Review: Panache Sport

I’m not the most athletic person around, but I signed up for a yoga class this past semester, and as a result at the end of the summer needed to seek out a sports bra. I am one of the few lucky women in the US who live near a decent bra boutique, and I knew a sports bra would be a difficult purchase for my size range, so I went over to Breakout Bras to see if they could help me!

As always they were very nice and extremely helpful and brought me all the options to try on, including the soft cup Freya Active, Royce Impact Free, Enell Sports bra, and the Panache Sport. In the end basically all of them were awful on me except the Enell and the Panache Sport, and the Panache Sport was a LOT more attractive, as the Enell is a compression bra that smushed my boobs down and made me look like I was boob from collarbone to belly button.

The overall fit of the Panache Sport is a little iffy on me. As you guys  know, I usually take a 28J, or sometimes a 28HH, but the Panache Sport range is only from B to H cups. The fitter first brought out a 28H, but unfortunately the cup was too small and I quadboobed quite a bit over the top. The 28 band was a perfect fit.

Next, she brought me a 30H. The band fit well on the tightest hooks, and when I decided to buy it they gave me the card of a decent tailor to get the band taken in (although I haven’t gotten around to it yet!). The cups are the right size, but since the band is too big, sometimes my breasts will “settle” and slip out the sides of the wires into my armpits, making the cups feel too large.

My other main problem with this bra is the straps are way too long for me. They are only partially adjustable, and I’m only 5’3″, so it’s not a huge surprise that this was an issue, but it’s still annoying. Luckily, this bra includes hooks to switch the straps to racerback, which makes the straps just barely short enough for me.

Unhooked straps, way too long.

Hooked straps, much better!!

My favorite thing about this bra is how flattering it is! The shape is really almost perfect, maybe slightly more “east-west” than my ideal shape, but it is very round and I sometimes wear it under clothes, even if I’m not headed to the gym.

This bra would be a perfect sports bra if I got the straps shortened and the band taken in, but even in it’s not-as-supportive-as-possible state, it does a perfectly fine job of supporting me during yoga and light aerobic exercise such as jogging. Unfortunately for me, however, the band definitely runs true to size and is too large for me. I think the cups also run a little bit generous. Not a full cup size, but if you’re between sizes, the smaller one might be the better bet.


Christmas Shopping In Poland

Now that Thanksgiving is ending in just 1.5 hours, it’s time to start making my Christmas List! I’m not sure if you can tell from the bras I’ve reviewed on the blog so far… but almost every single one of them is a bad fit. I outgrow my bras constantly, so I have a constant case of the double boob. I’ve also realized through my bra journey that no matter how pretty an unpadded bra is, and no matter how well it fits… it simply is not going to get worn. Basically anything that does not give me a decent amount of cleavage is just not going to see the light of day, and this makes shopping a little bit more difficult, since almost everything available in a J cup is a sheer, 3 piece cup. The padded offerings from the UK in a J cup almost all run small (I haven’t tried the Daily Boost or the Smoothie yet, though!), and I really need a true-to-size J cup!

As a result, I have realized that I am going to be doing almost all my bra shopping exclusively in Poland for now, and have amassed a rather large Ewa Michalak wish list. I narrowed it down to make this post more reasonable (and because there is no way my parents can afford to buy me 5 or 6 sets for Christmas :P):

1. CH Karmelki and Figi Karmelki

All images courtesy of Ewa Michalak 🙂

There are quite a few reasons this bra has made it onto my wishlist. For one, I don’t own any “basic” bras aside from the PL Lilia, and what kind of girl doesn’t own a single beige bra? I also don’t own any boring bras though, and this bra accomplishes beige without being boring. The subtle latice embroidery is really gorgeous, and I love the lace and button details. I also want this bra because I feel like I’ve read before that Ewa Michalak is phasing out all the CH and HP bras in favor of the newer CHP style, so I want to try it out before it possibly disappears forever.

