I have been sent a number of bikinis recently and I will be reviewing them all here on Curvy Wordy over the next few weeks. In this post I will be reviewing the Panache Tallulah Purple Animal Balconnet Bikini and Fold Pant.
Image courtesy of PanacheI fell in love with this bikini as soon as I saw it on the Panache website - animal print in purple...what's not to love? The balconnet bikini top is available in sizes 30 E-J, 32-36 D-J, and 38 D-H, and the fold pant comes in UK sizes 8-20. I didn't want the bikini's band to be too loose on me so I went for a 34J, knowing that the cup was likely to be a bit small on me, and I opted for a UK 20 in the fold pant as I didn't want them to dig in.
The Panache Tallulah Balconnet Bikini is unpadded and the top and pants are made from a very soft polyamide/Lycra elastane mix, making them very comfortable to wear. Both items have a lot of stretch but also feel quite sturdy - for me this is always something I look for with swimwear as I want a good fit and decent support but I don't the material cutting in or causing irritation.
I wasn't sure how well this bikini would fit me as I tend not to get on terribly well with Panache bras due to their wide wires and fairly shallow cups, but this print was just too adorable to miss! As it turns out I was pretty impressed with the overall fit and thanks to the stretchy fabric the depth of the cups didn't prove too big an issue. I think you can be forgiven for wearing a slightly too small bikini top on the beach or by the pool, as it's not something you'd wear under clothing for long - if at all - and so any quadboob or other fit issues are less apparent than with a bra.
The Panache Tallulah Balconnet Bikini Top is made from four part cups (in the 34K, at least), with the fourth section being the side of the cup, that actually continues upwards and eventually becomes the shoulder strap. This helps to give additional support and uplift to the breast, which is always welcome with heavy boobs like mine.
The underwires are wider than those on the Ewa Michalak bras I regularly wear, so they felt quite different but not uncomfortable. The central gore is a bit too wide for me and, coupled with the fact the cups were a bit too small for my boobs, it meant that no matter how much I fiddled it wouldn't sit flat. Again, this is not a dealbreaker for me on swimwear; as long as this fit is there or thereabouts I am usually a happy sunbather. The wires don't run too high under my arms, nor do they poke or irritate me.
As previously mentioned, the cups are definitely on the small side for me. However, as the J cup is the largest offered in the 34 band, I think I would have had to compromise the fit elsewhere if I'd gone for a 36J, for instance. Again, the stretchy fabric of the cups means that I only get a slight hint of quadboobing and it does not feel uncomfortable at all.
The 34 band - which fastens with a typical bikini clasp - is a great fit on me. Some brands have recently come out with different bikini top fasteners to allow for more flexibility in the tightness/looseness of the band and whilst I think these are fantastic innovations they can sometimes be tricky to do up, especially if you are getting dressed alone, as I am. I had no problems fastening this top though, especially thanks to the large clasp.
The straps are only halfway adjustable - just the back section of the straps - and as you can see from my photos I wear them as short as possible. I do think the minimal adjustability is a shame as there will undoubtedly be women who want to wear their straps even shorter than I do, and they won't be able to do so. Adjusters on bikini straps often slip during wear because of the slinky fabric they sit on but when I tried this bikini on and wore it around the house for a few hours I am pleased to report they barely moved out of place at all.
The fold pants are also very comfortable to wear and are sized pretty accurately. They offer decent backside coverage and I didn't find that they rode up at all. The fold over part is about 4"/10cm so you have the option of folding it to the max, as I have in my photos, or less if wished. I think I may end up sewing down the fold over section as it's something I'll fiddle with constantly otherwise!
If you're a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I'm quite a picky customer. I know my body has awkward dimensions and proportions...but I couldn't help but wish there was the option of leaving the fold pant unfolded. I tried wearing them like this but of course they did not work as they were much too wide on my waist, but I wanted to take a few photos to show how good they'd look if they were adaptable:
I'm a big fan of high waisted bikini bottoms and I think these briefs would look great in this style. What do you think?
You can read a great review of the Tallulah bikini over at Fuller Figure Fuller Bust - please note her review is of a different colour way and was written a couple of years ago.
I had hoped to be able to wear this bikini during my recent holiday to the Caribbean, but unfortunately it arrived just a little too late so I am saving it to wear on future vacations instead. I love it when brands such as Panache prove that bra-sized swimwear can look great and also be comfortable and flattering, and the Tallulah is a great example of this. Both items can be bought at Figleaves; the balconnet bikini top currently retails at £34, and the fold pant is £20 and in addition to these there is also a swimsuit option on sale for £50.