Tag Archives: Underwire

First Time Fit Top Five

Do you remember your first bra fitting? For most of us it was an awkward, embarrassing 10 minutes of our life in front of a total stranger. For others our first bra might have arrived wrapped in a plastic bag and been sat subtly on the end of our bed!

They call it puberty blues for a reason!

But it doesn’t have to be that awkward.

A sports bra is a great option for a first bra for developing girls and often it’s during their sporting or school physical education activities that students first start to feel like they need a bra.

Getting fitted for a sports bra rather than for an everyday bra can help eliminate some of the angst from a situation. This is because you’re purchasing a technical sports product for a noticeable need that will make them focus on feeling more comfortable rather than being focussed on being uncomfortable in some new clothing contraption!

But here are our Top Five Reasons a Sports Bra is a great first time fitting option:

  1. Comfort: They are more likely to be a crop/compression style of product. This can, in some cases, assist not only to support but to minimise the appearance of breasts and provide coverage that feels similar to a bathing suit.


  1. Adjustable: There is some great product on the market which will include the straps being adjustable at the front which can allow for breast tissue growth, while still being as supportive as possible.


  1. Wire Free: There are often very supportive options that do not have underwire. Underwire is in Sports Bras and everyday bras simply to enhance shape – and there is nothing wrong with wearing it. But for first time bra wearers they can often take some getting used to. Starting in a bra without an underwire can be a great first step.


  1. Adaptable: They fit with a student’s lifestyle. Often around the age of a first bra young people are sitting at their desk one minute and running around the next. Sports Bras can be comfortable enough to wear all day, whilst providing support when it’s demanded.


  1. Fashion: They come in a great range of colours, and let’s face it, that matters!


Most importantly a well-fitting and comfortable bra – whether everyday or Sports – can have a big impact on confidence. Starting out with the right fit and right knowledge can change what can be an awkward experience into an empowering one.


Bra Banding Might Fix Your Chafing Woes

It’s all about the banding when it comes to Sports Bras – but even more so for Sports Bras for distance runners.

Almost every runner has experience dreaded chafing somewhere at some point – ooh and the nasty sting in the shower post run!

But avoiding chafing is usually down to a few simple steps.

  1. Make sure your Sports Bra banding is firm.

You don’t want your bra to be rib-crushingly-too-tight-to-breath firm but you do want it firm enough that the band cannot move.

Having a firm band around the rib cage is the number one rule for getting a Sports Bra or any bra fit right. If the band is firm the majority of support will come from the band and it will apply less pressure to the straps on the shoulders. The bra will be more comfortable and more effective at holding breast tissue in place.

If the band is too loose you immediately lose support for breast tissue, place greater pressure on the straps AND increase your risk of chafing – because the band will move around the rib cage. This is especially true of distance runners as they deplete fluids and grams to kilograms of physical weight as they run.

  1. Make sure the Cup is snug.

For all the same reasons as above – if there is any room in the cup you lose support and invite chafing. You want it tight – compressive – but not so much that breast tissue is spilling out the top or that you feel crushed.

  1. Make sure the bra doesn’t sit too high.

As Sports Bras are often ‘’crop’’ style another common chafe point is if the bra sits too high and digs into the tissue above the breasts and slightly in from the arm pits. This is a potential friction point due to arm movement during running. As runners seek higher coverage from a Sports Bra to close vertical escape routes for breast tissue – which we love – sometimes they can sit too high and cause issues.

  1. Wear a breathable, moisture/sweat wicking material.

It might sound simple but the wrong fabric close to the skin can increase the risk of chafing. Cotton based materials for example will become saturated with sweat and lose most of their breathability.

  1. Arm yourself with an anti-chafe product

Sometimes everything you try will not be good enough. Be sure you are well hydrated and arm yourself with an anti-chafe product like Body Glide. It needs to be something that is water based and NOT petroleum based. And if you already have chafing protect it from getting worse with a film dressing.


There are some schools of thought that you shouldn’t wear underwire for distance running. In fact this is an entirely individual decision. If a wire is sitting well in the right place and on the right person some runners will find they prefer this as it will assist to encapsulate the breast tissue reducing sweat pooling between the breasts. Others will find the wire will not sit correctly on their sternum and this can cause irritation as they progress into their run and deplete in fluids. Unfortunately, as our bodies have so many variables, this is one thing that can only be determined when tested on the track.

Getting your Sports Bra professionally fitted can help to ensure you’ve ticked as many of the right boxes as you can before you head out to hit the pavement.


