Luxurious Lace Up to a J Cup: Is the Panache Clara the Holy Grail of Full Bust Bras?
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When I received the Panache Clara bra in beige as a gift while working at a lingerie boutique, I thought it was just another full bust cut-and-sew bra with 4 part cups. That is to say: I wasn’t enthused.
But I kept it in my drawer, throwing it on under a white top for work or while doing laundry, wearing it for those times when I just needed to get through the day.
As time went on, I noticed how often I reached for this bra. If I was tired or sore when I woke up, I’d pull out the Clara and let its stretch lace hold me gently. For long plane flights or train rides, I’d go so far as to pull a Clara bra out of my laundry basket, rather than wear anything else.
But I’d also wear it on dates where I wanted to look my cutest and business meetings where I wanted to look elegant and put together. The Clara ended up being the bra I wore first after doing laundry, and the bra I wore last on mornings where nothing else felt right.
I realized I’d fallen in love.
So when I got an updated bra fitting recently, I knew my purchase would involve a Panache Clara bra in their current gorgeous Lilac color. I left the store with a cup size bigger than I had been wearing (UK 32FF) and a huge weight off my shoulders (literally).
Manufactured in 60 sizes with band sizes 30 through 40 and cup sizes D through J, Panache positions the Clara as a luxurious full bust option, providing a "sumptuous" feel in a "classic style."
Those luxurious vibes are most apparent in dynamic seasonal fashion colors like rich Emerald and Deep Plum, where the floral lace is done with pale contrast threads, giving the effect of fine lace applique on the cups.
The Clara retails for $67, but you can often find deep discount on end-of-season fashion colors at e-commerce retailers like Bare Necessities and Figleaves. In any color, the engineered positioning and tiny details in the lace make the bra look a lot more expensive than it actually is. I can pair the Clara with a fancy pair of knickers or a higher-end garter belt and the set still makes sense.
The Clara is the kind of bra that’s impressive in an understated way, like, “Oh, this old thing?” If there’s a chance someone will see me in my bra, but I’m not trying to make a dramatic impression, this is the one I will wear.
No bra can work for everyone, or even most people. There’s just too much variation in breast shape, positioning, and texture. But in my opinion, if it works for your body, the Panache Clara is the holy grail of full bust bras.
To start, aside from being gorgeous, it’s engineered for fuller busts, with four part cups, inner cup slings, and sturdy mesh that’s not too stretchy. This is a given for a fuller bust brand like Panache that specializes in fit, lift, and support.
What isn't given is how easy it ends up looking. A lot of DD+ cup bras, especially ones with full cut-and-sewn cups, tend to scream, "I'm a bra for big breasts!!" But not the Clara.
Even its supportive scoop back isn’t too dramatic of a shape, giving great support without looking over-engineered. I love a full cup bra that doesn’t look like a full cup bra!
And that stretch lace isn’t just pretty: it’s also incredibly comfortable, even when I’m feeling sore from hormonal changes or a jog in a poorly-fitted sports bra. The material is stretchy enough to feel easy against your skin, but somehow firm enough to hold everything in place.
In my opinion, it gives a perfect shape. Unlike the classic American foam cup bra shape, it’s not too round, but it’s also not too pointed, like a lot of UK bra brands tend to look on me. This is totally subjective, but if you’re looking for lift without a ton of molding and shaping, the Clara might be a great fit for you.
On top of all that, it’s totally smooth enough to wear under a t-shirt, as long as you don’t prefer a foam cup for nipple coverage. It is unlined and sheer along the top cup panel, but if you’re happy to go without the extra layers, you might love this as an everyday bra.
Best of all, it's relatively widely available, not just online, but at brick-and-mortar shops around the world. Since the Clara is a solid full bust option with a huge size range that's manufactured year-round, it's easy for small and large boutiques alike to carry it. If a lingerie boutique carries Panache, there's a very high chance they carry the Clara in at least one color, and you can actually try it on in person!
Like I said earlier, no bra can fit everyone, and the Clara is no exception. The gore is a bit high, so if your breasts are close-set, you might find it uncomfortable. If you have very narrow roots and a lot of projection, the underwire might be too wide beneath your armpits.
But if you’re looking for the best full cup bra with luxurious details that can take you from day to night effortlessly, the Clara is definitely worth a try.
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