Whether you're a yogi, a runner, a gym rat, or an outdoorswoman, there is one article of clothing that connects us all: the sports bra! Sports bras have come a long way since they were introduced in the 1970s, borrowing design from a jock strap. Gone are the days of bland elastic and mutually exclusive fashion and function options. Today's lady jocks have a wide array of style, fit, and form to choose from. Nonetheless, there are some mainstays that occupy the sports bra drawer of every active girl's closet.
1. The selfie-worthy cutie.
It's the one you reach for when you're pretty sure someone's going to be Snapchatting the workout. The one you refuse to wear to a mud run because it's too pretty for those stains. It might not be the most supportive or the most comfortable, but you swear that the boost of confidence it gives you actually makes you faster. It's science.
2. The industrial-strength supportive one.
This bad boy has more hooks and straps than you know what to do with. It's basically an intricate system of pulleys that have been carefully assembled to allow you to forget you even have breasts at all. So what if it looks like something that Katniss Everdeen would wear in her District 12 days? It gets the job done.
3. The gross stretched-out one that you just can't bring yourself to throw away.
We know it's recommended to replace sports bras every three to 12 months, but first of all, no one does that, and second of all, we all have that one sports bra that has been with us too long to part with. Ever. Maybe we don't really wear it anymore, but it's nice to see it in the drawer, a sign of how long we've been at it, a hideous testament to life before so many of our favorite stores started making cute activewear lines. It's fraying and faded and serves no real functional purpose anymore, but it gets us, and we can't just turn our backs on that kind of loyalty.
4. The supercute but completely uncomfortable one we never wear.
It was on sale. A trendy brand in a cute print, and even though the size wasn't quite right, we convinced ourselves that surely it would stretch (or shrink). Surely the way it cut into our side boob in the fitting room was just a temporary problem that would work itself out when we actually started moving around in it. Nope. This thing straight up does not fit. But it's so cute! And it was such a great deal! And maybe one day we'll gain the weight or lose the weight or our boobs will mysteriously change shape and we'll be so glad we held onto it! And so it stays. Indefinitely.
5. The terrible tan-line culprit.
The year 2015 was the year of the strappy sports bra, and the trend seems to be holding steady. From dream-catcher-inspired complexity to crisp geometric grids, the basic racerback sports bra of yore is looking pretty plain these days. But as this Winter frost thaws out and we start taking our workouts outside again, beware of the ridiculous tan lines that you're putting yourself at risk for. If you have any notions of wearing a backless dress to any of the Summer weddings you're sure to be invited to, you're going to want to make sure to get some SPF 100 on your back before you let your Charlotte's web-inspired sports bra see the light of day.
In this day and age, whether you're looking at career options or sports bra styles, women have more options to choose from than ever before. So pick your favorite, whether you love it for its fashion or its function, and celebrate just how far we've come.