Monday, March 19, 2007

Take this advice. Before you buy a sports bra, do 2 things.

Go For Fit!

Take this advice. Before you buy a sports bra, do two things.

First, consider the size you are wearing now and ask yourself a few questions...

Do the shoulder straps dig in or does the bra ride up your back? If so, the band (number) size is probably too big or you're wearing the shoulder straps too tight. It's the band, not the shoulder straps, that will provide the most restriction against vertical movement.

Is there bulging out of the cups? If so, the cup (letter) size is too small. Is there wrinkling on the cup? If so, the cup is probably too big.

Use the answers to these questions to help you figure out if you are wearing the right size for that style. If the bra is old (over 6 months) and you've machine handled the garment, chances are it's dead. In this case, you may just need a new garment, not a new size.

The second thing you can do to go for the right fit is to take your measurements and compare your findings to your current size. See how to Get Measured below.

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Get Measured!

Did you know that more than 70% of women don't really know their measurements? That makes it tough to know which size is best. So, checking your measurements is one thing you can do to help get the right size.

To get measured, you'll need a tape measure and you may want to use a mirror. Don't worry. You can always print this page and bring it home.

Warning. These instructions are generalized. You'll probably end up rounding some numbers, which means this is not an exact science. So, take care to use your common sense when figuring out your results.

If you have doubts or questions, just contact me at and I'll help you out.

1. Band Size
While standing straight and wearing a regular bra, wrap the tape measure around your chest, ABOVE the bust. Make sure the tape is straight all the way around you. Pull the tape until it is taut but not restrictive or pinching.

Now, round the measurement to the nearest even number. That's your band size or rib cage measurement.

Band Size Illustration

2. Cup Size
While still standing and wearing a regular bra, wrap the tape measure around the FULLEST part of your bust. Again, pull the tape until it is taut but not pinching or digging into your bust.

Make sure the tape is straight and around the fullest part of your bust. My feeling is if you are in between whole numbers for this measurement, round to the nearest whole number. If you're directly in between two whole numbers, round to the next largest whole number.

Cup Size Illustration

Now, subtract your even-numbered band size (step #1) from the whole-numbered measurement in step #2 and convert the difference to your cup size according to the chart below.

Difference 1" 2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 9"
Cup size A B C D DD E F FF G

Taking your measurements so you can find the right size and using our Sports Bra Guide to get the best style are two things that you should do to see what's the right choice FOR YOU. Here's how you can protect your investment after making these important decisions.

For more info on shopping by size, click here.

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Protect Your Investment

Let's face it - you need the right sports bra for you to comfortably stay in motion. Consider this essential garment to be an investment in your health and fitness. So, after you've found the right sports bra, your focus should be on how to make the most of your investment.

The functional life of a sports bra can be lengthened depending on how the bra is treated. We tested all of our bras in the washing machine and dryer and found just about every one of our styles can take the beating. But, there is a way to protect your investment.

Hand Wash and Line Dry!

After continuous machine and hand washings, our results showed the average hand washed/line dried bra had an extended functional life.

Machine Wash/Dry

Average garment lasted about 5-6 months
Hand Wash/Hang Dry

Average garment lasted about 9-10 months

Washing machine cycles can be too rough. If you choose to use machines, you can protect your bra by using the dryer on the cool air setting.

These are some signs that your sports bra is at or near the end of its functional life:

  • Restriction against Vertical Movement (RVM) decreases considerably
  • Synthetic fabrics (like CoolMax polyester) are starting to pill
  • Fit seems to be too loose or too big while your measurements have not changed

Sunday, March 18, 2007

How to Shop Online for Plus Size Formal Occasion Dresses

Special Occasion Dress Shopping Has Never Been Easier for the Plus Size Woman

It could be a known fact that more than 66% of women in the USA today wear a size 12 or larger. It is terribly frustrating to have an idea of what you would like to wear to that office or holiday function, or any special occasion for the matter, and not be able to find the dress that you truly want in the local stores or boutiques. When you do set your eyes on that special dress, you cannot find your size as all the dresses are either a size 6, 8, or 10 and you are definitely NOT one of those.

Well, have you ever thought about the ease and convenience of online shopping? Certainly, you have bought gift baskets or a set of dishes on the internet but a formal occasion dress? That must be truly beyond your comprehension and a new frontier for you but stress no longer, as you can successfully purchase a plus size formal gown online.

These are the rules:

1. Have an idea about fabrics, their textures, and quality. Every good clothing website will state the type of fabric used on the description summary of the dress. Special occasion dresses are usually made of synthetic fabrics nowadays, due to lower costs and their ability to be wrinkle-free. Visit stores and boutiques in your area and very soon, you will be a fabric expert!

2. Also visit physical stores to see what colors and styles fit your shape and figure and have an idea what you would like or not like on you. Are the styles on the racks too dowdy or are they just plain revealing? Are the colors too loud and bold or are they just plain boring? You will choose the style and color basing on what is socially acceptable for that special event and what will look great on you.

3. Basing on previous shopping experiences and yes, mistakes of the past, you will also have a clear idea of what is becoming on you and to you.

4. Buy or borrow a tape measure (the vinyl or cloth type), if you do not have one already. This is the best tool to obtain your body measurements accurately. Measure over your undergarments, your chest, waist, and hips. Place the tape measure snugly and firmly over your body and not too tightly. Write these numbers down in inches.

5. Now for the best shopping online experience ever, ensure that you select a dress size basing on these body measurements of yours. Remember that every manufacturer size their dresses differently, especially special occasion dresses. There is no standard American size chart for women's clothing. What is normally a size 16 to you, is probably not the same when it comes to formal wear.

6. When selecting a size, please choose the size that corresponds to your widest body part, if your body measurements are not ideally proportionate. Social occasion dresses are not everyday clothing and are highly tailored and constructed. You may have to follow the rule-"easier to take it in, than to let it out".

7. Visit the various online boutiques out there. If you do not have a website name in mind, do a "search" in Yahoo!, Google, MSN, or AOL for "special occasion dresses", "formal dresses", or "evening gowns", to give you a few examples. All the specialty stores selling these dresses will be in the search results. It is now up to you to visit them and see what they have to offer. Online stores usually have great prices and selections.

8. Remember to allow ample time between the time you shop and the special event because oftentimes, plus size social occasion dresses are special ordered and require a waiting period.

9. If you follow the above rules, your online shopping experience for your plus size formal occasion dress, will be a pleasant one and you will definitely do it again the next time around. Happy Shopping!