All day bra
February 24, 2020 4:45 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a comfortable bra for all day wear. I have a smaller band size and larger chest. I'm looking for a bra I can wear to work in a lab (10 hours) and feel supported and comfortable in.

I've been a 32DDD or 34 DD for awhile. I want a bra that will be moderately supportive and comfortable all day. Underwire bras seem to dig in after five to ten wears. Super plush bras tend to wear out in five to ten wears. Lively and Soma bras seem to wear out pretty quickly. In my kid 30s, post nursing, my chest just sags a lot on its own. I like my true and co bralette style bra but there's a LOT of bounce there. The 24/7 bra from thirdlove just stretched completely out after like five wears but I loved it for the first few hours a day.

I am on my feet chasing a kid or working in a lab for many hours a day. So maybe everyone else with a small band size and a larger chest is wearing a sports bra all day? Or something? Suggestions please.
posted by Kalmya to Shopping (22 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Try Wacoal model 855170 (
I’ve found them very comfortable and supportive, though ymmv depending on breast shape.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:19 PM on February 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by Iris Gambol at 5:24 PM on February 24, 2020

I'm your size, also 30s, post-nursing. I love Natori. The Feathers, Yogi sports bra, and I think the Gloss have all served me well (the Yogi is particularly good for "I want to never have to adjust a strap ever" days), but YMMV based on your breast shape, as needs more cowbell notes. They all have underwires, but I've never had a poke through or issues with wires getting out of shape and digging in weirdly. I do hand wash them all.
posted by damayanti at 5:25 PM on February 24, 2020

Yes to Natori - I wear the Bliss Perfection, though I also have a Feathers and a Hidden Glamour. I find the Bliss Perfection bras to be the most comfortable bras I have owned - no underwire digging, I forget I have them on, and they last at least a few years (I also hand wash them).
posted by umwhat at 5:36 PM on February 24, 2020

I (32G) also like the Wacoal sports bra that needs more cowbell linked to. It’s probably overkill for your situation and a lot depends on your shape but I have given up on regular floppy bras that feel too bouncy to teach in and just use them as my everyday bra now. I particularly like that the underwire is on the outside layer of fabric so that the part that touches your skin is smooth and seamless.
posted by charmedimsure at 5:42 PM on February 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

I, a 30G, have been served well by Fantasie brand models labelled as having "side support." The ladies are kept facing in the correct direction on the appropriate part of my torso.
posted by jesourie at 6:05 PM on February 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

I, 30F, get a lot of mileage out of a few styles of Chantelle bras. I also have a few from Panache. If you haven’t been to the reddit group abrathatfits, check it out. The bra wearing folks are happy to review photos of you in a bra and give fit tips, plus brand and model suggestions. I need a particularly narrow gore and have some other specific shape stuff going on.

I would also suggest checking out ‘sister sizes’ and go down a band and up a cup and see if that helps with some of the stretching you’re experiencing.
posted by bilabial at 6:15 PM on February 24, 2020

Are you quite sure of your bra size? I ask only because a surprising number of people with boobs are wearing the wrong bra size, and 34DD is one of the common ‘mis-prescribed’ sizes for people who, due to small rib cages and bigger busts, fall outside the commonly carried size range in most major retainers. For example, 34DD was one of the MANY wrong sizes I was given before I found my real size, UK 32GG (and now UK 30FF, after some weight loss) (that’s 32J & 32H, respectively, in US sizes, and I don’t look like I have big boobs).

Most of reddit is a dumpster fire, I know, but r/ABraThatFits is a wonderful resource. Start with their 6 measurement sizing guide. After figuring out my real size and shape, underwired bras are suddenly extremely comfortable and last way longer.

In terms of brand recommendations, I really love my bras from Comexin, Ewa Michalak, Empreinte and a couple from Cleo by Panache. If you have heavy, projected breasts, like me - and your description sounds like you may - I’d steer clear of the Natori brand mentioned above. It’s notoriously shallow. I’d steer clear of molded cups, too, for the same reason.
posted by wind_up_horse at 7:10 PM on February 24, 2020 [10 favorites]

I'm a 32DD and the most comfortable bras I've found are wireless bras from Aerie. But I don't wear bras all that often, so can't speak to their longevity or supportiveness.
posted by metasarah at 7:32 PM on February 24, 2020

I like the brand Freya.
posted by wowenthusiast at 8:54 PM on February 24, 2020 [4 favorites]

