From hatha yoga to hardcore HIIT classes, no matter what kind of workouts you’re into, a good sports bra is crucial for having the kind of support you need to minimize back injuries and maximize comfort and mobility. However, while we all know our band and cup size for everyday bras, we have to go by our dress size – or worse, choose from small, medium, and large – when it comes to activewear. If you’re like us, you’ve probably given little thought to the way your sports bra fits, but it’s way more important than you think.
Enter: Clare Robertson. She’s the head of innovation at Panache, a lingerie brand that recently launched a #mysize campaign to encourage customers to forget the “one size fits all” sports bra myth and opt for a version that accounts for cup size. She’s the expert behind the following advice that will change the way you think about sports bras forever.
Get a Bra Fitting
“First, know what your true size is by being fitted by a professional bra fitter,” says Robertson. Breast size can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, include weight loss or gain and hormones, so it’s recommended that you get measured at least once a year. “Selecting a cup-sized sports bra will allow you to get a perfect fit,” she adds, rather than relying on your dress size.
Choose a Supportive Style
While you may be tempted by all the strappy and skimpy activewear in the shops, these garments can be a case of style over substance. “Find a style that encapsulates the breasts to ensure they retain a natural shape,” says Robertson. “The bra should be smooth against your skin, and the underband should be firm around the body.”
Racerback Is Best
Similarly, the back of a sports bra is all-important when it comes to finding a style that will stay put, no matter how strenuous your workout. “Opt for a style with a racerback for additional support and prevent the straps from slipping off the shoulders,” says Robertson. “The straps should be fairly rigid and wide enough to sit comfortably on the shoulders.”
Comfort Is Crucial
“Look for maximum comfort,” advises Robertson. “The bra needs to feature absorbent fabric with soft, lined wings, cushioned hook and eye, and straps. Look out for cups that are seam-free on the inside to prevent chafing and irritation.”
Do the Bounce Test
“When trying on the style, a quick jog on the spot will reveal how supportive the bra really is,” notes Robertson. How can you tell if it’s adequately supporting your assets? “A good sports bra will drastically reduce bounce, therefore preventing any damage to the breast tissue.”