As a female dance teacher and marathon runner in training I’m always looking for advancements in two key pieces of kit: shoes, to protect my ankles and knees; and support bras, to protect my back. Both of these became more pertinent when I gained some much-needed weight last year. My bust growing by three cup sizes had a noticeable effect on my posture and my back began to complain. Finding appropriate foundation garments was becoming a health issue and, at a 34DD, I am barely above average!
Panache claim their sports bra provides better support than the leading sport-specific bra and state on their website that “whatever your sport, whatever your level, it’s the only sports bra you’ll ever need.” This sounded perfect for my varied needs and so Lori kindly put in a request for a review sample. After one failed attempt – damn you Royal Mail! – the bra finally arrived and it couldn’t have been more different to my current one. Back fastenings make it much easier to get into and underwiring helps with support and shape, but both are padded to aid comfort. The straps can be clipped together to form a racer-back style and they too are padded, but the whole thing is still incredibly light and easy to get in and out of. Unlike my current sports bra, this certainly wasn’t going to be nicknamed ‘boob-catraz’!
Its first test was Irreverent Dance’s adult pointe class. Two hours of relieves, sautés and other exercises-prone-to-elicit-bounce. Not only did it hold (me) up admirably, it got a fair bit of attention for being a much more natural shape under my wrap and having straps that were thin enough to work with my clothes rather than that obvious sports-bra-under-your-shirt look. As the Panache sports bra is designed to fasten like other bras, the straps sit in a position that means they can be easily hidden under clothing. The design ‘encapsulates’ (rather than flattens) each breast, avoiding the mono-boob look of many sports bras and ensuring that it would be great for dance performances as it wouldn’t spoil the lines of a costume.
The second test was marathon training. The Panache Bra was great for gentle jogs, but allowed slightly too much movement for me when I actually ran. On the plus side, its padded straps stopped my back from being jarred and the racer back function changed the way the weight was distributed – helping prevent repetitive injuries. The padded under wiring was definitely more comfortable than my free form North Face crop top style bra and it fitted much better too! Still, for a full run I fear its not about fit, it’s about mercilessly strapping ’em down.
Despite having more of the look of a standard bra, this one is definitely designed with sport in mind. The lightweight fabric wicks moisture away from the skin, while the soft mesh panels help to keep you cool. The underwires are wrapped in silicone for comfort and the underband is nice and firm, to help with that all important bounce reduction. In addition, the smooth moulded inner cups are designed to reduce friction and improve comfort. If you are active and between a B and an H cup, these bras are definitely worth trying on.
Overall, I’m not sure it is going to replace my ferocious North Face support bra for long training runs, but the Panache sports bra is now a firm (pun intended) favourite for teaching dance and for middle-impact sports.
This post was written by a RWL Guest Blogger – Amanda Jones is a dance teacher, runner and the energetic founder of Irreverent Dance. Who better to review the award winning Panache sports bra for Rarely Wears Lipstick?
DISCLOSURE: Amanda was sent a Panache sports bra free to review by Instinct PR.