I'll be the first to admit that technically speaking, I don't really need to wear a bra - let alone on a daily basis. But I choose to do so because I feel like my clothes fit a little more snug in the chest area when I'm wearing one. As a result, I don't even bother with pretty bras - black and nude functional Woolies sets have me sorted.
I'm a size 32A, but even I start getting a little restless at around 3pm when my bra becomes a thorn in my side (almost literally), so I can only imagine what other people with more visible cup sizes feel like.
When I came across this article on InStyle not too long ago, I started imagining the possibilities of how our sentiments around bra comfort would change if manufacturers actually took our grievances and suggestions into consideration.
The article reported how in order to create their Bra Boss range, Knixteen used the following formula:
"Put out a survey asking teens what they most want in a bra, use survey results and the input of trusted teen influencers to design said bra. Ask for your customers' demands, and then create the supply to meet them."
"This brand managed to collect over 140 000 data points on fit, fabric and style from 38 000 young women aged between 13 and 22 years. The takeaway from the results of this survey and the bra collection that came from it was that young women "don’t want or need bras that change their shape, but they do overwhelmingly expect comfort, support, inclusiveness and body-positivity from their undergarments".
Knixteen's successful inquest into what youngsters want from their undergarments piqued my own curiosity about what South African women want from a "good bra".
As someone who sits upright at a desk from dusk 'til dawn five days a week, I personally wish that small contraption where we clip our bras automatically sensed back tension and loosened itself without compromising support.
I imagine the relief would be just as satisfying as meeting a deadline, which consumed you for a week.
And this is what three more local women had to say about how bras could be way more comfortable:
Cup size: C-D
Personally, I would like soft-cup bras to have built-in nipple padding - just the nipple. And instead of metal underwires that eventually stab us in the heart, maybe they could use a less harsh material and focus on building support on the actual cup and band by way of improving the kinds of materials used as well as stitching.
Also, is it too much to ask for big cup sizes to have delicate lace options without having to cough up R2 million?
Cup size: D onwards
I usually buy my bras at Woolworths. The ones I purchase are exclusively plain Jane, practical bras i.e. black or beige, as it suits my skin colour. I can’t ever seem to find lacy or sexier bras in my size.
Plus, push-up ones give me that double-boob vibe. Not flattering.
My bras work for my busy, active lifestyle, but I wouldn’t mind a basic bra that was a touch prettier. One you wouldn’t mind peeking out a touch from your vintage shirt.
Honestly, I am very jealous of women who can wear bralettes. Give me a bralette for big boobs!
Cup size: A-B
Lol, in all honesty no bra is the best bra so I think a bra that's completely weightless, yet still effective would be a gamechanger.
Brands that have the right idea
Bras N Things
Bras N Things recently released their Smooth Sensation range, which has full cup options available up to a G cup and size 18.
The brand's GM of Product Francesca Anderson shares how they "designed the new Smooth Sensation range specifically for [their] customers who said they wanted a bra that offered smoothing across their back and underarms to create minimal lines under clothes.
"Smooth Sensation truly has everything our customers want in a bra – elegant design, light-feel fabric, support and of course comfort. It’s the perfect bra to wear every day, for a night out or a special occasion," said Francesca.
Choose a full cup plunge with back closure or front closure bra with smoothing panel across the back. Alternatively, choose between the wire-free push up, double push up, contour in the popular balconette shape.
Shop the range at your nearest Bras N Things store.
Don't Rest Primeknit LUX Bra is a premium first-of-its-kind sports bra created with Primeknit - Adidas’ revolutionary knitting technology.
Engineered for the perfect fit, the bra offers the ultimate freedom of movement for athletes to train with zero distraction.
Similarly to Knixteen's approach, this sports bra was co-created with Adidas' global network of women athletes, including LA dancer Mette Towley, who took the bra for a spin.
You can purchase yours for R1299 at Adidas.
Ackermans, Woolworths and Storm in a G Cup are stores that have also been praised for catering a wide range of comfort and style needs for all body types.
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