48% of girls saying getting sweaty is not feminine. Be proud of your sweat. Be in the 52%

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When I first started working out I always wore basic black. It was the easiest thing to roll out of bed, jam on a pair of leggings and a top and leave for the gym or a run without worrying about things mismatching or standing out. As I got more confident about my exercise abilities I began to seek out louder workout gear, items that made me feel great as well as performing properly. By the time I started doing Crossfit even the instructors began to comment on my seemingly endless array of patterned leggings and matching / artfully clashing trainers, it was a proud moment indeed when one trainer said I was the best dressed woman at Crossfit. But not as proud as the moment I managed my first T2B (toes to bar).

Sadly, many of the items of clothing available on the market aren’t that inspired and definitely cater to the customer I was five years ago when I just wanted to slip under the radar in basic black. It’s hard to find exercise gear that really stands out and does the technical bit too. I haunt the Nike running shop in Covent Garden but often find it uninspiring and a bit same-y, Sweaty Betty sometimes produces a colourful outfit, Stella McCartney for Adidas is way too expensive and overly flouncy. I have found Black Milk a good source of out there leggings for the gym (but alas they aren’t quite so comfortable for long runs) and Sports Direct, whilst not glamorous, is always good for a rummage for cheap Nike kit and high vis jackets (when you’re training for a marathon in the winter months you need more than one).

So when I was in Australia last year the discovery of Lorna Jane was one I embraced wholeheartedly. Patterned leggings and matching bra tops, singlets with inspirational quotes to get you going, vests with a bit of detail and neat accessories like headbands that actually stay put all went into my suitcase home. The company have recently started to sell their wares in the UK and for a fortnight recently opened a pop up store where I couldn’t resist a rather fabulous floral zip up shell for the winter months that will soon be upon us. I have only one complaint – why is so much of the stuff handwash only?

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Sporty girl problems…or where to get a decent bra that won’t kill me or cost the earth

Sport and boobs are not the best of friends. ESPN recently covered the issue and I must admit it’s an area I’m always surprised isn’t looked at in more depth.



Most running magazines always spout the old mantra that all you need to run are a pair of good trainers and the great outdoors. I sit there thinking ‘Er, hello, and a sports bra for your female readers’. Somehow this vital bit of equipment is often missed off the list and in an industry that is always releasing the latest running shoe with ‘ultra lite’ this and ‘energy cell’ that or new fandangled sports watches that can make your dinner and track your mileage, the lack of adequate support for the ladies is one the rankles for me (don’t even get me started on tri-suits and the tens of thousands of women who have to swim in their sports bra under their suit…oh the indignity). 

Sports bras always seem to come last on the kit list. They tend to be pretty pricey and as a result many women plump for cheap high street alternatives from the likes of Primark, especially when they take up sports. I know this all too well because when I first started exercising I also wore these £4 bras and they didn’t work properly. I see women with their boobs bouncing all over the shop when I go out for a run and wince in pain as I pass them. I want to chase them and give them my hard won knowledge but that’s socially unacceptable so I will do so here.

I have tried many brands over the years. Some chaffed me to pieces, others looked nice but did precious little to keep me in one place, one particular brand almost killed me it took compression to the extreme. I will not talk about these. In five years of running, triathlons and crossfit these are the best bras for a C/D cup as far as I’m concerned:

1) Moving Comfort Fiona – by far the most comfortable of any sports bra I’ve ever worn, it’s also the easiest to get on and off. It won’t win awards for beauty but it’s not terrifying looking either. 

2) Moving Comfort Juno – a great bra for the fuller bust but be warned – you need to be a contortionist to get it on and off. I swear sometimes I feel like I’ve had a full workout just getting this thing on in the morning. You could wear this all day which is just as well because you might need a rescue team to get undressed. 

3) Shock Absorber Run Bra – this is the market leader in Britain I believe and with good reason. It’s not the most comfortable bra but it does stop those bad boys moving and you can buy them in pretty much every major sporting outlet. You do feel very gussied up however which is why I don’t list it as my favourite – the first thing you want to do when you get home from a run after wearing this is to take the bloody thing off. Now. I also don’t like the way they are done up. If you are not very flexible clipping the darn thing up above the shoulder blades could be near impossible to achieve by yourself – I can do it no problem but I think my 60 year old Mum would be in A&E before you could say ‘boobies’. I have also had a problem with the adjustable  shoulder strap clips coming undone during a run and having to take my bra off under my top in doorways to readjust. About the most humiliating thing ever. Especially in rush hour London. For this reason I only ever wear these bras when I know someone is with me that can help me reclip it if this happens. 

So, there you go. My top three sports bras. I have others in my collection but I would never run in them. Crossfit perhaps, cross-trainer yes, cycling by all means. But running and jumping? No way. 

Oh, and final tip – don’t buy white sports bras. Ever. Stick with black or darker colours, they wash better and look fresher for longer.