Journal: Looking Back On My First Sports Bra
From me, to you, I reveal my favourite - and very trusted - sports bra. But before I reveal just how many of this bra I own (too many), I thought I’d step you through my sports bra journey.
I’ve always been curvy. I’ve always had powerful legs which allowed me to run faster than many of my peers. I’ve always been very agile and enjoyed sport. Whilst the girls in my primary school classes had skinny little legs with knobbly ankles and knees (and which looked like they’d snap in a strong breeze), I looked like I came out of the womb with fully developed calf muscles and sizeable quadriceps. Which is great when all that matters is how fast you can run... and until you start to become aware of how your body looks.
When I was 9 puberty hit. Changing into our dance costumes and leotards as a group became a mortifying process because my body was changing and the other girls’ bodies were not. And by the age of 11 I had my period. Annoying. And just like that I went from lean and muscular to curvy and muscular. Frustrating. By the age of 13 I had a C-cup bust. Cruel!
Seeing my how body changed also changed how I felt about certain sports. I went from enjoying and excelling at gymnastics, to developing larger hips and breasts than many of the other girls. And I hated how I looked in a leotard. So I changed sport - even though I was still very proficient. I dropped gymnastics and dance and replaced them with new sporting challenges.
I chose sports where I could cover up my curves. Netball and touch football became my go-to activities. Yes, more running which was annoying for my fuller bust, but so much fun in the team environment. And more importantly? No. More. Leotards.
I recall in my first term of my first year of high-school when I was playing basketball with a large group of mates when a boy, whose name sounds similar to Shmy Smodgetts*, said I looked like the girl out of Scary Movie who uses her breasts as airbags (here's a little reminder for you). I was mortified. And even though it's kind of funny now, I’ve never actually forgotten that moment. I acted tough and told Shmy what I thought of him and kept playing. But it was the last time I ever played sport without feeling self-conscious and the first time I started to worry about whether I “looked good” or if my breasts were "too noticeable" whilst playing sports.
I went from playing my heart out (and kicking many of those boys’ arses) to being so self-conscious about my bust that I made sure I only ever had a hugely baggy shirt on to play sport and to make sure I hunched over and held my bust down so it didn’t move whilst I ran. I want to go back and erase that memory (and the inhibitions that prevented me playing as well as I could) and to kick Shmy Smodgetts in the nuts. But such is life and I would come to learn that sport wasn’t the only thing to eventually be affected by my changing body shape.
One of the gripes about being a busty girl is that buying our lingerie (and swimwear) is such an expensive - and often soul-destroying - experience. One of the differences between myself and my peers in sport was that whilst they got away with playing sport in their affordable little Bonds crop tops, I was already having to go through the mortifying process of bra shopping in the “old ladies” bra shop with my mum. And my sports bra, resembling something closer to a bullet-proof-vest than a bra, cost around $80 back then - around 17 years ago. Man, I feel old writing that. Even at my ripe old age of 31!
But as I write this small reflection on my first foray into sports bras, I must say that things have come a long way. I now own 5 of this Panache Sports Bra and whilst it still isn’t super cute (I’m not sure that’s really possible for an effective busty sports bra) it isn’t as full-coverage as others out there. And it costs around $99 to buy. Practically a bargain - relatively speaking!
You can buy this bra in many places but I must say that I tend to buy most of my bras through Brava Lingerie - online or in store.
I'd love to hear what you think about my experience - did you have a similar experience or not at all? Let me know in the comments below!
Much love and light,
Rachael, Marvell Lane Musings
*Name changed to protect his identity. Not that he deserves it. Boys suck.
Marvell Lane Musings is the blog space I, Rachael Calvert, started for my swimwear label, Marvell Lane. I created Marvell Lane as a swimwear label designed fashion-conscious women with large busts. My dream is that Marvell Lane will become the go-to swimwear label for fuller busted women with designs from supportive underwire bikinis to wire-free bikinis and amazing one pieces you'd love to wear all day.
My current fuller bust swimwear size range goes from 8D, 8DD, 8E, 8F, 8G, 8H, 10D, 10DD, 10E, 10F, 10G, 10H, 12D, 12DD, 12E, 12F, 12G, 12H, 14D, 14DD, 14E, 14F, 14G, 14H, 16D, 16DD, 16E, 16F, 16G, 16H. So I hope that you find your cup size in our swimwear range and if you don't then get in touch so I know which other sizes people are looking for!
I started developing at age 9 also. I remember being 10 and the boy down the road (who was about 14/15) saw me outside, on our own, looked at my chest and chest and said “you’ve got tits!”
And that was that. My childhood felt stripped away. I was mortified. I’ve always been self conscious of my boobs and have hated the process of bra shopping, rarely finding a good fit. Can’t wait to visit your store in Feb and buy and bikini (or three) that fits and flatters!
Oh me too! I felt that my body somehow didn’t belong to me any more. It wasn’t just my private space, somehow other people’s eyes, boys especially, seemed to take ownership of my breasts. They had opinions and thoughts and 16 year old boys cannot hide those thoughts!
I was 11 when i got my first bra and i have been self conscious of my body shape ever since then. Yep…. baggy shirts, t shirts and dresses. I loved and still do love fashion and boobs are so annoying!
Thankyou for making swimwear that is beautiful and fits for an 8G girl like myself. Now someone just needs to do sports bras as fashion like others sizes have!!
Hi Rachael, I am so incredibly appreciative of your honesty! I have a similar story. I was a gymnast for 6 years from year 3 to year 9 and so my physical and hormonal growth was stunted. We were so worried I even went to see a paediatrician about my lack of growth. This effected me so badly that it was actually a factor in why I gave gymnastics up due to the other girls in my group teasing me about being flat chested. I was so upset that in the summer holidays between year 8 and 9 mum took me to buy AAA size bras and those chicken fillet things so that I could look more “normal” and feel more comfortable at school. When puberty finally hit me when I was 15 I went from being naturally flat chested to being a B/C cup pretty much straight away. I was then a 10/12DD by year 12. I am now almost 24 and have a 10F bust. It took me so many years of denial before finally giving in and getting properly fitted at Bras n Things about a year or so ago, finding out I’m a 10F and i tell you I am soooo much more comfortable in my bras now. And I finally learned that by accepting my proper bra size my bust actually looks less huge because I’m wearing the right bra size. It took me so many years to become comfortable with my body and I can tell you it feels so much better now that I care less about what other people think. I never liked wearing tight clothing, cropped style tops or anything like that but now I feel comfortable enough within myself to do so.
The thing that bugs me the most these days is that all the female empowerment seems to be surrounding the acceptance of big booties and cellulite, which is of course very important and great to see, however where is the support and empowerment for women with bigger busts on smaller bodies. Sometimes I feel so alone in my body shape but recently I’ve been noticing more women who look similar to me and that makes me feel so much better.
So I say we start a #bustyrevolution!
Thank you so much for inspiring and empowering me Rachael.
I know what you mean. Although I didn’t fully develop until high school of always been looked upon with busts first the rest of me 2nd. And I hate it. I’ve gone from a DD cup to now a G, and even an I ; depending on the brands. Looking at getting a reduction hopefully in near future. And yes I have to go to sydney for my bras. Bras and things don’t cut it any more. – depressing ! Thanks for your blog. X
I love your honesty! People don’t understand that comments have the power to haunt you forever. When I was 15, the guy I had a huge crush on told me that I had 2 good sides…the left side and the right side. I’d never felt so judged in my life, and quite humiliated. Funny that I can still hear those words…20 years down the track! It was one of the first but certainly not the last. Now I know that many women pay thousands of dollars to have what I have ;)