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Lululemon Debuts Revolutionary Sports Bra Designed with Data

It may not have a sensor to track your heart rate or a built-in pedometer, but Lululemon’s new sports bra still counts as smart clothing.

Designed by a team of women determined to revolutionize the one piece of activewear that brands hardly seem to get right, and based on findings uncovered in Lululemon’s Whitespace research and development lab, the high-performance Enlite bra promises to support without suffocating—and still look good while doing it.

The bra is made with Lululemon’s sweat-wicking, light Ultralu fabric and meant to manage the wearer’s movement by working with the body’s natural movement rather than simply quashing it. Enlite’s edges are free cut to reduce chaffing and a bonded underband holds everything in place without digging.

Lululemon talked to more than 1,000 women to find out what they want from their sports bras, tested the bra with all manner of workouts, experimented and tested again and discovered an unmet need.

“Typically, sports bra designs begin with one focus: restrict up-and-down movement—at all costs. But what we did first was develop a holistic understanding of how the breasts move in all directions, not just up and down,” the company says on its site.

To get the sizes right, Lululemon started by draping the bodies on a form rather than sketching in order to inform the 3-D design.

“In order to ensure the perfect balance between form and function, we actually handcrafted all 20 sizes on body,” Lululemon designer Laura Dixon said.

From there, the company notes, “We paired this 360-degree design approach with our knowledge in biomechanics and body movement, and used motion-capture sensors to study the way each breast moves independently. From here we discovered that not all movement is bad, contrary to popular belief—some movement actually allows for more support and even enhances comfort.”

The bra, which retails for $98, comes in 20 sizes and Lululemon walks shoppers through how to measure themselves to find the right fit on its site. Consumers can measure their underband and cup size, type the numbers into each box, hit “calculate” and get a Lululemon-recommended size.

“Think of this as the barefoot sneaker of sports bras—it keeps the jiggle factor down without turning your breasts into flattened pancakes,” a Well+Good review of the Enlite said.