Smartwool PhD Ladies’ Intimates Collection

Smartwool bra 3 stars

Ida Maspero finds this sports bra less supportive than expected.

It might be high summer, but with ski deals landing in my email inbox on an almost daily basis, thoughts are already starting to turn to the delights of winter sports. One of my staple ski wear basics is a pair of Smartwool socks, so I was intrigued to learn that this maker of top-quality technical merino wool outdoor apparel has ventured into underwear with its new PhD Intimates Collection.

I tested the PhD Seamless Racerback bra while out cycling, sailing and hill walking. It does feel a little heavy for wear during a summer run, but I am sure it will be perfect for snow sports, not least because the excellent wicking and temperature regulation offered by merino wool will put an end to that clammy-skin feeling lady-skiers will be all too familiar with. And as with all pure merino base layers, the fibres are naturally antimicrobial too, meaning less sweaty whiffs.

The bra is sculpted to perfection and designed to provide superb support in all the right places. The 4 Degree Elite Fit System® features “support and stability straps, engineered cups, strategically placed material and knit types in key support zones, and elastic bands at the ribcage providing a comfortable and secure anchor point.”
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However, though I’m fairly… err… averagely endowed, the bra provided me with less support than my regular sports bra. Perhaps it was a little on the big side (I tested the medium) – a smaller size might have done better. And though I’ve yet to be convinced that these new undergarments are worth the price tag, I can see the appeal of merino next to the skin.

Various prices, see Smartwool and on Amazon.

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