Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Support system

It was quite the unfortunate sight: My barely there breasts hanging lifelessly in the too-big sports bra underneath my compression shirt.

I hadn't thought much of my wardrobe choice for BODYPUMP on Saturday - I was too busy assembling good ju-ju (my "push" present from Mark and a necklace my dad always wore) to think about what I was wearing. However, as I was working on the squat track before class, I noticed that it looked like someone dropped two M&Ms down my shirt with little consideration.

Thank goodness, we only had two participants that class to witness my embarrassment but it didn't stop me from resolving to get new - and better - sport bras.

Here's what I have been wearing:

The handful

This is the one and only handful bra, with the original design that combines function, feel and fashion, and supports you from workout to weekend! The removable pads have you covered from warm-up to cool-down so you've got one - make that two - less things to worry about. It flatters without flattening as a sports bra and as a feminine layering piece. The handful bra supports you when you want to look, feel, and perform your best.

When they say designed to "flatter not flatten," they weren't kidding. This bra actually makes it look like I have something going on. And not just something - two things! It's for that reason that the handful has become my go-to bra for BODYPUMP. Call me vain but I feel much better standing up in front of a group of people when I feel good about the way I look. The padding also provides another benefit to such a situation - no need to worry about it being, umm, too chilly.

I've also worn this bra for short to medium runs, and there are no complaints to be had.  This criss-cross straps provide just enough support for me and don't peek out from underneath a racerback tank. I had no problems with chafing or digging, even with the unseasonably warm temperatures of May.

If I had to lodge a complaint about this bra, it's that it definitely feels like underwear to me. I was compelled to go sans tank on one particular morning and felt self-conscious that I was too bare.

Note: I received the handful bra for free to review on this blog but all opinions are my own.

Lucy bra

As I've had this gal for nearly two years, I didn't see one like it on lucy's site but I have to say, she's looking good at her age. I have had no issues with fraying seams or worn fabric. It's a size small and feels small for a small but (almost) in a good sort of way. When I had more on top, I didn't feel like I had to worry about things bouncing too much or flying loose. It's compression that does that but when I'm running 12 miles, I'm not going for looks like I am during BODYPUMP.

The one lesson I've learned with this bra is that having a colored sports bra (it's blue) can pose a challenge when getting dressed hurried at 5 a.m. to squeeze in a run before Miles gets up.

Asics Cross Back Bra

Support, breathability & stunning good looks are created through encapsulation cups, cross-back straps, light fabric, and a stay-put chest band.

I loved this bra. I really did. It didn't chafe. It didn't smell immediately after a run. It had a snug fit without digging in.

 The problem is that I picked it up at ladies' night at the running company when I was at least seven months pregnant. I had bigger boobs then and even bigger boobs when I was nursing. Now, as I've repeatedly mentioned, I am not so gifted and I have quite a bit of space leftover. I wear it every now and again in a pinch but only when I can't find my  handful or lucy bras.

The cheapos

We all have these - the bras you pick up at Target or a department store on sale. The bras are mostly nylon but have great stretch and come in a million different colors. They are a lot of fun to buy, especially when you are new to working out and new gear offers a fantastic incentive to keep going.

After a while, though, they start to smell and lose their color and their shape. They don't hold the motivation they once did. And if they ever offered support, they give out.

The two I have are definitely on their last straps, so to speak, and when I finally get the guts to toss them, I'll be down to two bras. TWO. Two to get me through 6 workouts each week. If I was any good at math, I would say that would equal a lot of laundry for someone in my house. And Mark does enough loads each week to provide clean clothes for a soccer team.

I started browsing/pricing bras but feel a bit overwhelmed - especially when many of the so-called good ones cost upwards of $40 or $50. Why don't you make it easier on me? Tell me what kind of sports bra you wear and whether you'd suggest it.

And to make it worth your while, the fabulous ladies at handful are offering one Healthy Strides reader a bra of her choice (subject to color and size availability). Simply comment on what kind of bra you wear.

One additional entry may be received for doing one of the following:

Following me on twitter. Please leave a comment telling me that you have done so.
Following handful on twitter. Please leave a comment telling me that you have done so.
Liking handful on Facebook. Please leave a comment telling me that you have done so.

