Launched in 2005 by Lorraine Morton, Miss Mandalay is a brand geared towards providing fashionable and directional lingerie and swimwear for fuller busted ladies:
"I've always been told how lucky I am to have been naturally blessed with a larger than average bosom (to be precise I'm a 30F). But as every woman with big boobs knows, it's virtually impossible to find a stylish, glamorous bra in your size. The lack of choice means we're left to buy another 'everyday bra' or an ill-fitting bra in a larger cup size; the kind of thing that the big brands offer as 'token' sizes in their usual B-D cup size range.
Miss Mandalay offers a lingerie solution to every big boobed woman who is fed up with walking out of a lingerie boutique after been told that every luxury bra they stock doesn't come any bigger than a D cup"
-Lorraine Morton (www.missmandalay.com)
With a focus on great fit and high quality, as well as on-trend designs, it is no surprise that Miss Mandalay has garnered a lot of media attention. This year, Miss Mandalay made the finalists of 'Full Bust Brand of the Year' in the prestigious UK Lingerie Awards and X Factor Judge, Tulisa Contostavlos, caused waves of excitement about the brand, after being papped on her Spanish vacation in the 'Harbour' bikini (below)!
(Picture credit: www.celebspress.info)
Miss Mandalay have a great range of sizes, from 28 D-G and 30-38 B-GG. As a 28FF, I was particularly excited, as they are one of the few lingerie and swimwear brands that cater for smaller back sizes and bigger cup sizes!
When I was last in Bravissimo, I tried on two Miss Mandalay bikinis: the 'Electric Zebra bikini' and the 'Mariposa bikini' (below):
I really loved the eye-catching 'Electric Zebra' bikini, but sadly only a 28F was available, which was much too small in the cups for me. I tried the 'Mariposa' bikini on in a 28G, which fit ok, but the wide-set shape of the cups did nothing at all for me and the bikini flattened my bust, giving zero cleavage!
Although my first experience of Miss Mandalay left me a little luke-warm, I did not lose heart. I decided that the best option would be to have a look online for a Miss Mandalay bikini in a 28FF. It was during this search that I came across the gorgeous 'Boudoir Beach' underwired halterneck bikini on Large Cup Lingerie:
(Miss Mandalay 'Boudoir Beach' Underwired Halter Bikini Top, £45)
The 'Boudoir Beach' bikini is one of Miss Mandalay's best-sellers and has been brought out in a variety of shades; from red to 'python' brown to 'moss' green to 'ice' white. The white version particularly grabbed me, with its 'Bond girl'-esque gold buckle detailing! The bikini top comes with the option of tie-side bikini briefs (£24) or bikini shorts (£26), available in sizes XS-L. I am a big fan of bikini briefs and especially love the sexiness of tie-side styles, which help to elongate your legs!
Large Cup Lingerie very kindly sent me the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini top in a 28FF and the briefs in a size S (UK: 10) to try...
Much to my excitement, I received the Miss Mandalay bikini very quickly and it arrived beautifully wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper.
As you can see from the photograph, the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini is a simple, but classic design that will look good on just about anyone! The plunge style bikini top really draws emphasis to your best assets and it is exciting to see a fuller cup brand tackle pool-side glamour, whilst still offering great support!
The 28FF fit me well and gave a much better shape than the 'Mariposa' bikini that I tried a while back. It is worth mentioning that the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini gives quite a subtle shape from side-on. Compared to my Freya bikinis, such as the 'Cabaret', the 'Boudoir Beach' gives a slightly less rounded and uplifted shape, perhaps due to the seam running down the centre of the cups, which may slightly flatten the breasts. The Miss Mandalay 'Aruba' halterneck bikini is also comparable in shape, as you can see in the pictures below:
The 'Boudoir Beach' features a clasp back fastening, to ensure that you feel secure and supported and the halterneck can be tied as tight or loose as you wish. The gold buckles are also heat resistant, for maximum comfort under the sun! If I were to change anything about the style, I would perhaps have preferred the 'Boudoir Beach' to be a regular strap bikini, as sometimes halternecks can get a bit sore on the neck after prolonged wear. All in all, however, it felt very comfortable and soft against the skin.
The matching tie-side briefs were also very flattering, with its gold buckles and tie sides. The tie sides make these bikini briefs quite versatile, as they can either be knotted and left to drape down the legs or be tied in bows! The cut of the 'Boudoir Beach' briefs is slightly more skimpy (e.g. compared to the Freya 'Cabaret' tie-side briefs), so it may not be the preferred option for those who want a little more coverage. I, personally, think that they are very sexy, but Miss Mandalay also offer the great alternative of matching bikini shorts.
(Back view of the Miss Mandalay, 'Boudoir Beach' tie-side briefs)
I have heard quite a few people say that Miss Mandalay bikinis run smaller in the back band in comparison to other brands and this definitely rings true for the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini. The 'Boudoir Beach' is noticeably tighter than my Freya bikinis in 28 backs - ideal for curvy girls that are towards the smaller end of a 28 back! I really loved the firmer back of the 'Boudoir Beach' and this is a real benefit to its longevity, as the fabric will not lose its firmness as quickly.
To round off, I think that the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini is a chic and quality offering from Miss Mandalay, which showcases the brand's passion for great support, coupled with fashion-conscious, but classic designs. As one of Miss Mandalay's best-sellers, the 'Boudoir Beach' will continue to be brought out in different colour variations - the brand has already hinted on their facebook page that some new colours are in the pipeline!
In the meantime, I have got my eye on some of Miss Mandalay's gorgeous lingerie collection, which I would love to review in the near future. The 'Paris' underwired balcony bra in pink is one of the beauties on my wish list: