October 14, 2013

{TOP DRAWER} Bras & Blowouts with Panache Lingerie


For a really, really long time, the concept of "lingerie" resembled an unrealistic fantasy that looked a whole lot like a Will Cotton painting (that I first viewed in a Chelsea gallery as a first-year student at Parsons). At a 38HH, I'd accepted that finding lingerie that looked beautiful and served its function was my personal holy grail, and not one that I'd likely ever completely satisfy. I could find pieces that looked hot and were fashion forward, but then they lacked on quality or fit -- and then when I found the pieces that did fit properly, they were ugly and purely utilitarian -- a major deal breaker for a Taurus like me. When I finally did my first lingerie column for Marie Claire, I was introduced to a bevvy of new-to-me brands, and the one that stuck with me by far the most, was Panache - a brand that specializes in D+ sizes.
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I've learned that lingerie should empower its wearer - and it has little to do with who is seeing it, and everything to do with feeling good about yourself even before you put your clothes on. Once the clothes are on, you realize how much the fit of your foundation changes the appearance of your wardrobe, too; clothes lay and drape better, you can reduce (or eliminate) bulging caused by undergarments, you might even stand taller. 

I've had these boobs since I was 12-years-old, and the vast majority of my bra shopping until a couple of years ago has been utterly traumatizing. I've had a lot of fittings - but the first time I was fit in Panache bras was honestly a turning point; it was genuinely the first time I found exactly the look and aesthetic I love partnered with the right fit, comfort, and technology. I became so obsessed with the line, that I pitched them to host a lingerie-fitting event, and dubbed myself the "bra-evangelist" - spreading the gospel of good fit and sexy lace. 

After months of brainstorming with some of my favorite people at Ann Magnin, we set our hearts (and a date) on "Bras & Blowouts" - bringing some of our favorite blogging babes together to get their hair did at Rachel-Zoe-approved DreamDry, and made sure they all went home with the right size bra, too.
We've probably all heard that painful statistic that Oprah tossed out a few years ago, that "85% of women" are wearing the wrong sized bra -- and I believe it. Especially in the plus world, it seems that many women are wearing too-small of a cup size and over-compensating with a too-large band size; (I can't tell you how many incorrectly sized "44-DD's" were in attendance!) I can't speak for everyone, but getting the right fit really eliminated my back problems that I thought were caused by my breasts. Can you believe that? My whole life I had been waiting to get a reduction, but apparently all I needed was the right size bra.

For girls on the fuller end of the size spectrum, their new line Sculptresse, offers the same commitment to beautiful, technologically sound undergarments with an expanded size range - up to a 46J, making the entirety of Panache's size offering from a 28-46 D-K.


{ON FITTINGS} 
If you have a bra-fit expert in your neighborhood, make an appointment. Fittings are usually a free service offered by boutiques or department stores! In NYC, I recommend Intimacy, Townshop, or Linda the Bra Lady. If you don't have an easily accessible bra-fitter (just my opinion, but I don't think VS or LB do a good job of fitting), websites like Freshpair offer step-by-step at-home bra fittings; all you need is a tape measure. 



{GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR LINGERIE}

Though they tend to be on the pricier side, I do think, especially for fuller-bust bodies, lingerie is worth investing in. I mean, in my case - it has literally eliminated by back pain in a way that I didn't think was possible. Having a rotation of a few bras that you know you can wear everyday (for me, it's the Andorra from Panache) will also extend the lifetime of your bra.
Extending the life of your bras is hugely impacted by how you care for them. Powder detergents like Forever New are specifically made to care for the elastics and delicate fabrics of lingerie, and make hand-washing in your bathroom sink a really painless task. Hand washing also preserves the shape! 





{SHOP PANACHE LINGERIE}
{SHOP SCULPTRESSE LINGERIE}
{SHOP PANACHE SPORT}

This post was created in collaboration with Panache.
All opinions (and obsessions, let's be honest) are my own.
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All photos by Lydia Hudgens

29 comments:

  1. Panache is honestly great in that department -- because they start at a 28 band but still carry the full range of cup sizes. Small-framed, big-busted bodies and small-busted, big-framed are so often ignored in the lingerie market, and it's a damn shame!!

