What's the big deal about the sports bra? Well, I am not sure if all the Brandi Chastain hype was necessary, but there is something to be said for calling attention to this garment.
Finding the right sports bra is a serious decision. It's just as important as wearing the right running shoes. Let's face it – you need the right style to feel comfortable and stay motivated. If you don't take this decision seriously, chances are you'll end up wasting a lot of money with the trial and error approach (and a lot of time for that matter). How many sports bras have you bought over the years that get used once, maybe twice, only to get lost in the back of the drawer? It's time to seriously think about this decision and, consequently, save some time and money.
One thing you have to do is shop at the right place. You also have to know yourself – the right sports bra for you is primarily based on your body structure and, secondarily, on your personal preferences. This is a very personal garment. We all aren't 34-Bs. We all don't love underwires. Some of us insist on no-bounce support while some of us can care less about it.
Here's the point – the wider the selection you're shopping from, the better your chances of finding what's right for you. Once you've found that source with a wide variety, make sure that someone connected to the source really knows something about the sports bra. Then, it's a matter of setting your priorities.
Just like any relationship, this sports bra is not going to be perfect. So, decide, what's most important to you. Added structure for no-bounce support? All day wear ability? Separation with support? Easy on/off capability? Of course, these are just a few possibilities. Pick one or two must have's and go from there. The rest of this decision should be based on your body structure and the amount of vertical movement in your chosen activity.
Are you large-breasted but narrow-chested? Trouble finding a good fitting sports bra because of your long torso? We all come in different shapes and sizes. Believe me, this really matters when it comes to choosing the right sports bra. I can't give you a personal recommendation here (although I can on my website). But, let me tell you what I've found to work best in general.
First, it's important to understand the two general types of sports bras. There are the original pullover or compression styles and the separating encapsulation styles. I bet most of you have at least one pullover type somewhere in your drawer. You know, this is the one that looks like two jock straps sewn together (that's because the first sports bra was just that!). This style may or may not be best for you depending on your body structure, chosen activities and priorities.
Assuming your number one priority is no-bounce support, pullover type sports bras tend to work best for women with A and B cup sizes. This is because the style uses compression or flattening of the chest to provide no-bounce support. Compressive support doesn't work too well if the breasts are larger than a B cup size. On the other hand, if you are a C cup or larger, and engage in activities that don't involve a lot of vertical movement, then a compression style might do just fine in the area of no-bounce support. You would just have to deal with the uni-boob look and you may have a rough time getting the garment on and off.
With an encapsulation style, C cup and up-sized women have a better chance of getting no-bounce support in activities with medium-high levels of vertical movement because the breasts are managed separately. So, an added benefit to the encapsulation style is you don't have to give up contour. Typically, an encapsulation style has adjustable back clasps and shoulder straps for easier on/off capability as well.
So, let's give this a try. What would you recommend for this woman? She's D-cup sized with a narrow rib cage and a long torso. She likes to run (an activity with lots of vertical movement) but hates to bounce.
That's right – recommend a style that supports and shapes her bust line and offers an adjustable band and adjustable shoulder straps (an encapsulation style, not a pullover style). Additionally, I'd tell her to look for an encapsulation style in a non-stretch fabric for a higher rating of no-bounce support or "restricted vertical movement" (I call this the bra's RVM rating).
Now, you can help yourself make the right choice. Consider your body structure, the amount of vertical movement in your chosen activities and your priorities. Lots of times, there won't be one solution that addresses everything you've taken into consideration. In this instance, wear a different sports bra for the activities that vary in amounts of vertical movement.
The information was compiled by Lisa Sorrentino, Fit X-pert at www.X-chrom.com, November 1999. All expressions and recommendations are based on her opinions, values and test result findings. All content on this Run The Planet webpage is considered property of www.X-chrom.com. None shall be reprinted or reproduced without expressed permission to the user. Copyright © 1999 www.X-chrom.com. All rights reserved.