Usually I’m with the 33.86% of you who only buy a swimsuit every 2-3 years, but my 36GG Elomi swim bra (that I chose in practical black in order to wear it for years to come) is now too loose, forcing me to join the 25.2% of you who purchase a swimsuit annually. Happily, this was my chance to get the Panache Tallulah one-piece that I admired all last summer. I mainly wanted this suit for the figure-flattering solid blue panels on either side of the floral center, but I also felt it would offer great support because:
1. There’s a keyhole back with a clasp. If most of a bra’s support comes from the band, it makes sense that the most supportive swimsuits are going to have a band, either in the form of a high back or a keyhole back. I like a scooped back as much as the next large-busted woman, but “bouce-less” won out over back-less this summer.
2. It was a one-piece. After my Panache Geneva tankini, I’m biased against tankinis. I now realize that I looked and felt so droopy in that suit because the 36 back was probably too large for me in 2010, but I also think it could have felt more secure if it weren’t divided into a top and bottom–if the “band” extended from bosom to thigh, so to speak.
3. The breast section is basically like a bikini top with a body sewn to its base. In other words, it’s like a pretty bra–a pretty three-part cut and sewn bra with a supportive mesh lining integrated into the seams. By integrating the lining into the bra’s seams, there’s no show-through because the seams are part of the design. The tankini, on the other hand, is like a Panache strappy top, with a little “bridge” that links the center gore of the bra to the suit’s shell. Not only is this less supportive, but if there are any seams in the bra, they show through the outer shell, especially when the suit is wet. Of course, this is less of an issue with a print like the Tallulah than it was with my solid Geneva.
It took me a while to find this Holy Grail, but I finally located it for 50% off at Linda’s Online in both a 34G and a 32G. Since it was final sale, I couldn’t order both and return one, so I finally decided to take a chance on the 32G because I’ve always found Panache bands to stretch out pretty quickly, and swimsuits tend to stretch once wet anyways.
What a relief it was when I tried it on and it fit perfectly! We went swimming the very next weekend, but it was too cold for me to get all the way wet. Today I finally had my chance.
After taking this picture, I marched around the pool to make sure I felt confident in it. There’s the inevitable slight bounce that comes with big boobs–this isn’t a sports bra, after all!–but I would have felt entirely at ease wearing this at a pool party or chasing a toddler.
I really only have two small complaints about this suit. First, there’s a slight wrinkling at the top of the cups once it’s wet. This is probably a size and/or shape issue. Someone who is fuller on top probably wouldn’t run into this, and I’d rather have wrinkling than pillowing of the breast tissue above the cup. It’s easier for me to settle myself into the cups and get rid of the wrinkles than it is to cram myself into cups that are slightly too small to get rid of the quadraboob.
Second, the fabric is super basic. I already mentioned this when I compared it to the Prima Donna swimsuits that I tried. However, I feel like I should be able to get two years of moderate to heavy use out of this suit before it’s time to replace it. I’d be curious to hear how you’ve found the fabric to be in some of the Panache suits you’ve owned.
P.S. After finally venturing out in bikini last year, I would have loved to have owned the Tallulah bikini set with the high-waisted bottoms. However, I found the elastic waistband on these bottoms to be unflattering on me. Perhaps I needed a larger size, but a wider waistband would have been even better.