Happy birthday to Candice Wiggins, the former Stanford University starting shooting guard and current Minnesota Lynx player! During her college career, she was a three-time Pac-10 player of the year and a four-time All-American player (she is one of only seven female players to be named All-American four times). She also won the Wade Trophy, given to the best NCAA Division I player, her senior year.
Whether she's skating suicides on the ice, doing burpees or planks, she said it was extremely comfortable and soft, she didn't feel it at all. It's hands down the best bra she's owned to date. Now that's saying a lot, since all her bras are mostly sports bras, but you can really see and feel the difference with the Racer Sports Bra. The fabric is thicker than other sports bras and it has a good stretch to it."She didn't feel it at all" is one of the most common comments we hear about our sports bras. And we love it! When girls can move and play without even thinking about their clothing, they're free to play -- and be -- their best. And THAT's what Dragonwing girlgear is all about.
The notion of girls being able to move freely without being self-conscious or distracted by their clothing is simple and yet oh-so-powerful.Robyn, mother of soccer-playing girls ages 8 and 11, wrote to share her -- and her older daughter's -- delight with our Keyhole Sports Bra. Her daughter didn't like the tight fit of other sports bras, especially under her arms. They selected the Keyhole because its design allows for more arm movement, the fit is snug, not tight, and the fabric is super soft and stretchy. A winning combination, as Robyn wrote: Before ordering, Robyn checked our size chart and double-checked her selection with us, just to be sure she'd get the right fit. And she did! We offer free shipping on every order, including for returns and exchanges, to ensure that girls get the right size and perfect fit.
I recently spent several hours with a film crew from TWC's "Made in the Carolinas" series for a featured story on Dragonwing. We traveled to the North Carolina manufacturing plant where our seamless sports bras are made and then to a soccer scrimmage and practice with our spokesperson Cindy Parlow Cone and a team of amazing teen girls. We're all delighted that TWC's "Made in the Carolinas" profile captured our mission and spirit perfectly. And we take pride in our seamless sports bras being Made in the USA, right here in North Carolina. Reporter Richard Green explained part of what makes our girls athletic wear perform so well, "Dragonwing incorporates elements that wick away moisture, prevent chafing and essentially allows girls to compete without worry." Soccer great Cindy Parlow Cone echoed that Dragonwing's sports bras, compression shorts, and other athletic wear "empowers girls to be free and not worry what they're wearing under their uniforms." "Girls on the field who wear Dragonwing clothing are sold on the benefits," said Green. Teen soccer player Sarah agreed, "It's nice having something locally made, locally created, and
something that actually fits." I was pleased to have the opportunity to highlight our mission of empowering girls to play -- and be -- their best. "We want to give girls an advantage. If their gear performs better, they will play better."
Please help spread the word by sharing this post with your friends and family -- by email or social media.
What a girl wears under her uniform can help her feel confident and play her best. Undergarments that are comfortable, fit great, and provide appropriate coverage empower girls to play the sports they love without being distracted by droopy straps, bras or shirts that ride up, or bunching shorts.4. PLAN AHEAD FOR COOLER WEATHER. While it may be hot and humid now, the arrival of cool, fall weather always seems to surprise us. Afternoon practices and games – or the trip to and from school -- can quickly turn chilly or downright cold. A pair of leggings and a long-sleeve top under sports gear can keep a girl athlete warm, agile, and in the game. Moisture-wicking fabric is a must, so the sweat moves away from the skin and girls stay dry and warm. When shopping, consider the sport as well as the fit. Many soccer girls love our Capri-length Chill Weight Leggings because they don’t interfere with shin guards. 5. THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS A GIRL NEEDS ON HER FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL WON'T FIT INTO HER BACKPACK OR GYM BAG. She carries these treasures inside herself: a spirit of adventure and curiosity, a desire to learn and tackle new challenges, and a sense of confidence in herself.
**********A slightly revised version of this post originally appeared on the Sports Mom Survival Guide, a great resource for parents of young athletes with tips, ideas, and recipes.
