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Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

A Guide for Women of All Shapes and Sizes

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  • Anyone who has ever been professionally fitted for a bra of any kind will note that the directions listed here are not accurate. If you are measuring for your band size in the correct spot on your body you shouldn't have to add any inches at all.
  • This has helped for my adult daughter and myself. For one of us, the bra size was larger than available at sports stores in our area and we almost had to online order. For the other of us, the T - style was too hard to get on. Then we got lucky and found one department store that had multiple choices in the size needed, different styles that we did not see in sports stores and fitting experts to help! This is much more expensive -- I think - about $60/ $70 per bra, but this store also has a sales area and sometimes we get lucky. Fitting on our own, even after careful measuring was not working very well - and the difference in having personal service in fitting has been fantastic!
  • Oh, I wear basic cheap ones around the house all the time for small stuff and just to prevent my good bras smelling and sticking to me when I'm going to get all sweaty.

    However, the ones I've got won't do me a lick of good out in the real world, especially in my kickboxing and self-defense classes. We do our cardio and warmups--lots of jumping jacks and going up and down fast--and my girls are basically free-floating in the bras I have. They hurt like hell--I have to find something that doesn't strangle me but keeps the girls in and firm so that I'm not having to restrict their movement by putting my gloves against my chest as we do runs and jumps. I'm gonna hurt myself bad without the right size one of these days.

    So I'll figure out which type of bra and get a department storel fitter to help me out--I know most work on commission, but if we find something I like that fits, it'll be worth the peace of mind (and their time) for the expense.
  • Most times they are too expensive to buy that are my size.
  • Interesting - now I am confused again. Was reading the SparkPeople article 12 Sports Bras for All Shapes & Sizes Available on Amazon and when I clicked on the link to one of the bras there was a link for measuring yourself for a bra and their information is completely different on how to properly measure yourself for a bra
  • Thanks So Very Much for this wonderful and extremely informative article. I greatly appreciate it. Finally a way to measure and figure out what size to start looking for. I remember when I got my first "training bra" a woman came and measured me and then brought in the size of bra that would fit and we went from there. That was so many years ago and by the time I was out of "training bras" nobody did that anymore. Going to print out this article and keep it for future reference too!
  • Adore my running bra. I'm a DD cup. I currently am using a Moving Comfot Maia as my bra of choice. I actually bought it at my running shoe store as I could actually try it on.

    I don't like buying clothes that have to fit right online even if online is cheaper usually. My time isn't free and shipping it back is usually not free either. The nice part is that I can go to a store where there are people who can actually help me, too. That's priceless. The running store also put up signs for how to tell if the bra fits well.

    Yes, these are a pricy item yet they will last longer than an every day bra since it's worn for shorter lengths of time. Keeping the girls comfortable matters to me.

    Great article.
  • I really enjoyed this article. However I do not completely agree with the instructions for measuring for bra band size. Only use these tips if you are set on buying an American made sports bra. There are many companies internationally that make bras (including sports bras) that are made to fit women with small rib cages and large breasts - no need to add inches after rounding to an even number. An excellent source on helping you find a bra that fits is an ebook by Liz Kuba titled "How to Find a Bra That Fits". A website that I find very helpful is breakoutbras.com. My band size is 30 inches (nothing added), but my bust size measures around 39 inches (it can go up or down slightly depending on time of month, weight gain, etc.). My bra size is a 30G in the bra style that I wear but may be smaller or larger depending on the brand or style of the bra. Personally (for exercising), I wear an Enell sports bra (enell.com) which happens to be an American company. However, they have a unique sizing system that differs from the typical number followed by a letter or letters. I own 3 Enell sports bras so that I can rotate bras between workouts to increase the lifespan of the bra. I am able to run, walk, as well as dance ballet in my bras with the right amount of support and compression without discomfort. Just a note, I am not associated personally or financially with any of the 3 resources that I referenced. They are simply ones that I use. Thanks for reading.
  • As a member of the IBT club, I too find it difficult at times to find a decent sports bra. Depending on the maker, I am either a small or medium. I have found the best fitted bras from Old Navy but again have had a hit or miss because sometimes I need a small but on a few occasions have had to go down to an extra small. What I take away from this is that this is no different than buying clothing and none of us are a one size fit all type. Thank you for this article.
  • HEIDIE1981
    So I'm a 28K and can't find a decent sports bra. I've found they do exist, however the small choices available just aren't any good. I would love to go for a run to get fit, but unless I opt for an expensive surgery, it's just not happening.
  • Champion is the only brand I have found with a "sports" bra that works for actually playing sports (I play softball). Not many options/colors, but provides the necessary support for 44D/DD size, separation, padded straps and back closure.
  • I just wanted to add that you should never use fabric softener on sports bras, or really any sports clothing. Fabric softener can ruin the sweat-wicking properties.
  • ISTHATME13
    I live in Florida, so sweating is a constant issue with any bra. My doctor recommended i try a sports bra to decrease the under breast moistness and itching, That is why I read this article. I'm sure this is good information for people like the writer, who is a runner and probably not overweight and is in good physical shape. Spark People is for overweight folks - so we need something written by someone like ourselves who understands our issues and what we are going through now on our road to better physical fitness. I can't afford these luxury bras that are 70 and more dollars. I don't even pay full price for my regular everyday bras, but wait until they are on sale. Apparently in the America of today comfortable bras are only for the rich.
  • Not a fan of sports bras, yet I sure appreciate the need to wear one when working out. The "girls" need the support...and I have finally come to understand the work a sports bra does during high impact! Fit is key, I am a fan of Old Navy's high impact line...I purchased one a few months ago. It has quickly become my favorite!
  • My sports bra is a 34F. Why does the article refer to DD as if that is the largest size. What type of bra should large booked women get? Why should small, bosomed women be the only ones who need that information?

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