Show of support: how to buy the perfect sports bra | Fashion

wWhether or not it was the prescription sports bra that carried the Lionesses to victory on Sunday night, the term remains “a new and underreported phrase for many women who play sport or exercise”, says Priya Downes, founder of sustainable underwear. Nudea brand.

A step up from a regular bra fitting, a “sports bra prescription” is comparable to the kind of gait analysis you might get when buying a running shoe: seeing how a player moves and then matching it. the right type and size of bra. In the case of England’s winning goalscorer Chloe Kelly, it appears to be a Nike Dri-Fit Swoosh, which she plans to frame.

When shopping for sports bras, most of us tend to opt for the off-the-shelf compression variety. Designed to prevent movement by flattening the breasts and pulling them close to the body, they come in a variety of sizes “but are not designed to have a perfect fit, so [it’s not surprising] many professional sportswomen put on their sports bras,” Downes added. “It’s just that we don’t usually see them on the big screen.”

The Lionesses have access to “breast biomechanics” Prof Joanna Wakefield-Scurr and the English Institute of Sport; Instead of that type of accessorizing, here are five ways to get the next best thing to a prescription sports bra.

Wear more than once

“To get the right size, your best bet is to try on as many as possible,” says Downes. “Your breasts are always changing. Most of us go through six different sizes in our lifetime. It’s worth adjusting yourself throughout your life instead of just staying the same size forever .” Compression bras are made from a heavy microfibre so “they are designed to cover part of your ribs as well as your boobs, and they are very stretchy, which is good if your boobs change”, but sometimes, he added, ” we need something more suited to our own body type”.

Choose a bra that fits your workout shape…
Choose a bra that fits your workout shape… Photo: PeopleImages/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Don’t just stick to your traditional bra size

“It’s not necessarily about cup size,” advises Laura Franklin, Bravissimo’s fitting expert. Downes, on the other hand, says that 80% of the support comes from the back band – the worn strip of fabric that runs under your breasts. It’s the most important part of a sports bra, “so it’s important to make sure it fits properly to avoid any damage and minimize movement,” she said. “If it feels a little tight, which is uncomfortable, then it’s the right size.”

Consider adjustable straps

“It’s surprisingly hard to find in a sports bra, and you definitely don’t see it in a regular one. [compression] nice, but if you have a fuller bust or a small back and a big bust, it’s really worth looking for a bra with them,” says Downes. The focus is on comfort, as well as support. “They don’t need to dig in, because they don’t take the weight of the breasts,” he said. Likewise, if you get red marks when you take them out, “that’s the wrong size too”.

Choose a bra that suits your type of exercise

“What works for something high-impact like football or running may not necessarily for something like yoga or pilates,” says Downes. Most sports bras are made with microfibers and synthetic fabrics, which wick away sweat better than slow-drying cotton. But wiping away sweat isn’t the priority for something like pilates. “You don’t need full-grade-stretch, industrial-strength microfibre; you want a little give,” he said. Franklin recommends something soft with a wrap in the front, and thinking in terms of light support rather than, say, binding. Downes suggests ribbed cotton, or Tencel, with less stretch. “No one wants to be uncomfortable doing the downward dog.”

Even little girls should wear one

“Bras are essential for all women, regardless of cup size,” says Charlotte Morgan, senior womenswear designer at independent activewear brand AYBL. “Without proper support, the ligaments in your breasts can stretch and, over time, become susceptible to irreversible damage.”

Can you wear two bras?

On the pitch but forgot your sports bra? “I mean, you can double up and wear two bras, if that’s what you have,” Downes said. “But again, it comes down to fit.” If one of them is an underwire, though, forget it: “Underwires can hinder your performance,” says Morgan. Downes agrees: “Two wrongs don’t make a right, and the same goes for bad bras.”

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