    Also, if you're not familiar with them, both CaliVintage and Sara Zucker are small-rib-cage, big-bust girls -- if you're ever looking for style inspiration geared towards your body type!

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  2. Being a DD, I've always HATED HATED HATED bra shopping (right up there with jeans and bathing suits in my opinion) but I love the shapes of Panache and will definitely check them out and yes, VS is terrible at fitting and have the worst quality bras!

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  3. Immediately followed both of them! Thanks so much. Your blog updates are always such treats throughout the week. xx

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  4. I opted for the surgery and have no regrets. One of the best things that I did for myself that boosted my already astronomical confidence in myself to a new stratosphere. Thankfully, I no longer have to resemble a plus-size Madonna with cone-shaped bras. However, after a few years the once perky, stand-at attention boobs began to droop a tad-bit, but that is common with anything that has been lifted artificially. Not even surgery can defy gravity-- "Everything that goes up must come down." So now I find myself in need of improvement is this department. The days/weeks/months immediately post-surgery were the best! (No bras required at all). Oh how the petite of bust live carefree...

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  5. Caity @ Moi Contre La VieOctober 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Amazing photos - Such beautiful pieces! Love the prints,

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  6. Sup gorgeous! These bras look so pretty. My C-cup underfloweth.

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  7. Bevin BranlandinghamOctober 14, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    I want in on the next bras and blowouts! I could talk lingerie forever!!

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  8. ok, this is a post about lingerie but honesty, my attention was caught by your hair! loooooove it!!!

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  9. Our go to ANYTHING for lingerie is The Lingerie Stylist! http://www.thelingeriestylist.com/ She is AMAZING! And we hear she's geared up to be in a TV show soon!

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  10. Beautifully RoundedOctober 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    You look awesome, Nicolette!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/MalcolmandCo

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  11. I didn't know that! But yes, their website is very complete and their customer service is the best (free shipping!)

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  12. I'm going to have to check out Nordstrom Rack to feed my Panache addiction!!

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  13. This is my first time hearing about her, but she is truly providing an amazing service!

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  14. Hahahaha thank you!!! It's all thanks to Flores and her magic.

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  15. I'd feel bad for you if not for the bevvy of Agent Provocateur at your disposal.

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  16. So awesome!! They really are an amazing company :)

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  17. Thanks! Their prints really are stunning. My favorite this season is the pistachio colored set with floral print.

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  18. Haha! Surgery might still be in my future, though it's not something I want to seriously think about until after I have children.


    I think even if I didn't need to wear a bra, I'd still want to because they're just so pretty...

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  19. I really think the turning point for bra shopping is when you have an amazing fitting experience and find something that looks attractive to you!! You should try FreshPair, which offers amazing at-home-fitting, eliminating some of the fitting room trauma.

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  20. Correctamundo! In respect to waiting until after you have children. I had my surgery after the birth of my first child and I hadn't intended to have anymore children. Unfortunately (not for the having children), but for my bust line; it began its descent after I had my second child. So, it does have much-to-do about a lot when it comes to children and the surgery. And, just in case you were wondering--I didn't breastfeed (ilk!) However, had I done so, I might have found them in worse condition than they are now. Nothing in this life is for sure except for change--be it positive or negative. It's all the scope of which we gaze.

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  21. I'm in the same category and Panache cleo is my absolute favorite. I almost exclusively wear their bras now. Great shape, great fit, great support and you will fine a size that fits you. It's a game changer for sure.

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  22. Example of being in the 85%:


    I was in a 38C and left in a 34F.


    Although, I'm thinking the 34 might be a tad small so I'm trying another size.

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  23. She totally is and she's amazing! I used to not wear bras. I am THAT small and thought nothing would ever provide support nor make me feel sexy. After a session with her, I can't be without my bras now. The right fit is key! (Turns out I was not a 32B but a 28D US size or 28DD UK size!)

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  24. Thank you for including Linda's in your bra fitting suggestions! Since I carry Bras from A-N cup, we see women's lives change EVERYday with the right bra. (And we love Panache, too!) xo Linda the Bra Lady

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  25. Linda the Bra LadyOctober 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Thank you for including Linda's in your bra fitting suggestions! Since I carry Bras from A-N cup, we see women's lives change EVERYday with the right bra. (And we love Panache, too!) xo Linda the Bra Lady

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