The “why” of Dragonwing girlgear.

kickstart_bannerPeople often ask me why I am so passionate about sports and girls and I have a simple, important reason – we need this generation of girls, now more than ever, to reach their potential.  Sports participation at any level is one path to actualizing potential –it is established and proven – we don’t need to create a new program or study its benefits.  But social expectations and social media are getting in the way of girls.  When I realized “the underwear experience” could have an impact, I had an aha moment that I could do something about it.

Let’s take Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.  On one level of the pyramid is community or village – we all know and accept that it takes a village to grow a strong confident girl.  We are happier with friends, family, a team, a tribe.  Belonging is important.   Connections give life meaning (Brene Brown).  Sports provide a natural community.

The next level of the pyramid is self-esteem.  Sports build self-esteem in so many ways, such as setting and achieving goals, graciously winning, building resilience, pushing your comfort zone for what you think you can do and then exceeding it – just to name a few. For more on this, check out this TedEx talk by Alisa Herr.

Unfortunately, feelings about breast development are a top reason girls drop out of sports.  According to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, “three quarters of school-aged girls report breast-related concerns regarding exercise and sports.”   75%!!!  That’s just not acceptable.  Starting and normalizing conversation about body changes can improve this.  Sports programs frequently recommend protective gear for boys, like cups, or compression shorts, but there is no comparable list recommended for girls. At Dragonwing girlgear, we provide girls that list and more.

Having an excellent-fitting, high-performance sports top – whether it is a bra, cami or thermal tee-shirt, that is designed especially for the athletic girl’s figure, can eliminate worries about underwear malfunction.  Embarrassment about changing bodies can alleviate concerns about body image.  At Dragonwing, we strive to free up emotional energy– so girls can focus on their game – and everything else they want to achieve… because when girls are confident, the possibilities are endless.

 

 

 

Navigating the Child to Tween to Teen Bra Journey with Ease

If you’re anything like me then you have absolutely NO recollection of your first bra-buying experience as a tween 30 years ago. I wish I remembered it as being either a horrific or a pleasant experience because then I’d at least have had a starting point at which to get my daughter comfortable with the topic of wearing a bra. But, no – I had nothing. Not a single point of reference from which to start. Add to that the fact that my daughter is strong-willed and opinionated (not in a bad way, but prominent traits none-the-less) and I was literally at a loss of where and how to start this process.

Enter Dragonwing girlgear. Dragonwing offers a nice progression of undergarments for girls passing from child to tween to teen. Following is an outline of a progression that might work for your daughters.

Un-Tee cami sports top (camisole with inner shelf bra) in 7 colorsI started my process perusing the undergarment sections of stores like Target and Old Navy. I was determined to have my 11-year old wear age-appropriate undergarments that she would still be comfortable being in around her friends and teammates if that situation arose. While I’m sure we could have found acceptable solutions at those stores, I knew that my daughter was also VERY shy and going to a store and picking through racks of bras was not going to be her cup of tea so I bought a bunch and had her try them on at home. She hated how they stopped in the middle of her rib cage and refused to wear them because they didn’t “go all the way down” to her waist. So began my search for a full-length top with a built-in bra. I measured my daughter and started my online shopping research. While on Amazon I bumped into Dragonwing and, as I usually do, I went straight to the main Dragonwing website instead of purchasing through Amazon. I find the main websites have a larger selection of products so I always start there, and then depending on prices and options I may purchase from Amazon if there’s free shipping. I was pleasantly surprised to find both at Dragonwing – free shipping and a larger selection than was on Amazon. A win-win.

The first bra that caught my eyes was the Un-Tee Sports-Cami. It was PERFECT! Not only did it “go all the way down” but it also had a built in shelf-bra that functioned as more than just a second layer of fabric (which is what most cami’s have and they’re useless). It was of a very high quality and after learning more about them I came to understand that some girls can wear these all the way up through 7th or 8th grade!
This bra gave my daughter the confidence to wear it without her belly being “exposed” and got her used to the idea of a bra that cuts across your rib cage – because we all know that’s just a fact…bras stop below your breasts.
She’s been wearing these Un-Tees for over a year now and they’ve been washed a million times. They’ve been a wonderful first bra experience for my daughter.

half-teeAbout six months into her wearing the Un-Tees, I dropped some of the Half Tee Sports Tops into her drawer. The Half Tee is essentially the inside layer of the Un-Tee Sports Camis and they fit exactly the same. I figured that once my daughter was used to wearing the Un-Tee she might migrate easily to the Half Tee and she totally did! Before I knew it she was wearing them all the time – even beneath her gymnastics leotards and I was dreading that conversation because most of the sports bras girls wore under their leotards were uncomfortable to her.

the-keyhole-white-frontAnd, while we’re still on this bra journey together, I am finally comfortable with our path and that my daughter will have a pleasant experience. There are so many other, more important things I want to focus on with my daughter that I don’t want things like wearing a bra to muddy the waters! I’m actually looking forward to her next bra steps – which I’m sure will include either the School to Sport Bra or the Keyhole Sports Bra – and while I don’t know if she’ll remember this experience 30 years from now, I AM confident that Dragonwing has had a very positive impact on my daughter’s life and well-being.
Here’s to you and your daughter starting your journey! Hopefully this was helpful.

