Thursday, March 16, 2006

Building a better bra

Building a better bra | "High-tech features meant to bring new comfort for women"--headline, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 16"

"a bra with underwire encased in a continuous piece of material without a single tag, stitch or seam. Bras feature underwire that supports without constricting. Bras have invisible protection from odor and wetness. Bras even have "memory."

About five years ago, the introduction of lighter-weight materials kicked the bra revolution into high gear.

Manufacturers began pouring years of research and testing into new designs to meet the aesthetic demands of fitted fashions and women's demands for comfort. Bra sales increased by nearly 6 percent from 2004 to 2005 to reach $5.1 billion, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.

Last year on average, women bought four to five bras, spending $77. The $50 bra is now among the best-selling bras at Macy's stores in Atlanta.

Victoria's Secret's "IPEX technology" also reached consumers last year. Perfected by a group of scientists and designers, IPEX technology refers to the contoured pad in the bra cup, which is thinner on the outside and slightly thicker in the middle to provide coverage and support without padding. In the end, Rhodes had to settle for a more traditional garment because the $32 Breathe bra didn't come in her size. "

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