Review: “Envy” Bra and High-Waist Brief by Panache

Panache Envy Balconette Bra Black

“Envy” balconette bra and  brief in black by Panache. Available in sizes 30-38 D-K (UK). Brief and high-waist shaping brief available in sizes 8-20 (XS-XXXL). Also available in beige.

Even though it took me a while to try Panache’s “Jasmine” style, when I fell for it I fell hard.  That single bra converted me back to being a Panache customer after some of their other long-standing shapes just didn’t seem to suit my boobs, and its generous size range, great rounded shape, low-profile seams, and flexible stretch lace seem like natural fits for a new core/basic style.  I confess that even though I found the past two season’s colorways for Jasmine more flattering than I expected, they’re both still a bit “off” from what I think of as my true lingerie aesthetic, so to have the same fantastic shape and fit in classic black and beige gives me much more opportunities to mix and match the bra with some of my other lingerie pieces.

[Note: I purchased the bra from Bravissimo using a gift voucher I received for my birthday, and I bought the shaping brief from Breakout Bras with my own money.  All opinions are my own.]

Panache Envy Nordstrom

Appearance

I LOVE that Panache chose a houndstooth pattern instead of all-over lace, mesh, or embroidery.  Not that there’s anything wrong with lace and embroidery, but it’s SO nice to have a more unusual option in a full bust basic bra.  The floral stretch lace on the top of the cup and adorning the cradle keeps the pattern from taking over, and overall the set looks sleek, sophisticated, and elegant without being fussy.  The bra features the same four-part cup found on Jasmine (two panels in the bottom section, a stretch lace top panel, and a shaping side panel connected directly to the fully-adjustable straps, for forward projection).  The bra closes with three rows of three columns of hooks-and-eyes.

Panache Envy High-Waist Shaping Brief

The shaping brief features a powerful shaping mesh tummy panel lining the houndstooth, while the side panels are unlined houndstooth (and therefore stretchier and more forgiving).  The waistband is lined with a strip of silicon, to keep it from flipping over and rolling down.  The rear of the briefs is unlined black powermesh with a ruched backseam for a close fit.

Panache envy bra shaping brief

Arrghh terrible smartphone photography is terrible.

Right off the bat I noticed a new quality: silkiness.  Panache has taken some heat in the past for a slightly scratchy, stiff feel to their new mesh bras.  It usually goes away with wash and wear, but for some women with very sensitive skin it can be a dealbreaker.  Envy, by contrast, feels wonderful: the fabric feels softer and smoother, with a slight sheen that makes it look and feel luxurious.  I love that instead of just cranking out “Jasmine” in solid colors, Panache has taken some feedback on board to offer improvements on an already-loved style.

Panache envy bra shaping brief

My photos don’t remotely capture how lovely it is in person, nor do they capture the slight sheen or the translucency of the pattern.

Fit

I ordered what seems to be my “standard” size right now, meaning the size that’s been suiting me well in Panache, the Eveden brands (Freya, Fantasie, Elomi), and most Bravissimo bras.  I very rarely have to size up or down across different brands, for whatever reason, so take my advice with a grain of salt.  In terms of band length, cup volume, etc., the fit is spot on compared to Jasmine.  I again wish there were an inch or two more length in the straps (which feel softer than Jasmine’s, but no less supportive), but as I’ve said before, that’s a Tall Girl Quibble and I can let it go.

Panache envy bra shaping brief

Side panels FTW.

Now, I have to confess that I feel like my shape has been fluctuating a bit over the last few weeks.  I had to take a break from pole dancing for a bit (and yes it’s been UNFUN), and I’ve been extra-focused on eating lots of veggies and heart-healthy foods (heart disease runs in my family, and now that I’m looking at 30 heading my way I’m trying to adopt some health-positive choices), and I have noticed that my boobs feel a bit less full than normal.  It was therefore not totally surprising to notice that Envy does feel a bit different compared to my completely broken-in and well-loved Jasmines.  The wires feel a touch wider, the gore a touch wider, and the bottom of the cups ever so slightly shallower.  I’m not really filling the bottom of the cups the way I hoped to, although it’s a pretty common fit issue for me, as I’m pretty full all over.  I also was surprised to notice that the gore doesn’t tack quite as securely as Jasmine’s, which I attribute to its being wider.

I hoped a bit that the shaping brief would be super high-waisted on me, like the Deco Shape was, but instead it’s a much more modest height.  The waistband sits comfortably around my natural waist, about 2-3 inches above my navel.

Comfort

Bless this stretch lace, for lo, it is magical.  Part of what makes this bra style so user-friendly is the fact that there’s no stiff upper cup to dig into fuller breasts or gape on shallower breasts (after all, women who wear the same bra size may come in different shapes).  It flexes to fit the wearer’s body, without sacrificing shape or support.  That being said, I do notice the slightly wider wires: I feel like I have to readjust my bra periodically throughout the day, something that never happened with a new Jasmine.  It’s not a dealbreaker by any means: the fact that there is a basic bra out in the world that offers this fantastic rounded shape and great support while looking great is a cause for my personal rejoicing.  It feels a bit churlish to say “I wish the wires and gore were a hair narrower,” but in the interest of full disclosure, there you have it.

