My most recent review was of a Cleo basic “Marcie” which is something that Panache has been carrying for years now. Another newer model from the Panache core range has struck to me as well during the past few season, that is the Clara. I fell head over heels in love with the style when it first launched but it seemed that every time we were talking about reviews with Panache, it was sadly sold out in my size completely. This tells something about the popularity of the style among stockists and consumers alike – it is a fantastic basic full-cup style bra with a pretty icing on top of it. This season I was lucky enough to receive my first Clara sample in time, so today I bring you this beautiful festive style in the shade Heather.
The Design: The Clara is based on the older Panache classic Jasmine, which is another cult favourite among full-busted ladies like myself. The Clara has the same three piece cup construction as the Jasmine, but I think the side sling of the cups extends a bit further up towards the strap with the Clara style. This is part of the aesthetic differences of the two bras but I would believe it also gives the Clara its extra lift to the cups. The shape of the bra is very rounded and forward-projecting, which is something that I would always expect of a Panache or Cleo bra.
The style of the Clara is much more luxurious than Jasmine which is something I really like. True, you can never go wrong with a cute print and sleek materials but if you don’t mind a bit of lace showing through or just happen to wear thicker materials with your shirts, this is the bra that can bring your everyday to a whole next level. Personally I have always loved each and every colourway of the Clara (especially the emerald one!) but this Heather shade is something rather refreshing alongside of deep jewel tones – it is more delicate than its sisters and thus goes under lighter coloured tops as well. The materials of the bra are rather thin and stretchy, meaning it accommodates perfectly to my breast shape instead of trying to mold it to something its not.
The Fit: I went for the same size as with the Marcie, that is 32GG. I find it is much more comfier to go with the 32 bands these days as I own so many bras, I don’t really wear out the bands that much anymore. I like them to be comfy from the very first moment I put them on to avoid the long breaking-in period – I know, I’m a bad lingerie blogger! If you don’t buy tens of bras every year, I would suggest though to go for the firmer bands if you are between sizes, especially with Panache and Cleo, as their bands will loosen up even after a couple of wears.
The 32GG Clara runs similar to the Marcie, meaning pretty true-to-size in the band and generous in the cup. If you are between cup sizes I would suggest sizing down. I think I could have definitely been happy with 32G with either of the styles. The wires are pretty good on me, maybe just a tad wider, but they still feel quite a lot better than with Marcie. I can’t really put my finger on it, but the shape of the wires feels slightly more U-like, but perhaps I’m just imagining.
Overall, I am starting to think the Clara does suit me better than the Marcie, at least in my current size. I like how the bra hugs every curve of my body but I wish it would be just a little bit… less covering? If I could take just an inch off the height of the cup, this just might the perfect bra.
Comfort: The Clara is one of my most comfortable bras at the moment – it seemed they all came at the same time, Tutti Rouge Betty and Jessica and then this beauty (and I haven’t even told you about my latest Ewa Michalak bras). I am in lingerie heaven at the moment! Then if I could only get a pair of high-waisted panties with each bra, I would probably be in Nirvana 😉
The best features of Clara are its soft materials and sturdy feel. The three hooks and eyes at the back, the tacking gore and sturdy wide fully-adjustable shoulder straps. Sturdiness is the key to comfort when it comes to full-bust bras, but the bra also needs to feel lightweight to pass as an everyday garment. What a task for a single bra! But the Clara just manages to do it. The panties are rather comfy too, for low cut ones that is. You know how I feel about my granny panties… I think the gorgeous lace detailing and satin overlay would look even more amazing on a bigger surface – just saying! The materials are however on point with the panties as well and I have no trouble getting my booty in these (UK) size 12 pretties.
If you would like to try the Clara (30-38 D-J, 8-20), you can find it at Bravissimo for £32 for the bra and £15 for the classic brief. Not a bad deal for such a stunner set!