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Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

A Guide for Women of All Shapes and Sizes


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    Here's another good method, and probably more frequently used than the first article I posted.

    Jaydee16 is right. Adding the 5 inches doesn't make sense, as the measurement around the ribcage is most typically your band size.

    For some women, measuring the ribcage over the breasts as opposed to under makes more sense. Either way, the size proportion is the same. Smaller band size + larger cup, or larger band size + smaller cup. (30E vs. 32C, for example). Which one you prefer is entirely up to you, depending on the comfort of the bra and how the manufacturer sizes them.
  • I am SO relieved to see I am not the only one that takes serious issue (and FRUSTRATION) with this method of measuring bra size. This whole add/subtract/multiply/find-the-square-root
    -of-the-hypotenuse nonsense NEVER works for me. My rib measurement is 34 inches, my bust measurement is 38. So accordingly, my band size should be 34+3+1= 38. The difference between the band size and bust is then zero. Which means I'm what? A wooden plank?! If there's no difference between the two, why would I need a bra in the first place?? I assure you, I do!

    I say, ditch the "add 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches, whatever." My actual rib measurement has always been equal to the best-fitting bra band size. My cup measurements have always been on par with what is mentioned in the article. 38-34=4, x, y, denominator . . carry the z . .. yep, 34D. Whaddya know, that's what I'm wearing! Weird! :)

  • I'm not that picky about my bras, but after I read the article I decided to get one. it was also a little reward for myself for sticking to the 8 week Diabetes Challenge and doing all my workouts. I want to feel encouraged to keep going. So, since I am a bit of a cheapskate, I bought one at Target for $18. I can't afford expensive. I chose a bra described as #3 in the article, compression and encapsulation. It seems luxurious compared to my old one and I look foward to using it. Thanks for the advice SP!
  • I just spent the past few days searching for a new sports bra. Being a 38D-DD, I need on that is very supportive for my step class and running (3 kids in 4 years and lots of nursing lead to some, well, major saggage as is did losing almost 50lbs.) I have a Moving Comfort bra from Dick's that is full coerage. It works well but it is hot. That one has an underwire. I bought a new one last night at dicks, teh Endure by Under Armour. I had to take out a small loan to buy it ($58) but went running this morning and it was really nice. I will give it the true test tomorrow at my step class. This one looks really nice and could easily be worn without a shirt (not for me).
  • This way of measuring is never right for me I don't add anything to band measurement and get a perfect fit that does not ride up they all have elastic in them so no need to add inches to the band size this is my grand mothers way af measuring for a bra which is very out dated.
  • The Enell bras are expensive but well-made, sturdy, and the only sports bra I've ever owned that held everything in place. I am a top heavy size 16-18W. I bought mine at a local running shop and it was worth every penny.
  • The only thing I would add is that you shouldn't use fabric softener when washing bras (or any clothing) with wicking ability. Fabric softener inhibits the wicking ability.
  • When I started exercising 3 months post-partum while breastfeeding in my regular old comprsssion bras, i was hurting any time i jumped. I had to modify jumping jacks to just move my legs while i had my arms crossed across my milk-laden boobs for support! So i finally spent a little extra money on a Champion encapsulated bra at JC Penneys. Wow, what a difference! I could do normal jumping jacks without pain!

    Now that my son is almost 2 and I'm not producing as much milk as I did when he was an infant, I'm comfortable in my old compression bras again. Although some of ghem are probably 10 years old and definitely getting a little big! Might be time to reward myself with some new ones.

    I wish someone made one with a pocket for my smartphone since i tuck it into the side of my bra to listen to music while working out.
  • Based on this measurement and chart I should be wearing a 44B. 44 is way to big, and B isn't quite right, even in that size. In most every brand that I have tried I am either a 40C or 40D. Occasionally, DD but that has been pretty rare. Back when I was wearing a 38, then definitively a DD. I don't think this chart is very accurate. Even when I was "professionally fitted" they used a similar method and it really came down to that measurement and calculation wasn't what really fits me. Could it be difference in body shape?
  • I was exercising in my regular bras with a sport tank-top and that was so painful (I developed blisters from the underwire digging into my skin in several places). I bought the Enell sports bra and I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it is. The bra helps support my back and my side-boob/rolls (LOL). It dramatically flattens my chest but that's a good thing - keeps me from flopping around. It's expensive - but considering I work out 5 days a week, it was totally worth it! Sizing is very true to size so be sure to take the right measurements for the best fit!
    If I am understanding this correctly, it makes no sense. My bust measurement is 47". I measured my ribcage underneath and got 44" After adding 3" as it says to, it equals 47'. I wear a 40 C, but according to your method, I wear under an A cup! Something is not right!
  • At some point, years ago, I figured out that a regular minimizing bra does the trick for me. Other sports bras, even the ones prescribed for larger breasts, just never worked as hoped. The basic minimizing bra is not super attractive, but it does the job, and at much less cost than the fancy sports bras. No more doubling up for me! :)
  • this is such an amazing article. i have a small frame but my breasts are large and i've been wearing two sports bras just to contain them...i can barely breathe! i'm going to order the enell bra right away...i'm so excited to find something designed for this. thank you so much!!
  • I never have been able to find a sports bra off the rack at the department store that adequately rein in the upward bounce. Have a drawer full of sports bras that are as good as useless, but I wear them anyway just to wear something. So I went to the Moving Comfort site and entered my information in the Bra Fitter only to get a pop up that they don't make bras for people like me. I guess that explains it. Well, I have to go spend the rest of the day in my cave nursing my wounded ego.
  • The Enell bras were the only way I could exercise before I finally broke down and had a reduction 5 years ago. They are ugly and crazy expensive but worked. I couldn't jog or do anything high impact, but at least I could do low impact aerobics or spin classes (I was a 34H pre-surgery.) Now that I can buy normal bras again, Moving Comfort makes great ones. Still good for fuller figured.

    The crazy size charts never did me any good. I've never measured anywhwere close to what those charts say - they try to stick me in a A cup and I wear a D!

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