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Sports Bra Fitting Essentials – Part 2: The Band

Last week’s article; Sports Bra Fitting Essentials – Part 1: Shoulder Straps gave you an in depth look at everything you need to know to ensure the best possible shoulder strap fit. This was the ‘First Pillar’ of the ‘Three Pillars’ of sports bra fit.

This week I will take an in depth look at the ‘Second Pillar’; the band. As I have said if you successfully achieve all three pillars you should have the perfect fitting sports bra. Woo hoo!

So, let us look at what I would call the ‘foundation pillar’, the band. Get the foundation right and you are well on the way to supporting the girls! Hmmmm, I am starting to think I should have done the ‘foundation pillar’ first. Silly me.

Not to worry. Read on to discover how to get perfect fitting sports bra band.

How Your Sports Bra Band Should Fit

It is a bit like finding the ‘goldilocks zone’. Not to lose and not too tight. You want you band to fit ‘just right’. 80% of your sports bras support comes from the band. It really is the foundation of our breast support. As such, it is important to get right.

So, how do we know when our band is just right? Before I answer it is important to realise that your sports bra band should fit firmer than the band of your everyday bra. It needs to support the extra load created from your bouncing breasts.

Your sports bra band should be a firm fit in a straight line around your torso. When it is correctly fitted do the ‘two fingers’ test. A well fitted band will allow you to place two fingers under the band against your rib cage. If you can’t it’s too tight!

Adjusting Your Sports Bra Band

If your sports bra doesn’t have a ‘hook and eye’ back clasp, then skip this section. If it does then read on. As with your shoulder straps there is a right way to adjust and set your band.

It is a common misconception that a new spots bra should fit well on a mid or tightest clasp setting. The theory being to get great support we need to ratchet things up to max. This can not only be uncomfortable it can damage your new bra.

Sports bras are designed to comfortably support you. Going tight not only offer little extra support benefit it can stretch your sports bra band making it less effective.

And if you stretch it what are your options? You got it, a new sports bra! Hence, it is quite the opposite. Your sports bra band should fit well on the loosest setting.

This will not only allow it to perform as designed without stretching. But as time takes its toll and your bra band inevitably does begin to stretch. You can compensate for this by tightening things up.

Common Signs of a Poor Fitting Sports Bra Band

Let us look at the possible reasons for and common signs of poor sports bra band fit.

  1. Your Band Rides up at the Back. This indicates that your band is too large. If it fits correctly it will ‘anchor to your rib cage effectively locking, you into position. To lose and the weight of your breasts at the front will pull your band up at the back. The solution; go down a band size.
  2. Your Band Feels Restrictive or Tight. As we know it is important for your band to fit ‘just right’. Tighter than your everyday bra but not so tight that you cannot breathe (remember the two fingers rule). It your band is set right but still feels uncomfortable tight or restrictive then go up a band size.
  3. Your Band Chafes. Unfortunately chafing is something many women suffer with. Everything fits just right but your sports bra still rubs. So painful! If this is you, consider a soft seam-free band to stop that friction. If you wear underwire try wirefree. Many wirefree styles offer soft wide bands without the rigidity of underwire. Allowing your band to move with you. Finally look for moisture wicking material to draw dampness away from your skin.
  4. Worn Band Elastic. Just like your shoulder straps there comes a time in every sports bras life when no amount of adjusting will return your bra band to its once perfect fit. Time and gravity wreak havoc on even the absolute best of band elastic. Unfortunately, there is only one solution to this problem. A new sports bra!

My Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about correctly fitting your sport bra band. Your sports bra band forms an important second fit or ‘foundation pillar’ in your search for the perfect fit. Get this pillar right and you have set the foundation of a great fitting sports bra.

Next week I will take a look at the third and final pillar of fit, the cups.

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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