Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Panache Tango II: Not the Heaviest of Heavy Lifters

I’ve just read a review of the Panache Tango II on My Curves and it reminded me that this is another bra I feel pretty negative towards. It’s a very popular bra that many people depend on daily, but it also seems to let down a lot of others who try it… literally. Every time I’ve tried it, I’ve hated the low, unsupported, pointy look it gave me. I think some people struggle with the Tango II’s shape because the bottom section doesn’t come up to meet the strap, like the far right image on my handy diagram:

For those of us with heavier boobs and certain shapes, the cut and style of the Tango don’t perform as well as we might hope. The really disappointing thing about the Tango II is that comes in so many colors, so many sizes, and a plunge version AND a balconette—so it would be a REALLY handy bra to fit into well! 

Tango II Balconette

Tango II Plunge

When I used to shop at a specialty store in the US, they had lots of things in a 30HH--but the Tango II was the ONLY bra they carried in a 28J, and in nude at that. Despite this it’s a bra that fascinates me because of how polarizing it is, so I decided to do a little poking around out of curiosity. I’ve found one of the best ways to discover a bra’s weak points is to read the reviews on Bravissimo, and especially look for that little “but…” in the positive reviews.
Here are some of the complaints I found in the reviews for the Plunge version of the Tango, pictured again below… though it has good ranking overall, many reviewers slipped in a few jabs.

“My boobs are naturally very high up and round, this bra totally transform them! Compared to the balconette version this is better in terms of shape for me, the balconette makes my boobs look like a triangle from the side, this is less triangle like but still very unflattering. It pushes my boobs down and really, there's a pointy shape to this one too… Lumpy under clothes but that's to expect from this bra.”

“I really didn't like Tango. It looked ok from the front but it was awful from the side. It gave my boobs a horrible pointy shape. I couldn't have left the house in it, unless I was going to a fancy dress as Madonna! I'm sending it back.”

“This bra is great if you want to wear a low cut top but don't want to appear too 'cleavagey'. It does make you look a bit pointy though!”

“Meh. This bra is OK but gives me conical breasts which is not a look I'm too fond of.”

“Lovely colour, durable fabric, I'd like it give a bit more of a round shape to my boobs, but it compensates for it with the support it gives.”

“I loved this bra when I first bought it as it was my first ever Bravissimo bra so wearing the right size felt amazing! However I've now noticed the shape is a bit strange, making my boobs feel pulled apart and slightly outwards, my friend has the same bra and she mentioned the weird shape to me. It's still a good bra however.”

The thing I find the most interesting about these reviews is that most of the reviewers seem to sort of shrug and concede that at least it’s serviceable. I can’t help but think that many of them would prefer a different bra, but have just accepted that this must be the best thing out there. That makes me sad.

And for the Balconette:

 “…it doesn't give the most spectacular shape - it's a little on the frumpy side for me; I would prefer to have a higher, more rounded shape. But I'm giving it 4 stars as it fits my breasts very comfortably and it is very sturdy and reliable…”

“This bra gave me a set of boobs I couldn't recognize as my own! TORPEDO!!! So ugly, not what I wanted! Torpedo facing north but still not as north as my boobs do naturally without a bra... Terrible fit to honest! It squished me down a bit leaving me with a mini quad-boob effect (very subtle). From the side it looked like a triangle! I'm not even exaggerating! From the front it looked okay though.”

“I know a lot of women rave about this bra. …It is very comfortable but it just doesn't get my boobs front and center- it makes me look too wide.”

Obviously not every bra is perfect for everyone, but I think the Tango II is the best example I’ve ever seen of a polarizing bra—one that inspires love, hate, and “meh”. And while I know many people genuinely love this bra and the shape it gives, I wonder if some of the reviewers, even the somewhat positive ones, might be happier with different options.

I was also interested to learn, if this bra is the Tango “II”, what is the Tango 1? It seems like the original Tango is this, the “Tango Classic”:

Not exactly the most lust-worthy bra out there. I’ll be the first to admit that the updated, decorated and colorful Tango II has a little more spice, at least, compared to this most basic of basics!


