Dragonwing Girl Blog
"My daughter says she doesn't even realize she has it on because it doesn't dig or irritate her skin. She is super sensitive so that is saying something. I will be ordering another one soon…. Thanks again. Love the product."What are YOU or your daughter looking for in a bra? Please tell us in the comments.
From now through Sunday, November 29, buy any 2 of our bras -- The Racer, Keyhole, School to Sport, Half-Tee, or Mesh Racer -- and get a third bra* absolutely FREE!As always, shipping is free. We're committed to girls getting the perfect fit, so take a moment to measure and check the size chart. We know girls of all ages come is all sizes and shapes, so our sizes are based on measurements, not on age. * Put any three bras into your shopping cart and apply promo code 3BRAS to purchase and receive the lowest-priced bra absolutely free. Offer good through 11/29/15 only.
Promo Code = 3BRAS
What a girl wears under her uniform can help her feel confident and play her best. Undergarments that are comfortable, fit great, and provide appropriate coverage empower girls to play the sports they love without being distracted by droopy straps, bras or shirts that ride up, or bunching shorts.4. PLAN AHEAD FOR COOLER WEATHER. While it may be hot and humid now, the arrival of cool, fall weather always seems to surprise us. Afternoon practices and games – or the trip to and from school -- can quickly turn chilly or downright cold. A pair of leggings and a long-sleeve top under sports gear can keep a girl athlete warm, agile, and in the game. Moisture-wicking fabric is a must, so the sweat moves away from the skin and girls stay dry and warm. When shopping, consider the sport as well as the fit. Many soccer girls love our Capri-length Chill Weight Leggings because they don’t interfere with shin guards. 5. THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS A GIRL NEEDS ON HER FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL WON'T FIT INTO HER BACKPACK OR GYM BAG. She carries these treasures inside herself: a spirit of adventure and curiosity, a desire to learn and tackle new challenges, and a sense of confidence in herself.
**********A slightly revised version of this post originally appeared on the Sports Mom Survival Guide, a great resource for parents of young athletes with tips, ideas, and recipes.
Thanks to Chris Deacon for her excellent journalism in the Sept 6 issue of Today's Parent. Her article follows!
Studies show that girls start quitting sports in the tween years—this solution might surprise you.
Growing up, Juanita Lee ran track and rowed, but her sport of choice was tennis. She played the game from age six until age 14 when— seemingly overnight— her breasts grew from a 32A to 34DD.
The change immediately set her apart from her more petite, flat-chested opponents and made the teenager extremely self-conscious. She hated the sensation of her breasts moving when she ran on the court and how exposed she felt in her scoop-neck tennis dress whose padded cups only accentuated her size. And because breasts move independently of the body, (both up and down and side to side,) Lee also started experiencing breast pain, an issue she was too embarrassed to discuss with her parents. Not long after, Juanita used a sports injury as an excuse to quit tennis altogether and turned her attention to rowing, where breast movement wasn’t an issue, and running, a sport that—while still painful—meant she could wear baggy t-shirts for coverage.
Lee isn’t the only girl whose breast development has affected their participation in sports. In a 2016 survey of more than 2,000 British girls aged 11 to 18, nearly three-quarters said their breasts got in the way of enjoying sports. According to the study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, when girls hit puberty they start pulling out of athletics and skipping gym class to avoid the pain and embarrassment of breasts that are either too big, too small or —the chief complaint—too bouncy.
It turns out there could be an easy fix—a sports bra. While a given for professional female athletes, this undergarment is often omitted from the equipment list of girls’ sports teams. And while jockstraps are offered to boys for protection and to prevent discomfort caused by excessive movement during exercise, sports bras that serve the same purpose for girls have not been a part of the cultural conversation. In fact, only 10 percent of girls surveyed in the British study had worn one.
So how can a parent navigate the tricky terrain of breast development and sports with their tween?
Here are five tips:
Start the conversation early: Your daughter may not need the support of a sports bra yet, but it’s worth tackling the topic early on, before she gets embarrassed about it. If she’s not ready for the discussion in the moment, MaryAnne Gucciardi—whose company, Dragonwing girlgear specializes in performance base-layers such as sports bras and support tops for girls aged 8 to 17, encourages parents to stick with it. “It’s a hard conversation for a parent,” she says, noting that dads in particular, have a hard time with the topic, “but it’s even harder for a child. They don’t know yet what they need. They just know what they’re feeling.”
