I found this great bra site the other day that offers proper supportive bras – Undercover Experience.
Best of all, for non-UK readers, they do free international shipping.
The reason I was searching online was that I went down a cup size recently, which has meant chucking out all my existing bras. From Ebay I’ve ordered a couple more Doreens (God, what a name…) in red and pink, but they do show a bit under t-shirts, so I was on the hunt for some good support bras with smoother seamlines and no show-through.
Why support bras? Well, to reiterate what I wrote a while back. As you get older, you may find you need more support than before because your breast tissue softens and slackens, especially after menopause. This happens to women whatever their breast size, but bra manufacturers seem to be unaware of this, the idiots. You try getting a support bra in anything under a D cup. Even C cups are rare. Although Fantasie, for instance, offers B-cups in Belle, Cally and Bridgette, Figleaves don’t stock them.
I felt stranded. But enter the Royce bra company.
I must admit, I hadn’t heard of this firm, but a search for ‘support bra’ on Undercover Experience brought up half a dozen designs of theirs. The link above is to their own website, which shows you the full range (prices are cheaper, but I’m not sure about shipping). The nice thing about Royce is that they’re clearly specialists. They do nursing bras, post-mastectomy bras, training bras and sports bras, and they bring all that knowledge and technology to their ‘Comfort’ range of everyday bras. All of their bras are wireless, which I now prefer (after 30-odd years of wearing wires).
Just look at the construction in this ‘Grace’ bra, which is described as ‘firm’ support and goes from B to G. OK, it’s not sexy, but it’s built right. A proper bra frame (the band that goes around your body) with three-section cups set into it – that gives you masses of uplift. Wide straps to hoick ’em up there. Proper seams on the cups (forget moulded cups, ladies, once you’re over 40). A side panel to push your boobs into the middle.
There are also deep sides and three hooks at the back, which helps prevent back fat (the flimsier the bra, the more it shows under clothing – if you want invisibility, look for a more substantial bra). The only fault of this bra is that it comes in white only, but that’s pretty minor. And by the way, it’s also available as a post-mastectomy design.
For medium support I also liked the look of this bra, the Jasmine, which goes from B to F. The cups look pretty sturdy, with smooth seaming over the nipple, and the flesh colour is an advantage under clothes. I have ordered this to wear as a t-shirt bra, so we’ll have to see if there’s show-through (I phoned Undercover Experience and they were very helpful, btw). If you’re above an F or G cup, Royce also have designs that go up to a J – and even a 40L in the Jasmine nursing bra.
Undercover Experience also sell other support bras from Charnos and Berlei in my size, but as my third bra I plumped for this Fantasie Ella bra for something really pretty (and because it was on sale). After all, it’s nice to have good everyday bras, but if you can have something cute too, what a bonus. As you can see, it has all the major ingredients – proper bra frame, wide straps and full three-section cups. I haven’t tried this kind of bra before with a wire, so I’ll have to see how I get on.