Monday, August 9, 2010

Let's Talk About Sports Bras...

That title should have scared all the men away, lol. OK, so this is a little embarrassing to talk about, because as you might have noticed, I tend to stay away from subjects of the more intimate nature. But, I always appreciate it when someone mentions a great find (or warns of a not-so-great item), so I thought I'd go ahead and mention the unmentionables.

Being of the more-endowed-than-I'd-like person for most ALL of my adult life, I've had to deal with the discomfort that comes with um...the bounce factor when I exercise. And most traditional sports bras just have not worked for me - for the longest time, I resorted to wearing two - the Moving Comfort Fiona, with a Champion 360 Max layered over it. That worked ok - not perfect, but it was the best I could come up with. Of course, it was not fun to try and wrestle out of them after a sweaty workout, but ya do what ya gotta do...ya know? Sweet Fran even sent me a Dutch sports bra, which worked in my layering system, but everything has become too big.
Enell Sports Bra

So I read some reviews from other bloggers, and several months ago finally took Shauna's advice and invested in the oh-so-ugly-yet-it-works-Enell...the Mother Superior of all sports bras - this is one stern,unyielding mofo. I like it well enough, but some mornings, getting all of the gazillion hooks hooked correctly is a challenge to my sleepy brain, and I'm sure that my "son of a b*tch" cursing when I get to the top of the hooks and find I'm off isn't exactly conducive to a stress-free start to my workout. Plus it's expensive - about $60. And, as I've discovered this summer, it's H-O-T hot, and not in a sexy way (I think we established that with the nun reference) - this bra covers your entire upper back, which makes for a lot of sweaty discomfort. And also it gives the wearer a lovely case of uniboob - not a pretty sight.
Kalyx Uplift Max

Still searching for the perfect sports bra, I began looking at the Kalyx models - I like this company because it was started by a woman who was frustrated in the lack of attractive, comfortable and supportive sports bras in the market. And I was thrilled when I won a bra of my choice in a giveaway that Happy Runner sponsored - I chose one - the DD Diva, and soon I was happily tearing into the package that arrived in my mailbox. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me - the bounce factor was off the charts. So I emailed Kalyx, and their rep worked with me to exchange it for a different bra, which I thought was really nice considering that this was a freebie in the first place. She suggested the Uplift Max, so I went with that. Sigh. I really, really wanted it to work, but no. Again, the fabric was just too soft and allowed way too much, erm, movement. It is a really good-looking sports bra, I will say that. But it just wasn't THE one for me.
Moving Comfort Maia

In the meantime, Barbara had mentioned to me that she found a great sports bra at her local running store, so I was looking forward to checking it out with her during our "whenever we are together" traditional bra shop expedition. And I was not disappointed - this is IT, ladies - to me, it's the perfect sports bra. The Moving Comfort Maia. It's kind of two bras in one - a traditional bra on the inside (with molded cups and underwire) and a pullover layer on the top. Y'all - there was no bounce with this bra. I was shocked and so, so happy! It hooks in the back but doesn't cover your entire back like the Enell; it's easy to get on and off; and hello - no uniboob! (Compare Wharf to Wharf race pictures for the difference from my other races in the Enell if you're so inclined...not that I'm encouraging you to look closely at my rack or anything, lol). It's also priced a little easier on the wallet - $46. I bought one and wore it for the Wharf to Wharf race and I have to tell you, it felt great. I've worn in since coming home to work out in and also on several runs and have had no complaints - it really works great at controlling the bounce and I feel like I look better in it, too. Win-win!

One thing that I discovered while getting measured for new bras was that I had dropped another size in the band width - but in doing so, I went up in cup size. Since I didn't believe the saleswoman that this would work, I tried on bras in what she recommended (32DD) and what I thought would fit me (34D) and you know what? She was right. So there's something to think about - I never knew that cup size could change based on band size. It was this way for both normal and the sports bras. You'd think that by age 47 I would have this whole bra thing figured out, but apparently not.

OK, I made it through this post. I was a little uncomfortable writing it, and had to stop several times and go do something else for a while until I could bring myself to come back to it. Hopefully my embarrassment was worth it and those of you who fall into the more-endowed category can find something useful from this.

34 comments:

  1. this is a much needed post, Shelley.

    May I link it next week?