My little 8-year-old loves her sports... however, her weight, size, and now developing body was making it hard for her to be comfortable when she played. The Keyhole Sports Bra changed everything and provided her with fashionable comfort for everyday use. The first day she wore the new bra she said she felt like she was years younger again. No discomfort. Her friends in the locker room even commented on how cute it looked and asked where to get one.We LOVE hearing how Dragonwing girlgear boosts girls' confidence, empowering them to be the strong, active, fun-loving kids they are! Read Chloe's full review on her blog, Reviews by Clo. Tell us how Dragonwing has made a difference for YOU and we may feature you in an upcoming blog post.
CALZICOCalzico offers fun and functional fashion that inspires confidence! Their cute and versatile age-appropriate clothing for tweens ages 6-14 includes soft reversible tees, dresses, jackets and skirts, so your favorite girl can be confident and comfy from the classroom to the playground! Calzico’s creations flip, zip, and layer! Their zipskirt (with the removable layer) or the reversible jacket that can be worn four ways mean your favorite tween can create over 20 different looks with just a few pieces. Designing garments with greater versatility, comfort, and function is Calzico’s central focus -- so many ways, she'll have outfits for days! Founder Shannon Tennyson counts on daughter Callie (the “Cal” in Calzico) to review sketches and provide design, fit and style input. Together, they makes sure every item is well-designed enough to last multiple seasons and provide a variety of different looks. To get their amazing 4-in-one jacket or top-selling zipskirt, visit them online at calzico.com. If you’re not ready to buy just yet, sign up for their updates and receive their free Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist for Tweens, free! VISIT CALZICO HERE ultimate in sports bras, but camis, compression shorts and leggings with good looks that are only surpassed by their performance… just like your unstoppable daughter! SHOP DRAGONWING HERE GET THEIR STARTER KIT, HERE. PREP’s Chief Medical Officer, Carole Aponte, MD recommends girls use the starter kit every day to keep their healthy skin clean, fresh and protected. Each order comes with their PREP skincare 101 guide, which teaches girls how and when to use each product.
Sari BariWhile Sari Bari most certainly isn’t limited to items that appeal to tweens (those bed covers are AMAZING!), we love their mission and their promise and it’s a great message to share with our daughters. Their unique products are made in Kolkata, by women exiting the commercial sex trade or who are vulnerable to exploitation or trafficking. The Sari Bari promise doesn’t stop with the job - they firmly believe that’s not where the freedom journey ends. Holistic care is a high value at Sari Bari, which is why they journey with women as partners in their social support needs as they continue to take courageous steps towards restoration and wholeness. Watch their video to see them in action: Ready to check out a unique gift that gives back to the world? Your tween will collect about a million compliments on her Meye Messenger Bag!
Thanks to Chris Deacon for her excellent journalism in the Sept 6 issue of Today's Parent. Her article follows!
Studies show that girls start quitting sports in the tween years—this solution might surprise you.
Growing up, Juanita Lee ran track and rowed, but her sport of choice was tennis. She played the game from age six until age 14 when— seemingly overnight— her breasts grew from a 32A to 34DD.
The change immediately set her apart from her more petite, flat-chested opponents and made the teenager extremely self-conscious. She hated the sensation of her breasts moving when she ran on the court and how exposed she felt in her scoop-neck tennis dress whose padded cups only accentuated her size. And because breasts move independently of the body, (both up and down and side to side,) Lee also started experiencing breast pain, an issue she was too embarrassed to discuss with her parents. Not long after, Juanita used a sports injury as an excuse to quit tennis altogether and turned her attention to rowing, where breast movement wasn’t an issue, and running, a sport that—while still painful—meant she could wear baggy t-shirts for coverage.
Lee isn’t the only girl whose breast development has affected their participation in sports. In a 2016 survey of more than 2,000 British girls aged 11 to 18, nearly three-quarters said their breasts got in the way of enjoying sports. According to the study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, when girls hit puberty they start pulling out of athletics and skipping gym class to avoid the pain and embarrassment of breasts that are either too big, too small or —the chief complaint—too bouncy.
