The activewear market is flooded with cute sports bra options for smaller cup sizes, but even low-impact options are extremely limited for those on the fuller side of the cup spectrum. Too often, bra designs are plagued by awkward quadraboob or droopy bust lines.
Enter lululemon’s free to be elevated bra. This newer style is essentially an evolution of the free to be lineup, picking up where the free to be serene bra left off. The elevated bra is made for the fullest cups yet, marketed in the DD/E range.
For reference, I wear a 30D/DD in regular bras and wear a size 2 in the free to be elevated. With that in mind, I’m writing this review with the caveat that I’m on the very edge of sizing that this bra was intended for. Insofar as your bra size and support needs differ greatly from mine, please take my opinions with a grain of salt.
In my opinion, the free to be elevated runs true to size. It fits similarly to the original energy bra in terms of band size and overall compression. The elevated runs slightly smaller than the free to be serene, particularly through the shoulder straps, which I find significantly shorter and more snug than the serene. This is a welcome change for me personally, since the longer straps of the serene don’t work as well for my petite frame.
The free to be elevated features wide shoulder straps that distribute the weight across the shoulders. To ensure nothing digs in, the strap extends more fully around the shoulder before splitting into smaller straps.
To enhance support, the band is slightly wider than most lululemon bras. It measures 1.25″, while the free to be serene measures 0.75″ and the majority of other lulu bras, like the energy bra, measures 1″. This 0.25″ is a critical tweak, since the bra band is the most critical element of bra support.
The coverage on this bra works out perfectly for me. The neckline doesn’t cut in and create quadraboob, but it’s also not cut too high. The same is true for underarm coverage, an area that can be prone to spillage issues. Overall, the design is the perfect balance of just the right amount of coverage and containment without being bulky or stifling.
While this is still a compression-style bra, it has a noticeably less flattening effect than most of lulu’s other bras. The seaming cleverly creates more lift and shape. The free to be elevated is marked as light support, but it is definitely more supportive than a bralette. It’s certainly leagues more supportive than any other bra in the free to be line. For me personally, the support is slightly underestimated, and it’s more in the range of light/medium support. While I wouldn’t ever go for a run in this bra, I would be comfortable doing activities with more impact than yoga or everyday wear. I’ve happily worn it hiking and cycling, for example.
Although this bra is marketed for DD/E cups, I think that might be a bit generous. Some DD and E cups might not be happy with the coverage and support, or may need to size up to get the right fit. In my personal experience, I think this a pretty solid low-to-medium impact sports bra for D cups that C and DD cups may also love, depending on body shape and personal preference.
Overall, I think the free to be elevated is an underrated gem in lululemon’s current bra lineup. For when I don’t need the extreme support of long-distance running, this sports bra meets all my needs, and looks incredibly cute doing it. Although color releases have been pretty modest at this point, I plan to slowly collect quite a few of these for my sports bra wardrobe.