To this day, I still don’t understand why people must grow out of training bras. I loved my Hanes heather gray jersey triangle style that felt so comfortable and moveable on my pre-pubescent body. Of course, things have changed and I’m no longer an A-cup (I’ve been a 34-B for the past 20 years), but I’ve never been able to warm up to underwire. The post-wear red marks, wires digging into my skin, and annoying boned shape that feels restricting — I just don’t like how bras feel. In fact, I’ve embraced wire-free bralettes instead of standard bras for the past two decades and have no plans on changing my stance.
Because of my longstanding history with them, I fancy myself quite the bralette connoisseur. I’ve tried every style and brand under the sun and know at this point which ones work best for my 35-year-old body ... and the various types of outfits I wear on a daily basis. Yes, it’s important to know that I have a bralette for every ensemble as they are not all created equal. For my jeans and t-shirt days, I’ll throw on my cotton plunge neck by SKIMS. When I want something cute to peek out from my oversized button-down Oxford top, I’ll wear my ultra-sexy embroidered style by Savage X Fenty. And for long days on my feet where I need a bit more support, I go for a racerback bralette with a thicker band (Brandon Maxwell makes an excellent one).
And like every other 30-something, my breasts have definitely been subject to the laws of gravity, so the flimsy, thin-strapped bralettes of my teens and 20s (that were essentially glorified Band-Aids) no longer apply. Across the board, I tend to stick with styles that offer a bit more support, stretch, lift, and comfort.
And just because there’s no structured underwire doesn’t mean there’s flexibility or wiggle room on the size of a bralette (I’ve learned that the hard way over the years). “Your size isn’t going to change just because you’re removing your underwire, so check your measurements prior to selecting any wireless bra,” says Willy Mrasek, Creative Director of The Felina Brands. “Also, be sure to compare the size conversion chart to ensure you are going to have a properly fitting garment.”
Now, I realize that, for a B-cup, finding adequate bralette support is likely easier than for those in the D-cup and beyond territory. But experts tell me it’s not impossible and there are a number of brands creating beautiful and comfortable wire-free styles for a range of cup sizes. In an email to TZR, Jessica Pfister, VP of intimates brand Le Mystere says, for individuals searching for wireless comfort in a D+ size, seek “fabrics that have a high content of Spandex. This will give your bra good stretch, hold and recovery.” The fit expert adds that wide, supportive straps without a lot of bounce and styles with a slightly wider wing are best for larger cup sizes. “Most of the support of a bra comes from the band and a wide wing will anchor the bra to your body and give it a gentle hug holding it in place,” she says.
Want to join the anti-underwire club? Below find my picks for bralettes that are worth adding to your intimates roster. (And don’t worry, there are some fun options in there for days you want to spice things up a bit.)
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