Fit & Active October: Panache Sports Tank Review

Technically, I didn’t “need” anything when the Bare Necessities Friends & Family sale rolled around, but 25% off, combined with a $20 credit from American Express*, and I easily talked myself into the Panache sports tank. I knew some of you would also want one after reading my review, so I asked Panache if they’d like to offer a giveaway, and they said yes! Look for details on how you can win your own Panache Sports Tank on Wednesday.

I’m going to review my tank top from three angles: feel, function and fit.

FEEL

After reading Sweet Nothings’ excellent review of this top in July, her dissatisfaction with its clinginess almost convinced me not to buy it. Stepping into it and pulling it upĀ does feel like putting on a swimsuit (I agree with the Herroom reviewer who says the fabric is like swimsuit material), so I fully expected to share Sweets’ self-consciousness.

Instead, I LOVED it! I have a fluffy back, but it probably helps that my tank top is black. And I like the front so much that I don’t even think about my back. I also find the length to be just right. For reference, I measure 15 inches from the back base of my neck to my waist. Since my hips are pretty narrow, I didn’t experience any riding up when I wore it to boot camp. It was pretty much a “put it on and forget about it” experience.

Except that for the first time in my life, I felt over-dressed at the gym!

32ff panache sports tank at ymca boot camp

Not a very good picture, but the man in the background gives an idea of what everyone else wore that Saturday. And some day I will buy bottoms that do this top justice.

Until I wore my Panache tank to the gym, I’d only been wearing my purple JCP sports tee that I wrote about three years ago (maybe I DID need this new tank top after all!). All that time, I was so focused on the women in streamlined bra tops that I thought they were the norm and I was the exception. But when I wore my Panache tank top to my Saturday bootcamp, I was definitely the exception. Fortunately, I had thoroughly tested my top ahead of time, so I felt absolutely no self-consciousness when it came to jumping jacks and push-ups.

FUNCTION

After clinginess, my biggest fear in ordering this top was cleavage. One Bare Necessities reviewer wrote, “I originally got it hoping to use it while running, however I feel like it is a bit to [sic] low cut for such a jiggly activity. I am a 32G, so this could be part of the problem. I prefer to [sic] the Panache Maximum Control sports bras that come up a bit higher for running.”

Perhaps my boobs don’t begin as high up as the reviewer’s, but when I’m standing still in this top, I have absolutely no cleavage. However, the big test is what’s happening when I’m jumping. So I took pictures to show you.

jumping 32G panache sports tank

I’m wearing a 32G on the left and a 32FF on the right. Both pictures catch me mid-jump. Excuse the serious face–I didn’t crop my head out because my hair proves I’m jumping!

I decided I could live with the boobage that shows up below my collarbone when I’m jumping or running. Besides, the only way to get rid of this is to go back to wearing a tee shirt!

You know what else is great about this top? There is no boob peekaboo when I’m doing pushups, planks or downward dog. The top of the cups lies perfectly flat against my chest. (At the other end, however, I’m pretty sure there’s panty peekaboo during downward dog since it isn’t long enough to stay over my hips when I’m inverted.)

FIT

I’ve recently been sized into a 32FF in a regular Panache sports bra, so I ordered the same in the tank. Surprisingly, things I didn’t notice in a bra that I planned to wear under a tee shirt became much more of an issue when I planned to wear the bra as a top! Suddenly my little pockets of underarm flab were a BIG DEAL.

32FF panache tank front underrarm flab

Could it be my 32FF regular sports bra didn’t fit as well as I’d thought? Or perhaps the tank top fit smaller? As much as I loved this top, I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless I tried the 32G before committing. Thankfully, Bare Necessities expedited my second order in time to make my decision before going to the gym.

You can see from my jump pictures above that the 32G contained more of my breasts during movement. From the pictures below, you can see there is slightly less underarm flab in the 32G on the left.

panache sport tank fit comparison front

32G on the left, 32FF on the right.

