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40 years of sports bra: Happy anniversary to the garment that helps countless women stay fit

Did you know the first Jogbra was made by sewing together two men’s athletic supporters.

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 30, 2017 14:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Sports Bra,History Of Sports Bra,How To Find The Right Sports Bra
The earliest sports bra was conceived in 1977. (Shutterstock)

The Jogbra, the earliest sports bra, turns 40 this year. In 1977, Hinda Miller, co-creator of the Jogbra, had just started working at the University of Vermont. She’d recently taken up jogging and found that she had a problem: what to do with her breasts? She used two bras to support her breasts.

Across campus, Lisa Lindahl, an artist, was facing the same problem. She reached out to a friend who made costumes for the university’s theatre department where Miller worked. And the three of them got together to create a bra that helped women be physically active.

The earliest version of the Jogbra. (lisalindahl.com)

They tried many variations before serendipitously the solution presented itself. Lindahl’s then-husband came with two jockstraps slung over his chest. He was teasing them, but it led to an idea. Miller remembers thinking, “That’s what we want to do — we want to pull everything close to the body,” she says in an article in NPR.

Miller ran to the store and brought two jockstraps. The waist band became the rib band and the they crossed the straps in the back. They thought of calling it jockbra, but then figured that Jogbra sounds better. The design caught on and became a brand.

In 1999 World Cup, the bra got its moment in the sun. US women’s national team star Brandi Chastain scored the winning penalty kick of then game. Filled with emotion, she pulled of her shirt in celebration, revealing the bra. Images of that moment were featured on the covers of many magazines and newspapers.

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First Published: Sep 30, 2017 14:30 IST