Once upon a time we’d have been looking at a choice between lace triangles and crop tops but, thankfully for those of us who have been given more than a pair of bee stings up top, there is now a wide range of options for a comfortable soft bra (by which I mean no underwire) to wear at home.
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Having had ginormous bosoms for most of my adult life, it was an extraordinary revelation post my breast reduction surgery five years ago to discover the joy of the soft bra. To put this into perspective: pre-op, I wore an underwired bra not just every day, but to bed every single night of my adult life.
You cannot wear underwear bras at any point post-op for six months because the breasts are still settling into their new shape and, of course, there are extensive incisions under the breasts that need to heal, followed by sore, raised scarring once the incisions have closed.
So, whilst I had several specialist post-op bars from Royce (these ones are incredible and are now stocked at John Lewis), I purchased several really great and supportive soft bras from Marks & Spencer to wear once I was healed and, even when the six-month no-underwire ban was up, I kept wearing them because they were just so damn comfortable.
Although over the succeeding years, I have returned to wearing pretty underwear bras, (believe me, post a reduction op, one’s lingerie options increase dramatically) the diminution in my bra size has allowed me to wear soft bras on a day-to-day basis, not just in bed.
That being said, I’ve also found it very interesting to note that there has been a real rise in soft bras for larger cup sizes too; I highly approve. One of the reasons I never wore soft bras when I was larger was because they were just too flimsy.
I’ve received several press releases over the course of the lockdown to tell me that sales of soft bras have gone through the roof, as women have become more concerned with comfort than support within the confines of their homes. So I thought I would do a timely edit, given that the range of soft bras has become so very wide-ranging.
(Just a note here to say REALLY? Are we still calling a Caucasian skin tone the default ‘Nude’ in 2020? Surely it would be more accurate to call it beige? So, please forgive me for using Nude in this post – it’s purely the colour name given by the manufacturers in each case.)
Wacoal Halo Lace Soft Plunge Bra, Black & Nude. Available in sizes 32-38. Designed with a deep V centre, this bra features dual-section cups with a wide stretch lace band to the top side of the cups. It’s fully lined for opacity, has fully adjustable straps and an all-over stretch lace to the side cups and wings. It fits up to a cup size DD. (Wacoal recommend choosing your normal band size.)
For something a little sexier, perhaps a little chicer, I really, really love this Mesh Patterned Bra from COS, which comes in Black, and in Green, sizes 38-44. (COS are currently offering free shopping, and 100 day returns on all orders.)
Sloggi’s Zero Feel Ultra Bralette in Black, and Cognac, comes in sizes XS-L, and has a more traditional bra shape. Moulded & lightly padded, it has slightly lifting cups, adjustable straps, bonded edges, and a rigid layer at the centre front for added support. Huge props as well for not calling this bra shade ‘nude’.
Bravissimo’s Sugar Candy Non-Wired Bra is designed specifically for larger cup sizes, going up to 30/32/34HH 36/28 H and a 40GG. It’s available in Pink, Black or Nude.
Wacoal B-Smooth Bralette Top comes in Black, and bands 32-36. (Currently 20% off).
If you prefer a moulded cup, then GAP’s Live-in Pretty Bralette comes in Black &, sigh, Nude. It also has a plunge front, which is great for wearing underneath shirts.
Longer line bralettes are practical as they tend to avoid the riding up issue that can come with a non-underwired bra. GAP’s Seamless Longline Bralette in a pretty Rose comes in S/M/L.
And, finally, Chantelle make a Soft Stretch Padded Crop Bra in Black, Nude, & Ice Blue. Available in sizes XS-XXXL