Handmade by Elma

Handmade by Elma takes second place for my favorite brand ever– aesthetically pleasing, modern, classic designs often with an unexpected twist– those are just some of the reasons why I’ve admired the brand since its infancy stages on Etsy.

So when Elma had a sale, I was there. I’ve been sitting on this review for a while because I’ve been kind of reluctant to publish it, but here it goes. This is going to be a long one, folks.

My pieces, the Odile bra in green, the matching panty, and the Y-backed bralette in black, arrived in good time after she’d shipped them. I had to wait a bit longer to get them than stated on the website just because Elma was waiting for an elastic shipment. I really appreciated her updating me on why the items were taking a bit longer than normal, so I didn’t mind the wait at all.

The items, as promised, were beautiful and luxurious, but then I noticed as I was trying on my green Odile bra that there was a big ol’ hole in the center panel right by the seam. Alarmed, I sent an email to Elma letting her know what I’d found. It couldn’t have been from me, as I’d only just tried the bra on, and I’m certain that Elma wouldn’t have let the bra leave her studio had she known there was a hole in it, so it either happened in transit or she didn’t notice it.

She was so nice about the hole and offered me the option to either have her repair it or to accept another form of compensation (a percentage off my next purchase), and I chose the latter because I didn’t want the hassle of having to ship it back and I certainly didn’t want to bother her as I’m sure she’s a very busy woman.

odle bra hole

Now, I’ve yet to repair the hole because I keep forgetting to buy the right color thread. As soon as I do, though, I’ll fix it up.

I haven’t worn it much because I didn’t want the hole to get any bigger– only what was necessary in order to be able to properly review the fit.

However, before I do that, I just want to bring mention to the fact that the bra is actually a much different color than what’s online.

This is what the product photo looked like:

odile braIt’s advertised as a “Hunter Green”. In person, it looks more like grass green and I don’t like it at all. The biggest difference was the straps.  (Side note: my photographer and I had the hardest time trying to capture the green of the bra after we noticed that the photos she took that the bra looks hunter green, so please refer to the following 2 photos for accurate color representation and not the following review photos). I really liked the pictured color, and now that I’ve seen what it actually looks like I think I would have opted for the teal Odile bra– or neither.

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The construction of the bra is beautiful otherwise. It’s got boning and double straps, and is expertly sewn. It fits well, comes up a bit high on my chest, but that’s how it’s supposed to fit and I didn’t mind that. With the exception of the hole, it’s a great piece.DSC_0215

The panties, however, are a different story.

The same green as the bra and just as delicate, I managed to punch a hole through them with my thumb while I was sliding into them. I hadn’t realized how delicate the set was, despite Elma warning me that the lace was “prone to tearing”.

So now I have two holes to repair.

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The fit was very good. I ordered a Medium, which is usually too big for me. However, Elma is a petites label, so the Medium was spot-on– I really like the low rise on the panties.

Now, my second time wearing them, I noticed a problem with the way the elastic connects:

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As you can see, the elastic is barely touching the other end, and when you pull on it it gets even worse. I fear that they’re going to rip soon, so I’ve stopped wearing them because the last thing I need is to be walking around one day and then feel the threads holding the elastic to the other end suddenly give.

Overall I’m very disappointed with the Odile set. I’d had very high hopes and really wanted to love the pieces, but with all things considered I kind of wish I hadn’t bought them. 

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I also feel like the hook and eye closure should be dyed to match the rest of the bra, considering the price.

The Y-backed bralette, on the other hand, I had a completely different experience with. When I first contacted Elma about it, she advised me that the Y-bralette is meant for petite busts and might not have the support I’m looking for in a bra. I really appreciated her honesty, because it could have been very easy for her to just sell me on it instead, so I think that says a lot about her integrity as a businesswoman.

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But I love front clasps and really had my heart set on it, so she agreed to make it to support my 30DD bust.

And it fits wonderfully. Absolutely no support, but you know what? That’s okay, because on those days when you just want a cute barely-there bralette peeking out of your shirt, now I have one. It’s exactly what I was looking for, and the fact that it’s handmade and silk makes it that much better. I’d definitely recommend this bra to smaller busts. It’s soft and feminine and the gold hardware is so pretty with the black. I love it and I’m so pleased that I ordered it. It embodies everything the brand represents, so I’m super happy to have it and I think I’ll be ordering more– did I mention that I love front closures?

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The best part is that it isn’t too wide in the front. I’d hate another Alexina disaster, so I’m so glad this one fits perfectly.

Overall I had a very mixed experience with Handmade by Elma. I could do without the Odile set, but boy am I glad that I ordered the Y-back bra, because if I had just bought the Odile set on its own, it might have discouraged me from buying from Elma again.

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Despite being very disappointed with the green set, I still love her brand and think she’s an extremely talented designer, and will likely continue to buy from her (mind you, with caution– and certainly no more green pieces!)

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Let me know down below if you’ve tried Handmade by Elma!

Until next time,

AFILAL

2 thoughts on “Handmade by Elma

  1. Hmm, I almost hate to say it, but this is a great review. I appreciate that you’re reviewing it honestly! It must not be easy to give a negative review, especially when it’s not a faceless big brand. That bra certainly doesn’t appear to be hunter green. And even though lace is delicate, you still have to choose one capable of standing up to gentle, mindful wear at the least. It unfortunately sounds like there were quite a few issues with that set. I’m sorry it turned out that way!

    1. Thank you!! It was hard to post because I was in contact with her quite a few times and she was so nice, but I my readers deserve my honest opinion. I agree about the lace. Pretty lingerie is great but practicality needs to be taken into consideration in the design process. Thank you for your comment xx

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