PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., August 6, 2019 – Comfort and support continue to be the top influencers when women in the U.S. are choosing which bras to purchase for themselves, according to The Bra Evolution, a new report from The NPD Group. The perception that a bra ‘is sexy’ is much less important, ranking eighth on the list of purchase influencers.

“The enduring athleisure movement clearly expresses that comfort is king for today’s apparel consumer,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “The growing sports bra segment, combined with the comfort positioning of many digital native and national bra brands reinforces this powerful trend.”

According to NPD’s bra market research, U.S. consumers spent nearly $7.2 billion on women’s bras in the 12 months ending May 2019, with more than a quarter of that going toward the purchase of sports bras. The number of female consumers who shopped for or purchased a sports bra has grown over the past two years – from 38 percent in 2015 to 45 percent in 2018.

Exercising is still the #1 wearing occasion for sports bras, however, wearing sports bras is also common for everyday activities. The Bra Evolution reveals that beyond casual at-home wear or running errands, nearly a quarter of women indicated wearing a sports bra for a typical workday.

“Sports bras have yet to really peak when it comes to replacing traditional casual bras,” added
Cohen.  “But the opportunity for growth exists for every bra brand – as long as they keep their eye on the benefits that matter most to the consumer.”

Source: The NPD Group / The Bra Evolution Report, July 2019
*Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service, 12 months ending May 2019

The July 2019 NPD Bra Evolution Report is based on the results from a custom consumer survey of a U.S. representative sample of over 3,000 females, aged 18+, as well as receipt-based insights from NPD’s Checkout information across brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. This combination of data sources provides an understanding of how U.S. women’s bra purchase behaviours have evolved over the past three years, and the factors influencing their purchases.

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