Cafe Kim calls her sister Kristin a "boobologist" because she's an expert on boobs, er, bras. She's Regional Manager and Fit Specialist for a large, well-known retail store and has already given us great advice on wearing the right bra size.
Kristin was nice enough to share her wisdom about the ins and outs of sports bras:
How tight should a sports bra feel?
You should be able to breath (obviously) but I always use the "two finger rule". Take your two fingers and tug the back band. If you are able to move it towards you about an inch without too much effort then this is a good amount of "tightness". Hope this makes sense.
Is it unhealthy to wear a sports bra as a regular bra?
It is not unhealthy to wear a sports bra as a regular bra; this however is dependant on how supportive the sports bra you are wearing is. I would suggest that if you were going to go this route you would opt for a sports bra that has underwire to ensure that you are not sacrificing support.
How should you measure for a sports bra?
This would depend on the sports bra that you were choosing to wear. Some sports bras are sized as a normal bra (typically 32a, 32b and so on- band and cup). As a general rule, you would wear the same sized sports bra as your regular bras.
Others, most likely those that are over-the head would be sized S, M and L, XL etc. Typically because sports bras just like anything else run differently per brand, it would be beneficial to try on to ensure the best fit.
Are sports bras with cups better than ones without?
This depends on the person and the size of one's breasts. It is my opinion that if you are a C cup or larger, the added support can help to reduce back pain as well as the inevitable "bounce".
For women with large busts, should they use more than one sports bra?
Although I have heard of many women that do, I feel that if you wear a supportive bra, this is not necessary.
How can you tell when it's time for a new sports bra?
If your band starts to ride up in the back, this is a sure sign that it is time for a new bra. A sports bra should feel almost uncomfortably tight in order to achieve its purpose. If your sports bra is just too comfy, this could be a sign that it's time to go shopping.
What's the best way to wash/dry them?
Best way to wash/dry them is to put them in a mesh laundry bag, clasped. Cold water and line dry.