This week's blog post is written by Lucy of Allura Lingerie. Allura Lingerie is a specialist boutique offering a highly personalised service in a gorgeously feminine and welcoming environment. Lucy really knows her stuff when it comes to bras with the emphasis on "fitting" rather than "measuring". Here Lucy offers her top tips for buying a sports bra:
1. Compression or Encapsulation?
These days, sports bras are either 'Compression' or 'Encapsulation' based. Compression bras are the more traditional approach. They are normally soft cup and work by flattening the cleavage against the chest to prevent it from moving excessively. This often results in an overall 'minimised' look.
Encapsulation works by supporting each boob independently, much like an everyday bra
would. These are becoming the preferred style since they offer a more natural look.
Both types are effective, so it is important for you to choose what feels most comfortable and
works best for you and your sporting needs.
2. Be Aware of Band Differences
Most sports bras run tight in the band in order to offer optimum support. However, if your usual size feels too tight, size up one from your normal band size. Remember when you go up in the back, you need to drop down in the cup to keep the volume the same as your usual size. For example: if your usual size is a 32DD, try a 34D instead.
3. Match Your Bra Style to Your Intended Level of Activity
Thinking about the type of activities you want to do in your sports bra will help you choose the most appropriate style to suit your needs. For example, a low impact, soft cup sports bra will not be very suitable for running or netball, but will be perfect for Pilates or Yoga.
4. Look Out for Innovative and Functional Materials
The recent introduction of spacer fabric to the lingerie industry is allowing for the manufacturing of moulded, yet breathable sports bras, with added moisture-wicking properties (no more sweaty cleavage!) Coolmax materials, modal & jersey fabrics are also becoming increasingly common in athletic leisurewear, with the express intention to increase your overall comfort (so you can focus on your workout).
5. Match Clever Design Features to Your Needs
The practicalities of thoughtful design can be seen in the popular Ultimate Run Bra by Shock Absorber. As a specialist running bra, it features plastic click & grip adjustable straps instead of traditional sliders; halting strap slippage & unwanted movement during your run. Racer back clips are also becoming an increasingly popular design feature, offering variety on how the garment can be worn, and an increased level of
6. Try Underwired
Extensive research in recent years (Loughborough University, 2009), has dispelled the myth that we should only exercise in soft cups. The moulded, underwired sports bra by Panache is a wonderful all-rounder that is proven to reduce breast movement by up to a staggering 83%! And in case you're wondering, the underwire is treble encased, so you don't have to worry about chafing or the wire coming out of it's channel.
7. Don't forget to do the Jump Test
Finally, after you've settled on a preferred style, and found your perfect fit, don’t forget to do the good old fashioned 'jump test'! Have a good bounce up and down (until you feel ridiculous!) and this will give you a great idea of how the bra will hold up in your exercise routines.
Lucy at Allura Lingerie in Morpeth offers a free, expert bra fitting service. You can find out more at:
Tel: 01670 517403.