Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Bra Review: Panache Envy

When I started this blog two and a half years ago, I tried on SO.MANY.BRAS!!!  I thought it was just a matter of finding the one or two that fit and that would be that.  That was in May 2015.  I went through four rounds of different bras from Bare Necessities.  I was a 36FF, in general, and tried on nearly 100 different styles.  A few months later, I found a local bra store and that made trying stuff on so much easier.

Two years ago, I completed my last PT test in my military career and thus began a very torrid affair with Ben...and Jerry.  That continued through January 2016 when I had a surgery that required a month of bed-rest recovery.  Two months after that, as part of my military retirement celebration, I embarked upon a road trip that took more than two months.  It put 12,500 miles on my Jeep...and my ass.

Why do I share this?  Because I gained 30 pounds between December 2015 and June 2016.  I was SO no longer a 36FF.  No problem.  Now that I don't have to worry about 12 hour shifts, the weight will just fall off.  Uh, nope.  So much nope it's not even funny.  But, then again, it is.  Did I really think that what took me six months to gain would take only one or two to lose?  You know how life is what happens when you're busy making plans?  Yeah, right here, baby!

The remainder of 2016 was stressful in epic proportions.  That weight was going nowhere.  It was me who needed to give in and make the adjustment.  So I ventured up a little further in my little state of Delaware and found Bare Essentials.  That's where I've been doing my shopping for the past year.
In that time, I've learned 1) I don't maintain a static size for very long and 2) Never get rid of bras that don't fit if they're still good 'cause they might fit again, no matter whether they're too big or too small.

So, on with the review...

On my most recent shopping expedition, I bought three of these.  As a 36FF, this style didn't fit me but, since I'm not a 36FF any more, I figured why not try them again.  For reference sake, the bra calculator on the sidebar puts me at a 36H/38GG.  If I remember correctly, I started in the area of 38FF for all the bras that I tried. I have short roots, even (top/bottom) fullness, pendulous, and narrow to medium root width.

This one is the Panache Envy in a 38FF.  It's a balconette style which works at this size but, when I was smaller, there was emptiness at the top of the cup.  You can see some "flappiness" at the top of the cup in this picture but that results only when my arms are raised vs all the time.
The gore tacks very nicely.  It doesn't dig in and it doesn't sit on any part of the inner breast.  It is fairly tall though so some may not like this bra if the top of their breasts touch each other.
There are a few areas where I had to compromise on the "perfect fit".  The cup doesn't project at the underwire so when I swoop and scoop there is space at the bottom, between my breast and the underwire.  But not so much that I didn't buy the bra (or the two others in different colors).  It's also a little wide in the cup but, thankfully, the wires aren't that tall so I'm not getting stuck in the armpit.
Another area that lessens me being a fan of this bra is the shoulder strap placement.  If you have narrow shoulders, this is NOT the bra for you.  In the picture below, I positioned the straps to show how they'd lay if they were in line with where they're sew on the bra itself which ends up being ON my shoulder bone.  Most people tend to wear their straps just inside of that, in the little divit instead.
A few more tidbits about the bra:
Although the lace is soft, the rest of the bra is a little stiff and can be itchy.  It's a kind of mesh textile that are in many unlined bras nowadays...at least ones that I've seen anyway.  Also, even though it's labeled 38, the band doesn't measure that length.  Unstretched is 30 inches; stretched is 36 inches.  I measure 37 inches in a snug measurement and 34 in a tight one for my underbust.

The smallness of the bra measurement isn't surprising.  Panache is notorious for running "small", just as Elomi tends to run "large".  Just one of those quirks that brands have.  What I'm getting at is: Don't be surprised if you wear a band size larger than your larger underbust measurement.  Sizing among brands is known for being inconsistent.  Just buy and wear what fits.

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