Monday, July 28, 2014
You may have spent a fortune on gym membership and invested in a great new kit.
But it's more than likely that you're missing the most vital piece of exercise equipment of all - a sports bra.
Despite the current boom in the leisure industry, three quarters of women in Britain wear the wrong type of bra for working out.
You may wonder what all the fuss is about. But the facts speak for themselves.
Breasts are mostly composed of fatty tissue and are supported mainly by skin and fragile ligaments called Coopers' ligaments. Because these are not elastic, during repetitive or high impact sport the breasts bounce and pull on the ligaments, forcing them to stretch. Once these ligaments have stretched they stay this way. The result is every woman's nightmare - sagging breasts.
Going without the correct support can also cause breast pain and upper back and shoulder problems.
Running without any bra at all causes the average woman's breasts to move up and down by 8.5cm. Wearing an ordinary bra reduces this by 32 per cent. A sports bra reduces this by at least another 20 per cent.
A survey from Herriot-Watt University last year showed that even breasts sized 34A need extra support during sport.
'British women are in serious danger of permanently damaging and stretching their breast ligaments,' said a spokesman from CCR a body sizing and research specialist company. 'Long term problems are likely to occur if a correctly fitting, supportive sports bra is not worn.
Here is the femail.co.uk guide to choosing and fitting the right sports bra
Sports bras were only invented in 1977 when two women invented a joggers bra by sewing two jockstraps together. Now there are several companies producing increasingly sophisticated models.
There are two basic types: those which compress the breasts flat against the chest - which look like crop tops - and those which hold the breasts in the same way as a normal bra. As a general rule, compression-style bras offer enough support for women with breasts sized 32 -34A doing all forms of exercise and 34-36B for low-impact sports. For everyone else, the second type of bra is more suitable.
Some sports bras also come in different impact levels. As a rule, if you are taking part in lower impact sports such as yoga and pilates a bra with a lower impact level should suffice, but if you are practising higher impact sports such as aerobics, horse riding, jogging or squash you will probably need one of the higher impact bras.
How to find the right sized bra:
More than 80 per cent of British women wear the wrong sized bra.
Shadi Maleki, a bra fitter from Selfridges department store in London, offers this simple guide to finding the right fit.
To find the right back size:
Measure your bust just underneath your breasts all around your body in inches. If the measurement is even deduct four inches from this figure. If the measure is uneven deduct five inches. This is your back size.
To find the right cup size:
Measure your breasts at their widest point - the nipple - taking the measuring tape all around your back. Now deduct your final back measurement from this measurement. If the difference is five inches you are an A cup. For every inch in addition to this add an extra cup size.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Sports bras come in two basic styles, compression and encapsulation. Compression designs bind and press your breasts against the chest wall. Encapsulation designs separate breasts into individual cups using back and neck straps to pull the breasts up and hold them in place as you move. Small breasted women can get by with a compression style bra, whereas larger breasted women will need both a bra that compresses the breast, as well as a bra designed to lift and separate the breast. Extremely large breasted women may want to wear two bras when working out.Sport Bra Fit
Now that you know how to determine your bra size, and understand the two basic styles of sport bra (compression and encapsulation) you can begin to look for the sport bra that is right for your body type and activity level. All bras should fit comfortably snug. You need to be supported, but able to breath freely during exercise.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Breasts are simply fatty tissue covering mammary glands. The muscle underneath the breast is buried so deep, that it does very little to actually support breast tissue. What really supports the breast is the "Cooper's ligaments", thin ligaments woven throughout the breast, which are not very strong. The tissue in your breasts is very delicate and needs to be protected during high impact exercise. Repetitive bouncing stretches the Coopers Ligiments, resulting in irreversible, premature sagging of the breasts.
To prevent the breakdown of breast tissue, it is very important to support the breasts during physical activity by using a properly fitting sports bra. To be properly supported, the breast needs to be compressed against the chest wall, as well as lifted and supported by the back and shoulders.
