Panache Jasmine vs Panache Envy

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The Panache Envy often gets touted as a basic version of the Panache Jasmine, but truth is there are quite a few differences between the two. So, let’s compare them, ok?

Fabric: This is the most obvious difference. The Jasmine only features stretch lace on the upper part, whereas the Envy is fully made out of stretch lace. As a result of this, some people find it less supportive. It is however comfier.

Gore: While the gore on the Envy is not Freya-wide, it is definitely not as narrow as on the Jasmine. If you’re close-set, that might mean that Jasmine will tack when Envy won’t or will sit on breast tissue.

Coverage: Envy has slightly more coverage than Jasmine. This coupled with the stretchier fabric means that it’s easier to size down in the Envy. If you’re breasts are soft in particular, this will give you more compression and thus better support and you’re less likely to fall out of the cup than in the Jasmine.

Projection: The Jasmine gives a lot of projection. The Envy gives a more compact rounded shape that impressed Bras I hate and love.

End of the story, both are great bras in their own right, but you won’t know which one will be your favourite before trying them. This season, Envy comes in a lovely Cassis shade, but I’m holding on until next season for a new Jasmine… this houndstooth print will be mine!

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Bravissimo L cup offering

I’ve been a Bravissimo fan for a long time and I must say I’m very impressed with their efforts to serve those of us on the largest cup extreme. Since the year started, they’ve offered three new bras up to an L cup alongside their best-selling Alana.

The Fleur bra, which launched last Winter, is Bravissimo’s first full cup bra available up to an L cup. I must admit that I wasn’t wowed by its design, but so far all L cup bras had been balconettes, so this new shape was still an exciting addition to their range. Fitwise, I found it quite similar to the one Bravissimo full cup bra I’ve tried, that is the Pretty as a Pin up bra. In short, the wires are narrower than on most full cup bras I’ve tried. The band is on the tight side and the top panel is not FOT friendly. You may also have trouble with the fit if you’re very center heavy. However, it’s very supportive and comfy. I wouldn’t wear it under a tight shirt or as a boudoir piece, but on days I have to run around a lot, it does the job!

The Floral Haze bra is another one that is not typically my style look wise. (I don’t like florals AND I don’t wear blue), but I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I got it, as this particular shade of blue is quite flattering. Warning: it runs quite small in the band. If you’re between sizes, definitely go with the largest. If not, you might want to size up, depending how tight you like your bras. Although it is not modeled after it, it is supposed to be quite similar to the the Oriental Bloom. I’ve compared a Floral Haze and Oriental Bloom in the same size and have found that the band on the Floral Haze is tighter, the center gore comes up a little bit higher and the wire itself a bit longer. However, the width is identical.

Finally, the Calessi bra is supposedly  similar to the Alana shape wise. Here again, I’ve compared to bras in the same size and the Calessi had slightly wider wires. Still the fit is somewhat similar. If the Alana is a great fit on you, the Calessi should work too, but if you find the Alana a bit too wide and shallow, the Calessi should be a worst fit and I would advise you to avoid it.

All in all, I’m really pleased to see that Bravissimo is willing to expand and update its largest cup offering, when most other brands won’t even try a single K+ bra.

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Made in Preston Spring Floral Skater Dress

Made in Preston is a young boob-friendly brand based in the UK. They offer clothes, swimwear and lingerie. The clothing goes from a UK size 6 to a 16, with a few pieces available up to an 18. Add to that 3 bust sizes: Fit (for an average chest size), Foxy (for a busty figure) and Fab (for a very busty figure). Not long ago, I’ve tried a dress and a bikini from their collection. While the bikini was a complete disaster on me, the dress had plenty of bust room in a 14 Fab, which should only work up to a 34/36J. My guess is that it could easily accommodate up to a 36K and sister sizes.

 

When MiP contacted me offering me to review an item, I jumped on the occasion to check if the brand could work on those of us in the JJ-L cup segment. As I had been admiring Laura from Thin and Curvy in her floral skater dress, I went straight for this style.

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This confirmed my theory: Made in Preston stretchy items work perfectly for J+ cups. So, if you wear a JJ, K or even KK cup bra size and a 6 to 16 dress size and have been on the fence about ordering, I definitely suggest you give them a try. Just go for you regular trousers size or one size up in a Fab.

I got the dress in a 16 Fab, just like Laura and it works just as well on a 34KK than on a 34HH. Well done, Made in Preston!

I’m usually not a fan of floral prints, but in this case, the pattern looks almost abstract and the colours work great for me. Furthemore, the cut is incredibly flattering. I’m a sucker for skater dresses, which I found excellent to balance a top heavy figure. The black panel going down all the way to the waistline is genius: the neckline is modest without making the bust appear larger than it is and the deep V shape accentuates the waist, awesome when belts don’t work for you. Speaking of which, the waistline hits exactly my natural waist. I’m just under 5 ft 5 and the dress reaches mid-thigh, the perfect skater dress length, on me. That means it might come a bit short on taller women, but I’m happy I didn’t have to have it hemmed.

Just like Laura, I found that the dress comes up very high on the neck. It doesn’t particularly bother me, but it does create a similar pressure to a halter neck.

All in all, I’m very happy with the dress and would consider buying it in another pattern and colour. May I suggest something red or hot pink? Or a nice shade of orange?

Made in Preston has really grown on me in just a few seasons. I’ve always liked the fact that the brand has a strong identity, but I tend to think of the core customer as a twenty-something party girl from Essex, who dresses up to go clubbing and likes to follow the trends. As a thirty-something Parisian who is more into wine bars than clubs and whose style doesn’t vary much every season, I feel quite far from this customer. Still, there are more and more things making it to my wish list as the collection is growing…

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Just to  “name” a few!

