Ladies, raise your hand if you actively avoid outfits which require a strapless bra?!
Well, that used to be me too. Then I discovered a sexy AF plunge style (yes, plunge) strapless bra that doesn't resemble a bullet-proof-vest AND would actually fit - unseen - under my dress. No, this is not a unicorn. Such a bra actually exists and it's the Panache Koko Moulded Strapless Bra. Let me tell you all about it...
A year ago I found the perfect outfit for a wedding - the only thing holding me back was finding a strapless bra which would fit under my sexy (well, sexy in my head) outfit. I wanted a plunge-style bra which didn't come up too high over my bust, wouldn't crush my ribs after wearing it for more than half an hour, and which I wouldn't have to keep hoisting it back up into place. I'm not asking for much, am I? Nothing is more noticeable or distracting than a woman constantly adjusting her bra but I was so disheartened by my previous strapless bra experiences that I had given up.
My biggest complaint with strapless bras for fuller-busted women is that, much like most swimwear produced, the makers often strive for support over everything else, i.e. aesthetic appeal, coverage, adaptability for current fashion. Often the only reason we need to wear a strapless bra is for an outfit which requires less coverage from a traditional bra (and no straps). So often I would look at the fuller bust strapless bras available and wonder whether the designers actually considered the style of outfits we'd wear these bras under? Or did they think I would choose to wear a strapless bra under a onesie? Because based on what they looked like, it's about the only thing they'd fit under without being seen. Anyway, I digress...
So often I would traipse into whichever department store in the vain hope they stocked a strapless bra in a size 8G that I could at least try. But alas, they didn't - and last I checked they still don't - stock an 8G strapless bra. So last year when I was in Melbourne for work and with pretty low expectations, I decided to ask the Brava Lingerie ladies if there is such a thing as a sexy, minimal coverage, strapless bra for an 8G. And guess what?! They told me to try the Panache Koko Moulded Strapless Bra. Now, before I go any further, I must stress that I purchased this bra myself and it was not gifted to me. I will only ever tell you all about a bra I LOVE and I LOVE this bra.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. So I walked into the change room - ever hopeful but not excited - and put it on... I tilted forward, did the lift and scoop, pushed it up under my boobs and then dared to look in the mirror (through squinty eyes) and DAMN! This strapless bra was actually sexy! It held my boobs up and I wouldn't be embarrassed for anyone to see me in it! A unicorn, I tell you! This can't be real! How is this possible? Did the design team actually consider that I might want to wear this bra under a little black dress and carve out all the extra fabric? Did they think I wanted to feel sexy in my strapless bra? I would actually let my husband see me in this bra instead of my usual strapless bra-shame. I couldn't believe it. And I still can't believe it! This is why you should all know about this bra as we head into the Silly Season. Run, don't walk!
What's even better? It doesn't feel like it's crushing my ribs and it has this amazing gel-like substance along the back band to help it not slip down (my biggest bug bear). The support comes from the thick elastic (not ugly thick) along the top and bottom of the band to provide comfortable lift. It made me stand up straight. I wore this bra all day and all night at a wedding and at the end of the night I hardly had the deep red grooves carved into my ribs which I would normally expect. Sure, there were some marks, but there are definitely limitations to what a strapless bra can achieve when holding up a couple kgs of breast tissue, right?
I wear a size 8G in both Panache and Freya bras. In this particular bra I'm wear a 10FF (very similar cup fit to an 8G) so it doesn't cut in to my back - it was a little tight as an 8G**. For Marvell Lane customers, I wear an 8G in all our swimwear tops.
This bra comes in cup sizes D - G in band sizes 6 - 16. I'm sorry H cup ladies, I wish it extended up to a H cup for you. Maybe reach out to Panache and ask them to consider an H cup for the future!
This bra costs AU$99.95 which is fairly standard for a strapless bra and well worth every penny!
Where to buy it
I hope you enjoyed reading this review (story) and just know that you're not the only woman out there who normally cowers in the corner when it comes to considering buying a new strapless bra!
Much love and light,
Rachael, Marvell Lane
*I've spoken before about moulded cups being akin to the devil for fuller busted women. I've never seen a busty woman wear a moulded cup and not look like her breasts are sitting under her chin or that her breasts are larger than they already are. This is why you will never see a moulded cup in my swimwear. However this strapless bra is the exception to my 'No Moulded Cups' rule. haha.
**I know when looking at the image of me wearing this bra that it looks a little small in the cup, but when I snapped this pic my breasts were larger due to lady hormones!
LIVIN ~ An organisation close to my heart and how you can purchase uber cool gifts & support a badass charity all at once.
Make this your go-to gift this Christmas!
I want to leave you with (and remind you of) the powerful words of my favourite poet, Rupi Kaur:
"we are all born
the greatest tragedy is
being convinced we are not"
Seeing my how body changed also changed how I felt about certain sports. I went from enjoying and excelling at gymnastics, to developing larger hips and breasts than many of the other girls. And I hated how I looked in a leotard. So I changed sport - even though I was still very proficient. I dropped gymnastics and dance and replaced them with new sporting challenges.
I chose sports where I could cover up my curves. Netball and touch football became my go-to activities. Yes, more running which was annoying for my fuller bust, but so much fun in the team environment. And more importantly? No. More. Leotards.
Marvell Lane Club
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