This guest post was written by guest writer Lindsay Clarke, who is currently studying for her masters degree in history at Columbia University. She founded the nonprofit organization Breaking Ground, which works with communities in Cameroon to help bring resources to bear to complete projects that were initiated by the communities themselves.
As a graduate student in New York City, my life is basically a rotation of reading, attending class, sleeping and eating. I need to take every opportunity I can get to escape from my books, the library and my tiny dark cave of an apartment. If I plan right, I get to add a good long run, a yoga session, or a game of Ultimate Frisbee to my busy schedule, too.
I moved to the city from Maine at the end of the summer and found that I need to escape the onslaught of the concrete jungle as much as I do my studies. Living in Morningside Heights, I have the fortune of being just minutes from Riverside, Morningside and Central parks. There's no better way to forget you're in a city of 8 million people than getting lost in the wooded trails of Central Park. (Fortunately, I stopped literally getting lost after a week or two.)
For all the disadvantages of running in the winter, the cold weather does afford one advantage: all my warm layers offer many pockets in which to store my apartment keys, a few bucks, and, if I'm in the mood for music on my run, my iPod. In the warmer months, it's a different story. Besides one pair of running shorts with a convenient key-size pocket in the lining, none of my warm weather running clothes are equipped to store even a single key.
Carolina Baker, founder of Girl Habits, designed the Mi-Bra for just this reason. The concept is simple: take an item of clothing that every woman wears while exercising, make it out of an eco-friendly blend of organic cotton, and slap on a discrete, low-profile pocket. The pocket is designed for an iPod Nano, and even has a tiny slot for the headphones, but it also fits things like a Metro card or small set of keys.
As far as cut, the Mi-Bra is a pretty standard racer-back sports bra. Since it's made of cotton with just 10 percent spandex, it's not too stretchy, and thus very supportive. Compared to my Champion brand bras, however, I found that the Mi-Bra runs small: I comfortably wear a Champion size small, and surprisingly just fit into a Mi-Bra medium.
For college students, the Mi-Bra is a perfect innovation. These days, a student's ID card can get them into their dorm room, the dining hall, the library, as well as the gym. I live in an apartment and cook for myself, but still, I can slip my ID into the Mi-Bra pocket and jog to the fitness center with nothing but my water bottle in hand.
The one concern I have about the Mi-Bra is about its intended use for an iPod. As a sports bra, it's worn while exercising, and I'll admit that while exercising, I sweat. The Mi-Bra pocket is positioned just where my sweat tends to gather, so unless I planned to wrap my iPod in plastic to protect it from moisture, I probably wouldn't feel comfortable storing it there.
That said, the Mi-Bra is a smart design and practical step forward for women on the move. And it's (mostly) organic, at that.
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