I know I go on about this a lot, but it’s SO important.
Time after time, I read about the well endowed lady saying she can’t get a good fitting sports bra. Or she claims that she has found a really good bra, but she needs to wear 2 of them. If you have to wear 2 bras, it isn’t the right one for you. It takes time, trial and error, but I really believe that the right sports bra is out there, whatever your size and shape. But first of all, let’s check a few things out.
Are you actually buying the right size bra? Many women have been measured using the outdated “+4” method, offered by most high street shops. This is wrong. Most of the support should come from the band around your rib cage and if your shoulders have welts from the straps digging in, your band is too big. Get a tape measure and measure round your rib cage. What are you? If there are 4 inches difference between your measurement and your bra, there is your problem. The band should be the tightest fit that is comfortable and it is baffling that so many women who measure 32 inches think that a 36 inch bra is going to support them. This is bad enough for a bra you wear daily, but for sport, it’s even worse. In most cases, women should be wearing a smaller brand and a larger cup. Check out this bra calculator and never be afraid to go and get measured. Just avoid M&S and don’t be scared to ask how they’ve arrived at the fit. If they’ve used the “+4” method, try another fitter.
I measure just under 33 inches around the ribs. Most of my day to day bras are 32 as I can comfortably do them up and they offer me plenty of support, plus it is important to remember that they will stretch and “give” a little. On the other hand, I find that sizing up to a 34 has been necessary in some sports bras. This is due to the material not being as stretchy. If you are between measurements like I am, try both and see what you think. If you can get more than 2 fingers underneath the band, or if you need to fasten it on the tighest setting, you should probably size down. If you size up, you may need to go down to the next cup size.
A lot of ladies also make the mistake of thinking that because they have back fat, they should size up. Chances are, you probably don’t. If the bra is comfortable and you can breathe, it’s fine.
Ever had that annoying experience where you try on a pair of jeans in a size 12 in one shop and they fit, then you go into another shop and you can’t get a size 14 over your thighs, but then you wiggle into a 10 somewhere else? Like clothes, bra sizes can also vary slightly by make. I wear an H cup from Curvy Kate, but a G from M&S fits, whereas I bust out of a Debenhams G. Remember this and go on how the bra feels and how it supports you and don’t get hung up on “Oh, but I’m a C, I CAN’T be a D”.
Like different clothes suit different people, so do different bras and sports bras are no different. I know people who swear by underwired bras. Despite my size, I hate them. I find them uncomfortable when I run. There have been one or two exceptions, but in general, they are not for me. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good style for other people. Some sports bras fasten at the front and are really bulky. Ladies with a smaller bust may find this bulk unnecessary. My personal favourites are bras with a racer back as I like the extra support I feel they give without the bulk. Make sure you are wearing the right style for you.
Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Bra
I’ve been a fan of the Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Bra for a long time and ran the Brighton Marathon in one. It will also be my bra of choice for when I run Brighton and London this year.
This bra is available in various colours and sizes run from A 32-34 B/C 32-38 D/DD/E/F/FF/G/GG/H/HH 28-40, so it’s a really fantastic choice for the larger busted lady. I find that the Shock Absorber bands come up quite tight, so I wear a 34FF in this brand. Remember what I said about not being tied to sizes?
I was in two minds about posting this due to back fat, but the fact is that most women have some back fat and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You can see in this photo how the straps don’t cut into my shoulders, which is an indicator of a good fit around the band. I have the top fastening on the loosest setting and the bottom fastening on the second. As the bra gives with wear and washing, I’ll move to a tighter fastening.
It’s really important when getting into a sports bra that you have your whole breast in the cups. You’ll see on the right hand side that there is some overspill compared to the left. I have done this deliberately to show the difference when you “scoop” into a bra. You should do this as it helps to make sure that the bra fits properly.
The Active Multi Sports Bra is a bit of a winner all round for me. It’s comfortable and over several test runs ranging from 3-9 miles, there has been no bounce. There has also been no chafing, largely thanks to the wickering properties of the material. My only real criticism of it is the fact that it’s a workout just to get into it and I find myself either needing help, or spending 5 minutes contorting myself into weird shapes to do up the top fastening. Maybe I just have short arms.
If you’re busty or have bouncy boobs, this is definitely a bra to consider.
Check back for my series of bra reviews!