Contributed by customer Naomi Marr14199296_10209347712106579_1201097066114495733_n

Un-Tee Sports Cami Raves

Our Un-Tee Sports Camis have been flying off the proverbial shelves here at Dragonwing girlgear HQ!

Girls love the way they fit and feel under school and sports uniforms and “everyday” clothes. Snug but not tight with just the right amount of support and coverage.

Adrienne, a blogger and mother of 10- and 13-year old daughters, was so delighted with her girls’ Un-Tees that she posted a review on The Momalog Facebook Page.

Momalog_reviewA

Adrienne’s full review was a bit longer. I’ve posted it here because it didn’t quite fit so well on the image:

Moms of tween/teen girls and athletes:
Have you been looking for solid, comfortable, well-made undergarments for your daughter to wear under her uniforms, for sports, dance, under tank tops etc.. but can’t find the quality?
I just bought some items from Dragonwing girlgear (basic white tank undershirt w. built in bras) for my tween & my teen and these products are AMAZING! And built to last.
My daughters love these.

Thanks, Adrienne!

Our Un-Tee Sports Cami is available in a range of sizes and colors.

Un-Tee cami sports top (camisole with inner shelf bra) in 7 colors

Review: Athletic Gear for Tweens

Tami M., aka The Colorado Mountain Mom, recently shared her excitement at discovering Dragonwing girlgear. After her tween daughter  wore  our  Chill Weight capri leggings and Un-Tee Sports Cami for gymnastics and running for a whole month, Tami announced, “We love Dragonwing girlgear!”

“Making active wear clothing for tween girls to feel comfortable and special is such a great concept.  If you’re encouraging your daughter to learn to live an active lifestyle, it helps to inspire them by providing not only the opportunities, but the gear they can use to feel confident and strong.”

CoMtnMom_600

 

What was the Dragonwing Difference for Tami and her pre-teen daughter?

– “Much nicer quality than the cheap athletic capris for kids, typically found at retailers.”

– “Softer, more durable, longer lasting, better fitting, and much more comfortable!”

Dragonwing girlgear capri leggings are tween daughter's favorites.

– “They quickly became her absolute favorite pair. She says they feel noticeably different, better, than all her other capris.”

– The Un-Tee Sports Camisole is “soft, comfortable, and again… much nicer quality than the cheap options sold in most stores like Target or Walmart. Plus it comes in a rainbow of fun colors!”

Soft, comfortable, supportive camisole tank top for active tween, teen

 

As a mom, I love that with one Dragonwing Girlgear “outfit”, she has the needed active wear gear for two different sports, both running and even gymnastics. These versatile pieces could really be worn for any tween girls’ athletic endeavor.

Read Tami’s full review at her terrific blog, The Colorado Mountain Mom.

 

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:

GET CLOTHES DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR GIRLS:
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.

GO BY SIZE, NOT BY AGE:
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.

CONSIDER COVERAGE AS WELL AS SUPPORT:
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.

COMFORTABLE FABRIC DESIGNED FOR SPORTS:
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.

SEAMLESS, SNUG FIT:
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?!

* * * * * * *
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).

 

 

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.

 

Hey Santa, Here are Gifts that Sports Girls Want!

Dragonwing girls Emma and Montgomery show Santa how to stuff a stocking with great sports apparel for all the girls on his — and YOUR — list!


Racer and Keyhole sports bras for girls
: Super soft, great support, seamless and tag-free. Great under sports uniforms or everyday clothes. Perfect as a girl’s first bra, too.

Un-Dee Light Compression Shorts: Coverage and comfort under a sports uniform, wedgie-free fit means no tugging or bunching. Available in great colors!

Un-Tee Sports Cami:  Girls sports camisole with great fit in 8 terrific colors. Shelf bra provides light support and coverage for tweens and teens.

Chill Weight leggings and long-sleeve tee: Stay warm and dry this winter in these great base layers. Soft brushed inside and moisture-wicking fabric that’s made from recycled plastic bottles! Top details include thumb hole so sleeves stay in place and wrist wipe so face and nose stay dry. Leggings available in long and capri length. What sports girl needs “armour” when she can have Dragonwing?!

