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The Right Support: Choosing a Sports Bra for Optimal Comfort and Performance
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The Right Support: Choosing a Sports Bra for Optimal Comfort and Performance

JANUARY 31, 2024

THE RIGHT SUPPORT: CHOOSING
A SPORTS BRA FOR OPTIMAL
COMFORT AND PERFORMANCE





THE RIGHT SUPPORT: CHOOSING A SPORTS BRA FOR OPTIMAL COMFORT AND PERFORMANCE

Everyone who wears sports bras understands the struggle of finding one that fits you like a glove, makes you look and feel your best, and offers unbeatable support.

A bra of the wrong size can make the most simple tasks unbearable. They shift around, dig into your skin, and slip off your shoulders. They can deter you from being active and doing what you love.

At P.E Nation, we’re saying, “enough.” Use this guide to learn how to find the perfect sports bra that meets your every need—from comfort to support to iconic style.




THE ANATOMY OF A SPORTS BRA

How should a sports bra fit? And how do you pick the right one? First, let’s look at the key features of a sports bra:

  • Band – 80% of a bra’s support comes from its band, making it one of the most important features. Band thickness and material will both impact the amount of support the band provides.

  • Cups – Some sports bras have cups with an underwire for stability, while others are less defined for more freedom of movement. Some cups also come with extra padding that adds shape and reduces the appearance of nipple peaks—padding is less about support and more about desired looks.  

  • Straps – Sports bra straps can vary widely depending on style and functionality. Many sports bras include adjustable straps to allow for fine-tuned fits. Racerback and crossed straps are also popular options for support and aesthetics.

  • Clasp – Some sports bras go on over your head, while others clasp similar to regular bras. Clasps may be in the front or back and can include hooks or zippers.

When looking for a sports bra, break it down into these individual parts and decide which of the different types work for you—and which don’t. Do clasp hooks have a tendency to dig into your back? Look for a pull-on or zip-up design instead. Want support with a little shape? Look for bras with padded cups.

 

 





REMEMBER: MATERIAL MATTERS

Sports bras are gym bag essentials meant to support you through all types of physical activities, from an hour-long yoga flow to a half marathon. The common denominator, however, is sweat.

No matter how hard you’re planning to work out, you’re going to sweat, at least a little. That’s why breathable, quick-drying fabrics are essential to a good sports bra.

The one material you’ll want to avoid is cotton. Cotton holds onto your sweat and keeps you feeling chilly and damp. Instead, opt for materials that wick moisture away from your body, like polyester or nylon.




MATCH ACTIVITY INTENSITY TO BRA SUPPORT FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE

The right sports bra for you is not always the one with maximum support—it's the one with support that complements the type of activity you’ll be doing.

For instance, you don’t need a full-coverage, ultra-supportive sports bra for a quick Pilates session, but you’ll probably need one for a HIIT workout. To decide which of the different types of bras are best for you, follow this quick guide:  

  • For low-intensity activities such as yoga, look for lighter bras that allow for lots of movement, like P.E Nation’s Valley Sports Bra. In fact, you can also explore our guide on yoga outfits to make sure you’ve got your entire outfit on point.

  • For those high-impact sweat seshes, try something with a thicker band size and straps, like the Double Play Sports Bra. You can couple this sports bra with our various gym outfits, that way you’ll be sweating in both style and comfort.

 





HOW TO MEASURE YOURSELF FOR THE PERFECT BRA

Let’s face it—sports bra sizing can be confusing. Two bras of the same size can fit completely differently depending on their style. Sports bra sizing can also vary depending on who you’re buying from, and where in the world you are.

Online shopping can make it even harder to find the right sports bra that fits. That’s why it’s important to learn how to take accurate measurements of yourself at home.

The two measurements you’ll need to take are:

  • Band size – Measure around your chest, just under your bust, where the band of a bra usually sits.

  • Cup size – Measure around your back and over the fullest area of your bust, typically over the nipples.

To take your measurements, use a tape measure, or a piece of string that you can measure with a straight ruler later.

Remember, your bra size naturally fluctuates over the years for a variety of reasons, from weight change to pregnancy—it’s good to measure yourself periodically to ensure you have the perfect fit.

Once you know your measurements, you’ll have a stronger grasp on how a specific sports bra size works, and how it’ll fit.

 





FIND YOUR PERFECT BALANCE OF SUPPORT AND STYLE WITH P.E NATION

At P.E Nation, we know how important it is for bras to work for you, not against you. That’s why our sports bras are designed for maximum comfort and versatility, whether you’re practicing yoga, crushing your HIIT session, or heading out to brunch.

To discover your next favorite sports bra, browse our extensive catalogue. We make it easy with intuitive filters that will show you exactly what you’re looking for. Shop by color, activity, or fabrication to find your perfect sports bra today. You can also explore the rest of our activewear to complete your look, such as our women’s leggings and workout tops.

Eliminate the guesswork and start shopping with confidence with P.E Nation.  

 

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