Underwire V Non-underwire…. a customer review

Petrece Kesha, completing the Half Ironman - what a woman!

Petrece Kesha, completing the Half Ironman – what a woman!

My name is Petrece Kesha, I am 41 and a big-busty runner.

I have been running, truly running for the past 3 years and have now completed a 10k, 3 Half Marathons, 3 Marathons and a Half Iron man with 2 Half Marathons and a Full Marathon in beautiful Queenstown, NZ  still on the calendar for this year.  During this time my bust has fluctuated from a 12E all the way up to a 14G and back again – I truly know the pain of “bouncing breasts” and the dreaded “bra burn”.  Running anywhere from 28 – 50km’s per week means I work my way through quite a few pairs of shoes and just as many sports bra’s but thanks to a recent trip to Melbourne I found my new best running friend – She Science.


I used the Shock Absorber in the Rotorua Marathon in May this year and broke the number one running rule by running in it for the first time.  It performed beyond my expectations as not only did I do my personal worst time thanks to an Achilles problem (6:08:54) meaning I was out there for a good hour longer (at least) I was well supported, comfortable and got through the 42.2km’s without the dreaded bra burn…a miracle!

I have also used the Berlei underwire (still can’t believe it) for a game of touch footy, yoga and a couple of my shorter runs too! I absolutely love it and I can’t believe I’m saying that about an underwire bra.  I’m so impressed with its comfort and performance that I’m ready to step it up and will wear it in the Taupo Half Marathon in August.

Tish and the She Science team are fantastic and if you are a runner it’s worth making a trip to Melbourne just to get fitted, the experience was comfortable and invaluable helping me to enjoy my running even more than usual.


“Thanks for your kind words Petrece, we are so glad to hear you’ve had success trying new styles and pushing your personal boundaries with bra selection” – Tish Monahan, She Science

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.


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Wearing a Sports Bra everyday

With the shop having been up and running for just about two months now, it’s been interesting to see how many women prefer to wear a Sports Bra as an everyday bra.

I certainly don’t have any issues with this, so long as during the selection and fitting process we take in to account the fact that it will be an all-day-every-day garment.

With the exception of postsurgical intervention it is generally not advised for women to be in a highly compressive bra all day, every day. This can be somewhat dangerous with underwire and may leave delicate breast tissue damaged.

However there are a number of Sports Bras on the market that could definitely be considered appropriate for everyday use. Or as I use them, for my ‘heavy hauling’ days!

These include:

1. Berlei Electrify, cup sizes A – E. Available in white, black and an array of seasonal colours. RRP $50.

Berlei Electrify Underwire white


2. Moving Comfort Luna, cup sizes B – DD. Available in white, black and latte. RRP $80.

Moving Comfort Luna moulded Sports bra

3. Berlei Full Support Sports Bra, DD – H. Available in black and white, RRP $70.

Berlei Curves Full Support black Underwire traditional back bra

4. Freya Active Underwire Sports Bra, cup sizes DD – J. Available  in black, red, white and nude. RRP $75.

freya active underwire black sports bra

5. Elomi Energise, cup sizes E – J. Available in black, white and nude. RRP $85.


If you want to try wearing a Sports Bra as an everyday bra, visit us in store and we can chat about what the best options will be for your size, shape and personal style preferences.

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


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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:


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The truth about underwire

I recently had a conversation with a good friend and running partner about a range of bras I was currently reviewing. She gasped in absolute disbelief when I mentioned that most of them had no underwire.

Having been researching the lingerie industry for sometime now, I had forgotten that there is a common misconception out there that underwire provides the support in a bra.

Sure, underwire does play an important role in our everyday bra construction, but it is much less of a game player in Sports Bra design.

Underwire provides SHAPE, not support. Hence, many women would see it is being crucial in everyday bra’s that need to be able to shape the breast without using cumbersome materials.

When it comes to Sports Bra construction, generally the materials are more abundant, firm fitting and have less stretch. So a Sports Bra that uses the encapsulation method of support (Eg A bra that separates the breast) can still offer a great shape without using underwire.

That’s not to suggest that I believe no Sports Bra should use underwire, I have a number in my closet that do, one of which happens to be my go-to long run option.

So, where does the support in a bra come from? 82% of the support comes from the band that runs along your ribcage. The secondary means of support are the straps which really act as motion stabilisers. Without a functional band, the straps alone will not provide enough breast support during high impact activity. I’ll be sure to touch on this a bit more in a future post!

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