Busting a move (while moving a bust)
June 16, 2009 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Advice on sports bras for the bustier woman?

My wife's in pretty good shape, generally speaking -- a good diet and a steady regimen of yoga, Pilates and weighted-walking exercise DVDs keep her fit -- but she's also very well-endowed in the bust department, enough so that high-impact aerobic exercise can mess up her back pretty good, as can prolonged walks, etc. She's never had any luck finding anything like a sports bra for somebody in her cup size (40 DD).

I'm mainly looking for suggestions on how she can go about getting brassiered up for fitness, with bonus points for Internet-driven suggestions or places in Montreal she could go (we're in Sherbrooke but in the big city not infrequently). Secondarily, ideas on how she can work more cardio into her life while carrying "the girls" would be welcome. Thanks!
posted by Shepherd to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The gold standard source for women's sports bras is Title Nine Sports. Great selection, and wonderful service. Have her give them a call and talk with them about what sports she's doing and what her concerns are. They'll be able to get her in a bra that really fits.
posted by anastasiav at 9:25 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As a very busty woman (about the same size as your wife) who rides horses on a regular basis, I am happy to recommend Nike's selection of sports bras. They seem to run very true to size, so you may be able to check the selection online.

Very sturdy nylon/spandex that holds the girls in place without feeling too binding around the rib cage. Mine's a one-piece "racer-back" style without any hardware to rub against the shoulders or back. Cleans up great in the cold-water wash using a lingerie bag.

Good luck!
posted by Cookbooks and Chaos at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2009

I'm the same size, and I do a lot of treadmill and leisure walking for cardio vs. running or jogging. My current bra favorites are from Old Navy. You can also try Just My Size. Remember that they are supposed to fit snugly...it's going to feel weird and restrictive at first, not like a regular bra.
posted by JoanArkham at 9:30 AM on June 16, 2009

Best answer: Moving Comfort is the brand you want. I'm not as busty as your wife, but I'm endowed enough to make running troublesome without good support, and the Fiona model is my go-to bra. I've heard many a larger-chested woman swear by Maia, so that may be the bra you want. Both models are adjustable and have back hooks so you don't get the bra stuck over your head or in your armpits. Lots of running specialty shops and some big-box sports stores have a decent selection of Moving Comfort bras.

Title Nine (on preview, already linked above) has a wonderful bra selection too, including Moving Comfort.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:30 AM on June 16, 2009

On reading the replies, I feel that I should point out that I'm a cheap bastard and the other suggestions are probably more appropriate for someone who is more serious about exercise.
posted by JoanArkham at 9:34 AM on June 16, 2009

As a busty woman who does lots of bounce-up-and-down exercise, I could not live without my Enell bras. They definitely give you the dreaded uni-boob, but I'll take that happily in exchange for not moving. an. inch. Seriously - these things are awesome. They are pricey, but well worth the investment - and they last a long time. Title 9 sells them, as do many other retailers.
posted by dirtmonster at 9:35 AM on June 16, 2009

In agreement with metroid baby: Moving Comfort bras have become the gold standard for me (I love the Fiona bra, too). And while I've not personally tried them, Enell bras are supposed to be great, too (though not the most attractive garments on the planet).
posted by lovermont at 9:35 AM on June 16, 2009

Enell, Enell, a thousand times Enell. I'm a little more busty than your wife (44DD) and my Enell holds everything in place and lets me jog without giving myself two black eyes.
posted by palomar at 9:37 AM on June 16, 2009

Best answer: You might find this previous thread useful.

I'm the same size as your wife. My absolute favorite is the Athena bra by Title Nine Sports. Enell is a close second. Not cheap, but well worth it if she wants absolutely NO bounce. Highly recommended!
posted by velvet winter at 9:38 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Secondarily, ideas on how she can work more cardio into her life while carrying "the girls" would be welcome. Thanks!

Swimming! I'm a busty exerciser and it's so nice to get to do a really awesome workout and NOT have it turn into back pain or shoulder pain. When I'm walking or cycling, I have a Champion sportsbra with underwire support sort of like this. It looks like they have five "high support" models in her size in a few different styles. Mine's pretty snug, but I definitely can use it to do any sort of exercise withough soreness and it's comfy enough that I can wear it day-to-day if I needed to (i.e. out hiking or something)
posted by jessamyn at 9:43 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Title 9 folks helpfully rate their bras for support. Anything in the highest category should work for her - those are some serious bras!
posted by gingerbeer at 10:15 AM on June 16, 2009

Count me in as another vote for Enell. I'm larger than your wife, and the Enell bra is as secure as my breasts will get without removing them. I'm not going to lie, it's not an attractive garment, nor is it easy to get into, but once you're in, you're in for the duration.
posted by crankylex at 10:15 AM on June 16, 2009

Best answer: Thanks for reminding me of the second bit of the question, Jessamyn. Seconding the swimming suggestion.