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  2. Thanks for posting this! I will take your recomendations with me when I go sports bra shopping which I really need to do.

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  3. No need to be embarrassed my dear friend, we all have the same problem: finding the right bra.
    I have the one I bought for you and two more expensive ones and they are perfect for me.

    I'm happy that you found a bra you love and no more bouncing!

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  4. I love all things Moving Comfort. I don't even care what they cost. Their spandex running shorts are so fab I pay full price if I need them.

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  5. I LOVE my Enell and deal with the hot factor so that I don't have to deal with the bounce factor! The Moving comfort Maia didn't work for me...but I'm a bigger cup size than you are which might make the difference in that bra. And don't feel bad, I don't think any women ever figures out the whole bra thing!

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  6. I'm a recent Enell convert and have named mine Mistress Enell because she is quite a task master and runs a tight ship. Tighter than the 2 bra method I used to use. May need to check out this other bra, but gotta pay for the Mistress first.

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  7. Well I'm glad you bit the bullet and just talked about this topic. I did go back and look at a few pics too, and I can see what you are talking about. It also looks like the Enell seams show through workout wear. (of course I never noticed this before!)

    Band or cup size, this decreasing size thing is great, isn't it? And kind of weird territory for me as I suspect it is for you too. (Trying to keep up with the proper fit, figuring out size, etc.)

    I am with you on this topic, plus I also feel um, discretion in regard to bras is impt. As in no show in the front. I've had trouble finding that feature in sports bras too. Thanks for giving me some brands to try. I think my ideal one would be all of your features, plus front closure, breathable, discreet! & in colors.
    Thanks, Shelley
    Chrissy

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  8. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being brave enough to post this. I have the same problem and struggling out of two very sweaty sports bras last Saturday just about did me in. I'm TOTALLY going bra shopping with this info. And my runner's group ladies will LOVE this!

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  9. I will have to try, I've been buying okay ones from Title IX, but they don't fit wonderfully. Fortunately, I have lost enough from 38DD to 34DD, though who knows really what I am. All shopping is traumatizing for me, having been fat enough that nothing fits, so now it's like going to the dentist to get me to the store for anything. I will try this one.

    Wharf to Wharf? Are you Santa Cruz?

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  10. THANK YOU for this post. Nothing to be ashamed of. It's an issue for a lot of us. I looks like I have two bowls of Jello concealed under my shirt when I get active. Not pretty though mesmerizing I'm sure.

    I will definitely be checking out this bra.

    Thanks. :)

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  11. I just bought a Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra this weekend so I'll be posting about my boobs real soon too, nothing to be ashamed of. I will say, spoiler alert: so far, I love it! I'm by no means well endowed but I know this post will help out a ton of ladies that are "wealthy in the chest" so thanks. :)

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  12. Thanks for this Shelley! I have the worst time with bras and now I don't have to email you to ask about your faves! Hope you have a great week my friend!

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  13. Thanks for the info on the sports bras! What I usually do is wear a regular sports bra, then wear like an Adidas tank top that's a size small - it kind of holds everything in because its too small!

    Happy Monday Shelley!

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  14. Okay....you are totally my HERO for writing this post. I too am well endowed and also struggle with the bounce factor. As bad as it feels it looks even worse at the gym during a class. I had this experience just this morning and realized that I NEED to find one that works for me. So THANK YOU!! I will give it a whirl.

    Jennifer
    http://wecanlosethepounds.blogspot.com/

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  15. Thank you! Thank you for this post. I struggle with this as all us larger ladies do I guess. I'm ordering one of those things today to try out for running.

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  16. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU for this post. Very timely as I'm just beginning to train for a half marathon. It's not easy being a D cup. :)

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  17. I think the Enell is the one they wear on The Biggest Loser. Not during weigh in but for their actual workouts.

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  18. I don't struggle with this issue. I don't move fast enough.

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  19. THANK YOU!

    I need a paort bra nd will be looking at a womans sports shop here called aries that I am fortunate enough to live near but this post reminded me of all I want to look for and look out for.... signed 42DDs

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  20. I can't thank you enough for this post. I had the exact same sports bra journey as you -- two bras, the Enell prison... but I cannot wait to try the Maia. I have had luck with other Moving Comfort bras so I'm actually excited to try this one out with a good long run!

