Off the Rack ~ Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 Part III: Panache

I’m still catching up on the Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 (two months after it happened!). Apologies, readers, for my semi-absence within the last couple months. Work and obligations (weddings, etc.) have been relentless. I’ll be off next week, on vacation in Yosemite, but I’ve got one more Curve post and then a whole lineup of other topics after that. So enjoy this week’s post, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks!

This week, I’m catching up with the Panache family. The biggest news is that “Panache Black” line has been rolled into regular Panache, with the most popular “Black” styles sticking around. Additionally, the Cleo and Panache swimwear collections are now just “Panache Swim.” To be honest, I’m disappointed that Cleo Swim is no more. It really shows in this season’s offerings. It’s lacking the bright, youthful designs that appeal to me.

Well, let’s get to the highlights, starting with Panache regular:

This is the classic Jasmine bra, in a subtle animal print (which was a trend among several brands).

This is the classic Jasmine bra, in a subtle animal print (which was a trend among several brands).

The gorgeous Clara’s new fashion colorway is this metallic taupe and black.

The gorgeous Clara’s new fashion colorway is this metallic taupe and black.

The Andorra family now offers a wireless full-cup bra.

The Andorra family now offers a wireless full-cup bra.

Andorra wireless on a model.

Andorra wireless on a model.

The Etta bra is a holdover from the old Panache Black line, offered in mauve this season.

The Etta bra is a holdover from the old Panache Black line, offered in mauve this season.

Petra’s gold embroidery on navy blue was gorgeous. My camera could not properly capture how luscious the blue was.

Petra’s gold embroidery on navy blue was gorgeous. My camera could not properly capture how luscious the blue was.

Petra (formerly of Panache Black) on a model, who told us the embroidery was so smooth that she wears it as a tee-shirt bra.

Petra (formerly of Panache Black) on a model, who told us the embroidery was so smooth that she wears it as a tee-shirt bra.

I thought Quinn (formerly of Panache Black) was quite beautiful, and even has a coordinating partner in the Sculptresse line, called Estel (see below).

I thought Quinn (formerly of Panache Black) was quite beautiful, and even has a coordinating partner in the Sculptresse line, called Estel (see below).

Lois is apparently not a new style, but I’ve never noticed it before. I think this combination of greyish-blue with super sheer black and thick seams is ultra-sexy.

Lois is apparently not a new style, but I’ve never noticed it before. I think this combination of greyish-blue with super sheer black and thick seams is ultra-sexy.

The Ardour cups and band are pretty standard, but those scalloped lace straps are so sweet.

The Ardour cups and band are pretty standard, but those scalloped lace straps are so sweet.

Next up is the Sculptresse line, which had some really lovely additions this season. The whole collection has a level of maturity that’s somewhat rare among plus-size ranges, with no neons or animal print in sight.

The new style Dionne was the clear star of the collection. You know I can’t resist a good cage bra!

The new style Dionne was the clear star of the collection. You know I can’t resist a good cage bra!

I usually go for louder prints, but Chi Chi’s photographic white cherry blossom print was incredibly sweet.

I usually go for louder prints, but Chi Chi’s photographic white cherry blossom print was incredibly sweet.

A closeup of Chi Chi’s floral print.

A closeup of Chi Chi’s floral print.

New style Estel matches the Panache Quinn up above.

New style Estel matches the Panache Quinn up above.

Dana is a new strapless bra covering size 36-38 E-H, 40 D-GG, 42 D-G, 44 D-FF, and 46 D-F. The back was wide and ultra-smooth, though I’m not especially impressed by this yellow-y ivory color, especially considering the lookbook shows it as a much darker pinkish tan color (called “linen”).

Dana is a new strapless bra covering size 36-38 E-H, 40 D-GG, 42 D-G, 44 D-FF, and 46 D-F. The back was wide and ultra-smooth, though I’m not especially impressed by this yellow-y ivory color, especially considering the lookbook shows it as a much darker pinkish tan color (called “linen”).

Next we have the new sports bra colors, a black/pink/white painterly combo, grey/mango, and the wireless purple with black and pink trim:

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Finally, we come to my old favorite, Cleo by Panache.

I love this new limeade color of the Marcie bra (one of my most-loved bras!).

I love this new limeade color of the Marcie bra (one of my most-loved bras!).

The new Koko Muse color is a heathered neon coral with lime trim.

The new Koko Muse color is a heathered neon coral with lime trim.

The new Piper longline color is…eh. I prefer the previous two colors of cobalt blue and neon coral.

The new Piper longline color is…eh. I prefer the previous two colors of cobalt blue and acid neon coral.

I looooove Minnie’s new inky gingham colorway.

