Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Panache Wireless Sports Bra

I’ve been on vacation this week, borrowing my parents’ cabin in the countryside of central New York. My back is feeling quite a bit better, and I have a doctor’s appointment Monday, so as long as she says it’s okay, I’ll probably go back to my once-or-twice-weekly gym visits in just a few more days.

In honor of Hourglassy’s “Fit & Active October,” Panache graciously sent me a wireless sports bra to review before I left town. Unfortunately, my back pain meant I couldn’t try it out for running or gym workouts, but I did bring it with me to try with hiking in the woods.

Disclosure: This bra was received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

I tried the wireless sports bra in the same size as my wired one, 30G. In regular bras, I vary from 28G to 28GG or 30FF to 30G depending on the brand. In regular Panache bras, I tend to need 28GG, though in some Cleo bras, I also may take a 30 band. In any case, the Panache wired sports bra is perfect on me in 30G, and the 30G wireless feels about the same.

The wireless bra is soft, but has permanent, molded, crease-like shaping in the interior. It’s pretty cool, because it doesn’t feel stiff, but it still maintains its three-dimensional shape.

While at the cabin this week, I’ve gone on several little hikes. One day when it was in the 50s (Fahrenheit), I skipped a bra completely when I took a leisurely two-mile walk on the road, and by the time I got done and took my jacket off, I had huge wet marks on my tee shirt from under-boob sweat. It felt so gross!

The next couple days, I wore a regular wired bra and the sports bra on hikes in the woods in similar weather, to see how they all compared. Before I left town, I also wore the sports bra on a regular day, to check out how it stacked up when worn all day long.

Unfortunately, the wireless sports bra doesn’t work for me. It felt good when I first put it on, but right away I noticed it was crushing over a bit at the base of the cup even after swooping and scooping all my breast tissue and adjusting the straps. On the day I wore it to work, I felt perfectly comfortable, but when I got undressed for bed at night, I realized it was giving me a really saggy profile.

When I took my sports bra hike in the woods, I took photos before and after walking, and the difference is really noticeable. To be fair, on both the workday and the hike, I didn’t feel any jiggling. But the wired sports bra is so successful on me that I would never reach for the wireless one instead.

Before, from the front, side, and a view from beneath the cups, where you can see it crushing over slightly:

IMG_3853

IMG_3856

IMG_3857

And after, from the same angles. Click to see larger, and note the visible sweat on the underside of the cups on the second and third shots:

IMG_3866

IMG_3867

IMG_3868

In the third shot, you can see that the base of the cup has not only crushed, but the bra has folded over all the way around except for the hooks and eyes.

Also note in the straight-on shot, originally the Panache logo on the band was fully visible, and in the after-shot, it’s completely covered. Here’s a side-by-side:

IMG_3853-duo

Seems like the band crept up and the cups sagged and went east-west.

You can also see how much of the cups folded over in this shot of the interior of the bra:

IMG_3869

I think my boobs are simply too heavy and too full-on-bottom for a wireless bra. As such, I can’t recommend this sports bra for women who in general require lots of projection in their bras. However, it’d be worth a try for ladies with a different shape—more shallow, mainly.

 

Mini Mini Sports Bra Review: Chantelle Underwire Sports Bra

When I spied the new Chantelle sports bra in bright orange at Magic Corsets, I had to try it on. The 32F (UK size) fit perfectly and is really cute.

chantelle sports bra side

chantelle sports bra front

However, when I jumped up and down, I felt more bounce than I’m aware of in my Panache sports tank. It wasn’t Incompetent Sports Bra Bounce, but it simply didn’t meet the standard I’m used to. Which leads me to wonder . . . why bother creating a Panache copycat that isn’t going to do at least as good a job of support?

A lot of the online store reviewers rave about this bra, so I questioned my own impression until I found a single (so far) voice of dissent on the Nordstrom website: “If you wear a 32G chances are you need a bra with stability, this one fell short for me.

Obviously, I wasn’t tempted to purchase this bra, but it may be a good alternative for women who love Chantelle or simply want an orange bra (it’s also available in black and grey). I’m currently wearing the Panache Hepburn in 32FF (review to come soon), and I can just fit the Fantasie Susanna in 30G. The saleswoman at Magic Corsets warned me that the band runs tight in the Chantelle sports bra, so I didn’t try the 30 band and was prepared to try a 34 if necessary.

—–

[Interestingly, my friend refused to photograph me from the back in this bra–it has a J-hook and three columns of three hooks–because she felt my loose skin was too unsightly. Until that evening, I thought I simply had a lot of back flab that would eventually go away with exercise. I also had no idea that I should be embarrassed by it. I even wondered if I should look into cosmetic surgery! Then a few days later after getting out of the shower,  I grasped two handles of my back skin in my hands, and feeling the living tissue, I thought, “This skin has served me well. It stretched when I needed it to. How could I ever get rid of it?”]