Sport bras are designed to support the breast during vigorous physical activity as well as allow for the evaporation of sweat.Before Buying Any Sport Bra
Determine Your Correct Bra Size
Studies have found that 70% of all women do not know their correct bra size. In part that is due to the fact that breast size is not constant, but varies with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and during a women's menstrual cycle. Having a bra that fits properly can prevent back problems, muscle tension, and headaches. A properly fitting bra is especially important for young girls. Growing breast tissue is extremely delicate. Teenage girls should be fitted by a bra expert at least twice a year, or after every noticeable growth spurt, to ensure that growing breast tissue is always properly supported.
A poorly fitting bra can lead to long-term back pain and permanent problems with posture. Exercising without a sports bra can lead to irreversible, premature sagging of the breasts.HOW TO DETERMINE CORRECT BRA SIZE
STEP ONE: DETERMINE YOUR RIBCAGE DIAMETER
Measure the diameter of your chest just below your breasts.
STEP TWO: DETERMINE YOUR BRA SIZE
Add 5" to the measurement you had for your ribcage diameter. If the measurement you get is an odd number add an additional 1" to your total because bras are only offered in even sizes.
Ribcage diameter = 26" (Add 5") = 31"
Because 31" is an odd number add one additional inch.
Your bra size should be a "32".
STEP THREE: DETERMINE YOUR LARGEST CHEST CIRCUMFERENCE
Measure the diameter of your chest across the largest part of your breast.
STEP FOUR: DETERMINE YOUR CUP SIZE
Subtract your "bra size" from your "largest chest circumference"
To continue the above example:
Ribcage diameter = 26" (Add 5") = 31"
Because 31" is an odd number add 1".
Your bra size should be a "32"
If your largest chest diameter was 36"
To determine your cup size subtract 32" from 36" = 4"
Using the chart below, your cup size would be a "D".
|AA cup |
DD or E cup
YOUR BRA SIZE WOULD BE A "32D"
SPECIAL NOTE FOR WOMEN WITH IMPLANTS: If you have had breast implants remember that implants tend to run wider than a natural breast. Therefore, if measurements show that you are a C cup, you may need to go up to a D cup in some styles of bras.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Everybody knows how bras work, don’t they? They’re designed for support. But what some may not know is what’s being designed and why, and how the industry is trying to move into every area of a the modern-day female life. Since it’s creation as an alternative to heavy boned corsets, the bra has come a long way. Check out our "History of the Bra", and you’ll see what we mean.
The basic goal of a brassiere is much like that of a compass – they’re designed to point the breasts east and west, or with the push-up look, north, but never south. If breasts are pointed south, it’s probably because they haven’t been supported by a proper comfortable bra.
Why all this support for bras?
Bras today are designed for two things. The first, and probably the most important, is comfort. Remember, that’s why the bra was invented in the first place – to create something comfortable. The second reason is a little more obscure. Most intimate apparel designers will tell you this second reason is practicality. That’s true, but it goes further than that. It almost leads to a third reason that stands as a reason in itself – it has to look good.
Now, if a bra is worn as an undergarment, why would it be important how it looked? Well, there are a number of reasons for this. One would be self-confidence. If a woman knows that what she’s wearing, even though it can’t be readily seen by anyone else, is pretty, attractive or sexy, then she’ll feel good. She’ll feel an inner satisfaction that there’s a smooth, silky-feeling interior to her being that matches her undergarments.
Let’s look at these three factors of bras one at a time, and examine their importance, both individually, and as part of the whole.
Comfort is the key
Here we come again, to the original reason for the bra – comfort. Women want – and deserve – to feel comfortable as they go about their daily business. It’s something that probably most men take for granted. They don’t have to worry about covering their chests (unless, of course, they’re a cross-dresser – then it may be even more difficult to find a good fit). But for women, there’s a constant daily reminder – those protrusions growing on their chests that aren’t about to go away. Probably, most women aren’t unhappy about that. They accept their breasts as a part of their femininity (and so do the men). So, in order to be comfortable, they need to find a comfortable bra.
Exactly what is a “comfortable” bra? It would, of course, depend on the type of bust it was being fitted to. And since there’s such a wide variety of shapes and sizes in busts, then there needs to be the same number of shapes and sizes in bras. And there are! Everywhere from a tween’s first training bra to a sports bra to a full-figured bra – and all those in between – women can always find just the right bra that’ll give them the comfort they seek.
