Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pretty (and Powerful) in Pink: Panache Sport Bra Review

FussyBusty started the theme "Fit and Active September" earlier this month, and several other bloggers have joined in. I'm a little late to the party as I hurt my shoulder and haven't been able to focus on my exercise goals as much as I'd like this month, but I wanted to contribute!

Last month, Large Cup Lingerie kindly offered to send me a Panache Sport Bra to try out, and I felt that a sports bra review would fit in well with the theme (see blog policy). Sports bras are a vital part of every bra-wardrobe; my workouts are so much more effective and comfortable when I have the right support.

The Panache Sport is a moulded underwire bra and comes in a variety of colors, including some seasonal ones. Since I'd heard that the cups of the Panache Sport tended to run roomy, I decided to go for the 28GG (rather than my usual 28H) in the Pink colorway. The pink I chose is a nice bright shade - honestly, it makes working out more fun.

The band of my 28GG stretches to 28", so I found it to be true to size. As a "small 28 band", I prefer to wear it on the loosest or middle hook. I've read that the Pink colorway tends to run a little looser in the band than other colorways, so those preferring a very firm band may want to check into other colors. I'm guessing I'd find some other colorways slightly more supportive.

The cups of the 28GG seemed like a good fit for me, confirming that the bra tends to run roomy in the cups. "Forgiving" may be a better word, as I think that the bra could work well for someone in a small variety of sizes (for example, I probably could also make both a 28H and a 28G work). Because of this, I wouldn't rule out trying this bra even if you wear above the H-cup size limit.

In the above picture, you can see where the wires end in the center channel; they only go a little over halfway up, a fact that I appreciated. No high, pokey, strangling underwires! The top edge of the bra also doesn't go super high up on the chest, so you don't have to worry about wearing a shirt with a high neckline in order to cover it. Honestly, though, this bra is so cute that I wouldn't mind if it showed under a tank top while working out.

I'm really happy with the shape and look of this bra. It doesn't create a "monoboob" look, and I actually feel comfortable wearing it on its own without an additional top when working out. Also, it's a lot easier to put on than a "pullover" sports bra (not practical for me) or a compression "vest-bra" like the Enell. I also found it surprisingly comfortable - so much so that I've worn it the rest of the day after a workout. It could certainly double as an everyday bra, especially since it doesn't really give the typical "I'm a Sports Bra!" look underneath shirts.

Side view, showing the wire width (a little further back than the seam) and how the top edge isn't meant to"tack"

In terms of shape, I think that those who have shallow-shaped or top-heavy breasts will have some difficulty finding a good fit in this bra due to the moulded cups and more closed top edge. I found the wires about average, not particularly narrow or wide.

One of the only caveats I have with this bra is that I have experienced some shoulder pain from the straps at times, particularly when I tried the J-hook feature. In fact, I only lasted a few minutes into a workout before having to switch the straps from racerback back to regular. I know that some other reviewers really prefer to wear the straps racerback, but for me, it just didn't work - you can see that I had to have the straps lengthened all the way to do this, and I couldn't fasten the J-hook without help.

Straps J-hook'd
Another thing of note is that the Panache Sport is an encapsulation bra rather than a compression bra (like the Enell). That is, it has cups that separate and support the breasts rather than simply "squishing" them down. I think that encapsulation bras as a rule will tend to feel slightly less supportive than compression bras simply because the breasts are able to move a bit on their own rather than being completely strapped down. Encapsulation bras are said to be better for the breast tissue, though, so I'm willing to deal with a little bit less support overall.

I feel that the Panache Sport, for me, is at its best when used for lesser-impact sports. I generally wear it while playing Just Dance at home [edit: I've since used it during yoga and found it very effective], and while I definitely feel supported in the Panache Sport, I think that it may not be quite as super-supportive as I might prefer with a very strenuous workout or activity (like horseback riding, distance running, high-impact sports). Still, I was quite pleased with the amount of support I got in general, and I'd certainly recommend the Panache Sport as a very solid choice. I'll definitely be getting a lot of use out of it, and I'm already casting a longing eye on other colorways!

Have you tried out the Panache Sport bra? What do you look for in a sports bra?

