My First Date With Erica (The Sports Bra Story) - Among Other Things (The Blog)

My First Date With Erica (The Sports Bra Story)

Okay, confession time: I’ve been wearing the same style of my standard go-to sports bra for several years now…

how-to-look-cute-when-you're-working-out

They get the job done, so there’s that — but I guess it’s partially because I’ve never seen the need to get fitted for a sports bra. (Small, medium, large. Pretty simple to figure it out, right?)

More storytelling today, guys. Settle in:

So, when an invitation from Wacoal — a line of intimates and shapewear — landed in my inbox about getting a fitted for a sports bra, I jumped at the opportunity.

wacoal-sports-bra-for-women-review

… Okay, that’s kind of a lie.

I really didn’t want to go. Or rather, I didn’t see the need. Like I said – my bras get the job done: Compression fit, size large. We good!

“I know my size,” I told them. “I’m all set.”

wacoal-sports-bra-for-bigger-boobs

… Long story short, I went.

And boy, I’m so glad I did – because I was totally and completely wrong about it all. Ha!

soulcycle-instructor-hallie-w

As a fitness professional — and someone who’s always been bigger in the bust department — I’m actually a bit embarrassed to admit that it’s taken me this long to get properly sized for a sports bra. (Get this: I was one of those girls who would wear two sports bras when running!)

While my teaching career at SoulCycle continues to grow, athletic apparel has moved to the fore-front of my wardrobe – and rightfully so. But with my arsenal of Soul-branded tanks, spandex and more has evolved an even greater essential: Really good sports bras.

Almost any type of physical activity can cause your boobs (breast tissue) to stretch over time — especially during fast, high-impact exercise. I actually read that a D cup can bounce around up to two or three inches during rigorous exercise! (Smaller cups are up to one to two inches, which is still a lot.)

rag-&-bone-jean-perfect-tee-shirt

So, anyway: I obliged and made my way to Macy’s on State Street for a Saturday afternoon date with Erica, Wacoal’s on-site intimates specialist.

I met her on the third floor and she led me into a dressing room, where she took approximately 35 seconds to measure my bust. Quick and dirty, Erica… That’s how I like it! (Just kidding.)

She was sweet about it, but she hit me with the facts: I was, indeed, wrong. In fact, I’d been wearing the incorrect regular bra size. Apparently, I’m a 34D and I thought I was a 36C.

Shit!

nike-trainers-in-chicago

Once we were set on sizing, she disappeared to the floor for a minutes and brought back a handful of options for us to get started on.

There were a few brightly colored ones that I really loved, but admittedly, most of them I immediately brushed off as “just not my style.”

“No thanks,” I told her.

Full-coverage with wide straps [pictured below]? Nude-colored? I’d just never wear it.”

wacoal-sports-bra-for-women

Erica encouraged me to try them on anyway, though, assuring me I’d like them better once I’d felt the difference.

… And what do you know, she was right.

It was a revelation, really. I didn’t even feel the thing on my body! Wacoal’s “Clear Comfort Contour” sports bra ended up being my favorite of the bunch — and it actually doubles as a super subtle t-shirt bra, too.

In all, I probably tried on more than ten different bras — including my absolute favorite style (that I wrote about in this post about where I shop for workout clothes), b.tempted’s mesh bra. I bought it in every color last year!

mesh-sports-bra

Of the loot, one of the bras actually had the under-wire on the outside. This was another style I didn’t want to initially try, and while the difference was so subtle, it made all the difference in the comfort department. They actually look cuter on the body, too.

The lesson? Don’t judge a book (bra) by it’s cover.

I also learned that the compression sports bras I have been wearing most of my life (standard “shelf” bras) are better for smaller cup sizes (A or B) or for low- to moderate-impact exercises. Sports bras with individual cups are better for bigger-busted gals, she informed me.

nike-legendary-tights-for-womenreal-good-juice-smoothie-bar-chicago

When I initially agreed to work with Wacoal to talk to you about their line of athletic bras, I wasn’t at all intending to focus my story on the actual fitting experience — but I learned so damn much that I simply couldn’t not share.

If you think about it, bras are kind of like blue jeans — for many of us, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. (Which reminds me: Erica has informed me that my left tit is bigger than my right. “They’re sisters, not twins.”)

female-nike-fitness-trainers-in-chicago

Back to the bras, though… Just because some of them are the same size doesn’t mean they’re going to fit the same. You know?

Let me tell you: The difference between a bra that kinda fits and a bra that really fits is pretty unbelievable.

nike-workout-pants

Beyond comfort and support, the benefits of wearing the right sports bra are really significant. Not only does it take the stress off your back – quite literally – a well-fitting sports bra actually enhances the way your clothes fit and feel.

And while we’re at it, you definitely shouldn’t be wearing the same bra to yoga as you are to run — that’d be like wearing ballet flats to run a half-marathon.

***

Have you ever been fitted for a sports bra? Would you consider it?

(Try Macy’s, Nordstrom or even Wacoal’s store locator. If you’d rather, you can also get advice on how to measure yourself using the website.)

size d sports bra for womenwacoal-sports-brareal-good-chicago-juice-bar

I’ve been wearing each of the ones seen in today’s post to teach my Soul classes (gotta practice what you preach), and I actually can feel a difference. Also, the comfort contour bra (i.e. the one I originally hated on the rack) is now my favorite t-shirt bra.

I’ll still wear my “other” bras, of course, but maybe just to yoga…

real-good-juice-co-chicago

On another note: Isn’t this juice bar the cutest?

One of the only places I’ve found in Chicago that cures my craving for after-workout green juice or smoothie is Real Good Juice Co. in River North (slash Old Town). That’s one of my BFFs — and a fellow SoulCycle Instructor — Kellen behind the bar!

Best acai bowls in town. Thanks, KK!

acai-bowls-in-chicago

*In this post:

Sports bras (c/o Wacoal)

Racerback sports bra in Iron, $48
Clear comfort contour bra in nude, $58
Underwire sports bra in coral and grey, $68
b.tempted active mesh bra in fuchsia, $36 (I have this in every color!)

Clothing and accessories

Colorful spandex tights: Nike (comes in two colors)
Black workout tank: Nike (on sale)
Grey tee: rag & bone/JEAN (also have it in white)
Ruched grey vest: CALIA by Carrie Underwood
Rose gold headphones: Frends ‘Layla’ headphones

wacoal-cute-workout-sports-bras-for-women

*Click to shop my Wacoal sports bra picks:

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Iron & Honey Photography

Thanks to Wacoal for partnering on this post.

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