Title Nine Bras 101: How to Pick and Care For A New Bra
We are all busy moms and after taking care of our spouses, kids, house, pets and jobs, we don’t spend nearly enough time caring for ourselves! As moms, we really do need a little extra support (in every way imaginable)! Most of us hate bra shopping, but a good bra really can make or break your whole day. From chasing your kids, to heading out on a hike, to being the boss-lady at work; wearing an uncomfortable or unsupportive bra can really make you miserable.
Title Nine to the rescue! Title Nine was founded on sports bras by Missy Park, almost 30 years ago. She got sick of companies “shrinking and pinking” men’s gear, so she set out to find the best support and sports gear for women. Today, Title Nine test drives hundreds of bras and hand picks the very best. If you are chasing your kids all day, hitting your favorite trail, nursing a baby, hitting the gym or headed to the office; Title Nine most likely has a bra that will fit your body and your life!
Below you’ll see the personal, honest reviews of a few women on our team. The bras have been tested for months now and we are so thrilled to bring you this comprehensive round- up!
Many of these links are affiliates. Thanks so much for clicking through them to purchase. It helps a tiny bit and doesn’t cost you a dime!
Full disclosure: Ginny (who wrote up these fabulous tips) is a former employee of Title Nine, professional boob-whisperer, and has helped thousands of women, of every shape and size, find their perfect bra.
Here’s a few tips to pick the best bra for you:
1. Think about your primary use for the bra you are buying. Are you training for a marathon? Are you wearing it to work? Are you travelling somewhere hot and humid? Do you primarily ride a bike, or are you hiking, skiing or running? The use will be a big part of finding the perfect style for you!
2. What bra styles do you prefer? Do you like an underwire, or can you not stand one? Do you hate boob sweat and need total separation? Do you like the secure feeling of compression, or do you prefer more shape? Do you want a lined bra for headlight control? Do you wear mostly racerback tanks? Are you ok with pulling a bra on over your head? There are lots of style options to consider!
3. Bust out your measuring tape. 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra, so it’s important to measure! You’ll need 3 measurements to figure out your bra size. Check out this link for help measuring.
Once your shiny, new bra shows up in the mail, it’s important to make sure it’s fitting right and you break it in properly!
- When you try it on the first time, make sure you hook the band on the loosest set of hooks. The bra should be SNUG there. It should not be painfully tight, but you should just be able to fit 2 fingers under the band. Your band will stretch out, so by starting on the furthest hooks out, you’ll be able to tighten the bra and it will last much longer. Once the band is set, lift your “girls” into each cup. You shouldn’t have any boob spillage over the top, sides or under the band. Breast tissue should be contained in each cup. If you have some wrinkles/pudge around the armpits, don’t panic! That is totally normal for a good-fitting bra. It’s just skin, which we all have! Lastly, adjust the straps so they are not digging into your shoulders, but provide adequate support.
- Now that it fits great…. JUMP in your bra. No, really. Jump around! Jog a few laps around the house. Your band should stay still. If it’s moving, or not providing enough support, then you might need to trade up for a firmer bra style or a different fit. Title Nine carries many different brands and the fit is NOT the same between bras. They do a good job of listing fit information on the website, but don’t panic if it’s not right the first time! Title Nine will exchange the bras for FREE, so it’s no problem to swap for a different size or style! Their customer service gals online, on the phone or in the store are bra wizards and will gladly help you figure out the right size or style.
- Once you find the perfect fit, it’s time to break in your bra. Any bra, especially the higher support styles, have a break-in period just like a pair of new hiking boots. Don’t expect to wear your bra for 14 hours straight the first time you put it on, because you will probably hate your life. High support bras use stiffer materials that will relax slightly after you wear it for a week or two, so plan on just wearing your new bra for a few hours at a time at first.
