The 4 Keys to Choosing the Right Teen Sports Bra
The sports bra was invented by Lisa Lindahl, Polly Smith and Hinda Miller in 1977, and since then has gone on to empower millions of female athletes. It also enabled one of the most iconic women’s sports moments in the history of female sports.
Yes, we’re talking about Brandi Chastain and that photo.
A little backstory: the shot was taken at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup just after Brandi scored the winning penalty goal in the final against China. In what she described as ‘momentary insanity’ Brandi tore off her t-shirt and fell to her knees, her sports bra on show for all the world to see.
The New York Times described her photo as the "most iconic photograph ever taken of a female athlete." It’s iconic because of what it represents: a female’s joy at victory, her athletic physique, and her unabashed celebration.
This great sporting moment was supported (pun intended) by the sports bra. And it goes to show the important role clothing plays in helping young women pursue their goals with confidence.
When it comes to choosing teen sports bras, it’s doubly important to make the best selection. This is because teen athletes can be more conscious of their bodies, and so need the best support to carry them through practice sessions and games.
How to Choose the Right Teen Sports Bra
Below we list four 4 keys to selecting a comfortable, supportive, excellent fitting teen sports bra . (And if you have a tween who’s keen on sports, here’s an article on choosing the best tween sports bra.)
#1 The Right Fit
Getting their bra fitted is either a traumatic or exciting experience for a teen. It depends on the teen, the knowledge of store personnel or if buying online, the ease of sizing, returns and exchanges and the choices available.
When it comes to sports bras, teens need great support, which does mean compression. But the bra should still allow them to breathe and move easily.
The right fit is also important because inadequate support will cause teen athletes to develop back problems later in life. A sports bra that’s too tight can cause shoulder and arm problems if the straps are digging in. It can ride up when shooting a hoop or throwing a ball on the field, causing an embarrassing moment of readjusting (or visibility). The Dragonwing sports bra sizing chart will help you make the right selection here.
#2 The Right Material
Some teen sports bras lose their shape after a few washes meaning they give no more proper support. Not Dragonwing sports bras.
95% of our bras are composed of a mix of recycled polyester, and sustainable natural fibres, including bamboo, which adds to the bra’s softness and odor control.
Whenever you’re shopping for activewear for your teen, it’s always a good idea to choose bamboo fibre if it’s available.
This is because it’s fairly common for teens to leave their sports bra in their bag for a couple of practice sessions without washing it. The great thing about bamboo sports bras is that this kind of treatment won’t leave them damp and smelly.
Since bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, it’s odor resistant. The fabric is also super soft, stretch resistant, and warm. Bamboo fabric is naturally wicking, meaning it draws moisture away from your body. Sports bras made from wicking material will stay cool and dry during long practice sessions.
#3 The Right Design
Here’s the low-down on sports bras: there’s been a push to make them into fashion statements. In other words giving up performance for fashion.
Dragonwing teen sports bras focus on practical comfort over all else. An important design element is the extra wide bottom band, providing extra breast support. This band also stops the bra from riding up if your teen is shooting hoops on the basketball court or other high-reaching activities like tennis or volleyball.
The high side panel is designed for more under arm coverage than other bras on the market. This is important when wearing ill-fitting unisex or boy uniforms where the T-shirt armholes are too big and loose, and easily seen through.
The back panel of the bra, as we say in the design business, has a lot of real estate. The band is wide, to provide substantial back support. This extra support prevents back issues later and is important no matter what your daughter’s cup size.
Shoulder straps are another area where some sports bras try to put design before function. The problem here is that narrow sports bra straps can cut into the shoulders, and don’t give teen athletes that fully supported feeling they need to play with confidence and comfort.
At Dragonwing, we believe that form follows function. That’s why our sports bra straps are wider than most. It’s part of our overall philosophy. Which takes us to our final point…
#4 The Right Philosophy
Dragonwing’s mission is to empower girls in sports and life, and an important part of that is alleviating awkwardness and normalizing the changing body during adolescence.
That’s why our teen sports bras have a double layer of fabric in the front. When girls have a running shirt or uniform that’s tighter, this double layer gives them privacy and prevents chafing. With this sports bra, teens can feel comfortable and well shielded while they're being active.
Finally, here’s why picking the right sports bra for your teen is important: Sports bras are becoming the new first bras and good sports bras encourage teens to be active, confident athletes and women because in the right bra, you can do anything.