I love this super stretchy Nike sports bra

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Nike

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When I started functioning A few years ago, I invented a little mantra for myself: “You don’t have to go fast. You just have to go there. I kept repeating it in my head as I jogged, thinking how liberating it was to base my performance on just doing it. I realized that the mantra could be applied to any athletic endeavor: you don’t have to be the best person in yoga class. You just have to one person in a yoga class! Then one day, while sliding into downward dog, I realized that I had simply reinvented the most famous sporting slogan in the world: “Just do it.”

Nike is good at many things, and one of them is branding. Along with “Just do it,” business leaders like to say, “If you have a body, you’re an athlete. And: “No sports bra, no sports” — a reminder that the humble sports bra is the basis of sports practice for anyone with breasts.

If these slogans sound particularly inclusive, that’s on purpose. This year marks the brand’s 50th anniversary, as well as its largest ever financial investment in women. Some of that funding has gone into product research and development, and the results — as the brand announced last spring at an event in Los Angeles titled Future 50 for Her — include a size range expanded, the birth of cool technology and my new favorite sports. bra.

The Alate Versa is a pull-on bra with the kind of deceptively simple design details that make it a bit special: a square neck, wide straps, a little dip in the back. The best part is the fabric, which is stretchy and comfortable but still compressive. It’s meant for yoga, but I ran into it with no problem, and it’s soft enough that you won’t want to take it off as soon as your workout is over.

Sure, the best sports bra to me, it may not be the best sports bra for you. Designing for female bodies in motion presents different challenges than for men. Not only are we built differently, but our bodies can change shape throughout the month. Then there are cultural expectations – we want to look cute, we want to look cool, we have ideas about how much skin to show – not to mention our individual preferences, because while our shapes are extremely varied, our tastes are too.

At the Los Angeles event, Tania Flynn, vice president of womenswear design at Nike, shared the story of a conversation she had with Paris Goebelthe choreographer behind J.Lo’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and three of RihannaThe Savage x Fenty fashion shows by Savage. Flynn said she likes her workout clothes to be compressive, so nothing wobbles when she moves. Goebel replied that she put a lot of effort into making her body stand out, so she wanted her swing to be visible. This ah! moment is part of what inspired the brand to organize its new sports bras into three different levels of compression: light, medium and high. (The brand also offers over 70 cup sizes.)

Because it’s impossible to get you, me and Rihanna Emmy’s choreographer into the studio to give your opinion on all the potential bra options, Nike invented the “Brabot”, a robot whose chest is made of a material that mimics human breast tissue. , allowing designers to see how their sports bras move in real time. The life of a boob robot might seem lonely, but luckily it’s not the only AI in Nike’s labs: there’s also Haley, a thermoregulation dummy who can actually sweat, allowing designers to test the technology. moisture wicking. And the brand has body scans of tens of thousands of women around the world to help inform their shape and size.

Which, of course, is how they landed on a product line that includes the only very specific dri-fit sports bra that works perfectly for my specific frame, personal style, and gym needs. . The Alate Versa is available in black, pink, mint, teal, and cobalt blue. It’s made from polyester produced from recycled water bottles, so it’s eco-friendly (but still breathable.) It’s lightly lined so it’s not too revealing, and unlike many square neck sports bras, it leaves you supported but not crushed. .

It’s ironic, in a way, that so much thought went into designing it, because what I love is that you really don’t have to think about it. You just put it on and start doing what you were trying to do in the first place.

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