sports bra

Photo: Courtesy of Lane Bryant

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The Sports Bra
Every woman who works out needs a sports bra for support and protection.

Structure and Style: Sports bras are designed to minimize breast movement during exercise. This item is essential for all women, particularly for those who wear a D cup or larger. Designs that have compression and encapsulation—two distinct cups—are also very important for women with a fuller bust because they lessen the bounce during exercise. Encapsulation also prevents the tearing of healthy breast tissue, which is especially important if you participate in high-impact workouts.

Benefits and Beauty: As with other bra styles, the technology behind sports bras has evolved. Some designs look like a regular bra with seaming, while others have underwire. There are styles that provide back smoothing, and those with substantial adjustable straps.

Buying It: When purchasing a sports bra, consider the vigor of the sports activity for which it will be used. When trying one on, make sure it provides maximum coverage. Your breasts should feel secure, but the straps should not dig into your shoulders. In fact, it’s a good idea to purchase styles with wide straps for extra comfort and control. Look for the latest high-tech fabrics, such as Coolmax and Supplex, as they have moisture-wicking properties that dry five times faster than sports bras made of cotton. Quick-drying fabrics eliminate under-bust chafing.

Wearing It: A sports bra looks well under the latest, high-tech workout tank tops, T-shirts, and jackets. It is not designed for daily wear.