Be matter of fact: Gucciardi also suggests sticking with the facts when broaching the idea of a sports bra. “You could say something like, “I want you to play your best. I want you to feel comfortable, and have good support to prevent injury and stay healthy and just like boys with a jockstrap for support and to prevent injury, this is what girls wear,’” she says. Explain to you daughter the difference between your average tween bra (which often looks like a sports bra) and the real thing. Most tween bras are made with thin cotton and flimsy straps. A good sports bra, by contrast, has smooth but stretchy fabric that moves as the athlete moves, with straps and a band that stay in place.
Shop it alone: While the odd girl might enjoy looking for a bra with her mom, most don’t, says Gucciardi, so parents should start the process. One idea, she says, is to buy a few different styles of sports bras and support tops and leave them in your daughter’s drawer—while keeping in mind she probably won’t model them for you. “She might have you hand them back and forth until she finds one that she likes,” she says, “Be patient. If you let her control the conversation, then she’ll feel in control of her body.”
Go for fit: Thirteen-year-old Melanie Paulson’s* parents have been helping her shop for sports bras since she started developing breasts in Grade 4, with little success. “I don’t find them very comfortable,” says the avid hockey player, who now shops in the women’s section. But many women’s sport bras are padded which makes breasts look bigger—the last thing most tweens and teens want. And Gucciardi cautions that an improper fit—caused by a bra that’s too big— can lead to back problems. “You could have a bigger bust but a small rib-cage,” she explains, suggesting that parents seek out sports bras that are specifically designed for tweens and teens, and that take this silhouette variation into account so that the fit is precise. Lululemon, Nike and Gucciardi’s brand all carry quality sports bras for this age group. Look for a fit that is snug but not tight with straps that don’t droop or slip. And if you’re buying online, it’s worth taking the time to measure your daughter and refer to the size chart rather than order the size that corresponds to her age. Parents should measure just under the rib cage to get the right fit as opposed to across the chest, and, when the bra is on, be able to fit not more than one finger under the band. The band should be as wide as possible while still being comfortable for your child.
Comfort is key: Gucciardi recommends quality sports bras that use high performance, moisture wicking fabric (that moves the sweat away from the skin) with mesh for coolness and breath-ability. “Girls get super embarrassed when they think they sweat and smell and that people notice it,” she says. Also look for thin, removable pads for coverage and softness. “Nipples showing is another source of embarrassment,” she says. Nipple chafing— especially common with runners— is also an issue. Finally, choose a sports bra that’s seamless and tag-free to prevent irritation. Now that you’ve got a bra for your daughter, can you really expect it to be the difference between giving up sports and staying in the game? For Juanita Lee, now 27, the answer is—absolutely. “I was kind of a shy kid and I never felt comfortable saying, ”oh, my boobs hurt.” she says. In grade 10, Lee got her first sports bra at the suggestion of her female rugby coach, and she played rugby until the end of high school. *Name has been changed.
Our girls need strong examples of women that aren’t afraid to stand up and blaze a trail. Women who took the brave step forward to break a barrier, not just for themselves, but for the generations of women that come after them.
In 1977, three women came together and did just that. Each with their own personal superpower, they found a way to bring something into existence that would change the face of women’s athletic wear and women’s participation in sports forever At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Lisa Lindahl, Hinda Miller, and Polly Smith were honored for their invention of the Jogbra and will be inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame on May 6, 2020.
This brainchild initially came from Lindahl, an avid runner from Burlington, Vermont, who discovered that conventional bras lacked the support and design needed for the level of physical exertion running required. She wanted a bra with stable straps, breathable fabric, compression...and comfort. Lindahl asked Polly Smith, her childhood friend and costume designer for assistance in creating something that could meet the need.
