Category Archives: Bra fit troubleshooting

Are you wearing the right Sports Bra?

We’ve all heard the stat that 8/10 women don’t wear the right size bra, but what comes next may shock you. It has been suggested that 73% of women who exercise regularly don’t do so in a Sports Bra.

As an ambassador for the technical Sports Bra industry these numbers scare me, but as I survey the women around me in my group fitness classes it’s easy to see that they are accurate.

I believe there is a general misunderstanding as to what a Sports Bra actually is. For years we were educated to believe Lycra crop tops sold in sports stores were our only option. This could have been the case 10 years ago, but since then the Sports Bra industry has come a long way.

Now-a-days it’s not all just about the ‘squish and squash’, and breasts larger than a C cup can now be well supported during activity.

Here are my top tips to finding your best Sports Bra:

1. Hook and Eye clasps are essential.

If you’re able to stretch your Sports Bra over your head without the use of any clasps then the chances you are only getting a mild amount of support from your bra. The stretch in the fabrics will not restrict bounce as you move during activity. The lifespan of your bra will improve significantly with this small feature.

2. Firm materials offer the best support

Most technical Sports Bras use firm, non-stretch materials in their cups. This helps reduce movement by stabilising breast tissue. It also leaves a firm secure feeling of support. We will sometimes see these firm materials represented as moulded cups. Women of all shapes and sizes can explore moulded cup bras. They can be the most flattering, particularly for larger busted ladies!

3. Coverage is key

‘Push up’ and ‘Sports Bra’ should never be used in the same sentence. It’s simple really, a Sports Bra that leaves cleavage will not block the vertical escape route of breast tissue and has no chance of reducing breast displacement. This can be particularly evident during low impact activities like Yoga and Pilates where we are often found bending or leaning over.

4. Underwire V Non-underwire

I believe the decision for underwire or non-underwire really is up to the wearer. But it should be noted that underwire is there to enhance shape, not to offer support. With so many advances in the design and construction of technical Sports Bras in the last 10 years you can now get a great shape out of some non-underwire bras that offer top support too.

5. It’s all about the fit

Getting the fit right is crucial as most of the support is generated by the bra band around your back. The biggest mistake made is wearing the bra band too loose. If this doesn’t sit firmly around you the bra band will ride up and down, and following the see-saw effect, so will your bust. A loose bra band is also the biggest cause of bra chafing.

Good luck with your Sports Bra shopping!

Both myself, and the staff at She Science are always on hand for expert advice. We can be contacted in store or via email, info@shescience.com.au.

Tish

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Oxfam Trailwalker: Breast support during endurance walking

With the Melbourne Oxfam Trailwalker just around the corner we are starting to see a number of trail walkers in store requesting bra fittings for the event.

The gruelling 100km’s coupled with Melbourne’s fluctuating weather patterns can make for a treacherous journey. So complications with failing gear should be avoided at all costs.

Our best bra advice for such an endurance event include the following:

  1. Changing your bra during the event

Swapping your bra during the event may seem a little extreme to some. However, we strongly recommend it. By swapping between two entirely different bras you’ll completely change any areas of pressure caused by your bra. For example pressure around the shoulder straps caused by backpacks or repetitive micro pressure from underwire. Choose a racer back and traditional back to alter between.

 

2. Underwire V non underwire

Technically there’s no problem with wearing an underwire for an endurance event. But keep in mind, most women will wear an underwire bra for 14 – 16 hours a day, with an 8 – 10 hour rest period in the evening. Wearing an underwire for 36+ hours straight will build a far greater pressure than you’re used to in your everyday living. We recommend that you alternate an underwire with non-underwire bra during the event.

 

3. Chaffing could strike

 

Getting the perfect bra fit should eliminate chaffing or ‘bra burn’. However, these endurance events can change all that. Chaffing is caused by friction, and made worse by moisture. Moisture is very difficult to control in an endurance event, and friction can be difficult to avoid as materials stretch when they are worn for long periods. A bra that doesn’t typically cause you issues could strike out during a long event.  Make sure someone in your team is carrying Body Glide, Bepanthen or a similarly effective anti-chaffing balm and apply at the first sign of any chaffing (this usually presents as a ‘hot/burning spot’). Bra burn most commonly occurs around the hook and eye clasp, along the path of the underwire or the underarm crease.

