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The Forme bra claims to improve your upper body alignment, so we put it to the test.
Chances are, you’re reading this hunched over your tech device like a gremlin — neck stooped, shoulders rounded, and absolutely no thought given to whether your body is in alignment. In fact, about four out of five people experience low back pain at some point in their lives, as Shape previously reported, and Americans spent an estimated $134 billion from 1996 to 2016 on treatments for neck and lower back pain.
As someone who bought a standing desk with the best of intentions and finds herself typing this while sitting cross-legged on a barstool, I’m in no place to judge. But after a strict admonishment from my chiropractor about the forward curve of my neck (which could, over time, turn into dowager’s hump), I decided to invest my time into truly correcting my posture. To help, I turned to the Forme Bra, a viral posture-correcting bra designed by an orthopedic surgeon.
How We Tested the Forme Bra
Length of Time: 1 month, wearing at least 3 times per week for several hours a day.
Testing Criteria: Comfort and Support, Quality, Results, Value
Forme Power Bra
What We Love: It’s incredibly easy to integrate into your everyday life.
It’s Worth Noting: Forme’s experts say to wear their bras for 4 to 6 hours daily for four to six months for full results.
The Forme Power Bra is an FDA-registered posture correction bra made of six varied tension fabrics and double-fabric panels for enhanced alignment. Together, these features “teach” your body to naturally pull your muscles into proper alignment for better posture while walking, sitting, and standing. In addition to the Power Bra, Forme sells other sports bras, tops, leggings, and bike shorts to assist with posture correction.
Price at time of publish: $175
Forme may be eligible for FSA or HSA funds when you submit a purchase receipt along with a physician‘s prescription for a posture corrector or back brace. Check with your insurance for details.
Who It’s For: Work-from-home goblins who know their posture is abysmal and want a little nudge to sit up straighter, as well as those experiencing more severe back, neck, or shoulder pain as a complement to their rehab and strength training (with their doctor’s supervision).
Sizes: XS to 3X | Colors: 7 | Best For: Instant alignment, daily wear, sleepwear, training and exercise, yoga and Pilates, and travel.
Related: Do Posture Bras Really Work?
My Full Forme Power Bra Review
Right away, I was relieved that this looked like a cute workout crop top and felt totally comfortable, not a medieval torture device or straitjacket. In fact, I wore it as a top to play tennis and got compliments from my hitting partner, who couldn’t believe it was a posture-correcting bra.
The very first time I put it on, I felt the Forme bra lightly tugging my shoulder blades back and together. Whenever I “forgot” my posture and rounded my shoulders or hunched over my desk, the fabric pulled at my upper back, reminding me to adjust my posture for the better.
I was also pleased to notice that the bra — although not technically a sports bra — provided enough support for my B-cups during high-impact workouts like tennis and pickleball. However, wearers with bigger boobs might not get enough support and would be more comfortable sticking to low-impact activities.
Throughout the four-week testing period, I wore the Forme Power Bra in as many different scenarios as I could: tennis, yoga, strength training, cycling on my Peloton, travel, and of course, working from home. I liked it best for yoga and strength training, when the double-fabric panels helped me engage my lats and pull my shoulders back to tackle each asana or exercise with perfect form. I also wore the bra during two eight-hour flights on a trip to Amsterdam. I easily fell asleep in the bra and woke up with fewer cricks and cramps in my muscles than I normally do.
One morning, I worked outside of my usual environment, and I noticed around lunchtime that my upper back and neck were getting uncomfortable. I happened to have the Power Bra with me, and I put it on. The difference was immediate and significant. I quickly felt my pain settle down, and I sat at the kitchen counter with renewed dedication to my alignment.
Forme also sent me the Ace V-Neck and the Sculpt Short. While I didn’t wear them as often as I wore theForme bra, the Ace V-Neck offered a tighter pull across my back and felt like a stronger posture corrector. (Heads up, you can also layer Forme products if you want a really powerful experience.)
The Finish Line: Is the Forme Bra Worth It?
At the end of 30 days, Dr. Liu told me I should expect to see “improved posture, strengthened posture muscles, and increased postural awareness.” I did feel an increased mind-body connection while wearing the Forme bra, but without it, I’m afraid my shoulders went right back into a slump. Looking at my before and after photos, the differences between Weeks 1 and 4 are subtle, but my shoulders are slightly less rounded and my neck has pulled back a tiny bit.
At $175, the Forme Power Bra isn’t cheap — but if you’re able to spare some HSA or FSA funds and your insurance approves it, it may be worth the cost, especially if you work from home. However, if your posture is already pretty good and you don’t experience chronic pain from poor posture, you’ll probably see a bigger (and cheaper) impact from regular strength training that focuses on your core and back muscles.
What causes back pain?
According to Dr. Stephen Liu, Founder and Chairman of Forme as well as an orthopedic surgeon, “habitual poor posture is a silent killer of modern living and productivity.” Poor posture can cause severe pain and majorly lower performance, quality of life, and daily function. “Americans often rely heavily on their mobile devices, and computers for work, leisure, and travel, rounding their shoulders and looking down, causing chronic tension and pressure to their neck and back muscles,” adds Dr. Liu. Over time, this chronic tension builds up and strains the body by weakening spinal and shoulder muscles — which leads to back pain.
How much do you wear the Forme bra to see results?
Dr. Liu recommended wearing Forme bra for 4 to 6 hours daily depending on your lifestyle, athletic performance, and the benefits you’re seeking. “For stronger medical benefits, wearing [Forme] full time and at night is important to build muscle memory while your alignment is being transformed,” he explains. “Forme is designed to be worn daily and can enhance your everyday activities, such as working out, travel, athletics, or sleep. The biofeedback wearable technology within Forme’s fabric layers is seamless and powerful, delivering effective posture correction while looking just like normal activewear.”
How do you wash your Forme bra?
Forme recommends machine washing (without any other clothes) in cold water without using detergent or hand-washing with cold water and soap. Fabric softener and detergent can break down the fibers of the fabric. Hang dry.
What is Forme’s return policy?
Forme’s return policy is tougher than most activewear brands, so make sure to choose wisely before ordering. Forme accepts returns/exchanges for eligible products within 21 days from the date of purchase. All merchandise must be returned in new condition with all tags and packaging intact. For returns, $15 will be deducted from your refund amount to cover the cost of shipping and handling. The original shipping costs and Route Protection charges are non-refundable. Exchanges have free shipping/fulfillment, and can only be placed for the same product in different colors or sizes. Only one exchange can be made per original order.
Who shouldn’t use Forme?
According to Dr. Liu, “Everyone's body is different. Physical therapy is always useful for those in pain or with injuries, but not sustainable as you can't see a PT daily 24/7.” Always talk to your own doctor or medical professional before adding a device like Forme to your routine.
Why Trust Shape
As the Senior Commerce Editor at Shape, Kristen Geil tests, reviews, and analyzes all the products and gear that can help enhance your wellness journey. As a NASM-certified personal trainer, she's particularly passionate about testing new fitness equipment and finding her next favorite pair of running shoes. Before moving to Commerce, Kristen was Shape's Senior Fitness Editor, where she oversaw the Fitness category and covered workout trends, exercise tips, recovery, and more. For this article, she committed to thoroughly researching posture-correcting bras, wearing the Forme bra three times a week for several hours at a time, and reporting her experience from start to finish.
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Read the original article on Shape.