Summer = Bikini Season!

I thought I would let you all see my choice for a bikini this year (and since I’m not swimming in dollars, the next 5 years too!) I was hoping for a bandeau style, and while I really, really wanted the Panache Stella bandeau, I finally settled on the Panache Marisa in 32G, with size XL (US) bottoms. They finally arrived, and I immediately tried them on. I found the bottoms to be just slightly large on my ~40″ hips, but not so much that I can’t wear them. The top… Well, I haven’t tried on too many bras recently that were THAT much too small, but wow. Currently I measure 31″ underbust and ~40″ bust. This bra measured 32″ band (stretched) and a precisely 9″ depth. I require at least a 10″ cup depth. I didn’t even take a picture, the quadboob was so bad. So it was back to looking for a hard to find 32GG. The Marisa was released Spring 2014, so there’s not too many left! Finally tracked one down from Figleaves. The result was so much better!

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32G

I do have to note that there is a couple differences between the 32G and the 32GG. The G had 3 “panels” making up the front of the bra, while it clipped with a simple but tough plastic clip in the center. The GG has 4 “panels” on the front. The back closure was one I’ve never seen before; two small wings crossed in the back, hooking with small metal hooks almost on the side of the bra under the arm.

So what did you pick this season? I had such a hard time deciding! My top contenders, besides the Stella, were the Panache Eadie, the Cleo by Panache Lucille, and the Panache Britt.

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Panache Andorra at last!

I ended up taking new pictures, as I couldn’t find the original photos. So this is a mainly photo review since I just did the basics and comparison between two sizes here. The ivory one I’m wearing in the photos is a 32H.

Panache Andorra 32H

Panache Andorra 32H

The best features of the Andorra are the stretchy lace that accommodates different shapes and the side panel inside the cup that pushes the breast forward.

Side panel

Side panel

The center gore lies flat like it should.

Center gore

Center gore

I do get slight overspill (quadboob) even though the lace is stretchy. But it’s slight enough that it rarely shows under clothing.

Overspill or "quadboob"

Overspill or “quadboob”

The Andorra often rolls under or out at the underwire, especially if there is fat or flesh below it.

A common Andorra problem

A common Andorra problem

And the back looks good! No riding up, no cutting in… it’s very comfortable!

No riding up!

No riding up!

Oops!

So I sat down to write a review on the Panache Andorra… and I couldn’t find the pictures that my husband had taken! So I guess that will have to wait. So I’ll just say, so far, the Panache Andorra has been my best-fitting bra. I definitely prefer lined or padded bras, but when it fits, it fits! My first one, a 32HH in Carribean Blue, is worn out now after 8 months of almost constant use. Then I found one in Ivory on eBay for $25! I got a 32H this time, as I have been losing weight. The HH cups are definitely too large for me now, but the H is just a tad small. Thankfully it stretches and the “quadboobing” is hardly noticeable. I’m hoping as I continue to lose weight that I will shrink into it. The positive of going from HH to H cup is that the front of my shoulder/armpit isn’t getting sawed off! It’s the first time since I found my correct size that I can wear a perfectly comfortable bra! However, I did find that the band seems to be looser on the 32H, as I put it on the second hook the second time I wore it. The HH took months before I could do that. To end on a positive note, the wires are narrow enough for me!

All about correct bra fitting

There is a very important (and often confusing) piece of clothing that every woman wears. A bra. It’s not a common topic, since it’s not outerwear. Unlike panties, bras are not so generic in sizing. Bras are very specific, in fact, the more I understand bras and women, the more specific I realize they are. My interest in bras and bra fitting began a while ago. I am now a certified bra fitter, and I would love to help anyone with finding a better bra. So here are some reasons why I am concerned about bra fitting: Wearing the wrong bra size can cause many problems, including:

  • Neck Ache
  • Shoulder Ache
  • Back Ache
  • Skin irritation caused by straps digging in
  • Irreversible damage to ligaments can cause breast pain and sagging
  • Wires can stick into the breast tissue, causing unnecessary pressure and discomfort
  • Bad body image and/or depression
  • Clothing not fitting due to the bust being too low

Wearing the right size bra will:

  • Be comfortable
  • Be supportive
  • Lift the bust revealing the waist to give a slimmer appearance
  • Fill the woman with confidence
  • Create a better posture and a smooth silhouette under clothing
  • Often fit her into a smaller size of clothing
  • Help prevent chiropractor visits

So what constitutes as the wrong size? Well, anything that looks like the “before” photo here:

Bad vs. Good

and in this one:

Bad vs. Good

Although this look is commonly sought after as “sexy” in the US, all it actually is, is a badly fitting bra:

So called sexy is only a badly fitting bra

And another one:

This is a horrible fit

And she sure looks better!

So much prettier!

For larger women, sometimes it’s hard to know what a good or bad fit is. But here are a couple examples:

Her bust is very low

Her bust is sagging a lot

And now for properly fitted bras:

Wow, that looks nice and very supported!

The one on the right looks so much more comfortable!

Snug on the loosest hook


So here are two links for proper bra fitting! One is a video, the other is written out with photo helps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daVcDlAWN58 https://www.breakoutbras.com/sizing

Some added thoughts: Most likely your size is made. The most you should ever add to your band measurement is 2-3”. Never more. Never get fitted at Victoria’s Secret, or most other places for that matter. (Nordstrom’s can be ok, but it’s usually hit or miss, so I can’t really recommend it) The price of the bras is definitely worth the better fit, less back ache and neck ache. Always check eBay or Bratabase for some of the best prices. Breakout Bras has free shipping. Her Room has a large selection. Good brands to look for are Curvy Kate, Freya, Fantasie, Panache, Bravissimo, etc… and for nursing bras: Panache, Freya, Hot Milk, Royce, and Anita. I hope this explains why I blog about bras, at least somewhat! If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to comment below.

***I do not own any of these photos or videos. I found them via searching on Bing Images***

I found one that fits! (reasonably)

I’ve been watching on eBay for anything that’s under $30 and a 30J or 32HH. I’ve found a couple, but when they arrived and I tried them on, it was a no-go. However, just today, another one arrived. I was almost afraid to try it on, lest it be just another one that didn’t work for one reason or another. It’s a very pretty bra, hot pink with black lace… and then I put it on. Wow! It lifts as well as my Curvy Kate Thrill Me! So entering as one of the few that currently fit me: Panache Sienna in 30J! The band fits nice and snug like it should. I don’t have any overspill in the cups and I do fill them out completely. The only thing I really don’t like about it is the usual problem of the edge of the cup coming too high into my armpit/arm. I’ll do a proper review of this sometime and show pictures, but for now I had to let out some excitement over finding one that fits! It’s lovely!

Been a while…

So it’s been a while since I posted last. Life’s been crazy! I hope to get one bra review done before next Monday, but I’m not sure which one I should review! I have four that I wear regularly: Panache Andorra in 32HH, Freya Arabella in 30J, Curvy Kate Thrill Me in 30J, and Cleo (by Panache) Lizzie in 30HH. Then I have some that don’t fit me and I’m trying to sell them: Bravissimo Sweet Bon Bon in 30J and Freya Lucy in 30J.

So if someone comments on one they want to hear about, I will do that one. If not, I’ll just pick one and the next post will be a regular review again!