This is a slight departure from my usual blog posts. I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent a completely free Panache Sports Bra to trial and review.. So here goes..
First up, I should say that I’ve always been a committed Shock Absorber fan and, due to being quite lucky in the boobage department, I have always ‘double bagged’. For those not in the know, this is the art of combining a encapsulating sports bra (to lift and separate) with a compression style bra over the top (to strap those puppies down and therefore prevent movement!).. It’s not the most comfortable combination but it works for me. Nothing fills me with horror more than seeing ladies exercising without sufficient support…. Ouchy!
Trialling a completely different brand AND allowing it to ‘go it alone’ was a cause for some trepidation! However, a quick look at the Panache website suggested I should at the very least be in for an aesthetically pleasing item!
I was baffled by the arrival of a UPS parcel – Christmas was long gone and I couldn’t recall ordering anything… and then I remembered… Ooooo, exciting!
Now, having checked out the website, I must confess I’d been hoping for the pretty pink and blue number but actually, the red is also really lovely.
As I don’t usually go for underwired sports bras I was a little concerned about how comfortable it would be. My next training session was a 10 mile run so I opted out of testing it for that but saved it for my Monday Buggy Circuits Class.
When I tried it on I was a little disappointed at how it looked. The slightly narrower band than I;m used to, meant that I had more than normal flab overhang under my arms and at the back. Perhaps I could have done with a slightly larger size but I’d gone for the 34DD as that was the size I’m currently wearing in my older bras. Clearly this lovely new garment hasn’t stretched and I am probably a little in denial about quite how much more baby weight there is still to lose!
Having said that, once it was adjusted and done up, it seemed a great fit and felt pretty comfortable. I resisted the urge to ‘double bag’ and headed off to class. It was a pretty strenuous class with enough jumping and running to put this bra to a decent test. And I have to say, I really liked it. I noticed a little more bounce than normal (probably due to the absence of the compression bra) but I wasn’t uncomfortable at all. In fact, I soon completely forgot I was wearing something different to normal until I got in the car to come home and realised I could still breathe and nothing was digging in! So, for a Buggy Circuit class this bra gets a big thumbs up!
My next training session was treadmill intervals and some general gym work. I was really impressed with how the bra fitted under my gym top. A lovely added detail on the Panache bra is a clip which allows you to convert the bra to racer back. I generally avoid racer back sports vests as it’s so hard to get a supportive racer back bra to go under it – now it’s problem solved! Half an hour of treadmill sprint intervals and a fairly tough gym workout later and I’m pretty hot and bothered but still perfectly comfy – no rubbing, no straps digging in and not too much bounce – certainly not enough to make me remotely uncomfortable or self conscious.
The final activity test was a run… Still not quite brave enough to wear it out for a long run (my training time is too precious to risk a bra malfunction cutting me short!) I did however wear it out for a club run. Again, I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable. I think the structure of the bra means that, although there is more movement than I would get from my usual ensemble, the support offered is fabulous. And an added bonus is this bra allows you to retain a nice shape… and, dare I say it, even a little bit of perkiness!
Of course the final test for any sports item is how well it stands up to washing… Well, so far so good. The colour hasn’t faded, the bra hasn’t shrunk or noticeably changed shape and it still looks brand new.
All in all, I was really impressed with this bra. Getting something supportive enough for running when you have more than a ‘B’ cup isn’t easy but this held firm faced with circuits, the gym and running so a great all round sports bra. I’m often asked about sports bras as most of my clients are post natal ladies and I will definitely recommend they consider at least trying one and comparing the fit and comfort to their usual brands. Price wise I think it’s on a par with other well known brands. The quality of the fabric, the design of the straps and the way the underwire is buried so deep within the fabric that it supports without digging in is just fantastic. The funky colour ways are a great alternative to the often dreary options available (especially in larger sizes) AND they do gorgeous matching knickers!
Thanks Panache for supplying, free of charge, a brilliant item of sportswear.