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organic bra with generous room?

 
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It's been a while since I bought a bra.  They tend to be difficult as I have, um, a generous endowment and a small ribcage.  34 G was the last one I bought, but I suspect my size has changed a lot in 10 years.  Because of all the weight, wearing a bra puts a lot of stress on my solar plex which effects my digestion.  wired bras are right out.

But there a thing and stuff and I probably need to get a bra to make things work.  

So... If I'm going to be wearing this thing next to a sensitive part of my body, I want it to be natural, preferably organic.

Are there any good organic bras that might accommodate my size issue?  
 
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This is going to sound weird, but your best bet might be to look at nursing bras. Women tend to get much larger cup sizes when pregnant/nursing, and so nursing bras are often easier to find in those small-rib, large-cup sizes. Also, women are often more concerned about organic and natural when they are having babies. It's easy to find organic cotton newborn clothes...not so easy once the kid gets older! This is because many mommies get this strong, protective urge and try to avoid all toxins for their baby. And, manufacturers play to that.

The only difference between a nursing bra and a normal bra is that it has little clips to lower the cups when nursing. That's it. It's just a bra. I'm probably going to continue to buy nursing bras even after my kids are done nursing, because I can find them in my size!

There appears to be quite a few cotton-lined nursing bras.  Here's one without an underwire and is 81% cotton. Hard to get enough support without resorting to some of the less natural fibres, I'm thinking. This one is 91% cotton, with the rest being spandex. This one is 90% cotton with the rest being polymide (whatever that is).

I found an organic cotton "sleep bra." Never did understand why one would sleep with a bra on, and I have no idea how supportive it is, but it probably keeps everything from getting sticky (I hate sweat there). It looks like the "medium-busty" goes to 34G. It's 90% organic cotton and 10% spandex. And, apparently it's supportive enough that reviewers are happy with it and plan on using it as a sports bra after they're done nursing https://www.kindredbravely.com/products/organic-cotton-nursing-sleep-bra
 
pollinator
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Interesting thoughts. Thank you ladies.

My much-better-half is, um, in a similar situation. I don't think she's ever looked to those sources before, but the next time it comes up, I will suggest this thread. I try to be as supportive as I can.

Honestly, for people with irritable skin, a sleep bra as wicking membrane might be a game-changer.

-CK
 
pollinator
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A friend of mine in into period reenactment. Periodically she rants to me about underwear and how comfortable and supportive her period corsetry is. She made her own.
 
Chris Kott
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I am sure that's more or less true depending on the period. I know there existed some period wear, notably for the nobility,  who could afford it, that required sewing to put on and seam picking to get out of. I also know of some styles that were as confining as suits of armour, or more so, not allowing for proper arm movement above the elbow level, for instance.

-CK
 
pollinator
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34I here, so I can empathize.

I've given up finding proper fitting bras and just buy ones that fit as well as possible in the cups and then alter the band and straps myself. Most of the time I just wear cheapo stretchy shelf bras. Definitely not organic.

One option for you if you don't need too much support might be to get tank tops in the type of fabric you approve of. Get tight-fitting ones, chop the bottoms off, and install a wide band of elastic just under the bust. My mum used to do that for herself.

Core exercises really help your body deal with the extra weight up, too. I really notice a difference if I slack off for a while.
 
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R--
I feel your pain!  I've been dealing with the nightmare of bra-shopping for, let's just say, over 30 years.  It's really hard to pay as much I do for bras that fit, but it makes a HUGE difference in how I feel....soooo much less stress on my body!  We're asking a small amount of fabric, along with some serious engineering, to hold up a not-insignificant amount of weight.  (Shoes and bras are my biggest clothing expense, because a good foundation matters.)

If you can find a local bra shop, or a decent department store who will professionally fit you for a bra, that's a great first step.  If not, herroom.com has some awesome tips on how to measure and fit a bra.  Bear in mind, European sizing and US sizing are different.  I'm not sure where Canada falls in with that, but I think herroom would be a great resource to figure that out, too.  After you know what size you need, hopefully finding something that works won't be as disheartening.  My daughter uses the search engine on herroom to find a bra that fits her criteria, then searches other sites for potential better pricing.

