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.