What's wrong with wearing a sports bra every day?
There’s no denying: Sports Bras are comfortable. And, increasingly, they’re stylish too. As we blur the lines between leisure wear and sportswear, and our offices become increasingly casual, it becomes natural to reach for your sports bra more often than your regular bra for everyday wear.
But, is wearing one that often okay? Is it bad for your breast tissue or your health? Let’s explore...
Why You Might Want to Wear a Sports Bra Every Day
In case you may wonder just why we would want to swap wearing our everyday bra for a sports bra, here are some compelling reasons:
Support (Without Wires)
Sports bras are designed to give you lots of support to prevent pain when doing high impact exercises. They’re usually made of thicker and more elastic fabric than regular bras and cover more surface (full cup and more back coverage) than regular bras.
For a regular bra to give you that much support, it will often have a wire, which many women find painful. But a sports bra offers that support, and more, without the wire. For anybody who has struggled with wired bras (pain, discomfort, even allergic reactions), a sports bra can be a compelling alternative.
Comfort & Pain Prevention
Not only do sports bras offer extra support, they also are arguably much more comfortable. The lack of wire means they allow your body to expand and contract without feeling tight on the ribs. The wider back and shoulder bands often means that weight is distributed more evenly. Many women find they're less likely to experience pain from shoulder or back straps.
Sweat Management (aka Boob Sweat)
Sports bras are quite literally designed to cope with the sweat of intense exercise. So if you experience a lot of boob sweat (especially in warmer months), wearing a sports bra can be a great choice.
Sweat in itself is not something to worry about. It’s part of an active life, really. But it can cause:
- Irritation / infection
… and that’s when you’ll want to do something about it.
Yep! Some of us love the simple, pragmatic style of sports bras. And, of course, in recent years athleisure wear has undergone a major style overhaul. Now you can get sexier cuts, different colors, strap designs you’ll want to show off, and much more.
Injuries or Surgery Healing
If you have an injury or are healing from surgery, your doctor may recommend wearing a sports bra for providing additional support, restricting movement and keeping you comfortable while you heal.
Cautions to Take When Wearing a Sports Bra All the Time
There are some who believe that wearing a sports bra daily can be detrimental to your breast health. We do not believe this as strongly, simply because it’s a very sweeping statement about a garment that comes in many different styles, materials and support intensities.
Instead, use your own judgement and consider the following:
Fit & Comfort Are Critical
This goes without saying for any bra, but it is absolutely essential that you wear the right size sports bra. If it’s too tight it’s really going to compress your breasts and impact circulation (sometimes more so than an everyday bra that doesn’t have as much, or as thick, material).
Put another way, if you find your sports bra causes any of the following, don’t wear it for prolonged periods:
- Discomfort: Don’t tolerate uncomfortable bras of any kind; this includes a too tight band hurting your ribs, or straps that dig into your shoulder. You deserve better!
- Red marks: If you have red marks when you remove a bra, it’s a sign that it’s too tight and might be affecting your circulation
- Overall tightness: You should be able to breathe normally and not feel like you’re squished and misshapen in your bra.
Sometimes, Let Your Boobs “Relax”
Most of us don’t wear the same shoes every day, and it just makes intuitive sense to give your boobs a break from any kind of bra. You might want to go braless sometimes, or opt for a soft-cup bra that gives you a more natural silhouette.
It’s just like stepping out of heels and into trainers or slides for a day; giving your boobs a chance to breathe and relax and not feel pushed and pulled too much. If you don’t feel like you want to go braless during the day, consider sleeping braless.
Letting your breasts relax, and move, promotes lymph drainage and circulation, which is essential for your health. To promote this, you can massage your breasts or use a dry body brush. It may feel strange at first to massage your breasts, but really helps promote skin health and circulation (and, really, why wouldn’t you?!)
Variety Is the Spice of Life
Generally, your feeling is that you shake things up for your boobs and not give yourself hard, inflexible dos and don’ts. Maybe sometimes you want the shape and lift that an underwire gives. Perhaps other times you prefer being braless.
For myself, I keep a variety of bra styles, from simple pullover styles to soft cup, underwire and sports bras gives me choice without pigeon-holing me. The one thing I demand of them all is that they fit!
You Need to Wash Your Bras Often
Whether you’re looking at a normal everyday bra or a sports bra, maintenance is essential. If you’re wearing a sports bra to work out in, you’ll want to wash it after every workout.
It’s important to remember that these fabrics are designed to absorb sweat. But sweat can also start to break them down if it’s not rinsed out. So while it’s okay to wear a sports bra for a prolonged period of time, once you’ve worked up a sweat in them, it’s time for the washing machine (or hand wash).
