When I was first fitted as a 30JJ, it was relatively easy to find bras that worked for me. Somehow, going up just 1-2 cups has made so many of my favourite bras unwearable, and forced me to look around for a new favourite bra. I covered some of the bras I tried out back in July, and around the same time, I decided to try the Panache Jasmine. The Panache Jasmine is a full-cup bra, available in 30-38 D-K. Full-cup construction isn’t usually known for giving a good shape, but full-cups with side-sling support are another story, giving lots of shaping and uplift. In this bra, the top section of the cup is made with stretch lace, which allows the bra to work for a variety of breast shapes.
At the time of purchasing I was between a 30K/KK in most bras (30L in Bravissimo Alana), so I first decided to try a 30K.
This is the Bravissimo exclusive Red/Floral colourway. At first glance it seemed to be a reasonably good fit, giving a naturally uplifted shape. Appearance-wise, I love it – the bright floral pattern with magenta highlights is so eye-catching and fun. As I hoped, it runs quite large in the cup, and quite comparable in size to the Cleo Marcie (perhaps even slightly more generous in the cup). However, I did find a few problems with the fit.
The most obvious was the band – the band stretched to nearly 31.5 inches new, so this size fit more like a tight-banded 32K. I do find that Panache bands run loose in the higher cup sizes, as opposed to running tight in the smaller cup sizes. The reasonably wide band fastens with three sets of hooks and eyes, which I much prefer to Cleo’s thin two hook bands. I found I had gapping and excess fabric around the strap, which I do get to some degree in most bras, due to being centre heavy. In this case, I think this was partially due to my lack of outer fullness, but it was made much worse here by a too-large cup.
As you can see in this picture, the wires were about an inch too wide for me, resulting in a lot of cup wrinkling towards the sides and outer-bottom. I also found the straps slightly too wide-set, which made them cut into my shoulders. Both of these things are common problems for me, but they were exacerbated by the cup being too big – without my breasts fully filling the cups, the cups were pushed forward less than they should have been, allowing the straps to sit further back, along with more empty space at the sides than there would be in the right size. This also means that the band feels slightly looser than it would with a well-fitting cup.
From this, I decided to try a 30JJ.
Above and below are pictures of the 30JJ, which I found to be a much better fit. The Jasmine is well-known for giving an extremely round shape in the right size, which was another reason I suspected the 30K was too large in the cup. This size gives a much rounder shape, and with much better wire width. I would say the width is narrow for UK brands, although probably still about 1cm too wide for me. I found the wires to be very firm (as expected from Panache), so the gore sits flat despite my close-setness. Due to the height and firmness of the wires, this is slightly uncomfortable on me, but would be less of a problem on those who are less close-set. The straps are still slightly too wide-set, but they are much more manageable in this size.
I do find a get a little wrinkling at the bottom of the cup, possibly due to depth or root shape incompatibility. I still get minor gapping at the strap, but no more than I do in most bras. I found the height under the arm to be somewhat tall, but still more comfortable than most bras in this size range. Again, I found the band to run loose, stretching to nearly 31.5 inches when new. Ideally I believe I would wear a 28K in this bra, but sadly the smallest band size in this bra is a 30. I’m not a huge fan of the straps of this bra – they are fairly thin, as well as padded on the front section, which makes them dig in somewhat, as well as being hard to tighten more than a couple of inches. After buying this, I also bought the black Bird Print colourway in a 30JJ, which I found was pretty much identical in terms of sizing.
Finally, I decided to try the 30J, just to make sure 30JJ was the best size for me.
The above and below pictures are the 30J (sorry if the picture layout is confusing). I found I had overspill at the top of the cup (something I didn’t think would be possible in this bra!). I also found that my nipples sat well above the apex of the cup, which (since I have roughly even fullness) meant I had more breast tissue in the upper section than the lower, again showing the larger cup is better for me.
I think it is clear in this picture that the cups are too small, and the shape I get is definitely somewhat odd. I did find the band to be slightly better on this bra. I thought this was possibly due to the too-small cups making the band feel tighter, but there was also a measurable difference – the band stretched to about 30.5 inches when new, though I’m not sure if others would find the same.
Despite the little fit issues I have with this bra, it is absolutely stunning, and the stretch lace makes it a very good contender for many breast types, as well as adapting well to fluctuations in size. The stretch lace is firm and supportive, but it is also generous, able to either stretch to accommodate FoT breasts or sit flat to contain FoB breasts. I have gone down about half a cup since taking these pictures (now more like a 30K in Bravissimo balconettes), but my 30JJ Jasmines are still quite good fits. The range of sizes it could fit is very good – I found a 30JJ Panache Jasmine to be comparable in size to a 32KK Bravissimo Alana or 65O Comexim plunge. Also, higher cup sizes will have proportionally more stretch lace, which would potentially allow even more upper volume. I would say the size range potentially covers 28-40 bands and D-L cups (smaller band sizes with small cups running small in the band, and any band size with larger cups running big in the band). My only real complaints are the looseness of the bands in higher cups, the lack of 28 bands, and the hard to adjust straps. All-in-all though, it’s one of the most solid designs on the UK full-bust market at the moment, and I would recommend trying it for most people.
I bought this bra in July 2013, so unfortunately this colourway is no longer available from Bravissimo. The AW13 colourways are the luxurious Champagne/Pink and the Bravissimo exclusive Wine, and the SS14 Animal Print has just been released.
Have you tried the Panache Jasmine? What did you think of it?
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