The Sports Bra Expert

Question of the Week: "Should my sports bras fit/feel different from
my everyday bras?"
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December 3, 2010

If your everyday bra could handle all the challenges you dish out during a workout, you wouldn't need a sports bra! But when you're out there pushing your body harder in all directions and asking it to perform at a higher level, you create mega-forces on your breasts and intensify the bounce.

Different and Distinctly Better: Just like a race car is better designed for high-speed racing conditions than a run-of-the-mill sedan (and you would feel different sitting in one vs. the other), your sports bra is also a high-performance, specialized 'build' that's going to look, feel and handle differently than your everyday model.

Size Matters: When it comes to picking the size of your sports bra, the one you wear in a regular bra is a good starting point, but feel free to head any direction, size-wise, to get the support and coverage you want. You may go for a more snug fit (think smaller size) in your sports model for better lockdown of breast motion. Or if you need more complete coverage to prevent upward surging at the neckline or spilling, you might try moving up a cup size to get everything under wraps.

Letters vs. Numbers: You've probably noticed that pullover compressive sports bras are built with enough stretch to fit over a range of sizes and usually come in alpha (XS-S-M-L-XL) sizing. The tricky part here can be converting your rib/cup size (such as 34C) into an alpha size that works for your workout. For example, depending on her individual body and fit preferences, a 34C girl may choose a Small in one style of sports bra (snugger for high-impact running), and a Medium (more flexible freedom) for yoga class. Check the label size specs as a starting point, but feel free to experiment until you get the exact comfort and fit you want.

Be Flexible! Really, the key is being willing to move beyond what the size label says if you need to, try on a variety of styles and sizes, and really focus on how the bra actually feels and supports you rather than getting hung up on label numbers. Your own opinion and experience is what matters most.

Measuring Success (yeah!): You will know you have found your perfect fit when the bra feels comfortably snug, the rib band stays put when you move up and down, your breasts are enclosed in the cups, the straps neither cut in or fall off your shoulders, and any underwire is lying comfortably on your chest wall instead of on your breast tissue.

If you have a strategy that's worked for you in zeroing in on the perfect size and performance level of your sports bra, I hope you'll share it with the rest of us here! Click here to share.

Have an active weekend!


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Introducing Champion's Sports Bra Expert - LaJean Lawson

In 1977, Champion Activewear invented the first sports bra, called the Jogbra®, made from two jockstraps sewn together. The realization that women also needed support for their assets was the catalyst for Champion Activewear to apply innovation and technology to become the leader in the sports bra market.

In 1977, runner LaJean Lawson had just finished her first marathon with bleeding sores on her shoulders and chest from a bra that did anything but support. Her search for a solution eventually led to the discovery of her life's passion–sports bras!

Today, Champion Activewear is thrilled to offer Dr. Lawson as a resource to help you solve your sports bra problems. While Dr. Lawson has gained critical knowledge from scientific research, the best education she's had about sports bra needs has come from the thousands of women she has spoken to at races and events, as well as those who help her test Champion products.

Whether it's your shoes or your sports bra, your workout happiness depends on finding the gear that's just right for your size and activity level, and that's exactly why we're here to help!

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