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When a lingerie company designs a sports bra

(Photo: Le Mystere)

High-impact sport bras aren’t usually the domain of lingerie brands. Which is odd since they’re pretty crucial for holding it all in and locking it all down during boot camp, during a run, and on your spin bike. But, like denim and fashion designers who are getting into activewear, that could be changing.

Le Mystere, known for its imported laces, memory foam cups, and no-show t-shirt bra, is leaping from your top drawer into your gym bag with the launch of a high-impact sports bra that’s engineered like a tank. Well, a Subaru.

The time is right for designers of delicates to get more sporty-functional, says Jessica Pfister, vice president of Le Mystere. “There continues to be a strong focus on fitness and athleisure wear as the daily outfit. Because of this, we saw a need for creating a sport bra powerful enough to provide support during strenuous workouts, but also comfortable and flattering enough to wear during a woman’s daily routine, she says. The result is the Hi-Impact Sports Bra, which costs $62.

So, what does a lingerie company consider when making a bra for athletic performance—besides leaving off the bows?

Sizing, for one. “To prevent movement during workouts, women need to buy their exact size—not just a S, M, or L,” she says. (The Hi-Impact comes in sizes through 40G.) Wearing your actual bra size is especially helpful if you’re bigger than a C cup and doubling up on bras for support. (Yes, we know all about that.) “A precise size means you only have to wear one sports bra, and you can forget the layers,” Pfister says.

Stabilization comes from padded underwire—versus battening the hatches and “smooching your breast against your chest wall,” which just isn’t really comfortable—and securing the twins with bra straps that don’t. stretch. at. all.

I love a skimpy bra for yoga or a no-bounce barre class, but it can still put things on display that aren’t your muscles. During a test run, I noticed that the Hi-Impact comes up quite a bit higher than many of my more Fort Knox-esque sports bras.

It’s a purposeful tactic, Pfister explains, that borrows from the brand’s popular t-shirt bra with a smooth-contour cup that women (including Oprah) love. So you get a nice silo without the outline of your bra showing, and way less cleavage peep show when perched on a spin bike.

All of that’s a good thing, since, as more women are reaching for wicking tanks and compression capris to support them in their workouts, it seems like their bra should do the same. —Melisse Gelula

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