Product Review: Panache Petra Bra

Welcome to Panache week! With our Find Your Fit Event on Saturday, I thought it would be fun to review two new Panache styles, starting with Petra from the classic Panache line. I’ve been eyeing Petra lustfully since the debut, but I am always hesitant about padded cups. My concern relates less to disliking padding and more to the myriad of fit issues I experience, including too shallow cups which create the “floating boob” or “orange in a glass” effect at the base. I also struggle with the center cups not having enough immediate projection which reduces the ability of the bra to tack, i.e., sit flat against my sternum. Considering my experience with Panache’s molded cups has never been exceptional, I worried Petra would simply be a pretty bra I could never wear.

First, Panache is on point lately with making sure their bras are true-to-size. Recently, I tried Petra, Kayla, Thea, Gina, Chi Chi, and Candi in size UK 34H (US 34K) and the size was perfect on every bra! As a consumer and as a retailer, I love true-to-size brands because fluctuations in band or cup make it challenging to know the right size to buy both for myself and for my customers. With Petra, the 34 band feels comfortable on the loosest set of hooks without any gaping or overflow on the H cup. The center gore tacks comfortably for complete separation, and the cups provide enough projection for my narrow set tissue. At the base, I do not experience the aforementioned problems with shallowness, making the fit nearly perfect. The wire on the side is slightly wide for my frame but not overly so, and all of my tissue is totally encapsulated. If a wire is wide on me, I typically do not mind unless it digs or pulls the cup fabric sharply into my underarm. Petra does neither, and after two hours of wear, I forgot I wasn’t wearing a Comexim!

Panache Petra: UK 28-38 D-H, $70

Upon examining Petra, the design strikes me as a padded cup version of one of the more successful frames like Jasmine. Both utilize a four-section cup design complete with a side panel to gently pull tissue toward the front, a vertical seamed lower cup for lift, and an upper cup for containment. The result is a projected, lifted, and rounded profile. My boobs are sitting high in this baby, and the structured cup takes on the bulk of the heavy lifting, leaving my shoulders and back pain-free. When I put this bra on, I was smitten both with the bra and with how kick ass my boobs look. Go Panache! That said, the cup shape at the top is quite open, and I worry bottom heavy or soft tissue types could experience issues. Keep this in mind if you are contemplating purchasing.

Lately, Panache has focused on higher quality offerings, both in terms of design and materials, and Petra is no exception at $70. The powermesh wings are lightweight and feature sewn-in elastic to anchor comfortably. Fully-adjustable partially-felted straps are standard for Panache in fuller-cups, which I both love and loathe. I love how the felt part cushions the shoulders and prevents the straps from stretching over time, but getting the adjuster over the felt requires some patience. Perhaps we could find a compromise point with materials here?

The lightly padded cups use a plush material rather than a rigid, inflexible one. In fact, gripping the cup between your fingers feels more akin to modern spacer fabric than a true padded cup. This higher quality material contours better to breast tissue while also feeling lighter weight and softer. On the interior of the cup, the fabric is smooth and silky while the exterior uses a flat-laying lace and discreet seaming.  The side of the cup near the top features elastic to contour and stretch with movement, which also contributes to why the bra feels comfortable despite the added underwire width.

I love the shape Petra gives under my clothes, and I find the combination of the lace and seaming are fairly discreet under knits, especially in comparison to offerings from competitor’s. Aesthetically, Petra is a sophisticated, elegant take on a neutral bra. Cappuccino base with cream lace provides light contrast, and the choice to sew the lace on each section rather than cover the full cup was a unique one which adds a thoughtful touch.

In the past, Panache often produced higher priced items in flashy prints or bright colors, and it falls flat for our consumers. Most of my customers willing and able to spend more than $60 on a bra look for pieces that are either special in a timeless, classic kind of way or those which are versatile to lower the cost per wear. As a result, when you release a $70 bra in—I don’t know—a bright pink and blue animal print, it misses the target market here. With Petra, you have the best of both worlds: timeless elegance with maximum practicality.

I have to confess that once I found Comexim, I pretty much wrote off any other brand as being able to produce a favorite bra, but now that I am experimenting again, I am really happy with the increased options. Petra is one of my new favorites, and I am looking forward to snagging one in a darker color in the future!

Final Grade: A+

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Product Review: Panache Petra Bra
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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6 thoughts on “Product Review: Panache Petra Bra

  • September 14, 2017 at 4:04 pm
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    Hi Erica glad you brought the Petra and have done this review. I brought it myself a couple of weeks ago in a 32GG, my current size. I found it really comfy, wire width is just right though the cup is a little tall for my new bottom heavy, soft shape. But it gives a great shape under tops, and the colour is gorgeous. Any other colourists coming out next year? I’d also recommend the new Clara in the pink colour way, it’s beautiful!

    Reply
    • Erica
      September 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm
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      It really is comfortable! I suspected it would create issues with softer, bottom heavy breasts, but if you love it, that’s what matters. I believe there is a navy coming out next year which looks lovely. I’m regretting not including it my fashion order after trying it out!

      Reply
  • September 14, 2017 at 6:29 pm
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    NOOOOOOO! The Spring 18 color was so gorgeous, and I still don’t think I will fit in it, but I have to say I am quite heartened by the great fit you got! (I honnestly don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse.)

    Reply
    • Erica
      September 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm
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      If it’s any consolation, I don’t think it would work simply because it stops at the H cup. I have a Kayla review coming for tomorrow, and I wore the 34H in that too. In fact, I took a 34H in everything I tried from Panache recently, and you definitely wear the HH cup. You’d wind up needing to go to the 38H for cup coverage, and this band would not support it at all. 🙁 But, maybe they’ll adopt the frame for the future. It feels like what we were trying to get for you with Comexim but never quite made it.

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      • September 15, 2017 at 5:59 pm
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        Yeah I knew it would be too small when I saw it in the catalog, but I thought it would at least 2 cup sizes too small since padded cups normally seem to run small. So somehow only being one cup size off is both better and worse. I am really glad that its a good fit, well made and runs true to size. I think that is better for the brand overall and its chances to be expanded or maybe even verisioned for Sculptresse one day.

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        • Erica
          September 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm
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          I thought I was going to be sized out too honestly, and yes, I’d love to see them transition to Sculptresse. Elomi has the Anushka style, and it seems like Panache is going more head-to-head with them lately. This would be perfect for that, particularly because it’s not a half-cup. I love the decision to use the four-section design here and hope to see more of it. Now we just need to get them to make it in basics . . .

          Reply

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