Faustine's Foundations

My cut-sew bras were all worn with extenders, so I wanted an option when I just don’t feel like dealing with an extender. I tend to get on with many of the Panache frames. When I saw Loretta, I decided to finally give it a spin, since it gives me mad Spirograph nostalgia.

Construction

Three-part balconette. There’s also a plunge version, which I have not tried. Medium to full coverage on this one. The bottom of the cups, which are the part reinforced through GG cups, are upside down Us and joined on both sides to the middle of the cups. The rest of the cup is a plain mesh with some detail. In larger cup sizes, the cup is a heavier mesh on the upper cup, too. The straps are scalloped on the sides and fully adjustable. Two hooks in the back at my size, three in GG-K sizes.

Fit

True to size. I had no wrinkling at 34FF and I could fit two fingers under the band when it was new. There’s a point/line/seam in the cup through the geometric swirls where it cuts in if I shrug or raise my shoulders, and on some days it just cuts in in general. The wires are quite wide on me, and the top of the cup shallow. If you’re full on top or have front projection I wouldn’t recommend this bra.

Looks

Not too fussy. I do like the geometrics on the top on the cup and along the bottom front of the band. Half of the cup is sheer on me, and I’m ambivalent about that. I loved it with Dahlia, but Loretta leaves a lot more plain mesh around somehow. The shape is a bit east-west because it doesn’t have a side support (which has become popular in the last few years). The black and caramel are basics, but the cobalt blue version is a beautiful shade.

 Further Thoughts

I’ve had this bra several months and worn it a handful of times. Sometimes the gore pushes against my sternum too much, or the wires are uncomfortable because my rib cage is flared and the wires somehow feel like they are pointing into my sides and putting pressure there. Would an extender help while it stretches out? Perhaps the plunge version would have been a better idea than the balconette? I’m considering donating it since I’ve recently binged on bra buying and this doesn’t tick all my boxes. Loretta is often for sale on zulily and other discount websites, so you can probably get it for less than $20 in the US.

Just boosting signal here:

Due to the ‘I’m not wearing it because it really doesn’t fit’ problem, I’m giving away my once-or-twice worn 32G Fauve Bronte on Bratabase. If you think it would fit you, please go through the Bratabase listing.

I’d heard that Fauve and Masquerade are being discontinued by Spring 2015. I wasn’t quite sure how and what to believe there or exactly what was going on, but I thought I’d buy myself a black Rhea just in case…and sure enough, the style was listed as Discontinued on HerRoom, as were other Masquerade styles. Several other sites are running low on stock.

I should also add that I tried on the Orla and found it ran a band size small and at least one cup size small. Scooping in a 34G left me with overspill, so I’d need two cup sizes up. Otherwise it seemed suited to me, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about the color.

Panache Black is apparently a follow-up to Masquerade and I’m guessing will contain very few styles. Maybe they’ll reissue the Rhea, maybe they won’t. On the chance that they won’t, I bought a Rhea from Amazon and will buy an Amor in my current band size shortly. Zulily even had a few Masquerade styles like Harem and Athena for sale yesterday. So, long story short is buy Masquerade while you can. My assumption is that luxury full-bust lingerie is difficult to sell, so there’s risk in producing a lot of styles. I know I have a hard time spending $90 on a bra plus $35 on the brief unless the bra blows my mind.

I thought I’d shout out to my favorite Masquerade styles over the years:

Delphi

Dreamy vertical seam shape, I had the graphite version and missed out on the black (more fool me), but it was also offered in white-and-berry.

Rhea

I’m still not sure whether this bra technically works for me because I’m bottom-heavy, and it probably doesn’t quite get two-cakes-on-a-plate, but I love the way it looks on me. My favorite version was the mulberry and graphite color.

Amor

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This bra works for most shapes, I believe. Subtle, sophisticated, rich colors. I think this is the best use of shiny and matte I’ve seen together.

 

Many Masquerade styles seemed too lacy or fussy for me, but sometimes they hit the nail on the head. Dear readers, what have been your favorite Masquerade styles over the years?

Boudoir photo shoots seem to be all the rage these days. On one hand, it would be a fun look in the future at who I was in my thirties. However, thinking about it, I realize that none of my personas, even fantasy ones, seem to have anything to do with the boudoir aesthetics I’ve seen in any other shoot. My bedroom is not really a boudoir. I wouldn’t be expressing myself, I’d be acting.

