Best Breasts Forward ~ Inside Fitness

Mia and I didn’t coordinate this, but her post today is a fabulous answer to the question we’re asking you to answer for the Panache sports tank giveaway!

We are getting closer to the end of our month long focus on fitness, and I thought it was important to speak about not just the outside of what it takes for a busty gal to get fit but also the inside.

Having large breasts held me back from working out for decades. I was afraid and intimidated, thinking about being gawked at and judged because of my breasts’ size. It’s something I still struggle with and in some ways have not overcome.

I work out at home and run. Finding a sports bra that keeps my breasts from moving around and attracting attention, real or imagined, has allowed me run without thinking about my boobs. Being a member of a women only running group also helped me with that. When I work out at home I am alone. I often lock the door to be sure not even my husband or children can enter so I can focus on the task at hand.

It’s hard to ignore that little voice in your head. The one that is louder than those around you because it comes from within. So instead, I work towards making it a bit more quiet. I find bras that fit, I buy workout clothes that compliment my body, I choose environments where I feel comfortable moving and sweating freely.

I hope that there will come a time when I am completely comfortable in my own skin, but if I don’t, it will not keep me from working towards being healthy. I am not ashamed of my busty body. Being honest with myself about my feelings has allowed me to get closer every day to being mentally and physically fit.

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 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”.

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.


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 up 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.


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.)


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! Much of what I’m over-analyzing about myself in this top are things I simply 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!