Giveaway runs from June 19 to June 26, ending at midnight EST.   Entries after that will be considered null. The winner will be chosen via Random.org and will be announced Wednesday, June 27. Winner is responsible for contacting me hlthystrides at gmail dot com by Monday, July 1, or a new winner will be chosen.

40 comments:

  1. I wear two c9 bras layered from Target. They're cheap, soft, and I don't chafe. AT ALL (which is HUGE for me).

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  2. I cheap out on sports bras which is bad... I know. I usually wear Old Navy or Champion from Target. I actually really like the new seamless ones. I wear them even when I'm not working out but just too lazy to put on a real bra. So comfy. I also layer two most of the time just for the added support and since I'm still nursing, they girls tend to grow while I'm exercising. So yikes, can't have them flopping around.

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  3. You had me at the two M&M's comment. Ah, I love you.

    My sports bras are all from Marshall's or the Nike outlet. I wish I had names or styles for you, but I don't. I try not to spend more than $20 on a bra and usually just pick whatever is comfy at that moment.

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  4. I used to go the cheap route and then one time I just gave in and bought a couple of Nike sports bras - love 'em. They are for sure worth the extra $.

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  5. I really like the Title Nine women's clothing company for bras. I like their Less is More one, and there are a few others that I thought were super comfy, didn't smoosh me, but gave me support and modest coverage. I love that company, and just wish my budget allowed more frequent purchases.

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  6. Moving comfort. They fit really well and do what they're supposed to.

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  7. I don't like spending a fortune on sports bras either...but I have come to appreciate these from Under Armour....they don't "separate" but they are comfortable and offer a nice level of compression for those of us with a little more up top.
    http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/womens-seamless-essential-sports-bra/pid1221672-688

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  8. 100% handful bra wearer here! I love them.

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  9. Guilty of buying the cheap bras, but I have really good luck with the C9 from Target.

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  10. I have been wanting to try handful for a while - I've heard such good things about them! My favorites right now are cheap Fila bras, and I have a couple champions also that I don't like as well...it's a never-ending search for me.

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  11. I am in love love love with my Ibex merino wool sports bra. Got it on steepandcheap for a not-totally-outrageous price. Soft, comfy, nice color [maroon], machine washable, DOESN'T STINK EVER. It does get soggy rather than drying super-fast, but it's awesome for a 1-2 hour workout.

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  12. Following handful on twitter.

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  13. My sports bras are under armor now and I love them :) Crazy expensive but keep my chest from bouncing when I run

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  14. I wear c9 from Target. I know cheap but I like them.

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  15. I wear C9 from Target too. They work for me.

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  16. I'm a big fan of Title Nine and having me fit me there. I don't know what brands but they are always great.

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  17. I wear the Lululemon Tata Tamer and I have had to buy so many more because of my post baby changing body. I need some new ones!!! I also follow you on Twitter :)

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  18. I actually buy the Danskin Now sports bras that are $12 for two at Walmart. I LOVE them. I've got D's and these bras are surprising supportive. No chafing or anything. When I started running I was afraid I was going to have to drop a lot of money for a good bra and so far I haven't.

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  19. just "liked" Handful on Facebook....thank for the info...I hadn't heard of their company/product before. Can't wait to browse online!

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  20. I wear the Danskin from Walmart and love it

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  21. I have a cross back sports bra and love it, and would love another! I feel so supported in cross backs.

    Brittany (www.ahealthysliceoflife.com)

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  22. I have NO idea what type of bra I wear... but it's TIGHT. I need to reign those puppies in!

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  23. And I'm already following you on Twitter!

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  24. I wear the sports bras that Target sells, but would love to try the Handful sports bras!

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  25. I wear the C9 Sports Bras from Target and have a great Adidas one. I would love to try the Handful sports bra - the C9 bras are not very supportive.

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  26. I hate to admit it, but mine are the cheapo ones (I THINK hanes..or something) they come in a pack of three at walmart. Would love a proper sports bra though.

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  27. Moving Comfort makes excellent sports bras for all sizes. I buy a few at a time when they go on sale or clearance. I find a good sports bra makes all the difference with regards to how I feel about my looks when I'm running.

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