I've always had a slight obsession with bras and underwear, I remember getting my first bra (pale blue with daisies on it if you're interested) and thinking it was the best thing in the World. These days I probably have more bras than I do shoes, and I have a lot of shoes... I am a massive advocate of perfectly fitting bras and cannot understand why anyone would want to suffer with a supermarket 2 for £8 job when they could be infinitely more comfortable and confident in a properly fitting bra, I'm talking to you here Mother.
So when Panache invited me and a collection of other lovely, ample bosomed bloggers to their head office to learn all about bra fitting and the benefits, not to mention a cheeky look at the new collection and a tour of the design studio, I jumped at the chance! Please excuse the epic post by the way too!
Apparently 80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra so it's quite likely that that is you so get yourself down to your nearest Panache retailer for a free fitting and get your boobs sorted!
Learn The Fit
If you don't know much about Panache, they are the brand to go to for perfect fitting, trend lead D+ underwear. If you're D+ you'll know how difficult it is to find a bra that fits and doesn't look like it belongs to your Gran on the high street, so Panache is just a little bit of a win. Their brands include Cleo (fun, colourful and playful), Superbra (does what it says on the tin, the superest of bras), Masquerade (luxury lingerie) and most recently Sculptress (lingerie for the fuller figure).
We spent the day with Karen from the Little Big Bra Shop who has been in the industry for years and knows all there is to know about bras, boobs and the perfect fit. She took us through all of the aspects of fitting a bra from fitting room etiquette to the different types of boobs you may encounter. We then put our new found skills to the test with a practical fitting session on a few brave Panache employees and the models who had showed off the latest collection for us earlier in the day. Our team quickly picked it up and were pretending to be expert bra fitters in no time, I even cracked out some solid David Brent style marketing patter much to Kathryn's amusement!
From Studio to Shelf
We then wandered through to the Design studio (after some mandatory bubbly, gummy bears and cupcakes of course!) to see where all the magic happens. I had no idea how long it took to make lingerie but it can take up to two years which is insane! It just shows how much effort goes into testing and making sure they bras are perfect. Each new style is put through rigorous testing including weeks of testing with real women, as that is who the customer is!
The Design Process
The lovely designers behind the brands took us through the mood boards and design process behind the Cleo, Panache, Masquerade and Scultpress S/S "13 collections, which were designed years ago because of the lead time!
The designers start by taking inspiration from trends, predictions and history then create a mood board full of images, swatches and colours they love. This then becomes their bible for creating the looks for that season. This season, swimwear is quite focused on a bohemian feel with a luxurious twist. For lingerie, it's more about the classic shape and playing with prints.
I absolutely love the new Cleo Swimwear collection, the bright colours and playful prints are perfect for summer, especially the little polka dot, frilled bikini below, how cute is that?
We were able to potter around and look at the key pieces from the collection which was most of us blogger's idea of heaven. Even better, all the samples were in my size, it was very hard not to accidentally borrow everything!
We all had so much fun and it was s good to learn about the perfect fit, the collections and the manufacturing process. It was lovely to meet some fellow D+ Northern bloggers too, I hope it won't be the last time!
So if you're the kind of girl who can't wait to get home for BRT (Bra Removal Time), get yourself fitted properly and wearing the right sized bra. I promise it will make a massive difference, not just to your chest but to your confidence too!
Information about your nearest Panache retailer can be found here or if you're near Market Harborough you can pop in to see the lovely Karen at the Little Big Bra shop! Karen doesn't just specialise in D+ lingerie like Panache so if you have a smaller bust, her and her team can help!