5 Tips for the Best-Fitting Sports Wear for Girls

Tips for the best fitting athletic wear for girlsSpring sports season is just around the corner, and that means stocking up on clothes for practices and games. Your child has likely grown since last year – or even last month! – so clothes that fit then won’t fit now.

Like most tween and teen girls, your daughter’s body may be changing and developing. Research shows that girls enter puberty significantly earlier than 15 years ago. More than 20% of girls in 3rd grade have started to develop breasts. Of course, many girls don’t begin until their teens.

What a girl wears under her uniform can give her the confidence to play her best. Base layers (aka “undergarments”) that are comfortable and provide appropriate support and coverage empower girls to play the sports they love without being distracted by droopy straps, shirts that ride up their bellies, or bunching shorts (the dreaded wedgie!).

Follow these tips to get the best fit for your daughter:

Should be easy, right? But lots of base layers, like compression shorts, are designed for boys or unisex. The selection of sports bras for girls can be limited, even in so-called sports stores, so you end up looking for XXS in women’s.

Girls of the same age come in different sizes and shapes, so don’t automatically buy Size 10 just because she’s turned 10. If you’re buying online, take a minute to measure and check the size chart. Next to our size chart, you’ll also find a short video about how to get the best fit. If trying on clothes at a store isn’t an option, check the return policy so you can exchange if the size isn’t right when you get home.

While your daughter may not need a sports bra for support, she may appreciate the coverage – and comfort – that it or a sports camisole provides under her jersey or uniform. Similarly, compression shorts provide coverage and a smooth, wedgie-free layer especially under white shorts, skirts, and uniforms.

Look for soft, smooth fabric (not cotton) with four-way stretch that moves when she moves and wicks moisture so she can stay cool even when working up a sweat. Tug and stretch to check if the item will hold up to a season of wear. That inexpensive cotton bra or cami isn’t a great value if it loses its shape or the straps break after 2 or 3 washes.

A girl’s sports bra or camisole should be snug but not tight. It should move when she moves but not ride up when she throws a ball, grabs a rebound, or runs the field. Look for a seamless, tag-free design so there’s no irritation or chafing.

At Dragonwing, the highest compliment we get is when girls say that our clothing is so comfortable that they don’t even know it’s there. That means they’re focusing on playing the sports they love. What more could a Sports Mom hope for?!

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A slightly revised version of this post originally appeared on The Sports Mom Survival Guide, a terrific resource for parents. Subscribe to their weekly email to get great tips, recipes, and life to make your life as a Sports Mom or Dad easier. They’re hosting a raffle for a $50 gift card for Dragonwing (deadline Feb. 9, 2015).



Fortunes Up for Interpretation

Pick a path with heart

I know, I know. The wise fortune cookie writers probably had deeper endeavors in mind when writing this fortune. Oh well. Today, I picked my path with heart. Today, a Sunday in late January, my path was Netflix.

I woke up at 9:03 am. It took me until 10:47 am to get out of bed. An hour and 44 minutes. That would be a full run through my Twitter and Instagram timelines, the Snapchat stories, my texts—all three of them—and two full episodes of “Lost.” A great morning if you ask me.

At 10:47, since I had already wasted those two hours,  I decided the window for productivity for the entire day had closed. Basically, I ruined the possibility for anything to actually get done (other than finishing another season)….so I continued. This time with some food in my system.

If there’s anything better than a Netflix day, it’s a Netflix day with really really good snacks.

Is there real stuff I could be doing? Well, of course. I’ll get it done. Maybe…tomorrow (I promise that isn’t what I said yesterday). And besides, filling out statistics worksheets brings me about one-third of the joy that muscly shirtless boys do walking around “The Island” trying to save the world.

And while I might have to scramble to finish my worksheet before class tomorrow, at least I can say something like, “it was my fortune to enjoy my day like this!” Nobody can get mad at the universe (or the universes’ messengers in the form of fortune writers), right?!

Lucky numbers:

50: Number of handfuls of goldfish I’ve scooped into my mouth

47: Number of minutes per episode

22: Number of episodes in a season

1: Number of seasons I started and finished today

35:  Number of times I thought about working out (Coincidentally,  it’s also the number of times I chose not to workout)

20: Minutes it would take to just finish the worksheet

#SaferSoccer Priority for Parlow Cone

Knowing Cindy Parlow Cone as we do (she’s a spokesperson for Dragonwing), it’s hard to imagine a time when this former soccer superstar and tireless advocate for sports safety and girls empowerment had no desire to play and “basically went to sleep every chance [she] had.”