 

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On beauty

A while ago, a friend of mine told me: “I am not beautiful”. She wasn’t fishing for compliments. She said this matteroffactedly. And while, I do see beauty in her, I also see where she’s coming from. She doesn’t look like the ideal and it doesn’t bother her. Why should it? Sure being conventionally attractive can open a few doors (and comes with its own set of challenges), while being seen as ugly can really hinder you in life. But most of us  fall out somewhere in-between. And attractiveness is a highly relative thing.

That is something that bothers me with the body positive movement and with that infamous Dove campaign. I appreciate that it’s a nice feeling to like what you see in the mirror and I get that beauty comes in various sizes and shapes, but at the end of the day, I don’t find everybody beautiful. I’m not a big meanie and I don’t go around telling those people that I find unattractive that they are unattractive to me. I’m also not bothered by the idea that some people might find me plain, as long as they are polite about it. Sure we can redefine beauty to see it as more than skin-deep, but I don’t see why the fact that “Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful” should be seen as such terrible news. I wouldn’t use the word “beautiful” to describe myself in a survey and I don’t think that makes me any lacking or unworthy. In fact, I consider myself a pretty confident person. Perhaps in part because I don’t subscribe to the notion that my worth equals my appearance. 

In short, there is a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way. Instead of trying to reassure women that they are pretty, maybe we could shift the focus  on reevaluating the importance of prettiness in the first place.

 

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Made in Preston Military block dress and polka dot bikini review

Made in Preston is a British bust-friendly brand selling clothes, underwear and swimwear, that launched last season. They recently had a very generous offer: 50% off your first order. As I had never ordered from them, I figured this was the perfect occasion to try out their stuff. I opted for a flirty polka dot bikini and a graphic black and white dress.

I really really wanted the red polka dot bikini to work.  I didn’t expect a wireless bikini to provide much uplift or support and I knew it was going to be way skimpier than what I usually wear on the beach, but I thought I would end up with good side coverage and a large amount of cleavage, like Thin and Curvy’s Brittany in the bikini this one is based on.

Seriously, how can I be blamed for trying? It is the cutest thing.

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MIP’s 16 fab size is supposed to fit up to a 38J. I figured that it should work for sister sizes. Wrong! There was just not enough fabric to cover me on the sides. If you’re a 36H or smaller though, check it out!

Next was a little dress I had spotted when MIP previewed their first collection: the black military block panel dress. I find that the black and white colour blocking has a sleek mod vibe and that the white panels on the hips could flatter a top heavy figure. The 16 fab was sold out so I went for the 14 fab, as the fabric is stretchy and The Curves have it’s review for the same dress with reverse colours indicated that it was quite generous in the bust. It did indeed have enough bust room and fitted fine in the body, but I was unhappy with the length. While it reaches mid thigh on the model, it went way past the knees on my 5 ft 4 self, not a great look for someone like me who never wear heels! In the end, I decided that I didn’t love it enough to pay to get it hemmed.

Thankfully, MIP offers free returns, so both items will be going back. While these didn’t quite work out for me, I’ll definitely give the brand another try at some point, now that I have a better idea of the sizing. It would be very helpful if the website indicated the length for dresses, rather than the height of the model though.

If you’re curious about MIP, you might want to check the following reviews:

Dress round up, by Thin and Curvy’s Laura

Aztec bralet, by Bybabysrules

Aztec bralet, by Obsessed with breasts

Edited to add that I had no problem getting a refund, by sending back the items with the return form carefully filled. Furthermore, the refund occurred on the day my credit card got cancelled. I mentioned it on Made in Preston FB page and the issue was sorted out in less than 24 hours.

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Louise Ferdinand new pricing structure

Louise Ferdinand is one rare specie: a full-bust brand that goes up to a KK cup, with an esthetique, I would actually be drawn to regardless of their size range. Unfortunately, the price tag is a bit above my budget and since I’ve found options that fit me better, I usually settle for these even when I’m not crazy about the styling (Floris, anyone?).

Recently, Louise Ferdinand has introduced a New Season pricing structure, making the SS14 models more affordable and damn this collection is GORGEOUS!

This:

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is the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen available in my size, not to mention a true plunge. And, yes, at 55.95£, it is still not cheap, but it’s already quite a nice effort for an independant designer. And I’m obsessessed and it shall be mine!

Besides Uma, the new season features Edie and Jessica. Ali, Audrey, Britannia Angelina, Marlene and Dolcie are also available at the same price.

I’ve reviewed Angelina.

Georgina from FFFB has reviewed a special made “Kitty” set.

 

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Panache Floris review: a Cleo style in a K cup?

I’ve looked around, but haven’t found any review of Panache Floris, a style that came out last season without much publicity. I almost ruled it out, because I didn’t like the styling, but I kept coming back, because it was supposedly based on Cleo Marcie. And it is no secret how much I love my Marcie babydoll.

I finally cave in and the Floris is indeed what people have been petitioning for: a Cleo bra in a K cup with a three hook back! Of course, it is labeled as Superbra, but the fit is definitely reminiscent of Cleo.

It’s hard to compare since Marcie is not available in a K cup, but Floris seems less open on top. There is however a lot of room in the upper part of the cup and the firmer upper cup provides good support, something you might enjoy if your breasts happen to be both softer and fuller on top and end up quadboobing in everything.

As I said, I’m not a fan on the look of the first Floris. The new purple colourway for this season is not quite as bad. And next season’s model previewed by Stanikomania looks pretty decent.

So if you’ve been sister sizing in Cleo because you like the fit but need a JJ or K cup, you might want to give Floris a chance!

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