Contrary to what my job title as a fashion editor might suggest, there are approximately 93 activities I would rather do before going shopping. Trudging from store to store just to strip down in atrociously lit fitting rooms has never appealed much to me (pro tip: wear overalls and unclasp to half-mast so you don’t have to bother with shoe removal) — and no genus is more dreaded than the sports bra. Not much rivals the experience of putting on and taking off the compressive-chest bandage that’s akin to wrestling with a particularly aggressive boa constrictor.
Even though the pandemic has squashed in-person store visits, I’ve still had to resort to online shopping (despite my sordid history with digital sports-bra-buying). Most of my previous experiences have resulted in visible padded cups, spillage of the side and back varieties, and/or the mono-boob in which one’s frontal area is smushed into a single entity that’s usually tubular in shape. This may be because I have a relatively large cup size in comparison to my frame (30DDD), or it may just be because it’s really hard to imagine how a product will work for your body based on a few shots of a straight-size model. Whatever it was, most of the time there was no happy sports-bra ending for me — or at least there hadn’t been until I discovered Nike’s straightforward and self-guided online questionnaire on the matter.
In case you weren’t already savvy to it, the brand has an elegantly laid-out Compare Sports Bra page that walks virtual shoppers through what I considered to be the most logical thought pattern I’ve had in months.
What level of support was I looking for? Thanks for asking, Nike Sports Bra Finder! Since I’ve not done anything more strenuous recently than go on an involuntary jog, courtesy of the NYPD, I settled on medium support. From there, I clicked through a tight edit of styles, each including thorough descriptions, and videos until I arrived at the easy-on/easy-off, lightweight, and semi-fashion-y sports bra I’ve been searching for my entire life: the Nike Swoosh Luxe Sports Bra — which is now the foundation of my preferred uniform for living-room calisthenics, woodland hikes, and protesting in high-summer heat (paired with 1960s Boy Scout trousers, carpenter-cut denim, or the same Nike gym shorts I’ve owned since the sixth grade).
Its square neckline alludes to cottagecore (without the sourdough starter or smugness), while Dri-FIT technology contains and wicks away any schvitzing (something my body does a lot of). But perhaps the greatest gain from this entire affair is finally scaling a personal Everest: without putting in much effort and, at long last, without having to drop trou in a glorified shower stall, I’ve finally found a sports bra — by way of shopping from the comfort of my home — that I actually don’t mind putting on and taking off.
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