TISH MONAHAN, OWNER OF SHE SCIENCE, SHARES WITH US HER TOP TIPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT SPORTS BRA.
1. Know where the support should come from.
The band that runs around your ribcage is responsible for taking most of the weight of the breast, if fitted properly it will ensure that the bust is anchored securely in place. The biggest mistake women make is wearing their ribcage band too loose. This results in the band riding up and down, which will cause the front (your bust) to do the same in a see-saw effect (as the back goes up, the front goes down, as the back goes down, the front goes up = bounce).
The straps that sit over our shoulders are not there to take the weight of our breast. These should sit firm enough to stay in place, but if you are finding that your yanking at your shoulders then it is a sure bet the band around your ribcage is not firm enough and can’t function to support the bust.
2. Coverage is key!
For high impact activities like running or aerobics, women typically feel best in bras that offer complete coverage. This helps to limit vertical breast displacement by blocking the breasts vertical escape route. Is also leaves you with a great sense of security.
Sports Bras that look like every day bras or push up style Sports Bras will typically be low coverage so it’s best to avoid these for high impact activities.
3. Get Fitted.
If a Bra doesn’t fit you, it won’t function for you. Bras that don’t fit perfectly will lead to increased breast displacement and nasty side effects like chaffing and skin irritations.
4. A Hook and Eye Clasp is NON-NEGOTIABLE.
The hook and eye clasp in a Sports Bra is an absolute must for most shapes and sizes. It allows us to adjust the firmness of the bra band as it stretches. Always buy a bra that is fitted firmly on the loosest hook so that as the bra stretches you have room to tighten it. In racer back style bras the hook and eye also helps to open up the bra and avoid stretching it when you are putting in on and taking it off. Without a hook and eye clasp the lifespan of your bra is most likely very limited.
5. Step outside of your comfort zone.
The underwire V non-underwire debate runs rife in the Bra industry. You should know that underwire is not in a bra to stop the breast from bouncing…. Yes you read that right! Underwire is used in bras to give shape, not support. This means that even larger breasted ladies can be in non-underwire bras – hoorah! If you want to explore a non–underwire Sports Bra you need to make sure it is a well-constructed ‘Technical Sports Bra’ and not a pattern cut crop top, it should be produced in bra sizes (eg 14E) not apparel sizes (eg Medium) so that it can be fitted perfectly (after all, a bra that doesn’t fit, won’t function!). An interesting point to consider is that our store in Melbourne sees more non-underwire sales than underwire in the E, F, G, and H cup sizes – fancy that!
Of course, this doesn’t mean underwire is bad, it simply means there are great options in both camps these days, so it’s always best to try out both if you can.
6. Research which store gives you the most options.
Bra shopping is a painful experience for most, if you’re a ‘difficult to find size’ there can be a whole host of added issues which is no wonder that women all over Australia settle for less than best. There are a number of specialty bra retailers that cater for specific size ranges, so get online and search for someone in your area that will have at least 3 Sports Bra options for you to try in your specific size.