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BRA REVIEW: Sleep and Soft Cup Bras for Big Breasts, The Panache Alisha Soft Cup

2011 December 19

Image via Bravissimo.com

After striking out with the Royce Soft Cup bra, the next bra I tried from my Bravissimo order was the Panache Alisha soft cup bra. Many online lingerie stores sell the nursing version of this bra, but the plain old soft cup was a bit harder to find. I first saw this bra on Bravissimo, and I’ve since only found it on a handful of other sites: Amazon, the Wizard of Bras, and a few I hadn’t heard of before (Breakout Bras, Luv My Undies, and Upper Cup).

It’s very sweet looking in pale pink with white ribbon detailing on the top of the cup and comes in sizes 30-40 D-J. I tried a 30GG.

Panache Alisha Support Bra

 

Bravissimo says this has a 2-hook closure in sizes D-G and 3 hooks for GG+, although my 30GG had 2-hook closures. It also has even more extra hooks than the Royce Sadie Soft Cup: 6 to the Sadie’s 4. Again, when I asked Panache, they confirmed that this was to accommodate fluctuating band sizes for women wearing this as a maternity bra. I thought it was a nice feature to have so much adjustability if you’re wearing this while pregnant:

Six sets of hooks

 

I wore it on the third set of hooks and the band felt true to size and incredibly comfortable, although it did fold under a little in the front after I had it on for a bit. The elastic on the bottom of the band is covered in a very soft cotton-y fabric–the only of the 3 soft cup bras I tried like this–which I thought was absolutely genius. You can also see all the seaming on the interior of the cups that work to give the breasts their shape in this bra versus an underwire:


Extra soft cotton covering the bottom elastic

 

The lift and shape was much better with the Alisha than the Royce. Even though my breasts weren’t quite as lifted as they are with an underwire, it was a huge improvement over the Royce. Personally, I would have preferred the sides of my breasts to be lifted even a bit more toward the front than spreading out past my ribcage, as this shape makes me feel wider and more busty. Here’s a comparison of the Panache Alisha versus the Royce Sadie:

The Panache Alisha

The Royce Sadie


The GG sized full-coverage cups were a little too small for me at the top of the cup (mostly on my larger left breast), as you can see with the bit of quadraboob below, so I would need to size up to an H. The bra also has more of a compression sports bra feel, with the center gore not providing much separation of the breasts and not sitting against the ribcage. I’m not sure if sizing up in cup would really change that because the bra looks the same even on the Bravissimo model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing I found much different with the seams of all the soft cups I tried is that your nipples don’t line up where the three pieces meet as they do with other 3-piece bras (like this one) — the seaming comes together about an inch higher on the breast. It felt a bit strange because I’m used to using that seaming to make sure my breasts are placed correctly in the bra cup, and because that seaming offers nipple coverage on a regular bra, you can be a bit exposed with a soft cup depending on the material used. Exhibit A, my faintly visible nipple here:

 

OVERALL VERDICT:

Nipples aside, I thought this would do an adequate job for what I was looking for–a comfortable sleep/lounge bra for around the house–but I didn’t like the shape enough to wear it out, and the colors/style were not really that exciting to me.  This bra has a lot of potential with the extra-comfy true-to-size band with the elastic covered by soft fabric, the extra 3 hooks for women wearing this a maternity bra, and the nice lift it gives. But the lack of shaping on the sides of the breasts means I won’t be giving this another go in a bigger cup. The full-cup style is on the small side, so if you try this bra you may want to size up in cup. 

 

The last installment of my reviews on this round of soft cups will be the Panache Sophie — don’t miss it! (Teaser: this one’s the best of the bunch!)

 

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