Erin from "Lose the Buddha" asked for some bra suggestions this week, and I realized I hadn't yet reviewed my new sports bra. So, without further adieu, here goes....
If my boobs ever go crazy and need to be locked up in a mental institution, we'll first fetch the Enell and lock them down. Because this thing is a serious straight jacket for The Girls.
Before you order an Enell, you have to get out the measuring tape. Their sizing system is unusual, and even though they have corresponding normal sizes listed beside theirs, it's a good idea to measure. That said, I measured and I still ordered wrong. I'm used to buying a size UP when I'm close to or right on the border of a size. I measured my ribs at 31" and my bust at 37", so I ordered a size 1 (I'm a 34D, BTW).
When it arrived, I put it on (I'll get to how that works in a minute) and it felt fine. But then I jumped around to test out the "bounce stops here" promise, and The Girls were still a-bouncin'. No good. I'm not paying 54 bucks for bounce. So I went back to the website, got my measuring tape back out, and realized I should probably get a size 0 if I want maximum bounce stoppage. (The bra instructions do say that for low impact exercise, a bigger size would be okay, but a smaller size might be needed for high impact workouts. Wish I'd figured that out to begin with, but I digress.)
So I packaged my poor little unused sports bra into a USPS flat rate shipping envelope and sent it back with a return label, requesting a smaller size. The good folks at The Lingerie Store sent a new size 0 speedily; I had the exchanged bra in less than a week, which was actually faster than my original order which took about 10 days, but they ship for free so it's totally worth the slow shipping.
This bra is so advanced, it comes with instructions on how to put it on. There are eyehooks in the front (ten of them on a size 0, I just pulled it out of my gym bag and counted), and you put it on like a vest or a jacket. Then you fasten the bottom hook, lean over and stuff The Girls in, pushing them up and back. Then you fasten the rest of the hooks until you're all trussed up.
The first time I put on this bra (the smaller one), I was astounded at how flat I was. So astounded, in fact, that I measured my chest with my regular bra and then with my Enell bra. I am 2 1/2 inches flatter with the Enell bra. I have no idea how that works. It's a feat of modern engineering.
It's tight, I won't lie to you. At first when I tried on the smaller size, I thought I'd made a mistake and wished they had a size 1/2. But then I read on the instructions that the bra might feel tight to you at first. I'm pretty used to it now and it only bothers me when I first put it on, just a little bit.
I've worn this bra a lot since it arrived, and it's 95% bounce proof. I still bounce a smidgen, but it's nothing like how I was with my old two-layered bra trick. My biggest complaint is that there are two big upside-down-smiley-face seams that go across the front of the bra that show through my running shirts. I'm sure they are a reason the bra works, but they annoy the heck out of me.
Also, this thing is ugly as shit. I'd never ever run without a shirt on or at least would wear another normal-looking sports bra over it (not that I'm running without a shirt anyway, but who knows maybe someday I'll magically get abs of steal and be able to run shirtless). It comes up really high across the chest and under the arms, so I can't wear a wife-beater running shirt with it unless, again, I wear a different sports bra over it.
The ugliness aside, I'd recommend this baby. I'm much more relaxed about running races now that I'm not all bouncy in the front (I'm still waiting for the Enell Butt Bra). It was great to run the 5K last Saturday and not be paranoid that my friend would notice my bounce more than my pace.
A caveat--they only make sizes for Big Girls. Erin points out in this post that Enell doesn't make a size for her (a 34B).
So go forth, Girlfriends, and make the world a more beautiful place. The bounce stops here.