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Friday, January 13, 2012

well, you gotta keep your boobs somewhere

Can we talk sports bras? I am in the market for a new one. The one I have, pictured above, is 2 1/2 years old and has seen better days. The black (or something else I washed it with) has bled into the white trim, which is now kinda greige. One of the hooks is cockeyed and I have to keep squishing it back into its original form so it doesn't poke me in the skin when I lean against it. It's been washed a lot--I wear it several times a week, even though strictly speaking I don't need it to lift in (it just comes in handy for sticking my iPod into***)--so it's probably not as supportive as it once was. Yeah, in general: seen better days.

I've been looking online for possible replacements. Why not just get the same one that's served you for 2 1/2 years, Andrea? you ask. Well. Look at the back view above. See that top set of hooks between the scapulae? Once upon a time, they were a pain in the ass to fasten, but doable. Now, not so much. I would LIKE to attribute that to my awesome lat growth and say my arms don't meet as well behind my back as they used to, but honestly, it's more like I impinged my right shoulder doing dips and my right arm doesn't reach around my back quite as well as it used to. So, first set of criteria for the new bra? One set of hooks.

I have a bunch of criteria, actually. The one set of hooks goes both ways: can't have two sets, can't have none. Oh sweet baby Jesus, no. None of that pull on over your head nonsense. If there is anything as maddening as trying to get out of one of those pull-on sports bras when you're sweaty, I dunno what it could be. When I had one years ago I can remember spending five minutes trying to peel it off my sweat-soaked body and then having to suppress the urge to fling it across the locker room in frustration and stomp on it. Never again.

Another crucial requirement? It must come in actual bra sizes. Small, medium, large doesn't cut it. It has to be an actual bra, not a sports top. Additionally, it must of course come in my actual bra size (or indeed, one size larger, because I have to size up in sports bras) and my bra size is not all that typical.

A not crucial but "it would be nice" requirement would be for it to not cost 60-something bucks like the last one. If I'm wearing it primarily to stash my iPod in, it doesn't have to have *quite* the level of engineering as it did when I wanted it primarily for running.

Let's look at some candidates, shall we?

Natori Sports Bra 34439

Pros: plenty of room to hold the ol' iPod, only costs $48, comes in colors like gray and red and black. Note: I prefer a colored sports bra to one that's white or flesh-toned, so that when the straps are showing under my beater, they look less like bra straps and more like another top.

Cons: it has underwire. Not sure how I feel about underwire in a sports bra. Hmmmmm...

Freya Active Underwire Sports Bra 4492

Pros: that's a damn nice looking bra.

Cons: it cost $60 and not only has underwire, but molded cups too.

Panache Full-Busted Underwire Sports Bra 5021

Pros: another nice looking bra.

Cons: costs $68 and not only has underwire but "contour pads". Wut? Now they're just fucking with me.

Anita Active Front Close Sports Bra 5523

Pros: in the black color, it doesn't look quite so much like something your Great-aunt Madeline wears in the nursing home. It doesn't have underwire.

Cons: that's a whole lotta bra and a whole lotta hooks to fasten, even if they are in the front.

Shock Absorber D+Max Support Sports Bra N109

Pros: by the same company as my old one and seems to closely resemble it, with no underwire and no molded cups BUT only has one set of hooks in the back

Cons: even in black, it's just kinda "meh" looking and it's $59

Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra 350003

Pros: comes in black, sky blue, and brown, has no underwire, no padding, only $44, has rave reviews online

Cons: ummmmm, maybe we have a winner?!?

Anyone have a favorite sports bra they'd like to recommend?


***Please. If you think there's something weird about that, all I can say is obviously you didn't have an immigrant grandmother who could produce a hankie or a change purse from in between her voluminous cleavage at any moment


  1. Good timing on this post - shopping for the same.

    Have you considered other front closers (zip as well as hooks)? Champion, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, Moving Comfort, Under Armour, Valmont and others - but most sizing is not true bra but rather S, M, L, XL - so sizing is a guessing game.

    I am hoping to find something less than $20 each so I can afford 3-5, that way I don't have wash them so often.

    Totally agree on the hard to take off sweaty cotton bra problem. Hope you find something you like soon.

  2. The problem with non-bra sized for me is that my rib cage to boob ratio is outta whack. My rib cage is super narrow, sadly. So if I get a bra top that's tight enough to fit there, my boobs are popping out, and if I get one my breasts fit into decently, it's too loose at the bottom :-( I suppose the solution to that would be to get a loose one and wear a regular bra underneath? But then that reverts to the "working out in underwire" problem, lol. I may go ahead and order that Moving Comfort one above.

  3. I agree with you about the sizing challenges which makes buying over the internet even harder and thus the added expense of buying local if even possible. To top it all off, what often seems like a good fit turns into a bad fit after a few workouts or trips to the laundry.

    My criteria are: front closure, no cotton, and a good fit, all at less than $??? (hoping for $20 each but probably $50). I think I am expecting too much, don't you?

    Where have you found the good deals? Returns are essential. Herroom and Amazon come to mind but Walmart and Sears have some good prices. Even the makers have their own sites selling... Decisions, decisions... Good Luck!

  4. About the fit--I gather you're supposed to buy them so they're uncomfortably tight the first few wears, so that when they inevitably stretch out, they're perfect, LOL. All those pics I posted were from Herroom. I like them. There are usually tons of reviews, which really helps.