I had a conversation with a friend recently after I posted my review of the neon yellow Freya Pulse bra. She said something along the lines of yes, she had giggled when I mentioned in the review that neon was not my jam, and she asked me how often I actually wound up wearing the bra. I started to roll my eyes and say “psh, not often, clearly” when I realized that that was categorically untrue. In fact, now that I thought about it, I’ve found myself reaching for that neon bra and panty set about as often as I reach for black or neutral lingerie sets. It’s a bra that snuck up on me.
After nearly 5 years of writing this blog, I’ve gotten more discerning in my purchases. I no longer feel the need to try every style under the sun, and I’m pretty familiar with the common full-bust brands, so I’ve been focused lately on building a collection full of beautiful, comfortable, supportive bras that make me feel beautiful and also just a little bit like Miss Fisher. Still, occasionally some “odd” styles find their way into my collections, and more often than not, they’re ones, like the Freya Pulse set, that snuck up on me and won me over in spite of my initial negative or lukewarm feelings. This is particularly true of “solution” bras– as much as I like some of the fantastic full bust sports bras on the market, or admire some of the beautiful embellished occasionwear that’s out there now, the solution bras I wear the most often are not glamorous or remarkable, but they get the job done in a way the others simply can’t.
What I Wear to Run: The Enell Sports Bra
I wrote about the Enell sports bra shortly before I ran my first half marathon, and now that I have three half marathons under my belt, it’s worth praising again. True, both Freya and Panache offer outstanding wired sports bras that look good and control bounce, but unfortunately I’ve found that, even with a bra liner and some body glide, I simply cannot wear them for longer than a 20-30 minute run without developing ugly red chafe marks, or even broken skin (!), between my breasts and around my back. Ouch! The Enell sports bra provides the ultimate level of control, and the broad back distributes the weight of my breasts across my back and shoulders, instead of a traditional narrower bra band that slices into my ribs. There is a hard edged seam under the bust that can chafe, but being the genius problem solver that I am, I just wear the bra inside out to keep a smooth surface against my skin. I currently wear a 32H, occasionally 32GG, in UK bra sizes, and in Enell I fluctuate between a size 2 and a size 3. I’ve found the black ones to run noticeably smaller than the lighter colors (not unusual– black bras often come up a bit smaller than their lighter counterparts because of shrinkage during the dyeing process). Y’all, I get it: this bra is not the cutest. But I, who had never run longer than 2 miles at a time at the age of 29, have at the age of 32 run 13.1 miles without stopping multiple times. This bra helped make it possible.
What I Wear to Weddings: Freya Deco Strapless Bra
I’ve mentioned a few times over the years my disdain for molded cup t-shirt bras. I understand that they serve a purpose, that they are a godsend for many people, and that they make up a huge percentage of the American lingerie market. I do not like them. I don’t like the way they feel, I don’t like the shapes they give me, I don’t like the way they take up so much space in my lingerie drawer, and I don’t like the weird rigidity they give my breasts. The exception to this rule? The Freya Deco strapless bra. It works WONDERS for me. Strapless bras for fuller breasts require the rigid structure and shape that I usually abhor, but many of the ones I’ve tried are either too shallow or stop at a G-cup. The Deco strapless bra is available in the full Deco size range, suits my narrow-set and projected shape, and STAYS PUT, even through a full day’s wear or an evening of dancing. There’s even a pretty lacy bustier version this Spring, perfect for special occasions!
What are your go-to solution bras? People always ask me about full-bust strapless bras in particular– have you found one you can’t do without?