Review: Berlei Move X Sport Crop Top

Ok ladies, I asked a question a while ago if I should post reviews of my bra purchases here, and the answer was yes. I haven’t done so yet, and that’s terribly lazy of me, but this one is worth reviewing properly, I think, for two reasons:

1) There is not a heck of a lot of info on Berlei in the bra community

2) A lot of the information circulating on these sports bras is misleading.

These bras come up on Zulily sales pretty often, and seem to be generally discounted on their own website, so are a good deal if they happen to be what you’re looking for.

Let’s get the big question out of the way first: is this bra going to go head-to-head with big contenders like the much-loved Panache Sport, or with Freya Active, Shock Absorber, Enell. No. Absolutely not.

And, here’s where the misconception comes in: IT’S NOT DESIGNED TO.  That’s right, ladies. This bra is not intended to be a super sports bra.  I think that’s why a lot of the people who talk about it have such unkind things to say about it.  If you’re comparing it to one of these heavy duty sports bras that will virtually eliminate bounce, then you’ll be disappointed.  You’re putting the move-X into a league that it was never intended to compete in.

The Berlei Move X crop top is rated and recommended for sports like yoga and dance. And, that is what it will be good for – no more, no less.  It will not eliminate bounce.  You are not going to be able to do jumping jacks or burpees in this bra without jiggle.  And, that’s okay.  The Move-X is designed to do a job; that job is to squash your boobs down so they won’t be in your way, or burying your face when you’re in downward facing dog (test: passed), to keep them from flopping about when you’re lifting, to potentially survive that zumba class you’ve been meaning to take (I don’t do zumba, someone else will have to run that test, but as long as you’re not doing cartwheels or flying sidekicks, I see no reason it won’t be perfectly sufficient).  It was not designed for triathlons, or acrobatics.  So, to expect it to perform based on the most intense physical activity is not putting it on a fair playing field.

Here’s Berlei’s Description from their website (berlei.com)

A laminated, moulded, super soft brushed fabric offers strong support and extra comfort whilst exercising. Engineered to act like your own personal trainer and straighten posture!

 

  • Intelligent back with cross action laminated panel
  • Power mesh panels placed locally for support and breathability
  • Cushioned gel hook and eye for floor exercise without discomfort
  • Peach touch fabric, soft on skin
  • Recommended for activity sports such as dance or yoga.

Now, most of that is sales pitch. Here are the important things to take away from it:

1) ‘Super soft brushed fabric’ – does that sound like a high intensity sports bra to you? It doesn’t to me.

2) Panels for “breathability” – that means those panels are semi-sheer, ladies. Again – doesn’t sound like a proponent for intense, hard core support.

3) Recommended for activity sports such as dance and yoga. – which, as I stated above, is exactly what it’s best for.

Will it help with posture? Unlikely. Is it soft? Yes, it is.

Now, let’s break it down, with pictures!

IMAG0422[1]

As you can see, that front panel is quite sheer.  I typically wear either a 30GG or 32G.  This is a 32G, and fits just fine.

IMAG0424[1]

The fabric is extremely flexible, so while, at first, I was afraid it would be too small, once adjusted, I’m perfectly secure enough.  That’s loose skin you’re seeing in the pictures, by the way – it’s not breast tissue hanging out. After 100 lbs of weight loss, there are some weirdnesses in fit that there’s just not much I can do anything about. My skin hasn’t really bounced back.

IMAG0426[1]

This is a racerback.  It is also an overhead style.  I’m not sure if you can see in this horrible photo but it DOES NOT  have adjustable straps.  When I pulled it out of the package, that was a serious worry for me. I normally have my bras adjusted as long as they can go, and several brands – like Just Peachy – tend to have straps that are really painful for a few wears because they’re too short for me in spite of the fact I’m only 5’4.  I know it looks tight against the shoulders – that’s primarily the way I’m contorting my body to take the picture. It’s not uncomfortable.

Rest assured – the stretchy fabric saves the day. This is perfectly comfortable on my shoulders.

When I purchased this bra, I was not looking for a high-intensity sports bra, nor was I expecting to get one for $25 USD.  I have three shock absorbers that do that job perfectly well for me.

What I was looking for was a bra that would be more comfortable for lounging around the house. I’ve been using my shock absorbers for that, and since my back is broad, I admit that there’s a point in the evening when the shock absorber is just too restrictive on the upper set of hooks and I want out of it. The berlei purchase was intended as a happy medium between sports bra and no bra in the evening. Victory on that front – this is the first bra I’ve ever put on that I thought ‘I could probably sleep in this’.  I don’t wear a sleep bra and don’t intend to start, but if I did, this seems like it would be comfortable enough to suit the purpose.  And, as I like garments that multitask, I was expecting it to be suitable for yoga, pilates, free weights, and general strength training. That’s also a victory, which makes this a bra that does exactly what it advertises.

So, if you’re looking for a high-intensity sports bra – stick to the big names that we all know about already.  However, if you’re looking for a good bra for low intensity sports at a price point that won’t break you, or a casual ‘lay around’ bra – this is a very real option, and I am completely satisfied with it.

Alteration: Removing the Elastic under the top Lace of a Bra.

