By Cindy Prosser, Guest Blogger
My entry into the modeling world took an unexpected turn when I agreed to model underwear at the young age of 20. While twenty is actually considered “old” in the modelling business, it felt very young to me when I was presented with the oportunity to stand around in very little clothing, in front a very large crowd (who knew taking photographs took so many people?). In the end, I said ‘Yes’ to the job, headed down a new career path, and quickly developed a level of self-confidence I hadn’t expected. Soon, I was immersed in the world of undergarments. I was surprised to learn what a great gift the perfectly-fitting bra truly is, and they became the #1 item on my Christmas gift-giving list!
During the last five months of my modelling career, I found myself exclusively modeling sports wear—an equally empowering and invigorating experience—and this was when my passion for sports bras was sparked. But life threw me another curve, as life often does, when I found out I was pregnant. My modeling days came to an end, but pregnancy gave me the opportunity to not only give birth to the best thing that has ever happened to me, but to also look at the world of undergarments from a new perspective: As a researcher and writer. Today, I get to write about all things bras, underwear, lingerie, nightgowns (and more!), and I absolutely love every minute of it.
Now, about those sports bras…
There is a ton of information out there on how to choose the right bra style and size for everyday wear. But those How-To lists usually neglect one of the most important bra styles—the sports bra. Whether you are finding your Zen in a yoga class, running a trail, or cross-country skiing, it is very important that you have the perfect fitting sports bra. Why? Because not only can a poorly-fitting sports bra be uncomfortable, it can also lead to health problems, such as stretched ligaments and sagging. So here are my tips for finding the perfect fit:
1. Get professionally measured
One of the best ways to get the proper fit is to head to a lingerie store or the lingerie section of your favorite department store and ask to be measured. These ladies are professionally trained to help women find the right size and style to suit them. Use them as a resource.
2. Know how to find your size
If you prefer to shop on your own or online, there are some easy ways to measure yourself at home with a soft measuring tape. If you don’t have one, you can find one at a local sewing or craft store. To measure, just follow these simple steps:
- Wear a non-padded bra
- Wrap the measuring tape around your rib cage, under your breasts and your bra’s band. When doing so, make sure you can breathe normally. If you can’t, the measuring tape is wrapped too tight.
- Take that measurement in inches and add five. If your rib cage measures more than 33 inches, add three inches instead. If the sum of the two numbers is an odd number, round up to the next even number. That is your band size.
- Next, measure your bust. Pull the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust, checking your back to make sure the tape is straight and not twisted. Round up to the nearest whole number and that’s your bust size.
- Finally, to determine your cup size, subtract your band size from your bust size. The number of inches difference determines what size cup you are. Here’s a guide:
One-inch difference – Cup size A
Two-inch difference – Cup size B
Three-inch difference – Cup size C
Four-inch difference – Cup size D
Five-inch difference – Cup size DD
Note: Some sports bras don’t follow traditional measurements and are only available in S, M, L, and XL. In this case, trying on different styles and sizes is the best way to find the right fit, but you should still follow the pointers below.
3. Try on several
Once you’ve found your size and selected a few styles, try on several to see what works best. When trying on, make sure:
- Your breasts are in the cups
- There is no spillage on the top or sides
- The band fits snugly (Note: It should be more snug than a regular bra without causing spillage)
- The straps are comfortable. If they are too big, they will fall off your shoulders. If they are too small, they will dig in.
4. Look in the mirror
Turn around while looking in the mirror to make sure your sports bra sits in the same place on your front and back. A properly fitting bra should fall in the same place everywhere without riding up.
5. Do the “jiggle test”
When trying on the sports bra, jump up and down and see, a) if your breasts stay in place, and b) if you’re comfortable. This is especially important when fitting sports bras because they will be supporting you at your most active, when you need it most.
6. Replace every 6 – 12 months
Many women are wearing sports bras without proper support, simply because their bras are worn out. Sports bras support you during intense workouts and therefore tend to wear out sooner than other types of bras. To ensure that your are comfortable and getting the best support available, make sure to replace yours every 6–12 months.
The tips above are key to helping you find a great-fitting sports bra. Next time you go bra shopping, print off this list and carry it with you. And don’t forget your measurements!
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Cindy Prosser modeled underwear until the baby… now she’s a part time, freelance writer, and a full time mom. When not glamorously overdressing for grocery store visits, she stays busy writing about plus size sports bras from Bare Necessities. For all things Bare Necessities, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Disclaimer: The Know It All Mom posted this article because Cindy submitted a Guest Post story idea that I thought would be informative for all women. I hope it was! But just so you know, I was not compensated, either monetarily nor in the form of product. If you would like to be a guest blogger on http://theknowitallmom.com, please refer to the Submissions guidelines and send me your stories or ideas.