Sports Bra Series: How do I find the right bra?
I’m Christina -- maybe better known to my running friends as “the bravangelist.” With over a decade of experience as a boob whisperer, not only have I have tried on and tested a ridiculous number of bras, I’ve fit women of every shape and size. My goal is to make sure every sports bra wearer has the right fit and style. Chafing, strap digging, bands that slip, doubling up… no one’s got time for any of that! I’ve teamed up with Kristina to help ensure you’ve got the right bra for you and your Koala Clip. Have questions about your Koala Clip’s breast friend we haven’t answered today? Let us know. We’re happy to help.
Let’s start with three hot ticket sports bra problems.
- JUST, UGH. CHAFING.
Chafing: that stinging shower “surprise” no one likes. In my experience chafing is most likely due to (a) incorrect fit (which is likely no fault of your own!) or (b) the age of the bra.
- How old are the bras in your rotation? Like running shoes, sports bra don’t last forever. Heavy users should use the “no birthdays” rule, retiring them after about a year. Regardless of age, if you start chafing or having any discomfort, it’s time to replace them and be measured again. Just because that bra tag says “34C” doesn’t mean either of you are that size anymore!
- Have you been professionally measured in the last 6 months? There are a lot of well-meaning people working at running stores and in lingerie departments that still use a less accurate measurement method. The good news is you can DIY a good start - grab a soft measuring tape from your sewing kit and use this guide from Title Nine to measure yourself.
- Did you try to fix chafing by sizing up, but it’s not working? A lot of folks who experience chafing believe they can relieve it by sizing up for a looser band. Sadly this usually makes it worse, giving the band even more room to move and continue chafing. In many cases, the real fix is switching to a bra style with a channeled, better wicking band.
- BUT HOW DO I CHOOSE?
We can ease bra shopping pain with a simple assessment. What’s your dream bra wish list? Think about your fave bra and ask yourself:
- Do you want removable pad inserts or permanent contour cups? Or none at all?
- Do you want adjustable straps or band?
- Are you nursing and need easy access?
- Have a shoulder issue and don’t want pullover?
Key features and benefits like these will help you narrow down and figure out what is the right fit, material, and brand for you.
- TREAT YOURSELF
Not all bras are created equal. Runners don’t blink at the total cost when it comes to their favorite running shoes: most of us are willing to plunk down good money once we find THE pair... so why try get by with dozens of so-so cheap bras? Be willing to make a minor investment, especially for fuller cup sizes, as you’ll be happier if you have better, engineered support made of premium performance materials in the literal long run.
Whether you’re a AA or an F+, the right bra is out there! Title Nine has a barbell system that helps you find the right level of impact support you need. Check out their q&a as their style selector if you are having trouble.
Till next time!