Once you get beyond the double or triple d, it's pretty challenging to find ANY bras.  Here's a formula that might help.  If you need a 34H, you could have a similar cup size by getting a larger band size, as someone mentioned.  The general rule of thumb is one band size up, one cup size down.  If my math is right....34d, 34e, 34f, 34g, 34h.....so a 42 band size would the be cup equivalent of a 34h.  That's a lot of band to remove.  I have done something like that in the past just going up 3 sizes, and was not very happy with the result.  Generally one or two is about the limit of this.  It skews the shape of the bra too much for my personal liking, but I was desperate at the time.  

I'd encourage you to look into sports bras.  At the least, you can get mostly or all cotton; you can get them in the support level you want; and they're pretty sturdy.  I try to suck it up, and plop down half a fortune for 2 new bras because they're like shoes...if you let them rest between wearings, they will last a lot longer.  Two more tidbits....look for a bra with at LEAST 3 hooks, if not 4.  That distributes the load a lot more comfortably.  I don't know the technical term, but you can get bras that go straight across/around your rib cage, and you can get bras that have a bit of a rise in the middle, between the cups.  The one with the rise tends to put a lot less pressure on my ribs, and is just generally more comfortable for me, so that might be worth considering when bra shopping.

Hope some of this is helpful to you as you search.  
 
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I like Blue Canoe Bras, but I don't know that they'd work for your size. Try Decent Exposures. They have a ton of different options of styles and fabrics (including organic), and can make pretty much any size.
 
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zelda smith wrote:R--

I'd encourage you to look into sports bras.  At the least, you can get mostly or all cotton; you can get them in the support level you want; and they're pretty sturdy.



Yeah... If they actually made a sports bra large enough for my "girls" I would definitely buy it. I have yet to find one over a cup size C... they are always a pullover type, and pulling a tight rib band over huge girls is painful at the least. I myself am a 36 G or H (not really sure) and have to go down to a 36 DDD - which kinda works for me when I do wear a bra, generally only when going to town as I won't wear one if I don't have to.  I actually looked into breast reduction and got the doctor to agree that my size is a back pain issue. Only problem is, the insurance company says I "don't have enough mass" to have them reduced. Seriously??

As for suggestions on going to a larger band size - the problem there becomes one of constantly pulling the girls back up into the cups - inconvenient at the least, painful usually when they constantly try to drop out!

Currently, I am working with an idea to take a button front shirt, cut the back off where the band would go, and use the front as a wrap around, possibly with velcro to secure it, and make my own personal support. I would remove the sleeves and hem that opening, attach a wide elastic or even cotton band around the rib area... Haven't gone beyond getting some shirts from Goodwill to experiment with yet, as there is just so much to get done and my sewing skills aren't all that great - mom is the one who is good at that, and her energy levels are so low she can barely walk to the chicken coop.  

My reasoning for the cut-off shirt with wrap around is that with cotton it won't stretch too much, wrap around gives the option of different levels of support and comfort, as well as keeping the girls contained when say, starting a chain saw (very painful when they want to wrap around my neck pulling that cord!)

Any ideas to offer support, comfort and sweat remediation are definitely appreciated!!
 
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Please don't think poorly of me for suggesting what I am about to suggest, but if you need comfort and support, I feel you may have to explore some options you may not have considered. i think the nursing bra might be a winner, but never having had children, I can only guess. I am a large band and a large cup, and for years was wearing the wrong size. While working at a mom and pop health food store 20 years ago, a bra fitter from Nordstrom needed my help one day. She changed my life. My straps don't slip, my girls don't escape, I don't have awful red band marks at the end of the day. I wish I could find these gems in cotton but I have not. I do wear an underwire, but for me, when properly sized, I don't even know it is there. This phenomenon may only happen for larger rib cages, not your smaller one, I don't know.
From all the crones I have learned from, sleeping in a bra is not good for your lymphatic system.
My suggestion is find a store(where you live may make this out of the question, sorry) known for their bra fitters, get the right size, and see what they carry. There may be some cotton options. The women of the world are asking for this.
I also learned from my fitter that some brands fit on mannequins and some on live models. The live model bras fit live women better. I wear Wacoal. I have not looked at the label for contents. I machine wash in a lingerie bag and hang dry maybe once a week(rotating your bras is important) Mine have lasted me way longer than my bra fitter has ever seen. I also don't use commercial laundry detergent. Every little bit helps!
I had to chime in, since I love my girls, and hope something I said can be of assistance.
 
