AKA: The Magic Bra

Okay, so it's not lipstick or eyeshadow, but it's girly and necessary, so I'm posting about it. I'm talkin' bras, friends. (And any gentlemen friends out there, you can go right on ahead and skip the rest of this post, because you probably don't need or want to know the intimate details of my choices in underwear.)

I'm pretty fortunate in the bra department, because I am easy to please. I don't much support, and I fall in the range of standard store sizes. Basically, if it fits reasonably well, and looks decent and isn't crazy expensive, I'm there. If there's a bit of padding for bit of boost? Even better.

Lately though, my bras have been rebelling. I bought a new Jockey strapless that looked great on the hanger and in the change room. It's one of those with rubberized inside seams to help keep it up... it felt tight, but not extremely uncomfortable or anything. I even fell asleep in it. Well, apparently "tight" when you are awake translates to "OWWWW" after a night's sleep. I woke up to raised red welts where the wire from the bra dug into my skin. It was not good. It looked like I decided to experiment with some kinda kinky bedroom activity which went haywire. Just a bad scene in general.

Plenty of jojoba oil later, the welts subsided and I was ok. Until the other bras decided to act up. I don't know if the negative experience made me more sensitive or they just decided to declare mutiny or something, but all of a sudden, everything was pinching and poking. The underwire in the front would either pinch the area, or actually poke through and jab at my chest. Mmmmm... scars are totally hot!

So, when I walked past La Senza the other day and saw they were having a store-wide sale, I had to stop in. And I'm so glad I did, because their Itec bras, which usually sell for over $40, were on sale for $16.50!

If you haven't heard about the Itec bras, La Senza claims they're the most revolutionary bras ever, or some other such hyperbolized ad copy. It's made from a single piece of odd fabric (more on that later), and promises complete comfort and seamlessness. I tried their "Wireless" version, and bought 2 on the spot.

Ladies, this is the most comfortable bra that I have ever put on. It's light weight, moves with you, and avoids the dreaded quad-boob. The lack of underwire means that there's no uncomfortable jabbing -- you don't even get those temporary "bra marks" after a long day's wear. The edges are subtly scalloped, and the band across the back is wider than average. It's lightly padded (comes in more or less padded versions too) and looks natural under clothes. In fact, I wore one of my tightest, thinnest t-shirts over it the other day and you could barely see it. Under a normal shirt, it's pretty much invisible.

The fabric is odd if you've never encountered it before. It's like a microfiber that has been made into a very thin layer of foam. It reminds me a bit of the stuff they make wetsuits out of, only thinner. It's very soft, smooth, and comfortable, just slighly neoprene-y. At the same time, this makes the bra truly lightweight. Apparently, you are supposed to hand wash these, which is kind of a pain. But certainly less of a pain than having angry red marks on your chest from stupid bras with stupid underwires.

The sales associate had no idea why they were on sale (only some styles in the line were)... she hazarded that they might be introducing new colours and thus were phasing old ones out. (A new black and a new white? Er... okay) Maybe they're re-designing some of them, or putting in the Ipex line instead*. Whatever. All I know is that they're on sale, for an undetermined amount of time, and they're going fast. The La Senza website only has the orange colour left, although the physical store had more colours. Both the "unwired" and "lace pushup" varieties are on sale.

I am so in love with these. I feel like I could work out in them if I wanted to, they feel so nice. They do have wired versions, and apparently those are WAY more comfortable than your typical underwire bra. But it doesn't matter, because I've just decided that I am so done with wires, and need to go buy more of these, stat.

* If you've tried the Ipex line from Victoria's Secret, the concept is very similar. In fact, last year, VS sued La Senza over the similar naming and marketing of the bras. Not sure how that resolved, but it doesn't matter as they've now actually acquired La Senza in a friendly takeover. (In fact, you may have seen some of the VS cosmetics being carried by La Senza as of late.) I haven't tried Ipex, so I can't say how they compare, but people on random message boards report that the La Senza Itec looks better and is cheaper, so take that for what you will.

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At 9:42 a.m., Blogger Kat said...

