Okay girls, let's be real for a minute shall we? Is there anything more uncomfortable in day-to-day life than a bra that doesn't fit right? You know what I mean. That one bra that you have stuffed in the back of your underwear drawer that's scratchy or rides up or doesn't stretch all the way around despite the fact that it's your "size". We all have that bra. In fact the truth of the matter is that we all have many of those bras. It's infuriating isn't it? No two bras fir the same way. Every store and brand's sizing is just slightly unique- making it nearly impossible to find a bra that works for you.
Every time I find a bra that I like, that fits the way I want it to, it either comes at a ridiculous cost (I'm looking at you Victoria's Secret), the brand changes its design (thanks Forever 21), or I just can't find it anymore (JC Penny). Anyone else have these problems? I'm willing to guess that the answer is yes. It only took nearly 2 decades to get the pink tax repealed, but hey- at least they can continue to rake in the money from the female population by charging upwards of $60 for an article of clothing that mainstream fashion has convinced the world we women need.
Two nights ago, I was lounging on my couch binge watching an all-time favorite show, Las Vegas with the dreamy Josh Duhamel, which of course meant comfy clothes! I was in yoga pants and a super soft tee, my fluffy slippers and no bra. My phone rings and my husband needs me to pick up dinner, so I swap my slippers for my sneakers, throw my bag over my shoulder, grab my keys and head out the door. Half way there I am struck by the fact that I am still braless! I considered making a u-turn and going back to the house to put on a bra. But why? I had on a shirt. I wasn't exposed in any way. So why the sudden grip of fear as if I had forgotten the wallet to pay? Because the fashion industry has for years convinced us that we must wear one and therefore can charge an astronomical cost when I go to buy one.
And with having to buy one comes all of the aforementioned challenges; cost, sizing, fit and feel, texture, color, shape, brand differences, out of stock, new design, and on and on. I can't claim that my feelings and perspective on the bras I am reviewing here will be aligned with yours- but here's my thoughts on my intimates; the ones I love and the ones I absolutely do not.
Cost Range: $-$$$; The more dollar signs, the higher the average price
Sizing Offered: 30-44; A-H (The number is your bra size and correlates to the circumference measured under your bust and around your back, i.e. the band; the the letter is your cup size and correlates to the size of your bust)
Fit & Feel: 1-10 (This is my rating of how they stack up compared to other brands; if their sizing is comparable, the bra fits and feels the way they are advertised, etc.)
Sizing: 30-44; A-E; XS-XL (S-DD; M-DD)
Fit & Feel: 5
Review: Here's the deal: Every woman loves the allure of Victoria's Secret, the angel wings and glitter, the magic. But the truth is we also all hate it. We detest that with every poster and model and lingerie set we see in the store that it is a reminder of the airbrushed, unrealistic, imagined and desired version of women that the majority of us simply are not. Their lacy bras and sheer baby dolls seem oh so pretty until you put them on and realize that they don't fit or look like the model. Their sizing runs incredibly small; which in all fairness is probably really great when you're 16 and get measured by their sales reps on the floor thinking you're one size only to pleasantly be surprised when you find out your three sizes bigger. That's every teen girl's dream right? Well, that is until you find out that that runs-small sizing also extends to their clothes, underwear, and lingerie. All of a sudden that voluptuous fun-filled feeling flies out the door and you're left standing in the dressing room holding work-out pants and a built-in sports bra tank that is way too small to even imagine trying to shove yourself into.
Tears and sweat seemingly evaporate into thin air, though, when you're standing in the checkout line paying triple the cost of a normal bra because of that angelic, magic-like feeling that the glitter and wings and iridescent fabric seem to bring. Are they comfortable? Sure they are; soft and silky and smooth. They don't scratch and they hold everything into place. But, when I could buy 3 bras elsewhere for the cost of one and skip the tears in the dressing room, it just seems like a no-brainer. Yes, I will probably still shop at VS every now and then, because I'm a girl living in a mainstream-fashion industry, material world who knows that VS and Valentine's Day go hand in hand. But for my every day bras that require comfort and don't break the bank- you won't see me standing in that checkout line.
Sizing: 30-44; A-E; XS-XL
Fit & Feel: 9
Review: Adore Me has quickly grown in following size and their fans surely ADORE them because of their use of models of all shapes and sizes. From the pictures on their website store front to their television ads, women of every shape, size, and color are featured. They have become the face of diversity and inclusion in intimates and lingerie. And I for one am adoring the fact that they are finally get some well-deserved attention and love. I've been a VIP member of Adore Me for the past 7 years. I don't buy every bra and pair of panties from them, but I certainly have a growing collection of intimates and lingeries from their boutique. Their fabric is high quality and for the most part I don't have any problems. The sizing system seems to pretty well match that of other stores and I haven't had anything fall apart in the washer yet. So aside from the fact that being petite means that occasionally pieces don't hit me in the same places as intended with taller models. But I can forgive that thanks to their comfort and low cost, as well as the amazing deals and savings I can earn from shopping as VIP.
Auden from Target
Fit & Feel: 10
Review: This is my absolute favorite bra! I prefer lightly lined and wire free, but so often that means I sacrifice a bra's ability to actually hold up my girls with the fabric bending or rolling in places it shouldn't and the girls inevitably falling out. But this bra actually holds up- in all senses of the phrase. It's insanely comfortable, no scratching or rubbing, it comes in a variety of colors, and best of all it's a low cost option from TARGET! That means it's easy to pick up when I'm in need of a new bra and the convenience of target brands also allows for extra opportunity to shop my favorite store! And did I mention that Auden has underwear too! Other features about this bra that I love:
a) Multiple band hook options that allow me to tighten or loosen the bra as necessary- this is really helpful if you experience any sort of inflammation or swelling due to bloating, pregnancy, post-surgery, PMS, etc.
b) Low V Neckline/Shape that allows for this bra to support me in all the needed places with virtually any outfit while remaining unseen
c) Low Back which much like the neckline that allows for me to don this bra without fear that my bra band will be peeking over top of tank tops and dresses
Fit & Feel: 7
Review: Okay DISCLAIMER: I have only ever tried their strapless bra so please take that into consideration when reading this review! Here's my opinion:
Pros: I love the feel of the fabric; it is incredibly soft and smooth and I love the way it feels against my skin. The price is RIGHT! I am in love with not having to spend a fortune to feel like I found the jackpot!
Cons: The sizing is just slightly off for me, but not by much. The cup size is accurate but I suggest sizing up one size for the band for the most comfortable fit. My biggest gripe with the strapless bra is that, while the fabric is to die for in terms of comfort, the lack of wire also results in a lack of support. They advertise and flaunt that the bra can be easily rolled up for storage or travel, which a plus, until the fabric rolls up while it's on your body. It just doesn't sit quite right for me. But that could be entirely based on size, shape, my preference, my height. So I'd say, since their customer service is top notch and returns are simply (as long as the tags are still attached) it's worth the risk to try it on and see how it fits and feels for you.
Post Photo Credit: All photos belong to the companies reviewed in this post. No copyright infringement is intended and all rights belong solely and expressly by the original owners of the photographs. To purchase any of these products, check out the SHOP page to find links to shop company websites. Disclaimer: When you shop through my links, I may receive a small commission from the sale. Commissions are used to help with the expense and upkeep of the blog! Thanks for your support!