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Jul 15, 2021

Shopping For The Girls Ain’t Easy

Looking for the best bra to support your girls can be quite a daunting task. Yes, shopping for the girls ain’t easy. 

Whether you are a size AA or DDD or F, finding a bra that not only supports you, but fits  comfortably against your skin and does not irritate while exercising, can be an all day task or a  continuous project. I call it a project, because I must try my bras on before purchase. I have  made it a ritual, or a self-care project, or an adventure that may take several months to find just  the right bra for my workouts. I currently have over eight bras that I interchange for my  workouts, but they may get ditched when the next new discovery comes along and I fall in love  with how it hugs my skin, or keeps the girls in just the right position while I do yoga, or while  I’m walking or whatever exercise I’m doing for that day. 

With each running stride, breasts move up and down and side to side making a butterfly pattern.  A good sports bra cuts any movement in half. Long term stretching caused by movement due to  an unsupported bra, can cause drooping. Who wants that? Let’s keep them as perky as possible  for as long as we can, shall we? 

It is important to note that it is beneficial to have certain bras for certain exercises. I have a yoga  bra, walking bras, running bras, an upper body workout bra, and a bra for yard work. The  different levels of workout should determine what level of support you need. 

Snug, but not too tight, a sports bra should fit tighter than a regular bra but shouldn’t restrict  breathing; you should be able to fit two fingers between the straps and your shoulders. Wrinkles  in the cup of the bra are bad. The fabric of the cup should be smooth. Wrinkles in the fabric are  usually an indication that the cup is too big. 

Any underwire should lay flat against the rib case, below your breast tissue, and should not pinch  or dig in. This is where it can get tricky. You want to make sure the bra does not irritate in this  area. Chafing can occur in the area below your breast tissue, so it is very important to monitor  this area once you have made a new bra purchase. Sometimes, it takes trial and error to find the  right bra. 

Test your bra: Raise your hands up over your head. If the band rides up, it’s usually a sign it’s  too big, though it is possible that the straps or the back closure may need adjusting. Move around. Before buying your bra, jump around and swing your arms. This is a time to test  for any pain, discomfort or irritation. With restrictions easing up from the pandemic, fitting  rooms are opening back up, so trying on bras before purchase will become available again. 

Just like our shoes have a lifespan, so does your sports bra. A sports bra should last around 30 – 40 washes, but the fabric will loosen each cycle, making it less effective. Never, never place  your bras in the dryer. Allow them to dry by laying flat or hang to dry.

Remember, you want support, but you don’t want to wear a bra that is binding and it is  uncomfortable for the sake of support. You should feel comfortable while simultaneously  ensuring your breasts are supported, can breathe, and your skin and breast tissue will thank you  for it! 

Self-care actions we can show our breasts is to massage them with a good oil, shea butter or  moisturizing cream after showering. The massage is a form of after-care after the workout. Happy bra shopping!

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.