Monday, June 30, 2014

Bra Fit Tips for Women with Active Jobs

I'm so thrilled to have this guest post by The Lingerie Detective's Avigayil. Being busty and having a very physically demanding job can be made more comfortable with some bra know-how and Avigayil has fantastic experience and tips on staying comfortable and supported at work.

"Lingerie style and fit is important when your job is physically demanding. I was an in-home caregiver for a wheelchair bound client for seven years. In my daily job I performed a standing transfer wherein I supported the full weight of my client to move her in and out of bed, on and off the toilet, and in and out of the shower. Given my highly active career, I had to find lingerie that was comfortable, supportive, and flexible. Here are a few tips for what kind of lingerie to look for if you also have an active job. 
Panache Sports Bra has wicking material and a J hook to turn the back into a racerback style

Look for bras with breathable or moisture-wicking fabrics. Breathable fabrics allow air to flow towards your skin and sweat to flow away from your body. Moisture-wicking fabrics draw the sweat away from your body and cause your skin to dry quicker. If you are prone to heavy sweating or your active job requires you to be in close proximity to people while still performing well, then a moisture-wicking sports fabric would probably be a good choice. Natural fibres like cotton are breathable and can be a good alternative to synthetic if you have sensitive skin. I am also a fan of mesh: even though it is made of synthetic materials, the perforated design allows for a good exchange of air between the world and your skin.
Basic Beauty by Wacoal has a V back strap design to keep your straps firmly in place
When selecting a bra, look for designs with a t-back, racer back, or J-hook on one of the bra straps that allows you to convert the bra. This back style serves two purposes. First, it redistributes weight that would be on your shoulders and places it closer to your core. Secondly, it moves your straps farther in on your body so there is less of a chance of a strap falling down when you lean over, reach for something, or contort into an interesting position while at work. On the same note, look for bras with straps placed farther in on the front. Even if you do not have narrow or sloping shoulders, active work often means our shoulders are in a variety of different positions. When the bra straps are positioned closer to the core, they move less and require minimal (ideally no) adjustment throughout the day.

Two styles I suggest for an active job are the dependable sports bra and a non-molded cup bra. I think the sports bra is a no-brainer as most sports bras are about containment. They offer great support, reduce breast bounce, and tend to keep larger breasts closer to the chest. The materials used in sports bras either have moisture wicking properties or are breathable. This Panache Sports Bra has a couple other features that make it a great bra for work: the moulded cups offer extra padding for sensitive chests and it is cut lower under the armpits to prevent chaffing. While it is not a dedicated racer back bra, it does have the racer clip for conversion.

Dessous is a mesh range full cup bra that's ideal for shallow on top breasts and narrow or sloping shoulders
Now, just because you have an active job it does not mean you cannot wear pretty bras to work. I recommend trying a full soft cup bra (underwire) with straps that are set in a bit. If you have shallow on top breasts, then I recommend the Dessous line by Claudette. I could probably skydive in my Dessous and my breasts would not escape the cups. The coverage of a full cup along with the underwire offers the support your breast tissue needs. The closer set bra straps will keep you from having to readjust your bra throughout the day. The soft cups are also useful for work where your chest may encounter objects or people on a regular basis. Whereas a molded cup bra keeps your breasts acting as one, a soft cup allows each breast to move independently. Therefore, if I get an elbow/box/etc. squished against my one breast, it will not try to adjust my entire bra or push my breast out of the cup. My one breast will just “go with the flow,” while still encapsulated in the bra, and then settle back down. I found soft cup bras the best match for my work as a personal caregiver.


The world of lingerie does not stop at bras so I would be negligent not to mention their common counterpart: underwear. Wear comfortable underwear. If your underwear likes to ride up or give you a wedgie, then leave them in your underwear drawer (or throw them out). While underwear style is going to mainly come down to personal tastes, I found high-rise full coverage bikini style briefs the most comfortable. Again, your moisture-wicking or breathable fabrics are going to be vital. There is nothing like the discomfort of overheating between your legs because the synthetic pair of underwear you purchased for $5 does not breathe. Do not be deceived by the cotton gusset: if there is a layer of fabric on the outside of the cotton gusset that does not breath that means that your crotch is not getting proper air circulation. Try out a pair of 100% cotton underwear or performance underwear. Mesh is also an option for the aforementioned reasons.

No matter what lingerie you choose to wear, fit is always imperative. Always buy underwear in your current size and get bra fittings regularly. Wearing proper fitting underpinnings will make a world of difference to both you and your skin."

Avigayil Morris is a full-time wife and a full-time student about to graduate with a BA in English. A long time deal blogger for Bargainmoose, she has recently started her own lingerie blog called Lingerie Detective as a creative outlet for her overwhelming obsession with underpinnings and as a place to exhibit her ever increasing collection. Her other obsessions include animals, water, nature, food, fashion, and earth friendly living.

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