Thea Olsen
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I found an organic cotton "sleep bra." Never did understand why one would sleep with a bra on, and I have no idea how supportive it is, but it probably keeps everything from getting sticky (I hate sweat there). It looks like the "medium-busty" goes to 34G. It's 90% organic cotton and 10% spandex. And, apparently it's supportive enough that reviewers are happy with it and plan on using it as a sports bra after they're done nursing https://www.kindredbravely.com/products/organic-cotton-nursing-sleep-bra



I might have to try that one! Looks comfy.
I can also answer the question about sleep bras. They're to give moms a place to put nursing pads during the early days if leaking is an issue. I've never used them for that (just slept on a towel if necessary), but they do tend to be more comfortable than most bras.
 
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Sandy Cromwell wrote:

they are always a pullover type, and pulling a tight rib band over huge girls is painful at the least

This won't work if one had big hips as well, but I discovered when my shoulder was sore, that pulling stretchy ones on over the feet and upward is *way* easier. I found that going over my head, the back would get twisted up and with a sore shoulder, trying to get it untwisted was a struggle.

I also found that my nursing bras were more comfortable that most alternatives. That said, I eventually gave up on bras except for special situations, as none of them really fit my body shape and they all irritate the center of my back. I use cotton "A" shirts under button shirts in the summer, but I don't have large girls to get in the way. If I had to go back, there is a local person who advertises that they hold Bra fitting clinics in various locations on the lower island, and I'd go there first. I don't know what the fee is, but it would be better than buying ones that I'd just regret.

I would definitely consider sewing myself one also. I'd probably use a solid band of cotton under the breasts and only put elastic at the back, and it would definitely have wide straps over the shoulders.
 
pollinator
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My size is not that large (about C cup). But I don't want to wear synthetics. I tried my best to find even a bra in organic material. The best I did find was so called 'bamboo' (which is in fact the same as viscose or rayon), it's a sports bra you have to pull over. It's OK for me, but probably not for bigger sizes.

I also made some bras myself. If you know about 'couture' you can do that too. There are patterns on the internet for a 'brassière' (period re-enactment), or you can use a pattern for a tight fitting dress-top. I used flax linnen to make it.
Knitting a bra from cotton yarn I tried too, but that's probably too flexible for large heavy breasts.
 
pollinator
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My first thought was "organic and spacious?  sound like 'no bra' to me!"  
But that is probably easier to pull off when one's boobs are pretty small...  
 
pollinator
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Hi, Raven! I sympathize. I used to be a 28G, which was impossible to find, but luckily as I've aged my ribcage seems to have expanded into a more widely available size range (something more like a 34D). Despite that, buying bras remains one of those horrific things: they cost too much, never fit right, and I end up with drawers and boxes full of the discards even though I swear I rarely buy any new ones (I try to make the few I have that work OK last as long as possible).

I've never had a bra fit perfectly, despite being professionally (and not so professionally) fitted, etc. etc. The best I found was when years ago a friend of mine designed a bra for Target that won a bunch of awards: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz3Ft6vcIFTiVEZER1VqZXRqQl9KSnR1Wks1QUNuaTAxOHFV/view?usp=sharing. (They did have underwires, but were very comfortable.) I bought as many as I could afford at the time, and they worked well for years, but eventually the elastic gave out, etc. and by then I couldn't find the same model anymore to replace them with. Anyway, they weren't even cotton, let alone organic. She doesn't seem to have designed any other revolutionary new bras since, that I can tell.

Since then, I've mostly gone with cheap bras that will do OK for now until I can figure out something better. I do have a few nice sports bras that I like from Green Apple in I think organic cotton and bamboo, but they don't seem to make the one I have anymore (of course): https://www.greenappleactive.com/collections/sport-bras . They're comfortable but do squish me in quite a bit, which looks a tad funny, so while they're great for wearing to work around the homestead or even running errands, if I'm trying to dress up a little they don't really work so well.

Thea mentioned Blue Canoe, and I wore one of theirs for years -- I think it was most similar to their current Jen's Bra: https://www.bluecanoe.com/collections/organic-cotton-bamboo-bras/products/a154 -- before the elastic gave out. It was my least attractive bra ever, both with and without clothes on top of it, but it functioned.

I like Pact Organic for other clothes and so I've had one or two of their bras on my wish list for a while: the Scrappy-Back Sports Bra and the Crossover Bralette (https://wearpact.com/women/underwear/bralettes). The latter was recommended as best for the bustier among us. One issue with sports-type bras is that they don't even attempt to list band and cup sizes, just S M L XL, and what are we supposed to do with that?! I would try a medium from Pact for my 34D-ish self because their medium tops fit me well, but what to do about being 34G? You might try asking their customer service folks.