Order by December 12 for Christmas delivery with FREE regular shipping (US orders only). See shipping info for more details.

 

She’s Picky. We’re Comfortable.

We love hearing customer feedback about our girlgear. This comment about our Un-Tee sports cami arrived yesterday from Jill D.:

“My daughter really likes the tank tops.  She is extremely picky about fabric and seams that can be irritating, and she is very comfortable in this tank.  Thanks for a great product!”

Another word for “picky” is “discerning,” and that describes Jill’s daughter! She appreciates the many features that make the Un-Tee Sports Cami the perfect light support sports tank top for girls:

  • Comfortable, moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch fabric with a shelf bra for gentle support.
  • Wide straps, flat seams, and tag-free design mean no chafing and no strap droop.
  • Perfect by itself or under a sports uniform — also provides coverage when changing at a game or practice.

We’ve sent a special gift to Jill with our thanks for her feedback. We’d love to hear from you, too. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and email. Submit a review on our website. Thanks for reading!

Sports Bra May Be Girl’s Best “First Bra”

Research shows that girls are entering puberty, marked by breast development, significantly earlier than 15 years ago. Today, more than 20% of girls in third grade have started to develop breasts, and many begin as young as age 7 or 8. Of course, many other girls don’t begin until they become teenagers.

Regardless of when they first need a bra, girls want something comfortable that provides enough coverage so they don’t feel self-conscious and allows them to move with confidence. Girls and parents alike want a first bra to be age-appropriate, not the padded or plunging bras of Victoria’s Secret or many other teen retailers.

Un-Tee cami sports top (camisole with inner shelf bra) in 7 colors

A well-fitting, comfortable sports bra, like our Racer or Keyhole, or a sports camisole with a shelf bra, (like our Un-Tee sports cami, above) is often the best choice for a girl’s first bra for several reasons:

– With no clasps or cups, a sports bra doesn’t shout “bra” and provides a smooth silhouette under clothing – at school and on the playing field.

– A sports bra is easy to wear, with nothing to clip or adjust. She can put it on and take it off all by herself. A sports bra or cami under school clothes also makes the transition from school to sports practice quick and easy.

Keyhole sports bra for tween, teen, girl

Sports bras are made for activity and all girls are active, whether they’re climbing or jumping at recess, running for the bus, or playing soccer, hockey, basketball, or any other sport.

The highest compliment we get from our tween customers is when they tell us that our sports bras are so comfortable that they don’t even know they’re wearing one. That means they’re focusing on doing the things they love, living their lives free and with confidence! Who could wish for anything more for a girl?

Key things to look for in buying a sports bra for your tween:

Fit that’s snug but not tight. The bra should move when she moves but shouldn’t ride up whether she raises her hand in class, throws a ball, or runs around a gym. The straps should be secure and shouldn’t droop or slip. Measure before buying and check the size chart to be sure you’re ordering the right size for your girl.

Soft, smooth fabric that wicks moisture away from her skin, keeping her cool, comfortable, and chafe-free on – and off – the playing field. Look for a sports bras that’s seamless and tag-free so there’s no irritation.

Coverage without bulky padding. Padding isn’t needed or wanted by most young girls and pre-teens. Look for a sports bra or cami with double-layered fabric that provides a measure of modesty for girls whose breasts are starting to develop. As girls develop further, support becomes more important – especially for athletes.

When your tween is ready for a traditional bra, it’s best to shop at a store that provides individual attention and offers a variety of age-appropriate options. “Trying on your first bra in a big discount retail store can be unnerving for an 8- or 9-year-old who may already feel shy about the experience,” notes Kelly O’Brien, owner of LingerTween in New Jersey, who carries a wide variety of traditional and sports bras for tweens.

A slightly revised version of this post originally appeared on Tweenhood.ca, a great online site for parents of tweens.

 

 

School-to-Sports Transition is Easy with Dragonwing

The school year and fall sports seasons have started. And that means girls — and parents — need to make quick transitions from school to practice or a game.

Need to change clothes in the car or bus? Concerned about modesty or just trying to find the time? Dragonwing’s got you covered!

Our girls sports bras, camis, and light compression shorts are perfect under school clothes and make changing for sports quick and easy.

Whether your sport is soccer, field hockey, cheering, or cross country, stock up for the fall season with our moisture-wicking, comfortable performance wear designed especially for girls. 

To help you stock up on sports bras, compression shorts, camis, and base layers just for tweens and teens, we’re offering 20% off each order until Sept. 1. Just enter SAVE20 in the discount code at checkout from dragonwinggirl.com.