Cindy Parlow Cone: As adults we have a responsibility to make soccer safer."But that’s the impact concussions, sustained during practices and games, had on her — injuries that led to her retirement. And that’s why she speaks regularly and passionately about the importance of concussion education and prevention, especially in youth sports.

Along with former US Women’s National Team teammates Brandi Chastain and Joy Fawcett, Cindy is part of a campaign (#SaferSoccer) to educate parents and coaches on the risks of headers in soccer for girls and boys younger than 14.

Most recently, Cindy offered her story at a medical seminar organized by U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer as part of a coaches’ conference on player health and safety.

According to an Associated Press story on the seminar, “Parlow Cone still deals with the symptoms of what she estimates were dozens of concussions she suffered through during her career….

‘I went from a kid that just loved training, loved everything about soccer…to someone who kind of went into a shell…’ “

As a girls’ soccer coach today, Cindy doesn’t even teach heading to her players. Instead she teaches them to bring the ball to the ground with other parts of their bodies. “As adults, we have a responsibility to [make the game safer for kids].”

Power of Shared Language of Soccer

Last month, the Jordanian U15 Women’s National Soccer Team came to the US to train and engage in American culture. Some Dragonwing soccer girls here in North Carolina were among those fortunate enough to be able to scrimmage with the team, share a meal, and get to know a bit about the similarities and differences between their lives as teen girl athletes.

Former USWNT member and Olympic gold medalist, Cindy Parlow Cone, was one of the girls’ soccer coaches who met with the Jordanian girls’ team. A spokesperson for Dragonwing girlgear and ambassador for Goals for Girls, an international nonprofit that helps girls worldwide through cultural exchange and soccer, Parlow Cone noted the power of sports “diplomacy”:

Every time…I’m a sports envoy to another country, it just reiterates how much power…this sport of soccer has [around the world]. It’s amazing how this game can bring so many people together.

I can say quite confidently that this experience has changed my daughter’s life — and those of all the girls on the field that chilly December evening. To meet and interact, both casually and on the soccer field, with girls from another country, opened their eyes to the similarities and differences they experience as teen girls.

Despite language differences, they communicated perfectly in their shared “language” of soccer, where each girl knew what to do and how to play.

They relished the competition and joy of the sport! Most of the girls are now connected via social media and sharing parts of their daily lives — tweets, photos, and updates — with their new friends across the globe.

The members of the U15 team will be the first team to represent Jordan when it hosts the 2016 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in 2016.

The Jordanian team’s visit was part of the US State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative and the University of Tennessee Center for Sport, Peace and Society.


Dragonwing & Girl Scouts, kindred spirits for active girls

The Girl Scouts has long been an advocate for girls health and fitness, as far back as 1912 when girls ran foot races as part of scouting! So it’s no surprise that we at Dragonwing feel a kindred spirit and sense of shared mission in the importance of sports in helping girls reach their full potential.

Girl Scouts shop offers Dragonwing girls compression shorts, sports brasWe’re excited to announce that the Girl Scouts online store now carries a selection of Dragonwing athletic apparel for girls. They’ve got a terrific introductory offer of 20% off our girlgear, such as:

Un-Dee compression shorts — comfortable, wedge-free fit for girls who play soccer, softball, lacrosse, volleyball & more!

girls sports bras — super comfortable with just the right amount of stretch and support, our Racer, Keyhole, and Mesh Racer bras are perfect for tween and teen girls.

– Chill Weight long sleeve top and sports leggings — soft, comfortable base layers keep girls warm and dry when the weather gets cold.

 – Un-Tee sports cami and half-tee — light support and the coverage girls want under their sports jersey, uniform, or school clothes. The sports camisole has an inner shelf bra and UV protection.

Learn more about our performance wear for girls at our website. And check out the Girl Scouts online shop for Dragonwing here.


A New Year’s Toast to Girl Athletes

HighFive_SoccerAs we bid farewell to 2014 and welcome the New Year, we raise our glasses (and water bottles) in a toast to girl athletes everywhere:

For their unapologetic competitiveness, tenacity, and the joy they have for their sport;

For the energy they put in to early morning and evening practices and the times they decline invitations so they get the rest they need to stay healthy;

For homework done in cars and buses to and from games;

For the strikes thrown and lay-ups made; for p-kicks made and face-offs taken; for spikes and sprints;

For pushing themselves, lifting their teammates, and playing with integrity and honor.

At Dragonwing, we salute each and every one of you — for putting yourself out there and, win or lose, playing your hardest and best. You’re the reason we do what we do.