What I've been planning to do for years is make my own bras. !!! I haven't managed it yet (I thought I'd start with undies and work my way up, but I haven't successfully made a pair of those yet). For a sewing option, this pattern goes down to 28 ribcage and up to H cup sizes, but has an underwire (these don't bother me if the fit is right, so I'd keep it, but maybe you could just leave it out?): https://shop.clothhabit.com/products/harriet-bra-pattern. I'm hoping these tutorials will be helpful: http://www.makebra.com/how-to/ and http://www.foundationsrevealed.com/bra-making/165-bras-drafting-a-darted-cup.

For a knitted option, I'm considering these patterns: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/twins---anna, https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/caliente-3, https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/22-retro-intimates, https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gidget-goes-hawaiian, and https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-summer-bralette. I've pored over Joan McGowan-Michael's lingerie knitting patterns and her book Knitting Lingerie Style for years, but nothing seems quite right as a place to start. I'm most likely to try knitting the "Caliente" pattern first, and I'll let you know how it goes!
 
zelda smith
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Sandy, I'm almost at the end of the alphabet for cup sizes, so I understand.  Herroom.com does have bras in cup sizes up to n (US size).  Yes, the pickings are slim, but they are there.  Personally, Panache is my go-to brand.  (UK sizing).  I paid a lot for one of their sports bras, and it got me through a half-marathon, along with all the training to get there.  It was very supportive and worked great for me.  
 
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https://decentexposures.com/
These folks have bras in all sizes, very comfy.
 
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Beth Wilder wrote:... buying bras remains one of those horrific things: they cost too much, never fit right, and I end up with drawers and boxes full of the discards

I've never had a bra fit perfectly, despite being professionally (and not so professionally) fitted...

What I've been planning to do for years is make my own bras. !!!



My wife started sewing her own bras for many of the same reasons in addition to choosing the fabric and prints. She thought wires were right out for her until she made one for herself with some changes. She took a work shop with someone who calls herself “The Queen of Cups”, and found the advice valuable but is still on a quest for the perfect fit, though happier with her hand sewn then any store bought bra so far.
 
pollinator
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It's  important to have clothing that doesn't injure people.  I don't know much about the history of the development of the bra, but this website seems to suggest that simply wrapping was done before bras were invented, and may put less strain on the shoulders.  (You have to scroll down a ways.)  

It would  be great to see more clothes designed to help people do permaculture.


https://bellatory.com/clothing/Alternative-to-Bras-What-to-Wear-When-Your-Bra-Hurts

 
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Well, this is a timely topic, as I just recently learned that the terrible eczema all over my armpits, neck, shoulders, and ribs is from the lycra in my bras.  I am always a cotton person but almost every cotton bra has some percentage of lycra.  I did find cottonique and ordered one of their 100% cotton bras, but their sizing is lousy -- they don't even have D in any size under 38, and in many styles don't have C.  I got, I think, a 36C lace-up bra with no stretch whatsoever and I am able to tie it tight enough around the bottom, but the cups are flat so it squashes.  I wish I could find an in-person fitting place that would have 100% cotton in my size, but it's almost impossible to find even online.  Cottonique comes from overseas and you need to pay shipping to return so I only bought one.  I found another company that charges over $90 per bra for their 100% cotton but it didn't look like they had decent sizes.  It is such an odd stance that larger cups should only be offered for larger rib cages... as if bra companies don't understand what a large cup means!

We are just about to launch into homesteading full-force on an empty high desert mesa, so I can't imagine how many years it will be before I can try to sew my own (will be living in a tent for much of the first year).  I think for the forseeable future I'll be alternating between nothing (which I can tolerate max one day at a time), tank with psuedo-bra (still some lycra but not so tight so bearable a day at a time), the cottonique bra, and a cotton sash tied just under my breasts (sweat-band only, also only ~1 day at a time).  Ugh.
 
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This blog site: http://www.randomlyhappyblog.com/making-your-own-bra/ mentions several patterns  that do not require stretch fabric, which would make it easier to find materials without synthetics, if that is what you are looking for. As mentioned above, even organic cotton bras will mostly have lycra to accommodate the variability within a cup size.
I have sometimes considered biting the bullet and paying several hundred dollars for a custom made bra. But I worry that my body will change enough that it won’t fit after a few years.
Good luck!
 
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I wouldn't wear one that goes over the shoulders, as I tried to wear suspenders once, and it felt like it was weakening my arms because of the weight on the nerve on my shoulder.
 
