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Sports Bras are Staple Piece of Millennial Women’s Wardrobes

The days of Victoria’s Secret peddling super-padded bras are seemingly over—for now, at least. Where the lingerie label’s website once pushed styles that promised to add two cup sizes, it now promotes its bralette collection (minimal designs with no padding), and it’s all thanks to Millennial women and their love of athleisure.

That’s not all: According to the NPD Group’s “2015 Bra Journey Insights” report, sports bras are a staple in Millennial-aged women’s wardrobes. In fact, a survey found that 41 percent said they wore one in the past seven days, compared to just 21 percent of older generations.

“Comfort is a dominant theme throughout the fashion world and today’s bra consumer, especially Millennials, is seeking both physical and personal comfort,” Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry analyst, said Monday. “The characteristics and simplicity of sports and seamless bras are a natural fit in this comfort-focused environment, while providing more fit flexibility and ease of shopping. Brands that take note of these key elements will be more likely to stay with Millennials as they mature.”

While Millennials and non-Millennials alike put availability of their size, long-term comfort, durability and support at the top of their bra brand purchase decision, younger women also focus on coverage and styles that instill confidence. Non-Millennials, meanwhile, keep their emphasis on style, coverage and quality.

“Sports bras and similar seamless styles need to be part of a brand’s merchandising strategy,” Cohen added. “Seamless bra styles are increasingly top of mind for consumers of all ages, especially Millennials, and can no longer be an afterthought for manufacturers and retailers.”

Apparently Victoria’s Secret’s shift has paid off: Millennial-aged respondents named it their go-to bra brand, followed by Fruit of the Loom’s Fresh Collection and Victoria’s Secret Pink. For non-Millennials, the top three were Victoria’s Secret, Bali and Playtex.