I am a 36G, and love, love, love my Zumba class. A few of the moves involve bouncing, but most of it is of the non-bounce variety, but still very cardiovascular-ly challenging. I take it at the university wellness center - The link above has a place to search for classes taught by certified instructors, but you might also check your local Y.
posted by dirtmonster at 10:18 AM on June 16, 2009

i, and several busty women of my aquaintence are really quite happy with decent exposures.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:19 AM on June 16, 2009

Enell, Enell, Enell. 34D, post breastfeeding, and I'm training for a half-marathon, and they keep me in place. Also, people say they are ugly but I kind of like the row of hooks and eyes.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:20 AM on June 16, 2009

nthing the Athena from Title Nine! My SO is bustier than your wife, very athletic, and swears by this bra. After years of searching, once she found the Athena, she swears she'll never wear anything else.
posted by spinturtle at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2009

Another plug for Enell. They're pretty hardcore sports bras. I've also had good experience with Nike's zip-front bra.
posted by jacquilinala at 11:51 AM on June 16, 2009

I came here to recommend Moving Comfort, and see that several others already have. The Athena bra mentioned above from Title Nine is a Moving Comfort bra, and as far as I can tell they have stopped making it (I tried to place an order and got an email later saying they are out of stock). When I went to See Jane Run to ask, I was told that the Fiona bra is the replacement for the Athena. Fiona is pretty damn good, though I still think the Athena was just a bit sturdier. I think I'm still getting used to adjusting it correctly, though, and once I think I will go a size smaller to make it tighter on my ribcage. I'm pretty happy with the Fiona overall, and I play soccer several times a week so I need a very good bra.

If your wife tries out these various suggestions and finds the right bra, she should be able to do whatever cardio she wants and not be limited by bust discomfort.
posted by JenMarie at 12:30 PM on June 16, 2009

Best answer: I'm bustier than your lady and the D+ Max Shock Absorber has been pretty good for riding and cycling. I've got a narrow back and it's really hard to find support in that size range but this one works for me.
posted by freya_lamb at 12:48 PM on June 16, 2009

I can't really top the suggestions that you've gotten already, but as you've noticed most of the bras suggested are available online (and hard to find in bricks and mortar stores, even those that special in women's sporting apparel). I don't know where you're located, but if your wife would like to try a bras on for size, I just today noticed that the local City Sports now has a pretty decent selection of sports bras, up to and including 40DD. These include bras supportive enough for high impact cardio. I was in a hurry, but I did notice that of the bras listed I think that I saw the Fiona.
posted by kaybdc at 12:48 PM on June 16, 2009

another from title nine - the frog bra. there will be zero bounce. i originally learned about them from a FtM transgendered person. apparently it's the best minimizer on the planet.
posted by nadawi at 12:51 PM on June 16, 2009

I say this every time this comes up (42DDD here) - Moving Comfort Maia. It has floating underwires and is extremely sturdy. I got mine at Title Nine. (Note: I would love to wear a Frog bra, but I can't actually get INTO it without wrenching my shoulder. I need the hooks.)

I run, ellipticalize, lift weights, and do yoga in the Maia. The underwires have never once poked me and I don't feel any bounce. Once you hit a D-cup, I think most sports bras create the solid chunk of BREASTS OMG that sways from side to side, but a good bra will make that only a sideways motion and not the up-down that hurts so much.

I will warn your wife that, while swimming is awesome for the well-endowed, I find swimming laps in an underwire swimsuit to be uncomfortable. They're OK for water jogging, though.
posted by catlet at 2:14 PM on June 16, 2009

She might also try going down a band size or two. The shoulder straps shouldn't be providing any of the weight lifting or support so if they are the bra is too big around.

If they are just cutting into her shoulders because they are too short that is a whole other problem and one bra makers haven't addressed very well for us tall women at all. I have a Moving Comfort and it's fine for a few hours but the straps are too short to wear for much longer than that. I can't even get into the Enell bra.
posted by fshgrl at 6:52 PM on June 16, 2009

Response by poster: Follow-up question from her: most of these resources are American sites without any opportunities for her to try stuff on. I think she's wrestling with the notion of buying bras online, especially given the expense, exchange rate, and probably sticky exchange policies if she's not happy with the purchase.

That's not a question as much as a concern, I guess, but is there anything you'd suggest in terms of being sure that the bra is right before she orders it?
posted by Shepherd at 7:30 AM on June 18, 2009

decent exposures' customer service policy is pretty user-friendly, and they're very helpful for fitting and measuring issues before you order.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:26 AM on June 19, 2009

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