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Does Your Sports Bra Need a Support Group?

A good foundation is hard to find.

While I was shopping for a new sports bra the other day, it occurred to me that this part (or, is it parts?) of the female anatomy is a multimillion dollar industry.

Over the course of a lifetime, each of us probably spends thousands of dollars harnessing and enhancing our assets.

I did some quick math and found that if you -- between the ages of 16 and 80 -- purchase an average of three bras per year at $30 each, you’ll have spent a whopping $5,760 over the course of 64 years. Add sports bras, special-occasion bras, tops with built-in bras and various other miracle-inducing accessories, and that figure can easily top $10,000.

The twins are expensive!

And you can spend far more than $30 on a bra, too.

Even sports bras in all their unglamorous and lace-free glory, can cost a nice chunk of change. I usually buy mine at TJ Maxx or in Cranberry. Lately, however, the selection hasn’t been plentiful, so I decided to venture to Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Cranberry Square shopping center to see what they had to offer.

I have noticed that, just like a bum-enhancing pair of jeans, good support is hard to find. When we’re exercising, most of us don’t want to be acting out a beach scene from Baywatch. So when I found Under Armour’s Women’s Endure model, I did something that I never do. I spent $45 on a sports bra.

Ouch!

No one will ever mistake me for Dolly Parton, but I’ve tried various styles from a variety of manufacturers, and most allow a little too much footloose and fancy-free activity. This particular model promised support based on cup size, a compression fit without creating the dreaded uniboob, criss-cross straps for added support and a front-zipper closure to make it easier to put on and remove.

I put the bra to the test that same evening at my step-aerobics class. To aid in my assessment, I enlisted the assistance of my classmates, putting them on bounce patrol.

In retrospect, I suppose that might have been a little weird. Perhaps I was a bit overzealous in my determination to provide an objective evaluation.

After an hour of high-intensity jumping and stepping, twisting and turning, Team Bounce and I decided that the bra did pretty well. It rated high on the anti-bounce scale, and it earned a near-perfect score on the jiggle meter.

At first I was worried that the front zip closure would come undone and I would unintentionally unleash my charms on the crowd. This proved a non-issue as the zipper held up just fine and came in really handy when I was ready to remove the wonder-under at home after class. Pull-on varieties can be very difficult to wrestle over your head when both you and the garment are sweaty.

I don’t know how well the bra will stand the test of time, but the online testimonials from the Under Armour site sound promising. I’ll still shop at the usual suspects in the hopes that there will be a bumper crop of reduced-price, quality sports bras in stock, but I know at least one model and brand that fills the bill.

Jill Riddle March 22, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Great writing once again. Thanks Leslie for the smiles!!!
Leslie Uriss Spehar March 22, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Thanks, Jill! I'm glad you enjoy the column!
Lori Silvester March 24, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Again, great article!
No name March 26, 2011 at 01:13 AM
This is SOOOOO true and I'm sure every gal reading this can relate! Yup, luv TJMaxx and Marshalls too, but have been also sneaking a peek at the REI sales rack anytime I'm at Settlers Ridge, or SSW. Various levels of support offered by cup size. Thanks for the laughs!!!

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