Women: recommend a comfortable bra

I don’t want to go to a store and try on bras. I know my size. At this point, I have several underwire bras (same model, different colors), but they are not comfortable, especially in the heat of Florida. I’m a full-time homemaker, so for the most part, I’ve been going without a bra, but I know I look better with one. I don’t need a push-up or anything fancy – just a comfortable bra for everyday wear that’ll lift, preferably with a front closure. I’m very intolerant to the heat, and sweat under my breasts, so any suggestions for a bra that might help with that, or shields, or whatever, would be appreciated.

Well, I’m assuming you want to find something reasonably priced and readily available. I could never bring myself to buy a $100 bra, but the cheapie ones from Walmart/Target are scratchy, poorly constructed, and don’t hold up to repeated washings (I admit I put my bras through the washing machine, but air dry them).

I love love love! Victoria’s Secret - Body by Victoria bras. They are great everyday bras, not too expensive so you can get several, especially if you sign up for their mailing list and get $10 off coupons fairly regularly.

They are underwire (but there may be a wireless version, I don’t have a catalog handy), lightly lined so they’re good for under t-shirts, and they come in several fabrics, including cotton. There’s also a t-back version that’s good for sleeveless tops. Soft and comfortable, large selection of colors, and they have full coverage and demi versions.

I am average sized; if you are well endowed, I cannot vouch for how supportive they are (although you mentioned that you go braless), but for us smaller gals, they are perfect.

My brother’s getting married on Saturday, and Monday I broke down and did the foundation garment buying hell thing. I got there at a time when the fitter was 1) there and 2) not busy. Having heard all the good things about working with a fitter, I underwent the “measuring and trying on a million different bras” hell.

My eventual choices were both Wacoal, and boy howdy, what a difference. I got underwire styles, but I believe there were some available without. Now that I know what size and style I fit best in, I plan to internet shop for bargains.

I know you don’t want to, but I strongly encourage you to do the fitting thing at least once. This was my first time, and these new bras work SO much better than the Walmart/Target ones I’ve been wearing. I was wearing the right size, but the cuts and the shape of the cups made my size change from style to style. It was really worth it to put on one bra right after another and really SEE why one fit well and the other, not so much.

Spanx bras. Worth every penny, IMHO.

I agree with this. It really does make a difference. If you don’t have time to get to a store, though, I would at least remeasure yourself. These are good instructions:

I’ve got nothing to do with the above website but I do order from there on occasion and have found their customer reviews to be very helpful. Maybe you might find something by browsing? Also, Wacoal is great, as another poster mentioned. I also like La Mystere (though the band takes some getting used to) and Olga.

I’ve got time to go to the store and spend all day on it if I want; I just don’t want to. I don’t go any store if I can buy what I want online. I will check out your suggestions and re-measure. Thanks a lot, gals.

I get the one I want picked out at the store, but because it’s such an expensive model, I buy from eBay instead.

I’ve just about given up, myself. I wear camisoles or tanks under a shirt or sweater (in winter) but I’m going to have to take an entire f’ing day and search for something to wear under a t-shirt. Where do you find a Wacoal, anyway?

All those thousands upon thousands of bras in the stores, it makes my head spin just thinking about it.

I’ve liked every Wacoal bra I’ve had. You find them at higher end department stores. (Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc.) They are pricey, but hold up well.

I buy some all cotton front hook bra from just my size dot com … im not wearing one right now [im on ly laptop in bed and hence dressed in a sleep shirt =)] so I can’t give you the make/model right now, but they are not overly expensive and very comfortable. The cotton absorbs sweat so it doesnt pool, and the material is soft and comfortable with no underwires.

Victoria’s Secret also has some very comfortable underwires made of cotton jersey material. Since they are not lined, I am sure they won’t get too hot. Plus, they absorb sweat, which I imagine would be a good thing in Florida.

I can’t imagine being happy with a bra that I’ve bought without trying it on - it takes trying on 20 or 30 bras to find one or two that fits me properly (all the same size, mind you). I don’t think your odds would be good buying a bra without trying it on, but if you’re willing to take a chance, go for it.

I’m in your boat. One boob is slightly bigger than another, so if the cup is cut a little differently or something, a bra might not fit me well. I end up fluctuating between sizes… and my boob’s aren’t changing size!

I couldn’t not try on bras either. They just fit different, even in the same size, same brand. Once I have a model and brand that works well, I don’t need to try them on…but a new brand?

Guy here, but …

I think most women agree that the size numbers on women’s clothes mean almost nothing. So why would you expect that to somehow be different with bras? You can’t “know your size”, since it’s different for every manufacturer and style.

I’ve examined quite a few breasts up close & personal in my day, and carefully analyzed a few million more from a distance. I think I can safely say they come in a bewildering (and mesmerizing) variety of shapes. Not sizes, shapes. Every bra style from every manufacturer is also a different shape. Some of those match your shape; the other 80+% don’t. Asking the fine Doper ladies which shape fits each of *them *is not a path to success for you.
My advice, as verified by my wife’s experience …

Go to a real dedicated bra shop, or at least to a real department store with the older women working as “foundations” clerks. I’m sure trying on bras with the sales lady’s help is a bit embarrassing at first. But you’ll be a lot happier with the result. … For 2 or 3 years until whichever style works for you is discontinued. Then back to the bra shop.

What fits you is not necessarily the most expensive thing, nor the cheapest. Nor is there just one choice. But it is awfully close to looking for a needle in a haystack (now that’s an ouchy metaphor!). You need a guide to help you narrow the field.

It’s really hard to know where to steer you if we don’t know your (at least approximate) size. We’ve got ladies across the spectrum here so there’s bound to be someone who is close to your size who can suggest something good.

What is comfortable to me (32B) might be horrible for someone who is 34C or impossible for someone who is 40F. What is heave on earth to 38DD is the wrong kind of material or style for a 34A.

Worst username/subject combo evar.

The Spanx Bralellujah (sp?) in particular.

It used to be I could find cheap-o (about $5) front-hooking bras on hangars in places like K-Mart. They came in white, black, and beige, didn’t support much, but were not uncomfortable. I could leave the house technically wearing a bra and not worrying about flashing my headlights to the public. Then they all disappeared, replaced with more expensive shiny molded things that seem made to look sexy rather than perform a function, they are hot, cumbersome, and ill-fitting. There are always sports bras, they often are made with a high cotton content.

Those…things…in the boxes. Stiff cotton. With circular stitching. Great big Playtex things. Does anyone still wear them? They’ve been around since the 40’s and they look like it. I tried one on out of desperation. Ick! All lumpy and pointy and bad-fitting - who on earth wears those?

Word. And not only that, but some brands run small or large, in either the cup or the band (so you might be a different size altogether in those brands)…some are better suited to women whose breasts sit more widely or more narrowly on their rib cage…some have shaped cups that might be great on one woman of your same size but make you look like a freak…some have seams that you might find really itchy…and so forth.

IMO, you should take an afternoon and make one trip to a department store with a good fitter (like Nordstrom’s) or, if not, a really big selection, find at least one bra that works really well for you, and then from then on, order that bra online.