7 common Sports Bra Myths busted!
After 10,000+ Sports Bra Fitting's it's fair to say that I have heard it all. All the interesting theories, funny anecdotes and wild & wacky rules that women have created for themselves about Sports Bras. This article is going to walk you through the 7 most common sports bra myths I hear from our lovely customers at She Science, our specialty Sports Bra Store in Melbourne.
1. Underwire Sports Bras are More Supportive
Definitely the most common myth we bust in store is that "Underwire Sports Bras must be more supportive". This is simply not true. Want to know why? Because the underwire does not *actually* support the breast. The main role of underwire is to shape and separate a breast.
Adding to that fact above, for those that prefer a compressed "strapped down" support, this cannot be achieved in an underwire bra. Underwire bras won't ever be designed with loads of compression - because they simply can't be. They need to cradle the breast, not compress or squash it, to safely stay out of the way of damaging breast tissue.
2. Wearing Two Sports Bras is Best for a Big Bust
I'm glad to report that this is also false. Wearing two sports bra is a very common approach, because of one reason - it adds a feeling of compression. If you re-read what I had to say above, most ladies think that underwire sports bras are better for big busts. But these bigger busted ladies are generally also seeking some compression. They want that suctioned down feeling for high impact activity. Because underwire bras will deliver the opposite of compression (that being, encapsulation), an extra compressive layer needs to be applied to achieve this.
The most common situation we hear of is ladies wearing an underwire bra and adding a sports crop top (usually two sizes small) over the top. Ladies, there is a better way! Shop a bra that uses both the encapsulation and compression methods in it's design. Pro Tip: These will tend to be wire free bras.
3. Your Sports Bra should be smaller than your usual bras
This is an interesting one! Because in theory, no our Sports Bra should not be a different size to your usual bra, but I totally get why ladies have be drawn to this myth.
The thing is, a Sports Bra must be fitted well in order to function. A well fitted bra will fit firmly, particularly around the ribcage, as this is where the support actually come from (News to you? Watch our video tutorials to get brought up to speed!). So it's no surprise that women have come to the realisation that a firm fitting Sports Bra gets better results.
Because of this women perceive that their Sports Bra needs to be a different size than their usual bra, when really their everyday bra also needs to fit firmer.
4. Racer back bras offer stronger support
This one is simply not true. But like the above, I understand why this conclusion has been reached.
Factually, the support does not come from the straps. Studies have shown that the strap direction doesn't sway support levels.
Of the top 5 Sports Bras purchased in bra fittings at our Sports Bra Store, only 2 of them have racer back straps. When good straight back sports bras are fitted well there is absolutely no compromise to support because of the strap orientation.
I believe this myth has come about because of all the entry level bras sold in mainstream retail that have the option to cross the straps. Ladies often feel better with this setting as some degree of compression is added to the overall support. This does not mean that racer back bras offer strong support.
Tip: You can search by 'Straight Back' or 'Racer Back' bras when buying bras online at our Sports Bra Store.
5. Hook and eye clasps cause chafing
Wrong again! Hook and eye clasps do not cause chafing. Friction does. Friction is caused by movement. For a hook and eye clasp (or underwire, or any seam for that matter!) to chafe there will likely be an underlying fit issue. Or, of course, sheer distance or the moisture content in the skin can lead to this too.
Going for a bra that doesn't have a hook and eye clasp at the back is actually the worst thing you can do if you experience chronic chafing. A hook and eye clasp allows us to increase the firmness of a bra as it stretches. A bra stretching is what will lead to friction and the movement of the bra against your body.
6. You can't wear an underwire bra for Sport
In the contrary to our most common myth above, there are a lot of ladies who believe that wearing an underwire for sport isn't safe. There is certainly no reliable research I know of to back up this myth. With so many major, reputable brands that invest heavily in studies to guide their sports bra production, I don't believe we'll be told anytime soon that underwire isn't safe in a sports bra.
I understand that in extreme contact sports or sports that may cause significant impact trauma an underwire sports bra may be best avoided. This is because in the case of an extreme impact it'd be one less thing to have potentially go wrong.
7. A good Sports Bra will last you years
While I understand a good sports bra can be a big financial investment, I can't support the myth that they will last you years - just because you paid a lot for it. A Sports Bra with elastic in it (hint: almost all sports bras will have some elastic in it) will not resist stretch over time. As a bra stretches it will lose its integrity and its ability to support you.
So, while a Sports Bra may not *look* like it's near it's used by date; 12 months of regular wear will likely be putting you in a compromised support situation. If you've been wearing your Sports Bra 2-3 times a week - don't let it celebrate a birthday.
That's me! Fitting the lovely Emily. In our Sports Bra Fitting suite.
One of the lucky ones located in Melbourne? 😉
Come visit our Bra Fittings Suites in Camberwell. Our team of experienced Sports Bra Fitters will spend 30-45 minutes with you trying on a range of bras in cup sizes A-J. We work with 22 industry leading brands from all over the world, so there really is something for everyone. We run strictly by appointment (and are often booked out) so don't forget to make a booking before you arrive for your 1:1 bra fitting 💁🏽♀️
She Science, our Specialty Bra Store offers cup sizes A - J and band sizes 6 - 30. We work with 16 industry leading brands from all over the world. Our comprehensive Sports and Everyday Bra fitting service is available by appointment, out of our fitting suite in Camberwell, Melbourne (Australia). Come on in and we'll find you your best match taking in to account your size, shape, activity demands and personal style preferences. Our team of experienced bra fitters would love to meet you.