A good way to become your customer’s best friend is to help her find a good sport bra. Approximately 4 out of 5 women are wearing the wrong sized bra, and a poor fitting bra can lead to poor support, chafing, lumps, and bumps where she definitely doesn’t want them. Many women I have helped were wearing sport bras that were bought in the last decade. They think it is easier to keep wearing one or two old bras than shop for a new one. I have found that if you can put your customer into a great supportive, comfortable sport bra, they will love you forever.
It can be daunting for her (and you) standing in front of a wall of sport bras. Where does one start? Following these three straight forward steps will help you get it right.
First, start by discovering what she will be using the bra for-- running (high impact activity), yoga (low impact activity) or somewhere in between. By honing in on an activity, you can narrow down the selection options. A high impact sport bra will have wider straps with less stretch which reduces bounce. High impact bras usually will have adjustable bands that ensure the bottom band lays snug around the torso. Low impact sport bras have thinner straps that contain more stretch than high impact bras, and their bands don’t have adjustable features.
Turn the bras inside-out and look at what is actually built into the sport bra. What makes this bra supportive? For the higher impact bras it shouldn’t just be the band. It needs a structured interior. Internal construction such as underwire, molded cups or structured seaming that will mimic an underwire to provide more support. Strategically placed stabilizer fabric will minimize bounce by not stretching or moving during activities.
Next, while the bra is inside-out, check out those seams and labels. Where do straps lay on the body? Are there any gaps or excess material? Look for anything that will aggravate and annoy your customer during the activity. She should be able to get it on and off without the help of a friend. This is where adjustable straps and bands become so helpful.
Now that you have a few options, make sure your customer goes to the dressing room with 3 bras at the minimum. Provide them with different sizes and styles so they don’t need to put all their clothes back on and run across the store to get another size.
Last but not least, have her try it on. Make sure the sport bra is completely filled out and there is no gaping or spillage on the sides or over the top of the bra. This needs to be a total containment piece of equipment. Have her take it for a test drive--jump around, run in place, and stretch to make sure the bra moves with her body. The band of the sport bra should be really snug so that it doesn’t move and rub during her workout. It should definitely feel tighter than daily lingerie bras.
Remember just like shoes, sport bras are essential equipment. After time the support and the strength of the fabric are reduced by normal wear and tear and must be replaced. A sport bra should never be more than a year old. How can you remember how old your sport bra is when you barely remember your mom’s birthday? One easy way to know if your bra is due for an update is that little care label tag. If the label has been rubbed off and no writing is legible, you need a new bra.
Now you know how to find and fit a good sport bra. When a customer gets a supportive sport bra or two, she will tell her friends in her yoga class, in her running group, in her book club, in her gym how amazing you are. She will be your new best friend and invite you to make more of her friends, your friends. They will keep coming back for more.