The Sports Bra Expert

Question of the Week: "What's with all the hangtags on sports bras? I swear I've seen some with 4 or 5 separate tags! I mean, who actually needs all this information anyway?"> back
February 18, 2011

This question makes me think of a great weekend I recently spent in Denver doing sports bra "Fit Clinics" for Champion. I have to confess that working one-on-one with enthusiastic, active, witty women to match them up with their perfect sports bras is the most favorite and gratifying part of my already terrific job!

While I'd love to hit the stores and personally help each of you connect with your ideal styles, that's obviously impossible. But as a next-best strategy (short of a really knowledgeable sales associate), hangtags are definitely your best friend and ally when it comes to sleuthing out the perfect sports bra.

Sports bras are, without a doubt, the most technical, hardworking pieces of clothing in your wardrobe! So there's a lot to "talk" about, and that usually means multiple hangtags.

Here's the valuable info that will help you find YOUR perfect sports bra:

1) Support Level. The hangtag should tell you how much motion control to expect depending on your size and the bounce-producing potential of your sport. At Champion, our certified support ratings are your guarantee that each style has actually been performance tested on real women in a state-of-the-art scientific research lab.

2) Style Philosophy. It's usually easy to distinguish the two basic approaches to design—compression (holds you firm as a single unit) and encapsulation (divides and conquers with separate cups)—just by looking. But going beyond to the hangtags can give you even more valuable info about how well a bra will do its intended job.

For example, if you want no-nonsense compression, check out the fabric content of the bra—the higher the percentage of spandex fiber, the better it will snug you in and restrict bounce. If you prefer the separation and shaping of an underwire encapsulation style, the tag should reveal if the wires are cushioned and double- or triple-wrapped for comfort and durability.

3) Size Scheme. Even if you're confident you know your basic size (such as 38C), snagging the correct fit can be more complicated than just looking for that number on the tag. While many great sports bras do come in traditional band/cup sizing, lots of others (especially stretchier compression styles) follow a S/M/L format. Check the hangtag for guidance on how to convert your band/cup size into the S/M/L "alpha" size that fits you best.

4) Sweat Factor. Whether your workout environment is warm or cool, if you're kicking it hard you will sweat! Check the hangtags for info on "moisture management" fabrics and other ventilation features—they are a necessity (and you will find them in every Champion sports bra).

5) Special Needs. Use hangtags to verify other quality features such as padded "no-poke" back hooks, seamless knitted construction for less chafing, and "spacer" fabrics in the cups to combat "high beams."

6) Tagless Tags (huh?). Consumer regulations also require that info on size, fabric content and care instructions be attached or printed on your sports bra. To eliminate the itchy chafing that sewn-in tags can cause, all Champion sports bras have 'tagfree' printing directly on the bra. This is great if you fall in love with your bra and want to order the same style and size in the future. Now, if all the printing has worn off, you've probably run the poor bra into the ground—time to treat yourself to a new one!

Hangtags are great, but if you do have a personal question about sports bras that you need answered, however big or small, I'd love to hear from you and send you back a confidential reply! Just go to the Bra Blog tab, click on "Ask the Expert," and type it in!


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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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