The lovely new Olivia collection from Panache made it onto my list of My 10 Favorite Bras, so let’s talk about why!
[I purchased this set from Bare Necessities under my real name with my own money. Neither Panache nor Bare Necessities is affiliated with this review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Introduced for Spring/Summer 2015, Olivia is a classic three-part balconette bra (vertical seam in the bottom of the cup, diagonal seam running from the strap to the center gore) crafted from a lovely pale peach (“Apricot”) dot-patterned fabric topped with very fine, sheer floral embroidery. The band in my size fastens with three rows of three columns of hooks and eyes, and the straps are fully adjustable (in GG+ sizes, they also feature a fuzzy lining for additional comfort). The center gore is fairly tall, and the bridge curves up at the center to accommodate those of us with fuller tummies.
Instead of a traditional bikini brief, thong, or boyshort, Olivia features a coordinating high-waist brief with interconnected panels of the dot-pattern fabric, the floral embroidery, and sheer stretch mesh. The legline is flat for a smooth, no-show line under clothes.
I’m wearing what was, at the time these pictures were taken, my “usual” Panache sizes of 32H (UK) for the bra and 14/L for the brief, and I found the fit absolutely spot on, and comparable to other non-padded Panache bras like Jasmine or Envy.
This particular three-part cup shape reminds me a lot of the now-discontinued Colette style (which was unlike Tango, Idina, or Eclipse, all of which feature a horizontal seam that cuts straight across the cup from side to side, rather than a diagonal seam that runs all the way up to the strap). I found Colette a bit scratchy, with super-tall underwires that poked my underarm and a slightly loose band. Olivia is a vast improvement: rather than rigid mesh, the fabric is soft and the top of the cup offers stretch to accommodate different breast shapes and monthly fluctuations. The band feels comfortably firm on the loosest set of hooks, and while the underwires are taller than, say, my Comexim or Bravissimo bras, they don’t poke or dig, and they don’t leave red sore marks under my arms. The cups offer enough depth and projection for my shape, and the vertical seam in the bottom of the cup provides great lift.
The brief fits comfortably and feels true-to-size. For comparison, this is the same size I wear in the Eveden brands as well as the main Panache brand, but not Cleo by Panache: I find Cleo’s knickers to run quite small and usually size up there. The rise is great on me: the waistband hits right under my belly button and comfortably covers my lower belly without digging.
I usually think of my Panache bras as my workhorses: all about shape and lift and support, but not always about softness or delicacy. This set though?
This set gives me the shape and the centered profile I love while feeling AMAZING to wear. I can’t get over how much softer it is than some of the Panache bras I’ve worn in the past. I don’t have to fiddle or fuss with it at all during the day, and I find the band much more comfortable than Jasmine or Envy. I love those bras, but bottom elastic edge can dig in painfully over the course of the day.
I love the higher rise of the brief, which means the waistband never rolls down or digs into my lower belly. The seat can be a little “cheeky”; it’s not super full coverage and it doesn’t have an elasticized legline, and so it does occasionally ride up a bit in the back. So far it hasn’t been uncomfortable, but my preference is for briefs with a bit more rear coverage. That’s a tiny little nitpick though; in general I’m always delighted when this set is sitting clean at the top of my lingerie drawer.
I’m so, SO glad to learn that Olivia is coming back for Fall/Winter 2015 and by the looks of things for Spring/Summer 2016. I already feel like this is a set I’ll want to buy again and again. It fits well, feels great, and looks so pretty: this one’s a winner!
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Bra and Brief: Olivia by Panache ($65, $30). 30-38 D-K, XS-XXL. Olivia is available at Breakout Bras, Nordstrom, Bare Necessities, SimplyBe, and HerRoom. Panache is a UK brand, so the cup size progression is D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K. Olivia will be available in Teal for Fall/Winter 2015 and in Raspberry for Spring/Summer 2016.
Photos: Studio Rezin
Erica of A Sophisticated PairJune 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm (8 years ago)
I was just remarking on Les Gros Bonnets that it was nice to see two reviews of this bra because it looks so lovely. With Panache, it’s hard to tell until you get a bra in front of you whether or not it will have any potential. I like that they are using a stretchier fabric which is also soft to the touch. I think Floris gave incredible lift, but the lack of stretch was problematic for pronounced asymmetry or weight fluctuations. This one definitely seems worth pursuing and recommending in the shop!
SweetsJuly 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm (8 years ago)
I think this is such a great new style, especially since it’s in G-K sizes. The fabric both looks good and feels good, and the shape is that upfront rounded Panache/Cleo shape that so many people love. Floris has never really spoken to me, design-wise, but Olivia really does it for me. I hope it sticks around!
Lee RiversJune 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm (8 years ago)
Sweeeeet, I thought. As Erica and Astrid said, I am intrigued by the different fabric choice because Floris wanted me to have a specific shape I didn’t. I’ll have to try it on!
Thanks for the review (also I don’t care what you say about lipstick color guides you don’t need them)!
J-Cup JediJune 26, 2015 at 5:59 pm (8 years ago)
How do you feel the cup depth is compared to let’s say Jasmine and Tango? I specifically have issues with depth off the gore. Jasmine does not work for me because the lace is so soft I get no support for my overall soft tissue but the depth and projection is great. Generally, Tango fits me well but I am less than happy with the shape and could use a bit more depth.
SweetsJuly 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm (8 years ago)
Oooh, sorry I’m so late to respond! I found this much closer to Jasmine/Envy than to Tango. If you’ve had issues with the lace in Jasmine I think you’ll be very happy with Olivia. Yes, there’s some stretch, but there’s a LOT more stability too. It’s a great bra!
J-Cup JediJuly 10, 2015 at 3:08 pm (8 years ago)
Thanks. Olivia is on sale for $34.01 at Amazon today! Ordered 2 sizes. Fingers crossed.
DesireeJune 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm (8 years ago)
Need this! Lovely to see reviews from busty ladies as well. We have different comfort needs you know? Love the shots from Michi. Isn’t she amazing?!
SweetsJuly 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm (8 years ago)
She is! I can’t wait to work with her more!
RachelleJuly 5, 2015 at 11:12 pm (8 years ago)
I’ll have to try this when it’s in a darker colorway for fall/winter. (I am just not a lover of light-colored bras and knickers).