When it comes to undergarments, ladies often have an exceptionally tough time deciding on the kind of bra they want. The obvious criteria is convenience, first and foremost, followed by the visual appeal. Admit it or not, ladies don’t just dress for themselves as they would like you to believe.
However, the major problem women face is choosing the bra which will be suitable for athletic purposes. We are talking about running, cardio, weight lifting, yoga, aerobics, dance classes and the sort.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing one:
BUY IT IN PERSON
Don’t hand out instructions to someone else. Be there in person so you can try it out to make sure it’s comfortable enough.
The funny thing is, that the same size that worked for you last time may not work this time. It may due to a change in brand or the most minuscule change in your bust size perhaps due to weight gain, pregnancy etc. Often the material will wrinkle around the edges which will further restrict the size.
Try a variety of sizes and find one the doesn’t constrict your breathing but at the same time doesn’t hang too loose.
When trying it on, make sure you’re not spilling out of it; that defeats the purpose of a sports bra. On the other hand, if the fabric is wrinkling, then the cup size is too big for you and you need to go smaller.
If you’re a beginner at this, have never tried wearing one in the past and don’t feel like trying on a hundred different bras at random succession before you find the right fit, we don’t blame you.
However, the simpler method is to get a measurement. You first need to measure around your ribcage just under your breasts which will be used to determine your bra band size. Follow up by measuring your bust size (encircle the tape around your back and across the fullest part of your breasts). Subtract your ribcage measurement from your bust measurement to find your cup size.
Your cup size and your band size will now help you narrow down your selection. This is helpful, especially if you wish to shop online and have no way of trying it out beforehand. However, make sure they have a return policy in place, so that if it doesn’t fit, you can always replace it. If you need a recommendation, you can check the stylish underwear at Knix, their products are amazingly comfortable and looking great.
If you’re a slightly plus sized woman with a large chest, thin straps will dig into your skin and cause you a lot of discomfort. Wider straps will be the more opportune option in such cases.
The straps come in three basic types: Crisscross, Tank top and Racerback.
The racerback provides the most support as it hooks the bra tightly to the body but the straps are typically non-adjustable so you have to be certain that it fits you well before you buy it.
While cotton may work well for your regular bras, it is not the most suitable fabric for a sports bra, primarily because it is going to soak up your sweat like a sponge. In order to wick away the moisture, try a fabric like Drifit or a bra that has a cooling lining.
Furthermore, try to avoid fabrics that may possibly irritate your skin. For some thick-skinned women, this doesn’t seem to be a problem but for others, their sensitive skin can’t handle anything remotely rough.
The bra should limit the movement of your breasts in relation to your body, by holding them tightly in place even if you’re jumping or running. So when you try it out, be sure to check that aspect by performing a few lunges or jumps.
However, if you need it for something less taxing, like cycling for example, you can opt for a medium impact bra.
Normally, you would have either an encapsulation bra (where a separate cup supports each breast), best suited for low impact exertion or a compression bra (which compresses the breasts against the chest wall with no built-in cups) best suited for medium impact workload.
If you need a high-impact one, the preferred choice is to find a bra that combines both the compression and encapsulation aspects into one as you will see with plenty of sports bras.
Do replace the bra if the elasticity starts to wear off, which is typically about an year or so after using it consistently.