And how do the designers provide this comfort? It’s accepted that cotton is probably the most comfortable fabric, so many bras are made out of cotton. It’s not only smooth, it breathes, too, so women won’t sweat. (Actually, it’s been said that women don’t really “sweat” – horses sweat, men perspire, and women just “gently glow”.) But whatever you call it, it’s very uncomfortable for a woman to “gently glow” under her breasts, from a bra that’s too hot.
Another part of the bra that needs to be comfortable is the straps. Now, you can easily eliminate this problem by wearing a strapless bra, but most normal daily-wear bras have straps. If you’re a full-figured woman, your straps need to support your breasts, without digging into your shoulders. To allow this comfort, designers now make full-figured bras with wider, padded straps to ease the pressure. This is also a factor with maternity bras and nursing bras, so these wide straps are available with those, too.
Practicality is important, too
As important as comfort is in a bra, it must be practical, too. There are so many different types and styles of bras, with each one designed to achieve a particular goal. And there are so many brands to choose from, too. The important thing is to find the bra that suits your specific use. And with so many uses, it’s easy to narrow it down.
Look at this list of bras, and you’ll see that, whatever your purpose, you’ll find one to suit you. For pregnant women, there are maternity bras and nursing bras. For full-figured women, there are full-figured bras and plus size bras and lingerie. For active women, there are sports bras. For young girls, there are training bras, and then their first “real” bra. For wear with that beautiful evening gown, there are strapless bras and backless bras. For those less-endowed women (who may want to look bigger), there are padded bras.
And that’s only a few of the varieties and styles of bras available. You can see that the brassiere industry has covered all the bases. So we can easily conclude that most bras are practical.
And bras must look attractive, too
Attractive bras really came to the fore with the inception of Victoria’s Secret. They were the first to combine fashion with intimate apparel when they introduced a whole line of sexy underwear. Shear bras are an integral part of their provocative outfits. They have baby dolls, which incorporate the bra. A see through bra is a perfect match for a lacy pair of white satin panties or a pair of black stockings. So items like silk pajamas aren’t the only thing that’ll make a woman look attractive.
Another example of an attractive look, combined with practicality, is the clear strap. Many bras come with straps that are transparent. Some designers have even put embroidery on the straps, so only the embroidery shows, creating a look of a pattern tattooed over the shoulder. Cool!
Designers are always looking for something different
There are many manufacturers of bras – Playtex, Maidenform, Hanes Her Way and Just My Size, to name a few. They’re continually working to provide women with bras that are comfortable, practical, and attractive. But they also like to dabble in specialty lines. Take, for example, the shell bra, made of two scallop shells tied together with heavy string. They’re very popular with Hawaiian dancers (and any girl who wants to look like one – like at a beach party).
For the maximum in comfort, you can even buy a water bra (actually, it’s filled with paraffin wax, not water). They say it feels a bit strange at first, but after you get used to it, the bra is very comfortable because it molds to your skin. And isn’t that what a bra’s supposed to do?
You can also get dual-purpose convertible bras that can be worn with straps or without. And then there’s Wonderbra’s Variable Cleavage Bra. It comes complete with strings attached to each side of the cup – pull the strings, and the wires under the cups close, pushing the breasts together. Innovation is indeed sweeping the industry.
The undergarment industry will continue to create unique bras. And they’ll also continue their search for “the perfect bra”. They know that women do most of the shopping, and that they’ll always be able to squeeze a little out of the budget for a bra, so the industry will continue to flourish. And as for the men? Well, they’ll continue to give the women all the support they need – just like the bra!
About The Author
Gareth Marples is a successful article writer providing valuable tips and advice for consumers purchasing plus size lingerie, bras and panties, bridal lingerie andthong bikinis. His numerous articles offer moneysaving tips and valuable insight on typically confusing topics.
This article on the "How Bras Work – The Supporting Cast" reprinted with permission.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
- Style #3364
- Seamless, molded, unlined, underwire cups
- Reduces the apperance of the bust
- Non stretch, front adjustable straps
- Delicate embroidered center gore
- 3 column, 4 row hook and eye back closure
34C, 36C, 38C, 40C, 34D, 36D, 38D, 40D, 34DD, 36DD, 38DD