I apologize in advance for the quality of these pictures. They were all taken quickly for Bratabase and I didn’t want to remove my alterations to show how the bra fits me without them. I don’t believe it’s accurate to review an altered bra.
The Panache Tango II (referred to as Panache Tango for the rest of this review) is an extremely polarizing bra when it comes to the full bust community. Some love it for the extreme level of support it provides, and don’t mind the wide and east-west look. Others hate how wide it is, and don’t like the mature and full coverage appearance. I fall in the middle of this spectrum. I own two of this bra, one in 38JJ (Scarlet colorway) and one in 36K (nude colorway, dyed with Rit Fuchsia.) I got the 38JJ in a grab bag from Breakout Bras, and I rolled my eyes when I saw it, even though the other three bras I got were all really good. While this is a fantastic bra for those who can make it work, I have to alter it to get a somewhat decent fit (taking in the gore and straps, wearing a bra strap holder to reduce gaping).
The Tango is one of Panache’s most popular cuts, and has been around the longest. Unfortunately, I think it falls flat in the larger end of it’s spectrum (which covers 28-40 D-K, 42 D-J, 44DD-FF.) I believe the Panache Tango suffers from the same scaling problems of other Panache bras. I’ve noticed that the larger Panache bras get (both in cup and band size), they get wider and taller all over instead of scaling the parts that matter. What this means is that many women will not find a comfortable fit in the Tango even if the cup would otherwise fit. If you scroll down on Bratabase’s photos of the Tango, you will notice that the bra gets frumpier and more full coverage the larger it gets.
My breasts are wide set, full on top, pendulous, and my roots are wide and short. What this means is that I need moderately wide cups with a lot of depth, but without a lot of height. Due to the very tall and very wide construction of the Tango, I have a lot of empty space at the top of the cups. The wires, however, are spot on. I could not size down another cup in the Tango because the wires would start to dig into me, and I wouldn’t have enough volume in the bottom of the cup. If it bothered me enough, I’d fold over the top edge of the cup and sew it to reduce the cup height. I have not done this because the loose top section is not visible under clothes. Despite my wide roots, I had to narrow the gore so that my boobs would get out from under my arms.
Since I own two Tangos, I feel it necessary to compare them. For starters, my 36K Tango is extremely old. I bought it on eBay for a really reasonable price, and the tag is similar to the one on my Panache Harmony, which was discontinued in 2010 after being around for a few years. The 36K Tango is wider and shallower than the 38JJ. The wires and band on the 38JJ are firmer than the 36K. Despite the 38JJ being deeper, slightly more narrow, and with a sturdier construction, I feel like the 38JJ provides much less support. My boobs jiggle around like Jello in the 38JJ, while the 36K holds onto them tight. I attribute this to the fact that the straps are longer on the 38JJ model. My 36K Tango has altered straps, and when I tried to alter the same length of fabric on the 38JJ it was still loose. I ripped out the stitches to start over, but I have yet to finish the project. The gore on the 38JJ doesn’t get as wide as the 36K does towards the band.
When this bra is fully altered to my liking, I get a really wide set east-west look with a natural profile. If you don’t like this in a bra, I’d skip this model altogether. I’d only recommend this bra to someone who needs really wide wires, a wide gore, long straps, average depth cups, and who is under an H cup. I don’t mean to discourage anyone from trying out this bra because it was the bra that taught me about my short roots. Although I have some massive issues with the fit of this bra, it’s one of the most comfortable bras I’ve ever tried, and I believe it’s also the most supportive. For these two reasons, the Panache Tango is an important fixture of my collection. I wear it around my house or when running errands because it makes my boobs feel lighter than air. I can’t wear this bra at work because the floral embroidery shows under my thin work polo, and wearing an undershirt doesn’t work because the cups are so tall that they hang out.
This review seems negative, but it is in no way a reflection of Panache as a brand. I love their bras when they fit me. I’ve had more success with them than I have with any other brand. This one just happens to not work for me personally. I may try this bra in a 36JJ to see the difference, although it may not be deep enough for me. I will definitely post a follow up review if I can find a 36JJ Tango for a cheap price, and I will be updating this review if I alter the 38JJ bra.
Appearance: 3 out of 10
Fit: 4 out of 10 unaltered, 6 out of 10 altered
Comfort: 10 out of 10
Quality: 6 out of 10
Overall: 5.75 unaltered, 6.25 altered