Throwing over the brassiere industrial complex
September 17, 2019 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Seeking your recommendations and suggestions for bra alternatives that meet my needs/criteria.

The "only" ;-D aspects I care about anymore are comfort, ease of donning the garment, temperature neutral, at least some nipple coverage, and – most importantly – positions fabric between my torso/ribcage and the undersides of my breasts.

• comfort: almost-form-fitting is better than bunchy (tight is a total deal-breaker); over-the-shoulder straps that aren’t too skinny
• ease of donning the garment: no bra-like contortions with hooks and pretzeling one’s arms to get the clothing on
• temperature neutral: aren’t hot to wear
• coverage: self-explanatory
• strategic fabric placement: this one is key but it’s also the stumper for me. I don’t think camisoles will really work – if I tuck up the fabric there I think it would bunch up elsewhere or drape weirdly. I’ve never seen anything that covers the same area as a bra but with gentle elastic at the bottom instead of rib-cracking hooks and stays, etc.
posted by dancing leaves to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried the Decent Exposure Un-Bra?
posted by jacquilynne at 1:44 PM on September 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

I was trying to visualize what you want, and it sounded like an empire waist camisole -- just fabric rather than bra construction, but coming in to touch the body under the breasts. When I googled those words, I got a varied bunch of images, but some of them seemed as if they might be the right sort of thing.
posted by LizardBreath at 1:55 PM on September 17, 2019

The Bra Sizing post is full of goodness and facts. Seriously, I learned a ton, and look much better dressed now. Undressed, I'm on my own. There have been other bra posts,this one worked for me. I wear Bali Passion for Comfort (not Minimizer) bras. Hanes makes stretch cotton bras that are comfortable,but last maybe 6 months.

Your description of fabric sounds like a bralette. I wear the band size that fits on the last hook assuming that the band will stretch; it usually does. My rib cage is not unhappy.
posted by theora55 at 2:04 PM on September 17, 2019

Many of Torrid's bralettes are semi-longline and provide that buffer zone, which is why I wear them. None of them are fabulous with nipple coverage (except the padded ones, which are new and I just bought two - they're a little more sportsbra-y than I completely wanted but I still like them) so I ordered a stack of liners that I slip in if I'm leaving the house.

Torrid is a plus-size site but I believe their size 0 is around a 10-12-14.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:07 PM on September 17, 2019

Yummie brand Tanya bralette is one I like. Simple pull over, snug but not constricted.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 2:11 PM on September 17, 2019

Additional note on Torrid: where you see "microfiber and lace" you're getting a non-sheer two layer thing, where the microfiber is against the skin and there's a sort of texture (doesn't show through fabric) over that. The ones that are just "lace" are a really good stretchy comfortable lycra-y lace and my preferred summertime home bra, but they are usually slightly sheer through the lace design and do little for nipple obfuscation.

Anyway, I really like the microfiber ones for daily public wear (with the liners) and I've washed the shit out of them and put them through the dryer many many times with no signs of wear.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:14 PM on September 17, 2019

Breast Nest! It’s specifically designed to put fabric between the underside of your breasts and your rib cage, without draping weirdly. I think it does exactly what you want!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 2:21 PM on September 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Uniqlo's wireless bra relax bras work for me, but depending on your ribcage/cup size, they may not work for you.

Their beauty light wireless used to be slip on, but now they have hook closures and are useless.
posted by crush at 3:36 PM on September 17, 2019

Bralette is the term I used to find mine. It's from Penney's. I'm about a 40C and I wear a size Large.
posted by kathrynm at 4:07 PM on September 17, 2019

I'm going to wave in the general direction of Whiskey Dog Wares, a maker that's local to me and does semi-custom work (i.e. made to order in specific styles and gladly accommodating a wide range of sizes.) The long line bralette may be what you're after.
posted by holgate at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I rather like complicated strappy bras with snug bands around the ribcage (or no bra at all, because Fuck the Man) BUT i have multiple friends obsessed with True Body bras. They all rave about pretty much exactly your list of requirements, and one friend refuses to wear anything else.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 10:10 PM on September 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I am also a Decent Exposures fan - they offer a number of personalisation options that might work for you.

I'm back to having an elastic band for somewhat better support, but they also offer a ribbing band for the bottom of the bra that is less restrictive. And even the elastic is pretty forgiving, compared to most bras. The Un-Bra has no fastenings (pull over the head), but the ones with fastenings fasten in the front.

They also offer a variety of fabrics. I usually get my bras in the middle weight cotton, but love the light weight for under wear or skirts (or I get the shorts at knee length for wearing around the house.) If you want the light weight but want more nipple coverage, you could line the front, for example.

(They also have amazing customer service: once you tell them what you want, when they confirm the order, if you change something, they'll double check you meant to do that.)
posted by jenettsilver at 5:34 AM on September 18, 2019

Seconding the recommendation for True Body bras. They fabric is super comfortable and they tend to extend a little lower on the ribcage. Maybe something like the True Body V-neck bra, for example.
posted by thejanna at 6:56 AM on September 18, 2019

Sounds like you want what used to be a called the "magic bra" - I have several knock off versions. (on searching for them now, apparently that term comes up with those awful stick on things) They don't offer a great deal of support - nothing like what they claim in the ads but they're more comfortable than going bra-less. Its basically a really stretchy crop top, they make all sorts of claims about the technology involved in the stretch so that they're comfortable but still supportive but I take that with a huge pinch of salt. Something like this You pull it on over your head, has the same/similar coverage as a bra without the pinching and wires etc
posted by missmagenta at 8:21 AM on September 18, 2019

I really like my Ahh bra that has removable pads for nipple coverage. I can pull it on from my feet which is super helpful.
posted by evening at 6:30 AM on September 21, 2019

I use something like these. You may also find bra liners to be helpful; they fit between a bra band and your skin and (a) make it more comfortable and (b) soak up sweat.
posted by metasarah at 7:27 AM on September 24, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm working my way through the list. Additional entries welcomed!

I've had properly fitted bras in the past, but I'm so done with the bother and annoyance of modern bras. I believe the recent studies that show "supporting" women's breasts is more about sexualizing them and toxic capitalism and patriarchy making money off us. Well, okay, the studies show that bras are generally not necessary (YMMV) for health, and in some respects unhealthy/detrimental. But the subtext is inescapable, yo. ;-D
posted by dancing leaves at 4:53 AM on September 30, 2019

« Older The Most Boring Girl in Las Vegas   |   What clothing should I wear in Peru? (31, female) Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.