 

4. Train in your bras

 

Just like you’ll be wearing in and testing out your shoes and socks, you should be doing the same with your Sports Bras. This is the only way to know what to expect on game day. You’ll be able to identify any areas of concern pre event if you’ve managed to test out your gear on your long training walks.

 

This year ALL of our staff will be volunteering at the Oxfam event in some capacity. We look forward to sharing the journey with the many customers we’ve been seeing in store.

 

Our website is:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

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Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

Best Maternity Appropriate Sports Bras

Maternity Sports Bras

It’s a nightmare experienced by most pregnant and breast feeding women, a rapidly changing body and breast size leaving women insecure and constantly under prepared to cope with their ever changing shape.

Not only does a whole new wardrobe and set of bras need to be acquired, but you may find yourself needing to update sizes frequently. Who can keep up with that?

And one of the most common grievances we hear about is the inability to find a supportive Sports Bra to keep active or get moving again. There are a few simple guidelines to choosing the best maternity appropriate option.

1. Go wire free. Not only will this ensure milk ducts don’t become blocked, which can help to avoid mastitis but it will give you a bit more flexibility in size as your breasts change volume.

2. Front adjusting straps are a great bonus. Straps that you can alter from the front ensure you are easily able to adjust the firmness of your bra once you’re in it. They work as a bonus when breast feeding as the straps can be undone for front access. On top of that, by releasing the strap length a little you can somewhat alter the breast volume the bra will allow for which helps when you’re changing shape rapidly.

3. Coverage is key. No Sports Bra should show cleavage, so choose a bra with a high neckline. This will leaving you feeling secure and supported as you move.

When we talk ‘Maternity Sports Bra’, we’re really referring to ‘Maternity appropriate Sports Bra’. We find these options fall within brands that specialise in Sports Bras, rather than brands that specialise in maternity wear. This makes sense to us as these are the companies that have spent the necessary time and research into developing products specifically for activity.

We have some ‘favourites’ for this category, which are really bras that tick all of the points above. That being, are wire free, have front adjusting straps and offer great coverage.

These include:

Moving Comfort Jubralee (A – E cup, although this does fit a little small in the cup)

See more about the Jubralee by clicking on the image

Click on the image for more detail or to buy online

2XU Ultimate Run Bra (typically can fit a B – D cup, comes in XS – XL sizing)

Click on the image for more details or to buy online

Click on the image for more detail or to buy online

Moving Comfort Juno (B – DD cup)

Click on the image for more details or to buy online

Click on the image for more detail or to buy online

Moving Comfort Rebound Racer (B – DD cup)

Click on the image for more details or to buy online

Click on the image for more detail or to buy online

Some other popular options (that don’t necessarily tick ALL the boxes above) include:

Shock Absorber Active D+ (D – H cup)

Click on the image for more details or to buy online

Click on the image for more detail or to buy online

Enell Sports Bra (has it’s own sizing system, typically relevant for DD – K cup)

Click on the image for more details or to buy online

Click on the image for more details or to buy online

2XU Contour Bra (typically can fit a B – D cup, comes in XXS – XL size)

Click on the image for more detail or to buy online

Click on the image for more detail or to buy online

 

For more advice, or to try on any of this product, our shopfront can be found in Melbourne, Australia.

www.shescience.com.au

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Breast shape in a Sports Bra…. it’s your choice.

Gone are the days of the compulsory Sports Bra ‘squish & squash’ resulting in the dreaded in uniboob. With the new design principles that most technical brands are implementing one can exercise some degree of choice over their breast shape in a Sports Bra.

 
We get all sorts of requests when it comes to breast shape at She Science. Some customers will make a B line for bras that flatten and squash the breasts, while others will request a pointy or rounded shape. Whichever your preference, we should be able to achieve this.

