Bra Review: Panache Eliza balconette

You may recall that I bought a Panache Eliza bra off of eBay awhile back (I ended up with a second one via grab gag just a few weeks later.) At the time, I was undecided whether or not to keep the bra, but I was leaning toward not keeping it. I have since had time to evaluate it more thoroughly, and write a review.

The Panache Eliza seems to be a pretty popular model. It is also one of the models by Panache that is built differently in sizes above a G cup. The differences can be seen below:

Some of  the changes actually make the Eliza a better bra in large cup sizes than it would be, unaltered. The narrow center gore means that the boobs are more centered, and the base and wide band are very supportive. However, I think that the changes were for the most part ill-conceived. I think that the full cups are very unattractive. I don’t actually care that they are fully-lined, but I do care that they come up so high on my chest. As with the Tango II, this is really ridiculous: I’m 5’3″ and this bra really shouldn’t be be so tall! I don’t think a bra cut so very high is properly a balconette.

Overall the Eliza was not a good fit for me. It pushed my boobs downward and a apart. The shape of the cups flattened me somewhat and created a LOT of space between my boobs.

Good especially for me: I like the narrow underwires. It wasn’t widening the way the Tango II was. I also like how high it is cut under the arm, this is nice for controlling underarm bulge.

Good in general: the Eliza is a sturdy bra and I think it would be very supportive for the right person. The straps are wide, the back band (made of power mesh) is wide and firm. The fabric of the cups is not very stretchy. I think the ruffles are pretty. The fabric on the pink is pretty nice-looking as well.  The seams were flat and not visible through a thin tshirt.

Bad especially for me: the fabric on the Eliza is very rough and uncomfortable. (To be fair, people say that once it breaks in it is more comfortable, and I do have very sensitive skin.) The  front band is too wide and has a sharp edge that digs into my ribs; this may be worse because I am short-waisted, but Hater had the same problem. The top of the cup didn’t quite make quad-boob, but it was tight across the top and as a result pulled down on my boobs. The look was reminiscent of a mammogram (though not nearly as extreme or painful.)

In this angle view, you can see how it pulls my breasts downward. Not what I want in a bra!

Bad in general: The fabric on the black Eliza was very dull and ugly. (Otherwise there was no real difference between the pink and the black.) Then there are the aforementioned changes in shape and coverage: I just don’t think this bra should be called a balconette in larger sizes.

While I looked better in the Eliza than I did in the Tango II, I eventually decided that it’s just not the bra for me. I think I would have kept it if not for the way it pressed down on my boobs. A larger cup size might have been better for me, but then I’d have had even more coverage. I think this bra would be a good fit for someone whose boobs are not full on top, and who is tall or doesn’t mind full coverage. Some people would probably  benefit from sizing up in the cup, but keep in mind you’ll end up with wider wires. With that in mind, I’ve listed both of my Eliza bras on eBay.

12 thoughts on “Bra Review: Panache Eliza balconette

  1. I have the Eliza in black and in buttercup (a light yellow). I’ve altered the buttercup by shortening the band at the center gore and it now fits more like a balconette. It is still full coverage, but with more space on top. I think both bras are reasonnably pretty, much more so than the Tango in any case. I really like how the sheer ruffles contrasts with the opaque bra. What bothers me with the extra lining is that the black bra in particular doesn’t seem to match the sheer brief.
    Anyway, I agree that the fabric is not the best for sensitive skin, but that it is quite sturdy and non stretchy

  2. Hi!

    How do you feel Panache bra sizing compared to Primadonna? I have Primadonna Madison in 42H and the central gore doesn’t lie flat against my sternum. It’s about 1 cm from my ribcage. I was wondering if Panache Andorra in 40J could be a better answer for my prayers… I guess I really need a deep cup, but not the widest underwire. Which ones have wider underwires in your opinion, Primadonna or Panache? I’ve heard the Andorra isn’t as wide as Panache usually is.

    • Hi Mindy! The Panache Andorra is actually my very favorite bra at the moment. I have a review coming. It has its flaws, but I think that the cup construction is absolutely brilliant.

      I personally have not had success with Primadonna bras. They do not do double-letter cups, and a 34G is too shallow for me, while a 34H has cups too wide. In particular I tried on several Primadonna bras the same day that I first tried on a Panache Andorra. It is hard to say if they are necessarily wider, because of the single-letter0only sizing, but they are a very different fit.

      The Panache Andorra is narrower in the cup than other Panache Superbra bras I’ve tried. It has somewhat “tall” cups, much like an Ewa Michalak bra, so though it does not seem deep, it really does have a lot of room. Though it is billed as a full cup bra, it’s actually a balconette, imo.

      My review will of course cover the negatives as well as the positives, but really, I do have so many good things to say about Andorra. Please let me know if you try it and like it!

    • I’ve tried the Panache Andorra and it is a very nice bra. The shape is more rounded but I did find it to run a cup size small. The underband bothered me too unfortunately. I did not like all the lace hanging down in the front of the underband. If that extra part weren’t there I would have bought the bra. This may not bother other people though so I’d say to definitely give it a shot.

      • I also do not like the lace at the bottom of the band. However, I do not think that the Panache Andorra runs small in the cup; I think it is just more narrow than other Panache models, and cut differently, so people who aren’t used to it, or who want that extra width, think it runs small. It’s just a very different fit from other Panache models.

        Besides the Andorra, my other bras are all Cleo and Fantasie, and I wear a 34GG in all of those(these are Fantasie side support models), and in the Andorra. I also have tried a Panache Tango 2 and a Panache Eliza and I wear a 34GG in those as well, but the fits are all wrong for me.

  3. Pingback: Superbra Autumn/Winter 2013 Looks Amazing! | My Curves

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