How often do we pause to observe the daily things we wear, which have a special effect on our bodies and minds? I’d say not often especially if we live balanced lives consisting of home, work, kids, parents, commute, hobbies, travel, gym, holidays, relatives, pets, etc.
A quick thought of the discomfort visits the mind and is gone the next minute. What if we could catch that moment and relook at familiar objects we use every day?
For a designer, these moments of realization create the unique opportunity to begin the process of curiosity. Sometimes asking a question is all it takes for the brain to activate the neurons, the condition is otherwise known as inspiration.
I’d like to do that with you now and spark a dialog about the uncomfortable elements of that everyday attire - the BRA.
“Bra is like a suspension bridge,” said Moira Nelson, my longtime friend, and uncompromising bra expert. That definition has followed me for years and led me to relook at the bra from the perspective of the functionality of its design.
Empreinte, IN-PULS collection
The real beauty of a well-designed product is in the balance of the esthetic and function. The function is responsible for making the product comfortable to use and, in our case, to wear.
The idea of comfort is different for everyone. Some feel their best while wearing a lacy bralette and others love an underwire bra with molded cups. It is also true that what is comfortable for a girl wearing a bra size A or B might be different from that of a woman with bra cups from D to K.
It is a known fact that lots of women prefer sports bras to stand guard to their comfort which they wear all day instead of a regular bra. Armed with the question “Why?” let’s take a closer look at our everyday bra.
What do you think about the bra closure which is usually located at the back?
All of us have our own bra-attaining rituals. Some manage the hook-and-eye closure at the front and then drag the bra around their bodies to move the closure to the back. But doesn’t it indicate that product has a serious design flaw as millions of women around the world avoid using it as it was originally intended?
Others handle the stubborn haberdashery at the back. It takes a skill of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat as shoulder joints turn back into an uncomfortable and often painful position.
Wouldn’t it be more logical to have a bra closure at the front of the bra? How about avoiding a closure altogether while employing an innovative fabric that stretches and forms to your body?
Evelyn & Bobbie, Defy Bra
Let’s talk about the back of the bra which is usually 1”-2” wide and hits in the most sensitive spot located just below the shoulder blades. For those of us with the luscious bodies, perhaps the larger back with the slight compression will not only smooth our contour under the dress but will also help to balance the weight of the breasts (improving posture).
Now we are ready to talk about the straps. How many of you have indentations in your shoulders from the bra straps and who decided that bra straps width should be between 1/4” and 1/2”?
Let’s now combine our discoveries and create a bra with the larger back, front closure or no closure, and wider straps. Does it remind you of something? Yes, we’ve just designed our sports bra all over again.
No wonder that companies like Nike and Lululemon present a serious competition in the lingerie market by introducing innovative sports bras designed to be an everyday essential. By listening to their consumers and providing women with a luxury of comfort these companies paved their way to a new step in the bra revolution.
I hope that the lingerie industry will join in with revolutionary hybrid models combining all attributes of smart design: beautiful appearance, perfect form, innovative material, and functionality.