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Updated 3 February 2021.

Can Sports Bras be Used for Everyday Wear? Historically sports bras were only considered for those hot sweaty workouts or sports sessions. But over more recent times they have become a fashion favourite. Visible on footpaths and in parks Australia wide.  More and more women are choosing comfort over cleavage and replacing their everyday bra with a sports bra.

As a rule, sports bras are not designed to be sexy. Hence are no competition for a black lacy number on a romantic night.  But when we think of the practicalities of looking after our breasts daily, sports bras can be a great alternative.

Benefits of a Sports Bra for Everyday Use

Support

The additional support is ideal for bigger busts and for anyone who is moving about lots in their daily activities. Be it chasing your toddler at the park or working in a physically demanding job such as nursing or gardening.  The last thing you want to be worried about is bouncing breasts. Or even breasts tissue spilling out the top of your bra as you bend over.

Sports bra’s used to be all about compression. Which often created the dreaded flattened look or uni-boob for bigger busts. Ok during a sweaty workout but not very flattering under your work shirt. Luckily, there are now many sports bras that are designed to encapsulate your breasts (like a firm hug!) and provide a great breast shape.  However, if your most comfortable sports bra does compress or flatten your chest. Or you like this minimising effect, this is fine. It is only cosmetic and there are no long-term consequences with wearing this bra style. After all comfort is Queen!

Comfort

Not only great for exercise. Many sports bras are wonderfully comfortable for wearing everyday if you make the best choice in style, size and impact level.  An amazing benefit is that sports bras are made from moisture-wicking, breathable fabric. Which is awesome on those warmer days to keep you cool rather than hot and sweaty in your normal everyday bra.

The straps on sports bras are designed to stay put. And can be wider or padded to prevent them digging into your shoulders. Modern technical designs and materials, make sports bras just as comfortable as their everyday counterparts.

Modesty

Sports bras offer great coverage than everyday bras. This not only helps with support but can also provide confidence to bend and twist without having to re-arrange your breast tissue back into your bra afterwards.  If you like low line tops but it is not appropriate to show extra cleavage at work, a discreet coloured sports bra or sports crop can be a great solution.

Style

Sports bras can also add creative styling to your outfit. Some have great back details which work well with low back tops.  There are also some trendy crops that can be worn alone in the summer, or under an open jacket.

Some designs are just meant to be seen!  Consider making a statement with a low neckline or low armhole tank in a dark colour with a bright or patterned sports bra.

What Features Should You Consider?

Colour

Are you looking to make a style statement, or do you need a neutral nude or white bra under a uniform?

Choose a colour that best suits your day. If your out with the girls consider a more fun colour to add a little brightness to your day. If you are standing in front of a class of years 7’s maybe something a little more modest. A white or light grey could work well.

Seamless Cups

Seamless cups can be more discreet under tighter fitting tops. If you don’t want your sports bra on show during your day, consider a seamless cup option.

If hiding your bra throughout the day is important you may need to consider the neckline, as sports bras often have higher coverage to the front. Try your sports bra on with your preferred top. Do a mirror check to make sure everything is OK before proceeding with your day.

Padding or Moulded Cups?

For the less well-endowed there are many sports bras with different degrees of padding or shaped cups to give you an extra boost.

Styles with removable padding can be a good option, as they give you the option to go with or without padding depending on your day ahead and how you feel.

Regular Straps or Racerback?

This feature completely comes down to personal preference.  Some women find it uncomfortable to wear a racerback style all day. Especially if it sits high up your back or close to your neck. For them regular back is the best choice.

However, if your work involves you regularly lifting your arms above your head a racerback sports bra can actually save you a lot of pain. The extra freedom of movement it gives your shoulders can make your work day much more comfortable.

Structured Bra or Sports Crop?

This is often a decision based on comfort and your own style choices. However, it is also worth considering the activities you will be involved in.

If you are going for a hike or leisurely bike ride with the kids a crop design could be good as you have the option of removing your shirt if it gets too hot. There are many stylish crops designs available which can easily be worn alone on a warmer day.

If your day involves a whole lot of movement where the girls are likely to bounce around. Then a structured sports bra is the best option. This will help prevent excessive breast bounce and the pain associated with it.

Underwired or Wirefree?

This absolutely comes down to personal choice.  If you always wear underwired everyday bras, then you would probably feel most comfortable sticking underwired sports bra. Same goes for wirefree.

I am personally a big fan of wirefree sports bras. I find them much more comfortable and just as supportive as their wired counterparts. As such I will always recommend wirefree for and everyday sports bra. Modern wirefree designs give the support of underwire with the comfort of wirefree

Level of Support

A sports bra designed for high impact sports like basketball are not usually that great for daily use.  High impact sports bras are designed to hold your breasts during the most intensive movements and can become uncomfortable after many hours of continuous wear.

However, sports bra design has really improved over time and there are now some great high impact bras that can be comfortably worn all day. If you find a high impact sports bra you love, try extending the time that you wear it and see how you go. It may just become your new everyday bra.

Overall low to medium impact sports bras are better suited to everyday wear. That said this does depend on both your bust size and what your daily activities involve.

My Favourite Everyday Sports Bras

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, it is all about support and comfort. Having a wardrobe of sports bras that you can wear every day to work or just out and about is not simply great for your breasts but also for your purse. As the number of your everyday bras can be greatly reduced.

In the busy lives we lead having one bra type that suits all is in my opinion a must. We women are great at multi-tasking. So why not have a sports bra that can do the same.

Yours in support

Amy x

Amy Jaffers

Amy is the face behind Sports Bras Direct, Australia’s largest sports bra website. She's a mother of two, outdoors lover and sports bra expert. Her life mission is to help active women get the support they need as well as assisting women in need through her charitable donations.

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Step 1: Measure your back size

With a non-padded bra on measure around your chest, directly below your bust.
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