Two “Solution” Bras, or What I Wear to Run and What I Wear to Weddings

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.


Enell Sports Bra pink

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.

Freya Deco Strapless

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?

10 Comments on Two “Solution” Bras, or What I Wear to Run and What I Wear to Weddings

  1. Erica of A Sophisticated Pair
    June 2, 2017 at 12:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Have you considered going the Enell custom route to see how it pans out? I keep wavering about carrying the brand in the store because I wonder if it’s not better for my customers to just refer them to the manufacturer directly for a custom piece. I hear the control is amazing, but boy that looks like armor!

    • Sweets
      June 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm (6 years ago)

      I actually did have a custom one made for me, and it’s…not that great. They did do excellent things like put the scratchy seam on the outside so I’d have a smooth edge without wearing it inside out (they apparently do this all the time for runners, and I’d consider doing a custom order just for that), but it came back too big around the body and too long in the straps. I historically have TERRIBLE luck with made to measure clothing, like a 99% failure rate, so I’d recommend it to others, just for some reason garments that are made to my measurements always come back too big (this happened recently with my Elila introduction– the first THREE sizes they sent were way, way too big).

      • Erica of A Sophisticated Pair
        June 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm (6 years ago)

        I have the same issues with made to measure stuff (although Nicole from Wild Pigeon did a great job), so I can appreciate the disappointment. A few of my customers said theirs came out great, but it’s such a shame yours didn’t. Certainly gives me food for thought about stocking the standard size ones though!

  2. Aurelia
    June 2, 2017 at 4:06 pm (6 years ago)

    I, too, have an Enell but I find it less comfortable to wear than the wired Panaches of which I own almost every colour. Both, however, sometimes give me a few centimetres of chafing at the “arm seam” after as little as approximately 40 minutes of running or Zumba. At other times I can run for over an hour and not have any problems.

    As for strapless, I have one from Ewa Michalak but I think it only went up to a G cup and currently she doesn’t seem to offer any, which is a shame because they are really good. I haven’t tried the Deco though. I always wanted to have a red strapless but have never found one, so had to bite the bullet and buy a colour I never ever wanted to own: nude. (I don’t want to own black or white either, for that matter.) I only have one top where I need a strapless bra anyway (and it’s red since this is my favourite colour), so I don’t wear it often. I do have a few “strappy tops” from Bravissimo though which I wear more often if the weather is hot enough.

    • Sweets
      June 6, 2017 at 7:58 am (6 years ago)

      I thought Ewa Michalak had done a strapless bra! I was wondering why they stopped making it too. The other one I’ve been wanting to try is Bravissimo’s GG-J strapless bra, but sadly it looks like they might be discontinuing it, as I see it’s in the sale.

  3. DDtop
    June 3, 2017 at 9:47 am (6 years ago)

    Hi did you ever get to look at the Ulla Bra range?
    Elomi sports bra’s are excellent double lined wires so no rubbing through skin!
    Anita is another not really mentioned have a few to try 5527&5529 are great fabrics used are really good quality the 5529 has a silicone bead/line along band on the front to keep in place even a very well thought out concept.
    Glamorise also do quite a few i like the 1166 pretty sure you could stand on your head and still kept inside!
    For me having Fibro/Raynauds & still finding things out like have low folic but still hoping to find out more what my pituitary tumour/prolactinoma is causing? as for one i mark/scar easily as things rubbing/pressing hard will break skin plus also become painful &they get tender/sore easily so i have to pick/choose wisely what i wear and can confirm ones above i find good many now in 42H UK.

    The thing with sports bra’s you have to seperate Fashion from Function!

    As your asking something to do a mechanical function over something that looks good&just holding up a weight in a constant plane.
    where as a sports bra is being asked to hold same weight but in many ways plus repeatedly moved so has to cope with the inertia esp with larger breasts repeatedly.

    Plus the lager/more projection and smaller band/back the higher the leverage is over a smaller area!

    Try holding a bag of sugar in your hand close even move about not try with arm bent at elbow with had outwards now do same and see the difference! quite a large difference with time you can hold and amount of effort you need to use to hold it outwards!

    But that is how it effects your breasts!

  4. K-Line
    June 4, 2017 at 10:21 am (6 years ago)

    I own this and a Shock Absorber and this is so much more comfortable – not that I run or do anything high impact (I do yoga!). But the distribution of weight is optimal with this bra. Mind you, it is the ugliest thing ever 🙂

  5. Elizabeth
    January 31, 2018 at 6:59 pm (5 years ago)

    My favorite comfortable bras for occasions where I know I’ll be moving around a lot are the Uniqlo wireless ones. They’re soooo comfortable and easy to wear. I found out about them because of this ad I saw, it’s so great. Definitely my favorite “comfy bra” right now


2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Two “Solution” Bras, or What I Wear to Run and What I Wear to Weddings

  1. […] I’ve never devoted a ton of time/photography budget to “solution” pieces: nothing wrong with them, they’re just not what makes me excited about lingerie. It is, however, an undeniable fact […]

  2. […] top sports bra under a shelf-bra camisole. Times are better now! I’ve already written about the only sports bra I can wear for distance running that doesn’t shred my skin, but there are tons of other cute styles out there you can try for cardio, team sports, yoga, dance […]

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