Knixwear recently branched out from making soft bras and underwear to creating the Evolution Tank: a tank top with a built in bra based on their popular evolution bra. This tank top has removable padding, thick non-adjustable straps, and a seamless appearance.
I pre-ordered the evolution tank (this was not a gift, I was not asked to review, etc. etc) and received it mere days after it was released. I ordered the evolution tank top because I wanted a comfortable top that offered moderate breast support without having to wear a bra. Bras are all well and good but I actually like to go braless when I can. Certainly, when I am active, I like to have support but not feel wires lying across my skin.
Knixwear currently sizes their tops based on band size only, which has its limitations. I currently measure a 35″ band so I picked up the large = 36″ band. I usually wear 36D, 36DD, and 36E bras – all 36″ bands – so I figured this would be the best size for me.
I was wrong.
The evolution top is like an odd combo of too tight, just right, too tight – in that order. My breasts are too large for the top so they get squished together – front and centre – to bulge gently out the neckline. This effect is most pronounced when the padding is in, and less pronounced when the padding is removed. My feelings on the padding are truly mixed. I removed the pads to give my breasts more room but I want the pads in because they give my breasts a better shape and additional support.
I feel like the Knixwear tank has a sports bra effect, where my breasts have been moved to the front and centre of my body and then strapped to my chest to keep them in check. The result is breast tissue oozing out under the arms and at the neck line. While I like how the built-in bra moves my breasts towards the centre of my core I hate the “strap these babies in” feeling nor appearance. I believe these fit issues can be solved by going up one size (38″ – XL) instead of taking my usual underbust measurement.
Lesson #1: Size up if you are over a C cup.
The underbust measurement used for the sizing did ensure that my torso fit nicely into the top. It was form fitting but not tight, skimming my skin but not hugging it. Unfortunately, the hips are a bit of a disaster for me. I have a fairly curvy profile to begin with: 42″ – 33″ – 44″. I assume the tank by Knixwear is built with more of an athletic profile in mind because the top just does not do large hips. There is about 6″ of length under my belly button but half that fabric bunches up about 3″ below my belly button at my high hip bone (and small of my back). This leaves ripples throughout the torso from the fabric trying to migrate up.
Usually, I would just size up in a top that I found too tight in the chest. However, the problem with the hips I do not see being resolved by just going up one size. Frankly, I think I have hit a shape incompatibility here. I do want to make it clear that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the evolution tank: just not every brand is made to fit every single type of body, it is impossible. The evolution tank has a straighter profile than my body will accommodate so it simply is in the ‘not for me’ camp.
Lesson #2: Lots of curves? Size up or stay away.
Which, I find sad. Not sad as in my cat died but sad in that I see great use and functionality in the evolution tank. In a day-to-day wardrobe, it certainly performs very well and will earn its place in your drawers. The fabric is incredibly comfortable works amazingly as a seamless base layer under other clothing. The neckline is also low enough to go under most dress shirts without a problem. While I ordered the black, the top is also available in neutral beige.
For casual sports – such as skating – the top offers some basic support and padding. It is quite possible to wear the evolution tank all by itself, opening up another round of possibilities if you get too hot for your shirts but don’t want to go down to just a sports bra. My best friend will be trying hers out at floor hockey this weekend and she already swears by the padded evolution bra for playing sports.
Lesson #3: Great functionality with seamless construction.
Overall, the Knixwear evolution tank with a built in soft bra is a good choice for casual sports, exercise, or lazing around the house. Find the right fit for you, and you’re golden.