Monday, October 20, 2014

Style Focus: Sports Bras

Our clients buy sports bras for everything from triathlons to post-surgery recovery. The design of sports bras is different from everyday bras because they have to support you during more intense movements. Here's our guide to the features you'll find in sports bras so you can work out what's best for you:

Wicking Fabric
You'll probably work up a sweat in a sports bra and you don't want that sweat to get trapped against your skin because it causes friction which rubs and irritates the skin. Wicking material is usually made up of multiple layers that pulls moisture away from the skin towards the outer layer where it can evaporate. Working out in a bra that doesn't have wicking material can cause you to get sores under your breasts and at the armpits and this leaves you open to infection so DON'T DO IT! 

Compression or Encapsulation
These words refer to the cups on a sports bra. Compression cups aren't sized like regular bras (e.g. 32FF, 34G, 36GG etc). Instead they have sizes like small, medium, large. The cups support by keeping the breast tissue compressed close to the chest, thus minimizing bounce. This works well for high impact sports. If you prefer your breasts to be separated then you need an encapsulation style sports bra which houses each breast in a separate cup.
Enell is a compression bra that supports by keeping the breasts close to the chest.
Wide Straps
While your band is still the most critical part of your support in a sports bra (if your band is too big for you in any bra then it can't support you enough and the pressure rests on your straps) you also want wider straps to disperse the impact of vertical movements like jumping and running.

Tapered Armpits
When you're working out you have a greater range of arm movements. If your cups come up too high towards your armpits the fabric can rub against you and chafe the skin. Lots of sports bras now have tapered armpits so that the edge of the cup doesn't rub. Panache Sports Bra is particularly good for this because they have also adjusted the position of the straps so that they don't slip on narrow or sloping shoulders.
The tapered armpit on Panache Sports Bra means you can move your arms through full rotation without chafing
Some sports bras have a J hook on the straps at the back so that you can create a racerback shape. This is a cross shape that reduces the movement of the bra even more.

Both Panache Sports Bra and Cake's Orange Zest Sports Bra have racerback options

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bras For Narrow Shoulders

Women of every size and shape can have large breasts and if you're someone with narrow or sloping shoulders then bras can be a strap slipping headache. Lots of bras have straps that are wide apart partly because of style and partly because not every manufacturer has figured out that just because someone has a large cup volume doesn't mean they're taller and wider than someone with a smaller cup volume. It can be so frustrating to find a cup shape and size that works for you only to have the straps slipping off your shoulders every 5 minutes.

A quick note about slipping straps. The most common cause of straps slipping is your band being too big. When your band is too big it can ride up your back and this slackens the tension of your straps and they gradually slip off your shoulders. If you know that your band and cup sizes are right and your straps keep slipping then it's most likely that you need a style with straps set closer together.

There are some full bust bras that are ideal for narrow and sloping shoulders. Here are some of our favourites:

Eva by Elomi  (34-40 E-JJ) - The outside panel of this bra has been extended so that it swoops up past the armpit and the straps sit about half an inch closer in on the shoulder than a regular strap position.
Eva by Elomi at Butterfly Collection

Etta by Elomi (34-40 E-JJ)- Etta is built on the same short torso friendly frame as Eva (by the way Eva has just been inexplicably renamed Yolande by Elomi - just to confuse everyone!). Not only do the straps sit closer in on the shoulders there's also a J hook in the back so that you can wear the straps as a racer back for the ultimate zero slipping straps!

Etta by Elomi at Butterfly Collection

Basic Beauty by Wacoal (32-38 E-GG)- This smooth cup bra has Wacoal's V back straps which means the straps are angled in a V shape at the back where they join the band. These straps sit about 1.5 inches closer in on the shoulder than a regular strap position and they really don't move no matter what you're doing. This style is very popular with our clients who have physically demanding jobs.

Basic Beauty at Butterfly Collection

Versailles by Lunaire
(32-38 E-G)
- Another smooth cup bra, the cups are a teardrop shape which means the straps are positioned at the top of the cups rather than to the outside edges. The straps sit about an inch closer in than an average strap position.

Versailles by Lunaire

Deco Vibe (28-38 E-GG) - This is the newest Deco basic by Freya and it comes as standard with a J hook in the back so that you can make your straps immovable. Without the J hook the straps are in a pretty standard position but I think it's great that more and more styles are becoming available with the J hook for those people who really need to adapt the straps.
Deco Vibe Blush at Butterfly Collection

Not every size is covered in these suggestions but there is an accessory that can stop straps slipping on any bra. A strap holder is a piece of elastic that you loop over your straps and it keeps them in place. What I like about the strap holder is that it stretches as you move so it's flexible. It's not a solution that everyone wants so as we get more close set straps styles for small bands in the H+ ranges we'll let you know xx