Girls with boobs know—finding a supportive sports bra that’s flattering and can stand up to the dressing room bounce test is a nearly impossible task.
For a very long time, it seemed that “support” and “sexy” couldn’t go hand in hand; if your girls were any larger than a B-cup, you were destined to wrestle your way into frumpy, high-necked sports bras that smooshed your ta-tas together to create an unflattering uni-boob.
Sure, these tight and ugly bras might get the job done, but they’re so tight that they inhibit movement, which isn’t ideal if you’re doing anything that requires moving your arms (last time we checked, that’s almost every workout). And if you decide to say, “F*ck it,” and rock a sexy little bralette to your a.m. spin class instead, you’d be stuck dealing with a very distracting boob situation … Not to mention permanent damage to the ligaments that keep your breasts looking perky. When your options are either to rock a grandma bra for an hour or deal with saggy boobs forever, that ugly sports bra doesn’t seem so bad.
Thankfully, brands like Nike and Under Armour are finally hearing us. “Almost 80 percent of women aren’t wearing the proper size sports bra,” explained Nike Women’s head designer. “We usually see women wearing a cup size too small and band size too large—and that’s not giving them the support they need.” Instead of letting female consumers continue to buy the wrong sized bra, Nike developed an entirely different type of sizing that’s based on cup and band size instead of sizes like small, medium, and large. Walk into any store
Instead of letting female consumers continue to buy the wrong sized bra, Nike developed an entirely different type of sizing that’s based on cup and band size instead of sizes like small, medium, and large. Walk into any Nike store and a trained associate will fit you into the perfect sized Nike bra, or check out the online Bra Fit Finder if you’re trying to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals.
I understand the agony of finding a well-fitting sports bra. Ever since I hit puberty, I’ve had two bra drawers—one for the three weeks of the month when I’m a solid B-cup, and one for the one week a month when my boobs inflate to an uncomfortable size D-cup. It happens quite literally overnight (thanks, PMS!), and while this side effect can sometimes work to my advantage, the extra cleavage usually just gets in the way of everything I enjoy doing.
When I did the math a few months ago and realized that I’d be rocking D-cups while I ran the New York City Marathon, I did what any woman would do—I bought almost every bra on the market and tested it out on a long training run. It was the dressing room bounce test multiplied by a million … but it was so worth it. These were the best bras I could find that got the job done, weren’t completely suffocating, and were actually kind of sexy.
This bra won my heart immediately. It’s no frills, sleek, and really comfortable. I prefer a little compression in my sports bras, and this one offers the perfect amount without smooshing the girls together. Plus, the cut is really flattering—there’s no “back fat” that hangs over the edge of the bra, and it shapes your breasts without adding unnecessary padding.
Typically I don’t gravitate to sports bras that look like traditional hook-and-eye bras, but this one was too comfortable and sexy to pass up. Unlike most granny-style high-impact bras, the adjustable shoulder straps are thin but supportive. And there’s just enough shaping in the cups to make it look like you’ve got two boobs (bye, uni-boob!) without making you feel like you’re wearing a push-up bra.
This might be the least sexy of the options on this list, but man does this bra have die-hard fans. Because you pick your size based on your actual bra size (much like Nike), it fits perfectly. For some reason, it’s sold as a “lacrosse” bra—literally no clue—but my bustier friends love this option because it’s sturdy and allows zero bounce.
A hybrid between a traditional bra and a sports bra, this high-support garment has an adjustable band that allows you to tighten for more support. It’s really flattering on, but if you’re worried about showing cleavage at the gym it might not be for you.
I love that lululemon always makes an attempt to build sexy high-support bras. Check out the detailing on the back of the Run: Stuff Your Bra—it’s open and strappy, which is totally trendy right now, but it still offers tons of support.
OK, I know I was bashing high-necked styles before, but this one is stylish! The cut does offer a bit more support if your cups runeth over, and Adidas always uses the best compression materials that offer just enough stretch but still hold everything up.