I bought an ITEC a while ago and the girl who I bought if from went on and on and on and on about how great the bras were. I must say, I HATE HATE HATE it. I rarely wear it. Maybe it is because I got the underwire version? I find that the bra is so stiff and it feels like its own entity. It drives me insane. Maybe I will have better luck with the one without wires in it or something. I love their everyday bra or whatever it is called? It is super soft and feels like you are wearing nothing.
Maybe I just can't stand the ITEC because I am just too hard to please when it comes to bras? For a petite person I am quite chesty so it makes for difficult bra and bathing suit shopping. I went and got fitted at a fancy shop once and they told me I was a 32E, I almost cried! So maybe thats the root of all my problems? I am just too traumitized to shop for bras! How can one be a 32E on top and an XS on the bottom, oye! That makes me sound SO top heavy, but I assure you I don't look oddly heavy haha.

At 4:40 p.m., Blogger The Glitterati said...

Oh lawdy, 32E?! I sympathise! My friend's ex girlfriend was in a similar predicament -- she was busty to begin with, but then got some medical condition which restricted a lot of the foods she could eat. She lost a lot of weight, and had to go buy new bras. None fit, so she went to some fancy custom place, and found a great one, then happily went home.

When she got home, she finally looked at the tag on the bra: 32F! I think she did cry that night. On the other hand, she gets a lot more modelling jobs now.

Anyway, maybe my Itec review should come with a caveat that it's only relevant for small-chested ladies? I am quite the opposite in the size dept, so there's not much movement up there to begin with. I don't know that the underwire would make that much of a difference, but maybe if there's more ... er, bounce... the fabric feels a lot stiffer?

Oh, by the by, if you ever do decide to go the custom bra route, I might know of a place. Some dancer friends SWORE by this store... one did a demo by jumping around crazily in her bodysuit, and things looked truly supported and non-moving up top. It was a pricey bra, but it could be used for everything from working out, to wearing under nice tops, to converting to a nursing bra. I can't remember the name of the store, but I can find out, just holla! :)

At 10:35 p.m., Blogger TheBeautyBrains said...

Great post! I can totally sympathize with your bra issues.

And by the way, we miss you over at The Beauty Brains. The Left Brain and I were talking the other day about how helpful you were to us when we were just getting started.

Hope everything is good on your end, keep up the great work!
Right Brain

At 2:10 p.m., Blogger The Glitterati said...

Hi Right Brain! Thanks for the nice comments, rest assured that I'm still reading along, filling out your science BS polls, and continuing to be shocked by the zany inventions that people actually buy! I'll be sure to leave a comment next time to say hi! :)

At 1:05 p.m., Anonymous kay_nez said...

hi.i am doing a product study on the itec bra an i was wondering if it wud b ok if i used some of your comments in my project to back up some of my opinions lol :) xxxx

At 1:48 p.m., Blogger The Glitterati said...

Hi Kay_Nez, thanks for stopping by! You're welcome to use my comments; keep in mind that I'm no bra expert, just a regular consumer! :) Good luck with the project!

At 2:00 p.m., Anonymous kay_nez said...

thanks tres muchly :D i found ur website by accident n i think its fab!xxx

At 1:03 a.m., Anonymous Samantha said...

I completely identify with the "raised red welts", lol! Though its not funny when you actually get them!

At 6:55 a.m., Blogger Cristina said...

I bought an ITEC yesterday, also on sale...although the purple one was 50 bucks, some other colors were on sale... but I love it. I never actually find bras at LaSenza so I'm pretty psyched. :D
Great Review though

At 5:08 p.m., Blogger da ritz said...


I love the Itec bra, I am a 36 D and I find the amount of support is great for my back. I should mention a few things though, cuz they have a foam in them they tend to keep the memory of any creases, over time if you can keep the bra in good shape beyond 9 months the creases may go away from your body heat. The bras do soften over time. I tend to not follow the directions so I have actually gone through 2 beige bras already and am on my third. My last beige one stretched out twice as much as the previous one, but both feel apart in the wash. It is actually about 3 or four layers to the bra. Great fit and usually great shape. I find the cup shape changes with shipment. I went from torpedoes to squished together and up but in a flatter way...the bras do stretch with regular use...

At 4:40 p.m., Blogger IamAlly said...

I recently bought the LaSenza ITEC Strapless Shiny Bra from and it is the most incredible bra that I have ever worn! It's "Sexy", "Beautiful", "Comfortable" and most of all it is supportive of my breasts and gives me that added "Boost" that I have been seeking!

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