Back to School Bittersweetness

Remember the Staples TV commercial from a few years back? Dad skipping along the aisles, flanked by droopy kids, while "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays overhead? Back-to-school can be bittersweet for everyone. As she starts her 12th year of school (13th counting kindergarten), Emma calls it "the best and worst time of the year." Seeing friends, making new ones, and starting soccer season are big pluses. Homework assignments, college applications, and less sleep can take its toll. In her latest blog post, she's got some great tips for making the transition as smooth as possible. Check it out and leave a comment with what helps you keep a positive outlook at school. Remember to SUBSCRIBE to Emma's blog so you'll be notified by email each time she posts.

Say Hello to Emma and Sarah!

We're thrilled to introduce two new Dragonwing girlgear bloggers: Emma and Sarah. Emma, who's now blogging here as EmmaH, is a high school senior who loves soccer, socializing with friends and family, watching Netflix, exercising, and lots more! She joined the Dragonwing team this summer and is helping us with marketing and retail partnerships.

I love to dabble in lots of other forms of exercise including hot yoga, group workout classes, swimming, biking, hiking and sometimes, although rarely, running.

Sarah, blogging here as SarahG, is a self-proclaimed "swim mom," runner, writer, and former track and field athlete. As the mother of two teens, she has lots of great insights plus a big dose of humor.

s an athlete myself I knew all the benefits of training and competition—camaraderie, friendships, challenging yourself, making a commitment and sticking with it, dealing with disappointment, taking care of your body and honoring its strength and power.
Subscribe to their blogs so you'll get an email whenever they have a new post. You'll be glad you did -- we promise.

1 in 8 is a Statistic I Can't Live With

Every October during Breast Cancer Awareness month, memories of family and friends who've fought the disease flood my mind. Like most people, I've donated money for research, dropped off food for family dinners, and sent cards and emails of encouragement and, sometimes, sympathy. Something clicked this year. I can't just make dinner or send cards when statistics show that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. This year, I am determined to do much, much more. To use the power of this business and the amazing Dragonwing community to make a real difference in medical advances -- not just for my friends or family but for women everywhere -- and for our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, so that they may have a better, healthier future. Almost 25 years ago, my beloved Auntie Vita died of breast cancer at age 51. Back then, treatment wasn't really targeted, and the doctors tried everything to cure her. It was a huge loss. Since then, scientists have made tremendous advances in breast cancer treatment. My friend for 30+ years, Lisa Carey, is medical director of UNC's Breast Cancer Center, where they are have made great strides in targeting treatment and patient care. $25,000 can make a significant difference for a cancer research project. That's why we've set a goal of raising $25,000 through the sale of a limited edition Racer Sports Bra, our best-selling item. We'll donate $10 from the sale of each special white and pink Racer to UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. It's a crazy, ambitious goal, but I believe we will do it. Join our team: buy a bra (or 2 or 3!) for your daughter, niece, granddaughter; share this post; spread the word. Together, we can do this!

For a Healthier Future for Our Girls

Join us! Make a difference -- for a healthier future for our girls. Click here to buy a limited edition Racer Sports Bra and bring us closer to our goal!

Cheers for Free Shipping Every Day

We're happy to announce that we're now offering FREE shipping on every order of girlgear. Returns are on us, too. Our goal is to give each girl the right sports apparel with the perfect fit, so she can play her best -- without distraction and with confidence. If your athletic girl needs her sports bras, compression workout shorts, sports camis, or cool-weather base layers faster than our regular shipping, we offer two-day and overnight shipping for an additional fee. Orders to Canada, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam are available for an additional charge. More information about shipping and returns, including a downloadable return/exchange form, is available online.

#LikeAGirl Shouldn't be an Insult

Our favorite Super Bowl ad this year was a powerful, thought-provoking spot by Proctor & Gamble's "Always," entitled #LikeAGirl. Originally released last summer, the ad challenges viewers to think about why the phrase "like a girl" is often used to belittle, diminish, or insult. When real girls are asked to show what it means to "run like a girl," "throw like a girl," or "fight like a girl," they demonstrate the power, determination, and confidence that lives within them. They're unaware that the phrase can have a negative connotation.
Our mission is to empower girls to play -- and live -- with confidence. To move, compete, play, and live unapologetically with energy, freedom, and joy.
Isn't that what it should mean to live like a girl? #LiveLikeAGirl Let's turn #LikeAGirl into a Compliment, not an insult

Every Year is a Good Year

"TIme flies when you're having fun" goes the old saying. If that's true (and I believe it is), 2014 was a very fun year. Here at Dragonwing, we've met hundreds of wonderful girls and their families -- at soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball games, at photo shoots and trunk shows, and on our Customer Service line. We expanded our line of girls' performance wear with our Mini and Low-Rise Un-Dee compression shorts and new sports bras. We'll be introducing some new athletic clothing for girls in 2015, so stay tuned! Click to read Dragonwing girl Emma's trick for remembering special moments Dragonwing girl and blogger extraordinaire Emma recently wrote about her simple -- and fun -- trick for remembering the special moments, big and small, that happen throughout the year.

