Forget Flying Cars - What is the State of the Art in Boob-holding Tech?
August 18, 2018 1:43 PM   Subscribe

It seems to me that Bras have evolved relatively little since their introduction. What are some different or unusual and especially, innovative, bras to try?

I am looking for an item that I can actually buy (online) rather than just companies that have created a demo or proof of concept.

Motivation: I wear a 32E (using the guidelines from /r/abrathatfits) and the size works wonderfully. My problem is that I have a connective tissue disorder which causes me a lot of pain if I wear a bra of the proper band size (lately). Because the band is what actually holds the breasts up, using a lower band size is suboptimal. This has been exacerbated by some other illness, so I hope eventually I can wear my normal bras again, but until them I'm open to looking off the beaten path.

Ultimately, I'm curious if the current bra is really (really) the best we can do. There are so many cool things made possible by technology but bras still seem largely to be elastic and cotton and discomfort and pokey underwires, or dowdy burlap sacks of minimal support.
posted by ZeroDivides to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Behold: the Ta-Ta Towel.
posted by Mizu at 1:50 PM on August 18, 2018 [8 favorites]

My band is quite a bit larger than yours, but Lane Bryant has some amazing bralette, no underwire, tech that holds even my 42H up. That info won't help you find your own bra tech but I suggest looking for structured bralettes.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:02 PM on August 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

It’s not particularly innovative (been around since the 1940s) but a long-line bra may help with support if you can’t tolerate a tight band. The support is distributed over a much wider area. Or try modern corsetry.
posted by tinkletown at 2:06 PM on August 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't know your specific issues, sorry.

But I'm similar to you in size, it seems: I have a small band size and a larger cup size (30DDD/E). So, although I have a larger cup size, the actual size of my breasts is smaller than people would expect and I don't need the kind of scaffolding you'd generally assume someone with a DDD/E cup would need.

I do need underwire for conventional bras. But I've also found that stretchy, medium-support sports bras in this kind of style are actually supportive enough without needing underwire. And they're much more comfortable because they're stretchy all over and there are no hard bits. And they're cheaper! So much cheaper.

I might not wear it under a form-fitting turtleneck, because it does give you a "sports bra" silhouette, but under a looser fit shirt I've been wearing them a lot.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:06 PM on August 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I've had problems with compression from the bra band due to a back injury. So I feel you.

I think it depends a lot on what you want to do while wearing an "alternative" bra. Running will have different needs from, say, attending a business meeting. You could consider:

- a shelf bra that is part of a camisole/spaghetti-strap top (will provide moderate support, but nipples may show through)
- longline bra, as suggested above (this worked great for me as it spread out the load of the band, can provide both support and nipple coverage depending on the style)
- pasties (no support at all, but covers the nipples if that's a concern)
- an adhesive bra with no band or straps (similar to pasties, but it gives a tiny bit of support by joining the breasts together)
- an extra t-shirt/tank top/slip underneath whatever you normally wear (little to no support, but may cover the nipples and is probably more comfortable than pasties)
- the nuclear option: boob tape (variable support depending on what taping method you use, pasties recommended underneath)
posted by danceswithlight at 2:42 PM on August 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

I injured a rib near my spine right under my bra strap and long line bras are the answer for me whenever it flares up. I also have this one from Free People which is INSANELY comfortable but more of a weekend bra for my as I have a lot of boobage. Free People also has this bralette which is also super super comfortable but really too small for me in the boob area. I wish they made bigger cup sizes as they have surprisingly innovative bra styles!
posted by fshgrl at 3:01 PM on August 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

It is interesting to me how differently I move in the Free People bra btw. My back is a lot loose and more open and I'm more comfortable even with less support. It's making me rethink my bra philosophy.
posted by fshgrl at 3:07 PM on August 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've tried a shefit bra - they really are adjustable galore. Ultimately, I found it uncomfortable, but it might be worth a try.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 3:16 PM on August 18, 2018

You want weird and innovative?? Oh boy, do I have the space age bra for you! Caveat: I have not tried this bra and the only video review I have watched ended with the girl haaaaaaating it, but it is band-free and a totally new take on the ol' boob squisher.
posted by DSime at 4:08 PM on August 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

The Victoria's Secret Angel Max comes in a 34DDD (I go up a band size in these anyway, as they start out kind of tight). It's a soft, wide band, wireless sport bra that has a regular rear fastener. I hate pull-over sport bras. It's an inexpensive dupe of the Lululemon Enlite Sport Bra that does come in 32E (but in my experience starts out even tighter).
posted by domo at 7:45 AM on August 20, 2018

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