At last night’s UK Lingerie Awards, Panache took home the Sports Bra Brand of the Year award for the second time running. It’s no surprise: the bra – which runs from B-H cup – has been unanimously celebrated by reviewers across the world, and is constantly recommended to me for all manner of situations. People love it.
There’s just one thing. I don’t.
I first tried the Panache Sports Bra in a 30G about a year and a half ago. I went for a run, excited to try this long-awaited innovation. To the eye, it fit fine – but after about 10 minutes, I had to turn back – I was in too much discomfort with the bra to continue. The next day I tried cycling – and the same thing happened. The day after, I tried yoga – just to be sure. Performing back strengthening exercises on the floor, I was in so much pain that I actually cried.
Although the bra didn’t seem to be riding up or shifting, or even too tight – each and every time I wore it I found it slowly cut in to the muscle at my armpit until I couldn’t wear it any more. At the time I actually wrote to Panache (who – full disclosure – had actually sent me the bra for review) to see if there were any sizing tricks to the bra I wasn’t aware of. They never replied, and I clean forgot to chase or even write my review.
Until now. I’m not writing this because I don’t think Panache should have won. Panache is a brilliant company and this bra is extremely popular with a lot of women and has enabled a lot of women who had written off exercise back in to fitness: I’m sure for some it must be good. But it’s tough for curvy girls to get in to sport as it is – and I’d hate to think of a woman being put off trying because ‘even the best sports bra in the world doesn’t work for me’.
Looking at the bra now, it’s clear that the problem is the the style in relation to my frame. I have a short body, and an even shorter chest – the bra is simply to tall for me and even the most perfect fit won’t stop the slow pinch of that bra in my armpit. However, the ‘BEST SPORTS BRA IN THE WORLD’ not working hasn’t deterred me – once a serial PE dodger I now run regularly (and actually like it…). For fellow petite ladies, Freya do a fantastic underwired sports bra also to an H cup that is cut lower at the armpit. Or if you prefer a softer style of support, Shock Absorber is also pretty good, although in a more limited range of sizes.
Photo from panache-lingerie.com
I actually love the Panache Sports Bra, tried the Freya underwired because I needed another one and it would be nice to have a different model so that it didn’t always “rub” in the same places, but sadly it didn’t work for me at all 😦 it cuts badly into my boobs on the top when it fits the rest and if I size up it doesn’t fit everywhere else and still cuts into my boobs -_-”’ so given the lack of choice for underwired sports bras in a 28 back I just ordered another one from Panache.
Must say that I like it so much I even sleep in it sometimes and would love it if Panache used the same foam encased wires in all their bras since most bras leave bruises under my arms where the wire ends and that doesn’t happen with the sports bra.
P.S.: the only thing I don’t like is the small hook in the back to connect the straps, it hurts when doing exercises laying on the floor.
Yup, have to agree with you that it’s not ideal for everyone. I tried Freya, Panache and Shock Absorber sports bras in a shop and the SA was the best for me. Yes it gives me a smooshed together shape and cleavage (not what I really want in a body contact grappling sport) but it stops the bounce and means I don’t have to worry about getting stabbed by wires. However, I’m also lucky in that I’m only around an E cup and I see how a wireless bra won’t give the best support in higher sizes. Trial and error, I guess, until the companies get their act together.
Have you ever tried Enell’s sports bras? I tend to get a lot of underarm cutting enell works for me. Their sizing system is obnoxious, but I think they’ll do a custom bra.
I had a similar experience with the Panache. I just couldn’t make it fit, no matter how many sizes I tried. Eventually I just gave up and went with my trusty Shock Absorber. I think it just might not be a perfect fit for everyone.
The one thing I dislike about Panache sports bra? I hate that it is available in B and C cup, but stops at an H. I don’t want to sound bitter, but there are already plenty of options in B-D cups… The Freya is actually available up to a K in basic colours, but since Panache consistently fits me better than Freya, I’ll keep sulking and campaigning for more sizes!
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