For my graduation I was hunting for a dress that would be a) big enough to fit my boobs, b) small enough in the waist for me to not look pregnant and c) not custom made as I assumed (correctly) I wouldn’t get that much use out of a full ball gown dress. Shockingly I did randomly find such dress, which (almost) fit all those criteria. All I needed was a strapless bra as the dress had very thin bejewelled straps. The thus the hunt began…
Design & Construction
I strongly dislike the fact most strapless bras are incredibly plain and bordering on ugly. I was therefore happy to find the Bridal version of Evie by Panache. The colour of the bra is ivory rather than white, which gives the bra elegance and class. I can imagine it as perfect bridal lingerie set! You don’t want to feel embarrassed when you take off your wedding dress!
The cups have a three-panel construction with the top section covered in flat lace. They are moulded from a stiff but comfy material, which doesn’t irritate the skin and feels very gentle and breathable. The bra also has silicon stripes running both on the upper and lower section of the bra, which should provide uplift and prevent slipping – they don’t seem to do much work though.
The cut itself doesn’t offer much (if any) cleavage – the top of the cups is very flat and encapsulates each boob fully. The lack of arched cups (such as the Deco strapless) makes it therefore ideal for strapless dresses, as the bra won’t peek out. On the other hand the very (very) high centre gore will struggle with any sort of dipping cleavage. The bra feels high quality and well constructed with thoughtful details. There is a charming little bow with a tiny pearl adorning the centre gore and the lace is repeated on the band in the back.
Although the bra is marketed as a strapless, it has detachable fully adjustable straps. They have the same ivory colour as the bra. For my taste they are a bit too simple (the bra is so precious they look a little out of place) but for the purpose of the bra being fully convertible they function very well!
As Cheryl pointed out in her short review back when I had bought Evie, the bra has very mixed reviews. Some people find it offers very little support, others swear by it. Most reviews (as well as me) find it true to size. The band is firm, but not firm enough to size up! I find the moulded cups give my gals shape and constrict movement without flattening them down but don’t offer much uplift.
Evie feels quite comfortable with the centre gore being slightly too high for me. The underwires are wide (as typical for Panache), very stiff but do not come up very high in the armpit area, which makes them comfy and practical for dresses. My main problem would be the lack of uplift – the bra looks beautiful and gives a nice rounded shape but doesn’t actually offer much support. My breasts are quite bottom heavy and soft – it is possible someone with more natural uplift would find this bra ideal. My shape also makes me feel like the bra is constantly sliding down my body a bit (even when it only does a tiny little tad). There is enough support in term of encapsulation but in my case the gals are nowhere near as supported as with a normal well-fitted bra.
The difference is best shown when I put the bra on with and without the detachable straps. The bra really sits much better WITH THE STRAPS, which sort of defeats the purpose of it being strapless – rather making it a great multi-way bra.
While one could argue this can be expected from a strapless in this size, my experience with the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless disputes such myth!
Look Under Clothes
While the cups are seamed, the bra looks sleek under clothes. The lace on top of the cup is flat and unless the material is very thin (like flimsy cotton or silk) in my experience it is never visible under clothes. The ivory works great for any sort of light colour over it (and even dark if you make sure it won’t peek out with a few stitches).
I have already mentioned the cut of the bra is perfect for dresses with classic flat strapless top section and doesn’t work with much cleavage. There is also quite a lot of forward projection, which means the bra doesn’t flatten (and therefore decrease) the space needed for the bust. In the convertible mode it can be applied for halter neck or one shoulder, which makes it very versatile!
Panties and the Rest
To match the set I purchased a brief in M. It sports the same lace and bow with a pearl as the bra and a little peekaboo in the back. It is very pretty and feels quite bridal. I found it ran a bit small (especially compared to Freya for example!) – I would have definitely preferred L. Panache also offers a thong and a basque with suspenders and plastic boning.
The Evie Bridal bra was a first strapless in my size, which actually worked. Sort of. It goes up to a H cup and while it has a tight band, it comes true to size. It looks beautiful and extremely elegant. While I would probably not use it as a strapless again (the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless comes in a bridal crème option too), I do see it as a great a multi-way bra, which I do not have to feel embarrassed to (potentially) reveal.
Panache Evie Strapless Bridal
Retails at £35.00