The Oiselle Fitness Bra Test

Oiselle bra front
I was a bit slow in getting my act together when MizFit asked for input to share with Sally at Oiselle. Sally really wanted to know what we loved and hated in fitness gear.  However, at Miz’s suggestion, I just emailed Sally with my opinions.  (it’s not like I don’t share!)

I visited the Oiselle website this evening and looked over your clothes.

Very pretty muscle tee.  Except that with a “falls lower hip” length and my short frame?  I’d be cutting the last 6-10″ off the shirt.  I don’t mind doing that for cheap shirts, but I won’t spend $40 to mutilate something.  I know the younger woman is looking for additional length, and this is my own complaint.

What in general do I dislike about today’s fitness clothing?  Note: I work out primarily in a gym.  I am NOT a runner or biker.  I do 20 minutes of hard cardio, followed by 20 minutes of pilates-style floor exercises and topped with 40 minutes of weight training.  What I want (and can’t find):

#1.  And it’s a huge one.  No regular pockets in the shorts or pants. Ideally a front pocket with a button or zipper so I could carry my cell phone and my workout notebook (a small moleskin book) and pen with me while going around the gym.  I hate feeling like I have to have a special purse in the gym because manufacturers have quit putting pockets in clothes.  And a key pocket.  Is it large enough for an IPod?  Just tell me.

#2.  Sports bras that never make the fit clear.  S, M, L, XL  I’m a 34B/C with a full-bust measure of 35.5″.  Your size chart would lead me to believe I should order your medium, yet my experience is that it might fit tight but OK the first time I wear it, yet as soon as I throw in into a washer of cold water and hang it out to dry, it will fit about 1″ smaller.  That is, it squeeze my ribcage and be tight over my shoulders.  I will suddenly develop the uniboob syndrome.  Yet if I buy and use a bra that fits a bit looser before I use it, can I take the chance that it will fit supportively yet snugly enough once it’s seen the wash and sunshine?  My experience says unless the bra has a significant amount of stretch material built into it, the answer is no.

Your bra, I read, at least admits that it’s designed for an A/B cup size, so I wouldn’t expect it to fit me.  But why is that fitness bras aren’t made for those of us with a bit more?

So, if I could take your running gear, take it apart, and make it perfect gymwear?

I’d take the shape your Roga shorts (love the shape) add 1 pocket along the waistband in front.  square.  About a 2.5″ opening  Large enough for a cell or an IPod, some antibacterial wipes in the winter, or my workout notebook.
I’d make the same shape in capris (for those who like that sort of thing) and long pants.
Barring that, I’d do the same thing for your Isabelle line.  One of the two should be made with pockets. I’d say the same thing only louder if I were a road runner.  There is no way I’d feel safe running without my cell phone in my pocket.

Fitness Tops.  A great fitness tank top with a built in bra.  NOT a shelf bra; they give no support at all.  A real, cup worthy, bounce resistance bra.  And some lycra stretch.

Tanks that do not have too high of an arm opening.  Look at your muscle tee.  See how it tickles the model’s armpit?  Not a comfortable thing when you’re working hard. If I were running, mightn’t that catch in my bra or chafe?  Give me a little wiggle room.  And please, don’t make the neck too high.  That neckline will be up around my throat during some moves.  Your raceday Tank looks perfect for working out in.

Sally is a sweet heart and a charming business woman.  She emailed me back that she appreciated my comments.  She also wanted to send me their new GoodForm Iris Sports Top because she felt it would fit me better than the original Iris bras.

I waited a few days longer than others to receive my top, and took even longer to give it a test drive.

news: this fitness bra is perfect!

Oiselle bra back

I slipped this soft, jersey knit top on this morning.  I felt supported without the “uniboob” tightness that occasionally happens with a supportive bra.  Better, I did not feel like I was wearing a bra at all.

On to the workout:  There was some slight bounce during my HIIT session, but not as much as with some other bras.  On to a weight-training session that emphasized my chest, back and shoulders.  AGAIN, the bra fit so well that I completely forgot I was wearing anything.  Comfortable, comfortable, comfortable.  Color me a happy shade of Iris.

But on to the final test.  Does this bra wash up and still fit?

When I got home, I threw 2 days of workout clothes into the washer, running them through a regular cycle with cold water.  Then I hung them on the line to dry.

The results: this bra has the same fit, the same comfort, the same support.  These photos were taken after the workout, wash and dry.  The full sun probably explains the goofy facial expression.

I’ve found a new favorite workout bra.


3 responses to “The Oiselle Fitness Bra Test

  1. Such a very detailed email you sent to Sally, and also a very good review! I’m sure she appreciates both. I haven’t used mine yet (I’m so used to grabbing the one I normally wear), but I’ll do so this weekend and let you know. :)

  2. and a new company to love huh?


  3. Zandria, bet you love yours too.

    Miz… yeah good products and nice service, I’m doomed!

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