I recently had a conversation with a good friend and running partner about a range of bras I was currently reviewing. She gasped in absolute disbelief when I mentioned that lots of them had no underwire.
Having been researching the lingerie industry for sometime now, I had forgotten that there is a common misconception out there that underwire provides the support in a bra.
Sure, underwire does play an important role in our everyday bra construction, but it is much less of a game player in Sports Bra design. Lots of ladies, especially seniors or elderly women will choose wirefree bras. for comfort.
Underwire provides SHAPE, not support. Hence, many women would see it is being crucial in everyday bra’s that need to be able to shape the breast without using cumbersome materials.
When it comes to Sports Bra construction, generally the materials are more abundant, firm fitting and have less stretch. So a Sports Bra that uses the encapsulation method of support (Eg A bra that separates the breast) can still offer a great shape without using underwire.
That’s not to suggest that I believe no Sports Bra should use underwire, I have a number in my closet that do, one of which happens to be my go-to long run option.
So, where does the support in a bra come from? 82% of the support comes from the band that runs along your ribcage. The secondary means of support are the straps which really act as motion stabilisers. Without a functional band, the straps alone will not provide enough breast support during high impact activity. I’ll be sure to touch on this a bit more in a future post!
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