- A good bra isn’t cheap, so take proper care of your bra to get the longest life out of it. Wash your bra in cold water, with the hooks all done up. Hooking the bra keeps it from snagging on something and stretching the band. If you have a lingerie bag, those always work best! DO NOT PUT YOUR BRAS IN THE DRYER. The high heat of a dryer will damage the elastic material, causing it to lose support and stretch out quickly. Always hang your bras to dry. Expect your bra to last about a year. If you wear it frequently (3+ times a week), it shouldn’t celebrate a first birthday. You will really notice a difference in support if you hang on to that old bra for too long. If you only wear it for workouts, you may get two years out of your bra!
The best thing about Title Nine bras, are the 365-day test-drive guarantee. Wash it, wear it, sweat in it… if you hate it, they will take it back and find you a new style, no questions asked. Couldn’t we all use a little more of that in our busy-mom lives?
The Team’s Favorite T9 Bras
The bras below are in order of support, though definitely pay attention to the tester’s sizes noted in each review.
Straptastic Tester Size 34 A (XS/S): The is my favorite bra in my closet. I wear it all day every day and hardly notice it’s there. It provides the comfort of a lightweight bra but is still supportive enough to wear for workouts and outdoor activities. I like the clasp back and the option to convert it to a racer back. If you are a fan of pure comfort then this bra wins my vote for “best everyday bra”.
Uprise Tester Size 34A (Small): This bra was designed with the sweaty, active mama in mind. It is incredibly supportive, breathable and comfortable. I primarily wear it for running and other high impact activities. It keeps everything in place and is great at wicking away sweat. Until this bra, I never realized the huge difference a bra designed for high impact can make (even if you have a small cup size). It’s a game changer!
AC Tester Size 38D: This bra has become my go-to, do-everything, absolute-favorite bra. It’s medium support for my size-D girls, which is perfect for all day, everyday wear. I’ve tested this thing walking, hiking, working, moving boxes, chasing my toddler around, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, yoga and even during one frantic grocery store run before the holiday. In fact, I almost never take it off! The AC Sports Bra has a sturdy band for great support and a mesh overlay for extra breathability when you are sweating it up. It has a thicker, lined cup for extra headlight control (handy when skiing) and padded straps for comfort. The best part? I get all this support and two-boob shape without an underwire!! Can I get an AMEN!? It really is the perfect bra!
Seismic Tester Size 36E: I’m usually an underwire avoider, but I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and check out the Seismic bra, and I’m so glad I did – I had no idea underwire could be so comfortable! The double layer cups are lined with soft terry material that is heavenly and the underwire is supportive and flexible enough for all-day, every-day wear. This “work to workout” bra is firmly in the lift & separate category, and be forewarned, the underwire squeaks softly with some movements. I think the Seismic is a great pick for anyone looking for a full coverage bra that can handle medium impact activities without sacrificing comfort.
Fearless Tester Size 38D: This bra is awesome and not-quite-perfect at the same time. It’s awesome because it’s super thin and lightweight, and it kept me from feeling overheated at the gym. It’s also a racerback that is actually easy to get on and off, especially after a sweaty workout, with the double closure in the back. Genius! The seams are bonded, which means low-profile and no irritants for a long day on the trail. While I do love the comfort and fit of this bra, I did not feel like it was 4 barbell support for my D-cups. I’m a huge fan of it’s big sister, the Trade Up. The Trade-Up is my favorite bra (ever) for a long run, because it’s lightweight and rock solid. Those girls are NOT bouncing. PERIOD. The Fearless just feels a little too stretchy of a material to really lock ’em down. However, for anything short of running, this bra is fantastic!
Believer Tester Size – 34D: This bra was was surprisingly lightweight and the fabric was very comfortable against my skin. I like that it’s quick and easy to put on, since you don’t pull it over your head. It has easy-to-adjust shoulder straps in front and a wide hook-and-eye closure in the back, providing plenty of ways to dial in a great fit. “Uniboob” is a thing of the past with this bra, and I love the racer back design too. It was supportive enough during during my runs as well as during my gym classes with circuit training. I didn’t have a chance to test it on a hike, but I imagine this would be a great choice for hiking, especially since the fabric is so breathable for a long day on a trail. The only thing I wish it had was a bit more padding in the cups, simply for aesthetic purposes. As long as I wear a loose fitting top with it though, it didn’t bother me a bit. All in all, this was my favorite of the two bras I tried!