Other Panache Sport Reviews:
Brastop - compare and contrast post with various sizes featured
Bras I Hate & Love (30H in violet/fuchsia)
Bra Nightmares (40GG in pink)
Bravolution (28H in grey/purple, with comparison to Freya Moulded)
By Baby's Rules (28GG in black, 28H in pink)
Fuller Figure Fuller Bust (32FF in grey/purple, guest review)
Full Figured Chest (34H)
Obsessed With Breasts (30H in black)
Petite & Plentiful (28E in grey/purple)
Pretty and Petite (28F in pink)
Sophisticated Pair (32E and 30H, both in white)
Stack DD+ (30H in violet/fuchsia)
Undercover Lingerista (28FF in violet/fuchsia, with comparison to Freya Active, Shock Absorber, and Pure Lime)
UndieGamer (28FF in grey/purple)
Venusian Glow (28DD in grey/purple & 28E in violet/fuchsia)
Voluptuously Thin (32GG in grey/purple)

The Panache Sport Bra is available in sizes 28 DD-H, 30 D-H, 32 C-H, 34-38 B-H, and 40 D-GG. You can find it for sale at Large Cup Lingerie (which always offers free shipping!) in several colors.


  1. Great review, and I totally agree with you. Panache's Sports bra is very comfortable and I enjoy it when running. Support is great and without compression like bench vise.
    I have it in lilac and band is tight enough, Cups are a bit bigger than normally. So It fits me in 38D.

  2. I think it might be because I have a smaller chest but I feel very supported in the Panache sport when I do horseback riding. I can even keep wearing my too-big 32D (I'm a 28F) and get away with it, although I try to only use it when I'm not planning to ride for too long just in case. I can't afford to splurge on a second 28F right now so I try to make it work.

    That pink is very nice on you. It would look cute peaking under a lower-cut T-shirt!

  3. I used to have this bra, and I think the same that what you say in the review. I can confirm it is not the best for some shallow shapes (with a tall root, I guess, I am in this case), but can works for some other apparently, according to bratabase reviews.
    I remember when I had this bra, I had the same problem whith the straps painfull in racerback position (I think it is because the front is not stretchy and not adjustable, so it can't work with everybody sadly... ).

    ( imagining someone playing Just Dance somewhere on earth makes me smile (my vision is a very little people in a pink bra having fun on a big big big planet, in the middle of a lot of grey and boring things, and I see it from a satelit or the moon maybe)

  4. It's interesting to see a review of this bra in a similar size to me with the opposite experience.

    I'm 5'0" and on me this is a lot of bra. (I have it in a 28H) The straps don't adjust short enough even using the j-hook, I took out about 1/2" from the padded section and 2" from the elastic section to get them short enough in their regular configuration, and I definitely don't have any tank top that would hide it. It works well for me as a running bra though, while I find it seriously uncomfortable for yoga.


    1. I'm 4'11" and I have it in a 34F. I loved the J-hook for the first 5 minutes--there was real support! Without the cross-back, it's a low-impact sports bra only--which is pretty much ok since cycling's my main thing. But anyway, after 5 minutes, I found the straps to be extremely irritating to my skin. I think that angling the straps that way makes them dig in a bit, and I've got very sensitive skin. Oh well, finally found a bra that fits. I'd been cramming myself into the biggest sports bras offered at stores like athleta, 34D/DD. Serious Ouch.
      I also use it under my swim shirt instead of an unsupportive bikini top (I can't take the sun, so I swim in surfer-type outfits).

  5. I am quite full on top and the Panache sport fits me well enough, but it gives me subtle cleavage - go figure. It is certainly a wonderful invention!

  6. I need to replace mine, and I'm thinking of snagging that new raspberry color for myself. Hands down, it's my favorite sports bra ever! Excellent review, and that hot pink is so fun. :)

  7. This pink is so great I ordered one today. Hope it fits like the purple one.

  8. I really wish Panache would bring the pink back, as a continuity color. So many women's sneakers and exercise apparel have pink accents and well...I'm a sucker for matching.

  9. I'm a fairly full 28G/30FF, and I've found the Panache bra (in 30FF) perfectly suited to some pretty high-impact sports - trail running, fencing, and aikido. So much so that I stalk discount sites looking for more. I agree that it is comfy enough to wear as an "everyday" bra, I often put it on before going to work so I can just throw on a different shirt when I hit the weight room for my mid-day workout break!