I realize that awhile back, I promised a commenter that I would do a review of the Panache Harmony, and then I forgot—sorry! I know I’ve mentioned the Harmony a lot in this blog, and it’s one of the most widely available bras in sales and on eBay, so it makes sense that I should say a few words about it. It’s also the bra that I’ve worn the most often and know the best. I don’t wear the Harmony anymore but it served a crucial purpose for me for over a year of my life.
I actually bought the Harmony the first time I ever got fitted, but I didn’t wear it much because it really minimized my boobs, plus it tended to start cutting in throughout the day. But remember my late-onset boob-hatred that I mentioned in my last post? As soon as that struck, I went running into the arms of the Harmony. The reason it had cut in wasn’t that it was too small, but because it is designed for wider-set boobs than mine, which are quite close together, so it pulled to the sides over the course of a day. Once I learned how to alter the center gore, I made the Harmony mine.
When I reunited with my best friend after my switch from Freya to the Panache Harmony, she said in surprise “What are you wearing that makes your boobs look so small?” I think most of what I was “wearing” was a terribly hunched-over posture, but the Harmony soothed me enough to keep me in my body for those months when all I wanted to do was escape out of it and run away from my boobs.
This brings me to the primary function of the Harmony. It really helps if you hate feeling huge and just want to look more average. I know a lot of people never want to make their boobs look smaller, but if you do, please try this bra. The construction of it really makes your boobs very compact and in my experience, makes them look smaller than anything else will, and that’s what I would recommend this bra for.
To explain what I mean about the construction, think about the “apex” of a bra, the point furthest away from your chest. When people say that cups have more “depth”, they are saying that the apex is further away, so you will get more projection. In contrast, the Harmony has an apex that is a lot closer to the chest, so your boobs get much less projection than you’d get in, say, a Freya balconette. The tissue is even distributed as close to your body as possible without any constriction (of the type you might get in a compression sports bra—not too healthy for long periods). Because of the distribution and lack of depth, the underwires on the Harmony, as with any bra without much depth, have to be wider so there is somewhere for the tissue to go. Wide underwires aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they shouldn’t hurt if you bend them to your shape.
This bra is fairly high under the armpits, which is good if you are trying to deal with tissue migration, but not so super if you are petite and have problems with bras rubbing your armpits.
For my full-on-top boobs, the Harmony is a great fit once I’ve altered the center gore, because it is so low-cut and so open on top. The rose-patterned lace that forms the upper section might even gape on people with boobs that are full on the bottom, so if you often have problems with gaping, this might be a good bra to try in a size down. Personally, I need a 28J in bras that have a larger or tighter upper section, but I can wear a 28HH in the Harmony, just like I can in the Confetti.
I also really like the way it looks. It’s the furthest thing away from a “sad bra for massive boobs” (phrase cribbed from a review of a different bra on Bravissimo’s website). It’s low-cut and relatively pretty. It used to be available in more colors than you can find it in now, but even in the black, white and nude I think it is a really flattering basic.
It doesn’t give as round a shape as similarly-fitting bras like the Sienna, Brooke, Frances, and Confetti, which is why I don’t really wear the Harmony much anymore. The shape isn’t pointy at all, rather the opposite, it’s just kind of… bra-shaped rather than orb-shaped. (Very difficult to explain.) But I still think of it as one of the best bras that exists. It really got me through a tough couple of years and in the future if I’m looking for a work bra or something plain and nude, that’s where I’ll turn.
I’m sorry that I don’t have good pictures of myself in the Harmony—all my Harmony bras are in the States, so when I get back in June, I’ll add photos to this review. In the meantime, here are three photos I snapped in my dirty mirror last year. Despite the horrible quality, I think you can see what I mean about how small it makes my boobs look in comparison to how they look in a lot of other bras—I’m the same size in these photos as I am now.
|This is a 30 band, hence why it's riding up.|
I also want to note that the Harmony balconette I’m reviewing here is different from the Harmony full-cup, which looks like this:
The Harmony full-cup is actually pretty good for a full-cup bra, but it’s very different from the balconette, and I personally wouldn’t recommend it as highly (or at all, but then again I hold a grudge against full-cup bras. I know some people like them).
I also want to mention that the Panache Melody is supposedly “based on” the Harmony but actually isn’t really similar at all other than the fact that it, too, gives a fairly minimized shape. The fit is pretty different, though. Check out my review for more information.