Every year is a good year, it just might be tough to remember why. So, to solve that exact problem, starting January 1st of last year, I decided I was going to write down all of the highlights from the year. After every fun day, exciting night, or memorable moment, I would write down all the details of the great day. I like to include the tiny details...that can only be remembered if they’re written down.

Her full post is worth a read. While you're there, subscribe to her blog so you don't miss her insightful, spot-on posts.

Dragonwing shorts in Singapore!

We love to see what girls do in their Dragonwing girlgear! Sue tagged us on Instagram today with a couple of photos showing her daughter Courtney rock climbing in Singapore in her Un-Dee Light Compression Shorts. Tag us or send us a photo of what you do in your Dragonwing girlgear, and we may feature you here and/or in our social media.

Dragonwing in Singapore! Thanks for sharing @kiwichic68! #rockclimbing #ClimbLikeAGirl #compressionshorts

A photo posted by Dragonwing girlgear (@dragonwinggirl) on

According to comments from a fellow Dragonwing girl, our compression shorts are "awesome climbing gear!" What makes Dragonwing compression shorts so great for tween and teen sports girls? - designed and sized just for girls - wedgie-free fit - four-way stretch - mesh panels keep girls cool under uniforms of all kinds - available in 5.5" inseam (conforms with soccer regulations) and 3" Mini Short compression shorts for tween teen girls

A missing piece, what is holding young girls back from achieving their wildest dreams?

Did you know that there is a decrease in physical activity when young girls experience breast growth? According to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescents Health, "three quarters of school-aged girls report breast-related concern regarding exercise and sports." That is a large percentage and a cause for concern. Young girls are turning away from activities that provide them with the necessary skills to be successful and achieve their potential in life. Looking at Maslow's Pyramid below, you can see there are a lot of steps in reaching self-actualization, but being involved in sports plays a role in reaching this feeling of fulfillment. Sports bring you the psychological need of belongingness and love. Being on a team, provides you with these intimate relationships and friendships. It also gives you and your team a goal to work towards, which brings you closer together, as you support each other through the wins and losses on the field and the ups and downs off the field, as well. The aspect from Maslow's pyramid that is lacking in young girls development is self-esteem. The body image issues that arise when going through the period of breast-development and puberty cause girls to be less confident in who they are and the abilities and talents they possess. This halts their ability to reach their full potential and ultimately their dreams. Dragonwing Girlgear wants to restore this piece of the pyramid in young girls. Our initiative is to boost young girls self-esteem through the educating them about their bodies and providing the physical gear to allow them the chance to compete confidently in sports. "Sports programs frequently recommend protective gear for boys, like cups, or compression shorts, but they fail to have a comparable list for girls." Dragonwing Girlgear provides you with that list, as well as the knowledge you need about sizing and fit to ensure esteem is restored in young girls. With more pressure than ever from society to succeed, Dragonwing Girlgear wants to go beyond providing you with a clothing item. We want to give you the foundation and support you or your daughter needs to feel comfortable and confident in achieving their wildest dreams.

When to Introduce Sports Bras to Your Tween Daughter

Studies show tween girls drop out of sports at approximately twice the rate of boys at the same age. As parents, we know the benefits of athletics goes far beyond health and fitness, it develops leadership skills, self-confidence, and critical thinking.

So why are teen girls leaving the sports they love? Here are two common reasons given by teens.

  • Breast discomfort
  • Self-consciousness about their developing bodies
Of all the reasons being cited, these two should not be on the list. Sports bras provide support, reduce breast movement, and can provide a comfortable fit on and off the field. Your daughter may not have enough experience or information to know what she needs, but she does know how she feels. Parents can help by approaching the topic in a factual manner and by providing a supportive environment to address their concerns.

So when is the right time to introduce sports bras to your daughter?

It's not about age. It's about development -emotional and physical. At younger ages, before breast tissue develops, training bras and cami's are perfect protection for sensitive nipples and provide modest coverage underneath clothing. Coverage and fitting in help with awkward feelings. Once breast tissue emerges, even at smaller sizes, running and motions typical to many sports may become painful.