This is my idea of an excellent chair.

I wear makeup once or twice a year. Once on Halloween, the second time maybe if I’m attending a formal wedding. My hair at most a few inches long and kind of spiky. I am figuratively allergic to lace. I don’t strive for soft, sultry, or sensual. I am a woman who would only choose to have born later than she was, not in any past time in history. What I want to have photographed and expressed, what parts of myself I can see exaggerating, are action cyberpunk and stark postmodernism. Me in a robe and bright colors sitting on an IKEA Vilmar, or in a duster wearing a longline and leggings underneath, but not intended to be seductive.

I am not sure how this post ended up showcasing IKEA chairs, but there you have it.

Are there postmodern or sci-fi lingerie photographers out there? Or am I getting the wrong idea of boudoir shoots from the brocade/sheer curtains, soft lighting, and plush bedlinens I’ve seen?

Panache camis were on closeout in a khaki color. I was curious to have a cami with support for even more layering options, or to lounge around the house in.

Construction:

Cotton fabric over a bra section. The bra is made of heavy shaped foam ‘cups’ with underwires and two part seams at six o’clock and eight o’clock. By part seams, I mean they go part of the way to the center of the cup. Haven’t seen anything like that before. The back is a two hook and eye band closure under the cami.

Fit:

Wow, this cami is short. I am five foot eight (173CM) and it doesn’t hit most of my pants. As for the bra part, I felt like the band ran a tad loose, but a 34FF fit in the cup, a bit generously. If you’re between cup sizes I’d take the lower. It’s not as supportive as most of my bras, but it’s fine for walking and biking.

Looks:

Simple color with a rounded but not very lifted shape.

Overall, it’s a nice option to have in my drawer. If you have a long torso it’ll show some skin at the waist. It’s also not the most supportive out there, but works for most days.

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I tried Panache Clara on and found the following:

The cups are pretty wide. It’s a full cup bra so I felt quite scaffolded. The very bottom of the cup is super shallow. I have some wrinkling at the bottom, and I’m told this is common (you can even see it a bit in the model photo). I also had to go up a cup size. It did fit, and gave me a shape similar to Andorra. The bra felt more supportive than Jasmine, as the stretch lace section is smaller.

Ultimately I’m returning it because I felt it wasn’t very me- the extra scalloping on the bottom of the band was not my bag and all the lace was far more Old Europe than I’d thought. The color was a bit more pinkish than I’d anticipated for Turkish Delight. It did fit well, though!

I was terrified that Panache would cancel this Maddie like it has been canceling so many styles I found intriguing. So terrified that I snapped one up immediately after the lady at Nordstrom fitted me. To my surprise, it’s at many online outlets (Bare Necessities, Breakout Bras, Nordstrom online, Amazon). They’re starting to put it on sale since it’s a fashion style.

 

Construction

Molded cup (thinner than Deco) with lace edging at the top. Inside of cups is also orange. Two hooks at back. The cups are somewhat wide, and the gore high and arched (good for rib or abdominal bones and fluff on bottom, but not so great for protruding sternums). Fully adjustable straps placed a bit on the wide side.

Fit

I found this bra to run quite small, and went up a band and cup size to 36FF, where I wear a 34FF in most Panache bras. For reference, I still wear a 34FF Deco Honey/Charm. It’s reasonably supportive, meaning I can run around some in it, but I wouldn’t play soccer (I’ve had World Cup Fever since 1994).

Looks

Now that’s orange. Orange with a darker orange shiny leopard print on it. I’m not normally one for prints, but if it’s in shiny orange, I’ll take it. The print doesn’t contrast. The lace makes it look a little more girly which clashes for me, but I will take it. I get a roundish shape with just a bit of cleavage- it’s more ‘relaxed’ than Deco or Neve. There’s also a fuschia bow on it.

This is currently the most cheerful bra I own. I am told the Maddie in solid colors does not work as well for full-on-bottom or shallow shapes (I vaguely remember trying it on, and the fit being similar to Maddie Animal, but I suggest you try for yourself if you can, as that’s a popular bra). More T-shirt bras in small band-larger cup sizes are welcome. This bra, along with Neve, is available in a 28 band. If you normally wear a 26 band, the 28 might work. I’m not completely sure, though, because sometimes band stretch differs across sizes.

I will also join the chorus asking for Cleo bras with three-hook closures. If you have either Maddie printed or non, how does it fit you?

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