I didn’t know a good sports bra could make or break a workout until my junior year of high school. A childhood of dance classes led me to daydream over the perfect leotards rather than bust-supporting activewear—until I joined my high school tennis team. It’s amazing how quickly chasing balls around the court and running line sprints forces you to reconsider your sports bra selection.
Despite my sudden revelation about good sports bras, I didn’t successfully find one for another 8 years. My primary issue was that I needed support but hated the cage-like contraptions on the market. I didn’t want the ladies lifted and strapped just beneath my chin—I wanted them compressed and out of the way during my workout. The perfect full-coverage design I imagined didn’t have complicated hook-and-loop closures, painful shoulder-digging straps, or ill-fitting cups. Essentially, I wanted a size 36C miracle.
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My divine intervention occurred last November when I decided to splurge on a Girlfriend Collective Paloma Sports Bra ($38; nordstrom.com) after months of debate. I’d seen trendy influencers wearing it all over Instagram and was immediately attracted to the array of modern colorways, sleek square-neck design, and elongated crop fit. I selected the sleek crop in black—like a true New Yorker—and hunkered down to wait for my order.
Needless to say, it was love at first wear. The moisture-wicking fabric, made from a recycled polyester and spandex blend, hugged my body without constricting any movement. Its racerback design offered enough support to stop uncomfortable boob bounce during cardio workouts, but didn’t feel like it was cutting off my circulation either. Plus, its long-line silhouette even covered enough skin to double as a crop top with high-waisted leggings (ideally in the matching shade), so I felt comfortable ditching unnecessary workout tanks.
paloma-girlfriend-bra , $38; nordstrom.com
After 6 months of bliss, it still stands up to my initial praise—and I’ve even learned of additional perks. The fast-drying fabric can handle a 45-minute cycle class followed by an hour of yoga without leaving me soaked in sweat. Not only is it sturdy enough to stay in place through a variety of moves, like jump squats and planks, but it’s also unbelievably soft. Every wash and dry leaves it feeling smoother than the last. (Small confession: I do throw my bra in the dryer despite brand recommendations not to).
But the greatest testament to how great this sports bra is? I’ve purchased one in 5 color options. While that might seem excessive, I should clarify that I don’t have a washing machine in my apartment and like to workout regularly—and I hate working out without my Paloma bra.
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If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m truly obsessed with this bra. I find myself stalking the social channels for new collections despite owning the bra in light gray, ivory, dark green, and vibrant purple (i.e. Wildflower). I also gab about them excessively to my friends and coworkers, hoping to convert everyone into a Girlfriend Collective fan.
Of course, I’m not the only one completely addicted to the Paloma; it’s sold out on Girlfriend Collective’s website from sizes XXS to 6XL in every single colorway. The coveted pick is also unavailable, or only in super limited quantities, at Reformation and Bandier. Luckily, Nordstrom still has 3 spring-ready colorways in stock. But you’ll want to act fast because this popular style is flying off the shelves, and restocks can take months. I would know—I’ve been waiting for the latest drop, because why not add yet another one to my collection?
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