It’s Summer which usually calls for less coverage up top…well, often everywhere. Get your minds out of the gutter! You know, tank tops, skirts, shorts, dresses, etc. Often this can lead to real issues with undergarments – bras in particular. If you’re like me, you’ve never been terribly comfortable with going completely braless because the girls need at least some support. After having a mastectomy and subsequent reconstruction on one side only, this has become even more of an issue. My already lower hanging fruit is now super perky on the one side, but sagging more and more by the day on the other. Support has never been more of an issue! Since I live in semi-skimpy tops in the heat, I need something pretty that I don’t mind if it peeks out or is even somewhat on display for underneath. Enter the ever-illusive bralette. But finding one that holds the saggy side up, actually fits my small band size with my large cup size and looks pretty has been a battle I had just about given up on. But alas! I have found not only one, but three styles of bralettes that tick all my boxes!!! To learn all about them, keep on reading!
As you may imagine, I have tried out a lot of brands, styles and sizes. Some have seemed ok, or seemed great…until I wore them long enough to move around as normal life requires. I always end up bulging out of the cups (occasionally flat out falling out!), or gravity starts to kick in after an hour or so and I find myself picking one side up off the ground while the other is still riding high. Sometimes something starts itching like crazy (why the hell do they all have the biggest tags in the most awkward places?), or the cups fit while the band gaps, an on…and on…do I need to keep going? Needless to say, the hunt has been extensive. As one might expect, I ended up finding my first new loves somewhere I would have never known to look! I just happened to see a picture of a bralette with a gorgeous back in some random advertising email and assumed it would never work, but ordered a bunch of colors and a few sizes anyway…just in case! Thank goodness I did because it started a successful hunt for some supportive, comfortable, pretty bralettes that for some unknown miracle actually fit!
So, let’s start with the above-mentioned bralette. It is from Hollister…technically it’s from Gilly Hicks which is now the lingerie arm of Hollister. The style is called the “Strappy Lace Longline Bralette with Removable Pads.” It is a racerback style and the back is what sold me. It is basically just a bunch of strings knotted together in a lovely pattern that runs down the back to a solid lacy band. The body of the bra (meaning everything but the straps) are a nice, relatively traditional lace that is very comfortable with a slight stretch. The cups do indeed have removable “pads,” but I would really consider them more of a light lining – something much need in my single-nippled life! (Sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s true!) I will point out that the straps are not at all adjustable, which is usually a problem for me, but so far it’s working. I think the main thing that makes these work is the long line aspect – you may see thatis somewhat of a consistency throughout these picks. The support, though not a terribly thick or sturdy rib cage band, seems to improve with the more material that there is underneath the cups. It’s helping to provide a sturdier “base” to support the girls. Anyway, the lace is surprisingly comfortable and not at all scratchy (another common issue). There are no offensive seams that either look funny through clothing or irritate the hell out of the skin while wearing. The straps can dig a bit into the shoulders, but I don’t find it extreme or uncomfortable throughout an entire day…and my saggy girl can be a bit heavy! I find my boobs sit at a decent height (they’re not hitting my belly button nor are they whacking me in the chin). They are not smushed beyond an inch of their life, nor is there gaping anywhere. Nipples stay hidden without having an artificial shape from the inconspicuous “padding.” Cleavage still exists, but isn’t over the top so I’m not smushed down too much. All in all, it’s just a great, comfortable, well fitting bralette that is so pretty! I tried the XS (waaay to small in the cups for me), but the S seemed the perfect fit for my 32DDs. They’re also affordable at $16.95. Highly, highly recommend!!!
Sticking with the Racerback style, we have an entry from the Victoria’s Secret’s PINK Range. It is the “Lace Lightly Lined Triangle Bralette,” which retails for $34.95 (prints) or $32.50 (solids). These bralettes have a lace top with a nice, sturdy microfiber band underneath the cups (doesn’t actually gap on the body). There is also rather sturdy seaming in a slightly and appropriately rounded shape attaching the lace to the band for even more support. The band is surprisingly supportive, though if you don’t need a lot of support and don’t like the feel of a traditional bra, this may not be for you. Though it is still much more comfortable than most traditional underwire bras, you can definitely feel the snugness of the thick band around the ribcage. That said, I personally find this quite comfortable, though it is not my favorite of the lot. Again, it keeps the bust at a good height – the straps are adjustable here, which helps in that regard – it doesn’t gap or smush, there is minimal to no spillage, it has a subtle lightly lined cup that keeps nipples undercover and a natural shape. It’s absolutely wonderful! I will point out that though this lace is comfortable and the perfect level of stretchy, I do find that sometimes the side seams can get slightly irritating. Nothing unbearable, just the longer you’ve been wearing it, the more you become aware of it. But I’m talking 8+ hours here, so it’s nothing unexpected. If you’re curious about the back on this one, it’s essentially a traditional racerback – typical straps that join to a triangular lacey bit that then attaches to the microfiber band. Pretty, but nothing terribly out-of-the-ordinary if that’s what you’re looking for. This one is probably the best in terms of sturdy support, but it’s probably my least favorite in terms of looks. It’s still beautiful, just not my favorite.
Last, but certainly not least is a traditional style bralette. By that I mean just your typical wide-placed straps. It is again from Hollister / Gilly Hicks and it is called the “Lace Longline Bralette with Removable Pads.” This is by far my favorite bralette of the bunch in terms of comfort and support while still being pretty to look at. Here you’ll find essentially a solid lace piece – cups, back and the front of the straps are all matching lace. The back half of the straps are more of that traditional bra strap material and they are, again, adjustable! The “band” underneath the bust is comfortable while still adding support so thumbs up for that. The bottom of the bralette as well as the top of the cups and the front of the straps are trimmed with a coordinating accent lace that kind of adds to the delicate feminine aesthetic. I suppose there is nothing that remarkable about this particular bralette, but comfort level aside, they are what I typically expect to see when it comes to a bralette that’s meant to be seen. Pretty, practical and priced right at $16.95!
I am so thrilled to share the three of these with you as I cannot tell you how much I’ve struggled to find a bralette that actually does what I need it to do. Granted, I have unusual needs, but if they can fit my needs, I’m guessing they can work for anyone! All of these have been put through “rigorous” testing, aka a standard day of errand-type activities. I mean, I didn’t go jogging in them or anything, but they will pretty much stand up to the moving, lifting, staining, bending and what-not of grocery shopping for heavy items. For me, that’s always the true test because even more traditional bras can shift just enough to cause issues during those seemingly mundane tasks. I have also slept overnight in each of these styles and woke up with everything still in its proper place. I’ve never been one to sleep in a bra, but I almost feel like wearing one of these makes things more comfortable than not! For reference, l bought all of these in a Small and I usually wear a 32DD in traditional underwire bras. I think the size charts, if they even include that size combo, will recommend a Medium, but I never find the band to fit well with a Medium, while the cups are too small on an X-Small. Anyway, if you are in need of some good comfortable bralettes for the Summer (or for sleeping) – whether you need a bit more support or not – I would definitely check these three styles out!!!