Editor’s Choice: Lume Six Alta Bra
This featherlight racerback doesn’t sacrifice support
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Sports bras have vastly improved over the past decade. But for anyone whose body falls outside the narrow set of industry sizing standards, fit is still a challenge. Many wind up buying bras that are either painfully tight or too loose without enough support.
Lume Six is out to change that. In 2021, the fledgling brand debuted the Alta Medium Impact sports bra ($100) and the Cirra High Impact sports bra ($120), both of which are available in extended sizing. Pick a cup size between XS and XL (XXL and 3XL coming later in 2022). Then choose the matching band—or one band smaller or larger. Testers with 34C and 30D chests found medium-medium and small-small worked best, while a 32B tester with muscular lats preferred a medium bra with a small band.
But there’s more to love than just the broad range in sizing. Rather than using removable inserts that bunch up in the wash and get thrown away, all Lume Six bras are offered in two versions: unlined or with thin sewn-in padding. Most important, there’s the fabric. Many sports bras are made with elastane-blend knits, which are naturally stretchy, with nylon added for durability. The Alta and Cirra use a woven exterior fabric. Weaves are inherently more structured, enabling designers to use elastane blended with less-durable but better-wicking polyester, resulting in a thinner, lighter fabrication and construction. The outcome: an unobtrusive, crazy-breathable sports bra that’s still supportive. Welded seams and lie-flat (non-adjustable) straps are icing.
Notably, the Alta and Cirrus are not as supple as other bras. “The lack of stretch meant that some extra fabric bunched in the under-boob area,” said our 32B tester. She wondered if an extra-small bra with a medium band would have helped. But the surplus fabric didn’t stop her from wearing her Alta for five days straight during a testing trip in Panama that alternated between misty and sweltering—the perfect incubator for swampy-sports-bra-induced misery. “It was comfortable enough to sleep in, with no rubbing seams or digging straps,” she said. It also dried completely within an hour of an impromptu river bath. Group consensus: this is among the lightest, fastest-drying, most forget-you’re-wearing-it-comfortable bras we’ve encountered.