Earlier this summer, when I went to Brooks Running HQ in Seattle as a part of the blog ambassador program, I not only got the scoop on the fact that Moving Comfort was now officially a part of Brooks (is that great news or what?), but man, did I learn a thing or six about sports bras in general. But that wasn’t enough — to make sure I really knew what I was talking about, Brooks put me in touch with a local retailer so I could get a full fitting and try on, well, everything.
I headed out to Fleet Feet, a fabulous local running store with a tremendous selection of Moving Comfort sports bras (not to mention other great workout clothes — I saw numerous items from here and here on display!), and had a really in-depth bra fitting (thanks, Nancy!) that gave me a much better feel for both what I need and what I like. (Need = snug support. Like = soft, molded cups and fabric that isn’t too stretchy, which meant that I was not a fan of one of the most popular bras in the store. To each her own!)
The Moving Comfort collection has gotten a bit of a facelift, and their bras are now broken down into three collections to make it super simple for any woman to find the right bra for both her body and the type of activity she’s into.
- Secure: slips on easily, moves with your body
- Stabilize: versatile features and a high degree of support
- Secure: every feature needed to hold curves firmly in place
With all of that in mind, I thought I’d share the following six lessons I learned about sports bras during my fitting!
6 Things You Should Know About Sports Bras
- No (regularly worn) sports bra should celebrate a birthday. If you’ve been wearing one regularly for more than a year, chances are it’s no longer giving you the support you need.
- You should always have at least three sports bras — one you’re wearing, one in the wash and one in the drawer. If you just keep wearing the same one without washing it or giving the fabric a chance to rest, it won’t stay supportive for long!
- You might want a different sports bra for different activities, and that’s where Moving Comfort’s new categories are super helpful. Bras from the Secure Category tend to be best for lower-impact activities like yoga and Pilates. The Control Collection is seriously designed for bounce-free performance, so if you’re looking for something made for running and jumping, this is a great start. However, the Stabilize Collection may be a good fit for those activities, too — these bras don’t have quite the same intense construction as some of the Control Collection bras, but they are designed to provide serious support with minimal movement.
- A proper fitting is a great first step, because for any bra to even be in contention, you should easily be able to put two fingers under the band in the front and the back, the straps shouldn’t cut in anywhere, and you shouldn’t spill out the top or sides. Then, do the jump test to make sure everything stays put!
- Even if you know your size, try it on. If you’re at all between sizes, try anything even close to your size. And yes, that might mean that you try a Small A/B, Small C/D, Medium A/B and Medium C/D, all in the same style. While I’m basically always a B cup in a regular bra, I found that in some styles of the Moving Comfort sports bras, the C/D version provided just as much support but more coverage than the A/B version of the same bra. For example, in the case of the FineForm (a strappy sports bra in the Secure Collection, best for lower impact activities like yoga), the smaller cup size was a definite no-go, but the larger cup size was completely adorable. And in the case of the UpRise (A/B) and UpLift (C/D) — they’re essentially the same bra but with a few minor tweaks to better accommodate the different cup sizes — I actually loved the fit of both, with the UpRise providing a bit more compression for activities like jumping or sprinting, but the UpLift feeling sooo comfy with the wider straps and distribution.
- You have thin collections of connective tissue in your breasts, called Cooper’s ligaments, and they support the bulk of your breast tissue. Damage to the Cooper’s ligaments is what causes saggy boobs, and while you can’t necessarily prevent them from ever sagging, keeping your breasts well-supported is a major key to slowing the process. Because once that damage has occurred? It can’t be repaired. Not with exercise, not with surgery.
Have you ever gotten professionally fitted for a sports bra? Did any of this surprise you? You could’ve knocked me over with a feather when I found that I liked the same bra in two sizes. —Kristen