Boob Sweat

Tame Your Ta-Tas: In Search Of the Perfect Sports Bra

You want me to go for a run in THAT? (Image via Artful Bras Project)

Boobs. Chi-chis. Hooters. Sweater stuffing. Melons. The twins. Knockers.

It doesn’t matter what you call them: When it comes to working out, how you tame your ta-tas can make the difference between enjoyment and sheer torture.

I used to have a 38 DD chest. For the longest time, that measurement alone was the sole excuse I had for not working out. Good sports bras for girls like me just didn’t exist. Even when I doubled (or tripled) up on sports bras, I’d bounce everywhere. If someone invited me to go running, I’d automatically point at the girls and say, “Sorry, but if I did that, I’d probably get punched in the eye.”

Even now, with a 34 B chest, I struggle to find something that works for me. My boobs seem to have a mind of their own sometimes – I’m trying to go forward, and those two decide to bounce up and down. It’s embarrassing, uncomfortable and awkward. Really. there’s only so many times I can remind my male training partners, “HEY. My face is UP HERE.”

Whether a girl wants to take up running, yoga, mountain biking, kickboxing or crossfit, the perfect sports bra is a key wardrobe piece. So why, I ask, does it have to be so damn hard to find one?

It’s not for lack of selection. If you walk in to a clothing store, there’s almost always a selection of sports bras available. Even Victoria’s Secret is getting in on the action! I was shopping there the other day when a clerk offered to assist me with finding items. I told her I was shopping for a good sports bra, and she automatically pulled one off the rack and and squealed:

“I love this one! Isn’t it just so adorable?”

Adorable? When I’m sweating and cursing and trying not to die halfway through a marathon, looking cute is the last thing I ever, EVER worry about.

A good sports bra should keep the breasts close to the rest of the body to minimize bounce. It should have elastic around the ribcage that doesn’t chafe, and straps that don’t dig in to the shoulders. If it has an underwire, it shouldn’t poke. It should be made of a material that dries quickly and lasts through many workouts and laundry cycles.

If it’s “cute,” that’s a nice bonus. If it does all those things and makes you look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel, please let me know so I can buy a dozen in every color.

So many readers have asked me for suggestions on buying the perfect sports bra, and quite frankly, I’m starting to get embarrassed that I don’t have an answer for y’all. I can spit out a couple of brands that have kind of worked, but I’ve never been able to say anything with absolute confidence, especially for the beautiful variety existing from one female to the next.

So, for the sake of HelloGiggles readers everywhere, I’ve made a decision. For the next month, I will dedicate myself (and my mammaries) to scientific inquiry. I’ll be testing out sports bras in a variety of activities. I’ve also recruited girlfriends of different shapes and sizes to try out various brands of sports bras – real girls, just like you. Our bevy of boobs will run, jump, dive, twist, shimmy and bounce, all for you. In a month, I’ll report our findings in this column in hopes we can put this sports bra calamity to rest once and for all.

In the meantime, a note to my male training partners:

No, you can’t be an observer during the testing process, and…hey. HEY! My face is still UP HERE.

Sigh. This is going to be a long month.

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