Wireless all the way baby

The start of this post is simple: I. hate. underwires.  I do NOT find them supportive and you will NEVER hear me suggest they are comfortable.  They are, to me, nothing more than a metallic reminder that I have lumps of flesh on my chest that should be tucked away and hidden from the world, rounded into the desired shapes deemed “proper” by society.*

Wires from dooms-ville

Wires from dooms-ville

When I was younger I used to wear the smallest little cups and training bras.  Then as time passed and my body grew I quickly learned that the comfort of the tolerable new under-garment used for training was a far cry from the reality of the tortuously uncomfortable things we called “bras” that fit anything above a B cup.

For years I languished in the barest level of tolerance for my available ONLY option and tried to find the best fit that didn’t poke, prod or generally make me miserable while at least minimally providing needed support.  Perhaps some folks will already sympathize and know right away what style (or perhaps better would be to call this an “aspect” of certain bras) I’m referring to that has caused me so much frustrated misery: the under wire.  What other aspect of an undergarment could possible cause as much frustration and tugging, pulling, giving up and just coping with the seemingly inevitable discomfort?  Shifting and having to tug, poking and having to shimmy to adjust, I’m sick of that game.

So it isn’t really a “new” bra style I’ve found so much as one that I used to love but seemed for the longest time un-able to find in larger sizes than a B cup or 34 band. I’ve re-discovered back-clasping soft-cup WIRELESS bras (that I can use as sports bras!) And not a SINGLE damnable underwire in sight.  Wireless bras exist in larger band/cup sizes than I ever imagined and that makes me so happy.  So in the midst of all the insanity that has filled this week with a wake/funeral and an entirely mis-managed technology update process at work consuming the work-place; and all the drudgery of unavailable clothing in my size/shape/style, what a pleasure to have finally found something that can make me more comfortable.  No more underwires for me!  Yay!

On a related note, as I’m adding some weightlifting to my week to improve my swimming and strengthen my back for dancing does anyone have suggestions for a site or program that recommends weight-lifting regimes for legs/back that DOESN’T focus exclusively on burning calories/fat?

*And slightly off topic: I also hate that breasts are supposed to somehow be these perfectly rounded, non-nippled globes pushing up the front of a sweater: And woe-befall the errant cold nipple that shows through: too indecent!  (or just “groooosss!” if you happen to be fat such as myself.  I guess being susceptible to weather extremes as expressed by my body is something that I was supposed to outgrow once I got above the “overweight” BMI, eh?)

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24 thoughts on “Wireless all the way baby

  1. Another part of bras that I hate is that side boning that’s supposed to keep my roll of side fat from showing. All that does is poke me and create raw spots so I can’t wear a bra until they heal. I end up opening the seam and taking out that boning and then closing the seam back up. What is up with designers? Do they think we need to be physically punished (in addition to all the other crap we already get) because we’re fat and don’t fit their ideal size?
    I’m going to learn how to make my own bras and then I don’t have to depend on some anonymous designer who doesn’t care about fat women for a bra that really fits my rack of doom (and is pretty and/or sexy, to boot).

  2. Ooo vesta if you ever do design a bra please share the pattern! 😀 I too am NOT a fan of the “hold in the side-wings” portions. Like come on, I know it’s there, anyone else likely knows it is there…stop acting like I need to HIDE it just to prevent possibly offending someone’s prejudiced eyes from cloth-covered curves of fat!

  3. De-lurking to put in a plug for Decent Exposures — awesome woman-run small business making The Comfiest Bras in the World. (Probably not the sexiest. But definitely the comfiest.) All styles, fabrics, and colors available in all sizes, and they’ll adapt them to fit you. My 32C-sized review should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but the person who pointed me to them is considerably more buxom and loves their stuff.

  4. limesarah thanks for the site link; they seem to have a decent range of sizes and prices that match most brick and mortar retailers so they are going to be worth a shot when I decide I need a few more 🙂

  5. I’ve never found a wireless bra that fit me correctly (the cup sizes were always wonky). Then I got a wireless nursing bra that’s comfy and I can wear it for a long time (all day, overnight, then wash it in the sink and don a different bra). Until the straps gave me a huge rash on my shoulders. Man. I can’t win for losing some days.

  6. I’ve never found an underwire bra that fit me. The final straw was when one of the wires worked free and dug into the skin under my arm. I’ve bought the most structural wire-free bras I could find for when they absolutely have to point forward, and a bunch of comfy cotton stretch ones for when they just have to not droop. The hell with “support” that draws blood.

  7. I’m different – it’s hard for me to find a non-underwire bra that doesn’t result in a “uniboob” look. A, it’s uncomfortable to be smooshed together, and B, I end up sweating more.

    The good thing is that the increase in no-wired bras does provide more options.

  8. Um (last comment, I promise) – I still kind of recommend her articles under the “training” tab at the top, though – that’s all the old stuff which IS body positive and is just really good advice for how to do certain exercises and workouts. Just ignore the rest of the site.

    • Thanks styelygeek for the revised suggestion to view “Stumptuous” as long as I keep to the older materials. I have to agree that I find some of her advice a bit…well riddled with presumption. I mean, it isn’t just “overweight” beginners who shouldn’t jump right into ANY new fitness regime; any beginner needs to start slowly but I’ll go through some of the older stuff and see if there is anything helpful there; thanks!

