Monday, 30 January 2012

Sometimes Panache Drives Me Crazy

I’m having a bad bra day today. I’m beginning to realize that I never wear my Curvy Kate bras. I don’t like the shape they give; it’s too much like the blue shape in my past post. This goes against the natural shape of my boobs, which isn't very comfortable, so I never reach for them--I usually reach for my Panache bras instead. Realizing this, I went out in search of some more Panache bras I could buy, but I hadn’t realized what a wasteland their new collection would be for me.

Here’s what they’ve got: The Sienna, a wonderful bra which I already own, which comes in just one color.

The Melody, which is an okay bra; I might buy it again in this nice pink color, but it’s not awesome.

These bras give a good shape because they have the construction shown on the left in the diagram below--the outside bottom section comes up diagonally across the cups. Because it meets the straps directly, it gives more lift from the bottom and also helps keep the boobs out of the armpits.

In the shape on the right, on the other hand, the outer bottom section does not come up to meet the strap. The result is a shape that is less compact, lower-slung, and often fairly pointy, even sometimes pointing in different directions--the east-west look. It's an older, less engineered construction, one which Panache continues to use for a dizzying number of their styles.

For instace, the dubious Tango, multiply available this season in Really Boring, A Bit Boring, and Has Cool Satin Bits On It But Still The Same Bra Really. Compare the lift and shape the black Tango Classic gives, below, to the shape the Sienna gives, at the top of the post--it's the same model.

Then there's the uncomfortable Eliza, perfectly constructed to give no uplift at all.

The Andorra, which I know is popular; it is constructed like the Eliza but with the addition of side panels which I’m not convinced would really help give any lift or shape. I’ve never tried it, though, so I can’t disparage it. There’s also this other sort of dull bra (the Emily) that’s made the same way, with the side panels.

A few molded T-shirt bras with uninspiring size ranges.

The Ariza, which I’ve never tried; I know from the Eliza-like construction, though, that it won’t give much uplift. You can even see that it’s not giving any uplift on the model.

And then everything else in the collection is constructed in that SAME way!

Carmel--This one even looks like an angry Furby face!



Paloma--a bit of flame on the pants there...

Eden--Slightly different but still no cigar!

None of them except the Melody and Sienna have bottom sections that come up to meet the strap--the essential construction to give lift and round shape in a three-section cup. It’s like Panache is phasing out the rounder shape, in favor of the old-fashioned ballistic-missile shape. Why is this happening? Who is sitting in the boardroom making these choices? Is this really what the customer demands?


  1. It's funny because the Sienna does exactly that on me (not enough uplift with a funny shape). But I think I just have breasts that don't get along with Panache very well. ;) However, most bras give the blue shape for me unless their padded/moulded...

    1. Interesting, I wonder then if the full-cup constructions I'm ranting about here might be a good fit on you? I think Panache is pretty polarizing as a brand, from what I've seen. Personally I just wish they would diversify and have more options in every shape, as opposed to heavily featuring one shape.

      Also, I don't mean to disparage the blue shape. It's more that it goes against my natural shape, so I find it less comfortable. I should clarify that.

  2. Could you please clarify what you mean by them having a bottom section that come up to meet the strap? Not too sure and I'm wondering if I should get the Sienna because it looks really good on you and I really like the design! But I don't have the same boob shape as you so not sure if it's suitable for me... :(

    1. Ah, yes--I will add the images to the post tomorrow! Should have included them.

  3. Replies
    1. Updated with diagrams and text! Hope it makes more sense now. You can also check out my review of the Sienna for more clues as to whether you will like it.

  4. I'd love to know if *any* of Panache's styles have shorter underwires? I like the rounder shape (compared to Freya) but I thought I was going to be able to wrap the Harmony's wires clear over my shoulders & tie them in a knot. And I'm 5'9". ~=o/

    1. Panache promised to use shorter underwires, beginning with the spring collection. I hope they're true to their word. :)

    2. That is excellent news for lots of bra-haters! I just hope the collection includes a few things I'd want :P

    3. My main issue with Panache is the underwires poking me in my armpit, so that is fab news!

  5. That diagram is a great addition to the post. It really makes your point hit home. And the news about a change in the wires for Panache is great. I can't wait to see their new stuff. Fingers crossed with the rest of you.

    1. The great thing about Panache is that they really seem to listen to their customer feedback!

  6. I've tried a lot of the Panache bras that you've mentioned in this post and I find it's less about the construction shape and more about the rigidity of the fabric that gives you uplift.

    True, the bottom cup adjoining the shoulder strap might give you more uplift through the straps... but the Ariza has dainty straps that give no support - you don't need it because the fabric is very rigid and the firmness and support comes through the band and rib cage. It's a beautiful bra and one of my favourites to look at. However it's not a push up like say Freya Deco and it's not moulded like the Porcelain.

    The Andorra full cup I found to be super comfortable and the lace towards the center front has nice give so it doesn't dig into the skin there at all. It's very supportive but I found it to be a bit pointy as opposed to round in shape.

    I guess I'd say don't write them off til you try them!

    (ps I tried these on in both 30G and 28GG when I was last fitted)

  7. Working with women and their breasts in the past 10 years, I've learned a few things, one being that lift and shape are two different beasts. I think that it's important to realize that different bras can lift your breast tissue to the same level, but the cup construction plays a big role in shape. Certain constructions can give the illusion of not being lifted- I think you call this the "east-west" syndrome. It's funny how breast shape and body types vary among women and how that can play a role in what they perceive is or is not a good bra/good lift/good shape. It's all kind of relative.
    I've worked with many, many manufacturers over the course of 10 years and I can say that Panache definitely has the market cornered on shape and options for teeny waisted and full busted gals. The establishment I worked at did complimentary alterations to help make the best products on the market become the perfect products for each customer. I wish every store and their staff had that ability!