Over the past few years, more and more sports bras and brands have popped up on the activewear scene. With so many sports bras now available than before, it can be a little overwhelming.
Why it’s so important to get a bra that fits
According to a research study by the University of Portsmouth,the movement of a woman’s breasts during exercise can range from 4cm during a walk to 15cm when running. Besides breast pain, caused by poorly supported breasts and sagging, it can put women off working out. I think many of us can relate to that. We have all had those times when we have bought a sports bra that didn’t fit correctly or wasn’t properly designed for wearing during exercise.
A survey by the university’s Research Group in Breast Health (RGBH) found breasts were the fourth biggest barrier to exercise for women after lack of motivation, time and poor health. The research also showed that women changed the way they ran depending on the type of bra they wore. This only goes to show that a well-fitted and supportive sports bra will not only give your breasts that vital support it needs in medium to high impact exercises, but it could also make a difference to getting a PB on that run or lifting a heavier weight!
Reading this, I’m sure many of you may have been rigorously nodding your heads, remembering those bad experiences with sports bras. I myself am on the larger cup siz and while taking part in high impact exercises (running and Crossfit), I’m always on the hunt for a good sports bra that does the job.
Who are Pour Moi?
And this is where Pour Moi comes in. Pour Moi, a lingerie and swimwear brand, have recently launched several sports bra products. What I liked about the brand is it gave the vibes of having a female-empowerment ethos, which I loved.
The Empower sports bra
Interestingly, they sent me one of their newest sports bras – their Empower sports bra – which I was excited to try. This bra comes up to a size 40G. Typically larger sized women struggle to find sports bra brands that include them so I was quite impressed with this. However, upon trying my normal size, it was disappointing to note that the sports bra wouldn’t go over my shoulders. Digging into this, it seems others have experienced similar issues with this particular sports bra. It felt like this was a case of performative actions to make it look like they catered for larger bra sizes, when in fact they don’t.
Having returned that sports bra, I was kindly sent a different sports bra from another line: the Energy Empower bra. The fitting of this bra was much better, though on the smaller side.
The Energy Empower sports bra
If you do decide to go for this sports bra, my suggestion would be to go up a band and cup size to your usual size. Even following their suggested fitting guide, it was disappointing to see the fit wasn’t as good as Runderwear or Shock Absorber’s sports bra.
While sizing is a major factor when testing the Pour Moi sports bra, there were other things to note. Aesthetically, I liked the colour combinations and the idea of the convertible adjustable straps. If the sizing was better then the criss-cross function feature of the straps would have felt more comfortable on me.
The positive features
I do like my sports bras to have some padding and this was a good feature of the sports bra. The cups are made from breathable material, and although it doesn’t mention it, I did notice during my sweat-drenching turbo sessions on my bike and at Crossfit, the bra was sweat-wicking. Thumbs up from me for that.
The back also has a deep hook and eye system at the centre back, which is something I usually like as it helps provide good support. In terms of its promise of it being a sports bra for high impact sports, this definitely provided the support I needed. When I wore this at Crossfit and runs, I felt well supported and there was limited bounce from my breasts. The bra is underwired, which is also something to consider.
Overall, I felt that the addition of these sports bras to Pour Moi’s collection has been done with little thought into the sizing of its customers. A sports bra is very different to a normal day-to-day bra. Particularly with medium to high impact activities, the support is even more crucial to women. At least 70% of women wear the wrong bra size, causing pain, discomfort and sagging; brands need to play a part in this too.
From a public health perspective, sports bras are important if we want more women and young girls to become more active and get into exercise throughout their lives. And this means that brands that create sports bras spend much more time on the design process of their sports bra products.
The Pour Moi sports bra has a lot of potential as a good sports bra for medium to high impact sports and activities, but the brand needs to work on their sizing.
Mara Hafezi is a multi-hyphen millennial. She believes in female empowerment and stepping outside your comfort zones, while championing diversity. She loves endurance sports, especially ultramarathons and cycling. You can follow her on @mara.thefitlondoner.