I have a vision of two Panache designers sitting at a long table with colorful fashion sketches intermixed with swatches of fabric, lace, and ribbon, and one asks “What about making another, slightly different version of Jasmine?” The other nods as she contemplates the question before finally responding “Well, you can never have too much of a good thing.” There’s more to this fictitious conversation obviously, but I truncated it to what is relevant for the review. For those not familiar with the brand, Jasmine is one of those best-selling, crowd-pleasing favorites which brands and retailers alike dub “rent payers,” and because of that success, Panache has tweaked Jasmine several times, including fuller-coverage Envy and plus-size friendly Chi Chi. As a result, when my rep told me last year the Cleo line would now feature a Jasmine-esque style, I was so ecstatic I ordered a bunch for the shop. Yet, I have never seemed to review the style myself.
For starters, Kayla sports the beautiful stretch lace found in so many of the Jasmine variations as well as sister styles like Clara and Andorra. Stretch lace contours more evenly across breast shapes, especially in cases of asymmetry, and also forgives size and weight fluctuations. However, the flexibility decreases the overall hold and containment, and for some clients, the jiggle factor is too high for comfort. Like both Marcie and Jasmine, Kayla also features a narrow gore, U-shaped underwires, and deep, projected cups—an ideal combination for narrow roots and close set tissue. The forward projection, vertical lift, and rounded shape is phenomenal, and the use of stretch lace on the upper cup lends a better fit across breast shapes.
For the frame, Kayla relies more on Marcie’s construction, opting instead for its three-section design over Jasmine’s four sections; however, Marcie sports a 2-ply mesh on the bottom whereas Kayla borrows from Jasmine to utilize restricted stretch fabric. In all three styles, a center vertical seam lends added boost while powermesh wings anchor comfortably to the body. Falling somewhere between Marcie’s mesh and Jasmine’s heavier fabric, the lower cup material manages to be both lightweight and sturdy, gently pulling tissue forward and supporting the weight easily. Moreover, as with all fuller-cup Panache bras, the straps are fully-adjustable but partially felted.
Since Kayla is in the Cleo collection, it naturally only has two hook-and-eye closures, a decision I find polarizing. Some clients love how much lighter the bra becomes without all the added back and side height while others feel the band loses comfort and even stretches faster. Personally, I prefer three hooks but do not mind two provided the support is not compromised. Because of the textile decisions, Kayla also proves a lightweight bra overall. We received our first shipment last year right before summer, and customers reported how much cooler they stayed wearing Kayla. Given how warm our temperatures are (*cough* 88 degrees today *cough*), a piece like this can become a go-to because of the difference it makes.
Before discovering Comexim, Marcie was my favorite bra, and the comfort and lightness even allowed me to climb a mountain wearing it. Meanwhile, Jasmine was the first bra I really experienced a “break in” period on, and I think Kayla again leans more toward Marcie in this respect. The bra just feels comfortable. The underwire height on the side is also slightly slower than Jasmine too, an important change for people who struggle with the wires on the original. That said, the height and width combination does pull slightly under my arm, but I believe this relates more to the newness and thus stiffness of the fabric. I compared the height with Petra and found them similar, and Petra has become an everyday staple. I’m sure the side will soften with wear and washing—washing especially because Panache uses a pretty sturdy starch on their bras.
In previous seasons, Kayla released in a multi-color plaid and a brushstroke inspired print, and for fall, Kayla veers more neutral with a monochromatic palette of painterly floral blooms and hot pink accent bows. It’s a cute bra with a cute print and cute details, but it’s not one of those lust-inducing bras for me. Of course, I have written over fifty bra reviews, and I may be jaded. Strike that. Yes, I am totally jaded. I’m literally writing the first draft of this review, listening to Fleetwood Mac, and now chastising myself for how jaded I’ve become. I can remember when my bra choices were beige, slightly different beige, and white. Now, I’m all “Meh, it’s cute” to a bra I would have jumped for joy to have six years ago. Dear readers, take my aesthetic notes with a grain of salt. That said, because this is Panache, there are no core neutral options for this bra, but the use of black lace, accents, and background mean Kayla reads like a traditional black bra which certainly adds to the versatility.
Overall, I see why our clients have been loving this bra since its release. It fits wells, feels comfortable, and provides a gorgeous profile. Oh and did I mention, the discreet seaming and flat lace make it easy to wear under knits without much show through? So if you love Jasmine and/or Marcie, definitely give Kayla a try, and oh look at that, it’s conveniently located in our online store.