I bought this bra, along with the 30F - Freya » Gem Balcony Bra (1361), mainly as a fitting experiment. Both were recommended for women with short torsos. Panache is supposedly the widest wire width, good for wide root breasts, while Freya is generally the narrowest wire. I am not sure whether I have Broad Root Breasts, or just a lot of migrated tissue under and around my armpits on a very small rib cage due to 20 years of wearing a bra with a cup two sizes too small and a band two sizes too loose living in Orange in a Glass hell. I wasn't really enlightened about root size by comparing the two, but I can say this was a damn uncomfortable bra for me!
EVERYTHING rubbed in this bra: strap edges at connections in front and back, gore and armpit poking, the lace itself, the edges of the wings, the bottom edge of the band... Aarrrrggghh! Both bras actually felt like my ribs were pressing outward at the bottom of the band, causing the top of the gore and the armpit end of the wires to dig in. Because the Panache is so much more heavy duty than the Freya, the problem seemed more extreme. The Panache Envy wires are long, rigid and flat, almost like a metal picture frame. They felt heavy, intrusive and unforgiving. They did not want to bend around my body, even though the industrial strength mesh band forced them to (note my underarm picture - the wire extends all the way past the midline to my trapezius muscle). The deep "U" shape at the bottom of the Panache wire made them dig into my ribs right at the lower corner. I even got the jewelry pliers out and bent them to go over the rib at the edge of my sternum they were pressing on, to no avail. https://d28qt14g3opchh.cloudfront.net/smileys/icon_sad.gif" alt=":-(" /> I did this with both bras -- the Freya Gem became slightly more comfortable, but not the Panache.
What is the definition of "wide" versus "narrow" wires, numerically speaking? I laid the two 30F bras on top of each other. Both were exactly 5.5" wide inside between the wire ends. The biggest difference was the shape of the curve and the fact that the Freya was .5" longer than the Panache, and spread open more as I stretched the band.
For those with small ribcages and wider roots, the distance from one outer wire tip across the frame of the bra to the other outer wire tip is 12.25" lying flat.
As a 46-year-old who breast fed two for two years each, I'm a bit deflated on top (think of a hardboiled egg laying sideways in a short sock). Although the four-part cup seemed like it would offer great uplift, the "U" shaped wire and stretchy lace fabric did me no favors. I cringe at the pictures I've posted. I think my petite frame, short height, and very sensitive, stretchmark-scarred skin just couldn't handle this bra.
On the other hand, my 20-year-old daughter who is also a 30F (though with a 26" underbust and plenty of all-around fullness), LOVED it and looked absolutely stunning in it!
Updated on May 27, 2015