Product Review: Anna Pardal Hibiscus Longline

Hello Everyone,

Industry innovator, Anna Pardal recently revamped her website to debut her latest collection complete with stunning prints and new styles engineered from the extensive feedback provided by customers and retailers.  Most traditional manufacturers will use a particular fabric to create one or two styles, but Anna Pardal instead chose to offer four different bra frames in addition to a host of other custom features ranging from adding nursing clasps or asymmetry pockets for free, extending the band of any bra into a longline style, or allowing specific alteration requests at the modest fee of $10.  Because of the higher quality materials and the improved designs, prices have increased, which will impact our shop in the coming weeks, but I have a much longer post about this and other store changes planned for September.

For today, I am focusing on reviewing the fabulous Hibiscus longline I have been lusting after since I saw the post on Sweet Nothings.  When I ordered my longline, the website upgrade had not been finished, and as a result, the cup for this bra is the classic plunge with reduced cups and the straps moved in 2cm.  As I understand it, the Nuance Plunge will be closer to this design although not exact.

Anna Pardal Hibiscus and Matching Brief
Anna Pardal Hibiscus and Matching Brief

Sizing & Fit:  Because I have written extensively on the fit of Anna Pardal bras, I’m am going to spare my regular readers and not rehash everything here.  However, if you’re interested in learning more, you need only type “Anna Pardal” into the search box of the blog and pour over the copious reviews and alterations information I have posted.  When I ordered the Hibiscus longline, I opted for a 34H instead of my usual 32HH because I was concerned about the tightness around my sometimes sensitive stomach, and I knew I wanted this piece for wearing to the shop.  Everything fits perfectly!  The cup does not have any gaping or overflow, and the band is comfortably snug on the loosest set of hooks.

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Moving in the straps and reducing the cup improved the fit by eliminating gaping near the top of the cup and by securing the straps on my shoulders better, and I chose the original gore height for moderate coverage.  Sometimes I experience a soft tack, more so with Comexim than Anna Pardal, but the Hibiscus presses comfortably into my sternum for an overall wonderful fit.  When I looked in the mirror wearing the Hibiscus, I exclaimed to no one other than my pervy dogs:  Damn, my boobs look awesome in this bra! 

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Of course, I would be remiss if I did not compliment the fantastic longine design.  When we opened in 2011, we carried the Freya Nieve longine (remember that one with the chintzy liberty print?), and it sold extremely well.  However, I always like to ask our customers for later feedback, and while some people loved the design, others had problems with the entire band rolling up to the underwires as they move or sat.  Almost everyone reserved the bra for special occasions instead of as an everyday piece, and I wavered on carrying more longline options.

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Later on, Parfait debuted their Danielle longline which we offered on special order.  Parfait utilized boning on the front and sides to prevent rolling, but anything less than balance-a-book-on-your-head posture allowed the bra to dig into the tissue.  Sometimes even perfect posture was not enough.  The viability of a longline bra was not looking good!  Then, along came Curvy Kate with their gorgeous Carmen that forwent boning in the front for more flexible pieces on the side.  I loved the bra and found the band did not roll and had only minimal issues with poking/digging on the sides.  I thought Carmen was the pinnacle of longline design . . . until Anna Pardal.

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What makes the Anna Pardal longline successful is the use of a heavier, elasticized piece at the bottom which feels tighter than the rest of the band and anchors to the ribs for stability.  The elastic strip occasionally flips on me if I have been bending frequently, but the band itself never rolls up.  Every bra I have owned from Fantasie to Freya to Panache to Anna Pardal often flips a little at the underwire because of how much I move, and I have to fix it about twice a day.  It’s not a big deal unless I am busy which can then give it time to rub, but the longline completely eradicated this problem as well as the usual red marks from the added fabric putting pressure on my skin.

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Furthermore, the band removed so much pressure from my shoulders and back that I was practically dancing around the store the first time I wore it, and I am currently exercising considerable willpower to keep from wearing it everyday.  The extra wide band disperses the weight of the bust wonderfully while providing incredible side smoothing and back support.  I have a bit of squishy tissue by my band which can sometimes create a small lump under tops, but the longline offers one vertical line from underarm to waist for a flattering silhouette.  I plan on having at least three longlines at any time in my wardrobe . . . and that’s saying something because it’s pretty hot and muggy today.

