I don't have a love-hate relationship with bras. It's more like dislike-hate (despise-hate?).
Between wires that poke, straps that itch and a general feeling of being all bound up, they drive me crazy.
That said, since I do have to wear a bra for much of my existence, I have (thanks to some ridiculously long trying-on sessions that I should probably apologize for here) discovered one I despise less than others: The Victoria's Secret Body by Victoria Ipex wireless bra.
And I know I'm not the only one eternally seeking a better bra. When I wrote a recent e-newsletter on this topic, I got some great responses (thanks, ladies!) that I wanted to share. Here are a few anecdotes and recommendations from others:
From Carol: I thought I was the only person on the planet that tore their bra off when I got home from work. It's a lot easier to do when it's cold and I bundled up in fleece and sweats but it's not too pretty in the summer. I've purchased bras in every price range imaginable. The most expensive was a frothy concoction of netting and lace that I purchased in CA for $130, which looked great on but really didn't do much in the way of support. We talk about bras at work (we even bought our supervisor a Victoria's Secret bra for bosses' day) and all we want is a bra that gets the job done but doesn't feel like you're wearing a bra. I've got a drawer full of contenders but no winners until now.Right now I'm wearing a Warner's Lace Dressing T-shirt bra (with wires).I've never worn a Warner's bra before, but this is one I don't feel like ripping off when I get home. I always worry about (certain somethings) poking out like the temperature gauges in a frozen turkey, but so far so good.
From Erika: I have a bra recommendation, and I promise every woman (at least every woman C cup or smaller) will fall in love with it. NuBra LOVE IT! It is an adhesive bra that snaps together in the middle. I was worried to try one (being that there is a no-return policy), but am so glad I did! What I love about NuBra: 1) Nude in color, doesn't show through anything. 2) You can change the positioning on your can-cans in so many different ways, which allows you to: lift or flatten, go major cleaveage or no cleaveage, pull in, out, up, down, or anything else you might want to do. 3) You can wear it with any kind of shirt or dress: strapless, halter, low cut in the front or low cut in the back. 4) No straps or lines or pinching of back fat. (I mean, camels don't even have three humps on their backs, and women shouldn't either.) 5) No matter what the directions say, you don't have to spend five minutes every time you wear it to clean and moisten and so on. I've had the same NuBra for almost three years and it doesn't smell, hasn't lost its shape (you do have to store it inside the plastic box it comes in) and still sticks perfectly without hurting or pinching. It's $60, and you can get it online or in stores (I got mine at Cache).
From Carrie: The size of my chest means that strapless bras are just not an option.If you wear a C-cup or above, good luck trying to tame those girls under a tube top with anything less than masking tape.I have yet to find the solution to this, so tube tops and strapless dresses will always remain off-limits to me. As far as coming home and ripping off your bra to get comfortable, that is also not an option for me.I am a pretty thin girl with huge boobs and huge boobs are definitely more of a curse than a blessing.It literally hurts to walk around without bra.My solution to support without underwire is tank tops with shelf bras. My favorites (which I literally have in every color) areClassiques Entier Camisoles from Nordstrom. These are also good for working women who don't want to wear a bra because they go great under a suit coat or a sweater.Kristy Eckert is editor of Capital Style.