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Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

A Guide for Women of All Shapes and Sizes


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  • My friend owns an underwear shop and I have mine measured every time because each make can be massively different. Even different styles from the same brand can mean you need a different size. It doesn't cost to have one fitted and you can always find the right make and size and then buy it cheaper online when you know that a professional has fit it. To be perfectly honest, now that I have all my bras fitted by an expert I would never just buy because the difference, not just during exercise but for the rest of the time is unbelieveable. Those little pains in your legs, hips, neck etc can all be attributed to poor posture because of incorrect bra fitting. I'm a uk 34 H and I can do any exercise with only 1 properly fitted bra. All these different methods of self measurement do not take into account manufactures difference that someone trained can identify by knowledge. - 8/11/2013 2:08:56 PM
  • Your chart stops short:
    Over the bust / band measurement difference and cup size
    Difference (inches) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
    Cupsize U.S. AA A B C D DD/E DDD/F DDDD/G H I J K L M N - - -
    Cupsize UK/Austr. AA A B C D DD E F FF G GG H HH J JJ K KK L

    Some brands size by adding 4 to your band measurement, some by adding 0. UK manufacturers are increasingly available in the US and offer busty girls relief from wearing 38/40 DD's when we should really be in much smaller back sizes and much larger cup sizes.
    - 7/30/2013 11:08:38 AM
    I'm sorry to say this, but your method of measuring is a bit outdated. Why should a woman with a 27" circumference wear a 30" bra? It is 3" larger than her and can't offer any support. 80-90% of your bust's weight should be supported by the bra band and only the tiny rest by the straps. You also have to take into account that a bra band stretches several inches. - 7/23/2013 1:45:57 PM
  • i have been buying and wearing the enell sports bras for years, i wear them to work out and for everyday wear, which works out ok, because i found a site that allows you a discount if you purchase two at once.
    they dont go by cup size, but are measured by number, each number represents a size grid of 3 to 4 sizes in one, the enell fits snugly and doesnt allow alot of movement, but, is still good for working out as it offers alot of support and comfort.
    i love them, they are a little costly, but is the only bra i can order online and always feel secure that i will receive the right size and fit. - 7/8/2013 6:42:07 PM
  • When at my largest (44h) I to wore my regular cacique full coverage to work out, of course I wasn't doing high impact! I then added one of those cheap compression bras over to prevent movement as I got more active. Glamorize has some good ones for small band/large cup without the uniboob i found them later. Currently I am loving my tata tamer! A good bra that holds the ladies still is worth a little extra. - 7/4/2013 11:48:01 AM
  • Lots of my busty friends wear 2 bras working out. One that fits well and a compression bra over that. I wear a 38 DDD and wear my Bali minimizers with everything. Love them. 38 is my actual chest measurement and my breast measurement is 9" bigger. I am getting a reduction in Sept as I am tired of the pain, dents in my shoulders and back aches. So hopefully I can wear something more comfortable in a few months. - 7/2/2013 10:57:12 PM
  • No mention of the need for adjustable straps those of us with a bustline that is lower than what is, apparently, average. - 7/2/2013 12:07:11 PM
  • I don't care for sports bras. I never did. - 6/20/2013 4:17:00 PM
  • This article must be for larger breasted women. I'm a 38 half an A. (Victoria's Secret Measurements not mine) LOL Try and find a bra size that fits THAT!!! - 6/20/2013 12:32:36 PM
    I agree totally with "Trynot" - and will add the following:
    Rather than trying to do it yourself, have your bra size measured by a certified person (yes, they have them in major dept and specialty stores, e.g. Nordstroms), at least EVERY YEAR - and sooner if you are either losing weight or exercising (or both). I haven't found a place yet that doesn't do this for free (even if you don't buy a bra right away).
    I am one of those lucky gals who has a size that isn't readily available in most stores - I am a 36II - mainly due to a regular exercise/diet program I've been on for a while. Unfortunately, most bra manufacturers assume that if you have big breasts, you also are plus size - and start the band sizes bigger than 36. Luckily, there ARE specialty web sites and brands that cater to us big girls, even with sports bras that provide us with the support we need for our bigger assets. I recommend, which has a variety of brands to choose from.
    My only complaint is that I need a sports bra that is a racerback style, to allow me to wear exercise tops that are open around the shoulders - and they are hard to find. If anyone with a similar size to mine has found a good one - please let me know the brand so I can look for it? - 6/11/2013 9:34:42 AM
  • 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size because of bad information on measuring for your bra size. The way of measuring outlined here is outdated. One reason I think it's still being pushed though, is because it puts most women in a smaller range of sizes. Stores don't have to carry so many sizes when most women will end up being a 34, 36, or 38 after measuring this way.

    Measure your chest snugly right under your breast. That is your band size.(round up or down if you get an odd number) Measure around you bust with a normal un-padded bra on. Each inch difference between your band measurement and your bust measurement is a cup size. This is your starting point. Not every bra is suitable for every body and not every manufacturer will fit the same. If you feel like you need to go up a band size then go down a cup size(or down a band size and up a cup size). The band should fit comfortably snug and be horizontal all around your torso. It shouldn't ride up in the back. It should do most of the work, not the straps. A new bra should hook at the first row of hooks, use the other rows as it starts to stretch out.

    Since I found that way of measuring it's made bra shopping a lot easier. I still go down in band or cup size sometimes for sports bras though. - 4/6/2013 3:29:43 PM
    What kind of bra is the best for someone who wears an H cup or larger? This article only goes up to DD when discussing which bra is best. - 3/15/2013 2:08:53 AM
    I had been searching for a good sports bra for a while, this one is perfect, even for running and high-impact aerobics. although your breasts are kinda squished in there, so they have no shape, but I do feel that this is what a sports bra is supposed to do.
    javascript:void(0); - 3/9/2013 3:42:28 PM
  • I don't think measuring helps with bra sizes one bit. The most it does is give you an indication of where to start. I take about six bra sizes into the cubicle at Marks and Spencers with me to try, and if I want the bra for something special - eg to fit under a particular dress, I bring the dress with me too. Sports bras - well, the sky's the limit on how much care you have to take buying one. I do think it's a pity there are no photos with this article to show good/bad fits, different styles etc. - 1/12/2013 12:45:10 PM
    Two cheap bras put together make a great workout bra for me. Any comfortable standard over-the-shoulder bra underneath, and a racer-back bra on top keeps my D-size breasts in check, even with high-impact aerobics, and it's much less expensive than the $70 price tag.
    - 12/24/2012 12:05:48 PM

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