A few weeks ago, we ran a contest in which the prize was a free strapless bra and fitting from Panache, who specialize in tig ol' bitties.
Some many of you ladies had tragic stories of ill-fitting bras, drooping bosoms, and failed halter tops, that it was hard to pick just one, but somehow we Sophie's Choiced ourselves up Valeria, who met me at Panache's Manhattan showroom yesterday to get felt up by Kay-Lin Richardson, National Sales Director for Panache. There was lunch! You guys know how much I love lunch.
Valeria walked into this claiming to be a 36DD. I eyeballed those puppies for two seconds and knew they were bigger than that. So when she took the walk of truth into Kay-Lin's fitting closet, I had my camera ready to catch the size verdict.
Valeria commenced to try on a bunch of bras (the Panache people ended up giving her 5), in which she ranged from a 38E to a 36G. Ta. Dow.
Peep the before and afters with Valeria's original bra and the Panache strapless.
Valeria looked so hot that I started to get insecure, especially when Kay-Lin told me I'd be better off in a brand with "small sizes." She had just put me in a 34D, but that's basically a training bra for the boob scientists at Panache.
And once my girls were tucked nicely into a strapless that actually fit, I did look practically flatchested.
I like how this bra almost matches my skin tone; it makes me feel like weirdly like an anatomically incorrect Barbie doll. Speaking of which, everyone played dirty sex games with Barbies as a kid, right? I mentioned this to a friend the other day and she acted like I was nuts because I used to have Ken invite Barbie to pool parties and when she arrived he'd be the only one there and not have any swim trunks on.
But honestly, it seems to be a lot about wearing a band size that is slightly smaller than you think is comfortable. It feels a little funny at first, but you quickly forget about it and it keeps your breasts in place -- I went from a 36 to a 34.
Oh, also, at some point Valeria said, "I used to have Emily's boobs ... when I was like 12."
Sorry about my weird sideways video.
But the really important part is this: Did the bras work? I asked Valeria to wear her strapless for a day and let me know how it went, and here's what she had to say:
"So, now that my true breast size has been discovered, I just want to thank the wonderful people at Panache, for making me see the light. For realizes ladies, their strapless Panache Superbra is just that --- it holds the ladies up without any need for heavy-duty industrial boning.
Now, it may just be that I finally found a bra (strapless or not) that was actually suited to fit me, and that’s why my boobs were actually held up, as opposed to my old strapless which I’m pretty sure is like a 34D (which as we now know is not the case).
But honestly, the proof is in the pudding. I managed to spend a whole day in the strapless Panache Superbra and only had to do the “Swoop-and-Scoop” maybe twice throughout the whole day. There wasn’t any adjustment needed to grab the bra by the cups and lift at it until I felt the underwires firmly underneath my breasts. I even did jumping jacks in the strapless bra! My breasts didn’t even fly out and punch me in the face!
The Bra-strap back fat that I always get underneath my armpits and around my back was totally minimal! I’m all for eliminating back fat as much as possible. I even got compliments from my friend about my boobs, and best of all (maybe worst of all?), a random old man blew me kisses inside the Borders bookstore.
I’ll admit, it was a bit traumatizing to find out that my “official” bra size is a 36F (and even maybe a 36FF or a 38G depending on the fit). But thankfully, this doesn’t mean that I’m relegated to the Grandma bra section. I can wear sexy bras with large cup sizes – and guess what, they actually make my boobs look smaller, and more round, and since there’s less spillage, I actually look thinner!
Time to tell my mom that all I want for Christmas, is just Panache.
Thank you to Brooke, Kay-Lin, Emily, and the entire xojane.com community. I love knowing that there are big-breasted ladies like myself out there, and I really hope that my tale of breast hope and happiness can help you find bras that work for you. Honestly, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FIT.)"