Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bra Fitting and Sports Bras

One benefit of never exercising was that I was able to avoid the fiasco of finding a sports bra until the ripe old age of 27. Before children, I wore typical bras that you find in cheap stores. I never owned a sports bra, since you don't really need one if your maximum impact exercise is walking fast.

Last year, I decided that if I was going to jog, I needed a real sports bra. If you wear a normal size, apparently you can just walk into the store and buy a bra. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do that since I had kids and I learned about True Bra Sizing. If you have not been educated on True Bra Sizing, you need to go check this post and these two. The moral of the story is that unless you've been professionally fitted (NOT at Victoria's Secret, PLEASE), you're likely wearing a band size that is way too big. You should add a maximum of 2 inches to your rib cage measurement when determining your band size. So you probably need a smaller band than you have now. When you go down in band size, you need to go up in cup size. Let's say you thought you were a 34C, but you determine that your band size should really be a 30. Since you went down 2 band sizes, you need to go UP 2 cup sizes. You're probably a 30E (assuming we're counting sizes as A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H. . . and skipping double/triple letters - make sure to always check the sizing, because every company does it differently, of course).

Good luck finding that size in stores (hint: you won't, even Dillard's only has a few bras in a 30 band size). If you find yourself in the 'freakish' category of bra sizes, is your new best friend. They carry everything from the teeniest bras to the mammoth bras. They have very good return policies, because they know you'll likely need to try several bras before you find the right fit. The best way to do it is order a bunch and return the ones you don't like, but I've never had enough reserve cash to do that. So I just order one at a time and keep returning until I get it right.

Anyway, back to the point. I needed a heavy duty sports bra. Sports bras you can buy in department stores are completely ineffective for me.

Runner's Corner
in Orem actually had a very good selection for my range of sizes. I needed one just one size bigger, and they special ordered it for me. But it wasn't quite right -- too much movement and bouncing. If I was going to spend $45+ on one item, I wanted it to be perfect. I ordered the Shock Absorber Max Sports Crop Top from Figleaves, but it looked really lumpy and terrible under clothes. So I returned it and moved on to the complete Granny-style, but best sports bra ever -- the Enell. The Enell is fantastically ugly. But it will give you the best support of any sports bra, as long as you get a small enough size -- it's supposed to be really tight. The Enell site has good instructions on fit.

So now I have the Enell, and I don't have to worry about bouncing at all. If you have a bigger cup size and are serious about not bouncing, skip straight to the Enell.

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