Believer Tester size – 38E (DD): Even before children I was on a seemingly futile quest to find a bra that would support and separate my DD’s, all while wicking, and being wickedly comfortable, the whole day long. This bra is it – the Believer. Admittedly, its hard not to sing the Blues Traveler’s classic “Sweet Pain” while struggling to get this miracle bra on. Pain, because the over the head + hook and eye back closure is not easy for tight shoulders, but it’s oh-so-sweet once it’s on. The compression panel and x-back configuration work seamlessly to provide exceptional support for anything the day can throw at me (and believe me, after the struggle to get it on, I leave it on all day). It dries quickly, both post workout (and post washing & line drying), it looks great under a t-shirt, and supports like a dream on and off the trail.
Soothe Tester Size 38C: Here’s my secret – I wear this bra every single day. Yes, it’s meant to be more of a sports bra, but for someone who is hiking/snowshoeing/skiing daily and never knows when that will happen, it’s perfect. It is THE only sports bra I have ever owned that I could truly wear every day and be comfortable. All day. I am supported without sporting a uniboob, feel like it has good shape and looks good under shirts and is dreamy comfortable. After weeks of testing I (finally) bought a second one. Note: occasionally the straps do disconnect from the bra, but only when I’m getting ready to put it on, never mid-wear.
Fits-to-a-T Tester Size 36D: Initially, I had a bit of trouble with my sizing. Lesson learned: It’s best to get someone to measure you for a bra rather than relying on yourself to do it! Title Nine’s 365-day hassle free replacement policy is fabulous though, and they sent me replacement that felt much better (the chest band was too tight with the first one). Once I had a better fit, I was very pleased, especially during high impact, cardio style workouts, like running. This bra has a very snug fit, molding to every inch of your skin, which can make putting it on a bit comical until you get the hang of it! There is a closure in the back, however, to adjust the tension, once you have it on. The adjustable shoulder straps and seamless design in the cups help with dialing in the comfort factor as well. The material has a nice, cushy feel to it, and the padding is just right. This isn’t a bra I would want to leave on all day after a workout, simply because it is so supportive and snug; however, for a high intensity workout, it’s hard to beat!
Tech Athena Tester Size 38D: This bra is ahhmazing! It was comfortable from the first time I wore it and stayed comfortable throughout a tough HIIT workout, supporting the “girls” without any bounce and jiggle, but not sooo tight that you feel like you can’t breathe or move. Several hook adjustment options in the back for the perfect fit. No underwire but the support felt as secure as if I was wearing underwire and kept those ta-ta’s separate, which if you have larger breasts is a requirement! I’m still breastfeeding and while I am not able to nurse in this bra, it was super comfortable to wear and it did not cause any issues with milk ducts, pressure, etc that I have dealt with wearing other sports bras. The band is nice and wide so it doesn’t ride up or move around. The wicking fabric = fantastic! My favorite part? It didn’t stink after sweating in it A LOT so I was able to wear it several times before washing. Love less laundry AND no stink! This bra has been tested during normal kid chasing, gym workouts, hiking, high impact workouts and running. Have an awesome chest with gorgeous “girls” and need support? This bra is for you!!
Trade Up Tester Size 38C: I was super skeptical about this one. It isn’t padded and felt too flimsy to provide much support. It also took me a couple tries to figure out the clasp in the back. I *may* have had to ask some help the first time or two (I thought I was way more of a seasoned bra-wearer than that). But, despite all that, once I got the clasp down I fell in love with this one. It’s supportive without being too bulky and restricting, is fairly to get on, especially for a racer-back and is just comfortable. I now choose it over all the other (10+) sports bras in my drawer.
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