A Guide to Sportswear for Curvy Girls
Shopping for sportswear is a fun but also daunting task as a curvy girl. For me especially finding the right-size sports bra can take some work. If you have a large cup size or back size and maybe even both, purchasing a bra that fits well can almost be impossible.
I am 5’4 with an hourglass figure and a large bust and small back size. I have faced many challenges over the years when shopping to find the perfect fitting bra. Including having one that would give me the right support and wouldn’t sag down after the first few wears. Another struggle is having a bra that fits my cup size and doesn’t leave a massive gaping hole between the material and my rib cage, or straps that don’t dig into my shoulder after wearing it for 30 minutes. It seems like a constant battle when trying to find the right fit and performance.
T-shirts and vests can also be tricky to shop for. Finding a shape that doesn’t make you look bulky, boxy or wide can be a task. Even having a top that doesn’t bunch up in the middle of your breasts during a workout because of the excess fabric. I’ve also struggled with finding leggings that fit my thighs but don’t have a gap in the waistband as well as having a waist band that fits and not being too tight on the thighs.
WHY SPORTS BRA FIT IS IMPORTANT
Having the correct support during a workout is very important. Physical activity causes your breasts to move continuously for a period of time, and with the wrong bra this could cause extreme discomfort especially if you have larger breasts. What I have found works best when it comes to support is a wide sports bra strap which would reduce the strain on your shoulders and minimises the shoulder dig that you may experience compared to a thinner strap.
When working out you want to be comfortable! You don’t want to keep on pulling up your bra straps, tucking your breasts back in constantly or feeling like the bra is too tight or loose. Being comfortable allows you to focus on the workout that you are doing and makes you feel confident. It keeps your mind focused and on the ball. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a high intensity workout and having to constantly adjust.
You want to walk into a class or the gym feeling confident and ready to smash your workout, not to be worrying about the way you look and feel in your gear. This confidence allows you to thrive and really reach your goals. For me I find feeling good in my gym gear motivates me to go to the gym (and also take a couple cute gym selfies).
TOP TIPS WHEN LOOKING FOR A SPORTS BRA
According to adidas, studies have shown that 80% of women aren’t wearing the correct bra size. It’s important, ladies, that we are measured properly and finding the right sized bra so we’re able to complete a workout with self confidence and support.
Racerbacks and re-adjustable straps
Racerback bras are a must as they give more support for a larger bust. They are designed to lift from the middle of the back which distributes the weight across the body. The strap is central so there is also no risk of the straps falling down to the side when working out. Re-adjustable straps are great for added support when needed and a level of support of your own choosing.
As I mentioned earlier look for wide straps as it reduces the strain on your shoulders and also minimises the dig into your shoulders.
Sports bras measured in cup size
Look for bras that have cup sizes and try and steer away from the generic, Small Medium & Large sizing. As most bras are measured in a generic way, always have a look at the size guide to give yourself a more in depth understanding of the sizes.
Consider the level of impact
It’s important when picking a bra that you consider what type of exercise that you are doing as for example you do not want to pick a low impact bra for HIIT classes. As this would not give you the support you need. Consider whether your activity is high impact, low impact, or medium impact, and shop from there. Always have a look at the materials and pick accordingly to the level of impact.
GREAT BRANDS FOR BIGGER BUSTS
Triumph’s Special design features include comfy wide straps to support larger chests, feather-light padding and it’s cleavage-enhancing design hugs your curves in all the right places.
Falke have engineered some amazing bras that offer great support based on the level of impact that you require. The bras are durable and do not chafe or irritate you during a workout.
Under Armour bras have amazing compression fits and strategic straps to ensure optimal support without digging in or losing their shape over time.
BEST LEGGINGS FOR A CURVY GIRL
Girlfriend Collective are a sustainable brand that offer an amazing range of sizes when it comes to their leggings. The material is slightly thicker, incredibly high waisted and doesn’t fall down. The leggings have a streamline fit that flatter every shape
This brand design their leggings to cradle the body and allow flexibility through the body to make you feel comfortable when working out
This LA based brand offers leggings that have shape wear features. The pieces lift, smooth and enhance the shape of the body. They definitely give support in the waist band whilst also being incredibly stylish.
BEST TANK AND TEE STYLES FOR A BIGGER BUST
- High neck fitted muscle tank: this silhouette will hug you in all the right place and will keep your breasts secure
- Oversized cropped T-shirts: Trusty oversized t-shirts are amazing. They are easy to chuck on and go but do not wear tops that are too oversized and hide your body or make you look bigger. Pair with a sleek pair of bottoms
TOP 5 STYLING TIPS FOR THE CURVY GIRL
When looking for a pair of leggings make sure to look for those with structural panels that tailor to your shape look for detailing in the waistband and tailored panels down the leg this gives the illusion of a more fitted look. Mesh inserts will accentuate and contour the curves and shape of the body. Great brands for this are Michi and Koral.
Don’t stay away from layering. If you are striking the right balance it doesn’t add volume. Adding a jacket on top of a crop can really accentuate your shape.
Always aim for high waisted, drawstring leggings as they pull you in at the waist. They are universally flattering leggings and work for all body shapes, amazing for all types of activities: yoga, cardio and HIIT. The Upside offers great high waisted drawstring pants with bold and beautiful shapes and colours.
Know your fabric. Some fabrics are more flattering than others and some can cling to you in all the wrong places.
Don’t wear too many oversized clothes as it can camouflage the body, hide your curves and make you look bulkier than you are. Wear an oversized crop top with a high waisted cycling short or leggings and this will help show off your curves. Two great brands that offer stylish oversized tees are Varley and Free People.
In the end, buying sportswear is an investment especially an investment in your confidence and comfort. Make sure that you take your time when picking the right clothes for you there’s no rush. There’s no harm in trying new things and showing off those curves.