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Okay, this is kind of gross, but bear with me: I’m forever intrigued by smell-proof workout clothes. A lot of brands talk about weaving this or that into their performance-enhancing fabrics so that, allegedly, they won’t smell after a few wears, regardless of how much you sweat. I’m more of a wash-after-wearing-once kind of girl, but in Lululemon’s new sports bra, I saw an opportunity to run two tests at the same time: First, is this bra good? Second, what will it smell like after a week of runs, no washes?
Let’s start with the first, and a caveat: Sports bras aren’t great. No bras, really, are great if you’re a 34D. Underwire’s a bitch and sweaty spandex is arguably worse. Sports bras are even less comfortable if they’re too tight, and yet too tight is really the only way a sports bra’s ever held my chest in place while running or boxing.
So when I pulled on Lululemon’s Enlite bra at a press event a couple of weeks ago, I thought something was very, very wrong. It was soft, and though secure around my torso and shoulders, there was room in the cup. It was way too comfortable to be functional.
Confused, I walked out of the bathroom and said to no one in particular “This can’t be right.” Alexandra Plante, the brand’s innovation product manager who spent two years working on this bra, looked thrilled. I’m paraphrasing here, but she said something along the lines of “We’ve isolated the comfortable and uncomfortable movements of the breast to eliminate the latter and allow for the former.”
Well, I thought, that sounds like total BS. But then we did a mini-bootcamp workout and I went on a few runs — including a half-marathon — and minus some chafing that started around mile 12, it was great. Better than great, actually. It was comfortable, supportive, and easy to get on and off.
As for the second test, I was scared to sniff. But I did it for the sake of this story and am both thrilled and confused to report that it did not smell like anything. A $98 sports bra sounds outrageous, but is kind of worth it to free yourself from moist layers of too-tight spandex and elastic if you work out often enough.
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