Mind you, a couple of weeks ago that changed. You can read the link in the first para for deets on my resistence (and the catalyst for my change of heart). But now let's talk about the goods.
You will never believe this - I barely do - but, after doing tons of online research (and recognizing that I wasn't going to be able to assess anything about a cup-free, wire-free "comfort" bra by looking at a model), I realized I'd have to go to a department store. Take a moment to absorb that Kristin-certified insanity. I, a woman with a bra size that does not factor into the generic bra matrix, went to a mid-range department store to look for bras. And I bought one?!
Why didn't I go to a boutique? Well, I didn't want to spend any more than absolutely necessary on a garment that I knew would be, ahem, practical at any price. Also, I don't believe that this sort of bra is best available in boutiques which cater to women who expect wired bras that fit beautifully for out-of-home use.
Look, I was hoping for the cutest thing ever. I did not find it. The best I can say is that I found something plain, that works quite well (now that I've altered it). I cannot post a stock photo of it. It's too unattractive to feature. But here's a link to the style. (FYI, the site posits that the large corresponds with a 38 back size. That's entirely not true. I'd put it at a loose 34 which is just what I'm looking for in a bra that's meant to be totally comfortable for lounge purposes.) BTW, you can find it all over eBay for 20ish bucks. I spent 40 at The Bay, but that's cuz I had to do my research.
How did I alter this thing (which I bought in a large, btw, and which I wear on the 2nd of 3 hooks, and that's firm)? The straps have no shortening clasps and, as designed, they are too long to give me the lift I desire. I simply took an inch of length out, at the original seam (top of the shoulder area) buy zig zagging at my new desired length and then cutting off the excess loop of fabric. It took 10 minutes and, while it doesn't look perfect at that join (given that the straps get wider at the shoulder and quickly narrow), it's barely noticeable. For what it's worth, I like that the straps have no hardware. It makes them very comfortable, even as it shortens the bra's overall life span.
Did I mention, no one's going to see me in this practical garment?
So, when do I wear it? When I get home, until bed.
How does it fit?
- Surprisingly well for a cup-free, seam-free, wire-free bra.
- The back has 2x3 hooks and eyes that produce a supportive band that is not tight. I suspect I could wear the medium (if I wanted a tighter back) without much difference in the way the bra fits elsewhere, because all of the sizes more or less look the same size in the "cup" area.
- The material is deliciously soft and comfortable. It's made of some wicking sort of material that has a bit of sheen and that can glide under clothing. I wear this with a fitted T shirt and it is not observable.
- It's strangely supportive. Seriously, I could wear it out of the house. It gives no separation, obviously, though the "gore" area between the breasts is designed to keep breasts slightly separated. If you have projected boobs and/or boobs of a certain size, that's never going to happen. But this doesn't leave you feeling like you're wearing a compression garment.
- A propos of compression, no doubt this works on the basis of compression, to some extent, but the band is very supportive (deceptively so) and my breasts do not sag beneath it. The "cups" also provide a lot of side coverage and support. So the shape isn't flattening. I do have to emphasize that the straps need to be of the perfect length to facilitate this. And there are no in-built modification options (clasps). So you have to be willing to alter this, which you could do by hand, or you have to get lucky.
- It's a well-made garment, constructed with quality fabric and good design.
Moreover, this has put me in mind of my next foray into bra-making. Sure, I haven't been able to produce a handmade bra that I find acceptable for daily use (though now I have got some new understanding of how I need to alter the next prototype to suit my shape, gained via making the Hepworth fitted bodice!). But I do believe that I can find a way to make a lounge bra to meet my needs - and a predominant one of those needs is attractiveness.
So, today's questions: Have you tried this bra? If yes, did it work for you? If yes (or no) is your shape projected? Do you wear lounge bras and, if yes, why? Do you feel that wearing lounge bras provide any long-term protection against breast sag, or do you feel they are a comfort garment (which contributes, when worn, to improved shape)? Let's talk!
Next up, how I found a new sports bra. I know, what's the freakin' world coming to?
* Note: In truth, this style of bra is suboptimal for projected breasts of any size, but since it's the bra style that works for comfort and lounging, they've managed to produce something that walks a good balance for a non-compatible shape.