Alala’s been coming in hot with lots of product drops for their new spring collection, but I’ve been pacing myself and trying not to get too carried away too fast. From looking at their new season lookbook, there were quite a few things I loved, so I wanted to take it slow to be sure I had enough in the budget leftover for releases late in the season instead of blowing it all upfront. So to start off, I bought the crossback bra and everyday cardigan. That said, now that a big chunk of spring has landed and I’ve narrowed down my wishlist, I can start working my way through some more reviews in the next few weeks.
The in a snap bra that came out last season ended up being one of my favorite styles, so I decided to try out the crossback bra this time, since it’s a similar look. I like that there’s an overlay of fabric that makes the color underneath just barely peek through. It’s a nice pop of color without jarring colorblocking.
The first thing I noticed is that despite it’s high coverage, this bra has pretty low support. The band is the same as the in a snap bra–it’s exposed elastic that isn’t as supportive versus a reinforced, covered elastic like you’d find on the zip it up bra.
The fit is pretty true to size. Mine is my usual XS. I think this size would fit up to a 32 band.
I investigated why this one is lower support than my other Alala bras. The main thing I noticed is that the in a snap bra (or other bras from Alala’s lineup) has three layers of fabric: two layers of their usual bra fabric plus a layer of mesh sandwiched between. The crossback br, on the other hand, has two layers: only one layer of their usual bra fabric plus the overlaid perforated fabric. The overlay fabric is quite stretchy and therefore isn’t as supportive as an additional layer of the usual bra fabric. Basically, don’t expect a heavy duty bra from this style.
The back straps are set wide and will lay on your shoulder blades. They are set wide enough for me that my shoulder blades can still move freely, rather than “catch” on the inside edge of my shoulder blade.
Another difference I noted on the crossback bra is that the neck is higher. You can see in this photo of the snap bra that it scoops just below my collarbones. But, as you can see in these crossback bra pics, this one comes over my collarbones, about 0.5-1″ higher. I prefer the slightly more relaxed cut of the snap bra’s high neck, but the crossback’s neck doesn’t bother me too much.
Overall, a really cute bra, but a little bit less practical and a little bit less perfect than my hallowed snap bra. If the support increased and the neck relaxed just slightly, it’d be amazing. Still, cute enough for me to keep.
I always need more cardigans to wear to work since I’m always cold, and this one seemed like a potentially nice option for the spring and summer.
The drape falls nicely in front with a slight waterfall effect from the longer front edge. There’s no closure in the front, it just drapes open. There are also no pockets on this one. You do get thumbholes though, plus mesh accents on both the sleeves and the hem. The sleeve accents are double-sided so that the outermost edge is folded over, while the mesh at the hem is a single-layered raw edge.
Like most Alala styles, the sleeves are fitted. Because the fabric is fuzzy on the inside, it clings to other sleeves. That plus the tighter fit of the sleeves makes it hard to layer over your long sleeves. I prefer to wear mine over bare arms or short sleeved tops since I’d rather not fight with getting the sleeves on. As for sizing, a draped fit is easy to get right, so if you order your usual size you should be good to go. (Mine is an XS, which is my usual size in Alala.)
The fabric is a sweater knit that’s incredibly soft and comfortable. The outside is smooth, while the inside is a brushed, fuzzy texture. It’s a medium light weight that’s not as thin as some summer knits, but definitely not a thick winter weight either. I love the feel of the fabric. Also, like most sweater knits, you’ll notice this doesn’t repel dog hair. Quite the opposite in fact. (Story of my life.)
One important note: I strongly recommend washing this cardigan before you wear it. The fuzzy inner fabric transferred color to my lower arms, so after wearing this all day, my arms had actually darkened slightly. It looked kinda gross, and I had to scrub to get it off. Fortunately, I was wearing it on top of a black dress, otherwise it probably could’ve stained my clothes.
So, on that note, be sure the first few washings are with other black/dark clothes to avoid dye transfer. Granted, it’s a good practice to wash anything before you wear it, but I admit I am less than perfect there. But at least now I can give you a heads up! ;)
Shop this review
Also wearing: fast track pants
AA reader deal: get 15% off at Alala when you enter AA15 at checkout