Confidence. Comfort. Support.

As your daughter develops, confidence, comfort and support come into play and determine what type of support bra or top girls need and when. Talk with your daughter about her sports gear and what she'll need as she continues playing. If you're taking the time to find the best fitting cleats and gear, her base layers need to have the equal consideration. And, like sporting equipment, investing in high-quality garments will provide a better performance, resist staining and odors, and will last longer as it goes through multiple washings. Look for moisture-wicking and stretchy performance fabrics to increase comfort and reduce chafing. How to find the right sports bra for your athletic daughter. Start the selection process before shopping. Sports bras come in a variety of styles and support levels. Talk about what she likes - everything from color, to fit and design. Then, review options to get an idea of what works for her body and her sport. Please keep in mind two important factors to excellent support. 1) the amount of fabric on the back. 2) the width of the bottom band. To find the right fit, measure the bust and chest to determine the best size to start and be prepared to try adjacent sizes until you find one that doesn't pinch, gap, or slide. If your daughter won't let you measure the bust, at a minimum do the bottom band of the chest. It will give you a starting point.
Dragonwing Girl Gear Founder, MaryAnne Gucciardi says "your daughter might have you hand them back and forth as she tries them on, until she finds one that she likes,".... "Be patient. If you let her control the conversation, then she'll feel in control of her body.”

Find your Dragonwing Size

Use this easy sizing guide to help find the best fit for Dragonwing bras and support base layers. Sports are as much a psychological exercise as it is physical. Removing distractions of poor-fitting bras, bounce due to lack of adequate support, and providing coverage boosts confidence and lets your daughter focus on what she loves -the skill-building fun of sports and being active. Dragonwing has styles designed to go from school to the field, accommodating afternoon practices without giving up style or comfort. Extra side coverage on our bras removes the worry of being exposed when uniforms are too big or cut for boys and lets your daughter focus on strength and not worry about underwear malfunction. Tween Girl Girls are also going through rapid growth spurts during their pre-teen and tween years, and you may need to check the fit of their sports bras regularly to ensure a good fit. Summary 1. Girls should begin wearing a sports bra when breast tissue emerges 2. Talk to your daughter about style and performance preferences before shopping 3. Measure before shopping 4. Look for quality fabrics and construction 5. Be prepared to try different styles to find what's right for her Read ► This one thing could keep your tween girl in sports. Tre Harrington from NonperfectParenting.com shares what makes Dragonwing Girl Gear different.

Shop Dragonwing Bras Free shipping on orders over $75 within the USA!Click to shop Dragonwing girlgear

Kathrine Switzer: First Woman to Enter the Boston Marathon

For the Dragonwing team, this video makes us emotional - especially when Jock Semple tries to pull her out. Kathrine's quote "all of a sudden this was very important ... nobody believes I can do this.. and if I don't finish, people will think all women can't." she finished in 4 hrs and 20 min. KV Switzer (and whoever wears #261 -how lucky are you!) You can watch the video here. Kathrine Switzer: First Woman to Enter the Boston Marathon

"Dear Dragonwing Girl..." Wise Words From A Bad Cookie

Dear Dragonwing Girl, I would like to start by saying you are amazing. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you have done to get to this point right now, you’re amazing. You have unlimited untapped potential and only the sky is the limit. I’m sure you’ve heard this before from loving grandparents whilst they grab your cheeks and squeeze you in a constricting hug, but right now- at this moment- I want you to read carefully. You are all the attributes I listed before and more; you are beautiful, strong, and smart and you can do everything you want to and more. Despite you and I knowing these things to be true, some will doubt you. Some will doubt you without even knowing you, and some will doubt you right after seeing your name on a resume. These some will be men, but they will also be women. Most will do this unconsciously, and I implore you to not be angry at them for the ignorance and bias they hold. I implore you to fight the fight of being a career-driven girl in a world run by men. Though it is important to not hold anger for the world being the way it is, do not conform to the need to be “pleasant” or “calm” or “collected." You can speak out when you see small forms of misogyny in your school or workplace. Whether it be a man dominating the discussion, or a guy in your group making snide comments, you can step up. You can make your voice be heard because you won’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Because you can. So, stay strong because it can be hard sometimes. You might be called selfish or bossy or any other number of terms people like to use for women who don’t conform to their stereotypes, but if you struggle, if you stand your ground, if you fight for what you want, then we will be one step closer to gender equality. Sincerely, Your friend at Dragonwing girlgear, Abby