2. HP Koktajl and Stringi Koktajl

Like I said earlier, I don’t really believe in boring bras… and this one is definitely not boring! I don’t have any teal in my lingerie wardrobe right now, but I’d like to add some because it’s a color that basically always looks good on me. It’s incredibly flattering when I’m much more tan in the summer, but isn’t something that’ll wash me out when I’m pale in the winter. Basically I just want this because it’s super beautiful 🙂

3. CHP Mak and Figi Mak

The last thing on my list from Ewa Michalak is the CHP Mak. Red is my absolute favorite lingerie color on me. Nothing in the world makes me feel sexier than some good, red lingerie! This bra is a little basic, but I felt like if I got the CHP Milady instead that I would have too much black lace in my underwear drawer! Plus, I absolutely love the back of these matching panties.

There are also quite a few things I have on my list from Comexim, another Polish brand that I haven’t tried out at all yet. The one I have my eye on the most is the Blue Magic plunge bra and the matching panties.

The royal blue/black mix is really on trend for autumn, and it’s a look that I personally love. I think it offers a great alternative to the predictable red/black, but is equally sexy.

My only problem with Comexim is that in a lot of their bras I think I’m sized out. Looking at their size chart, my measurements put me just outside of a 60N. Really my measurement is a centimeter outside of the cup range for a 28 band, so I think that this is a brand where I would just suck it up and get a 65M, knowing that I would have to take the band in eventually. Their lingerie is simply too beautiful for me to not experience, and at the rate my boobs are still growing, I don’t want to put it off and then out grow it!

There are a bunch more things on my Christmas list, if I could just ask for anything I’ve ever wanted in the whole world, but with my parents budget in consideration these are the main things I’m requesting! What is on your list? Are you as obsessed with Polish lingerie right now as I am?

A Little More About Me

Well, this cute little survey is making the blog rounds, and I haven’t done one of these since MySpace went down the toilet! It was pretty fun, and now you’ll know a little more about me 🙂

1. What time did you get up this morning? Around 10:30. I know it’s late, but hey! I’m on Thanksgiving Break! AND I’d spent 7:30 pm to 7:30 am in the library Monday night :/

2. How do you like your steak?  Medium rare. I’d probably prefer rare, but I’m honestly a little afraid to order it haha.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Amazing Spider-Man! But that was at the university cinema. I’m not sure what the last movie I saw in a real theater was. Maybe the Avengers?

4. What is your favorite TV show? I have kind of a bunch. Avatar: The Last Airbender, Arrested Development, The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Spongebob Squarepants, Supernatural, Adventure Time… Mostly cartoons and sitcoms 🙂

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Right now I live in South Carolina, which I love, but it can get awkward sometimes because I’m an atheist living in the Bible Belt. If I could live anywhere, it would be a place that has weather and friendliness and food exactly like the south east US, but with a touch more tolerance!

6. What did you have for breakfast? Nothing! Eating breakfast makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach. Also it was Thanksgiving today anyway, so eating breakfast would have ruined my appetite!

7. What is your favorite cuisine? I LOOOOOVE sushi, Indian food, middle eastern food (specifically falafel, shawarma, and gyros), and Thai food. Also lox!

8. What foods do you dislike? I dislike chili and vodka sauce. I feel like there are other things I dislike, but I can’t really think of them right now. Mostly I just love food, it’s one of my favorite pastimes.

9. Favorite Place to Eat? I worked at Chick-fil-A for around 3 years, and still crave it all the time, so that’s one of my favorites. I also really love one sushi restaurant in my hometown called Irashiai.

10. Favorite dressing? Italian

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? I, embarrassingly, do not have my license, and therefore do not drive.

12. What are your favorite clothes? Lingerie, obviously. Aside from that, anything high waisted, tight, and low cut.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? New Zealand. I also have family who live in England (in London), and so I would go visit them again if I got the chance.

