Why Lululemon Is Betting Big On This New Sports Bra

Leggings have certainly generated the most attention for Lululemon over the years, for better or for worse (whether due to sheerness complaints or offensive ex-exec commentary). And while we're already aware that a lot of R&D goes into the brand's leggings, the Canadian activewear label apparently really sweats over its sports bra designs, too. Today, the chain unveiled its Enlite bra, which has been in the works for over two years (yes, really) and is meant to be a legitimately comfortable and supportive piece, hardy enough for high-impact pursuits where jiggling and discomfort tend to be synonymous, like, say, running or boxing.
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The bra is made of a brand-new material that's dubbed Ultralu, which purports to be "incredibly lightweight" with a "barely-there feel," per the brand. (While we frankly have yet to encounter a sports bra that truly feels "barely-there," yes, we can vouch for the fact that this one's comfortable AF fabric-wise.)
Interestingly, the new bra has the sort of hook-and-eye closure that your traditional, non-sports bras have, plus some complex crisscrossed back straps. That means it's kind of hard to wriggle into and even harder to peel off when you're sweaty post-workout, but, yes, it definitely does stay put. The fully seamless design, with bonded edges, is meant to prevent that the irritating digging in or riding up in the underboob and sideboob areas (it also just feels and looks really nice).
"We wanted to get to the heart of how women want to feel in their sports bras," Alexandra Plante, innovation product manager at Lululemon Whitespace (the retailer's research and development arm), told Refinery29. While devising the new style, the brand found that women tend to compromise on comfort, performance or aesthetics when shopping for bras that cater to running, Plante explained.
Also, the Enlite bra is actually engineered to interact differently with your boobs than your current roster of bras. "We challenged the traditional belief that reducing breast movement is what provides women comfort and high performance; the Enlite Bra embraces, rather than restricts breast movement, without compromising aesthetics, comfort or performance," Plante said. Translation: it's got encapsulated cups, which are fully sewn into the bra and are meant to soften boob bounce, and the bra "houses each breast separately without compressing the breast tissue," Plante explained.
Now, for some not-so-great news: This is not a cheap sports bra. It'll run you $98, which is nearly double the price of Lululemon's other sports bras. As for why there's such a steep difference, Plante explains that the Enlite Bra’s pricetag "accurately reflects the value put into the product" based on three pillars that prices for all of the brand's pieces are assessed on: "fit, functionality, premium materials and integrated technology." On a brighter note, it's available in 20 sizes and three colors (black, a wine-like color, and a muted lilac hue). You can shop the Enlite bra, here.
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