Polly referenced the world of men’s athletic wear and sewed two jockstraps together, which Lindahl wore on her runs. After real-life testing, Smith modified the prototype, adding non-chafing seams and an elastic band for support. Lisa Lindahl partnered with Hinda Miller to co-found Jogbra Inc. in 1977. The garment, created out of necessity and passion, was patented in 1979.
Jogbra, which grew into a multi-million-dollar business, is credited with helping millions of women run in comfort and with confidence. The impact of the Jogbra on women’s health and the growth of women’s sports is undeniable thus earning Lisa Lindahl, Hinda Miller, and Polly Smith their historic membership in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Keep in mind, the National Inventors Hall of Fame only started inducting women in 1991 and to date, of 603 inductees, only 47 are women—less than 8%.
Dragonwing’s beginnings were much like Lisa Lindahl’s. Founder MaryAnne Gucciardi repeatedly found herself and her athletic tween daughter at a loss when shopping for appropriate and supportive sports bras, athletic camis and compression shorts designed specifically for young girls.
Much like Polly Smith, MaryAnne focused on creating a highly functional sports bra. A major pain point for girls are straps that slip, droop or chafe. Another is a sports bra that rides up because the bottom band doesn’t have enough support – or a bottom band that digs because it is too compressive. Dragonwing’s sports bras address these issues with a wide bottom band which is essential for support and straps that don’t droop, slip or chafe. As well, Dragonwing has zeroed in on the amount of fabric on the back of their sports bras. It’s a crucial element often missed by other teen athletic wear designers and serves an important functional purpose—it helps prevent back problems as active girls grow.
With a line of athletic sports gear like Dragonwing, girls can embrace their femininity and their athleticism without sacrificing the quality of the gear they wear and feel secure in the support their developing bodies need.
Research shows that girls are entering puberty, marked by breast development, significantly earlier than 15 years ago. Today, more than 20% of girls in third grade have started to develop breasts, and many begin as young as age 7 or 8. Of course, many other girls don't begin until they become teenagers. Regardless of when they first need a bra, girls want something comfortable that provides enough coverage so they don't feel self-conscious and allows them to move with confidence.
Girls and parents alike want a first bra to be age-appropriate, not the padded or plunging bras of Victoria's Secret or many other teen retailers. A well-fitting, comfortable sports bra, like our Racer Seamless or the Keyhole, or a sports camisole with a shelf bra, (like our Sports Cami, above) is often the best choice for a girl’s first bra for several reasons: - With no clasps or cups, a sports bra doesn't shout “bra” and provides a smooth silhouette under clothing – at school and on the playing field. - A sports bra is easy to wear, with nothing to clip or adjust. She can put it on and take it off all by herself. A sports bra or cami under school clothes also makes the transition from school to sports practice quick and easy.
Sports bras are made for activity and all girls are active, whether they're climbing or jumping at recess, running for the bus, or playing soccer, hockey, basketball, or any other sport.
"The highest compliment we get from our tween customers is when they tell us that our sports bras are so comfortable that they don’t even know they're wearing one. That means they're focusing on doing the things they love, living their lives free and with confidence! Who could wish for anything more for a girl?"
Key things to look for in buying a sports bra for your tween: Fit that’s snug but not tight. The bra should move when she moves but shouldn't ride up whether she raises her hand in class, throws a ball, or runs around a gym. The straps should be secure and shouldn’t droop or slip. Measure before buying and check the size chart to be sure you're ordering the right size for your girl. Soft, smooth fabric that wicks moisture away from her skin, keeping her cool, comfortable, and chafe-free on – and off – the playing field. Look for a sports bras that's seamless and tag-free so there’s no irritation. Coverage without bulky padding. Padding isn't needed or wanted by most young girls and pre-teens. Look for a sports bra or cami with double-layered fabric that provides a measure of modesty for girls whose breasts are starting to develop. As girls develop further, support becomes more important – especially for athletes. When your tween is ready for a traditional bra, it's best to shop at a store that provides individual attention and offers a variety of age-appropriate options. “Trying on your first bra in a big discount retail store can be unnerving for an 8- or 9-year-old who may already feel shy about the experience,” notes Kelly O'Brien, owner of LingerTween in New Jersey, who carries a wide variety of traditional and sports bras for tweens.