14. Where would you want to retire? That’s a really long time from now, but someplace VERY warm. I despise cold weather.

15. Favorite time of day? Late late late late late late late night! Definite night owl here.

16. Where were you born? Greenville, South Carolina.

17. What is your favorite sport to watch? None, honestly, but I’ll watch anything the Gamecocks are participating in 🙂

19. How many siblings? One older sister, one younger sister

20. Favorite pastime/hobby? Crocheting, reading, cross stitch, cooking, eating, sleeping, blogging, browsing for lingerie, studying, watching TV, yoga, playing piano and guitar

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? I’m jumping on the train a bit late, so most people whose responses I would’ve wanted to see have already filled it out, but any other bloggers!

22. Bird watcher? Well, my name is Robin, so whenever I see a Robin I think, “Look! It’s a little dinosaur and we share the same name” but aside from that, no I don’t really watch birds.

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m generally just always in a good mood, but I prefer to stay up late and sleep late.

24. Do you have any pets? I only own one cat of my own (Neal Catsady), but my parents/big sister have 6 dogs (Tonks, Sirius, Roxie, Rebel, Pip, Squeak) and 7 cats (Jabbers, Gizmo, Emily Kittenson, Jay Catsby, Casper, Cupcake, Slim).

25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share?  Hmmm… I’m almost done with my semester! Woot!

26. What did you want to be when you were little? Well, from 4th to 8th grade I wanted to be a lawyer, and then from 8th grade to senior year of high school I wanted to be a doctor. And now I’m studying Chemical Engineering.

27. What is your best childhood memory? This is weird, but I don’t really have one? All of my memories are either the same level of good, or bad, and the bad memories are very few and far between! My best memory MIGHT be my fifth birthday when my parents bought me Samantha (the American Girl Doll) along with a TON of her accessories (a bed, a dresser, a little wicker table set, a washing pitcher/bowl, a different set of clothes… it was a great birthday!)

28. Are you a cat or dog person? CATS!!! But I love dogs too. They just require more love than I’m able to give haha. Ideally I would have both animals in my life.

29. Are you married? Nope, I’m only 19!

30. Always wear your seat belt? Of course!

31. Been in a car accident? No, thank goodness

32. Any pet peeves? Chewing noises, people who talk down to me (usually due to my gender, or very often my breast size  ಠ_ಠ)

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Jalepenos, mushrooms, pepperoni

34. Favorite Flower? Hmm… not really sure. Don’t really have a favorite I don’t think.

35. Favorite ice cream? Ben and Jerry’s Mission to Marzipan… which got discontinued *weeps* Aside from that, probably moose tracks!

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Chick-fil-A

37. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? None… but I also haven’t taken it yet…

38. From whom did you get your last email? Brastop newsletter!

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Right now I would have to say Ewa Michalak, because I kind of just want everything that is there right now, because I don’t have any bras that are the correct size. I also could spend a TON of money in a fancy grocery store like the Fresh Market or Whole Foods, or a bookstore, or a crafts store! (In case you can’t tell, I love shopping :P)

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? I went to an international students party last Thursday that was kind of decided last minute, and met some cute boys!

41. Like your job? Currently  my job is school, and it’s a love-hate relationship. I love learning, I hate tests and grades.

42. Broccoli? One of my favorite vegetables! Ate it last night!

43. What was your favorite vacation? Probably one of the many weekend trips I took with my (now ex)boyfriend, either to Atlanta or Charleston.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My parents, my little sister, and her boyfriend.

45. What are you listening to right now? Arrested Development, and a snoring Boxer.

46. What is your favorite color? GRAY SO MUCH GRAY GRAY EVERY DAY GRAY GRAY GRAY

47. How many tattoos do you have? None, I’m not a huge fan of them. I couldn’t even commit to my nose ring for more than 2 weeks!