  9. Seconding the Decent Exposures recommendation. If they haven’t changed their policies recently, they also adjust bras so that they fit you right in every way (and tell you how to figure out what you need).

  10. down with the wire!

    I have a very dramatic underbust to bust ratio, and it is a PITA to find something without underwires. I have a really round ribcage so I tend to BREAK THEM IN HALF SUDDENLY WHILE WEARING. Eeep!

    and I get frustrated at people that insist that underwires are a neccessity. they are only neccessary in incorporated band bras, where the cup is part of the band; it holds the shape of the cup.

    underwires in any other style are literally a stop-gap for poor design. there are plenty of non-incorporated band styles that can lift and separate, or whatever. The one that suprised me the most when i did some bra modelling was the long band masectomy bras. they have to be soft, unitchy, and non-wired b/c of healing wounds (sweet). one that i like had a band that stretched a couple inches lower than the bottom of my boobs and was fairly high backed for a back-fastening bra (and, oh, 8-10 hooks), but the width of the band gave a lot of support.

    for me i don’t mind uniboob, and until i make some bras for myself, the only bras i’ve been buying are the enell sports bra. i find them heaven! they bring my center of gravity back down, and get the tit front and center out of the armpit so high activity and typing are both much easier without losing circulation in my arms. they do flatten up a bit, i get cleavage to my clavicle, LOL, but it cuts a good 3-4 inches off my chest measurement, meaning a slightly larger choice of shirts i can wear with minimal altering.

  11. Synj I thought I was the only one to have freaking had an underwire snap in half on me! I spent a long part of that particular morning wondering why I felt miserable and what the sharp stabbing pain was until I finally went into the bathroom and saw what the heck had happened!

  12. Re: “a site or program that recommends weight-lifting regimes for legs/back that DOESN’T focus exclusively on burning calories/fat”

    Three books come to mind. If your local library has them or can get them on interlibrary loan, I suggest checking out all three and seeing which one works for you.

    1. Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore.
    2. Any of the “Strength” programs (p.235 onwards) in Cosgrove & Schuler’s New Rules of Lifting book. (They also published NROL For Women, but I think the original is better.)
    3. Maximum Strength by Eric Cressey.

  13. April_D, that’s how almost all of my old underwires died. I had a little a-cup at the bra store try and tell me it was how i was putting the bra on (upside down and backward and then flipping and twisting) but they still broke even when i stopped flipping them up… it’s a flat f-ing piece of metal trying to wrap around all this lusciousness, and it just can’t handle it! honestly, once i found the wider bands (but without boning) gave so much more support without digging into my sides, I was thrilled.

  14. Re: leg strengthening

    My best rec for that would be to go in to the free weight room and start talking to the guys there, you know the ones that are always in there working out, and ask them what they do. Another option would be to speak to a trainer. Tell him/her about your goals and they can tailor a program specifically to you.

    Re: Bras

    Does anyone else have problems with molded cup bras? I cannot do them, they do not fit my body at all. There is this gap at the top because I guess that my breasts should be more rounded at the top or come from the sides more… It’s just weird I can’t even do a molded cup demi or balconet. They just don’t work.

  15. I wish I could even find one that was uncomfortable! Apparently, ALL fat women are big chested, so if you happen to be a 46 or 48 B (like me) you are totally screwed.

    • Joan that sucks! It is bad enough that people think “fat” equals huge breasted but I didn’t realize there weren’t really any options under a C at larger band sizes. Just goes to show again how we womens is supposed to fit ONLY a tiny little range of approved shapes and sizes in order to be allowed the privilege of giving our money away for goods and services….

  16. I never found an underwire bra worth two shits until I got my Wacoals. Unfortunately, they are hella expensive; I got mine because my mom was working at a retail establishment that sold them and she could get them at deep discount. Yeah, I had to go up a few cup sizes (to a G) before I found underwires that wouldn’t poke me in the pits or cut into my torso, and hardly any brick and mortar stores sell a G (not even Lane Frigging Bryant), and when they do they charge you out the yingyang.

  17. Sara A I can’t do those molded things either. There’s always this space between when my breast stops and the bra just keeps going….like you said maybe I should be more rounded or something? So there’s always all this extra fabric that can just collapse and look strange so I go for soft cotton now 🙂

  18. I share your hatred of underwires.

    I’m about a 44 C, and, until I had kids, I was a B cup. Graduating to a C means it’s a bit easier to find sports bras that fit (and I do love them) because, when I was a B, there were no 44s that weren’t way too huge in the chest (because a 44 sports bra was made assuming a D or more cup).

    I went shopping for shirts at Ashley Stewart and found that shirts that fit my hips (which are 51″) were way too huge to fit my chest. I’m 46, 43, 51–which means I might as well be a unicorn.

  19. Wow. I’m not the only one. 46 B here. No underwires. No side wires either. Playtex makes a front opening with a normal sized back and no wires at all. They actually fit and they are comfy too.

    But you have to mail order them. I think the last time I was able to buy a bra in a store I wore a 34 AA.

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