It’s news to no one that the Millennial love for athleisure has caused clothing stores to carry more casual threads, but it’s also changed how women shop for bras.
“All bra consumers seek comfort, but differences in their bra introduction and life stage timeline have impacted how Millennials and non-Millennials arrive at comfort throughout their lives,” Marshal Cohen, the market research group’s chief industry analyst, said. “The comfort and wearability of the athleisure apparel trend, that is embedded in the Millennial style vocabulary, will compel them to seek the same type of comfort and ease of movement throughout their bra journey.”
Case in point, sports bras are most popular among Millennials, followed by push-up and full coverage styles. By comparison, Baby Boomers and older generations favor full coverage and wire-free bras, while sportier styles take third place.
“Although their definitions of comfort may differ, Millennials and non-Millennials will buy more than one bra when they find the one that suits their lifestyle,” Cohen continued.
Millennials also wear more styles over a seven-day period than non-Millennials. When NPD asked why they buy bras more often than older generations, younger women cite “newness” and “change in size.”
Brand names, however, don’t drive purchases: 58 percent of Millennials rated “carries the brand I want” as very important when deciding where to shop, versus 77 percent of non-Millennials.
One thing all generations can agree on, though, is their reasons for buying a new bra: the need to replace a current style. Furthermore, 80 percent of purchases are planned and more than half of women buy three or more at a time.
“The intimate apparel industry needs to embrace the differences while finding the common currency among today’s bra shoppers,” Cohen said. “Innovation and targeted variety in product, promotion and placement will continue to serve the bra industry well as they navigate this new journey with a diverse consumer base.”