Monday, February 4, 2013

How To Find The Perfect Running Bra (IMO):

We all know how difficult it is to find the perfect running bra, but I'm going to make it easy for you!  Just follow the steps below:
  1. Go to Elliott Street* in downtown Auckland.
  2. Enter the Rebel Sport store at ground level.
  3. Go past the counters on your right and turn right.
  4. Proceed about halfway up the long aisle and then turn right.
  5. Straight ahead of you hanging on the wall, you will discover the perfect running bra - that is, the Under Armour 'Armour Bra'
  6. Pick your size off the rack, try it on to double check, then go buy it.
  7. Warning: DO NOT buy the 34B whatever you do.  Those are all mine.  You can buy any other size you like!
  8. Second Warning:  DO NOT look at the price.  Just fork out the $120 and know you are doing the right thing! 

Honestly - I am so happy with my new Armour Bra - after running in it today and I didn't want to take it off!  I suppose it is going to have to be washed at some stage...

Even the ladybird on my shoulder likes it!

My quest for the perfect running bra has been going on since I started running (again) in Jan last year.  When I used to run the compression tops were enough support for me.  In your mid-forties they certainly are not!

Spot the difference!
At first I started out with this Bendon Sports Bra:

Although it is supportive, economical and I like the "underwire" ventilation, the cup doesn't fit me well, nipples show through, and it is just generally ugly.  Currently it is reserved strictly for emergencies.  No photo of me wearing it will ever be available.

Then I bought Lululemon's Ta-Ta-Tamer 2 - this has been my go-to sports bra for the last few months:

I bought the 34C, but due to all the running I've been doing I have gone down to a B cup.  Guess what?  Lululemon don't stock Ta-Ta-Tamers in B cups in New Zealand.  I would have bought one for every day of the week.  The only disadvantage I can think of about this bra is that the contoured straps don't convert to a racer-back style that comfortably, otherwise it is lovely.  I tried all their other bras and they either don't fit me as well or are not supportive enough for me for running. (I still love you though Lululemon!)

Recently I tried a Shock Absorber bra from Shoe Clinic - it looks really good but I couldn't find my size.  I am also interested in trying Moving Comfort's sports bras but haven't found a New Zealand stockist yet.

Meanwhile, while I was out shopping the other day I thought I'd take a quick innocent browse in Rebel Sport, and the rest is history.  My new Armour Bra is ultra comfortable while still being supportive, shapely, uplifting, compressing, immobilising and modest.  Plus it is a racer back style like most of my summer running tops - no more of this!:

Being a clothing designer type I always check out the construction and this bra has some clever design details:
a) satin faced elastic - so smooth next to the skin, and
b) anti chafe seam tape - also satiny and smooth:

c) underarm mesh insert to increase evaporation/prevent chafing.  It also conceals any unsightly overhanging skin - genius!  All bra designers please take note!

d) I love it's futuristic sporty style - charcoal with a splash of colour (each cup size is a different colour - B=blue), metallic flatlocking, coloured hooks and eyes - so cool it can be worn alone:

e) it is beautifully made - look at all that nice neat stitching, super flat and anti chafe:

And the negatives?  Well, I'll try to think of something...
? hard to do up hook and eye - it was tricky the first time, but I've got the hang of it now.
? cost - if it does the job well, I'm prepared to pay whatever!
? no fancy colours or patterns... 
As you can see I'm really pushing for negatives here - there really aren't any!  This is just a great running bra full stop.
And I'm a very happy customer.
Well done Under Armour!

Have you found your perfect running bra yet?  Have you tried this one, or is another brand your favourite?

* Any Rebel Sport or Under Armour retailer will do :)

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