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).