Kinflyte. They are magical. Expensive but I own or have owned most of the brands in this thread and I'll never go back. I even wear them to the gym now
posted by fshgrl at 9:19 PM on February 24, 2020

Thirding the Wacoal bra linked by needs more cowbell and charmedimsure. I find the cup sizes on Wacoal’s sports bras to run a little big compared to their other bras, YMMV.
posted by stellaluna at 9:53 PM on February 24, 2020

I've had good luck with the Lunaire Coolmax at 32DDD.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:08 PM on February 24, 2020

Genie Bra. I'm at 36F usually, and I wear the XL and L of these fairly interchangeably. I bought a bunch of them - no idea if they're the genuine ones or knock-offs - and throw them in the washing machine every day and hang them to dry. I will now only wear a regular wired bra if I'm going to an interview. They are so freaking comfortable I SLEEP in them, and they look like a t-shirt bra under clothes. I've found after about 6-9 months of heavy wear, the elastic starts to give but they're very cheap compared to regular bras.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:14 PM on February 24, 2020

Seconding everything that wind_up_horse said.

I was "fitted" into a 38C bra as a teenager at the dawn of the first Reagan administration and went along like that for mumble years.

I was surprised to realize that in a 34F UK (34G US), I could go for hours without ducking into a bathroom to yank down my bra band and put my escaped breasts back in the cups. Sculptresse Chi-Chi is my jam now that I know my size and shape. And it still works for me in 36F UK, the size where I wound up after menopause tipped me over into Hashimoto's and I put on 30 pounds.

Anyway, here's a link to the A Bra That Fits size calculator, including instructions on how to measure yourself. If you have questions after measuring -- a lot of people do -- I'll second bilabial in directing you to the ABTF subreddit for help figuring out your breast shape (it's as important as size when you're looking for a bra that fits) and the best brands and styles to try.
posted by virago at 5:19 AM on February 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

I wear the Playtex 18 Hour Ultimate Lift for daily wear (and sleep in them). More comfortable than any bra I’ve ever worn in my 44 years, definitely not sexy but that’s honestly not my priority for day to day wear.
posted by amro at 5:35 AM on February 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I like Freya and have had success at different times with Chantelle and Fantaisie.

Nordstrom has good fitting services, and a wide selection. I’d go for an in person fitting if you haven’t done it lately.

Granted, I’m a person who has worn an underwire bra every day of my adult life except during pregnancy and nursing - it’s the only thing I’ve found comfortable for a full day’s wear.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 6:00 AM on February 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm similar size. Bali is a great brand with a range of cup/band sizes. Wide straps and supportive cups, but also some nice colors and a wider range of designs than most bras for large boobs. They are also relatively long lasting. The bras described as minimizers are particularly comfortable.

(and folks? Her question wasn't about whether she has the wrong size. Can we assume she knows her own body better than strangers on the internet? "Did you know 110% of women are wearing the wrong bra size?" is the most annoying thing anyone can ever say to someone who has wasted years of their life trying to find a decent, affordable bra with a cup size above C.)
posted by EllaEm at 6:38 AM on February 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Third vote for the A Bra That Fits calculator. Also, go poking around in the subredit - there's so much more that goes into a well fitting bra than just band size and cup volume. Different brands and styles have completely different cup shapes, underwire widths, all sorts of stuff. And the most comfortable bra will be the one that fits your shape well.
posted by antimony at 6:47 AM on February 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm the same size as you and love the T-shirt wireless bra from Victoria's Secret. Great support and very comfy.
posted by toby_ann at 7:31 AM on February 25, 2020

I really like True & Co's bras without underwire. I use the scoop neck full cup (they go up to 42DDD). I can wear them all day long and have support. I've listed the website and they sell online, but I've been able to find these bras at Nordstrom if that's local for you.
posted by vivzan at 7:56 AM on February 25, 2020

Apparently I have a lot of thoughts on this subject. Here I am again.

Darlene at Hourglassy (32FF/G UK; 32H/I US) really likes the wireless Evelyn and Bobbie Defy Bra in Medium.

Her conclusion: "It feels like I'm wearing a regular bra." She wore it to two events in Manhattan and realized when she was walking home from the subway (she lives in Queens) that she hadn't thought about her bra all night. "Unobtrusive" is about the best you can hope for from a bra.

Her blog post has a lot more information on the Defy, including photos of what it looks like under a shirt and how to figure out your size.

MeFi's the thorn bushes have roses, who wears the Defy every day, explains how she wound up trying the bra and cautions that the company's size chart seems to be off the mark.
posted by virago at 9:36 AM on February 25, 2020

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