Materials & Design:  One of the reasons this longline feels so great is the fabrics are comfortable but also breathable.  The lovely print extends only partially toward the side before transitioning to a firm fitting but lighter-weight mesh, and the elastic strip at the bottom does not feel hard or rough.  Because of the brand’s commitment to quality, the rest of the bra more than matches the price too.  Lightly padded cups are thick enough to provide nipple coverage but flexible for an improved fit, and the fully-adjustable reduced-stretch straps prevent digging.

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My dark bra obsession continues because I find Hibiscus to sport a stunning floral print alternative.  Instead of petals and blooming flowers, Hibiscus presents leafy ferns on a complex abstract background similar to stained glass.  The beige background is close enough to my skin to allow the black threading to seem like a tattoo directly on the skin.  Darker skin tone would rock this design too, and I think the use of a classic neutral pattern allows the unique choice of print to flourish.  No Anna Pardal bra would be complete without thoughtful finishing touches, and Hibiscus offers bra aficionados embellished straps, an over-sized center bow, and a chic minimalist strip of embroidery at the top of the cup.  Anna Pardal Hibiscus perfectly embodies sophistication, luxury, comfort, and support.  Did I mention this is my new favorite?

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Size 3 (Large) Briefs
Size 3 (Large) Briefs

The Brief:  In the past, I have only tried the thongs and the tap pants from Anna Pardal, and while I love the bras, I hate thongs and found the tap pants quickly, shall we say, relocated north after a couple minutes.  The briefs, on the other hand, are perfect.  They stay put all day, feel incredibly comfortable, and do not dig into my hips.  I have yet to find a panty I love as much as the Natori Bliss series, but these are one of my favorites for a matching set.

Overall Grade  A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Product Review: Anna Pardal Hibiscus Longline
Erica
Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.
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11 thoughts on “Product Review: Anna Pardal Hibiscus Longline

  • August 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm
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    I absolutely love this lingerie set

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  • August 13, 2015 at 1:22 am
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    A note on the Carmen, I had to remove the side stays because they weren’t long enough and after 10 minutes wearing it the boning would be stabbing me, and the front longline isn’t long enough to lie flat. All that being said I adore the way boobs look into this bra, and it’s one of my favourites now that I’ve removed the boning. I am looking forward to trying a Anna Pardal longline! Thanks for your review.

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  • August 16, 2015 at 9:38 am
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    Fab review as always:-) looks a lovely bra and even better its a longline! Have you seen the new Parfait Charlotte? The floral pattern in monochrome is similar to this and is wonderful. Definitely on my wish list!

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    • Erica
      August 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm
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      Yes, I did see the new Charlotte! I really love the way they brought something fresh to the table in what is truly the brand’s classic, core style. It’s on the shop’s wish list as well. 🙂

      Reply
  • August 24, 2015 at 4:01 am
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    This is so stunning! It’s as if Anna can read minds haha! After checking out the new site I’m pretty convinced I need to try this in the sophiticate balconette cup style one of these days.

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    • Erica
      August 25, 2015 at 11:02 am
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      Emily, I am excited to try the style as well. It’s so great she has listened to feedback to this extent!

      Reply
  • August 29, 2015 at 11:54 am
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    Gorgeous bra! Elastic or woven strap?

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    • Erica
      September 11, 2015 at 9:51 am
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      I would call it “reduced stretch” if that makes sense because it does have elastic in it to allow for some stretch, but it’s not overly so. There’s still firmness to the fabric to prevent digging in on the shoulders. 🙂

      Reply
  • September 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm
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    Reading this, I’m curious about how quickly the band broke in. I know you went up in the band size, does it still fit well after wearing it for a while?

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    • Erica
      October 3, 2015 at 10:28 am
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      Hi Ruth! I am still using the loosest set of hooks actually, and I wear at least 2-3 times a week because it’s so comfortable. The band has rolled up a smidge more than when it was new, and I can easily clasp it on the tightest hooks now (which fixes the rolling). BUT, because of my food/health issues, it’s more about how the bra feels toward the end of the day, which is why I have kept it on the loosest. Another couple weeks, and I’ll go to the tightest. I want to order another one, but I keep debating if I should get a special extender and start with a 32 or stay with 34. I should also note that I have lost weight recently, so that could be impacting the looseness too.

      Reply

What are your thoughts?