Nicole Alderman
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In a well-fitted bra, the straps pretty much just hold up the top of the cup. I.e. keep the cup on the breast. The majority of the support comes from the waist band. This held true to for me all the way up to a 32J. The band should be tight and wide to distribute the weight well.

I've also found that having the cups too BIG just makes things look saggy, but doesn't really affect the support. (As my children nursed less, my cup size decreased but I haven't bought a new bra yet.) But, one that is too tight in the cups is very painful. If the bra strap "rides up" in the back, than the weight is getting carried on the shoulders and it's not comfortable.
 
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BRA = breast restraining apparatus.  I have an intense dislike towards them.  Many years and many $$$$$s down the road, I've mostly decided to avoid them.  My biggest reason is health.  After quite a bit of research, I've decided that they are usually unhealthy.  Underwires are a definite NO for me these days, although I wore them for many years for support.  My health is more important and underwire bras are, I believe, a major cause in breast cancer.  It seems nearly impossible to find anything in a natural fiber, and even then, it will likely be somewhat binding around the ribs.  

Here's the thing:  When you undress, ANY place on your body where you clothes have left marks means your circulation was restricted.  I have NEVER found ANY bra that did not leave some marks.  

Tribal women and most women in less developed countries don't wear bras.  Guess what? very very low incidence of breast cancer!

For those times now when I really must wear a bra, I have found the Gloria Vanderbilt wire-free bras are my best current option.  Although I don't care much for the nylon/spandex material, it holds me well enough for something I don't wear all the time and has a wider band and closure than many others.  Sport bras won't work for me - too binding and too difficult to get on/off.

The bra manufacturers association (don't remember formal name off the top of my head) is scrambling now that news has come out connecting bras to breast cancer (more pink-washing), but this has prompted some manufacturers to address the issue.  There is a company that makes custom 'healthy' bras.  I can't remember the name at the moment but I could be prompted to find it.   I could also be persuaded if anyone is interested in more info on this with sources of the breast cancer/bra connection.  I just don't have it at my fingertips at the moment.

Bonnie
 
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Ah, I have not many women who share my build!!!  I wore underwires for years, and they did not really fit, but I had to have something!  34
ribcage, I wore a 38DDD because that came the closest.  
Then a shop that catered to mastectomy patients and made custom bras helped me find a 34 G
About 5 years ago I quit the underwires.

Now I order a stretchy bra that is cotton covered lycra in size 34FGH.  It is made by leading lady, and they put it on sale frequently.  It is also sold by Bare Necessities.  They charge more than LL.

I have been very comfortable wearing this, and when they begin to let go, I sometimes wear two, one on top of the other... gives me quite a lift.  

I realize previous posters have mentioned cancer risks,but at 69, and wearing a bra since 12years old, I have not had any cancer of any kind except from sun exposure, but not melanoma, (the scary one).  

I think it's a good idea to assess cancer risks individually.  Most Permies are clean living with much lower than average exposures to carcinogens, and yet we have unique family histories to concern us.  But those risks that the medical professionals worry about are from numbers and actuarial tables, and I am an individual, not a number, and .... doing good so far!




 
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Just throwing this out there. Bras were designed by men, for men to see more. nothing was ever meant for our comfort.
I have been 36D when young to 36H pregnant and back to DD and droopy. As a rule, I only wear a bra if I have to be in public, and only to keep others from starring.  

I thought I would share, something that worked for me. I have found a way to have support ( long before sports bras) when I rode horses bareback. And back when the bra straps were elastic and gave no support only bounce.
And this may be an option for some of you. At least around the homestead.
I used a cotton bandana. ( or scarf). works for a small frame. or A larger scarf  which works much better for larger frames ( you can test this at the store, to see if there is room to tie around your waist) or at least the smaller part of your ribcage.
Using opposite corners, like a triangle for the head. but when you put on to wear, one corner needs to point down, so the "give"doesn't let everything fall out the bottom. If it pulls up to high, past the center point of square, it will need to be tied tighter.

When you tie around the waist, you'll need to experiment on how tight. But will need to be tighter than you think. Use a half bow (one loop) until you know how tight you want it. and if you know, no one can pull on it, can be used  all the time. but a square knot works for longer use.  you can get any cotton material, cut into a 30" ( or larger) square and fold over and sew the edges, to eliminate raveling and tickling strings.

