Support Group (Bra 101)
Whether you are a proud member of the itty-bitty committee, can relate to the Duke's of Hazard's femme fatale (Daisy Duke) or have double Echo, Foxtrot and above, then you've definitely experienced the stress of finding the perfect sports bra! You've tried them all-- the pretty ones, the minimalist, the ones that should be classified as a straight jacket, but you never seem to know what brands, style, or fit work best for you.
We are all beautiful, every single one of us and we are all shaped differently. Whether you are small or busty, we all want to keep the girls in check-- but our fit issues are definitely different.
Smaller chested doesn't necessarily mean you have a petite frame, just like curvy figures aren't all well endowed. Well, look no further, here are some tips on how to make sure your are wearing the right size, understanding the difference in support, and wear a sports bra styles that work for your shape & size. Pull up your bra straps, I'm here to help you (and your girls) out. Let's get this party started!
Now that you know your Correct Bra Size, it's time to talk about what to look for in a SPORTS BRA. I will call this section, the ANATOMY of a Sports Bra. These are the things you should be looking at no matter what size you are. Quality ALWAYS over FASHION. We want to invest in pieces that work with us, not against us!
YOKE: It's the FRONT of the sports bra, that's pretty plain and simple. The yoke is important because it can be high-neck, deep plunging V, sweetheart, traditional, square shape neckline. This is based on your personal preference on how much you are wanting to show.
CHEST BAND: This is the 1st measurement that you took (see above). The band of the sports bra should sit snug but not squeezing against the upper ribcage/ under the breast. A comfortable/standard for most women is an inch to 2 inches below right where your underboob meets your body.
CUP: This is the 2nd measurement that you took. (see above). The cup is important because this is where your breasts will rest. Smaller ta-tas look for padded cups or add your own (see below), B or larger, a soft molded cup will definitely not just support you but flatter your shape (Uniboob = No Bueno). Avoid your cup running over by being honest with your measurements!!
STRAPS: Straps = Support. They will be the ones doing the majority of the work to keep the girls perky. Tips: Look for bras that have sturdy straps. The perfect combination is an inch or 1 1/2 inch thickness and combined with a racerback style. This provides the best balance of well-distribution of weight needed. Avoid straps that dig into your shoulder. Adjustable straps are great because you can personalize it to your fit.
WINGS: The sides of the bra that connect in the back are known as the wings. It's easy to remember just think of those Victoria Secret Angel girls! The wings should lay flat and not roll up when you are working out. Too loose and you won't have any support. Too tight and you will have 3rd boob & back fat that not only looks bad under clothing but isn't good for the body over a long period of time from a health standpoint.
CLASPS: In a perfect world, every sports bra would have a hook and eye clasp because I really firmly believe that we are all built differently and the more you can customize something-- the BETTER! Tip: Before you wash your sports bra, hook them together so they brake or hooked on another piece of apparel.
Now that you have your bra size and know about the basic sports bra, let's talk about the different levels of support & get to the fun stuff- the shopping! (Please note, I did NOT include Lululemon, Lorna Jane, Nike, Puma, etc. I wanted this to be a generalization about style than brand. I am not sponsored by ANY of these brands, so this is based off the way their bra is designed, constructed, and fabric.)
if you girls are getting all A's, then you get a little more freedom when it comes to the support side of the spectrum. But when you are doing workouts that consist of running or jumping, you may need a more molded style. Opt for strappy, wrap, and cami styles. Most of us (me included, who are flunking out, so to speak D+) will be jealous that you can rock the super strappy sports bras that are growing in popularity. (L to R)
Need a little shape? Or don't fill out the bra like you want to? Here's a Style Tip that I used on the set of 80 Day Obsession with some of the female cast.
Remove the padded cups from the sports bra completely. I know, now you are thinking, what is she talking about? Trust me on this one. Simple needle and thread is all you need. My favorite brand that allows you to bump up a cup size two is Braza Bras: Sew-in Cups. Scared of a simple sew? Any tailor will do this too.
B & C
If you were just an average Bra student (see what I did there?), then you need to Push it! Push it real good, in a Push Up bra. You definitely need to banish the bounce, while maintaining shape. Nobody likes a uni-boob, am I right? The best styles for B & C cups are push up, contour, and underwire- oh my!
Style Tip: Adjustable straps or don't be shy to take your sports bra to your tailor. They can shorten the straps! I did it with Katrina, Calie and Jaz's bras for 80 Day Obsession!
D - ZZ
The rest of us who are "flunking out" of bra school, its about encapsulation & compression! Say it with me ENCAPSULATE & COMPRESS! Our girls are heavy and it's painful to run, jump, or dodge without the proper support! (I can relate! I was a DD, but recently with my weightloss, I am down to a full D.) Don't worry! I got you and your girls. This goes for women FULL C and above really-- the bras with the zippers, racerback, and adjustable are our best friends! Yes, we need the ones with the bells & whistles! Why? Because you need to keep them high, tight and right (that doesn't just go for your booty!) You have my FULL support ladies that are rocking a full ECHO to double Zedd, here are the best bra styles for you.
Enell Maximum Support Sports Bra (Named One of Oprah's Favorite Things)