Monthly Archives: February 2013

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!

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How long will a Sports Bra last? The facts & figures.

This is something I get asked often. Very often. Sadly there is no easy answer, as it does depend on so many factors. Saying that, I will do my best to ‘ball park’ this timeline for you in this post.

But firstly, there are two things I should remind you of.

Your Sports Bra plays an important role in your exercise regime. It keeps you supported which in turn will improve your comfort, confidence and performance. The more we try and beat the daylights out of our number 1 training tool, the more we are sacrificing that comfort and support.

You also need to know it’s likely your Sports Bra will suffer a silent death. That means it may slip away without you even knowing. Of course I’m not talking about a washing machine kidnapping or anything of the sort. I’m exaggerating the point that the support, fit & overall functionality will fail much before the physical appearance of the bra. Like with a good pair of running shoes, if it’s falling apart or showing excessive wear then it’s likely you have way over stepped it’s spectrum of support!

Now we should all be fairly aware that a well made everyday bra should last between 6 months and a year depending of course on how often you wear and wash it. I always say, if you wear it twice a week and wash it once a week you should lay it to rest on it’s birthday!

Given the materials of a Sports Bra are generally firmer and more resistant to wear than an everyday Bra, and the engineering of the product is completely different all together then surely we should expect to get longer out of a properly fitted Sports Bra?!? WRONG, we wish that was the case!

Yes the materials are firmer, and it is specifically designed to endure the worst but sadly it is just that torment that ends up killing it quickly.

Most technical Sports Bra companies advise that their product should last about 6 months when being used for high impact activity three times a week. I tend to agree with this.

But something to take in to account is, if you increase that wear by only 1 extra session a week you will dramatically decrease the lifespan of the Bra. The reason for this is that there are elastic fibres in nearly all Sports Bra’s (especially the all important bra band) that become stressed and stretched with wear. If you do not give your bra adequate rest (we suggest 36 hours +) between uses then this elastic never relaxes back to its original state. It will wear much quicker this way. Likewise if your three days of activity are on Tues, Wed and Thurs you would expect to get less wear out of your Sports Bra, then if you exercised on Mon, Wed and Friday. Get it?!

As mentioned in a recent post on this blog their are a number of ways to improve the lifespan of your bra – see these tips here.

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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:

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Panache Fit School @PureLondonShow





All photos of Panache stock and marketing material taken at Pure London fashion show 2013.

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

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Bra fit training with Lindsey Brown

Generally speaking my European travels are strictly limited to their oh-so-enticing Summer months. So the idea of trekking from sunny Melbourne to the freezing cold Leicester in the middle of a British winter seemed like a bit of a tease. But in the name of further education I didn’t let the snow stop me in my tracks.

Along with a crew of three others in the lingerie industry I had the pleasure of training under Lindsey Brown of Mya Blue, in both her extensive Bra Fitting and Lingerie Retail Training courses. And I can gladly say, it was worth the trip!

As my main focus to date has been on Breast Biomechanics and the technical merits of Sports Bras, there were a number of areas covered that I had not yet exposed myself to. This includes being equipped with the ability to determine bra size without the use of the traditional tape measure method, as well as extensive education on bra fit and construction, lingerie categories, buying and planning, price setting, retail merchandising and much much more!

I’m feeling super confident with all the extra information I’ve been able to pick up in this last week and look forward to that knowledge adding extra depth to our in store assessments at She Science.

Thanks go to Lindsey, Malikah and Browns Lingerie for your guidance!

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

And follow us on facebook:

Our online store can be found at: