If 90% of the support from your bra comes from the band, I’ve always wondered why, then, the straps for DD+ bras have to be so stinking huge. Don’t get me wrong: I’d rather have big ol’ straps than nothing in my size. But, I figured someone out there could work their engineering wonders and make a magic DD+ bra that’s supportive and has skinny straps. So, when I saw the Panache Ariza at Linda’s Bra Shop, I thought I’d died and gone to C-cup heaven. The straps, in my size, measure 1/2″, as opposed to the 3/4″ of my favorite everyday bra, the Fantasie Smoothing Moulded Balcony (measurements can be as little as 3/8″ on an E cup and 5/8″ on a D cup, respectively, according to specs listed on Freshpair.com). With dreams of tank tops and flirty summer dresses running through my head, I didn’t think twice about buying it.
Unfortunately, my skinny strap dreams have been marred by the unexpected uncomfortable fit of the band. As the pictures above show, Panache compensated for the skinny straps by using a giant, 3/4″ piece of elastic for the band on the bottom of the bra. After a couple of hours of wear, the elastic starts to fold under the bra cup. And, the elastic is so heavy I produce more boob sweat than usual, which makes me itchy and uncomfortable. I feel like I’m wearing my Fantasie strapless bra all day — a bra that needs its heavy duty 1-1/4″ elastic on the top of the band seemingly to defy gravity, although I think it’s to punish me for daring to wear something strapless. The thing is painful.
Although it seems Panache hasn’t solved the skinny strap mystery just yet, here’s to guarded optimism that manufacturers out there are working on the impossible.