Different Kinds of Sports Bras
One of the main reasons we don’t like having hard and fast rules about what you can wear as your everyday bra is because bras come with so many options that it’s a sweeping generalization.
Learn more about the differences between normal bras and sports bras. High level, here are the different kinds of sports bras:
Compression bras focus on doing exactly that - compressing your boobs against your chest wall, so they lie as flat as possible against your body. By compressing you, they minimize movement and bounce.
However, compression bras do not have cups built in for each breast and can also cause an appearance of “uni-boob”. Many women won’t be bothered by this, but others will want to preserve their breast shape even when working out.
Encapsulation bras do have cups that surround and shape each breast. There is generally no compression with these bras, which makes them ideal for low impact activities.
Because each breast is “cupped”, encapsulation bras do a good job preserving your natural body shape.
Don’t want to choose? You don’t have to. There are bras that do both! These bras usually have an inner layer that provides cupped support and an outer layer or band of material that compresses your boobs against the chest wall.
These bras provide the best-of-both-worlds in terms of both appearance and support and can be good for high impact levels of exercise and all sizes of chest.
Other Sports Bra Features to Consider
In addition to compression or encapsulation as types of bras, there are other features that provide more options for you. Depending on your size, style and exercise impact level, some of these features may be more important than others.
- Adjustable straps: Adjustable straps allow you to lengthen or shorten straps depending on your torso size and shape. For larger bust sizes (C cup and above), adjustable straps are more important as more support is required.
- Strap style: As sports bras have become more fashion-forward (and are often worn revealed, or even without tops), different styles of straps have emerged. There’s the traditional tank top style (often a pullover bra ). There are also racerback—if you experience slipping shoulder straps a lot, you may love this style. There are also crisscross straps that make a bigger style statement.
Sports Bra Fit Is Essential
If there’s one lesson from this, it’s that no matter what style of bra you wear every day, the right fit is essential not just to your comfort, but also your health.
As an online women's retailer, we know it can be especially daunting to make a bra purchase online. That’s why we prioritizes comfort and function for women of all shapes and sizes.
What to Look for in a Sports Bra
Bras with adjustable straps and closures allow for a fully customized fit. While a bra with a fixed band or straps may fit off the rack, the fabric can stretch after several wears, resulting in a loose, unsupportive fit. Choosing a fully adjustable bra enables you to continue tailoring the fit and support level based on your activity level and comfort needs.
Additionally, if you have a fuller cup size, adjustability is especially critical. Opt for a bra that has cushioned, wide, adjustable straps to help distribute weight evenly and prevent any digging into the shoulders. The same goes for the band—choose a bra with a wide, sturdy one that also has a hook-and-eye back closure to ensure a custom fit.
Sports bras come in compression, encapsulation, and combination styles. A stretchy, wireless, pullover-style racerback bra is a classic example of a compression bra. This support method uses compression to stabilize and restrict breast motion by compressing the breasts against the chest wall. This style of bra is best suited for smaller bust sizes. Encapsulation bras feature built-in, molded cups that individually lift, support, shape, and stabilize each breast. Encapsulation-style sports bras can also incorporate compression for optimal support.
Underwire sports bras offer the highest level of support for high-impact activities. Built into encapsulation style bras, a flexible underwire supports each breast individually and provides optimal bounce control, stability, shape, and separation—all of which are especially high priorities for those with fuller cup sizes.
For a garment that’s made specifically for sweaty endeavors, it’s especially important to opt for breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics—because nobody likes having sweat show through their bra. Non-wicking materials can trap sweat, causing bacteria to build up and lead to skin irritation. Styles designed with breathable mesh ventilation throughout allow for airflow so that skin can breathe.
FAQ About Sports Bras
Is it okay to wear sports bras all the time?
In short, no. Although sports bras are comfortable since they are generally compressive, wearing them for extended periods can lead to other issues. If your sports bra is causing chafing, leaving deep marks on your skin, feels hard to breathe in, or is uncomfortable in any way you should take it off. This also applies to sleeping in sports bras, too.
Is sports bra size the same as a normal bra?
Usually the size of your sports bra and normal bra are the same. For optimal fit, make sure you take the proper measurements before you shop, so you know what to look for. Some stores will even offer this service for you.
How often should you wash your sports bra?
It's best practice to wash your sports bra after every use. Washing will help extend the life of your sports bra, as well as eliminate any bacteria or odors that have seeped into the fabric during your workout.
If you're on a budget, GymDeity Women's Sports Bras are a great option for those looking for a stylish bras at an low price. Lastly, you should avoid wearing any type of bra that is too tight, whether it is a sports bra or a traditional bra. To keep your girls safe and your body comfortable.