Athleisure Wear

Yes, You Can Wear a Sports Bra 24/7 as Long as It Ticks These Boxes, According to an OB/GYN

Zoe Weiner

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
Back in the before (also known as early 2020), sports bra sales were projected to more than quadruple to $38.4 billion by 2026, per a study conducted by Wintergreen Research, Inc. And that was pre-pandemic at which point it became A-okay to live in comfy clothing around the clock if you weren’t already. So, if you haven’t snapped on an underwire bra in awhile, you’re hardly alone, but it begs the question: Are your boobs getting all the support they need if you only wear sports bras?

As long as it fits properly, it’s totally fine, says Tia Guster, MD, an OB/GYN based in Georgia. “The conversation really just comes down to personal preference for overall comfort and support,” she says. “Generally, well-supporting undergarments are great at reducing the downward pull that breasts have on our chest.”

And since we called that sports bras were poised to 2.0 as part of our Wellness Trends last year, we’ve watched major lingerie brands like Le Mystere and Soma launch new styles. Plus, we’ve seen our favorite sportswear companies come out with increasingly more supportive (read: better) versions. Brands including Reebok, Nike, New Balance and Under Armour have all developed what they’ve dubbed “distraction free” sports bras by using technology like adaptive fabric and adjustable straps.

How then, in a sea of new options, do you find a sports bra that’s right for you? The process can be distilled down to making sure “the whole of each breast fits comfortably,” says Dr. Guster. Overhang or gaping are telltale signs that you haven’t found your perfect match yet and you should keep looking. You’ll also want to cross check that the back of the bra rests just below the shoulder blades, suggests Dr. Guster. Should the strap be too high or too low, it can alter the support and comfort of the bra in a not-so-great way. Aside from that, selecting one that suits the intensity level of your activities is also a good idea—the higher the impact (think: jumping exercises or running) the more support you’ll need to eliminate boob bounce.

If kissing your underwire goodbye for good is sounding pretty appealing (welcome to the club!), the bottom line is this: Be sure to seek out a style that works for your particular breasts. Because as Dr. Guster puts it, “as long the garment is supportive, then the sky is the limit.” So no need to constrict yourself (or your boobs) unnecessarily.

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