  1. I know that the Tango Classic and balconette don't work for me, but the Tango II plunge has seemed to work pretty well in the past. I just got one in my current size, so I'll see how it works and include that in my next review post!

  2. I generally agree about cup shape (Boobius Maximus had a great entry about it, complete with diagrams), but then I tried a Panache Andorra and found that while it has the same SORT of 3-section cup, it makes my boobs look completely different: they look centered and high and natural. So honestly I think maybe the Tango balconette just sucks for anyone whose boobs are not shallow and wide.

    The Tango plunge looks like it would be more supportive, at least, but I suspect it would be just as wide so I'm not even going to try it.

  3. Christine, I'd be interested to know how the plunge works out for you! I haven't tried the plunge in ages, just the balconette.

    My Curves, I believe the Panache Andorra (and several other bras shaped like it) give better support because the side support panel (4th piece) does draw the bottom section up towards the strap. Come to think of it, neither I nor Boobius Maximus included that particular 4-piece cup design in our diagrams!

  4. I own a Panache Ariza which is my absolute favourite when it comes to support and technically its similar in shape to the Tango whereas practically I think it doesn't compare. So it's probably not the structure itself but how well your breast shape and the bra fit together. The Tango is said to have pretty wide wires and to be a little shallow in the cup. People often have complained that this is especially true for the upper cup. Then the center imo is pretty wide and the breasts are pushed outwards. So I think the less this fits your natural breast shape the smaller your chance of being happy with this particular bra will be.
    Maybe the problematic fit is also due to the fact that the Tango is a pretty old model.

    1. I've had the same experience with the Ariza. I know it's a similar shape to the Tango but for some reason it supports me more like a real balconette. I love the Ariza and I've created my own "sets" with the Freya Jolie briefs and shorts.

  5. I've seen quite a few comments requesting a version without the leaf embroidery (as the Tango Classic is quite different from the Tango II, in my case, I found it even more widening). I don't know if Panache is thinking about it, but IMO it would not only make the bra less visible under thin clothes but also modernise it. The leaves look old-fashion to me. Around 2007, they produced a version based on the Tango II but with a cuter, fresher embroidery pattern. You can see it here in "sky" (more of a light aqua green) I found it not uplifting at all, but very supportive

  6. The Tango classic that I own is, hands down, the best "under-the-sportsbra" option I've ever worn. In fact, I can actually wear it as a sports-bra for medium impact exercise (spinning, dance dance revolution, etc.) Is it pretty, no. Does the Tango I stop something like 88% of my boob bounce, yes. That's why it is in my boobdrobe.

  7. Tango Plunge is one of the first bras I got from Bravissimo, I got the purple leaf pattern one and I did running, bellydancing and salsa in it with no bounce or overheating and with great comfort, forgot it was on, my boobs are not shallow or wide, they are separated and relatively low and full on the ribcage, and it fitted really well with no pointed shape. If you want to avoid the pointy look I suggest trying some of the side support bras such as Fantasie Susannah, which is a full cup plunge. Stop Press: Panache have now brought out the Rhapsody in a plain hot pink which is based on Tango, I may give that a try to update my look.

  8. I love the fact the tango gives a 1950s silhouette :) makes it a great high street bra to go to for me :)

  9. I love the fact the tango gives a 1950s silhouette :) makes it a great high street bra to go to for me :)

  10. I'm a 40J in the Tango II and it is my go-to bra - the only one that fits me correctly, I have yet to find a different brand that does (even other Panache ones)

  11. I think the majority of people commenting negatively might be better trying a different size. I'm not saying it would work for everyone but some of the problems are size issues.

    I like both the tango and tango 2 but need a 36g in the 2 but a 36ff in the original. I find them to be one of the few bras okay for my short armpit space. Everything these days seems to want to pull your boobs into your armpit and the straps, which used to be centre cup, are now at the sides. I don't find this supportive at all! However, the tango original is very supportive. Tango 2 less so but comfortable.