I had no idea how much I’d love this thing. None at all. I’ve flirted with built-in bra camisole tops in the past, but that was many, many cup sizes ago. I understand the appeal: you can wear a thin-strapped camisole without showing off your bra straps, yet still feel perfectly supported. I know some people really, really loathe showing their bra straps, but I just figured I didn’t have any other choice. Furthermore, the tanks I’d tried on in the past had all been uniformly clingy and too short, and if a top is too short on me, the short-waisted wonder, how on earth is it supposed to work on women with longer torsos? So I figured cami-tops were just one of those “not for me” things.
Sometimes impulse purchases are the best purchases. I recently had a discount code to use at Figleaves and decided to splurge a little and try out Panache’s cami-top. They’re currently available in black and white, in sizes 32-38 D-H (UK). I have a bit of a belly, so I chose to order my sister size, one band size larger (for more room in the body) and one cup size down (to achieve the same cup volume as my normal size). It arrived while I was in Bangkok, so I didn’t get to try it on until after my first day back at the office.
I wore it for the rest of the week.
Seriously, it is that comfortable. I had NO IDEA how comfortable and, more particularly, how flattering a well-cut camisole top could be. I love that it shows off my shoulders and neckline, without sacrificing great fit and support. As the model kindly demonstrates for us at the top of the post, the cami contains a built-in, underwired, lightly padded (VERY lightly– if all padded bras were this thin and flexible, I’d be more on board with them), seamed bra with the standard three sets of two hooks and eyes and fully-adjustable straps. I’m glad I chose my sister size– I think my regular size might have worked (indeed the underwires feel a bit wide and the band itself a touch loose), but I really appreciate the bit of extra room through the belly. I know some people (myself included) find that the wires on some of Panache’s bras are cut wide and high at the sides, but there is no such problem here. The cups are maybe a tad generous, so it might take some trial-and-error to hit the size you like the best. The good news is that apparently Panache recently adjusted their patterns to add a bit more length. The camisole comes fully down to my hips, instead of my waist, and it doesn’t roll up. I can tuck it in or wear it casually without worrying about its coming untucked or exposing my belly.
Bottom line: It feels fantastic. It doesn’t give the highest or most uplifted shape, but the support is great, and the neckline is modest, which is great for layering as part of a professional outfit. This is going to be my go-to for hot summer days, for yoga, for dance classes, and for sleeping. I will probably order more, especially if Panache releases it in more colors– I would love to see a red, a bright royal blue, some shade of green, or a shade close to my skin tone to wear under sheer tops. I’d also like to see expanded size ranges in the future; I know there are women sized out at either end of the spectrum who would LOVE to have a top like this. Maybe Panache’s forthcoming Sculptresse line will step up to the plate for the full-figured, full-bust customer?
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Panache Superbra Cami Top is available in Black and White at A Sophisticated Pair, Figleaves, Townshop (a few sizes available in Pink only) and Bare Necessities (a few sizes still available in Red and Navy, as well as the full size range in Black and White).
13 Comments on Review: Panache Superbra Cami Top- Super, Indeed
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[…] Own it, love it. More colors please! […]
[…] end of only one troll-ish comment so far. I had reviewed . . . something, let me see . . . oh! The Panache Cami-Top. I love it, but we’re not really talking about the most glamorous of the glamorous lingerie. […]
Erica of A Sophisticated PairNovember 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm (10 years ago)
I really like these and so do the customers who try them, but I just haven’t seen as much interest. I think it has to do with the colors. Neutrals are fine, but maybe on or two bolder choices would be more eye-catching in the store. The fabric alone is so soft on these, and I keep encouraging women to give them a try!
SweetsNovember 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm (10 years ago)
That’s a good point. I mean, I’ve known these things existed for, oh, five years, and I only JUST now tried one. I think for me it was a combination of “blah, neutral camisole, blah” and a history of saying “no, that’s not for you”, having to compete with the “ooooh pretty lacy shiny things!” reaction to discovering the world of full-bust lingerie. The fabric IS so soft! A little playfulness in the colors or even patterns might really help catch customers’ eyes.
thelingerielesbianNovember 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm (10 years ago)
This is exactly the reason I no longer have any beige T-shirt bras, except for a broken VS one I’ve had since 2004. This is an issue. It’s so hard to convince myself to buy lingerie I’m not in love with!
SweetsNovember 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm (10 years ago)
Fussy BustyNovember 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm (10 years ago)
Love this! So glad you had a good experience with it. If they ever expand the size range (or if I ever happen to downsize) then I would totally be willing to try it as well.
Also, I am kind of “ho hum” about the Sculptresse line. It doesn’t have as amazing of a size range as I was hoping for. BUT I am still excited none-the-less.
SweetsNovember 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm (10 years ago)
I feel you about Sculptresse. I think they’re filling a market void, but I hoped for some more spectacular/adventurous designs and an even more impressive size range. Maybe they’re testing the waters with a small first collection? Elomi’s designs have come along leaps and bounds; I hope Sculptresse follows suit.
Fussy BustyNovember 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm (10 years ago)
It’s possible; in the end, the bottom line is typically what drives the expansion of collections, right?
I think Elomi still has room for improvement. I love that they’re started making “younger” styles, BUT I think the overall shape needs reworked.
SweetsNovember 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm (10 years ago)
Oooh, you intrigue me. Can you tell me more about the shapes? Is it a question of not offering enough different shapes (plunge, half-cup, etc.), or is it a question of the shapes they offer not being terribly flattering?
Fussy BustyNovember 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm (10 years ago)
I think it’s both….
I know that the whole focus of Elomi as a brand is on making bras for the fuller figure AND the fuller bust. But shape preferences seem to get lost in translation. If you look at a Panache bra next to an Elomi bra (any one of them, really), there’s a huge difference in the shaping of the cups.
Elomi can be described in these ways: less projection, more east & west, rounded, and not in your face lift…
But when I wear Panache (or even look at them), I get this: More projection forward, better lift, rounded and sometimes slightly pointy shape.
In terms of offerings in the brand, while Elomi does have a “plunge” style – did you see my review of the Betty, egads! – and has smoothing options… I think the silhouette that Elomi has and promotes is still “older” and not quite as fashion forward.
However, we will see what the Roxy, Valentina and the other new styles this spring bring about. I would LOVE it if Elomi sold a half-cup bra. Or even a balconette. None of their bras are anything less than full coverage….even the plunge betty is fairly full coverage.
Sorry about my rant about Elomi. If you can believe it, they really are some of my most comfortable bras…But if I am caring about my appearance (i.e. going anywhere other than work), I usually put on a Curvy Kate or Panache bra because there is that much of a difference.
SweetsNovember 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm (10 years ago)
No, this is great! Thank you so much for sharing with me! It’s really helpful when I make recommendations to people to have the benefit of someone else’s experience. Seems like you’re dead-on about the “older” look of Elomi– I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts as the new season’s collections start to roll in!
Fussy BustyNovember 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm (10 years ago)
Well, thanks! I’m sure I’ll be yapping away as soon as I get my hands on some of the newer pieces (I am pining for Roxy so badly)…
I did have the chance to try on the Maggie – which now has a matching chemise up to a GG cup – over the weekend and did not like it. The fit was quite similar to the Elomi Libby, if anyone needs to know.