A rudimentary version of the racerback bra has been around since 1970 with the invention of the jogging bra. The design which was comprised of two jockstraps has since evolved to include the posture, support and sports racerback bras. The design of this unique bra differs from the traditional brassiere as the straps join together in the middle of the back. Also, there are more fashionable versions that are designed to be flattering under clothing.
Support racerback bras are designed to reinforce the breast, which can help make the bra comfortable all day. The design is popular with women that have a larger cup size, as the bra can help to distribute the weight of the breast across the shoulders and back. The design often features thicker straps, which tend not to dig into the shoulders. These straps often come together at a high level down the middle of the back.
A bra that is designed to be more ergonomic, the posture racerback is designed to be comfortable and reinforce a woman’s upper torso. The bra is often longer than a traditional bra, offering more support from the upper to lower parts of the back -- which can improve alignment resulting in a reduction in stress. This design can also help to reduce the slumped shoulders. Additionally, posture bras are often recommended for women who have undergone breast reduction surgery, as it can help sustain the back and breast during the recovery time.
Sports bras are the racerback bra of choice for many female athletes, because the design allows for a wider range of arm motion. It is one of the few bras available in various high performance materials, from sweat absorbing cotton to nylon fabrics that are designed to move moisture away from the body. Like support racerback bras, wearers of sports bras can benefit from wider straps. Also, this racerback bra can also be cut higher in the front and be equipped with extra support or breast suppressors — which can minimize bouncing during vigorous activities.
Fashionable versions of the racerback feature sleeker designs and silkier fabrications. The lingerie usually has more slender straps than other racerbacks and includes the lace, boning and padding prevalent in chicer bras. The advantage over traditional bras is that it can be concealed under many tank top-style shirts and dresses. Additionally fashionable racerbacks can be cut lower in the front, and as a result work well with tops that have a plunging neckline.
- “Style on a Shoestring: Develop Your Cents of Style and Look Like a”; Andy Paige; 2009
- “The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to Finding the Perfect Bra”; Luciani, Ann Deal; 2009
- “Bra: a Thousand Years of Style, Support and Seduction”; Stephanie Pedersen; 2004
B. Maté has been reporting on creative industries since 2007—covering everything from Fashion Week to the latest artist to wow the Parisian art scene. Her experience stems from a marketing background, with more than 12 years of experience consulting fashion-forward entrepreneurs.