 
For those wanting a flat and ‘minimised’ (not my choice of word, but ‘minimised’ is often used by customers in this sense) look, then a compression style bra is what you should go for. Typically these bras don’t have cups. They are made of firm materials with little stretch and will flatten the breast against the chest wall. Often in mainstream retail these are found as crop style bras, although this is not necessarily always the case. For those wanting this look we recommend the Moving Comfort Jubralee, Enell Sport & Nike X back bra.

 
And those looking to follow Madonna’s footsteps with a pointed or cone shape then a great option is the Freya Underwire Sports Bra. This is essentially an encapsulation bra (that means, it separates and holds each breast firmly apart). The way the seams are stitched in to the cup result in the slightly pointy look. This is popular with women who have been scarred by years of squishing and squashing their breasts into a Sports Bra that they haven’t been satisfied with.

 
The most requested shape we get is the rounded by separated look. This is pretty easy to achieve these days as most technical Sports Bras we sell offer a combination of compression and encapsulation in their design. That means the breasts are separated, and a layer of compressive material is applied to the top. It leaves a very flattering shape, and a feeling of security. Moulded cups can also be used in Sports Bras to assist with attaining this shape. Some of my top picks for getting this shape are the Berlei Ultimate Performance Bra, Panache Sports Bra and the Shock Absorber Active D+. But there are plenty more that fit in to this category.
While we can afford to get our preferences met with shape these days, my best advice is not to limit yourself in store, but rather be open to a range of suggestions. You never know which bra will feel and fit best, and when you find the perfect match I guarantee you won’t be bothered about the shape it leaves you with.

Our website is:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

Your bra band fit…

Commonly we see women fit themselves in to bras that are too loose around the bra band, and too small in the cup size. The bra band is the anchor of the bra, it is essentially the most integral part of any bras support system. While we may get away with a bra band that doesn’t fit snuggly in our everyday bra, our Sports Bra is another story.

The natural support structures in the breast, the skin & Coopers Ligaments are sadly both delicate structures that can’t endure the demands of high impact physical activity. Both the skin & Coopers Ligaments are easily damaged, and once damaged cannot be repaired. This is why we require the Sports Bra to give us additional support in the first place.

So during a Sports Bra fitting your fitter should pay particular attention to the firmness of the bra band around your rib cage. Expect that this will feel firmer than most of your everyday bras.

Most technical Sports Bras will use a wide band of support around the side and back of the bra, this ensures that your firm fitting bra band leaves you with a great line through your back and sides.

And it’s not just the support factor that is affected by an ill-fitting bra band, being in a Sports Bra that is fitted too loosely around the back can result in chaffing and horrible bra burn, a pain that is enough to put anyone off being active!

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

Bra fit troubleshooting. volume #4 – Breast tissue spilling out under arm pit

This post is for those ladies who find themselves continuously tucking the breast tissue spilling under their armpit back in to the cup of their bra. An unsightly, uncomfortable and downright unfortunate position to be in.
I should make a note that I am not talking about the Aberrant breast tissue that many women deal with post pregnancy, which is not caused by an ill-fitting bra. Aberrant breast tissue is breast tissue that grows separate to the breast, often around the underarm, that is sometimes (but not always) accompanied by an accessory nipple. This is a condition that requires medical advice.
For those that have ‘self-imposed’ breast tissue around their underarm when wearing a bra you’ll be pleased to know there is a simple answer to your dilemma. Change your cup size. Or more accurately, increase your cup size. You simply do not have enough volume in your cup to accommodate your breast.
This often happens innocently to women with a ‘wide set’ breast. That is, when your breast tissue naturally starts around the base of your underarm (again, not to be confused with the aberrant tissue).

If you’re choosing a bra with an underwire ensure that the underwire sits against the rib cage as opposed to laying over the breast. You can check this by pressing firmly on the underwire, if the underwire moves inward with pressure you are likely to be compressing breast tissue. If it doesn’t, it’s probably sitting against your rib cage, where it should be. By getting this right, you can be confident that your entire mass of breast tissue is being held in the cup.
Another way to avoid this unsightly disaster is to avoid an underwire bra all together. This is not necessarily going to fix the problem until your bra size is also corrected, but it could improve your comfort and decrease the chance of spillage.

