Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Panache Idina Plunge

Yeahhhh. This is not a plunge in my size; it's a balconette. It's also the only Panache I've found to be at all comfortable. And by that, I mean I can tolerate it for a full day's wear. Just. To be frank, I find Panache as a brand to be hideously uncomfy overall. The ultra-rigid wires are harsh, not cushioned at all. And they are reach-for-the-sky, armpit-stabbingly high - and I'm 5'9", so that's saying something. They do often give a great shape, however. But, as the name of this blog probably gives away, I am in no way, shape or form (see what I did there?) willing to sacrifice comfort, even for a lovely shape. Life is just too short to wear uncomfortable bras.

Comfort, because: first things first.
  • Fabric.  A very flat, smooth stretch lace; not fragile at all. My sensitive skin is quite happy with this.
  • Straps.  They have that felt/flocking lining that Jasmine has. They are not wide, but they do not dig.
  • Wires.  Welllll. They are not actually armpit-stabbers, as this is considered one of Panache's lower-wired options. (Yes, I am making giant "air quotes" right did you guess that?) This brand's idea of 'lower wires' is still much, much higher than almost any other brand I can think of. 

It is a nice non-fussy, understated style. The lace lays flat, but the seams unfortunately do not. So that pretty much negates the point of having flat, unobtrusive lace fabric. The copper-toned hardware is a unique touch, and it gives a clean-lined feel. 

I do like the shape it gives: rounded and lifted, but not overly boosted. More subtle than Cleo. 

Compromises & Fit (because these two categories are really linked here)

Wires.  They are simply too rigid for this bra to be as comfortable as it otherwise could be. I bend them slightly outward at the outer tips, as I do 80% of my bras, and no other brand is harshly unyielding as Panache. I mean, literally, I have to brace it on the edge of a table and apply serious steady force. That is just not a plus for me. I want fabrics and wiring that conform gently to my body - rather than trying to mold my boobs and rib cage with brute force. But that's just me.

Gore. Very wide. I don't think of my boobs as being especially close-set, but more moderately set - they certainly are not wide-set. And definitely not ultra-wide-set. The pic shows that the gore is actually forcing my boobs apart, and digging in at the top. The Idina would be a perfect candidate for Bras I Hate & Love's taking in the gore bra hack if it weren't for this next issue:

Band.  The Idina's band runs incredibly - almost unbelievably - small. The 38 fits like an extremely tight 36, or even a loose 34. This is one of the very few bras I have to wear with an extender - & the only 38 band I've ever had to use an extender on. It also has only 2-hooks, so that's another big drawback for me. 

Cup.  On top of the band running 1 - 2 sizes small, the cups run a size small as well. So when I was a 36GG, I wore the Idina plunge in a 38H and used an extender. The shape is not really full-on-top friendly; it is only the stretch fabric that allows me to wear the style. But even in the H, I will get some slight pillowing on top as the day wears on.

Sizing.  The fit alters hugely from the 38GG to the 38H. The cup becomes more full-coverage, and the wires are taller. It no longer resembles a plunge in any way. 

When Do I Wear It?
Not often these days. The rigid wires make it equally less comfy for both active days and sitting-at-a-desk days. I might wear Idina on a weekend: out to brunch or to a casual dinner party, when I want a nice shape - sans cleavage - under a V-neck knit.
Size: 38GG or 38H (both with extender)

I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried some of the newer Panache styles, and if you've had any success with comfort. 

1 comment:

  1. I will not wear Panache anymore. The wires (and I like FIRM wires) are just an exercise in pain. I also find all of the gores are too wide. I don't even think to try the new styles, though I suppose I should give them a go (if only for potential options).