The shaping brief is quite comfy, as shapewear goes!  I wore it to work under my pencil skirt, which, as I discovered with the Dirty Dolls Pin-Up Panty, is my new personal shapewear litmus test.  I’ve got a squishy midsection, but the waistband stayed put: it lay perfectly flat without curling over on itself or flipping down, and the silicon grippy strip meant I never once had to pull the brief back up over my stomach.  I will note that the brief features a traditional, not seamless, legline, and the waistband is firm, so it does dig a bit.  If you’re looking for a smoother, completely seam-free look, this may not be the set for you.  I was very pleased with the effect, however, and even though I can’t really go for longer than 10 hours or so in shapewear, I rate this piece very highly.

Overall, Envy is a very, very welcome addition to the world of full-bust basic bras.  Stylish, unusual, and comfortable, offering a lovely round shape in D-K cups, this is a bra I’d love to see catch on as a fit bra in lingerie boutiques.  In particular, I’d love to see it replace Tango as a boutique’s full-bust basic, since Tango is not as near-universally fit-friendly.  I have a few requests for Panache: please offer a fuller coverage brief that isn’t as intense as shapewear, please expand the band sizes to cover your full customer range of 28-40, and please offer a similar bra for your Sculptresse customer.  Some of the most underserved sizes in the lingerie market right now are the 40+ bands and G+ cups, and I’d love to see a bra like this available for as many women as possible.

For another review, check out Bras I Hate & Love.

“Envy” is available at Nordstrom, Butterfly Collection Lingerie, FreshpairBreakout Bras, Figleaves, Bare Necessities, Bravissimo, and ASOS, among others.

15 Comments on Review: “Envy” Bra and High-Waist Brief by Panache

  1. MiaRose
    November 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey, there I just tried the Envy yesterday and in was quite a disappointment for me. The straps were too far outside, digging into my armpits and creating ‘side spillage’ and I don’t have particularly small shoulders. I also felt the straps were a little too stretchy for my liking. I don’t know how it compares to the Jasmine as I’ve never tried that one.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      November 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm (6 years ago)

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear Envy didn’t work out. Based on what you told me, Jasmine might be a slightly better fit for you, if you ever have a chance to try it: I find Jasmine’s straps stiffer and the wires slightly narrower than Envy’s. Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Laura
    November 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm (6 years ago)

    I love this bra! I got it in both the beige and the black colorways, and I adore it just like I adore the Jasmine. The beige actually is really close to my skintone (FOR ONCE), so I’m a super big fan.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      November 13, 2013 at 10:24 am (6 years ago)

      Oooh, awesome! I should give the beige a try– I don’t currently own a beige bra I love, so this might be the one!

      Reply
  3. windiegardie
    November 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm (6 years ago)

    So glad this bra is on par with the Jasmine 🙂 Happy you love it, even with the tiny quibbles!

    Now to pester Panache about that size expansion…

    Reply
    • Sweets
      November 13, 2013 at 10:25 am (6 years ago)

      I’d love to see them expand the size range on this one. Jasmine was so popular I thought Envy would be a cert. for the full size run.

      Reply
  4. faustineli
    November 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm (6 years ago)

    Great to hear! I’ll want it once my Jasmines wear out. I am giving the Dahlia a try, and it’s the same shape sans stretch lace. That’s a deal-breaker for some but otherwise works on me.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      November 13, 2013 at 10:26 am (6 years ago)

      I’d love to hear what you think of the Dahlia– it’s really, really pretty.

      Reply
  5. K-Line
    November 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm (6 years ago)

    Much though I wish it had, this one doesn’t work for me. I did a review on my blog… (And the black is much cuter than the beige…)

    Reply
  6. Rachelle
    February 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm (5 years ago)

    I loved this bra so much that I ordered a second one today. I already own and love the standard brief, so I ordered the shaping brief today. This and the Clara are quickly becoming my favorite bras.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      February 12, 2014 at 9:09 pm (5 years ago)

      Oh I’m so, so envious that you can wear Clara! One of the absolute prettiest full-bust bras around, and we just didn’t get along. The colors for the next few seasons look stunning!

      Reply
      • Rachelle
        February 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm (5 years ago)

        SS14 is Purple “Turkish Delight” and AW14 is gold/black. There will be several added to my collection as new colors become available. I’m sooooooo excited about the purple.

        Reply
  7. Kristin
    May 10, 2016 at 11:31 am (3 years ago)

    I just tried Envy for the first time, and I thought I’d mention this because I fall in a similar size range as you (I think maybe 1-2 cups larger). Anyway, my beige colorway Envy in 32H fits me well because it has more space or center fullness than any other Panache bra I’ve tried, though the band is slightly looser than I’d like. I had to start on the middle row of hooks fairly quickly. I’d recommend going down a cup size in this one.

    But in these sizes, the black fits a full cup size smaller than the beige. I need a 32HH in black, which is closer to my “usual” size in Panache. Still, I vary a lot within the brand. In Georgia, I need a 30J. And a 32J in Clara. Then a 32HH in Jasmine and Floris. I think this variation is likely all about depth and center fullness for me.

    Reply

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Review: “Envy” Bra and High-Waist Brief by Panache

  1. […] a so-called basic style, Envy is a stunner (review of the black version here). The high-waist shaping brief looks both retro/pin-up and very contemporary, and the silky soft […]

  2. […] a so-called basic style, Envy is a stunner (review of the black version here). The high-waist shaping brief looks both retro/pin-up and very contemporary, and the silky soft […]

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