Your Sports Bra Obsession Is Going To Put Victoria's Secret Out Of Business

by Emily Arata
Victoria's Secret

Given the choice between a sleek, expensive Ferrari and a well-designed bra, I'd choose lingerie every time. Anyone can make a car (scoff if you will), but supporting breasts is an art form. The cup has to fit just right, the underwire brushing my ribs without stabbing into my sternum or floating away under my cleavage like a lost astronaut in a space thriller.

Ribbons, bells and whistles are all well and good -- I'd get “never say no to lace" tattooed on my bicep if I didn't think it would make job interviews weird -- but the quality has to be there too. I'm the first person to admit dropping $100 or more is worthwhile, if it's the right brassiere.

But, in the age of activewear and sweatpants you can actually wear to the office like real pants because they're relabeled “joggers,” natural is best.

Gone are the days of perfectly circular breasts on models, replaced by Photoshop-free, body-friendly campaigns like American Eagle's #aerieREAL. Ten years ago, we wanted to look like Paris Hilton. Today, Karlie Kloss in a top-knot and T-shirt is the dream.

Most of us are increasingly comfortable in our own skin, but one brand in particular is suffering: that old mall staple store, Victoria's Secret (VS).

Teenagers just aren't begging their frazzled mothers to buy the Dream Guardian Angel Boobs XXL (Adds 15 Cup Sizes!) like they used to. In an attempt to stay hip to trends, the Wall Street Journal reports the brand has invested in more naturalistic offerings like bralettes and sports bras.

Because these products come without the cushioning, satin and heavily-scented glitter body lotion of previous VS products, they're less than half the price of traditional bras -- an athletic style called “The Player” starts at just $15. That just doesn't add up to the same revenue made on pricey lingerie, no matter how many styles customers greedily stuff in their shopping bags.

Furthermore, the Journal attributes the fall of Victoria's Secret to its advertising campaigns.

Surely, you remember the mail-only catalogs that sustained high school teenagers with poor self-esteem and acne? Bronzed, boob-alicious women on tropical beaches, 12 pounds of hair extensions on each. Except, back then, I'm pretty sure I thought that was all real hair and they were just far more genetically blessed than I.

In September, Spanx alum Jan Singer will take over as VS CEO. The company seems to believe her ten years of experience in making the female body look and feel its best is the right direction to take.

As for me, I'll take my expensive bra-buying elsewhere.

Citations: How the 'Bralette' Has Upended Victoria's Secret (Wall Street Journal)