5 Tips for the Best-Fitting Sports Wear for Girls
Spring sports season is just around the corner, and that means stocking up on clothes for practices and games. Your child has likely grown since last year – or even last month! – so clothes that fit then won’t fit now. Like most tween and teen girls, your daughter’s body may be changing and developing. Research shows that girls enter puberty significantly earlier than 15 years ago. More than 20% of girls in 3rd grade have started to develop breasts. Of course, many girls don’t begin until their teens. What a girl wears under her uniform can give her the confidence to play her best. Base layers (aka “undergarments”) that are comfortable and provide appropriate support and coverage empower girls to play the sports they love without being distracted by droopy straps, shirts that ride up their bellies, or bunching shorts.
Follow these tips to get the best fit for your daughter:
Get clothes designed specifically for girls:
Should be easy, right? But lots of base layers, like compression shorts, are designed for boys or unisex. The selection of girls sports bras can be limited, even in so-called sports stores, so you end up looking for XXS in women’s. GO BY SIZE, NOT BY AGE: Girls of the same age come in different sizes and shapes, so don’t automatically buy Size 10 just because she’s turned 10. If you’re buying online, take a minute to measure and check the size chart. Next to our size chart, you'll also find a short video about how to get the best fit. If trying on clothes at a store isn’t an option, check the return policy so you can exchange if the size isn’t right when you get home.
Consider coverage as well as support:
While your daughter may not need a sports bra for support, she may appreciate the coverage – and comfort – that it or a sports camisole provides under her jersey or uniform. Similarly, compression shorts provide coverage and a smooth, wedgie-free layer especially under white shorts, skirts, and uniforms.
Comfortable fabric designed for sports:
Look for soft, smooth fabric (not cotton) with four-way stretch that moves when she moves and wicks moisture so she can stay cool even when working up a sweat. Tug and stretch to check if the item will hold up to a season of wear. That inexpensive cotton bra or cami isn't a great value if it loses its shape or the straps break after 2 or 3 washes.
Seamless, snug fit:
A girl's sports bra or camisole should be snug but not tight. It should move when she moves but not ride up when she throws a ball, grabs a rebound, or runs the field. Look for a seamless, tag-free design so there’s no irritation or chafing. At Dragonwing, the highest compliment we get is when girls say that our clothing is so comfortable that they don’t even know it’s there.
That means they can move freely and focus on what’s in front of them instead of what they’re wearing.
A slightly revised version of this post originally appeared on The Sports Mom Survival Guide, a terrific resource for parents.