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 9:11 pm

50. Coffee Drinker? Occasionally! I like iced coffee, but ultimately probably prefer the taste of tea.

How Does BODY Shape Affect Bra Fit? (Also unintentionally a review of the Freya Piper.)

Something that gets discussed often (and for good reason!) is how BREAST shape affects how bras will fit, but I haven’t seen much discussion on how BODY shape can affect bra fit.

I started thinking about this after a trip to Nordstrom while I was in Atlanta this weekend. Nordstrom is one of the few stores in the US that carries extended sizes and UK brands, but even they don’t carry my usual size of 28J. However, I am always wanting to do more bra research, and I was with my sister, who wears around a 30G and therefore DOES fit into their range, so I popped in to check out the selection.

At first I thought that perhaps I was in a not very good Nordstrom, because I couldn’t find any UK bras anywhere! I was getting ready to give up and leave the store when a mannequin hanging on the wall caught my eye – it was wearing the Freya Piper set, one that I really love! The sales girl on the floor saw me looking at it excitedly and pointed me and my sister to the correct rack (only one in the whole store!). I know that the Freya longline bras start at a 30 band and only go up to a G cup, but I am so in love with longline bras that I was determined to try it on and see just how bad the fit was anyway!

I first tried on a 30G, whose 30 band was actually a perfect fit, even though I measure 28.5″ underbust and often find that Freya’s 28 bands are too large for how I like my bands! Unfortunately (and predictably), the cups were too small, and my double boob was too great to mask under a shirt. I decided to try on a 32G, to see if that was better.


The cups on this were a much better fit, I think a 32GG would’ve been perfect cup-wise, but alas, this bra ends at a G cup.


Slight quadboob visible from a 3/4 view, but maskable in clothing.

Obviously the 32 band was too big, but it was totally doable on the tightest hook! Not what you want from a brand new bra, but it does indicate that it would be alterable! My only concern about buying this bra (or any Freya longline) with the intention of altering is that I often find taking in the band exacerbates double boob in any cups that are even slightly too small.

I am in love with this bra. I love the really round shape it gives me, and it gave me a decent amount of projection. My only complaint is the lack of cleavage, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t an issue for most people, I just have a personal preference for the way my boobs look smushed together 😛

Now on to the original idea behind this post…

How Does My Body Shape Affect My Bra Fit?

Realizing that a 30 band was a perfect fit in this bra was very confusing and unexpected for me. I always wear 28s. Freya 28s have always been too big for me, even! So where did this bra surprise come from? I decided that it’s because I have this weird fat roll right below my boobs. I’m not overweight, (5’3″, 130-135lbs, usually), but my stomach is sort of weird shaped, and my underbust measurement is smaller than my ribs, but (slightly) larger than my waist. It’s like I go out-in-out-in-out instead of the usual hourglass out-in-out. This means that when I’m trying on something that comes down below where a normal bra band would sit, I can comfortably go up a band size without compromising support! My world has been opened!

My beautiful fat roll :) Taken stealthily in public!

My beautiful fat roll 🙂 Taken stealthily in public!

Unfortunately, while my body shape has helped me fit a bra in this instance, I hear more often about women whose body shape makes bra fitting difficult for them. For instance, women with pectus excavatum, “the most common congenital deformity of the anterior wall of the chest” (according to Wikipedia) will have a very difficult (or impossible!) time finding a center gore that sits flush with the chest. This means they often won’t get the same level of support that a women without pectus excavatum would be able to achieve.

Sometime body shape just means that using the usual underbust-as-band-size bra fitting method won’t work. Thinner women will often find bands this tight uncomfortable since they don’t have as much padding on their ribs as someone heavier. Muscular women may have a more triangle shaped back and also need a larger band size than their underbust measurement would indicate.

How does your body shape affect what bras you can and can’t wear? Also I can only really speak with experience on how my own body affects what bras I can wear and relate things that I’ve heard other women say before, so if any example above is incorrect or not your experience, just let me know and then bra knowledge will grow everywhere!