Let’s start this post off with a bang. A bang of boobs. Because I’m about to talk about boobs like a lot.
Boobs have been a constant concern in my life because, well, I’m what they call “stacked,” and have been since I was about 12 years old. Bras have been an all-day, everyday thing since I can remember, and it remained that way until a handful of months ago.
Whereas before, I was wearing underwire bras constantly, now I pretty much wear one only when I go out. (TMI? I don’t even know anymore.) The rest of the time, I’m wearing a wireless bralette. My attitude towards bras changed once I realized that it maybe wasn’t good for me to constantly be wearing an pretty-much-mechanized support brace around my chest 24/7.
Studies have also been done that suggest high-level bra-wearing can actually maybe encourage breast-sagging (though there’s little proof) and some organizations argue that wearing a bra can cause breast cancer, but there’s enough skepticism surrounding both notions that it’s worth taking with a grain of salt.
All that science/politics stuff aside, I am really happy that I discovered wireless bralettes and think I’ll probably end up wearing them much more often than underwire bras from here on out. The problem with that is… they can be hard to find. Especially for us breastacular gals who aren’t sporting temporary maternity boobs – 90% of the results I get for my size in soft bras are maternity bras with removable panels which aren’t the end of the world (yay for new moms!), but… they’re not for me. Please. I can only imagine the havoc that would ensue if I let any of my friends or my boyfriend know that my bra panels are removable with the snap of a button. Spare me.
If wireless bras are new to you, check out The Lingerie Addict‘s introduction to soft, wireless bras – most often called bralettes – which she wrote two weeks ago. We are both on the burgeoning bralette bandwagon!
Much like The Lingerie Addict, I feel that wireless bralettes fall into a few different categories:
- There are utility bralettes, made for every day use and provide minimal support with a low aesthetic value. They are important, but not gorgeous. Luxury level is pretty low, too.
- Then, we have luxury bralettes, which don’t do much in the way of support, but they look fucking amazing and can serve as a visible undergarment in sassy situations. These bras are definitely for showing off.
- Meeting in the middle, we have what we might as well call the unicorn bralettes, because they are a perfect combination of luxury and utility and likely don’t exist in this planet in pure form.
I’ve managed to gather up a pretty decent roundup of bralettes that accommodate all sizes. Here are my favorites!
Simple, Utility Bralettes
* Large sizes available
The Calvin Klein style comes in five colors, which is noteworthy amongst this sea of neutrals. There are so many basic bralettes out there, this category would easily be the most jam-packed with options if I didn’t think that you could all easily succeed in finding affordable bralettes on your own. Scroll down for good starting places!
I also highly recommend these super-basic “Bandini” bralettes by Hanes. (NOT the ones with foam cups!) They were sent to me years ago as review samples, and I wasn’t really into them, but now I wear them more than I wear underwire bras!
Feminine, Luxury Bralettes
*Large sizes available
If you’re like me and you enjoy a little classic glamour in your lingerie drawer, then I really need you to ogle this gorgeous, delicate lace confection:
Flirty From The Start Bralette, $29.99 at Modcloth
Perfect Unicorn Bralettes
* Large sizes available
** This bra gets a special mention because I own it (and am, um, wearing it right now?). It’s not only adorable, but has a surprising amount of comfort and support. The straps are nice and skinny, and the lace bodice (very stretchy) feels like a thundershirt for your ribcage. It’s very, very nice. I did not get mine for $15, unfortunately, because I am a sucker.
Best stores for bralette shopping
In my searches, I’ve found some serious hotspots for cute, affordable bralettes. Here are my go-tos:
- NastyGal’s Lingerie Section (hold on to your hats, ladies)
- ModCloth’s Lingerie Section
- Barely There
- For full figures and large sizes: FigLeaves DD+ Non-Wired Bras
- HerRoom’s Wire-Free Section
Also, you’re sure to find at least one option in most department stores – particularly if you have a smaller bust. You always get all the options and it’s not fair. (I kid!) All in all, I’m impressed with the selection of cute, affordable, wireless bras considering the difficulty large-chested women typically have finding any bras. If you click through the links I suggested above, you’ll likely find that you have way more options than you expected! Given that an average “good bra” is about $60, these prices are pretty darn agreeable.
Editor’s note: This article is a little outdated and many of the products are no longer available. Try checking our latest budget-friendly bralette roundup for great deals that are more current!
Do you wear soft bras or bralettes? Exclusively? Why did you switch?