A bra fitting specialist reveals her top tips for choosing a sports bra

It sounds weird to say sports bras are having a moment, given that they’re pretty much a prerequisite to most women exercising. But after Chloe Kelly’s glorious celebration during the Lionesses’ Euros win – during which she whipped off her shirt to reveal a sports bra she now plans to frame – it’s fair to say this category of the underwear market has more eyes on it than normal.

sports bra
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At John Lewis, for example, there was an 130% jump in searches for sports bras over the weekend, and a 15% growth in sales.

But how do you choose the perfect sports bra? And how do you know when it needs to be replaced? We put these and plenty more questions to Veronica Topple, Bra Fitting Specialist at Peter Jones, John Lewis, who shared her sports bra wisdom with us.

Sports bras are often divided into high or low impact, but what type of activities come under each category?

High impact sports are activities such as horse riding, running or aerobics, For this,  I’d suggest an extra high impact sports bra, such as the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Non-Wired Sports Bra.

Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Non-Wired Sports Bra, £50, John Lewis

For medium to low impact sports – like walking, yoga and pilates – our John Lewis Mia Non Wired Sports bra is a great option that’s good value and high quality. We also get customers that purchase this for tasks such as gardening.

John Lewis Mia Non Wired Sports bra, £30, John Lewis

How often should you wash your sports bras? Any tips for washing them so they last?

You should wash your sports bra after every wear, if you’ve exercised in it. Depending on how much time you have, it is best to use a gentle wash cycle and pop your sports bra in a laundry bag or even a pillow slip to help it last longer! If you do have extra time, hand washing is also great to ensure the longevity of your sports bra.

How often should you replace sports bras?

You should replace your sports bra when you feel it starts to slack, or like it’s no longer giving you the support you need.

Which are your most popular styles and why?

Shock Absorber sports bras prove popular with our customers as well as our John Lewis ANYDAY range and Sweaty Betty if you want fun colours and styles.

Sweaty Betty mindful seamless sports bra, £45, John Lewis

Many women with larger busts find choosing a sports bra really tricky – how should they approach sports bra shopping?

It’s always worth speaking to a bra fitter for advice as there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach, and we can help find the right product for you. Our best sellers include The Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Non-Wired Sports Bra which has an adjustable strap that can be moved down to ensure more support and longevity. Freya is another brilliant brand which offers larger cup sizes, the Freya Sonic Sports Underwired Moulded Crop Top Bra includes an underwire for further support for high impact sports. Our John Lewis own brand also has great colours and styles for those who enjoy walking and running.

 Freya Sonic Sports Underwired Moulded Crop Top Bra, £40, John Lewis