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  21. You are saving someone some heartache from having to forage through all those options.

    I want to do a post on BMs and having trouble doing it but I think it is very important topic... lol...

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  22. You're a hoot. Sounds like the girls are in good hands...bra, I mean good

    When hiking this weekend my sister bluntly told me I need a sports bra. So the timing for me was perfect.

    Thanks Friend!

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  23. Ha, again we are alike. I don't like saying the word out loud, and none of those ladies in there 'fitting' me, thank you. But this was such a good post. Especially since the sp. b. I have is no longer made and I love it so. I was going to give in to the enelle, but this last one you got looks just like mine. I was hoping you would give a good review to that cute purple and black number...

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  24. You are a riot. Have you met Ms. Fatass? (I know you have) You are all shy and stuff and she is out there! I am more out there, but not sure if I am as out there as she is.
    My sister calls 2 bras, double bagging.
    I am HUGE....I think I have a moving comfort,but not that kind. Thanks for guinea pigging for us.

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  25. Isn't it funny how when you get rid of back fat your cup size goes up? Who needs implants? Now if I only didn't need a pushup bra to put them back where they should be, let alone anything extra.

    I have a Bestform sports bra with double bounce control and I love it!

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  26. I have never had a proper bra fitting. I would love my cup size to go up because unlike you I ma cup size challenged.

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  27. Ok...I'll admit it...I didn't read the post. I did want to just acknowledge that my wife has several and they are the bane of my existence when it comes to doing laundry and having to hang them up to dry. There is no good way for that on a drying rack with all our other polyester workout clothing.

    I couldn't let one of your posts go uncommented!

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  28. Thanks for writing this (and for such an awesome blog!). I read your blog faithfully but rarely comment, but this post inspired me to add my two cents. I am also prone to the bounce factor and never really felt "supported" in my champion sports bras. I recently found some wonderful bras with zero bounce factor -- at walmart, of all places -- for about $10 each. They are Danskin brand, high impact, and the ones I like have a zipper right up the front between the cups (can you say SUPER EASY to take on and off!). I bought a band size down from what I'd normally wear, as the cups are generous so I wasn't spilling out even in the smaller size and the smaller size seemed to eliminate the bounce factor completely (whereas in my normal size I still bounced a bit). Yes, I do get a bit of uniboob in them, but I don't care -- all I care about is not bouncing and this bra does the trick there! I've had my first two original ones for about a year now, and they are still holding up, though they seem to have stretched out a bit (or maybe I shrank!). I recently purchased two more (in a smaller size!) and they are also working great. I highly recommend trying these out, since at $10 each (for a bra that supports better than my $35/each Champions!), how can you go wrong?! Oh, I found a link - they are available online! http://www.walmart.com/ip/Danskin-Now-High-Impact-Racerback-Zip-Sport-Bra/11019719

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  29. Man, I really need to get measured. But the thought of doing so...errr...scares me!

    I found that the CW-X massive cmpression bra works wonders. The only thing that works for me!

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  30. I've been wearing the Mia for years. I love love love it. My girls don't move and I like the separation created be the underwire. I hate when I'm all sweaty and the girls are touching. Gross!

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  31. Thanks to you for posting and to Carla for providing the pointer! I found out that Glamorise no longer makes my favorite front-hooked sports bra, boo hoo! (And jms.com doesn't carry their new model. Have to say that I've been really happy with their other bras for non-athletic use, though.)

    So I'm in the market for a new one. I was considering the Enell (best price I could find was on amazon.com), but will also consider the Moving Comfort Maia. It's super challenging finding a good sports bra for my girls.

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  32. Based on your recommendation I'm buying a Moving Comfort bra. I told the company on the order form that I was referred by you! :-)
    I hope it's as good as you raved about!
    Christine

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  33. Thanks for the scoop on bras!! Truly! I am just beginning (okay- who am I kidding- I have struggled with this for a LONG time.) But I am just beginning my most successful weight loss Journey!! In fact, I tried out for the BL show and made it to two interviews- but alas- just found out that I am on my own!!!! Anyway I also have a blog:

    http://getalife-myjourney.blogspot.com/

    Anyway, I am a triple D, and am in the market for a good exercise Bra! I truly appreciate the scoop on the boobs! :-D

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