Having been won over by all the hype about the new Panache Sports Bra, I really wanted to try it for myself. Panache bras often work best for me, and I had really high hopes for this one. It ended up failing on me, but only because of sizing.
For the past few years, I’ve been wearing an ungainly combination of two underwire bras (one too small, covered with one that is too big) with another too-small non-wired compression bra on top when I run or exercise. As annoying as it is to wear three bras, the results are stellar—I get absolutely no boob motion at all. This is thanks to the legendary compression of the “Frog bra” from Title Nine. I think for women with smaller boobs, the Frog bra might be the ultimate end of the search for a great sports bra. It’s not being made any more, but if you check out the product page youcan see how beloved it was! And for those with medium-sized boobs (D-G) the Frog bra would still work great with an underwired bra underneath. But I was hoping to break free from the necessity of wearing multiple bras to exercise, so I thought the Panache might be the best option because it’s underwired but doesn’t have the pointy shape of the underwired Freya Active.
The Panache Sports bra is available on many sites (Amazon, Figleaves, Nordstrom, Bare Necessities, HerRoom, etc) but is pretty expensive and doesn’t seem likely to go on sale anytime soon. So I waited around for when Figleaves had a promotion code and used that to get 20% off. For anyone on a budget, I would recommend keeping an eye out for a similar voucher code to make the price a LITTLE more reasonable.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the appearance or shape. I got the bra in a 30H (the largest cup size available) and the shape was really amazing. I would have no problem wearing this bra out in public, even to do things other than exercising, since my boobs looked so rounded in it. Since I am usually very embarrassed by the thought of people seeing me exercise, having a bra that gives a good shape is a really big help to get me out there.
The bra itself is also really cute—it doesn’t look at all like a boulder-holder and the construction isn’t visible from the front, but covered with fabric so it looks more like a sports top than the D+ engineering marvel that it is.
Unfortunately, despite how good it looked, the bra didn’t deliver. I didn’t get any more support than I do in a normal bra and there was loads of bounce going on even just jumping up and down in my bathroom.
The bra includes clips on the backs of the straps to connect them into a racerback shape. When I clipped them together, it did help eliminate a little more bounce, but there was still far too much motion for me to be able to run in the bra. I also found it was extremely difficult to clip and un-clip the racerback attachment. One of the things I look for in a sports bra is ease of removal—when I’ve just arrived home all sweaty after a run, the last thing I want to do is wrestle with my bra to get myself out of it. So the racerback clips just didn’t do it for me.
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that this bra doesn’t work. You might remember that although my underbust measures 28”around, I choose to wear a 30 band rather than a 28 for greater comfort andequal support. Unfortunately, the Panache Sports Bra doesn’t allow for me to size up in this way. When I pulled the band tighter behind me and then jumped, the bounce was completely gone. So if this bra came in a 28HH, it would be amazing and ideal! Unfortunately the cups don’t go up that high, but for those who do fit in the size range, I think this bra could do the job. Just keep in mind that if your underbust measures 28”, you’ll NEED a 28 band in this bra to get the proper support and encapsulation to stop the bounce. I hope to see Panache expand the size range of this bra because it has so much potential, and is not really a bra that you can wear in a “sister size”--it is perfect only in a band size that matches your underbust measurement. You don't need to size down, as it doesn't run big--you just need to wear the exact right size.
My next post will talk about the success I had with a different sports bra!