From the side, you can also see that the 32G contains more of my breast tissue than the 32FF.

panache sports tank size compare right

32G on the left, 32FF on the right.

And yet I chose the 32FF because what you don’t see in these pictures is the extra room at the base of the cups in the 32G. Also, strangely, the 32FF felt tighter in the band, so I expect it to last longer . . . especially since my regular 32FF Panache sports bra felt tight when I began wearing it in September, and I am now on the middle hook.

I tend to over-think things, and trying something new puts my over-thinker on overdrive. I finally decided that what matters most to me is how I will feel staring at myself in the mirror during class, and I decided I’d feel pretty good in this 32FF! So many things I’m over analyzing about myself in this top are things I take for granted in my classmates–and even in my instructor!

instructor example

This is my favorite fitness instructor. When I told her I was trying to convince myself that little underarm bulges are normal, she showed me her own and a love handle to boot!

After wearing this top once, my schedule forced me to take a week off from the gym. Now I can’t wait to go back so that I can wear it again.

*Besides occasional offers like this, American Express holders can also get a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which means free two-day shipping and returns with Bare Necessities.

Corporate Curves Report

Tina is out sick today. Here’s hoping she feels better soon!

Fit & Active October: Redefining Healthy Event Tomorrow

As we focus on being fit and active this month, there’s one thing I’m trying to steer clear of: usingĀ  “healthy” as a euphemism for losing weight. So when my friend Keila Tyner told me she was presenting at tomorrow’s Redefining Healthy event, I was excited not only for the chance to hear her in action, but also for the opportunity to explore the ways we engage in discussions of health. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join me! Otherwise, look for insights from this workshop in future posts.

Best Breasts Forward ~ Keep Your Head Up

Last week I discussed the effects a worn out bra had on my running. Besides getting a new bra, I knew it was necessary to check my running posture. As with yoga, when I am running I have to keep my posture in check. With such a large bust, running with improper posture can weigh down my run and wreck havoc on my neck, shoulders and back.

When it comes to running posture, there are some differences of opinion but here are 10 tips for improving your running form that most agree on:

1. Keep your chin up while running; do not look down at your feet.

2. Keep your abs tight.

3. Keep your upper body relaxed and quiet with minimal side-to-side movement while you run.

4. Keep your shoulders and arms relaxed, and swing your arms back and forth with your hands passing pocket level.

5. Keep your chest up high and your shoulders back. This will help you breathe properly while running.

6. Keep your hips aligned with each other at all times. Your hips must form a straight line from left to right as you run. Try not to drop your hips as you go through the gait cycle. If you tend to drop your hips, you need to strengthen your adductors, that is, the muscles on the outside of your hips.

7. Land on the balls of your feet (forefoot or midfoot) instead of your heels.

8. Do not straighten your front leg as you land on your front leg. Your knee must be bent and your foot must be pointing slightly downwards and not flexed towards the sky.

9. Lift the back leg with your hamstrings and bring it as high as possible to your butt. Then let gravity take over and let it drop.

10. Lean slightly forward when running. Do not lean forward or backward too much while running. There must an imaginary straight line running from your head down through your center of gravity to your hips and legs.

image

It’s strange that some of the smallest things can effect my running posture. I noticed that when I lost my armband that holds my phone and had to carry it in my hand, I’d look down at it so often that by the end if my run the base of my neck hurt. I was violating tip #1. If I’m stressed when I begin my run, I tend to tense up a lot in my shoulders, violating tip #4. To keep my shoulders and arms loose, I shake them out periodically while running. If I’m on a hilly course, I use the downhills as a time to “shake out”.

I think being so busty has helped in correcting my running posture. Sounds strange, huh? The reason I say this is because when something is “off” with my form, it quickly effects my body. The size and weight of my breasts cannot be improperly carried for miles without pain. I usually feel it around mile 2 and make adjustments before any damage is done. Thank you, boobs!