I looooove Minnie’s new inky gingham colorway.

Oh my god I adore the new Spencer “midi bra” style. It looks like fish scales or a mermaid tail. SO GORGEOUS.

Oh my god I adore the new Spencer “midi bra” style. It looks like fish scales or a mermaid tail. SO GORGEOUS.

I’m a big fan of the new Dakota plunge bra, but it unfortunately stops at a G-cup.

I’m a big fan of the new Dakota plunge bra, but it unfortunately stops at a G-cup.

Love the split straps on the back of Dakota.

Love the split straps on the back of Dakota.

The new Lyzy bra is really a bralette, but Cleo calls it a “triangle non-wired bra.” Either way, I’m digging that thick, comfy-looking band!

The new Lyzy bra is really a bralette, but Cleo calls it a “triangle non-wired bra.” Either way, I’m digging that thick, comfy-looking band!

Lyzy from the side. Looks like it stills gives a good profile despite being wireless. And unlike most full-bust bralettes, it comes in CUP SIZES (28-38 D-H) instead of small-medium-large.

Lyzy from the side. Looks like it stills gives a good profile despite being wireless. And unlike most full-bust bralettes, it comes in CUP SIZES (28-38 D-H) instead of small-medium-large.

Lastly, we have swim, which to be honest didn’t exactly thrill me. Just…where are the bright colors, nautical styles, and graphic prints? I miss Cleo Swim!

Ceylon has a nice crocheted high neck, and also comes in a one-piece (though both only go to G-cups).

Ceylon has a nice crocheted high neck, and also comes in a one-piece (though both only go to G-cups).

Anya Voyage is the closest thing to the Cleo aesthetic, but it’s still quite subdued (and stops at G-cups).

Anya Voyage is the closest thing to the Cleo aesthetic, but it’s still quite subdued (and stops at G-cups).

Alanis (which again stops at G-cups) has a pretty floral print.

Alanis (which again stops at G-cups) has a pretty floral print.

Solid Rock Cotton, My New Bust-friendly Everywhere Piece 

My most profuse apologies!!! I hit “publish” on this post from my phone on September 29, but I just saw today that it was still labeled “draft”. And I was so proud of myself for squeezing this post in during my whirlwind trip to Atlanta. I wore this on my flight to AND from Atlanta, and when I got home, I slept in it AND wore it one more day after that. It is so soft that I just didn’t want to take it off. With so much wear, the fit is more relaxed around my thighs, but it hasn’t lost its shape.

You already know how much I love my tie-dye Rock Cotton tunic (Leah, not so much). I wear it on flights and to the beach, church, shopping, and dinner. Even though I have no business wearing black or gray, I always get compliments in it.

Since the same company is also responsible for creating my favorite at-home braless lounge top, the Bra:30 (also reviewed by Leah), I make sure to stop by their booth at every Curve. Last month I discovered a rack full of new Rock Cotton colors and shamelessly hinted that I would love to review one. I was thrilled when the rep took my hint and let me choose one.

[Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Curve Expo Spring/Summer 2018 Part II: Elomi, Fantasie, & Freya

After four weeks of weddings and working overtime, I’m finally back to blogging! And I’m continuing my coverage of Curve Spring/Summer 2018. This week, I’m covering the Eveden family, which is Freya, Fantasie, and Elomi (well, and Huit, but that’s the small-bust label, so it’s not included here).

I rarely write about Elomi, since it’s Eveden’s “full-figure” brand so I can’t assess the fit. But there are several very nice pieces this season that I want to highlight. Plus, the Eveden rep actually told us Elomi is the biggest label in the brand family.

How stunning is this “Sachi” cage bra?

How stunning is this “Sachi” cage bra?

[Read more…]

Pockets & Shirt Dresses . . . Full Bust Fit and Proportion Considerations

[Leah is finishing a busy stretch of weekend weddings and lots of work, so Off the Rack will be back soon!]

I was reminded of our big bust fit issues after I bought this size 12 Ralph Lauren shirt dress at my favorite discount store.  Sure, the dress gapped in the dressing room, but I figured I’d safety pin it and be good to go. The first day I wore it, I was constantly aware of the fabric straining at my chest and pulling from my armholes to create enough volume. I’ve been wearing my own shirts so much that I’d forgotten what it was like to wear a button up that doesn’t provide enough fabric for a large bust.

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The ace bandages have been replaced by a cast for my wrist and a boot for my ankle–I fractured them on Saturday when I landed on a dumb bell in boot camp and reached back to catch myself.

Now I’m used to it (is that a good thing?), and there are three reasons I bought this dress despite the gap: [Read more…]