When they took to the field to face the Germans in the Euro Cup final on Sunday, England's national women's soccer team didn't just have the support of the country, they had the support of specially designed sports bras chosen in consultation with scientists.
It perhaps would have remained a hidden secret weapon but for Chloe Kelly's now-iconic bra-baring celebration after scoring the game-winning goal, which prompted a national conversation in the papers and the airwaves and a massive sales bump for sports bras.
"Cups and trophies: How the bra inspired players to fitting finale," read one headline in The Guardian. "Now bring a sports bra home," read another from The Times, a play on the English soccer anthem Three Lions (It's Coming Home).
Department store John Lewis reported a 130 per cent increase in searches for sports bras following the victorious moment and a 15 per cent bump in sports bra sales from the previous week.
Perhaps the last time a sports bra had such a big moment in soccer was in 1999, when U.S. player Brandi Chastain whipped off her jersey after netting the World Cup final winner against China.
In fact, Chastain tweeted to her English counterpart on Sunday: "I see you @ ChloeKelly well done."
While much has been made of the iconic moment of bra-bearing jubilation, it has also thrust women's breast health into the spotlight.
"I think it's absolutely fantastic because we spend a lot of our time trying to raise awareness of this important area of women's health," said Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, a body mechanics professor and head of the research group in breast health at the University of Portsmouth.
Wakefield-Scurr's team consulted with the Lionesses before the tournament to help them find the best bra for the job, after the Football Association learned of her previous work with Olympic athletes.
"What we found when we were working with the Olympic athletes was that sports bras can have a performance benefit," she said.
Wakefield-Scurr has been studying how breasts impact athletic performance for 17 years. Part of the methodology involves having athletes exercise braless to get a baseline of tissue movement, and then repeat the activity with various sports bras to gauge how different models can potentially improve performance.
At the professor's lab, athletes run on a treadmill without a bra while sensors record the movement of tissue. Those exercises are then repeated in a variety of sports bras while researchers study how different bras create or restrict motion and change the stress on the body.
Commercial sports bras have been around for a long time. A "jogging" bra was developed by two New Jersey women in 1977 who sewed two jock straps together. But the bras' importance in soccer, and the application of technology to make them better and more responsive to women's needs, is a recent development.
"[Sports bras] can improve your running mechanics, for example. They can improve your breathing frequency, they can lower your heart rate, so they can make you more efficient," Wakefield-Scurr said. "We've seen reductions in muscle activity, so that can actually help reduce fatigue during sporting activity."