It turns out there could be an easy fix—a sports bra. While a given for professional female athletes, this undergarment is often omitted from the equipment list of girls’ sports teams. And while jockstraps are offered to boys for protection and to prevent discomfort caused by excessive movement during exercise, sports bras that serve the same purpose for girls have not been a part of the cultural conversation. In fact, only 10 percent of girls surveyed in the British study had worn one.
So how can a parent navigate the tricky terrain of breast development and sports with their tween?
Here are five tips:
Start the conversation early: Your daughter may not need the support of a sports bra yet, but it’s worth tackling the topic early on, before she gets embarrassed about it. If she’s not ready for the discussion in the moment, MaryAnne Gucciardi—whose company, Dragonwing girlgear specializes in performance base-layers such as sports bras and support tops for girls aged 8 to 17, encourages parents to stick with it. “It’s a hard conversation for a parent,” she says, noting that dads in particular, have a hard time with the topic, “but it’s even harder for a child. They don’t know yet what they need. They just know what they’re feeling.”
Be matter of fact: Gucciardi also suggests sticking with the facts when broaching the idea of a sports bra. “You could say something like, “I want you to play your best. I want you to feel comfortable, and have good support to prevent injury and stay healthy and just like boys with a jockstrap for support and to prevent injury, this is what girls wear,’” she says. Explain to you daughter the difference between your average tween bra (which often looks like a sports bra) and the real thing. Most tween bras are made with thin cotton and flimsy straps. A good sports bra, by contrast, has smooth but stretchy fabric that moves as the athlete moves, with straps and a band that stay in place.
Shop it alone: While the odd girl might enjoy looking for a bra with her mom, most don’t, says Gucciardi, so parents should start the process. One idea, she says, is to buy a few different styles of sports bras and support tops and leave them in your daughter’s drawer—while keeping in mind she probably won’t model them for you. “She might have you hand them back and forth until she finds one that she likes,” she says, “Be patient. If you let her control the conversation, then she’ll feel in control of her body.”
Go for fit: Thirteen-year-old Melanie Paulson’s* parents have been helping her shop for sports bras since she started developing breasts in Grade 4, with little success. “I don’t find them very comfortable,” says the avid hockey player, who now shops in the women’s section. But many women’s sport bras are padded which makes breasts look bigger—the last thing most tweens and teens want. And Gucciardi cautions that an improper fit—caused by a bra that’s too big— can lead to back problems. “You could have a bigger bust but a small rib-cage,” she explains, suggesting that parents seek out sports bras that are specifically designed for tweens and teens, and that take this silhouette variation into account so that the fit is precise. Lululemon, Nike and Gucciardi’s brand all carry quality sports bras for this age group. Look for a fit that is snug but not tight with straps that don’t droop or slip. And if you’re buying online, it’s worth taking the time to measure your daughter and refer to the size chart rather than order the size that corresponds to her age. Parents should measure just under the rib cage to get the right fit as opposed to across the chest, and, when the bra is on, be able to fit not more than one finger under the band. The band should be as wide as possible while still being comfortable for your child.
Comfort is key: Gucciardi recommends quality sports bras that use high performance, moisture wicking fabric (that moves the sweat away from the skin) with mesh for coolness and breath-ability. “Girls get super embarrassed when they think they sweat and smell and that people notice it,” she says. Also look for thin, removable pads for coverage and softness. “Nipples showing is another source of embarrassment,” she says. Nipple chafing— especially common with runners— is also an issue. Finally, choose a sports bra that’s seamless and tag-free to prevent irritation. Now that you’ve got a bra for your daughter, can you really expect it to be the difference between giving up sports and staying in the game? For Juanita Lee, now 27, the answer is—absolutely. “I was kind of a shy kid and I never felt comfortable saying, ”oh, my boobs hurt.” she says. In grade 10, Lee got her first sports bra at the suggestion of her female rugby coach, and she played rugby until the end of high school. *Name has been changed.