Sometimes, a bra can look too small when it fits well, because  the strip of fabric/elastic under the top of the lace is too tight across the top of the breast.  European bras, in particular are nearly infamous for this.  If you have firm breast tissue, your breasts will fight against the elastic and shape the bra. Not all of us are that lucky.  Soft tissue molds to the shape of the bra, so the elastic pulls down over the top of the breast.  If the bra is not a full coverage style, it will not sit against the breastbone, but actually against the breast tissue, causing the breasts to bulge out of the top of the bra and give the appearance of a bra that is too small.

This seam is put in place to pull the top of the cup closer to the chest and prevent the bust from spilling out.  That’s probably just fine for someone who is predominantly full on bottom, but someone with a more even or full on top shape will run into this problem pretty consistently in European bras, so I’m going to talk about how to fix that.

Tools You’ll Need: 

DSCN1074

1 seam ripper  & 1 pair of scissors.

Seriously, that’s it.

Difficulty Level: Easy. Seriously, a well behaved toddler could do it.

The bra I will be performing this alteration on is the Samanta Hana (A122 cut) in 70I. Samanta is a Polish brand, and I will refrain from discussing the finer points of the style in detail, as the brand has already been broken down quite well by Miss Underpinnings, but I will say for the purpose of this post that I would refer to this as a mesh balconette.

DSCN1075

As you can see above, the bra looks too small on close up. I’m clearly bulging out the top of the cup. If you look closely at the top center, you can even see my bust trying to escape through the gaps in the lace. What may not be obvious in photographs is that there is actually plenty of room in this cup for me, but the top of the cup is being pulled down very tightly across the top of my breast, causing me to quadboob even though the bra actually fits.

This is the problem:

DSCN1076

This seam is slightly elastic, and so makes the top of the cup too closed off for me. It fits beautifully everywhere else.

Now, you’re going to work from the inside of the bra. Grab your seam ripper. We need to remove the stitches from inside of the elastic.

DSCN1077

You want to work from the elastic side to avoid potentially tearing any mesh or lace with your seam ripper.  You can stab a piece of elastic to your hearts content and it doesn’t really matter, but stab a bit of lace and you might poke a hole in your bra.

As you start to remove these stitches, you’ll see the elastic start to come away from the bra, like so:

DSCN1080

Keep going. You have to remove all of them. At which point, you’ll have something that looks like this:

DSCN1083

Now, up to this point, we’re doing fine. We haven’t cut anything. We are still at a place where this alteration can be reversed by sewing the elastic back down, but we won’t be for long.

This alteration always has the potential to open the cup too much for you (You can correct this by sewing a dart near the wire, but that’s another alteration.), so you definitely want to try the bra on again at this point to make sure the alteration is going to work for you before you move onto the next step, at which point the alteration can not be reversed.

DSCN1084

As you can see, this is probably going to work out well for me.  There’s a tiny bit of gaping, but that’s mostly due to the position I have to put my arm in to take the photo and the elastic still being connected on both ends.

You’re done with the seam ripper now. Grab the scissors. We need to cut the elastic out on both sides beside the wire.

DSCN1086

DSCN1087

Cut as close to the wire as possible.

That’s it. The alteration is complete. There is no need to finish the elastic or add no fray. You’re welcome to if you’d like, but if you cut it as close to the wire as you can, the bra won’t give you any issues with fraying or loose threads, and you won’t really even notice that there was ever a seam there in the first place.

This is what you’ve removed  – you don’t need them, so unless you have some other use planned for them, just throw them out.

DSCN1089

And this is what your bra will look like when it’s done:

DSCN1090

DSCN1091

DSCN1093

The Final Fit Test:

DSCN1095

This bra now fits me pretty darn well.  It will gape slightly when I move my arms certain ways, but not enough to make me fall out, not enough to cause fit issues, and not enough to show under clothing. This alteration has made this bra the best fit of my current rotation.

If I hadn’t altered it, I would only be able to wear it under loose t-shirts and tunics, and so it would probably spend most of its time in the back of the lingerie drawer.

If this is a problem you find you run into consistently, this is an alteration you definitely want to consider. The entire alteration can be completed in less than 30 minutes, and there is absolutely no sewing required.

I’ll be brief.

I’m not exactly a bra blogger.  There are tons and tons of bra blogs, and I really don’t feel I have anything useful  to add on any consistent enough basis, so this blog is a more casual affair.

What I do have, is an unusual torso shape that is really not discussed elsewhere, and a habit of altering bras to compensate for that, so while I don’t have anything to offer on any consistent basis (or the time or finances to let bras completely swallow my life. lol), I do seem to have a sort of unique perspective that brings things to the table that just aren’t discussed often.

I have a lot of bratastrophies. I’m a very tough fit with a V-shaped torso, rib flares, and a barrel-shaped, or egg-shaped chest.  My sternum is projected.  My tissue is extremely soft with lots of loose skin.  My breasts are very narrow and projected (more of a champagne flute than a wine glass), and I’m an even/full everywhere shape. This chest shape isn’t great for much, but it IS kind of perfect for discussing when things go wrong in the right size.

SO!  While I don’t currently intend to update this blog on a consistent basis, it is a good little home on the internet for talking about those things that I’m asked about enough, posting tutorials that I don’t come across elsewhere, and talking about some unusual fit problems that will make a novice pull her hair out screaming.

Brastic Measures: When you’ve had enough bratastrophes that drastic measures are required for happy boobs.