One of the things that its so easy for the female traveller to overlook when packing – but which is so important for your comfort and health on the road – is a decent sports bra. Especially if you have a fuller bust, there are so many reasons that you’ll need the decent, bounce-free support that only a sports bra can offer. If, like me, you’re heading off on a long term trip this year, you may very well have no idea what you’ll get up to on your travels, but chances are that as you go any number of active adventures or sports will come your way. From hiking and cycling, to horse riding, sandboarding and even zip lining, something is bound to come your way that requires some decent support. Even if it doesn’t, a sports bra can be a god-send on a bumpy fifteen hour bus ride along unsteady roads, or a long day of sightseeing on foot. My favourite bra shop Bravissimo pointed out on their blog that “as there are no muscles in the breasts, if you exercise without the correct support, the ligaments can stretch meaning your boobs could have less uplift in the long run”. So, seriously, don’t overlook the importance of a decent sports bra for your trip – no matter how light you’re trying to pack!
If you read my post last summer, My Quest for the Perfect Bikini, about how much of a struggle it is finding a well-fitting bikini to give me full support on my travels, you’ll remember how helpful the lovely team at Bravissimo were in finding the right size. So, I headed straight there yesterday to seek out my perfect sports bra. A good fit is so important when it comes to sports bras, so even though I’d had a fitting last time I booked myself in for another one to make absolutely certain I was getting the right size.
Now is the right time of year to be buying a sports bra: even if you’re not heading off travelling, you may well be thinking about losing a little weight or trying to get healthier (like most of the world does in January). And it’s even better timing now, because until the end of this month Bravissimo are offering £5 off full price sports bras and sports swimwear!
The fitting team at Bravissimo are the most helpful I’ve ever dealt with. They don’t use any tape measures, because the volume of your boobs can effect the fit of a bra in spite of the measurements. Instead, my fitter Eleanor just took a look at my current bra and then tried me in a few different sizes to check which gave the best fit. The team also know their stock really well, which makes the search for a bra far quicker than it might be otherwise. The different brands can vary slightly in size, so although I’m still a 32FF in general, Eleanor was able to pre-empt which bras I might need a cup size bigger or smaller and bring the different sizes along for me to try, saving me loads of time. She was also full of tips about how to get the best support, and which bras might be best for which kinds of sports.
In the end – after trying on probably every sports bra in Bravissimo’s range – I settled on the fabulous Panache Sports Bra in a smart plain black. It’s actually available in a range of really nice colours, so there’s definitely one to suit all tastes, plus at a B-H cup there’s one to suit most sizes, too. As with most sports bras, the back sizes are a little smaller to ensure that your boobs are really secure when you’re active, so the Panache is snug but still comfortable. The cup sizes are a little smaller, too, so I went up to a 32G to make sure my boobs were properly fitting inside the cups.
By individually encapsulating your breasts in separate under-wired cups, rather than flattening them against your ribs like most sports bras, the Panache lifts and shapes your boobs, offering much more support than other bras. According to the label, it offers up to 83% bounce reduction, and it definitely performed well in my changing room jumping test! Most sports bras are designed for different levels of activity or for different sports, but the Panache offers total support making it a great all-rounder – perfect for travellers who never know what adventure they’ll be undertaking next.
It’s a really comfy sports bra, with wide, padded straps for extra support and comfort. The straps can also be clipped together to convert the bra into a racerback. The moulded cups give a great shape – none of the pointy boobs or squashed effects other sports bras can give – which means I can wear the bra under a t-shirt without it being obvious. The thickly padded material and large coverage mean that I can also wear the bra on it’s own as a crop top, for running etc, if I wanted to! Finally, the material is really breathable, especially at the sides and in the centre of the neckline, and it lets moisture evaporate easily for added comfort whilst active.
So, ladies, if you’re hitting the road on any kind of adventure this year, make sure you pick up a decent sports bra for the trip. Get a fitting, even if you know your usual size, to make sure that the bra you choose is going to give you proper comfort and support for the long haul, whether you choose to hike, run, cycle, ski, board or bunjee along the way! And don’t forget to head to Bravissimo before the end of January to get £5 off any full price sports bra purchase. Bargain!