The Sports Bra: Revolutionizing Women's Workouts

5th Mar 2018

March is Women's History Month, so we thought we'd take some time this month to highlight some special women in the world of lingerie. As you can imagine, bras are a pretty important part of our day. Since most of you wear them at least 12 hours per day, we thought you'd be pretty interested to learn the history of this special garment, too!

We talked a lot about sports bras last month--what makes one great, which ones we love to sell you for various activities. Well! Today, we're going to talk about how that sports bra came to be and the wonderful woman who brought it here. 

Lisa Lindhal did something lots of women were trying out for the first time in the 1970s. She went jogging. According to Ladies Only Sports, she joked with her sister that someone really needed to invent a jock strap for women. wasn't such a joke to Lisa. 

In the summer of 1977, the article says, Lisa drew up her wish list of everything a jogging bra needed: The straps shouldn't fall down. There should be no poky hardware. And it should minimize breast bounce. She enlisted the help of costume designer Polly Smith to make some prototypes, but not until Lindhal's husband jokingly put a jock strap around his chest did the pair make any headway. Smith sewed two jock straps together, and the Jogbra was born.

Runner's World explains that the sports bra is a $7 billion industry worldwide, and in only 40 years this invention has likely opened as many doors for female athletes as Title IX legislation. In those early days of running as a recreational sport, most of the women doing it were small chested...out of necessity. Imagine going out for a jog in your Maidenform with some H-cup breasts? The first Jogbra came in sizes small, medium, and large. 

If you shop with us, you know there are a lot of breasts larger than size large. Gradually, the sports bra industry began to incorporate research and include those of us a bit further down the alphabet. Jogbra was eventually bought by a major sports retailer, and brought on more female researchers like LaJean Lawson, who was ridiculed for years for studying the science of breast bounce. Runner's World says Lawson's lab uses 3D opto-electronic sensor technology, using infrared light to read reflective markers on a bra as women run in their lab. 

Today, thanks to the pioneering work of these women, we can find sports bras to fit any woman and support her doing any activity she wants. We've even got sports bras for nursing moms. Here at Levana Bratique, we carry a selection of sports bras with adjustable straps, adjustable bands, and various sizing options. Come slip one on and take it for a jog. Thanks to women like Lindhal, you can!