Finding the right sports bra isn’t easy, and if you’ve struggled through the process in the past, you’re not alone. According to a study published by BioMed Central, 80 percent of women end up in the wrong bra. And when you’re moving during a workout, that can be a real problem. Getting that perfect fit, along with figuring out exactly what women want and need in a sports bra, is the challenge Lululemon accepted.
After an 800-person survey, focus groups, language analyses and interviews with brand ambassadors, Alexandra Plante, the Innovation Product Manager at Lululemon Whitespace and her team found that women want it all when it comes to a sports bra: comfort, performance and aesthetics. So that became Lululemon’s goal, and after more than two years of development, Enlite was born.
“With the Enlite bra, we didn’t actually start with the product,” says Plante. “We wanted to start with that question of feel. So, before product or technology, it was really about understanding how she wants to feel in her sports bra.”
Made with a brand-new, super lightweight, sweat-wicking material called Ultralu (which kind of feels like neoprene, but softer), the bra is seamless, so there’s zero digging in. It does have a hook-and-eye closure like a regular bra, but it’s seamlessly integrated into the bra and sandwiched between a sort of double back strap, so you definitely won’t feel it. But the real marvel of the Enlite bra is the cups, which fully encapsulate your boobs, rather than just cupping them.
“We have this lightweight spacer fabric that was engineered to keep each of the breasts kind of in their own little housing,” says Plante. “That’s what really creates that comfortable sensation of embracing movement and it’s really molded to the human form in three dimensions.”
That’s also what makes the Enlite different from your average sports bra. It’s all about feeling, moving with your body as it moves, and not having to sacrifice comfort for function or aesthetics. But because it is a little different, figuring out what size of the 20 available (32B through to 38DD) is right for you is also different. All the staff in Lululemon stores are trained to help you find your perfect fit, and there are instructions on lululemon.com to help you, as well. “You want it to feel distraction free and you should feel free to move,” says Plante. “Making sure that you’re trying on the bra and achieving that optimal fit is really key.”
If you already think this bra sounds cool, there’s more: everyone who worked on it is a woman. “From our neuro-mechanic-PHD technicians to the bio-mechanic expert to engineering to design development and product creation, everyone in the entire team was women,” says Plante. “So it’s almost like we design this product for ourselves, our needs, and our minds.”