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.)
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.