Sports Bra Fittings to help you ban the bounce!
Finding the right sports bra can be challenging in bigger cup sizes. Recent studies found that up to 70% of women reported suffering from exercise-induced breast discomfort. Even more alarmingly, 88% of female adolescents wore a bra during sport that did not fit correctly. When sports bra shopping, it’s important to find the most suitable style for your body shape. Some bra manufacturers have endless marketing dollars to convey how effective their sports bras are. But in our experience, just like any other bra, a sports bra can work very differently on different bodies…so only you can be the judge!
What to expect from a sports bra fitting. If it’s at all possible, make it a priority to get an expert bra fitting for your sports bra. As part of the process, the bra fitter should determine your needs before knowing which sports bra will be most suited to you. At Brava, we’ll discuss the activities you do, your current bra size, and what you are looking for. Once we’ve selected a sports bra we feel is right for you, you’ll be taken to our change rooms to try it on. Our expert bra fitters will check the fit and ask what you like or dislike about it… we’ll then continue to bring you other sports bras to try, depending on how you feel.
Do the bounce test! When trying on sports bras, a good bra fitter will ask you to jump up and down and swing your arms around as you would when exercising. You may feel silly, but this is the most important part of your sports bra shopping experience… so throw your arms in the air like you just don’t care! You should also try twisting your torso, bending over and reaching up. If the sports bra doesn’t feel comfortable, doesn’t support you tightly enough, or if the bra band moves, then it just won’t do. Also, if you feel like the bra is constricting your breathing, it definitely isn’t right for you.
Brava’s Highpoint and Melbourne stores offer an in-store treadmill which you can use to test the bounce factor of each sports bra before you buy; this makes it very easy to see/feel which sports bra styles minimise the bounce most. If you and your fitter can’t see the difference between the bounce of each bra, then you have a choice to make which may be more based on comfort, the look or even the price.
What’s the difference between a $30 sports bra and more expensive ones? The simple answer is – you guessed it – you get what you pay for! The best sports bra manufacturers spend months or years designing and developing high-quality sports bras, with attention to detail at every stage from the selection of the fabric, to testing and then optimisation of the design using professional athletes and women of different cup sizes. The high-tech fabric used in a good quality sports bra is usually selected based on its ability to wick moisture away from your skin, and the workmanship is held to the highest standards to ensure that your sports bra will last the distance, no matter what your cup size is. Whilst it is possible to buy cheap bras that are marketed as sports bras, the support offered by cheaper styles is incomparable to a quality sports bra brand. The cheaper version won’t have undergone the same testing process, won’t have as good quality fabric and definitely won’t be able to offer the level of support that larger cup-sized women need.
How long will my sports bra last? If you are participating in high impact activities, and wearing your sports bra at least 3 times weekly, your sports bra is likely to last no more than 6-12 months. The reason its life is short and sweet is due to the sweat breaking down the materials over time; it is washed more often than a normal bra and it endures a wider range of movements. Beyond six months a sports bra will lose a lot of its support
Our tips to help you get the right sports bra fit. Your new sports bra should fit on the first hook, as the elasticity will be lost over time and you’ll need to tighten it. Our golden piece of advice – don’t buy it if it’s not comfortable, or you don’t feel certain it gives you the best support for your activity levels (the comfort level will remain the same once you get home). What works for your sister or best friend may not work for your shape, as we’re all different – keep searching until you find the right fit, style and comfort level for you.
Whatever your fitness goals are, the first step should be making sure your support network is in place… starting with a sports bra that offers the best support possible. Do it for you. After all, fitness is not about being better than someone else; it’s about being better than you used to be.
If you’ve got any questions about sports bra fit, please leave a comment below so we can help.