On a finishing note, when it comes to enhancing ones shape we look to achieve two things… Lift the breast up, and position it forward. This can only be achieved when you are wearing the right size bra, so as enhancing shape is most women’s common goal, it make sense to focus on getting the size right so you give yourself the best chance at this. Don’t stress about what size is written on the tag… focus on the fit, feel and shape.

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

Bra fit troubleshooting volume #3 – One breast bigger than the other

As this effects 1 in 3 of us, I figured it’d be a good problem to dissect.

To get us started, here is a fun fact that I learnt during my Bra fitting studies. For those of us with one breast bigger than the other, 75% of time the right breast is larger than the left. At this point in time there doesn’t seem to be any scientific theory about why.

There is only really one thing you need to know about dealing with ‘uneven breast syndrome’ (that’s my name for it!), always fit the larger breast, period. There are no buts about it, that is the only technically correctly (and most importantly, flattering!) way to do it.

If you have a full cup (or more!) size difference you should try some of my ideas below to ensure your smaller breast doesn’t look out of place in the bigger cup.

1. Look for ‘stretch’ materials in the cup. This material is more likely to conform against the smaller breast resulting in less empty space and unsightly bunching of materials.

2. Try a slightly padded contoured cup option. A padded every day bra will give a predetermined shape regardless of whether your breast fills out the cup.

3. Add chicken fillets or removable breast pads. This is obviously not appropriate for Sports Bras as there is just too much movement to accommodate this. In your every day or special occasion bra it’s a great way to go. These come in different sizes depending on where you are purchasing them from, so hunt around for a size that will give you the right adjustment.

4. Avoid underwire Sports Bras. When it comes to Sports Bras there are plenty of options without underwire cups. The right option will still give you a great shape and leave you with less chance of bunching material.

And the last piece of advice I give to my customers with uneven breasts is to ensure sure they work on their glute & leg strength of their smaller breasted side… after all, you don’t want to end up running in circles do you! (Thankfully, to date, most of my customers have managed to appreciate the humour in this!).

Good luck!

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

Bra fit trouble shooting. Volume #2. Are you a Cup-Spilling-Culprit? A guide to Cup Spillage.

We’ve probably all been guilty of this somewhere along the line… I can recall a few scenarios that have left me as a Cup-Spilling-Culprit myself actually. That is when I’ve tried to squeeze in to one of my ‘skinny bras’, grabbed a not-quite-the-right-fit option at a sale or when I went through that stage that I was just downright not willing to accept my cup size!

For me, this is an obvious one, if you’ve got more than two bulges on your chest, you’re committing the crime of Cup Spillage. Most commonly this presents as the breast falling out of the top of the cup, not to be confused with cleavage.

While having cleavage hanging out could not be any less my style, I acknowledge that many consider it theirs. The difference between Cup Spillage and Cleavage is that Cleavage still leaves you with an evenly shaped mass of breast tissue. Cup Spillage will have you looking as if you have 4 boobs, amoung my girlfriends it’s aka ‘double boob’, a result of the upper edge of the cup digging in to breast tissue.

Cup Spillage is sadly not limited to the top of the cup. It’s common to see breast tissue spilling from the side of the bra, around the underarm area too. A double whammy when one is guilty of both!

While it’s important to note these variances, you should know, there is only one cause for both. If your spilling out of your cup, your cup is too small… it’s not rocket science!

If you’ve experienced this problem in the past then its best you have a professional Bra fitting to ensure you don’t make any other innocent mistakes when you’re transitioning to a new size.

Here are some points for you to take to the change room:

– You will need to go up a cup size, or two, or three. Be prepared for this.

– If you have a ‘wide set breast’, that is a breast that starts right back around your underarm, you will be limited to the styles of bras you can wear. Get advice on what of the season’s stock will work best for you from the Bra fitter.

– When you change your cup size, you often need to change your back size too. This may not be the case in all circumstances, but you definitely need to be mindful of this.

– Stick to full, or three quarter full cups. That means going for bras that offer full coverage, not plunge or balconette bras.

