I'm feel mega shitty today. Just as well that both of the people I thought I was going out with later on (and separately) are actually under the impression that I'm going out with them next Sat. I've really got to work on the difference between "this weekend" and "next weekend".
At any rate, let's talk about a bra. This ain't a cute bra. I'd actually say it's ugly. But keep in mind that I've never seen a supportive sports bra I'd want anything to do with. I bought the Enell (there's only one style, people) at the Butterfly Collection closing sale. Sadly, Claire is moving on from this business (and from Canada). She's going back to England with her growing family and I hope that she does something new and bra-related soon because she's such a beacon. On this topic, it's just impossible to sell bras, in Canada, at the price that the British online companies can. I can buy from the UK for less than I could buy from Vancouver just about any day - even in my own currency and even in light of the fact that Butterfly offered free shipping.
Anyway, here's what it looks like:
Truly, I couldn't bring myself to pay full price for it and this is one of those cult classics that rarely goes on sale. When Butterfly listed it at 60 CDN plus tax but no shipping, I knew I wouldn't be able to find it less expensively. I've kept my eye on it so I know.
The sports bra I use - hilariously phrased because it implies that I actually wear it - is the Shock Absorber N109. I have to say, of these 2 bras, if I were going to run a mile, I'd wear the N109.
Look, they're both rather supportive and designed for women with projected, proportionately-large breasts. But the N109 is much firmer - in fabric and construction. It's also much less comfortable but that's another story. The N109 is an encapsulation / compression combo (read my post, linked to above, for more info). The Enell is all compression, all the time.
I don't prefer compression bras under any circumstances, though I don't suppose they're boob-damaging if you wear them in the "correct size" and just for exercise. I agree that stopping bounce is the primary goal of the sports bra. I just believe that this can generally be accomplished more adequately by bras that both encapsulate and compress. Mind you, to each her own. What I can say is that, when I do a bounce test, the N109 comes out ahead.
What I will also say is that the Enell is easier to put on, what with those fun hooks that join at the front. And it's way more pleasant to wear. I did yoga in it yesterday and it was totally enjoyable, very suited to that undertaking. The N109, by contrast, is SO much overkill for yoga - and the band is SO firm that it can be tricky when you move into certain backbends or twists. It's unyielding - just what I'd want if I were bouncing up and down and not getting all twisty. It also doesn't smush your boobs all to hell. But the N109 presumes that your boobs are all below the apex i.e. exceedingly full on bottom - to the saggy end of the equation.*
The Enell has a very slippery fabric in two layers, the outer layer of which stretches quite extensively (and is ridiculously shiny), but the under layer of which is firm. It's got a much better under band than the N109, which is why I think it performs as well as it does. But it doesn't have adjustable straps. Hell, it doesn't actually have straps. It's like a sleeveless top that clasps at the front. So if it doesn't fit your vertical proportions, you're screwed.
It happens to fit mine pretty well - surprising since I'm very short from full-bust to shoulder shelf. But I think my projection picks up the slack (the happy story of my life). One of the reasons I've never bought Enell, before now, is that I assumed it would require a longer bust to shoulder measurement than mine. I actually find that the vertical proportions on this thing are pretty excellent, which is totally surprising.
Furthermore, ugliness notwithstanding, you could wear it as a top at the gym. It doesn't look as much like a bra as a "compression top" the likes of which the spinner-sorts wear.
I imagine that the Enell would work best with breasts that are either insanely projected (in a slightly smaller-than-usual size to completely batten down the hatches, as it were) or rather shallow for size (in which case the bounce factor wouldn't be as germane). But if you don't intend to jump around, hardcore style, it's more than supportive enough (presuming it suits your size and shape).
I don't like either bra but I can see that both have their place. My goal is to wear them both when I practice, to get a sense of which is superior, for me. Not that it matters much. Even in a high-impact yoga class, there's no call for the kind of support that either bra offers. And they both give a flattened, ugly shape under clothing.
So, have you tried either or both of these sports bras? How do they work for you?
*Let's just take a moment to explore the word "saggy". A Bra that Fits (the most floridly PC forum I've ever encountered) prefers the word "pendulous" to describe this phenomenon. I think that word sucks balls and you will not find me using it, ever. Way to PC a scenario into the spectrum of stupidity... The appropriate term is ptotic, as I've mentioned previously. If you're not going to use that term, then pick your poison. Pendulous is a horrid word to my ears and saggy holds no such connotations. Furthermore, who the fuck cares if your boobs are saggy (other than, perhaps, you)? That's what well-fitting bras are for. Some breasts that sag are gorgeous when the bra comes off. Others, that don't sag, are less gorgeous. It's a matter of personal preference and - just as significantly - proportion. To say that saggy breasts are ugly is like saying that long-limbs or short waists are ugly. I think the word has a bad rap because people only associate it with the less attractive examples. Look, some people have unattractive breasts - just like some people have unattractive noses or derrieres etc. To imply that what diminishes a feature is something as simplistic as a single factor is reductive.