Best Breasts Forward ~ Wasting Money on a Sports Bra?

I know what you’re thinking. “What in the world has gotten into Mia?” Don’t fret ladies. I have not gone mad. I did however happen upon a bra designer who is of the opinion that we don’t NEED sports bras. They believe sports bras are a waste of money.

Okay. Knowing me as y’all do, I’m quite sure you can imagine my initial reaction.

(Pause for laughter)

So let me get this right. I’ll use my favorite, most comfortable, supportive and well fitting bra, the Andorra as an example.image

This perfect everyday bra should also be the bra I train in . . . the bra I run half marathons in?

Rather than just telling you, I can show y’all why this is an absurd notion. A couple months ago I had my Andorra on and I had dressed too warm for the weather. I did not have a chance to change clothes so I hurried around town running my errands. Two hours later I was in pain. When I got home I saw that I had sweat through my bra under my bust and the lace that I adore had rubbed me raw! It has since healed but I do have a scar.image

Moral of the story is your everyday bra was not made to stretch, move or react to sweat the way a sports bra is.

For us busty ladies there is no doubt that a properly fitted sports bra is NOT OPTIONAL. It is a MUST! Your sports bra should provide optimum support while adding to physical ease and comfort. It has to hold your breasts in place without being too tight. Because larger breasts are heavier, we need to be sure that the straps will remain secure and won’t slip, allowing them to loosen. Too much bounce can lead to the stretching of the ligaments.

Sports bras also help in absorbing sweat and keep you comfortable and dry while exercising. Larger busts will create more sweat in between your breasts and especially under the bust. Special attention must be paid to the fit and feel of the band.

I’m always open to others’ opinions, but I draw the line where it comes to spreading misinformation that is harmful. Especially for those of us with very large breasts, wearing properly fitted sports bras is not just about fashion; it is a health and wellness issue. Wearing an everyday bra in place of a sports bra is simply not ok.

Panache Sports Tank Giveaway

I wore my Panache sports tank to Total Body Conditioning this morning and loved it even more. While we were waiting for the room to become available, I jumped up and down to show my classmates how supportive it is. “Wow!” said one women. “Nothing moved!” This of course led to a discussion of bra sizes in which another woman said, “I have a friend who got a reduction, but she wore an F cup. Some sizes are just too large!” I didn’t even bother educating her. I did, however, propose to the Exercise Director standing next to me that we have a bra fitting event some day, and she liked the idea. So maybe my plan will actually happen!

Are you ready to find out how you can win your very own Panache sports tank? Read on.

In yesterday’s review, I mentioned how I felt overdressed the first time I wore my sports tank.  Following that experience, I read this woman’s reaction to being the only one wearing color in a sea of LBD’s at a black tie wedding:

Off to the 5 o’clock black-tie wedding only to be totally humiliated. Walking up to the church, every woman I encountered had on a little black dress and black heels. Luckily I had on a black coat to cover my fashion disaster. Yes, the men all wore tuxes but the women were dressed down compared with what I learned online. I never took my coat off at the wedding and refused to go to the reception!

So here’s the question we need you to answer in order to win the sports tank: How to deal with standing out? Your answer can take many forms. Here are just a few examples:

  • a personal story
  • tips for standing out on purpose
  • tips for when you find yourself standing out by accident
  • reasons for standing out (or not)
  • ways you psych yourself up for–or out of–standing out
  • inspirations for standing out

And it doesn’t have to be boob-related, although of course that is ALWAYS welcome here.

Here are the rules:

  1. Send an email to giveaway@hourglassy.com with “Panache Sports Tank” in the subject line.
  2. FOR ONE ENTRY, answer the question.
  3. FOR AN EXTRA ENTRY, make your answer so amazing* that we’ll want to publish it on Hourglassy (whether we actually do or not).
  4. And because we’re still dreaming of holding Hourglassy events around the country, tell us the closest major city that you live near and how long it takes you to get there (if you already told us for the Perfect Cami giveaway, just say so).
  5. The deadline for entering is 11:59 PM on October 31–the end of Fit & Active October.
  6. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to residents in the United States (I’m sorry!).
  7. Caveat: If for some reason the winner’s size is no longer available in the sports tank, Panache will provide a sports bra instead.

It will take us some time to read through the answers, but we’ll announce the winner by Monday, November 17, at the absolute latest.  We will assign each entry a number and use a random number generator to select the winner. If you don’t want us to publish any part of your answer, please also say so. If you don’t want us to use your real name when we announce the winner or publish your answer, please tell us what to use in your email.

*Hint: “Amazing” means no cliched commands like “Be confident” or “Accept yourself”.