Ok, just gotta say right off, this bra is amazing!
No it doesn't fit me 100% perfectly, but I pretty much think nothing ever will. However, no bra, ever has made my boobs look as good as this. It literally made me giggly when I tried it on, it's that good.
If you have breasts are anything like mine (wide root, close-set, soft, uneven sizes) you must get this bra. It's like some kinda bra magic.
The cups are four-section, including a side support panel. The lower two sections and the side section are made of very lightweight fine non-stretchy mesh material that is very supportive. (Others have found it ... stiff at first, I just find it excellently supportive.) This material is printed with an elegant birds and plants print. (no raised bits to show through clothing) The shape and location of the seam between the lower panels and the upper panel is perfect for me. (Sometimes this seam is too low and can create a bad, bottom-curved but then squarish shape.) The cup is nice and deep at the bottom and the stiffer material creates a nice rounded shape.
The upper section of the cup is really where the magic happens. This section is made of black stretch lace. It is just the right amount of stretch to accommodate and contain my soft, uneven boobs that have a tendency to spill over the tops of cups, while helping create a fantastic high, forward, and round shape, without flattening. The lace does seem a bit delicate, so I will be sure to treat this bra very gently when washing, etc.
It is a "banded" bra, in that there is a small amount of band below the cups and to the sides of the cups, with a vertical seam (no boning) before the back band itself starts. The back band is a medium-weight stretchy mesh (plain black).
The straps are satiny and padded. They are actually somewhat thicker than I'd really prefer with the look of the rest of the bra. They are by far the most heavy-seeming component. They only adjust partially, and a fairly small section at that, so this may be an issue for some folks.
The straps are attached to the top of the side support panel, at what I think is a somewhat unfortunate angle. It's not that different than most balcony style bras, but sort of clashes with the rest of the shape of the bra and who it will be good for. (The bra otherwise fits like a sexy, light full coverage bra.) Certainly, for me at least, the straps angle is too outward and makes the outside edge of the cup and beginning of the straps dig into my arm/armpit a little.
However, I first wore it for around 7 hours while attending a wedding, including dancing, etc. and it didn't bother me that much. I do think I will try to change the angle of the straps a little by taking a tuck to the inside in the section the straps are attached to.
(I really do wish companies would realize that when you have a cup this big and a band this small you really can't attach the straps way at the outside of the cup and pointing outward. The attachment point is already starting to be around my side, the straps *need* to go in somewhat to hit my shoulders properly.)
I had heard that Panache made some changes in the underwires for this model, and holy heck, yes they are way better. They are much lighter and thinner, but still plenty strong. And they don't come up as high, either on the outside of the cup or at the gore as other Panache models I've tried. (No poking my armpits!!!) The thinner underwires also contribute to one of the narrowest center gores I've seen. Great improvements Panache! The wires (cup width) are a touch narrower than I'd really prefer, but I usually take extremely wide wires.
It's possible that one cup size bigger would fit better, but a) to get that I would have to go up a band size (because they don't make a KK) and Panache 34's are pretty much always too big one me (I have initially been wearing this Jasmine on the tightest hook of an extender, though I *can* close the band without it, it is more comfortable with the extender until it is broken in a little.) and b) I suspect the larger cup size wouldn't create such a fantastic shape. Since I am treating this as mostly a dressing up/special occasion bra I'm willing to sacrifice 100% comfort for looking awesome. (Seriously, my boobs have not ever looked anything like, oh say, CurvyWordy's from the top view. But in this bra they kinda do!)
As far as sizing, this bra seems to fit similarly to other Panache banded models (like the Tango line). It seems to run fairly "true-to-size", inasmuch as that is possible to say with bras. In general I would say I seem to be between 32K/KK and 34JJ/K. This is consistent with that. The 32 is just a touch snug, but the 34 would definitely be too big. (I guess I really need a 33K, lol. Half a band size bigger and half a cup size bigger would probably be exactly perfect in this bra.)
This bra is the lightest of any I've tried or own in this size or similar. (It's about 25% lighter than my everyday Goddess Kiera's.) It reminds me a little of Pour Moi? bras, except definitely more sturdily constructed. The stretch lace top section makes it perfect for soft and/or uneven boobs. And the improvements to the underwires should eliminate issues many have had with past Panache models. Highly recommended!
Edited to add: It occurs to me that this bra is kinda like a half-cup bra with guard-lace! It seems like it does for full, soft boobs something like what a half-cup bra can do for someone who won't spill over the top, but it has the lace bit on top to keep the top part contained.
Edit2: One thing I am noticing as I continue to wear this bra, the underwires are starting to poke in the middle a bit. The wires are thin and not very padded, so they are starting to poke my sternum some. I think I will sew a small piece of felt or something to pad them a little more and that will probably fix it.
Also I wanted to note that for those who, like me, have no space at all between their boobs, the wires in this bra are pretty cooperative about twisting themselves so they lay pretty much one on top of the other (for me my larger side tends to push the wire outward), which, is actually a pretty good way of dealing with the no space in the middle problem.
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Updated on Nov 16, 2012 Flag this