Are you active and find you're having a love hate relationship with your sports bras? Feel like you're wearing a medieval torture device? One of the most frequently asked question I get asked when it comes to bras is how to find the correct fitting sports bra.
I find that a lot of women who want to exercise more, be healthier, and lose weight, but are missing one crucial component in doing so. That's feeling comfortable while being active. If you don't feel comfortable you're not going to feel motivated to stay active. Especially when you feel like your boobs are hitting you in face, getting in the way, falling out of your bra. Here are my three simple steps in finding the perfect fitting sports bra.
1. Determine what type of activity you'll be doing
If you are going to be doing a higher impact sport like: running, jogging, football, soccer, aerobics, tennis, basketball, or CrossFit; you're going to need a lot more support. I recommend an underwire or a higher compression sports bra. These two options are going to give you the lift, support, and will hold them in place so there's hardly going to be any bouncing of the boobies.
If you're going to do a lower impact sport like: walking, weight lifting, yoga, cycling, dancing, or pilates, you can get away with not wearing an underwire. Another factor is your cup size, I go more in depth below.
2. Determine your sports bra size
If you don't already know your size, go to my bra sizing post where I go over how to measure yourself to get a good starting point as to what size you are. If you live by a Nordstrom, Dillard's, Macy's, a bra boutique that specializes in fitting, I recommend you going there to being professionally fitted. If you don't have those options, then you can go here to schedule an in person or an online bra consultation. To learn more about my bra consultations, go to my Bra Consult page.
Some sports bras come in actual bra sizes, like 32D, and some just come in XS, S, M, L, and XL sizes. How do you know which size to get?
Below is a chart for you to use to help you determine your bra size when the bra sizes are XS, S, M, L, and XL. As you can tell, this chart only goes up to a DD cup size, I'll explain why this is in the 3rd step.
To use this chart, find your underbust measurement on the left side. So let's pretend you measure 27" around the most top of your ribcage. This means you're a 32 size band. Let's pretend you're a C cup, match up the 32 band horizontal line with the C cup vertical line and this will give you your size for sport bra sizing in XS, S, M, L, or XL. So a 32C is a small. If you don't know your cup size, go here to learn how to measure yourself for your cup size.
You can see on the 32C size below it it says S (32CD-34C). This means that if you're a 32C, 32D, or a 34C, you could also fit into a small. When sports bras are sized in the XS, S, M, L, and XL, I find there's a lot more wiggle room to when it comes to getting a good fit, which can make it a lot easier in finding one that fits.
3. Find the Perfect Fitting Sports Bra
The last step is probably the part most people loathe and that is trying them on to see which one(s) fit the best! Here are my tips for success once you've done step 1 and 2.
If you're smaller than a DD, you have a lot more options. You can wear an underwire, non-underwire, racerback, or whatever style you feel comfortable depending on your lifestyle, comfort, and the kind of activities you'll be doing. If you're larger than a DD, to be able to support your breasts you need to stick with a higher impact or compression bra or an underwire.
For my larger busted gals, stay away from bras that aren't full coverage in the front or you're going to feel like you're falling out of your bra. I promise you you will. This will make you feel really uncomfortable and you'll be constantly adjusting your boobs the entire time you're exercising.
Get more than one sports bra. If you're pretty active and do a range of active sports like: running, yoga, and weightlifting, I definitely recommend you to get more than one sports bra. Get an underwire or a compression bra that's great for higher compact sports, a padded shelf bra for yoga, and a racerback for lower impact sports. When you wear the same bra every time you workout, it won't last you as long. I get it, everyone's budgets are different. So just do what you can.
On average, you should be getting a new bra every six to twelve months because they do stretch out, break, and get gross and dingy looking. You'll be able to tell when your bra needs to be retired. It won't feel as comfortable, it'll feel big in the band, it will go from a white color and to brown, or if you feel like you're not being supported. If you notice any of these, it's time to get a new bra!
Do the six point check. The six point check is so important in deciding whether or not that sports bra you're trying on and thinking about buying is a good fit. You can check out my five points below. If you want to see some beautiful pictures of this being illustrated, go here.
Your size should help determine which type of sports bra to get. I mentioned in step two I would cover this in more depth, so here it is! Remember, if you're a smaller bra size ex. 32A, you're not going to need a high impact bra and can get away with a wireless sports bra. If you're a 38DDD then you're going to need a lot more support and I would recommend a high impact or underwire sports bra.
Bring some of your workout clothes to try on over your bra. You want to make sure the bra you're going to get is going to look good under your workout clothes. I'd recommend you wear your workout clothes when going sports bra shopping.
Do the bounce test. Yes, you gotta bounce the "girls" to make sure they're staying in place. Once you find a bra you think is a contender, bounce up and down, do some jumping jacks, burpees, or whatever you can physically do in a dressing room and see how your boobs are positioned after doing that. Are you having to adjust them a lot afterwards? Did they bounce and hit you in the face? I sure hope they didn't. If you said yes to both of these, this bra isn't the right one for you, sorry. Gosh, this feels a lot like the rose ceremony on the Bachelorette.
-Is it comfortable? Does is chafe or rub you wrong? Some bras look great, but once you get them on and you start moving around, you find they're fit really high in the armpits, they dig into your sides, or the straps are uncomfortable. The worst thing is having a sports bra that is way uncomfortable. Make sure to purchase your bras from a place that has a good return policy because most of the time you find the bra isn't comfortable is after you bought it and you've used it a couple times.
Lighter Colors=High Maintenance Dark Colors= Low Maintenance. This is a lot like having a beautiful white couch and having small children. Your white couch isn't going to stay white for very long with greasy, sticky, and dirty hands all over it. Sports bras go through the wringer, they collect sweat, dirt, and collect a lot of foul smelling body odor. If you want your bra to look nicer longer, I'd recommend you to get one that is a darker color rather than a white or a cream.
I hope these tips help you find the perfect fitting sports bra. If you have questions please don't hesitate to leave a comment below. I answer all questions and no question is stupid! Or if you feel more comfortable, you can always email me email@example.com.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm excited for more of my upcoming bra posts in the near future. I never thought I could talk about boobs, the Bachelorette, and white couches all in one post, haha.
If you're interested in scheduling a bra consultation with me, make sure to go to my Bra Consult page.