Thankfully, this is a problem that is seen less often with Sports Bras as they do tend to offer more coverage. If your spilling out of your Sports Bra then you are in trouble!

Good luck!!

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

Bra fit troubleshooting. Volume #1 – Does your bra band ride up your back?

This is a new segment in my blog. FYI I plan on adding to this weekly so that I don’t throw too much information at you at once.

As I’m sure you can imagine there are plenty of mistakes commonly made with fitting bras, particularly when one neglects to have a professional bra fitting at regular intervals.

The back of the bra riding up was an obvious first place for me to start. It is my pet hate. Not because it’s an eye-sore, and I certainly don’t judge thinking ‘surely these women should know better’, but really my frustration here lies within the fact that it is a silly mistake. A silly mistake that is easy to get wrong. So easy to get wrong, that in a past life I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it myself.

Firstly, I should acknowledge that almost all women have their bra band sitting too high on their back. The bra band should sit at the same level on your back, as it does under your chest.

If your bra band rides up your back it’s not because your bra is too small. It’s because your bra band is too big. If your wearing a 12, try a 10, if your 22 try a 20… And don’t just be content with that, you may even need to make a bigger jump down in back siz (don’t forget you may need to alter your cup size too). Yes it will feel firmer, this is what we want. In order for the band to sit correctly as we move throughout the day, it does need to fit firmly.

This small issue is often also compounded into a much more unsightly problem due to the see-saw effect. That is, as the back goes up, the front goes down. The higher your back bra band rides up, the lower your breasts will sit. That’s factual, it’s simple physics! So, as one’s breasts droop lower the most common fix-it-trick employed is to…. Tighten the straps! This is where one silly mistake, becomes a multifaceted disaster. The tightening of the straps causes the back bra band to be hitched up even higher, which then leads to the breasts sitting even lower. That my friends is officially a vicious cycle!

So, just to reiterate. The straps that sit on your shoulders are a secondary means of support. They don’t have the strength to hoist your breasts upward. If you feel your boobs are sagging then get a professional bra fitting and try a more suitable style. I can guarantee your bra band size will be the first thing addressed!

Fortunately, when it comes to technical Sports Bras I don’t see this problem (the bra band hitching up) made too often. But when we do, it’s bad. Usually the victims are wearing cheap wanna-be Sports Bra brands whose materials and design just don’t cut it!

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

How to put a Sports Bra on, properly!

Something important to note is that if your bra is not put on correctly it may appear to fit incorrectly. This can often happen when people are fitted in to a new bra size and are not educated on how to put it on properly.

When it comes to your Sports Bra, if your Bra is able to stretch wide enough to be put on over your head like a T-Shirt then it’s unlikely the materials will offer enough firmness to give you adequate support. Of course this is a general rule, their are exceptions to this as it does depend on your bust size and activity demands.

For bras with a traditional ‘U’ shaped back it is best to follow the swivel technique to put your bra on. This means doing the hook and eye clasps up to the appropriate hook (generally the loosest with a new bra) at the front of your body under your bust, and then swiveling the bra around to have the hook and eye fastening in place. You can then place each arm through it’s strap should you have adequate shoulder joint range on motion. Each breast can then be scooped forward and inward to ensure they are sitting forward in the bra and out of the way of any underwire.

The swivel technique generally has the back band sitting slightly lower than if you were to put it on from the front. A mistake I commonly see is that women will often have the back band of their bra sitting too high. If the back of your bra sits too high, it means your chest will sit low and droop. The swivel technique helps to eradicate this.

For racer back style bras you should ensure that any front fastening straps are loosened, and hook and eye clasps undone before putting the bra over your head. Once the bra is on the breasts can then be scooped forwards to leave the bra band sitting on the rib cage. Once this is done then the hook and eye fastening can be secured.

If your bra has front fastening straps eg. Moving comfort Juno, Jubralee or the Rebound racer these should be tighened once your breast tissue has been scooped forward and your back band is secure. Remembering that the straps that sit on our shoulders are a secondary means of support, they should not take the weight of the breast so should sit firmly across the shoulders, not tightly.

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx