|Panache Jasmine, photo from Figleaves.com|
But let me suggest that you watch this video, which discusses it in just about as much depth as I'm going to write about it - only you get to see a real person wearing it. I'd like to point out that Erica, the vlogger, has a 30HH or 30J bust and, I'm sure you'll agree, her breasts are in perfect proportion to her body shape. I mention this because we often have preconceptions about bra size based on letters - and they're just as often unfounded. Let me beat this drum one more time: Cup size is irrelevant in the absence of back size. A 28D is 2 cup sizes smaller than a 36B...
Moving on, let me tell you my purchase rationale:
- I've read zillions of positive, glowing, fantastic reviews of this bra from every possible source. I've never read a bad review.
- I don't think the pattern (or the bra) looks like much in the photos.
- It seems kind of full-cup for a balconette - even by my standards.
- The wires on Panache bras tend to be wide and, though this bra doesn't follow that mold, I was a bit concerned...
- Like I need another bra?!
When it arrived I was in the throes of a migraine, so I didn't try it on for a couple of days. I didn't think I could handle disappointment with a headache (and really, who can be bothered with bras when you feel like you're going to vomit).
I needn't have worried. On Veronica's advice, I "sized up" in the cup and back. Really, I sized up in the back cuz I'm at the point where - with UK sizes - I've determined I'm a cup size larger than I was for many years, at least most of the time.
Let's talk about fit:
- The band is very firm so choose the larger, if you're between sizes.
- The bra gives nice forward projection, but not as forward as my Empreintes or the latest Cleos (Meg and Melissa) I've tried.
- It does provide excellent lift and support, but the upper cup is made from very stretchy lace. This lace is what makes the bra optimal for women with lots of upper-cup fullness, those who vary from size-to-size during their cycles, or those who have two breasts of different sizes.
- This bra all but obviates "quad-boob" when worn in the correct size. It's one of those miracle bras that can fit two differently sized breasts (of up to a cup size, I suspect) without one side pillowing and the other shrinking away from the cup.
- The straps are fully extendable and delicate.
- I find the straps to be a bit slender in my size, for my liking. They are very firm so they can get a bit hurty after a few hours (no big deal, though). It makes the bra that much more attractive, in truth.
- The cups fit perfectly (I think it's actually a 4-piece construction given the side support) and provide a really nice shape, but I prefer the front-and-centredness of the Empreintes or Cleo Melissa. Having said this, the centre gore is as high as I'd ever choose to wear. My Panache SuperBra is like this too. It looks good but it's a lot of bra - by contrast, for example, to a somewhat fuller-cup bra with a lower gore (like some plunges). It's certainly not too wide in the wires and the lace does restore the illusion of delicacy.
- The pattern is actually very delicate, unique and sexy in person. I like it much more than I thought I would. Even in that vlog, I don't think the pattern comes across as well as it does IRL.
- There's too much stretchy lace, for my taste. I prefer a firmer upper cup - or at least I'd prefer a bit less of the lace and a bit more of the firm under-cup. While the lace is great for shape, I think I'd rather a bit more upper-cup support as my breasts are not as firm as they used to be.
- I've read a number of reviews about how Panache starched the shit out of the firm cup fabric, so one should wash this bra before wearing and it will soften quite a lot. I guess I'm pretty insensitive, cuz I didn't feel that my unwashed bra was starched or scratchy in any way. I found it kind of soft - especially in comparison with every other Panache bra I've tried (SuperBra, I'm looking at you.)
- The thing I love most about Panache (and Cleo, another Panache brand) is the fit of the band. On my body, the proportions are perfect. The top of the back band fits right under my scapulae (those wing bones) and the firmness is like a gentle grip. There's NO movement (which is my mandate, in truth). But the tightness is in no way excessive.
However, the more I wear it, the more I love it - herein lies the mystery of the Jasmine (which Panache had decided to stock as a continuity bra, happily). Is it the sexiest? The liftiest? The most supportive ever? The most luxe? Can't say yes to any of these. But it is a really great bra across a wide spectrum, good for so many shapes and sizes from 30D - 38K (that's about as broad a size-span as you'll ever find and the bra is just lovely). It's also REALLY affordable for a bra with so much functionality and fit-potential. And the undies (which have a lot of give) are super comfortable and look delightful.
A girl cannot live on Empreinte alone.
So, today's questions: Have you tried this bra? If yes, what do you think? If no, does this review make it sound appealing? Let's talk!