Our reviewer found these bras to be revolutionary in their field compared to previous experiences
At Olympia Horse Show back in December I was lucky enough to come across the LessBounce.com stand while writing my shopping blog. As a keen rider who could be described as somewhat “top heavy” I thought that I would have a quick look at the sports bras on offer.
The girls on the stand were extremely helpful and offered me a professional fitting. As they were so friendly and welcoming the prospect of stripping off during the festive period didn’t feel quite as daunting so I tried on the Panache non-wired and wired sports bras in latte and hot pink respectively.
The Panache bras were recommended as they give excellent support in a range of sizes. The bras also feature a “J” clip to give a multiway option for racer back shaped straps. This is a benefit if you’re looking for some extra support or your workout clothes have a racer back.
Research at Loughborough University found the Panache underwired bra to be the best on the market, giving 83% less bounce. The design is fully encapsulated and high at the front, ensuring that the bust is fully supported. The shoulder straps and rear fastening are adjustable and lightly padded, giving a more comfortable fit, as they do not dig in.
The first interesting thing that I must point out is that I went up a cup size and down a back size compared to the bra size that I usually wear. This shows the importance of being measured professionally, and increasing statistics show that a large number of women actually wear the incorrect bra size. For this reason I would strongly recommend a professional bra fitting, whether you’re looking to buy a sports bra or not.
At first both bras felt very tight around the back, but I feel that this is because I have got used to wearing a bigger size. I immediately fell in love with the underwired bra, however I was a bit suspicious of the non-wired bra, purely because I had never worn one before. This is because given the chance to go out and buy a bra I would always opt for an underwired bra, so it was interesting to be given the chance to test something that I would not usually wear. The tradestand had a riding simulator to test the bras, however I found staying on board somewhat challenging. For this reason I promised to take the bras home to try on board a real horse.
The first time I put the underwired bra on to ride I still found it tight around the back. However, as soon as I got used to it I forgot it was there. In fact, I completely forgot that gravity doesn’t always work in my favour, as the bra is so comfortable to wear. I kept it on for the morning and happily completed all yard duties, schooled one horse, jumped another and took a third to the gallops. There truly was a lot less bounce and I found the bra very breathable when I got hot.
As the bra matched my gym clothes so well it seemed a shame not to wear it to the gym that evening. It held up (excuse the pun) just as well in the gym as the saddle and was perfect for cardio, including running — something I’m sure many of us struggle with without an adequate sports bra.
As I try and compete most weekends the next test for the bra was to withstand a day’s showjumping. I was slightly worried about wearing my new hot pink bra under my competition shirt so I popped the nude non-wired bra on instead. As mentioned earlier I am a bit wary of non-wired bras and would never have dreamed of competing in one… until now. I absolutely loved competing in this bra. It was unnoticeable under my shirt and its subtle padding still fitted out my show jacket nicely. I believe that it performed just as well as the underwired bra and the lack of wires were a benefit showjumping as there’s nothing to risk digging in when I fold.
The non-wired bra proved to be the ideal competition bra as you forget it’s there. I now prefer it to the wired bra for a day’s competing. I would never have thought to ride, let alone compete, in a non-wired bra, so I am glad that I did.
When comparing the two bras I do not notice much difference in terms of performance. Statistically the underwired bra is superior, however when fitted properly you cannot notice much difference in the saddle. The only thing that I would preference the underwired bra for is cardio. My wired bra accompanies me to all cardio sessions and is a favourite at the weekly spin class. Despite this I would not be opposed to wearing the non-wired bra for floorwork, weights, yoga and pilates. However, I must point out that the bra is described as “lightly padded so no nipples show through”. Sorry if this verges on too much information but I found this not to be the case in the gym, but then again it is winter… just a heads up girls!
Overall I would strongly recommend these bras. I like them as I can wear them at the yard and the gym and their padding gives a good shape. If you don’t like padded sports bras I would recommend trying one on before you buy. These bras have to be hand washed which is a bit of a pain, but this is common with a lot of bras in order to preserve their longevity. I would definitely recommend these bras, and a professional fitting, to a friend and I now have one in pink, black, white and nude.
I would definitely recommend these bras, and a professional fitting, to a friend