Using opposite corners. one corner up and one down. tie around waist, then pull up, squeeze into it. It gives a bit on the diagonal stretch. The support comes from tying up the top.
I just fold over the top corner ( sew or pin )  and used a shoe string to tie around neck, (or just together in front) as the top corner gathers, it pulls in on the sides.  You can find wider flat bands at fabric centers if you want more than a string.
and the bottom corner can stay down or tucked up between, for sweat. Much of the extra material can be tucked under. Once you find where the fold works best for you, a simple needle and thread can make this more permanent. make sure you leave room for the string or band to move easily through, so it can gather.

It is very similar to wrapping, but more simple. They cant move and stay out of the way. And can even be worn alone, cotton is much nicer than the sports bra. Too much heat for me.
It might not be the best option, but great for some situations. And very inexpensive and easy to clean.

I, too, will be looking into the options that other have posted. As every time I find a bra that fits, they quit making it. Thanks for this thread
 
Bonnie Kuhlman
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:
I realize previous posters have mentioned cancer risks,but at 69, and wearing a bra since 12years old, I have not had any cancer of any kind except from sun exposure, but not melanoma, (the scary one).  

I think it's a good idea to assess cancer risks individually.  Most Permies are clean living with much lower than average exposures to carcinogens, and yet we have unique family histories to concern us.  But those risks that the medical professionals worry about are from numbers and actuarial tables, and I am an individual, not a number, and .... doing good so far!



Thekla, I'm 10 years your junior and have not had any cancer concerns either.  I agree, most permies live a cleaner than average lifestyle.  I also believe many of us have a lower risk because we haven't used cell phones all our lives, and been exposed to so many other things like smart meters, computers, irradiated food.  The combination of wired bras and cell phones that proliferates in this current generation seems to be a significant factor for many.  Add to that the many women who tuck their cell phone into their bra and the cancer factor increases greatly.  

Much of the information I base my concerns on comes from Sydney Singer's book "Dressed to Kill..."  He has done a lot of research on this subject.  

Bonnie

 
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R, I`m in the same boat, my gastritis is made so much worse when I wear an underwire. I don't have any good ideas for you but hope you find a good solution.

As for the sleep bras, I do wear them. They are very soft and not really restraining. I wear them because even walking around, I'm very uncomfortable without a bra. I hate to have to wake up and get dressed immediately when I get out of bed, so the "sleep bra" is really more an "around the house" in the morning bra.
 
Beth Wilder
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Hello again, everyone! Sparked in part by this string and in part by a sale, I ended up finally buying a bra I'd had on my to-try list for a while, the Crossover Bralette from Pact: https://wearpact.com/women/underwear/bralettes/crossover%20bralette/wa1-wxb-cbh. Ideally I wear a 34D to 30F, and I ordered a size medium. It's 95% Organic Cotton, 5% Elastane. I don't normally have anything to do with "product endorsements," and I have no affiliation with this brand other than repeat purchases, but I have to say it's impressibly comfortable and well-fitting. There's no underwire, folks, and I don't miss it!

For a smaller band size and larger cup size, you may need to go up to a size large and then take in the band to fit, but I can see at least one easy place and way to do that (between where the crossed straps are attached to the back of the band, at the spine; or at each side under the arms, taking in a triangular wedge to cinch the band without losing too much space in the cups). Or you could try the medium, as I'm finding it to be quite snug without being uncomfortable (so could perhaps snug to a smaller ribcage).

The straps fit closer in to my neck than most bras do, which I like, as there's plenty of muscle there to pad them, unlike the place where most bras sit that on me is right on a bony area that bruises easily. Anyway I don't feel a lot of pressure there, which to me indicates the bra is doing its job and doing most of its support from the band (as I think Nicole described up-string). The straps do show when wearing non-crew-neck T-shirts or tank tops that don't have a halter or racerback shape. I predicted that and bought a nice heather blue color that I'm hoping will look intentional when the straps do show as well as hopefully not showing the inevitable dirt accumulated around our desert homestead as well as white would have.

I think it's pretty attractive, too, FWIW.

What I think I'll end up doing, because I like this design so much, is drafting a pattern based on this bra and trying to make a few of my own. I like that, in terms of notions, I'd only need some good wide elastic and a couple of removable slim cups (there are two slits inside the bra to remove and replace or adjust them) per bra rather than also having to get underwires, fasteners, special straps, those strap adjuster things, etc. I don't know how soon I'll get to this, but once I do, I'll report back!
 
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