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Let’s Talk Sports Bras

Did you know that breasts don’t come with built-in support? That means things can get painful and uncomfy during movement—which is why a sports bra is your best friend. The right one will keep you snug and supported as you move, so your workouts stay distraction-free. But with all the options, which one’s for you? A lot goes into the big decision—here’s everything you need to make the call.

Support Level

Light, medium, or high support? The right level for you may seem like a mystery, but we’re breaking it all down, from your sport to your chest size. While each level does something a little different, the most important thing to keep in mind: it’s all about how you want to feel. Here’s what you’ll find at each support level.

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Light

The barely-there feel of a bralette, but with a better grip on the girls. Good for smaller chests and workouts with slow and steady movements like yoga, Pilates, and heading out for a hike. So wearable, you might just make it your everyday bra.

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Medium

Now let’s ramp it up a bit. With a tighter hold, thicker straps, and more coverage to keep it all in place, this is the most versatile support level. Perfect for sweaty stuff like training, spinning, dancing, and workout class.

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High

If you’re looking for total lockdown, this is the one. Between super-snug material and straps made to take weight off of shoulders, high support is great for larger chests and big-time moves like team sports and anything with a lot of jumping. If you’re on the busty side, high support might even be your go-to for all activities, big or small.

Support Type

Just like support level, the type of support you need is all about how you want to feel—and with two different options, there’s a little something for everyone.

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Encapsulation

A fancy word for separated cups. With each breast in its own compartment, motion stays to a minimum. Best for larger chests and high-impact sports.

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Compression

Your classic tight squeeze. Breasts are held against the chest with material made to feel comfortably snug. Best for smaller chests and low-impact workouts.

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Encapsulation

A fancy word for separated cups. With each breast in its own compartment, motion stays to a minimum. Best for larger chests and high-impact sports.

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Compression

Your classic tight squeeze. Breasts are held against the chest with material made to feel comfortably snug. Best for smaller chests and low-impact workouts.

Alright, that covers the breasts (literally), but there’s even more to choose from when it comes to your perfect sports bra: thin versus thick straps, underwire for extra hold, seamless bras for total comfort, pockets(!), and sweat-wicking fabric, to name a few. As always, the big decision is all about what feels good to you.

Fit

Without the right fit, even the perfect sports bra won’t do the trick. To be sure it passes the fit test, throw it on and check out these key areas:

The Band and Straps

If the underband stays put when you raise your arms, you’re good to go. It should sit level on your ribs with enough room for two fingers underneath. Straps should feel secure and barely-there—no digging or slipping.

The Coverage

Make sure the fabric’s got you fully covered without gaping, bulging or, you know, squishing the girls.

The Hold

Do five jumping jacks (or any move you’d normally do in a workout). Too much bounce? Go for a higher-support style, a wider strap or a trusty racerback.

The Band and Straps

If the underband stays put when you raise your arms, you’re good to go. It should sit level on your ribs with enough room for two fingers underneath. Straps should feel secure and barely-there—no digging or slipping.

The Coverage

Make sure the fabric’s got you fully covered without gaping, bulging or, you know, squishing the girls.

The Hold

Do five jumping jacks (or any move you’d normally do in a workout). Too much bounce? Go for a higher-support style, a wider strap or a trusty racerback.

Care

So, you’ve found the one—now what?

Proper care will give your new sports bra a long and happy life. The salt in sweat can cause fabric to wear over time, so it’s important to wash right after use. There are a few ways to do this—all materials are a little different—so checking the label is a great place to start. If you’re still not sure, we have some tips for keeping it clean.

Washing

Whenever possible, hand washing is your best bet for a gentle clean. It’s okay if you want to hit the laundry, just be sure protect from wear and tear by hooking the clasps, removing the pads, tossing into a garment bag, and washing on delicate.

Drying

Just like washing, it’s best to leave machines out of it—an air dry will preserve your sports bra’s materials, color, and shape. Plus, it’s pretty simple: just lay your bra flat on a towel or hang it from the middle over a shower rod or hanger. If the dryer is a must, use a garment bag and stick to tumble dry on low. Your bra will thank you.

Congrats! You’re officially a sports bra pro—now let’s use that knowledge to find you the one.

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Looking for a Girls’ Sports Bra?

If it seems like she’s ready for a sports bra of her own, we got you. Find info on everything you need—from fit to support level—so you can stay active together.

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Light Support

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Medium Support

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High Support

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Girls' Bras

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