Hey everyone, here is a reader question that I need your help with. I got a mail from MJ (not that MJ), who is a UK 28F, 29 years old with medium-firm breasts that are slightly fuller at the bottom.
My question is about whether or not it really is true that a band can give 80-90% of the support from a bra....I find that unpadded, seamed bras, while capable of giving a lovely shape, good fit and firm hold with the straps on, as soon as I slip them off it's virtually all gone. I worry that with wear the straps would be taking all the weight and it would hurt!
I know it sounds like the bras haven't fitted me or suited my shape but I'm wondering if that is it? I've read blogs and websites about bra fitting extensively and so I'm on the look out for all the signs of poorly fitting bras...often this issue with the shoulder straps doing the work is the only issue I can find with a given bra. I'm sure my band isn't too big; can only just get a 28 band done up (it often pings away as I'm trying to get it fastened, and it feels very snug).
How can thin material like that really hold the breasts in without the straps being on the shoulders, even when the band is tight?
I've tried on many many seamless styles recently, in different sizes per style, and have found this with all of them. I hope it is something I can work out as I do prefer the look of seamless bras rather than moulded.
I checked my bras -- when I put them on but slip off the straps, I get quite a bit of support from them. The only problem is that the top of the bra stands away, which obviously doesn't look good. Other than that I got enough support to go around with my daily life. But I'd love someone with a cup size closer to 28F try this out and let me know if this holds true for such sizes as well (I'm a 28DD at the moment).
You asked how the material can hold the breast in place. Think of breast binding, that's what women sometimes did before bras were invented. A piece of fabric is wound around the breasts kept them immobile, even without straps. Of course in modern bras the underwires and the profiled shape of the cup keep the bra doesn't flatten the breasts; but the basic mechanism is very similar.
On a side note, the thickness of the fabric is not important, as long as it isn't the least bit stretchy!
One great metaphor of how a bra band is supposed to work comes from my babywearing days. An acquaintance who is a professional babywearing instructor taught me this type of babywearing:
|not me, but it´s ok if you think she´s me cause I think she´s cute|
I first had to put the baby on my front, wrap the sling around my waist and cross behind the back. Now, when this step was done correctly, the baby would sit there safely and be supported even before I made the "shoulder straps". The shoulder straps were there just for extra support and to keep everything in place when I bent forward. That´s why I loved this wrapping method, because the weight was carried by my back. In many other the weight is carried by the shoulders and that can really hurt after several hours. Just like in a bra with a too loose band.
I admit that I don't have that much experience with either seamless our moulded bras, as I advocate soft underwired bras for everyday wear (they are more-breast-friendly). I'm wondering whether seamless bras have thinner bands?
Also, I'd love to know if MJ has the same problems in soft, underwired models.
That's my two cents, and now I'd like to ask you for your advice: why do you think MJ is not getting support from her bands?